Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

This past week or so I have been missing the rip, run and raucous roar of the years I spent as a professional wedding designer. Thank goodness I have this blog to purge those feelings because Lord knows my body could not go back to that kind of grueling, back-breaking (literally!), sleepless schedule.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it like 100 times before, but I feel compelled to say it again: I have the best neighbors anyone could ask for!!! I was working on this tablescape for my winter 2013  “Art of Tablescaping” class that I teach through MCC-Longview, and up pops Barbara with these FABULOUS napkins!!! Her gift made me reevaluate the table and want to add design elements that would give it a little more zing. So I tore the tablescape down and started over!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full dining roomThe table is covered in a beautiful 90″ x 132″ platinum pintuck tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. The diamond shape of the pintuck cloth fits right in with diamonds for a wedding!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full TableThis is a tablescape that – minus the napkins – could easily fit into any month of the year for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. For a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding reception, the napkins are spot on!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Place settingThe place setting begins with a 13″ silverplate charger. The china used here is Easterling “Majestic” that my Mom gave to me a few years back. It’s staid design of dove grey rimmed in platinum with a white center to break up the concentration of color seemed perfect.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Napkin collageEach place setting has one of Barbara’s sultry, shimmery, beautiful napkins topped with a Moravian star. To see other tablescapes with Barbara’s napkin designs, click HERE and HERE. For the tutorial on how to create them yourself, click HERE for the YouTube video or HERE and scroll down to Tablescape Tip #31 for a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: FlatwareInternational Silver “Royal Danish” flatware, another gift from my Mom, is paired with Fifth Avenue crystal steak knives.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Stemware - Jamestown PlatinumMikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is perfectly matched with the china.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Candlestick collageThe centerpiece is a mix of high and low with 29″ silver Revere candlesticks and multi-faceted candle holders in different shapes and sizes. I used rhinestone-studded wax pillars to add shine up high.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece faceted candle holders collageI gradually amassed this collection of faceted candle holders from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods over the years. Note how the glow of one of the votives on the table casts light beneath the rose ball. (To see another tablescape using some of these faceted votive and candle holders, click HERE for “Princess Pink Birthday”.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair with embellishment

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair ornament embellishmentThe dining chairs are covered with silver satin universal chair covers recently purchased from LinenTablecloth.com.  I love the way the so beautifully drape down the back of the chair! I used a fancy ornament hook to affix an embellishment of a pewter glass ball ornament, a clear glass ornament, and one of the Moravian stars which enhances the 3-D look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is dressed with a huge faux evergreen, pine cone and white orchid arrangement in a beautiful mercury glass pilsner vase. The height of the arrangement helps to bring balance to the tall candlesticks on the table. Other elements from the dining table are repeated here including the rhinestone-studded pillar candles, the faceted candle holders in various sizes and shapes, the rose balls, and the Moravian stars.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Decor on top of china cabinetThe top of the china cabinet also has a few elements repeated from the table and buffet. Faceted crown candle holders hold white rose balls.

Other wedding-related posts on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Bling Wedding”
“Roses in October”
“Showered in Pink”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”

“Autumn White Wedding”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Planning in Purple”
“Love & Orchids”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Dinner for the Ladies in Waiting”
“Tented Green!”

I’ll publish a fun, contemporary New Year’s Eve cocktail/dinner party post tomorrow that will  also be featured on Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!”. next Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST. Meanwhile, join me and other talented bloggers right now for fabulous Christmas and New Year’s Eve design ideas on Susan’s 276th edition of “Tablescape Thursday”!

Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

Last Friday before all the snow fell upon our fair city (a full 12 inches where we live!!), I hosted a Sweet Sixteen X 2 birthday dinner for my best friend’s daughter-in-law. Pink was the “reigning” color of the evening.

 

 

A pink, black & white evening of celebration in honor of “Princess” Stacy’s 32nd (Sweet 16 x 2!) birthday. (Elements used for this royal tablescape would also work very well for a pink, black & white bridal shower or wedding. With a little tweaking, it would also be perfect for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month luncheon or dinner.)

A pink birthday party takes on a new air of sophistication when after-five black, rich silver tones, and lots of “bling” work alongside. A black table linen is the foundation for this tablescape, topped with white rhinestone-studded chargers. My favorite Noritake “Spectrum” china sits atop yet another beaded silver charger. Black cotton napkins from Bed, Bath & Beyond with a sheer silver underlay from Pier 1 “crown” the place setting. Of course, I had to pull out the “Royal Danish” sterling, and the silver crown place card holders and diamond cut Cristal d’Arques Longchamps crystal stemware were the perfect finish! (I added a little temporary pink “bling” to the top of each place card holder.)

I found these fabulous crown napkin rings at…you guessed it!…Z Gallerie!!!

I made the menus using heavy black paper topped with fabulous rose petal pink paper I found at Hobby Lobby. I printed the menu in color on plain white paper and then blinged it out with faux gemstones to give it that purely regal look!

 

I bought these sweet pink rose balls at a wholesale place and blinged them up a bit with “diamond” head stick pins. Each ball sits atop a slender silver candlestick with a bobeche dripping with crystals to give it a little extra “ooo la la.”

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

To bring color closer to the table deck, I used these pretty little multi-hued rosebud kissing balls that I made several years ago when I was feeling kind of crafty/bored. Again, I added rhinestone stick pins for this occasion.

Rhinestone candle holders are perfect on this table! The “crowns” hold a Swarovski crystal-studded pillar candle from Kaos, while each of the rectangular holders brings another level of light closer to the table. All of the centerpiece items reflect nicely in the black framed door mirror. (Also used HERE.)

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

I don’t always change the decor on top of the rustic china cabinet in the dining room, but this time was an exception. Another style of rhinestone candle holder and another larger homemade rose kissing ball shared the stage with my usual iron cross and a bevy of mercury glass votives.

A confection bar fit for a princess!

OK…so I’m a sucker for baby’s breath!!! I can’t help myself!!! This just looked so great in this ornately carved silver epergne. (I purchased 14 of these epergnes wholesale for my fine rentals business several years ago and just haven’t been able to part with them!) I replaced the candle lamps that came with the epergne with plain white metal case candles. The little wooden princess signs were purchased at Hobby Lobby, and I affixed lots of “bling” to the crowns on them for a sparkly 3-D look.

Pretty pink confections on the candy bar include M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey’s kisses and heart-shaped marshmallows in clear glass apothecary jars. Engraved silver tags identify the various candies. Sheri, the birthday girl’s mother-in-law/my best friend, baked the pink-sanded sugar cookies that just somehow kept leaping up into my mouth. 🙂 Party favors in pink organza bags were displayed on a silver beaded-edge stand. Each guest went home with the organza bags stuffed with candies and cookies, plus a vial of exclusive perfume.

 

What proper princess doesn’t have something with her initial prominently displayed? For Princess Stacy, it was a silver cake plateau full of luscious pink cupcakes! This tasty confection was served alongside a mini martini glass (Crate & Barrel) filled with strawberry ice cream.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The guests checking out the dining room before dinner.

L to R: Sheri, Kelly, Chris, Angie and Princess Stacy

This tablescape would also work incredibly well for Valentine’s Day, to honor a breast cancer survivor, a bridal shower, or as head table for a very blinged out wedding!

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Pretty In Pink
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
French Poodle
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Au Revoir!

I’m delighted to once again join Susan and the other talented tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.