Pretty In Pink (a re-post from April of 2010)

My parents are very special to me, and I snatch every opportunity to celebrate them. In April of 2010 I hosted a good old-fashioned ladies’ luncheon for my Mom and a few of her closest friends.


The woman of the hour/birthday girl, Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson, a.k.a. Mom!

 

Hustle and bustle to create an inviting surprise for the guests with a pink strawberry sangria service on a petal-filled silver gallery tray in the foyer.

 

 

The guest of honor makes her entrance!

 

The Ladies’ Luncheon honoring my Mother’s 81st birthday had a tablescape reminiscent of childhood fantasies. A 12-ft. table placed in the living room maximizes space and takes advantage of south-facing windows that catch the afternoon sun. A setup such as this would also work very well for a Mother’s Day brunch/luncheon, a pink & white wedding, or a Breast Cancer Awareness Month luncheon.

 

The menus were created on my home computer, cut and affixed to colorful cardstock, then finished with a simple silk rosebud from a craft store. The monogram watermark on the menu pays tribute to the honoree.

 

My Mom is a “super shopper” who loves snappy shoes and handbags!!! I chose these pewter shoe and handbag place card holders for that reason. My Grandmother used to say, “The devil is in the details.”

 

A “girlie” yet sophisticated place setting is made easy with a mix of traditional & contemporary pieces. Heirloom flatware completes the essentials. The Maxcera “Victorian Toile Rose” luncheon plates – a contemporary square – are adorned in traditional Victorian roses. White “doily” plates from Pier 1 are just perfect for dessert! Silver pew cones (often used for weddings) are brought into service as eye-catching and unusual napkin holders. (Also used for “A Dorothy By Any Other Name“.)  The striped pink/green/yellow/white cotton placemats from Pier 1 are reversible. (See the other side at “Days of Wine & Roses“.)

 

 

The “devil in the details” shows up again in each cup that bears the graceful image of a rose just inside the lip.

 

 

Branches dotted with cheerful cherry blossoms (from Costco of all places!) add height to the spring tablescape without blocking the view from across the table. Decorating with cherry blossoms is a colorful nod to the spring season. Petite bouquets of pink roses and fresh eucalyptus in crystal vases complement the tablescape’s motif, add texture and subtle fragrance, and make a nice take home treat.

 

Keeping with the overall color scheme of the tablescape, the ladies sipped pink sparkling lemonade adorned with a fresh strawberry. A thin slice of lemon in each water glass adds color.

 

 

 

I’m no gourmet cook, but I think food should complement the setting and vice versa. Finishing off the meal is a 6-inch, four-layer, luncheon size pink-tinted vanilla-almond cake with a crown of frothy white. The  cake is adorned with fresh strawberries. Fanned strawberries and fresh lemon leaves sent by a California friend accessorize each plate. Last but not least, a choice of vanilla or strawberry ice cream served up in a miniature martini glass.

 

Serving  coffee and/or tea with dessert is an age-old custom. Here the pink & white Silvestri “Sculpted Rose” tea service is ramped up with the addition of fragrant pink rose petals arranged on an heirloom silver tray.

 

Front Row (l to r): Wilhelmina Stewart, Delia Young (now deceased, she is the lady who encouraged me to start my blog), Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson, and Rosemary Lowe. Back Row (l to r): Alycia Nichols, Irene Watson, Thelma Crawford, Rep. Shalon “Kiki” Curls, and Liz Wilson.

The honoree, guests, and hostess!

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
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
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
Coming Up Roses

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs – Breast Cancer Awareness
Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas

 

 

 

 

Cardinal Christmas

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" dishes from T.J. Maxx

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dishes from T.J. Maxx

Busy, busy, busy! Christmas is just 3 short weeks away, and it’s a scramble. This tablescape is a cheerful mix of red & black to celebrate the flurry of cardinals settling in for the cold winter months ahead here in Missouri.
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Cardinal Christmas - red & black tablescapeAll linens on this 48″ round table for 4 were purchased from LinenTablecloth.com. The 108″ red cloth is topped with a contrasting 90″ black square. A black napkin is tucked beneath the charger and casually hangs off the side of the table.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Place setting using 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" cardinal & pine cone dishes

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: 222 Fifth "Holiday Wishes" plate collage

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: gold tone flatware

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Godinger "Chelsea" collection crystal stemwareEach place setting begins with a fire engine red acrylic square charger from World Market. The inspiration plates, “Holiday Wishes” by 222 Fifth, add pattern and color with cheerful meandering ribbon, pine cones, holly, poinsettias, and cardinals. Goldtone flatware complements the gold flourishes and Christmas greetings on the dishes. Godinger “Chelsea” collection crystal stemware completes the setting.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Berry & ribbon wreath with LED candles

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Centerpiece collageThe simply assembled centerpiece has a green wreath foundation peppered with pine cones, bright red berries and wandering ribbon to pick up on the design of the dishes. For safety’s sake, assorted sizes of red LED candles fill the wreath’s center. (I am SO banned from using real candles in the house anymore!!! Don’t ask. 😦 )

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Banquet chair with red stretch cover, "cardinal", pine cone & poinsettia sash

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Chair collage - banquet chair with red stretch cover, "cardinal", poinsettia and pine cone sashFor extra pizzazz to my Christmas tablescapes, I sometimes add embellishments to the chair cover sashes. Here, a red stretch chair cover and sash from LinenTablecloth.com are dressed up with a length of black organza ribbon to mimic the colors of a cardinal. I then tied on a bit of pine greenery, pine cones, and a single red (faux) poinsettia. This look further extends the dish design and makes a real impact as guests enter the dining area.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cardinal Christmas: Gift wrapped in red & lime green with red high heel shoe ornament affixed to the top

Just for “kicks” I want you to see the fun White Elephant Christmas gift I wrapped. The red gift wrap is accessorized with bright green ribbon and the word “joy” spelled out in little crystals. The box is topped off with a glittery red high heel shoe fit for any diva. What’s inside…something equally cool or a dud? 😉

More Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Christmas in the Woods

Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice

Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrating the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday

I’ll be back next week with a tour of our home decorated for Christmas and a “transitional” tablescape I think you’ll like!

I’m linking up this week with:
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Should Have Put a Ring On It Valentine Tablescape

♥♥♥ All the single ladies! All the single ladies! ♥♥♥

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean romance is in the air for everyone. There are those among us who are on an earnest quest to find Mr. Right but haven’t yet found out where he’s hiding. There are those who thought they had Mr. Right but had to kick him to the curb because he was oh, so wrong. There are those whose “boo” must be away for that special day (through no fault of his own). And then there are those who just don’t want to share the remote, compromise on what to have for dinner, or worry about falling into the toilet because the seat was left up. For all of you single ladies – whatever your reason – this is a blinged out Valentine tablescape that celebrates you as the carefree diva you are!
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.)

IMG_9665WM

IMG_9676WMValentine’s Day can be a day to raise your glass and just enjoy the platonic company of girlfriends. Like Cyndi Lauper said: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”!!! This would also be a great table for celebrating with other couples on Valentine’s Day (probably something just us old married folks do, but it can be fun!) or a Christmastime rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or wedding reception. With a few minor tweaks, it would also make a fabulous Kentucky Derby tablescape!!! (Change the white to cream, and it’s also perfect for a Delta Sigma Theta sorority gathering! My Mom made me say that! :-))

IMG_9653WM

IMG_9753WMRed is the color of strength, power, and determination as well as love. Start with a bold red full-length table linen (LinenTablecloth.com) to get the energy flowing in the room. Each glamorous place setting includes a rhinestone-studded charger topped with a second charger in sleek silver for added depth. The delicate design of Noritake “Whitebrook” china conveys sophisticated sweetness and light.

IMG_9645WMA menu card helps to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” and makes a really nice souvenir. The background of deep red roses works in concert with the centerpiece florals.

Flatware, Napkin, Rim Shot CollageI used these fun “diamond” napkin rings I found at Tuesday Morning because they go so well with the “Should Have Put a Ring On It” theme!

IMG_9640WMUse your most beautiful pieces to make everyone feel like royalty! Stemware here is Godinger “Chelsea” which isn’t my best, but it sure is one of my favorites!

IMG_9716WM

Clockwise: (1) Silver Revere candlestick; (2) candlestick topped with peg votive; (3) LED votive glows safely, and; (4) white silk lampshade made for fitting over peg votives

Clockwise from upper left corner: (1) Silver Revere candlestick; (2) candlestick topped with peg votive; (3) LED votive glows safely, and; (4) white silk lampshade made for fitting over peg votives

Lots of ambient light makes everyone look fabulous! These bistro lamps are powered by LEDs for safety. These same shades were used to create a completely different look on a silver epergne HERE(For more candle lamps on this site, see “All A’Bloom for Spring“, “Raining Orchids“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

IMG_9621WM

IMG_9610WMFun and flirty “Ocean Diamond Dazzle” rhinestone ribbon creates a jazzy runner to visually connect all the centerpiece elements. The frosted white votive holders (Hobby Lobby) have a thin coordinating strip.

IMG_9704WM

IMG_9680WMLots and lots of red rose kissing balls bring color and texture at two levels. Each rose ball is finished off with rhinestone stick pins for added flair. Faux flowers are used here for demonstration purposes, but by all means go fresh if your budget allows! Fresh flowers bring a dimension to your decorating that nothing else can!!!

Indeed, “if [he] liked it, then [he] should have put a ring on it”. If he didn’t, though, consider a glamour-filled evening for friends who share your single status!

If you’ve never seen the SNL parody of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” with Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynihan and Miss Thang Herself, Beyoncé Knowles, click HERE and get ready to laugh until you cry!!!

Other Valentine’s Day tables on this site include:
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”
Days of Wine and Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Love’s Arrow
Chocolate Traditional

Other posts with kissing balls/rose balls on this site:
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Days of Wine and Roses
Kentucky Derby Buffet
Derby Day Dining
Diwali My Way
Mandarin Bling

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday). I’m sure a lot of love will be in the air, so join me, won’t you?

Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve

This is my final post of 2012, hopefully just in time to provide a few ideas for your swingin’ New Year’s Eve celebration. I’m going to take a little time off over the next couple of weeks to enjoy my family and friends, get ready for tax season, prepare for my Spring tablescaping classes..and put away all the Christmas decor!!!

(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

IMG_9969WM

IMG_9511WM

IMG_0025WMMy goal was to create a room with the sophisticated glitz and glamour of New York cabarets and nightclubs of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. I wanted a room that, if you allowed yourself to focus, you could almost hear The Incomparable Hildegarde, see The Rat Pack commanding all eyes with their boyish antics, feel the pulsing of the floor as the band plays, and taste the champagne as it overflows.

This is a tablescape for guys and dolls who appreciate a good time! So gentlemen, don your penguin suit (or your best Babalu-sleeved shirt) and Brylcreem. Ladies, slip into you sultry evening gown, lacy push-up bra, silky thigh high stockings, satin evening gloves, blood-red lipstick…and let’s party!!!

Table lengthwise & mulitple place setting collage

Single place settingWMTo achieve the swanky look I wanted, I started with a starched white full-length table linen. The chargers are mirrored rounds that reflect a lot of light. The Easterling “Majestic” china with its platinum rims always reminds me of a stylish gray morning suit. (Think David Beckham’s cravat and trousers at the recent royal wedding. Mmmmmm….David Beckham………………………….Ahem! Sorry. Zoned out for a second there! :-))

Flatware-Rim Shot collageThe J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware, while sleek and contemporary in its styling, works well with the place settings.

Napkin & Menu collageI created the menus on our home computer using a shimmery dark gray card stock for the backing. A simple silver brad on top and bottom reminds me of the buttons on a tuxedo shirt or snappy cuff links. (Uh oh, here come those thoughts of David Beckham again!!! ;-)) The white cotton napkin is starched to within an inch of its life, gently rolled inward from each end, and tucked neatly in an unconventional spot between the plate and charger.

Stemware collageGodinger “Chelsea” crystal stemware gleams on the table.

IMG_9879WMA sleek silver dinner bell rests at the hostess’s place setting at the head of the table.

IMG_0022WM

Mirror ball collage

Feather boa & votive candle collageThe long, luxurious centerpiece was created using multi-level silver Revere candlesticks as pedestals. On top are large mirror balls resembling the Times Square ball dropped in New York City every New Year’s Eve. (With the mirror balls, this would also make a great “Dancing With the Stars” finale watch party tablescape!) Snaking its way through the mirror ball stands and mercury votive holders is a flirty white feather boa. (Elton John called. He wants his wardrobe back! :-)) Additional candlesticks guard each end of the centerpiece with 15″ white candles to lend height, drama, and more ambient light.

IMG_0020WM

IMG_9982WM

Buffet feathers & candle collageThe buffet behind the dining table is all aglow with more silver mercury glass votives and tall candlesticks. I wanted the buffet to be just as cool as the table, but complement it rather than compete. I filled 8″H mirrored bud vases with stark white goose feathers and biots. For added zing, I cut the individual “branches” of bling ornament sprays (seen whole in our Christmas tree HERE) and tucked them among the feathers. These arrangements remind me of the ostrich feather centerpieces used in swanky New York nightclubs like the Copacabana. (Uh oh…the Barry Manilow song just crept into my head and it’s NEVER gonna leave!!!)

Champagne Cart Collage

Feathers in champagne glasses collageThis is just a fun little touch on our vintage tea cart. Along with a bucket of fabulous pink champagne, a plate of caviar on toast points (because that’s how we roll on New Year’s Eve!), and the requisite noisemakers, are oversized champagne flutes filled with marabou feathers. I wanted to illuminate the feathers throughout. Problem was the LEDs that weighed no more than a good luck black-eyed pea wouldn’t hold up because the feathers were…let’s say it all together now…light as a feather!!! The lights sank to the bottom every time…but I still like the glowing effect. These would look great on the bar for a ritzy cocktail party or as table centerpieces!!!

China cabinet collageThe final touch is on the china cabinet where this beautiful crystal apéritif/digestif set (given to me by my Mom) is on display. The theme is continued here with a few strategically-placed (like a sexy cabaret dancer! ;-)) white ostrich feathers.

I thank you for spending a little time with me each week in 2012, and I wish you a safe and prosperous New Year. May 2013 bring you much love, joy and blessings!

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for New Year’s Eve:
Ringing in the New Year
White Hot
Winter Dinner
Little Black Dress
Peacock Pizzazz
Fete Noir et Gris

I will be joining The Tablescaper this Sunday for “Seasonal Sundays” where you can find all sorts of wonderful ideas for pepping up the season. Next week, as always, I’ll join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m., CST). I’m sure there will be lots and lots of fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescapes presented by my tablescaping colleagues around the world. You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

GET OUT AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999…
OR THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR!!! 🙂

Peony Power!

Do you remember those 1970s Chiffon Margarine commercials with “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as the slogan? Apparently someone didn’t get the memo, because this has been one of the weirdest weather years in recent history. We experienced one of the mildest, driest winters, and Spring has rapidly turned to Summer without so much as a “How do you do?”.  To quote yet another, more contemporary TV commercial, “Wasuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppp??!?!?!”

Peonies generally wait to pop their big moppy heads out sometime in mid-May, but it’s only May 1 and most blooms are nothing but a memory around here. Pitiful. But that won’t stop me from sharing this with those of you who still have a few weeks of peony power on your side! This would make a great Mothers Day celebration table, or work great for a birthday, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or bridal shower.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

This Tuscan-style table for 12 on the deck starts out with a full-length white linen topped with a beautiful piece of blue & white fabric I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store.

A basic white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with a cobalt blue glass dinner plate from Pier 1.

Each place setting has a white hemstitch napkin gathered with a fun napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond. I just love napkin rings that look like jewelry!

The very subtle pattern of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection works well with the busy topper.

I favored this flatware because the design on the handle looks a lot like the pattern of the fabric. I always look for similarities in shapes, patterns and angles to make details mesh.

A mix of small and large peony arrangements in cobalt blue glass vases line the center of the table. These peonies are not real for this demonstration table (alas and alack, those bad boys have long since met their Maker!), but when you use real ones, be sure to check for those pesky little ants that like to hang out in the blooms. (There are 2 schools of thought on whether or not ants actually promote the opening of the multi-layered blooms. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and spare them a date with a can of Raid. ;-))

After the sun retires for the evening, these reticulated canisters – set at intervals between the florals – are great for disguising a chunky LED candle that will make light dance across the table.

Visit other posts on this site oozing with peony power:
Peonies & Pearls
Peaceful Peonies

Other posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Daffodillyicious
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Surf & Turf Dinner
Brilliant Italian
Summer Blues & Greens

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. Pop on over to see what a bunch of other ladies and gents are up to this week with their tablescaping!

Chocolate Traditional

I couldn’t let this season of romance get away without posting a tablescape using chocolate brown & pink!!! It works not only for Valentine’s Day if you’re hosting other couples, but for a bridal shower, ultra feminine birthday celebration, or – with a few key tweaks – a celebration honoring a breast cancer survivor.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

IMG_4426WM

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Spurred on by last week’s pinning episode with all the little rosettes, I decided to wake this plain chocolate brown linen up with a strip of pink & brown edging. Again, not willing to try my hand at whip stitching, I simply used exposed pearl head pins to affix the edging to the hem. It all tied in nicely.

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comA silverplate charger and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china are topped with a simply folded pastel pink napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond. A small silver bell rests next to the hostess’s place setting. While it would normally be used to summon staff during dinner (as if I actually have staff! 🙂 ), this bell is to signal that it’s time for all the couples assembled at the table to steal a kiss!

 

“Chocolate Traditional” Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com I have a lot of stemware, but one of my favorites is Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection.

Another favorite collection is the International Silver “Danish Princess” flatware my Mom gave me. Here the dinner knife rests on a silverplate knife rest.

Silver hearts hold a place card by Artifacts.

No Valentine’s Day party is complete without a little chocolate something-something!

I bought these silver epergnes quite a few years ago. They are the companion piece to the 4-lite epergne shown as a buffet piece HERE. I really like the detailing. The white silk shades simply slip over the custom-made metal case candle (outfitted with a peg votive holder) and rest on the affixed bobeche. I can also swap out the custom candle/shade option for real tapers or remove the center bowl and use the piece as a 3-lite candelabra! Quite versatile!

I think I bought this silver covered casserole at Tuesday Morning about a billion years ago. I have used it both for food presentation and florals.

What’s a Valentine party without a ton of sweets on a dessert buffet? The aroma of all the chocolate is intoxicating! (I’m one of those odd women who does not care for the taste of chocolate, but I LOVE the smell!!!)

Coffee service is set up using the Elegance Silver coffee urn I purchased years ago. A pretty silver Victorian sugar scuttle with its tiny scoop is perfect for sweetening coffee (when a dip of your sweetheart’s finger won’t do the trick. 😉 )

On the opposite end of the buffet are Godinger silver petit four stands filled with all kinds of goodies. The silver pastry tongs have beautiful Baroque detailing.

I am so excited about this new acquisition!!! My goofy/loving cousin, Dee ;- ), got this silver Lazy Susan from our sweet friend, Doris, whose exceptionally good taste shows like a Derby prize winner. You should see this chick’s house! Anyhooooooo….Dee used it to display sweets at her recent 30th wedding anniversary party and then sent it home with me! I feel like passing out cigars to celebrate my new baby!!! Thank you, Dee Bug! Thank you, Doris!

Über feminine lacy paper dessert napkins are weighted down with my Lladró “Angel Lying Down” figurine, a gift from a client a few years back.

The corner tea cart, bought by my Mom in the 1950s from the swanky House of Modern and given to me a few years ago, is a handy-dandy extension of the buffet. A fun pink moscato is iced down in a silver champagne bucket, also given to me by my Mom. The salad course will be served with forks iced to perfection in this silver mini champagne bucket that is also perfect for a split of champagne if you’re dining alone! (Icing the fork tines is a great way to keep your salad greens crisp just a little bit longer, especially in summer! Just watch the look on your guests’ faces when the fork is presented like this! If you’re not lucky enough to have “staff”, the hostess should personally present the bucket for each guest to take a fork.) See another cool way to ice forks down by clicking HERE and scrolling down to Tip #3! This is also a fabulously fun & fancy way to present dessert forks or spoons!!!

I am joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week, and I also hope you will stop by the Valentine Blog Party hosted by Bargain Hunting & Chatting With Laurie on Friday, February 10. Pop in to get tons of decorating ideas for your Valentine’s Day party from tablescaping bloggers with romance on their minds all around the world!

♥♥♥Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you!!!♥♥♥

Other Valentine’s Day posts on this site you might enjoy:
Love’s Arrow
Peonies & Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses
“Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend”
Should Have Put a Ring On It
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”

Other posts in chocolate brown & pink:
Au Revoir
Just Us Girls

Raining Orchids

Yes, I am going to be stubborn about this. SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET!!! Temperatures have cooled from the horrific triple digits in most parts of the United States to something that feels like autumn, but I assure you it is temporary. It’s a fluke. A hiccup. An anomaly. The autumnal equinox doesn’t start until September 23 for countries in the Northern Hemisphere, so for the next two weeks I’m going to party like it’s 1999!!!

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

The one concession in my quest to savor the last days of summer will be a move toward deeper colored flowers. A profusion of richly hued orchids (accented with Asiatic lilies on the lamps) are the star of this September/late summer tablescape.

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

I decided to go with relatively simple pieces down low on the table to allow the higher pieces to fully shine. Standard white full-length poly-cotton table linens are topped with braided edge gold chargers. The gold-banded white china here is from Pier 1.

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comThe white cotton monogrammed napkins are laid upon the plates with a simple fold. Each is topped with a stem of orchids. Because my wallet is lighter than usual these days and this is a demo table, faux orchids are used here. I would, however, recommend the real deal for guests. Orchids can last for hours and hours out of water under temperate conditions.

Bright gold flatware with a barely there pattern is right in line with the simple design.

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

The stemware is from Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection. I tend to serve a lot of beverages before, during and after dinner, so my table is almost always loaded down with various drinking vessels. Clusters of gleaming crystal always looks great!

Crystal decanters filled with the spirit-du-jour always look pretty. These were a great buy from Tuesday Morning.

The center floral on this 12-ft. long table is a glass cylinder filled with 6-ft.H orchid stems. I arranged the stems to appear to be “raining” over the center of the table. (Click here and scroll down to “Autumn Orchids” to see another way to use these super tall orchid stems in glass cylinders!)

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

"Raining Orchids" -I am a big fan of bringing the indoors out for a little air. Almost everything you love inside your house will look twice as great outside! These lampshades are from our dining room where the palette is predominantly orange.

The lamp base here is constructed of a simple clear glass 31″H cylinder. (Glass cylinders can be your very best friend!! Click here and scroll down to “Love and Orchids” for another great glass cylinder & orchid combo!))

"Raining Orchids" - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comSuspended from the lampshade frame and “raining” into the glass cylinder are garlands of bling along with silk orchids sewn onto fishing wire. I hot glued a rhinestone to the center of each bloom to give it a little more “oomph!” and amp up the sparkle within the glass base.

"Raining Orchids" -This offers a glimpse as to how the lamp looks in pitch darkness. I used an uplight turned upside down to project light downward into the glass cylinder. Click here or on the Table Tips tab above, and scroll to Tip #29 to see how this lamp is constructed for this total effect. (For more candle lamps on this site, see “All A’Bloom for Spring“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

Join me at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch” for Tablescape Thursday!

Showered in Pink

Early this spring I hosted a wedding luncheon/shower at our home. The guest of honor is a huge fan of pink and green (my kind of gal!), so a pink and green spring tablescape it had to be!

IMG_0667WMThese photos were taken before the rental company arrived with the white chiavari chairs that really helped to further feminize the overall look. I wish I could have gotten a photo with the chairs around the table!

IMG_0669WM

img_0680wm.jpgWhite ceramic chargers from Old Time Pottery are topped with “frilly” square luncheon plates from Home Goods. My much-loved “Victorian Toile Rose” salad plates by Maxcera finish off the stack. (The rose plates were a hit at my Mom’s 81st birthday luncheon, for a Mother’s Day Luncheon, and for a ladies’ tea.)

IMG_0674WM“Chelsea” collection crystal stemware by Godinger.

International Silver “Danish Princess” flatware.

IMG_0678WMThe starched white cotton napkin is tucked into a silver napkin ring adorned with a pale green butterfly. Decorating with butterflies is so much fun in spring and summer!

The place cards are tiny silver wedding bells used in a tribute to the bride-to-be after lunch.

IMG_0687WM

The centerpiece was made up of a series of cherub statues with this larger one in the middle. Their bowls are filled with fresh roses, orchids and hydrangea. The fresh ivy I had wasn’t long enough to add the drama I wanted, so I substituted faux strands. Although it seems quite apparent in these photos, the faux ivy was barely noticeable.

IMG_0691WMTwo smaller cherub statuary held a profusion of roses along with a bit of viburnum and a couple of orchids tucked in for good measure. I lost one of these lovelies to decapitation during the recent move! 😦

I bought this fabulous rosette ribbon earlier this year. I love the texture and the look of it intertwined with satiny green. Very girly!!! I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of this in upcoming posts used in various ways!

The dining room buffet served as the ideal resting place for the tea service.
(Tip: If your hydrangea are a teensy bit droopy, improve their posture by carefully threading a length of heavy gauge floral wire up the stem.)

IMG_0722WMThe buffet was also a handy spot for the gifts. My gifts for the bride-to-be matched the table decor with pink and green ribbon over glossy white paper. A fanciful butterfly adorned each. When a guest who came early to help with the food arrived without having wrapped her gift, I quickly popped on a bit of green ribbon and added a couple of butterflies so it fit right in!

For lots more wedding related tablescape ideas,
visit the “Wedding” tab above!

More tablescapes using soft pink on this site:
Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon
Pleasant Under Glass
Pretty In Pink
Au Revoir
Coming Up Roses
Just Us Girls
Princess Pink Birthday Party
Tea Roses
Fairy Princess Party
Bald Is Beautiful
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs
Easter In Pink & Grey
All A’Bloom In Pink for Spring
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Pleasant Under Glass
Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink
Springtime In Paris
Pink Plaid & Posies
Days of Wine & Roses
Blushing Bridal Shower

Please remember to join me along with the other dishaholics at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Bienvenue! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
(Welcome! Let the good times roll!!!)

We will be shakin’ our bon-bon and having a grand ol’ time in celebration of Fat Tuesday tonight! Our trusty butler, Geoffrey, even plans to get in on the fun which is so against his staid British upbringing! 🙂

I’ve been busy all morning preparing a slightly more formal table than the way we celebrated over the weekend. The same amount of debauchery, however, is expected as for any Mardi Gras celebration!


I elected to allow the natural wood of the dining table anchor the setting. Over the bare wood I crisscrossed lengths of shimmering purple, green & gold netting.


Each place setting  started with a deep purple cobbled charger from Burlington. The china was purchased several years ago at Pier 1. Add gold toned flatware and my trusty Godinger “Chelsea” collection stemware.


Purple gemstone napkin rings from Z Gallerie hug the sheer organza Pier 1 napkins. Here you are better able to see the cobbled texture of the chargers.


The centerpiece is made up of several pieces. First, in a Godinger “Dublin” hurricane, is a mass of free-flowing fresh greenery. I wanted a kind of “messy” look to play off of the more formally arranged carnations beneath it.


Clusters of beautifully fragrant royal purple carnations rest in diminiutive crystal vases.


At each end of the dining table are Godinger “Dublin” cut crystal candle holders.


Graceful purple birds with soft green bellies and long, sweeping tails perch high above each gold candlestick. The birds were purchased wholesale many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to use them.

One of my favorite parts of decorating is the chance to create something new by combining various elements. The very boxy gold-toned candlesticks are softened by the addition of these bobeches dripping in crystals.


The buffet area is the perfect place to extend the festivities from the dining table. Purple, green & gold mirror balls stretch the length of the buffet with a strand of the same colored beaded garland. On one end of the buffet, a Harlequin doll stands guard over the assorted candies in cut crystal containers.


On the opposite end, a mini bar of soul-satisfying bourbon, scotch and brandy in cut crystal vessels awaits thirsty guests along with fun feathered masks.


I don’t much care for store-bought King’s cake, so I am substituting these lucious homebaked cinnamon rolls. The smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is wonderful!!!


This Beverly Clark cake server with the regal crown on the end is the perfect utensil for cutting and serving the King’s cake!

I didn’t create menu cards for our buffet this evening, but we will dine on a traditional gumbo starter followed by fried catfish, red beans & rice, candied sweet potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. After all, that’s what Fat Tuesday is all about! I wish you and yours a joyous and festive one!

Other Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday tablescapes on this site:
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Mojo
“Mardi Gras Madness”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”

 In the browsing mood? I hope you will take the time to visit Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!

Celebrate the Season

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see the (politically correct here) Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/etc. season finally arrive. I have had my fill of pumpkins for this year, and I’m ready for shiny and bright! Thankfully, we have a number of Christmas parties planned here at home for which I can pull out all the decorating stops…or show restraint. (Yeah, right! That’ll happen! 🙂 ) The master plan is to make each one unique in style, content, and color scheme. We’ll see how that works out since I am so partial to red during the holiday season!

This first party of the 2010 Christmas season came right on the heels of Thanksgiving which didn’t allow for a lot of prep time. I had to think fast on my feet! Mercifully, the long tables were already in the living room, Ramon hustled to finish the outdoor lighting (all red, of course!), and the house was already clean. To further maintain my sanity, I opted to share cooking duties with a favorite caterer. Our garage has morphed into a floral cooler (!!!), so lots of fresh greenery there to grab and arrange at a moment’s notice. (I don’t even want to discuss the bad “haircut” our porch evergreens got in the name of floral design for the small arrangements! 😦 ) At any rate, this dinner party kicked the season off with a bang!

Try as I may to avoid it, red makes its way into almost every holiday setting I create. Icy silver and white play host here to fiery red on a table set for 12.

Muted silver square chargers (Old Time Pottery) with rounded edges anchor the place setting. A rounded-edge square B. Smith with Style plate in frosty white is then topped with a crisp white dinner napkin encircled with a red & silver ring to keep the napkin from disappearing into the plate. Godinger crystal stemware from the “Chelsea” collection and Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware round out the setting.

 A simple length of satiny red ribbon is tucked around the charger to give the illusion of a “gift” and to add a little color.

This photo was taken a bit later in the evening, but I think it shows how beautifully the crisp white shows up to the darkness. It, like the tablecloth, reminds me of snow!

I wanted to add a bit more red and introduce something a little fun to the table. I settled on these beautiful Christmas cards from Pier 1.

Inside each card was the evening’s menu embellished with a similar design! I’ll probably use this tactic a lot this season. It’s a great way to use the cards that I’ll most likely never get around to sending out! 🙂

I have 3 of these lovely silver epergnes, and liked the way they looked like pretty soldiers lining the center of the table! I just find seeded eucalyptus to be one of the easiest greens in the world to work with at Christmas time, so you’ll see a lot of it in my arrangements throughout the season. It drapes so beautifully and is so graceful. The greenish-grey color is wonderful, too, and it stands up nicely against the darker evergreens. My favorite filler, leucadendron, makes another appearance here along with bright red berries.

Tiny crystal vases hold snippets of seeded eucalyptus, evergreens, and cheerful red berries.

The fireplace mantel is all decked in a variety of greenery dotted with red berries. (Fresh seeded eucalyptus and other greens will last the entire evening without water OR you can insert the ends into water tubes.) Reflective silver candlesticks topped with pillar candles and mercury balls dance through the foliage. The whole image is doubled back in the mirror which makes it look even more lush.

‘Tis the season!

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas

I’m thrilled to join Susan for Tablescape Thursdays. After clicking on the “Winter” tab above to view my photos, feel free to head on over and visit the other talented men and women there!