Better Late Than Never, Pt. II – Christmas 2016 in the Dining Room

This is Installment #2 of 4 from a very late reveal of Christmas decor around our home in 2016. The first installment peeped around the entry hall and library. This time we move into the dining room.

I like to use black in Christmas decorating because it’s a wonderful neutral that really showcases gemstone colors and brilliant metals. I draped this table with a 90″x132″ black diamond pintuck tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com  that skims the floor.

 

 

The centerpiece is a flat woven basket from Tuesday Morning filled with mounds of red and gold glass ornaments in varying sizes to lend depth and dimension. Frolicking amidst the ornaments are two playful gold reindeer with beaded antlers from Pier 1. (The ones they’re selling this year are similar to these, but cooler with little red scarves!) A smattering of gold mercury glass chargers complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

Gold glass chargers sit beneath Ciroa gold-rimmed black & white buffalo check bone china dinner plates. Austere white cotton napkins are cinched with ornamental red berry picks from Hobby Lobby twisted to create a napkin ring. (I used this same technique for “Christmas Progressive Dinner” on a much different table.) The pattern of the Longchamps crystal complements that of the dinner plates. A red and gold English cracker is set alongside each place setting for fun after dinner. (Our family has TOO MUCH fun with them!)

 

 

 

On the buffet behind the dining table is another flat basket loaded with spirits for guests to help themselves at will. A creamy white ironstone pitcher filled with red berry picks from Hobby Lobby (the same as used for the napkin rings) dresses it up a bit. On each side are painted gold manzanita “trees” from LinenTablecloth.com that I ordered on a whim. (“On a whim” means when I was taking medication that had me doing weird things that I don’t even remember doing!!! Still…not a bad purchase!) In front of those sit shiny red mercury glass lidded canisters clad in black & white gingham ribbon bows. The gilded bay leaf wreath on the mirror is uplit at night.

 

 

The tea/bar cart is ready to serve after dinner coffee and/or libations by way of a Grace’s Teaware white lattice coffee set accented with Ciroa plates on a silver tiered stand. A metal champagne bucket from Home Goods brims with gold glass ornaments.

 

The wood & metal sconces hold more of the Ciroa plates with a shiny red ornament hoisted in front to draw the eye up.

 

The china cabinet in the opposite corner of the room is topped with more metal wine/champagne cooling vessels. The center one is filled to capacity with bright red glass ornaments to complement the table centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the skinny tree in the window with a fun stovepipe hat topper! (See another tree topped with a stovepipe hat at  Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver.) A load of ornaments on the tree include more stovepipe hats (Dollar Tree), red lanterns (Walmart), red berry picks (Hobby Lobby), frosted pine cones and acrylic snowflakes, grinning snowmen and twists of black & white check ribbon. (Other tablescapes using these snowmen are Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape, Checkered Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.) Beneath the tree are piles of snowflakes, snowballs, and baskets of pine cones with black lanterns lit up for the season.

That about does it for the 2016 dining room. I’ll be back in a couple of days with pics from the family room that I hope you’ll enjoy. Meanwhile, there is LOTS of other Christmas inspiration on this site. Just type in the word Christmas under Categories on the right-hand sidebar to hit the jackpot!

I’ll be joining Susan later this week for Tablescape Thursday as well as Sandra & Chloe for Celebrate Your Story and Linda for her Dishing It & Digging It Link Party! Come on along and get inspired!!!

Christmas Through the Red Door

Welcome back! I’m so glad to be back to doing what I love, now with substantially less pain than ever! In the coming weeks, I am excited to be able to post 6 different Christmas tables  that will feature ideas for kids, adults, and even one very “guy-specific.” Today’s table, my first post since bouncing out of here in July for shoulder surgery (which was a grand success…thanks for all your wonderful well wishes!), takes you through our newly-painted front door all ready for the holidays. I have always wanted a white Colonial-style house with classic black shutters and an iconic, welcoming, shiny apple-red door (think Elizabeth Arden or Talbot’s!), and just in time for the holidays I invite you to come on in!
(To see photo detailing close up, click & then click again.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - adorned gift box

INSPIRATION: Red & gold decorated metal Christmas box from Pier 1

Tablescapes at Table Twenty- One: Front door wreath & library Christmas table in red & goldThis table in our library was created for a one-night only tablescaping class I conducted in October through MCC-Longview. (Setting up for that class completely wiped me out since I wasn’t quite healed. It took a month to get my wind back!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One:L Christmas Through the Red Door - full table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Tabletop in red & goldThis 48″ round table for 4 could be easily recreated with a larger table – round, oblong or square – to accommodate more guests.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Red & gold place settingI wanted the place settings for this table to represent the ultimate in elegance for the holiday. Gold-leafed glass chargers are the foundation for the red & gold Royal Scotland china. The white centers of the china helps to break up the concentration of color on the table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - adorned gift boxWhat nicer way to present a favor or holiday gift to guests than to personalize it and have it at their place setting? These particular boxes represent the level of flourish to consider to make the outside of each gift as special as what’s inside. Notice how the red diamond shape of the “wrapping paper” mimics the pattern in the tablecloth and cut crystal. (These permanent demonstration boxes were purchased around 2009 from Pier 1.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - gold decorative birdI added an extra dimension to the top of the boxes in the form of this pretty clip-on gold beaded bird. Something similar to this makes the presentation a bit more special, ties into the centerpiece, and doubles as a nice take-home favor for guests.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - flatware/rim shotGold-colored flatware borrowed from my Mom is complemented with a gorgeous crystal-handled steak knife from Fifth Avenue Crystal.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - stemwareCristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware adds lots of reflective quality to the table and complements the design of the tablecloth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - napkin drop, gold pintuck tableclothThe scarlet red organza napkins (Pier 1) strike a brilliant pose against the muted gold pintuck tablecloth from Your Chair Covers.com. I like to use linens with a little extra something-something going on during the holidays! (If you prefer a layered look, a solid satin or solid poly full-length tablecloth can be topped with a pintuck overlay or runner. It’s a really cost-effective way of glitzing up a table! You can find a great selection of pintuck runners and overlays as well as basic linens and chair covers at great low prices at my favorite “go-to” place, LinenTablecloth.com! Order now for quick, carefree delivery in time for all your holiday decorating!!!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Crystal centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door - Centerpiece collage detail, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Christmas Through the Red Door- Centerpiece collage detail, IIIf you’ve ever visited this blog in the past, you know I heartily subscribe to the “go-big-or-go-home” theory when it comes to decorating. We tested this crystal epergne out for visibility across the table before I decided on it. The cut of the crystal mimics the design of the tablecloth and the cut of the stemware. A melange of shiny, muted and glittered red balls bring color to the top of the table. A single gold bird perched on the side carries the theme up from the place settings. The crystal, of course, just makes a huge statement during the holidays!

I am so, so happy to be back at the computer to share with you! For more Christmas & holiday tables on this site:
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas
Get Me to the Church On Time
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Black Friday Luncheon
Sugar High Payback
Winter Dinner
Winter Cardinal
Fire & Ice – Contemporary Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
or check out our “WINTER” page for NINE more all on one page!!!

I’m so pleased to re-join Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly party “Let’s Dish!” and Susan for Tablescape Thursday this week! Please hop on over to these ladies’ blogs to check out the many talents of tablescapers from around the world!

The Cake Studio

I was in the business of designing and coordinating lavish weddings for a lot of years. During that time I befriended some of the most talented cake artists this tri-state area (and beyond!) has to offer. (I’m no fool…I like cake! 😉 ) Just in time for Valentine’s Day, but perfect for ANY AND ALL occasions, allow me to introduce you to two gals with the most awesome baking and design talent around! (Sorry…no scratch and sniff/taste available!)

 

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Owners Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio) and Michelle Rice (Iced Art) have a really fun, eclectic style that translates into stunning, picture-perfect cakes. With their fabulous confections and the bright coral walls of the shop as a backdrop, I dropped in a wedding tablescape depicting a formal dinner look made contemporary by the combination of black and hot pink.

This tablescape’s place settings have sentimental meaning. The gold leafed glass chargers were a gift from my sister. The intricately designed octagonal “Jacobean” by F. Winkle & Co. salad plates were a gift from my mother (also used in a very different tablescape “Peaceful Peonies”), and the highly embellished flatware is “on loan.” (Seriously…does Mom really think I’m giving this back???)

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The BB&B black polycotton napkins are folded to accommodate a place card or menu and banded with simple hot pink ribbon.

I could drink out of these glasses every day!!! Delicate pink crystal bears an etched design of meandering vines. I picked these up at Marshall’s and would really like to find more of them! (See this stemware used again for an Easter tablescape, “Pinky Peter Cottontail”.)

This magnificent centerpiece, created by Dana Nigro at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO is a remnant from my days as an event designer. The sturdy manzanita branch is dotted with pretty hot pink flowers and dazzling crystals. This truly was the center of the tablescape, with everything else being built around its simple beauty.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Iron candlesticks and treasure chests bursting with hot pink peonies rounded out the decorative centerpiece to complete the tablescape. I went with white rather than hot pink candles to maintain a bit of formality and so as not to overwhelm the look with too much of a good thing.

The three amigas: Michelle Rice (Iced Art – Cakes By Design), Rebekah Foster (The Cake Studio), and little ol’ me! (Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
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!

Show Me State Dinner

This post is dedicated to my Mom, Senator Yvonne S. Wilson (Retired)

If the past couple of months have taught me anything, it’s that LIFE HAPPENS. Everything you know – or think you know – can change in the blink of an eye. Even though I know better, for some reason I forget that from time to time, and I procrastinate. For the entire time my Mom served in the Missouri House and Senate, I put off hosting a dinner for her and her colleagues. I threw her birthday parties, parties for the Governor’s Ball, parties for the Legislator’s Ball…heck, I even put my decorative touch on her retirement party. But never in all that time did I engineer an intimate sit-down dinner that would allow her to enjoy a relaxed evening with just a few of her colleagues in the comfort and quiet of home. Bad, bad daughter!

Could have, would have, should have….didn’t. Here’s a look at the “Show Me State” dinner that never was!

I take my cue from “For the Royal Table – Dining at the Palace” by Kathryn Jones. Love this book! Yes, I realize this country does not have a monarchy. Borrowing tidbits of style and protocol from the palace, however, lends a touch of ceremony that I think my Mom deserves. If this were the real deal, I would most definitely rent gold ladderback chairs for the occasion.

Homage is paid to our great state with Missouri’s official seal.

img_1249wm.jpg

Nearly every party I have ever thrown in my Mom’s honor has been in hues of pink and green. This one in red & white, however, takes on colors consistent with those of our national and state flags. (Crimson and cream are also the colors associated with my Mom’s sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. Close enough!)

IMG_1269WM

Royal Scotland china sits atop goldleafed glass chargers.

Linen dinner napkins emblazoned with the state seal.

IMG_1238WMI would undoubtedly want to serve several courses. The table, therefore, would creak under the weight of goldplated flatware brazenly pilfered borrowed from my Mom and Dad’s house. (It’s her own fault, really. She needs to learn to frequently change the locks and alarm code! :-))

Borrowing another idea from “For the Royal Table”, the menus are simple and staid. The outside bears the State seal in gold. The inside bears the same seal as a watermark located between the date of the event and the place in which it was held. (Sorry, no castle here…just a lowly subdivision!) The dessert would include our official State nut – the black walnut – and, of course, all wines would be from local wineries.

I chose these water glasses because they have a very courtly look to them, and the embellishments complement the design on the china. The wine glasses, from my Mom’s collection, are etched with the state seal.

Our official state flower is white hawthorn blossom which is a member of the great rose family. Red roses grace the table, however, because I could not find white hawthorn blossom at any local nursery. Go figure. These are displayed in simple glass vessels made a bit more special with the addition of a beautiful crystal bobeche. Who says bobeches are just for candlesticks? Not me! Go on and bling up those vases!!!
(Click here and scroll to Table Tip #24 to learn how to easily strip thorns from roses.)

IMG_1255WMIn 2003 the Norton/Cynthiana grape was adopted as Missouri’s official grape. My parents used to grow them in a small orchard on their property. They are prized by many Missouri vintners who produce lush dry premium red wines of world-class quality and distinction. Again, unable to get my hands on any Norton/Cynthianas close to home, I settled for their juicy cousins displayed in beautiful gold and crystal compotes borrowed from my Mom. The Limoges salt & pepper cellars are a gift from my Mom.

And there you have it: the “Show Me State” dinner that never was.
Here’s to you, Mom!

Substitute the Missouri State seal for Kentucky’s and deep-six the flags, and you have yourself a wonderful Kentucky Derby tablescape!

Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
“Stars & Stripes”
“All-American Seafood Boil”
“Lauren in the Library”
“4th of July Coastal Style”
“Red, White & Blueberries”
“American Royal Tablescape”
“Peacefully Patriotic”

Thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for once again hosting Tablescape Thursdays!
Join us, won’t you? And please…In support of our troops and their families, join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriotic Palooza Party”!!!

Upscale Irish

I have a confession to make: I’m not Irish. What….this surprises you?!??!!! OK, every year I share a little corn beef & cabbage with friends of Irish descent, try with absolutely no luck to learn an Irish jig, and sometimes even put on a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirt (mostly just for the smooches from my husband!). But that’s all part of the fun. Like they say, “On St. Patrick’s Day, everybody’s Irish!” Well, this year I have been challenged to dig a little deeper. A lady who prefers to remain nameless here wrote to me via Facebook asking if I could help her with ideas for “an elegant, upscale St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.” Hmmmmm….elegant and St. Patrick’s Day. Not two terms you usually hear in the same sentence. Here’s the trick to it: Ms. Anonymous is of Irish descent and entertaining her non-Irish future in-laws at her home for the very first time. The in-laws, as I understand it, are a bit…shall we say…reserved. The mere mention of green beer would send them into a tailspin! So, the challenge was to come up with a table that could demonstrate pride in her heritage (after all, the futures did insist that the 17th was the only day they could meet for dinner while in town!) but still embrace the formality the occasion will demand. After nearly 10 days of wracking my little pea brain for ideas, my friend Jim Mooney – owner of Midwest Embroidery (who, by the way, is the most fabulous fabric guy in the world!) – randomly sent me an email with gorgeous images of the Emerald Isle. The photos took my breath away. Further, they inspired me – along with the hauntingly beautiful strains of Garth Brooks’s “Ireland” playing over and over – to create the tablescape that I hope will help Ms. Anonymous win points with her future in-laws. Thanks, Jim! And here we go!

IMG_0451WM

IMG_0450WM

The mood is set for a lovely evening with festive traditional touches including the color that best represents the so-called Emerald Isle: emerald green, of course!

img_0409wm.jpg

IMG_0426WM

img_0429wm.jpg

When I think of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day, I think of a lot of gold alongside the green. On a crisp, white linen I stacked a gold leafed glass charger and an American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” dinner and salad plate. To top it off, emerald green-stemmed dessert bowls from Old Time Pottery.

IMG_0422WMThese Pier 1 wine glasses with clear stems supporting an emerald green bowl seemed a perfect representation of the occasion’s prevailing color. The gold design around the rim is similar to that around the china. I bought these stems at the same time I bought these that I used for one of my Mardi Gras tables this year.

img_0424wm.jpgStarched white cotton napkins are closely hugged by these gold and green “Rock Spray” napkin rings from Pier 1.

IMG_0431WM

The center of the table is adorned with tall gold candlesticks alternated with simple free-flowing bouquets of Bells of Ireland and orchids. I considered pots of shamrock, but decided on this airy floral combination instead because of the height and tinge of sophistication it lends. Ms. Anonymous, you may want to go with slightly fuller arrangements since you are seating for 8 and have a larger table.

IMG_0437WMMy husband actually suggested that I use these emerald green votives in place of the gold mercury glass ones I had selected. Good goin’, Ramon! It really does work better! Your eye for this stuff is kinda starting to scare me, dude! 😉 I picked these votives up at Old Time Pottery last year.

After dinner, I suggest a digestif of Bailey’s Irish Cream. It can be served in tiny glasses such as these, or in rocks glasses (Irish crystal, of course!) over ice. Single-serve bottles of Bailey’s adorned with a green ribbon make a great favor for each guest!

OK….so this is my version of “Upscale Irish” for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party. Ms. Anonymous, I hope you will be able to glean something useful from it, and I wish you much success with your dinner party! Thanks for the challenge…it was a doozy!

Other posts on this site with tables suitable for St. Patrick’s Day:

Apple Green Luncheon
Moss & Manzanitas
Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille
“Rolling Fields of Green”

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen’s St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl on March 15th. Just click the banner below to check out what some other very talented tablescapers are doing to celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green!

Third Annual St. Patrick\" width=

“Ireland”
lyrics by Stephanie Davis, Jenny Yates, Garth Brooks

They say mother earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilight’s door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven
Watching o’er us all the while
And her heart it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle.

We are forty against hundreds
In someone else’s bloody war
We know not why we’re fighting
Or what we’re dying for
They will storm us in the morning
When the sunlight turns to sky
Death is waiting for its dance now
Fate has sentenced us to die.

(chorus)
Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Oh the captain he lay bleeding
I can hear him calling me
“These men are yours now for the leading
Show them to their destiny ”
And as I look up all around me
I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready
‘Cause we’re not waiting for the morn.

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Now the fog is deep and heavy
As we forge the dark and fear
We can hear their horses breathing
As in silence we draw near
There are no words to be spoken
Just a look to say good-bye
I draw a breath and night is broken
As I scream our battle cry.

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out won’t you take my hand
I’m coming home Ireland.

Yes I am home Ireland

We Were Forty Against Hundreds…..