Black, White, & Red All Over

BLACK, WHITE, & RED ALL OVER
(a re-post from April 2010)

Happy Birthday dinner party on the deck is ready to get underway.

 

 

A casual birthday dinner to celebrate my son and sister-in-law’s birthdays brought out the black & white Royal Stafford “Herdsman” dinner plates. I set black chargers and linen napkins against a crisp white cotton tablecloth, and keeping with the tablescape’s natural theme, I used plain rattan napkin rings. A traditional flatware pattern, Hampton Smith’s “Patriot”, complemented the ensemble. Individual wine tags were put on each person’s glass for mingling after the meal.

 

A shot of color was added to the tablescape with bright red geraniums in simple terra cotta pots. By substituting the geraniums for something more spring-like such as potted tulips or hyacinth, a table like this would also work quite well for a Mother’s Day brunch or luncheon, or any Spring tablescape.

 

To add height, texture and interest to the tablescape, simple potted topiaries shared the center of the table with the geraniums.

 

Wonderful made-from-scratch food and fabulous drink including my introduction to Menage a Trois. The WINE! Get your mind out of the gutter!!!

 

The Birthday Queen and King blow out their candles!

Other black, white, and red tablescapes on this site include:
Black, White, & Red All Over Christmas
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Derby Day Dining
Grill It Up!

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner With Friends (a re-post from September 2010)

I love getting together at home with friends! If time and money would allow me to do it twice a week, I would. There’s just something about the relaxed atmosphere before, during and after that generates warm, happy feelings.
My friend Andre Harper, owner of Harper’s Catering which specializes in Cajun cuisine, slaved over a hot stove to create a massive sized pot of some of the best gumbo I’ve ever tasted. Puttering around in the kitchen in a dual effort to make garlic-cheese drop biscuits, sipping cocktails, and doing a little pre-dinner munching on the wonderful seafood dip Andre made is a great way to spend a Friday evening. (The biscuits were a huge hit with all the guests and a tasty and unexpected departure from traditionally-served French bread.)
 When we finally sat down to the dinner table, spirits were high and appetites were mighty as we all dug in.
Even for casual get-togethers like this one, I still like to let friends know I care enough about them to set a pretty table. A thoughtful mix of relaxed and formal elements draws the eye to the tablescape’s place settings. Here I start with a “Natural Flower” water hyacinth round placemat from Pier 1. The rough hewn texture of these placemats is just as important as the style in creating the desired look. Next comes American Atelier’s creamy off-white “Empress” chargers and soup bowls topped with chocolate brown oak leaf-shaped salad bowls from Pier 1. Classic Cristal D’Arques Longchamps glassware and Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware add a bit of glam, and a sunny yellow napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond add a much needed punch of unexpected color.
The buffet behind the dining table is enlivened with the shocking orange of a wooden platter from Z Gallerie. A small floral using similar flowers to those on the table softens the look. The end of the dining table is used for service with the gumbo in a sleek pale yellow tureen from Pottery Barn.
The centerpiece is a trail of dark iron candlesticks and brightly colored sunflowers, spider mums and carnations (pink, just to mix things up a bit!) from Costco in Longchamps mini vases. (TIP: Buy a single bunch of flowers and divide them up into small vases for a plentiful look on the cheap!) The total look: upscale with a casual kick.
Andre and I have collaborated on other events, most notably in the Spring of 2012. Visit Purple and Pastel a dinner party in honor of his parents’ birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary!!!

Peacefully Patriotic

Sadly, true patriotism in America is fractured by divisiveness and vitriol. Here’s wishing us all a peaceful and reflective 4th of July.

 

I started this tablescape with a white stretch tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to cover the ugly legs of the folding table. The topper is blue and white star tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com, unfortunately discontinued. To emulate the American flag, I added a red & white striped runner.

 

 

 

The simple place settings are created by using a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery topped with a red dinner plate and square blue salad plate from Pier 1. The napkins, also discontinued at LinenTablecloth.com, complement the tablecloth and are cinched with a shiny red & silver napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond. The flatware is Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” which is one of the most favored patterns in my collection. The graceful crystal pilsner glasses were found at an estate sale.

 

I bought these star-shaped bowls from Pier 1 many years ago. They have been seen in other patriotic-themed posts on this site like “All-American Seafood Boil” and “Red, White & Blueberries”.

 

I love these LED candles! They’re a votive inside a pillar. I bought about 20 of them wholesale many, many years ago and wish I would have invested in more. They really are a terrific alternative to actual flame.

I wish you, yours, our nation, and the whole world peace as we go into this holiday weekend.

Other patriotic-themed tablescapes on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Red, White & Blueberries
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes
Lauren In the Library
Show Me State Dinner

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors' back yard.

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors’ back yard.

Right around this time every year I wax nostalgic about childhood visits to our paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, Kansas where my Dad grew up. Little things all around me draw my mind back to that simpler time, and with Daddy’s passing last year it seems there are more and more triggers. My inspiration for this farm style al fresco breakfast was a rustic flower-filled wheelbarrow nestled in a grove of trees in our neighbors’ back yard. It reminded me of wheelbarrow rides, walks along the dusty roads, playing tag in the endless rows of corn, and lazily swaying in an old tire swing in Mom & Dad Wilson’s back yard.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining and buffet table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining tableWe don’t own one of those big, hefty farm tables like the one at the farm, but boy, do I wish we did! Instead, for this casual breakfast tablescape I draped a standard 6-ft. folding table with a 90″ x 132″ ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The creamy color allows the bolder colors in the dishes and accessories to stand out.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Single place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Flatware, rooster tea towel napkin collageI wanted to create a tablescape where farm style rustic and suburban refined could easily coexist. Scroll & floral placemats in nutmeg, mocha and olive-green from Pier 1 anchor each place setting. The design mimics that of the background on the tea towel napkins from Dollar Tree. The rooster and chicken wire motifs on the napkin definitely fall into in that farm style rustic category! Pumpkin-colored dishes (purchased for just $1 each at the grocery store 2 years ago) work beautifully with the colors found in the napkin’s rooster. Simple Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware rounds out the setting.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Mason jar drinking mug collageA hearty serving of breakfast juice or fresh milk is served from these Mason jar mugs with a rooster design to complement the design element on the napkin and in the centerpiece. The mugs are from Dollar Tree.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: To further enhance the bucolic feel of the environment, I brought out wicker chairs (last seen HERE in an arbor setting) softened by Pier 1 toss pillows in colors corresponding with those in the placemats and napkins.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Wheat and rooster centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: resin rooster from Hobby Lobby

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard Wheat CollageFor breakfast, the centerpiece is simple but reflective of the overall theme. Small sheaves of blackbeard wheat are placed in clear glass milk bottles that are corralled in a chicken wire basket from Michael’s. To extend the wheat theme to the outer reaches of the tablescape, a single stem is casually placed across the plate at the base of each bowl. Between the larger wheat arrangements is a colorful resin rooster from Hobby Lobby.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table top

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard wheat arrangement in galvanized bucket on buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Pastries, toast, cereal collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Orange juice, milk, coffee mug collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Eggs in wire basket, wooden egg sign collageThe buffet table is dressed in a chocolate brown full-length cloth and ivory topper from LinenTablecloth.com. Adding the brown layer sets the buffet table apart from the dining area. An assortment of pastries and other breakfast goods are served up on galvanized iron trays (Pottery Barn) lined with warm woolen cozies made by my sister. The galvanized trays are a great match for the French bucket filled with blackbeard wheat to tie in with the dining table decor. Another tiny bundle of wheat appears alongside the toast. Cereal can be scooped from clear glass apothecary canisters from Function Junction, and morning staples – fresh milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice – are served from clear glass carafes. Colorful Pier 1 mugs in ivory, pumpkin and olive-green neatly line up on the table’s edge awaiting a splash of morning coffee. Beneath the umbrella of the wheat arrangement are a vintage wire egg basket and an old wooden sign rescued from a thrift store.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Chalkboard signage, basket of sunflowers, eggs in wire basket collageAt the base of the buffet table is a handmade chalkboard sign on a 2-sided sandwich menu board from Kirkland’s. A chicken wire and chipwood basket holds a bundle of sunflowers.

More fall tables on this site include:
“Italian Honeysuckle”
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
“Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner”

Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Copper Zen”

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

I’m going to TRY to get back here with a new Halloween tablescape next week, but I can’t guarantee it. I’m focusing on designing a number of tables (4 fantasy tables, 1 V.I.P. table, 24 guest tables!) for a Christmas-themed fundraiser that is fast approaching.
Meanwhile, Halloween tablescapes from years past:
“Serpents & Skullduggery”
“Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast”
“Hollywood Fright Night”

Blog parties I’m linking up with this week:
Rustic & Refined‘s “Table It!
Between Naps On the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday”

Go K.C. Royals! Go K.C. Chiefs!!!

Easter in Pink & Grey

HIP-HOP HOORAY!!! I’M CELEBRATING MY 200TH POST TODAY!!!

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to what I used to wear...minus the pot belly, of course! :-)

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to an outfit I used to wear during my “Brat Pack” days back in the 80s…minus the pot belly, of course! (Slap a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on this fellow and smooth his ears down like hair, and he’d be Benjamin Franklin’s doppelganger! 🙂 )

Easter is a few short days away. If you’re looking to do something a little more on the formal side for brunch or dinner without being totally stuffy, this post might be of some help to you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full room

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table diagonal

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table lengthwise

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Tale Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Single place settingI decided to go with a bare table this time around. That’s a little unusual for me, but I thought all the elements would work well on bare wood. Gleaming silver metal chargers are topped with Easterling (no pun intended…really! 😉 ) “Majestic” china from my Mom. I thought the shade of grey on the rims complemented the inspiration rabbits’ jackets.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Napkin and menuAn easy pocket fold for the medium pink napkin from LinenTablecloth.com allows the menu to be neatly tucked inside.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Flatware/place card holder/stemware collageThese adorable moss topiary place card holders were graciously given to me by Beau-coup.com. You’ll be seeing a bit more of these, used in different ways, over the summer months. The flatware is Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriot – Mirror”, and the stemware is Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum”.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: centerpiece collageThe centerpiece starts with a moss table runner with various-sized moss balls strewn about. For this demonstration I used faux pink and white hyacinth in the silver champagne bucket and little pots of pink and white grape hyacinth. For your actual Easter table, though, it would be really terrific if you could go fresh. There’s nothing in the world quite like fresh flowers!  (For the sake of uninterrupted conversation during the meal, the champagne bucket of flowers can be easily moved to the sideboard.) The bunny figurines – looking quite dapper in their grey knicker pants and jackets with pink and white accents – are from Home Goods.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Buffet florals

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Short floralsThe buffet has florals that complement those used on the dining table. They are on the ends only to leave room for the big ol’ Easter ham or desserts. The tall moss ball “trees” mimic the place card holders as do the shorter moss ball “bushes.”

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Cart top, cart bottom, cups & saucers collageThe vintage tea cart in the corner is readied for coffee service after the meal.

 

Other posts on this site featuring Spring & Easter tablescapes:
“Easter Brunch”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
Easter Floral”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Easter Bloom”
“Carousel Colors”
“Spring Green”

“All A’Bloom for Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

I will join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later this week and Alma at The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sundays” over the upcoming weekend. I hope you’re up for the parties, too! Oh…and I’m posting each week on BeBetsy.com, too!

From our loving home to yours, may you and your family be blessed with all the grace of the good Lord this Easter and always.

Christmas Coffee

If it seems like I’m dumping an awful lot of Christmas tablescapes on you all at once, it’s because I am!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I had 6 tables from the “Art of Tablescaping” class I taught back in October, PLUS 3 additional ones I had to get out of my brain. I hope I’m able to share them all before Christmas Eve for those still scouting ideas!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see up-close details.)

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas with a flourish of coffee labels to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

I saw these bandanas at Hobby Lobby and immediately thought, “Christmas!”

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Full roomOur eat-in kitchen is the place to be on Christmas morning as the sun begins its lazy ascent. I like to have lots of good food waiting, and along with that food is lots of coffee to get us through the long day. We’re grandparents now…just don’t have the energy we used to! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another Christmas morning breakfast tablescape!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: TableI draped our 45″ x 45″ counter-height table with a 108″ round Christmas-y red tablecloth and then topped it with an 85″ x 85″ espresso brown tablecloth, both from LinenTablecloth.com. While brown may not be a top 3 color choice that springs to mind when you think of Christmas, it looks great when paired with the bright red.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Place settingBright red Royal Norfolk plates and coffee mugs from Deal$ (same folks who own Dollar Tree) pair with ivory cereal bowls. The napkin, positioned between the plate and bowl, picks up the colors from both the tablecloths and dishes.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: FlatwareRays of morning sun stream in across the Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Coffee bean/cranberry enterpieceA simple centerpiece is all that’s needed for Christmas morning. This one consists of a deep brown basket from Dollar Tree filled with fresh, aromatic coffee beans topped with a handful of cranberries, a few glitzy ornaments and a sprig or two of greenery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collageA cute reindeer made of grapevine stands ready to serve by this year’s kitchen Christmas tree. No fancy adornment here…just a few strands of lights to make it stand out in the corner. The stool that lends height to the tree is covered with a cheerful snowflake Christmas tree skirt from the Dollar Tree. For just a dollar, no worries if something is spilled on it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Wreath, coffee prints collageA largely unadorned wreath in the window is accompanied this morning by a couple of prints that depict the wondrous glory of coffee. Amen to that!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Poinsettia on breakfast barA lush red poinsettia given to us by our neighbor is displayed in a dark urn on the breakfast bar. The espresso sign leaves no doubt what this morning is all about: the coffee!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collageThis tiered table was moved from the living room to free up floor space for the Christmas tree, so it had to get a little something-something in the way of decoration, too. The top is adorned with a large greenery spray dotted with red berries. A big bowl of cranberries picks up some of the elements in the table centerpiece. On the shelf below is a soup tureen with a holly and rosemary motif from Home Goods. Placing it atop a few books gives it little more prominence.

I hope you’re just about finished with your shopping and decorating so that you can relax and soak up the joys of the season this weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
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
Let It Snow
Tuscan Holiday

Woodland Men’s Christmas Tablescape

INSPIRATION: Fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby

INSPIRATION: Fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby

We’re getting so close to Christmas, and I just had to get this masculine tablescape in! This tablescape filled with organic elements is another of the tables created for my Winter 2013 “Art of Tablescaping” class taught through MCC-Longview in Lee’s Summit, MO.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it and see up close details.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full room from front entryOur library is to the left just as you enter the house. It’s kind of dark and moody with lots of wood elements, just the perfect location for a guys’ informal dinner gathering.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full tableThis table for 5 starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com and is topped with this great piece of fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby last year. The motif suggests the wilderness and hunting and Christmas all at once. While I didn’t have it at the time I created this tablescape, a third fabric layer of a jute tablecloth between the white and fleece would have worked out really great!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Place settingMen kind of like it to the point, so I started with a wood slab charger and topped it with a plain white Corelle dinner plate. You can buy wooden chargers from the Internet or places like Z Gallerie, but this option is less expensive and just as workable: it’s a natural wood slice from the wood crafts department at Michael’s priced at just $10 which becomes just $6 when you arm yourself with a 40% off coupon! That’s quite a bargain compared to the $91.80 for a set of 4 at Z Gallerie!!! I love Z Gallerie, but c’mon!!! I’ve also seen these at places like Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann’s.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Flatware, Stemware, Napkin & Favor collageThe flatware is Hampton Silvermith’s “Patriot” and the clear glass pilsner is from Tuesday Morning‘s clearance section this past Spring. Now let’s talk about this favor/Christmas gift at each place setting! Guys may or may not take to the notion of a little gift, but if it’s something that doesn’t challenge their manhood in any way, they’ll probably be OK with it. Here I have wrapped in plain brown paper a small Swiss Army pocket knife. That’s a pretty manly gift, right? The package is simply tied with twine with a crudely hewn tamarind tree pencil as a little somethin’-somethin’ extra. (They can throw it in their toolbox and use it for marking measurements!) I bought these pencils at TJ Maxx.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Centerpiece vases, burlap votives, antlers collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Sled, greenery, burlap votive collageI wanted to bring lots of rustic elements into the centerpiece. I started with 3 bark-wrapped vases, one filled with snow-kissed pine, one with pine cones, and one with fresh green moss that gives off that terrific woodsy scent. I added a pair of antlers, a miniature replica of a crudely crafted sled, and a few burlap-wrapped votive candles.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Christmas tree

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Gifts, owl in tree, twine ribbon collageI have always wanted to do a rustic-looking Christmas tree but never tried until now. I didn’t want my first turn at it to prove a disaster, so I kept it very sparse. (Look out next year, though! I’m goin’ for broke!!!) This 4-ft. tree is adorned only with white lights, burlap (Hobby Lobby), hardware store twine twisted into ribbons, and a few wide-eyed owls peeping out from the branches. The packages beneath the tree have the same wrapping paper as the favors on the table, are all tied up in twine, and dressed up a little with ornaments.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Tub of pine cones, owl collageOn the secretary next to the tree is an aluminum tub filled with pine cones being visited by a woodland friend who just flew in from Home Goods. 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Top of secretary collageThe top of the old secretary has a tiny forest of trees in vases made of birch bark. A lone burlap-swathed stag (Home Goods) stands among the trees.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Beer, burlap wreath, pocket knife collageA side table holds the pitcher of beer for the guys atop two wood slabs. A burlap wreath created by internationally acclaimed floral designer Kelly Acock of the Monarch Flower Company is the backdrop. I added just for fun this cool Swiss Army-style camping tool that belonged to my late father-in-law, an avid outdoorsman.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Reindeer wreath, owl on sled collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Leather chair with side tableLast, a comfortable leather chair to kick back in after dinner.

This tablescape would work great for the “civilized” part of a modern day bachelor party where guys mostly just want to get together to eat, have a few drinks, and good-naturedly mourn the death of bachelorhood. 😉

To see another masculine tablescape on this site:
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

To see other winter/Christmas-related tablescapes on this site:
Christmas Fiesta
Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape
Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas
Christmas Through the Red Door
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Contemporary Christmas: Fire & Ice
Celebrating the Season
Sugar High Payback
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
plus NINE additional posts on a single page under the “WINTER” tab!!!

I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST. Join me for lots of great ideas from tablescapers all around the world!

Stars & Stripes

IF

INSPIRATION: My Daddy. A man who gave much to his country through tireless service in his community and unparalleled love for his family.

I’d like to thank my regular readers for your kind indulgence and your incredibly compassionate phone calls, cards and emails over these last several weeks as I took time to care for and then ultimately say goodbye to my Daddy. (A SUPER BIG thanks to Liz at “Infuse With Liz” for fielding questions on my behalf!) These last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life. I saw a person I have literally known all of my life slowly wither before my eyes. I lived with Daddy at the hospital and then at Hospice House for the final week of his life. When it became apparent the end was just minutes away (Ramon told me the signs to look for), I crawled into bed with him and held him as tightly as I could to keep his gaunt little body warm until the angels came to take him home to Jesus. I wanted this remarkable, scholarly, introspective, golf-playing, popcorn/apple pie/peanut butter on waffles-eating former farm boy of a man who lived his life with gusto and touched so many in such positive ways to know without question that he was loved and cherished on the day he died even more than the day he was born. My Daddy, James B. “Jim” Wilson, a.k.a. “The Kissing Bandit”, no longer walks this earth. He now lives in what I have chosen to call a “cozy upscale one-bedroom condo with fabulous marble door, incredible pastoral view, and very quiet neighbors”, a.k.a. a mausoleum at a nearby cemetery. (Daddy was a commercial realtor. I think he would be proud of my description!) I know I can go there to visit anytime I wish without calling ahead or dressing up or having anything of real interest to talk about, just like always. It will be just my Daddy and me..hangin’ out.

I am back to blogging for just a moment. There is still much to do in the way of “tying up loose ends” that must be addressed and preparation for the now rescheduled surgery previously planned for June 21st. I had this 4th of July tablescape all set, photographed, and ready to publish, though, so I’d like to share it with you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it and see close-up details.)

Full deck - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Full table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI set up this casual table for 12 on a clear, sunny day back in May. Two 6-ft. folding tables are nattily dressed in double layers: full-length 90″ x 132″ white topped with a 60″ x 102″ navy blue tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The 4th of July is the time to dress a table in multiple hues that reflect the colors of our nation’s flag! (LinenTablecloth.com has some GREAT patriotic linens in stars and stripes, too! They’re on sale this week, so it’s not too late to get them for your 4th of July tablescape!!!)

Multiple place settings - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Patriotic place setting - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Napkins & flatware, rim shot, flag on plate collage

Stemware - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEach place setting starts with a woven rattan square charger from Tuesday Morning. Stark white square dinner plates from the B. Smith collection at Bed, Bath & Beyond are topped with square navy salad plates from Pier 1. A small American flag is a natural guest favor. I wanted the napkins (doubled because let’s face it…barbecue is messy and you’ll need at least two!) to really stand out against the deep navy tablecloth, so I draped a bright red one off the side of the table at each setting and then topped them with alternating stars or stripes in navy & white. The flatware is one of my favorites with such an appropriate name for Independence Day: Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriotic – Mirror”. The simple clear glassware is from Old Time Pottery.

White resin bistro chairs - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEven humble white bistro chairs look great when all lined up like soldiers!

Patriotic floral centerpiece - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Table flags & Pelligrino collageThe centerpiece that marches the entire length of the table is very simple but effective. Two large white glass vases are filled with lots of branches dotted with small white flowers. Look closely…the profusion of blossoms kind of reminds you of a fireworks display in the sky! Or perhaps sparklers?! Smaller white vases filled with bouquets of small American flags from Target are placed at intervals along with flag pairs on tabletop stands. Bottles of Pellegrino are placed on the table for guests, and they look right at home with their sassy red stars.

Buffet table - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneThe small buffet table has decor befitting the occasion that complements the dining table.

American flag "bouquet" - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneA large “bouquet” of American flags poked into a white ceramic vase flaps in the wind.

Pelligrino collage - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI love it when food packaging works into my decorating scheme!!!

Watermelon slice, stacked plates, forks, iron stars collageThese rustic cast iron stars usually hang out in a guest bedroom, but today they are part of this tablescape. A juicy watermelon wedge sits atop a stack of white appetizer plates from Crate & Barrel.

Barbershop Quartet Boater - Stars & Stripes, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI’ve had these fun turn-of-the-century boaters for a long time. The red, white & blue trim takes me back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson or Harry S. Truman when barbershop quartets were cool and politics might have actually been fun! 🙂

Cake plateaus, whole watermelon, Absolut collageI’m a big fan of “grown up dessert” made of a whole watermelon injected with vodka. Delicious, light, juicy, and FUN!!! The red, white & blue ceramic cake stands are from Hobby Lobby.

Other tablescapes with a patriotic theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
“Stars & Stripes”

“4th of July Coastal Style”
Lauren in the Library
American Royal Tablescape
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
Peacefully Patriotic

I’ll be rejoining a couple of fun blog parties this week: Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. (CDT) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday after 9:00 a.m. I hope you’ll come along with me to these parties to see what all the other talented tablescapers out there are doing for the 4th of July holiday! Check me out at BeBetsy.com, too!

In support of our military and their families, please join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party”!!!

Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape

I am all over the snowmen and glass cylinders this year! I pulled them out for “Winter Wonderland”  tablescaping class demonstrations and they never made it back into storage. Even after classes were over, they became a part of our Christmas 2012 decor.

Last week I posted “Checkered Christmas“, a table for four in the library in which I used a squatty clear glass cylinder to display a jaunty snowman for the centerpiece. This week, I am taking that concept a step further with another black, red & white tablescape that uses the same snowmen and lots of the different sized cylinders that are so versatile year round. Well, just take a look and see for yourself!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grant and Alycia Nichols)

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IMG_9837WMThis black, white & red table starts with two 6-ft. oblong tables kissed together vertically to create a luxuriously long Tuscan-style table for 12. Cheery red floor-length tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com yield that instantaneous holiday vibe. Note how cool the place settings look all lined up like Christmas nutcrackers! Holiday tablescaping is about whimsy and fantasy, so think about incorporating artistic touches hat will convey the magic of the season.

IMG_9817WMLast week’s table in the library featured round white chargers with black dinner plates. This week’s version flips the script with square black chargers and white dinner plates. The black against the expanse of red makes for a pretty dramatic look.

Napkin collageThe next bit of drama is introduced via the napkin. A simple black napkin is folded twice lengthwise and a length of wide red satin ribbon placed on top. I then looped a small red ornament onto a length of thin satin ribbon and tied it around the napkin to give it a cinched waist look. Tuck the ends beneath the plate and add a sprig of snow-frosted pine greenery to finish the look. The simple and inexpensive step of adding the holiday ornamentation and cinching the napkin kept the table from taking on a decidedly Asian-inspired look.

Flatware & menu collageLast week I liked the checkered pattern brought to the table via the linen and the snowmen’s scarves. This week, however, I kept the pattern a bit more subtle by creating a menu on my home computer with a black & white checkered backing. Using a ribbon hole punch that creates two evenly spaced vertical holes for threading, I tied it all together with a piece of thin red ribbon to complement the napkin treatment. Menus are a cost-effective (approximately 20¢ per menu including cost of colored ink) and easy way to not only let guests know what’s for dinner, but to give them something to take home as a memento of the evening. They are also a way to bring additional color and/or pattern to the table.

Sleek and simple Hampton Silversmith “Patriot – Mirror” flatware is used because of the squared off handle that works well with the square of the charger and dinner plate.

IMG_9517WMAs with last week’s tablescape, simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is used. Stemware needn’t always be expensive to look good!

Centerpiece cylinder collageThe same squatty glass cylinder used on last week’s table appears here, and this time he’s brought his posse! 🙂 Two smaller, thinner cylinders and two tall, slender ones have snowmen inside on a cloud of snow. The amount of pine greenery in each depends on the cylinder size. The small ones have a mere sprig of greenery, while the squatty original still has a long branch curled around the base inside. The tall ones are outfitted with long, full branches in an upright position. All are brightened with a few size-appropriate red ornaments. Lots of votive holders in a shape similar to that of the cylinders dot the table.

Ornament and snowman collageNote the black & white checkered scarf that mimics the design of the menus. On each end of the table is yet another small, squatty cylinder filled simply with “snow” and a cluster of shiny red ornaments. These complement the snowman cylinders without matching them to the letter.

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Fireplace & mantel collageThis is how the mantel looked before I decked it all out with bling and greenery for our personal Christmas decor. More streamlined, simple. Oversized red Christmas balls are placed on each end atop short black wrought iron stands. Smaller ornaments on stands and on the mantel are placed in between with a few votives. On the hearth are two rustic Z Gallerie black hurricane lanterns filled with assorted sizes of red ornaments.

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Tree collageA stovepipe hat tree topper works perfectly with the snowmen on the table! This was just for my tablescaping class. I later added more ornaments and a few snowmen to the tree for our personal decor which will stay up until January.

So…there you have it! A variation on a snowman theme! Many of the elements for a round and intimate table for 4 tweaked to create a long and lush table for 12. Kinda like Burger King, y’all…have it your way! 🙂

For more Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
plus NINE other tables on one page under the WINTER tab including “Frosty the Snowman” which demonstrates another fun way to use these snowmen!!!

If you would like to see another way to make glass cylinders really come to life on a table, check out the “Wedding” page. Scroll down to the 3rd post called “Love & Orchids“, and you’ll see how a variety of sizes are used.

I am happily skipping along to Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday). Join me! My blog buddies can really rock some holiday tablescapes!!!

After the Hunt Tablescape – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Deer hunting season officially began in the great State of Missouri on November 1. While it’s not my thing (I’d much rather spend time hunting dishes!), I know there are a lot of people – men in particular – who really enjoy hunting for sport. Seems kind of silly to me with Costco just a few miles away. Anyhooooooooo……. 😉

For one of my “Winter Wonderland” tablescaping classes this semester, I created a gentlemen’s tablescape for after the hunt. Whether it’s a hunt for deer, a hunt for that little white ball you hit with a very expensive stick for 18 holes, or a hunt for that perfect Christmas gift from Tiffany’s (hint, hint!), this is a table I think many gentlemen would enjoy to unwind with a hearty meal…in a civilized manner! (This might also work well for a man’s birthday in the winter months!)
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant.)

Set up in our little library, this 48-inch round table is dressed in a full-length black linen that is topped with a piece of wonderfully soft and washable black, brown & white plaid fleece from Hobby Lobby. The fleece tablecloth conveys warmth, while the plaid pattern reminds me of the flannel shirts guys often wear under their camouflage jackets.

Each place setting starts with a wood slice charger. These wood slices are sold in the woodworking section at places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for about $10 apiece (but use those valuable 40% and 50% off coupons to save $$$!), and they really work well with outdoor themes or rustic tablescapes. Every slice is a little different, and that’s what makes it really cool! The oblong shape allows more of the beautiful wood to show under a round or square plate. I used black ceramic plates – a combo of Dollar Tree and Target – to complement the masculine black under linen.

 A brown leaf-shaped bowl from Pier 1 is perfect for a little venison stew or rib-stickin’ chili. Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriot” flatware has a substantial shape and weight for the masculine hand.

Over the lips, and past the tongue. Look out, stomach! Here it comes!
There’s nothing like a little whiskey on the rocks for sipping before dinner. These miniature bottles of Jack Daniel’s fine Tennessee whiskey are great for individual servings at the table or as a take-home “favor” for the guys. (Believe me, if you gave these as wedding favors, they would NOT be left sitting on the table!!!) While meat-and-potatoes guys aren’t usually given to fancy fixings, the substantial weight and cut of Godinger’s “Dublin” crystal will have them feeling like kings of the hunt or Titans of the boardroom or Gordon Gekko…whatever floats their boat. 🙂

Men tend not to favor a lot of fussiness, so I used a miniature evergreen tree and simply adorned it with this stuff I found that looks kind of like twiggy barbed wire…if that makes any sense at all.  It was just enough on the tree to lend a rugged, wintry feel without making it look too Christmas-y. The base of the tree is finished off with (naturally shed) antlers and a smattering of pine cones. No votives or candlesticks here. Guys don’t care that the amber flame is flattering to their skin tone, and they sure aren’t lookin’ for romance around this table!

The vitrine in the library is a perfect place to set up bar for refills. The deck of the vitrine is very humbly decorated with pine boughs. The urns on either side of the vitrine are topped with huge moss balls for a decidedly pared down masculine look.

On top of the secretary on the wall opposite the vitrine is this great find from a few years back. There is no way an actual deer head was coming into this house!!! This grapevine deer head wreath, however, is perfect for the occasion and lends a sort of lodge look to the room.

“Next it will be brandies in the smoking room. Now they retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe.” (Quote from “Titanic” – Rose to Jack after dinner in the first-class dining room.)

To see 9 more winter tablescapes on this site, visit the “Winter” page.
For additional winter posts on this site, check out:

Sugar High – Payback!
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Cranberry Christmas
Winter Brunch
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Get Me to the Church On Time
Winter Cardinal

Many, many, many thanks to fellow blogger/super sweetheart Cuisine Kathleen for the wonderful T.J. Maxx/Home Goods gift certificate I won on her site a couple of weeks ago! I am hoarding it for later use at after-Christmas sales. I’ll let you know what I buy!

Join me as I visit Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST, the Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday!