88 Years and 88 Keys

 

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,

One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Poodle

INSPIRATION: This prim, proper, and oh-so-Parisian French poodle I bought at Home Goods with the gift certificate I won from Cuisine Kathleen!

INSPIRATION: This prim, proper, and oh-so-Parisian French poodle I bought at Home Goods with a gift certificate I won from Cuisine Kathleen!

With Mothers Day on the horizon and this time of year buzzing with bridesmaid luncheons, bridal showers and birthdays, this Paris-themed tablescape using pink, black, cream and white is a fun idea to add a little ooh-la-la to the celebration!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN3318WMThis very girly tablescape begins with a full-length black cloth from LinenTablecloth.com. Black linens are a staple just like the proverbial “little black dress” we all have in our closets because they can be dressed up or dressed down.

French Poodle tablescape place settings - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

French Poodle table setting in pink, black & white - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEach place setting is outfitted with a rhinestone-studded white charger that has been topped with another silver beaded-edge charger. The dinner plates are a simple cream color, and the salad plates in black to finish the look. TIP: Remember…it’s not always necessary to use “matching” dinnerware, but rather pieces that are complementary to one another and the surrounding decor.

Flatware, stemware, napkin, rim shot collage for French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneA soft pink napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond peeks out from beneath the dinner plate and is highlighted by the black background of the linen. The flatware, passed on to me from my Mother, is International Silver’s “Royal Danish” and the crystal diamond-cut stemware is from the Longchamps collection.

Canister on plate collageWhatever the special occasion, you want to have something fun for your guests to remember the event. These fun little tin boxes (Michaels Ashland Home Decor collection), embellished with either a fleur-de-lis or Eiffel Tower, are topped with a pretty “diamond” knob. They make a great favor in and of themselves (I’m using mine for storing cotton balls, Q-tips and makeup sponges in my dressing room!), but if you want to take it a step further, add a little gift or edible treat to be enjoyed later. TIP: These tins are on sale this week (thru 4-20-13) at Michaels at 50% off!

Eiffel Tower place card holder on French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI L-O-V-E these darling silver Eiffel Tower place card holders from Beau-coup.com. Thanks to the folks there at Beau-coup who were so kind as to send these for me to use in a tablescape. Even the place cards are embellished with tiny fleur-de-lis symbols!

French Poodle hat box centerpiece - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Pink boa & hat box centerpiece collage - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneI always go on about shopping your home for centerpiece items, and these fun hat boxes from Gordman’s and poufy pink feather boas from Hobby Lobby came straight from my dressing room. I lengthened the centerpiece by adding curvy black lidded ceramic vases from Tuesday Morning and a couple of the larger pink & black tins from Michaels. Silver mercury glass votives dot the area for shimmer and ambient light.

Sophisticated ladies pillow - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneThis pink & black fashion pillow from Stein Mart is another item found in my dressing room that adds another fun touch to the overall ambience in the room.

French Poodle on buffet - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Poodle collageI like to extend the look on the table to the buffet. This time I used a black ginger jar from Home Goods to display a generous profusion of faux floral branches from Hobby Lobby to add to the feeling of springtime in Paris. Shading herself beneath the floral arrangement with her perfect little nose in the air is Fifi the pink French poodle. Thank you again, Kathleen! I’ll get a lot of use out of Miss Fifi in the years to come!

Tea cart with damask coasters from Beau-Coup.com - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

Flute, box, coaster design collage

Coaster collage

Clockwise from upper left corner: Dianne from “Dianne’s Creative Table“, Teresa from “I Got the Sun In the Morning“, Lynne from “Lynne’s Gifts From the Heart“, Sandra from “The Sweet Sensations“, Liz from “Infuse With Liz“, Ellen from “Scribbler Unfocused“, Debbie from “Mountain Breaths“, and Babs from “Upstairs Downstairs“.

Beau-coup.com came through again with a real winner. These glass coasters are great for entertaining! Just slide a photo of each guest into the back pocket, and voila! (I used the photos of some very special blog buddies.) These coasters could work well as a place holder at the table or to simply identify whose drink is whose at a cocktail party! (Imagine your bridesmaids’ delight if you had this at their place setting and then a whole pack of them as a little thank you gift after the shower or luncheon!) The classic damask design around the edges lends to the upscale feel of the room’s design elements. One of the best features: the coasters have little rubber “feet” on the four corner to help stabilize them on any surface!

French Poodle tablescape - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneSexy, oui?

Other pink & black or Paris-themed tablescapes on this site:
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink

Join me this week to see what talented tablescapers all around the globe are up to:
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday
The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta
Beverly’s “Pink Saturday
BeBetsy.com

Platinum & Pink Valentine Tablescape

Valentine’s Day is just about a week away now, and I’d like to share a simple but impactful centerpiece on a table I have created for one of my upcoming tablescaping classes. While this is a table for four, it could be easily adapted to a more intimate table for two by removing two place settings and moving the centerpiece to the far edge of the table so the couple can sit side by side.

IFThe dilemma always exists in how to make a table suitable for the tastes of a man paired with those of a woman. My solution is to use a color that appeals to both sexes, although probably for different reasons: platinum! Men think of it as the color of a sharp pinstripe suit, tuxedo or morning coat. Women, of course, tend to think of it in terms of “da bling” (with a diamond strapped on that band big enough to break all 5 fingers!!!) 🙂 Either way it goes, it’s a fabulous color that works really well with touches of pink infused for softness. I draped this 48″ round table with a crushed poly platinum linen big enough to gently puddle around it.

IF

Napkin collage

Flatware, Stemware, Favor collageThe china used here is classic Easterling “Majestic” with a deep gray band and platinum rim. The chargers are silver-leafed clay. The pearly pink & silver napkin rings from Old Time Pottery are doubled up to give them more depth. Taking its cue from the centerpiece, a snippet of bling adds a dash of sparkle to the napkin.

IF

IF

IFThe simple centerpiece was created with heart-shaped oasis floral foam. This one is laden with faux carnations for class purposes (to see more on how it was constructed, visit Table Tips, #38), but it could certainly be made with the real deal. Fluffy fresh carnations give you a lot of bang for the buck, and just imagine the sweet clove fragrance!!! I dotted the arrangement with rhinestone stick pins and gently curved stems cut from a bling spray (that regular readers may recognize from my Christmas 2012 tree and living room wreath arrangements) to give it more of a 3-D look. Tri-level silver Revere candlesticks with white candles lined up on both sides of the floral arrangement round out the centerpiece and add a sexy glow.

This table, expanded to seat more guests, would be ideal for wedding-related events, an anniversary, or a special lady’s birthday. The floral centerpiece (used with different supporting elements) would work nicely for a baby shower.

More tables on this site suitable for a Valentine’s Day celebration:
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”
“Chocolate Traditional”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“Days of Wine & Roses”
“Love’s Arrow”
“Princess Pink Birthday Dinner”
“Roses in October”
“Pretty in Pink”

The blog parties this week are brimming with love! Join me, won’t you, for Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish! (anytime after 6:00 p.m., CST on Wednesday), The Style Sisters’ “Centerpiece Wednesday”, Susan’s Tablescape Thursday (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday), and for the very first time Beverly’s “Pink Saturday”. Don’t miss the Valentine blog hop at “Bargain Hunting With Laurie” starting Sunday, February 10th!

 Have a Happy and Loving Valentine’s Day!