Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style

While recuperating from my most recent spine surgery, I planned a 1920s/Gatsby-style ladies luncheon to celebrate my Mom’s 89th birthday. (Doesn’t she look beautiful??? Don’t tell me this chick “Ain’t Misbehavin'”!!!) A grand luncheon in her honor has become sort of a tradition (when I’m healthy!) since her 2011 retirement from the Missouri Senate, and it’s always a delightful challenge to come up with a theme that both she and her guests will enjoy. (Check out 88 Years & 88 Keys, Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous, Pretty In Pink, Grazin’ in the Grass.) This year’s inspiration came from a flapper bar towel my friend/neighbor, Barbara, gifted me while I was convalescing. Mom was born in the March preceding the start of the Great Depression in 1929, and I thought it would be a fun idea to travel back in time to explore the good things about that (infamous) year!
(This post is super photo heavy, but I pay close attention to the “cat’s particulars” aka details and want to share each and every nuance with you!)

 

Setting the mood from the very start was an important part of the planning. The invitations I created on my desktop had the familiar art deco design representative of the 1920s. Along with the invitations was an insert suggesting accessories to help the ladies get “all dolled up” for the occasion. Notice the flapper lady I put in the return address corner and the Lena Horne stamps!!!

 

A pair of “V.I.P. Entrance” signs in 1920s black and gold art deco style flanked the doorway, greeting guests as they approached the porch. Music from the decadent era rang out as it would outside a bustling nightclub, courtesy of a Google Mini.

 

The computer-generated, sequin-backed sign on the front door welcomes guests to the fictional “Gold Sequin” speakeasy.

 

My friend/neighbor, Jane, was such a sexy, gracious (and convincing!) “cigarette girl” hawking bubble gum cigars and candy cigarettes I ordered from the Blair Candy Co.

 

Our modest entry hall sets the tone for thumbing our noses to Prohibition with the oversized champagne flutes! They’re filled with tiny crystals. (Crystals…Cristál…the champagne…get it?) On the walls are cute Rosanna cocktail plates I bought a few years ago for cocktail parties that were first used for “Hooray for Vodka!” back in 2013! (Smaller plates of this same design were used to serve the birthday cake!)

 

The primary bar with specialty drinks (potent Mary Pickfords and chocolate martinis that were really a couple of “quilts”!) was set up in the library, although guests were invited to get whatever they may want from any of the other 3 bars on the main floor.  (Tip: Make up pitchers of these drinks and then just have the bartender shake small portions with ice to serve!) The bar was covered with a gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth and black sequin table runner from YourChairCovers.com. The towel that inspired this theme reads “You can’t regret what you don’t remember” and jokingly refers to the temporary amnesia caused by one of the meds I was taking, prominently hangs in the front. We borrowed cocktail artwork from the basement decor to further lend to the bar atmosphere. The ostrich feather trimmed lamp (’cause that’s how I roll!) is borrowed from my dressing room, and the glass of brandy and “burning” cigarette (both fake) further lent to the speakeasy theme. The two booze hounds  in the above pics…just pitiful!!! 🙂

 

We transformed the family room into a 1920s era fine dining establishment complete with a 1920s music playlist in the background. It didn’t take long for me to know what linens I’d use from my stash. The palette of the Gatsby era was gold, black & white. I layered floor-length (90″x132″ for 6’x30″ folding tables) black linens from LinenTablecloth.com with gold sequin runners from YourChairCovers.com. The chairs clean up nicely with gold stretch leather-look covers (no longer available where I bought them, but I’ve seen them at TableclothsFactory.com) with black spandex sashes and sparkly gold slips (YourChairCovers.com).

 

I ordered 100 white ostrich feathers to create these lush (and surprisingly easy!) centerpieces. The glass tower vases are filled with odd-sized bulk “pearls” from Hobby Lobby and topped with a beautiful dangling bobeche affixed with a bit of Cling® Floral Adhesive to avoid catastrophe. The extended centerpiece is filled in with gold mercury glass votives with LED tealights, black  ceramic pieces (again, borrowed from my dressing room), and cabaret lamps created with crystal candlesticks, bobeches, and white silk shades.

 

The place setting decision was remarkably simple. As a restaurant might use, I opted for all white from the ceramic charger to the B. Smith luncheon plate to the Pier 1 “White Poppy” salad bowl. The “Graham” matte gold flatware is from Target, and the Longchamps stemware is accompanied by individual bottles of non-alcoholic Martinelli’s sparkling cider for the toast. Faux pearl napkin rings cinch simply folded black napkins. The menus layered in white, black, and gold sequin-covered cardstock from Hobby Lobby were created on my desktop using Microsoft® Word. (That sequin cardstock is no joke to cut!!!) The pearl embellishment on the menus came from a pair of summer sandals I broke! The meal served included the Louisville, Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich, a late night/early morning diner staple back in the 1920s to soak up the liquor enjoy after a night out of unabandoned carousing. Water and lemonade bottles were placed on both sides of the dining table.

 

Other special touches around this room included another ostrich feather lamp I created using a crystal candlestick, an abundance of paper rosettes (Michaels) mixed with oversized champagne glasses of crystals and pearls, and an extra tall martini glass (Hobby Lobby) that I placed in a large flat glass bowl to give it girth. Final touch: notice a muted television in the background playing “The Great Gatsby” movie!!!

 

My sister makes fun fortune cookies for all occasions, these with art deco-style fabric. While the take-home fortune cookies were a demure little thank you to the guests, I asked her to create some funny, slightly suggestive ones for us to play the fortune cookie game “In Bed”. Ever heard of it? Each guest opens their cookie and reads the fortune aloud followed by the words “in bed.” As the pictures show, this game got lots of laughs!!!

 

Check out this cake created by my longtime friend, Patrick Snuffer. I provided him with an almost childlike sketch using various elements I’d seen around the Internet, and voilà! A delicious art deco cake with a black ostrich feather! To the left of the cake are the mini martini glasses in which ice cream (choice of 4!!!) was served. The miniature gold spoons are from Michaels.

 

The candy bar in the dining room was one of my favorite elements to create! I researched candies and gums that were popular in the 1920s and then went on the hunt. The result: a favor bar laden with 22 flavor treats served up in various size martini and pilsner glasses!!! Guests scooped up what they wanted into favor bags with black, gold and/or white twist ties displayed in my Limoges swan salt & pepper cellars. The table is covered in another gold crinkle taffeta cloth with a black sequin runner. The gold painted manzanita “trees” just seemed to work with the decor, especially dressed in large hanging crystals. My generous neighbor provided the sequined dress for the dress form, and I finished it off with a few ostrich feathers, a feather boa, and all the remaining pearl necklaces from my jewelry collection!

 

The dining room was “fun central” with the candy bar AND a “photo booth” where guests could take selfies or have their photo taken. We simply took the existing artwork off the wall and replaced it with oversized gold and black paper rosettes (Michaels). I hung a huge paper rosette over the mirror and draped it with crystal garland. The photo prop table beneath was laden with vintage accessories (thanks, Dee!) and fake cocktails. (Notice I was a good girl and stayed in little black flats instead of the gorgeous T-strap heels I really wanted to wear!) Fun/Silly pics of guests at the photo booth and around the house are at the very end of the post. Such fun!!!

 

Without question this was one of the most fun birthday parties I’ve ever put together in my Mom’s honor!!! My sister, Berishia, and I both love our Mom so much, and we are blessed to have had her in our lives for all these years.

 

MOST DEFINITELY MISBEHAVIN’!!!

 

Special, HUGE thanks to: my friend/neighbor, Jane, for being the best cigarette girl a flapper could ask for; my friend/neighbor, Barbara, for mixing up those insanely potent drinks, whipping up a mean Mornay sauce for the Kentucky Hot Browns, and helping out so much in the kitchen; Barbara’s helpful husband, Lynn, for graciously taking time away from college basketball to take our group photo; my dear friend, Patrick, for creating such an extraordinary cake; my cousin, Dee, for all the props she contributed for the photo booth and for doing such a fabulous job on Mom’s makeup; my sister, Berishia, for the fortune cookies; my best friend of nearly 55 years, Sheri, for her precision serving skills and so many great photos despite the overcast skies, and; my husband, Ramon, for all the photos he took, his bartending prowess, being such an all-round good sport, and PAYING FOR THIS!!! 😉

Now…on to the fun guest pics with captions chock full of 1920s Flapper/ Gangster Slang. (The Flapper Slang Guide, Slang of the 1920s, Molls & Dolls Slang Dictionary) Enjoy!

My cousin, Dee, and I always take pictures of us rough housing. Here we are trying to put each other in a “deep sleep.” A whole new meaning to “clutching your pearls”!!! Somebody call the “coppers”!

Wow! Here’s a real “sheba”! Barbara was the ultimate flapper girl, ready to have a great time in her sparkly black dress!

Mom and her forever baby sister, Vivienne, who I call Aunt Bean Bean Dancing Machine!

Here’s a couple of “swell dames”: Mom and friend/LINK sister, Shirley Thaw.

Mom and friend/LIncoln High School classmate from the Class of 1946/”canary”, Geneva Price

Mom and friend/Delta sorority sister, Dr. Susan Wilson. Check out those “gams”!

Mom and friend, Amy Heithoff-Dominguez, lookin’ like “the cat’s meow”!

Mom and friend/Delta sorority sister/education colleague, Dr. Marjorie Williams. That’s some “dish”!

Mom and friend/LINK sister, Barbara Graham, in her “glad rags” looking “air tight.”

Mom and my good friend & neighbor, Barbara Alsup. Quite the “billboard” that Barbara!

Mom and her friend/neighbor/fellow church member, Virginia Jones, who looks like a real “floorflusher”!

Mom and her niece/my arch nemesis cousin, Dee Evans, who’s had a little too much “giggle water.”

“Jeepers Creepers”! It’s Mom and her longtime family friend from the neighborhood (Leeds) where they grew up, Kimberly Randolph!

Mom and her son-in-law/my husband, the very dapper Dr. Ramon Nichols. Hubba hubba…what a “sheik”!!!

Well, look who stopped by to say hello and have her picture taken with the birthday girl! It’s little Ava Rutherford with her own flapper boa!!!

Ramon and me. Gosh, he looked so handsome in that outfit!!!!!!!!!!!! A real “brooksy” in those snazzy “dog kennels”!!! Me…post-op flat shoes! 😦

These “dolls” came ready to party! Barbara Graham (in a coat I really wanted to steal!) and Amy Heithoff-Dominguez (with a handbag to die for!)

Our resident bootlegger, Bob Rutherford, had to come check on his moll, Jane, and have a cigar!

Mom looked like the queen she is!

 

What a “babe”! Mom wears a 1920s-inspired gown designed and created by her granddaughter/my niece, Yvonne Chamberlain, for her to wear to the Governor’s Ball about 10 years ago. She still looks fabulous in it!!!

Even a “croaker” has to get his nutrition!

A couple of snappy “sips”: My “tomato” cousin, Dee Evans, and the flapper with the sexy “stilts”, Susan Wilson.

This is the look of PURE JOY!!! I absolutely adore this picture!!!

This outfit is absolutely the “duck’s quack”!!!

I’m so proud of my Mom!!!

A trio of real “lookers”: Barbara Alsup, me, and Sheri Grant

Check out these “kittens”: Barbara Graham, Shirley Thaw, Susan Wilson, and Dee Evans

Ripe and ready “hoppers”: Shirley Thaw, Susan Wilson, Dee Evans

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday this week. Check her out for a wealth of Spring and Easter ideas!

My friend, Debbie, at Debbee’s Buzz has another wonderful theme party you might like. Check out this fabulous Alice In Wonderland invitation!!!

Better Late Than Never, Pt. 3 – Christmas 2016 in the Family Room

As we count down to Christmas 2017, here is the 3rd of 4 separate posts revealing my 2016 Christmas decor in the family room and basement level. Yes…that late. Poor, pitiful, pathetic, tired ol’ me is just getting around to it! (If you missed them, you can see installments 1 and 2 here and here.)

Say goodbye to this furniture because it’s the last time you’ll see it! We bought reclining leather seating this past summer that is kinder to my spine. Hooray!

 

 

 

 

 

Our fireplace is the focal point of the room despite my husband’s insistence on having a television the size of Montana in the family room. In 2016 I decorated it with lots of faux greenery with sprigs of fresh stuck in here and there, pine cones, red ornaments and berries. Black iron candlesticks with black candles flank the wreath on the mantel, while tall black lanterns rest on the hearth.

 

 

 

 

I embellished a lot of the existing decor with faux greenery and red berries. Deer sheds (antlers) placed in or around white ironstone bowls with berry embellishment gives the bookshelves a festive, outdoorsy look. A white ironstone platter from Home Goods is lightly adorned with Christmas greenery, pine cones and berries. Something as simple as plopping a sprig of bright berries and a bit of evergreen into a tiny vase changes the whole look of the shelf with the candlesticks. (That’s my hubby’s Air Force graduation photo. He was such a little cutie…looked like a 12-year-old!)

 

 

I like to give the family room a fun look that reflects our casual, relaxed lifestyle as a fun-loving couple. Another set of plush animals rests on a miniature park bench beside the hearth. (Other plush animals were beneath the tree in the library as seen here.) Check out how protective he is of her…like Ramon is with me! A lighthearted Mr. & Mrs. Claus lumbar pillow is tossed on the sofa.

 

 

Thought I’d better throw this in. We pushed aside the furniture and had dinner for 12 in here one night. I was not feeling well (still recovering from 2 back-to-back major surgeries) but had to do something quick and easy to install and dismantle. Plain black full-length tablecloths with my beloved 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dishes covered in cardinals, pine cones and poinsettias, black napkins cinched with jingle bell napkin rings, gold flatware, and English crackers that we had a ball with after dinner. The centerpiece of gold vases topped with oversized red ornaments, miniature Christmas trees, and black wrought iron candlesticks to match those on the mantel was anchored by a length of flannel plaid ribbon.

 

Through the family room door and down the basement stairs is a table with a trio of decorated miniature trees that reflect back in the mirrors above. (I wish these photos were better. This was really just so pretty at night!!!) Standing among the trees is a pair of Father Christmas figurines and gold reindeer.

 

A red painted wood open shadow box from Home Goods holds a menagerie of Christmas-related items including miniature antlers, pine cones, a metal wreath, and jingle bells. (Sorry…the lighting absolutely sucks down here in this basement, and no amount of editing can fix it!)

 

We have this weird ledge that runs the length of the south wall beneath the basement windows that really serves no practical purpose. I decided to spruce it up by creating this scene with Santa in a golden sleigh with reindeer moored in a snowy thicket. In hindsight, I should have raised each reindeer on graduated clear acrylic risers to simulate flight. Oh well…next time!

The final chapter of our 2016 Christmas decor will roll out in a couple of days. After that, nothing but 2017…I promise!!!

If you’d like to find more inspiration on this site for your Christmas decorating, type in “Christmas” in the category drop-down box on the sidebar to the right.

I’ll be joining Susan and the rest of the gang for Tablescape Thursday again this week. Drop on by to get inspired by some very talented tablescapers and designers!!!

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop – Prepping for Black Friday

Alycia and “Better Kansas City” host Alexis del Cid, playing with dishes

Every tablescape blogger and those who read the blogs have at least one thing in common: WE LOVE TO SHOP!!! We chase after bargains, bright ideas, and innovative styling tips. Shopping can make a person awfully hungry and thirsty, and with Black Friday just over the horizon now, this super high-spirited 4-minute segment from the “Better Kansas City” show has tips on creating a fun and fanciful after-the-hunt tablescape. A few still photos of the tablescapes created on set follow, and at the end stick around for a super silly 60-second bonus clip from the show I think you’ll enjoy!

 

I created two separate tables for this segment: a colorful dining table for guests and a fun buffet table.

 

 

Bright pink/fuchsia 17″ poly napkins from LinenTablecloth.com are neatly stacked at the end of the buffet table. The fun metal figurine in the background depicts a carefree young woman out on a shopping spree and is one of 3 purchased at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The cake…well, you’ll learn more about that cake in the video clip at the end of the post!

 

When I saw this stainless steel stiletto heel cake server at Burlington a few years ago, I just couldn’t resist! This would be great for showers and wedding events, too. Such a fun, feminine way to serve up dessert!

 

Here’s another of those metal shopping figurines from Hobby Lobby. This chick is ready to shop ’til she drops come rain or shine! Next to her is a fabulous glittering stiletto heel vase overflowing with an array of colorful flowers and greenery.

 

 

 

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole buffet tablescape! The drink station is set up on a wooden Lazy Susan for easy access. The wine glasses with purses all over them are from the Dollar Tree and complement the shoe wine glasses on the dining table. The stiletto heel bottle stoppers were an impulse buy from a Michaels clearance bin a couple of years back that really add style and a little shimmer. We were really pressed for time, and I asked my genius friend, Barbara, to figure out something to do with the shot glasses on the table. She stacked them pyramid style for a look that is a real winner! A+!!!!! (She’s a retired teacher!)

 

 

When setting up a buffet table, I like to have various sizes, shapes, textures and anything else available to give the table “motion.” Setting the spoons on the diagonal seem to do just that. The bowls by Rosanna feature a stiletto heel motif. They were purchased at Tuesday Morning some time back.

 

A feminine dining tablescape for ladies who have had their fill of shopping for the day. (Wait…what does that actually feel like??!?!) I chose to go with very colorful place settings to complement the buffet table. Each place setting is grounded with a hot pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger topped with a solid white plate. The pretty salad/dessert plates by Rosanna each have a fun shopping reference along with the stiletto heel motif. The flatware is J.A. Henckels Bellaserra.

 

The polyester LinenTablecloth.com napkins in “Caribbean” blue are folded lengthwise and placed with one end beneath the charger. Each napkin is cinched with a colorful beaded napkin ring rescued from the clearance bin at Bed Bath & Beyond 5+ years ago.

 

The fun stiletto heel glassware from Dollar Tree rounds out the place setting.

 

Each place setting had its own separate nosegay displayed in a bright pink fluted glass vase from Michaels. I like to do this for ladies luncheons and such. It’s such a personal gesture that guests really appreciate both during and after the event. All flowers for this segment were purchased at Aldi’s!

 

One of my favorite tricks for bringing color and depth to the table is to layer linens. Here I used a white 85″ square (to let the colors of the accessories on top really pop) over a hot pink/fuchsia 108″ round, both from LinenTablecloth.com.  (To see a couple of other examples of linen layering on this site check out Caribbean Queen: One Table, Three Looks, Queen of Hearts Card Partyand Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon. And if you’d like to see another post-Black Friday tablescape, check out Black Friday Luncheon from back in 2012. )

 

OK…post over, but here are a few bonus pics and a video you will get a kick out of from later in the show. The pic above is of co-host Rob in the kitchen with famed chef/author/restaurateur Lidia Bastianich who was also on the show that day. Yes…THAT Lidia!!!  I was too starstruck to ask for a selfie with her!

Then it just got loopy around there!

 

Rob and Alexis just had TOO much fun with that fake food!!!

 

Group hug! Me with co-hosts Hallie, Rob and Alexis with my buddy Barbara on the other end. Another show down!!

I will once again join Susan and the gang over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. I’m also joining Sandra at Sweet Sensations for Celebrate Your Story. You can still catch cool ideas for your Thanksgiving tablescaping as well as the upcoming Christmas holidays!

Honey Bee Tea

Switching gears from last week’s casual and blindingly colorful post

 

The deck is set for a ladies tea in lavender and white, starting with a full length round lavender tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came from these cool Mary Lake-Thompson flour sack towels I found at Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO. I’ve often used towels as napkins, and these were perfect!

 

White lacy chargers from Michaels, lavender embossed lace dinner plates by Matceramica, and Pier 1 “Doily” salad plate are joined by “Royal Danish” sterling silver.

 

Each guest has a lovely take home favor of tea in a lavender organza bag with a an Austrian crystal-tipped silver spoon attached.

 

 

Austere white teacups and saucers are from Old Time Pottery. A decorated sugar cube and a splash of color from a lemon slice dress it up a bit.

 

 

 

 

A silver beaded edge 4-tier server filled with a variety of sweets and savories is the primary part of the centerpiece.

 

Plump, luscious blueberries in a lacy white jardiniere from Hobby Lobby. (Seems I like to use this jardiniere for blueberries. You can also see it used this way in “Blue & White Family Picnic“!)

 

 

To mimic the design of the napkins, a small pot of lavender sits atop a delicate lacy white doily. Honestly…when else are you going to use a doily???

 

 

The tea/bar cart from our dining room made its way out onto the deck. A cherry wood tea caddy from Bombay Company holds a variety of teabags on the lower shelf.

 

 

I stacked silver cake plateaus to display more sweets on the tea cart. Brownies on bottom, petit fours on top with another tiny pot of lavender.

 

 

 

Almost on cue, a tiny butterfly took a rest on top of the white teapot! Rock sugar stirrers are presented in a cream soup cup from Nell Hills. The bee skep honey pot is from Home Goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conversation area is set up to encourage mingling while nibbling and sipping. The coffee table is topped with a vintage white cotton lace-edged runner. Another silver 4-tier dessert tower serves up desserts. It’s not often that I use paper napkins, but for this occasion I wrapped white doily-like paper cocktails napkins around lavender ones for a peekaboo effect.

 

 

 

The shabby chic side table between the settee and arm chairs is set up with crystal sherry service and a few more sweets served up on a silver pedestal.

Other teatime tablescapes on this site include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Hello, Dahlia!
Tee Mit Hans Dresden

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

Other lavender posts on this site include:
Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape
Purple & Pastel
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Luscious Layers of Lavender

Want to see some great tablescapes by talent from all around the world? Join me for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

Polly Want a Party!

Every summer I feel the need to do one real doozy of a tablescape, and earlier this summer THIS was IT.  My inspiration: the pool parties and other hot cha cha patio gatherings my parents hosted WAY back in the day (1960s), and it just kind of took off from there.
(P.S. – In response to requests to please do so, I have turned the Comments section back on. PLEASE do not feel obligated in any way to comment. I’m totally OK with “glance-and-go” or “peek-and-pin” without remarks. The Comments section is merely there for your convenience.)

C’mon up the back steps and join the Beach Blanket Bingo fun! (Those 55+ will totally understand that reference!)

 

When we got new energy-efficient windows, I couldn’t bear to part with all of the original ones that came with the house. I use them in decorative ways in various places inside and out like here at the top of the deck steps.

 

The barrage of bright-colored paper lanterns hung with hot pink ribbon starts here at the top of the stairs.

 

 

This old wrought iron bakers rack on the deck comes in handy for food and beverage service from time to time. Here I have stacked up bamboo trays, plates and flatware bundles for those who prefer to eat away from the main table. Just pick up your tray cafeteria style, go through the buffet line, then pick your seat! Notice the throwback paper honeycomb pineapples! (To see this baker’s rack completely decked out for food service, check out “Patisserie de Paris“.

 

 

 

 

The “lounge” area of the deck includes the coffee table where an abundance of fresh tropical fruit serves as a centerpiece. I spread out a trio of monstera leaf placemats over the glass for visual interest.

 

 

 

A mini bar is set up on a round side table. Today’s specialties: your choice of mind-blowing margaritas or fresh and frothy piña coladas! (Seriously, y’all…drink a couple of my margaritas and you’ll find yourself in a hotel room with a tramp stamp, eyebrow piercing and French braided hair, staring at a license signed by “Not-the-Real-Elvis” that makes it official between you and some gnarly barely-of-age surfer dude named Bodhi!)

 

 

I used weathered crates (reminds me of driftwood) as side tables in a couple of areas. Yep…there sits one of those life-altering margaritas! The bamboo tray is loaded up and can easily balance on your lap. To see another way I’ve used these bamboo trays purchased at Old Time Pottery, see “Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?” And speaking of dinner, I guess I should show you the actual table!

 

A sweeping 108-in. fuchsia tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com sets the scene for this table for 5.

 

 

I like to layer up! In this instance, TWO placemats: natural round “Water Hyacinth” from Pier 1 topped with a fun and floppy off-center monstera leaf from Z Gallerie. (I also used the monstera leaf placemats for “Caribbean Queen“.) The brightly colored ruffled chargers in hot pink, lime, and turquoise are from Crate & Barrel, and can also be seen on posts like “Popsicle Party“, “Pleasant Under Glass“, and “Tropicana“.

 

Faux bamboo flatware is a staple around here! I use it a LOT!!!

 

Paper napkins striped with bright colors are tucked into these fun parrot napkin rings from Z Gallerie.

 

Mixing stemware is a definite YES!!! Just find something that ties them together like shape, color, or style. (The aqua blue stemware is from Pier 1, and the clear hurricane glasses from Old Time Pottery.)

 

 

Just like on the bar (filled with lemons and limes), these jaunty floral Hawaiian shorts are a fun addition! Here the shorts are filled with sago palms for an easy-to-assemble tropical centerpiece.

 

 

 

Yes, my paper lantern addiction continues!! (Don’t they look extra pretty in that 2nd pic with the lights glowing?) This time they have a bright pink grass skirt backdrop. I dropped in a few more swingin’ parrots, too.

 

Off to the side is a bowl of leis for guests to get in the spirit of the evening. Flip flops for everyone!!!

 

Cheers, everyone, from my buddy, Barbara (who is probably still laid out trying to make the room stop spinning from this drink!!!).

Other tropical-inspired posts on this blog include:
Flashy Flamingos – Navy, White & Pink Tablescape
Summer Breeze
Hot Tropical
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Flamingos In Paradise
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Oranges & Blossoms
Caribbean Queen
Tropicana

Other posts using paper lanterns include:
Fairy Princess Party for Little Girls
Chinese Takeout
Cupcake Colors
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Easter Brunch
Under A Paper Moon

I’m joining Susan and the gang for “Tablescape Thursday” this week. If you want to see some really cool tablescapes by a variety of talented artists, head on over!

 

 

 

 

Butterfly Bleu – The Grand Resurgence of Melamine

In a recent segment of “Better Kansas City” (my first appearance back on the show after a 7-month absence for my stupid spine surgery) I talked about the joys of the new melamine dishware that has flooded the market in recent years. One thing for certain: this ain’t your mama’s melamine!

Our back deck sets the scene for this sweet little table for four decked in a 108-inch round ivory tablecloth and surrounded by banquet chairs with ivory Spandex covers from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

Each place setting starts with a double layer of chargers that picks up key colors in the salad plate including a sapphire blue metal from Pier 1 (first used in the post “Simply Peacock Garden” in 2014) topped with a chocolate brown Baroque-style (also used in “Pheasants & Pumpkins” back in 2014) from Hobby Lobby. I’ve discussed in prior posts how using more than one charger can add interest to the place setting via design, texture, shape and color. The dinner plate is Home Essentials Antique White, a popular staple around the tablescaping blog world.

 

 

I found the blue compotes at Old Time Pottery way back in 2010 and have only used them a couple of times. Shame on me! The salad plate – my inspiration for this tablescape – is a sweet melamine by TarHong with impressive blue butterflies and an additional carte postale design. A far cry from the drab melamine of the 1960s! The faux mother of pearl flatware is from Target.

 

 

 

I recently picked up this beautiful Aurora Blue stemware by Qualia at Home Goods. It perfectly complements the clear glass stemware I purchased at a moving sale some years ago (also seen in “Something Blue Bridal Luncheon“). Ivory cloth napkins are cinched with a blue acrylic napkin ring, tucked into the stemware, and embellished with a blue butterfly to further complement the salad plates.

 

 

The hefty centerpiece, heightened by a rosewood Chinese pot stand, is made up of a tangle of greenery mixed with blue hydrangea, ivory roses, alstroemeria and hypericum berries finished off with eryngium blue thistle.

I’m not around as much these days as I’m taking LOTS of time out of each day getting healthy: walking 5-7 miles a day, spinning on my recumbent bike, working out with small weights, preparing fresh meals from scratch…all the things that will help my spine get (and hopefully stay!) strong and lose the “surgery weight.” I’m peeking in on you, and I’m so glad you peeked in on me today. Have a great week ahead!

Other posts on this site with butterflies include:
Float Like A Butterfly
Grazin’ In the Grass
Spring Into Easter
Patisserie de Paris
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Spring Has Sprung
Mother’s Day Brunch
Purple For Spring
Showered In Pink
Going Green For Spring

If you’d like to see other posts on this site using double chargers, check these out:
Proud As A Peacock!
Fete Noir et Gris
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Year of the Rabbit
Copper Zen
Cranberry Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner
Get Me To the Church on Time
Let It Snow!
Winter Cardinal
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Mardi Gras Lite
French Poodle
Hooray For Vodka!
Clematis & Hyacinth
Rhapsody In Blue

Flashy Flamingos – Navy, White & Pink Tablescape

As evidenced by my 2012 post, “Flamingos in Paradise“, I was a big fan of flamingos before they became all the rage this summer. Something about those big, pink birds…maybe just because they’re my favorite color!

 

 

II love my country, but I’m about plumb tuckered out on the red, white and blue for a minute.  This refreshing respite of pink, white and navy blue is just what the tablescaping doctor ordered. The round table for 4 is layered with those very colors from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

My objective was to set off the bright pink and white against the deep blue. The Crate & Barrel charger for each setting has a bright pink ruffled edge. Plain white dinner plates are offset by navy blue square salad plates from Pier 1. The cotton napkins are from Bed Bath & Beyond, and the faux bamboo flatware is from JC Penney.

 

I just love these peppy pink flamingo-spattered glasses from Home Goods! They’re perfect for serving iced tea, lemonade, water, or – my personal favorite – a tropical cocktail! I paired them with clear water  glasses.

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came from this fun navy & white striped bucket peppered with flamingos from Home Goods. (I think its original intent is to be used as a flatware caddy, but what the heck…I march to the beat of my own twisted drum sometimes!) I filled it with sago palms and tucked in a metal flamingo for a quick, easy tablescape with tropical flair.

 

The other side of the deck is included in the party decor with a continuance of the color scheme.

 

 

Sips and snacks are set up on a bamboo tray in the seating area. A sweet blog friend gave me these ceramic flamingo appetizer plates a few years ago, and I love them as much today as when I first got them. Thank you, Mona!

 

 

Pink lemonade is the perfect summer drink in these glasses. The plastic pitcher is from Target and the fun flamingo stir sticks from Tuesday Morning.

 

 

On the other end of the coffee table are a white ceramic vase overflowing with pink and white tulips and a stack of alternating pink & white cocktail napkins literally anchored to keep them from blowing away in the summer breeze.

 

 

The seating area’s side table is set up with a pot of summer flowers as the backdrop to a blue & white striped sailboat (to mirror the look of the centerpiece on the dining table) and guest favors in flamingo-flecked boxes.

 

 

 

You know how I love my paper lanterns, and for this setting I really loaded ’em up! Varying shades of pink mixed with white lanterns are embellished with navy blue ribbon streamers for additional color and movement.

Thanks so much for stopping in to check out the flashy flamingos!

Other tablescapes using paper lanterns on this site:
Cupcake Colors
Easter Brunch
Butterfly Kaleidoscope – Indoors & Outdoors
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Under A Paper Moon
Chinese Takeout

Other tablescapes with tropical settings on this site:
Hot Tropical
Caribbean Queen

Ocean Blue
Tropicana

Summer Breeze

 

 

 

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

Over the River & Through the Woods – A Transitional Table For Thanksgiving Into Christmas

I conducted a Christmas-themed workshop in early November that forced us to drag out all of the Christmas bins WAY before their natural time. There was no way in the world we were going to put it all back for a couple of weeks, so we started Christmas decorating in time for the dinner we hosted on Thanksgiving Day. This called for a “transitional table” to avoid too much of a clash between the two and still enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas as separate holidays. I did the best I could. Maybe you can glean some ideas for future use!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree!

INSPIRATION: Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree with our Santa hats and antlers! My son is so tall you can barely see the tree back there! (I’m bent over with searing pain in my back and leg, but I was lovin’ my PINK Santa hat!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape for Thanksgiving when you've already decorated for Christmas: Full table

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Multiple place settings with wood slice chargers

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Single place setting with wood slice charger, brown & ivory transferware dinner plate

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware dinner plate depicting woodsy/barnyard theme with peacock, pheasant and other game birds

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware plate with peacock & pheasant designWe set the table into a “square” using 2-6ft. rectangular tables kissed side-by-side. Each was individually dressed in a full-length (90″ x 132″ linen for a 30″ x 72″ table) ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to disguise the unsightly legs of the folding tables. Each place setting was simple and in keeping with my woodsy/timberland/rustic theme with a wood slice charger. I used my brown and ivory transferware dishes that look so nice at Thanksgiving and were in step with the pheasants and pheasant feathers used throughout the house in the Christmas decorating. I decided on gold-tone flatware to add a bit of glitz to the table.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Whole centerpiece using birch bark-covered vases, resin reindeer, pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, whole spices, florals

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Resin reindeer front & back views, double runner, acorns, pumpkins & pine cones collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: birch bark-wrapped cylinder

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Birch planter, florals collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Pumpkin and acorn salt & pepper shakers, gold mercury glass votives with pheasant feathers collage

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Acorns, star anise, buckeyes and cinnamon sticks in bark-wrapped cylinders collageThe centerpiece is what I think turned out to be a successful marriage of Thanksgiving and Christmas: not too much of one or the other. The ivory tablecloths are covered down the center (to mask the line where they meet) with a triple layer of burlap fabric starting with the traditional wheat color topped with red from LinenTablecloth.com and then finished off with a length of Hobby Lobby burlap ribbon that is tied in a love knot on each end. (The Christmas tree in this room also has burlap ribbon tied off in love knots!) I LOVE that red LTC burlap, too! It really keeps its shape and lays down nice and flat! By tripling the runner fabrics, the table is afforded an extra warm and cozy look. TIP: I have also discovered that burlap is very easy to iron. Just spritz with a little water and go for it!

The centerpiece is a mix of white pumpkins, pine cones and acorns casually strewn about. A jumble of fresh, bright red poinsettia blooms, Dusty Miller from our own yard, and snippets of Christmas greenery are stuffed into two rectangular zinc-lined birch planters (with water tubes inside) that are placed zigzagged on the table. In front of each planter is a resting resin reindeer from Tuesday Morning. Birch-wrapped cylinders are filled with acorns, star anise, buckeyes, and cinnamon sticks and placed on the four corners. (Click HERE to see these spice-filled planters used on a recent demo table.) The centerpiece is finished off with gold mercury glass votives and a smattering of pheasant feathers to mimic the design on the dinner plates and the Christmas tree topper. Last, acorn (Pier 1) and pumpkin (Pottery Barn) salt & pepper shakers.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Banquet chairs dressed in LinenTablecloth.com stretch ivory chair covers and burlap sashes

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Stretch banquet chair cover with burlap sash, pillow collageOur banquet chairs were dressed in LinenTablecloth.com ivory stretch chair covers. I made the sashes from natural-colored burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I have discovered that situating the sash down low on the chair helps with a more uniform look and keeps them from going all wonky when guests lean back. (Wonky? Really? My parents paid out all that college tuition for THAT??!??!! 🙂 )

If you missed our 2014 Christmas Home Tour, just click HERE to see how it all tied in with this tablescape!

This is my final post of 2014. I want to wish each and every one of you a blissful, blessed, and safe Christmas and New Year. I appreciate and look forward to your visits and comments each week, and I hope to hear from you again in 2015.
Merry Christmas, and be good to one another.

Other Christmas tablescapes on this site that offer some neat ideas:

Cardinal Christmas
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
Celebrate 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

 

And if you’re looking for ideas to ring in the New Year with style:
Life is a Cabaret
Platinum New Year’s Eve
Ringing In the New Year

Hooray For Vodka!
White Hot

Linking up with:
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch (Christmas Day)
Christine’s “Table It!” at Rustic & Refined (starting Sunday night)

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