Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

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. II – Christmas 2016 in the Dining Room

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.

 

 

This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.

 

 

 

 

I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.

 

 

 

 

The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!

 

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!!!

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

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


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

 

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

 

 

The guest of honor makes her entrance!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

The honoree, guests, and hostess!

Other pretty pink tablescapes on this site include:
Peaceful Peonies
Days of Wine & Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Chocolate Traditional
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Blushing Bridal Shower
Easter Floral
Easter Bloom
Pink Plaid & Posies
All A’Bloom In Pink For Spring
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Showered In Pink
Easter In Pink & Grey
French Poodle
Peony Power
Fairy Princess Party
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses

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

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bald Is Beautiful – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Holly Bertone Pink Fortitude collage

INSPIRATION: The many faces of my brave, beautiful, creative, very determined, cancer’s-butt-kickin’ friend, Holly Bertone, author of The Coconut Head’s Guide to Survival blog and CEO and President of Pink Fortitude, LLC.

 Holly Bertone of The Coconut Head’s Guide to Survival blog was kind enough to consent to being a part of this post on the condition (that I happily accepted!) that I share her message with you:  “I was young and healthy.  If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.  Please take care of your health.  Early detection saves lives.”

So this post is dedicated to Holly and every woman or man out there who has stared breast cancer in its ugly face and “beat it like it stole something.” The fight is a tough one. I salute those who won the battle and honor the memory of those who, in spite of fighting the good fight, were taken from us too soon.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Full table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Banquet chair with stretch white chair cover and pink satin sash from LinenTablecloth.comThe table is dressed in a pure white full-length tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The stretch white chair cover and pink satin sash are also from LTC. I wanted so much to tie the ribbon in the shape of the Breast Cancer Awareness symbol, but just couldn’t figure it out! Maybe by next year this time…! 🙂

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Menu & napkin collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon crustEach place setting starts with a silverplate charger and platinum-rimmed Noritake “Spectrum” dinner and salad plate. A soft pink, simply folded napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond sits atop the plates. I created the menus on our home computer and gave them more of a 3-D look by adding an actual ribbon dotted with a pink gemstone. (The menu items were our actual dinner that night. You can find my recipe for the chicken pot pie on this site under Recipes. The cake is a wonderful recipe from Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen, and it is decadently delicious!!!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Flatware collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Cristal d'Arques Longchamps stemwareI wanted this table to literally reflect everything beautiful, so I used Cristal d’Arques Longchamps stemware with lots of reflective facets that caught the light of the votives in the centerpiece. The handle of the dinner knife and the mirror shine of the charger both have the same reflective quality.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Cup & saucer, sugar cube collageAfter-dinner coffee is extra sweet with a rose-kissed sugar cube from Rebekah Foster, Cake Artist.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Centerpiece

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Centerpiece from overhead

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Centerpiece collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Bald Is Beautiful: Votives in a sea of pink and clear crystalsWho says bald can’t be absolutely beautiful? I admittedly spent a great deal of time working on this unique Breast Cancer Awareness centerpiece. I wanted to shout to the world that bald can indeed be beautiful, simple, sweet, sexy, exotic, erotic, and everything in between.
To create this very special centerpiece, I used ballerina pink and soft glitter spray paint to tint an inexpensive Styrofoam wig form. I applied flirty black eyelashes (did better than I do on my own eyes!) and then went to work with gemstone and pearl head pins. Just when I thought I was finished, I decided to add the nose ring to give her a youthful, contemporary flair to punctuate Holly’s message: Just because you’re young and healthy doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. I spread sparkling clear and pink crystals (Beau-coup.com) at the base to represent reflective beauty and added votives to symbolize hope and light radiated by fighters like Holly.

Other tablescapes suitable for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on this site:
Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon
Pretty in Pink, Wicked in Spurs
All A’Bloom
Pleasant Under Glass
Roses in October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pink Plaid & Posies
Luncheon in Pink
Pretty in Pink

Springtime in Paris
Peony Power
Coming Up Roses
Tea Roses

I am happily joining these ladies’ blog parties this week:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!”
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”
Bev at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday”

My Sister’s Wedding China

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Family photo

INSPIRATION: My sister’s wedding, 1973. Pictured here are my little brother, Jay; my Daddy, my sister, Berishia (I’ve referred to her by the nickname I gave her as a teen – Barf – in previous posts); my Mom, and; me – just 14 – with cotton candy hair! 🙂 (Dig those funky-fresh platform shoes and “Granny” glasses!)

My sister’s first marriage was in December of 1973 on the eve of one of Kansas City’s worst snow storms on record. Hint much? Anyhooooo….As you can tell from the photo, I was a little less than thrilled with all the pomp and circumstance of it all. (I was far more focused on packing up her stuff and assuming sole ownership of the bedroom we’d shared for 14 years!) The wedding Mass, with nearly every seat in the church occupied, was followed by a lovely celebration in the church reception hall. The next day it was time to open gifts, and THAT got my attention! The marriage eventually ended, and as luck would have it I got (temporary) custody of the wedding china! 😉
I’m showcasing my sister’s wedding china today and participating in Cuisine Kathleen’s “Wedding China Challenge” along with tablescape bloggers from all over the world.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Full dining roomI started this table with a 90″ x 132″ white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. I first considered using one of their fabulous taffeta pintuck tablecloths, but decided to do something a little different. I placed a 13″ x 96″ French blue quilted runner from Z Gallerie on each side of the table, leaving the center a pristine white for the centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - TableThis tablescape would work nicely for a wedding reception or any wedding-related event. It would also be perfect to celebrate a special birthday, promotion, or any special occasion.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - single place settingThe runners are a wonderful backdrop to the shining silver metal chargers and my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” wedding china. The china pattern includes a thin platinum rim and clusters of tiny bouquets.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - stemware, flatware, & napkin collageI chose Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” cut crystal to complement the diamond shape in the runners. The  silky French blue napkins from Z Gallerie are simply folded into a rectangle and finished with a single pink cymbidium orchid bloom. Why not white? Just look how that pink pops against that French blue!!!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - table level centerpiece elements

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - short floral and floral bling collageThe bright pink florals used here for demonstration purposes are a mix of real and faux including peonies, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, ranunculus, hydrangea, yarrow, and dusty miller. I hung strands of bling that included a diamond-shaped piece that would complement the design of the runners and stemware. The graceful gooseneck glass vases are perfect for creating an arrangement that appears to “rain” overhead, while the simple silver pilsners are great for a “pouf” of flowers. Using three levels of height adds to the visual interest. (NOTE: The wildly windy weather here kept me from setting up outdoors as originally planned. When creating your “real life” tablescape, the flowers should never make contact with the lighting fixture!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - tea light

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - white pillar candle on crystal Mikasa candlestickI have had these crystal “Diamond Fire” candlesticks by Mikasa for upwards of 20 years but have rarely used them. They seemed perfect here to give a lift to white pillar candles. Small glass votive holders add a second level of light to the tablescape.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Chair collageStandard round top banquet chairs are prettied up with white stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. A coordinating stretch chair sash is gathered in the center to accommodate a bling strand like those used on the table florals.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - champagne tray on buffetThe buffet behind the table holds a silver tray for serving the champagne. Using a tray is not only utilitarian in nature (it keeps condensation from marring the wood of the furniture, catches any spills when the champagne is being poured, and makes serving the champagne a snap), but it also helps pull the elements together for a pleasing look.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - coffee service on vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Noritake "Whitebrook" creamer & sugar

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - individual cake on Noritake "Whitebrook" dessert plate, silver forks in silver mini champagne bucketThe vintage tea cart in the corner holds accoutrements for after-dinner coffee service with dessert including a miniature champagne bucket for dessert forks. (TIP: If serving a chilled dessert, add ice to the vessel holding your forks [or spoons]. It will chill the metal and help your dessert to stay cold a bit longer. Chilling the plates or bowls in which the dessert is to be served will also help, especially in summer!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - candlestick with cut crystal peg votive

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: My Sister’s Wedding China - Diamond design collageThe sconces on the wall hold silver Revere candlesticks with a cut crystal peg votive. As you can see in the final photo, the thread that tied this room together was the diamond shape as seen in the peg votive, the bling on the chairs and floral, the stemware, and the quilted runners. (TIP: Using a host of similar shapes, colors, or other design element helps to subtly create a seamless look in your overall table or room design.

Other posts with tablescapes suitable for wedding-related events on this site:
Love & Orchids
Peonies & Pearls
Purple & Pastel
The Party She Deserves
Something Blue Bridal Luncheon
Bling Wedding
All A’Bloom for Spring
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Candle in the Wind
White Hot
Peaceful Peonies
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Chocolate Traditional
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pink Plaid & Posies
Pretty In Pink
French Poodle
Peony Power
Springtime in Paris
Patisserie de Paris
One Shoe Can Change Your Life
Rhapsody In Blue
Dinner for the Ladies In Waiting

Peek & poke around here, and then be sure to join me over at Cuisine Kathleen’s for the “Let’s Dish! – Wedding China Tablescape Challenge” anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT tonight. I’ll also be partying this week with Christine at Rustic & Refined with her new blog party “Table It!” which goes online every Monday at 7 a.m., and at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch, for “Tablescape Thursday” after 9:00 a.m. CDT on Thursday. Finally, I’m linking up with How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday”!

Have you checked out BeBetsy.com? I link up there, and it’s a great place to get inspired for everything from cooking to fashion and beyond!!!

Christmas Through the Red Door

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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