Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells

INSPIRATION: Brilliantly blue glass starfish plates by AKCAM

INSPIRATION: Brilliantly blue glass starfish plates by AKCAM in all the colors of the ocean

I hope you’re enjoying your summer! It has been weirdly rainy here in the Kansas City, Mo. area, and I’m just about sick of it. It’s great for the grass and trees and flowers, but it SUCKS for tablescaping!!! So…I’ve dredged up a beach-inspired tablescape that I created and photographed two years ago but felt unworthy to publish because it didn’t meet my potential. I had very quickly thrown it together for an impromptu birthday dinner party (for myself!) using just what I had within reach. (Note to God: Thank you for Ramon and Costco’s prepared meals!!!) I’ve since had a change of heart that says simplicity can be a good thing, and that’s why I’m publishing it today. Well…that and I have no ability to get out on the deck to do anything else but get wet for now!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  As with many of the outdoor dining environments I create, this one started with full-length (90″ x 132″) white tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com on the two 6-ft. folding tables kissed end-to-end. They give the table a crisp, clean, “white linen suit” look that can still be considered casual.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  white resin chairs lined upWhite resin patio chairs add to the casual feel. Inexpensive as they are, they always look great neatly lined up in a row!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Single place setting with glass starfish plates, Rocco Bormioli glass chargersWhen I named this post Ocean Blue, there was a definite reason for it! Look how brilliantly blue!!! Thirteen-inch silver metal chargers are topped with a beautiful 12″ turquoise blue Bormioli Rocco Inca glass charger. The dinner plate is a cobalt blue glass plate from Pier 1. The AKCAM starfish salad and bread plates were purchased at Home Goods a couple of years ago. (To see these plates used in another tablescape with a slightly more formal feel, click HERE for “Surf & Turf Dinner Party”.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells: J.A. Henckels "Bellaserra" stainless flatware

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Brilliant glass starfish plates in shades of blue or white from Home GoodsThese photos lend even more clarity to the beauty and depth of color on the table. Each place setting is a bit different with either a cobalt, turquoise or white mix-matched salad and bread plate. The flatware is J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  Cobalt blue stemware from Dollar TreeThis cobalt blue stemware from Dollar Tree never looked so good on one of my tables! It was the perfect complement to the dishes used!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  White cotton napkin with initialSoft white cotton hemstitched napkins with our initial are simply folded.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  seashells in multiple tall glass cylindersI get a lot of mileage out of these tall clear glass cylinders. Every year I find a new use for them, so I really feel I’m getting my hard-earned money’s worth. Ahem…make that Ramon’s hard-earned money! 😉 Here they are simply filled with every seashell I could put my hands on from around the house. The four cylinders are evenly spaced down the length of the table. (DESIGN NOTE: If you think you might want to extend a bit of the brilliant blue color into the cylinders, consider mixing in a scant few blue sea glass chips, dragon tears, or slivers of agate. You can purchase these items at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  turquoise, cobalt blue  & silver mercury glass votive holdersThese beautiful turquoise, cobalt and silver mercury glass votive holders are among my favorites! They were purchased at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO a few years ago. The color they turn with the candle flickering inside is amazing!!!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells:  white pillar candle with Z Gallerie seashell candle ringI bought a bunch of these fun seashell candle rings from Z Gallerie a few years ago. I don’t use them often, but they’re great for quick, easy decorating.

This tablescape would work nicely for a summertime birthday dinner party, lunch or brunch (minus the candles), rehearsal dinner, or even a casual, laid back wedding reception…especially if the happy couple’s honeymoon is somewhere balmy with sandy shores!

Other tablescapes on this site with a seashell/beach/nautical theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Tropicana
Caribbean Queen
Flamingos in Paradise
Surf & Turf Dinner Party
Summer Breeze
Old Navy Seafood Cruise

I’ll be back next week with another surf- & sand-inspired tablescape for Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish! – Summer Whimsy Tablescape Challenge”. If you’re looking for ideas for casual and fun summer tablescapes, be sure to join me! Meanwhile, this week I’m linking up with Christine from Rustic & Refined. Her new blog party is called “Table It!” I’ll also be linking up again with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”.

 

The Peacock Effect

INSPIRATION: The softened peacock-like colors and design in this Home Goods plate

INSPIRATION: The softened peacock-like colors and design in this Home Goods plate

With the nasty winter pretty much everyone here in the U.S. has suffered/is still suffering through, it’s good to be able to pull out color and style that bring cheer and hope for Spring. Valentine’s Day is now under our belts (or around our necks or on our fingers…am I right, ladies?!), and it’s time to look toward the celebration of Mardi Gras. Don’t care for the traditional Mardi Gras colors or just want to switch it up? Perhaps something like this would work for you!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Full dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Full tabletop

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Full tabletop, lengthwiseThis beautifully-appointed table begins with a 90″ x 132″ soft silver tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Double place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Single place settingThe place setting begins with a lavender charger from Michael’s. The lavish glass plate is from the Topkapi line often found at Home Goods, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. It is 100% food safe. The colors are from the softer side of those found in peacock feathers, and the flourish encircling the plate reminds me of how a peacock proudly unfurls his tail.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Flatware and rim shot

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Flatware & plate detail collageThe International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling is paired with the setting to complement the majestic plate design. Notice how they both sort of fan out.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Glitter & sequin peacock embellishmentI picked up these flashy glitter- and sequin-covered peacock ornaments at this year’s 75% off after-Christmas clearance sale at Pier 1. They are simply clipped onto the side of the charger as an added flourish to the place setting.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Fleur de lis napkin foldI didn’t want to hide any part of the plate design or interfere with the beauty of the peacock on the charger, so the 20″ silver napkins from LinenTablecloth.com are placed dead center at the top of the place setting. They are folded into a fleur de lis which is a great tie-in to Mardi Gras.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Z Gallerie stemwareI bought this wonderful and oh-so-delicate aubergine-tinted “Andre” stemware from Z Gallerie about 3 years ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it. It picks up yet another hue from the peacock feathers.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Centerpiece vase collageI do love a pretty centerpiece, and this one was several weeks in the making. I just couldn’t decide on the center vase! Finally – after selecting mercury glass votives for the table and buffet – I settled on this gourd-shaped silver mercury glass vase from Hobby Lobby. A scant few peacock feathers rise and drape from it.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Silver Revere bowl with turquoise agate and floating candle

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Floating candle and turquoise agateNow you’re just going to think I’m really anal, but here goes anyway: I chose the silver floating candles (Pier 1) because, again, looking at them reminded me of the peacock’s fanned out tail. The candles drift over a bed of turquoise agate from Michael’s.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is decorated with two low florals of white, purple, and green-tinted hydrangea, viburnum, deep purple calla lilies and feathery soft dusty miller. Each arrangement is finished off with a peacock like the ones on the table. A mixture of silver and turquoise/purple mercury glass votive holders also carries over from the dining table. The reflection in the mirror if of the same two wreaths used in yesterday’s peacock post.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Tea cart collageTo balance out the room, the tea cart holds a 21″ silver mercury glass pilsner vase filled with peacock feathers. This, also, is a carryover from yesterday’s post, “Simply Peacock Garden”.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - The Peacock Effect: Feathered mask for Mardi GrasAdd a pot of gumbo and a few lavishly-feathered masks as party favors, and this dining atmosphere instantaneously becomes a Mardi Gras celebration!

So there you have it. This tablescape with a peacock effect can work with or without masks and King cake. Your choice!

Other tablescapes on this site using peacock feathers:
Simply Peacock Garden
Peacock Pizzazz
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Pheasants & Peacocks
Proud As a Peacock

Other tablescapes on this site for Mardi Gras:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Madness

I’m linking up with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. If you’ve never joined in on this weekly blog party, this is your chance! There are so many talented tablescapers all over the world who share their creativity all in this one place. Join us, won’t you?

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner

It’s the night before Christmas, and I’m late getting photos of our 2013 Christmas decor and annual cul-de-sac Progressive Dinner posted! Very little chit-chat tonight. I hope all your stockings are hung and that you are ready to just coast from here on out!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Cul-de-sac gangEvery Christmas season several of the households on our cul-de-sac get together for a progressive dinner. It’s a chance to get together one last time before the bitter cold of January chases us all indoors, to share good food, and to check out everyone’s holiday decor. I wanted my neighbors to really enjoy the ambience during the entree portion of the dinner at our house, so I got busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Front doorI didn’t do a lot with the front entry door this year, nor did we put lights up outside. Next year when I’ve fully recovered, we’ll go all out again! Still, guests were greeted with a cheery wreath with our monogram.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entry & library

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Library tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Secretary collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Vitrine collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Decor 2013: Library desk, leather chair, side table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Burlap wreath, wood slices, Swiss Army camping gearOur library, to the immediate right as you enter our home, took on a very rustic look this year. I started the look when teaching my “Art of Tablescaping” class in that room, so after taking the table down I just embellished the existing decor with even more natural elements like huge moss balls on the urns flanking the vitrine, wood slices, whittled pencils, burlap and twine. To see that “Woodland Christmas” tablescape and read more about the design elements, click HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Orchid and pine greenery arrangement with uplightOn the chest at the top of the stairs is an arrangement I created in a mercury glass pilsner vase using faux greenery and orchids with an LED uplight to show it off. Really dramatic look when standing at the foot of the steps!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entryway arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Hallway collageBack down the stairs and into the entryway is a decorated wreath over the mirror. Lots of LED candles grace the space beneath the wreath, proclaiming it all to be “Merry & Bright”. Notice the ivory “scrunchie” that covers the electric cord. Very clever way to hide it! (I invested in about a dozen of these in several colors at Hobby Lobby about 10 years ago.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining Room table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Buffet in dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tea cartEvery room has a very different theme, and this one is full of bright, cheerful color! I used many of these same elements to create 3 very different tablescapes for my “Art of Tablescaping” class. You can check them out HERE, HERE and HERE. After clearing the tablescapes and adding a few more fun pieces, this room is declared the Fun Zone! I won the wreath at the base of the mirror at a White Elephant party a couple of weeks ago, and it fit right in!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room tree and into hallwayThe brightly colored tree in the dining room has a Nativity scene beneath it. As we go back into the hallway, the table by the front door is decked out with a fun wreath and a huge LED candle. Let’s head to the living room…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: View of living room from kitchen

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner set upWe’ve moved furniture and made space in the living room for our Progressive Dinner tables. This year’s theme in this room is cardinals and reindeer. An additional theme of snowflakes was added for the dinner. The tables are covered with red full-length round tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I recently purchased some ballroom chairs for events at home such as this, and they work out perfectly with cool white Spandex chair covers with contrasting red Spandex sashes, also from LinenTablecloth.com. (I LOVE these because they’re super affordable AND I don’t have to iron them!!!) This is a buffet dinner, so huge white acrylic snowflakes work as “chargers” at each place setting. LinenTablecloth.com red 20″ napkins are neatly folded into reindeer napkin rings purchased on clearance at Target last year. The centerpiece is a simple faux greenery wreath with meandering red ribbon, pine cones and red berries with a trio of LED candles (for safety!) in the center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Kitchen & buffet collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Decor 2013: Kitchen wreath

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner Decor: Candlestick arrangement in window at kitchen sinkI created this arrangement in the window behind the kitchen sink on a moment’s notice. I wanted something really dramatic for the window that could be seen from outside. I simply entwined a curvy wrought iron candlestick with faux greenery, red berry vine and red lights. I made sure to drape the vine across the countertop for a more dramatic look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, IIGuests served themselves from a buffet in the kitchen. On the menu: a choice of Chicken Tortilla soup, Chicken & Wild Rice soup, or Chili along with nice, warm bread and iced tea. The fun red & white snowflake soup bowls and mugs are from Dollar Tree (yes…Dollar Tree!), and the snowy white ramekins – for those who preferred a “flight” of soups – are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace & mantel decorThe fireplace mantel is heavily decorated with faux greenery, holly, red berries, pine cones, glass ornaments and cardinals. Reindeer stocking holders (Pier 1 clearance) on each end hold ornate red & gold silk stockings. Small trees in black urns flank the fireplace hearth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Mice on chair & small tree on hearth collageThese two lovey-dovey mice all dressed up in their Christmas finery are new. I saw them at T.J. Maxx and just fell in love with them. Their names? Ramon & Alycia, of course!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Sofa, reindeer on side table collageWe have lots of black elements in the living room, so I played that up with black velvet pillows behind red silk ones with gossamer gold ribbon. The luxuriously soft throw is from T.J. Maxx. My bold gold reindeer make another appearance this year in different areas of the living room. (To see these reindeer used in other Christmas settings, click HERE and HERE.) On the table behind the sofa, a large red ornament rests above lots of lighted greenery and pine cones.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Living room tree in red & gold

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tree ornaments

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Wrapped giftsThis year’s main tree is dressed in lots of red & gold ornaments including cardinals, musical notes, poinsettias and stockings. The tree is flanked by the two larger gold reindeer wearing sparkling wreaths around their necks. Gifts beneath the tree are all wrapped in colors that reflect the room’s color scheme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: ArmoireThe television armoire across the room always gets a little treat, too. This year the decor mirrors that of the mantel with a huge red ornament (just like the one on the sofa table) rising up like a phoenix from behind.

All very different looks throughout the house. My mind was just going in a million different directions, and I just let the decorative chips fall where they may! 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas Fiesta

INSPIRATION: The multi-color, shiny, jingly little dudes purchased at Pier 1 several years ago.

INSPIRATION: The multi-color, shiny, jingly little dudes purchased at Pier 1 several years ago.

Tired of all this color yet? This is the third and final installment of my multi-color Christmas posts for this year. The first two, “Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas” and “Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape”, shared some of the same elements but in very different ways. Today’s offering does the same, returning to the basic red tablecloth and “wispy multi-color jingle bell thingies” that bring the room to life.
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it and see more detail.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full roomThe 90″ x 132″ bright red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com anchors the table decor.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full table, lengthwiseThe winter months always start up my cravings for traditional Mexican food. Maybe because it’s my go-to comfort food…so spicy and tummy-warming. Maybe because we have happily indulged in the traditional tamales and arroz con leche of the Christmas season for decades.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: double place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Single place settingWith the multi-colored tree, the multi-colored inspiration pieces, and these fun “Serape” plates from Tuesday Morning in the cupboard, I knew I had one more opportunity to create a fun and inviting Christmas tablescape. These dishes were also used HERE and HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Flatware, stemware, napkin drop collageFor a twist on the traditional green of Christmas, I opted to use a Bed, Bath & Beyond lime green napkin. Black “San Remo” stainless flatware from Hampton Silversmiths lends a little formality to the setting. The ruby red stemware is from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Sombrero, runner collageThe miniature sombreros at each place setting are embellished with colorful glass ornaments and a sprig of Christmas-y greenery. The colorful bamboo runner (also seen HERE for a tropical tablescape) works well with the theme and helps to pull the elements of the centerpiece together.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Centerpiece details

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Red hurricane sleeveI wanted the centerpiece to be kind of full and dramatic and reflective of the season, but I also felt the need to bring in other elements that would work with the Mexican theme. I started with 3 red hurricane sleeves from Old Time Pottery. Snow-flecked evergreens and the “multi-color jingly thingies” were added to the mix. The arrangement was topped off with various succulents.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Buffet arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Buffet vase and tray collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Glass ornaments in bowl, pitcher

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Greenery on buffetThe buffet borrows the same citrus green vases (Home Goods) used on the table for the kids’ “Kaleidoscope Christmas” setting. Rather than filling them with the just the jingly pieces, I opted to mix it up with snow-frosted evergreens and a single succulent. Another bamboo runner pulls together all of the buffet elements including a serving trays and a bowl of ornaments. More of the frosted greenery is brought down to the buffet level, front & center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Candy, cookie, gumball collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart lower shelf

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: "Bennington" the Butler with jingle bell candy cane

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Tea cart ribbon treatmentThe vintage tea cart is still decked out with the colorful flurry of ribbon from “Kaleidoscope Christmas” and Bennington the Butler still holds onto the jingle bell candy cane. Candy from last week’s post has been transferred into “Serape” bowls and cookies onto a plate.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: Geoffrey, Christmas tree, gumballs collageGeoffrey, standing ready to serve by the Christmas tree, now offers a trio dish of colorful gumballs. Notice the tree is now teeming with sprigs of the jingly bling found in the centerpiece and buffet vases, a change from the last 2 weeks.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Christmas Fiesta: China cabinet collageThe colorful mercury glass-lined votive holders (World Market) used first on the buffet for “Merry & Bright” and then on the china cabinet with fun glass ornaments rather than candles for “Kaleidoscope Christmas” are back once again with candles and surrounded by greenery and jingly bling.

So there you have it! Elements carried from one tablescape to another with very different results each time out. Proof positive that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, even if the old dog is jingly bling! 🙂

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for her blog party, “Let’s Dish!”, this Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. This will be one of your last chances to get some ideas for holiday decorating from lots of talented and enthusiastic decorators all around the world, so join me, won’t you?

More winter and Christmas posts on this site can be found at:
Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape

Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas
Christmas Through the Red Door
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Contemporary Christmas: Fire & Ice
Celebrating the Season
Sugar High Payback
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

plus NINE additional posts on a single page under the “WINTER” tab!!!

Float Like a Butterfly

The color brown has its ups and downs when summer rolls around. We don’t want brown grass or leaves hanging around, but we do want that famed Coppertone® brown skin. (As a doctor’s wife, I’ll fuss at you sun worshipers about the dangers of that at another time! 🙂 ) I don’t think brown is a color we generally associate with summer when it comes to decorating, but I hope to dispel that notion.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance for fine details.)

INSPIRATION PHOTO - EA BRIDE

INSPIRATION: Photo by Angie Weston of Design and Capture Studio

My work was featured in a local bridal magazine, EA Bride, a couple of years ago. I continue to marvel at the work of other designers whose work appears in the magazine with each passing issue. The photo of this grapevine ball in the Summer 2012 issue of the magazine really caught my attention, and I decided I wanted to create something similar someday. That someday finally came to pass a couple of weeks ago.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a ButterflyBrown. Yes, that’s what I said…brown. A brown full-length linen is the foundation of this summer tablescape. Like black, brown is a neutral that has the capacity to make other colors snap, crackle & pop.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Flatware, Rim Shot collageAn April Cornell table runner and napkins marry brown with vibrant, yet muted shades of seafoam blue. Two square acrylic chargers – one in an icy blue, one in a coppery brown – play off of the linens. Soft seafoam blue dinner plates from TJ Maxx round out the stack. The faux mother of pearl-handled flatware is from Target.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - StemwareWhen I found this fabulous ocean blue color of stemware at Stein Mart a few years ago, I was absolutely smitten. Still am!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Grapevine balls wrapped with Oasis MEGA Beaded Wire in "Ice Blue"

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Grapevine ball wrapped in Oasis MEGA Beaded wire in "Ice Blue", dotted with hydrangea blooms and butterflies

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Butterfly, Beading, Urn collageI found the large cream-colored urns at Michaels. A grapevine ball is wrapped in Smither’s Oasis MEGA beaded wire in “Ice Blue”. (This beaded wire comes in 11 amazing colors!!!) I used a dab of hot glue to semi-permanently affix softly-tinted blue & green faux hydrangea blossoms. Pretty hand painted aqua blue silk butterflies generously given to me by the good people at Beau-coup.com “float” about. (These graceful beauties also come in green, lavender and pink!) I love the way they transform the centerpiece and add to the 3-D look!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a ButterflyBetween the two urns sits a trio of smaller grapevine balls trimmed in butterflies and beading much like its big sisters. I didn’t even bother to cut the beaded wire…it’s just one continuous string wrapped around the three orbs. (Students…remember our golden Rule of Three? Look at this picture!!!:-)) These would be so easy and economical to make for wedding reception decor!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Buddha, Votive, napkin pattern collageTaibei Buddha figurines in seafoam blue from Burlington add to the peaceful aura of the tablescape. Mercury glass votive holders in a blue ombre design are scattered all throughout and around the base of the centerpiece to provide ambient light.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - buffet with bonsai trees

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Pillar candles with rhinestones from Z Gallerie

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Buffet candles collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Float Like a Butterfly - Bonsai treeThe buffet is lightly adorned to complement the peaceful nature of the dining table decor. Bonsai trees anchor each end. The center decor is made up of two brilliantly-colored Z Gallerie pillar candles flecked with similarly colored rhinestones. The pillar candles sit atop broad iron candlesticks from Hobby Lobby. A trio of votives, like those on the table, act as a visual connect between the bonsais.

It was much too cold and windy the days I worked on this blue & brown summer tablescape, but imagine it outside at dusk. Thanks to the chocolaty brown tablecloth, everything on top of the table would just kind of float in an ethereal fashion. Like sea foam gently rolling over sand. Cool, huh?

Still don’t think brown is a summer color? 😉

Other blue & brown posts on this site:
“Autumn Blues”
“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”

Other tablescapes with an Asian-inspired theme on this site:
“Peaceful Peonies”
“Mikasa Daylight”
“Mandarin Bling”
“Copper Zen”
“Morocco for Two”
“Year of the Rabbit”

I’m joining these fun link parties this week, and I hope you’ll come along!:
Jessica’s “A New Creation”
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!”

Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday”

Also check me out at BeBetsy.com!

Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve

This is my final post of 2012, hopefully just in time to provide a few ideas for your swingin’ New Year’s Eve celebration. I’m going to take a little time off over the next couple of weeks to enjoy my family and friends, get ready for tax season, prepare for my Spring tablescaping classes..and put away all the Christmas decor!!!

(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IMG_0025WMMy goal was to create a room with the sophisticated glitz and glamour of New York cabarets and nightclubs of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. I wanted a room that, if you allowed yourself to focus, you could almost hear The Incomparable Hildegarde, see The Rat Pack commanding all eyes with their boyish antics, feel the pulsing of the floor as the band plays, and taste the champagne as it overflows.

This is a tablescape for guys and dolls who appreciate a good time! So gentlemen, don your penguin suit (or your best Babalu-sleeved shirt) and Brylcreem. Ladies, slip into you sultry evening gown, lacy push-up bra, silky thigh high stockings, satin evening gloves, blood-red lipstick…and let’s party!!!

Table lengthwise & mulitple place setting collage

Single place settingWMTo achieve the swanky look I wanted, I started with a starched white full-length table linen. The chargers are mirrored rounds that reflect a lot of light. The Easterling “Majestic” china with its platinum rims always reminds me of a stylish gray morning suit. (Think David Beckham’s cravat and trousers at the recent royal wedding. Mmmmmm….David Beckham………………………….Ahem! Sorry. Zoned out for a second there! :-))

Flatware-Rim Shot collageThe J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware, while sleek and contemporary in its styling, works well with the place settings.

Napkin & Menu collageI created the menus on our home computer using a shimmery dark gray card stock for the backing. A simple silver brad on top and bottom reminds me of the buttons on a tuxedo shirt or snappy cuff links. (Uh oh, here come those thoughts of David Beckham again!!! ;-)) The white cotton napkin is starched to within an inch of its life, gently rolled inward from each end, and tucked neatly in an unconventional spot between the plate and charger.

Stemware collageGodinger “Chelsea” crystal stemware gleams on the table.

IMG_9879WMA sleek silver dinner bell rests at the hostess’s place setting at the head of the table.

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Mirror ball collage

Feather boa & votive candle collageThe long, luxurious centerpiece was created using multi-level silver Revere candlesticks as pedestals. On top are large mirror balls resembling the Times Square ball dropped in New York City every New Year’s Eve. (With the mirror balls, this would also make a great “Dancing With the Stars” finale watch party tablescape!) Snaking its way through the mirror ball stands and mercury votive holders is a flirty white feather boa. (Elton John called. He wants his wardrobe back! :-)) Additional candlesticks guard each end of the centerpiece with 15″ white candles to lend height, drama, and more ambient light.

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Buffet feathers & candle collageThe buffet behind the dining table is all aglow with more silver mercury glass votives and tall candlesticks. I wanted the buffet to be just as cool as the table, but complement it rather than compete. I filled 8″H mirrored bud vases with stark white goose feathers and biots. For added zing, I cut the individual “branches” of bling ornament sprays (seen whole in our Christmas tree HERE) and tucked them among the feathers. These arrangements remind me of the ostrich feather centerpieces used in swanky New York nightclubs like the Copacabana. (Uh oh…the Barry Manilow song just crept into my head and it’s NEVER gonna leave!!!)

Champagne Cart Collage

Feathers in champagne glasses collageThis is just a fun little touch on our vintage tea cart. Along with a bucket of fabulous pink champagne, a plate of caviar on toast points (because that’s how we roll on New Year’s Eve!), and the requisite noisemakers, are oversized champagne flutes filled with marabou feathers. I wanted to illuminate the feathers throughout. Problem was the LEDs that weighed no more than a good luck black-eyed pea wouldn’t hold up because the feathers were…let’s say it all together now…light as a feather!!! The lights sank to the bottom every time…but I still like the glowing effect. These would look great on the bar for a ritzy cocktail party or as table centerpieces!!!

China cabinet collageThe final touch is on the china cabinet where this beautiful crystal apéritif/digestif set (given to me by my Mom) is on display. The theme is continued here with a few strategically-placed (like a sexy cabaret dancer! ;-)) white ostrich feathers.

I thank you for spending a little time with me each week in 2012, and I wish you a safe and prosperous New Year. May 2013 bring you much love, joy and blessings!

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for New Year’s Eve:
Ringing in the New Year
White Hot
Winter Dinner
Little Black Dress
Peacock Pizzazz
Fete Noir et Gris

I will be joining The Tablescaper this Sunday for “Seasonal Sundays” where you can find all sorts of wonderful ideas for pepping up the season. Next week, as always, I’ll join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m., CST). I’m sure there will be lots and lots of fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescapes presented by my tablescaping colleagues around the world. You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

GET OUT AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999…
OR THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR!!! 🙂

Love’s Arrow

I’m not sure why, but I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for romance, and smoochin’, and huggin’, and all that stuff. I just don’t get very excited about the day set aside to celebrate it. Maybe because every day is Valentine’s Day around our house! 🙂 That being said, I still think it’s important to gussy up a table for your loved one if you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home, so here’s a “cute, cozy, easy to put together, budget-friendly table for two” as requested by blog reader Estella.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

IMG_2983WMThe color that always gets hearts beating is red♥♥♥! I started this table off with a full-length red linen topped by a quilted damask square.

Setting up by the fireplace seems to be both romantic and practical. On the romantic side, it symbolizes the love you have burning in your hearts for one another. Plus, everybody looks better in the glow of amber light! On the practical side, February is still chilly in many areas, so your tootsies will stay nice and warm. Furthermore, if your sweetheart gifts you with a toaster, or a lamp, or something equally disturbing that may as well have “Just Kick Me In the Crotch and Leave Me Down By the River to Die” written on it, you don’t have to get up to get rid of it…just toss it right into the fire! 😉 If he gives you something really crazy like a coupon to a weight loss center or Botox clinic, feel free to toss him in, too! Swish! Three points!

This place setting starts with a shiny silver charger topped with an Easterling “Majestic” dinner plate. A silver heart salad plate finishes off the stack, accompanied by Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware and International Silver “Royal Danish” flatware.

A white napkin is folded accordian-style and slipped into a silver napkin ring. I tucked old-fashioned pearl- and rhinestone-studded stick pins on either side of the napkin ring for a little added bling. The fully-blown red rose also has a little bling to make it stand out more. (Remember our discussion about the stupid gifts? Stick pins….I’m just sayin’! ;-))

More full-blown red roses are tucked into a bath of sparkly acrylic “ice” and water for the simple centerpiece that takes less than 10 minutes to assemble. The “ice” can be purchased at just about any arts & crafts store like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. (Click HERE to see another floral arrangement using acrylic “ice.”) A more budget-friendly flower choice (especially during February when the price of roses is sky-high!) that provides comparable impact would be fluffy red carnations.

A smattering of mercury glass votive holders add ambient light and give the “ice” in the centerpiece a little extra shimmer. If the fireplace is hot enough for you without the votives, consider using submersible lights in the “ice” instead. Submersible lights can be also purchased at an arts & crafts store or through your florist.

All kidding aside, I hope this helps in your planning, Estella. I’ll be back next week with another Valentine’s Day tablescape that has a few more bells & whistles. Meanwhile, I hope you will join me again this Thursday at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday. I’m sure there will be lots of Valentine tables on display from talented bloggers around the world!
♥♥♥

Other tablescapes on this site that would work well for Valentine’s Day:
Should Have Put a Ring On It

Chocolate Traditional
White Hot
Showered In Pink
Little Black Dress
Peonies & Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses

Coming Up Roses” 
Au Revoir
Platinum & Pink

Cranberry Christmas – Long Table

My cousin (no, not the weird one…the other one!) recently asked for formal Christmas tablescape ideas using cranberries as a part of the decor. Ask, and you shall receive! This table is shown in the Tuscan-style (long) form. Click HERE to see how the look of the same basic decor changes with a square table. (The 2nd look would also work quite well with a round table!)

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IMG_3361WMHere, two 6′ x 30″ oblong tables are set end-to-end to create a 12-ft. table. With the large amount of decorative detail, generously proportioned 13″ chargers, and increased amount of china and flatware, however, it only seats 8. Using the more common 12″ charger, smaller decorative elements, and eliminating the bread plate would free up space for up to 12 guests.

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The Christmas holidays are a time for over-the-top tablescapes that have a lush, luxurious feel to them. Using an additional charger can help achieve that look and feel. I like to remove the first one after the salad course and the second after the entrée. (Formal etiquette calls for removing all chargers before the entrée is served, but many guests enjoy the additional razamatazz. Depending on who I’m entertaining, it might stay or go!) For this place setting, a 13″ sparkly red charger (Target) is topped with a 12″ silverplate charger. Any plates with a formal holiday vibe will work. I used my trusty Noritake “Spectrum” dinner and salad plates with the simple, sleek platinum band.

A crisp white cotton napkin with a monogram or initial is always perfect for a formal setting. An icy crystal napkin ring from Z Gallerie helps to set this one off against the silver and white plates.

J.A. Henckels’ “Bellaserra” flatware has a beautiful mirrored finish that works well with the silver & white tablescape. A black-handled steak knife is added for use with the entrée.

IMG_3379WMCristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal stemware is always a nice choice. The diamond-shaped cut of this crystal mimics the cut of the Z Gallerie napkin ring.

Cranberries are wonderful for Christmastime decorating! They are relatively inexpensive (you can pick them up for as little as 99¢ a bag at Aldi’s or similar discount grocery stores), and they can be used in SO many ways. To dress them up, I am floating them in silver pedestal bowls with candles. (I used this pedestal bowl filled with rose petals for a wedding tablescape HERE.)

IMG_3366WMPlaced at strategic intervals down the table are three 27″ silverplate candlesticks with pillar candles. The candlesticks lend height to the table as well as ambient light at a higher level. The rose-filled silver julep cups placed at each person’s place setting work well as tabletop decor during the meal and as a nice take-home gift after dinner.

Ambient light at the lowest level is provided by silver mercury glass votive holders.

The red berry theme is extended with a berry-covered grapevine wreath over the mantel. The greenery on the wreath is the same used in the small julep arrangements on the table. Additional silver mercury glass votives flank the wreath.

So…if you have space for a 12-ft.+ table, this style works very well. (Two 8-ft. tables would require additional decorative pieces, but would be extra FABulous!!!) Of course, it requires a bit more decor because of its length, but it’s the same as doing two rounds. To see the squared version of this table which can also be done with a round, click HERE.

More tablescape designs on this site using long tables:
Oopsy Daisy!”
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn White Wedding
Get Me to the Church On Time
Daisy Crazy
Blue & White Family Picnic
Thanksgiving 2010
Hollywood Fright Night
Celebrate the Season
Black, White & Red All Over
Pretty In Pink
Love & Orchids”
Tented Green

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow
Tuscan Holiday

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! I am joining Susan and the other tablescapers from around our glorious world for Tablescape Thursday again this week. You’re invited to come along for the ride!

Fete Noir et Gris

 

I was so taken with the black and white components of last week’s table! So when I volunteered to host an intimate dinner for friends who are running off to New Orleans to get married, I thought I’d use those colors again, this time infused with silvery gray. (Seriously, though…do you really “run off to get married” in your 50s? I’m in my 50s, and it would be more like “leisurely strolling off”…or “limping off.” I actually added the silvery gray to complement our hair color!) 😉  This time the colors are paired with more upscale china, stemware, flatware and other decorative accoutrement. I hope you like it!

 

 

There’s just something about decorating with black and white that renders such a profound sense of elegance! Adding touches of gray or pewter or slate seem to make it that much more so.

 

 

My sister’s classic Noritake “Whitebrook” china is always a lovely start to conveying formality and tradition. The china is set atop a double layer of chargers – one beaded silver and the other a rhinestone-studded white. Against the black of the table linen, the dishes really stand out. My favorite International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling flatware always looks great on a formal dining table.

 

When setting a formal dining table, I tend to forego fancy napkin folds and just go with something fairly staid. Adding a sheer silver organza beneath the black adds a bit of flair. The clustered dragon tear napkin rings add a bit more shine without going too far overboard.

 

These “Bella” wine stems from Z Gallerie are fast becoming a new favorite! The top color reminds me of the color of mercury in the old maximum thermometers. Very sultry!

 

Each person’s place is marked with a faux mother-of-pearl and rhinestone frame.

 

 

 

Million star gypsophila (a.k.a. “baby’s breath”) makes an airy, elegant statement in this ornately carved silver floral vessel. Baby’s breath floral arrangements are really quite striking and very easy to assemble using floral foam to keep them well-hydrated. (See this silver piece used again at “Rhapsody In Blue.)

 

I found this fabulous “Josephine” table runner in velvety soft pewter at Z Gallerie. I love the gentle scrolling.

 

 

The table’s look is finished off with a couple of “lamps” which are actually tall silver candlesticks with ornately beaded shades from….drumroll!…Old Time Pottery!!!  The shade design elements complement the place card frames. The lamps are illuminated using LED votive candles on a follower. (Tip #20)

Other tablescapes on this site using baby’s breath:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Ideas For Throwing A Winter Dessert Party

This would also make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape!!!

I’m teaming up again with Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursdays. After perusing my photos, you’re invited to join us there!

Ringing in the New Year

The year 2010 had its ups and downs. As we close the book on the previous 12 months and look to the year ahead, I continue to be thankful for everything and everyone in this wonderful life God has given me.

 

I am SO glad to see 2010 behind us! It was with great pleasure that I set this last table to help ring in the new year.

I’m showing the table with lights on and candlelight only to demonstrate the effect of the mirror ball. (For some reason that effect is not visible in the photos with the lights turned down.) It was so cool to watch the shimmer on the table all evening when all the candles were lit!!! Kind of made me want to put on some Bee Gees and strut my stuff! 🙂

  Once again here I’m showing the photos in both “lights on” and “dimmed light” mode so you get the idea of the effect. On a white cotton table linen, a shiny silver charger topped with Noritake’s “Spectrum” platinum-rimmed china dinner plate. The flatware is “Bellaserra” stainless by J.A. Henckels, and the stemware is Mikasa’s Jamestown Platinum.

Simple white cotton napkins are made special with the addition of these fabulous jeweled napkin rings in hues of silver, platinum, pewter and slate.

To the right of each place setting, a menu adorned with a tiny rhinestone for a more glamorous effect.

To the left, a fun little noisemaker for the midnight revelry. (I intentionally chose these horns in silver and gold. I like to introduce a touch of surprise color into each tablescape when possible. Kicks it up a notch and keeps the tablescape from appearing boring! 🙂 )

This had to be one of the most simple but stunning floral centerpieces I’ve ever used! This is plain ol’ everyday tree fern sprayed with silver paint and doused with a bit of shimmer. I picked it up from my local florist. Amazingly easy, inexpensive, and fun…a contemporary twist to a traditional celebration! (Please note that the tapers used were metal case Paradise candles that do not burn down. I suggest using these whenever placing candlesticks near a floral arrangement or other flammable objects to avoid near tragedies/disasters like this.)

The floral piece sat atop a 13″ round mirror to double back the sparkle and shine of the tree fern and the mercury glass votives. I’m not always a fan of mirrors unless they’re oversized like these or an unusual shape or design.

These 20mm ornaments were the perfect simulation of and substitute for the traditional mirror ball drop! I simply plopped them atop 5″H Revere candlesticks. (I considered hanging them from the ceiling, but they’re a bit heavy and the thought of them dropping onto the table and shattering glass everywhere – like in THIS Thanksgiving disaster – during dinner terrified me!) To see these mirror balls used in another New Year’s Eve tablescape, click HERE.

I hope you and yours enjoyed a wildly exuberant and joyous (yet safe!) New Year!!!

HAPPY 2011, y’all!!! 🙂

Other New Year’s Eve tablescapes on this blog you might enjoy include:
Hooray For Vodka!
Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding
White Hot
Fete Noir et Gris

To kick off the new year, I am pleased to once again join Susan and my fellow tablescapers for Tablescape Thursday. After viewing my photos on the “Winter” tab, you might want to mosey on over to Susan’s place for a look-see at their creative designs! Happy New Year, one and all!