“Let It Snow!”

Christmas Eve 2009 brought a thick blanket of snow to the Kansas City area. What better way to celebrate it than to bring a few snowflakes inside to the dining room tablescape?

 

 

 

Because I wanted to keep a little bit of a “woodland” look, I kept the table bare of linens to expose its grainy wood.

 

 

A shiny silver charger anchors platinum rimmed white Noritake “Spectrum” dinner plates, followed by a shimmering acrylic snowflake, and finally a white snowflake-laden salad plate from Pier 1. Mikasa‘s Jamestown Platinum stemware and heirloom silver flatware complete the setting. The centerpiece is made up of a large silver cake plateau topped with “snow-dusted” faux evergreens and lots of pillar candles.

 

Sometimes one napkin is simply not enough! Layering napkins – here a sheer silver organza from Pier 1 over crisp white cotton – gives a richer look. The rhinestone flecked napkin rings continue the snowflake trend.

 

I love these mirrored candlesticks from Pier 1 (2009 collection) used to elongate the centerpiece! Silver jingle bells rest on a mound of faux snow in modern crystal mini vases, and a 3-D glittery star work to complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

The buffet decor mimics that of the dining table with snowy faux greenery, pine cones, more jingle bells, and lots of sparkle. The glass Parisian decanter is filled with “snow” and greenery, and a length of brown satin ribbon literally “ties” the dining room in with decor in the foyer.

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

 

 

 

 

Dinner For the Ladies In Waiting

DINNER FOR THE LADIES IN WAITING
(a re-post from September 2010)

A cozy dinner for six to thank the bridesmaids for their friendship and support is a fancy affair. With so many flourishing young careers in motion, an intimate dinner was more convenient for all than a traditional bridal luncheon.
A white cotton linen is covered with a silver organza overlay for just the slightest bit of shimmer. Silver chargers are topped with Noritake “Whitebrook” dinner, salad and dessert plates with a bread plate to the left. Heirloom flatware and Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” water and wine glasses round out the look. The silver-on-silver design organza napkins have a simple silver napkin ring. Silver candlesticks hold simple white tapers.
The Noritake china has a delicate, very “wedding-like” white-on-white design.
The flowers, arranged in a cut crystal rose bowl, add color, texture and just the slightest bit of fragrance. This bouquet is composed mainly of lilies, hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace, and roses.
 Flutes filled with champagne are presented in a petal-filled silver gallery tray. The petals scattered are a repeat of flowers found in the table florals.
Cute individual luncheon-sized cakes are perfect for the occasion!

Easter in Pink & Grey

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

This past week or so I have been missing the rip, run and raucous roar of the years I spent as a professional wedding designer. Thank goodness I have this blog to purge those feelings because Lord knows my body could not go back to that kind of grueling, back-breaking (literally!), sleepless schedule.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it like 100 times before, but I feel compelled to say it again: I have the best neighbors anyone could ask for!!! I was working on this tablescape for my winter 2013  “Art of Tablescaping” class that I teach through MCC-Longview, and up pops Barbara with these FABULOUS napkins!!! Her gift made me reevaluate the table and want to add design elements that would give it a little more zing. So I tore the tablescape down and started over!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full dining roomThe table is covered in a beautiful 90″ x 132″ platinum pintuck tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. The diamond shape of the pintuck cloth fits right in with diamonds for a wedding!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full TableThis is a tablescape that – minus the napkins – could easily fit into any month of the year for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. For a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding reception, the napkins are spot on!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Place settingThe place setting begins with a 13″ silverplate charger. The china used here is Easterling “Majestic” that my Mom gave to me a few years back. It’s staid design of dove grey rimmed in platinum with a white center to break up the concentration of color seemed perfect.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Napkin collageEach place setting has one of Barbara’s sultry, shimmery, beautiful napkins topped with a Moravian star. To see other tablescapes with Barbara’s napkin designs, click HERE and HERE. For the tutorial on how to create them yourself, click HERE for the YouTube video or HERE and scroll down to Tablescape Tip #31 for a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: FlatwareInternational Silver “Royal Danish” flatware, another gift from my Mom, is paired with Fifth Avenue crystal steak knives.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Stemware - Jamestown PlatinumMikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is perfectly matched with the china.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Candlestick collageThe centerpiece is a mix of high and low with 29″ silver Revere candlesticks and multi-faceted candle holders in different shapes and sizes. I used rhinestone-studded wax pillars to add shine up high.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece faceted candle holders collageI gradually amassed this collection of faceted candle holders from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods over the years. Note how the glow of one of the votives on the table casts light beneath the rose ball. (To see another tablescape using some of these faceted votive and candle holders, click HERE for “Princess Pink Birthday”.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair with embellishment

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair ornament embellishmentThe dining chairs are covered with silver satin universal chair covers recently purchased from LinenTablecloth.com.  I love the way the so beautifully drape down the back of the chair! I used a fancy ornament hook to affix an embellishment of a pewter glass ball ornament, a clear glass ornament, and one of the Moravian stars which enhances the 3-D look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is dressed with a huge faux evergreen, pine cone and white orchid arrangement in a beautiful mercury glass pilsner vase. The height of the arrangement helps to bring balance to the tall candlesticks on the table. Other elements from the dining table are repeated here including the rhinestone-studded pillar candles, the faceted candle holders in various sizes and shapes, the rose balls, and the Moravian stars.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Decor on top of china cabinetThe top of the china cabinet also has a few elements repeated from the table and buffet. Faceted crown candle holders hold white rose balls.

Other wedding-related posts on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Bling Wedding”
“Roses in October”
“Showered in Pink”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”

“Autumn White Wedding”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Planning in Purple”
“Love & Orchids”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Dinner for the Ladies in Waiting”
“Tented Green!”

I’ll publish a fun, contemporary New Year’s Eve cocktail/dinner party post tomorrow that will  also be featured on Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!”. next Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST. Meanwhile, join me and other talented bloggers right now for fabulous Christmas and New Year’s Eve design ideas on Susan’s 276th edition of “Tablescape Thursday”!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Just as suddenly as I reappeared last week, I will disappear again after this week as I prepare to go under the knife on Friday. I am both terrified and relieved to have it finally happening. My shoulders have been the source of much pain and anguish for a long time now, and I’m ready to get the first one fixed. My understanding is that using my right arm will be all but impossible for at least 2 months, so I’ll be on the computer only when in the mood to hunt & peck with my left hand. I hope that you will once again forgive my spotty appearances as I go about the business of physical therapy on my way to recovery. I have several tablescapes that I created back in early Spring (including this one) in anticipation of this down time, and I will hopefully be able to post those before summer’s fast-approaching end.

INSPIRATION: The chic and quirky Holly Golightly enjoying a breakfast pastry and a cup of coffee outside the window of Tiffany's - new York

INSPIRATION: The chic and quirky Holly Golightly enjoying a breakfast pastry and a cup of coffee outside the window of Tiffany’s – New York. Source: Amazon.com

Yes, I know the Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme has been done and done and done again. I’m gonna take a pass at it, too, just for kicks. OK? I think it would make a really fun theme for a bridal shower, bridal luncheon, special ladies brunch, birthday brunch (especially a milestone birthday!), or even a mid-morning engagement party!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it and see details up close!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - full dining roomThe table is draped in a sleek black 90″ x 132″ tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com for the sophisticated look of the proverbial little black dress.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany'sThis rectangular dining table is set for 6, but would look just as great set on a longer rectangular table for multiple guests or even a round table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's place settingI kept each place setting sleek and simple. The white chargers are rimmed in rhinestones. (I wonder if they come with real diamonds at Tiffany’s? 😉 ) The china is very simply adorned Noritake “Spectrum”.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Menu collageThe custom-created menus are white paper on black and Tiffany blue card stock embellished with a small gemstone. I included an image of a tiara to mimic the one worn by Holly Golightly in this famous poster. Also notice the print on the menu. I chose two print fonts that closely match those on the poster!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Flatware, napkin, rim shot, stemware collageMikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware and International Silver “Royal Danish” flatware work well with the place setting. (Get it? Royal Danish flatware? As in Holly Golightly eating a Danish pastry for her breakfast at Tiffany’s??? 🙂 ) A sleek black napkin is folded twice lengthwise and tucked around the charger beneath the dinner plate.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Breakfast Pastry, Croissant collageWhat else to serve but breakfast pastries? That was Holly’s breakfast of choice!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - centerpieceA blinged out breakfast or brunch calls for a very creative, upscale, but still lighthearted centerpiece.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Hand collage I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Hand collage IIThe centerpiece is created using two identical black rectangular mirrors with tiers of rhinestones from Hobby Lobby. (Also used HERE in the post “Happy Birthday, Barf!”) Just as a jewelry store like Tiffany’s might, I used these black hand display pieces (Michael’s) holding jewelry from my own collection including a Tiffany bracelet and necklace. (TIP: If you’re a bride who is gifting her bridesmaids with a little something-something from Tiffany’s to wear in the wedding, this would be a fun way to display it during brunch and then let them know they can pick theirs off the display afterwards!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Roses, mirrored vase collageWhile promotional posters showed a red rose on Holly’s table, I decided to go with clusters of petite white roses in sleek mirrored vases. The arrangements are festooned with big, clunky bursts of bling.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Votive, runner corner collageHere you can better see the tiered mirror’s edge. Simple votive candles demurely reflect on each mirror.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Goodie bagsWhat’s a bridesmaid’s brunch without goodie bags??? 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Goodie bag collageThese Breakfast At Tiffany’s nylon bags were found at Michael’s in the fun stuff aisle! Each bag is adorned with lots of “pearls” spilling out along the side.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Tiffany's boxes, pearl bracelets, tennis bracelet collage

The buffet behind the dining table holds the goodie bags and displays fun things from Tiffany's that Holly might wear including a fabulous tiara, black shades, pearls, and those famous opera gloves - Rings, gloves, Tiffany pouch collageThe buffet behind the dining table holds the goodie bags and displays fun things that Holly might wear including Tiffany’s jewelry, a fabulous tiara, black shades, pearls, and those famous opera gloves.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany'sA little something extra to brighten up the space and make it very girly is a bust form in a little black dress and flirty black feather boa. (Thanks to my friend, Barbara, for the boa and the rhinestone-flecked gloves shown here!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - floral head

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Floral head bling, tiara collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Necklace collageI created a fun centerpiece using a bust form for a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon a couple of years ago. This is the same basic concept, but a little more playful. The floral head here has chunky bling shooting out of it and boasts another tiara. I created a replica of Holly’s famous pearl necklace using faux pearl strands from Hobby Lobby. I simply quadrupled them and tied them with a gossamer ribbon at the nape of the neck. I then added a huge brooch to the front of the necklace. Not exactly like Holly’s, but a fun play on it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Candelabra, bobeche, Tiffany logo collageThe promotional poster used as my inspiration piece shows Holly gazing wistfully into the Tiffany’s display window. Hanging in the window are beautiful bling-laden candlelight chandeliers. The play on that here is this 5-lite silver candelabra with bling bobeches.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Teacart spoons, cups, pastries collageCoffee and an assortment of breakfast pastries are served from the vintage tea cart in a corner of the room.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Tea cart box, brooch, Tiffany's logo collageWhat girl doesn’t suck all the air out of the room when she sees this famous blue box? 😉

As a parting gift, I leave you with my original idea for the bust form. It’s silly, really, but I created it in a weak moment and thought you might get a good laugh out of it.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - "Bee hive hairdo" collageIt was going to represent the “beehive hairdo” Holly wore. Get it? Bee hive? Lame, I know. I just covered a beehive in wired pearls and bling. Don’t hate! 🙂

OK…so that’s it. I’m outta here! See you after the snip-snip!

For more “blinged out” tablescapes on this site:
“Platinum & Pink Valentine”
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”
“Princess Pink Birthday”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Love’s Arrow”
“Peonies and Pearls”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Rhapsody in Blue”

I will be joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., CDT. I’ll also join Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting Thursday at 9:00 a.m., CDT. Come along if you’d like to get inspired by some really talented tablescapers!!! You can also find me over at BeBetsy.com!

Derby Day Dining

Last week I posted photos of the Kentucky Derby Buffet I created for my “Art of Tablescaping” students. This week I have the sit-down dinner version that uses a number of the same elements from that buffet table to demonstrate how various pieces can be used for either setting.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge!)

The same table in the same room is all dressed up for a slightly more formal sit-down meal. I used the same black floor-length linen to let the gleam of the silver and brightness of the red roses show best. The white china tones down the dark linens and flower, thus saving the table from looking too morose.

IMG_5196WM

I swapped out the more plentiful Arcoroc “Seabreeze” glass buffet plates for my sister’s very formal Noritake “Whitebrook” china. Derby Day is the time to pull out your finest china and silver, and this china is definitely treasured in our family. The china rests atop highly polished silverplate chargers.

IMG_5107WMThese same lettered napkins were displayed in a silver champagne bucket in the buffet version. They are now simply folded, placed beneath the dinner plate and allowed to hang so as to prominently show the initial. The white of the napkin helps to break up the sea of black linen.

IMG_5121WMThe same heirloom silver flatware pattern – last week placed head-to-toe at the start of the buffet table – is used.

Noritake “Spectrum” iced beverage glasses await the traditional Southern sweet tea. The same julep cups that surrounded the huge silver punch bowl on the buffet last week are now placed at each individual setting.

Each place setting gets its own salt & pepper shakers.

IMG_5132WM

IMG_5159WMLast week these riding boots (actually a Z Gallerie umbrella stand!) were up to their straps in French baguettes. This week, sitting atop an heirloom silver tray (used last week to display veggies), they spill over with lush red roses. The silver candlesticks flanking the urns on the buffet last week are now on the table. Again I used metal case Paradise candles to keep the look pristine and avoid wax spills on my linen.

Over on the buffet behind the table where the punch bowl and julep cups were displayed last week is a more subdued coffee set up. The red rose balls on oil-rubbed bronze urns from last week remain in place.

On the wall sconces are miniature versions of the larger buffet urns with horseshoes added to further tie them in with the Derby.

With just a few tweaks here and there you can go from buffet to sit-down, casual to formal without sacrificing style. While the horse was omitted from this setting (I’m sure no one would want to spend the night staring up his rump!), the Kentucky Derby feel is definitely still there. It’s semi-formal, but made less stuffy with the addition of the whimsical centerpiece.

Another table on this site that I think would just look fantastic for a Kentucky Derby celebration, “Roses in October”, can be found HERE. Although it is set up using white roses, a simple switch to red roses would make it just perfect! If you’d like to see another tablescape using red rose balls and bouquets, click HERE for “Should Have Put A Ring On It” or HERE for “Kentucky Derby Buffet”.

I’ll be skipping on over to Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch on Thursday anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT.

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

Wondrous Wheat!

I hope your Thanksgiving was one filled with love and laughter and lots of fabulous food! Ours certainly was, and I was thrilled to be surrounded by family and friends whose love I treasure.

With 28 tummies to fill, we had to set up in various locations around the house with a different theme in each area. The lower level had seating for the football enthusiasts, while the main level had a table for 10 in the living room and one for 6 in the dining room.  It is my understanding that wheat symbolizes prosperity and blessing. The dining room – with all the homemade breads and desserts on the buffet – seemed the perfect place to celebrate the fall harvest.

IMG_3130WMWhile black and creamy white may not be a traditional Thanksgiving decor combination, I decided to buck the system and go for it!

IMG_3171WMInspiration for this black and white tablescape came from my Royal Stafford “Herdsman” dinner plates. The rim is peppered with stems of wheat among the bounty of fruits and flowers. The braided rope rim of the charger imitates the design on the inner circle of the plate.

The black napkins are folded twice lengthwise then doubled over inside the silver napkin ring. I fanned out the bottom for a fuller look of this simple napkin fold.

IMG_3167WMKeeping with the very traditional look of the table – color scheme notwithstanding – I chose Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. The name “Jamestown” just evokes thoughts of colonial Virginia! (Fun fact: Jamestown celebrated their first Thanksgiving 401 years ago in 1610.)

IMG_3132WMOf course, Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware seemed absolutely right for this traditional Thanksgiving tablescape! (Hampton…yet another Virginia city!)

IMG_3127WMAn image of wheat on the menu furthers the theme. (Find recipes for the Drunken Peach Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, and Apple-Walnut Cake here or by clicking on “Recipes” tab above.)

IMG_3144WMThe centerpiece was kept simple with a few silver candlesticks and blackbeard wheat in square vases. The very center of the table was reserved for a silver bread basket filled with cornbread muffins and my sister’s fabulous yeast rolls.

IMG_3152WMThe buffet piece is a blackbeard wheatsheaf adorned with a simple black bow. No one was more surprised than I that it turned out as nice as it did…and didn’t fall over! 🙂

Thanksgiving 2011…out!

 

 

Happy Birthday, Barf!

You know how kids pick at each other and give each other a lot of grief, but then grow out of it in later years? All that applies to my sister and me…except the growing out of it part. I lovingly bestowed the nickname “Barf” on my big sister about 40 years ago, and it just kinda stuck. Barf this, Barf that, Barf the other….regardless of the name on her birth certificate, to me she is simply “Barf.”

Barf and her sweet friend, DeEtta, visited Kansas City a little over a week ago on their way to Columbia, Mo. Barf is an October baby and was on her way to an annual October babies celebration with other family & friends.  Because she was turning 100 or 150 or something like that on this birthday, she was pooped out from all the driving. So we held a jazzed up little “come-as-you-are” birthday dinner party at our house.

Everyone was dressed comfortably and casually, but I wanted to do something kind of swanky for the table. Barf and DeEtta had already traveled quite a distance from Minnesota and still had another two hours to drive after dinner to get to Columbia. I wanted the table to be something she would enjoy but that would also be easy to put together since I was feeling particularly lazy. So I went with spiffed up basic black.

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Silver metal chargers and Noritake “Spectrum” china are my “go to” pieces that take a lot of guesswork out of the whole thing.

IMG_2718WMBlack napkins folded into a neat little square with an orchid bloom for a shot of color.

The menu card has a photo of Barf at 6 months old. Wasn’t she a cutie patootie? (Speaking of patooties, I tried to cover hers a little here with my watermark! :-)) Creating these menus was my favorite part of the whole set-up!

I went with J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware…just because. 🙂

IMG_2732WMAnother great “go to” is my Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. I love it for its timeless beauty, its incredible versatility, and the way it feels in my hand. It’s perfect!

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I bought these cool triple-decker bling mirrors a while back at Hobby Lobby. Yes…Hobby Lobby! They’re very sturdy and reflect a lot of light. While they are meant to be hung on a wall, I decided they would make much better centerpiece trays. The neatly lined votive candles and 25″ metal case candles (much safer taper if you don’t want candlewax everywhere!!!) double back in the mirrors. My Dad was quite intrigued with the design.

Mirrored cylinders hold a mix of bright green cymbidium orchids, dusty miller (rescued from the back yard before the frost got to it!), and raw coffee bean clusters.

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I wanted something lush for a buffet piece that leaned toward fall without screaming it out loud. “Peacock White” flowering kale had both just the right color and texture I wanted mixed with the dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, and raw coffee beans. This heavy 4-light silver epergne (also seen here filled with mounds of baby’s breath at the “Princess Pink Birthday Party“) is a great buffet or centerpiece item, and it has a removable bowl for easy arranging and cleaning.

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

L to R: Mom, Me, Daddy, DeEtta, and the Birthday Girl…Barf!!!

I’ve done a lot of teasing here (as always, because what are sisters for? ;-)), but I really do love my sister. She’s a very warm, kind, giving person with a heart as big as all outdoors.  Yes, she’s weird and goofy…but she’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Barf! 🙂

Note: This would make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape, too!!!

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Roses In October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

As is always my distinct pleasure, I am joining Susan and the other talented tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Won’t you come along?

Giveaway & Roses in October

I miss my husband. He’s gone for a whole week to a conference, and I’m miserable without him. To make matters much, much worse….he’s a world away and our “official” wedding anniversary is today. I say “official” because we actually count from the day and time we met, May 3, 1991, 7:41 p.m. CDT. We were married in our hearts, even if we didn’t get Uncle Sam involved until 6-1/2 years later.

Ramon, you are everything to me. I love you with all my heart, and I always will. Our marriage vows are sacrosanct, and I thank God we finally found each other.

With that in mind, I created the table we would be sharing under the stars with special friends and family if you were here.
Happy 14th “Official” Anniversary, Ramon!
(Readers….HUGE giveaway surprise toward the end of this post!!!)

IMG_2515WMAlthough I love color, I have an affinity for clean, white table decor for personal wedding or anniversary celebrations. That’s the “old school” in me shining through. White for weddings is appropriate year-round and according to Billy Idol “It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding”, so white wedding anniversary dinner party tablescape it is! (This would also make a fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescape!!! Substitute red roses and petals, and this would be a fabulous table for a Kentucky Derby dinner party!!! Make ’em pink, and it’s great for Valentine’s Day!)
(Click here for more wedding-related tablescapes!)

On full-length white cotton linens are shiny silverplate chargers topped with one of the greatest bargains ever. My weekly pilgrimage to the thrift stores finally paid off after more than a year. I’ve never found anything good…ever! My luck changed a couple of weeks ago when I snatched up this pristine 32-pc. set of platinum-rimmed Noritake “Crestmont” china for….drum roll…$10.74!!! SO worth the wait!!!!!!!

IMG_2551WMThe menu…food I will lovingly prepare upon Ramon’s return home.

IMG_2563WMOf course, hemstitch linen napkins with our surname initial.

img_2540wm.jpgThe first flatware I bought for our home at an estate sale. (Note to Entertaining Women’s Cherry Kay and Bill at Affordable Accoutrements, Queen and King of Estate Sales…this is the only good thing I’ve ever found at an estate sale, but I’m not giving up!)

IMG_2510WMWedding crystal, Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum”, which complements about half of the formal china sets we own.

Who wouldn’t want a piece of the cake to take home for a midnight snack? Favor boxes adorned with white silk roses are perfect!

IMG_2518WMThe centerpiece is anchored with a frameless mirror from our old house that was headed to the trash pile before I rescued it. It’s the perfect size for these horizontally doubled 6-ft. oblong tables.

Small floral arrangements of white roses, orchids, ranunculus and waxflower in shiny silver tube vases anchor each corner. The profusion of votive candles (26 in all!) adds a lot of drama and is doubled back in the mirror. When it comes to tablescaping, candlelight and mirrors are my friends! 😉

The main centerpiece is a massive Two’s Company silverplate pedestal bowl filled with white rose petals. (I recommend piling something like Styrofoam popcorn on the bottom, then adding a layer of rose petals. Your floral bill will be quite a bit less, AND you don’t risk crushing & bruising the bottom-most layer of petals in case you want to use them to toss in the bath later.) This bowl measures 17-1/2″H and is a full 19″ wide which makes it perfect for all kinds of decorating possibilities like these:

Premiere centerpiece floral WM

 

Premiere centerpiece buffet WMWhich leads me to the really good part…

I own twenty of these beautiful silver pedestal bowls ($275 retail value). Even though the traditional gift for the 14th anniversary is ivory, to celebrate our “official” anniversary…I am giving one away!!!* If you’d like to have one, here are the rules for eligibility:

  1. Be or become a subscriber to this blog. (To become an official subscriber/follower, click on the “Sign Me Up!” button located in the upper far right-hand column of this page under BECOME A FOLLOWER. You will receive weekly design posts AND be officially entered for the drawing!)
  2. Leave a comment that let’s me know you’d like to have one. (Everyone is welcome to leave a comment, but I need to know you are interested to be eligible for the giveaway.)

That’s pretty much it. You have until October 18, 7:00 a.m. CDT to enter. I’ll have Ramon pick the winner’s name out of the bowl that morning before he leaves for work. Please be sure I have your email address so I can contact you! The winner will be announced on October 18.

Other tablescapes on this site with a mirrored centerpiece include:
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!

Please join me at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday to see what talented tablescapers around the world are up to this week!

*Winner must pay shipping, approximately $20 U.S. only
(overseas shipping costs TBD)