Bringing the Zing to Chinese Takeout 

Once again earlier this year I was a guest on the “Better Kansas City” show. Getting up, dressed, and out the door that early is a real challenge for me, but I really enjoy it every time. This day was particularly fun with tips on creating a tablescape that presents Chinese takeout like a boss! CLICK on the video below to watch the 2-1/2-minute clip from the show, and after that are a few still photos I was able to snap with my iPad. (Time is very short on the set prior to going live, so I’m lucky to squeeze in a few pics!)

 


When I set up these demonstration tables on the set, remember…they are probably more narrow than your typical dining room table by about 12″ or so. The demo table is 6-ft. in length, but only 30″ wide compared to our 42″ wide dining table at home. That being said, you’d have more center space for food, additional decor, or just blank real estate than what’s shown here.

 


Each place setting has a black acrylic square charger (Walmart) topped with an Asian-themed 222 Fifth square plate (“Mia Blossom”) and small rice bowl from Pier 1 Imports. Pier 1 is a terrific place to buy globally themed dishes and decor! If you don’t have one near you, their website is pretty easy to navigate. (Too tall for this television demo, but a vase or two with a simple arrangement of cherry blossoms would be perfect for this tablescape!!)

 


Not everyone is adept at using chopsticks, so as a courtesy to your guests you may want to add flatware such as this faux bamboo stainless. Use the wooden chopsticks typically provided by the restaurant, or consider investing in a pair of permanent ones like these stainless steel beauties resting on a black onyx holder from a local specialty store. The white miso spoons here are from Pier 1. The “Capri” porcelain spice cellars by Gallery Tabletops are from T.J. Maxx and are great for spices or sauces at individual place settings.

 


Each place setting has a little something extra in the way the bamboo fan favors and black napkins, folded to resemble a Chinese sash, are presented in a red silk takeout box from Pier 1.

 


Teapot and cups from World Market.

 


White sake set from World Market. I picked up the Chinese robe wine bottle cover at Tuesday Morning a couple of years ago.


As I pointed out on the show, sometimes food is just so beautiful you might consider using it as a centerpiece. While this sushi is just a pretty good fake for demonstration purposes, it represents the real thing which always abounds in color, form, and texture…perfect elements for a gorgeous centerpiece!

If you’d like to see more tablescapes with an Asian flair for Chinese New Year or anytime Chinese food presentation just needs a little gussying up, check out these posts:
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Chinese Takeout
Mum’s the Word/Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight (Design #2)
Float Like A Butterfly
Mandarin Bling
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Copper Zen

Summer Luncheon for Two

INSPIRATION: Another quilt created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Another quilt created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara. This table was easily assembled because everything on it pulls either color or pattern from this quilt!

 

The weather here in the Kansas City area continues to be a virtual sauna accompanied by strong, hot winds and occasional storms. To get out on the deck and create anything is next to impossible. As we go into this 4th of July weekend, though, I have a “dine-and-dash” luncheon (or breakfast…or brunch!) table for two that started with a little game of “I Spy” at my neighbors’ house. Barbara should know better by now than to let me in that front door! She lets me in, “I Spy” something cool (like this beautiful quilt!), I want it, and I’m outta there with it! 🙂
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Full tableIn windy weather like this, a quilt is just what’s needed if dining outdoors. It’s just heavy enough to stand up to those sudden gusts. This beautiful yellow and blue floral quilt is used as a topper over a buttery yellow cotton full-length tablecloth.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Napkin & flatware collageClean white dishes prominently stand out against the meandering jumble of gingham checks, vines, and jumbo roses in the quilted topper. A bright yellow napkin is presented in the “Lotus” fold with a yellow rosebud with Dusty Miller leaves nestled in its center. I don’t often use this vintage silverware, but its mix of wildflowers and roses is a near perfect match to the design of the quilt.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: glassware & coffee cupBright blue glassware was almost a must. Notice the design on the coffee cup…how it mimics the pattern of the wildflowers and vines in the quilt. (For my tablescaping students and for those of you new to tablescaping, look for subtleties like this to bring subliminal cohesiveness to the tabletop.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: Yellow rose florals and bee pitcher

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: White ceramic bird and shabby chic candlestick collageMuch like last week’s centerpiece, this one is placed off-center. This is a great option if (1) the elements of your centerpiece threaten to interfere with a clear visual line between those seated at the table, (2) your table is small or narrow, and/or (3) just for something a little different. Here, two olive green ceramic pitchers (chosen for how the color complements the green in the quilt) are filled with yellow and ivory roses along with tufts of Dusty Miller. An olive green distressed candlestick is topped with a white ceramic bird. (Students and newcomers to tablescaping, white birds are used here to tie in to the white dishes and break up the expanse of definitive color in the centerpiece.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: white ceramic bird salt & pepper shakersIn this photo you get a better “bird’s eye view” of the meandering vines noted above. See how they capture the same flow as the pattern on the coffee cup and on the decorative bird? It’s a very subtle thing, but something that appeals to the subconscious when determining why elements work together. The bird salt & pepper shakers complement the decorative bird on the candlestick and play into that famous Rule of Three. (Students, I KNOW you remember the Rule of Three!!!!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Summer Luncheon for Two: wicker chairI played with a couple of looks before proclaiming these wicker chairs the perfect foil to the country chic quilt. (Keep in mind the tone or theme or feel of the look you want to achieve, and then choose your accessories accordingly.)

I know you all have much to do to prepare for the upcoming 4th of July weekend, so stick a fork in me…I’m done! 🙂 I’ll be back after the holiday weekend with something I think you’ll really like…at least I HOPE you will! Thanks for stopping by, and let’s be safe out there!

Other tables with off-center centerpieces on this site:
Lemonade From Bill
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Planning in Purple

Other posts on this site using a quilted topper or runner(s):
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
My Sister’s Wedding China
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Love’s Arrow
Rhapsody in Blue

Other posts on this site with quilt or napkin creations by Barbara:
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Black Friday Luncheon
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

I’m partying this week with Christine over at Rustic Refined for her 8th installment of “Table It!” (started Monday) and with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (begins after 9:00 a.m., CDT on Thursday).

 

Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas

Over the next few days I will present 3 creations that use many of the same elements but have a different feel and target audience. We often worry about buying “too much stuff” (although that concept is TOTALLY foreign to the likes of me! 😉 ) and where to store it all. These next 3 posts will demonstrate how you can easily milk multiple tablescapes out of a few key pieces. This is, after all, a teaching blog…and I hope you’re able to glean some good ideas from this ongoing demonstration.
(Click on any photo once& then again to see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: A big bunch of multi-colored shiny metal doo-hickeys purchased at Pier 1 six or seven years ago.

INSPIRATION: A big bunch of multi-colored shiny metal doo-hickeys purchased at Pier 1 six or seven years ago.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Full dining roomThe use of multiple bright colors was a huge thing “back in the day.” The look kind of fell out of vogue 20+ years or so ago when white on white became the new craze. As usual, I’m bucking the system in favor of nostalgia with this tablescape that incorporates every color in the rainbow/Pantone color wheel! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Full table lengthwise

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Full table lengthwiseThe foundation of this table that was used as a teaching tool in my most recent “Art of Tablescaping” class is a bright red 90″ x 132″ tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. Nothing says Christmas like the color red, and I love this as an anchor color for the overall look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: china rim shot, flatware, napkin treatment

Oh, how I love to use gold at Christmastime! The use of a gold acrylic charger (Old Time Pottery), gold-tone flatware, and beautiful American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” china knocks a little wind out of brightly-colored whimsy’s sails. It dresses the table up a bit, gives it a little refinement while still letting the use of color take center stage. The napkin treatment is simply a 20″ x 20″ purple napkin from LinenTablecloth.com dressed with a contrasting red satin ribbon. See how the color invades the gold’s space but they still play nicely together?

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Stemware trio

Someone once asked me, “Why all the stemware on the table?” Well, I’ll give you the two-fold short answer on that one: I like to serve water (palate cleanser), some sort of tea or lemonade, and often a nice wine or champagne (because cocktail hour is never quite long enough) AND they just look so darn good!!! 🙂 The more sparkle, the better as captured here with deep gemstone colors juxtaposed against milky white with shiny gold detailing. The colored stems are from Pier 1 (9-10 years ago) and my Mom gave me the gorgeous white goblets that she had since the 1970s.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Gold metal place card holderI bought these neat gold metal Christmas tree place card holders a number of years ago at a wholesale clearance sale. See how the multi-colored sparklies look like lights? I knew one day these would fit right in with a table’s decor!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Pitcher designI have about 40 of these sparkly, jingly, wobbly metal sprigs of pure joy. For an upscale look, I simply bunched them together in the pitcher that matches the goblets. This is a good example of how using things en masse can add style. (Think how baby’s breath looks all limp and sad when there are only a couple of stems, but how it comes alive when used in a burst of snowy, showy goodness! Click HERE, HEREor HERE to see examples on this site of what I mean.) To bring the same show of color down closer to the table surface, I filled bowls with multi-colored Christmas balls. Simple, inexpensive.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Gold mercury glass votive holdersTo bring a little more shimmer to the table, gold mercury glass votive holders from The Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Buffet decor

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Coffee service tray

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Gold metal Christmas treesI always like to dress the buffet in decor that works with the table. I cannot for the life of me remember where I bought these contemporary gold metal trees, but I love ’em! Again, see how the sparkly adornments resemble lights on the tree. I chose these not only because of the color, but also because of the modern form. They are the perfect counterpart to the inspiration pieces!!! The American Atelier “Florentine Scroll” coffee service is set up on a lacquered gold tray from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Merry & Bright Multi-Color Christmas: Colored mercury glass votive holdersThe votive holders on the buffet boast beautiful, rich colors with a mercury glass lining and are from World Market 2 years ago. These photos don’t do adequate justice. The light reflected from these is spectacular!

I’ll be back in a few days with the 2nd in this series!

If you’d like to see additional Christmas tablescape ideas on this site:
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!!!

Don’t forget to visit Cuisine Kathleen’s weekly blog party “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” to get ideas from lots of other very talented bloggers from all around the globe!

Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape

I am all over the snowmen and glass cylinders this year! I pulled them out for “Winter Wonderland”  tablescaping class demonstrations and they never made it back into storage. Even after classes were over, they became a part of our Christmas 2012 decor.

Last week I posted “Checkered Christmas“, a table for four in the library in which I used a squatty clear glass cylinder to display a jaunty snowman for the centerpiece. This week, I am taking that concept a step further with another black, red & white tablescape that uses the same snowmen and lots of the different sized cylinders that are so versatile year round. Well, just take a look and see for yourself!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grant and Alycia Nichols)

IMG_9814WM

IMG_9837WMThis black, white & red table starts with two 6-ft. oblong tables kissed together vertically to create a luxuriously long Tuscan-style table for 12. Cheery red floor-length tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com yield that instantaneous holiday vibe. Note how cool the place settings look all lined up like Christmas nutcrackers! Holiday tablescaping is about whimsy and fantasy, so think about incorporating artistic touches hat will convey the magic of the season.

IMG_9817WMLast week’s table in the library featured round white chargers with black dinner plates. This week’s version flips the script with square black chargers and white dinner plates. The black against the expanse of red makes for a pretty dramatic look.

Napkin collageThe next bit of drama is introduced via the napkin. A simple black napkin is folded twice lengthwise and a length of wide red satin ribbon placed on top. I then looped a small red ornament onto a length of thin satin ribbon and tied it around the napkin to give it a cinched waist look. Tuck the ends beneath the plate and add a sprig of snow-frosted pine greenery to finish the look. The simple and inexpensive step of adding the holiday ornamentation and cinching the napkin kept the table from taking on a decidedly Asian-inspired look.

Flatware & menu collageLast week I liked the checkered pattern brought to the table via the linen and the snowmen’s scarves. This week, however, I kept the pattern a bit more subtle by creating a menu on my home computer with a black & white checkered backing. Using a ribbon hole punch that creates two evenly spaced vertical holes for threading, I tied it all together with a piece of thin red ribbon to complement the napkin treatment. Menus are a cost-effective (approximately 20¢ per menu including cost of colored ink) and easy way to not only let guests know what’s for dinner, but to give them something to take home as a memento of the evening. They are also a way to bring additional color and/or pattern to the table.

Sleek and simple Hampton Silversmith “Patriot – Mirror” flatware is used because of the squared off handle that works well with the square of the charger and dinner plate.

IMG_9517WMAs with last week’s tablescape, simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is used. Stemware needn’t always be expensive to look good!

Centerpiece cylinder collageThe same squatty glass cylinder used on last week’s table appears here, and this time he’s brought his posse! 🙂 Two smaller, thinner cylinders and two tall, slender ones have snowmen inside on a cloud of snow. The amount of pine greenery in each depends on the cylinder size. The small ones have a mere sprig of greenery, while the squatty original still has a long branch curled around the base inside. The tall ones are outfitted with long, full branches in an upright position. All are brightened with a few size-appropriate red ornaments. Lots of votive holders in a shape similar to that of the cylinders dot the table.

Ornament and snowman collageNote the black & white checkered scarf that mimics the design of the menus. On each end of the table is yet another small, squatty cylinder filled simply with “snow” and a cluster of shiny red ornaments. These complement the snowman cylinders without matching them to the letter.

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Fireplace & mantel collageThis is how the mantel looked before I decked it all out with bling and greenery for our personal Christmas decor. More streamlined, simple. Oversized red Christmas balls are placed on each end atop short black wrought iron stands. Smaller ornaments on stands and on the mantel are placed in between with a few votives. On the hearth are two rustic Z Gallerie black hurricane lanterns filled with assorted sizes of red ornaments.

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Tree collageA stovepipe hat tree topper works perfectly with the snowmen on the table! This was just for my tablescaping class. I later added more ornaments and a few snowmen to the tree for our personal decor which will stay up until January.

So…there you have it! A variation on a snowman theme! Many of the elements for a round and intimate table for 4 tweaked to create a long and lush table for 12. Kinda like Burger King, y’all…have it your way! 🙂

For more Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
plus NINE other tables on one page under the WINTER tab including “Frosty the Snowman” which demonstrates another fun way to use these snowmen!!!

If you would like to see another way to make glass cylinders really come to life on a table, check out the “Wedding” page. Scroll down to the 3rd post called “Love & Orchids“, and you’ll see how a variety of sizes are used.

I am happily skipping along to Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday). Join me! My blog buddies can really rock some holiday tablescapes!!!

All-American Seafood Boil

As hot as it is here in the Kansas City, MO (USA) area I could probably just sit a pot of cold water on the deck and drop the lobsters in to boil after about 5 minutes. It is CRAZY hot here with no relief in sight!!! For those readers like Suzy Q of At the Farmhouse and Carolyn of Desire Empire in Australia who are going into winter right now…please come get me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a serious lapse in good judgment yesterday morning and got out on the deck to set up this 4th of July tablescape that will NOT come back for “real life” next week if this heat keeps up. I’ll spend the 4th eating red, white & blue popsicles while sitting on the AC vent! (It’s getting lonely in the Costco cooler! :-))
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

A full-length white cotton tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com masks the ordinary folding table. We don’t subscribe to the newspaper, so instead of the usual seafood boil newspaper, the tablecloth is topped with a piece of red & white striped vinyl. The vinyl started out with a million folds in it, but 6 minutes in the dryer on the delicate cycle and a little smoothing knocked ’em right out. Using a decorative topper instead of newspaper makes it a little more upscale, and the stripes remind me of those that grace the U.S. flag. It cost just $5 at Home Goods, so I won’t be too upset if it gets damaged. The LinenTablecloth.com linens launder very easily, so no worries there.

Medium-tone rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning bring a natural element to the table. Simple white Corelle dinner plates are topped with fun M Studios salad plates with a bright red lobster motif from TJ Maxx. Nothing says “seaside” like lobster dishes! 🙂

For an Independence Day table, what other flatware are ya gonna use besides a design called “Patriot”? 😉 The dinner & salad forks are accompanied by a lobster pick from World Market to extract every last succulent morsel.

The cotton napkins – which are actually bandannas from Hobby Lobby – are folded in the same manner as a U.S. flag and placed on the diagonal edge of the square charger. My husband who is former Air Force showed me how to make the napkin fold. I got a huge lump in my throat thinking of how many times a flag has been folded in this manner to bestow upon a family whose loved one has perished at war.

Deep blue glass tumblers and clear water goblets from Old Time Pottery find their place at the table.

What’s a seafood boil without the requisite bucket? These red ones from Hobby Lobby are just the right size for individual servings, and a convenient handle makes it easy to carry from the buffet without getting burned.

Individual butter warmers like these from TJ Maxx are great not only for seafood meals but for warming sauces or apple butter for Sunday morning biscuits.

I like to get multiple uses out of things I buy, especially if they cost a lot of money. I used these Z Gallerie white lacquered lanterns for elevated pillar candles HERE. For this display, however, I simply unscrewed the piece that elevates the candle to make room for seashells and flags. Completely different look! Cheery white Gerbera daisies in white ceramic vases from Michael’s visually connect the lanterns.

Fun red, white and blue ceramic star bowls from Pier 1 are perfect for chowder. Cherry bomb red lobster crackers from World Market and crab mallets from Amazon.com will help unleash the delicious meat from the claws.

World Market did a wonderful job this year of providing lots of accessories for seafood dinners including these fun lobster bibs. The Hobby Lobby star-struck ceramic pitchers are ready to take on guests’ thirst.

I bought several of these cool wooden boats from Hobby Lobby several years ago, and they have been a part of many different decorating ventures. Brimming with mollusk shells, they are a really fun addition to the buffet table!

Ahoy, matey! Call guests to dinner with this very cool (and very loud!) Captain’s bell. I bought this one at Home Goods, and I can see it being used for a lot in the future! The string of wooden fish is one of the most fun props in my inventory. I bought it at a place called Premiere Gallery in Kansas City, MO that is now defunct. Boy, oh boy, did they ever have some wild stuff there! I really miss that place!

This tablescape would also be perfect for celebrating Labor Day, Veterans Day, or the homecoming of one of our brave veterans!

I hope it’s cool enough on the 4th to celebrate outside where you are! Whatever you do, please be careful, and have a great time!

Other tablescapes with a patriotic and/or nautical theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries

4th of July Coastal Style
American Royal Tablescape

Join me again this week for Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT. I’m sure my fellow bloggers will have lots of creative decorating ideas for your Independence Day celebration!

You can now find me at BeBetsy.com, too!! And please visit The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party” in support of our military!

Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon

Finally! After months of “entertaining drought” I finally got the chance to do something at home again!!! Thanks to two dear friends who so generously provided all the food and libations, I was able to host my most cherished annual
Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon.

This is always a very intimate event, but one of the very biggest in my heart as the same friends gather each year to celebrate the battle won for one of us.

Again this year we dined out on the deck, basking in the sunny warmth of a perfect 72 degree autumn day.

A generous layering of brown, pink and white linens is the starting point.
I chose to use an 85″ x 85″ square top layer over the round ones beneath to provide a little more visual interest.

 

 

Glossy silverplate chargers are topped with deep chocolate brown and white silver-rimmed “Delfina” china from Z Gallerie. (Click here and view “Just Us Girls” to see this china used in another pink, brown & white tablescape.)

Soft pink cotton napkins are fashioned into replicas of the much-recognized pink ribbon that is the international symbol for breast cancer awareness.

Godinger “Dublin” highball glasses are used to serve pink lemonade, while two Cristal D’arques goblets await wines served with the appetizer and entrée.

“Royal Danish” sterling silver flatware.

Pink organza bags of Good & Plenty licorice candies are a sweet treat for each guest.

I used an adjustable height bust form from my dressing room as the foundation for the centerpiece.
I chose to keep her uncovered so as to “expose” us all to breast cancer awareness.

A fragrant combination of fresh roses, hydrangea and Gerbera daisies along with some faux pink wisteria creates a dramatic “head” on the bust form centerpiece that symbolizes flowery, upbeat thoughts! (I wired together the flowers, then just removed the bust form’s cap and stuck the stems down the neck. Easy peasy!)

As many ladies do for luncheon, this bust form is adorned in a triple strand of pearls. The necklace peeks out from beneath a pink ribbon arranged to mimic the international symbol.

Clumps of fresh and faux flowers are arranged on a large silver tray at the bust form’s foot.

To bring a touch of autumn to the table, I bought 4 mini pumpkins from the local grocer (just $.50 each) and spray painted them in Krylon’s “Ballet Slipper.” After a day of drying, I painstakingly (and I do mean painstakingly!!! :-() blinged out the pumpkins by adding tiny pearlescent beads purchased at Hobby Lobby. I used clear Elmer’s Glue for those on top and a great little newly discovered product called Zap-A-Gap on the sides. (I strongly recommend wearing gloves when working with this stuff. Even nail polish remover wouldn’t get it off my fingers!!!)

A small side table dressed in pure white linen offered sweet pink lemonade on a silver tray and two kinds of chocolate dessert cookies on silver beaded edge pedestal trays. A diminutive bouquet of pink roses and a Gerbera daisy was arranged in a tiny Mikasa “Petit Points” crystal vase.

After the luncheon, each guest went home with a pumpkin and this note to remind her to get that all-important mammogram. Additional bling pumpkins were delivered a few days later to beloved neighbors.

Please be sure to schedule that yearly mammogram, ladies! (Guys, encourage the women in your life to go! And as for you fellas, uh….prostate check!!!) It could be – as with my friend who was diagnosed early – a true matter of life and death.
Choose life. Get that mammogram!

More tablescapes on this site using shades of pink that could serve to honor Breast Cancer survivors:
Showered in Pink
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Pleasant Under Glassgo to page & scroll down
Au Revoirgo to page & scroll down
Coming Up Rosesgo to page & scroll down
Just Us Girls
Tea Rosesgo to page & scroll down
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Pink Plaid & Posies
Peonies & Pearls
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pretty In Pinkgo to page & scroll down
Peony Power

Join us, won’t you, for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and Bev’s “Pink Saturday” at How Sweet the Sound! And don’t forget to check us out on BeBetsy.com!!

Blessings, thanks, peace & love to Liz at Infuse With Liz
for helping me to spread the word!

Blushing Bridal Shower

I want to say a great big THANK YOU to all of the people who have sent emails requesting specific ideas for upcoming events! While I’m not able to do pictorials on each and every one, I hope the emails and photos I’m able to send to you are of help. Keep ’em comin’! Right now is a great time since our personal social calendar has slowed a bit!

Meanwhile, I have created a very special idea table for a very special occasion. In honor of the blushing bride, her maid-of-honor requested ideas for a do-it-yourself table that could easily work with the existing dinnerware and other set-up items provided by the venue. To get an idea of what that could look like, I set up a tablescape depicting an easy DIY pink and white wedding shower/luncheon. A huge shout out to Cindy King at The Stanley Historic Event Space in downtown Lee’s Summit, Mo., for allowing us to come in and use her beautiful space for our demo table.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The maid-of-honor wants all 24 guests to sit at a single table, so we put two 6-ft. tables end-to-end and draped them with floor length white linens. This demonstration seats 12, so simply double it. I recommend the use of floor length linens whenever possible for “dressy” events. When entertaining at home, you can get away with lap length, although it’s nice to go all the way to the floor if you can. Affordable floor length linens in many colors and sizes can be purchased at online stores such as Linen Tablecloth.com. (Beware, though…the customer service at LinenTablecloth.com sucks!)

Like The Stanley, many venues have soaring ceilings. Unlike The Stanley, however, not all venues’ ceilings look the greatest. To “fill up the dead space” without overwhelming the table, try using a tall, airy centerpiece as demonstrated in these 20″H white glass vases. So as not to deliberately draw attention to the unattractive ceiling, though, do not exceed half the height to the ceiling for your centerpiece. The idea is to psychologically cut the eye’s interest off at the top of the arrangement. Using branches like fresh curly willow, which is both popular and easily obtained, keeps the look light and see-through. (Another example of this is seen here.) This is also a good place to add touches of the prevailing color. Again, a few branches with blooms dispersed amongst the curly willow will easily and inexpensively achieve that goal.  You’ll also want to bring color closer to the table which can be achieved by using smaller vases of the same color with compact bouquets. In this instance, we used pink sweetheart roses.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

If your venue has windows, carry the flavor of the table to those windows with additional bouquets. Depending on the look you want, use either short and compact bouquets as shown above to achieve this more demure look or, for a more dramatic feel, taller arrangements that have the same wispiness as the tall ones on the table. Displaying arrangements in the windows gives guests a little hint of what’s to come as they approach the building. Just be careful not to totally obscure the view. That’s part of the charm and attraction of a room with a view!

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

 For a clean, classic look, it’s all about repetition. With this particular look, everything must be lined up perfectly so that photos present the table in its best light. See here about measuring.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Most venues provide as a part of their package either round or oblong dining tables with basic white, black or ivory linens. Not all venues provide floor length as a standard, but can provide them with an upcharge. White plates – usually round, but sometimes square in these modern times – are also a staple, as is plain flatware. To make the most of it, work with the colors provided by adding lots of a complementary color of your choice. Here, pink is the bride’s signature color. It is repeated in the florals, the napkins (for which a nominal upcharge of about $1.50 would likely be applied), and the menus for maximum punch. The napkin fold here is kept simple, across the plate and uniformly dropping over the side. Although this fold is simple, a ladies’ luncheon is the perfect time to experiment with fun or lavish styles.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Standard clear glass stemware is also a staple at most venues. Not to despair…as long as it has a classic shape, it will have plenty of appeal!

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

The oblong table used by most venues are only 30″ wide, so space is at a premium. To make the most of the available real estate, try combining your menu and place card as seen above and place it on the plate. DIYers can create something on your home computer or use pre-made note cards. The pink floral theme is continued on the front of this card in the shape of a heart.

Photo by Sheri L. Grant

To avoid monotony, add an unexpected but coordinating color in either tiny bits or in one big wallop. Here, a cake plate stacked high with bright green Granny Smith apples in the dead center of the table does the trick. Decorating with fruit is an easy and cost effective way to add color, texture and contrasting shapes to your tablescape.

I hope this helps! Pink and white wedding decor is my all-time favorite, so this was fun to do. Best wishes for a magnificent bridal shower! More tablescapes using curly willow on this site:
Copper Zen
Welcome Back, Joel
Autumn Blues

And the Winner is…!

As a kid growing up and then as an adult on into my 40s and 50s, I can’t remember ever missing a presentation of the Grammys. Come what may, I’d park myself squarely in front of the television set, ready to “ooh!” and “aah!” at all the luminaries in attendance. I knew every word to every song and would – a la Beatles-first-come-to-America – scream and cry with joy whenever a cutie pie took the stage. It was all so magical. And then came the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, and I was nowhere to be found. I didn’t even DVR it. What’s the point? I have no idea who 90% of the people are, I find many of the outfits abhorring, I took the antidote for “Bieber Fever” before it became an epidemic, I’m not gaga for Gaga, Nelly’s “It’s Getting Hot In Here” means something completely different to a menopausal woman like me, and most of the “music” just sounds like a train wreck to my ears.

I set this vignette up with the seating at the Golden Globe Awards in mind. The guests all enjoy dinner at a beautifully set table and then remain seated there for the awards program. For an occasion such as watching The Grammys, I think it’s perfectly appropriate to set the table up near the television in the living room or family room. Guests can then remain seated at the table for the show or retreat to a nearby sofa.

 

 

I started with a black floor-length linen. A red table runner mimics the red carpet that celebrities walk prior to the broadcast. Heavy glass gold-leafed chargers anchor the place setting. My sister-in-law Zatina’s whimsical black and white dinner plates are rimmed with piano keys, and the salad plates are dotted with various musical instruments tumbling across a meandering gold staff. Gold flatware shines against the black linen.

Gold painted Christmas ornaments in the shape of musical notes are used to further “jazz up” the place setting. They stand up easily in the recesses of the napkin fold.

I borrowed a couple of ideas from a table I created for an at-home event a few years back. One of those ideas was martini tasting during the appetizer and/or salad course(s). Cristal is often served at fancy awards dinners like the Grammys, but jet-setters might enjoy something a little different like this. Since each glass only holds about 2 ounces, guests are still lucid enough to enjoy the rest of the evening!

This is another idea I recreated from an at-home event we hosted a few years back. Each guest’s menu was placed in an envelope as if its contents held the name of the winner. Upon opening the envelope to retrieve the menu, the “surprise” was little musical note confetti. I made these menus on our home computer, affixing a red strip of paper across the top of each to again resemble the red carpet.

 

Finally, the centerpiece. I wanted to do something that was easy, inexpensive, and that created an ambience fit for a star. Nothing says “ambience” like candlelight, and by simply floating candles in glass cylinders at different heights and adding a few votives, I think the mission was accomplished.

This was a fun “idea” tablescape to do! Thanks again to my sister-in-law, Zatina, who presented me with the challenge. I’ll give you your dishes back. I promise! 😉  I hope this table will serve as inspiration for future parties (Grammy night, early supper before the symphony, late dinner after a concert, musical tablescape, etc.).

Rock on, Zatina! I hope you like it!

Other Black & Red tablescapes on this site include:
Little Black Dress
Year of the Rabbit 辛卯

This week, as I proudly do every week, I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. After checking out the photos from my Grammy Night table, boogie on over to Susan’s place to see the work of many talented tablescapers from around the globe.

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!

Hollywood Fright Night

Who says just because you’ve passed on to “the other side” that you can’t dine in luxury?

Join these legendary ladies of Hollywood’s most spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat, wet-your-pants movies for a ghoulish yet stylish midnight supper. They’re just dying to have you for dinner…literally!!! Among the once shining stars on the guest list: Carrie White (Carrie, 1976), Regan Macneil (The Exorcist, 1973), Annie Wilkes (Misery, 1990), Kayako Saeki (The Grudge, 2004; The Grudge II, 2006 and The Grudge III, 2009), Baby Jane Hudson and Blanche Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, 1962), Peyton Flanders (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, 1992), Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard, 1950), and the elusive Mrs. Bates (Psycho, 1960).

No graveyard soiree for these former stars of stage and screen!

 

Because mystery men from their Hollywood heydays have fresh flowers delivered to their graves each week, there are plenty to decorate the table. Because I learned my lesson from the fiery centerpiece disaster on a windy night last month AND because the ladies get enough real fire in hell (we assume that’s where all these dastardly divas are spending eternity!), I used LED candles all around.

 

 

For each special lady, a black napkin folded into the shape of a clutch bag with a carnation embellishment. Of course, nothing but silver and our best crystal will do!

 

Creepy crawly friends check out the table arrangements.

 

Two gnarled branches of a manzanita tree grace the center of the table with gleaming silver candlesticks, cut crystal votive holders, and an array of cut crystal vases filled with pink carnations and roses.

 

Oh, no! There’s a big bloodsucking bat coming toward you and a snake in the branches!!! A couple of the ladies must have brought their agents along!

 

Ooooh! And there’s a sneaky spider. Another lady must have brought her publicist! The mouse is surely her long-suffering but faithful assistant!

 

 

Carrie is present in the form of a skull, still wearing her prized prom queen tiara. The bloody “brains & spinal tissue” oozing from her neck is fashioned from fresh red cockscomb (celosia argentea, also often referred to as Brain Celosia.)

 

Hey!  How did this guy from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” crash the party???

 

The view from Carrie’s seat of all the candles in pitch darkness.

 

 

The view looking up from hell. 🙂 See the eerie full moon above?

Other creepy tablescapes on this site:
Serpents & Skullduggery
Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast