Picnic Ants

INSPIRATION: A tea towel/napkin with all the fun & whimsical elements of a summer picnic.

INSPIRATION: A tea towel/napkin with all the fun & whimsical elements of a summer picnic.

Today was the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury toeing the 100° line. The humidity was so stifling that, combined with the scorching heat, you could boil an egg  just by tossing it in the air. But that’s summer in Kansas City for you, and we intend to suck it up and party on!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - picnic table from the distance

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Full table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Full tabletopSome readers may recall a tablescape (Ants In My Pants Picnic) I did on this same picnic table along the walking trail in our subdivision awhile back. (HUGE thanks to neighbors Lynn & Barbara for their help on this one!!!) Some of those same elements are used here, but in a different way. For starters, rather than covering the table with the red & white checkered fabric, it is folded and serves as a runner. (Note to my Art of Tablescaping Students…this is a great example of what we discussed about saving money by changing up the look without changing all the pieces.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Centerpiece picnic ants collageThe main attraction is the Pied Piper-esque single-form line of metal ants down the center of the table. I bought the giant ones several summers ago at Hobby Lobby. The smaller ones were purchased at a wholesale place I frequent here in the Kansas City, Mo., area. As you will soon see, the parade of ants theme will carry out in other elements on the table. The checkered runner is topped with 3 watermelon slice placemats found in a clearance bin years ago.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Offset centerpiece picnic basket, fruits, flowers & Coleman lantern

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Picnic basket & poppies collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Picnic fruits collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Coleman lantern, cookies, condiment collagePart of the centerpiece is off-center on one end of the table which adds interest to the overall look. Centerpieces can be utilitarian like this one which includes the picnic basket (found in pristine condition at a local thrift store for just $7) filled with a tangle of red poppies, various vessels brimming with luscious summer fruits, a mound of peanut butter cookies on fun dessert plates, colorful condiment bottles, and a vintage Coleman lantern to light the area as afternoon fun rolls into evening. Notice another giant ant surveying the bowl of fruit. This detail visually connects the off-center part of the centerpiece to the elements in the center of the table, and this fun factor could possibly be the catalyst for kids choosing the healthier fruit option over the cookies. (Students…please recall our conversation about the importance of visual connectors.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - black faux bamboo flatwareThe place settings here are simple: a black dinner plate from Dollar Tree, a practically indestructible white Corelle salad plate, and a fun Pier 1 red & white checkered plate covered with ants to throw those rib bones on once they’re picked clean! (Kansas City is KNOWN for its fabulous barbeque, and no picnic is complete without a slab of meaty ribs!) Faux black bamboo flatware adds a touch of class to the setting, but fits right in with the natural vibe.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Mason jar of iced tead

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Mason jar collageMy Southern sisters will attest to the glory of sweet tea, and one of the easiest ways to sip it on a hot summer day is from an old-time Mason jar. Here the jars are dressed up a bit with a bit of earthy green raffia tied to place cards fashioned to complement the dessert plates, napkins and runner. Looks like my blog buddy Jamala from VivaLaVintage for Your Home has a seat at the table! If you’ve not visited Jamala’s blog, you really should check it out. She’s all about decorating with vintage & collectible items, and she has an uncanny knack for scouting unimaginably great bargains! Jamala waves her wand (very often that wand looks like a can of spray paint!) and turns the most practical items into fabulous!

Peeking out from behind the computer-generated place cards in a purely decorative capacity is a wooden watermelon slice napkin ring found at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago. (Students…remember our chat about unexpected elements…don’t be afraid to use things in unusual ways!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Watermelon & ants picnic napkinMy inspiration piece – a fun tea towel/napkin with vintage appeal from Tuesday Morning – really rounds out the place settings. The checkered design and trail of ants spelling out the word “Picnic” is an extension of the centerpiece runner and dessert plates. The slice of watermelon is a repeat of the runner, the Mason jar embellishment and summer’s signature fruit available in abundance for dessert.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Picnic Ants - Cooler, Pellegrino, grill collageStaying hydrated is an essential part of hot, hazy summer days in Kansas City. Make mine something a little special like ice-cold Pellegrino with a twist of lime!

Other posts on this site featuring off-center centerpieces:
Lemonade From Bill
Summer Luncheon for Two
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Planning In Purple
Hot Fun in the Summertime!
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Other posts on this site featuring a picnic setting:
Grill It Up!
Blue & White Family Picnic
Oopsy Daisy!
Ants in My Pants Picnic

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

Other posts on this site featuring checkered elements:
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Apple Green Luncheon
Blue & White Family Picnic
Grill It Up!
Ants in My Pants Picnic

If you want to see another REALLY cool picnic idea, pop over to my blog buddy Jenna’s site, The Painted Apron, to check out her “Portable Picnic for 2” post. I guarantee you’ll really like it! SO creative!

I am joining Christine over at Rustic & Refined again this week for “Table It” (live now) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (goes live at 9:00 a.m., CDT on Thursday). Join me, and I guarantee you’ll be able to find lots of summertime tablescaping inspiration!

 

Grill It Up!

INSPIRATION: BBQ Towel/Napkin, just $1 each from Dollar Tree

INSPIRATION: BBQ Towel/Napkin, just $1 each from Dollar Tree

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Full deck with buffet and grill

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Full table & buffetMemorial Day weekend, in addition to its primary purpose of paying tribute to our loved ones who have passed on, marks the unofficial start of Summer. Grilling and a picnic atmosphere are both a huge part of this time of year. We’re getting our Summer picnic table for 6 kicked off with a 90″ x 132″ economy white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com topped with a fun red & white checkered 60″ x 126″. These linens wash up really well, so no worries…slather on the bbq sauce!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Single place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Crock, napkin, flatware collageEach place setting begins with a basic black dinner plate from the Dollar Tree topped with a smoky red crock (I can just taste the baked beans now!) from T.J. Maxx/Home Goods. The white flatware is also from T.J. Maxx.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Mason jar collageMason jars – typical at many family gatherings I attended as a kid – have become a staple in farm chic entertaining in the past few years. Here the old-fashioned drinking vessels are accented with a fun black & white striped straw from Michael’s.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Colander of strawberriesWhat summertime picnic is complete with juicy, ripe strawberries? Try serving them up in something fun like this luscious red miniature colander from Old Time Pottery.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Water carafe collageA duo of inexpensive clear glass water carafes from Big Lots is set up on each end of the table. A slice of lemon is added to each to add a little color and flavor as well as to make the carafes an integral part of the centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - African violet collage“Ness’ Snow Cloud” African violets are presented in shiny red pails from Hobby Lobby and placed atop a Pottery Barn galvanized aluminum tray for a simple centerpiece.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Beverage & condiment table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Kabob platter, ant dishes collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Beverage tub, watermelon collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Sauce tray collageThe side table is set up with additional beverages iced down in a galvanized aluminum tub from Home Goods. A galvanized tin tray from Home Goods holds various sauces including two hometown favorites. The fun ant-covered plates are from Pier 1. Veggies for kabobs are served up on a cherry red Chantal serving dish.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Coleman lantern collageMy Dad – a farm boy-cum-business/civic leader – passed away last year, and while cleaning out the garage my Mom found his old Coleman lantern, thought to have been purchased in the late 1960s – early 1970s. As you can see, it saw some use in its heyday. It’s now a treasure for me as a reminder that “You can take Daddy out of country, but you can’t take the country out of Daddy.”

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Prep table for grilling

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Meat rub, marinade bowl, plastic tub collageThe grill master (or grill mistress, as it were!) has everything he/she needs including a porky little friend who ditched his chalkboard to hold the matches. The red plastic serving baskets are great for serving up ribs when lined with parchment paper!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Grill collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Grill It Up! - Apron, pot holder collageLet’s get those coals going!!!!!!

Other posts on this site suitable for Memorial Day weekend get-togethers:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes
Ants In My Pants Picnic
Black, White & Red All Over

Blue & White Family Picnic

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

I’ll be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week and linking up with BeBetsy.com, a terrific lifestyle site with loads of fabulous ideas from knowledgeable and talented contributors. You can also find lots of great ideas at a fun new blog party, “Table It!” over at Christine’s Rustic & Refined.

Here’s wishing you all a safe holiday weekend!

Ants in My Pants Picnic

I wanted to participate in Cuisine Kathleen’s “Good Earth” edition of “Let’s Dish!” this week, so I’m bringing back a post from way back in the day when I first started blogging. For those of you who have already seen it on this site’s “Summer” page, maybe a second visit will get you in the mood for summer. For those of you seeing it for the first time, I hope you enjoy it!

As much as we wish Mother Nature would take their pesky butts back, ants are a huge part of nature! As we celebrate Earth Week, though, I’ll cut ’em some slack. (Unless I see one in my house, and then he’ll be fertilizing the good earth!!!) A picnic under the trees is the perfect way to enjoy all that nature has to offer of the “Good Earth.”
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

In August, it’s still sweltering hot outside, but the retailers already have store aisles crammed with holiday decor from Halloween to Christmas. I am so not ready for that! I still want to play outside with my neighbors!

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A red & white checkered cloth lends a traditional look to this outdoor setting. I snatched up this piece of easy care poly-cotton fabric from a remnant table. My niece, sister, and Mom are all a whiz with a needle, but I can’t sew a stitch. So…I just tidy up the edges with a pair of my hubby’s surgical scissors and call it a day! Hey, after all…it’s a picnic! Rustic!

 What’s a picnic without lots of ice-cold, juicy, sun-ripened fruit for dessert? Delicious!

 The place settings stack up on this summer tablescape with black acrylic chargers from Hobby Lobby, white Corelle dinner plates and black salad plates from Wal-Mart, and the cutest little ant-covered top plates from Pier 1. Each person’s bottle of Coca-Cola is iced down in a red lacquered metal pail from Hobby Lobby. Napkins are from Bed Bath & Beyond, and the flatware is the Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” pattern from JC Penney.

 

IMG_2534WMAs the sun sets, pillar candles set inside oversized black lanterns provide a flicker of light to carry conversation into the evening hours.

 I bought these fun giant ants at Hobby Lobby a couple of seasons ago. When I see really cool stuff like that, I just have to buy it…even if I don’t use it for a season or two! This purchase really paid off in the end because it adds a bit of the surreal, which is always fun! Happy Dog Days, everyone!
I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!”. Stop on by anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT to see what other tablescapers have created to celebrate the Good Earth!

Oopsy Daisy!

Planning a summer luncheon? Hey…summer is NOT over yet! I’m hanging onto it for dear life! The proof is in this sunny yellow, green and white table that is perfect for a birthday luncheon, the girls getting together, or even a casual bridal luncheon or shower with a Gerbera daisy theme!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-OneEven with the hot August sun blazing overhead, a summer picnic on the deck is a perfect time to gather with friends.

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.comGot ugly or very generic outdoor tables like I do? Your most important table decor friend is a full-length white cloth that covers the top and legs with grace and style!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

There are no fresh flowers used on this table, but you don’t miss them at all with the profusion of Gerbera daisies peeking out from underneath clear glass plates! A triple stack of colorful placemats makes each place setting really stand out. Clear stemware goes great with the plates. All placemats and the plates are from Bed Bath & Beyond.

A maverick place setting like this calls for a fun twist on the flatware placement! The flatware is from TJ Maxx.

A fun napkin fold mimics the petals of the daisy. The napkins are from & Bed Bath Beyond.

Grass in rustic pots brings color, texture and movement to the table.

No money for fresh flowers and too early in the day for candles? Well, something has to make that centerpiece pop! I used my trusty 31″H clear glass cylinders paired with colorful paper parasols from  Hobby Lobby. Just plop ’em in! They look great and provide much-needed shade on a warm afternoon!

If you missed “Candle in the Wind” – my tribute table in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales – you can see it here. Beautiful fuchsia flowers, lots of silver…simple, but befitting the memory of a princess!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:

Tropicana
Daisy Crazy

Thanks for stopping in, and please join me as I visit Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!!!