Mardi Gras Madness – 2013

This post is SO appropriately named. I had a whale of a time photographing Mardi Gras colors with a dark, icky sky raining on my parade. The purples are probably going to weird you out, but just throw on a pair of shades and hang in there with me, will ya?! That said, Fat Tuesday 2013 is just a few days away and I wanted to share with you a quick look at where we’ll be partying that day. I can’t wait to get started cooking!!!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

IF

IFThere’s something I’d like to point out if you hadn’t noticed about this table: There’s no centerpiece of any kind! That’s right! None…zero…zilch…nada! The 2 spots where decor would have otherwise gone will be occupied with my version of King’s Cake and a plate of French bread. Here’s the cool thing, though…the absence of a centerpiece is not readily noticeable because of the way the table is set! The “centerpieces” are happily hanging out back there on the hearth.

IF

IFEach place setting starts with a gold charger which is topped with a clear glass dinner plate and a green glass salad plate. What differentiates each setting is the purple, green, or gold mirrored “disco ball.”

Flatware, gold disco ball, green horn collageGold flatware rounds out the place setting, and a colorful noisemaker rests on the charger. It’s Fat Tuesday. There will be lots of noise going on in here!!!

Stemware, napkin, beads collageThe napkins are folded to resemble the fleur de lis associated with New Orleans and the Mardi Gras season. (It IS a season there in “Nawlins”…not just a day!”) I used this same Pier 1 stemware for one a 2011 Mardi Gras table, “Mardi Gras Mojo” and a 2011 St. Patrick’s Day table, “Upscale Irish”. I really like the gold band around the top.

Feather arrangement collageThe background decor uses the same glittered feathers used for the “Mardi Gras Mojo” table as well as the purple, green & gold cords used on the chairs for that post. The 39″ purple glass Vidrios San Miguel vases are from Home Goods.

Mantel collageThe mantel is dressed up a little with gold mercury glass votives.

I want to wish my friends in the Northeastern part of the U.S. a safe weekend as the Nor’easter moves in tonight. Hunker down and stay warm!

More posts on this site for Mardi Gras:
“Mardi Gras Mojo”
“Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!”
“Mardi Gras Lite”
“Peacock Pizzazz”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”

Have a great Fat Tuesday, everyone!

Mardi Gras Lite

Fat Tuesday in celebration of Mardi Gras 2012 is just about a week away now!!! Problem is, the term “Fat Tuesday” probably has my photograph posted next to it on Wikipedia. I have been bad, bad, bad, bad, bad the last……oh, let’s say 10 years to be honest. I quit exercising every day but continued to shovel in the food and drink despite the ever-expanding hips, thighs, belly and “Oprah arms” waving back at me in the mirror.

This year, instead of the tower of fried catfish, vat of jambalaya, shrimp étouffé, hush puppies, King’s cake and hurricanes I’ve routinely enjoyed in the past, I’m pledging to lighten up. To that end, I have also created a Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras tablescape “lite”…an upscale, sophisticated, pared down version of the more decadent Mardi Gras style to which I am accustomed and hold so dear.

The traditional hues of purple, green, and gold will still be there in all their glory…just not as over-the top in their presentation. This table might work for those who want the essence of Mardi Gras without the whole “Swing from the balcony and show me your —-!!!” feel. 🙂 (In-laws, bosses or clergy invited for dinner might appreciate the less bawdy tone of it!)

I’ve never used a royal purple table linen for any occasion, but this year it lands on the table as the base of the tablescape. Dual chargers in a gold square and purple cobblestone round cradle a clear glass dinner plate and green glass salad plate, thus incorporating all the traditional colors.

A royal purple cotton napkin is cinched with a flirty bangle napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Goldtone flatware works well with the place setting.

I was so pleased to see that I had stemware of a similar shape in purple (TJ Maxx), green (Dollar Tree), and gold (World Market).

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. It was totally my husband’s -who fancies himself “The Tablescape Whisperer” – idea to include the long strands of beads. I resisted, thinking it would be way too cliché to have bundles of them down the center of the table. Plus, I whined, it will take away from the clean lines! We compromised, and I ended up arranging them in this quieter “grid” that frames each place setting as well as the centerpiece elements. Purple, green, and gold glass vases hold simply-arranged royal purple calla lilies. Finishing out the centerpiece are clusters of Mardi Gras “disco balls” that catch the light.


The buffet in back of the table is also relatively staid with a single, albeit oversized, royal purple Vidrios San Miguel recycled glass vase stuffed with an arrangement of graduated purple calla lilies. Using a single piece in a dramatic size and color negates the need for lots of little pieces all over the buffet top. Purple and gold glass votives dot the buffet’s edge and add to the overall ambiance in the room.

I don’t think they make gumbo-flavored rice cakes, so I’ll have to come up with something that will be healthy, filling and tasty without sending me into carb/fat/sodium/sugar overload. Yeah, I know…good luck with that! 🙂 New plan: Stick with the old eating plan, but eat it at the pared down table! Love it!

Please join me for Tablescape Thursday again this week to see how other tablescapers from around the globe are decorating for and celebrating Mardi Gras!
Laissez bon temps rouler, y‘all!!!

To see other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Bienvenue! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
(Welcome! Let the good times roll!!!)

We will be shakin’ our bon-bon and having a grand ol’ time in celebration of Fat Tuesday tonight! Our trusty butler, Geoffrey, even plans to get in on the fun which is so against his staid British upbringing! 🙂

I’ve been busy all morning preparing a slightly more formal table than the way we celebrated over the weekend. The same amount of debauchery, however, is expected as for any Mardi Gras celebration!


I elected to allow the natural wood of the dining table anchor the setting. Over the bare wood I crisscrossed lengths of shimmering purple, green & gold netting.


Each place setting  started with a deep purple cobbled charger from Burlington. The china was purchased several years ago at Pier 1. Add gold toned flatware and my trusty Godinger “Chelsea” collection stemware.


Purple gemstone napkin rings from Z Gallerie hug the sheer organza Pier 1 napkins. Here you are better able to see the cobbled texture of the chargers.


The centerpiece is made up of several pieces. First, in a Godinger “Dublin” hurricane, is a mass of free-flowing fresh greenery. I wanted a kind of “messy” look to play off of the more formally arranged carnations beneath it.


Clusters of beautifully fragrant royal purple carnations rest in diminiutive crystal vases.


At each end of the dining table are Godinger “Dublin” cut crystal candle holders.


Graceful purple birds with soft green bellies and long, sweeping tails perch high above each gold candlestick. The birds were purchased wholesale many years ago, but this is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to use them.

One of my favorite parts of decorating is the chance to create something new by combining various elements. The very boxy gold-toned candlesticks are softened by the addition of these bobeches dripping in crystals.


The buffet area is the perfect place to extend the festivities from the dining table. Purple, green & gold mirror balls stretch the length of the buffet with a strand of the same colored beaded garland. On one end of the buffet, a Harlequin doll stands guard over the assorted candies in cut crystal containers.


On the opposite end, a mini bar of soul-satisfying bourbon, scotch and brandy in cut crystal vessels awaits thirsty guests along with fun feathered masks.


I don’t much care for store-bought King’s cake, so I am substituting these lucious homebaked cinnamon rolls. The smell of cinnamon wafting through the house is wonderful!!!


This Beverly Clark cake server with the regal crown on the end is the perfect utensil for cutting and serving the King’s cake!

I didn’t create menu cards for our buffet this evening, but we will dine on a traditional gumbo starter followed by fried catfish, red beans & rice, candied sweet potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. After all, that’s what Fat Tuesday is all about! I wish you and yours a joyous and festive one!

Other Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday tablescapes on this site:
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Mojo
“Mardi Gras Madness”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”

 In the browsing mood? I hope you will take the time to visit Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!

Mardi Gras Mojo!

Poor, sad, pitiful me. I lost my Mojo a couple of months back. I was moping around, sleeping too much, couldn’t concentrate, no pep in my step. To the rescue: My good friend, Rene! The postman delivered a box FULL of Mojo straight from her door to mine: What seemed like hundreds of little curled strips of paper with the word “MOJO” in various colors! What a clever pick me up!!! So to that end, I dedicate our Mardi Gras tablescape from this past weekend to my sweet friend, Rene. Thanks for helping me get me Mojo back!

 With just four of us to celebrate the weekend before Fat Tuesday, the space in front of the fireplace seemed just right. I wanted to have as much sparkle and shine and decadence as possible for this tiny table to make it really stand out. I started with these gold fleur de lis chargers I bought at Tuesday Morning 10+ years ago. They don’t get much use, but they sure are fun! To allow the fleur de lis design to stand out, I chose clear dinner plates and see-through green salad plates. Of course, goldtone flatware was in order.

Keeping with the standard Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold, I chose purple stemware with gold embellishment for the water glass and a brilliant emerald green wine glass, both purchased from Pier 1 about 7 or 8 years ago. The clear stems give them a cohesive look.

Cotton napkins in a rich aubergine are gathered with these fabulous jewled napkin rings from Z Gallerie. Hard to tell by the picture here, but they have a fabulous color-on-color Harlequin design.

I bought these painted Harlequin ceramic masks from the clearance bin at Tuesday Morning about ten years ago.

Ah! My motivation! They make a perfect little embellishment at each place setting!

Inexpensive multi-colored sequinned fabric works great as a table topper over a deep green full-length linen.

Something kind of fun was to use these sturdy iron chairs loaded down with fun Mardi Gras-inspired decor. Each chair received a beaded seat pillow, purple for the gentlemen and gold (of course!) for the ladies!

These votive holders are covered in purple feathers (yes, feathers!) and finished off with a band of pretty beads at the top.

So here’s a lesson in “I don’t have any extra money to spare but need the right color vase”101. I took a clear glass cylinder and gently mounded yards of shimmering purple organza into it. I LOVE the effect! It seems to give the vase movement and depth as well as the intended color change. A 6-ft. length of purple, green & gold bead garland drapes from the top of the vase, tucked just inside the rim, all the way down into a pool of Mardi Gras beads.

I’ve pulled back the feathers to better expose the Harlequin ornament (a 25 cent after-Christmas purchase from Tuesday Morning) that merrily dances on the side of the centerpiece.

The crown of the centerpiece is this exquisite profusion of purple, green and gold glittered feathers. (When there’s no money in the budget for flowers, feathers are a great stand-in!) I just started tucking them in, and the end result was what looks to me like one of those Sunday-go-to-meeting hats some of the fancy  ladies wear!

Our meal for this occasion was a shrimp boil. I had something completely different planned and already printed on the menus, but our dishwasher went on the fritz a few hours before our guests arrived. It was then a choice to either use (and have to wash by hand) 5 or 6 pots for the original menu or just switch to the one-pot-Wonder. I think I made the right choice!

Have a Fabulous Fat Tuesday, everyone!
Other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
“Mardi Gras Lite”
“Mardi Gras Madness”
“Celebrate Mardi Gras!”
“The Peacock Effect”