88 Years and 88 Keys

 

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,

One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should Have Put a Ring On It Valentine Tablescape

♥♥♥ All the single ladies! All the single ladies! ♥♥♥

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean romance is in the air for everyone. There are those among us who are on an earnest quest to find Mr. Right but haven’t yet found out where he’s hiding. There are those who thought they had Mr. Right but had to kick him to the curb because he was oh, so wrong. There are those whose “boo” must be away for that special day (through no fault of his own). And then there are those who just don’t want to share the remote, compromise on what to have for dinner, or worry about falling into the toilet because the seat was left up. For all of you single ladies – whatever your reason – this is a blinged out Valentine tablescape that celebrates you as the carefree diva you are!
(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it.)

IMG_9665WM

IMG_9676WMValentine’s Day can be a day to raise your glass and just enjoy the platonic company of girlfriends. Like Cyndi Lauper said: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”!!! This would also be a great table for celebrating with other couples on Valentine’s Day (probably something just us old married folks do, but it can be fun!) or a Christmastime rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or wedding reception. With a few minor tweaks, it would also make a fabulous Kentucky Derby tablescape!!! (Change the white to cream, and it’s also perfect for a Delta Sigma Theta sorority gathering! My Mom made me say that! :-))

IMG_9653WM

IMG_9753WMRed is the color of strength, power, and determination as well as love. Start with a bold red full-length table linen (LinenTablecloth.com) to get the energy flowing in the room. Each glamorous place setting includes a rhinestone-studded charger topped with a second charger in sleek silver for added depth. The delicate design of Noritake “Whitebrook” china conveys sophisticated sweetness and light.

IMG_9645WMA menu card helps to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” and makes a really nice souvenir. The background of deep red roses works in concert with the centerpiece florals.

Flatware, Napkin, Rim Shot CollageI used these fun “diamond” napkin rings I found at Tuesday Morning because they go so well with the “Should Have Put a Ring On It” theme!

IMG_9640WMUse your most beautiful pieces to make everyone feel like royalty! Stemware here is Godinger “Chelsea” which isn’t my best, but it sure is one of my favorites!

IMG_9716WM

Clockwise: (1) Silver Revere candlestick; (2) candlestick topped with peg votive; (3) LED votive glows safely, and; (4) white silk lampshade made for fitting over peg votives

Clockwise from upper left corner: (1) Silver Revere candlestick; (2) candlestick topped with peg votive; (3) LED votive glows safely, and; (4) white silk lampshade made for fitting over peg votives

Lots of ambient light makes everyone look fabulous! These bistro lamps are powered by LEDs for safety. These same shades were used to create a completely different look on a silver epergne HERE(For more candle lamps on this site, see “All A’Bloom for Spring“, “Raining Orchids“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

IMG_9621WM

IMG_9610WMFun and flirty “Ocean Diamond Dazzle” rhinestone ribbon creates a jazzy runner to visually connect all the centerpiece elements. The frosted white votive holders (Hobby Lobby) have a thin coordinating strip.

IMG_9704WM

IMG_9680WMLots and lots of red rose kissing balls bring color and texture at two levels. Each rose ball is finished off with rhinestone stick pins for added flair. Faux flowers are used here for demonstration purposes, but by all means go fresh if your budget allows! Fresh flowers bring a dimension to your decorating that nothing else can!!!

Indeed, “if [he] liked it, then [he] should have put a ring on it”. If he didn’t, though, consider a glamour-filled evening for friends who share your single status!

If you’ve never seen the SNL parody of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” with Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynihan and Miss Thang Herself, Beyoncé Knowles, click HERE and get ready to laugh until you cry!!!

Other Valentine’s Day tables on this site include:
“Queen of Hearts Card Party”
“Be Still My Heart”
Days of Wine and Roses
Peonies & Pearls
Love’s Arrow
Chocolate Traditional

Other posts with kissing balls/rose balls on this site:
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Days of Wine and Roses
Kentucky Derby Buffet
Derby Day Dining
Diwali My Way
Mandarin Bling

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday). I’m sure a lot of love will be in the air, so join me, won’t you?