Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.



This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.





I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.





The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.






The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!


Finally Fall

I didn’t get a chance to share last year’s fall decor, so while I’m still tinkering with the decor for 2017, I thought I’d drop a few detail pics from fall 2016 – frequently punctuated with bittersweet, pumpkins and acorns – on you. First, a little 3-minute video clip from a recent stint on KCTV-5’s “Better Kansas City” show to remind you of some of the free and easy things you can incorporate into your fall decorating!


The modestly proportioned entry hall…

I bought this branch and twig frame plain at Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit and wired in a bit of fall foliage. (Lots of goodies from Home Finishings are used in my 2017 decor. I’m so excited!!!)


I created this tilted pumpkin look using just a dot of hot glue on each one. I wasn’t sure it would work out, but it did!




The vintage “telephone table” just inside the doorway had a huge lantern with a cherub inside. I added a little bittersweet garland to tie in with the wreath on the bigger foyer table, a couple of mini pumpkins and a candle. (See the cherub used in a Spring setting, “Showered In Pink“.


The library…


I wanted something with a “gathered” look, so I started with a bed of reindeer moss and a plump white pumpkin then just started adding fall-like elements. I elevated the silver compote with a stack of old cigar boxes.


Dining room…

This huge pumpkin is just plopped down into a large silver compote with a wreath of grapevine, leaves, pine cones, berries and gourds. The woven tray beneath breaks up the riot of color between the arrangement and the runner, and it adds a bit of extra texture. (See the large silver compote used in different ways at “Cranberry Christmas“, “Cranberry Christmas – Squared“, “Roses In October“,  and “Happy Mother’s Day, Senator Mom“.)







The kitchen…




I have enjoyed changing out the seasonal decor on this 3-tier galvanized tray (from Costco…just $19.99!!!) over the last year or so. (See the Spring setup at “Spring & Easter Around the House“, the Winter styling on Pinterest, and the Summer arrangement on Pinterest.)


Simple but dramatic, a mass of berry-laden branches create a nice side decor piece.





Top floor hallway…


And finally, the family room…

Those are giant (faux) acorns with the mini pumpkins on a bed for green Spanish moss!





More giant acorns!


I really liked this simple yet effective display of a white pumpkin, leaves, and a berry garland on a bed of green Spanish moss with a deer shed at the base of the putty-colored Z Gallerie “St. Helena” bowl.



That’s it for now. I hope to introduce my Fall 2017 decor in the next week or so. At least it won’t be a whole year late like this one! 🙂






Timberland Christmas – 2014 Decor Around the House

I have been battling this continuing degenerative disc problem and am now back on a walker with nerve damage. I’ve had an MRI and am scheduled for both an EMG and a myelogram on Monday, then scheduled to follow up with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday. I hope to have surgery either before Christmas or right after so that I can (I hope!) finally get some relief and throw this walker out a window. Ramon has been an absolute angel through these recent days of debilitating pain, and he not only helped with the decorating process (all done before Thanksgiving Day!!!), but the photography. We waited around for a sunny day to make an appearance, but it never did so some of the photos are “iffy.” Three weeks without any real sunshine!!! 😦 Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Front doorWelcome to the Nichols’ household! The bright KC Chiefs – cum – Christmas red door and simple oversized grapevine wreath with a burlap bow, greenery and jingle bells set the tone for a rustic woodland look (mixed with a little glam!) throughout.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Library



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Woodland tree in library


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Ornaments and burlap bow on library tree collageFirst stop…the library with lots of twinkling white lights. The 4-ft. tree is filled with baby owls, frosted pine cones, jute ribbon, clusters of red berries, and miniature logs from Michael’s that remind us what the season is about. It’s all topped off with a homemade burlap bow and burlap ribbon that meanders throughout the tree. (More on that new & improved photo gallery wall coming up in January!)


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Frosted wreath with owl, , red berries on secretaryThe top of the secretary has a frosted pine cone-smattered wreath and a generous garland of red berries. Notice the owl inside the wreath. The owls are one of the ongoing themes throughout the house this year.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Bar, lighted wreath-topped urn, chair pillows and glass cylinders filled with acorns and pine cones collage in libraryOn the other side of the room, urns on both sides of the vitrine are dressed up with lighted wreaths and a grapevine sphere. The vitrine bar is dressed in lighted greenery with pine cones and red berry clusters. As we leave the library, there are clear glass cylinders filled with acorns and pine cones sharing space with cigars and brandy on the vintage side table.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Plush fox coupleWhat does the fox say? This time of year, a heartfelt “I love you!” This bench sits on the side of the front door closest to the library.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Red Christmas ornaments in bark-wrapped cylinders, wood monogrammed mirrorLook up the steps to find an easy arrangement of bark-wrapped cylinders filled with red ornaments and jingle bells.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Hallway lantern with jute-tied jingle bells collageOn the other side of the front door is a vintage double-decker telephone stand with a large lantern topped with snow-flecked greenery, another homemade burlap bow and gold jingle bells tumbling down the side with jute. The lower tier holds a tiny duck on a slab of wood with a little icy greenery. Let’s move on into the dining room!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Dining room


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Dining room Christmas tree with woodland decor


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Dining room tree ornament and pheasant feather topper collageThe 7-ft. skinny tree in the dining room window (purchased at a local grocery store in the floral department at after-Christmas clearance for under $25!!!) is filled with woodland creatures from Pier 1, gold ornaments, “Naughty” and “Nice” wood slabs from Home Goods, multi-colored berry clusters, mini grapevine wreaths, frosted pine cones, lots of burlap, and a diminutive pheasant feather topper. The tree is finished off with a tangle of natural grapevine to add to the whole 3-D look. With the exception of the bow on top, the garland is one continuous piece. By next year I hope to be in better health so I can create a video tutorial on just how to do that.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Dining room centerpiece collage with pine cones and reindeerThe centerpiece on the dining table is made with lots of greenery, and a metal French-styled champagne bucket from Home Goods filled with pine cones. It is flanked by 12-point resin bucks from Tuesday Morning.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Bar cart, Geoffrey the Butler, wall sign, buffet wreath with owl collageAdditional dining room decor includes a weathered sign with watchwords for the season from Michael’s, my personal valet Geoffrey begrudgingly decked out in a Charming Charlie woolen scarf and Dollar Tree reindeer ears, the bar cart with bark-wrapped cylinders topped with reindeer moss and oversized faux acorns cut from an old garland, and a lighted wreath I made a few years ago to put in our master bedroom. This year the wreath was treated to additional ornaments wired in (for life!) and another owl. In front is a wooden Hobby Lobby “Merry and Bright” sign that speaks to the season.

Let’s head back out into the hallway.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Foyer decor - reindeer over mirror, foyer table, Currier & Ives plate on sconce collageI’ve switched out the artwork on the wall for a gold mirror and put a ceramic reindeer head dressed in burlap and red organza ribbon with a gold ornament over it. On the other side of the hall is the foyer table adorned on top with a gilded vase filled with pheasant feathers, a small wreath to light the way, and old books from an estate sale tied up with a burlap bow, berries, greenery and pheasant feathers. Beneath the table is a basket filled with pine cones, twinkle lights and clusters of berries.

Let’s go on into the family room!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Family room


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Burlap-tied books, pheasant on wood slice with greenery & binoculars collage


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Squirrel on old tree stump with acorns & snow, old-fashioned Santa with burlap-tied books collage


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Christmas stockings, old-fashioned wooden Santa collage



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Fallen tree collageMy husband spends a lot of time watching TV and working on charts in our cozy little family room, so I wanted this space to have a nice rustic feel for him. Of course, there’s a little glam thrown in for me! 🙂 In this room are lots of burlap-tied books and another wreath with an owl in the window. The fireplace is one of my favorites. I hung felt stockings with a moose-in-the-forest motif and then slung a chipwood initial over each one (all from Hobby Lobby). A wooden santa stands guard over the plain brown paper & jute-wrapped gifts. My very favorite part: a stump salvaged from a miraculously still-healthy limb of an 150-year-old tree we lost this summer to carpenter ants. (See collage above!) I surrounded the bottom with cotton snow and plopped a hungry squirrel hoarding acorns on top.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Men pulling wooden sleds with Christmas trees collage


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: broken 18th century golfers

This is how they looked when I first brought them home.


This is another favorite part of the room because of the creative solutions applied. My Mom bought me a couple of resin 18th century golfers missing their clubs on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby this past summer. (See thumbnail of the “Before” above.) Making lemonade out of lemons is a specialty of mine…I just gave them weathered wooden sleds instead! It looks as if they were made to haul their Christmas trees instead of taking a golf swing! To put them in more of the Christmas mood, I added a woolen scarf to one and hot-glued a little greenery, a tiny pine cone and some berries to the top hat of the other. Not bad for a $5 investment, huh?


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Mantel and armoire decor, Christmas pillows on sofa and chair collageThe fireplace mantel is simply dressed in a little pine greenery with white lights in front of the mirror. I kept the whole initial thing going on our stockings with the big red “N” from Hobby Lobby that represents our last name. On the television armoire is more greenery garland with pine cones embellished with natural deer sheds.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Woodland Christmas Tree



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Raccoon, lantern and deer ornament collage


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Antler ornaments, owl ornament, woodland Santa ornament collage



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Pheasant feather tree topper with burlap bow tied in love knots, sequinned peacock collageOur Christmas tree in the family room is loaded with lots of woodland creatures (mostly from Pier 1) including squirrels, owls, gophers (“Caddyshack” anyone? 😉 ), porcupines, flocked deer, and sequined pheasants disguised as peacocks for the season. Other trimming includes snow-covered pine trees (Dollar Tree), frosted pine cones, antlers (Wal-Mart), jingle bells, hobbit Santas, lanterns (Wal-Mart), miniature grapevine wreaths, various sizes of gold ball ornaments, clusters of white berries, and burlap ribbon. The tree is topped with lots of pheasant feathers and a homemade bow with its tendrils intermittently tied in love knots for a different look. The luxurious fringed tree skirt is from TJ Maxx.

Moving on to the kitchen…


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Pantry and desk area


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Kitchen china cabinet, desk area collageThe pantry/desk area has a few little goodies to bring it up to par for the Christmas season. I didn’t change a lot here…just added the white Z Gallerie squirrel nut bowls filled with acorns, a few clusters of red berries, and a stack of Southern Living Cookbooks collected over the years.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Breakfast bar, rooster, arrangement at sink area collageOther kitchen decor includes the Hobby Lobby resin rooster with a fancy necktie of icy berries and lady apples. On the breakfast bar is a tall black lantern filled with berry garland and pine cones with a homemade burlap ribbon on the handle. Behind the kitchen sink is a wooden box (previously seen HERE as part of the centerpiece in an autumn tablescape) filled with 3 lighted miniature faux pine trees, Spanish moss and shiny red jingle bells. It looks great from the street and really lights up that corner of the room!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Kitchen wreath with owl and Christmas tree in burlap-tied urn collageIn the eat-in area, are a duo of lighted trees in black urns tied off with burlap and wool tartan ribbon and embellished with shiny red jingle bell napkin rings doubling as ornaments. In the window is another lighted wreath with an owl coyly peeking out from the center. I used a red velvet cord cover to disguise the unsightly cord in the center. The same tartan ribbon used on the urns is used at the top of the wreath.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Burlap wreath with red ribbon and ornaments on garage doorBefore heading downstairs for the last leg of the tour, I thought you might like to see the burlap wreath designed by Kelly Acock, owner of The Monarch Flower Company, finished off with red velvet ribbon and ornaments.

And FINALLY down to the basement level!!!


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Miniature trees, ice skates, embellished sled collageAt the base of the steps is a vignette of 3 lighted trees festooned in a garland of red berries, another pair of ice skates (found at a thrift store!), and a vintage Royal Racer sled (circa 1952) I found at a flea market earlier this year. Regular readers may recognize the tartan ribbon & pine bough arrangement featured here from the post “Tartan on the Tee” earlier this season.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Winter goose on bookshelf, stuffed reindeer on chair collage


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Winter goose atop bookshelf with tartan ribbon, miniature sled with antler under-carriage collageWith a small family room like we have upstairs, it’s often necessary to shuffle furniture around during the Christmas season. This chair found its way to the lower level. I used a partridge-covered throw from TJ Maxx and a cute plush reindeer couple from Home Goods to dress it up a little. On top of the bookcase is a winter goose sitting amidst snow-kissed lighted faux pine branches and finished off with a tartan bow with spiraled tendrils. Sitting in the bookcase is a miniature sled with antler feet found at a thrift store.


Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Wine bottles in Ugly Christmas Sweaters collageOver on the other side of the room is the bar. I placed a red Waechtersbach bowl of candy on the bar accompanied by a trio of Ugly Christmas Sweater (Tuesday Morning) carolers. Notice the 2 on the sides have their “arms” crossed over the back of the center caroler. I used a pearl-head pin to set that up. Looks like they’re really in the loving spirit of the season!



Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One,, ”Timberland Christmas – 2014 Christmas Décor: Santa plush door hanger, ugly Christmas sweaters, Mrs. Santa wine cover with corks collageOther vignettes around the room include a wine bottle in a Mrs. Santa suit (Tuesday Morning) standing over a bowl of corks and a gingerbread-scented candle, wine butlers holding more Ugly Christmas Sweater carolers, and a fun plush Santa door hanger picked up at an estate sale over the summer.


As I said, I am hoping to have back surgery before the end of the year, so I won’t be doing a New Year’s Eve post this year. I will try to slip in one last Christmas tablescape before it’s all said and done for this year. My time on the computer will become more and more limited, but I will be thinking of you and wishing you all the very best of the Christmas season and a very safe, happy and fun New Year! I have no Get Out of Jail Free cards left over to offer, so PLEASE be good! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Other Christmas Home Tour posts on this site from years past:
Waking Up to Christmas – Master Bedroom Decor
Christmas Decor 2013
Christmas 2012


Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Cardinal Christmas
Christmas in the Woods

Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice

Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrating the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday


And if you’re looking for ideas for ringing in the New Year:
Life is a Cabaret
Platinum New Year’s Eve
Ringing In the New Year

Hooray For Vodka!
White Hot

Linking up this week with Between Naps on the Porch

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year, all!!!



Moss & Manzanitas

We’re under a stupid winter storm watch here in the Midwest. Wednesday night into Thursday is supposed to get really ugly. Stock-up-on-supplies-and-pull-out-the-longjohns ugly. (Mine actually have a Dennis the Menace flap in the back! :-)) So as we brace ourselves for a less-than-pleasant end of the week, I’m getting more and more anxious for Spring to arrive.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN1448WMThe concept for this table for 8 started back in January when I made an appearance on a local morning show here in Kansas City. (Click HERE to see the post, “Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” with video clip and start-to-finish photos.) I set up a buffet table that would work well for this weird in-between stage when the bareness of Winter is still painfully evident, but Spring is just a stone’s throw away. On that buffet, I used a lot of bling along with the moss and manzanitas that would have been great for a bridal luncheon or a 60th wedding anniversary, traditionally dubbed in the U.S. as the “diamond anniversary.” The post with that television appearance does include photos so you can compare that buffet setting to this sit-down one.

DSCN1395WMWhile diamonds are absolutely a girl’s best friend (well…diamonds and Spanx! :-)), for this more casual table I wanted to use “rocks” of a different kind. Hence the abundance of smooth river rock nestled around the manzanita “tree” centerpiece.

DSCN1387WMNothing says Spring like color, and this citrusy green dinner plate really grabs your attention! (Dollar Tree, folks! Dollar Tree!!! If you don’t have one in your area, petition the company to build one there!!!)

Flatware, napkin, menu collageA plain white cotton napkin is wrapped around a tri-color menu and topped with a single stone. The natural look of bamboo in the flatware further complements the setting.


DSCN1428WMUnadorned clear glass stemware gets an upgrade with the addition of individual bottles of chilled wine. I like using these mini bottles from World Market to dress a casual table, but always have plenty of the big boys on hand as well. Some guests take the minis home as a souvenir, others drink it on the spot.



IFThe centerpiece is made up of these cool manzanita branches I bought last year at Gordmans. When I first used them last Halloween I gave them a much more ghastly graveyard look. Here they take on a totally new role, dotted with white orchid blooms as if Spring is making its first appearance. With all the moss (the famous Moss Bridge, not to mention the mossy hillsides) and the stone (stone walls, the Blarney Stone), this would make a great table for St. Patrick’s Day!!!

IFI just love the color and texture and smell of reindeer moss! It’s so…woodsy! I tucked little sprigs of it among the branches as well as loading up on it at the base of the branch structure.

IFI found these fun-shaped ceramic vases at Home Goods about a year ago. They help extend the bright, invigorating color of the lime green plates and reindeer moss from the dining table to the buffet behind it.

Buffet cake, flatware, lg. floral collage



I want to extend a HUGE thank you to The Home Girl for naming my blog as one of her “Five Fabulous Finds” and to Jenna at The Painted Apron for listing me among her picks for “Very Inspiring Blogger”! It’s always uplifting to receive recognition from fellow bloggers, and I appreciate it very much! These ladies both have an enviable array of weekly posts on tablescaping, recipes, home organization & decor…their talents abound! If you’ve not seen their blogs, I most certainly recommend that you treat yourself!

This week I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party, “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, and you’ll be able to see the work of talented tablescapers from all around the world. It’s really cool to see decor from places like Sweden (Chubby ‘N Chieque), India (Crystal Grandeur), Australia (Desire Empire), and, of course, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Other tablescapes on this site to help you prepare to entertain this Spring:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel!”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Carousel Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Peony Power”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Mikasa Daylight Giveaway”
“Daisy Crazy”

Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille!

L to R: Friend/Neighbor/Fabulous Helper Barbara, Host Kelly Jones, me.

L to R: Friend/Neighbor/Fabulous Helper Barbara, Host Kelly Jones, me
I feel like Uncle Festus standing next to these skinny women! 🙂

I wanted to share the video with you from my second appearance this morning on “Better Kansas City“. This is a local morning show that covers a wide spectrum of topics including home decor and entertaining. I was so honored to be invited back after my first appearance in November! Today I discussed buffet tablescapes…really fun!

When I arrived home later this morning, I hopped out of my car to greet a neighbor and slipped on a patch of black ice in the driveway. I can’t show you the photos of my backside (think rug burn at its worst on top of cottage cheese a.k.a. cellulite! :-)), but my hands got roughed up pretty good. My head may very well have left a dent in the concrete, too. It hit so hard that I literally saw stars!!! The worst part, though? I really scuffed up my beautiful black leather boot!!!!! 😦


I’ll work on getting the post from today’s show ready and try not to completely off myself with clumsiness in the process. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll pop over to the KCTV-5 “Better Kansas City” site and check out the segment! It’ll be up all week, although the page it’s on will change. Many thanks to everyone at Better Kansas City (co-hosts Kelly Jones and Lisa Holbrook, producer Erin Cansler, tech guy/gracious gentleman Mike who, when putting on my mic, didn’t say a word about all the Spanx goin’ on under there, always good-lookin’ cameraman Chris, and sweet, pretty Lauren) my neighbor Barbara, and my friend Sheri who took lots of great pictures!
Happy Monday, everyone!

Here are the photos from the show that tell the story from start to finish!

(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Set collageThe set of “Better Kansas City”

Placing linen, manzanitas & moss collageWe arrived at the studio at 7:45 a.m., unloaded in about 15 minutes. With just 45 minutes to set up the entire tablescape, there’s no time to waste! (But I still always take time to measure for proper placement!)

Placing bowls, spoons, forks collageDepicting a “nearly Spring” buffet, I used a variety of vessels including chafers, flat trays, stacked cake stands, and glass ramekins.

IMG_0567Lots of bling hung among the manzanita branches and placed on the table with the reindeer moss to add a little glitz. This is a table that would work well for a Springtime bridal shower, bridal luncheon, or 60th wedding anniversary.

IFAs Barbara adds the finishing touches, I consult with the producer’s assistant on the minutiae of the script.


Finished table close ups collageWith just about 5 minutes to spare, the table is completely set and ready!

Getting dressed collageThe table is dressed, now it’s my turn!

IFThe sound guy is ready to get me mic’d up. Don’t I look lovely in my gym socks and sneakers? Maybe I should have kept them on to avoid the slip & fall described earlier! 🙂

Final impressions collageOh, so picky and NEVER satisfied, Barbara and I discuss possible adjustments in the remaining moments before the show goes live.

IFWe swoop in to make a couple of quick tweaks (like adding “ice” to the forks assembled in the little crystal bucket), then finally declare…


To see how this same concept translated into a sit-down dinner for 8, click HERE to see “Moss & Manzanitas”.

Pleasant Under Glass – Revisiting for Mother’s Day

I’m still working on our Mother’s Day table which is really proving to be a challenge this year! I don’t know where my head is. (No vile, sideways comments from the peanut gallery on that one! ;-))

So, in the meantime, please enjoy this ultra-feminine pink & green tablescape I created a couple of years ago for a ladies’ luncheon just about the time I first started blogging. It has been hidden on the “Summer” page of this blog, so this may be the first time you’re seeing it. This table would be a great one for celebrating Mother’s Day, a birthday, a wedding shower, or even in honor of a breast cancer survivor.
(Click any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

I have a great fondness for ladies’ luncheons. I am so much more at ease and relish the time spent with friends lingering over girly salads and quiche! When it’s just us girls, I can go all out pink, floral, delicate…no worries!
 This luncheon tablescape in our back yard has all the elements of femininity at its all out best: lots of pink and lots of floral!
 Each place setting starts with a ruffly hot pink charger (Crate & Barrel) topped with a sculpted ivory “Mckenzie” plate from Pier 1. The green salad plate adds another shot of color and picks up the secondary color in the table covering. The flatware is J.A. Henckels ”Bellaserra” stainless from Macy’s. All of the dishware, flatware and stemware is kept simple so as not to compete with the busy table covering. (The table covering, by the way, is a Waverly vinyl. I think vinyls can be used sparingly for breakfast, brunch and luncheon affairs if they are of a very high quality and every effort is made to smooth out the inevitable wrinkles.)
 The napkins from Bed Bath &Beyond are simple poly-cotton in a deep shade of ivory with a BB&B woven green napkin ring. Tucked inside to mimic the colors and shapes in the table covering is a bit of deep green sword fern and a budding pink cymbidium orchid.
 I wanted to do something a little different to accentuate the feminine side and the outdoorsy feeling of the tablescape. Tucked beneath a miniature cloche bell jar (Hobby Lobby) is a mound of bright green reindeer moss topped with an orchid. This feature is simply removed from the luncheon plate after the ladies are seated.
 The grand 16″ cloche bell jar in the center of the table lords over its more diminutive counterparts and remains on the table throughout lunch. To slightly differentiate it and further play on the outdoor theme of the tablescape, a gazing ball is added along with reindeer moss, sword fern and cymbidium orchids.
 Orchids and a tiny cluster of reindeer moss are affixed to the bell jar with a bit of Cling floral adhesive. Cling is great, but beware: clean up can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! To sidestep problems, always roll it into a ball. Any residue can be easily removed with Goo Gone or similar adhesive removal products. Another little tidbit: orchids are resillient and will hold up without a water source for several hours unless it’s scorching hot!
See more Mother’s Day tablescapes on this site:
Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Brunch
Peony Power
I am linking up with Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. You might want to check it out to see what all the other tablescape enthusiasts from around the world are up to! Check in anytime after 9:00 CDT on Thursday morning.

Autumn White Wedding

I recently received a request for ideas on an autumn wedding. Not that I have anything against fall colors, but sometimes it’s fun to march to the beat of your own drum. Try instead an autumn rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or wedding reception using the more unlikely colors of white, cream and chartreuse with touches of earthy brown for good measure. (For more wedding table ideas click here!)

If the weather is still warm enough in fall to do an outdoor wedding event, go for it! When you set up outdoors, the sky is the limit where your decorating options are concerned!!!

A full-length ivory table linen is topped with a satiny brown runner to add color and dimension to the tabletop. The place settings are fairly traditional with glossy silver chargers and ivory dishware from TJ Maxx. (One huge no-no is to use items that will upstage the reception decor on “The Big Day.”)

The napkin (Bed Bath & Beyond) is very simply folded across the dinner plate and tucked beneath. A white mini pumpkin is centered on each napkin. While a faux pumpkin is used for this sample setting, I suggest using the real thing. Mini pumpkins can be purchased at the grocer this time of year for around 50 cents apiece, and they make a great little take-home gift. (Or you can take the leftover pumpkins to bling them up and use them in a fall arrangement like here.) If you know a calligrapher or someone with exceptional handwriting skills, ask them to pen the names of each guest onto the pumpkins! Cooler yet….have them inscribe the monogram of each guest. That’s really different and kinda fancy to boot! 🙂

Keep the flatware along the same line of formality as the rest of the setting. The design on this flatware is similar to the pattern on the rim of the dinner plate. I went with Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal that offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Long tables offer an opportunity to do so many cool things with the centerpiece!
A mix of high and low arrangements fill out this 12-ft. table. For even longer tables (so cool to see 18-, 24-, or even 36-ft. tables!!!), add more high ones to balance it out. For this table, I used a little wrought iron number I bought earlier this year. It’s reversible…or at least I made it that way by accident! Lesson learned? Play with your toys…don’t just use them the way they were displayed at the store!!!

This is the way it’s used here, but it’s actually upside down and missing some parts!

This is how it’s supposed to look. I finally figured out what all those “extra” mystery pieces were for!

I outfitted the top of the centerpiece with a grapevine wreath bought at Hobby Lobby. I secured it with  floral wire. Next came lots and lots of flowers including chartreuse and creamy white hydrangea, white roses, and a few orchid blooms. (Sprigs of green hypericum berries, unripened coffee beans or unripened raspberries would really look slick and add more texture, too!) Hydrangea quickly wilts, so the trick is to put the water vial on the end of the floral stem immediately AFTER it is inserted into the wreath so it doesn’t wiggle loose. (Took me half the doggone wreath to figure that one out! :-() Use floral tape to secure the vials to the twigs so they don’t poke out or fall off during dinner…which would be highly embarrassing! Tuck in bits of fabulously bright chartreuse reindeer moss to help hide the mechanics of your arrangement, and finish it off with a plump white pumpkin. (Hint: When you go wreath and pumpkin shopping, take the centerpiece you’ll be working with along to make sure the wreath is the right size and that the pumpkin won’t overwhelm or topple it.)

The ugly little spindly legs on the bottom part of the centerpiece are camouflaged with mounds of florals accented with reindeer moss and a white mini pumpkin.

A mini pumpkin rests comfortably on a cushy bed of reindeer moss. I like the moss to look a little bit messy as nature would have it.

The side globes hold a single orchid bloom atop more reindeer moss.

The smaller components of the extended centerpiece correspond with the main piece. Iron candlesticks with fat pillar candles are flanked by small rose-filled globes stuffed with reindeer moss to keep a consistent look.

This same concept could easily apply to a winter wedding by swapping out the pumpkins with oversized ornaments. The look also works well indoors so long as the height of the centerpiece doesn’t interfere with overhead lighting, fans, etc.

I’m hooking up with my pals at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday again this week. If you’ve never visited, you really must! Lots of talent out there!!!

A special shout out and great big thank you to Angie over at Echoes of Laughter who helped me figure out how to get rid of the bothersome “no reply” feature when I leave comments on other blogs. Teamwork paid off!!!