Smoke & Mirrors – Sensational at 70

My remarkable friend, Marchita, recently celebrated becoming an official septuagenarian in high spirits and high style. I was asked to create the ambience for the 160-guest celebration. So even with flooding rains plaguing the city (hence the substandard photo quality despite my best editing efforts), my husband and I made every second count of the allotted 2-hour setup time to create a space that represented Marchita: simply, sweetly, sensationally elegant at 70.

This recent 4-minute appearance on KCTV-5’s “Better Kansas City” show summed up my thinking on how to approach the decor without using flowers.

 

My inspiration for the overall room plan was quite unexpectedly stirred by the venue’s house decorator. This luxurious ceiling treatment was going to already be in place for a wedding reception…so I just rolled with that and chose white silk, reflective silver, mirrors, candlelight, and bling for the tables to complement it.

 

 

 

This is the woman of the hour, the sensational Marchita Stanton, standing at the table I created especially for her. I started with a black full-length pinched pinwheel taffeta tablecloth, an upgrade from the venue’s lap-length poly cloths used for the guest tables. A silver 5-arm candelabra to which I added crystal bobeches for extra sparkle graced the center. (These same candelabra were used for “Blue & White Family Picnic” and “Hollywood Fright Night“.)

 

 

 

Satellite lighting included lots of votives and candle lamps created using silver Revere candlesticks topped with white silk shades. (I used a similar technique for the post “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.) I used the same bobeches on the lamps as on the candelabra.

 

I created signs like this for areas throughout the venue. The frames are laden with pearlescent gemstones and rhinestones. (I used these same frames for seating cards in the posts “Fete Noir et Gris“, “Purple & Pastel“, and “Bling Wedding“.)

 

I slipped the chairs at the guest of honor’s table into black Spandex chair covers and added a black sash to which a rhinestone cuff was affixed.

 

 

 

Centerpieces for the guest tables were more subdued than the head table with a single lamp and a few votives. While the lamps complemented the overhead decor and head table, they did not serve to compete. I opted to use the venue’s mirrors to double back the light.

 

 

Marchita requested a special table for the children next to her own table. I wanted it to be special and fun but still work with the rest of the decor. I ordered up a balloon bouquet in black, white and platinum (after all, platinum is the color for celebrating 70 years!) and omitted candles. Marchita put together fun gift/activity bags to be placed in each child’s chair.

 

A quick peek at other details I set up around the venue includes the table in the vestibule for guests to self-check their umbrellas. I admit it could have been nicer, but I didn’t think about it until a few hours before setup when I realized the rain was NOT going to back down. At any rate, it helped avoid confusion after the event as so many umbrellas look alike.

 

 

As guests stepped inside the party room they were greeted by a table reminding them to treat themselves! I dressed the table in a white pinched pinwheel linen and, like the head table, added a silver candelabra. A few scattered LED votives further illuminated the table.

 

I expected a significant amount of cards, so I opted for a silver punch bowl (also used in “Kentucky Derby Buffet” for Mint Julep Punch) to collect them on the gift table.

 

 

 

I forgot the silver trays for the ladies and mens room pampering stations!!! Ugh!!! Oh, well…several guests remarked how appreciative they were to have things like breath mints, floss sticks, and hair spray at their disposal. Notice how the men got FAR less!!! But those shoe mitts came in handy after coming in out of the driving rain.

A few other birthday celebration posts on this site include:
88 Years & 88 Keys
Pretty In Pink
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous!
Purple & Pastel
Grazin’ In the Grass
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Black, White & Red All Over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding

This past week or so I have been missing the rip, run and raucous roar of the years I spent as a professional wedding designer. Thank goodness I have this blog to purge those feelings because Lord knows my body could not go back to that kind of grueling, back-breaking (literally!), sleepless schedule.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

INSPIRATION: Sparkling silver & white Christmas tree napkin created by my friend & neighbor, Barbara.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said it like 100 times before, but I feel compelled to say it again: I have the best neighbors anyone could ask for!!! I was working on this tablescape for my winter 2013  “Art of Tablescaping” class that I teach through MCC-Longview, and up pops Barbara with these FABULOUS napkins!!! Her gift made me reevaluate the table and want to add design elements that would give it a little more zing. So I tore the tablescape down and started over!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full dining roomThe table is covered in a beautiful 90″ x 132″ platinum pintuck tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. The diamond shape of the pintuck cloth fits right in with diamonds for a wedding!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full TableThis is a tablescape that – minus the napkins – could easily fit into any month of the year for a rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. For a Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding reception, the napkins are spot on!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Place settingThe place setting begins with a 13″ silverplate charger. The china used here is Easterling “Majestic” that my Mom gave to me a few years back. It’s staid design of dove grey rimmed in platinum with a white center to break up the concentration of color seemed perfect.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Napkin collageEach place setting has one of Barbara’s sultry, shimmery, beautiful napkins topped with a Moravian star. To see other tablescapes with Barbara’s napkin designs, click HERE and HERE. For the tutorial on how to create them yourself, click HERE for the YouTube video or HERE and scroll down to Tablescape Tip #31 for a step-by-step photo tutorial.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: FlatwareInternational Silver “Royal Danish” flatware, another gift from my Mom, is paired with Fifth Avenue crystal steak knives.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Stemware - Jamestown PlatinumMikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware is perfectly matched with the china.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Candlestick collageThe centerpiece is a mix of high and low with 29″ silver Revere candlesticks and multi-faceted candle holders in different shapes and sizes. I used rhinestone-studded wax pillars to add shine up high.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece elements

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Centerpiece faceted candle holders collageI gradually amassed this collection of faceted candle holders from Hobby Lobby and Home Goods over the years. Note how the glow of one of the votives on the table casts light beneath the rose ball. (To see another tablescape using some of these faceted votive and candle holders, click HERE for “Princess Pink Birthday”.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair with embellishment

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Dining chair ornament embellishmentThe dining chairs are covered with silver satin universal chair covers recently purchased from LinenTablecloth.com.  I love the way the so beautifully drape down the back of the chair! I used a fancy ornament hook to affix an embellishment of a pewter glass ball ornament, a clear glass ornament, and one of the Moravian stars which enhances the 3-D look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Full buffet

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is dressed with a huge faux evergreen, pine cone and white orchid arrangement in a beautiful mercury glass pilsner vase. The height of the arrangement helps to bring balance to the tall candlesticks on the table. Other elements from the dining table are repeated here including the rhinestone-studded pillar candles, the faceted candle holders in various sizes and shapes, the rose balls, and the Moravian stars.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Platinum New Year's Eve Wedding: Decor on top of china cabinetThe top of the china cabinet also has a few elements repeated from the table and buffet. Faceted crown candle holders hold white rose balls.

Other wedding-related posts on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Bling Wedding”
“Roses in October”
“Showered in Pink”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”

“Autumn White Wedding”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Planning in Purple”
“Love & Orchids”
“Rhapsody in Blue”
“Dinner for the Ladies in Waiting”
“Tented Green!”

I’ll publish a fun, contemporary New Year’s Eve cocktail/dinner party post tomorrow that will  also be featured on Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!”. next Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST. Meanwhile, join me and other talented bloggers right now for fabulous Christmas and New Year’s Eve design ideas on Susan’s 276th edition of “Tablescape Thursday”!

Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve

This is my final post of 2012, hopefully just in time to provide a few ideas for your swingin’ New Year’s Eve celebration. I’m going to take a little time off over the next couple of weeks to enjoy my family and friends, get ready for tax season, prepare for my Spring tablescaping classes..and put away all the Christmas decor!!!

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IMG_0025WMMy goal was to create a room with the sophisticated glitz and glamour of New York cabarets and nightclubs of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. I wanted a room that, if you allowed yourself to focus, you could almost hear The Incomparable Hildegarde, see The Rat Pack commanding all eyes with their boyish antics, feel the pulsing of the floor as the band plays, and taste the champagne as it overflows.

This is a tablescape for guys and dolls who appreciate a good time! So gentlemen, don your penguin suit (or your best Babalu-sleeved shirt) and Brylcreem. Ladies, slip into you sultry evening gown, lacy push-up bra, silky thigh high stockings, satin evening gloves, blood-red lipstick…and let’s party!!!

Table lengthwise & mulitple place setting collage

Single place settingWMTo achieve the swanky look I wanted, I started with a starched white full-length table linen. The chargers are mirrored rounds that reflect a lot of light. The Easterling “Majestic” china with its platinum rims always reminds me of a stylish gray morning suit. (Think David Beckham’s cravat and trousers at the recent royal wedding. Mmmmmm….David Beckham………………………….Ahem! Sorry. Zoned out for a second there! :-))

Flatware-Rim Shot collageThe J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware, while sleek and contemporary in its styling, works well with the place settings.

Napkin & Menu collageI created the menus on our home computer using a shimmery dark gray card stock for the backing. A simple silver brad on top and bottom reminds me of the buttons on a tuxedo shirt or snappy cuff links. (Uh oh, here come those thoughts of David Beckham again!!! ;-)) The white cotton napkin is starched to within an inch of its life, gently rolled inward from each end, and tucked neatly in an unconventional spot between the plate and charger.

Stemware collageGodinger “Chelsea” crystal stemware gleams on the table.

IMG_9879WMA sleek silver dinner bell rests at the hostess’s place setting at the head of the table.

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Mirror ball collage

Feather boa & votive candle collageThe long, luxurious centerpiece was created using multi-level silver Revere candlesticks as pedestals. On top are large mirror balls resembling the Times Square ball dropped in New York City every New Year’s Eve. (With the mirror balls, this would also make a great “Dancing With the Stars” finale watch party tablescape!) Snaking its way through the mirror ball stands and mercury votive holders is a flirty white feather boa. (Elton John called. He wants his wardrobe back! :-)) Additional candlesticks guard each end of the centerpiece with 15″ white candles to lend height, drama, and more ambient light.

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Buffet feathers & candle collageThe buffet behind the dining table is all aglow with more silver mercury glass votives and tall candlesticks. I wanted the buffet to be just as cool as the table, but complement it rather than compete. I filled 8″H mirrored bud vases with stark white goose feathers and biots. For added zing, I cut the individual “branches” of bling ornament sprays (seen whole in our Christmas tree HERE) and tucked them among the feathers. These arrangements remind me of the ostrich feather centerpieces used in swanky New York nightclubs like the Copacabana. (Uh oh…the Barry Manilow song just crept into my head and it’s NEVER gonna leave!!!)

Champagne Cart Collage

Feathers in champagne glasses collageThis is just a fun little touch on our vintage tea cart. Along with a bucket of fabulous pink champagne, a plate of caviar on toast points (because that’s how we roll on New Year’s Eve!), and the requisite noisemakers, are oversized champagne flutes filled with marabou feathers. I wanted to illuminate the feathers throughout. Problem was the LEDs that weighed no more than a good luck black-eyed pea wouldn’t hold up because the feathers were…let’s say it all together now…light as a feather!!! The lights sank to the bottom every time…but I still like the glowing effect. These would look great on the bar for a ritzy cocktail party or as table centerpieces!!!

China cabinet collageThe final touch is on the china cabinet where this beautiful crystal apéritif/digestif set (given to me by my Mom) is on display. The theme is continued here with a few strategically-placed (like a sexy cabaret dancer! ;-)) white ostrich feathers.

I thank you for spending a little time with me each week in 2012, and I wish you a safe and prosperous New Year. May 2013 bring you much love, joy and blessings!

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for New Year’s Eve:
Ringing in the New Year
White Hot
Winter Dinner
Little Black Dress
Peacock Pizzazz
Fete Noir et Gris

I will be joining The Tablescaper this Sunday for “Seasonal Sundays” where you can find all sorts of wonderful ideas for pepping up the season. Next week, as always, I’ll join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m., CST). I’m sure there will be lots and lots of fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescapes presented by my tablescaping colleagues around the world. You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

GET OUT AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999…
OR THE END OF THE MAYAN CALENDAR!!! 🙂

Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver

I said I wasn’t going to do much decorating this year. I lied. So sue me. Actually, Ramon was a huge help since my shoulders are still torn up, so I was able to do more although not as much as in previous years. So  just kick back and take a gander at our Christmas 2012 living room and kitchen decor. Next week’s post will bring photos of the dining room, library and foyer. Enjoy!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grand and Alycia Nichols)

IMG_0427WMWelcome to our home! Ramon has lit up the outside just for you!

IMG_0419WMCome right on in. We’re glad you’ve stopped by!

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Mantel vignetteI wanted a sophisticated yet fun look in the living room, so I went with traditional red in a snowman theme much like last week’s “Checkered Christmas” post. (You’ll also see how it fits in with tomorrow’s regular tablescaping post!) Even though there is lots of Christmas bling throughout the room, the snowmen temper that just a bit.

Thanks to my good blog buddy, Liz at Infuse With Liz, I was finally able to create the type of mantel decor I have always wanted. Liz uses those Command Strips from 3M to attach a lighted length of garland and then builds out from there. Fearing the Command Strips would not be sturdy enough, I enlisted Ramon’s help to drill small holes into the top of the mantel into which he then screwed rubber-coated cup hooks. (Our mantel sits quite high. After Christmas when the decor is gone, we’ll remove the hooks and the only people able to see the holes will be really nosy folks who stand on the hearth looking for dirt or NBA players. 🙂 ) In the coming years all I’ll have to do is screw those hooks back into the existing holes, and I’ll be good to go! I started with a 6-foot lighted greenery garland that I secured with the hooks. I then strategically nestled in individual pine branches. I finished the look off with bright red ornaments, lots of bling, and fun “icicles.” Black wrought iron candlesticks topped with red ornaments balance out each end.

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Hearth urn collageTwo black urns are topped with oversized red ornaments sitting on a wreath that is dripping in acrylic icicles and bling. The “snowflakes” cosied into the top of the wreath are actually rhinestone brooches I bought at a closeout sale years ago! I actually have something similar in mind for a wedding tablescape centerpiece later this year. Stay tuned for that! (Something like this one pictured, of course, would be great for a Christmas wedding!)

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Tree collageOur tree is all decked in red and silver ornaments with lots of bling this year. I wanted to make it a little bit playful, so I finished it off with a stovepipe hat just like the snowmen sitting among the gifts beneath the tree. The “tree skirt” is actually a round black linen folded in half which is a pretty good substitute!

Goose collageThe wooden geese take on a whole new look with a necklace of pine branches. Red votive candle holders with LEDs are peppered throughout the book shelves for a little extra ambience.

Hot chocolate, Stocking, Chair gift collageWhat’s better this time of year than hot chocolate by a roaring fire? Mmmmmm!!! Our first “couples” Christmas stocking was a gift from a friend. I put it up every year no matter what color the decor is!

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TV Armoire collageThe television armoire is decorated to complement the fireplace and tree decor with lots of snow-covered branches and trios of red Christmas ornaments tucked here and there. Behind the lighted greenery are black wrought iron candlesticks kissed with teardrop crystals. I went with black candles to complement the rest of the black throughout the living room and nearby kitchen. I like the subtle sophistication they lend to the room.

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LR window vignetteThe half console table in the south window hosts a black urn like the two on the hearth. The urn is filled with shiny red ornaments and topped with a green wreath spattered in bling. I used pieces of an old chandelier to create the small droplets hanging from the wreath and candlesticks. I used those pieces to make stylin’ little necklaces for the snowmen, too!

Stereo vignetteSitting atop the stereo case is a silver footed bowl filled with red & silver ornaments and frosted pine cones. Let’s head over to the kitchen area.

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Breakfast bar vignette collage

Kitchen decor collageI wanted the kitchen decor to be a bit lighter than in the living room, but I still needed to somehow connect the two. On the breakfast bar that separates the two rooms is a length of lighted garland embellished with additional pine branches much like the mantel and television armoire. A few random silver ornaments are tucked in along with icy snowflakes for more of a 3-D look. The rear of the garland displays a parade of silver Revere candlesticks with chunky black pillar LED candles. I stayed with black to match those in the living room and to complement the black appliances and furniture in our kitchen.

A sparse “Charlie Brown” tree was my choice for the kitchen this year with just a small strand of red lights and a few red ornaments. The wreath in the breakfast nook is lit with red & white lights and flecked with more snowflakes. A single snowflake peeks out each window. Over the kitchen sink is a pair of lighted wreaths that look fantastic from the street and a beautiful poinsettia from my neighbor, Jane!

IMG_0327WMThat’s it! Next week, the front rooms of the house just might surprise you! Meanwhile, happy shopping and Merry Christmas from the Nichols family!!! 🙂

To see last year’s Christmas decor, check out “Really Red Christmas“!!!

This week I’m joining host Kathe With An E for a mantels & tablescapes “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” blog hop and The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sunday.” LOTS of talent shared there, so check it out!!!

Derby Day Dining

Last week I posted photos of the Kentucky Derby Buffet I created for my “Art of Tablescaping” students. This week I have the sit-down dinner version that uses a number of the same elements from that buffet table to demonstrate how various pieces can be used for either setting.
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The same table in the same room is all dressed up for a slightly more formal sit-down meal. I used the same black floor-length linen to let the gleam of the silver and brightness of the red roses show best. The white china tones down the dark linens and flower, thus saving the table from looking too morose.

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I swapped out the more plentiful Arcoroc “Seabreeze” glass buffet plates for my sister’s very formal Noritake “Whitebrook” china. Derby Day is the time to pull out your finest china and silver, and this china is definitely treasured in our family. The china rests atop highly polished silverplate chargers.

IMG_5107WMThese same lettered napkins were displayed in a silver champagne bucket in the buffet version. They are now simply folded, placed beneath the dinner plate and allowed to hang so as to prominently show the initial. The white of the napkin helps to break up the sea of black linen.

IMG_5121WMThe same heirloom silver flatware pattern – last week placed head-to-toe at the start of the buffet table – is used.

Noritake “Spectrum” iced beverage glasses await the traditional Southern sweet tea. The same julep cups that surrounded the huge silver punch bowl on the buffet last week are now placed at each individual setting.

Each place setting gets its own salt & pepper shakers.

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IMG_5159WMLast week these riding boots (actually a Z Gallerie umbrella stand!) were up to their straps in French baguettes. This week, sitting atop an heirloom silver tray (used last week to display veggies), they spill over with lush red roses. The silver candlesticks flanking the urns on the buffet last week are now on the table. Again I used metal case Paradise candles to keep the look pristine and avoid wax spills on my linen.

Over on the buffet behind the table where the punch bowl and julep cups were displayed last week is a more subdued coffee set up. The red rose balls on oil-rubbed bronze urns from last week remain in place.

On the wall sconces are miniature versions of the larger buffet urns with horseshoes added to further tie them in with the Derby.

With just a few tweaks here and there you can go from buffet to sit-down, casual to formal without sacrificing style. While the horse was omitted from this setting (I’m sure no one would want to spend the night staring up his rump!), the Kentucky Derby feel is definitely still there. It’s semi-formal, but made less stuffy with the addition of the whimsical centerpiece.

Another table on this site that I think would just look fantastic for a Kentucky Derby celebration, “Roses in October”, can be found HERE. Although it is set up using white roses, a simple switch to red roses would make it just perfect! If you’d like to see another tablescape using red rose balls and bouquets, click HERE for “Should Have Put A Ring On It” or HERE for “Kentucky Derby Buffet”.

I’ll be skipping on over to Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch on Thursday anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT.

Cranberry Christmas – Long Table

My cousin (no, not the weird one…the other one!) recently asked for formal Christmas tablescape ideas using cranberries as a part of the decor. Ask, and you shall receive! This table is shown in the Tuscan-style (long) form. Click HERE to see how the look of the same basic decor changes with a square table. (The 2nd look would also work quite well with a round table!)

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IMG_3361WMHere, two 6′ x 30″ oblong tables are set end-to-end to create a 12-ft. table. With the large amount of decorative detail, generously proportioned 13″ chargers, and increased amount of china and flatware, however, it only seats 8. Using the more common 12″ charger, smaller decorative elements, and eliminating the bread plate would free up space for up to 12 guests.

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The Christmas holidays are a time for over-the-top tablescapes that have a lush, luxurious feel to them. Using an additional charger can help achieve that look and feel. I like to remove the first one after the salad course and the second after the entrée. (Formal etiquette calls for removing all chargers before the entrée is served, but many guests enjoy the additional razamatazz. Depending on who I’m entertaining, it might stay or go!) For this place setting, a 13″ sparkly red charger (Target) is topped with a 12″ silverplate charger. Any plates with a formal holiday vibe will work. I used my trusty Noritake “Spectrum” dinner and salad plates with the simple, sleek platinum band.

A crisp white cotton napkin with a monogram or initial is always perfect for a formal setting. An icy crystal napkin ring from Z Gallerie helps to set this one off against the silver and white plates.

J.A. Henckels’ “Bellaserra” flatware has a beautiful mirrored finish that works well with the silver & white tablescape. A black-handled steak knife is added for use with the entrée.

IMG_3379WMCristal d’Arques “Longchamps” crystal stemware is always a nice choice. The diamond-shaped cut of this crystal mimics the cut of the Z Gallerie napkin ring.

Cranberries are wonderful for Christmastime decorating! They are relatively inexpensive (you can pick them up for as little as 99¢ a bag at Aldi’s or similar discount grocery stores), and they can be used in SO many ways. To dress them up, I am floating them in silver pedestal bowls with candles. (I used this pedestal bowl filled with rose petals for a wedding tablescape HERE.)

IMG_3366WMPlaced at strategic intervals down the table are three 27″ silverplate candlesticks with pillar candles. The candlesticks lend height to the table as well as ambient light at a higher level. The rose-filled silver julep cups placed at each person’s place setting work well as tabletop decor during the meal and as a nice take-home gift after dinner.

Ambient light at the lowest level is provided by silver mercury glass votive holders.

The red berry theme is extended with a berry-covered grapevine wreath over the mantel. The greenery on the wreath is the same used in the small julep arrangements on the table. Additional silver mercury glass votives flank the wreath.

So…if you have space for a 12-ft.+ table, this style works very well. (Two 8-ft. tables would require additional decorative pieces, but would be extra FABulous!!!) Of course, it requires a bit more decor because of its length, but it’s the same as doing two rounds. To see the squared version of this table which can also be done with a round, click HERE.

More tablescape designs on this site using long tables:
Oopsy Daisy!”
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn White Wedding
Get Me to the Church On Time
Daisy Crazy
Blue & White Family Picnic
Thanksgiving 2010
Hollywood Fright Night
Celebrate the Season
Black, White & Red All Over
Pretty In Pink
Love & Orchids”
Tented Green

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow
Tuscan Holiday

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! I am joining Susan and the other tablescapers from around our glorious world for Tablescape Thursday again this week. You’re invited to come along for the ride!

Tall & Toile, Y’all!

The packing process is in full swing now. This will be my last post for a while. I’m taking a short hiatus to get moved to Savannah, GA with my husband. Before packing the last of the dishes and other “stuff”, though, I had to host one final (albeit small) dinner party a few weeks ago on the deck. This was an evening filled with both laughter and tears as I said, “So long!” to a couple of very dear friends. We all had horrible “racoon eyes” from crying and didn’t want to be photographed for this post. Suffice it to say, we had a wonderful time and I will treasure this final dinner party at our Lee’s Summit home.

I’m feeling sort of blue because we’re leaving the Kansas City area, so I decided to use that color for my last table.

I bought this wonderful toile table topper several years ago for a display table in my shop. I absolutely adore toile, and it was an even bigger hit with me combined with these dangling “jewels.”

Each place setting consists of silver-leafed terra cotta chargers topped with my favorite Noritake “Spectrum” china. Heirloom silver, Longchamps crystal and white cotton monogrammed dinner napkins rounds out the setting.

Creamy agapanthus in three silver julep cups was just enough for this tiny table.

I like the look of very tall candles! One of my 5-lite silver Revere candelabra held these svelte 25″ metal case candles that kept up with the cool spring winds accompanying our outdoor meal.

I will miss everything about you, Kansas City. You have been my only home for nearly 53 years. I will miss my awesome neighbors – the Alsups, the Rutherfords, the Jenisons, the Breshears – who have all been so sweet and generous and kind. I don’t know that I will ever be able to replace the feeling of “home” that they have provided on our little cul-de-sac over the years. I will miss Kansas City barbeque, the Sprint Center with its incredible acoustics for some of the coolest concerts ever, Chiefs games at “The K”, and the Kansas City symphony. I will miss the many parks, fountains and boulevards that make Kansas City so special. I will miss the Country Club Plaza, Z Gallerie (the closest one to Savannah is 5 hours away!!!), and Town Center Plaza where I have spent countless hours (and $$$). I will miss my former colleagues in the wedding industry, many of whom I still pop in on from time to time. I will certainly miss my friends – Sheri, my best friend of more than 45 years who has made life such a joy; Monica, Audrey, Rene, Michelle, my Kauffman Foundation crew – all of whom have been there for the best and worst of times. Most of all, I will miss my family: my sister and her children who make frequent trips into Kansas City; my very crazy cousins (yes, Dee…I’m singling you out!); my fun-loving aunt and uncle; my grandchildren; my stepchildren and their lively friends, and; my baby boy, Jimmo, who is the beat of my very heart. And, of course, I will sorely miss my parents. My parents who have loved and supported me in everything I do. My parents who I love so much it almost hurts. My parents who provided me with an upbringing that has made me strong enough to withstand the hardest things in life…even this move. For them I will hold my head up. That doesn’t mean I won’t cry. I’m crying right now, in fact. It does mean, however, that I will do them proud and not turn Savannah on its ear…too much! 😉

My dear blogger friends, please check back with me in a month or so. Once we are settled in to our new home in Savannah, I will be so happy to rejoin you in Blog Land.
Take care…y’all! 🙂

I am delighted to join Susan and the host of talented tablescapers who join in each week for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

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!