All I Want For Christmas…

Merry, merry, merry wishes of joy and happiness to you and yours this Christmas season! I hope you’re feeling the spirit of the holidays and getting that decorating finished up!

All I wanted for Christmas this year was to be healthy. After months of grueling PT with “Deadly” David to fully recover from the 3rd spine surgery last December, I finally did it!!! Since August I’ve been working out with a fabulous, fun (and cute!) personal trainer I like to call “Killer” Kyle. I’m getting leaner, meaner, and stronger with actual muscles forming to support my spine. Muscles. Me! At 60 years old!!! But then on the last day of November I took a 10-lb kettle bell to the head/face from overhead that rendered me unconscious and earned me an ambulance ride. Concussion, retinal edema, multiple contusions, cuts, and bruises…just a hot mess! Surgery the following week. I’ve posted a few pics at the very end past the comments section. If you’re squeamish, easily grossed out or prone to nightmares, don’t go there.🤢 It’s pretty bad. I morphed from this picture of health at 9:30 a.m….

Me with the Miracle Worker, Mr. Abs of Steel himself, “Killer” Kyle, celebrating my post-spine surgery 30 lb. (so far!) weight loss!

…to what you’ll see at the end of this post. From regular ol’ me…to Rocky Balboa in the 15th round calling for Adrian!!!/ Worf/Quasimodo…to Sloth (The Goonies)…to Gollum…and finally to Uncle Festus within a 7-day period. Ugh!😑

Anyhooooo…Long before all this mayhem went down,  a crew from KCTV-5 graciously came out to our home to tape my segment of “Better Kansas City” so I wouldn’t have to haul everything to the studio. I never got a chance to post the details of our shoot that day or any of our Christmas decor. I hope you find these tablescape ideas handy for this year and beyond, and starting soon I’ll post ideas for around the rest of the house. First the short 5-minute video segment from the show…

And now…pretty pictures with very few words!

Lights, camera…action!

Oops, wait…I wasn’t ready yet!

I chose 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dinnerware for the shoot because of its lavish design. (See this same dinnerware at “Cardinal Christmas” from 2016.) The napkins are tied with red ribbon to mimic the design in the dishes.

Glossy green-stemmed compotes for dessert service. (Also used in “Upscale Irish“.)

The luxurious white faux fur table runner is topped with a very traditional plaid runner and a length of satin ribbon.

Faux snow generously sprinkled over the centerpiece of manzanita and faux Christmas greenery.

This cheerful metal banner from Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO, can be displayed just about anywhere and is one of my new favorites! (I bought several!)

The red ginger jar, carved column cap, and lavishly realistic faux greenery on the end of the buffet are all from Nell Hills.

The semi-permanent display on the china cabinet is enhanced with the addition of a well-lit faux greenery garland almost casually tossed across.

That’s a wrap!

Next post we move into the entry hall and library. Hope you’ll come back by to check it out!

OK,  now…I’m serious…this is bad.😱🤢🤕
The blood was already all cleaned up (probably left a 1/2 pint on the turf!), but still…bad. Just quickly scroll past it if you want to leave a comment but fear losing your lunch!🤮

🚨🚨🚨LAST WARNING!!!🚨🚨🚨

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In the ER approximately 2 hours after the kettle bell hit me – see the mash up of Rocky, Worf and Quasimodo with that massive contusion to the forehead and that eye?!!

 

Home from the ER. Starting to look more like Sloth. The extent of the broken nose is more evident.

 

Day 7 – I’ve surpassed Rocky, Worf, Quasimodo and Sloth. A cross between Gollum & Uncle Festus has overtaken my face!!!

 

Day 8 – Ready to head back to hospital for surgery

 

Trying to keep my puny veins warm so the IV will go in a bit easier. In good spirits!

 

The whole staying warm thing didn’t work and my good spirits have expired. The IV hurt…a LOT!!!

Back home in my own comfy jammies with nose repositioned and splinted. The headache is excruciating!!!

Six-week recovery ahead. Hoping to get cleared to go back to working out in the gym mid-January! Meanwhile, nothing gets in the way of daily exercise!!! (Even if it is just walking and the recumbent bike.)

Christmas in the Woods

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”

This is the last of 3 posts from the recent “Garlands & Gatherings” event to raise funds in support of Hope Haven of Cass County.

This final tablescape for the Christmas-themed fundraiser was casual with a lot of natural elements to celebrate the season. This table for 6* would work well for any holiday event from Christmas dinner and other seasonal parties to rehearsal dinners and December adult birthdays.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”:  Christmas tablescape with natural elements

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”:  Place setting with wood slice charger, tartan ribbon, natural elements

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Flatware, wood slice charger, tartan ribbon runner, stemware collageClassic tartan is back this year in a big, big way (thank you, Ralph Lauren, King of Classic!), and it plays a big part in making this table stand out. I started with a hunter green full-length tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. Dark green, like black and some purples, has a nasty little habit of absorbing everything on it, so I used a pair of tartan flannel ribbons as a dual runner to add color, texture and pattern to awaken the eye. (TIP: Layering fabrics in winter adds to the look of “warmth” for your tablescape.) Wood slice chargers (craft wood from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby that, with a coupon, cost about $9 each compared to $25 at places like Z Gallerie) anchor the place settings, topped with a bright holly red dinner plate. Hunter green napkins are embellished with a length of tartan ribbon and tucked beneath the plate.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”:  Menu

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: MenuMenus were created on my home computer using hunter green, red and cream cardstock. To carry on the natural theme (and hide the staple used to keep the layers together! 😉 ), I hot glued a cinnamon stick to the top.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Centerpiece with bark-covered vase, antlers, woodland creatures

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece started with a sad little beat up candleholder I found on clearance at Pier 1 after Christmas last year. It had greenery, some bay leaf and pine cones with a few woodland animals wired in. In the center I placed a bark-covered vase filled with fresh, fragrant greenery. I jazzed up the base with clusters of brightly-colored berries and a bit more of the fresh greenery, then added antlers for more dimension and light.

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Bark-covered vases

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Anise, cinnamon stick, buckeye, acorn collageThe centerpiece is extended down the length of the table with bark-covered vases filled with natural elements like star anise, acorns, cinnamon sticks and buckeyes.
(Other elements you might use: chestnuts, rose hips, coffee beans, sweetgum balls, hypericum berries, cotton boles, bay leaves, pine cones, whole cloves, nuts in the shell, feathers, fake snow, unpopped popcorn, grain. To see a more complete list of accessories for detailing your winter tablescapes, click HERE or on the “Winter” tab above and scroll to the very end of the posts.)

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Burlap-wrapped votive tied with cinnamon sticks

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Cinnamon sticks tied with raffia on a burlap-wrapped votive holderI bought these burlap-wrapped votive holders last year. They’re OK, but they needed a little extra pizzazz. I bundled cinnamon sticks – that kind of look like logs AND repeat the element from the menus – with a length of green raffia and tied them onto the votives. As the heat from a candle burns, the fragrance of cinnamon fills the air!

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Christmas in the Woods”: Christmas sweaters on wine bottlesThe final touch was to add wine bottles to the table dressed in fun Christmas sweaters and Santa hats from Tuesday Morning. This bit of whimsy furthers the theme of being out in the cold on a wintry day. (Every time I look at these sweaters, I think of the Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams Christmas specials!)

*The table used for this demonstration is only 30″ wide and therefore tends to crowd the tabletop elements. Your table at home is likely 42+” wide which would provide at least 12 additional inches of space.)

More Christmas tablescapes on this site:
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

I’ll be back next week with another traditional Christmas tablescape!

I’m linking up this week with:
Christine at Rustic & Refined for Table It!
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme

It’s December 4 and a balmy 60°F degrees outside….in Kansas City! (For those readers who live outside the U.S.A., that’s smack dab in the middle of the country, and we are usually shivering through daytime highs of only around 35°F or 40°F by now!) Hardly the weather for a snowman! So you can imagine my tablescaping students’ surprise back in October when they walked in and saw a room full of them! A snowman-themed tablescape is always fun, though, whether you’re entertaining the mathematically young or the young at heart.

Next week I’ll bring you a variation of this table for a larger number of guests to demonstrate how the same basic elements can be used to create a table with an entirely different look! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
(Click to enhance/enlarge any photo. Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

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IMG_9338WMThis is the kind of table that just brings me a lot of joy! It’s playful, but with a teensy air of sophistication introduced via the details. A full-length black and white checkered tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is the driving force behind this fun table setting. Its bold pattern commands attention in an unconventional way for Christmas. The dishes – a white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery and a black ceramic dinner plate from Dollar Tree – are kept simple to avoid competing with the pattern.

Napkin & flatware collagePlain white cotton napkins are folded lengthwise to drape off the side of the table, gathered with ornamentation for a miniature Christmas tree, and embellished with a sprig of snow-covered pine.

Hot chocolate & stemware collageClear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is used, including an Irish coffee mug for an after-dinner adult beverage laced with a chocolate-caramel liqueur.

Centerpiece, ribbon collageThe snowman centerpiece is made up of a squatty clear glass cylinder (I’m using these cylinders a lot this season!) layered with faux snow, pine branches and bright red berries. Red, besides being a traditional Christmas color, is a natural when paired with black and white. To complement the snowman’s attire, I added a dash of it to the table using a criss-cross of wide red ribbon. Notice how the checks in the tablecloth mimic that of the snowman’s jaunty little scarf. (I used these snowmen in a post called Frosty the Snowman two years ago. Click HERE or on the “Winter” tab above to see the difference.)

IMG_9745WMI used lots of votives on the table to counterbalance the deep tones of the black and red, further offset the quadrants already defined by the ribbon runners, and to add an adult dose of seasonal warmth and ambient light.

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Cake & cookie collage

Drink tray, urn collageOver on the vitrine is an assortment of sweet treats and “whoopie juice” for your hot chocolate. The pine boughs used here are the same as those used on the dining table. (Repeating a key element throughout the room lends the desired cohesive look. Besides the pine boughs, other repeated elements here include snow, snowmen, black & white checks, the color red, and stovepipe hats.)  Flanking the vitrine are huge urns topped with giant red ornaments.

Secretary collageThe secretary on the opposite wall from the vitrine is decorated with a few more snowmen and more pine boughs including a wreath. Notice how the “Rule of 3” is used here with the wreath as a backdrop.

Geoffrey collageGeoffrey, dressed in his sexy fur-trimmed apron and stovepipe hat, joins the evening’s fun with an offering of Christmas cookies. Really, Geoffrey, you’re an English gentleman. Find a top hat that fits, will ya!!! 🙂

IMG_9702WMA silver Revere bowl filled with shiny red ornaments is simple but elegant.

Nine other Christmas posts can be found on this site’s WINTER page.
Additional Christmas posts on this site:

Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch

I am delighted to join Cuisine Kathleen once again this week for “Let’s Dish!” starting at 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting at 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday. My fellow tablescapers have some marvelous ideas for you to see!!!