Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous – Happy Birthday, Mom!

There are certain moments in our lifetime that simply need to be extravagant. Yesterday, in celebration of 85 years of touching the lives of so many in only a way my Mom can, was one of those moments.

INSPIRATION: My Mom. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time, but much more than that...forever young!

INSPIRATION: My Mom at 85. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time; but much more than that…forever young!

If I tried to put my Mother’s lengthy & powerful resume on this post, I would crash the system. She has always been a go-getter in every sense of the word. I have only to aspire to her greatness in this life. For all that she is, all that she does, and all that from her has spurred me on, I wanted to bring a few ladies together again this year to celebrate. Mom has graciously consented to allow me to share her special day with all of you. Enjoy!
Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table positioned lengthwise

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - table from side view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - white rosette chairs & runner from LinenTablecloth.com

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table linens & chair cover collage To create this spring green and white birthday tablescape, I used all linens from LinenTablecloth.com. The tables are cloaked in 90″ x 132″ white tablecloths with a pair of beautiful white rosette runners. The chairs start with a fabulously utilitarian white stretch banquet chair cover topped with a white satin rosette chair cap. They are finished with a flowing white satin chair sash tied in a prim and proper bow. This look is perfect for weddings, birthdays, and all special occasions in need of an exquisite feminine touch! An extravagant look for a not-so-extravagant price point!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full place setting The 12 individual place settings begin with a silver metal charger. The Noritake “Whitebrook” china, embellished with white flowers and grey scrolls, is on loan from my sister who co-hosted the luncheon.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Stemware, napkin, favor collage LinenTablecloth.com napkins in tea green serve as a lovely backdrop to the rose-topped favor boxes. The stemware for water and lemonade is basic glass from Old Time Pottery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Menu   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Bread basket, S&P shakers, plate of food collageI created the 3-layer menus for the luncheon on our home computer. I used a photo of my Mom in her 20s as the watermark, mimicking the look of the invitations. I actually found the strength to do all the food preparation, too, with the exception of the rolls (Costco…those things are tasty!!!) and the cake! My sister and my friend, Barbara, expertly plated the food to presentation perfection!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece view from end of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full Centerpiece view from side of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece floral collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moss dog with floral basket   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Dog collageThe centerpiece….OH, that centerpiece!!! I wanted each guest to be able to enjoy a little bit all the way down the table, so I put together four medium-sized fresh florals (white roses, cream spray roses, white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, leatherleaf and goldenrod) in silver julep cups, two smaller versions in miniature juleps, glass pilsner vases topped with white faux rose balls that extended slightly into the vases for a little drama, and then two moss covered dogs. Yes…DOGS! They represent my parents’ beloved dog, Cupcake, who is my Mother’s constant companion. I slipped a small glass votive into the little basket the dogs are carrying, jammed in some wet oasis, and then filled it with flowers. A really FUN and unusual centerpiece item that added whimsy to the overall look!   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Coffee Service collageJust across the way from the dining table I set up a silver tray with coffee service for after lunch.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Guest book table collage

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy's side of the family.

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy’s side of the family.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my sister, Berishia

Mom with my sister, Berishia, who is a cowgirl through and through as you can tell by the hat!

Mom and me...and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

Mom and me…and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

As guests arrived they were invited to sign the guest book set up in the foyer and then join Mom for an individual photo op. (I just set the camera up on a tripod, and it was SO easy!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moscato service collage DSCN2604WM

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Cake collage Guests were then invited into the library to pick up a glass of moscato and view the cake which I had displayed on the vitrine.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Group photo at Mom's 85th Birthday luncheon Hail, hail…the gang was all here and it was time to eat! (Camera on tripod with timer feature…a Godsend!!!)

 

After lunch, the ladies serenaded my Mom with the birthday song. Despite a fabulous starting note from Irene, I still couldn’t get on key! Turn your volume down, folks…I’m standing right next to the video camera, and my singing kinda sucks!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia & Barbara in their fancy lady hats Thanks again to my wonderful friend, Barbara, for all the help she rendered to make sure this party went off without a hitch!

It was a stellar day, and I am so grateful that I was able to recover in time to get everything together and actually look nice for the day. Oh…for those of you who did not know, this was my stylish footwear up until 3 days prior to the party: Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia with fracture bootSO glad I was able to trade this in for stylish pumps for a few hours!

If you’d like to see five other birthday party posts on this site, please pop in on these individual birthday party posts:
The Party She Deserves
The Bluebird Special
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Purple & Green Birthday
Happy Birthday, Barf!

Later this week I will join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 6:00 pm, CDT) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m., CDT). I hope you’ll pop in on those fun blog parties with me! And check out a new link I’ve discovered, BeBetsy. It’s a wonderful lifestyle site featuring the work of fabulous bloggers covering everything from food to fashion that will blow your mind!

Be Still My Heart – A Valentine’s Day Tablescape

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Four plate collage

INSPIRATION: Pretty burgundy, black & white dessert plates found on the clearance table at Pier 1 and used here as bread & butter plates.

I hadn’t really planned on doing anything for Valentine’s Day other than what I’ll do for my husband on the 14th, but when I saw these little plates at Pier 1 on the clearance shelf, I had an immediate change of heart…so to speak. 😉
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Full Room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: linen hemsThis Valentine’s Day tablescape for four (two couples or maybe get some of your single girlfriends together for a fabulous night in!) is all about layering. I used three different tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com to achieve an ultra lush look on this 48″ round table: a 108″ white round, a 90″ black round, and finally a 70″ burgundy square. The layering allows each of the three colors found in the inspiration plates to peek out with the burgundy taking center stage as the color of love.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Full tabletopThe table shown here is outfitted with a few pretty votives for dinner, but could be easily transformed to a luncheon table by removing them.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Napkin & flatware collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: StemwareI wanted the place setting to evoke romance, so I used these intricately-embellished American Atelier “Empress” ironstone chargers and soup bowls that don’t usually see much action around here. The standard black dinner plate is part of a set from Walmart. The black-trimmed burgundy raw silk napkins are from the Bombay Co., a retail store I really, really miss. I chose the black Hampton Silversmiths “San Remo” flatware because the detailing on the handles resembles hearts. The stemware is one of my favorites, “Chelsea” from the Godinger collection.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Favor boxYou’ve just gotta have a box of chocolates for everyone on your Valentine’s Day guest list! The Russell Stover (local company!) chocolates here are covered in plain white wrap and adorned with tiny silk rosettes in the same burgundy color found in the top tablecloth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece is simple but pretty. For demonstration purposes here I used silk rose balls, but it would be the crowning touch for your table to go for the real deal. Ask your florist to create them for you or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, go DIY. (Be sure to keep the finished rose balls in a cool spot before putting them on the table, and be VERY sure there is no water dripping from the floral foam.) Touches of pink in the rose balls help to soften the overall look and add contrast. Three silver-rimmed votive holders with shapes that mimic the black vase are strategically placed. (TIP: When setting a table, look for similar or complementary shapes in the decor pieces you use.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Be Still My Beating Heart: Chair with LTC Spandex chair coverI just LOVE these stretch chair covers from YourChairCovers.com!!! They are so easy to slip on, stay put even with the wiggliest butts on them, wash and wear with no fuss (no ironin’….y’know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, ladies?), can bounce back & forth between traditional and contemporary dining environments, and they come in 14 colors! YourChairCovers.com carries a wide variety of lovely sashes, too, but I chose this organza one from my repertoire with its fancy beading for a little extra ooh-la-la.

Quick and easy post for a quick and easy tablescape to celebrate with your loved one(s). Please come back in a couple of days to take a peek at my second (and final!) Valentine’s Day 2014 tablescape.

Other tablescapes on this site suitable for Valentine’s Day dining:
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Should Have Put A Ring On It
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Queen of Hearts Card Party
Love’s Arrow

Days of Wine & Roses
Chocolate Traditional
Peonies & Pearls
Fete Noir et Gris

Pretty In Pink
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

I’m joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. Drop on by to see what other tablescapers from all around the world are up to this week!

Thanks for stopping by! Valentine hugs!

Lauren in the Library

If Memorial Day weekend tends to be more about quiet reflection than barbecues and poolside play for you, this red, white & blue tablescape may be right up your alley. My inspiration this week comes not so much from something you can see, but the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I turned on the television this past week to see that we had lost yet another soldier from the Greater Kansas City area. Sgt. 1st Class Trenton L. Rhea, 33, was a member of the 200th Military Police Company in Belton, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City where I lived years ago. He drowned as he attempted to cross a body of water during combat operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Sgt. Rhea and to all of those left behind to mourn the loss and cherish the memory of loved ones killed while in service to our country.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Lauren in the Library, full room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: overhead photo

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Full table, close-upThis formal patriotic table for five began with a full-length white tablecloth topped with a navy blue square one from LinenTablecloth.com. Doubling (or even tripling!) the table linens renders a more lush look and plays up a multi-color theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Place settingEach place setting begins with a gold-leafed glass charger. A pristine white dinner plate with a prim gold rim comes next, and then finally a Ralph Lauren “Knockhill” navy blue-rimmed salad plate. While Knockhill is actually the name of a Scottish race car circuit, the red, white and blue coloring of the plate and the very regal crest seemed to work for this patriotic setting.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Flatware, rim shot, Lauren emblem collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red & blue ribbon on white linenThe simple addition of red and navy blue ribbon adds instant patriotic flair to the white napkins. Notice how the ends of the ribbon are dovetailed to mimic those of the Ralph Lauren banner on the salad plate. Gold flatware complements the charger and dinner plate rim.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: StemwareCrystal stemware rimmed in gold.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red rose ball centerpiece, front view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Red rose ball centerpiece - overhead view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: White ceramic urn

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Urn collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: Candlestick collageWhat flower conveys messages of both love and tradition as clearly as red roses? Here, four smaller red rose balls surround a larger centered one, all in white ceramic urns. Stately gold candlesticks with formal white candles stand tall on each side of the centerpiece. (Faux flowers were used for demonstrative purposes here, but I encourage you to use fresh for “real” formal tablescapes.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One – Lauren in the Library: gold mercury glass votive holdersThe centerpiece is finished off with two pairs of gold mercury glass votive holders for ambient light.

This tablescape would work well for any U.S. patriotic holiday (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Flag Day, Armed Forces Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day), but might perhaps also be appropriate for political dinner events.

Other patriotic tablescapes on this site:
“American Royal Tablescape”
“4th of July Coastal Style”
“Stars and Stripes”

“All-American Seafood Boil”
“Red, White & Blueberries”
“Missouri Show Me State Dinner”

Other posts with red rose balls on this site:
“Derby Day Dining”
“Kentucky Derby Buffet”
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”

I am pleased and proud to join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” this week. She’s hosting a patriotic tablescape challenge, so you can see what lots of talented bloggers from around the globe are doing in celebration of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I’ll also be joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”. And in support of our military and their families, please join me for The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party”!!!

May God bless the American soldier and his/her family, all of whom sacrifice so much.

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!

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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“.)

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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?

Diwali My Way

The extent to which I am familiar with Indian culture is that which I’ve seen in movies like “Bend It Like Beckham”. Last year, though, I found a blog called Rainbow – The Colours of India hosted by my blogger buddy Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee (Mukherjee). Sanghamitra is an avid traveler and photographer who captures some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. She has become my personal version of National Geographic. 🙂 I’m in awe of people who can just pack a suitcase and hit the road (or skies, or water) without reservation or hesitation. I’m the consummate homebody, so I live vicariously through those brave, happy-go-lucky souls.

Sanghamitra’s photos of the bright colors of India, along with her posts last Fall on Diwali (popularly known as the “festival of lights“), inspired me to try my hand at a table that celebrates the festival which generally begins in October/November. This Diwali-inspired tablescape is by no means “traditional” or “authentic”, but it is my attempt to capture the colors, smells, tastes and feel of a country I admire but will never see in person. I think it fits right in with Cuisine Kathleen’s “Destination Challenge” this week!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

An abundance of rich, bright colors starts with the hot pink overlay.


Each place setting begins with a gold-leafed glass charger. The amber glass dinner plates are from Pier 1, and the 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plates were a Home Goods find a couple of years ago.

Sheer gold napkins from Pier 1 are cinched with tiny child-size bangles purchased at a local market called Namaste India. It’s a fun place to shop with lots of different foods, clothing, jewelry and other items unique to the Indian culture.

Shiny gold flatware works well against the brilliant colors.

A combination of opulent glassware includes gold-embellished tumblers that I bought at TJ Maxx in several different base colors (purple, red, turquoise) including the green pictured here. The purple gold-rimmed wine glasses were a Pier 1 find many years ago, and the leggy amber flute is from World Market. I love every opportunity to mix and match glassware!

The centerpiece that extends the length of the table is a mix of various components. Hot pink rose balls sit center stage atop a gold vase. Flanking the vases are graceful red gem-studded gold Buddhas that I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft store a couple of years ago. Multi-colored glass votive holders dot the rich swath of red & gold silk fabric placed diagonally and allowed to puddle onto the floor for dramatic effect.

The buffet behind the table boasts colors that complement in the flowers, candles and other details.

Spices commonly used in Indian cooking are as beautiful as they are tasty. Coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, ginger, mustard seed, paprika and turmeric are just a few of the wonderfully fragrant spices that add zesty flavor.

Cinnamon, star anise, and fragrant bay leaf are other popular spices used in Indian cooking that produce a special flavor. Finish off the evening with a fabulous libation made with blue curacao liqueur.

I carried the hot pink color to the buffet via a small arrangement of peonies and a more imposing bouquet of calla lilies in a brass vase from India.

Other Asian-inspired posts on this site:
Mandarin Bling
Copper Zen
Peaceful Peonies
Year of the Rabbit
Zen Garden
Mikasa Daylight Giveaway

I enjoyed my week off and got a lot done, but I’m glad to be back with all of you in Blogland! Please join me at Cuisine Kathleen’s for “Let’s Dish!” and at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday again this week!

Mandarin Bling

Regained a smidge of my creative mojo, y’all!
This is the first tablescape I have created since…well, you know! 😉

I’ve been in a creative slump lately, drowning in the cesspool of the last couple of months. I recently decided to surface, catch my breath, and get my hips back to tablescaping!!! 🙂 I drew inspiration from Alberto Pinto’s book “Table Settings”. (Click here or on the “Books That Make You Go Ooh!” tab above to read my review.) I was drawn to his continental style that is markedly different and quite dramatic. Hence, the color palate used here is bright Mandarin orange, blue and white.

 

To create this Oriental tablescape with European style, I started with a starched white floor-length cotton table linen. Floor-length in this case was a must to convey the relative formality of the evening. A 13″ round mirrored charger is topped with Ralph Lauren’s “Mandarin Blue” dinner and salad plates. The plates have two separate but complementary designs. Other pieces in Lauren’s “Mandarin Blue” have orange flourishes.

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I created the menus using a lightweight neon orange cardstock layered with white. A clip art Mandarin symbol adorns the front of each and separates the listed courses.

Now that my mojo is back, my love of energetic color has returned as well. Cobalt blue water goblets from Pier 1 team up with Crystal d’Arques wine glasses and fun orange martinis in which dessert would be served. (Orange martinis found at Old Time Pottery.) This eclectic but complementary mix is typical Alberto Pinto style.

With dishes in a pattern called “Mandarin Blue”, it seemed fitting to use flatware with an Asian influence. Adding a pair of chopsticks alongside the bamboo stainless flatware offers those with the necessary skills a chance to eat in an authentic manner.

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IMG_1179WMThe centerpiece is composed of 29″H clear pilsner vases topped with bright orange rose balls that are visually “connected” by crystal garlands. A single crystal prism, suspended from the bottom of the rose ball, dances in the light of 25″ Paradise candles. (Click here to see another table decorated with rose balls. Click here or on the “Table Tips” tab above – Tip #27 – to see how the prisms are discreetly attached.)

Gilded servants from Z Gallerie offer another level of intimate candlelight.

IMG_1121WMThe buffet display has a Z Gallerie 24″ orange wooden tray tucked behind an oversized ginger jar from Home Goods. More servants with votive candles stand guard in front of the display. Tea service uses “Mandarin Blue” cups and saucers along with a simply designed teapot from Home Goods.

Though very non-traditional in color & style for the holiday, this tablescape would be great for Chinese New Year!

So…who says eating Chinese takeout is just for college students and sitcom characters? “Homey don’t play that!” 🙂 For me, it’s all about the Mandarin Bling!!!

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Year of the Rabbit
Peaceful Peonies
Copper Zen
Mikasa ‘Daylight’ Giveaway

You are invited to join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch along with a bevy of wonderfully talented tablescapers for Tablescape Thursday. You can also catch me over at BeBetsy.com. See you there!