Tuscan Holiday

A neighbor asked me to help her with the design of a dinner tablescape for an Italian Christmas feast. She wanted to keep the look “very low key.” Further, she wanted the colors to be warm and not “overtly Italian.” My solution was to pair her white bowls with my mustard-color plates. We also used her existing flatware & stemware.

The long, lush centerpiece uses rustic wooden bowls as the foundation. (September Wine to see these wooden bowls & oversized hurricane sleeves used in a similar design on a long Tuscan-style table.) To this I added massive 24″H clear glass hurricane sleeves from Pottery Barn with an ivory pillar candle atop an oil-rubbed bronze candlestick. The outer edges of the bowl are filled with assorted seasonal fruits. To finish the look, fragrant evergreens cut fresh from the yard.
To finish each place setting, a bronzed charger and simple yellow apple serve as a subtle extension of the centerpiece. Rich chocolate linens convey the desired warmth and subtlety.
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
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

I’m a Little Bit Country: Garth Brooks & Paper Plates

“Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair.” So goes the start of the anthem made famous by country music legend Garth Brooks. My sister made an early birthday present of a ticket to see him once again here in Kansas City this past Sunday night. My sister, niece, cousin and I donned our country western gear and “yeehawed” the night away. Just as magical as the first time I saw Garth in concert 10 years ago. His music inspired me, in part, to create a fun country/western themed tablescape using disposable paper goods for a September 2016 segment of the “Better Kansas City” show. The 4-minute video clip is followed by still photos of the tablescape from the set. Stick around for a few pics from concert night at the very end of the post!

 

For the demonstration I used one of my trusty stretchy Spandex fitted tablecloths in white from LinenTablecloth.com as the base to serve as better contrast to the black plates and cups. The table runner is a piece of burlap folded to size.

 

 

 

The theme of the segment was all about using disposable goods (something I don’t necessarily advocate in my quest to help save Mother Earth, but sometimes I suppose it’s just more practical!), so I stopped by a dollar store to pick up plates and cups. The country/western-themed paper napkins are from Tuesday Morning, the raffia-tied flatware from Costco, and the iron spurs that made their debut on my post Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs are from the men’s decor area at Hobby Lobby.

 

The rustic miniature tree bark fencing was also first introduced back in 2014 on that Pretty in Pink, Wicked In Spurs Breast Cancer Awareness Month tablescape. I used them then as a sort of charger beneath each place setting. This time around I simply balanced them like fences down the center of the table. Got these from the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, but you could probably find something similar at a craft store or make your own!

 

I was excited to find these cute brown metal lanterns at Hobby Lobby, too. The quintessential accent for a cowboy (or cowgirl!) tablescape! I’ve never put oil in them, though. I opt for a safer LED candle.

 

 

The floral arrangements here are a mix of faux wild flowers and daisies, but could be easily replicated in fresh. As a vase I used a cute resin cowboy “belt” from Hobby Lobby. I’m not sure if they carry them anymore as they weren’t on their website, but you can check your local store.

 

Here I am with former Better Kansas City co-host Lisa Teachman, one of the nicest people on earth. Thanks for making it all so easy, Lisa!

For other rustic/western/country-themed tablescapes on this blog:
Pretty In Pink, Wicked In Spurs
American Royal Tablescape

And now, a few pics from the concert. If you’ve never seen Garth Brooks in concert, you’re really missing out on a treat for the senses!!!

Me at home before gettin’ on my horse hoppin’ in my ultra-suburban SUV to the concert. Hmmmm…wearing the same dress and hat as I did for the “Better Kansas City” segment. Coincidence? 😉

We pooled our culinary resources at my cousin’s house to put on a feast fit for a cowgirl before the concert!

 

 

 

Ready to head out to the concert of the year! L to R: My sister, Berishia in her new patriotic cowboy hat; my niece, Yvonne, fanning away the late Spring heat; me, and; my fancy cousin, Dee

Ready to boot scoot boogie!!! Whoa, wait…that’s Brooks and Dunn, isn’t it?!!

In our side view seats that were actually pretty good. L to R: Berishia, Yvonne, Dee, me

My niece, Yvonne, and me. We were SO ready to have a good time!!!

THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!! Garth sang his heart (and , eventually, his voice!) OUT!!! I took quite a few pics, but  I don’t want to spoil it for you if you’re going sometime soon!

 

A billion and one thanks to my sister and fellow Garth enthusiast, Berishia, for the early birthday present!!!

 

 

 

Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party

Winter Dessert Party

I’ve been away for quite awhile, but here’s my most recent appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show. For those of you missing the sparkle of the holiday months and battling the winter blahs like I am, this may be a fun way to put a little pep in your step and bring neighbors together to spite Old Man Winter! The 4-minute video is followed by still photos of the tablescape.

 

 

To those of you who have come on board while I’ve been away, WELCOME!!! To those who have hung in there for all these years and visit when you can, I love and appreciate you. Thank you for stopping by. Please note that I have disabled the Comments button. Not that I don’t appreciate your comments, but they aren’t necessary…I feel the love! (And my continuing health difficulties don’t let me sit for very long to be able to read and respond.)

Happy 2017! If you have questions regarding details of this post, please drop me an email at table21tablescapes@gmail.com.

P.S. I’m doing this from my iPad as I am no longer physically able to sit at my desktop for extended periods of time. If it publishes crazy, I apologize…I’m trying to get the hang of this new way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome back, and thank you so much for hanging in there with me! I hope to bring you lots of fun and creative tablescaping ideas in the months and years to come!

Over the River & Through the Woods – A Transitional Table For Thanksgiving Into Christmas

I conducted a Christmas-themed workshop in early November that forced us to drag out all of the Christmas bins WAY before their natural time. There was no way in the world we were going to put it all back for a couple of weeks, so we started Christmas decorating in time for the dinner we hosted on Thanksgiving Day. This called for a “transitional table” to avoid too much of a clash between the two and still enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas as separate holidays. I did the best I could. Maybe you can glean some ideas for future use!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree!

INSPIRATION: Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree with our Santa hats and antlers! My son is so tall you can barely see the tree back there! (I’m bent over with searing pain in my back and leg, but I was lovin’ my PINK Santa hat!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape for Thanksgiving when you've already decorated for Christmas: Full table

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Multiple place settings with wood slice chargers

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Single place setting with wood slice charger, brown & ivory transferware dinner plate

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware dinner plate depicting woodsy/barnyard theme with peacock, pheasant and other game birds

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware plate with peacock & pheasant designWe set the table into a “square” using 2-6ft. rectangular tables kissed side-by-side. Each was individually dressed in a full-length (90″ x 132″ linen for a 30″ x 72″ table) ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to disguise the unsightly legs of the folding tables. Each place setting was simple and in keeping with my woodsy/timberland/rustic theme with a wood slice charger. I used my brown and ivory transferware dishes that look so nice at Thanksgiving and were in step with the pheasants and pheasant feathers used throughout the house in the Christmas decorating. I decided on gold-tone flatware to add a bit of glitz to the table.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Whole centerpiece using birch bark-covered vases, resin reindeer, pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, whole spices, florals

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Resin reindeer front & back views, double runner, acorns, pumpkins & pine cones collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: birch bark-wrapped cylinder

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Birch planter, florals collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Pumpkin and acorn salt & pepper shakers, gold mercury glass votives with pheasant feathers collage

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Acorns, star anise, buckeyes and cinnamon sticks in bark-wrapped cylinders collageThe centerpiece is what I think turned out to be a successful marriage of Thanksgiving and Christmas: not too much of one or the other. The ivory tablecloths are covered down the center (to mask the line where they meet) with a triple layer of burlap fabric starting with the traditional wheat color topped with red from LinenTablecloth.com and then finished off with a length of Hobby Lobby burlap ribbon that is tied in a love knot on each end. (The Christmas tree in this room also has burlap ribbon tied off in love knots!) I LOVE that red LTC burlap, too! It really keeps its shape and lays down nice and flat! By tripling the runner fabrics, the table is afforded an extra warm and cozy look. TIP: I have also discovered that burlap is very easy to iron. Just spritz with a little water and go for it!

The centerpiece is a mix of white pumpkins, pine cones and acorns casually strewn about. A jumble of fresh, bright red poinsettia blooms, Dusty Miller from our own yard, and snippets of Christmas greenery are stuffed into two rectangular zinc-lined birch planters (with water tubes inside) that are placed zigzagged on the table. In front of each planter is a resting resin reindeer from Tuesday Morning. Birch-wrapped cylinders are filled with acorns, star anise, buckeyes, and cinnamon sticks and placed on the four corners. (Click HERE to see these spice-filled planters used on a recent demo table.) The centerpiece is finished off with gold mercury glass votives and a smattering of pheasant feathers to mimic the design on the dinner plates and the Christmas tree topper. Last, acorn (Pier 1) and pumpkin (Pottery Barn) salt & pepper shakers.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Banquet chairs dressed in LinenTablecloth.com stretch ivory chair covers and burlap sashes

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Stretch banquet chair cover with burlap sash, pillow collageOur banquet chairs were dressed in LinenTablecloth.com ivory stretch chair covers. I made the sashes from natural-colored burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I have discovered that situating the sash down low on the chair helps with a more uniform look and keeps them from going all wonky when guests lean back. (Wonky? Really? My parents paid out all that college tuition for THAT??!??!! 🙂 )

If you missed our 2014 Christmas Home Tour, just click HERE to see how it all tied in with this tablescape!

This is my final post of 2014. I want to wish each and every one of you a blissful, blessed, and safe Christmas and New Year. I appreciate and look forward to your visits and comments each week, and I hope to hear from you again in 2015.
Merry Christmas, and be good to one another.

Other Christmas tablescapes on this site that offer some neat ideas:

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
Celebrate 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 to ring in the New Year with style:
Life is a Cabaret
Platinum New Year’s Eve
Ringing In the New Year

Hooray For Vodka!
White Hot

Linking up with:
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch (Christmas Day)
Christine’s “Table It!” at Rustic & Refined (starting Sunday night)

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors' back yard.

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors’ back yard.

Right around this time every year I wax nostalgic about childhood visits to our paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, Kansas where my Dad grew up. Little things all around me draw my mind back to that simpler time, and with Daddy’s passing last year it seems there are more and more triggers. My inspiration for this farm style al fresco breakfast was a rustic flower-filled wheelbarrow nestled in a grove of trees in our neighbors’ back yard. It reminded me of wheelbarrow rides, walks along the dusty roads, playing tag in the endless rows of corn, and lazily swaying in an old tire swing in Mom & Dad Wilson’s back yard.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining and buffet table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining tableWe don’t own one of those big, hefty farm tables like the one at the farm, but boy, do I wish we did! Instead, for this casual breakfast tablescape I draped a standard 6-ft. folding table with a 90″ x 132″ ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The creamy color allows the bolder colors in the dishes and accessories to stand out.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Single place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Flatware, rooster tea towel napkin collageI wanted to create a tablescape where farm style rustic and suburban refined could easily coexist. Scroll & floral placemats in nutmeg, mocha and olive-green from Pier 1 anchor each place setting. The design mimics that of the background on the tea towel napkins from Dollar Tree. The rooster and chicken wire motifs on the napkin definitely fall into in that farm style rustic category! Pumpkin-colored dishes (purchased for just $1 each at the grocery store 2 years ago) work beautifully with the colors found in the napkin’s rooster. Simple Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware rounds out the setting.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Mason jar drinking mug collageA hearty serving of breakfast juice or fresh milk is served from these Mason jar mugs with a rooster design to complement the design element on the napkin and in the centerpiece. The mugs are from Dollar Tree.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: To further enhance the bucolic feel of the environment, I brought out wicker chairs (last seen HERE in an arbor setting) softened by Pier 1 toss pillows in colors corresponding with those in the placemats and napkins.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Wheat and rooster centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: resin rooster from Hobby Lobby

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard Wheat CollageFor breakfast, the centerpiece is simple but reflective of the overall theme. Small sheaves of blackbeard wheat are placed in clear glass milk bottles that are corralled in a chicken wire basket from Michael’s. To extend the wheat theme to the outer reaches of the tablescape, a single stem is casually placed across the plate at the base of each bowl. Between the larger wheat arrangements is a colorful resin rooster from Hobby Lobby.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table top

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard wheat arrangement in galvanized bucket on buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Pastries, toast, cereal collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Orange juice, milk, coffee mug collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Eggs in wire basket, wooden egg sign collageThe buffet table is dressed in a chocolate brown full-length cloth and ivory topper from LinenTablecloth.com. Adding the brown layer sets the buffet table apart from the dining area. An assortment of pastries and other breakfast goods are served up on galvanized iron trays (Pottery Barn) lined with warm woolen cozies made by my sister. The galvanized trays are a great match for the French bucket filled with blackbeard wheat to tie in with the dining table decor. Another tiny bundle of wheat appears alongside the toast. Cereal can be scooped from clear glass apothecary canisters from Function Junction, and morning staples – fresh milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice – are served from clear glass carafes. Colorful Pier 1 mugs in ivory, pumpkin and olive-green neatly line up on the table’s edge awaiting a splash of morning coffee. Beneath the umbrella of the wheat arrangement are a vintage wire egg basket and an old wooden sign rescued from a thrift store.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Chalkboard signage, basket of sunflowers, eggs in wire basket collageAt the base of the buffet table is a handmade chalkboard sign on a 2-sided sandwich menu board from Kirkland’s. A chicken wire and chipwood basket holds a bundle of sunflowers.

More fall tables on this site include:
“Italian Honeysuckle”
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
“Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner”

Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Copper Zen”

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

I’m going to TRY to get back here with a new Halloween tablescape next week, but I can’t guarantee it. I’m focusing on designing a number of tables (4 fantasy tables, 1 V.I.P. table, 24 guest tables!) for a Christmas-themed fundraiser that is fast approaching.
Meanwhile, Halloween tablescapes from years past:
“Serpents & Skullduggery”
“Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast”
“Hollywood Fright Night”

Blog parties I’m linking up with this week:
Rustic & Refined‘s “Table It!
Between Naps On the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday”

Go K.C. Royals! Go K.C. Chiefs!!!

Woodland Men’s Christmas Tablescape

INSPIRATION: Fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby

INSPIRATION: Fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby

We’re getting so close to Christmas, and I just had to get this masculine tablescape in! This tablescape filled with organic elements is another of the tables created for my Winter 2013 “Art of Tablescaping” class taught through MCC-Longview in Lee’s Summit, MO.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it and see up close details.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full room from front entryOur library is to the left just as you enter the house. It’s kind of dark and moody with lots of wood elements, just the perfect location for a guys’ informal dinner gathering.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full tableThis table for 5 starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com and is topped with this great piece of fleece fabric found at Hobby Lobby last year. The motif suggests the wilderness and hunting and Christmas all at once. While I didn’t have it at the time I created this tablescape, a third fabric layer of a jute tablecloth between the white and fleece would have worked out really great!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Place settingMen kind of like it to the point, so I started with a wood slab charger and topped it with a plain white Corelle dinner plate. You can buy wooden chargers from the Internet or places like Z Gallerie, but this option is less expensive and just as workable: it’s a natural wood slice from the wood crafts department at Michael’s priced at just $10 which becomes just $6 when you arm yourself with a 40% off coupon! That’s quite a bargain compared to the $91.80 for a set of 4 at Z Gallerie!!! I love Z Gallerie, but c’mon!!! I’ve also seen these at places like Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann’s.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Flatware, Stemware, Napkin & Favor collageThe flatware is Hampton Silvermith’s “Patriot” and the clear glass pilsner is from Tuesday Morning‘s clearance section this past Spring. Now let’s talk about this favor/Christmas gift at each place setting! Guys may or may not take to the notion of a little gift, but if it’s something that doesn’t challenge their manhood in any way, they’ll probably be OK with it. Here I have wrapped in plain brown paper a small Swiss Army pocket knife. That’s a pretty manly gift, right? The package is simply tied with twine with a crudely hewn tamarind tree pencil as a little somethin’-somethin’ extra. (They can throw it in their toolbox and use it for marking measurements!) I bought these pencils at TJ Maxx.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Centerpiece vases, burlap votives, antlers collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Sled, greenery, burlap votive collageI wanted to bring lots of rustic elements into the centerpiece. I started with 3 bark-wrapped vases, one filled with snow-kissed pine, one with pine cones, and one with fresh green moss that gives off that terrific woodsy scent. I added a pair of antlers, a miniature replica of a crudely crafted sled, and a few burlap-wrapped votive candles.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Christmas tree

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Gifts, owl in tree, twine ribbon collageI have always wanted to do a rustic-looking Christmas tree but never tried until now. I didn’t want my first turn at it to prove a disaster, so I kept it very sparse. (Look out next year, though! I’m goin’ for broke!!!) This 4-ft. tree is adorned only with white lights, burlap (Hobby Lobby), hardware store twine twisted into ribbons, and a few wide-eyed owls peeping out from the branches. The packages beneath the tree have the same wrapping paper as the favors on the table, are all tied up in twine, and dressed up a little with ornaments.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Tub of pine cones, owl collageOn the secretary next to the tree is an aluminum tub filled with pine cones being visited by a woodland friend who just flew in from Home Goods. 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Top of secretary collageThe top of the old secretary has a tiny forest of trees in vases made of birch bark. A lone burlap-swathed stag (Home Goods) stands among the trees.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Beer, burlap wreath, pocket knife collageA side table holds the pitcher of beer for the guys atop two wood slabs. A burlap wreath created by internationally acclaimed floral designer Kelly Acock of the Monarch Flower Company is the backdrop. I added just for fun this cool Swiss Army-style camping tool that belonged to my late father-in-law, an avid outdoorsman.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Reindeer wreath, owl on sled collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Woodland Men's Christmas Tablescape: Leather chair with side tableLast, a comfortable leather chair to kick back in after dinner.

This tablescape would work great for the “civilized” part of a modern day bachelor party where guys mostly just want to get together to eat, have a few drinks, and good-naturedly mourn the death of bachelorhood. 😉

To see another masculine tablescape on this site:
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

To see other winter/Christmas-related tablescapes on this site:
Christmas Fiesta
Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape
Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas
Christmas Through the Red Door
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Contemporary Christmas: Fire & Ice
Celebrating the Season
Sugar High Payback
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
plus NINE additional posts on a single page under the “WINTER” tab!!!

I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday after 6:00 p.m. CST and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST. Join me for lots of great ideas from tablescapers all around the world!

Going Green for Spring

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INSPIRATION: Fun acid green woven favor boxes from Beau-coup.com

It’s finally starting to feel a bit more like Spring here in the Kansas City, MO area. Hooray! This time of year means a round of Spring cleaning (ugh! :-(), which means it’s time to reduce, recycle and reuse. So here’s a tablescape to remind us to go green (have a garage sale, donate to thrift stores, use old items for new creations, vow to stop shopping…..whoa! Wait a minute! Who threw that last one in there??!?!?!!). In other words, time to go green!!!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IFThis fun green & white table for 8 begins with a fresh white full-length linen from LinenTablecloth.com. I was so happy to once again have a chance to use this fabulous Mikasa “Daylight” dinnerware. With its freshly sprouted leaves on a wispy branch, it says Spring to me like no other dish I have whether it’s for a birthday, a ladies’ luncheon or Sunday brunch! (Click HERE to see these dishes used in another colorful Spring setting AND in a subdued Asian-inspired theme. They’re just that versatile!)

Flatware, stemware, charger collageSimple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery doesn’t compete with the flurry of decor on the table.  The “chargers” are rustic grapevine wreaths. (These were also used as chargers for an American Royal tablescape HERE.) Dark faux bamboo flatware from Home Goods works in concert with the chargers and branch design on the plates.

IFThe good folks at Beau-coup.com sent me these eye-popping acid green woven favor boxes. They look terrific “as is”, or you can dress them up with any manner of flourish. Here, to keep the organic look and  theme of recycling to go green, I hot glued pieces of broken from the chargers. Imagine these with a pretty silk posy, a tilted bird’s nest, a pouf of ribbon, or a simple twine bow. Just go wherever your imagination and theme take you! TIP: This shade of green is often hard to “match.” Don’t even try to go there. Take your cue from nature’s variegated colors and strive to complement rather than match.

Agapanthus, butterfly collageI found the squared-off green vases at a nearby wholesale store that always has something fun to tempt me. The shape of these vases lends itself to a variety of looks. On this table the arrangement is merely 3 majestically tall faux agapanthus. (I used these same green vases on the buffet with lots of orchids overflowing HERE.) An oversized acid green butterfly with pretty mesh wings perches on the side. To bring the moppy heads of the agapanthus down closer to eye level, I snipped and plopped a few into sleek white ceramic urns.

Mercury ball on candlestick collageCandlesticks aren’t just for candles! I used these white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie to hold large, heavy mercury balls that sow a little shine into the otherwise unpolished setting.

Rose collageI bought a bunch of these little rose bundles wholesale a while back in several colors. I’ve seen similar ones in stores like Michaels. They look really good massed together as seen here in this white weathered aluminum planter. A single bundle is just enough to fill a smaller white ceramic urn.

Buffet collage

Wreath collageOn the buffet is a massive grapevine wreath that carries on the look of the chargers on the dining table. In the spirit of recycling and looking for something with a funky little beat, I used the stems cut from the agapanthus on the table to create a rambling design on one side of the wreath. The asymmetrical design is balanced a little with the presence of 3 more of the large butterflies. A mercury ball finial brings shine to the vignette, while dessert plates and forks peek out from beneath a floral arrangement.

Tea cart collageOn the tea cart are faux bamboo spoons and gorgeous Mikasa “Daylight” cups & saucers. A Ralph Lauren pierced cake pedestal (Tuesday Morning) holds more of the Beau-coup favor boxes, this time unadorned and filled with cookies for guests to take home. Your choice: favors on the table at each individual place setting, or displayed en masse for guests to pick up on their way out the door.

Many thanks to Beau-coup.com for providing these pretty favor boxes for me to play with! It was tons of fun! Beau-coup has a wonderful variety of “favors, party supplies, gifts, and more for all of life’s celebrations.” (I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I didn’t even try…I just plagiarized it! :-)) Stop by and check them out!

Other posts on this site with green and white tablescapes:
“The Party She Deserves”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Upscale Irish”

There are lots of fun blog parties out there with ideas from the creative minds of bloggers all across the United States and around the world. Partying hearty here in the Midwest (U.S.A.) are blog buddies like Marigene “In the Middle of Nowhere“, Lynne at “Lynne’s Gifts From the Heart“, Cindy at “Beaux R’eves“, Cherry Kay at “Entertaining Women” (she had a gorgeous green & white table last week!), Judy at “JBiggs Little Pieces“, sweet Pat at “Back Porch Musings“, “The Home Girl“, and newcomer Christine at “Rustic & Refined“. Join us this week at:
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday

Blog parties are a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from tablescapers who do this regularly and have lots of tried and true ideas!

Rolling Fields of Green – St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape

A million-and-one thanks to blog party hostesses Marty at A Stroll Thru Life (155th Tabletop Tuesday) and Jessica at A Humble Creation (A New Creation link party #3) for featuring my tablescape from last week honoring fellow blogger Vernice at We Three Dogs & Me! I am honored, flattered, and tickled petal pink! 🙂

A portion of this post is featured in the January 2015 issue of “Kansas City At Home” magazine along with an interview regarding trends for entertaining at home!

IF

“They say Mother Earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore.
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilight’s door.
Her eyes are the stars in heaven,
Watching o’er us all the while.
And her heart, it is in Ireland
Deep within the Emerald Isle.”
(Opening lyrics of “
Ireland“,
lyrics by Stephanie Davis, Jenny Yates, Garth Brooks)

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Charger, Flatware, Stemware collage IIThis year’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner party tablescape has a very organic quality about it, mixed with a little pot o’ gold glitz. It started with a full-length white tablecloth (LinenTablecloth.com) as the foundation. Beautiful rippled glass champagne-colored chargers purchased from Costco a couple of years ago lay beneath creamy white dishes from T.J. Maxx. Godinger’s “Dublin” crystal (what else for St. Patrick’s Day?!) and goldtone flatware round out the place setting.

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Flower, shrub, lg. moss ball collage

Moss balls on brass stand collage

Cabbage collageI tend to use more subtly symbolic decor when decorating for St. Patrick’s Day, hence the moss, cabbage, evergreens (all symbolizing the rolling green fields of Ireland) and gold accents (the pot of gold, of course!). Florals and greenery are assembled in a tightly gathered parade of creamy, rustic stone & earthenware pots (symbolic of the many fences made of stone in the Irish countryside) that I placed on a moss table runner. Gold mercury glass votives dot the centerpiece, and a few extra moss balls show up on worn golden-colored stands tinged with verdigris.

TIP: Using lots of pots or vases in the same color family creates a harmonious look down the length of your table. You can connect the centerpiece even further by placing everything on a runner or tray.

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Buffet collage - 2The buffet behind the dining table is very simply dressed with a pair of antique white stone urns topped with evergreen mounds, a trio of gold mercury glass votives, and a tray of “Dublin” rocks glasses to serve a wee bit o’ Brendan’s Irish Cream after dinner.

Other posts on this site with tablescapes suitable for St. Patrick’s Day:
“Upscale Irish”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” (buffet)
“Apple Green Luncheon”

I am proud to participate this week in Cuisine Kathleen’s “5th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl“. Head on over there to check out lots of tables wearin’ the green! I am also taking part in Marty’s 156th “Tabletop Tuesday“, Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” and The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta“.

“Ireland, I am coming home.
I can see your rolling fields of green
and fences made of stone.
I am reaching out.
Won’t you take my hand?
I’m coming home, Ireland.”
(“
Ireland” chorus)

After the Hunt Tablescape – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Deer hunting season officially began in the great State of Missouri on November 1. While it’s not my thing (I’d much rather spend time hunting dishes!), I know there are a lot of people – men in particular – who really enjoy hunting for sport. Seems kind of silly to me with Costco just a few miles away. Anyhooooooooo……. 😉

For one of my “Winter Wonderland” tablescaping classes this semester, I created a gentlemen’s tablescape for after the hunt. Whether it’s a hunt for deer, a hunt for that little white ball you hit with a very expensive stick for 18 holes, or a hunt for that perfect Christmas gift from Tiffany’s (hint, hint!), this is a table I think many gentlemen would enjoy to unwind with a hearty meal…in a civilized manner! (This might also work well for a man’s birthday in the winter months!)
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant.)

Set up in our little library, this 48-inch round table is dressed in a full-length black linen that is topped with a piece of wonderfully soft and washable black, brown & white plaid fleece from Hobby Lobby. The fleece tablecloth conveys warmth, while the plaid pattern reminds me of the flannel shirts guys often wear under their camouflage jackets.

Each place setting starts with a wood slice charger. These wood slices are sold in the woodworking section at places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for about $10 apiece (but use those valuable 40% and 50% off coupons to save $$$!), and they really work well with outdoor themes or rustic tablescapes. Every slice is a little different, and that’s what makes it really cool! The oblong shape allows more of the beautiful wood to show under a round or square plate. I used black ceramic plates – a combo of Dollar Tree and Target – to complement the masculine black under linen.

 A brown leaf-shaped bowl from Pier 1 is perfect for a little venison stew or rib-stickin’ chili. Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriot” flatware has a substantial shape and weight for the masculine hand.

Over the lips, and past the tongue. Look out, stomach! Here it comes!
There’s nothing like a little whiskey on the rocks for sipping before dinner. These miniature bottles of Jack Daniel’s fine Tennessee whiskey are great for individual servings at the table or as a take-home “favor” for the guys. (Believe me, if you gave these as wedding favors, they would NOT be left sitting on the table!!!) While meat-and-potatoes guys aren’t usually given to fancy fixings, the substantial weight and cut of Godinger’s “Dublin” crystal will have them feeling like kings of the hunt or Titans of the boardroom or Gordon Gekko…whatever floats their boat. 🙂

Men tend not to favor a lot of fussiness, so I used a miniature evergreen tree and simply adorned it with this stuff I found that looks kind of like twiggy barbed wire…if that makes any sense at all.  It was just enough on the tree to lend a rugged, wintry feel without making it look too Christmas-y. The base of the tree is finished off with (naturally shed) antlers and a smattering of pine cones. No votives or candlesticks here. Guys don’t care that the amber flame is flattering to their skin tone, and they sure aren’t lookin’ for romance around this table!

The vitrine in the library is a perfect place to set up bar for refills. The deck of the vitrine is very humbly decorated with pine boughs. The urns on either side of the vitrine are topped with huge moss balls for a decidedly pared down masculine look.

On top of the secretary on the wall opposite the vitrine is this great find from a few years back. There is no way an actual deer head was coming into this house!!! This grapevine deer head wreath, however, is perfect for the occasion and lends a sort of lodge look to the room.

“Next it will be brandies in the smoking room. Now they retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe.” (Quote from “Titanic” – Rose to Jack after dinner in the first-class dining room.)

To see 9 more winter tablescapes on this site, visit the “Winter” page.
For additional winter posts on this site, check out:

Sugar High – Payback!
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Cranberry Christmas
Winter Brunch
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Get Me to the Church On Time
Winter Cardinal

Many, many, many thanks to fellow blogger/super sweetheart Cuisine Kathleen for the wonderful T.J. Maxx/Home Goods gift certificate I won on her site a couple of weeks ago! I am hoarding it for later use at after-Christmas sales. I’ll let you know what I buy!

Join me as I visit Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST, the Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday!