88 Years and 88 Keys

 

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,

One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!