Christmas Coffee

If it seems like I’m dumping an awful lot of Christmas tablescapes on you all at once, it’s because I am!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I had 6 tables from the “Art of Tablescaping” class I taught back in October, PLUS 3 additional ones I had to get out of my brain. I hope I’m able to share them all before Christmas Eve for those still scouting ideas!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see up-close details.)

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas with a flourish of coffee labels to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

I saw these bandanas at Hobby Lobby and immediately thought, “Christmas!”

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Full roomOur eat-in kitchen is the place to be on Christmas morning as the sun begins its lazy ascent. I like to have lots of good food waiting, and along with that food is lots of coffee to get us through the long day. We’re grandparents now…just don’t have the energy we used to! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another Christmas morning breakfast tablescape!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: TableI draped our 45″ x 45″ counter-height table with a 108″ round Christmas-y red tablecloth and then topped it with an 85″ x 85″ espresso brown tablecloth, both from LinenTablecloth.com. While brown may not be a top 3 color choice that springs to mind when you think of Christmas, it looks great when paired with the bright red.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Place settingBright red Royal Norfolk plates and coffee mugs from Deal$ (same folks who own Dollar Tree) pair with ivory cereal bowls. The napkin, positioned between the plate and bowl, picks up the colors from both the tablecloths and dishes.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: FlatwareRays of morning sun stream in across the Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Coffee bean/cranberry enterpieceA simple centerpiece is all that’s needed for Christmas morning. This one consists of a deep brown basket from Dollar Tree filled with fresh, aromatic coffee beans topped with a handful of cranberries, a few glitzy ornaments and a sprig or two of greenery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collageA cute reindeer made of grapevine stands ready to serve by this year’s kitchen Christmas tree. No fancy adornment here…just a few strands of lights to make it stand out in the corner. The stool that lends height to the tree is covered with a cheerful snowflake Christmas tree skirt from the Dollar Tree. For just a dollar, no worries if something is spilled on it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Wreath, coffee prints collageA largely unadorned wreath in the window is accompanied this morning by a couple of prints that depict the wondrous glory of coffee. Amen to that!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Poinsettia on breakfast barA lush red poinsettia given to us by our neighbor is displayed in a dark urn on the breakfast bar. The espresso sign leaves no doubt what this morning is all about: the coffee!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collageThis tiered table was moved from the living room to free up floor space for the Christmas tree, so it had to get a little something-something in the way of decoration, too. The top is adorned with a large greenery spray dotted with red berries. A big bowl of cranberries picks up some of the elements in the table centerpiece. On the shelf below is a soup tureen with a holly and rosemary motif from Home Goods. Placing it atop a few books gives it little more prominence.

I hope you’re just about finished with your shopping and decorating so that you can relax and soak up the joys of the season this weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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
Tuscan Holiday

Winter Cardinal

Christmas is over and the new year is well underway, but I’m still diggin’ the spirit-lifting spurts of bright red around the house. Even though snow has mercifully dodged us thus far, it is January so the trees are bare and the feel of winter definitely abounds.

I was sick (yes, again!) last week and spent a lot of time staring out the window planning my escape. I saw the most beautiful cardinal perched on a low-hanging branch for what seemed like an eternity and a fleeting moment all in one. She was a striking creature in her shockingly red coat and heavy-handed eyeliner. She brightened an otherwise dreary winter’s day with her brilliant color and gave me inspiration for a winter tablescape.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IMG_4055WMI bought these 222 Fifth “Winter Cardinal” dinner plates on clearance at TJ Maxx awhile back. The same thought that struck me while looking out the window is what attracted me to these plates. The tiny speck of red, while miniscule by comparison, is the star of the flat white plate with its silvery, sinewy, naked trees. (Click HERE to see another red, white & silver winter tablescape.) To add a little drama, I went with a double dose of contemporary square chargers in silver and red from World Market. Turning the top charger at a slight angle allows the red on bottom to just barely peek out…kind of like the cardinal in the tree. (Click HERE or HERE & scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see other tablescapes using doubled square chargers.)

IMG_4040WMThe contemporary lines of J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless works well with the setting.

IMG_3983WMThe slender tube-like fold of a red cotton napkin is secured with a silver napkin ring.

Each place setting is punctuated with a square glass votive filled with waterlogged cranberries and topped with a fragrant white carnation. (For more tablescape ideas using cranberries, click HERE or HERE.)

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Another shot of red revs up the stark white linen via the TJ Maxx table runner. I double-folded the center part back to lend more of a 3-D look with just the decorated ends exposed. The barren silver trees on the runner are a nice companion to those on the plates, and it could just as easily find its way into a Christmas tablescape.

I love the look of pavĂ©d carnations! This simple arrangement of easy-on-the-budget white carnations is anchored by acrylic “ice” chips for a wintry look and topped with cranberries for color. My husband said the square shape makes it look like a layer cake with whipped cream, which would make it perfect for a birthday party, shower, or anniversary! He’s right, but I think he just wanted cake! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another post using acrylic “ice.”)

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IMG_4045WMThe buffet behind the dining table gets an austere, yet somewhat theatrical treatment. A square glass floral container filled with more acrylic “ice” chips holds dramatically arched branches coated in silver paint. Peering from within is a lone cardinal. Another glass container is filled with fresh cranberries for the requisite shot of color. Votive candles dance the length of the buffet.

Champagne anyone?

I am thrilled to join my fellow tablescapers as we start this new year together at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday. Come along this Thursday, won’t you?

Get Me to the Church On Time!

All I can say is, “Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to squeeze this in during this busy, crazy holiday season!” (Click HERE if you would like to see all of our indoor Christmas decor for this year.)

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IMG_3445WMA Christmas bridal shower and wedding presents an opportunity to include the flavor of the holiday season without overdosing on it. With this shower, held in the evening, I made a valiant pass at it using some tried-and-true techniques and design elements.

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IMG_3429WMA flowing white cotton full-length linen is the start of an elegant table. The red chargers I have relied upon this season were a great start to a stylish place setting. The red charger (Target) is topped with a decorative gold one from Old Time Pottery. (Click HERE or HERE to see this same technique used with different dishes and silver chargers.) No-name dishes I bought in the early 90s at a discount department store are still a treasure to me today with their traditional holly design.

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IMG_3507WMI just love it when things work out. I went with our linen napkins bearing the first initial of our last name that coincidentally (again, thank you, Lord!) is the initial of the last name the bride will take as her own this weekend. The colorful beaded napkin rings were a steal last year at Old Time Pottery for just 99¹ each!

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IMG_3498WMA mix of gold-rimmed clear (Tuesday Morning) and cherry red stemware (Pier 1) is illuminated by the glow of abundant candlelight.

IMG_3482WMMy old standby goldtone flatware worked well to round out the place setting.

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IMG_3450WMStock Christmas cards create a menu with the theme of the evening, “Get Me to the Church On Time!” I used this same technique last year HERE for our Christmas season kickoff dinner.

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IMG_3500WMOne more “thank you, Lord!” in that I was able to reuse the cranberries used HERE. I created a similar version of this centerpiece made up of various sizes of cylinders parading down the table with vibrant orchids for a beautiful summer engagement party. Click HERE and scroll down to “Love and Orchids” to see that table. Floating cranberries and candles in the cylinders provides multi-level color and ambient light. Full-blown roses with sprigs of bright red berries and holly finish the look.

That’s it! I’m sure the wedding will go off without a hitch, and this will be a Christmas to remember!

Please take a little break from all the hustle & bustle of the season to join the party at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. There’s so much incredible tablescaping talent out there!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS
FROM ME AND MINE!!!

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Photographer/Best Friend Sheri & me!

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My supportive, loving parents & me!

Christmas Progressive Dinner

Each Christmas season Ramon and I team up with our cul-de-sac buddies for a much-anticipated Progressive Dinner. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s when several households progress from one home to the next for several dinner courses. This year the Alsups did the fabulous cocktails and hors d’ouevres which included bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, homemade cheese straws, crab-stuffed mushroom caps, and a very sneaky cranberry/vodka/sparkling wine drink. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

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IMG_3735WMIt was one of those drinks that will creep up and whack you over the head if you’re not careful! Delicious!!! Next, to the Jenisons for a tasty but healthy salad with heavenly home-baked wheat bread.

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Salad course at the Jenisons’. Ramon is taking the picture.

We then moved on to our home for the entrĂ©e before hopping across the street to the Rutherfords’ for a variety of sinful desserts, coffee and after-dinner drinks. I went to the doctor the day after for a routine check-up. I had gained 2 pounds from the previous week, and my blood pressure was up. Uh….duh!!!

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IMG_3568WMI wanted to do a really dramatic, special, over-the-top tablescape to thank my neighbors for their kindness, generosity and goodness of heart throughout the year. Two 6-ft. tables placed together horizontally are covered with full-length white linens in our family room.

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IMG_3589WMI love the double charger treatment, so a sparkly red 13″ charger (Target 2008) is topped with a goldtone 12″ (Hobby Lobby). The dishes are Pfaltzgraff’s  wonderfully traditional “Winterberry” which is one of my favorite Christmas designs.

IMG_3577WMI like to use our initialed linen dinner napkins whenever possible. For this night I dressed them up with a red berry napkin ring. I just used a standard berry stem from Hobby Lobby that I twisted to encircle the easy, classic napkin fold. LOTS of color and dimension, and it adds a little more height to the place setting!!!

IMG_3582WMI am SO happy to have finally jumped on the Dollar Tree train! This soft green stemware that I picked up there is coming in handy for so many table settings! (Click here to see it used in a very contemporary table setting.)

IMG_3579WMI bought these rockin’ gold metal reindeer wholesale many years ago when I owned my fine rentals business. They measure 36″H without the antlers, so they’re perfect for the “go big or go home” look I love so much. I covered the center of the table with a couple of clear plastic trash bags to keep the linens underneath clean. I dressed each for the evening with a collar of berries with a red velvet bow. (To see last year’s cul-de-sac progressive dinner – dressed up with different reindeer decor – click HERE and scroll down to “Noel Progressive Dinner“.

IMG_3575WMI painstakingly placed each branch of this flocked pine cone greenery to create a sort of wreath to cover the reindeer stands. Red berry picks and shiny red Christmas ornaments finish off the fun yet sophisticated reindeer centerpiece.

IMG_3704WMWe were dining in the family room, so I dressed the top of the television armoire to complement the table with this small reindeer and lots of lighted greenery punctuated with red berries, ribbon, and ornaments.

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The grapevine wreath in the window is covered with a profusion of red berries and finished off with a few flocked faux branches, pinecones, oversized Christmas balls and red velvet ribbon. I kept the mantel simple with two smaller grapevine & berry wreaths.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the menu…Cornish hens basted in a garlic butter sauce, wild rice and green beans. Our neighbors, Carla and Jim, were unable to attend this year’s dinner but sent over homemade cinnamon sugar-dusted Parker rolls.

So another year, another wonderful Progressive Dinner with fine friends who we love and cherish. God is good! From our homes to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch!

Cranberry Christmas – Squared

If you like decorating with cranberries at Christmastime, this is a look you might enjoy. This is the version of it on a square table (also suitable for a round). To see the Tuscan-style (long) table version, click HERE.

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IMG_3402WMInstead of placing the 6-ft. oblong  tables end-to-end, they are placed side-by-side to create more of a square.

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IMG_3409WMBecause of the formal nature of this table (bread plate, additional flatware) and the oversized charger, it will seat just 8 guests. Using the more traditionally sized 12″ charger and eliminating the bread plate buys about 8 extra inches on each side and will let you seat 10.

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IMG_3412WMThis large silver bowl is filled with water topped with fresh cranberries (3 bags here) and floating candles. Cranberries naturally rise (you’ve seen the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice commercials!), so the look is achieved without any extra work! (Note: Carefully place the candles in the arrangement so as not to get the wick wet.)

IMG_3415WMThe same small floral arrangements placed at each person’s place setting on a long table HERE are used to surround the massive silver centerpiece bowl on this table for a completely different look.

Creamy white full-blown and spray roses, red berries, and bits of winter greenery in silver julep cups are the perfect accent. Depending on how they are arranged, fewer small arrangements are required for the square table.

IMG_3414WMThe same 27″ silverplated candlesticks used on the Tuscan-style table are used here, but a fourth one has been added to completely surround the center bowl. The same silver mercury glass votives are used here again, but in a different pattern.

So that’s one table with two distinctive looks. The silver pedestal bowls used here are 17Âœ”H and 19″W which is pretty doggone hefty. In this case, size doesn’t matter….you can get the same pretty look using a smaller bowl with shorter candlesticks.

More tables on this site using a square table:
Christmas Progressive Dinner
Pheasants & Peacocks
Serpents & Skullduggery
Sunflower Simple
“Flamingos in Paradise”

Roses in October
Noel Progressive Dinner 2010
It’s the Great Pumpkin

Don’t forget to check out Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!!!

Cranberry Christmas – Long Table

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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