All-American Seafood Boil

As hot as it is here in the Kansas City, MO (USA) area I could probably just sit a pot of cold water on the deck and drop the lobsters in to boil after about 5 minutes. It is CRAZY hot here with no relief in sight!!! For those readers like Suzy Q of At the Farmhouse and Carolyn of Desire Empire in Australia who are going into winter right now…please come get me!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a serious lapse in good judgment yesterday morning and got out on the deck to set up this 4th of July tablescape that will NOT come back for “real life” next week if this heat keeps up. I’ll spend the 4th eating red, white & blue popsicles while sitting on the AC vent! (It’s getting lonely in the Costco cooler! :-))
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A full-length white cotton tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com masks the ordinary folding table. We don’t subscribe to the newspaper, so instead of the usual seafood boil newspaper, the tablecloth is topped with a piece of red & white striped vinyl. The vinyl started out with a million folds in it, but 6 minutes in the dryer on the delicate cycle and a little smoothing knocked ’em right out. Using a decorative topper instead of newspaper makes it a little more upscale, and the stripes remind me of those that grace the U.S. flag. It cost just $5 at Home Goods, so I won’t be too upset if it gets damaged. The LinenTablecloth.com linens launder very easily, so no worries there.

Medium-tone rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning bring a natural element to the table. Simple white Corelle dinner plates are topped with fun M Studios salad plates with a bright red lobster motif from TJ Maxx. Nothing says “seaside” like lobster dishes! 🙂

For an Independence Day table, what other flatware are ya gonna use besides a design called “Patriot”? 😉 The dinner & salad forks are accompanied by a lobster pick from World Market to extract every last succulent morsel.

The cotton napkins – which are actually bandannas from Hobby Lobby – are folded in the same manner as a U.S. flag and placed on the diagonal edge of the square charger. My husband who is former Air Force showed me how to make the napkin fold. I got a huge lump in my throat thinking of how many times a flag has been folded in this manner to bestow upon a family whose loved one has perished at war.

Deep blue glass tumblers and clear water goblets from Old Time Pottery find their place at the table.

What’s a seafood boil without the requisite bucket? These red ones from Hobby Lobby are just the right size for individual servings, and a convenient handle makes it easy to carry from the buffet without getting burned.

Individual butter warmers like these from TJ Maxx are great not only for seafood meals but for warming sauces or apple butter for Sunday morning biscuits.

I like to get multiple uses out of things I buy, especially if they cost a lot of money. I used these Z Gallerie white lacquered lanterns for elevated pillar candles HERE. For this display, however, I simply unscrewed the piece that elevates the candle to make room for seashells and flags. Completely different look! Cheery white Gerbera daisies in white ceramic vases from Michael’s visually connect the lanterns.

Fun red, white and blue ceramic star bowls from Pier 1 are perfect for chowder. Cherry bomb red lobster crackers from World Market and crab mallets from Amazon.com will help unleash the delicious meat from the claws.

World Market did a wonderful job this year of providing lots of accessories for seafood dinners including these fun lobster bibs. The Hobby Lobby star-struck ceramic pitchers are ready to take on guests’ thirst.

I bought several of these cool wooden boats from Hobby Lobby several years ago, and they have been a part of many different decorating ventures. Brimming with mollusk shells, they are a really fun addition to the buffet table!

Ahoy, matey! Call guests to dinner with this very cool (and very loud!) Captain’s bell. I bought this one at Home Goods, and I can see it being used for a lot in the future! The string of wooden fish is one of the most fun props in my inventory. I bought it at a place called Premiere Gallery in Kansas City, MO that is now defunct. Boy, oh boy, did they ever have some wild stuff there! I really miss that place!

This tablescape would also be perfect for celebrating Labor Day, Veterans Day, or the homecoming of one of our brave veterans!

I hope it’s cool enough on the 4th to celebrate outside where you are! Whatever you do, please be careful, and have a great time!

Other tablescapes with a patriotic and/or nautical theme on this site:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries

4th of July Coastal Style
American Royal Tablescape

Join me again this week for Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT. I’m sure my fellow bloggers will have lots of creative decorating ideas for your Independence Day celebration!

You can now find me at BeBetsy.com, too!! And please visit The Coconut Head Survival Guide’s “Memorial Day Patriot’s Palooza Party” in support of our military!

Pleasant Under Glass – Revisiting for Mother’s Day

I’m still working on our Mother’s Day table which is really proving to be a challenge this year! I don’t know where my head is. (No vile, sideways comments from the peanut gallery on that one! ;-))

So, in the meantime, please enjoy this ultra-feminine pink & green tablescape I created a couple of years ago for a ladies’ luncheon just about the time I first started blogging. It has been hidden on the “Summer” page of this blog, so this may be the first time you’re seeing it. This table would be a great one for celebrating Mother’s Day, a birthday, a wedding shower, or even in honor of a breast cancer survivor.
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I have a great fondness for ladies’ luncheons. I am so much more at ease and relish the time spent with friends lingering over girly salads and quiche! When it’s just us girls, I can go all out pink, floral, delicate…no worries!
 This luncheon tablescape in our back yard has all the elements of femininity at its all out best: lots of pink and lots of floral!
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 Each place setting starts with a ruffly hot pink charger (Crate & Barrel) topped with a sculpted ivory “Mckenzie” plate from Pier 1. The green salad plate adds another shot of color and picks up the secondary color in the table covering. The flatware is J.A. Henckels ”Bellaserra” stainless from Macy’s. All of the dishware, flatware and stemware is kept simple so as not to compete with the busy table covering. (The table covering, by the way, is a Waverly vinyl. I think vinyls can be used sparingly for breakfast, brunch and luncheon affairs if they are of a very high quality and every effort is made to smooth out the inevitable wrinkles.)
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 The napkins from Bed Bath &Beyond are simple poly-cotton in a deep shade of ivory with a BB&B woven green napkin ring. Tucked inside to mimic the colors and shapes in the table covering is a bit of deep green sword fern and a budding pink cymbidium orchid.
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 I wanted to do something a little different to accentuate the feminine side and the outdoorsy feeling of the tablescape. Tucked beneath a miniature cloche bell jar (Hobby Lobby) is a mound of bright green reindeer moss topped with an orchid. This feature is simply removed from the luncheon plate after the ladies are seated.
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 The grand 16″ cloche bell jar in the center of the table lords over its more diminutive counterparts and remains on the table throughout lunch. To slightly differentiate it and further play on the outdoor theme of the tablescape, a gazing ball is added along with reindeer moss, sword fern and cymbidium orchids.
 Orchids and a tiny cluster of reindeer moss are affixed to the bell jar with a bit of Cling floral adhesive. Cling is great, but beware: clean up can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! To sidestep problems, always roll it into a ball. Any residue can be easily removed with Goo Gone or similar adhesive removal products. Another little tidbit: orchids are resillient and will hold up without a water source for several hours unless it’s scorching hot!
See more Mother’s Day tablescapes on this site:
Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Mother’s Day Brunch
Peony Power
I am linking up with Susan’s Tablescape Thursday again this week. You might want to check it out to see what all the other tablescape enthusiasts from around the world are up to! Check in anytime after 9:00 CDT on Thursday morning.