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Christmas Table 2011

Next Saturday I am hosting a dinner party for my inlaws. I wanted to do a table that coordinated with my bronze/green Christmas tree:

  Since I work full-time I had to begin preparations over the past weekend. 

 I set a fairly simple table with a very easy centerpiece of pinecones and green glass & silver mesh balls.  I nestled six votive candles among the greens.
 These amber glasses are circa 1974.
I like this table. I like the simplicity and how it blends so nicely with the bronze/green Christmas tree.

I also set a second table as I am having 11 guests and they won't all fit around one table. I don't have enough of the same dishes, etc., so I did this table differently, yet not glaringly so.  I still used pine cones in the centerpiece and green plates.

I reversed the glassware/napkins colors. The pink tablecloth goes with the pink hydrangea tree as this table sits right next to that tree.
If you don't read my main blog, you can see more of my Christmas 2011 decorating by clicking here.

My Top Five Posts according to Blogger Stats

Today I had time to explore my stats and I thought I would show you my top five posts and the tablescapes of each. First here are the Blogger stats:

Black and Yellow Fun Tablescape:

I was a little disappointed that the table that got the most views was not even one I designed. You can see more of this one by clicking on the heading text above the pic.

#2  Black, White and Red Rose Table:

This classic table is also one of my favorites so I was not surprised to see this as #2.

#3  It's a Jungle Out There:

I have done other jungle tables that I like better. I guess having the word "jungle" in the post header caused the search engines to pull up this one when people googled.  Now I am wondering where that fabric went! It would have been perfect for a recent animal handbag I made.
#4  Black, Silver and White Tablescape:

Another classic color combo.  I like this one, too.

#5  Valentine's Table 2009:

Hmmmm...these selections are interesting to me. Four of the five tables have black as a prominent color. People must like black.

Overall I have done a lot of tables that are more interesting than these. 

Have you ever checked to see your stats to see what your top 5 posts are? I wonder if you were surprised, too.

Purple, Grape Hyacinths and Tiger Plates

I made this grape hyacinth bouquet outside on my flower arranging bench.
Don't you think this would have made a great table?

  Unfortunately after I made the bouquet, I didn't have time to set an entire table. Maybe next year.............

Where I Store it All--Well, Most of It--OK, at least 3/4th's of It

I have shown this area before, but I recently spent six hours (over two days) removing everything from these cabinets, rearranging the shelves, washing all of them and then putting it all back (not exactly  all...I did donate three boxes of dishes that I felt certain I would never use to a thrift store---I am not a hoarder...I am not a hoarder). Now it all fits better and I can find what I want and I can get it out easily.

I am not going to talk about every shelf, but will highlight a few of my favorites.  I am very fortunate to  have this large area solely to indulge my dish hobby. 

Here are the first two units (I have four of these):  I used to have all the shelves the same size, but noticed some buckling of the shelves, so I decided  that I needed to put most of the super heavy plates on the bottom where there is more support.  That meant I had to remove the four little silver thingies that hold each shelf and re-adjust them all.  . . major ordeal....let me tell you...
 In the first section notice that I made the last area very small. I wanted to be able to have a shelf all by itself for my super big heavy meat fork and knife set.  It is a beautiful set, but it used to be on the bottom of about a dozen other trays and was way to difficult to get to, so I rarely used it.
Just look at those beautiful ducks engraved on the handles!  Now I can easily pull it out--wonderful!

One shelf is dedicated to my Tiara glass. I have loved this amber-colored dishware since the 1980's (when everyone else hated it--perhaps they still do, but I still love it).

Here are the other two shelf units:
 Some of you may be wondering what all the white stuff is sticking out of the dish stacks. Some of it is paper toweling and some is felt. I use both to prevent scratches.

I put another skinny shelf on the top of the end section for big heavy relish trays.  Shelf #2 is full of small relish trays. You would think we eat a lot of relish around here--LOL.
 The third shelf holds most of my pedestal servers--cake plates and footed bowls.

The bottom shelf holds white milk glass plates and my collection of those vintage crystal star plates (can't think of the proper name right now--maybe Federal Star or something similar--anybody know?).
 I cannot tell you how good it feels to have this job done. I had DH take the 3 boxes to goodwill right away so I would not be tempted to grab more items back.  I did grab a few before he left.

Like these tarnished silver plated items:

 I sent at least 6 silver plated items to Goodwill. These two called out to me just before they left, so I took them out of the goodwill box and spent a few minutes cleaning them with  silver cleaner.  They did clean up nicely, don't you think?

It feels so good to have this  major task completed!

Orange & Purple Tulip Tablescape

When I  made this bouquet, I knew I had dishes that would work perfectly for a spring lunch.

I tossed on a purple tablecloth:

 added purple glasses and orange napkins,
 a purple-ruffled dinner plate and topped it with an orange flower-shaped plate.  Another very simple table for two.
 It was perfect for a big spinach/chicken/mandarin orange salad.

Yum! I wish I was just starting lunch all over again!

Parrot Tulip Tablescape

I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to finally have some garden flowers for centerpieces.  I have decided to cut tulips each week and do a quick easy table to match. 

These tables are the 10-minute variety. You won't find me working all week on a table.  As an empty-nester, I only have to set weekday tables for two (sometimes only one).  Even my more elaborate guest tables are less than one hour.  I have too many other things to do and I bet you do, too!

But just because we lead busy lives, does not mean we have to sacrifice a nice dinner table.  I already had this bright parrot tulip centerpiece on the table.
All I had to do to complete the dinner setting was find some matching dishes. Since the flowers were in a cobalt blue vase, it was an easy choice-- cobalt blue dinner plates. The red/white flowered salad plate went with the flower theme.
My favorite red-flowered bowl glasses seemed to work just fine.

I recently made the chalkboard section of this menu pig, so I decided to use him, too. If guests were coming, I would have changed his tie to somthing with red and yellow (tiny details really impress guests).    :)

Quick and simple for a weeknight meal!

There is no need to sacrifice a pretty table when they are this easy to do. Bon Appetite!

Cinco de Mayo Tablescape

I love to work with bright colors, so this was another fun table.

I have had the fabric for years, but never seem to remember it for Cinco de Mayo.  I was thrilled that I finally remembered to use it.

I was happy to find dishes in almost the same colors as the fabric.
The sombreros I used as napkin rings look a tad too blah for me. They were a last minute addition. I had no time to embellish--they really could have used some bright ribbons tied around the brim.

The bright yellow daffodils from my garden worked well with the big paper flowers that I hung upside down from the chandelier.

Don't you just love these paper flowers? My friend at work made them. She is the Food & Beverage Director and she needed big flowers for one her bar parties. These were sitting in the liquor room for the past year and she let me borrow them for last night.  I think they made the entire table pop!

Are you wondering what that yellow snake-like thing is? 

We like hard shell tacos and that thing is what holds them upright on the plate. I use them everytime I have tacos. After I had put them out, I realized that I had the stand alone shells, so I didn't really need them.  

DH likes his on a wedge of lettuce sans shell. 

We really enjoyed our quick Mexican dinner at this fun table. The only thing missing were the Margaritas!

I am linking to Tablescape Thursday today.

Mikasa Leopard Dishes and Pink Polka Dot Tablescape

I know this is my second table in a row to use leopard dishes, but I wanted to show how versatile they are. I wanted to try pink polka dot and leopard.
I think I like the combo. What do you think--have I totally flipped?

The end settings have a gold and a pink glass and the center settings have gold/green glasses. I like to use different colors on the two ends. I originally used all green because I started with a very wild tablecloth (I will show that at the end of this post).
The little pink birdhouses with cheetah skin tops are whimsical name holders. I have found that people just love to see their name on the dinner table. 
It also alleviates guests standing around and asking where they should sit.

This is the tall candle in the center.

Here is the original tablecloth that inspired the color scheme.  I love this animal print/floral tablecloth!

Unfortunately it was just too busy (even for me!) and I had to take the whole table apart to swap it with the solid pink cloth you saw above.

Maybe I could use the leopard dinner plate and top it with a solid color............I do have some solid orangish salad plates shaped like a flower......I wish I would have thought to try them before I tore this table apart! 

I am Linking to Marty's Tabletop Tuesday.  So head on over there with me to see what everyone else has for this week.

May next table will be a Cinco de Mayo table -- I love working with those bright colors!

Now What Can I do with This?

Believe it or not, this pile of stuff is the beginning of my next tablescape.  I should have time to post about it later this weekend. 

I hope you will check back to see if I can do anything with it--you have to admit it's an electic bunch of stuff!

I am Liking This!

If you follow my other two blogs, you know that quilting is one of my serious hobbies.
After work today, I started to make a placemat for the Mikasa leopard dishes.
I still need to add some batting and quilt it, but I think this mat is going to be purrrfect for these big
cat-print dishes!

I will do and post a full table after I finish making 4 of these placemats. In the meantime, I am still working on the hot pink/leopard table. I have not really done any "work" on it, but I have given it a thought or two. :)

Mikasa Leopard Dishes Tablescape

I love these chic animal print dishes. This is the first set of square dinner plates I have owned. I like how the soup bowl is round, but the dinner and salad plate are square.
I angled the salad plate to give each setting more interest.

 I tried some brown-handled flatware, but in the end, I decided that my gold flatware worked best with these dishes.
I had fun making my own wine label.

I just printed it on an Avery label and stuck in over the original label of this white wine... just a little touch that makes your dinner party more special.  Notice that tree on the right side of the artwork?

That tree inspired my centerpiece. I was having some difficulty coming up with a centerpiece to go with these dishes.   I wanted to use only items I already had. While  looking out the kitchen window I noticed the Sedum Autumn Joy and thought, why not give it a try.Do you see the resemblance of the tree and this dead sedum Autumn Joy that I picked from my garden?  I added some dead silver artemesia to give it a bit of spark.  Seriously, this is a bunch of dead flowers that overwintered in my garden-- I would normally toss these on the compost heap!  It's amazing what can be done with just a bit of  thinking outside the box!

What a stroke of luck--I had glasses that seem to be made for these leopard dishes!
Just look at the perfect color of that martini glass stem!

I added the small gold liqueur glass because it matched the gold-beaded place mat and the flatware.

I also made a menu - it's amazing how easy all of this is with computers!
Did you notice that I added jewelry to the lotus candle holder next to the menu?  Jewelry is not just for the body. I use it all the time on my tables.  I used one of my favorite necklaces on the wine bottle. Did you catch that? Look at the wine bottle. I wear that necklace all the time!

Just for kicks, here is a sepia-toned picture of my table. 

This table was so much fun! I am planning to do another table with these same dishes.

I am thinking leopard and hot pink! I think these Mikasa leopard dishes are going to be very versatile. I may even do a third table and mix them with my zebra dishes.

I received these dishes from  Lifetime Brands, Inc.  a nationally branded kitchenware, tabletop and home décor resource.  They asked me to set a table and do a candid post about their dinnerware.  I have done exactly that and I hope you enjoyed seeing these unique dishes.

I have linked to Marty's Tablescape Tuesday at a Stroll Thru Life. Check out all the inspirational posts over there.
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