Monday, January 24, 2011

An Orange Birthday

Well, if you visited my blog last week, I hinted that I will be doing an "Orange" themed birthday for my DH's big day. Well, here it is!

I'm joining Marty's Tabletop Tuesday, Susan's Tablescape Thursday, Leigh's Thrifty Thursday & Michael Lee's Foodie Friday. This will be a fun week!

"Orange you Happy, it's Your Birthday!"

My dear wonderful husband of 14 years and his love of orange

Mr. Man turned 40 last Saturday and since he needed to work that night and the following morning, we really didn't have much time to plan for anything more elaborate to celebrate his big milestone. But I wanted to make sure that he knew we wanted him to feel special, so I honed in on his favorite color-ORANGE. But how to make it fit his personality?
Mr. Man, my forever love

I decided to find a shade of orange that also reflected how he makes us all feel... At home and loved. Cozy and Protected. Happy and Warm.

So I looked to the warmer shades of rust, red-orange, and orange-brown and a color scheme was born! We dug up my old 12x12 scrapbook papers with old-time prints, construction and origami papers. We made paper chains and origami birds and hearts. We hung them up on the mirrors, chandelier and bay windows. We put them on top of the plates and table.
We used my son's current sheet set to set off the color scheme. It was perfect. The only thing we had to buy for this theme were the Capri "Mandarin Orange" scented candles and water pitcher by Home Essentials and Beyond's "Bumblebee Collection" that I found at Marshall's. Total, $19!

My DH is a very simple man that has a multi-faceted personality. He loves a good sense of humor and he is incredibly smart and handy. But even though he loves skiing, RC cars, computers, 80's Techno music and puppies (and me and the kids, of course), nothing makes him happier than being at home, relaxing, so... that's what I focused on!
The table is not fussy, it's clean, monochromatic, warm and definitely inviting. We layered the different shades of warm oranges that we could find without sacrificing elegance and a little bling. lol
He taught our son how to do origami cranes and now, our 8-year old, I-Dude is the Origami Prince of the house! He made these cranes and eagles. He also made the hearts hanging on the chandelier and a big 5-pointed star on the food table. My napkins had enough warm shades that it was a perfect match for this table. It gave just enough layer to make it more romantic and so my hubby!

I just love how the camera picked up on the sparkles of the flames. Now that's what I call, blingage! lol
I used Nandina leaves and berries to punctuate this table that held all the food choices he made: Seafood Pasta, Creamed Peas and Potatoes, and a Chocolate Cake I made from scratch, on the fly. Why? Because originally, he chose a Milk Choc BC variety but it was so moist that they crumbled out of the pans! Grrr! The one I made, he loved much better!

We are both from California, so these shades reminded us of the sunsets there. It was a perfect choice. The smile on his face while we dined by candlelights and lamps were evident of his approval. I wanted it to be a perfect birthday dinner, and it was. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that his birthday beverage was of course, our traditional Orange Pineapple juice cocktail!
I used my Ikea Fargrik Beige Dinnerware, Studio 33 Autumn Harvest salad plates, and Homer Laughlin Oatmeal Wheat J-63 saucers. The napkins were from Kroger back in 2009 called, Bayfield in Blue. I got 6 for less than $3.00 on clearance! This is probably the 2nd time I used them, I'm so glad I picked them up even though I had to hunt from 6 different bins!
I love these candles, it was almost like they knew I wanted a perfect table-each shot has each one sparking brightly!

I think this is one of my favorite tablescapes of all time...
Our two little ones, J-Pony and I-Dude, all smiles with their dad after a great meal and cake, of course!
This pitcher is so cute! It came in green, off-white and this burnt orange color. The candles and this pitcher were the only shade of orange pieces at Marshall that weren't broken, chipped or too bright. They were meant to come home with me to celebrate my DH's big day. Even the Nandina berries were a deep shade of orange rather than red like the last ones I used for Christmas.
Did I mention I love aerial shots? This one turned out wonderfully!

Thank you all so much for visiting and taking a peek at my hubby's birthday table. Hope you have a great week!

TABLESCAPING IDEAS: (Brain is so ready for all the holidays) January & February straddles New Year, Birthdays, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Days. Why not scope out your collection and isolate those pieces that can be used for all of them? The more common choices are white, gold, blue red and pink. Why not use gold, red and blue to have a more upscale Americanized celebration of these holidays?

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Little Italian Countryside

Another week, another great time to post some great things!

This week, I'm participating in 3 of our great memes:
Tabletop Tuesday with Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life
Thrifty Thursday with Leigh over at Tales from Bloggeritaville and
Tablescape Thursday with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch

Ok, let's get started. In all honesty, our house is still full of boxes now that we've dumped our paid storage and trying to make space for all of our stuff is not a problem anymore, just an organization puzzle. LOL

In all that frustrating and confusing situation, I needed to prioritize. So naturally, I got all my dishes out of their boxes first and did a tablescape! :-)

"Thinking Italian"

"Tuscan Retreat" Dinnerware by BHG

This one, I got on clearance last year at our local Walmart. It was normally $34.99, but I got it for $17.00 even! It was a set for 4 place settings; I'm hoping to find another set on clearance soon.

It's by BHG, called "Tuscan Retreat". It was a staple display since 2009 and I've loved it since. But with all the move hoopla, it never came out of its box until after our big move here to our house.
I wanted to capture the landscape of an Italian countryside, crisp, green, romantic and clean. So I decided not to add too much frill to my table and just highlight the dinnerware.
The glasses are my everyday set that I also found at Walmart back in 2008. At Walmart, the box is called Starfire, but in other packaging, sold in other stores, they are called Central Park or Fifth Avenue King. I feel so special for having such a widely distributed set. :-D
This napkin was a Kroger CC (Christmas Clearance) find and as you can see, I got it for 75% off. Very thrifty, indeed!
I love aerial shots, don't you? I opted for just one big hurricane to round out the paper mache red vase and my ceramic rooster. Oh, that's RED btw, my guardian rooster. He's been with me since 2008. Isn't he handsome? I know many of you found his multiple cousins in various Hobby Lobby stores and he's grateful you gave them homes.

I love how simple and clean this table turned out. The greenery is from our bushes in the backyard. Does anyone know what it's called?
I also like upclose and personal shots like this where I put the camera on the table and aim at undersides of the dinnerware.
Here's another set of angles...
Another aerial shot. Just before this tablescape, we had our church missionaries over for dinner and this is the set we used. It totally gave me the idea for this since we ate pasta with sausage and broccoli, melon slices and garlic bread.
My utensils are my Oneida "Katrina" set I started collecting back in 1995, just before I was married. It was offered thru Sears credit customers, but I wasn't able to complete it. Someday...
Here's a better detail shot.
More angles of the table...

I hope you all enjoyed this little interpretation of an Italian Countryside tablescape. I certainly did and can't wait to start on my hubby's Orange Birthday table. I just need to find some. LOL

TABLESCAPING IDEA: (Brain is on orange mode) Ever heard of the Blue Plate Special? You know the kind where you celebrate a person by using all blue for their portion of the meal? Well, how about personalizing the whole table with their favorite color? It can be as simple as just the linens or the glasses or a whole table to puff up the heart of the honoree.

See you all soon!!! Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas, Birthday, New Year Tables

Hello and good morning!

In another effort to catch up with all of you, I'm consolidating 3 tablescapes in one post! What a treat to ring in the New Year here in "What Now?", huh?

So are you ready to see how much fun I had while I was absent from the blogging circuit? Ok, here we go!

DECEMBER 25, 2010
Here's my Christmas table last December, it was intimate and somber. We only had our two church missionaries for our guests and our daughter was home from college. It warranted a beautiful table, a definite must!
I wanted to reflect my eldest daughter's Christmas theme of Poinsettia and Gold. Mainly red and gold, so I used my LNT closeout chargers and paired it with my 2008 Target Holiday birthday plates along with my Hampton "Lace" utensils. I made it simpler for everyone by just having a paper napkin.
I saw in Susan's at Between Naps on the Porch, the use of Nandina leaves and berries on her table so I used some from my frontyard and it worked beautifully! With some tealights and hurricane lamps, I had a wonderful centerpiece!
I used my very first Christmas runner I ever owned (1997) to bring out more colors of red and gold. It's a colorful toile Christmas scene, over a plain white tablecloth. The glasses were my MIL's gift to me for our 2nd Christmas. It had a simple band of holly leaves & berries and a gold rim. Beautiful and classy.

The play of the cream, gold, white and red, made the table both sophisticated and approachable! My family couldn't wait to sit down!
For more visual height, I hung white and gold glittered snowflake ornaments from our chandelier. Since we didn't use it to create a more somber feel to the meal, I didn't want to completely ignore its presence...
Here's another angle. You can see more of the casual way I surrounded the candleholders with the nandina leaves and the sole vase that held the berries. The verdict, "everything was beautiful!" Gotta love that!

DECEMBER 29, 2010
I turned 39 on this day and my sister and her family were able to fly out from California! It was such a great birthday so I made sure that my birthday tablescape reflected my mood--loved and purely happy! What's the best combo for that? Red and White, of course!
I first featured this plate back in 2008, for our New Year's Eve dinner table. I got these from our local Tom Thumb and as you can see, I also used the same utensil style and a single paper napkin.
I opted for another natural centerpiece, but I used a different bush to complete the look of votive holder. I got the holders back in 2009, during Kroger's Christmas clearance, for 75% off!
I didn't change my chandelier yet because my sister wanted to see it in person. I think it went well with the table; it gave the ambiance a little bit of winter magic... I was able to finally unearth most of my dinnerware collection and finally was able to use my real everyday glasses that I got from Walmart back in 2009.
The runner, another Walmart 75% off find in their clearance section. I needed one for Valentine's Day and there it was!
This whole table... Cost me nothing since they were all from previous years, from my own plants, and only took me 10 minutes to set it up! The verdict? "Wow! You really are good at doing this!"

DECEMBER 31, 2010
I wanted to "bling out" my dining room this time around focus on the bright "fireworks" aspect of celebrating the New Year. My sister and her family have never been to Texas or to our house since we bought it last March. Also, this was my BIL's first New Year's celebration here in the States. So I wanted to make it all special!

First thing to address, the chandelier, of course!
I added more ribbons and silver ornament balls along with the snowflakes. I also snatched some of my tree ornaments as well. :-)
Our centerpiece was a tropical punch of Pineapple juice and chunks, Orange Juice and Ginger Ale. We opted for a buffet style and we turned the table. Again, we made a beautiful but simple table: A flat glittered batting for a tablecloth, not quite covering the whole table. More of the leaves from our bush to accentuate the punch. And, my sister cleverly hid dark chocolate Ferrero Rocher in the leaves as if they are fruits. The kids loved them!
My pièce de résistance, the brie en croute! I used puff pastry and folded it over the brie like a gift! It turned out beautiful! Perfect to feature on Foodie Friday with our lovely Friday host, Michael Lee over at Designs by Gollum.
Here's the punch table with the noisemakers all around. It definitely looked festive!
We also had a gift exchange so we set that up next to the buffet table. I wanted the gifts to stand out, so we set it up over a more "fancy" setting. (Psst! It's sitting on my deep freezer that we just dug out of our former paid storage. Don't tell anyone, ok? lol) We had cookies, fruits, sausages, egg rolls, noodles, candies and the cheese platter. It was great!
We had so much fun playing, eating, tossing and we even had a coin toss for the kids. It was a great month of December for me and family. The verdict? "Thank you, this was wonderful! The best day ever! (My nephew kept telling me that, isn't he sweet?)"

TABLESCAPING IDEAS: (Brain is pulsing with ideas) Don't let company or holiday expectations bog you down into hiding from doing your best. Use what's available, play up your dishes and hide what you lack with the delicious food you will serve. Often, people that notice what you "didn't match" or "didn't quite finish" are those that are fuming because you pulled it off!

We hope you had some great holiday memories as well. I hope you enjoyed my tables and hope to visit you soon! Thank you for stopping by!

Niceties first

HELLO AND WELCOME to this blog dedicated to my obsession of tablescapes, and ONLY TABLESCAPES!
That means that whatever I post will be redirected to tablescapes or you will see tablescapes or the dishes and glassware that I used AND wish to use.
I hope you like you what you see; but you can't do that unless you take the tour- the TABLESCAPE TOUR that's on the side bar! I'd also love to take you on my adventures on finding great dinnerwares to display and use while leaving some serious change in your pocket, so stay a while and see all of my great deals!
Wanna know the reason behind the madness, too? Then make sure to read, Why this blog for my philosophy.