Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Foyer Re-do with Christmas Decor

As usual, I am behind with my blog posts.  I have lots of pictures to share, but just haven't had the time or opportunity to blog.  So, I will start with the foyer.

A while back--actually I think it was maybe a year and a half ago?--I had an accident in the foyer.  My very large crystal chandelier fell from my 18-foot ceiling after 11 years.  For no apparent reason.  It just decided to fall.  
So began a foyer re-do.  We replaced the floor with black granite, had the walls re-painted, and changed the spindles on the banister from black to white.
The foyer before was a gold faux finish with a solid black banister and spindles.  After the accident, we had it painted.  Below are pictures of the foyer with the Christmas decorations.
The paint is now a warm taupe/silver faux finish.  The spindles are painted and decorated with garland, twinkle lights, and gold/silver/white decor.
The new chandelier is very different than the old.
The new floor is absolute black granite.

The floor reflected the lights from the tree and banister.
The tree holds white ornaments hand-made by my mother years ago.
I added silver mesh ribbon and other decor to my garland this year.
The foyer table vignette is pretty much the same, but I changed the candles from gold to glittery white.
A view of the top staircase and tree.  Since both my cameras are broken, I had to use my cell phone to take these photos, so the lighting is not the best!

Tried to catch a few pictures at night--
And, since it is New Year's Eve, a few celebratory tables from a few years back!

Wishing you all a happy, safe, healthy, and prosperous 2015!  Come back soon for my Christmas table settings!!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thanksgiving Tablescape

How are your preparations coming along for the holidays?  I am still working on the basics--having my carpets cleaned, some painting done, and dare I say it, cleaning out the garage.  It had gotten so bad that I didn't have room to bring my Christmas decorations down.  I like to use the garage as a sort of staging area--so that I don't trip over boxes lying in the floor.  Usually it is not this cold, so I am bundling up, and going out today to work on my staircase garland.  

In the meantime, I ran across these pictures of Thanksgiving 2013.  Guess I didn't have time to post, so here's a few from last year--in hopes that they will inspire!  
Again, I used my Battenburg lace cloth.  This tablecloth fits my table well with all the leaves in.
I kept the table uncluttered, and used a simple epergne-like bowl which held flowers, greenery, and candles.
The greenery, leland cypress and magnolia, are greens I frequently use for the holidays.
The centerpiece base is silver and the bowl is crystal, with arms extending to hold the candles.
The silver chargers were a Goodwill find, and I frequently use them for formal dinners.
I have been collecting vintage crystal with the gold-plate around the outside.  I find them at estate sales and online auctions.  These I used for iced tea and water.
I don't know the manufacturer of these, but I love the look.
I accessorized the table with silver pumpkins and gourds, and gold pumpkin candles.
My daughter hates it when I use place cards, but I find it's a lot less hectic when people can quickly find their seats. 
I used the kitchen table for desserts.  I also had a couple show up that didn't RSVP, so I had to quickly add two place settings to the kitchen table.  Worked out ok, and I was glad they came.
Since I'm not having a huge crowd this year, I will probably also use the kitchen for serving.  There will just be eight of us this year.  Still a lot to do, so I better get up and get going!  Thanks for your visit, and I hope you and yours have a very special, happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Creating Centerpieces for the Holiday Table

Now that the Halloween boxes are all stored away, it's time to think about the holidays. They are quickly approaching, and once here, there's a finite amount of time to get everything done.  An elegant and beautiful holiday table is on our to-do list, but sometimes amid the hustle and bustle, it is not at all what we had hoped it would be.  You can achieve an elegant look, and create happy memories with your family and friends, without a high price tag or a huge time commitment by using some items you probably already have around your home.  A beautiful table is all about the centerpiece.

I will show you how I create two of my go-to centerpieces for Thanksgiving and Christmas using a simple grapevine wreath.

DIY Fall Wreath Centerpiece:

This fall-themed centerpiece started with a grapevine wreath that I found around the house.  You can purchase them at Michaels, for under $5.
I placed my wreath on a charger so it could be moved easily, and began by placing ivy around the wreath.
My supplies included artificial fall leaves (you can use real), varigated green acuba leaves, gourds, and cylinders with acuba leaves and floating candles.
I began inserting the fall leaves around the top  of the wreath.  It's easy to just stick the leaves in between the layers of the grapevine.
Keep inserting leaves all the way around, and then begin placing leaves around the outside.  I like using the bigger leaves toward the outside, and the smaller ones on the inside and top.
The wreath is now looking full, and could be used as is.  But let's take it to the next level.
I couldn't find my third cylinder, but I had two of the same size, so I simply elevated one with a small Tupperware cup.
After adding the cylinders, I placed the acuba leaves all around the inside, filling in where necessary.  Again, ok as is, but let's give it the "wow" factor by using the gourds.
Ta Da!!  A elegant centerpiece your family and friends will envy.  All you need to do is place this on your tablecloth or runner.  The personalized table runners from Shutterfly will add just the right touch.  Add Grandma's precious china and flatware, and you are good to go!  Now some folks don't want to use candles, as they eat during daylight hours, so here's another option, with pumpkins instead of the cylinder floating candles.
Click here to see a tablescape using this same idea..

Let's move on to the Christmas wreath:

The same principle can be applied, using the grapevine wreath as a base.  For this piece, I used a combination of evergreen from my yard, and some decorative items from my stash and Michael's.
I decided I wanted a white, sparkly centerpiece, so I chose sparkly baby's breath, white sparkly berries, a white branch-type garland, and evergreens--yew, cypress, holly, nandina, and cedar.
I started with the yew, and stuck it all around the outside of the wreath. You don't need big, long pieces, but they can be doubled up for volume, if necessary.  The greens will last longer if you soak them in water overnight before arranging.
I used the other greenery to fill in the top, inside, and outside of the wreath.  Continue using the greens until you are satisfied with the look.
I cut off the white branches from the garland and began placing them around the wreath, using my eye as a guide.
The wreath can then be decorated in any way you so desire.  I used the baby's breath to fill in the inside, and then used the berry  branches on top.  I felt like it still needed something, so I added clear, glass ornaments.  The final touch--a white, sparkly Christmas tree candle!

Not into sparkly Christmas tree candles?  Here's another option with the same base--
I used a large hurricane globe with a lacy, white pillar candle in the center.  You can even fill the hurricane globe with any type of vase filler--berries, fruit, table gems, etc.  The idea is to use what you have, or what you would like your theme to be--for the center of the wreath.

Thank you for visiting today!  I look forward to seeing what you create for your holiday table!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween 2014

The weather is brisk and fall-like, the leaves are falling and turning their brilliant colors, and the days are shorter.  Then why do I still feel like I'm in summer mode?  Guess I just don't want to give it up.  But, time waits for no man (or woman) and it's here whether I like it or not.  I have had some Halloween decor up since late September, and I even thought about having a Halloween party, but just can't get in the mood. Most of the decor is the same as last year, but I did add a few things, which I will show you below:
I bought three of these little posable creatures from Party City.  They were very affordable and were a great size for decoration.  Same mantle decor as last year, with my cute little lady added, as well as orange lights.
Another view, with the orange lights on.
Here is another, colors went great in my dining room.  I changed up my Halloween tree a bit and put it in a silver vase.
Here is the third creature, trying to get out of the shower.

I added a few pumpkins, a cute witch shoe, and owl candelabra on the range mantle.
My jack-o-lantern sits in the urn on the table outside.
Moving back into the dining room, I used a small witch's hat as the focal point for this arrangement.
A closer look...
My dining room tablescape--I found this big pumpkin at Marshall's and tried to find another but didn't have any luck.  I think I got the witch at Marshall's as well, but can't really remember.
I used my silver goblets, (and didn't polish them) as well as some very old silver flatware.
The napkin rings also hold a placecard.
Smaller pumpkins were purchased at Pier 1.
I bought glittery purple candles, but the color was off, so I didn't use them on the table.  Instead, these black ones are battery-operated with a timer, and they flicker and look sorta old.  
On the server, I added a small bud vase with purple roses.
The candles are awesome, but color wasn't right...
But they worked ok over here, sorry for the blurred picture.

Happy Halloween!