Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Village Copycat Tablescape

Cuisine Katleen has called for another copycat format for her December tenth, 2014 tablescape challenge.  I was torn about what table I would like to copy, but not for long.  One tablescape in my Pinterest boards kept coming up to be repinned over and over again.  It was a table that I simply adored. I have attempted to copy  Susan's Dept. 56 Christmas Table Setting  that she had posted on December 3rd, 2009.  I also used a touch of her tablescaping style and whimsey from her Christmas Setting with Dept 56 Churches  that was posted on December 2nd, 2010.  I then took this tablescape the extra mile (what the heck I was already a day late) and applied Susan's setting suggestions from her Tartan Dishware: Mix and Match Patterns posted on November 6th of this year to create several different looks for my version of a Christmas Village tablescape.  Let me start by saying that I used Christmas houses from the Norman Rockwell series purchased from JoAnn's back in the 1990's with the exception of one Dept. 56 house that my husband bought me for Christmas in the late nineties.  Susan's table in the following picture shows her beautiful houses and lovely Lenox Holiday pattern plates. Red napkins and Waterford wine hocks with crystal champagne flutes, and a crystal iced beverage glass by Waterford. 


Christmas Table Setting with Dept. 56 Lit Houses
Simply beautiful isn't it?  I love the height of the champagne flute relative to the crimson red hock and the iced ted glass. They look so classy together.  I truly tried to locate the Lenox Holiday plates but just could not find any at a reasonable price. For those of you that know me' you will understand what I am saying when I say "you don't see those in the Goodwill store everyday"!!  I found three place settings in my stash (thrifted) but not nearly enough.  I debated on whether to use my Lenox Golden Wreath pattern (12 place settings) purchased from the Goodwill Auction several years ago or  a newer pattern of Lenox pattern bought after Christmas last year.  But I wanted the look of the place settings to stay as true as possible to the look of Susan's table - and this is what I came up with.
Christmas Village Tablescape
 I had eight complete place settings of this Gibson Holiday pattern in my stash and I thought it provided the essence of the look I wanted. The plain white reticulated charger plates were similar to the look of Susan's beautiful charger plates (I swoon whenever I see Susans pierced chargers).   Red pressed glass wine glasses provided the color I wanted,  the Longchamp tall iced tea glass provided the sparkle I needed for the overall look. I had six matching crystal champagne flutes and added two (taller) from a set of four for the settings at the head of the table. Plain red napkins and a Holly Berry cracker complete my place settings.
Christmas Village Tablescape
I used my Yamazaki Holiday Bouquet flatware.
Yamazaki Holiday Bouquet Flatware, Christmas Flatware
 Red Berries and gold holly leaves wrap around the top of the handles.
Yamazaki Holiday Bouquet Flatware, Christmas Flatware


A simple swirl and the balance of the handle is gently rounded and nicely proportioned stainless steel..

















The stemware is all vintage picked up at thrift stores through the years. I did not have the really tall champagne flutes but I will be watching for them in the future when I am out thrifting.

This table took a bit of work.  I  laid out the MDF boards that I use to enlarge my 38 x 67 inch table (the two boards are 24 x 88 for a total width and length of 48x88 with the boards added to the top of the table with a narrow gap between them  to allow the wiring for the village houses to slip between them).  Then I  found a thrifted tablecloth in my stash that would be harmonious with the dish pattern and the Christmas Village scape. I placed the chargers on the table to see what space I would have for the village and placed white foam boards on the table,  arranged the houses,  and drew off the placement of the houses on the white boards.
I used the pink foam boards from Home Depot as a base to raise the village up a bit to be able to see into the village houses. The pink board was cut to the size I had determined earlier. I arranged the houses according to the template I had drawn on the white board making sure that I would have room for the dinnerware. Once the houses were in place I added the the lights to the houses.  I used the 5 light electrical cords to limit the number of wires.  I cut through the foam board at one end of the table near an outlet to conceal the wires.  A small slit was cut into the tablecloth and the wires were placed between the two pieces of MDF (I had left a quarter inch of gap between them when I set up the table). The light cords were plugged into an extension cord taped to the leg of the table.

That is enough of the technical stuff!  This table turned into a real challenge after all of the houses were laid out and the lights were added to the houses.  I could not find my glue gun to secure the street lights to the boards.  After an hour or two of digging through my crafting supplies I found an old glue gun with about an inch of glue left in it.  I glued the lights the best as I could under the circumstance.  I did end up buying a new glue gun today but I will be taking it back.  When I went to glue in more street lights I found out they did not work anyway.  Now, back to last night for now.  I decided I would open my container of Village people (He-He,  get it  " The Village People") and started placing my little citizens around the village.  I had not put up a village since 2003 when we lived in Florida.  The tote that I had at my house contained the VP's that I had used way back in 2003.  All of my other village stuff is still in storage about thirty miles from here in the basement crawl space of the home I rent out. When I opened the case I found out many of my little village people had not survived the move from Florida.  I think the movers must have used that tote for a really large hockey puck.  I lost about seventy percent of my village people.  Oh no!!!!  Well as luck would have it I had found several grab bags of Christmas village people at the VOA last month that were still in bags in the garage.  It took a while to locate them but when I did find them and opened the bags they were in pretty good shape so I used them in this little village scape. Enough stories for now.... On with the pictures folks!!! Some of the pictures were taken at night without the crackers the balance were taken this morning. 
One of my favorite thrift finds this year was this little Road Champ die cast replica of 1956 red Ford  truck - it is perfect for hauling Christmas trees.
Christmas Village Tablescape with a 1956 Ford truck
 Christmas Village Tablescape
Christmas Village Tablescape
The icy blue lights in the background were a mistake that has now been rectified.  They didn't look blue when I originally put them there. Oops!
Christmas Village Tablescape

The next morning I took some daytime pictures.
Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape
And then I noticed something peculiar in the snow.
Christmas Village Tablescape
Do you see them right there in the snow?
Christmas Village Tablescape
There were more,  they were all the way around the village.  There were fence sections knocked down, there was epsom salt snow on the tablecloth (yuck).
Christmas Village Tablescape
Catzilla had struck and he created this disgusting mess of epsom salt on the table.  In days of yore when I used to put up a village with over a hundred houses my little girl cat Baby would take an occasional stroll down through the park (literally the village park) and knock over a few people as she went. Well Baby passed this year so we know it wasn't her.  The prime suspect was caught a while later when he hoped up on the table again. Don't let their innocent looking little faces fool you.  The one on the right was caught red handed, oops I mean red pawed.
Oreo and our handsome Black Prince

More pictures - less words follow.










And now some pictures of alternate settings.  I used some of the suggestions Susan made in her Mix and Match patterns post.

Alternate setting number one........
Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape
 
Christmas Village Tablescape
 Alternate setting number two.
Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape
Alternate setting number three.  I just love Tartan Plaid.......
Christmas Village Tablescape


Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape

Christmas Village Tablescape
The only thing that I went out and bought for this tablescape was the crackers. Everything else was thrifted or bought off of Ebay.

Thrift on Ladies, Thrift on...........

I will be sharing at:

Susan's Tablescape Thursday

Cuisine Kathleen's December copycat Pinterest Challenge

Christine's Table It Link Party

Marty's Inspire Me Tuesday

Kathe's You're Gonna Love It

What's It Wednesday






Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winterland Snowflakes and Ice Birthday Tablescape

December 4th, 2014
Winterland Snowflakes and Ice Birthday Tablescape

I don't know about you but I have been under the influence.  Under the influence of Pinterest that is! I had become obsessive looking for the perfect holiday decor to use in my home for this holiday season.  Every time I would pin an idea another would come along and just like that I was off in another direction ricocheting across the internet!  I finally settled down a bit when I started looking in my own backyard at all of the inspiration that I had bookmarked over the past seven or eight years.  The people and the blogs that had inspired me to blog,  the posts that I had seen at Alma's Seasonal Sundays, Susan's Tablescape Thursdays, and Kathleen's Let's Dish parties.  These are the people that inspired me along with their many followers that have shared their own posts through the years. One of my favorite inspirational tablescapes has been Lori's "Snowflakes and Ice" Tablescape from Dining Delight posted on January 14th in 2012.  Lori shared this tablescape at Tablescape Thursday and Seasonal Sundays plus several other link party sites.  The sparkle and shine of this beautiful table would brighten anybody's winter day.  This is one of several winter tablescapes that Lori has created with snowflakes,  glistening icy crystal like trees,  sparkling deer,  and delightful happy snowmen.   Make sure to get over there to visit and check out her wonderful tablescapes listed on the sidebar by clicking HERE.   I have been gathering snowmen and crystal trees at the thrift stores for nearly two years to use for icy sparkling winter tables this year and when my oldest son said he wanted a Winter Wonderland tablescape for his birthday (I think he wanted to try his new camera out) I knew this would be the table I would create.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
The deer were bought at HomeGoods this year and the large snowflakes under the plates came from the Dollar Tree.  The plates are part of a Sakura Winter Frost set that my sons Rick and Bob gave me for my birthday.  The snowflake napkin rings were sent to me from Marigene at "In The Middle of Nowhere" when I had lamented about not having found any suitable napkin rings to do this table.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
All of the stemware, candle holders, and tablecloth are thrift store purchases.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
The flatware is Lenox - eight place settings bought at a garage sale for three dollars.  The plates are actually more of a baby blue and navy blue on white.  Sometimes I can not figure out why  some photographs do not capture the true colors of an item.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
I was very pleased to find the deer at HomeGoods this fall.  They were just unpacking them when I saw them on the cart.  The young man helping me get them off the top shelf was so tickled that I was so happy with them.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
The HomeGoods price was reasonable enough for me.   The deer that I had found out on the internet had been priced outrageously! 
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
Little snowmen have been hoping into my cart while I have been out thrifting for years.  You will be seeing more of them over the next week or two.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
The place card holders were a lucky find at the Salvation Army Family Store, they were new in their original boxes.
I had several glass blocks in my stash bought at thrift stores over the years, but I did buy two more at Hobby Lobby when they were on sale at half price.

Marc's had an amazing assortment of snowflakes this year.  I was like a kid in a candy store running around and buying snowflakes and icicles for this table and for the tree.  There were glass snowflakes and many assorted acrylic snowflakes.  The icicles I found were made of glass and 10 inches in length. At 66 cents each you know I stocked up on icicles!
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
It was dark by the time dinner was served for the birthday party so Rick took some pictures by candle light before we sat sown to eat.
Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table

Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table

Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table

Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table

Snowflakes and Ice Winter Wonderland Tablescape - Christmas table
I had originally planned a hunt tablescape for Rick's birthday dinner (as in everything was all washed, pressed and ready to go),  his birthday is early in November and when he said he wanted a winter wonderland tablescape for his birthday dinner I had to get busy and remove all of the fall decor on the shelves and rearranged the china cabinets for the holidays.  I went off to the storage unit and picked up all the little goodies that I had been packing away for this table for so long .  Linens were washed and ironed and all the glass was washed and shined for the occasion.  That was on Saturday - the dinner was on Sunday.  And on Monday all snowflakes and ice was packed back away and all of the fall was returned to the dining room until after Thanksgiving.

The other inspiration this year has been from my husband's little grand daughters.  It started last Christmas with the movie "Frozen" from Disney.  The girls have been endlessly fascinated by the movie and run around their house singing "Let It Go"  and if they are not singing "Let it Go" their little Elsa dolls are.  I decided to take my inspiration from their inspiration "Frozen".  I had always put up a traditional Christmas tree in the living room but this year I decided to "Let It Go"  and do a "Frozen" Christmas tree in the living room (there will be a traditional tree in the family room).   The Christmas tree was started on Monday - just a bit more tweaking before the skirt will be placed beneath the tree and it will be done.
 I am still working on it.  The color distribution of the ornaments takes time. But you will get the general idea from the pictures.  Thank goodness for Marc's and the Dollar Tree.


 From the other side:
Have a wonderful week.  Remember to thrift on ladies, thrift on.

I will be sharing at:

Susan's Tablescape Thursday

Christine's Table It Link Party

Marty's Inspire Me Tuesday

Kathe's You're Gonna Love It

What's It Wednesday