Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pink Chocolate Girls Night Out Tablescape

Cuisine Kathleen's challenge to create a "Girls Night Out Tablescape" seemed as if it would be easy when I first thought about it.  In reality this challenge sent some perplexing thoughts wandering through my mind for several weeks now.  Just exactly what does girls night out mean to me?  Join me on my journey as my thoughts meander through a lifetime of  "Girls Nights Out" and the thoughts on creating a girls night out table setting.

First a quick look at the table setting
As I started gathering up the different items that I had been collecting to do a girly tablescape for a year or so my mind kept wandering to thoughts all of the adventures that I had had on my "Girls Night Out" escapades through the years. One of my first memories of going out with the girls was when my girlfriend Marla's mother drove us down to the Polish Women's Hall for the weekly Friday night dance.  Sounds innocent enough right?  Well it was,  but my Daddy had forbid me to go to these dances.  Oh but we had a ball.  I still remember exactly what I wore,  a pretty gray sweater with a deep pink skirt and a perky pink scarf around my neck.  We had so much fun dancing to a band (probably just a neighborhood band) we even hammed it up when a local TV station came in and taped the kids out dancing on the floor.  I made it home before my 11 O'clock curfew and well before my Daddy came home from work on the night shift.  When Daddy came home on Friday nights we would pop some popcorn and gather around to watch Ghoulardi,  a Cleveland TV legend played by Ernie Anderson who later became a nationally recognized voice in commercials and TV programs.  Drew Carey used to wear his Ghoulardi t-shirt on his TV show.  As we settled down to watch whatever ghoulish movie that was showing that night they opened the show by broadcasting the images of the kids dancing at the local dances that evening.  They had never done that before........ Well you know what happened then,  I will never forget my father turning around to me (still wearing my pretty gray sweater and pink scarf) and stating with a deadpan look on his face and a flat voice that I looked just like the girl on TV.  I think I was grounded forever.
I had to make a trip over to my storage unit to pick up a piece of material that I had bought at Goodwill last year.  I had rolled down the window and was playing old time rock and roll (Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Capital of the World you know),  it's the kind of music that gets in your soul (hehe) and reminiscing about the adventures my girl friend Dee Dee and I had with a couple of other gals from the office cruising around Southgate USA.  The premier shopping center in the country at that time and the best place to be seen for a bunch of young chicks in a 1960 Corvette convertible, rain or shine, snow, sleet, or hail.... we would be cruising.  I used to think the Beach Boys wrought all of those songs about us.  I feel sorry for kids today,  what do they have?  Justin Bieber..... that thought would give me the creepy shivers.

I had to dig around in the garage to find a box of beads, a heavy box of beads.  I had bought packages of different colors and styles packed together in about five pound bags for one dollar each several years ago from Marc's.  I thought this would be a good time to use a few of them.
I laid out the pink and the chocolate color beads but ended up only using the chocolate color.
Pink flowers with brown stems from Marc's a few years back were perfect for the centerpiece.
When I married (at a very young age) there were no more girls nights out except for PTA meetings, cub scout and boy scout meetings, and going to TOPS club meetings and shopping with my mother.  Now that I look back at it I realize that my Mom was truly my best friend.  When we went out it was girls night out!  We would go to dinner at Chinese restaurants (my dad was a steak man) and then go to weigh in at our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club meetings a few days later.  We would shop and then we would talk almost endlessly.  Mom and I were the feminine side of the household that I grew up in.  My father and my two brothers plus three of daddy's brothers probably helped forge the relationship my mom and I grew into as I grew older.  When dad and mom retired and moved south my life changed but I found new friends and hobbies but none ever replaced the relationship I had with Mom.

Back to the tablescape
I found my box of girly stuff that I had been collecting and
laid them out down the center of the table.
The pink and black ring holder shoes are perfect for a party favor.
Cute high heel desert plates are perfect for the cream horns, Baklava and petit fours cakes and tiny red velvet, salted caramel, pistachio and frosted chocolate cup cakes.

Various candies dot the table like table scatter.
Hard to tell the chocolates on the tablecloth from the Hershey's and the buckeyes isn't it?
Pretty napkins from Goodwill.
A jewelery holder holds the chocolate beads
in a most feminine way.
Black champagne glasses and pink flatware.
Large black octagon chargers are layered with pink lace trimmed napkins
and pretty high heel girly plates.

Mom and dad lived in North Carolina for twenty years during which time I had two more sons.  Mom would come to stay for several weeks when each child was born.  We would talk and talk until the wee hours of the morning. Every vacation I would pack up the kids and we would go to Grandma's house plus whatever occasion I could come up with.  The eight hour drive did not seem so long going down to see Mom, once there we always had an adventure or two and we went to mom's bingo games every week.  My favorite bingo games were at the VFW Hall with the veterans.  The ladies axillary would host about forty veterans from the VA Hospital,  one was a  lady who had served as a nurse and was said be the oldest living female veteran from World War One in North Carolina,  such a sweet lady she was and what an honor it was to meet her. The evening included a home cooked meal.  My mom always made the steak and gravy to take for these Bingo nights.  We would start cooking the steak around mid-day in her electric skillet, she would flower the steak and brown both sides and keep adding the steak to a roaster in the oven until about sixty or so pieces were ready to have homemade gravy added and slid back into the oven until they were tender.  Good times.
So Mom this one's for you!  I can't think of anyone that I would rather have a girls night out with,  we could shop till we drop and we can eat cake till we pop! There are no more worries about counting calories now.  How I wish you were here.

Your Daughter

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pink Petals April Inspired Tablescape

Inspiration can pop up when you least expect it,  even when you are exasperated and forlorn that an idea you have been working on has not worked out to be what you wanted.  But an unexpected picture, a very lucky find, and lovely plates from a dear friend can come together in the most unexpected ways to give you a very happy outcome. A color palette from "design-seeds ", a set of April Cornelle placemats found at the last minute,  four lovely pink Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates and four pink and yellow napkin rings from Marigene at "In the Middle of Nowhere" came together and resulted in a pretty in Pink Petals April Tablescape.

Last Thursday morning at around 10:30 AM I was out in the yard cutting dozens of daffodils that I had intended to use in a blue,  yellow, and white (my favorite color combinations) tablescape to post for Tablescape Thursday at Susan's Between Naps on The Porch.  The flowers went directly into a pitcher while I went upstairs to get the box that contained my white and blue soup tureen, only it wasn't in that box.  As it turned out the tureen is probably in a box stored in the basement storage room at our other house and yes I did waste several hours of time looking through the boxes in the extra room upstairs and at our storage unit (a couple of miles from our home) before I remembered where the tureen I wanted was at (this getting old stuff is getting old).  Despite of the fact that the tablecloth, dishes and stemware were already set on the would be blue,  yellow,  and white table,  I just lost all interest in doing that tablescape.  I was disheartened and disappointed that it would require nearly a sixty mile round trip to pick up the tureen that I needed.  I consoled myself by going through the Emails of the repins from my Pinterest boards. It is my usual custom to visit the the Pinterest board of the person repinning my pins and pin one of their pins when I happened upon
the Petals color palette in pinks, yellows, and coral.

I had been wanting to create a table setting using the pink Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates that Marigene had so kindly sent to me several months ago for a while.  But the inspiration I needed to create this table setting had not come to me until now.  The catalyst I needed was found latter that evening at The Volunteers of America when I spotted a set of April Cornell place mats in new condition (except for the fold mark from being stored) complete with the original labels hanging in the domestics section of the VOA.  The pattern was in varying shades of pink,  yellow, and spring green.  I rushed home after buying these little beauties and grabbed the cabbage plates and set them on the place mats.  They were perfect with the paler shades of pink in the AC place mats.
I placed thrifted Williams-Sonoma yellow dinner plates (that were already sitting on the table) under the cabbage plates, and again - they were perfect.  But the dark pink,  what could I use to go with the dark pink?  Then I spotted the Maxcera Coral Vanilla Chintz plates I found at HomeGoods a couple of months ago,  but there were only three of them.  I looked at the stack of Spring plates on the kitchen counter waiting to be washed before they could be used.  All of these plates had came from thrift stores over the winter and there near the top were four Fitz and Floyd pansy plates.  One was a coral pink, although a bit smaller and with black markings in the center, it was similar enough to use with the Maxcera plates.
Fitz and Floyd dessert plate.
 Maxcera dessert plate.
I grabbed the Anton Studio Designs green goblets that I had bought at Marc's (and had left sitting in a bag in the garage since before Christmas last year) and washed them,  then placed them on the place mats with the plates. 
 Green floral salad bowls marked Magenta on the back of the bowls (a recent purchase from HG)
The green Lenox candle holders seemed perfect to use once again even though I had just used them in a Spring tablescape. The pale pink tablecloth is a near perfect color match for the cabbage plates and the coral napkins placed across the salad bowls are a perfect match to the dark pink of the place mats (no wonder about that! Some of the napkins still had April Cornell stickers on them).
The daffodils (plus freshly picked extras to replace the ones that had faded) were placed in a Park Design pitcher bought from our local Marc's store last year (I love Marc's close-out section).  

The rose pink Lauri Gates Hampton flatware matched up perfectly with the medium pink in the AC place mats, again - perfect!

Disparate items from many different sources that all came together after viewing a pretty color pallet (called petals) and then finding the April Cornell placemats only a few hours later. 

 A couple of spring bunnies added a bit more whimsey to the table.

The Players:


Napkin rings from Marigene.

Pink Bordallo Pinheiro Cabbage plates from Marigene.
A shadow from the green goblet is reflected on the right side
of the plate.
More pictures.

 In the morning light.
Thrifty finds, lucky finds, and a thoughtful friend made this table possible.
Thank you Marigene.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happy Spring Tablescape for Easter

Another Easter Sunday has come and gone.  I had a wonderful day with all of my children together to celebrate Easter.   We had ham,  potato salad,  baked beans,  Slovenian sausage and sour kraut,  dinner rolls, and home made pineapple upside down cake.  I love cooking for my boys especially for the holidays.  Of course there were plenty of leftovers so that everyone could take home enough food for another meal.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
Small clay pots from Marc's (my favorite closeout store) held a foil wrapped chocolate, a small chick, and a faux daffodil in a bed of Easter Grass.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
The plates are made from a clear glass plate with a quilting square decoupaged to the back (tutorial to follow at the end of this post).
Easter - Spring Tablescape
Large wicker place mats (thrifted) and butter cream color Lenox charger plates (an Ebay find) start the stack.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
Lenox Summer Terrace candle holders (thrifted) and cream white candles decorate the center of the table. Bunny napkin rings hold green napkins with faux flowers tucked into the folds.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
 The lambs were an Ebay purchase this year from Replacements at a very reasonable price.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
 Daffodil flatware.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
A garden bunny is sitting in the middle of a bed of faux hydrangeas inside a freshly painted birdcage.
Easter - Spring Tablescape

Easter - Spring Tablescape
 The Park Design mushroom S&P's were bought at Marc's last year.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
The napkins and some of the napkin rings were thrifted (the sixth one is part of a set that Marigene sent to me). I didn't have enough of either design so I combined them.
Easter - Spring Tablescape
Easter - Spring Tablescape
 Thrifted stemware decorated with a bee and spring flowers.
Easter - Spring Tablescape

Easter - Spring Tablescape

The following is a  tutorial to make the decoupaged plates.
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates
The material is a happy Ebay mistake.  I had bid on and won a piece of Peter Rabbit material to use to make salad plates but as it turned out that piece was not available so the vendor offered this piece of quilting squares as a substitute for the Perter Rabbit material. The interior squares were 10 inches, just the right size  for dinner plates. A thin lightweight fabric is easiest to work with.
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates

Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates
After spreading a tarp on my work surface (AKA dining room table) I placed the material printed front up and brushed my laminating paste (Tacky glue works well too) on it's front side.
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates
 I placed a clear glass plate on a large can to raise my work surface
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates

and brush the glue over the back of the plate covering it completely.
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates

Place the front side of the material (carefully positioning it) onto the back side of the glued plate and cover the back of the material after it is on the plate with a coat of glue too. Use your brush to work out any wrinkles that may appear. 
Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates
Trim the excess material after the glue has dried with a sharp razor knife.  A coat of white paint sprayed or brushed on the back of the plate will intensify the depth of color if the material is thin (and light in color) like the material I used for the bunny plates.
Please note:  Adding a coating of a clear sealant on the back will help to make the plates easier to clean. 
(do not submerge in water)

Tutorial to make decoupaged Easter plates

Have a wonderful day!
Remember to thrift on ladies, thrift on!

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