Thursday, November 26, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Hey, all!!  It's that time again for Tablescape Thursday with our gracious hostess, Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a comment and follow the adventures of Budget Elegance! 

So, where were we?  Oh, yeah.  In my last post I shared with you that I had been bitten by the Christmas bug (actually, visions of sugar-plums have been dancing in my head for a while now).  Since I jumped the gun so early with my first Christmas tablescape, I decided to just keep the holiday spirit going.  Check out my "Winter Wonderland" inspired tablescape.

I have to admit, I really wasn't a big fan of silver until I put this tablescape together.  I challenged myself to work outside of my comfort zone.  Glad I did!!

Let's work our way from the bottom up, shall we?  Well you know by now how I like to use things in ways other than their intended purpose.  No different this time.  The "tablecloth" here is faux fur throws; yes, throws (you know those cloth thingies you "throw" over your lap and legs when it's chilly outside).  Yes, those.  I used two of them here.

To cover the "seam" where the two throws met I used a silver table runner with clear beading detail on it.

I then scattered "diamonds" around to represent ice.  Can't have a winter wonderland without ice.

I then set out on the hunt for silver charger plates.  I found these at Big Lots for 75 cents each (yeah, I know!); just three quarters (thank you very much)!  The plates were from TJMaxx from a time long ago by Mikasa.

The silver cups holding the flowers remind me of mint julep cups.  They're actually cups for the bathroom used to hold toothbrushes and toothpaste!!  They were on clearance for $3 each!

Now hold on; I feel I owe you an explanation about the flowers.
I had every intention on buying REAL white roses for this tablescape and only used the fake ones for staging purposes; you know, just to see how the table would look all pulled together.  I was so pleased with how things were coming along that I grabbed the camera out of excitement and starting taking photos; forgot all about the real flowers!  So there you have it; I promise to do better next time, promise.

And the crackled, mirrored ornaments fit right in on this tablescape.  They added shimmer and shine, not to mention how they reflected the sunlight like crazy!

Some pictures don't need a description as they speak for themselves.  Listen. . . with your eyes. . .

Even the flatware got into the act by capturing a shimmering reflection on their handles.

Silver, white and frosted trees in various sizes were added to evoke the feel of a miniature forest blanketed with newly fallen snow.

Ornaments in silver, white and frost were scattered along the tablerunner to add interest and more texture.

The centerpiece is comprised of one of my favorite urns filled with ornaments and framed with clear iridescent berry branches.

You like?

Well, that's it for now, kittens.  Hope you enjoyed my interpretation of a winter wonderland tablescape.  I really had fun with this one; can you tell?

Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!!!
Until next time -- AL

A special "thanks" to La-La (LaNelle) for all of her help.  By the way, I forgot to mention that La-La drew the lion picture that I use as my profile icon!!!  Thanks again, Sweetness; you rock!!
Love, Mom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hey, tablescapers!  Hope all is well in your world.  I must admit, I was doing just fine until I viewed Susan's blog at BNOTP last week and saw her beautiful silver tablescape for the holidays -- too late, got the holiday bug right then and there and haven't been able to rest until I was able to play with some of my holiday tabletop toys (thanks a lot, Susan) smile. (Well, I had to blame it on someone!!)  I'm sure Susan doesn't mind in the least at being accused of stirring up someone's creative juices.  So I caved and started pulling out some of my holiday tabletop toys. Anyhoo, come see some of the fun I had playing in my tabletop toy chest . . .

So there I was, in the middle of trying to place some finishing touches on the tablescape, deeply engrossed and all, when I suddenly realized that the sunbeams had invited themselves in to dance upon my dining table once again.  I didn't mind as they danced upon La-La's place setting.  She was tickled pink.

The ornament placecard holders where purchased at an after Christmas sale a few years ago. Got several packs in different colors. Need I say more?

I made the centerpiece using some leftover floral materials I had laying around; pinecones I had collected over the years; scrap pieces of ribbon (I never, ever throw away ribbon scraps no matter how small) and both artificial and real carnations (can you tell which is which?). 

The arrangement is finished off with real apples and tapered candles were added last so they wouldn't get damaged during assembly of the piece.

Anything goes when it comes to creating this type of centerpiece.  Instead of apples you can use ornaments or another type of fruit, use a different flower and change the ribbon color.  No limits here.  You're only bound by your own imagination.

Had a couple of extra burgundy and gold ornaments leftover from La-La's teacher gift giving efforts of last year that made it to the tablescape. Again, I throw away nothing; you never know when it will come in handy.  You know the pack rat's dilemma; as soon as you throw it out, you end up needing it!! (Can I get an Amen?)  Sometimes I feel like I should be on an episode of "Hoarders" on A&E.  Moving right along . . .

Another double duty item I layered on the table is the red and gold berry garland.  You know how I like using items in ways other than their intended purpose.  Who says that garlands were only meant to decorate Christmas trees, doorways and mantels???

Now, in my desperate attempt to find "just the right tablecloth", I ended up having to make one.  The fabric here is an imitation crushed velvet type material I found at Walmart (yeah, I know, Walmart!).  The fringe was from a local fabric store.  Remember, I have to keep this budget thing going.  This tablecloth has served me well; it's about 9 years old and still going strong!!

To get the layered look I was after, I used this gold mesh fabric that I found at (need I even say it?) Walmart (sigh).  What's my mantra???; chant with me folks, "Budget Eleganccce, Budget Eleganccce, Budget Eleganccce". Ok, that's enough; you get the picture.  I am not proud when it comes to getting the best deals for my tablescapes.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I purchased it.  Stored it away for awhile; thought it would look good against the richness of the burgundy.  I like the way it glistens in the sunlight.  Looks like it was spun by pixies.

I really, really like this set of dishes.  I mixed 3 different sets; the bowls are Christopher Radko that I got half off at an after Christmas sale a couple of years ago.  The plates under the bowl and the plate in which the ornament placecard holder sits on are both from TJMaxx but from two different patterns.

The bowl has a pattern of holly leaves and berries on the inside.

A closer look.

I just love the red and gold ribbon detail on the outside of the bowl. 

Each place setting has its own mini salt and pepper shaker.  You can find them most anywhere nowadays.

The Midas touch.

The glasses are two different patterns from two different discount stores purchased in two different states (whew!).  Buy what you love and use what you have.  You'd be surprised to discover that once you start putting your items together how well they complement each other.

Gold rimmed dessert compotes awaiting to be filled with something completely irresistible.  Can you say "Dollar Tree"?

Now I've had this decanter for I don't know how long.  Again, a discount find from long, long ago.  Placed on the sideboard with a couple of wine glasses; works for me!  (PS:  It's cranberry juice folks; these pictures were taken at 9:00am in the morning.  I do have some standards; they may not be that high but I do have 'em.)  LOL!

Delicious. . .

Can you feel the warmth?

Love that sunshine!

OH! Can't forget about the chairs!  They like to play dress-up too, ya know.  Here I took some additional gold mesh fabric and tied it around the top portion of the chairs.  I found some dainty little cream colored beaded garland and drapped it from the knot in the fabric then topped it off with a faux pointsettia.  Again, I had most of these items just packed away waiting for their 15 minutes of fame.

This would have been just as luxurious with tulle or some other glitzy fabric and an ornament.

Well, thanks again for the visit.  I hope you have as much fun with your holiday "tabletop toys" as I've had with mine. 

Until next time; remember to encourage, not discourage and keep those creative juices flowing!!! -- AL

PS:  To Kathy@CreativeHomeExpressions, Kathryn@BonafideSouthern, and nannykim@spindlecottage, you tried to warn me of the addiction! YOU WERE RIGHT!  But I absolutely love it.  Thanks to all of you that left such wonderful comments -- You Rock!!! Caio

PSS:  Maureen, hope you're feeling better!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hey there.  It's me again.  I just wanted to say "Thanks" once again to all of you who took time out of your busy schedules to visit my very first blog.  Your comments were so kind and welcoming.  La-La and I really appreciate you.  I visited your blogs and there is some real talent out there in blogland.  Hope I can keep up!!

As you can see, I've titled this post "A Few of My Favorite Things" (aka my favorite tabletop toys).  They're urns that I've collected over the years.  Check it out:

Now you must realize that I usually buy my urns in pairs; I just didn't have enough room to put them all on one table.  Some may call it an obsession; I like to call it a collection.

This little beauty sits in my downstairs powder room.  Haven't decided what to place in it yet.  I'd like to fill it with potpourri, but haven't been able to find one that I like.  Do they still make potpourri?

This urn sits on a console table in a hallway.  Don't let looks deceive you; this thing weighs a ton!! 

I have no idea where to put this one.  It's just sitting in a corner waiting for instructions.

The darker urn in the background had a previous fall leaf arrangement in it that I just discarded.  It too now sits in a corner waiting further instructions.

This golden urn looks like it should have been sitting in Caesar's palace in Rome back in the day.

All shapes, sizes and styles.

The sheen of the gold damask tablecloth really shows off the detail of the urns.

This urn resembles a large golden chalice.

I can envision this urn over flowing with white tulips with trailing greenery spilling out over the edges.

This white-washed urn and its mate are normally used outside.  I bring them inside for indoor use every once in a while when they've been really good.


...and After.
Filled with an abundance of flaming orange flowers.

As stated previously, I've been collecting these urns over the years.  I'll be using these urns in future tablescapes and in ways other than their intended purpose.  Stay tuned!!