Saturday, October 24, 2009


Finally, my very own blog!!!  I've dubbed it, "Budget Elegance".  Feels kinda good, actually.  I started this blog to accomplish 2 things:  1) to find a creative outlet for my tablescape ideas.  I felt like my head would explode with all of the ideas I had going on inside and; 2) to find a fun and exciting project that my 17 year old daughter, LaNelle (La-La), and I could do together as a mother-daughter team; and so Budget Elegance (B-E) was born.  La-La's my personal computer guru and creative director as well as my "all things hi -tech" go-to person.  I'd be completely lost without her.  We originally had other plans for B-E but she convinced me to start a blog, so here we are.

With B-E my goal was to create beautiful tablescapes on a tight budget while making them look as luxurious as possible.  Anything goes as far as the accessories.  I also like using items in ways other than their intended purpose.  More on that later.

Oh my, where ARE my manners?  Just call me "AL" and I'm so glad you've dropped by.  I'm addicted to all things "tablescape".  For instance, check out my fall tablescape below; I like the way I caught the sun shining through the window one morning as the sunbeams danced with one of my birdie napkin rings.

I also like layering items in my tablescapes; I usually start with a tablecloth because my dining table has seen better days. The tablecloth here was a TJMaxx find (clearance of course) in a wonderful burnt sugar color. 

Runners add another dimension to the table; the copper and olive green colored sequinned table runners were found at Ross.

Small scattered items add a finishing touch to the table such as the acorns, mini pinecones, and dried fall leaves.

The urn was free! It was given to me by a lady who owned a Bed and Breakfast in Iowa.  I asked her why such an interesting piece was sitting in the corner of her garage.  Her reply was, "You want it? Take it".  Needless to say, I didn't hesitate to scoop up this fine discarded treasure nor did I stop to get a whiff of her breath to find out if she had been drinking.  Believe me, sister, I took the urn and ran before she realized what she had given away!!!  It's one of my favorite "tabletop toys".

Nothing makes a tablescape more fun than a little whimsy!  Let me introduce you to Rocky the Squirrel (remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show? oops, am I telling my age?  et-hem; I mean I've heard of this show before) and thought the name was fitting.  He was just waiting to come home with me from Cracker Barrel.

Another interesting find were the copper colored bird napkin rings.  They're lightly brushed with gold highlights.  Another TJMaxx find.  The tail on one of the birds was chipped.  I politely pranced up to the customer service desk and asked about a discount for the damage and got him for next to nothing.  I just took a gold metallic marker and lightly brushed over the chipped area to blend the colors and voila!!  Unless I told you which bird was damaged you'd be hard pressed to figure out which one!! 

Honey colored glasses go quite well with the other elements in the tablescape.

The small collection of white pumpkins on the sideboard contrasts sharply with the vibrant red/orange colors of the dried leaves.  I tried to mimic the same colors on the sideboard as the dining table by using the white pumkins as the centerpiece for the buffet cabinet to coincide with the white urn on the dining table.  Terra cotta urn-shaped candleholders, dried leaves and acorns finish off the display.

Oh, one last thing. Remember I stated earlier that I like to use items in ways other than their intended purpose?  Well check out the tassel in it's new starring role as "chair decor".  Simple, yet effective. 

Luckily I have dining chairs that have 2 finials at the top which allows me to hook things onto them.  I change the tassel colors to coordinate with the tablescape.

Well, I hope you like my first attempt at this blog thing.  Hopefully, I'll get better at it as time goes by.  Thanks again for visiting. I'd also like to thank my friend and partner in crime, Laura, for introducing me to the blog world by directing me to BNOTP.  With that said, I'd like to say thanks to Susan at BNOTP for inspiring me and others with your beautiful blog (you rock, Susan--I am not worthy!!!).  

And last but never least, my reason for living, my beautiful daughter, LaNelle, for her love, unwavering support and encouragement; thanks sweetness; I'm glad you're mine.  To my wonderful husband, thanks for putting up with the ever increasing mountain of "tabletop toys" that seems to be slowly taking over the house; you're my hero!  Thanks for everything, Mom!!

Until next time, keep those creative juices flowing and let's continue to inspire each other; peace be with you, AL.