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!!


    Enjoy the addiction,

  2. OOOHHH! Gorgeous! Love the different fabrics and textures! You have blended the different china patterns beautifully. I really love the chairs. Have tried something similar, but didn't quite pull it off--maybe I'll try again. You inspire me! Our Walmarts no longer sell fabric :(

  3. I love your table and the fact you used what you had. You are so creative. I also have the problem of never throwing anything away, you never know when you will need it. Thanks so much for sharing, Stop by and visit.

  4. This is an absolute dream of a tablescape. Rich and glitzy, and over-the-top. Dripping with Christmas at it's finest! You made it look like a fairytale! What a great way to start (albiet, a little early) the Christmas season!
    Kudos to you.

  5. I confess....I'm a bonafide pack rat right along with you! I even save bits of lace from my heirloom sewing projects, as it comes in handy for tiny touches here & there.

    This is a resplendent table for the upcoming holidays & your engaging descriptions of your bargains had me smiling from ear to ear.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. You have done such a great job here. I have used the gold mesh on a coffee table before at Christmas and it turned out amazing.

  7. Good job! Beautiful and such fun descriptions (ie cranberry juice)

  8. Whoa!! You are hooked! Your holiday table is glamorous, elegant, warm and inviting! The sunlight plays off beautifully against every element on the table! I enjoyed your reading your post...Great job! Hugs!

  9. Love your tablescape and i love the christmas ball name card holder, how very cute and the centerpiece is so beautiful, I especially love all your wonderful pictures...

  10. Lovely, lovely tablescape!! I love the colours red and gold. After Christmas sales are great for collecting stuff for the next one...I do that too, lol. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tablescape with us :o)


  11. Beautiful....Hard to believe Christmas is so near. I think I will do a few more fall ones before I jump to Christmas, but you have inspired me.


  12. Absolutely awesome table! I need to do Thanksgiving and then I shall play with Christmas settings! Thank you cor sharing!


  13. A beautiful table! I love the tulle on the chairs. That just sends the whole setting right over the top! :)


  14. It all looks so beautiful! I adore your holly bowls!

  15. Outstanding! I love what you did with the chairs. I have some of that gold mesh too and have used mine as a tree skirt. I'm not quite ready to tackle a Christmas tablescape yet...but, soon!


  16. The gold is just so elegant. What fun you must have had. Thanks for giving us a peek at what you home must look like for the holidays!

  17. Really gorgeous--Love the golden tabletop!! (Our Walmart just got renovated and they did away with the sewing/cloth department, and much of the craft and flowers!! If I want material now...I have to go out of town. Anywho--love what you have done!

  18. Beautiful, almost too pretty to put actual food on the table.

  19. Hi Al...

    Ohhh my...what a fabulous table you've set, my friend! Love all that gorgeous gold...with the touches of red and white! Sooo elegant! I love, love, LOVE that gold mesh fabric...I'm going to have to take a look at Walmart for some. I can see that it's a very versatile item! Anyway, it's just gorgeous on your fabulous table! The place settings...ohhh, so beautiful!!! Love those beautiful gold rimmed plates and the Christmas pattern on the bowl...gorgeous! very favorite thing about your grand and elegant table is that beautiful centerpiece! It's so beautiful and the perfect "topper" for your elegant holiday table, my friend! Thank you for sharing your creativity and talents with us...what a sweet treat!!!

    Just wanted to take this time to thank you for adding Happy To Design to your list of blog follows...I'm thrilled and humbled, my friend! I am also adding your delightful blog to my list...and really look forward to your upcoming posts! Ooooh, I have a feeling that you have some fabulous "tricks up your sleeves" for some holiday decor!!!

    So very nice to meet you, Al!
    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  20.'s just lil' ol' me again! I really did want to say something about your fabulous photos! The lighting is stunning!!! Well done, my friend!!!