Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cream and Crystal tree.....Finally!

Oh my, I thought I would never get these loaded, it took me hours! The pain of a sporatic internet signal, it has been this way for longer than what I care to admit. But, here they are, hopefully better late than never?

I hope every ones Christmas was wonderful. Mine was great, I was able to share it for a few hours of gift opening and Christmas dinner with my DD and her SO...table setting photos to follow....permitting the pleasure of the internet gods...

The Swarovski crystal snowflake on the right was one of my gifts from my DD and her SO for this Christmas, I have quite a few of the large and smaller ones from her over the years and I treasure them.

I decided to dress up the "lady" this Christmas with pearls and jewels, she looks quite content don't you think?

Here are a few closeups of the tree, there are many Lenox ornaments that I have collected and that my DD has given me as one of my Christmas gifts, it is a tradition that I love between us.

The sphere like ornament in the middle is one of my favorite Lenox ornaments, luckily there is a Lenox outlet near me, so I can get them fairly affordable if I am patient enough to wait to purchase them after the holidays.

All over my tree I have hundreds of glass icicles that I have purchased over the last few years, always at the after Christmas sales. I have quite a few chandelier crystals too, the crystals and icicles add such a nice sparkle to the tree, plus they go with what ever color theme I chose to use for the year.

I also like to use silk flower in my trees, they fill up the spaces quite nicely and add in another element of style to the tree. In this tree I used poinsettias and roses.

I hope you enjoyed my late addition to the holiday, I am already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Pretty much everywhere in my living room and dining room are hundreds of ornaments for my cream, crystal and gold tree for this year. The great thing about all these ornaments pictured is that they can easily mix in with a tree of ANY color theme. This is where there is such a big cost saving for me when I do different color themed trees every other year, I only have to have half as much ornaments for a new look because these cream, gold, and crystal ornis fit in with any color scheme. The glass snowflake balls you see in the front are from the Dollar store. You might also notice the plain and simple gold glass balls in the photo too, they and the simple cream balls go into the inside part of the tree to add sparkle and depth, and most important they are very inexpensive fillers, allowing you to use your fancier ones on the outside tips of your tree where you can see them easily.

I have collected the Lenox over many many years. Alot of them are very dear to me, because as a Christmas tradition I gave my DD one of the two same ornis for her future tree, (keeping one for me) and once she was older as a Christmas Eve gift she would purchase a couple of ornis for me. It is great fun opening our new ornis together and putting then up on the tree Christmas Eve, a very important tradition for me. It has build a tree of alot of memories and love.

I still purchase ornis every year, luckliy not as many as I used to, but if they call to me, they are mine!

Lots of ornies on the side table, just waiting for placement on the tree, or design for a vignette. Hint, if you collect perfume bottles you can use them as decorations on the tree (provided they are empty of course).

More ornis on the rug waiting patiently for me to dig in, and start the long decorating process. You can see a few glimpses of some of my Lenox and other glass ornies.

On the coffee table are tons of crystal Lenox ornies, I purchased all of them on clearance after the holiday, they sparkle so wonderfully on the tree. I also have quite a few crystal swag/garland pieces that I add in the tree and use in vignettes and some of my tablesettings, so versatile!

My favorite items, I have at least 200 of these crystals, they take a long time to put on the tree, but they are the fabulous finishing touch. I had purchased these for a "different" kind of Dollar store, I bought every one I seen. I also have hundreds of glass icicles that I had purchased for only 2 dollars a box for 18, at a Dillards after Christmas sale.

(Below) This is a photo of my very large rubbermaid bin of my ball style ornis. I wrapped each of them all up one-by-one, to keep them safe, what you are looking at is some that I have unwrapped. The bag of roses is another fav of mine, it fills in the empty spaces to the tree adding in a certain kind of elegance I think. Poinsettias and hydrangeas are great for this too.

You will also note a few mirrored ornis, they are wonderful for the sparkle and reflection of light.

Hopefully the finished tree will be in the next post, providing my internet connection is still with me..

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Tablesetting Sneak Peek

I thought I would pop in with a little sneak peek of one of my tablesettings that I will be doing over the holidays. I typically do quite a few tablesettings since I have several sets of Christmas dishes and I also see my DD more during this holiday season for dinner.

This is actually a pretty inexpensive table setting to do, everything you see here is glass, You would be amazed how pretty an all glass table setting can be. Another perk of this style of setting is that you can add in any accent color you may want to use so if someone can't afford a patterned set of Christmas dishes you can still acheive a holiday look effortlessly by the accents you decide to add in.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Christmas tree tips

I'm sorry these tips are slow coming, my internet connection is giving me alot of grief these days.

Placing balls in the inner part of a tree is something a lot of folks don't do, many people only decorate the outside limbs of the tree. When you only decorate the outside, you loose seeing a depth or 3D-dimension type of look to your tree. You also loose the inner brightness caused from putting in these simple reflective balls.

What I do is put either inexpensive gold or silver balls(depending on my color theme) you can buy in sets most anywhere. The gold or silver balls give the needed light reflection you need in the darkest part of the tree, the christmas lights reflecting off of the balls gives an inner brightness and warmth to a tree. For a "bling" look I would suggest at least 50 to 75 balls placed in the inner part of a 6.5 ft tree (of course you can use less, this is just how I like to decorate mine.) As you can see from the photos above, try to place the balls in those bare areas and the area right next to the trunk of the tree, this also hides the ugly wrapped pole (in this photo there are only a few showing now for ease in showing you hope to place them, but you can be assured I will be adding much more.)

Go back and take look at the pic again, do you see all the tiny bright light specks being reflected in the ball? Just the few balls pictured have already reflected alot of light.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Decorating, it begins....

I have been asked by a few folks for some tips on how I decorate my trees. the photo above is a single short "garland" of 12 connected poinsettas, that I purchased at Walmart a few weeks ago for only $7.00, a great buy for a hundred dollar look.

On the couch is 4 sets (and a poinsetta bunch of flowers for decorating on my wreaths)

Here is the strip of flowers placed on the tree, I will probably tuck it in a bit more, and then I will add in the other garlands tip to tip, spiraling down the tree in a loose "S" pattern. This is a great thing to do especially if you don't have alot of ornaments yet, because it makes a great "filler".

Now, if you did not want to do the spiral garland look, you can also detach the flower heads and place them evenly thoughout your tree (which I have done with great success too with last years pink tree).

I will post more later, as I progress.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Christmas in Cream, Gold and crystals

This is just a little sneak peek at my Christmas theme this year. And tieing in from my previous post, another example of using the stacking plates for holidays. They really are versatile.

Why am I posting something Christmasy this early? I have found that I need to start way ahead for my planning. Since stores get out Christmas decor so early, I have found if I don't shop early for my decorations the best ornaments and such are gone way before December 1st! Right now it is very difficult to find "off white/cream colored ornaments, so if any do show up I plan on being the first there to claim them. :) I like planning my table scapes early too, that way when the big day comes, I'll set the table the day before saving me the time to concentrate on cooking, and an added benefit of that is it really puts me in the mood for the big festive dinner I share with my DD and her SO. Now that my DD has moved out, my big day is usually Christmas Eve, this was a very difficult transition for me, as Christmas Day was the traditional day for all the fun and festivities, but since she is on her own, she now wants the "day" to her and her SO, plus she needs to accomodate his family too. The change has been "hard" on me I must admit, are any of you going thru this right now?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Decorations for your home

This is my Fall stacking plates centerpiece/vignette, I really enjoy doing these because they are easy, don't take up too much space, and it's a real eye catcher.

I love to use this as a center piece for my dining room table or my coffee table, but it could just as easily be the highlight of your buffet table too.

I showed them first to a forum group I visit a few years ago, the were so popular there so I decided to do a tutorial, so I hope that you, dear blog reader will enjoy it too.

These cake plates can be used for any holiday, Christmas, Fall, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, Easter, Birthdays, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, etc, they really are quite versitile. And of course you can use them for what they are ment

Part 1:
Gather up what you have choosen to do up your cake plates with. The key to a pretty over all design is to keep in the choosen theme, in this case it is a Fall theme.

I used a Christmas tree topper in my chosen colors, christmas birds, acorns, leaves, glass rocks and jewels, mini beaded pumpkins, a fairy, pine cone ornaments, faux grapes, the next 2 pictures show what I used, I did have a little left over, but I did use alot as you can see.

These are the empy stacking plates, the top piece is a 99 cent sundae cup I purschased at Walmart. The actual stacking plates came 3 in a box from Walmart(a few yrs ago). But you can order on line I think from Target for them too, Linens and Things, and Bed Bath and Beyond also has carried these plates. The average cost for the set is about $20.00.

Photo of the 3 stacking cake plates together.

Part 2: Start loading up, this is a few close-ups so you can see where I placed some things.

In the sundae cup I place in some of the glass jewels as filler before I put in the tree topper ornament. You can get the glass jewels at Walmart and craft stores.

Again, the finished product.

I hope you enjoyed this and that it was helpful. If you have any questions just leave me a note on the comments area.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lunch with Ms. Bunny

Well, today is the last day of my vacation, tommorrow back to work Sigh.....

The lunch "theme" today is soft and pink.

White and pink together is another classic (that is IF you like pink LOL) I love pink, but it is actually a very hard color to find in dishware. Some of you have asked where I find my goodies...

The large pink plates and bowl, and coffee mug are from Target (a few Easters ago)
The pink and green water glass from Mikasa Outlet

The silk flowers are from JoAnns (definately use the coupons, otherwise they can be pricey)

The white lacy dishes and white bunny tea pot are from Marshalls

The salt and pepper birds are from Target (you can still find them there)
The bunny is one of 2 I purchased from Tuesday Morning (around Easter time)

The round quilted place mats are from Marshalls (you may still be able to find them, since I bought them last month)
Frosted silverware is from Walmarts...(I find a surprising amount of cool flatware there)

The cute little bunny milk server is from World Market, it dispenses just the right amount of milk for my coffee or tea for me (they still carry them)

The pretty flowered hat box ( have loads and loads of these for me and for gift giving, I find sometimes they are cheaper to buy and put your gift in than purchasing the wrapping paper and ribbon.

I hope I have encouraged you to take life a little bit slower by dining outside and start experimenting with setting a pretty table for yourself and your families.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Brunch, with a "Nod" to Italy

As I have mentioned in my posting below, I am on vacation at home, since I can't go anywhere, I thought I'd bring a touch of Italy to me.

You might notice the black wrought iron charger in the table setting, that is the same charger that I was discussing a few posts ago, it is really quite versatile. I also carried over the black in the silverware and in the footed iron piece holding the bagels and fruit. In doing a table setting it is important to carry over the theme and its colors thru the table design. I chose to bring out the blues, and the reddish colors and even the golds of the rooster along with those colors in the dishes. If you incorporate the colors and even the metals throughout the setting it will always work out.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Breakfast Outside

I love dining outside whenever the weather permits. Since I have been off from work all this week I have been able to indulge quite a bit with this particular activity. There is just something special about being outside and dining, I know I take my time when I dine outside, rather than being rushed or distracted by the t.v. Perfection for me would be a screened in patio so I would be able to dine bug-free, but alas that is not in the cards for me at this time.
Most of you will have probably noticed that I love using white quite a bit in my tablesettings. White is so versitile, you can use it with anything, my suggestion to people who want to make their tablesettings more interesting is to (start with) buy a set of white dishes, either simple or with an interesting raised edge. Later when you have branched out and purchased patterned dishes, they will always flow together, the mixing and matching will work with most any patterned dishes.

You might notice in the second and third photo, the coffee/tea mug,..... it has a lid! I love these cups, I purchased mine at Pier One, they also have a few other different patterns if you are interested for yourself. The great thing about the lid is that it keeps out the bugs if you are outside, and it keeps in the warmth of the liquid because of the lid. (the first pic shows the lid placed on the white platter).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Simple Breakfast

Sometimes I just want a simple breakfast; today applesauce, orange juice and coffee. I love doing an all white look especially in the morning, whites and creams are always bright and happy for me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Green is so versatile!

These are a few older photos I had taken some time ago. I love my extensive collection of green cabbage plates because they are so versatile. I have used them in many different table settings. I thought you all might want to see another example of how I have used them, (other examples are in the archives.)You can usually find these plates for a good price at TJ Max, Marshalls, and Home Goods. The green color goes with all colors, because, after all green is one of the colors of nature. In this example pink, green and white is the color theme that I worked out for a Spring dinner.
If anyone else uses these green plates please drop me a line, I would love to see how you have used them.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I love TJ Max

I find some of the best buys there. This weekend (after severe cabin fever, not to mention the lack of buying dishes lately) I thought I would trek out to TJ Max to see what I could find to appease my dish-a-holic needs. Now, being a dish-a-holic on a budget, I try to keep an open mind for what could work in a table setting, using things that were not neccessarily ment for "tableware". As I was roaming thru I noticed on the clearance aisle a stack of boxes containing a dish ment to hold 3 pillar candles and flat marbles (see photo above).

I had seen these before when they were offering them at full price and did not give them a second thought, but, when I see something on clearance I really try to think of what I could come up with. This candle pillar display had been marked down to $8.00 each. Now, I thought, how could I use this in a different way? Volia! I could use the wrought iron base as a charger plate.

This set does come with the clear glass plate you see on the front of the box along with the candles and marbles (save them for something else), you could even use the glass plate to dine off of.
And for all you Shabby Chic enthusists you could just simply spray paint the wrought iron white and it would fit right in with that popular look.
Considering that I have seen wrought iron chargers for $30.00 and up, I figured that I got a pretty good deal, now these might have gone down even more, but I needed a certain amount of these to do a table, so I figured I'd go ahead and buy them for the 8 dollar price. So for me it was a good deal.
I hope this encourages some of you to look at objects with an open mind with thoughts of how you can substitute items ment for one task to do many.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blue and White Hens and such

Hi all, I am finally able to post, I am still having computer issues, but hopefully this photo and message will work.

This is just a simple display I did on my dining room table. These items will be going in my kitchen once I am finished with my small reno. I will be going with all open shelves in the upper cabinet area (all the upper cabinets are gone which were almost useless), so until I can afford a total redo this will enable me to show and use my collections of dishes. Pretty and practical I hope.

P.S. those of you who have personally emailed me, I am not ignoring you, unfortunately I am still not able to access my email. :(

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bunny Time

Some of you have asked for ideas/tips designing table settings, one of the most versitile style of dishes to have is simply white (or cream). White can be mixed with any color and look good. And of course white on white is always stunning (or cream on cream, or even mixing white with cream).
In the photo below this one is the Bridal Tea Party. To change out the look, I just removed the "bridal ladies", slid the candles over in front of each diner, and added the white bunnies to the centerpiece with a few bunched silk flowers. Just a simple change, but gives a whole new feel to the tablesetting. So if any of you have white dishes, pull them out and play around with them, look for some interesting items that can be part of your centerpiece.
Something else that looks great with the white dishes is if you have some floral dishes. Use the white dish as the dinner plate and use the floral plates as the salad dish and bread dish, pull in the colors from the floral plate for your napkins and centerpiece idea. OR you can go vis-veras, and use the floral plate as the dinner plate and the white dishes as the accents.
I hope this helps, if you have more specific questins, I will try to help there too.