Friday, July 29, 2016

A Tropical Paradise Tablescape

Welcome!  I am so happy you could join us and I am very excited to be participating in my first blog hop which is entitled, Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop, August 1-5, 2016 put together by Chloe Crabtree of Celebrate and Decorate. Being my first blog hop, I had plenty of questions for her. Of course, the first being can I have an alfresco tablescape set up indoors.  As you can imagine, Wisconsin is having some beastly hot and humid weather with temperatures near 100 degrees with oppressive dew points.  I was relieved to learn that I could avoid melting my tableware and set up my Tropical Paradise tablescape in the sun room/dining room.

Now what would alfresco dining be without some elements from the exotic tropics ?  I have always had a fascination with Bora Bora, a small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia.  The island known for its breathtaking views and glass-bottom bungalows which reside over the crystal clear water is the perfect place to lounge and dine on your own deck overlooking some of the most beautiful turquoise water. When life was throwing its difficulties my way, it was always comforting to joke with friends and colleagues that some day soon they could visit me at my new address......a bungalow above the pristine water of Bora Bora.

Although you can already judge by my previous statement regarding Wisconsin weather that I have not yet realized my fantasy plans.  So the next best thing is to create a bit of the beautiful setting of Bora Bora right here in Wisconsin.  So come along with me as we explore what it would be like to indulge in some alfresco dining on the island of Bora Bora, one of the most stunning islands in the world.

As you relax on your deck, enjoy some sweet, juicy fruit with some tangy lemon fruit dip.

This napkin fold reminds me of the beautiful Red Anthurium that grows on the island.

The colorful, floral tableware, which is made in Indonesia, is called Natural Curiosities by 222 Fifth Avenue.  I am not paid to endorse 222 Fifth Avenue, but I do love their tableware designs.

The Anthurium napkin makes a greater impact for the table in a upright, standing position.

What about a tropical drink to go with the luscious fruit and dip?

Night time candlelight is a must for magnificent island ambiance.

Of course, every tropical table setting shouldn't be without the cute paper umbrellas and umbrella straws.

A few "tropical-looking" flowers and plants among the outside landscape.

The Anthurium napkin fold resembles some of the lush, vibrant green hosta (pictured above) that grows outside the dining room window.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to tropical paradise.  Don't forget to visit some of the other participants in the Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop:





Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fun With Burlap

Recently, I decided I would take the opportunity to work with burlap for the first time.  I do admit, I have a soft spot in my heart for burlap, but I was always afraid to work with it because of its large, open weave and its ability to unravel.  Burlap has a look and feel of simple, down-to-earth home.  It often reminds me of the unadorned, bulk burlap bags which hold balsamic or jasmine rice that I purchase from some of the Indian and Asian grocery stores.  Burlap qualities have a homey, unrefined and a humble familiarity...a recognizable plainness.  It reminds me of how far we have come from the basics of natural and uncomplicated living.  Sometimes, I believe it represents some of the traits I wish life could be.

My work with burlap resulted with three home projects.  One is a burlap wreath that now hangs on the front door which warmly welcomes guests.

The second is an easy to sew window valance for a small window in our main bathroom.  The bathroom was painted by the previous owners in a milk chocolate brown and is trimmed with a wallpaper border of moose, bears and deer.   So with the pre-cut and sized burlap deco mesh from Christmas, I fashioned the burlap into a simple valance with lace.

And last, my burlap and lace runner for the dining room buffet.

I love the burlap roses.

I hope you will have some burlap fun too.


Please don't forget to come back and join me when I participate in my first blog hop starting the week of August 1, 2016 organized by Chloe Crabtree of  Celebrate and Decorate at

Below is the schedule for the week of the blog hop.  I hope you enjoy all of the great ideas that are being shared by such creative bloggers/artists.






Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sea Shell Tablescape

Did you ever find yourself at the beach watching the waves and not wanting to leave?  Sometimes on the coldest days in winter, I think about summer time when I can sit quietly at the beach and bury my toes in the warm sand.  As I think about those serene beach times in the dead of winter as the cold snowy wind blows fiercely outside my window, it just doesn't quite seem that cold anymore.  Isn't it funny how some pleasurable thoughts have a way of changing everything?

Or, as you think about those reflective times on the beach, do you not often contemplate that what lies before you on the beach that is sand, sky and water is like the background on canvas art?  Don't you think life is the same way?  The three basic elements of sand, sky and water are the background experiences and wisdom of life and what you put "on that simple canvas background" or "in the beach scene of the future" is up to you to decide?  There on the beach among the quiet and fostering relaxation of such a tranquil and serene setting, one can find rejuvenation and "paint" in one's mind the hopes and dreams of days yet to come.

So before I get too much in thought about winter.  (We just started the summer season!)  I want to share with you a unique sea shell tablescape.  Often when I think of the beach, I look forward to seeing a very calming and soothing color palette of blues, aquas, cream and taupe. However, this sea shell tablescape was totally inspired by the out of the ordinary combination of colors of orange, cranberry red, and taupe from the colors in the tablecloth.   I knew that this seaside tablescape was going to be interestingly different.  Please tell me if you would agree.

The little red solar lights remind me of the colored lights that shine from boats as they come in to dock for the night. 

This candle holder was made from a discarded flower vase.  It holds both sea shells and a glass votive and candle very nicely and with the added mason jar wire, it can easily be hung up from a hook for outside patio use.  I am glad both vases were used with a new purpose.

And what sea shell tablescape can be without some delicious Belgium chocolate sea shells.  These rich and creamy sea shells displayed on brown sugar as sand are filled with hazelnut cream.  I wouldn't mind collecting these kind of sea shells from the shores daily and by the buckets.

I couldn't resist adding more waterfront pictures.  Now, I am ready for that trip to the beach.  How about you?

Photo - Courtesy of Mr. Jacek Remi