Robin Flies South...

A blog about decorating and tablescaping with an emphasis on creativity and smart shopping over cash!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fire and Ice New Year's Eve

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want. Traditional Irish quote

There's nothing I like better than sitting down to a nice dinner on New Year's Eve.  Even though our plans for this year are to go out, I still wanted to put together a table at home for Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan, of Between Naps on the Porch.

  My husband asked my daughter to pick up a few things I would like for Christmas so she ordered champagne flutes from Pottery Barn.  She had them delivered to her house but they didn't come until after she had left to come to our house for the weekend.  To make a long story short, I don't have them yet!  And how can you set a New Year's Eve table without them???   I headed out to Goodwill in hopes of finding some but had no luck.  I wound up buying some pretty basic, inexpensive (cheap) ones at Ross for less than a dollar a glass but when I started putting this table together I realized I had some glasses that would work.  I have no idea if they are technically for champagne but they are pretty and I used them!

Sorry about the bright light but it's tough to take pictures in low light with my camera so I cranked up the dimmer on the light fixture!  I decided to just use black, white and muted silver on this table.  This black tablecloth has been so versatile for me.  Now that I know how often I use it I would like to invest in a better quality one. 

I've had these black and cream dinner plates for years.  I think they are from Ross.  I placed them on a silver charger and topped them with a black salad plate and glass fruit dish (remove pine cone before adding fruit!)

To add a little bling to the table I used "diamond ring" napkin rings (Ross).

Since I wanted to use my sparkly silver candles I had to turn my candlesticks upside down to hold them.  I like that they are a muted silver.

For a centerpiece I used a glass vase as an ice bucket and put the champagne in it.  I placed it on a glass cake stand and added some silver and black ornaments for sparkle and some tea lights..  Fire and Ice!  Ideally a big, dramatic fresh flower arrangement would look great.  Then you could put the ice bucket to the side on the table or on a sideboard. 

I got the flutes as a wedding gift and the goblets are from GW.  I think they look made for each other.  The silverware is also from GW and has a nice soft (worn!) look to it.

To add more candlelight I put tea lights in mini brandy snifters (GW) and used my 3 mercury glass candle holders (Ross).

New Year's confetti is sprinkled on the black plates.

I'm getting used to having my Christmas tree in my dining room.  It will be a sad day when it comes down. 

This is definitely a nighttime table meant for candlelight.  And yes, the champagne bottle is already opened.  What can I say, we had mimosas Christmas morning! 

I still can't believe it's almost January and my magnolia is still blooming!  I took this picture today!

Happy New Year! 

Be sure to check out my sister's blog, Creating Wonderful Spaces!  She's feeling a bit under the weather today so she may not have a new tablescape but she has lots of other great posts to look at!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Playing with Plaid!

Just a few more days!  How are you doing with your "To Do" list?  I know mine still has plenty on it but I had to do one more table for Christmas 2011.  So, take a break from your busy day, and join me at Between Naps on the Porch for the final Tablescape Thursday before Christmas. 

Last weekend my daughter and I went to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (along with an enormous amount of other people!).  It's one of the advantages of living in Florida.  My house is exactly 100 miles from the entrance to Magic Kingdom (according to my GPS app) so it's a very doable day trip for us.  My daughter had been there at Christmastime a few years back but not me.  The weather was picture perfect.  High in the upper 70's and just a little cooler after the sun went down.  We left my house at 10:30 am and came back at 1:15am!  We enjoyed every bit of it!  Two innovations made the experience so much better, Fast Pass and Disney lines app on my phone.  I took lots of pictures of the Holiday decorations.  For those of you who have never seen the decorations before I am posting a few pictures at the end.  Cinderella's castle is breathtaking! 

I stopped into Marshall's yesterday to pick up some last minute gifts and saw a plaid square tablecloth.  I love squares and the way they look layered on top of another tablecloth.  It was only $7.99 so it was Merry Christmas to me!  So for my final Christmas table for this year I paired the plaid with black and used my white dishes. 

I started by layering the plaid over a black tablecloth.  My "chargers" are felt place mats with a cutout design (Marshall's).  My dish stack is a combination of my Federalist Ironstone dinner plate and saucer divided by a floral plate from Target.  On top of the saucer I placed a black sparkled snowflake (Target, 4 for $1 since they are supposed to be gift tags). 

The glasses are from Bed, Bath and Beyond and Dollar Tree.

The flatware is Cambridge and I found it at Ross for a great price.

I just learned that you can focus on just one part of your picture by using one of the effects on Picnik.  Now I want to go back and change half my pictures!

My centerpiece is from Steinmart years ago.  It usually sits on top of my bookcase in my office.  Instead of decorating inside of it, I just added a candle and then concentrated on the outside.

I started with some faux greens, red berry picks and then added real greens from my gardenia and magnolia.

I found these salt and pepper shakers at Ross along with these red candles (I used then last week on my buffet table too).

I liked taking the very traditional table cover and then updating it a bit by using black as my accent color.  I think the floral plate is an unexpected touch against the plaid.  I am always saying how I don't like red but this silverware has me warming up to the color.  I may have to break down and get some red wine goblets.  They would have looked great on this table. 

A little candlelight! 

Here's some pictures of my day at Disney! Enjoy!

Lots of fruit!

All the shops on Main St. were decorated just a little different from each other.

I cropped out the huge mass of people from this picture!

A nice man offered to take our picture after we took one of him with this wife.  Lots of poinsettias!

Perfect weather for December 17th!

This shop was done in pastel colors. 

I had to take a picture of the "tablescape" at the Swiss Family Robinson tree house!

All the storefront windows are decorated.

The castle at night.

And with the beautiful lights!

If you've never been at Christmastime I highly recommend it. They are expanding Fantasyland and that will spread out the park more so it won't feel as crowded during peak times.

Be sure to visit my sister at Creating Wonderful Spaces.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree(s)

"Rocking around the Christmas Tree
at the Christmas party hop
Mistletoe hung where you can see
Ev'ry couple tries to stop

Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Let the Christmas Spirit ring
Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
and we'll do some caroling"

You know the rest!  This is my daughter's favorite non-religious Christmas song and it's one of my favorites too.  Today I am going to share the trees inside my house, all done up for the holidays.  I may throw in some other decor as well. 

This is our second Christmas in this house so I think I have a hang of it now.  When we left NJ we said goodbye to our artificial tree of 23 years (I don't even want to think of the dust on that thing!) so we got a small real tree last year and put it in the great room.  It looked so awkward to me.  It was way too small for a large room with 10 ft. ceilings.  I vowed this year would be different.  Old Time Pottery had a sale  right before Thanksgiving on their trees so I convinced my husband to get a 9Ft. slim tree ($149) to put in the dining room.  When I mentioned it was pre-lit he was sold.  On top of that it was only in 3 pieces.  Our old tree was in about 40! I also pointed out to him that it would last for years.  Last year, after Christmas, I bought ornaments in brown, rust, gold and silver.  I also picked up some silk flowers.  This year I found some really nice ornaments at Dollar Tree.  I have a mixture of some  nice more pricey ornaments, mixed with bargains.  The tree fits perfectly in the corner of the dining room and I have a clear view from my desk in my office.  An added bonus is that you can see it through the front window too! 

Here are some cost cutting tips that will make your tree unique.  I happen to like the look of a bow on top of a formal tree.  I had this bow made years ago and then I added the brown bow last year.  Craft stores make them if you aren't a bow maker (like me) and if you stuff them with paper to keep their shape when you store them, you can use them for years.  It's fun to start with a basic bow and add different things to it to change it up. Next year I'm thinking "feathers".   For those of you who still have children at home and those who will be having them visit, your kids don't like change.  They want everything to be the same every year (at least mine are like that) so don't expect alot of oohs and ahhs over your "new" decor!  Maybe they think that buying new decor will mean less money for gifts!

I like big ornaments.  The bigger they are, the less you need.  Try to vary the colors and you probably know the old rule about bigger at the bottom and smaller ones at the top?  I ignore that!  I've gotten some nice ornaments after Christmas at Pier One and Kirklands.  Michael's puts all their "Chritmassy" flowers and picks on clearance too so you can pick up a nice variety then. Target is great for wrapping paper and ornaments also. I like how the flowers look tucked in here and there (remember when we all used baby's breath?)

Tree skirts have come along way from the days when all that was available was the red furry thing with the white trim but now they can cost up to $100!  I just took fabric (that happens to match my drapes) and tucked it around the stand.  A pretty Christmas throw would be a good option too or burlap for a more rustic tree.  I also use coordinating wrapping paper for my gifts.  My family thinks that's ridiculous (I ignore them!).

If you are looking for something different for your tree there are hundreds of ideas at HGTV's website, Southern Living etc. and you can always surf the blogs.  It doesn't have to cost that much and if you put your tree in a corner you don't have to decorate the back!

I love to have trees all through the house and the little tabletop ones are fine with me.  I found this little tree on clearance at Michael's last week (stores start clearing out earlier every year) and I just added some ornaments bought at Target last year.

I couldn't resist this little guy!

I did a post recently telling you about the transformation of this tree for my lanai.  You can read about that HERE.  We had a little wind incident and it fell to the ground.  I had to redecorate so it might look a bit sloppy!

There are more trees in my house.  This tree I found at Goodwill and I just added the plates, ornaments and placed it on a glittery wreath.

These little placecards are from HomeGoods.  One of them doesn't look too straight, oops!

Since you are here I will share a few more pictures from my great room (the room without a tree!).

 This is my kitchen breakfast bar.  I don't have a fireplace mantle so I tend to set some things up here. The sleigh is also a Goodwill find.  This and the tree were on the floor hidden back in the Men's section.  The candlesticks are from Ross and the Noel sign is from Michael's.

I love sleighs.  They are so easy to use .  Just stuff them with greenery, ornaments, pine cones or little wrapped packages.  Have you noticed most of my decor doesn't "scream" Christmas?  That way I can use it year round (another way to save money!).  I did read a tip this year that I meant to use and haven't yet.  Tuck real greens from your yard into your faux greens (Thanks Susan from BNOTP!)

I hope you enjoyed seeing my trees and decorations for 2011 and maybe came away with an idea or two for yourself.  I just want to wish all my family and friends (those I've met in person and those I haven't) ...

As always, be sure to visit my sister's blog, Creating Wonderful Spaces.

I am joining Thrifty Decor Chick for her Christmas Tree Party along with Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.