Robin Flies South...

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Purple, Gold and a Giveaway!

It's beginning to look a lot like.....well, you know the rest!  Welcome to Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.  I am also having my first Giveaway (more details on that at the bottom of this post).  Grab a cup of hot chocolate (or a glass of wine!), put your feet up and enjoy viewing all the tables this week.

In the coming weeks I will show you tablescapes formal and casual, using traditional color themes and some not so traditional.  This time I am stepping away from the red and green and embracing one of my favorite colors for decorating this season.  You could call it plum, eggplant, amethyst or plain old purple!  I have paired it with gold after finding these napkin rings (new, sealed in package) at Goodwill. 

That beautiful fabric is a Waverly tablecloth (clearance Burlington $6.50) and matching napkins (also on clearance and sold as "dish cloths").  Purple and Paisley make a great combination, don't they?

I set my Great Room table for four.  I  found these purple chargers at Michaels (used my 30% coupon on my phone!).  I layered them with my Federalist Ironstone, Goodwill plates and white salad plates from Ross.  I topped it all off with the perfect shade of purple ornament (Kmart).

I used my Pineapple flatware (Gingko from Amazon).

The glassware is from Marshall's and Home Goods.  I used the yellow tinted water glass so that it would stand out against this bold tablecloth.

For the centerpiece I layed a wreath on it's side.  I used two of these on my front doors last year.  I filled a glass vase with gold and purple balls and placed it on a stand to give it some height.

Two purple leaf plates filled with gold beads and ivory candles finish off the table.  I added a few extra picks to the wreath. 

Just a little candlelight.

You don't have to spend much to put together a table like this. Change the centerpiece to candles or fresh flowers,  take away the ornaments at the place settings, and this could be used for any occasion.  Please continue to stop by each Thursday to see what I will do each week before the big day!

On Monday, I announced my first Giveaway of a Scentsy Warmer.  It's not too late to enter and all the instructions are HERE.  You can leave your comments on either post from this week.  I love having new followers and reading your comments.  They have been so interesting to read.  Thanks for sharing your favorite gifts with me.  You have until December 10 to enter.  My sister, Elaine, is also having a Giveaway this week at Creating Wonderful Spaces.

And for the first time I am joining the party at Seasonal Sundays.  Stop by there for decorating, recipes and more tablescapes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do I Smell a Giveaway?

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.  Now that you have had your full of turkey and pumpkin pie it's time to think ahead.  Not too far ahead though!  I mentioned last week I will not be getting out those Christmas boxes until I turn the page on the calendar.  That didn't stop me from venturing out Friday evening to do a little bit of shopping.  It's NEVER too early for that!  Have you ever been shopping the day or two before Christmas?  Not a pretty site!

I call this my research period.  I study my reference materials, aka the Holiday issues of Better Homes and Garden, Traditional Home, Country Living, Southern Living, Southern Lady and the latest catalog from Pottery Barn.  In addition I  have been surfing the web for some new ideas.  I will be sure to pass along my findings in the next few weeks, but for now I wanted to tell you about a change in my life that has been a long time coming.  I finally upgraded my phone!  After living with my "old school" phone for the past 3 years I purchased the latest iPhone.  That's my old phone on the left.  It served me well for 3 years.  I don't think I will miss it though!

I know those of you who have had a smart phone are used to all the things they can do but for me it's just a dream come true.  I am an information junkie.  I google EVERYTHING!  This phone is truly amazing.  Because I waited so long to upgrade, I got the phone at a great price.  On top of that, I bought it at Target with my Red Card and got an extra 5% off.  The final price was less than $180.  Tip:  Target Red Cards can either be Credit or Debit and give you 5% off everything in the store (food included) and  free shipping on   I could go on and on about this phone but I will just tell you one story.  I was in Michael's (craft store) picking up some Christmas decor and remembered that they had a coupon in their flyer for 30% off the entire purchase (great deal!).  I asked if they had any flyers in the store and they didn't.   I downloaded the Michael's app on my phone and there was the coupon!  They scanned it at checkout and I saved 30%. 

Time to get to my First Ever Giveaway here at Robin Flies South.  Have you heard of Scentsy?  I hadn't before I moved to Florida but it's very popular here.  I recently attended a Scentsy open house at my friend Kathy's.  She just became a Scentsy Consultant.  I thought one of the warmers would make a great giveaway.  For those of you who aren't familiar with their products here is short description.

Scentsy Candles are a Unique Candle Warming system that uses a 25 watt bulb to warm the wax slowly into a pool of melted wax that maximizes the strength and life of the scent. Scentsy Candle bars last up to 80 hours and will never release the harmful chemicals that you can find in regular jarred candles.

The warmers come in different sizes and every imaginable style.  The scents are wonderful and there is sure to be more than one you will love.  I chose the Pineapple design in a neutral color for my giveaway. 

I am including a "Scentsy Bar" in Silhoutte.  It has a fresh, clean, apple scent.  The warmer is "mid-sized" (about 5" tall) and comes with everything you need.  Just plug it in and enjoy!  My favorites are the men's scents.  I have the Weathered Leather and I love it! 

I am not affiliated with Scentsy in any way.  I purchased this warmer at full price and will be mailing it to you directly.  I only took it out of the box for these pictures. You will not be contacted by any representative.  If you are interested in more information about Scentsy, here is my friend's information.

In order to be eligible to win the warmer all you have to do is become a follower of this blog and leave a comment telling me about your favorite Christmas (or holiday) gift you ever received.  It can be something you got as a child or as an adult.  You must complete both of these steps.  The contest will close on December 10, 2011.  I will use a random number picker to choose the winner.  Sorry, but I can only take entries from the United States due to shipping costs. 

I  look forward to reading your comments and to have some new followers to share my blog with.  I have some exciting things coming in the next few weeks to help you decorate your home (especially tablescaping).  Please visit my sister, Elaine, at Creating Wonderful Spaces where she is having her first Giveaway this week too!

I am also joining Debbiedoo's Newbie Party and Easy Peasy Grandma's Blog Hop, and Tabletop Tuesday.  Stop by there for a visit too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At the Diner Counter

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you to Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch, for hosting Tablescape Thursday.  By the time you are viewing this, the big dinner may be over, the football games decided and you have enjoyed the company of family and friends.  Take a few minutes to enjoy the tablescapes this week.

  In the past few weeks I have shown you some different takes on setting a table for Thanksgiving (or any Autumn event) so today it's something completely different.  This may be more doable this time of year when you are busy with shopping, wrapping, decorating and socializing.  It's perfect for a quick dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers or even takeout.  It all started when I was wandering around Walmart in the Housewares department.  I came across these little red plastic baskets.

These baskets bring back such great memories.  They remind me of eating at the shore (I'm from Jersey and we call it the shore!), being on vacation, or stopping at some Diner while we were traveling somewhere fun.  And I haven't even mentioned the food yet!  French fries, burgers, cheese steaks (miss those!), pickles, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and my personal favorite, fried clams (with tartar sauce, yummy!).  I just had to pick up two sets considering they were only $1.  I found some checked napkins at Dollar Tree for when I run out of the little liners they come with.  I thought they would be a fun start to a "Diner Counter" inspired tablescape on my breakfast bar.  We are empty nesters.  Yes, I'm Robin with an empty nest, which just makes it sound sadder!  Most nights my husband and I eat at our breakfast bar.  When my son and daughter come to visit they complain that the TV is to your back and we should mount one above the kitchen cabinets like it's a sports bar.  I told them they were welcome to do that in their houses but we are just fine this way.

We bought 3 bar stools because that's what the model home had.  Looking back, we would like to find 1 more.  So the counter is set for 3.

I started with a vinyl checked placemat (Beall's Outlet) and a simple white dish (Dollar Tree). 

I picked up these Coke glasses (Dollar Tree) and I already had these ice cream sundae dishes just waiting for dessert.  You need something sweet after all that fried food!  My husband would go for the rice pudding but I'll take some ice cream. 

It wouldn't be complete without a "bendee" straw.  Is that what you call them, too?  They make me feel like a kid again.

I took a fabric napkin and layered it with a paper one.  I didn't have an appropriate napkin ring (and I have LOTS of napkin ring) so I made them.  I took some iced tea spoons I never use and bent them to form an oval opening.  This probably wouldn't work if the spoons were expensive. These weren't.  You can tell I'm not from the South since I have iced tea spoons that were never used! 

I hardly ever use red but I got a great deal on this flatware recently (Ross $10) and now I realize I will use it often, especially with Christmas and Valentine's Day coming up.  For some reason, my mother disliked the color red and it seems to have stuck with me and my sister Elaine.  Wouldn't it be great to pick and choose which traits to pass on to our children?  I had to talk my daughter into getting a red dress to wear to a recent wedding.  She did get it and looked beautiful.  Uh oh, I passed it on to her too!

She takes after my husband's side.  They look good in red.  That's my mother in law with my daughter, sporting her red and looking great for 84!

I may do a  full out Diner table in the future.  I am keeping my eyes open for some vintage diner items.  I think they are popular right now so I may not get any bargains. 

Don't worry.  I promise I will clean my counter top after walking all over it to take some of these pictures.
I like to think that I look like a professional when I do that but the truth is I just look awkward and pray I don't fall. 

Thank you so much for stopping by.  If you are venturing out on Black Friday, be careful and considerate of other human beings, especially the retail workers!  Stop by and visit my sister at Creating Wonderful Spaces to see her tablescape for this week.  Stop back for Met Monday when I will be having my first little Give Away.  Here's my hint in case you missed it:  it involves bars but has nothing to do with drinking!  My sister will having her own Giveaway too!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Save those Lamps!

It's time again for Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on The Porch.  It's Thanksgiving week already, can you believe it?  It's going to be a busy week for all of us, so today I will show you a quick change.  I know this party will be full of Christmas ideas and I will admit I have some things mentally planned, but in my house those boxes don't come out until the calendar says December! 

This is a good time to finish up some home decorating before you put up all your decorations.  Fancy decorations don't cover up unfinished projects or poor design.  So use this time for a quick project or two and your decorations will look that much better.  As I have mentioned several times, before we left NJ to move here to Florida, I sold most of my furniture on Craigslist.  I sold everything in my living room, 2 matching sofas, an area rug and my coffee and end tables.  The only thing that didn't sell were my lamps.

They were only a few years old and I had bought the pair at Home Goods for $80.  They were a nice quality but maybe the blue and floral design turned people off.  I, personally, think they were pretty!

I can't remember what I was asking for them.  I'm sure it wasn't much but I never got one call.  I decided to pack them up and move them.  As I expected, there really wasn't any place for them in my new house but we used them in our bedroom while we waited to buy new furniture.  After looking at some lighting for the rest of the house, I began to appreciate the quality of these lamps and decided to give them a little makeover.  After reading the advice of some DIY bloggers (this was before I was one of them!) I went to work.

  Using painter's tape I covered all the parts I didn't want to paint.  Make sure you do this carefully.  If you get paint on these parts, it's not coming off easily.  TIP: I always wrap up the cord and put it in a plastic bag and then tape the rest that leads to the base. 

  First, I used primer with a darker base and after a light coat had dried, I followed up with a few light coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze.

I didn't change the shades since I thought they went well with my decor but I could have tried something different.  I found the tassels on clearance at Bed, Bath and Beyond and thought they tied in nicely with my bedding.

The raised design is still visible and I think it adds a nice texture to the matte finish.

My master bedroom is still a work in progress but at least I won't have to buy new lamps!

Think twice before getting rid of a quality lamp. How many times do you turn your bedside lamps on and off?  This isn't the area to skimp on quality.  If you don't have an old lamp, there are plenty of them in thrift stores and Goodwill.  Just be sure to get a well made one.  These have 3 way switches which are essential in a bedroom. This is so easy to do as long as you take your time and follow all the steps.  I'm so glad my lamps didn't sell on Craigslist!

Please visit my sister at Creating Wonderful Spaces.   Make sure to come back next Monday when I will be having my first Giveaway (so will my sister!).  Here's a hint:: there's "bars" involved but it has nothing to do with drinking!  Leave me a comment if you want to share your tips for spraypainting a lamp, if you have a guess as to what the Giveaway will be, or if you just want to say hello!

I am also linking to Debbiedoo's Newbie Party.  Hope you stop by there too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sister Act-Robin

We are trying something different for this Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Before I get started though, I want to congratulate Susan for winning the decoupage pumpkin contest and yes I voted! Both of her entries were beautiful.

 For those of you who follow my blog, today is the much anticipated Thursday when my sister, Elaine, of Creating Wonderful Spaces, and I are each doing a tablescape using the same dishes.  We both started tablescaping around the same time and sure enough it didn't take long for us to buy identical dishes.  Here is the recap from last week for those of you that don't read every word of my post (shame on you! Ha!)
Sister Act

Next Wednesday, November 16, my sister and I will be posting very special tablescapes. Even though we haven’t lived within a thousand miles of each other since our country’s bicentennial, the sister bond runs deep. On one visit, on the same day, we wore identical outfits. Our niece just had a baby and we purchased the exact same gift. It has always been a source of amusement for us. We knew it was bound to happen when we both started tablescaping, but we bought the same appetizer plates. We thought it would be fun to use them the same week, make some guidelines to the colors allowed, and see what happens! So, be sure to join us next week for Tablescape Thursday!!!

Elaine came up with the rules since she's the older sister!  We were only allowed to use black, white and silver.  Limiting yourself to black and white made it easier to make decisions on what to use. Just a reminder, this is NOT a competition.  Please do not tell us which table you like better!  This was strictly for fun and to see what we came up with.   Here is the plate that started it all.

It came in a 4 pack at Marshall's.  I'm sure many of you remember seeing it and may have picked them up too.  Elaine and I both love birds and anything black and white. There isn't any gold in it.  That's just a reflection.  I have dishes and accessories that are ivory and black but not really white and black so there was some additional shopping required (and you know how much I hate to shop!). 

I set the table in my breakfast area that gets little natural light and as luck would have it, the day started out over cast. Later in the morning, a man came to repair some of our floor tile and that's when the sun came out. I tried again, but even with bright sun outside it's still dark. I had to use the dreaded flash, sorry.  I didn't start out with the intention of this table being so formal but it did wind up reminding me of a tuxedo!

I started with a black tablecloth, then layered a white one over it.  My Waverly placemats (Ross) were a true white and black design.  They have a more modern print on the back.  Since they are not very big I didn't use a charger. 

I have a set of black dishes from Walmart that I bought when I changed my old kitchen to black, cream and khaki.  I loved the way they looked in the beginning but beware of black dishes.  They show every scratch!  I'm not sure if all black dishes do, but Walmart's do.  They worked for this since you can only see the border.  I bought the salad plates at Marshall's after looking high and low for some dishes that were true white.  They just happened to also have birds on them.

I think they stacked up quite nicely!

So as to be sure not to break the color rule, I use my acrylic flatware.  No color!

I arranged the layered napkins in my black water glass from Dollar Tree. Wine will be served in the black goblets (Bed, Bath and Beyond).  I know Elaine has these goblets too.  I wonder if she used them? 

The day I found the appetizer plates I picked up this black wooden bird for $6.  I think he was supposed to be for Halloween but I used a paint pen and tried to soften him up a bit.  I mimicked the design on the plate.  Please no comments on my painting talent ( I have none!).

Even though Elaine and her husband are all the way in Colorado, I used their names on the place cards along with mine and my husbands.  I wish we could all be together for our "Sister Act".  Photo holders are in all the stores (these were from Ross) and make great place card holders or even better, use a photo of the person instead!

I filled  the middle of the table with silver and black accents.  I placed two wooden candlesticks on small mirrors and topped them with glittery candles.

A black tin pitcher is filled with feathers, black glitter roses and two sets of lighted branches.  Have you tried these?  They have a battery pack on the bottom and I love, love them.  The black set is from Marshall's and the silver are from the Christmas Tree Shoppe. 

I added a few more candles and the center of my table was full.  Very full.  Please remember the lighting problems I have with this room as you view the rest of these pictures.

Unfortunately, I can't show you the rest of my pictures because my computer is acting up!  Please visit Elaine, at Creating Wonderful Spaces to see her take on these same dishes.

And for the first time, I am linking up to Tabletop Tuesday.