Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexico On My Mind

Ever since Cinco de Mayo became commercially popular in the United States, I have wanted to celebrate it. I'm not quite sure why. I'm not Mexican. But I do love to visit Mexico. I also like Mexican food and drinks. Any excuse to have a pretty party, right?

During a trip to Playa del Carmen, I bought a beautiful hand embroidered blanket. It was love at first sight and I HAD to have it. Well, lots of dollars and several years later, the blanket was still folded in the closet. Until now.

Bienvenido! Tonight we're having an intimate Cinco de Mayo celebration on the lower patio. What do you think of the tablecloth? Yep. That's the blanket. Do you love it like I do? And to answer your questions about why it's been in a closet, it's a little too colorful for my usual decorating style. But I love it nonetheless.

We're only set for three tonight (because I didn't feel like dragging out a bigger table...sorry) but I have settings for four. I found these gorgeous talavera style salad plates on clearance at Marshall's recently. The yellow dinner plates were Goodwill finds. They are originally from Crate and Barrel. Margarita glasses (can't leave out those), beaded flatware, white napkins and red napkin rings round out the place settings. Because the table is small, I just used small colorful votives instead of a centerpiece.

Here's a closer look at the plates. I hope I can find some more!

If I had a bigger table, this would be the centerpiece. The lanterns were part of the centerpieces on our wedding reception tables almost nine years ago.

This patio is normally decorated with a cabin/camp feel. I replaced the fishing creel on the ladder with a sombrero and some tissue paper sunflowers. Don't look too closely at the sunflowers. I made them in about five minutes. The sombrero was a Dollar Tree find. Our six-year-old son has asked me repeatedly when he can have the "umbrello." Am I the only one who thinks that's cute?

*Carol at Serendipity asked how I made the sunflowers. I should clarify that the flowers in the tin bucket are real. The flowers on the ladder are tissue. I made them by following this tutorial. I used four sheets of yellow and three sheets of black (cut shorter) for the center. I tied them off in the center with floral wire. Hope this helps!*

A proper fiesta goes into the night (so I say). This is my attempt to create a dreamy, nighttime feel. We had a Halloween party last year and strung these lights under the porch. I love how they look at night and they illuminate the patio perfectly. I dream of a backyard party with these and paper lanterns strung over the tables. Sigh. Maybe one day....

Thank you for stopping by! Seal says hi! Please visit all of the other great tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch's Tablescape Thursday. Come again!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Al Fresco on a Budget

Before I get into my tablescape for Susan's super fantastic Tablescape Thursday, I want all of you to know that I REALLY want to do more than just tablescapes. Don't get me wrong, I love tablescaping, but my main goal for this blog is to showcase my decorating projects around our house (why I named the blog House Affairs). The problem is that our house is for sale (if any of you want to move to Marietta, GA, I'll make you a deal!) and I'm not changing anything right now. I hope (pray, fingers crossed, the whole nine yards) that we will move this summer, at which time I can get into decorating/remodeling a new home. But in the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun with my tablescapes. It helps keep my mind off of our house situation and the best part is we get to take it all with us when we move!

Since we are planning a move this summer, I am on a strict budget. When I told dear hubs that I was shopping for a new tablescape, he groaned. "I promise," I said. "I will keep it under $20." That's pretty reasonable, right? I did better than $20 but I'll wait to tell you the total.

Please join me on the deck for lunch.

The moment I saw these gorgeous tangerine roses, I knew I had to plan a table around them. Must Have Roses. Must Do Orange and Turquoise Table. I was on a mission. Keep in mind, I only had $20 to work with. The roses were spray roses, so they had multiple blooms per stem. I picked up a bunch of them that had just been marked down to $3.99 at Kroger. Score!

I knew I wanted to do a table on the deck, so I had to work around the umbrella. I found circular floral foam at Dollar Tree. I cut it in half and soaked it in water (although I'm not so sure this foam is really meant for fresh flowers). Then I cut the blooms down leaving about an inch of stem and poked them in the foam until it was covered on top and around the sides. I put a paper plate under the foam so it wouldn't soak the "tablecloth." I think this ring would also be beautiful around a glass hurricane. Or it could go under a cake stand to make a unique "riser" for a cake.

Um...yeah...the tablecloth. Also known as a white sheet. I found it in a box in the garage. We used to have it hanging as a partition in our (previously) unfinished basement. I cut a slit up one side so it would fit around the umbrella. Then I took some orange fabric I found at Goodwill for $3 and made strips to hide the split. I didn't have time to hem the strips so I just ironed under the unfinished edges (now you know all of my secrets).

On my hunt for turquoise colored things, I remembered these cute acrylic plates and bowls at Dollar Tree. Guess what?!? They were marked down to 50 cents a piece! I got four place settings for $4! Score again! Then I went on a hunt for cheap turquoise napkins. Well, I didn't find napkins exactly, but I did get these fat quarters at Walmart for $1 each. I'll hem them up later so I can really use them as napkins, but for now they are actually pieces of fabric in glasses. Oh, well. See the magic of photography? If I hadn't told you, you'd never know. But I am under full disclosure today. And of course I have to note Seal the Weimaraner's appearance. Once again, she got tired of following me.

So let's go over what I spent today. I'm not counting the glasses, flatware and white sheet since I already had them. $4 for napkins, $3 for orange fabric, $3.99 for flowers, $5 for floral foam, plates and bowls. $15.99 + tax! Dear hubs can breathe easy. For now! :)

Thanks for stopping by! Please visit all of the other great tablescapes at Between Naps On the Porch's Tablescape Thursday! I'm a little late to join the party, but I'm also linking up to Woo Hoo! Wednesday at Always Nesting. Thanks for inviting me, Marla!

Always Nesting

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming Up Daisies

Hi, everyone! I'm back! We had a very enjoyable Easter and Spring Break. Hope you all did, too! During our vacation to North Carolina, I had every intention of doing some tablescapes at my parents' houses, but you know how that goes...too much to do, too many people to visit, and too little time. My mother and stepmother both have some pretty impressive tableware, so hopefully I can try again sometime.

If you live in the South (especially GA) you know you can't escape the pollen! As allergic as I am to pollen, I am still glad it's here because with it comes flowers! So this week's tablescape is dedicated to flowers. Specifically to gerbera daisies, my favorite spring annual.
I found these cute gerbera daisy plates at Big Shanty Antique Market in Kennesaw, GA recently. While they are not old, they caught my eye because of the daisies.

I really wanted grass place mats or runners, but since those were NOWHERE to be found (I didn't try online because I didn't have time) I went with coordinating straw mats. I was lucky enough to find them for each plate color at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Blue.

And yellow. I found the cute flower napkin rings at Hobby Lobby. They came in a set of four and instead of a yellow flower, it is green. But it's close enough. I've had the aluminum tumblers for years and thought they added some color. I didn't have an orange one, so I substituted silver. Again, it works. I layered the salad plates with plain white dinner plates I got a few years ago from World Market.

For the centerpiece, I used a candelier (also found at Big Shanty Antique Market), mini frosted glass flowerpot tea lights, and gerbera daisy plants. I bought three plants in all that I'll plant in the yard tomorrow. Hopefully they won't die. I can decorate all day long, but unfortunately I wasn't blessed with a green thumb!

A flower close-up for good measure.

Notice anything different? I traded the tumblers for the glass goblets. I got them this morning at Dollar Tree. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they are new arrivals. For a dollar a piece, they don't look too shabby! Which do you like better? The aluminum tumblers or the glasses?

Also, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our furry child, Seal. See her sacked out on the floor in the background? She finally got tired of following me around. She's a ten-year-old Weimaraner. If you've ever had one or known one, then you know they rarely just go lie down! Or maybe ours is just neurotic...kinda like us!

Thanks for joining me today! Please visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more great tablescapes!