Category Archives: Tablescapes

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

It was such a lovely day in Pasadena, California that I decided to have a belated birthday luncheon for my friend, Colleen.

I got out my Black and White Oilcloth tablecloth (Paris lace pattern), went to the grocery store, set my table and ta-dah! A birthday party!

Okay, so I didn’t just whip up the gift in the hat box – I made it the day before…

Pretty though.

Enjoy the sun. I hear it’s supposed to rain on Sunday….






Black & White Birthday Party



Contrasting fabrics and china patterns adds a bit of pretty interest, I think!






Colorful & Charming Oilcloth

I adore Oilcloth! There. I said it.

I remember sitting in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen admiring the happy table that she set with this colorful, happy tablecloth. I had no idea what this material was, but it was easy to clean and seemed to last forever. Her kitchen was a sunny, perky room where I loved to watch her cook and work her magic preparing her wonderful food during our weekly Sunday family visits.

I never forgot that table and it was years later when I finally found out what it was. I was strolling the gift mart in Los Angeles when I caught a glimpse of that happy fabric in one of the showrooms. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to finally know what that stuff was!

Since that day, I use Oilcloth in my kitchen just like my grandmother did. It is a happy space where I spend a lot of time. I was lucky enough to inherit her original Fiestaware, so sometimes I imagine that she in in the kitchen with me, enjoying the fact that I am using her dinnerware recreating the happy kitchen that I remember from my childhood. Thanks, Nana!

Oilcloth products make great gifts, too. I like to use them for gift baskets.  I usually make the “basket” portion of my “gifts” an item that can be used again. My version of green giving. No one throws these baskets away. Ever. They are just too darn cute. The tote bags come in two sizes, so big gift or little gift – the Oilcloth totes are a perfect way to go! Best of all, when all the gift items that were originally part of the  gift basket are used up, these great totes can be used everyday!IMG_1327

There are cosmetic bags and ditty bags. They are adorable. They are the perfect vessel for a small gift or a gift card. As usual, I like to dress up gift cards and place them in something that can be used again. Fill the cosmetic bags with cookies, candy, gift cards, mani/pedi items, jewelry, office supplies and of course – the obvious….makeup! Add tissue paper to the bag to make it look full. Put a bow on it and the gift is wrapped! A very fun, cheerful gift!

Have I mentioned that Oilcloth can be purchased by the yard? Picnic anyone? This stuff is great for any party. Purchase the fabric by the yard. There is no need to hem anything (my favorite thing- as you already know). Just cut it and lay it down on the table. Wipe it clean. Done. Fab-u-lous! Chalkboard Oilcloth is the best! Make your own runners for buffets and children’s parties. How fun is that!Paige Birthday Cake

I like that there are so many patterns to choose from, but no matter which pattern I choose – I smile at the cheerfulness that they evoke. So, whether you need  yardage, ready made tablecloths, totes, gift bags or just something fun….. stayed tuned. I will be adding several Oilcloth items for sale very soon.









4th of July!

The 4th of July is coming up pretty darn quick, so all entertainers listen up!

Very easy and fun 4th of July centerpiece alert…..July 4 #8

Here is what you will need to make this centerpiece for your 4th of July celebration:

  • One brick of floral foam (the kind for wet flowers) – you can use a used one if you have it, because it will not get wet! I used only half of the floral foam brick, but you can use the whole brick if you want to make it larger.
  • Tissue paper to make tissue paper flowers. To make one flower I used 2 sheets of red, 2 sheets of white and 2 sheets of blue tissue paper. I cut the tissue paper in half because I did not want huge flowers. These flowers are super easy to make. Go to You Tube – there are several tutorials. Easy-Peasy!
  • Small table top American flags
  • Patriotic Horns or other patriotic stuff you may have
  • Ribbon
  • Centerpiece Insert that looks like fireworks….they are at party stores in every color (see picture)
  • Dried flowers (optional)  July 4 #2

Start with the floral foam and cut a round circle with a spoon.The foam cuts very easily so this is not hard. This is where you you place your fireworks centerpiece.July 4 #3 This the center of your centerpiece. You start layering in your  patriotic items, horns and flags anywhere you wish. Then add the tissue paper flowers. They should be big enough to cover the floral foam, so you will not need anything else to sit it on. It goes right on the table.

I also made a few coffee filter roses for interest, but you really don’t need them for this project.

The final step in this centerpiece was to insert some dried flowers and some ribbon. I made a bow, of course! There should not be any empty spots.

“D” for done! The best part is that this idea can be used for other occasions. Customize this for a baby shower in blue or pink, a birthday party in many colors or even a budget wedding.You can make these ahead of time and not stress about fresh flowers on a hot day.

This is Fast, Fun & best of all….. Simple, Stunning & Stylish!

Have a wonderful 4th of July in this wonderful country, the United States of America! Land of the Free because of the Brave.

Be safe.


Flower Pot with Dots

I am a collector of Milk Glass, specifically the Milk Glass that was manufactured by the Westmoreland Company in the 1950’s. The “Grapevine” motif  and the  “Hob Nail” patterns are my favorite. The Grapevine motif is just beautiful and the Hob Nail is cheerful. It looks like white polka dots on white glass. The best part, is that it goes with everything in my house.

So in the spirit of the Hob Nail pattern and all things polka dot, I experimented with a painting technique on a terracotta flower pot. I needed to create a gift for someone, and I wanted the flower pot to look fun & special.

Supplies for this project:hob nail pot 2resized

  • Terracotta flower pot
  • White puffy paint – from a craft store
  • Outdoor patio paint, white  – from a craft store
  • Sponge paint brush – from a craft store
  • Drop cloth or newspaper to protect surfaces
  • Plastic cup  for the patio paint
  • Clear gloss spray paint or sealer

First, soak the terracotta pot in water for about an hour and scrub any debris away. Let the pot dry completely.  When it is dry, place the pot on your newspaper. This part of the project you can do inside the house. It won’t stink up the place! Next, take the puffy paint and just start adding the dots to the pot. Practice a bit to get the size dots that you like uniform. Let the puffy paint dry completely. hob nail pot_resized

When the dots are dry, take the Outdoor Patio Paint and pour it into your plastic cup. Dip your sponge paint brush into the paint and apply it to the pot. I painted most of the inside of the pot, too. You will need two coats. When this is dry take your pot outside and spray it with the clear gloss paint or whatever sealer you purchased to seal the paint.hob nail pot 4_resized

This fast a very fast project. I did not have the time to plant my newly painted pot with flowers, so I went to the local nursery and purchased a beautiful plant to put inside, added a bow…..and there you go! One beautiful gift!

This would translate to a table centerpiece very easily, or a cluster of pots outside your front door in varying sizes. Lots of possibilities for this project.!

Try it one day for yourself!

hob nail pot 3_resized


Mother’s Day Table

Mother’s Day is Sunday! I am not a mother, but I have a spectacular mother who will be 91 this year. She is still as perky as ever, and has always been a great source of fun, beauty and laughter in the Vital household. She taught me about entertaining and making a house a home. She still has her golden touch – making the world a happier place. I guess that is why she and my dad have had such a happy life together. After 68 years they are still holding hands and going on dates. Forget about Ron and Nancy, my family has its own great love story!

In her honor, I hosted a table at a Mother’s Day luncheon at a local Catholic charity. A spring green garden themed table setting. This was a garden themed table that had a biblical bent. The biblical theme is optional, but for this table, it was an absolute must! It can be altered to suit your own garden theme.

I started out at the local home center and purchased 4 small ivy plants with long tails. I like ivy because it is a good filler of empty places on a table. I purchased asparagus fern. It is whispy and gorgeous as a filler. Best of all it  adds texture. For flowers, I picked up 2 miniature rose pots and 2  small pots of violets. Lastly, I picked up some moss. All the different greens added depth and drama. mothers day

I purchased a ready made spring green table cloth, and several yards (about 4) of green and white buffalo check cotton fabric for the napkins and table topper. I purchased it  at one of my favorite haunts downtown, LA Alex. A great place to get fabric and ready made table cloths (so many colors!), chair sashes, cloth napkins and fabric. The green and white fabric was $2.50 per yard. The  120 inch round table cloth was under $11! I don’t  think you can rent them that inexpensively! Really, if you entertain and don’t know about LA Alex – check them out. 418 E. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 . 213-489-3010.

For the center of the table, I wrapped a few books for height in a green fabric and placed a potted plant on top. Once that was done I started placing my ferns and ivy twisting my tails of ivy around until the wrapped books were covered. In order to get the random placement of “blooming roses” I used water tubes for flowers. You can find these at any craft store and they are reusable. If you don’t want to use them, just place your small pots of roses and place them around the table, hiding the pots as best as you can with the ivy , fern or moss.

The settings on the table were pretty. I used gold chargers and cutlery. I think gold adds richness to the colors on a table….and it blends beautifully with green. I cut the green and white checked fabric into 14 inch squares for the napkins. I did not used napkin rings. I just tied them with a green stripe ribbon. Here’s a trick….I like my napkins to look “full”. For some reason, they never do. So before I gather up the napkins, I lay the square out and place a large unfolded paper napkin on top of the fabric napkin. then I gather both pieces together, with the paper napkin inside. If you used a napkin ring, the napkins would actually fill the napkin ring. The paper adds sturdiness and makes the napkin fuller.

mothers day 2

I cut 2 yards of the green and white check fabric for a table topper. It does not have to be square. Since I hem everything later…..I used pinking shears to have the decorative edge. I hem things later, because I never know if I will used the fabric the same way again. If I like the idea, then I hem it…..I figure, why waste time on something I may never use again?

For the favors, I purchased some packets of drawer sachets. You can find them anywhere – 3 to a pack. I chose Lily of the Valley. Tie them up in cellophane and a pretty ribbon. Very pretty. My mom adored the scent.

A lovely afternoon!

Happy Mother’s Day!







Impromptu Pirate Tablescape

Here I go again with the “Impromptu” birthday party, but it happened again!

My niece had her birthday dinner at a restaurant last weekend. It was a family dinner that was planned by her parents and they asked me to put something quick and simple together for the table.

Since Johnny Depp put on his “Jack Sparrow” costume, this birthday girl has been “all in” for pirates….So, you guessed it. I put together a very quick pirate themed party. It was 95% done from stuff I found at the 99 Cent Only Store. The rest came from Trader Joes.

The inspiration for this table was a great pirate birthday banner that I had seen on one of my previous trips to the 99 Cent Only store. The colors were great: turquoise and red, with black and white stripes. How fun! I think I mentioned that I am a sucker for stripes….especially black and white stripes! My plan was to just drape it across the length of the table. The table cloth at the restaurant was white, so this banner really “popped”.20160304_190322

I purchased large turquoise paper plates to act as added color contrast against the stark white table cloth. I made favors out of red and white striped paper bags. They were filled with trail mix bars from Trader Joes, fruit stripe gum, assorted chocolate and Jolly Roger candy. I folded the top of the paper bags and sealed the bags with Life Saver candy. Add matching pirate (Argh!) napkins and we had a fun little table!

I bought a ready made cake at Trader Joes. Add the presents and we had all the makings of a great birthday party!

We rang in her 28th birthday with a bang!

Michelle bday table




Complete with “Pirate Booty”





Impromptu Birthday Party!

I was invited to a restaurant to have lunch with a few girlfriends. Here’s the thing….I knew this was a birthday lunch. We weren’t supposed to make this a “birthday party” but……come on…. its someone’s birthday! It’s the one day a year that it’s absolutely ok to celebrate our friend’s special day! In this day and age, I say, we need to do as much celebrating as we can!

So I went to work. If I do say so myself, I was able to pull off a semi-spectacular birthday table in very short order….

Luckily, I have lots of fabric that I keep on hand for quick table covers. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s my thing. A while ago, I found this celebratory fabric and just had to get it. I usually purchase 2 yards for a table cover and cut the edges with pinking shears to create a decorative finish. Sometimes I hem the fabric, but I didn’t have the time. I’ll hem it later.

You can see for yourself that this fabric is colorful and fun. We were on the patio at a Mexican restaurant, so it was perfect for this birthday table. All I had to do is drape it over the table and it was ready to go!

The centerpiece was our dessert. A cake was too much for our little group, so I went to Trader Joes and purchased the carrot cake cupcakes. They are a scrumptious treat. I had some candy hearts in my baking bin, so I decorated each cupcake with the candy hearts, set them in cupcake liners and put them on a cake stand and brought them to the restaurant. There were paper horns and curling ribbon to complete the look. Simple centerpiece. tcn bday

We had to have little party favors….I went to a grocery store and purchased 4 large cookies with sprinkles. The sprinkles looked like polka dots! I put the cookies in plastic food bags, folded at the top and closed the bags with some cute stickers. I added a happy birthday message that I printed from my computer. Party favors….check!tcn bday 2

I got to the restaurant a few minutes early to set the table. I used a large round doily as I would a place mat and for extra contrast I set the cookie on a red and white polka dot napkin.

It was a delightful and delicious lunch. Best of all the birthday girl was happy that we made her day memorable. A win win situation.

She is a very special person and absolutely worth the extra effort!





Bunnies Abound!

20160326_140400I Normally  I would not do another blog post on a subject that has already been covered, but I just have to share this. I have a friend and client who had a HUGE table to set for Easter brunch. This table is 12 feet by 12 feet. It. Is. Huge. She always does an incredible job ordering flowers for her home, but this table is so large, it needed something more. I mentioned my idea from last week’s post about the ceramic bunnies – essentially tying the floral arrangements and the bunnies together for a forest effect. She liked the idea, so we went to work!

Well. I must say this table was a masterpiece! She ordered her 3 floral arrangements from Flowerman in Pasadena. The main floral arrangement was a basket with a bunny in the center. It was adorable. It was beautiful. It was the focal point and inspiration for the entire table. The other 2 arrangements, were lovely, as well, but we added some little egg “picks” and inserted them into the arrangements to add some Easter fun!20160326_140237

I wanted to continue the woodland theme created with this bunny basket. In order to do that she ordered 2 bunches of greenery so that it could be placed around the table in free handed form. We used leather leaf fern. The stems on the fern were long, so we cut them down and placed them on the table – making sure that no stems were visible. We added various sized paper mache eggs nestled  around the table top, and finished with the bunnies. I cannot stress enough that the greenery really completed this table. It filled in the spaces that needed “just a little something extra”. It is an inexpensive idea that really added the polish for this idea……Add the jelly beans and malted milk eggs strewn around ….a delish delight to behold!

The four families that gathered to celebrate this Easter meal had a lovely table to view  while they talked and ate among the forest creatures!

I am positive that the hostess received many a compliment on the table she created for her guests to enjoy on this marvelous and joyous day!