Monthly Archives

November 2008


Inexpensive Tabletop Ideas

November 18, 2008

I’ll be sharing lots of ideas and inspiration with you from now until Christmas on how to decorate your tabletops for everything from lunch with the girls to family holiday dinners. I look at the surface of the table as a blank canvas providing limitless opportunities for my creative expression.

Let’s start with…

Mad for Plaid

Plaid is a hot trend right now. One easy way to bring a fashion statement to your table is with a piece of plaid fabric either used alone or layered over a solid tablecloth that you use all year.

Shopping in a fabric store as opposed to buying pre-made tablecloths will give you more options and can be less expensive. I always find great choices at The Fabric Mill in Plainview, Long Island including the autumn plaid I used in this project. I finished the edges of the fabric with iron on seam binding which couldn’t be easier to do.

The plaid fabric was my initial inspiration for the look of this tabletop. I imagined this table being for a small dinner party. I kept the design very simple and easy to do yet the end result is very polished with a “designer” look.

If you missed my television segment on Better TV, check back tomorrow for more how-to’s on how to complete this look!



Use Your Collections

November 14, 2008

I tend to have “collections” of things. When I like something I usually pick up various pieces as I go along and tend to display them together. I love to pull the seasons into my collections. Most of the time I have my yellow pottery collection on a kitchen shelf, but on occasion I will pull a few pieces down and fill them with bunches of flowers from my garden, a local farmer’s market or neighborhood florist. The smaller arrangements make a lovely vignette on a foyer table or in the middle of a luncheon buffet table. I use every pottery piece that I have and use them in different ways all of the time. It’s fun to see new life in old cherished containers.

I will be showcasing different collections over the next week. Each one has a different vibe and a different story to tell.


I’ve been collecting USA pottery for quite awhile now. You can find pieces in so many different places from garage sales and flea markets to antique stores and online auctions. Prices vary dramatically from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. There are many factors that go into determining value, but I have never collected for the value. I love the colors, shapes and history of pottery. The fact that they were all made in the USA is also very important to me. Some of the more well know brands are McCoy, Hull, Hall and Roseville, and Haeger. I also like the early connection to the floral industry. Haeger in particular produced many vases and planters that were staples in flower shops across the United States. I have been using the vases of Barbara Eigen in my collection for a few years. Barbara is a ceramist with a studio in Jersey City. Her collection is today’s version of the USA pottery of years ago. I will be visiting her studio soon and will share with you a behind the scenes look at an artist at work. I currently have a product in my collection called Country Harvest that features a ceramic pitcher which is a reproduction of an original Hall pitcher that I found in an antique store last year.

Yellow Pottery

Here’s an example of the simple beauty of seasonal flowers (asclepia, coreopsis, dahlias, and calendula) in yellow pottery. The other collections I’ll be featuring are amber glass and copper. What collections do you have that can be used in new ways and add a new look to your autumn decorating?


Thanksgiving Sunflower and Fruit Candle Holders

November 5, 2008

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! I’ll be posting videos with ideas for setting a creative Thanksgiving table. Look out for them during the upcoming weeks. I hope they inspire you to add a few unique touches this year and even create some new traditions of your own.

I made these videos a year ago and the ideas always seem to be a hit! I had such a good time making the videos with my nieces and one of my daughters.

When making the sunflower and fruit candle holders I used an arrangement similar to the 1-800-FLOWERS Autumn Celebration Centerpiece as an inspiration.

So go ahead and give some of the ideas a try and remember to just have fun with it!


Ink Bottle Decoration

November 3, 2008

Ink Bottle Centerpiece

Who knew?! I can’t take credit for this unique design. Believe it or not, I found this put together at a garage sale at an old house. This garage sale was like a scavenger hunt! There were piles of the most interesting stuff (well maybe not interesting to everyone). At garage sales, you need to use your imagination when digging through old cast-offs, but just sitting there was this little old drawer filled with little ink bottles. I immediately thought to myself how it would make the perfect little centerpiece. This is recycling at its best!

Look out for more new ideas on Wednesday!