And the Winner Is…….

Thank you to everyone who entered to win the April Tablescape Give Away.  It has been fun meeting all of you and I hope to continue all the wonderful conversations I have started with many of you about table settings and decorating!  But however, we are down to the nitty-gritty, so without further  yammering, the winner of the first give away on my blog is…………………………..

“Sabrina” was commenter 34, so she is the lucky lady who will receive all the goodies from the Easter tablescape!  Sabrina, if you are reading this, please check your email box for my message.  For those of you who did not win, don’t worry, there will be other awesome give aways in the coming months that you can enter.

Thank you again!

*Note:  The drawing was selected from all comments left from April 12 – April 18.  Comments after April 18 were excluded from the drawing.  Winner had to be a subscriber to the blog, Twitter or Facebook of Courtney Out Loud.

Easter Table Breakdown & April Give Away Reminder….

A friendly reminder that I have launched my first give away with the blog where I will be giving away this tablescape… get everything pictured below…..

No really – I wasn’t kidding when I said I was giving away almost everything you saw on the table…..the winner will get:

Six Vintage Milk Glass Goblets

Six New Powder Blue Ceramic Plates from Mesa Home

Six 100% Cotton Napkins from Cynthia Rowley’s Home Collection

One 70-inch Round 100% Cotton from Ridgefield Collection

I am pretty much giving you all the essentials for you to recreate the tablescape!  So how do you win all this free stuff?  Easy, do ANY of the following things:

1) Subscribe to the blog

2) Fan me on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall

3) Subscribe to my Twitter feed and tweet about the contest using hashtag #CourtneyOutLoud

Each time you do one of the above items, come back and leave a comment here.  You can do all three and triple your chances of winning!  The contest closes April 18th midnight PST with the winner being randomly chosen.  Please remember to include an email address in your comment to I can contact the winner.  Unfortunately, this contest is only open to US residents (those dishes are HEAVY!) – sorry.

So don’t leave me hanging — nothing worse than throwing your arms open expecting some blog luvin’ and be left in the cold.

Okay, now that I have sufficiently pimped myself and the give away, on to breaking down the Easter tablescape…….

As usual, I sought inspiration in my favorite locations; The Dollar Store, Home Goods and my “prop closet”  aka my garage!  After creating my fictional client and the event I would be decorating for, I went about sourcing materials to make my dream a reality.  First stop was Home Goods where I picked up the table-cloth, napkins and plates.  Then I was off to The Dollar Store where I scored the materials for the center piece and table favors.  I completed my sourcing with stops at Home Depot for the sod and my local grocer for the fresh flowers.

Here is the complete breakdown:

Dinner Plates: Home Goods

Charger Plates: Z Gallerie

Napkins: Home Goods

Tablecloth: Home Goods

Milk Glass Goblets:

Milk Glass Compote Glasses: Garage Sale

Jelly Beans & Flower Lollipops: Dollar Store

Sod: Home Depot

Flowers: Berkeley Bowl (discount flower bin)

Flatware: Gift/Resale Shops/Ebay

Table Favor Vases: Dollar Store

Centerpiece: Cake Stands (Marshalls)/Coffee Filter Wreath (recycled)/Ribbon (Joann Fabrics)

Grand Total: I am SO not telling you this time around!  Why?  Because I am giving half the stuff away and it’s rude to tell someone how much their gift cost!  However, if you must know….. the grand total was actually below my usual tally of $75-100 thanks to some sweet finds including:

1) Flowers:  I was able to get all the live flowers and the sod for $11!  The flowers were found in the $1 bin at the grocery store – I simply plucked out the dying flowers and used the rest of the decorate the centerpiece.  The sod was turning brown on one end, so it was discounted.  Fortunately, I only need a small amount and was able to use the opposite side.

2) Centerpiece: I was able to recycle the coffee filter wreath I made this Christmas.  I made one smaller wreath using a $1 floral wreath form and the left over filters from the original project.  Total cost was $1!

3) Table Favor Containers:  They are $1 glass vases from The Dollar Store that I use when holding dinner parties.  They serve double duty as containers on my crudite platters!  Total cost for them — $0!

It pays to shop your own home first!  Look at everything from old milk bottles to  house plants as potential props when decorating your tables.  You would be amazed at all the awesome things you already own that you can use to create beautiful tablescapes.  As I always say, creating a table that looks like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost you a fortune!


Easter Tablescape & April Give Away

Note: For those of you overly anxious beavers, details about the give away are at the bottom of this post.

I don’t know if it is the religious connotations associated with the holiday or simply that Easter earmarked that Spring was in full throttle but it has always ushered in a sense of freshness and vitality.  When I was imagining my client for the Easter tablescape that I envisioned, Clara, a 13-year old Southern girl with a bright future and an old soul.  Clara lives in Kentucky with her Mom, Dad and younger brother in a restored Victorian in the section of town right off the main square.  She and her Mom hired me to create the table for the annual Mother & Daughter Easter Lunch that the Junior League throws every year.  It is a time-held tradition and honor to host the lunch and Clara wanted to be sure that the “youth table” where the young members of the Junior League will be sitting is fun, whimsical but not “kiddish”.  The table represents her first interaction with her first Junior League members who range from 12-18 years old.  Clara wanted to impress them with a table that said “Easter” but without using rabbits, lilies and Easter eggs.  This was her moment to emerge as a young lady and shed her “kiddie” image.

It was a tall order, but something I relished since I don’t enjoy doing obvious tablescapes.  After doing a bit of brainstorming, I decided that I wanted to play with the idea of real and faux flowers, so I took a class at my local craft store to learn how to make paper flowers which was tons of fun and really helpful for this project.  In turn, I also knew I wanted to incorporate edible elements into the tablescape.  After playing around with various configurations, I settled on one that used a mix of real flowers, sod, paper & candy flowers, coffee filter wreaths and jelly beans.  Sadly as much as I wanted to use Peeps in the mix, I nixed the idea because I could not find a way to properly display those delicious marshmallow treats and keep them in scale with the rest of the table.

Even sans Peeps, I think I was able to create a table that is bright and bold using pastels and punches of saturated color thanks to fresh flowers.  In the end, I think I was able to give Clara exactly what she wanted – a grown-up table that is youthful……

Overall, the table is definitely the fun and vibrant setting I envisioned thanks in particular to the paisley tablecloth which sets the overall mood.  The tablecloth also dictated the overall color scheme of the table: soft pinks, blues and a healthy dose of white.

The centerpiece is a combination of sod, paper and real flowers.  I used two cake stands for elevation and hid their bases with coffee filter wreaths.  I loved how the wreaths when placed on their sides look like white carnations.  To hide the seams between the two wreaths, I filled them in with paper daisies I made and with real flowers I found in the discount bin at my local grocery store.  The topper is made from sod which I cut to match the shape of the cake stand, a plant pot, a tissue paper pom-pom, another paper flower I made and a yellow daffodil.  I loved how the inclusion of the paper flowers makes the centerpiece less serious and more fun.  I threw in real flowers in the shades of baby & hot pink,  purple and yellow to add color and brightness to what would have been a big white pouf in the center of the table.  Additionally, the sod is a subtle nod to the green artificial grass that tends to line Easter baskets.

The table favors were a play on the centerpiece with the incorporation of sod and flowers, but candy flowers in this case.  The cute flower lollipops and glass vases were a score at the Dollar Store.  When paired with the jelly beans I was able to create a fun, easy and inexpensive way of giving each guest a little something to take home with them.

The place settings are a mix of cool blue plates and linens set off by white chargers and mother of pearl & silver flatware.  I love the dental molding detail on the dinner plates and how well it plays off the scalloped edges of the chargers.  I also am quite enamoured with the color the napkins — they match the blue of the plates perfectly!  The silverware is a mix of pieces from my personal collection including my every day stainless steel forks, seafood forks I inherited from my partner’s parents and my beloved mother of pearl knives.  You may have noticed that there is no stemware on the table and for good reason – this is the youth table and they strongest thing they will be drinking will be lemonade!  However, who wouldn’t enjoy drinking lemonade out of those adorable milk glass goblets.  I paired the goblets with milk glass compote glasses which are holding the jelly beans.

Okay, one last shot before the ladies sit down to their delicious Easter lunch……

So while I love this tablescape and hope you do too!  Why do I hope you love it…well because I am giving it away!  Yup, as a thank you I am hosting my first give away/contest.  Those who enter will be in the running to win a 70-inch Ridgefield Collection paisley tablecloth, 6 Mesa Home Collection plates, 6 Cynthia Rowley napkins and 6 milk glass goblets…..

One lucky winner is basically getting an entire table setting from yours truly!  To enter do one of the following:

1) Subscribe to the blog

2) Fan me on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall

3) Subscribe to my Twitter feed and tweet about the contest using hashtag #CourtneyOutLoud

Each time you do one of the above items, come back and leave a comment.  You can do all three and triple your chances of winning!  The contest closes April 18th with the winner being randomly chosen.  Please remember to include an email address in your comment to I can contact the winner.

Again thank you and here is to a fantastic Easter holiday!  Tomorrow, I will provide a detailed breakdown of the tablescape.

Linking to:

Home Sweet Home on The Charm of Home

Tablescape Thursdays on Between Naps on the Porch

Feathered Nest Fridays on French Country Cottage

Inspiration Fridays on At the Picket Fence

Open House Party on No Minimalist Here

Frugal Friday on The Shabby Nest

Addicts (Not So) Annoynmous on Addicted to Decorating

Seasonal Sundays on The Tablescaper