A prettily set table can help family and friends feel welcomed and honored. But how do we do this without it taking too much time or costing a lot? I have set so many tables through the years and hope one or two of these ideas will work for you.Read More
It is so easy to grow spring grass and is great to use as a table decoration. You can celebrate Spring or for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, you can have your last Summer fling with a fun grassy table. This also works perfectly for an Easter table setting as you can place eggs or lambs on the grassRead More
Do you want to set a pretty Easter table without spending a lot of time or money? With just a couple of packs of Easter eggs, some napkins/serviettes and a few other inexpensive items, I have set a number of place settings. You can try one of these ideas as you prepare a welcoming table.
- Stack up cake stands or plates with glasses between them and add Easter eggs.
- Sprinkle eggs directly onto the table cloth in between the plates and serving dishes. (They may get eaten, so have extra on hand!)
Use some pretty napkins to add color and design to the table. Napkins can be put on the plate, under the silverware, or set up on a buffet table. Check out 10 Ways to Use a Napkin other than Wiping your Mouth!
The Easter eggs can be used in many ways. Add them to small dishes and place on at each setting. Use a paper doily and wrap them into a cone and add the Easter eggs. Use your imagination and you will be able to add color and whimsy to the table!
I found cute little lamb chocolates which looked so sweet at each setting. In South Africa we grew up eating Easter eggs that looked like real eggs and these look great on a spoon or as part of the centerpiece. You can also use hard boiled eggs for a natural (and healthy) addition.
Check out the other Easter table decor ideas, such as using real grass to set a spectacular Easter table.
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It is almost New Year's Eve and you don't have any plans. Why not invite a few friends, neighbors or even strangers over for a potluck dinner. Set a quick celebratory table and you are all set! This simple table setting works for New Year's Eve or any other special occasion using supplies you can find around your home! Easy and festive! Check out Lyn's video and be inspired to open your home. Happy New Year!Read More
Fall is a great time of year to gather family and friends around your table. I would like to encourage you to host a supper in October. Do you want your event to be Simple, Special or Spectacular? This will depend on your experience, the time you have allotted to prep for the meal and what the occasion is. Read on for instructions on how to prepare a delicious meal and a fall themed table that fits your needs perfectly!Read More
Do you want to learn how to set a beautiful table? Want it to be quick and easy to do?
Using a theme for your table setting can both simplify it and make it look more attractive and coordinated. Check out this video on using a theme to set a table and this blogpost for more information.
You can use these helpful tips to get going:
1. Walk around your home and look for items that match e.g. Do you have a vase with roses painted on it and a small painting of roses? These could be grouped together for a pretty setting. I love cherries and have had fun setting a table using fresh (or artificial cherries) and beautiful cherry napkins/serviettes and more related items.
2. Do you have a hobby or special interest? Use some of these items to decorate your table. My husband Brett Johnson has written a book called Lemon Leadership. Consequently we have lots of lemon items!
3. Is there one color that you love and use a lot in your home? A friend has a home at the beach and decorates a lot with blue and white, so this would be a good place to start.
4. Are you about to celebrate a holiday? Begin by choosing a few items for Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th or Valentine's Day.
5. Begin with a seasonable table and add some items for fall or spring. Fall items work well for Thanksgiving too (if you live in the USA).
6. Do you have a special or heirloom tablecloth? Use that as your base and add a few items that would tie in well. The protea is the national flower of South Africa. I painted this cloth to use for the first Heartistry Experience in South Africa.
7. Beautiful napkins and serviettes can serve as inspiration. Build your theme from there. Check out the blog on 10 Uses for Napkins.
8. Is there a theme for your party? Build your table around the theme such as travel items for a Bon Voyage party. We celebrated my mom's 85th birthday with a Garden Party which my twin sister and I hosted in her garden. We used a flower theme and had adorable mini hat cakes as one of the desserts.
9. Is there a "message" you are trying to share? I used globes and napkins with a world map on them when we had a dinner focussed on the impact guests could have on the world through their lives and businesses.
10. If all of the above suggestions seem too much, just start with a few white items. They can be used for any occasion and will be a great base for your table setting adventures!
There are many other articles and videos that will give you further inspiration and instruction, so check out our blog and Youtube channel.
Please SHARE this blogpost with your friends. I love to hear your comments, so please share what themes you use for your table settings in the comments section below.
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Decorating a table can be such fun and yet many people feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Using a theme is a great way to make setting a beautiful table simpler and more affordable. By having some special items on hand that all match and work well together, it takes away the guesswork and saves time.
I love to use different themes and have quite a few (some would say many!) collections that I use for my table settings. In the video I share how to use a bird theme to set a beautiful tray or table.
How to Begin:
- Start with basic white crockery and a white table cloth.
- Over time add a few items that fit your theme.
- Theses items can be clustered on the middle of the table, displayed on a buffet table or added to a tray to make a very special treat for someone.
- Having a theme takes the guesswork out of setting a table and saves time.
- The items on the table coordinate with each other and make a fun and creative setting.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out the blogpost:
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What a joy to be hosted by my daughter Fay this morning for a beautiful brunch. Fay had cooked all the food from scratch, and she set an exquisite table. My husband Brett captured my surprise and delight when we arrived at her home! Check out the VIDEO!
Fay worked hard and even tried my 5-Minute Scone recipe for the first time! She served them with jam and freshly whipped cream.
She added photos of her siblings who couldn't attend to the table decor. Her simple flower arrangements were delicate and so very pretty.
I loved the mini quiches, sandwiches and potato and egg bakes that Fay prepared. The food was healthy and beautifully presented. What a treat!
One of the joys of having a grown up daughter is being able to attend an event without having to do anything!
Just before Mother's Day I did a video sharing easy and last minute ideas for Mother's Day. One idea for making a card (if you left it too late to buy one) was to use brown paper. As a joke my husband made his own version of the brown paper card!
This was such a fun Mother's Day for me. I was honored by my "children" from different parts of the world, chattaed with our sons on the phone and was hosted by my daughter. What a special day!
Now for something funny!
My daughter made a TIME-LAPSE video capturing how long it took her to prepare the Mother's Day Brunch. It is such fun to watch this especially with the music playing. This was quite the labor of love! She writes, "My dear mother, Lyn, loves hospitality and sharing easy tips for hosting guests. You should definitely try her 5-Minute Scones from Heartistry- The Art of Welcome, but I thought it might be fun to capture what actually goes into prepping Mother's Day brunch. Here is a time lapse of a few of the 8+ hours I spent pulling brunch together – a small token of appreciation for a mother who loves pretty table settings, chintz cups, and flowers. (h/t to Dune for slicing this all together).
Thanks for sharing in this special day by reading my blog. I would love to hear what you did on Mother's Day. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Please SHARE this blogpost with your friends and encourage them to sign up to receive our Heartistry newsletters. Thanks so much, Lyn
It was such fun to see all the different ways in which people participated in Set the Table in September by inviting family and friends to the table. Here are photos of some of the tables. They range from a meal for just two who are empty nesters to a birthday party on an island in Panama. Some tables are simple and some more festive. I was touched by the stories and the way each person put effort into reaching out and touching the life of someone else. Thank you so much for participating.
The prize for the winners of the Set the Table in September contest is a set of little LED lights that are perfect for making a table centrepiece fun and festive.
We have two categories for the winners:
For the decorative table part of the contest, we (you actually) have selected Monique Cronk's table because the posting of the pictures of her table on Facebook had more interaction than any of the other posts. People wanted to have copies of the recipes she used for her meal and commented on her bright and cheerful table. Monique, your gift will be arriving in the mail soon.
The second section of the contest was based on the story behind the table setting. Gail Rudee has been gathering the family around the table for birthdays and Jewish holidays and inviting her mom-in-law, who lives in an Alzheimer's care facility to join the family. Gail shared how much her mom-in-law loves being with her three children and the rest of the family. I have watched Gail grow in the area of hosting people since she began participating in the Heartistry challenges and I am proud of her.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Your tables look so lovely. Keep setting the table and gathering friends and family to join you. The memories you make will enrich your lives and last a life time.
I love pretty table settings. I receive joy in creating prepared spaces into which to welcome family and friends. But more than the creative aspect of the table setting, I love being with those gathered. The stories of the people around the table are what move and inspire me to keep reaching out and inviting more people to fellowship around the table. Enjoy these settings (a few of the many events I have hosted at my home) and the small glimpse into the reasons for the gatherings.
We love celebrating Easter and it is a joy to gather people around the table. We invite family, friends and strangers who have nowhere else to go. Sometimes I use paper plates and keep the table setting very simple; at other times I have gone to town with real grass down the middle of the table! (See previous post.)
This simple table setting was for a bridal shower for Jessica who lived with us for nine months leading up to her wedding. The most important part was the precious time of sharing and affirmation we had with this small group of women, each of whom was very special to Jessica.
This is a fall-themed dinner we hosted for newly married couples who were part of our non-profit organisation. We had officiated at the wedding for two of the couples and we wanted to have time to check in with them to see how they were doing in the first year of their married lives. I served real pumpkins filled with vegetable curry and covered the tops with pastry. It was a good idea, except each pumpkin could have fed an entire family!
This is one of the many Thanksgiving meals we have hosted through the years. We have always included friends who don't have family nearby and often strangers as well. I love Thanksgiving, even though I was not born in the USA as I believe that being thankful for all God's blessings is such a powerful and important practice.
Every year we host a Staff Appreciation Dinner and I have used different themes for each dinner focussing on the best way to celebrate and recognise our amazing staff. One year I did, "You are Treasure" and decorated the table to "jewels". Brett always writes a personal affirmation for each person and then reads it to them. He normally cries when reading it, which starts all of us off as well!
I hosted this dinner on Valentine's Day for one of the groups of people who gather regularly to pray for us and our ministry. I wanted them to know how much we loved and appreciated them for their support. I have shared more about this Appreciation Dinner in a previous post.
I served this Tuscan style dinner on the back patio of the house we were renting for a group of business people from around the world at our Executive Intensive. We were able to set it up without them seeing the table as the back deck was hidden away. They were so surprised when they came around the corner and saw the table! I used bottles of olive oil as name cards.
We have a tradition of hosting a breakfast to celebrate and honour our staff on their birthday. We spend time affirming them and enjoy the opportunity to relax together. It is a very meaningful time. As you can see I have used paper plates to make the clean up easier, added candles and flowers from the garden to make it more festive.
We start our Repurposing Business Training with the Kickoff Weekend and a special dinner for those people who have flown in for the event. I set up the table on the deck outside and we enjoyed a simple meal served on paper plates, with an amazing view. The next photo shows how special it was at night when the little lights on the table added so much atmosphere.
Over two years ago we moved out of the house we were renting and put everything we owned into three storage PODS. This group of people were just some of the amazing friends who came and helped us pack up our large home in the 10 days we had available to do it. This is bitter sweet as I look forward to the day when my furniture is unpacked again and I can host people again; and I am so thankful that we can offer hospitality from the heart wherever we are.
It doesn't matter how simple your table setting is. The important part is to reach out and invite family and friends to join you as you gather around the table for food and fellowship.
Commit to hosting someone in the next month. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Share your life with others in small ways and you will grow in generous living!
These fun little eggs are so easy to make and can be part of your table decor too.
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) Marshmallows or 4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups of bran sticks cereal
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. (You can also microwave the butter and the marshmallows, stirring evry two minutes until melted.)
Add the bran sticks cereal. Stir until well coated.
Place small amounts of mixture into cupcake paper cups and press down the center with a buttered spoon or ice-cream scoop.
Decorate each nest with a few chocolate eggs.
These are best if served the same day, but since Easter morning is so busy, make them the day before- they'll be fine!
Go ahead and have some fun! Please share this blog with your friends!