I am participating in Kathleen's Inspirational Challenge at Cuisine Kathleen.
My inspiration was a tablescape created by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch.
Susan created a Christmas Village Centerpiece using houses from her Dept. 56 Snow Village collection.
As you can see, Susan's tablescape was created for a dinner in her formal dining room.
My table, which is located on our covered patio, has a much more casual feel.
The tablescape centerpiece uses pieces from the
Dept. 56 Dickens Village collection.
I'm having 21 guests this year, so I'm mixing china and flatware patterns.
Susan used red stemware for an added "oomph" to her table.
I don't own enough colored stemware to duplicate that detail.
In a last minute attempt to add a little flare to my Dollar Tree glasses, a sticker was added to the water goblets.
I printed 21 circles with a picture I found on the internet and used white glue to attach the circles directly to the goblets.
alternating the china patterns and the accompanying flatware.
Both dishes are Lenox. The larger Tartan plate is really a buffet plate.
I placed a few of my larger accessories at either end of the table, directly on the tablecloth.
A final long shot.
A few people have asked me about the curved table.
If your interested in how I built the table, click here to see how it was made. It was pretty easy! All you need is a jigsaw and a screwdriver. (Although a power drill with a Phillips bit will save you scads of time.)
Many of the display techniques in the centerpiece tutorial are shown in a Dept. 56 How-To video.
Place your tablecloth on the table and cover it with butcher paper.
Arrange your houses down the center of the table ALONG WITH YOUR PLATES AND STEMWARE.
This will help you determine how much area you can devote to the village and still allow your guests to dine comfortably.
Trace around the area taken up by the houses.
Move the houses to the side and cut along the line to remove the area occupied by the houses.
Peel the silver film from a 2-inch thick 4'X8" sheet of polystyrene insulation.
Transfer the butcher paper cutout onto the 2-inch thick insulation.
Cut out the shape (Mine was in two parts.) with an electric kitchen knife.
An electric knife will help to eliminate shedding.
Place the cutout insulation on the table.
Arrange the houses on the insulation, with an equal number of house facades visible to diners on each side of the table.
Place them so that they are not all in a row like little soldiers. Vary how they face the diners - some straight on, some facing left, some facing right.
Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) appears to have placed her houses back-to-back. Doing so helps reduce the amount of visible electrical cords. If your table is wide enough, back-to-back is the way to go.
Remember, it's no fun trying to find a place to safely set down your water glass. So try and make as much room for your dinner guests as possible.
If need be, draw additional lines along the edges of the insulation and trim off the excess.
Install the village house lights. Cut groves in the polystyrene insulation to create channels for the cords.
To secure the wires, place duct tape over the channels.
You will need a cord to connect the electrical portion of this centerpiece.
I used a "Christmas Tree Extension Cord" which has an on/off switch
and three outlets along the cord.
Cut holes in the insulation to accommodate your adapters and plugs.
The top layers of the removed insulation can be used (secured with white duct tape) to cover the large holes.
Remove the paper stickers from the bottom of your village street lights.
Insert shortened skewers into the bottom of the village lights and place along the village scene. No more toppling street lamps!
The evergreen trees can be unscrewed from their white bases and the wire "trunks" inserted into the insulation. Place the trees throughout your village. Place two or three evergreen trees tight against the back of your houses in order to cover electrical cords and light bulbs.
Dinner plates: Holiday pattern, Lenox
Buffet plates: Tarten Holiday, Lenox
Sterling: Burgundy, Reed and Barton, wedding gift
Flatware: Hampton Forge, Kingsley Gold, Macy's
Stemware glasses: The Dollar Tree
Tablecloth and napkins: fabric from Joann Fabrics
Village Houses and street lights: Dept. 56
Polystyrene insulation: Lowes