Good Morning, Friends, and welcome! I was expecting company for a late lunch yesterday. It was such a pretty day that Hubby and I sat on the screen porch in the morning having coffee and just enjoying the garden. Birds were breakfasting at the feeders, the fountain was burbling and all was right with our little world at that moment. A friend was coming that afternoon for tea and a snack so it was time to get busy.

You know what its like before company arrives. You give the carpets a last vacuum, bathrooms a last wipe and lunch has to be prepared. I knew I wanted something casual and approachable , something not in the least bit fussy, something that would begin to welcome Fall……sandwiches, veggies and fruit served with a nice afternoon tea. That seemed just the thing.

After gathering some elements together for the table setting I realized I didn’t have a centerpiece that worked so l decided to put one together quickly for the table.

A couple of weeks ago I tried decorating my first lantern. See that here:

It actually turned out pretty well so I thought another lantern project might work for this table.

A few simple supplies were gathered together…..3 picks, some green ribbon, florist wire, some pumpkins and the lantern which I picked up last year at the Thrift Store.

I filled the lantern with some small white and green ceramic pumpkins and firmly latched the door.

Next, the green wire-edged ribbon was formed into a bow and tied with the florist wire. It was then attached to the top of the lantern and the bow was fluffed out and arranged.

I made sure the tails were cut long enough to run the full length of the lantern. I curled the tails and cut them into dove-tails as the last step of the project.

The first pick was added to the top of the lantern and secured with wire.

Then a pick was added to the side and the final pick was taken apart and a few of the segments added to fill in any holes in the flowers. I kept the color palate simple with just earth tones.

The tails were twisted and dove-tailed to make them look pretty and I checked the bow and placement of the picks to be sure I liked the end result. The whole thing took about 15 minutes.

With the centerpiece complete, it was time to build the table setting.

I started with a simple color scheme of blue and beige. A solid blue tablecloth formed the backdrop. That was layered with a blue and cream runner with a light wood-brown stripe. Found this on a recent Thrift Store outing:

Next came four, individual, bamboo sandwich boards that would act as the plates for this casual setting. They picked up the colors in the runner and in the centerpiece. The centerpiece was my little DIY lantern flanked by a few neutral pumpkins.

I gathered the cutlery together and rolled it in a cloth napkin by Jonathan Adler placing it diagonally on the corner of the sandwich board.

A dried hydrangea blossom sits next to the cutlery adding a bit of color and texture to the place setting.

Pretty blue crystal glasses came next. If you were serving wine, you could add a blue and earth-toned pottery wine glass to blend with the colors on the table.

The colors all come together for a relaxed, casual feel.

Since I was serving three people, not four, I moved the lantern to the back of the table where the fourth setting would normally be placed. I set it on a sandwich board to define the space and added the small pumpkins. That left the center free for the sandwich serving tray. Since it was mid-afternoon I substituted a pottery mug for tea in place of the wine goblet and placed it on a blue and white saucer. The water goblets were filled with sparkling water and we were ready to sit down to a casual late lunch.

It was fun to use a less formal approach to dining and to incorporate sandwich boards into the table setting.

A simple DIY project introduced a little bit of Fall to the table. I had fun putting the lantern project together and adding it to the table setting for a DIY personal touch.

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