Black and White and Red All Over!

Black and white for Christmas? Oh no, I thought when David Holland Leggieri, Bartlett Farm designer suggested setting a table in black and white for the holidays. I have always reserved this color scheme for New Year’s Eve. It’s kind of a cleansing scheme after all the traditional glitz and glitter of Christmas.

But, thoughts of red and green put aside, here I was oohing and aahing with a group of women over David’s display at the Hayloft. If you’re having a holiday party or planning something special for a Christmas dinner think black and white for a smashingly sophisticated table. To create this look you can use strips of 2-inch wide black and white satin ribbon to cover a table or to simulate a runner down the center of a buffet table. Easy to weave in a pattern. Or cover the table with a striped cloth, scarf or piece of fabric. Or use shiny wrapping paper to create a runner. Pinking sheers will finish off the edges.
If you are a crafter, consider making black and white placemat by stitching strips of alternating colored fabric together – Sew Easy!! If you like to quilt, back the patchwork front with quilt batting and a solid piece of fabric – black maybe, and stitch along all seams to quilt.

Always use lots of white candles. Here’s David’s tip for any occasion: If you use colored candles and wax drips on the tablecloth it’s a mess. Much easier to remove white drips. To do this, freeze the wax by rubbing over it with an ice cube. Once solidified it’s easy to lift off the cloth with a butter knife.

When you choose a black and white color – or no color- scheme a spot of red goes a long way. David spray painted pinecones red and tied three small silver ornaments together with the pinecone (find them with stems still attached). This can become napkin holders or just a simple decoration on each black napkin. Silver candlesticks add more sparkle.

For a more traditional table setting I like small red and white Poinsettia plants grouped together set on branches of greens. David likes to weave ribbon throughout his plants and candleholders. Choose a color and pattern that works with your color scheme. The wide, French, wired ribbon is easy to manipulate.

Group small red and white Poinsettia plants together on a bed of greens.

I mentioned the scallop shell with a cranberry glued inside last week for a Thanksgiving placecard holder. This is a reminder to use it for a Christmas table as well. This simple craft project is perfect for setting on top of the greens around a candle globe for a centerpiece. Add a few miniature tree balls, painted or plain pinecones, even a few chestnuts (Love the shiny surface and color of these nuts). Reminder, there’s a tree in front of The Homestead at 115 Main that drops them for easy scooping up! We live on an island so no shame in overdoing the seaside theme. Shells are the easiest way to add to a centerpiece. Spray paint them metallic if gold and silver appeals to you.

Glue a cranberry between slightly open scallop shell and set them on greens around a candle globe on top of pine branches.

Every year I try to steer clear of the traditional colors of green and red but can’t seem to do it. I love using a deep hunter or moss green and raspberry rather than the expected brighter colors of the holiday.

The following are some cute “thumb print” ideas for making greeting cards that I came across in my stacks of holiday magazines. Now I know why I can’t seem to throw them away from year to year. Or at least I can justify their taking up space in my office. Kids will have fun with these.

  1. Using green ink stamp thumbs and press onto a card as if they are leaves falling from a branch. Add berries and a bow with a red marker and stems with green watercolor paint or a fine tipped marker.
  2. Stamp thumbs in various ink shades. Press onto a blank card at random. Use a black fine tip marker to draw a string connecting the “lights.”
  3. Stamp thumbs in brown ink and press onto blank cards. Use fine tip markers to draw antlers, eyes and noses to make reindeer heads.