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Entries in summer entertaining (2)

Monday
Jul162012

DIY Project: Ombré Tablecloth & A Spray Bottle Dye Technique

Happy Monday blog friends! How was your weekend? I'm kicking this Monday off with a DIY project. Last week I shared my summer outdoor entertaining tips which featured this ombré tablecloth:

I created the ombré effect myself on canvas dropcloth purchased from Home Depot. Dropcloth comes in a variety of sizes (this one was 5'x5'), all readily available at local home improvement or paint stores. It is inexpensive and very durable, ideal for outdoor conditions.

You can achieve the ombré effect in various ways, usually it involves dipping fabric into a bucket of dye. I wanted to eliminate the bucket and come up with something easier. I created this blue tablecloth with nothing more than a spray bottle, water and some fabric dye. I saw results immediately and had a lot of control over how light or dark the pigment would turn out. The dyeing process is quick and then you just need to wait for the tablecloth to dry in the sun.

Want to see all the steps in perfecting this ombré technique? Check out the full article and all the pictures on Houzz:

Make a Fashion-Forward Ombré Tablecloth

The dropcloth I purchased was lined with waterproof plastic on the back. I thought this built-in feature would be handy if the dropcloth were used as an outdoor area rug. Keep it poolside, a place for everyone to relax and grab refreshments between dips in the swimming pool. 

What DIY creations have you been working on this summer? How have you implemented them into your summer lifestyle? My family eats outside a lot so these tablecloths are perfect for setting up a quick and casual dinner.

Have a great week!

Tuesday
Jul102012

Tips for a Simple Summer Tablescape

It has been heating up here this week in Southern California. We got by for quite awhile without getting past the mid-90s. But 100-degree weather has finally hit and with that we can officially welcome in summer. We actually have been quite lucky here. I know some parts of the country are stifling right now. I have family on the East Coast who have updated us on the extreme heat in New York and Connecticut. And my friend from Washington, D.C. had high temperatures, high humidity and no power for three days. I guess us Southern Californians cannot complain too much. Have you been dealing with extreme temperatures? How are you coping?

Since the heat is definitely upon us now, I thought I would share this simple summer tablescape that I styled a few weeks ago for Houzz. I will share the DIY for the tablecloth here on the blog soon but for today I thought I would just focus on some simple entertaining tips to use during these hot months.

When it is this warm, I think it's important to keep things as simple and easy as possible. Designate a linen drawer to hold your summer go-to favorites. We have had these red gingham napkins tucked away for ages but there is something casual and uniquely summer about them. They compliment the blue and white palette nicely and were just the right pop of color to keep things interesting.

Incorporate your food into the decor as well. Since red was my complimentary color, these diced tomatoes made for a lovely spread and focal point. The best part is once you are done admiring them, they can be shared and enjoyed. If you are having guests, write out names on scrap pieces of paper and clip with a clothespin. It is a simple detail but it will stop the wind from blowing them away.

Instead of laying out your silverware, just store it all in a mason jar. For an easy summer meal, the casualness is welcome. A bloom or two always makes an evening more special. Clip a few buds from your garden and display them in a used glass jar. This white peony was the last pretty remnant from a wilting bouquet. It got to have one last hurrah for this dinner. The jar is actually a repurposed balsamic vinegar jar from Trader Joe's. The shape was perfect though and it looks very vintage.

You can never go wrong with white dishes. They are timeless and can be used all year round. Against the blue and red backdrop, these white plates really popped. It makes the tabe look so crisp and fresh.

But the best suggestion is to not get caught up in the details. Focus more on enjoying the meal and your lovely guests. It may be hot this summer but with a refreshing drink and good company, the days are sure to be a delight. What are some of your summer mealtime routines? What are your go-to pieces for easy entertaining during these hot months?