Friday, February 15, 2013

Bunco Game Tablescape - Valentine 's Day

Bunco - Valentine Style
Bunco Game is a social dice game involving luck and no skill. The members of the Bunco club take turns hosting and providing meals, appetizers, drinks, dessert and set up and clean up. The host/hostess also provides prizes(normally paid by a members fee of $10 per monthly game).

"There are six rounds, progressing in order from one to six, where the number of the round serves as the target for that round's rolls. Within a round, players alternate turns rolling three dice, aiming to obtain the target number. Players gain one point for each die matching the target. If the player gets three-of-a-kind of the target number (a Bunco), they get 21 points. The round stops when a player at a head table obtains 21 points. Whomever wins the most rounds is the overall winner." source: wikipedia.
The object of the game is to accumulate points and to roll certain combinations. The winners get prizes for the most buncos, highest score, lowest score, last bunco and door prize.

The number of people within the group varies. The group of 12 (which means 3 tables only) is the most manageable number. Bunco's are done once a month and it so happens that the Bunco for this February happens to fall right after Valentine's Day.
The following Valentine Bunco Tables were accessorized using materials from the 5 Days of Valentines tablescapes (see Valentine's Day Table Setting Design Day 2 and Day 4). This means that there was hardly any cost at all to design these tables.  

Bunco Table 1-  Red and Pink theme

The head table is the  center of the gathering.  It is normally the biggest and engaging table since the winners per round stay here or comes to this table.

 A red (the color of boldness) tablecloth is used here to set the tone for the Valentine Theme.  Some pink were added around the table (e.g. candies, the
color of the napkins a combination of pink and red, and the vase has pink on it as well).
The only thing that was purchased for this table were the napkins for the drinks that I used to accentuate the tables displaying the bunco tally paper and pencil.  I used a double tape underneath to  hold down the napkins so they didn't move as players come and go.

The real roses were accentuated by some greenery from the backyard - a great free way to upgrade your floral arrangements.   There are  4 roses to symbolize that 4 people are playing in the table.

Bunco Table 2 - Red theme

 A  red heart shaped candle votive is used as a candy dispenser.

 As the ladies arrive, the wine glasses are served in a silver platter accentuated by the prizes.

I designed the gift bags/boxes to reflect the uniqueness of each  gift by enhancing the Valentine's theme.  I like to match items and embellish them with the design of the ribbons and  Valentine wrapper .  I used the sweetheart candies and glued them on the paper fillers and gift boxes.   I also like contrast.  The purple bag in the middle brings together all the colors of the wrapper and made this table more harmonious.

Bunco Table 3- Pink Theme
Normally this is where the losers end up.  I wanted this table to stay on the lighter side of colors. The pink diamond cloth is a table napkin used in Valentine's Day Table Setting Design - Day 1.  I've added a pink flower (from the garden) to give it a bit of sweetness to lighten the mood for the losers.

The corner of the food counter is decorated to tell a little story.  It is normally a ladies Friday night out.  The wine glass symbolizes the ladies enjoying drinking wines to unwind from their day.  The gold box for hidden treasures of the outcome of the games winnings;  the candlelit votive  for the evening's ambience of light and energy.   

Different finger foods work best for this diverse group of women...
 Since space is limited on the counter where the food is served, I wanted to create an illusion of more space by serving the food in tiers using the red chargers from previous Valentine's Table Setting Design Day - Day 3To add more cheers, Valentine sugars cookies were spread around the food platters.

These days, there is a wide diversity in individual eating habits and preferences.  Our Ladies Club food choices reflect this variety!

 For Meatless Eaters - Zucchini Torta

For Asian Food Lovers - Philippine Lumpia (egg rolls) served with sweet and sour sauce.

For Vegetarians - Mediterranean style: brie cheese, fruits, dates, figs, vegetables. olives, and tofu sausage.

For weight watchers - homemade herbal dip made with fat free sour cream.

For Meat Eaters - Italian sausage, shrimp platter (not shown).

 Frozen Mocha cheesecake (not shown)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Tablescape - Day 5

So here's Day 5 of our 5 Days of Valentine's - somewhat like the 12 days of Christmas - with a different table setting design for each day.

Day 5: Red and Gold Theme - Dinner for Two
Ahhh, finally, the night...This night is very meaningful because it was the beginning of when I first said YES.

The table is set with some meaningful items from throughout our marriage. The plates with gold trim were a wedding present from a dear family friend. The trinkets were gifts from loved ones and other personal items surround the table. 
There are several areas where you'll be seeing "two" in this table setting: 2 cities, 2 sets of flowers, 2 candlesticks, 2 hearts , 2 iconic miniatures items, 2 frames, 2 lovebirds, etc. 

Gold signifies the solidity of a relationship and by complementing it with red, which  signifies boldness of passion, the table setting makes a statement of pure love. 

The LOVE boxes (which were used on Valentine's Day 2 as a cookie plate for the cookies)  were a candy box from previous year.  These are now filled with some sentimental little things to be opened over the course of the dinner as a conversational piece. 

I've added the album of our romantic trips to set the mood and a starting conversational piece and I kept some of Valentine's Day 4 other memorabilia. 

I changed the frame of the Paris picture and added the heart ornament (from Valentine's Day 3) with the 2 lovebirds on the wine.   The French old wine was a wedding present from a dear friend, who was a wine connoisseur, who passed just several years after we got married.  We kept the wine unopened and  I'm displaying it as a reminder that life is precious and we need to cherish these moments.  

These trinkets were given as presents from loved ones.  They are now filled with chocolate candies.

The red flower vase is wrapped with curtain rope of gold and red and topped off with cloth miniature roses (excess roses used from a friend's wedding), two glittery hearts (from a floral arrangement I received) and two red silk roses. 

One of the tables in the room near the bookcase  is decorated in gold and red. The red candlestick holders are actually vases turned upside down.

Day 5 Valentine's Day Dinner - Dungeness Crab Cakes

There was a special sale on crab that enabled crab cakes for dinner!

 Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
 Sugar Cookies

 Chocolate Molten Lava Cake  (the piece de resistance).  What a better way to complete the week than this (oozing) rich velveteen chocolate cake!

 Sugar Cookies to cap the Valentine's week!

See also

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Tablescape - Day 4

So here's Day 4 of our 5 Days of Valentine's - somewhat like the 12 days of Christmas - with a different table setting design for each day.
Day 4:  Valentine Memories Theme Table
The table setting is more whimsical to show that love can be fun.  This setting recreates the feeling of excitement we experienced in some of the most romantic places we visited: London and Paris.

Ahhh, London and Paris - these cities exude love and romance in every aspect.  We love art and history and what better place to experience those passions than these two cities.

I used heights (boxes)  and texture (flowers, candies and memorabilia)  to showcase things about our trip and bring some European aspects to the table.

 I like buying little mementos (miniature versions) of the places we've visited.
Since I can't display every little memento purchased,  I decided to stick with one iconic item from each city: Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.

London, UK  is a dream come true for my husband since he's a Janeite (Jane Austen fan).  We enjoyed London's rich history and also its countryside.

To highlight London, I'm using the wooden carved word of "London" memento, an old glass frame that is trimmed with mirror and love words  (making a perfect picture frame for my picture of Big Ben) and a miniature Big Ben.

I fell in love with Paris for its art and its colorful history - but most of all for its bakeries. (You know where my priorities lie).   They make the BEST desserts ever! 

The white frame, has a Parisian ( "fleur") design which is a perfect frame for the picture I took of the Eiffel Tower.  I've added an old wine to complement what Paris is famous for as well - wines.

I'm re-using the versatile napkin holder (used on Valentine's Day 3) and white damask napkins to bring about the flowery pattern of the charger.  I also re-used the clear plate from Valentine's Day 3 to show the gilded flowers on the charger. It has a touch of gold and bronze, again very European

There are layers of boxes and chocolate pieces that reflect the abundance of sweetness surrounding the London and Paris signs.  Again, re-using  these heart shaped boxes from Valentine's Day 1.

To bring about the kid in us, a gigantic Kisses chocolate, sits atop a pink and red box. More kisses please...

There are 2 vases in the background: one with two red roses and one with pink roses. I've also added the candied marshmallow rose from Valentine's Day 3.  In the middle of the two vases stands a little pot painted with chocolate color, glued candies and fake strawberries surrounding the pot.  

At a glance, this brings back memories of our trip.
The gold box contains European Chocolate candies to be shared during dessert.

Day 4 Valentine's Day  Dinner - Chicken Cordon Bleu (a little French infusion)


Strawberry Pie (an American touch) 
My husband loves pies  and I always try to use his (favorite) paternal grandmother's recipe whenever I can.

 See also

 Valentine Tablescape - Day 1, Day 2,  & Day 3

Shopper's Corner:
TJ Maxx - picture frames
Anna's Linens - gold chargers

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day tablescape - Day 3

So here's Day 3 of our 5 Days of Valentine's - somewhat like the 12 days of Christmas - with a different table setting design for each day.

Day 3:  Red and White Theme
I want the 3rd day to feel like it's the start of a more serious relationship.  I wanted to make it look a little formal by adding a deeper red into the scheme. I've changed the plain cotton white tablecloth into the silkier damask (that I use during the holidays) to bring out the patterned red cloth.

 The red cloth was purchased from a fabric store at a discount during previous holidays.

 The centerpiece of Valentine's Day 2 was kept. 

The centerpiece is surrounded by red boxes and filled with a little trinket to be exchanged during dinner.

I wanted to keep the idea of the woman still being wooed with flowers and candies.

This time the plate has a clear shade to show the deep red of the charger. What better combination of sweet and flowery than a marshmallow candied rose as a napkin holder.   

The vase from Valentine's Day 2 will also be used as a tray for the red velvet cake dessert.

I used a white patterned tablecloth to accentuate the redness of the table.  


Day 3 Valentine's Day  Dinner - Pork chops stewed in Mango nectar

I meant to use Guava nectar for its pinkness but the only thing I had was Mango nectar. Fortunately, it turned out just as well (except for the color theme violation!)

Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing.

See also

Shopper's Corner:
Jo-Ann's Craft Store - red tablecloth
Burlington Coat Factory - white tablecloth

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Tablescape - Day 2

So here's Day 2 of our 5 Days of Valentine's - somewhat like the 12 days of Christmas - with a different table setting design for each day. 

 I use symbolism a lot when I create a decor, and I'll mention how I did that as well. Over the years, I 've accumulated several trinkets and boxes that I have an affinity for and reuse for different events. I love to decorate but I don't want to spend a great deal on decor alone. Since I've created a budget to adhere to, I like going to discount stores to embellish what I want to design without breaking my monthly budget.

Day 2:  Red and Pink Theme
Here, I'm showing the progression of colors and items to show the boldness and range of emotions deepening. The red is more pronounced. 

Since I had extra napkins from Valentine's Day 1, I'm using them again by using a different holder.
 I wanted to make a bolder statement by emphasizing the bigger heart on the
plate. You know what they say "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach"! The heart shaped foam is painted in pink and dipped in pink and clear glitters.

To add a shimmering glow, I've added three crystal candlesticks (symbolizing the words "I LOVE YOU") - creating a romantic ambience.

A heart shaped glass ornament with 2 doves kissing was purchased from a  Consignment store for less than $3.  I bought it years ago because I love the intricacies of the glass and the affordability.  I used it to top the box and denote lovebirds being surrounded by light and beauty.  The centerpiece is a gift box from a department store and embellished with velveteen cloth and red silk flowers on top. The flowers' tips are dipped in clear glitters.

The heart shaped box next to it is from a dollar store and has been embellished  with two hearts.

This vase was recycled from Valentine's Day 1 and has now been  decorated with red hearts.  This has become a centerpiece for the corner table where the food will be served. Silk roses were used  again but the greenery is from a house plant; the tip  was cut into a heart shape.


Day 2 Valentine's Dinner is heartier - Meatloaf with artichokes mixed in. (Sounds weird, but it makes it really moist!) 

We like eating our meatloaf with rice.  The rice is formed from a heart shape pan.

I've highlighted some of the windowsills with the pink flowers (from Valentine's Day 1) .

Cranberry Cheesecake Bar
Layered Oreo Cookie bar

To highlight the pinkness of the theme, I made this Cranberry Cheesecake bars.  This has white chocolate and oatmeal (as if this will make it any healthier!) and is a great way to end the meal. 

I wanted something to contrast with the pink when  I found I had a lot of white chocolate chips, red m&m's candies and oreo cookies.  Hence,  a new creation of  layered bar oreo cookies with coconuts, nuts, white chocolate and M&M's.