Magazine article Sunset

Tableaux

Magazine article Sunset

Tableaux

Article excerpt

Quick-change table trimmings set the scene for Christmas and New Year's

Can't decide on silver or gold this season? You can have it both ways by pulling a few simple switches. China and crystal at these festive tables remain basically the same, but the table cloth, napkins, and seasonal fruits change to produce two different looks. The richness of a tablecloth, ribbons, and napkins touched with gold, teamed with ruby red pears and pomegranates, strikes a Yuletide note (at right; see page 90 for directions). Replace the red fruit with green, add a few silver balls, substitute silvery linens, and your holiday table is set for a New Year's party (see pages 90 and 91).

Our tablescapes, created at the home of Palo Alto interior designer Suzanne Mann-Moore, are made on glass cake stands set on a silver tray, one stand slightly smaller than the other to create a tiered effect like a wedding cake. The New Year's setting has an additional tier - a small silver dish topped with a decorative green pear and frosted grapes.

HOW TO CREATE THE HOLIDAY TABLES

Follow the instructions below to decorate the fruit. Arrange it on the cake stands, alternating frosted, glazed, decorated, and plain fruit with sparkling ornamental balls. Weave ribbon (about 3 yards) loosely into the arrangement. Use pomegranates or small green apples to hold the place cards.

COST: Approximately $35 for each table

GOLD-TRIMMED APPLES OR PEARS

TIME: 20 minutes

MATERIALS

* 3 1/2 yards 1/8-inch gold braid or ribbon

* Five large red apples or pears

* One pack antique gold upholstery pins, available from craft and fabric stores

Cut a 22-inch piece of gold braid. Pin one end about 1/4 inch to the left of the fruit's stem. Run braid diagonally across the fruit, under the base, and up the other side to the top. Pin braid about 1/4 inch to the right of the stem. Run braid diagonally back down front of fruit (crossing first section), under base, and up to top. Push a pin into each intersection of braid. If desired, tie wire-edged gold ribbon around the stem. Repeat with remaining fruit.

PEARS WITH SILVER STEMS

TIME: 20 minutes

MATERIALS

* 8 yards metallic silver cording

* Six large green pears

* Pins

Cut a 48-inch piece of cording. Pin one end of cording to the base of the stem. Wind the cording twice around the stem, then down the length of the pear, looping it under the base, and up the other side. Wind once around the stem and pin at the base and top. Repeat the process to divide the pear into eighths, securing cording with pins where necessary. Twist cording to cover most of the stem before completing the final loop, then run it down the side of the pear, tucking the end out of sight in the base with a pin. Repeat with remaining fruit.

APPLE SPIRAL

TIME: 15 minutes

MATERIALS

* 8 yards metallic silver cording

* Eight small green apples

* Pins

Cut a 33-inch piece of silver cording. Push one end deep into the apple at the base of the stem. Secure with a pin. Carefully wind cording around the apple in a spiral, working from top to bottom, pinning in place at regular intervals. Tuck end out of sight in the base with a pin. Repeat with remaining fruit.

GLAZED FRUIT

TIME: 30 minutes

MATERIALS

* 4 1/2 cups sugar

* 2 cups light corn syrup

* Dash of salt

* 16 crabapples, small Lady apples, or small red pears

In a 3-quart pan, stir together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1 cup water. …

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