Monday, November 14, 2022

How to Craft, Create & Curate a Sustainable, Holiday Tablescape

More than just a pretty table setting, I just love to delight my family and guests with a bit of fantasy with every tablescape design.

I dreamed this Tablescape to mark our own version of a “green zone” (smile) in order to bring attention to the increasing extreme weather events we’re all witnessing or experiencing, repurposing table styling accessories that I already owned ~ very sustainable (and budget friendly), while also honoring the work of a world-class atmospheric scientist luncheon guest.

A too-tall order to trick ~ And ~ to Treat? 

And what does a climate chaos chronicle and a pretty, seasonal tablescape theme share? 


Nature will nurture us. If we respect her…

For the table design, I had to combine two themes.

I feel that to make things less scary, we just need to know what’s at stake, more understandable.

And yet, to make a spooky, Halloween and Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, more scary,

I had to creatively merge these two design concepts.

An artful celebration of autumn, of course, includes nature’s familiar harvest and holiday items, including colorful leaves, gourds, pumpkins, along with the items that have come to represent how the living and dead reunite, such as candles, skeletons, and skulls. 

For the climate elements, I searched for totemic items that call to mind weather especially, including barometers, and clouds or fog. 

The  Venn Diagram where these relationships visually overlap is the scary, spooky theme!


So then, curating and crafting the elements then became a rather simple and natural tablesetting.

I layered in pumpkin-colored tablecloths using one I had and topped it with some of the left-over silk dupioni from our garden room drapes, and added the glittering mesh “ribbons” that also balance a kind of elegant harvest look.

I used the collection of bats, skulls, rolling eyeball rings and eyeball flowers that would make Morticia Adams the hostess with the mostest, as well as a Dia de Muertos couple statue that was gifted to me by a special amiga who hails from Acapulco;  Edgar Allan Poe crows, and “Help Me,” typewriters, “Hear No Evil/See No Evil” skeletons, (See how perfectly these work with the climate theme!). 

I had the globe “planets” from a previous tablescape and they worked here to amplify the escalating, planetary challenges inherent in addressing climate chaos! 


As you’ll see, there are other, delightful, artful accessories: faux “box” balls that hold tea lights, glass pumpkins, and stands of various heights that lend drama and visual interest.  And hour glasses (because “time is running out!”)

I have to point out one very, very special accessory: I’ve had this celestial guide since my beloved father, George, purchased it for me when, as a child, he took me to the Hayden Planetarium.  I still use it; it sits atop my desk, peering back at the skyline. 

I used my gold-toned Granada Stangl dishes that were not only made locally, they are vintage plates originally crafted in the Garden State from its good, organic soils. 

I used our Waterford wine classes; pumpkin-colored, cloth napkins that matched the bottom tablecloth, and straw ties around the napkins. Later, I tied in the copper-colored cutlery, too. It is a nice, neat, touch that embraces the holiday, harvest look yet is elegant. 

Having all these design elements underscored the sustainability effort. 

The newly purchased climate items were not only fun for me and Bill to find, but are so beautiful!  

I adore the small glass barometers that I filled with colored water.  

Why didn’t we have these as decor previously?  They are so pretty. And functional. 

The dial barometer has such solid integrity and will be a wonderful home decor item long after the tablescape is retired.

The pièce de résistance was the smoke!  

I tried to figure out how to create clouds or fog using dry ice like I’ve used in the past to spark up a Halloween punch bowl spooky look. But it just couldn’t work here, for a number of reasons…

I saw kits with smoke but either they were too expensive, cheesy or a combination of no-go’s.

When I saw a kind of sample in a party store, I got the idea to purchase just the smoke element. 

Bingo!  Bill found two online and we were in business.

As the basin for the fog and clouds, we repurposed the aluminum serving  bowl we use for under the iced oyster serving piece.

It was a winning, terrific set up.   Please enjoy this video tour:

My guest, Sandra Yuter, the atmospheric scientist, loved it. 

So did my mother. (smile) 

Stay tuned for the feature post about my inspiring, compelling, Ladies Who Lunch Conversation with Sandra.

We listened and watched COP27 while dining and remain hopeful...  

We can do this. 

Nature can save us; if we can respect her…

I hope this illusion of a spooky holiday and a chastened vision of our planet ~ a battle to nurture our world ~ inspires you to create a table design that is fun, pretty, elegant, and topical. 

So glamorous. 

Please enjoy this video tour ~ a double feature in this spooky Post!




  1. The table is wonderful. The info unbelievable. Gives many ideas to all of us. Thanks.

    1. Ahhh, thank you so much for your kind words and supportive feedback. It is most appreciated. I'm so glad the looks and the design concept inspired you. I admit, It's a different approach to design a pretty table with such dramatic ~ and seemingly disparate themes of Halloween, Dia de Muertes, and Climate! But it turned out to be fun and pretty. Thank you, again.

  2. Incredibly beautiful art.

    1. I very much respect how you characterize it as art. I'm swooning :) Thank you. Please continue to enjoy...I very much appreciate your kind feedback. Cheers.