Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Great Historic Places to See: 150 Years of Place Settings in the United States" Created by Eda Bierman & Maura Graber

These historically accurate place settings from 1855 to 2005, along with their accompanying stories and menus, were created by me & theme event designer, Eda Bierman. The nine "Great Historic Places to See" were shown at the 2006 "Designs for Dining" fundraiser, held yearly in Palos Verdes Estates.  You can click on any photo to zoom in to get a better look at the menus and cards.

1910's setting (above) was my favorite. Photos shown here were taken at various times throughout the day.  Though we tried to keep them from doing so, some attendees picked up a few of the cards to get a closer look, or moved pieces of the flatware after checking to see who the maker was, and for that reason not all of the setting's pieces are exactly where they should be in the photos.

That's Eda Bierman on the left & I am peeking over her shoulder, as attendees view the settings and read the menus & story cards

1855's Setting

1875's Setting

1910's Setting

1925's Setting

1940's Setting

1955's Setting

1970's Setting

1995's Setting

2005's Setting

Richly Hued Table Settings from Candace Mayeron

Mexican Flavored Cinco de Mayo table setting details by Candace Mayeron
Candace Mayeron (above) re-created her table in 2010 for a photo shoot
Valentine place setting details in setting by Candace Mayeron
A Valentine themed table from Candace Mayeron (shown standing), set for the 2010 Designs for Dining Estates St. Francis Outreach Scholarship Fund event in Palos Verdes

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holiday Settings by Eda Bierman and Candace Mayeron

  The fan with its silk cord is a wonderful napkin holder & party favor on Eda Bierman's inspired festive Asian settings.
After about 10 years, I left all judging and sponsoring behind me at the fair. The tablescaping event had lost its appeal and luster, not to mention the air conditioned and spacious building it had been housed in for so many years prior. I judged foods, clothing and several other assorted things as well, but my heart was with the tables.

 Candace Mayeron makes a gorgeous setting for a Thanksgiving table!
These beautiful and creative settings are from two competitors I met while I was taking some photos on the last day, of the last fair I had judged for and sponsored. I had never met any of the competitors from fairs prior, though I had some email correspondence with a few of them or phone calls due to judging and scoring questions.  I had just judged cheesecakes and was leaving that hot afternoon when I stopped to get some last photos. 
Another Asian inspired setting by Eda Bierman


Figuring I would not run into any of the people who had set tables (they would be taking them down at 11:00 that night, & this was still early in the afternoon) I felt I was safely avoiding running into anyone who wanted to take me to task on the judging of the tables. A woman approached and asked me if I was a reporter. I explained that I was not, and told her who I was with regard to the tables. I was busted! She immediately said she had entered one of the Thanksgiving tables and that her friend had done an Asian table.  

Candace Mayeron at the table she recreated for me
Introductions were made all around and we got into a discussion of the event.  It was their first time entering and they wanted me to know about a fundraiser they participated in yearly in Palos Verdes Estates.(More on that event in the next few days) We exchanged email addresses and business cards and I went on my way. 
Eda Bierman's Chanukkah table
Over the years I have had the opportunity to get to know these two very creative women through the Palos Verdes events and I will be posting some videos for you to see how easily these tables can be done.  For now, here are some more photos of award winning tablescapes and the place settings for them, that Eda Beirman & Candace Mayeron created.
Candace Mayeron' created this table for the fair.  This was done without the first course in stemware, as shown in the earlier photos, so no stemware would be required on the plate, nor would the spoon to the right of the knife be necessary.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More "Theme" Tables for Dining Fun

I loved this particular table because of the rich colors.  The theme was "Storybook" and the book chosen was "Arabian Nights"Below is another view of the table.
Here is another look at the "Chicago" table, made to look like a speakeasy booth.The following photos are all of the little details that made this dining-table-as-art exceptional.  It took the "Best of Show" that particular year.
Normally a tablescaping design should not require a hand gun, but this & the purse, along with the lipstick and "to do" list, was a wonderful and humorous touch!
Sadly, this romantic "table" themed as a breakfast in bed, had to be disqualified.  I had the unfortunate task (as usual) of calling the artist who had designed it.  I loved it, and felt it was acceptable, but was overruled by the department head.  Another view is below.

More storybook themed tables from years prior...
"The Secret Garden" tea table.  One interpretation is the purple and green floral table above and another interpretation is below.

Tea tables were always very pretty, but themed tables for "Rock 'n Roll" or the Harley Davidson 50th Anniversary always brought out some fantastic work, such as those tables shown below.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Correct Table Setting & Artistic Themed Tables

Here are more photos of some very memorable tables.  Most of these won top awards at the L.A. County Fair Tablescaping Competition, or were tables I found truly unique.  The first is a setting that shows correct placement of flatware for a formal meal.  This table was a bit busy, but all of the elements worked well to create a beautiful table.  The first photo is of the setting, the second photo is of the stemware.

If there is no food on the menu requiring a spoon, no spoon goes to the right of the knife at the setting for a formal meal. The small spoon above the plate is for dessert. Napkins are always best on the plate.  People then have to put them on their laps in order to allow food to be placed on the plates.  Napkins left under forks or other flatware leaves your dining companions to either have to use utensils or remove the utensils, 
to then place the napkins in their laps.

One of my favorite tables the final year I co-sponsored and judged at the fair, this "Out of Africa" table was outstanding.  All elements created an incredible table that we wanted to sit down and eat at.  Following are more photos from the "African Safari" themed tables.

Another fantastic arrangement was this "African Photographic Safari" table, with a National Geographic flavor.   So many wonderful things to look at! 

Below is the setting from another of the Safari tables.  This is a simple setting, yet the foliage and flowers and the stuffed primate "focal point" in the back, made this a memorable table for me.

Check back as I will be posting more photos in the next few days....