My husband and I enjoy the company of a group of friends that celebrate the birthdays of each participant.  We’ve actually devised a way to do this so that it averages that one couple hosts a dinner each year.  We pull names from a hat at our annual ‘Caroling in December’ to determine who will host each birthday.  There are 5 couples and we pair birthdays that occur in the same month.  This year I selected the name of one of the most talented ladies in our circle.  This amazing woman entertains using original ideas and themes that impress all of us.  I had my work cut out for me, a self-imposed pressure.

The runner has violets similar to the china pattern and I was able to find pressed violets at Paper Source for the place cards.

Fortunately, I had just inherited my grandmother’s china, a pattern that set the theme for me.  Since my friend’s birthday is in the month of May the dishes, having a violet pattern, were ideal for the month.

I had such fun selecting paper to create invitations and name cards from Paper Source.  If you haven’t heard of this store you might enjoy visiting their website.  The website provides great ideas and inspiration for creating your own invitations and stationery.  I purchased some pressed violets that I used for the invitations, keeping with my violet theme, along with card stock in the green that is on the china.

I found a fabric that had violets, a dear friend volunteered to make the runner {thank you, Gretchen}.  Then for a center piece I used the white planter you see in the pictures.  Planting with maidenhair fern, African violets and violas completed the look.

Everything came together and the dinner was fun and delicious.  As the hostess I was responsible for the main course and others in our group brought the appetizer, salad and dessert.  This is a great way to entertain and it certainly makes the process a lot easier.