We don't have a beautiful table at every meal at our house, as a matter of fact it might be said that it is rarely that I set the table with anything more than practicality in mind, because most of the time I am pretty tired out by the time dinner comes along and want only to get it taken care of quickly and easily. But with that in mind I will say that for the average birthday party, holiday party, or just a happy get together of any sort, I always enjoy making a pretty table; my Mom was the same way, and always sets the prettiest tables
I have developed a pattern that I adhere to when I am getting ready for company that has helped me not to stress out with excessive expectations that I have placed upon myself ( it is supposed to be a fun time after all, and guests don't enjoy themselves if their hostess is stressed out). I clean my house the day before, and cook what ever I can a day or two before, and then the night before or morning of, I set the table. I do this part before going forth with the final preparations, because I enjoy it and have learned to look at it as a creative moment rather than just another part of the work. All the while that I am doing these things I remind myself that this is the fun part, I don't need perfection and I won't rush about in irritation while doing it. If I find myself getting nerved out over the preparations, I remember to pray, and get back into the peace of the Lord. Then I enjoy my company and enjoy the creative part of the preparations.
One fun addition to a pretty table, is the napkin ring. To me they are a little like jewelry to a table and add adornment to the setting. So as a final part of the little "tea party set", I have made a few napkin rings. As I was making them I got a brainstorm for quite a few more ideas, so perhaps I'll post those in the future.
The napkins rings were easy to make; and can be simply done any which way, from a pretty ribbon tied around the napkin, to a curtain ring (pictured above), that was painted and little silk rose wrapped around it.
The jeweled napkin rings were made almost the same way I explained the jewelry, except in this case I used memory wire and decorative wrapping wire. These wires don't need to be crimped at the end. Instead, you merely twist the ends with the pliers. In the case of the smaller rings made from the decorative wire, measure 8 -9 inches, depending on your size preference, turn one end into a little ring. string beads on your wire. Slip final end into the loop that you twisted at the first, and twist another loop, and you are done. Enjoy the decorating.