April 17th, 2009 |
Incorporate Spring’s fresh vegetables into your next centerpiece….here are easy-to-follow instructions from Epicurious on how to create a spectacular floral arrangement:
Step 1: Gather your materials
Materials needed:2 cube glass vases, one large (6″) and one small (4″); 1 small square of floral clay; 4″-square flower frog; 5 floral stakes; 2 bunches peonies (approximately 10 stems) in two shades of pink; 1 bunch of lilacs; 1 bunch of miniature kale; 2 bunches of thin asparagus; 5 baby artichokes; 2′ pink and green ribbon
Equipment needed: cutting board; pruning shears; scissors; ruler; awl; chef’s knife; double-sided tape
Step 2: Place the floral clay in the center of the larger vase and the smaller vase on top of the clay. Asparagus stalks should be cut to approximately 5″ before being placed in between the two vases. Use a pick or skewer to scoot them closer together. Add water to the outer vase so all stalks are covered by at least 1″.
Step 3: The flower frog—a heavy piece of lead with small spikes that sits at the bottom of the vase and holds the flowers in place—should be placed inside the smaller vase.
Step 4: Cut off the stems of the artichokes. Push floral stakes deep into artichoke centers so their weight will be fully supported. If the artichokes are very hard, make an initial hole using the awl.
Step 5: Fill the smaller vase halfway with water (2″). Cut peonies, lilacs, and kale to 8″ to 10″ and slot them randomly into the flower frog so they stay in place—longer stems should be in the middle so they stick up, shorter stems on the sides so they curl under.
Step 6: Artichoke stakes should be cut to 9″ or 10½” and inserted so they sit higher than the flowers. The arrangement should look very full.
Step 7: Choose a ribbon that pulls together the colors used. Attach double-sided tape to the back on both sides and wrap around the square vase, ensuring it is centered before affixing.
April 16th, 2009 |
Candy buffets have been popping up at weddings for a while now – but why not take the concept and present a candy buffet at your next birthday party, shower or dinner party? Not only is it a fun, colorful display of sugar….but it’s an activity for your guests….and a great favor for them to bring home!
Amy Atlas is the guru of candy buffets – if you haven’t done so already, you should check out her website – it’s amazing eye candy!
Use a color scheme that matches your party theme: Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established can enhance your candy table’s presence, and bring cohesion to your entire party.
Create depth and height in your display: with simple boxes or even phone books, you can sculpt a beautiful landscape on your table. You can wrap the boxes in patterned paper, or even leave them bare and covered with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing cascade. Use cake plates and candy dishes of varying height (you could even spray paint them a pop color to match your party theme).
Take advantage of your centerpieces: whether they be flowers or candles, using an extra centerpiece or two will not only tie into the rest of your party theme, but it can also add life and freshness to your candy table.
Don’t be afraid to use trimmings: details like colored linens, ribbons, tassels, and paper can add nice touches to your overall presentation.
Color is key: using a specific color scheme can really make your table pop. Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant. Make sure to consider different hues and shades – for example, if your colors are green and blue, don’t be afraid of using different shades of greens and yellows. If using primarily dark colors, try to choose a lighter shade to bring energy to your table.
Don’t buy too much! It’s easy to worry about not having enough for everyone, but if you’re serving a meal, guests probably won’t be stuffing themselves with a ton of sugar. A small portion of ½ cup (4 oz) or less is a good estimate per person. If you want to buy in bulk for a visual effect, save large containers for popular candies so you won’t have too many leftovers.
Containers and Supplies
More than jars: apothecary jars and glass vases tend to be the easiest to find, but don’t miss out on other shapes and sizes you can find anywhere. Vases are inexpensive easy to find. If you’re going for opaque containers, small baskets can give a rustic vibe, and candy dishes can be very graceful. Definitely use cake stands, flat platters, and other serving ware to give your guests a variety of ways to choose their sweets!
Scoops and things: when choosing containers, make sure you keep in mind how your guests are going to get the candy out! Scoops, tongs, and other serving ware should be small enough to get the goods!
Individual containers: if your table is set up as a DIY favor station, little bags or mini boxes can be great take-homes. Dress them up with a personalized label and ribbon and your guests have a tasty treat to take home.
Containers and things
April 15th, 2009 |
No party is complete without a signature cocktail. Instead of having a full bar set up at your next event, try choosing one or two cocktails to serve. Not only is it more cost effective, but with the right styling, it will appear far more creative!
Everyone needs a few new recipes to spice up their repertoire this season….here are a few new ones that are sure to become instant favorites at your Spring events!
April 15th, 2009 |
Every now and then, you may have to host a meeting in your home….PTA board, a charity organization, a meeting with a client. Obviously creating a welcoming space with plenty of seating room is most important – but having a light lunch and a couple pitchers of lemonade readily available will be much appreciated by your guests.
I love this idea for setting up a salad bar…..it’s a modern take on an old idea. Find glass containers of different size and height, and fill them with your salad ingredients….lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, fruit and either chicken or grilled shrimp (yum!). Your guests will not only love their lunch, but will love how colorful and fresh your table looks. This concept would also be great for a bridal or baby shower – perfect for a group of ladies!
Take your hospitality to the next level – provide a container of pens, and a stack of journals for your guests to take notes with during the meeting.
April 15th, 2009 |
I love these exquisite hand blown glass tealight holders, designed by Marie Olofsson for Sagaform. This unique Swedish designed votive will add a warm glow to any room or outdoor table setting. The simple, modern design is made from two pieces of glass. Lift the top, place in a votive candle, cover and it gives the illusion that the candle is floating in water. Available in two sizes, and three lustrous color combinations…..these would be a beautiful accessory to any table!
Available at Open Room Furniture (image via pointclickhome.com)
April 14th, 2009 |
Looking for a quick, but delicious dinner to serve at your next dinner party?!
As the days get longer this Spring, you will find that your life gets busier! More activities, the kid’s sports start up….your evenings may be getting longer, but you feel like there is less time to entertain. With a little prep work, and a simple menu and table setting….you can still play the part of soccer mom and hostess with the mostess!
Here is a great menu (perfect for Spring!) to try at your next party:
April 14th, 2009 |
I love, love, love this week’s Napkin of the Week. Found in one of my favorite party planning books, Napkins with a Twist, this napkin would bring springtime cheer to any table. You could really adapt this idea to any color palette or use different types of flowers. I think this particular combination is so striking because of the use of one color, just different hues.
Solid color napkins are readily available – I found a few at Pottery Barn and Amazon.com. The construction of this is simple – simply lay the napkin out in a flat square, pinch the center of the napkin and pull up. Gather together about 3 inches down from the top of the point, and tie with a ribbon. After you tie your bow, insert a flower. Voila!
April 13th, 2009 |
Before I show you today’s Wedding inspiration board, I thought I would show you a recap of the Spring 2010 Bridal Fashion Week that just took place in New York. Beautiful gowns….for a complete gallery of images, check out Martha Stewart Weddings or The Knot….but these are a few of my favorites!
There is just something magical about your wedding gown. Nothing can make you feel quite as special or beautiful. I loved my gown….in fact, I think the ONLY part of my entire wedding that made me sad was the fact that I will never wear it again. It’s hanging in a closet at my parent’s house. I visit it occassionally….even contemplate putting it on again! I often joke around with my husband that some day he will come home from work, and I’ll be sitting in the living room watching TV in my gown….I think he realizes that I am only half kidding….
April 13th, 2009 |
There are so many options when it comes to planning a wedding with a black & white color palette….an elegant black tie affair, a modern event in a lounge with all white furniture….or you could go this route:
Clean polka dots and stripes, happy flowers and a ruffle here or there – creates a modern, somewhat preppy event.
The gerber daisy centerpiece is an idea that you could do for any special occassion – and would be darling in any color.
Images: couple watching fireworks, gerber daisy centerpiece and favor boxes (brides.com),
ruffled wedding gown (jcrew.com), wedding cake (instyleweddings.com),