Tag Archives: elegant decor

Blitheful Birthday: Tea Anyone?

24 May

With an endless array of simply stunning tea party inspiration on the web, it’s so easy to spray out in a hundred directions. My greatest hurdle for this next event wasn’t deciding on the food, venue or guest list but rather in trying to reign myself in to create a cohesive design. Originally, I had every intention of creating a romantic but modern Georgia peach-ish gala. So I sent out this invitation using Pingg

I happen to favor tone on tone or working with hues and my hubby N was nudging me to play outside my comfort zone and I somehow ended up with something completely different when I got home from the fabric store…

While my super helpful MIL and great friend Lena were finding me teacups, N and I spent a full day browsing this awesome antique store to find the last six, which would later serve double duty as presents to mom. I picked up some ribbon, fake jewelry, mini topiary trees and boxes from Michael’s and the Dollar Tree. The rest of the decor, I found around mom’s house.

My MIL also went on a mad mission to find authentic scones and she seriously scored. These were so delicious!

And check out these adorable petit fours.

This whimsical cake creation was very yummy too

We made some tea sandwiches using a Martha Stewart Recipe and then just improvised the rest with our own recipes;

We also served some “spa water,”   to go with all that tea.

The pièce de résistance was this amazing hat from Nordstrom. On the day of the party, N, my dad and I presented her with the hat and told her to go get pretty so we could setup.

I had so much fun playing with all this color and I think it the mix of bold vibrant colors in her serene garden was really stunning. I hope you enjoy!

Advertisements

Sweetheart Sundaes

10 Feb

Who says a dessert bar should be for a crowd? I say it’s the perfect, unique opportunity for you and your V-Day buddy to indulge in this seriously sweet sundae bar created by Eat Drink Chic

Not only does the site provide some (potentially sticky – in a good way) vintage dessert inspiration for V-Day, they even offer template downloads for all the labels and signs. This way you can spend less time fussing over the fonts and format and spend more time

a) finding the perfect toppings

b) browsing Amy Atlas Event

Atlas is undoubtedly the creator of the most stunning dessert bars ever! Just look at this perfected showstopper;

I didn’t even realize just how much I loved her designs until I popped over to her website and found tons of dessert buffets I’ve ogled in the past without realizing they all originated in the same great mind.

Winter Whimsy; A Tablescape Challenge

2 Jan

This last year has been a lesson in evoking joy amidst dearth, a course in moderation. I’d always understood moderation as a lack, a void in place of what should be. The glass is half empty mentality prevailed in the face of the daily barrage of what we have all had to adjust to; the recession, job losses, tight budgets, cuts and, in some cases, losing it all. Though I’m not exactly an optimist exemplar, décor has acted as an outlet of cheer for me.  I’ve injected joy into my life through tablescapes, cookies, parties and décor, hoping for temporary relief and the anticipation of future pleasures. What I’ve imparted from the year is this; Creativity burgeons, especially where there is lack, even on the most austere canvas.

All the pretty snowflakes:

Very budget friendly, a little time consuming. Especially if you need to make around twenty to decorate the perimeter of a room. If you have fingers, paper, tape and a stapler, you can make these.

3-D Paper Snowflake

We needed to sit around twenty-six people, so we decided to have one long table. Instead of decorating them all the same, I created three different themes. Here’s the first:

N said this lotus napkin fold looks like little mistletoe.

I made the little Christmas trees using card stock, stick-on jewels and Martha’s tutorial.

This mini-vase is an ornament with the top removed. I stuffed it with a few branches of holly and a little pine. A sheer red ribbon hid the rough edges of the opening in the ornament. The base is a napkin ring.

The second table is much less traditional than the first. You’ll see I used the little ornament vases for continuity throughout the tablescapes and it really tied them in together despite how different they were.

For this napkin bow, I just tucked the ends of the napkin into the napkin ring.

This time, the bases for the holly arrangements are candle holders.

Martini glasses filled with ornament balls were extraordinarily easy to make and added a little flirty fun to the setting.

The last table could really double as a New Year’s Eve setup.

For the napkins on this table I used a French napkin fold topped with an inexpensive ornament from Michael’s.

The containers flanking the vase are actually ornament boxes. Found objects around the house often provide me with unexpected inspiration.

For a finishing touch, I hung over-sized ornaments from the ceiling. It’s kind of difficult to tell from the picture how good they looked in person.

And finally, here’s our dessert bar:

Now – Bring on the New Year!

Design Candy: Fall Tablescape Inspirations

24 Nov

With Turkey Day just around the corner I’ve been scouring the web for some fresh Thanksgiving tablescape / table setting ideas. Some of what’s out there though just reminds me of dusty fake flowers and knick-knack overload so this search was actually a little harder than I thought it would be. Here’s what I did find and I’m loving all these fall table designs.

This design from Fine Living is elegant and inviting. I love that the table isn’t too cluttered or sparse.  The amber and earthy hues exude warmth while the green and red accents give just a hint of pop.

Painted pumpkins seem to be all the rage and this design from HGTV incorporates some delightfully unexpected elements like the white rose. I’m not too crazy about the place setting, but the centerpiece is really fun.

Here’s another table setting from HGTV that plays with a tone on tone theme. I’m not sure what the fluffy looking plant is but it softens the setting while making a big impact.

Few people’s names are as synonymous with household design as Martha Stewart and here are some of her takes on  Thanksgiving decor. Did you notice the salt and pepper holders!

This setting is really DIY friendly. The addition of the placemats takes a typical place setting from everyday chic to holiday status.

Celebrations at Home created this tablescape and while it’s more suited for a wedding than an at home celebration, many of the elements can be brought to a more casual level. The wood containers with amaranthus, flowers and candles would look stunning on their own.

Dwell Modern Tablescape created something totally unexpected and it works so well. I’m loving that they combined the painted pumpkins with decorative vases. The black and white patterns, surprisingly,  don’t overwhelm the eye and the allow the food to infuse color into the scene. And where did they get that little peacock? I want them!

And finally, after bearing through the really annoying ads on the site, I’m glad I found this  Epicurious Tablescape. The arrangement of pears, cranberries, acorns, figs and (I think) cookies remind me of a candy boutique and I just want to taste everything.

I’m not quite sure how we’ll be decorating our Thanksgiving table at my mom’s house this year, but I’ll be sure to post some pictures. Happy Gobble Day!

Tablescape for a Fabulous Fall Feast

10 Nov

Fall Dinner 040

Last Sunday we invited all the parents over for a thank you dinner. Each time we come up with a crazy party idea our parents go above and beyond in helping to decorate, cook and temper our last minute madness. The Creepy Carnival was no exception and we really wanted to thank them for all their hard work. The most difficult part was coming up with the menu. When you’ve got two old school mama chefs it can be a little intimidating for an amateur to impress them. I settled on a mix, Burberry Rice for the Persian side, a vegetarian spinach and mushroom quiche for the vegetarian and a lemon chicken for the boys. I got some of the recipes from one of my favorite sites, allrecipes.com Check them out if you haven’t already done so, they have a plethora of amazing dishes and a recipe for the best damn chocolate chip cookies in the world!

My mom and MIL brought some flowers,  two fall mix bouquets and fresh daisies frm my mama’s garden so I centered the table scheme around them.

I took apart the first bouquet to create a runner from the leaf stems. I’m a huge fan of tone on tone and I loved the red leaves in this arrangement.

Fall Dinner 002

Fall Dinner 024

Fall Dinner 027

Fall Dinner 015

The little red “berries” were also cut from the bouquet and I used them to embellish the serve ware. I wrapped brown ribbon around a white napkin, attached the “thank you” cutout, left over from a bridal shower earlier this year, and then slipped a leaf under it. I think the “berries” really completed the look. (I really have to take a floral arranging course so I can find out what all these gorgeous flowers and fillers are called!)

Fall Dinner 012

We also found some mini pumpkins, on sale from Halloween, for seventy-five cents a piece. I attached a thank you cutout to them, rubbed the tops with a little pearl powder and then arranged the squash and mini carnations around them.

Fall Dinner 022

Fall Dinner 023

These votive holders are actually napkin rings, I just slipped some tea lights  into them.

Fall Dinner 029

Fall Dinner 047

Here’s the Burberry Rice, a yummy mix of tart and sweet.

Fall Dinner 054

Thank you for visiting sentimental sublime and happy holidays to you and yours!

Creepy Carnival: The Party

10 Nov

Well, our party came and went. Why can’t we have more dress up holidays? I petition we adopt Carnivale too. I had a really great time with my amazing fam and some awesome friends. Here’s the last installment of our Creepy Carnival.

We hung our dolls and bears, from nooses, from the huge tree at the center of the space. My parent’s neighbor saw it before the party and he’s now convinced that we may have some deep seeded psychological issues. You start hanging mutilated dolls and stuffed animals from trees and suddenly you’re crazy. I don’t get it. ; ) We’d wrapped the tree in colored lights first and we have spotlights, installed long ago for party purposes, so the area isn’t too dark.

DSC_0029

Halloween 2009 046

Halloween 2009 054

Halloween 2009 052

No creepy carnival is complete without a strong man cutout and ours is the grotesque “Great  Fausto.” First we took an old piece of plywood and cut out a face hole with a jigsaw. We painted the board, let it dry and then sketched and filled in the figure. Here he is halfway done:DSC_0011

Once he had dried, my hubby sketched and cutout the “weights” for his barbell on thin wood with a jigsaw. Then we painted and attached them to the board with nails.

Halloween 2009 055

Halloween 2009 069

Halloween 2009 068

For the finishing touches, he painted on the border and sign. I think he came out really great.

Halloween 2009 066

DSC_0037

The carnival booths were a little tricky. They were constructed using two 8 ft. beams of scrap wood wood horizontally and three 6ft. beams vertically, to form a frame. Then we attached two 3 ft “legs” to prop up the frame and attached metal spikes to the 3ft. legs to secure into the ground. I forgot to take a picture pre-decoration, but I think it’s pretty obvious from the picture anyway. The tricky part was trying to attach the wood with screws. The wood was so thick that none of our drill bits could insert the screws. So first, we had to drill a hole and then insert the screw. So we sat there on the grass, with an extension cord and two drills, switching out the plugs each time, forgetting it to do it at other times wondering why the drill wouldn’t work. We were almost done with two of them when my dad walks up to us with a power strip in hand. Yeah. Can you hear the circus music? I think I was useless for a good five minutes from laughing so hard.

Once we assembled the booths, a little creaky and uneven, but erect, we had to decorate them. Our first idea was to staple butcher paper onto the fronts and paint that. So we attached the butcher paper and it looked horrible. Luckily we has some blingy red fabric and we attached that over the butcher paper. Unfortunately, the blingy fabric was see through and it still looked pretty bad. By this point, we were a little tired so we gave up for the day. The next day, I brought along some red fabric. We attached the solid red fabric (we used small nails and duct tape for that btw) and them draped the blingy fabric across it. Success!!! For a finishing touch, we installed multi-colored rope lights around the visible parts of the frame.

DSC_0034

Halloween 2009 061

We hung the prizes around the borders, set up the games behind them and we were the proud owners of carnival booths!

13955_1263617392572_1293840584_805978_1884192_n

We created a mini graveyard:

Halloween 2009 076

And here’s a last minute idea for holding the cotton candy and caramel corn. We took a long branch, creating a “tree” with a plastic pumpkin on top and then attached shorter branches using hemp rope. Clothes pins tied to rope and dangling from the “branches”  served as dispensers, I guess you could call them, for all the goodies.

Halloween 2009 082

Halloween 2009 083

The gift bags were filled with carnival tickets, to play games and for a raffle, beads, to hand out to the person with the best costume and glow-in the dark bracelets for fun. They could also be used to stash some candy to take home.

13955_1263616912560_1293840584_805966_3701210_n

I think my biggest disappointment was the dessert bar. I’d really wanted to create risers, but didn’t have the time, so I kind of scattered everything around last minute. The crows hanging out in the background are silhouettes made from black construction paper.  The jars (moved here because someone was looking at one) were my specimens from an earlier post. The tree in the middle was store bought (on sale, hee hee) years ago. I printed out pictures of circus “freaks,” two small copies of each, spread rubber cement on the back of one copy, placed a 6″ string of black yarn on it and then  placed the other copy over it, creating a double sided ornament. The looked pretty creepy hanging from the tree.

13955_1263616872559_1293840584_805965_7271203_n

Here’s a picture of our Grimsley. I think every single guest took a picture with him. 🙂

13955_1263616832558_1293840584_805964_3730193_n

We’d also hung streamers around the dessert bar and had over a hundred balloons hanging out all over the place, but, I forgot to take pictures…oops (I have to get better at that!)! There are a few more pics I need to yoink from friends to post and I’ll try to do that soon. Can’t wait for Halloween next year…

Seaside Party Inspiration Board

18 Sep

Here’s another inspiration board that I would seriously love to make a reality some day. Hope you enjoy!