Tag Archives: tablescape

May the Birthday Be With You

17 Aug

I rarely actually have the lavish budget or the extra hours during the week (or months, depending on the size of the event) to pull off a beautifully detailed, high maintenance gala. (Oh, what I’d give for a chance to do a no expense spared event…)

Sometimes though, it’s actually the last minute, pull a rabbit out of the hat, ideas that just execute so well. For N’s birthday, I really wanted to plan and design a fantasy Star Wars table setting. Unfortunately, due to (inset excuse here), I found myself scrambling the night before the party to figure out something, okay, anything. And that’s when I found these over at Toy-A-Day:

And Bingo!!!!!!

I googled Star Wars Paper Toys and came up with hordes of sites that feature Star Wars paper craft, from origami Yoda to intricate Death Star models. Since it was already pretty late in the game, I settled on the easiest ones I could find.

We’d decided on a brunch and to make things really easy (read; to give the hostess a chance to enjoy some yummy mimosas) we set up a waffle bar along with fried chicken, french toast, muffins, bacon, fresh fruit and coffee.

For the tablescape, I simply covered the table with “space” (as in outer) pattern fabric we had left over from a previous Halloween party and scrunched up yellow fabric to use as a runner using fabric left over from my mom’s birthday tea.  Some free form folded white paper napkins resembling little spaceships / airplanes added a little something different and something to safely throw at certain people 😉 Then I arranged the little paper cutouts my Mom and I had cut and taped the night before all around the table.

For the centerpiece, I took a cactus in a little terracotta pot and arranged some flowers around it to cover any exposed dirt. Then I wrapped the pot in the same fabric as the tablecloth and set a big round vase over the whole thing to try to give it more of an out-of-this-world feel. As you’ll see, the fabric kind of got away from me, oops…

If I had had more time and resources, I’m sure it could have been much more impressive, but, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked with the results. And the food – well, I think a picture of my plate will say it all 🙂

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!

All the Pretty Fruit; Unique Edible Centerpieces

27 Feb

Creating over the top fruit displays has been a Persian staple for centuries. N always jokes that he has no idea how any of us ever eat a meal as we tend to graze on fruit, nuts and tea all day.  Which is true, at my parent’s home anyway.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the edible creations fruit baskets, they’re just not my cup of tea. I don’t think I’d ever seriously consider one as an edible centerpiece for anything other than a kid’s birthday or casual get together.

Then came this e-mail, courtesy of mom. I’m not really sure about the origins (the website embedded into the pictures doesn’t seem to exist) but some of them are seriously pretty! Enjoy.

I had to include the over-the-top one 🙂

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!

Found Objects Thanksgiving Decor

27 Nov

After having decorated for the Thank You Dinner for our parents, I decided I wanted to do another table setting using a bouquet of flowers and found objects around the house. Thanksgiving at my mom’s house this year presented a perfect opportunity to do so and here’s what my sister and I came up with.

We really wanted to create a mix of modern and traditional so we re-purposed these decorative vases. We took apart the bouquet and cut some stems from her pomegranate tree to fill them. Instead of using a runner, we arranged the eucalyptus and sunflowers around the centerpiece. I wasn’t too sure about the satin red table cover, but it’s what we had and I thought it would work much better than white. I’m also learning that what may begin to look cluttered in person translates very differently in photos. I think I need to start adding more elements to the table to keep it from looking sparse.

For the place settings we just folded napkin pockets and then tied raffia in a bow. Some daisies from mom’s garden complemented the yellow sunflowers.

My hubby N took this shot and I really like this angle.

We decided to create a buffet and using material from my wedding and household objects (a pot, ice bucket, bowl and box) to create height. Then we went around the house looking for decorative pieces. I really love how it all came together and the lighting in this pic is really stunning.

Here’s a close-up of the super yummy turkey and lamb mom made.

After dinner, I rearranged the centerpiece in a corner for mom.

And finally, my cherry blueberry pie from All Recipes and Green Beans from Food Network.  Although most of the food was mowed, we still have leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce so I can make a yummy sandwich for lunch today. Happy Turkey Day everybody!

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

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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

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

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

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