Wednesday, 21 August 2013

crayfish party

We had a small crayfish party the other week, a sort of late birthday celebration with parts of my family, and it was a truly magnificent night. The food was great (when is seafood not), and we had lots of fun. It was a great, long night that I didn't want to end.

We weren't sure about the weather, but still wanted to sit outside, so we transformed our carport into a party venue by setting a nice table, stringing lights and putting up lamps, and using a tarp as a tent wall of sorts. The string lights and tarp doesn't show in the photos here, but they went around the two free sides of the carport. We made it through dinner and a few games in the garden before the rain and thunder came, but after that it was lovely to sit under a roof and cuddle up with blankets and candles during the rest of the night.

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A plastic table cloth was a must. With crayfish as the main part of dinner, white linens wouldn't exactly cut it. Similarly, plenty of paper napkins make for an integral part. But other than that, I don't see why real white china and glassware can't be used. Eating off paper and plastic doesn't really rock my boat. Heck, we even moved our dining room furniture out there!

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I put a small bowl with water and lemon wedges at each setting. I think that it's quite nice to dip the fingers in fresh smelling water before wiping the hands on the napkins. Granted, one still needs to vigorously wash the hands after, but during dinner I like for my glasses and cutlery to not be all messy with crayfish guts.

Each setting also had a custom little welcoming card. I made those with digital scrapbook products by Gennifer Bursett (Anchor Kit) and Ardent Sparrow (Susie Overlays).

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I designed ten different 10x15 cm cards (because there were ten of us) in Photoshop CS6 with papers and elements from Gennifer's kit and printed them on 12x12 white cardstock. I was able to fit four cards on one single sheet. So two sheets held eight cards. The remaining two, and all the banners, fit on a third sheet. I cut them out, used a corner rounder on the cards, and added the banners with foam dots. It was a simple and quick project that still gave a personal and cute touch to the table.

I think Gennifer's kit worked perfectly with the seafood theme of the party.

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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

easter dinner

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I thought I'd share, as I always do, what our table looked like for our Easter dinner. There were only six of us, and after a late decision to host the dinner coupled with two very busy weeks leading up to Saturday, I decided to not go overboard.

I decided to use the eggs I decorated the other week coupled with two simple vases with white and yellow tulips as centerpieces. White candles on pillar glass holders were put on the end to add some dynamic. They were never lit because we had dinner way before it got dark. But that didn't matter, just the mere precesence of them on the table added to the presentation.

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The cotton table cloth is white with black tiny dots, and I chose to use the striped napkins that I still have from my sister's wedding last summer. I love being able to use and reuse supplies time and time again.

I got a few more preblown eggs and used them as seating "cards" by writing the initial of each person with a pen, which just happened to match the eggs in the centerpiece. Smart way to make it easy on myself and go with an already established theme.

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I had four glass mini cake stands from a previous event and used them to nest the eggs in. The hay was found in old Christmas baskets that we have recieved in the past couple of years. Again, reusing all kinds of things for different purposes is the way to go if you want to be able to set a nice table on a budget. Of course, this does mean a bit of hoarding I admit. But if you are organized in your hoarding (which is an entirely different post all together) it can be without living in a castle.

It didn't matter all too much to me that I didn't have a glass stand for each person. I simply used two egg cups for the middle seats. This is something that I want to stress. Everything doesn't have to be exactly the same on a table! What matters, at least in my opinion, is that there is symmetry. So in this case, the four outer seats had the glass stands, and the two middle seats had the egg cups. Worked well enough for me. Work with what you have, I say.

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So, apart from the eggs and the flowers, everything on the table was already in my house. Pretty chuffed with that.

So food, you say? Did we have any? Yes indeed. It looked like this:
Starter was two Smörrebröd with pickled hering (eaten at every single holiday in Sweden) and smoked salmon and roe. Courtesy of the husband.
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Main was lemon and oregano rooster and caramelized crushed potatoes with spinach.The herb yoghurt that was also served with this dish is not shown. Also courtesy of the husband.
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Dessert was Key Lime Pie, courtesy of moi.
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And that was it. How was your Easter? Did you have a gathering of some sort?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

homemade wedding

A week and a half ago my beautiful sister and her handsome fiance had an amazing wedding on a gorgeous sunny day.

The reception for the couple's parents and siblings was held in our garden and it was a homemade affair from start to finish. My obsession of making things pretty coupled with the fact that I would do anything for my family meant that I was able to talk them into letting me make the invitations, the table setting, the buffet decorations, the guest book set up, a photo booth of sorts, and baking for the dessert buffet. I also took photographs. Go right ahead and call me crazy! LOL!

I would love to share with you some shots of the details that I made.

So the idea was to do a kind of modern whimsy in kraft, red and black & white, and with stripes and roses in the center of the whole theme.

The invitations were printed on kraft in keeping with the theme. A mistake on my part in the printing process meant that I had to improvise and do a raised strip for the text. It ended up being a unique feature.

For the welcome toast I did hand texted his and hers tags for the champagne flutes.

The guests' glasses were either decorated with paper flags or dipped in chalkboard paint and decorated with the couple's names and love words.

The tables were covered with tan linen, the middle part of the table where the bride and groom were seated, was a beautiful embroidered table cloth. This was matched with all white china, and black and white striped napkins (which the bride and I made). In the ceiling of the pavillion we strung twinkle lights and solar panel lanterns.

Instead of using real flowers I made crepe paper roses that were put in heart shaped boxes all along the table. Those babies were so very pretty but with eight boxes and six roses in each I worked for a month to get those finished and was pretty fed up at the end.

The bride and groom wanted a relaxed feel to the reception and opted to not have a seating plan. Still, I made hand texted banners for the two of them to make sure seats were saved right in the middle of the table where the bride's bouquet was also placed.

The Italian style buffet was placed inside the pavillion and decorated with black and white striped linen, tiny bunting in kraft, red and black & white, and a kraft paper pinwheel flower.

The couple asked for a non traditional cake and we opted for the most delicious chocolate and hazelnut cake with vanilla cream and strawberries. The cake was decorated with mini bunting.

To accompany the cake I also baked Pina Colada cookies, Baci (Italian almond kisses), heartshaped mini meringues, and then also dipped strawberries and marshmallows in chocolate.

Instead of a traditional guest book we set up a small station on the gift table where the guests could write a message on small tags in kraft bags. The messages will be placed in the wedding album once I finish it. To guide the guests through the process I made a sign that matched the invitations and added one of the paper roses as decoration.

To add some more fun we decided to do a photo booth where the guests could let loose and goof out. This was a huge hit and we had so many laughs. The station was set up on our deck right next to the pavillion with a golden picture frame, some fun props, and another sign to guide the guests through.

Here is a shot of the husband and I just to show you some of the silly antics everyone was up to.

If you want to take a look at the beautiful couple, you can do so here.

Be well everyone!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

winter white

On Christmas Eve, the day of celebration in Sweden, we had a very nice and quiet - I don't want to say dinner because we started around noon and finished sometime after 8pm, so let's go with day of food with my family. To match my Christmas decorations, and incidentally also the gifts, I decorated the table with all white on white on white on white. Delicate and crisp and pretty was the way to go this year for me.

White plates from IKEA
Glass plates from local second hand shop

Lace mats from H&M Home
Crocet snowflakes from La Rinascente in Milano, Italy
Wreath from local florist Anna Gouteva
Small wreaths are styrofoam wrapped in white lace
Votives from IKEA wrapped in white lace

Candle holders from IKEA
Glassware from IKEA

Thursday, 24 November 2011

autumn dinner table featured

This is just a quick note to say that YAY! one of my table scapes was featured at Hostess With the Mostess last week. Since I was away I missed the day it went live, hence my late posting.

The HWTM blog is my favourite place to go to when looking for inspiration for party decorations so being featured is a very, very huge honour for me. And, yeah, the excitement when I found out was as big as the first time I was featured.

Just click on the photo to go to the post.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

an autumn themed dinner party

The husband likes to celebrate his birthday every year with a dinner party. This year we held the party for parents and siblings (and still managed to have 15 guests) and had a lovely time. The food, curtesy of the husband, was lovely as always and I even managed to make an apple and pecan cheesecake (although I used a different recipe for the actual cheesy part).

Now, knowing me you can be sure that I needed to decorate at least a little bit for the dinner table.
I wanted a kind of updated vintage feel with an autumn touch. My key words were doilies, sheet music, and pumpkins. Here's the finished result.

I used inherited crochet doilies as a runner on the brown linen table cloth. Together with the white china, alternated in different shapes, it made a nice contrast against the dark base.

I cut leaves from sheet music paper (sheet music pattern from Graphic sfairy printed on white cardstock). The larger ones were shaped by rolling and folding around a pencil and then placed at each setting. The smaller ones were glued together and strung on into a garland and then draped along the doily runner.

I put small succulents, wrapped with a lace ribbon, under upside down wine glasses and used the foot cum top as a candle holder. To compliment that I put the same type of candles inside another type of wine glass.

I found super cute little white pumpkins and placed them on brown lace in small glass dessert stands.

Big white faux roses were placed in glasses wrapped in white lace. The last part of the centerpiece was a ball candle in a pedestal glass bowl filled with pebbles.

The low centerpieces make for a great focal point that isn't in the way for conversation.
I feel this turned out close to my vision, a contemporary version of a traditional style.

Monday, 3 October 2011

seasonal dinner party decorations

Almost a little shy of a year ago I shared two photos of a table setting I did for a birthday party (the husband's). In that post I said I would dedicate a whole post about the table itself. Well, here we are a year later, and can decidedly say that I never did. Ha! But I thought, with autumn at our doorstep and holidays coming up, it would be neat to take a look at it now.
The whole theme was set by the invite that had a very distinct autumn look. The style was very classic and simple, with the pumpkin as the main focus and a very subtle damask pattern on the brown background.

The decorations followed suit, and I went with a brown linen table cloth and a runner in green silk with a brown velvet print. White china, glass candle holders with green candles and flowers that matched the theme. The napkins were carefully chosen to match the colours, and folded in a novel way to be able to combine two different kinds. Each place setting had a menu card in the same style as the invite.

The food you ask? Well, courtesy of the husband we had a fantastic meal; soup of Jerusalem artichoke served in the coffee cups seen above with a prosciutto crostini, and a wonderful stew with veal and mushrooms.

All in all it was a good dinner party.