Monthly Archives

June 2011

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Spring Garden Sweet and Savory Table

Garden table flowers

Garden table flowers

This wonderful garden themed table was designed by Kreavie for a Sweet 16 birthday party. You could recycle the concept for a baby shower or a toddler birthday. The mix of sweet and savory food provides an occasion to be more creative with the food presentation.

spring garden buffet table food

Details that are worth stealing are the chocolate cupcake in a terra-cotta flower pot, the vegetable chips (turnips, carrots, green beans) and a roll of kraft paper became a tablecloth. O.xide Design used seasonal flowers in garden containers to set the mood. The cones are made of bamboo.

SOURCING:
+ Sweet 16 Sweet and Savory Table from Kreavie
+ Floral Design: O.xide Design
+ Photos: Julia C.Vona

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

A Round-Up of 4th of July Party Free Printables

4th of July cupcake toppers

This post started when Emily Henning of Seaside Creative contacted me to submit her Fourth of July printable cupcake toppers and food tent cards. I particularly like that she played with the shades of blue and red.

4th of July drink parasols

I went on a hunt to find more party decor items that will go well with her look. I found them at Martha Stewart. The parasol drinks are superb. The set includes 5 patterns.

patriotic ice cream cone wrapper

Nicely wrap your ice cream cones in a patriotic cone wrapper. You could use the cones to serve nuts, popcorns, or if you select a thicker paper, french fries.

For party favors, you can either make the easy to do Flag Favors or the fabulous Rocket Favors. Both will delight your guests.

SOURCING:
4th of July Printables by Seaside Creative
Parasol drinks by Martha Stewart
Patriotic ice cream cone wrapper by Martha Stewart
Flag Favors by Martha Stewart
Rocket Party Favor by Martha Stewart

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Creatively Unique Placemats

Bella Maniera placemats

Bella Maniera placemats

If you are looking for new ways to infuse a sense of unexpected to your tabletop, let me suggest that you use placemats with artistic patterns that slightly vary from one placemat to the next. You can draw the patterns or look for the French design placemats.

48 heures trompe l'oeil placemats

48 heures is a collection of trompe-l’oeil illustrations that suggest a finished meal where they was good food and lots of wine. These will certainly grab the attention of your guests. I suspect that it will probably be a conversation starter.

48 heures placemats

Tailored to Each Guest

Another example is the Bella Maniera series. The idea to steal here is to design a placemat that fits the personality of each guest. Mr. & Mr played with the theme of Leonardo da Vinci’s The last Supper for their Bella Maniera collection. They design 13 placemats; each one corresponds to Jesus Christ and his apostles.

Bella Maniera

SOURCING:
48 heures placemats 16 €
Bella Maniera series 16.50 € each at Grain de couleur
+ via Moco Loco

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Little Box Man Party Theme and Activities

crossing the log by Anton Tang

Admiring these beautiful artistic pictures featuring a little box man gave me the idea for an awesome way to entertain the kids at a party or during summer. First of all, if you are wondering where you can buy them, it is available at the Japanese site of Amazon. Called Danboard, the box men are available in two sizes: 80mm (3 inches) and 130mm (5 inches).

robot box man photos by Alexander Gorshkov

If you feel up to the challenge, you could try to make your own. And then, teach the kids how to do it. I like this craft idea because it is creative and original. It is also an activity that is suitable for girls and boys.

little box man pulling a rose

You will need to supply the kids with tiny boxes, wires, strings, glue, paint, crayons and scissors. Prepare a few photo shoot sets ahead of time. Also bring some props to let the kids improvise. You can hire a photographer or ask a couple friends who are very good with the camera to take pictures. Plan some time at the end of the party to watch a slideshow of the best creations.

little box man :: Alexander Gorshkov Photography

If the kids are older, you could plan a photo tour across your neighborhood. For inspirations on the type of places or the props that you should look for, I invite you to browse the awesome photo galleries of two photographers: Alexander Gorshkov (All About Danboard) and Anton Tang. Both blogs are pure eye candy.

SOURCING:
+ photos: Anton Tang
+ photos: All About Danboard

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Vintage WWII’s Fourth of July Dessert Table

Vintage 4th of July dessert table

Vintage 4th of July dessert table

The 4th of July dessert table styled by Marcie of Celebrating the Moments is absolutely gorgeous. She decided to craft a theme around the WWII era. Her attention to details and her use of vintage props set the mood. This is how you create an ambiance.

Vintage US flag Cookies for the fourth of july

She asked her friend Marilyn of Whatever Whimsy to decorate fondant flag cookies and button cookies. I like how Marilyn was able to infuse a vintage feel to the flag cookies. Go see Marcie’s blog, there are plenty more photos.

Vintage wwii  4th of July party theme

SOURCING:
+ photos: Celebrating the Moments
+ via Pizzazzerie

COCKTAILS + wine FOOD + DRINK

Refreshing Summer Cocktails with 3 Ingredients

summer cocktails with 3 ingredients or less

I am always on the look out for tasty summer drinks. The New Times asked mixologists to share a summer cocktail with 3 ingredients or less. Garnishes, sugar, seltzer and simple syrup do not count. Merlin Griffiths, the global ambassador for Bombay Sapphire, told me at a media event that it is best to make a sweeter simple syrup (meaning 2 parts sugar per part of water). You simply put less into your drinks.

I am looking forward to try the Sumo Collins, the Campari Collins, and Guadalajara Sour. Go to The New Times to get 12 easy to make summer cocktails.

In Search for the Perfect Campari Sour

Campari is synonym with summer for me. Therefore, I was sad that The New York Times did not published their version of the Campari Sour. I browsed across the Internet and I found several versions. I even found on the Web site of Campari two recipes. I decided to try my own. Once I mastered it, I will share it with you.

SOURCING:
+ Summer Cocktails Made Simpler from The New York Times – photos: Andrew Scrivani
+ Campari sour photo: Yana Paskova for The New York Times

KITCHEN design ORGANIZING

New Uses for Old Things: Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Yesterday’s easy end-of-the-year teacher gift project got me thinking about everything else that comes with the end of the school year: piles of projects, artwork and report cards making their way from the classroom to every room in the house.

A little spray paint gives everyday kitchen baking sheets a new life as wranglers of colourful artwork and rainy day creative projects. Photos and display-worthy drawings are held to the baking sheet with magnets glued to the bottom of fluted metal tart cups, which are filled to the brim with pretty, stacked sewing notions.

This idea would look at home on the wall of a kitschy kitchen, in a kid’s bedroom or a craft room – whether you choose a colour that adds punch, or leave the sheets unpainted for a more modern look.

For full project instructions, check out the Crave Paper Blog.

SOURCING:
+ DIY Baking Sheet Magnet Board from Crave Paper Blog

FAMILY LIVING with kids

A Refreshing Gift for Teachers

teacher gift lemonade drink flags kids craft

teacher gift lemonade drink flags kids craft

The school year is winding down, and if your kids aren’t already singing “no more pencils, no more books…” they will be any day now.

Though certainly not mandatory, a gift for teacher is a simple way for you and your kids to show your appreciation for their dedication throughout the year. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive – especially since you may also want to gift teacher’s assistants, coaches or other instructors in your child’s life – and a little creativity goes a long way.

This refreshing idea from pro-crafter Lisa Storms is perfect for the summer season. Just stuff a reusable acrylic tumbler with gourmet lemonade packets and a thank you note from your little one. Lisa’s free printable drink flags add a scholarly touch.

With a thoughtful gift like this, kids are guaranteed “no more teacher’s dirty looks”.

SOURCING:
+ Free Printable Straw Flags from Lisa Storms
+ Copco Sierra Cold Tumbler, $5.39 USD, Amazon.com

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Babycakes Cake Pop Maker

babycakes cake pop maker

babycakes cake pop maker

Cake pops seems more festive than cupcakes. And it allow you to eat less. This $25 gadget will make it easy to host a cake pop decorating party since it takes a matter of minutes to bake 12 cake pops. I think that it is handy if you wish to throw the party in your backyard or if you prefer to not use your stove. I read good reviews about the Babycakes Cake Pop Maker. The cake pop maker features power and ready lights, latching handle and it comes with a supply of cake pop sticks, a fork tool and a cake pop cooling and decorating stand.

For a cake decorating party, plan for a couple of stands or glasses to store the cake pops that are ready to decorate and give a display to each kid to put their decorated cake pops.

SOURCING:
Babycakes Cake Pop Maker $24.99 USD

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Shower Them With An Ice Cream Party

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Not only is today the official start of summer, it’s the official start of shower season, when busy bridal parties fête the blushing bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-moms are celebrated.

If you think ice cream is just for kid’s birthday parties, take a peek at these perfectly planned bridal showers. This theme is a, well, cool alternative to the traditional tea party, adding a double-scoop of vintage charm and fresh elegance.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Since it won’t take more than a trip to the frozen food section to plan the menu, you can focus on adding extras to create a make-your-own sundae station.

ice cream party vintage outdoor shower

A muted chocolate-and-vanilla palette allows paper details on the containers and cones to pop. Ice cream cone cups also make clever vessels for sundae toppings.

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Dress Up Store-Bought Snacks
In this case, simple scrapbook paper, colourful twine and labels with an old-fashioned look go a long way in helping zero-effort store-bought snacks to look like too-good-to-eat treats.

ice cream party sandwiches wrap paper shower

ice cream party sundae bar paper shower

Again, look for creative objects to display ice cream extras. Here, a thrifted tabletop ferris wheel is the perfect carrier for candy toppings.

Ice Cream, Italian-Style

ice cream party gelato ruffled wedding shower

The creme-de-la-creme of ice cream parties doesn’t actually include ice cream at all. The pastel shades of gelato are the inspiration for both the menu and party palette in feminine shades of pink, green and orange.

ice cream party gelato shower paper invitations menu

Simple floral arrangements in paper cones are a creative nod to the ice cream theme, while tissue paper blooms create a pretty backdrop. The party planners kept things personal by including the guest-of-honour’s name on the paper cones and gelato containers.

ice cream party gelato shower tablescape

Mix-and-match dishes have vintage charm that reinforce the girly vibe.

Free Ice Cream Themed Printable
Put this cute collection of ice cream-themed printables from Eat Drink Chic to work as tags on shower favours or string them together as a banner.

ice cream party printable

SOURCING:
+ Ice Cream Sundae Bar from The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Cream Birthday from A Subtle Revelry
+ Heels and Gelato Party from Ruffled
+ Free Ice Cream Printable from Eat Drink Chic