For the September issue of VIE Magazine, Suzanne talks tabletops -- offering tips on how to create memorable centerpieces by piling on family heirlooms or urban forage, showing off dessert pastries or the handiwork of little helpers. Read the full article HERE...
Filtering by Tag: centerpiece
Scrambling to add a last-minute centerpiece to your Easter feast? There are a million ways to make your table uniquely you. Remember, there's help all around, right under your nose. Consider these everyday resources:
1. Your KIDS
Children are little creators by nature. Don't let these Spring Breakers off the hook. Engage your child’s genius & insist they carry their weight this holiday. Kids will appreciate the Easter feast and feel proud of their contribution. Your tip? Do Not Be Bossy. Small children can draw place cards or placemats. Middle-schoolers can really go crazy -- nothing is off the table. They might choose to feature their ant farm, their gold fish swimming in a bowl, a butterfly collection, little league trophies. Who cares? In the long run, it’s not about the elegance of your table. It’s about the value of your child’s contribution.
...or your local grocery store, a place laden with sui generis centerpieces, many perfect for Easter. Walk in the store with your eyes open for pastel colors. E.g., look for pink breakfast radishes or many-colored round radishes; all delightfully spunky orbs when stuffed in silver cups or crystal goblets. Fill small tureens with spikes of asparagus, for structure, and green onions, for looseness. Give your guests eyes something different than the usual pink tulip centerpiece.
3. Public Parks
Someone has to do the trimming. Why not you? Go under cover before dawn, clippers hidden in your pocket and help yourself to the back branches of azalea bushes (those up against the fence), lurking ferns, stems of palms. Tip: cut long branches. Fill a tall glass container halfway with water, and arrange the stems loosely. It’s like nature coming to the table, and yields an arrangement perfect for a sideboard, buffet table or at the end of a dining table if no one is sitting there.
4. Objet d'Art
Are you a collector? March your collection down the center of the table. Handmade wooden bowls, antique brass candlesticks, tiny chairs sculpted from the wire surrounding champagne corks -- the Dean doesn’t know what you collect, but if you are a collector then you are a proud owner with a passion. Your passion needs to be displayed! Herend bunnies, Steuben crystal hand holders, painted eggs...you get the picture. It’s not about cost of the objects or the organization on the table, it’s about showcasing your personality.
5. Pastry Shops!
Great pastry shops are actually like jewelry shops with edible gems. You have enough to do this weekend. It’s too late to make a 3-day Coconut Cake, but not too late to pick up a French pear tart, or cherry pistachio tart, or cupcakes, or a lemon layer cake. The point is showstopping beauty that can sit upon a pedestal being the center of attraction. All eyes are awed, reminding guests to save room after the main course.
P.S. Don’t forget chocolate bunnies on top of each place setting as a party favor for your Easter company!
Everyone knows that a table set for a dinner party should have a commanding conversation piece at it's center. But somehow this small, still crucial, detail seems easy to forget until the moment guests are knocking at the front door. Don't panic. Check your fridge -- is there a forgotten can of beer in the crisper? (Why is there always beer in our crisper?) Open it, take a sip, relax! Are there a couple bunches of cilantro/parsley/chives/thyme/rosemary in there, too? Make a last-minute centerpiece...
No need to let said herbs go to waste afterwards. Hopefully, you had big plans for them all along. If not, make an omelette for breakfast tomorrow. Make a frittata and take it to a picnic on a grassy knoll. Gather any leftover stems in a mason jar, plus a few wildflowers if you see any. Spontaneity FTW.
But, if spontaneous centerpieces are not your thing, we get it. In October, Lily Peterson of local Flowershop fame comes to the Academy for the first in a three-course workshop all about assembling your own bouquets, centerpieces, and wreaths just in time for the Holidays. (Tickets may be purchased HERE starting 10/1.)