Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fabulous Divas

Hello, Viewers!

It was the party of the decade! And it took place in my home a couple of days ago! 

The Faeries had been scheduled for a get-together, but at the last minute it was discovered that three (out of seven) would be unable to attend, so there was wide-spread panic; four people, however delightful, do not a party make. Six is a minimum. In my opinion, the absolutely ideal number of guests is six to eight - enough to make it lively and party-like, but small enough to make it intimate and interesting; everyone can be part of the conversation rather than having the gathering split up into sub-groups.

But now we had a dilemma to resolve. Intense phone consultations between Faeries took place, with the resulting decision to invite a few more guests, but call it a non-Faerie event. Ergo, this was not a Faerie Convocation, but rather a Fabulous Diva Soirée, with the sub-title A Hot Pink Mess. The color scheme was, not surprisingly, hot pink with accents of black and flashes of white and silver. And diamonds, of course.

The basis for the table was a correctly-colored curtain, edged with a table skirt made from 12 yards of tulle, that I spent a considerable amount of time ruching and sewing and attaching with big stitches, so it can be removed, reused and recycled for other spectacular events.

I also spent a good bit of quality time cutting apart gift bags (pink/silver and black/white), and taping them together to form place mats, then further embellishing them with diamond trim to hide the handle holes. In any case, a bit of jazzing up never hurts!

The octagonal mirrors came out again, to serve as foundation for the center piece: a large crystal candle holder holding hot pink ostrich feathers, and two smaller ones, holding silk rose pompoms. Into the candle holders I inserted battery-operated pink LED lights, which gave a stunning effect. 

A crystal rope and a couple of large prisms increased the sparkle quotient quite considerably, and a black feather boa added that little extra bit of glamour...

The plates were black - not normally a choice I would make for tableware, but this time it was just SO right! - embellished with a hot pink jewel. The napkin treatment consisted of a solid pink one, rolled up with a pink-and-zebra-garnished one, held with a rather impressive (if I say so myself) diamond napkin ring.

Our Champagne glasses were embellished with more pink jewels and feathers. This is very simply done with a hot glue gun, and the decorations are easily removable when you have had enough and wish to return to normalcy - that is the beauty of hot glue! If, by any chance, you have difficulty removing the glue, just leave the item in the freezer for a few hours, and it pops right off.

Also, let me add a little note regarding these "Svalka" champagne glasses from IKEA: at $4.79 for half a dozen, they are cheaper than most plastic disposables (viz. the martini glasses below at $0.99 each), but much nicer to drink from. If you can bear the idea of the next-day clean-up, it is definitely worth it! BUT, then again - and here's the beauty of it - at that price you could even use them as disposables! No clean-up - just a large recycling bag! The best of both worlds! Unfortunately, IKEA's cocktail glasses are a little bit too expensive to be used as disposables, but "Optimal" for $2.99 is still cheaper than most, of course, and I may get some of those for the future. I have the Svalka red wine glasses, which are really superb - especially for that price!

At the last moment I had the impulse to add a few sparkly silver fronds to the feathers, and a gang of pink table diamonds to the black boa (which you can see in the picture below) - because less is very seldom more. Otherwise, I would say that the table decorations were unusually restrained - for me.

The disposable martini glasses - for our introductory Pomegranate Martinis - were embellished with Marabou feather trim and pink sugar rims, and set up on the rolling kitchen cart for a nice little cocktail bar experience. 

The cart - draped in pink - also held appetizer plates, coffee tray, cake platter, and so on, safely hidden away from view, and conveniently available as needed.

The black-and-hot-pink pomegranate tea bags were a felicitously color-coordinated find in the tea drawer...

The sugar trick came about originally by a happy accident: a couple of white crafting pearls fell into the sugar bowl and the effect was too pretty for words! The pink pearls here work almost as well...

The cake stand was enhanced with a black grosgrain ribbon and a pink rose.

As the Diva guests arrived they were led to a little dressing-up station with feather boas and tiaras to borrow for a glamorous evening. Do notice, please, how even the boxes tie in with the color scheme!

But the highlight of all my arrangements, though, the feature that elicited the shrillest screeches of delight and the most gushing expressions of enthusiasm, was probably the little Nail Polish Boudoir that I installed in an unused doorway, between the foyer and the office. And if you knew how tiny the space is, how everything in my apartment is calculated by the half-inch, you would be impressed too!

Two pink curtains were hung on the office side of the doorway as background, and two sheer ones on the foyer side, garnished with some diamond trim and held back with pearl bracelets. And a rose.

A small folding table was placed half-way across the threshold and covered with another pink curtain. Then I assembled a few boudoir things from around the house: the lamp came out from its storage closet; the mirror usually sits on my desk; a few shades of sparkly nail polish, remover, and cotton balls were served in footed bowls. The pink chair came from the office, and just barely squeezed in.
Feathered Divas are going nuts with the nail polish!

Even though this was not a Faerie event, there had to be a little crafting. I had been lucky enough to stumble on a 90% off sale of self-adhesive crystals, so I bought "a few" and offered them to the Divas. The simple, yet inspiring task, was to attach them to our cell phones. Personally, I have had a whole different level of telephoning experience ever since!
(No, that is not supposed to be orange jewels - in reality they are iridescent and gorgeous!)

And finally a few words about:
Pink Champagne is obviously a necessity in this type of context!
Deviled eggs with smoked salmon was the appetizer, followed by:
Baby chicken kebabs with rice; and a light green salad, garnished with pink grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, and infinitesimal slivers of red onion.
The dessert was basically chocolate, described in detail below; and later, to finish the evening, coffee, tea and macaroons.

Obviously, the dessert would have looked more attractive
 in a glass coupe, or even a pink bowl - but black plates
were the order of the day! Sorry!
(If the surface looks strange, it is because t
he pink sugar
crystals that 
I had sprinkled on for fun have started to melt...)
Chocolate Lover's Diva Dream Dessert

This is a very easy-to-make, yet elegant, recipe that is GUARANTEED to be a great hit with the chocolate-lovers in your midst! Somewhat resembling chocolate mousse, it is yet much denser and creamier.

12 oz chocolate*
1½ cup vanilla soy milk 
(or regular milk)
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
  1. Separate yolks; set aside
  2. Break up chocolate into pieces; place in food processor (fitted with blade); chop for 1 minute
  3. Heat soy milk to boiling point; pour over processed chocolate; pulse for 30 seconds, until chocolate melts and mixture cools slightly
  4. Add yolks, vanilla, salt; pulse until smooth
  5. Divide into cups; chill for a few hours or over night.  NOTE:  The mixture is quite thin and runny, but do not be alarmed - it will solidify very satisfactorily!
Serves: 8

* As always, we are talking quality here! The better the chocolate, the more delicious the dessert. The recipe calls for bitter-sweet chocolate, but I imagine you could try other varieties as well. I used a Swiss bitter-sweet, dairy-free, kosher variety, called Schmerling Noblesse, with 55% cocoa (comes in 3½ oz bars). Having tried other varieties I warmly recommend this one - but if you have other preferences, go right ahead! Also, be careful when measuring - it is tempting to add a little extra, but you really need exactly 12 oz!

Oh my, I am still dizzy with the fabulousness of it all!

Regards from your Diva Rosebud!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fairy Garden Party

Hello, Viewers!

How about a little spring in the air? It would have to be last year's spring, to be sure, since there is nothing but snow in the air right now. 

Springtime is particularly suited to us Fairies, and last April (or was it May?) I invited my Fairy court to a Garden Party. Unfortunately, we did not have access to a garden to be in - instead I brought the garden inside, and placed it in the middle of the dining table.

The base was a large terracotta planter "saucer", covered with a little artificial grass mat. provided the pond, filled with water of course, and floating a few shimmery leaves. I used some moss from a florist supplies store, and also, from the same source, little moss-accented "boulders", to create some landscaping around the pond.

All additional items were stuff that I found around the house, scouring my cabinets and drawers, but for the future, I am planning to get a few more specialized things - eFairies has a lot of inspiration to offer!

This Fairy Garden was the centerpiece for an exuberant floral extravagance, which also included gazebo candle lanterns, floating rose candles, rose figurines, flower-shaped candlesticks - and pretty much anything floral, pink or green, that I could lay my hands on. And glittery butterflies, of course!

Small silk flowers in pastel colors were sprinkled over the layered tablecloth. Additionally, each guest had a mini floral arrangement in a ceramic basket by her plate, to take home as a favor.

In one of my local discount places I found these rather crazy floral chargers - too fun (and too cheap!) to pass up, so that became the place settings, with clear plastic plates on top so as not to hide the rosy glory.

The napkins were pink and green - rolled up to resemble a rose among leaves.

I think "profusion" pretty much covers it! Not so much aiming for sophistication, but rather running rampant with the rose theme...

The chandelier was decorated as well, with tulle streamers, birds and butterflies, a rose pom-pom, and a particularly fetching lilac flower fairy...

The craft project of the day was one of the most popular yet - Fairy Paraphernalia Boxes. I had bought pink-and-white striped cardboard boxes at IKEA (where else?), that the Fairies could decorate with fairy stickers, jewels, decorative papers, old-fashioned flower die cuts, and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.

 Some of the remarkable creations...

The Menu

Obviously, the food was partly flower-inspired. Pink and green were heavily featured. Thus, we  opened the proceedings with a newly-invented (by me):

Pinque Drinque: Pink Champagne, enhanced with Pomegranate juice (approximately 1 part juice to 3 parts champagne), a splash of Cointreau, and some Pomegranate seeds 

Avocado salad with Smoked Salmon Roses and Radish Flowers made a fitting appetizer.

The main course was not floral at all: Mushroom/Onion-stuffed Kapons in Calvados gravy, roasted Baby Potatoes, Baby Carrots, Baby Patty Squashes & Sugar Snaps

But then, for the dessert, we were right back in the floral garden: Pink Princess Ice Cream Rose Mold - previously described in detail here

And finally, after all the crafting had renewed our appetite, this very pretty Almond Cake with Kiwi & Cointreau Topping, which unfortunately turned out so disappointingly lousy, that I cannot share the recipe until I have figured out what went wrong. (I know how it was supposed to have tasted, and this was not it!) But I am happy to share the picture!

Now you know how the Fairies fare - stay tuned for more updates!

Regards from Rosebud!