Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Fourth Dimension

Hello, Viewers!

Once again it is my pleasure to report, for your edification, the proceedings of my latest Fairy Party - "(Re-) Dedicating Ourselves to the Fourth Dimension". Please don't ask what that means because I have no clue - it just sounded good, all right? And as I was casting about in my mind for an inspiring theme for my décor, the words "Iridescent Evanescence" suddenly surfaced, as it were, out of nowhere, so that (as we party planners like to say) was that!

In my quest for the iridescent and the fourth-dimensional I happened to come up with a few little items:

The tablecloth is a whole chapter in itself! The fabric is a shiny, slinky fashion material that I sewed into a floor-length-plus tablecloth. If you want to know the trick, it is as follows: Measure the length of the table, adding the distance from the floor up to the tabletop and then down again. Double the figure and buy some fun, gorgeous fabric. (My total floor-to-floor length, rounded upwards to allow for hemming and a tiny risk margin, was 4 yards - meaning that I bought 8 yards of fabric.)

Cut the fabric across in half - resulting (in my case) in two 4-yard-long pieces - and here comes the crucial point: DO NOT just sew these pieces together lengthwise, because you will end up with an ugly seam right down the middle of your table. Instead, take one of the pieces and cut it in half LENGTHWISE, ending up with two very narrow 4-yard-long pieces, which you then sew together with the wider piece, one along each side. That way the seams end up on the sides of the table, as seen here. The seams are not invisible, but they don't interfere with the table setting - and once the guests sit down the seams disappear out of view.

And so on to the center piece: The low, wide glass bowl from IKEA you have seen before - here it was filled to capacity with pink and clear acrylic "table diamonds", with a big iridescent glass bubble (courtesy of in the middle. Later, when everything was in place, I filled it with water.

The next step was to flank the "pool" with these crystal candle holders (which you have also seen before; and draping stuff from the chandelier, such as mirror balls and crystal ropes. It was all about creating iridescence and evanescence!

Each candle holder has been improved with three dangling prisms, like so:

The curled hook lets you attach the prism almost anywhere. Needless to say, I am very pleased with it!

A sparkly garland around the pool, and a mix of pink and aqua submersible LED lights completed the picture. 

Let us now look at the place settings:
This very adorable plate has occurred previously in an all-white version, but this time I found it in clear plastic, with the lacy rim in silver. Needless to say, again, I enhanced it with an iridescent jewel!

With this lacy silver doily as a charger/place mat, the over-all impression was one of delicate silver filigree. To this I added the customary silver disposable cutlery, a silver-banded champagne glass (improved with pink diamonds), and a delicate wine glass with an etched flower detail. Totally enchanting.

The napkin treatment consisted of a pink paper napkin, swathed in a kind of shimmery, transparent doily, the purpose of which is exactly to dress up your napkins (paper or fabric), held together with my current favorite diamond napkin ring.

These doilies are sold as a more or less disposable item, since they are not washable (the silver edge is made of some paper-type material), but they can certainly be reused many times, if you just make sure to snatch them away from your guests the moment they have unfolded their napkins. This version is white with silver trim, but they also come in ivory with gold trim. Gorgeous!

A helpful tip when it comes to napkin folding - one which I usually forget to adhere to myself - is to do all the folding and fiddling before you set out the plates and glasses, etc., while you still have a clear surface to work on!

An overview of the table; I added small square mirrors as coasters, and mercury glass votive holders - all for the shimmeriness! At the last moment, I also decided that the crystal LED holders looked too empty, but - voilà - a pink (silk) rose will solve almost any problem.

A mirror garland has been added to the hanging decorations, and all is ready for the guests to arrive...

Next time I hope to show you some of the food, and other arrangements.

Regards from Rosebud!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Great Outdoors: The Pictures!

OK, I'm back and the pictures are in - here we go! Join me on my balcony for a little summer atmosphere...

This is how I enjoyed the Inauguration of the Outdoor Season: rosy curtains (shower curtains, actually, bought in Europe) are in place, more or less, to provide ambiance and coziness; the tea tray is in place, as are pillows and fluff. 

The pouf adds comfort - a nice place to put my feet.

The tray comes from IKEA, and the various pieces of rosy china is part of my ever-growing collection of both new and vintage pieces - anything that catches my eye...

The table is covered with an old floral remnant that has followed me through decades. It is topped by a vintage hand-crocheted tablecloth.

To me, this is a slice of happiness - wonderful, everyday luxury!

Now, I have an idea for a different type of arrangement, with a more oriental flair - hopefully I will be able to implement it later in the season, so stay tuned, and join me on my balcony soon again!

Regards from Rosebud!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Hello, Viewers!

It is finally here – the much-awaited, all-too-short, glorious, wondrous sliver of time of the year when it is neither too cold, nor – just as important! – too hot, to take one’s meals out of doors.

Coming from a country where summers are brief and often wet and chilly, I grew up among people who would venture out on picnics as soon as the actual frost was off the ground; and a drizzle was considered a mere inconvenience. The need to sit outdoors and absorb the sunlight was so pressing after all those months of overcast darkness that we would obsessively insist on having our coffee on the porch at the slightest provocation, even if it meant shivering with cold. “Isn’t this lovely!” we would exclaim to each other, teeth chattering so badly we could barely make ourselves understood.

Here in America I have become spoiled and now insist that the temperature must officially reach 65° before al fresco meals can take place. In this country the humid summer heat is the problem – it is easy enough to arrange yourself with blankets and mittens and hot drinks in thermoses, but what do you do in a sweltering 98°, with 90% humidity (or is that unladylike sweat?) in rivulets down your face? Sadly, you stay indoors, on a stool in front of the air conditioner.

But yesterday was my Official Inauguration of the Season and I was in heaven, spending hours and hours with tea, champagne and ice cream on my little lopsided balcony.

Part of the view from my balcony
Because of it being the Sabbath day I was not able to take any photographs, so even though today’s weather is a sad travesty of yesterday’s, I will recreate the look here for the benefit of my readership...

Well, that is to say, I meant to do so, but the wind is so ludicrously strong that it is impossible to create anything except havoc. However, I shall not be vanquished – I shall return. Don’t go away!

In the meantime, let me just whet your appetite with a couple of pictures that are actually wind-proof:

This is the basis for many of my outdoor arrangements: the metal structure of my Sukkah (will explain more about that when the fall comes, but it is used yearly for the celebration of the Feast of Booths), which I leave up/out year round. It is about 7 feet tall, and as you can see, I have attached a number of S-hooks, on which I hang curtains, lanterns, and anything else that catches my fancy. Very useful!

I love my outdoor rug! I found it last year on for a pretty reasonable price, and it improved my quality of life with many instant degrees! It is also reversible, so you can have pink curlicues against an off-white background, if you want. (Here you can also see the bottom of the Sukkah structure, about 6 x 9.5 feet.)

Finally, another view of what can be seen in front of my house (no, the one you glimpse here belongs to a neighbor.)

See you again, as soon as the weather permits!

Regards from Rosebud!