Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fabulous Diva Dinner

Hello, Viewers!

Those of my readers who voraciously absorb every detail of the glamorous existence that is portrayed on these virtual pages, will remember that a very similar affair was held last winter on this very same Diva theme. It was so wonderful that it had to be experienced again! Consequently, many of the ingredients in this year's Diva Party are identical with last year's - however, there were a few upgrades this time that I want to share with my audience.

The greatest improvement this year was the Cocktail Bar, installed in the bedroom doorway. This whole idea of installing entertainment stations (or other stations) in doorways, is something that I am rather proud of. In a minuscule apartment like ours every inch counts, and a doorway - assuming that you will NOT need to pass through it during the party! - is a fantastic way of creating (an illusion of) more space.

The door to our bedroom is situated at the end of a corridor (bathroom door glimpsed at left, and walk-in closet at right), and in this little spot I created a bar. A set of curtains are suspended with shower curtain hooks from the top of door molding on the inside of the bedroom; another curtain hangs from a tension rod a foot in front of the doorway. A small, square folding table is straddling the threshold, and on this I arranged my accoutrements.

The neon sign was a loan from work, where a lot of odd paraphernalia has assembled over the years, due to my machinations. It made us all very excited!

Words of wisdom, indeed... This frame matched the ice bucket so well that it had to be used for something...

Since the table was a little too small for everything I wanted to gather on it, I improvised by emptying a few shelves in the adjoining bookcase, like so. (No, those are not real candles - they are the old battery-operated standbys!) The martini glasses have a little marabou trim, so they should feel festive!

Olives, cocktail napkins, and a glam ice bucket - these are some of the ingredients for a Diva Dinner

A disco ball, however small, always helps. It just makes life better.

Lots of Pomegranate Martinis also make life better - with alcohol and without!

Next-door (ha-ha-ha!) to the bar, by the closet door, was a dressing-up station, also slightly upgraded from last year...

The over-the-door mirror has been properly glamorized...

Necklaces, tiaras and feather boas on display for the Divas to wear... We felt pretty!

The nail polish salon, installed in the office doorway with the same technique that created the bar, was a favorite from last year. 
The adorable lamp is actually a recent gift from my husband. His contributions to this life of glamor and excess are infinitely appreciated! Not least that he is very cooperative, and stays away for many hours when his wife needs an evening in the fast lane with Divas, Fairies, and such folk.
There's many a husband who could take lessons from mine! I'm just sayin'...

More words of wisdom...

Some new curtain hold-backs, made of gold plastic and (probably) genuine diamonds. 
Just what every girl needs!

Better than the "real" thing!

The table setting was very similar to last year, with a hot pink theme, embellished with black and a bit of silver. 

Placemats made from paper gift bags, plastic plates with sparkly trim, hot-pink-and-zebra napkins, and diamond napkin rings. Pink Champagne to drink!

In anticipation of the holiday of Purim - only a week away - I added a mask 
to the feathered centerpiece...

No, this adorable, over-priced gift bag was not red (why do the colors come out like this?!), but the hottest of pink, and I used it for serving mini-baguettes

A couple of lovely candle glasses with black, flocked velvet trim, reflected in the mirrored buffet... There were some on the table as well. 


We may have to do this again.
Many times.

Regards from Rosebud! 

Purim Decor

Hello, Viewers!

It is a strange thing, and sad to say, but hitherto I never really gave the holiday of Purim my full attention - from a decorative perspective, I mean. (Actually, that is not entirely true. Going through some old papers recently, I found notes I had made about fifteen years ago regarding Purim table decorations; yet, so far, I had never turned my ideas into reality.)

However, this year I finally woke up from my mindless slumber, and gave it a fair go. For those who might wonder what Purim is, let me just briefly explain that it is a festive commemoration of the events described in the Book of Esther in the Bible. One of the themes of the day is the hiddenness of G-d's influence in the world - we may erroneously believe that He is absent, but in reality His hand is orchestrating every single thing that takes place. 

This concept of reality not always being what it seems, in addition to the fact that for several years Queen Esther concealed her true identity (a Jewish woman among people who sought the annihilation of her nation), has given rise to the custom of wearing masks and disguises on this day. That is why you will see a number of masks in these pictures. 

So here's how to make your dining room Purim compatible:

 For instance, add a mask to a vase of flowers...

Another variation on the theme...

And yet another...

In some spring colors, maybe?

Since the story takes place at the royal court of Persia, it would also be quite appropriate to give a taste of regal, oriental splendor to the proceedings...

A riot of color or otherwise mismatched accoutrements are also most appropriate, since another theme of the day is "topsy-turvy" (as in the sudden, unexpected reversal of roles and destinies). This colorful lantern, with a multi-colored light string inside, and many royal jewels attached, is the perfect thing for a day like this.

It turns out that cheap party store necklaces are excellent decorating accents: heap them on the table, as in the pictures above, or drape them from the chandelier...

Masks also work very well on lamp shades - particularly in combination with a chic jester's hat! And some necklaces, of course.

 You may remember this from the recent Diva Dinner?

This little lamp became adorable with the addition of a tasteful mask...

The very grand Venetian mask with the Swarowski eyeliner had to come out to play...

A lamp can be decorated in many ways...

Does this look sufficiently royal? The royal purple tablecloth is a $12 curtain from a discount store.

A view of the delicious Purim breakfast - please note the champagne glass, waiting to be filled, because yes, we also get a little tipsy on Purim!

A little bit of Oriental splendor, surely? 

Even the water kettle has gotten its own little "Happy Purim" sign!

All in all, this is not difficult or expensive to do. Most of us have a few lamps and vases to decorate; the bead necklaces, from Oriental Trading are super cheap at approximately $2 per dozen (Party City has a lot of cheap, fun ones as well), and the masks cost me between $2 and $4 each, from, among other places, a florist's supplies store. (Well, yes, the Venetian mask is something else altogether, but one can manage perfectly fine without one!) Adding a few candles and/or flowers is also fairly doable, without breaking the bank.

I warmly recommend it - it certainly enhanced my Purim. Lechaim!

Regards from Rosebud!