Day: November 26, 2012

DIY Place Settings for Romance

I was raised by a businessman father and the most creative genius mother and have always had a creative side to me. Hosting Thanksgiving this year and getting to do the table was super fun and a major reason to pour those creative juices into something new and super festive. 

My wedding china is beyond gorgeous and getting to use it is always special. One of my favorite colors is royal blue and I always always loves blues and golds together. Naturally, picking these William Yeoward plates for our registry was an easy one!   

Instead of doing a traditional tablecloth for Thanksgiving, I opted for something different. I headed to Michael’s Arts and Crafts nearby and found white foam mats that resembled placemats, bought royal blue construction-style paper, gold pens, gold and blue glittery pens, and craft glue. 

In some random brainstorm moment it hit me that I wanted to do each placemat custom for each guest. The placemat be a continuation of the china pattern and be painted on with gold pen, glitter, etc. Each design would be different and I would also write each guests name on the mat, replacing the need for a separate name card.

These took about 30-45 minutes each and are completely reusable! I stenciled an outline of a fork and knife on each setting for a unique twist and something different. Our family members loved this personalized and totally crafty touch to an otherwise traditional holiday.

In setting the stage for a perfectly romantic dinner for two, you can do the exact same concept for your loved one. If you have china you love but never get to use, pull it out. If you don’t have fancy china, you can always go to a second hand store and see if there are some reasonably priced pretty plates. If that isn’t in your budget, borrow from mom or another family member. Michael’s is an excellent source for the right types of paper and if you desire locating cushy foam mats.

All you need to do is pick you two or three colors based on the actual plates and begin your creative design on what feels elegant to you. If glitter seems a bit over-the-top to you, opt for colored .05 waterproof pens or even getting a selection of liquid calligraphy ink and pens or brushes. Don’t stress about this. It is meant to be fun, freeing, and light-hearted.  If you have any questions or want to run ideas by me for your perfect romantic table for two, ask away

My music selection is Chris Botti- When I Fall In Love. 

Holidays at Filoli 2012

Last night, my family and I attended a gala at Filoli estate in Woodside which is a California State Historic Landmark. Filoli was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose primary source of wealth were gold mines.

The house and gardens are traditional English style and architecture. The 654 acre estate has a rich history and is now operated by Filoli Center. Throughout the year, Filoli offers the public wonderful special events, exhibits, galas, teas, tours, and much more.  Love the little whimsical gnomes below on fireplace. 

Spring at the estate is always a spectacular wonder. To give you a sense of how many flowers were planted this year- 104,000 bulbs were purchased for the Garden for the 2012 display season. Bulbs were planted in the Garden beds and potted up into 3,300 display pots last fall. Tulips – 48,000 for garden beds and pots (18,000 in beds, 30,000 in pots, 47 varieties) Daffodils – 24,000 for garden beds and pots (36 varieties) Other bulbs (hyacinth, muscari, etc.) – 32,000!!

Last night was a winter wonderland with each room decorated to the hilt with Christmas decorations and sweet treats to purchase (owls were the main theme.) Below is a chandelier in the dining room covered in owls and greenery. 

Cocktails, live music, and a dinner followed.   The entrance to the home sparkled with white lights everywhere. The columns are made of white tavernelle marble and greet guests with Georgian grandeur.  The estate is always looking for passionate volunteers to help keep it running efficiently and smoothly.   Sweet treats in the kitchen of the estate for purchase.