Monday, July 19, 2010

"Party at Jenni's House!!"

Well that is something you would never hear! You can probably go back and ask all my high school friends and college buddies...I was not a "partier." Don't get me wrong, I like to go out and have a great time, but I was never hard core about it. And I never had parties at my house.

That being said, I do like to entertain. I love to fix up my house, fluff the pillows, set the table, cook a great meal, and of course, dessert. I just get a real satisfaction from making everything look perfect, and the pleasure on everyone's face at the end. I guess you could say I am a people pleaser. :)

My most recent entertainment opportunity came this past weekend. My mom and my Grannie were coming up for a visit, and it just so happened that it fell just before my Grannie's birthday. Light bulb! (Which actually came in the form of my mom suggesting maybe I make a cake for her birthday.) Well, why stop at cake! :)

I started searching my recipe books and somehow decided we needed to have lemon poppy seed cupcakes. Yum :) And the ideas took off from there. That sunny yellow color of lemons made me think of rich and elegant summers of yesteryear and I wanted to do something elegant and a little bit vintage. Lace and yellow and bright and clean and sweet.

I had a vision in my head of how I wanted the table to look, so now I just had to make it reality. My family is in super save mode right now, so there wasn't an opportunity for frivolous buys. It was time to get innovative.

I knew I wanted a white table cloth, and I remembered I had about a yard of white sheer-ish fabric I had bought long ago on sale that I never used. Presto, tablecloth. And it was the perfect length. Divine intervention. Next, I needed place mats. We have a set of bamboo place mats for everyday use, but those wouldn't be right. I had a set of place mats with a retro 60's pattern in browns and bright greens, so that wouldn't work either. But wait....brown. That could work. The back side of those mats were solid brown, so I cut off the tag and now I have reversible place mats. Perfect!

Next was the lace, and what is more lacy than paper doilies. A visit to the dollar store and I have a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I used the oval doilies on the place mats. To me, it looked like all it was missing the silhouette portrait and it could have been hanging on the wall. Exactly the look I was going for.

The place where I probably frivolously spent was on the cupcake stand. I didn't have anything that would give the feel I wanted so my goal was to find a glass domed cake stand. It was something I had been wanting for a long time so I knew I would use it. We found one at a discount store within my very small budget, but I still had this tiered, elegant, frilly look in my mind and that just wasn't it. Bed, Bath & Beyond and my husband to the rescue! We popped in, just to see, and he found the perfect solution. A glass lazy susan, topped with this great little cake stand that was almost dainty. I remembered I had a mini glass domed cake stand made for serving cheese, and all three stacked together was exactly what I wanted. The foundation for the party atmosphere was set. Yay :D

With the addition of white dishes, a mix-mash of glasses and candles, along with a tissue flower garland running down the center of the table, and I had my elegant, slightly vintage table setting, perfect for the birthday girl.

I made place cards using vintage wallpaper inspired paper, and used an aging technique on the tags. I also cut the centers out of the smallest paper doilies and used it for a napkin ring. The lemon poppy seed cupcakes turned out perfect, with a lemon cream cheese frosting, topped with a fresh mint leaf. I also used the cut-out doilies as a ring around the cupcake.
With the cupcakes resting in their new home and the table set, all that was left was the arrival of the guest of honor.
I think I'll put this one down as a success. Happy Birthday Grannie!
Until next time....


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