Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dreaming of a White Easter...

One of Matthew's most popular repins on Pinterest is the White Easter story that he produced last year. Perhaps it is his subtle nod to the reverence and purity of the holiday or his subtle use of a bunny silhouette...but whatever the reason, it is an undeniably charming approach to Easter decorating and entertaining.

Find the template for this bunny silhouette here.

 Simple white flowers, candles, and cookies adorn the table, above.

 Tuck in tiny flowers to a pot filled with eggs.

 Print out bunny images from a copyright-free website and adhere them to cellophane-wrapped lollipops. Children will love the sweet treat!

 White asparagus is placed around a pillar candle and secured with silk ribbon.

 Float blooms in water-filled votives and place around the table.

 Matthew filled a garden urn with white hydrangea blooms and elevated it using a small white stool.

Hard-boiled eggs rest atop candy-coated almonds in a favorite dish.

 A simple bunny stencil is set atop a thick slab of poundcake and dusted with icing sugar.

Find more White Easter inspiration here


Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Dinner...with Matthew Mead!

  Vintage card board bunnies were placed all around the house for instant
reminders of the season.

I had the brilliant idea to cover all the aspects of our Easter celebration last year with my camera.  It proved to be an interesting juggling act between food preparation, finding the best light and delivering all the courses to the table hot and delicious. Thank goodness for Jenny and her patience with me as our day of celebration seemed a great deal more like a day of work...but the results are thrilling to me and I am glad I put in the extra effort.

We found beautiful hydrangea bushes at the grocery store to slip into
some of my vintage pottery pieces.  They instantly add seasonal flair:

I gathered transferware from my collection in all shades of purple,
 plum and lavender to set the table and serve the food.  Teamed with
silver and white ironstone it sets just the right tone.

  The centerpiece was a white compote layered with a basket tray to hold
pretty blossoms and hollowed eggs painted and embellished with stickers
and ribbons.

Jenny loves pansies and we were able to buy several flats from a local growers to fill jelly glasses and votive holders.

A hollowed egg perched atop a candle holder with stickers become a vase place card holder for my mother.

A vintage glass pansy ring is a fool proof way of creating a spectacular centerpiece for a side table:

 A purple transferware plate (a piece I found) but a style that my mother
 collects is placed at each setting with a pink damask napkin and a
fresh bloom:


I found this vintage box to include in Jenny's Easter basket... she collects paintings, books and other vintage pansy items:

 Flowers gather in all kinds of vessels around the house... purple glass and silver pieces hold hydrangeas and hyacinth blossoms:


An Easter egg is easier to make than it looks: acrylic paint, simple
paint strokes, and a butterfly sticker make a stellar design.


Dark chocolate non-pariels make all the vignettes edible:


 Making delicious food is paramount for my guests. Mostly familiar flavors...some with a twist.


 Shredded brussel sprouts sauteed in butter and topped with toasted

pecan pieces:


 Brown sugar cupcakes teamed with tangerines and blackberries.


Deviled eggs are made with a local mustard and topped with the

crunchiest pieces of crisp celery:


Potatoes two ways.. twice baked and escalloped.  I bake them in glass

votive holders from Ikea so they can be easily portioned out:


Farmer's market green beans steamed and prepared with butter and kosher


Asparagus, prepared in a lemony steam bath, fills a vintage transferware vegetable dish:


A spiral sliced ham really takes the pressure off.  We simply heat it

and serve with a warm mustard sauce.


 Renee was able to join us for dinner via FACE TIME.  She earned a place

in the center of the dining table so we could all chat with her. It

was nearly as good as having her right there:


She and her rescue dog Jack even joined in as we opened Easter baskets:

Dinner plates with pretty spring vegetables:


 Decorated eggs were placed in and around side tables and decorated


 Mismatched purple glasses are luminous in the afternoon light... adding

sparkle and color to the dining table.

 No-bake lemon cheesecake fills my jelly jars and is topped with whipped

cream, cake crumbs and fresh berries.


The brown sugar cupcakes were made very special. We topped each with

cream cheese icing, poked a whole in the center of the cake and filled

with the fresh juice of half of a tangerine. Top with berries and

serve immediately:


We so enjoyed our holiday and are glad to share the color inspirations

with you. Any of these ideas and color ways would be perfect for a

spring brunch, Mother's day or wedding shower.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Be Happy...and Brave!

Like most people, I've experienced a tough winter. It has been such a long one and we are just now seeing the ice melt from our yard. This past weekend was the first time I didn't have to brace myself for the frosty chill. We are desperately in need of leaves as everything is brown and the spring sun doesn't allow any shade or pretty shadows. 

All will be right, however, in a few weeks and I look forward to being out in the sunshine in my yard. As you know, I have a wonderful new book shipping next week from Amazon, and you will be able to find it easily within the next few weeks at your local bookstore. It is one of my best projects to date and is filled with wonderful ideas for engaging every inch of the summer season. 

On a personal note, this past winter truly challenged me to my core on many levels. I've had to think of new ways to re-invent my career and be "brave." Supporting me in this mission has been a favorite song and video by Sara Bareilles. It is a song that talks about speaking out and sharing your truth and being yourself.  And while I share the best parts of myself in my work, it is obviously not the entire picture. The video, which features Ms. Bareilles, shows ordinary people dancing in public and being BRAVE about sharing themselves so fully. I'm working on it, and while I won't be dancing on the town common anytime soon, I will be working on being a bit more BRAVE. 

Now enjoy a little glimpse of my new book and order one to jump-start your summer:
Fresh roses from a beautiful rose garden are decanted into rose water for baking and perfume.

I love a recycled and married piece of furniture, especially when it serves a wonderful purpose.This beautiful table on Bunny Williams's outdoor patio pairs a concrete-texture top with a planter as a base. Durable, weather proof, perfect for outside...BACKYARD STYLE!   

Buy your copy of Matthew Mead's Backyard Style HERE