Dear Science

So, the third time’s the charm, right?  Last Monday was my third attempt at Simple Elegance and my theme was “Science Lab!”

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I can’t take full credit for the table, the concept came from Philip–when he first suggested it, I thought, “An elegant Science lab?  Hmm…”  Then he showed up with a water pump for the centerpiece, so we were well on our way!
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I found the flasks on Amazon, as well as the test tubes (part of Martha Stewart’s line).  I went to Central Market that morning in hopes for some crazy flowers and they did not disappoint!
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The idea for the dessert was for everyone to decorate their own sugar cookies and my chemistry teacher friend lent me her science themed cookie cutters!  Who knew such things existed?  We all had fun letting out our inner decorating mad scientists.
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The glowsticks were by far the most popular feature.  I found them on Amazon as well (I went with a bulk order of 100).  I had some left over, so I thought that I would offer some bracelets to my table guests who were thrilled to receive them and proceeded to make necklaces and headbands too!  Again, inner child gone wild!  I’m definitely getting them again for my next party!
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Mostly, people asked if I was a science teacher…nope, just a weirdo.
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My Heart is an Apple

My second time around at Simple Elegance I had a few “Lessons Learned.”  For instance, that table is small!  Once you get 8 plates, 8 water glasses, 8 coffee mugs, and napkins on there, it’s pretty tight!  Less can be more–SIMPLE Elegance…right, right.
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I decided to do more color this year and I decided to use my grandmother’s floral print china as a starting point.  It has pink, blue, green, and gold in the patterning.  I wasn’t sure about the pink (too soft?), so I made the executive decision to go red!
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Same burlap cloth as last year with two new teal felt runners, and I used fabric napkins given to me by a friend that had the same colors in the embroidery.  (PS Fabric napkins require some ironing!)
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The only mess up I had for this table was the original concept for the centerpiece was to have horse apples in the vase.  My friend notified me that there were horse apple trees along University outside the BRIT.  So like a maniac, I got my plastic bag and filled it with the least gross horse apples I could find on the ground (most had rotted or were sticky).  Well a week later, the horse apples were no good, so green apples it is!  Then I made a cobbler the next day.
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I meant to post this sooner, but the planning for this year’s Simple Elegance got in the way!  It was last night and so much fun–will post pics soon!

On The Table

For the past few years, my post-Thanksgiving-food-induced-bliss quickly turns into manic shopping and planning to get my table ready for Simple Elegance!

“Simple Elegance” is an event my church holds the first Monday of Advent (usually the first Monday after Thanksgiving, but I get an extra week this year!) where we decorate 8-top tables (not necessarily “simply” or “elegantly”) and invite our friends for an evening of coffee and desserts and oogling!
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This is my third year to do a table. The first year, I borrowed a friends beautiful Wedgwood china and that set the tone–teal, burlap, neutral, and rustic.
I used a few yards of burlap for the tablecloth, scraps from an old lace tablecloth, and layered on lots of Mom’s Mom’s serving trays and  silver bowls.  I started saving (and cleaning) jars when I decided on a theme.  There weren’t many purchases for this table!  Yes!
Stay tuned for a post on my second attempt at Simple Elegance!

White Winter Hymnal

Busy, busy, busy!  In the past month, I’ve gone on vacation, and 4 work trips!  C’mon!  And now it’s nearly Thanksgiving, which means…  103.7FM needs to start playing Christmas music!

Among the busyness and the impending holidays, I’ve got the urge to purge, simplify, and clean stuff up.  I’ve been gradually cleaning out my closet, recycling magazines, but there are some pieces in my apartment that I’d like to add as I’ve made room.  Everything I look for and am drawn to is white and clean!  I have my eye on some Billy bookcases from Ikea.

via Ikea

I haven’t been much of an Ikea shopper in the past, but I’m afraid if I save up for some nicer ones, they’ll be gone by the time I have the cash!  Plus, what I’m really interested in is doors!  I love cabinetry and I love glass doors–I want them in my kitchen and I want them on my bookcases.  Not only do I love the look, but it also means a lot less dusting!  Just more fingerprints…wait a minute…

The fun thing about these too, is that it would be very easy to add a wallcovering to the back panel (since it’s a separate piece when you assemble it)!  Not sure how crazy to go with that yet since the books will add lots of color and texture.

The other thing I’ve had my eye on is from Nate Berkus’ new line for Target.  I saw it in the store and my eyes grew wide with excitement.

via Target

In the store they had a deep green and a very pretty yellow and I thought, is this too nuts?  Will these colors go?  At $40, it was too big of a risk for an impulse purchase.  Then I went online and saw it in white–perfection!

It’s still a little nutty, but in a good way.  It’s a conversation starter.  Now I just need to paint a wall navy or purple or something really dark…

I just realized that I could have grouped this all into a “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…” kind of thing…  Hmm…

Golden Age

Last weekend, I picked up a sale skirt at Anthropologie and as I was checking out, I noticed a sign at the cash wrap advertising “At First Sight…”  I asked the sales person what it was and she said, “Oh, that’s our Holiday Display Workshop!”  Say what!?!  Sign me up!  So last night, I went to my local Anthropologie and helped craft some of their displays for the holidays!  I know it was free labor on my part, but who cares?  I had so much fun!

Much to my shame, I arrived late and missed most of the introduction about the history of their displays and how that department of Anthropologie works.  I want to know more, “do they need my help!?” and, “can I be your friend?!”  We jumped right into crafting!

There were two tables set up and one table added cute decorations onto already cute Anthro mugs.  The table I was at made ingenious “spoon orbs” (as I like to call them) to hang from the ceiling.  We had a styrofoam balls, wrapped in masking tape, and spray painted either gold, bronze, or silver (they did this prep work for us).  Then we were given spray painted plastic spoons:

They said they were going for a gradient effect, with the lightest part at the spoon, and they clipped the ends of the handle to make a sharp point (be careful!) in order to make it easier to stab it into the sphere.  It took a good hour for me to finish mine, but they came out to be so cool!

Leave it to those girls to come up with such a great idea.  They are given tight budgets to work with, so they try to use the cheapest materials they can find.

The set up we were in was beautiful, they gave us treats, they answered our nosey questions about the store and discounts, and their workshop that’s in the back of the store!  They sent us home with ornaments they made too as a thank you!

They put the spoons we were using in the bucket–I mean, really, nothing is left undecorated or done less thoughtfully.

Check Anthropologie’s Facebook page events to see when it’s at your local store.  I signed up to be notified for other display events–I highly recommend it!  I’m going to go back in a couple of weeks to see where they hung it up and then stop everyone who walks by to let them know, “See that thing with the spoons?  I did that.  Yeah, it was pretty hard, I gold some gold on my hands…”