If you read the blog at all, you know that lately I have been working a lot with other women in my church. Much of our service has involved some form of a dinner or other meal. Because many of these meals gather many of the same people, we try to come up with ways to decorate the tables differently. But there's the rub.
Too many trips, even to the dollar store, depletes finances and break budgets; so what to do? Because our stake split two years ago we have literally nothing (zero cook ware/utensils, a couple dozen plastic plates and a some glasses that look like jelly jars) left in the kitchen. Most of what we had went with the other stake, and trust me when I say they didn't get to take too much - it was all very old and very used and really needed to be refreshed if not replaced anyway. However due to the circumstances of the stake split, there wasn't an immediate "Hey! Here's your new 'Let's build a new stake building and furnish it!' fund." Nope. So we have had to scape a bit.
For one of our first dinners we decided to place family sized decorated cakes on each table for a self serve type of dessert and it would also serve as the centerpiece. Kill two birds. Save some moolah. We have used this kind of idea several times, tweaking it a bit each time so it didn't get boring. In the times past we were always scrambling to gather enough plates or centerpieces from what each of us had in our own homes. This is a great idea, except we are having to lug large boxes back and forth and in the lugging, some of our pieces have either broken or gotten lost, chipped or misplaced, you get the idea.
We decided to take matters into our own tentacles and just get some pieces for the building. We'd get a small vase or jar of some kind, fill it with white flowers that we could add coloured ribbons to or change out to match looks, and add a cake plate to the top for whatever desserts we choose. This would be our "signature" look.
We took a drive down to Orange County to peruse a favourite decorating center thinking it would have everything we needed and we could get it at a huge discount... only to find they were in the middle of moving their warehouse to a different location all this month and half of their inventory was packed or already shipped. Grrr. But we found these adorable candle vases and our heads started turning.
For $1.95 each, we put 4 cases in the cart. We headed over to the floral section and found sprays of creamy white roses for another $1.50, discounted from $3.00. We grabbed a bag of dry moss and a chunk of oasis and we headed out for a restaurant supplier.
We got completely lost, but had to laugh because at the exact point where we figured we had made a huge wrong turn we decided to make a U turn in a parking lot and retrace our steps... we were in a restaurant supplier's lot! Not the one we were looking for, but a completely different one! So we headed in and searched for a cake plate to top our little vases. We found the perfect plate! A sushi platter, flat and gorgeous and at $12.00 each we thought it was great! Whooo Hooo! Well not so much. It had a small "foot" on the base of the plate, just a small 3 inch thin linear bump that made it wobble on top of our vase. Grrrr. Back on the shelve it went.
But as we turn to walk out we saw the clear pitchers we had been hoping to buy (some place else for $15.00 each) on the shelf for $4.95. Two cases later we felt like Providence had led us there! We asked the sales clerk if they knew how to get us to an Ikea, and we headed out. At Ikea we looked over pretty much every plate they had, saw a cake stand for $20.50 and figured we might have made a huge mistake in our design ideas. Then we headed down a isle that led us over to bake ware. The heaven opened, rays of light shown down and the angels began to sing! We saw the perfect item! A 10 inch tart pan in milk white! The little fluted edges were perfect and it looked great right side up and upside down! Wheeeeee!
So here we are, A beautiful little candle vase, a small floral arrangement, and a tart plate that can be reversed. The vase can be used with fresh flowers or silks, with or without the tart plate, and can also house a battery candle, or other items. It also has a small curve at the base (in the photo the vase is upside down) where you can tie ribbon if you want.
The floral arrangement is easily stored in the vase, and can be changed out with other colours of flowers, ribbons, etc.
The tart plate is large enough to hold a 10 inch cake, or several small individual desserts (Can you see how cute cupcakes would be?). It can also be used as a flat container for low floral arrangements, floating flowers, or to actually cook with! Can you imagine how cool it would be to serve a quiche or tart on each table and serve family style?
All in all the centerpieces are super versatile, easily cleaned and stored, and they cost us about $10.00 a piece. Normally that would be an outrageous amount to pay for centerpieces, but we never have to buy another centerpiece again! That and we found pitchers for $5.00! Yeah!
I'll post photos after Saturday to show how they look with actual food on them...they look a bit silly right now!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Posted by S'mee at 8:35 AM