After a full week of marvelous restaurants and enchanting museums, bustling farmers markets and sold out workshops, all in the company of two Kansas City candlemakers we adore, Jaithan and I are finally back home on the farm, pruning our roses, polishing new finds and, of course, catching up on posts! To start, here's a recap of the flower and table setting workshops I did, just in case you missed them on Twitter. For this arrangement, inspiration began, as it often does, with color. Not of flowers and leaves, fabric or paint, but wax—candle wax!—in a zesty Lime Green.
Good candles, as you know, are so important in setting a beautiful table, and with tapers this happy and fresh, I wanted to create an arrangement in an equally vibrant palette of greens that's versatile and a touch unconventional. For the vessel, I began with with two simple glass cylinders, one inside the other. Then, in the space between, I used a material that came to me only after a routine trip to the hardware store to soften our water—solar salt! It's white, coarse, and I think quite beautiful really, not unlike the quartz crystal in some of her bauble boxes. Green was the theme of this arrangement—it's versatile enough to go with any décor—so to bring texture and shape to the mix, I added limes. Here's what each work station looked like before we began.
For the flowers, I chose hydrangea to give the arrangement shape, hypericum berries to add even more texture, and a variegated myrtle to pull it all together. Now from the beginning, I wanted everybody in the workshops, whatever their level of experience, to learn something new, and I do believe this arrangement achieved that. Here I am, showing one member in our group how to strip leaves off the myrtle so the stem becomes more of a skewer in preparation for the Oasis.
And here's the arrangement all finished! The raffia I wove throughout to give it a more designer touch.
What I love most about this arrangement, especially the vessel, is
that anyone can create (and re-create) variations on the look without spending a lot
of money. For example, how pretty would an arrangement be with, say, all yellow
sunflowers, golden seckel pears and, in place of solar salt, vintage
yellow buttons from the flea market? Pair it with a simple burlap
tablecloth, and it's the perfect arrangement for a casual, mid-summer soiree. For the workshops, though, I wanted to do something a bit more formal, as in this intimate table setting for four.
In fact, I love small folding tables that travel well; they're perfect for an impromptu supper in the library, the living room, at the beach, or on the docks. Here at the house, Jaithan and I love to entertain other couples, so a small table for four always comes in handy. Mixing metals, I might add, is such a great way of introducing a cool, eclectic vibe to any table. Think of David Yurman and this cuff I'm coveting for myself and about a hundred of my best friends! Silverware is like jewelry for the table, so why not have fun with it? After all, when it comes to setting beautiful tables, rules are meant to be broken. Now to give credit where credit's due, the antique brass candlesticks are from Christopher Filley in Kansas City, each with a 15" elegant taper in lime green from Creative Candles. The silver fork and knife, together with the mixed pairs of majolica luncheon plates are from Pear Tree. The spoons, linen napkins, and modern wine glasses are from George, while the French Ivory flatware and antique opaline water goblets are from Parrin & Co. Thank you first to our friend Mrs. Blandings for introducing us to her favorite dealers around town and, of course, to each of them for their great generosity!
With our flowers done, we finally sat down to lunch: tarragon chicken salad on mini croissants, grilled vegetable wraps, and a zesty lemon and feta pasta said with grape tomatoes, together with my no-fail sangria. Thank you to Lon Lane for their inspired menu!
And thank you to everybody who joined me for our first of many workshops to come!
Next week, it's off to the factory at Creative Candles for an insider tour you'll love! And in the meantime, check out attendee Jenny Steffen's recap here, as well as this gallery of images from the Kansas City Star!