Non-Floral Thanksgiving Table Decor

November 22, 2011

The holidays are here and it's the season of entertaining and celebrating with family and friends! For most of us that already have our hands full, this time of the year can be stressful and extremely exhausting. A lot of work goes into planning and prepping for a dinner party. More often than not, we fore go a lot of little details in order to save time and money. 

I'm a big fan of budgets, keeping costs down, and finding ways to get things done faster and more efficiently. I also believe though, that these are not valid reasons for not being able to put a little something special into an event - be it the smallest intimate dinner date for two or a cocktail party for a large crowd. If you are running short on time, or have no room in your budget - pick one element that you can easily pour a few minutes into. In my case most of the time, this ends up being the centerpiece or table decor. It sets the tone, creates conversation, and makes the dinner table more inviting. While I love flowers, they are not the end-all and be-all of table decor. For a recent pre-thanksgiving get-together with friends, I simply rounded up items I already owned to dress up the dining table. I used leftover fabric as a table runner and lined up some silvered and mercury vases on top. With no time or budget for fresh flowers (not to mention the host is deathly allergic to them), I added some texture and color using inexpensive moss covered rocks and pine cones. For some sparkle, I lined the tables and mantle with a lot of candles set in glass hurricanes. 
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

A Very Warm SF Welcome

November 20, 2011

I'm a sucker for great packaging! There's nothing like receiving something that was wonderfully put together - where the presentation is just as lovely as what's inside. The extra details count and make the recipient feel extra special. Ever since I was little, I've been enamored with boxes, bows, ties, bags, wrappers, and adornments. I would take on the challenge of designing and wrapping all of my mom's holiday presents - from her baked goodies to friends to corporate give-aways for the family business. 

When a client recently asked me to design a couple of welcome gifts for friends, I was over the moon excited to come up with something fun, modern, and thoughtful. She was planning to host a few of her closest friends over at her San Francisco vacation home  and wanted to greet them with personalized gift bags. We came up with "Warm Welcome" kits filled with local heart-warming SF goodies : chocolate tea, sea salt and turbinado sugar covered almonds, and a pair of "conversation" chalkboard mugs...all perfect for the chilly fall weather. I kept things clean and simple - using a shiny white flip-top box (which folds flat for travel), created custom SF-inspired tags and cards, sketched some golden gates on the mugs, and wrapped it all up with a simple black  grosgrain ribbon. 

Wishing you a cuddly cozy almost-thanksgiving weekend! I hope this inspires you to create some unique and fun presents for friends and family this year.