This past weekend I had the pleasure of co-hosting a baby shower for my sister. The theme was a classic afternoon tea party, and the day couldn't have turned out lovelier. Following are some of the project and menu highlights -- some original, some inspired by friends and other bloggers. I hope you'll find an idea or two that ignites a spark for some creative entertaining of your own.
I am so grateful to have had my step-mom (with whom I co-hosted the shower) and my dear friends Geri and Holly over the evening before the shower to whip up some lovely directions over some great conversation and a nice bottle of wine. We started by having Holly show us how to make some of those now famous Martha Stewart tissue paper Pom-Poms. Click here for the TUTORIAL. It was also Holly's stroke of ingenuity that led to the Pom-Pom garland that swagged the living room. We used cotton pipe cleaners to wrap the tissue and create the loops for hanging. Then we threaded white satin ribbon through each loop to create the garland.
We also created a fabric garland using several sweet cotton prints from my collection. This project was inspired by Sweet Jessie. I made a template out of cardboard and was able to use my pinking sheers to cut 6 pieces of fabric at a time. I ironed the entire length of my satin ribbon in half (folded over itself), which made it simple to insert the fabric flags as I ran the ribbon through my sewing machine. The fabric garland was used to decorate the front porch.
We used a Bethany Lowe "Dream" garland in the dining room
and created a "BABY" garland for the front door.
GLITTER GARLAND TIPS
- Elmers School glue works well for this project.
- I use a soft paint brush to coat the letters with glue.
- For the glitter, I prefer a 50/50 blend of German Glass Glitter (you can find it HERE) and Martha Stewart's Antique Silver glitter (Michael's & Walmart). The German Glass Glitter can be costly, but has a beautiful, quality finish. It is, however, prone to tarnish. The combination of the Martha Stewart Glitter ensures a lasting sparkle to go with the vintage patina.
- To dry the letters, place on baking sheets and dry in the oven set to 170 for fifteen minutes.
- I used Martha Stewart Crafts 3/16" Piped Nylon Ribbon in Silver Sage to hang the garland.
Borrowing from an idea I picked up from my friend Jaime, we clothes-pinned baby clothes to ribbons swagged across the window to create a GIFT GARLAND which also featured photos of the mother-to-be when she was a baby.
The tea was ordered from Harney & Sons. We offered our guests a choice of Earl Grey, Peach (pictured in the teapot below) and Vanilla Comoro. All the teas were wonderful, but the Vanilla Comoro is truly exceptional! If there were ever a tea that could break me of my coffee habit, this would be the one.
We kept the menu simple:
3 TYPES OF TEA SANDWICHES:
Egg salad on white bread (my sister's favorite & my step-mom's specialty)
Classic Cucumber with cream cheese and fresh dill
Sesame Chicken Salad on wheat (recipe below)
Sesame Chicken Tea Sandwiches
3 cups cooked chicken (I like using grilled chicken breasts & thighs) finely chopped
¼ cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup celery (the topmost, thin pieces and leaves) minced
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt & Pepper
20 slices soft sandwich bread (I prefer wheat)
20 slices soft sandwich bread (I prefer wheat)
More mayonnaise for sesame garnish
Toasted sesame seeds (black, white or a combination of both)
Makes approx. 40 tea sandwiches
To a medium bowl, add chicken, mayonnaise, celery, and sesame oil. Crush almonds in your palm and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place a small scoop of chicken salad on a slice of soft sandwich bread. Top with another slice of bread, lightly press, then remove crusts. Cut into quarters diagonally. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of light mayonnaise along one side of each little sandwich. Then dip that side into a bowl of toasted sesame seeds.
My husband's homemade cream scones
Dark Chocolate cups from Astor Chocolates
Astor sells the display trees as well
We filled half the cups with milk chocolate mousse
and the other half with dark
and garnished them with chocolate curls
As our guests departed, they were given a large ceramic mug that I had personalized using Lazertran Waterslide Decals (A complete DIY Tutorial is coming up in less than a week). Each mug was lined with beautiful Japanese paper napkins from Sprout Home . They are made of 55% rayon/45% pulp and look more like silk than paper. Inside we tucked a bag of scones and a few selections of the Harney & Sons tea, so our guests could enjoy a cupa along with some sweet memories at home.
My dad and step-mom converted a lovely old frame into a chalkboard for the occasion.
The children were treated to a marshmallow lolly from SWEETPEOPLE
And my sweet little nephew was completely tuckered out by the end of it all...