Sweet fragrances and sunrise colors fill this vase with bright promise for the New Year. Kumquats and limes evoke a tropical getaway, as do lush blossoms of phalaenopsis orchids (available at many supermarkets). The perfumes of paperwhite narcissus and jasmine are a surefire pick-me-up. As you make the arrangement, insert the sturdy citrus branches before adding the delicate flower stems. For a final touch, let some jasmine trail down the side.
More Bright Ideas
Guests will go dotty for confetti decorated with their own smiling faces. Use a photo-editing program to give digital pictures of family and friends a sepia tint; print onto matte photo paper. Use 1/2-inch to 1-inch circle punches to cut out faces, as well as extra circles from colored paper and vellum. Package the confetti in envelopes, and hand them out to guests for a celebratory toss at midnight.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
Bring the lush greenery of the 50th state to your own backyard: Party snacks plain or exotic get an upgrade when served in cones fashioned from banana leaves (which are available at Asian and Latin food markets). Cut them into six-inch squares, roll each into a cone, and fasten at the seam with a bamboo skewer.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, July 2010
Shake things up with a dish that's distinctive but doesn't abandon traditional flavors: fall-foliage lasagna. The secret? Pasta colored with beet and carrot puree, and shaped with cookie cutters.
Your caterer can incorporate these tricks into her recipe; we layered fresh ricotta cheese between beet and carrot pastas, which were cooked, then sauteed in -- and drizzled with -- a brown-butter and sage sauce. The combination is hard to, ahem, beet.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2009
Outdoor weddings are especially beautiful, but they can also be uncomfortably steamy. To keep your guests from overheating, pass out handmade fans -- trust us, they'll be grateful. Ours features a floral motif on one side and a quote from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" on the other: "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep."
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009
Many brides save their bouquets, but dried flowers can look a tad Miss Havisham. Instead, turn the ribbon used for the stems into a keepsake by having your vows printed on it. Email a JPG image of calligraphed or typed text to Masterstroke Canada; they'll put the words onto ribbon using a thermal-transfer technique.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
More Entertaining Ideas