Unless they're down on hands and knees for an outdoor egg hunt, people tend to overlook the exquisite shapes and tones of minuscule spring flowers. Give these plants the close-up they deserve by using eggcups as vases, which can hold pink lilies of the valley, species tulips, grape hyacinths, narcissus, violets, pansies, bleeding-heart leaves, and other small wonders. Try several cups on a tray for an Easter centerpiece or a single one to cheer up a desk or a bureau.
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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.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
For a splash of style, adorn your table with autumn's brightest accessories: vivid fall leaves. Simply clip sprays of young leaves from a tree in your yard (ours are from a maple). Arrange the clippings at each place setting, and top with transparent glass plates. Come dinnertime, you'll be basking in the oohs and aahs of your guests.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, October 2007
A New Year's Eve celebration wouldn't be complete without a glass of Champagne, so bubbly is a perfect theme for end-of-the-year festivities. Ball-shaped ornaments displayed in glass flutes mimic the rising bubbles. (We mixed vintage balls with clear ones.) Gather flutes in varying styles, and cluster them on a cake stand to craft a truly effervescent centerpiece.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, January
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
Guests prone to waterworks at weddings could use one of these: a ceremony program that doubles as a tissue cache.
To make the petite pocket, tuck a tissue or two inside a piece of paper that folds over twice to become a small, sideless envelope. (Use decorative scissors to trim the edges of the flap.) Then, glue or tape the envelope to the program. True, not everyone is going to cry during the vows, but it's a charming way to dry the joyful tears of those who do.
Scalloped "z-card" in lavelite, Envelopments.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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