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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Follow this guide to determine how much to buy. The primary rule: Buy plenty. You can use it later or return unopened bottles (check store policy before making your purchase).
Item and Quantity
Wine: One bottle per two people per hour
Beer: Two per person per hour
Spirits: One bottle per five people per hour
Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice: At least one pound per person per hour
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
1. Melt about 3 ounces of semisweet or white chocolate in a microwave. (It takes about 1 minute to melt.)
2. Holding a glass at an angle, dip a small portion of the rim into chocolate. Lift slightly, and rotate about 1 1/2 inches. Repeat around entire rim, making sure chocolate swags are the same size. Refrigerate glasses until ready to serve.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
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
Don't be afraid to be an exhibitionist. Display calligraphed names, grouped according to table, in frames that form a blueprint of the reception. The effect is altogether showstopping.
This sophisticated seating display puts the art in chart. Paint frames in colors to fit your palette, and assign each a table number. Just be sure to request RSVPs a few weeks earlier than usual to give your calligrapher enough time. (Another option: Print from your computer.) Calligraphy, by John DeCollibus of Beyond Words.
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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