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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When a vessel is this distinctive, its form and color practically dictate what kinds of displays to create. Martha's blue-glazed ceramic shell evokes summer at the beach, a time and place indelibly associated with billowing hydrangeas. Luxuriant cuttings from three cultivars, along with some leaves, supply the structure of this design. Airy pink gomphrena and white Cimicifuga cap the sea foam with spray.
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
Create an hors d'oeuvre centerpiece that recalls a vegetable patch. Buy a large, deep galvanized-metal planter from a garden-supply center, line the bottom with sprouts, and pour in enough water to moisten them. Arrange vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, asparagus, and cauliflower, in sections inside the container, varying the colors. Serve immediately with herb dip, or cover with moist paper towels and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 2008
Here's a fresh idea for the season's abundant Forelles and Anjous: Use them to make a friendly, fragrant greeting.
Line up seven pears (in the same color or a mix) on a mantel. Then, with a fine-tipped washable marker, write letters on the front of each pear. Press whole cloves into the flesh along the lines; using a pushpin or a tack first can ease their entry. Make the letters no earlier than the day your guests arrive -- the sweet and spicy aroma will be as welcoming as the message itself.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2010
Just as the coffee is being served, the dancing always seems to begin in earnest, leaving guests with cold coffee when they return to the table. At your reception, offer caramel wafers to rest across the top of the cup -- the coffee will stay warm and the caramel will soften, turning the wafer into a sweet gooey treat. To prevent premature nibbling, the wait staff should let guests know what the wafers are for when they first bring out the coffee.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings, March/April Spring 2004
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