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.
More Bright Ideas
A bright sheet or piece of fabric makes a lively backdrop for a professional-style photo shoot. Try hanging it at parties, and give guests a chance to strike a chic pose for the camera.
Make your photos even more festive by adding seasonal or occasion-appropriate embellishments. For slumber parties, try our Glittered "Candy" Garland.
SourceThe Martha Stewart Show, October 2010
Occasions such as Mother's Day call for the floral equivalent of a big hug. Candy colors, mixed textures, and varied sizes radiate homey spontaneity, especially when the "vase" is endearingly improvised from a flea-market find. A yellow teapot, with ample room for water below a narrow opening, becomes the perfect vessel for clasping a generous bunch of tulips, hyacinths, peonies, and, of course, forget-me-nots.
SourceMartha Stewart Living
Think of this as no-decorating decorating: Dress up your favorite Bundt cake with a bouquet in the center.
Choose dainty nontoxic flowers; we used muscari, brodiaea, and bupleurum. Cut the stems short, and arrange them in a glass that fits your cake. It's perfect for Mother's Day, and Mom can admire the arrangement after nothing is left but the crumbs.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, May 2010
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
Bring out the kid in your guests with a confectionary classic. To take cotton candy from state fair to wedding-worthy, have your caterer match the frothy spun sugar to your palette by adding food-coloring powder to granulated sugar. For an extra-sweet surprise -- and retro-chic handle -- swirl the delicious fluff balls around sticks of rock candy.
SourceMartha Stewart Weddings
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