Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Feast for the Eyes and Mouth!

It was love at first sight when I laid eyes on these absolutely gorgeous dessert creations by Amy Atlas. She is an event planner specializing in dessert tables that she designs and makes. Her expertise is in combining her own specialty dessert cakes, petits fours, truffles, and homemade candy with store-bought candies in subtle color combinations to create striking tablescapes worthy of the grandest parties and events. Go to her website to see many more gorgeous photos.

I love the color schemes, delicate details and creative/innovative designs. I love that she puts effort into allowing the handmade details to shine rather than trying to make everything look cookie cutter (pun intended!)

When you see the desserts close-up, the attention to detail blows you away. (I am speaking of the photo close-ups - I haven't been fortunate enough yet to actually attend any of her events, plus she's based in NY. But here's hoping.) Everything looks absolutely mouth-watering.

I'm very inspired by what I'll call her candyscapes. My husband's office holiday party had a simple candy bar at the end where everyone could scoop their favorite into a bag to take away. It's a simple concept, but such a crowd-pleaser. You could totally do it yourself at home. But when someone puts the effort into the sophisticated color combinations of the candies like Amy seems to, it elevates the concept to another level that can compete with or sit along next to more sophisticated desserts without looking gimmicky.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden Stools - So Useful, and Now Extremely Affordable!

Our new Garden Stool - See last paragraph for info

In the last couple years, there has been a proliferation of vendors selling garden stools. These are small, drum-shaped ceramic stools that are useful in almost any room as either a small occasional table to set drinks or food on, or as additional occasional seating that can be easily moved around the room as needed.

Normally, the pricing on these is anywhere from $129-$250. I have seen many of the exact same style offered for vastly different prices (as shown below), and I always suspect they are coming out of the same Chinese factory. Granted, some of the glazing on the more expensive ones might look a little more layered, but that's not always the case and still, I felt that the vendors were most likely making a huge margin on them at $129.

Wisteria - $129

Yesterday I was in Costco and saw these exact stools for $34 each. $34. Each.

They offered four colors, each of which I found tasteful - ivory, pale yellow, pale turquoise, and reddish brown. I snapped up two ivory ones for our patio and felt like I got the steal of the century.