Y’all, thank you for all your kind words this week about the New City Arts Secret Dinner. I feel really blessed and encouraged by your comments. I wish you all could have been there, enjoying a glass of wine with us.
Today I’d love to share a little more about our tablescape, specifically the florals and vases. Since we were working with a small budget, I knew I needed to get creative about how to display flowers in a beautiful, economical way. The vision was to create an ombre-inspired table with colors fading from light yellow to coral to a fiery orange. Jackie Collmus was able to match our vision with garden roses, snap dragons, lilies, tulips, and ranunculuses. For the vases, we gathered over 130 containers – squared bottles, mason jars, rounded vases, even white wine bottles. At first, I was really over the mason jar trend, but they were so easy to come by (we had tons left over from our own wedding) that I knew I had to figure out a way to reinvent them. That’s when I decided to paint each glass vessel, transforming them into something new. What do you think?
Stay tuned for the easy DIY.
The New City Arts Forum Secret Dinner was an event I’m going to cherish for a long time. When Maureen asked if I’d be willing to design and style a dinner for 155 artists, musicians, dancers, writers, creatives, and art enthusiasts and patrons, I was thrilled. When I was told A Pimento was catering, I was over the moon. In short, I loved this event. It felt so sincere. After a weekend discussing art, its significance and transformative nature in our culture, and witnessing several moving performances, a long, relaxed evening of conversation and good wine felt so appropriate. The guests, once strangers to each other, now sat elbow to elbow, made family by their shared experience and their shared meal, passing each dinner course from one to another.
The style of this event was meant to be artistic, playful, textural, and inviting. I was so excited to explore some new projects while planning its design, each piece a labor of love. I could not have accomplished this vision alone, and I am forever grateful to Jackie Collmus who provided florals, Skyline Tents for the gorgeous lighting, Festive Fare for rentals, the Trinity Fellows who were our entire (amazing! tireless!) staff, Christ Church where the dinner was located, Maggie Stein who took these beautiful photos, and A Pimento who presented an incredible farm to table menu. Truly I can hardly put into words how wonderful it was to see so many talented people coming together, either in the planning and design of this evening, or around the table as guests.
Please stay tuned as I plan to share more about the menu and a couple of DIY projects in upcoming posts.
Just a little sneak peek of some decor inspiration I used while planning for the New City Arts Forum dinner this weekend. Are you coming? It’s going to be amazing. These amazing ladies are catering, Skyline is providing lighting, and two local florists are decking out the space in gorgeous blooms. I’m excited about this project – the space is a secret until the evening of the dinner (so fun!) and since we’ll be serving artists and art-lovers, the decor will be creative, interactive, and a bit out of the box. Can’t wait to share the finished product!
* I seem to have misplaced the sources for these images! If you know, please let me know, so I can credit properly.*
I was getting spoken to and speaking, some of the women, old friends, neighbors, leaning over to give me a hug, but all the time I was listening. “Sold!” “Sold!” Every time I heard it, I knew that, piece by piece, the things we’d all of us gathered there so many years would be scattered and gone. All that had been used to make it a dwelling place, by my folks on back, by Grover and me, by just me with Coulter and Wilma to help me, all the memories of all the lives that had made it and held it together, all would come apart and be gone as if it never was. – “Sold” by Wendell Berry
I read this story this morning. I like reading Wendell Berry during the changing of seasons, when you can’t ignore the living nature of the earth itself. Things grow. Things pass away. A thick dusting of pollen brings forth the promise of spring buds. A sudden chill reminds us that even the greenest leaves turn brown. Everything moves at twitter-speed these days. There’s an immediacy that sometimes is tiring, exhausting. It makes us feel like we are powerful: the entire world at our fingertips. And yet actual living happens in very small spaces: the kitchen, the walk to work, the bedroom, the garden. Reading Wendell Berry is slow, sometimes painstakingly slow. The lives he writes are agrarian, simple, full of life’s boring details. I’m afraid of what we lose when we don’t pay attention to those details. What will happen when all the Wendell Berrys, who really knew a slower life, aren’t around to tell these stories?