Sherlock Holmes and the Place Card

I cannot take credit for this SUPER CUTE!!!! idea.  It is good for the kids, (especially) and for the kid at heart.

Okay, so these are photos from a birthday party for an older gentleman.  The stunning environment of BOND estate needed little to no amending.  However, the beautiful antique dining table just screams for flowers, food, friends, and fun so off to work I went with rich brown, orange and caramel colors.  Sounds simple enough right?

DSC_0199

Well, in comes the one and only Kathryn Fowler with a party favor of magnifying glasses.  At each setting was an old fashioned paper ball in which lies a trifle, good fun, and the addition of the glasses was truly delightful.  Each magnifying glass had a different handle, good weight in the hand and so we set about placing them as well as the place cards.  I always wait, as I am sure others do, to put the place cards down last.

EEK!  The place cards were nowhere to be found.  We all looked at each other, knowing that no one’s handwriting was “good” enough to mimic the pros and suddenly Carissa asserts, “We should right the letters super small and have the guests use the magnifying glasses to find their place at the table”!!!  How cute is that?  (Granted this was a group of good friends totaling only 14.  I would not suggest this for a group larger than 30).

DSC_0190

 

I wrote the smallest letters I could possibly write without making it impossible to see and though it does not show up well in the photos, when one scans the place card with the glass, POP!, the name becomes crystal clear.  Without the glass, one was, as my father would say, shit out of luck.

DSC_0193

Any manner of magnifying glass will do.  I suspect one could order a less expensive version on Amazon.  So much fun!

DSC_0204

 

Get inspired!!!

Have fun and don’t forget that the old wived tales are in fact not true.  Fresh cuts and fresh water, no additives, are all that flowers need.  (Just don’t forget to change the water every other day)

 

Limonata at Costco and an explosion of citrusy goodness

Ok, so I am a bit of a Diet Coke kind of guy.  Not always, but certainly with Chinese food from Mama Ji’s.   LOVE IT!  Though ever since I rediscovered San Pellegrino Italian soda products, namely Limonata, I have ditched what I know is a terribly bad liquid for the body and am comfortably enjoying these effervescent lovelies.

I was strolling through Costco, dodging busy little bees who are as good with a cart as they are with a car, and there they were, a 24 case of Limonata and Aranciata sodas.  They are delicious, great with roasted chicken, salads, or solo after a rough go with the clay soil in the garden, preparing beds for tons of forthcoming daffodil and tulip bulbs.  YES!!!

IMG_7934

When I went to the flower mart, I noticed these delightful but slightly garish Anthuriums.  They reminded me of the taste of Limonata so for kicks I decided to go with it.  I took a single Anthurium and walked around the flower mart, looking for perfect companions for my weekly installation at the Ritz-Carlton.  After some time scanning the many offerings about the market, suddenly, at Vicky’s – my favorite forager/cartographer/philosopher/curmudgeon I spotted the most beautiful Pittosporum berries.  Because Anthuriums are large and imposing, I knew the companions had to be respectful and I did not want many.  Perhaps one more elements and so I went strolling to Torchio Growers.  And there they were, some beautiful high petal count Ecuadorian roses.  The match was perfect.

 

So I filled my cozy cart with these carbonated blooms and headed to the Ritz.

Continue reading

Smokin’ Black Flowers for your Halloween Table!

I did think for a minute about starting this post by saying “OMG, these flowers are totally black and super duper perfect for Halloween”.  Well, I want you to know that everything I write to you is truthful so I will start this post with that standard intact.

OMG!!! These flowers are (almost) totally black!  You can head to the nursery or to the local florist or if you are lucky enough to live in SF, you can head to the SF Flower Mart to get your hands on black flowers.  So sexy, so sinister, so stupendous!

Here is an arrangement that is in real life a very dark purple but has come out a bit bloody (I have already sent a shout out to Tim Cook about the color of close-up photos on the iPhone)-still appropriate for our much loved celebration of the macabre.

photo

 

Continue reading

Puttin’ on the Ritz!

Okay, so not really puttin’ on the Ritz as in that fabulous number with Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein”, but rather creating something super duper for the VP of Global Marketing for the Ritz.  Pressure on, time to get creative with 3 hours notice!  (No problem.)

There is something SO FANTASTIC about being asked to go above and beyond (which is what I try to do with each and every client ttytt) and being able to find just the right elements for a very special arrangements in your garden.  I am telling you my friends, getting your hands dirty to plant flowering plants and then prettying up your life and the life of those you love with the flowers they produce is one of the most satisfying things in the world.  I think the only thing that compares, while playing in the dirt that is, is growing food that you eat with your friends.  (I am planning on growing root veggies!-  More later.)

DSC_0140

 

 

Continue reading

Apple Pride

Apple, on whose product I write, requested something simple and cute for a cozy little LGBT celebration at the super lovely Hotel Vitale here in San Francisco.  Well, what to do after the unbelievably bad rainbow fiasco on the streets of The Castro, and all the while not too terribly fond of lots of bright mixed colors in anything else but a fruit salad.  (The client requested color in a very LGBT kind of way – often a chubby RED FLAG for me, but whatevz, I am always up for a challenge and it is truly the goal of John James Designs to Redefine Enchantment and to dazzle clients every step of the way.DSC_0246

Continue reading