Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter at The McMahon's

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter filled with faith, food, family, and friends. I spent the majority of the holiday weekend with my family. On Saturday night I helped my Mom decorate her dining room table for Easter lunch and I also took some time to finish decorating the very yummy Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/ homemade cream cheese icing! On Sunday morning, we went to the 8am Easter service. Everything outside was so covered with frost that it reminded me more of a Christmas morning rather than an Easter morning! After church, we headed back to my parent's house for the yummy ham-filled lunch.

As promised, I took some photos of our Easter tablescape creation! The above photo is a view of the entire table. We "only" had 9 people attend this Easter as many of my siblings were either out of town or celebrating with their spouse's family. I believe that my Mom has fit up to 14 at the above table - maybe even more. We've never been able to find a table big enough to hold the entire family so my Mom actually has two dining room tables pushed together. Although I love whitewashed furniture, I actually love antiques as well. And, I absolutely love my Mom's dining room. It is filled with antiques, antique replicas and lovely antique inspired decor. My parent's house is an older brick home with original dark hardwoods - built-in plate racks, ceiling beams, bookshelves etc. (They just don't make homes like their house anymore!) When I 'grow' up (haha) - I'd like to live in an older home just like theirs!
To create some height in this long tablescape we placed crystal cake stands on either end of the table. They were topped with intricate white serving plates. In the center of each plate, crystal candlesticks were placed and purple candles inserted. To add dimension, faux baby's breath was tucked between the cake plate and serving plate. And of course, my bird's nest cupcakes were added just before lunch on Sunday.

If you'd read my earlier posts you know that I had difficulty perfecting the bird's nest cupcakes. I really dislike the taste of coconut so I just could not bare to make the nests out of coconut. My first creative idea was to make nests out of shredded frosted wheat and this first attempt ended up flat. My second attempt was literally flat as well. I tried rolling unbaked sugar cookie balls in the shredded wheat. After I placed them on a baking sheet I used my thumb to flatten the cookies and create an indention in the center of each cookie to attempt a nest affect. Well, after they baked, they turned out flat as well. So, on Saturday night I found myself debating what to do. I iced a cupcake as normal, took my spatula and created an indention in the center of the icing by parting the icing. I then inserted three egg shaped chocolates in the center. To try to attempt the bird's nest look with icing alone, I took the spatula to pieces of the icing and pulled them out to create height. It is really hard to tell in the photos, but this did create a nest look - although not overly dramatic - since the icing was still white. I almost tinted these 'plucked out' areas with brown food coloring, but I ran out of time. Next time I think I'll try the food coloring affect for sure.

The above is a photo of our Easter place settings. Instead of her formal china, my Mom alternated etched purple plates and light green plates as these looked more springy. In the center of each place setting, we placed a carrot cake cupcake. Die-cut birds were inserted into each cupcake with each guest's names - these served as a very cute and creative place cards.

The above is a snapshot of all of the little birdies before I cut them out. (Cutting them by hand was a chore -really made me wish I had one of those fancy cutting/crafty machines!) To create the above pattern, I simply pulled a bird clip-art off of Microsoft clip art, tinted them different colors and added each guest's name. After the above sheet was printed, I also reversed the clip-art so that I could cut out matching backs for each bird. (As you can see from the below photo, I inserted these birds into the cupcakes with toothpicks. The two sides and toothpick were glued together with rubber cement.)
Very cute - don't ya think?
My Mom had purchased 4 of these little ceramic birds on clearance at Hobby Lobby (only 99 cents each) earlier in the season. We scattered them down the center of the table. To integrate them into the piece, I took some more of the faux baby's breath and tucked it under the birds.
My Mom is such the bargain shopper. She even found the above vase on sale at Hobby Lobby for only $7! What a steal. I can never find bargains like that! Although maybe I just don't have her patience. I do envy this vase. Since my parents were hosting, I purchased the above flowers for their table. I was very disappointed as I had intended to buy lovely spring tulips, but I couldn't find any tulips at florists near me. Very saddening. The above did do, although the Gerber daisies weren't looking too hot on Easter morning. I love the look of Gerber's, but they tend to be a very persnickety plant!
The lillies in the arrangement were beautiful and even better they made the dining room smell so pretty!

Hope you enjoyed a peek at how "The McMahon's Celebrated Easter"! I certainly loved sharing! I can't believe that it is almost April. You know what that means? Another tablescape! I'm still debating and planning it in my head, but check back later on this upcoming weekend for photos!


Joy at Cupids Charm said...

The tablescape is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I loved your idea of the candlesticks on top of the cake stands for extra height. And I am sure that lunch tasted as good as the table looked too! Thanks for sharing the pictures. Hope your weather warms up and you will be planting flowers soon too. Have a wonderful week! xoxo ~ Joy

Lori said...

Oh everything looked so elegant! I love what I could see of your Mom's dining room! I noticed some really neat lamps on a sideboard, she certainly has great taste!As for the basket/nest I mean try the Wilton tip and just use a light tint of brown icing. The tip has many holes and should do the trick to make a nice nest. Lori

Kelly said...

Beautiful, such great effort and detail, just perfect. A great inspiration!