I remember when I was little girl looking through the Ethan Allen catalog over and over again. They had pages in the back that had rows and rows of mirrors and pictures and lamps, I’d guess you’d call them accessories now but I called them dream weavers.  I would sit for hours and cut out the mirrors and the pictures and just think of how fun it would be to have them and do something with them, I was never sure what, but just looking at them was  enough.

Now-how lucky! I play with real things for real people….but last weekend I kind of did a little mixture of childhood and adulthood.  I got two of my best friends together and said let’s play!  Let’s do a little planning, but mostly on the spot creating and see how it goes.  Of course my two friends are crazy talented and amazingly selfless, so who doesn’t want to play with them.  And they said YES!  like that, let’s do it!  How fun!  My friend Tracy Salisbury owns TA LORTON, has an amazing eye for beautiful yet approachable things.  There isn’t one thing in her store that I wouldn’t love somewhere in my house, truly.  And my friend Amy Herndon, of Amy Herndon Photography takes the most light filled, magical pictures of humans….and all of my events.  So we partnered up to play on a weekend without rain….thanks to Amy’s no rain dancing it happened and we had the most magical night.

I thought it would be fun for several reasons.  One I want to encourage people to entertain at their home.  To welcome people to their back porch, front porch, garden, dining room to sit together and visit, drink some wine, and feel good being together.  I want them to have a little of the magic.  If I can help them through words, or pictures or actions create a little feeling of “ahhh this feels like something a little more”, then I love that.   Two I want people to think outside their own box and think of setting a table as a collaboration among items, not all rented, or new or old…for example  grab a few new items from my friend Tracy at TA LORTON(and she has all price points) and add a beautiful rented linen, some of your own china, I grab things from my daughter’s room and then find a spot that is  beautiful but not typical for dining and use it and then all of sudden that moment is elevated to something special.  And last but not least I’ve always wanted to hang a light fixture over my bridge and eat dinner with friends there….so this gave me the best most fun excuse of all.

So Tracy and I spent the day adding and subtracting to tables and tossing ideas off of each other, then Amy came over with orzo pasta salad and that camera of hers and gave everything the light. Every set up has something of each, something new and sparkly, something that’s been around a long time, and something rented.  I went to trader joe’s and got their incredibly well priced flowers, and some from my yard.  We added a couple of fun printed items like menus and place cards, just cause I like doing things like that, but you can write names on  personal stationary with a note as a place card or find something fun at Hobby Lobby in the scrapbooking section.  Just remember to relax and be a kid again. I’d say ours was a great playdate!

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