My sister Ann, the interior designer, was invited to design a tablescape for the Eau Gallie Arts District’s (EGAD) annual fundraiser called Razzle Dazzle. In the past, the tables have been located at the Foosaner Art Museum (formerly the Brevard Art Museum). This year, however, tables were located at business in the EGAD and Ann’s spot was at the EGAD! Art Lab, an art gallery owned by Derek Gores, a renowned collage artist.
I offered the use of my vintage dishes circa 1941 from Red Wing Pottery. The two patterns that I have are Blossom Time (pink and green) and Magnolia (chartreuse). Ann was agreeable and the dishes drove the color scheme of pink and green with some black thrown in so that the color scheme wouldn’t be too sweet. Ann came up with the theme “Mad Hatter Garden Party,” found some inspiration ideas, planned the table decor, and enlisted my help and that of Bobbi Brown and Helen Wheatley, two of the founders of The Art Gallery of Viera.
My dishes have a three-tier cake plate and what’s a cake plate without food on it. So I suggested felt food. That’s right! Felt food—namely cakes and tarts. Ann bought a couple of patterns, I bought the supplies, and over the Thanksgiving weekend we started on the desserts. Mom joined in and we had a blast working on the food. In fact, it turned into a movable feast—Mom’s house on Thanksgiving, Ann’s house the day after, and my house the day after that. We worked one other day and then I finished the tarts and added the trim. Don’t the desserts look scrumptious!
The Mad Hatter’s hat was purchased online but was in sad shape when it arrived. Imagine flattening a top hat! It took a lot of stuffing for it to stand up again. The embellishments that came with the hat were also in a sorry state. A peacock feather printed on cardboard? Really! So we added our own touches—Ann made the new sash and the 10/6 card, Bobbi made the hat pins, I bought the feathers and sewed it all on.
Bobbi’s whimsical paint job and embellishments on the child’s chair were so delightful. I fought against the marching ants but lost! I will admit that they look just fine and add just the right touch of quirky playfulness. Bobbi also made the napkin rings and bits of jewelry to dangle from the ends of the runners.
Helen made the card arch! It was rough going but the end result was incredible. Thanks to Helen for her perseverance and her husband for his solution on how to make it stand up. Helen also make the funky drinking glasses out of mason jars and candlesticks and the colorful and fun topiaries.
Thanks to Malynne, a Party City customer who gave me the jumbo playing cards that were used in the arch. I didn’t know Malynne before the playing card topic came up but she overheard me saying to the Party City clerk, “What do you mean you don’t carry jumbo playing cards?” Well, I hope I said it nicer than that. So she spoke up and said she had a couple of decks at home that I could have. So I went to her house that night and got them. How wonderful was that!
Mom and Ann made the table linens—tablecloth, runners, and napkins. Gee, it sure sounds like everyone did a lot except me! I guess I was more the behind the scenes person—shopping for the hat, felt food supplies, Styrofoam and moss for the topiaries; and finishing the embellishments on the desserts.
And the spiders! Ann saw them on the floor at home right when she was ready to leave for the table installation. She was going to scoop them up and set them free outside. Well, on closer inspection, they turned out to be plastic. Whew! She thinks they fell out of a Halloween box when she was moving things around.
Thanks to Ann and her vision. I think we pulled it off!