I started “shopping” around my home like I always do when I begin to plan one of my parties. “Greek”, I thought, okay, think urns, columns, the blue and white flag… Rummaging around my overstuffed garage and the living room shelves for pieces that could be used for the table scape or for unusual serving pieces, I spotted a lovely urn-type vase-y kind of thing. Yes, that’s the start of a nice centerpiece that would be simple and attractive.
I’m a fiend for moss of all types, as I discovered when we downsized to our home on top of a mountain, it grows everywhere. Even on the driveway, you have to scrape it off with a spade. So I forage and harvest it by the basket load. But that’s another post… Anyway, I decided to keep it simple, but wanted to incorporate greenery into the decor. So moss covered foam balls seemed a simple way to have an elegant centerpiece and make it at almost no cost. I added some strands of ivy hanging down the sides to give it a finished look.
What linens do I own that could work with the theme? I always do a “winter” themed house decor for the Hannukah/Christmas season using an icy light blue, white and silver color palette. So, the color of the Aegean Sea would be the basis for the tablescape, utilizing that lovely blue cloth and matching napkins. Next.
PLACE CARDS AND PERSONAL MENUS
Some of my best ideas come to me wandering the aisles of a Michael’s Craft store. Most of the time I have a fairly good idea of what I’m going to be creating, but am not always clear on the “how” I’ll go about getting it finished. I had done so much work on designing and making my own napkin rings, I wasn’t up for another elaborate project for the place cards and menus.
I was passing through the wooden boxes aisle and spotted these glossy white wooden capital letters. Aha, if they had the initials of my guests, with a J and N, I was in business. Maybe I would prop them up against the personalized menus….. but what would the menus be propped up on? Out came my trusty brainstorming notes and I saw “columns”. Okay, how do I make a column?
The light bulb over my head was glowing brightly as I pushed my shopping cart (here in NC, they call it a buggy) to the baking aisle. Wedding cakes, layers, columns! I scooped up a package of white plastic cake support columns and felt quite triumphant. A little moss tucked into the ends would do the trick. More moss…
I used my computer and printer to do the menus on 3″x5″ card stock. The Papyrus font gave me a “Greek” vibe, so I downloaded a Greek key pattern to incorporate into the design as a footer. Using my pastel paint pencils, I colored the key pattern a matching blue to tie into the color scheme.
A single hole punched into the top with a matching blue ribbon tied in a bow finished the menu. Simple, elegant, and practically free. I splurged in other places! Here’s a PDF for you to use on your invitation, RIGHT CLICK to download your PDF: Greek Key Pattern PDF
POLYMER CLAY NAPKIN RINGS
The Greek Knot Napkin Rings I designed turned out really nice and I was pleased with how they complemented the finished table scape. I decided to use polymer clay to tie a clove hitch knot that could be used as a napkin ring once they were tossed in the oven and baked to a pretty finished craft project. All the instructions to make your own napkin rings are in my Greek Knot Napkin Rings post.
TAKE-HOME FAVORS – Greek Butter Cookies
I never send my guests home empty-handed after a wonderful party, and dessert is always a nice choice. But this particular dinner party menu includes a fabulous ending featuring a Greek Custard Pie served with Turkish coffee from the authentic copper coffee pot I ordered from Amazon. The Traveling Wolves haven’t made it to that part of the world yet!
I decided that a second dessert would never be turned down by any of my guests and chose a lovely Greek Butter Cookie. These pretty cookies are crunchy, buttery and still maintain a lightness that defies logic. (Wait till you see how much butter the recipe has!) The addition of a dram or two of Ouzo provides a delightful licorice finish to each bite that gives this cookie a “surprise” element for your guests.
I packaged them up in glossy white “to-go” containers, using the same blue ribbon to “tie” up the package. It’s really nice to write your guests’ names on the front with a matching blue pastel paint pencil and tucking in a matching piece of tissue paper to complete the party favor package.
Voila! I’ve given you all the ingredients you’ll need to put together you’re own Greek Dinner Party from the tablescape and menu, to the recipes and craft projects. Now, who will you invite? Why not start planning your own celebration of Greece and the sunny Mediterranean this weekend?
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