It was a lovely warm and sunny Easter morning and we sat down to brunch just after opening our be-ribboned Easter baskets. This French toile Easter table started with the chocolate brown French toile napkins. I picked them up several years ago at Pottery Barn…I just wished I have purchased more!
The grass in the trough grew lush and green which is something I can’t seem to do in parts of my back yard…go figure. I posted about planting the grass in the trough here. I painted ceramic eggs in gold leaf type paint and burnt umber craft paint. I didn’t get too worked up about how to do the designs…freehanded them mostly. My favorite part of the centerpiece is the little iron bunny peeking out. So charming.
French toile and easter really seem to go together for me…well, actually French toile and any holiday go together for me. Red for Christmas, brown for Thanksgiving, Black for Halloween. I easily could have a post for each holiday, French Toile Easter Table, French Toile Christmas Table, French Toile Thanks….well, you get the idea.
In the spring of 1991 I opened the mailbox to greet the latest edition of Martha Stewart Magazine. It was the first year of the magazines publication and I couldn’t wait to each issue to arrive. I was newly married and eager to try just about anything which graced the pages. It was there I found instructions for ribbon trimmed Martha Stewart inspired Easter Baskets.
There they were on page 56. A (relatively) small article (4 pages) on Easter Baskets. Not just any Easter Baskets…The Easter baskets of my dreams. Up until that point I had never seen an Easter basket which wasn’t 10 shades of horrible. The main event was what was inside…peeps, jelly beans, chocolate bunny, the good stuff. The basket itself was usually either this strange plastic woven type (oddly trying to mimic something actually woven but in the most unrealistic way possible). Or an actual woven basket which looked like it was made from materials found by the side of a highway somewhere. I won’t say road kill. But close. In the spring of 1991 that all changed for me. The basket which in itself WAS the main event.
Okay. In retrospect those baskets were uber busy. A white spray painted basket covered in bows. Pattern on pattern on pattern. I think the thing which struck me however was the colors. Each basket had its own color way. Everything in the blue basket was some shade of blue, the same for the yellow, etc. Even the (overly to my eye now) decorated sugar cookies coordinated. Now that had style.
I set about to re-create this little lovelies. One for me. One for my new husband. Cute tiny little baskets filled with similarly colored treats. I varied from Martha’s example by making a collar of bows around the top instead of bows scattered all over. I used much more saturated colors than Martha. Bright blue for him. Raspberry Pink for me. Cute. I’m not sure how hubby felt about an Easter basket covered in bows but being a newlywed he didn’t say a word. Good man.
The following year when our daughter was born I gave her my little pink beauty and I made myself a purple one. The mistake I made in the beginning was that I selected baskets which were far too small. Not enough room for the Easter treats I wanted to fill them with. I wasn’t a problem until the kids got a bit older and the little treats got well, not so little. By the time we had our second I had re-made the baskets in a much larger format. Pink for her, yellow for the next little nipper. Blue for the third. Green for the fourth. I have even made them for my niece and nephews. So far I think I have made about 10 of them and each one is unique.
I love that they look festive and party like even with nothing inside. Each year I buy new eggs to add (after all those little plastic eggs don’t hold up forever). The great thing is that the hues of the basic colors always change…so after 13 years of eggs they are all different shades. I love that spectrum of color. This year I added a pack of large and small from Target. Beautiful colors. But the addition I am most excited about are the glitter eggs from Target. Haven’t opened one yet but they sure look great!
Each year I freshen the baskets up a bit. In recent years I have added a glitter initial to personalize them even more. I’ve also added little chicks tucked in here and there. Add more ribbon and plump the ribbon already there. It has led to an unexpected result. They have, in effect, become little time capsules of the kid’s childhoods. We called our #4 monkey when he was little….and so he has a bow with little monkeys on it on his basket. Our daughter went through a butterfly stage and on hers there is a glittery butterfly. On each of the baskets there is ribbon from an article of their baby clothing. Each has a snippet of ribbon from my Mother, who passed away and we all miss so much. I added darker more elegant tones of ribbon as they got older…ribbon which reflected their growing up. These baskets now function like sentimental Christmas ornaments on a tree…each with its own story. I especially love that it happened organically. There was no plan to have it happen this way. It just did.
I’m done freshening them up for this year. I added (three years tardy) my daughter’s sorority letters to hers and my son’s college ribbon to his. Easter is three weeks from today and the baskets are all laid out…bunny ready.
Instructions for making these are as easy as it comes.
What you’ll need:
White Easter Basket (I got mine at Michaels)
Bits of ribbon (all types, various shades, colors and widths)
I am ready to put an Easter centerpiece and decorations together. Decorating for Easter is always fun for me…bunnies, lots of greenery and my cabbage bowls. I know Easter is a month away but I can’t help but start on the road to easter decorating and the start is the Easter centerpiece for the diningroom table!
To kick it off I found these stunning Helleborus is a find from the grocery store. I haven’t had much experience with these but it seems easy enough…shade, cooler temperatures and moist soil. Sounds perfect for the diningroom. The colors are perfect…pink and greeny-cream bi colored petals. The red and white buds open to large, soft pink flowers which will eventually turn burgundy. Best yet these are perennials and so if I can keep it alive long enough I’ll plant it outside.
On another front, I’ve started on a table decoration for the diningroom table for Easter. I know it sounds early but I want to grow grass and that won’t happen overnight!
The plan is to plant grass in a long wooden trough and then insert flowering bulbs. I’m also going to plant grass seed in little terra cotta pots for the kids table. I am not sure what I’ll add at Easter…could be a little chocolate bunny a yellow furry chick or a decorated egg. I’m waiting for that inspiration to strike. But for now I know I want the base to be a mini Easter field.
First I layed out all the things I’ll need.
Wooden container ( found this trough at Home Goods a couple of years ago)
First I put a layer of plastic grocery bags in the bottom of the wooden trough. Next I cut paper plates to line the long openings.
The soil needed to be moistened and I so I mixed it in a bowl with water to make it soft and moist but not dripping wet.
That went into the trough over the paper plates. Next a layer of grass seed!
I used a fork to mix the seeds into the very top of the soil layer.
I misted the surface with water to get those little buggers moist. Finally I moved the trough to a sunny windows to get the party started. With luck, and watering, the mini lawn will be lush and green by Easter!
One of my favorite Easter treats are Cadbury Creme Eggs. I look forward to them appearing on store shelves a month or so before Easter each year. It occurred to me as I gobbled one up last week that perhaps that yummy chocolaty, creamy taste could somehow be transformed into a cocktail. Thus this delicious Easter Cadbury Creme Egg Martini recipe was born!
My first attempt was to infuse vodka with those little chocolate nuggets. I have infused vodka often with great success…pears, figs, vanilla beans and even allspice. Yummy concoctions all. The creme eggs however were a colossal failure. Cloudy sludge filled liquid. Not fit for human consumption. Plan B was far more successful…the flavors of the chocolate treat deconstructed and reassembled in cocktail form.
I garnished the glass with a gooey rim of the insides of a Cadbury Creme Egg. This made the cocktail much sweeter than without. I actually preferred the version without the gooey rim. I was preferable overall especially if the cocktail is to be enjoyed with appetizers. If it is a stand alone at dessert time then the gooey rim is a must try…or do as we did, half with, half without.
The base is vanilla vodka. Added to that Godiva White Chocolate liquor and Creme de Cocoa. The magic ingredient is the Effen Salted Caramel Vodka. The depth of flavor it added transformed this from good to amazing. Finish it off with a splash of heavy cream and you have heaven in a glass. This is a potent treat…but really we are only having one…right?