When I checked my mail on Monday I found the most delightful surprise! But first, I have to back-up and tell you I am a BIG fan of Southern Living and I have dreamed of having a feature in Southern Living magazine for ummmm, well, EVER!!!! I first connected with them about a feature probably three years ago but the timing just wasn’t right (including the fact that I had a baby and had to take a break from all shoots for a bit while savoring every moment of new mommy-hood!). But then, last summer, the stars aligned and I got my big chance! I was asked to pitch a story… I felt so nervous, they wanted a summer story and I thought that a porch party would be perfect! I adore the fresh combination of blue, white & green and knew it would be ideal for this piece. So, I pitched it and “huzzah!” it got accepted!
A month later (and less than a week after I returned from my trip to Ireland) the magazine sent the delightful Laurey Glenn to photograph my tablescape. It was all hands on deck as my mom, my best friend, my mom’s best friend and my two go-to floral pals Pat & Sherry of Pat’s Floral Designs, showed up at my best friend’s house to set up for the shoot! (My best friend has my “dream porch” and she often lets me “play house” on it!! Isn’t she super?!!)
I sewed the tablecloth from a fabric I found at Fabrics Unlimited that had the perfect blend of blue, white and green in a beautiful pattern yet just casual enough to suit my Mother’s Day Porch Party. But the real star of the table is the beautiful chinoiserie – or Blue Willow Ware. It was my inspiration for the entire scene and I just LOVE how it all came together! You can view a video of me chatting about it here.
I had a wonderful time gathering all the fun details for the party and doing a bit more sewing – I used my embroidery machine to monogram the napkins, that was an adventure! – and I also designed custom place cards and menu papers which YOU can download here on the Southern Living website. One of my neighbors even lent me the chairs which are inventory in her vintage rental business! Shoots like this are not one-man-shows!!
There is also another fun video on Southern Living’s website where I chat about Outdoor Entertaining Tips which you can view here.
My fabulous baker friends helped out too! Kelly from One Creative Cookie made absolutely beautiful blue and white cookies with a lace detail out of sugar and Anita with Maliha Creations decorated a gorgeous tiered cake with geometric elements inspired by the chinoiserie. We displayed these confections on a dessert buffet we set up on the porch – I love the idea of a dessert buffet, even if it’s a luncheon, because don’t we all love a sweet?! Plus, they are always so beautiful that I think it’s wonderful to incorporate them into the decor!
Best surprise of all? Not only is my table featured but it is also ON THE COVER!! I couldn’t believe it when I opened the envelope that they sent me with the advance copy in it!! Needless to say I squealed with delight much to the enjoyment of my two-year-old daughter who after asking why I was so excited declared the table photos “beautiful!” – isn’t she the sweetest?!!
I hope you will pick up a copy of the May issue of Southern Living (the entire issue is wonderful!) and check out the website where they share more details on the tablescape!