Posts Tagged natural elements in decor

A Magical “Green” Woodland Party…

4 November 2010

OK all of my blog friends…  get ready for a mega-super long faerie packed post.

Remember a while back when I said I was working on a fund raiser for the Community Environmental Counsel that was to be a faerie themed event?  Well I finally got the pictures back…

I feel like a proud parent that is dying to show off pictures of her children…  all 100 pictures.  So consider yourself warned…

It was held in an outdoor large rotunda of the Fess Parker’s Double Tree resort.  We filled this huge space with approximately 250 trees, 400 shrubs and divided it into two spaces, one for cocktails and the other for dinner and dancing.  You are looking at the diner area in the front with the stage on the left and the cocktail area to the back on the right, behind the curtain.

The theme was an enchanted woodland forest.  As they are a non-profit that consults on local environmental issues they wanted a green event.  Well as you can probably guess green means a bit more to me that the average person.

I wanted to remind people of our heritage, of the myths and legends that surround the forests.   Of a time when we were intrinsically tied to nature.  When our daily lives were so mixed with nature and it’s folk lore that there was no dividing line.  Now because of the marvelous wonders of technology and science many of us live a life that is very removed from the rhythms of Mother Nature.  Our Earth is beautiful, and so magical.  To walk in the forrest or on the beach or any place where the magisty of Mother Nature is felt is to heal your heart, calm your mind, and remember your part in the big picture.  I get so frustrated at how political environmental issues have polarized us…  in large part because of the crazies on BOTH sides.  To me it is just good manners to care for this precious Earth.  My Mom taught me to not take more than I need and say please and thank you.  To strive to live a healthy earth friendly life is to do the same.   OK I am done preaching…  thank you for listening.  Anyway…

Some of the tables had wild fantastical trees complete with feathers, flowers, butterflies, bugs and hanging candles…

And some of the tables had low arrangements which were an eclectic mix of fun items like birdcages (with the doors tied open…  it is a thing I have against caging flying creatures) filled with butterflies (fake), lanterns, plants, garden statuary, cloches, funky old bottles with feathers, birds nests, and all manor of magical woodsy beauties.

Our Faerie court…

(click on the picture for a larger size)

We had a Faerie Birch Queen who rode in on a Unicorn and would you believe it…  I do not have one picture!!!!!  Maybe it is the magical nature of the Unicorn that does not allow for photos…  However here is our lovely Queen

She sat on her Birch throne up above the rotunda and with her ladies in waiting reigned over her forrest that evening.

Along with the Queen we had Satyrs.  Does this picture make you giggle or what?…

There were lots of beautiful details…

And some just fun silly details…

Kenny Loggins played for us…

The deserts were adorable…

I think everyone had a fun time and came away thinking more about our beautiful Earth.  Even though a party of this size does have an impact on Nature no matter how you slice it.  Everyone did their best to keep it to a minimum.  The trees and statuary were loaned to us from three wonderful people…  , Katie Oriely Rogers Landscape Architect, Eye of the Day Garden statuary and Cal Western Landscape.  Everything went on to their respective permanent homes in peoples yards.  These people were brought in by the Event Coordinator Merryl Brown. She is wonderful at connecting all the right people together.  This event would not have been possible without the trees plants and statuary.  Imaging a forrest without trees!  She kept the big picture in mind and got anything that I might need… usually donated!  Most of her events have a huge on being green.  The food was locally organically grown, the decor (me) was mostly plants and props (which I use over and over) with a few locally grown flowers.  The costumes I made were mostly of recycled items from thrift stores.  The party supplies such as dishes, tables, chairs, etc were all rented and used again.  Fewer dishes were used (such as no bread plates and limited amounts of glass wear) so the water usage in clean up was reduced.  And I composted the remains of the flowers on the ranch that my husband and I live on.  Not too bad for such a decadent party!  Hope you enjoyed all of it!!


Wild Gardens

15 July 2010
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Here’s to wild abundant gardens!

No box cut hedges for me, just Mother Nature in all her glory,

All flowers are welcome, no discrimination with this flower or that flower being more important, all are beautiful in my eyes.

I adore vine covered walls and roofs, Mother Nature decorates so much prettier than most of us.


To look out my window and see such natural beauty is to experience magic and wonder.

I could easily live in a green house, a Hobbit Hole, or a Faerie’s den.


Just wild overgrown beautiful flowers and plants.

vintage eclectic barn wedding

24 May 2010
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As promised here are the latest barn wedding pictures, please know I am a designer not a photographer so pardon the horrible pictures.  If the photographer gives me some better ones I will post them…

The ceremony was across from the barn at the base of a 300 year old Sycamore tree…


In an earlier post I had shown you a few ideas for hanging windows from the trees and setting the pews outside, the bride liked the ideas so that’s what we did.  We also added straw bales as more seating

The vow site,

We used some old fence gates as the entrance to the aisle.

The welcome beverage table,

Really fun beverage signs,

The check in area with vintage trunks and hang tags with buttons which told the guests where they would sit.

Inside the barn,

Containers were an assortment of vintage boxes, wooden buckets, jars and bottles, old tin, and cast iron.

I made candles covered with copies of old French letters and ledgers as well as some covered with burlap with buttons…  very fun!

they used mason jars as drinking glasses,

At the entrance to the barn we hung up old keys, hang tags with the bride and groom’s names, old door handles, latches, locks, silver ware and all manner of eclectic items.

We set the cake on a glass table top which was placed on a couple of straw bales with a funky old wrought iron chandelier with crystals hanging overhead.

Another old, fun chandelier with crystals, and behind on the wall are a bunch of photos of the bride and groom.

Below is an old wooden grain trough that my husband turned into a couch.  I am having huge overstuffed white denim cushions made for it, they just were not done in time for the wedding so I used foam and an old quilt.



Another view of the barn…   it really is set in the most beautiful glade of Sycamore trees,

There were lots of fun and sweet details, almost a sweet as the couple…   Hope you have enjoyed the pictures!

Add a bit of faerie dust to your wedding

31 March 2010
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I had the great fortune to indulge in a faerie dream that was swimming around in my imagination and create a beautiful and fastastical faerie and elf wedding.  I wallowed in making wings and costumes, and setting a beautiful stage on the magical ranch my husband and I live on.  I went a little crazy with it and the results have been published I am happy to say in Faerie Magazine  (summer 09) and is currently in Santa Barbara Magazine and is coming out in Elle mag in China in May as well as on numerous bolgs.  The most excellent photographer Elizabeth Messina captured the magic on film beautifully.  This was my faerie bride and groom and their magical owl,

To see the whole wedding go to the faerie gallery on my web site.

I know that most people would not go to quite these lengths in a muggle (non-magic folks) wedding so I have taken some of the faerie pictures and suggested what you could incorporate from them in your wedding,

Hold the ceremony outside at the base of an ancient tree.  Possibly add a garland around the trunk or hang a chandeliere from one of the branches.  You could easily purchase an old funky chandeliere from a thrift store and then cover it with moss or bark.  The day of the wedding add fresh greenery like Ferns and Ivy.  You can hang ribbons from the branches and then pin wishes to the ribbons or tie flowers to the end of the ribbons.  You could hang a big beautiful flowering basket from the branches off to one side of where you will be standing.  Keep in mind what the camera sees and make sure that nothing looks like it is coming out of your head in the photos.   You could place around the base of the tree trailing potted plants and flowers like Ferns, Petunias or Impatients for added lushness and color.  Hanging colorful lanterns looks very festive even if the ceremony is in the day time.

Bring natural elements into the ceremony such as having the rings brought forth on a moss pillow or on a lovely piece of bark.  Nestling rings in large shells or birds nests look beautiful as well.  Set a feasting table outside in the middle of a field/park/forest/glade/orchard/wherever natural.  Hang lanterns all around for twinkling light as the evenings draws near.  Use any type of lanterns or even a hodg podg of different styles.  If cold evenings are a factor you can rent mushroom heaters from a party rental company to scatter about or have some outdoor fire pits for a wonderful effect as well as heat.

Bring natural elements to your table such as plants (both green and flowering), cover any plastic pots with moss and tuck in lots of goodies like fruit, mushrooms, feathers, bark, branches, driftwood, shells, etc.  You can also add in sparlkey elements like beaded bits, crystals, personal momentos, pictures,  and lots of pretty glass containers for candles.

Make chargers for the plates out of feathers, moss, large green leaves or bark or other natural elements.  Add a bit of sparkle with gliter or colorful glass beads.

Set you cake outside near a tree or other beautiful vista.  Go a bit crazy with a lushious display of gorgeous candies, fruit and flowers.  It becomes a lovely focal point throughout the evening as well as makes for beautiful pictures.

I also created another wedding for a photo shoot with a magical/mid-summer-nights-dream feeling.   Christine Arnold took the following great pictures.  Most of what I created muggles could do.  I used lots of plants and natural material like tree branches and trunks, moss, mushrooms and bark.  I also used lots of outdoorsy items like garden figurines, old fashioned hurricane lamps, and mixed them with more elegant pieces like candelabras, Indian saris, beautiful goblets, and absolutely loads of candles and twinkle lights.  I really think almost anything can look beautiful in candle light and twinkle lights come as close to candle light as any electric light available.

Use large leafs as chargers, have short sections of tree trunks as risors.  Tuck in bits like pine cones and fun fruit and vegiatbles.

Make a green wrap or head wreath for some of the statues in the garden.  They should be decked out for the festivities too!

Use lots of candle elements like lanterns and pretty glasses with votives in them.

Even bottles with tall grasses in them look cool.  Go and trim your yard and tuck in the bits of branches, ferns, and succulents on the table.

Use lots of layers of mismatched fabrics for great texture.  Stay within a color story of 2 or 3 colors so it doesn’t get too messy and then use lots of variations of those colors.  Rent a simple inexpensive base linen for all the tables in the same color and then layer on lots of other fabrics.  I also like to include a natural fabric like burlap or gauze to reiterate the outdoor feeling.

Use lots of lanterns, it doesn’t matter if they match.  One way to keep things from looking too eclectic is to keep each table with like items on it.  So have one table with hurricane lanterns and then another table with more exotic lanterns.  Do not mix the two different styles on the same table.

Here I have used a vintage Indian sari that had wonderful gold thread woven throughout.  The colors for this event were browns and greens.

Here I use my own green sequened shawl over a long strip of brown velvet which was layed over the base brown linen.  I also swirled around the candle holders more fabric.

Hanging all over were large tree branches with the leaves still on them and curtains of twigs with Spanish Moss all interwoven with lots of twinkle lights.  Wrapped on several of the beams was dried Honeysuckle vine, again mixed with twinkle lights.

I also created a mini lounge with tree trunks with cushions on them and a brass table again on a small tree trunk. On the table were lots of river rocks and moss which would also look good on the dinning tables.

Just remember to bring outside items in and add a bit of sparkle.  It is the combination of rustic or natural elements with sophisticated glamour that is so alluring and beautiful.