Water tumbler roses

One of my goals for this year is to come up with a new dinner party menu that is, somehow, a magical combination of simple, casual, elegant, tasty, and different. For years I’ve relied on lasagne or stuffed shells, salad, crusty bread, and cheesecake for many company dinners—as a result, anyone who’s been to dinner at our house more than twice can easily predict what I’m likely to serve on their next visit. It’s definitely time to change things up a bit! I’ll share the results of this exploration when I’ve settled on the final menu, but there’s more to this project than just the dishes I plan to serve to our guests.

The term “dinner party” is an extremely generous description of our entertainment style—for us, it’s a party when there are more than just the two of us, and it’s dinner if that’s the time of day when it occurs. I realize that an important factor in entertaining is making one’s guests feel special so I also want to develop a simple, elegant, and relatively inexpensive tablescape for our occasional company meals.

In a recent episode of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten demonstrated an easily crafted floral arrangement. I agree with Ina that it is awkward to look around, through, and above tall centerpieces, so I appreciated her simple solution of fitting roses and thyme stems to fit in short (mine are 3-½ inches tall) straight-sided tumblers. Because these arrangements are small, two or three of them will fit well on table set for six or eight people. As a bonus, I think this arrangement can be easily adapted to suit both the season and the occasion. New Year’s—white roses in anticipation of a fresh start; Valentine’s Day—red roses to celebrate the passion of new (and continuing love); tulips in spring, daisies in summer, etc. Let your imagination be your guide!

In her Beyond Layers e-course, Kim Klassen challenged participants to come up with a “six word memoir” that is somehow descriptive of where each of us is in our life’s journey. I struggled with this a bit because I wanted my phrase to be comprehensive, embracing where I’ve been, where and what I am right now, and what I hope for in the future. So, after a lot of thought and several not-quite-right attempts, this is my six word memoir:

Enjoying life; learning as I go…

The goals I’ve set for myself in these few paragraphs is a perfect example of this phrase in action in my life. I’ll be trying new recipes, experimenting with this or other simple floral arrangements, and continuing to explore both creative and technical aspects of photography. There will be times when something I try doesn’t turn out quite the way I plan, but I expect there will be more successes than failures and I know that I will learn something from each experience. So, here I am…enjoying life; learning as I go!

Original photo: ISO 400, 1/160 sec @ f/3.5 using a Nikon 50mm f/1:1.4G lens
Post-processing: minor LR adjustments for camera profile, exposure, and brightness
Textures: two layers of Kim’s “simplicity” texture, both set to soft light at 60%

Posted for Beyond Layers and Texture Tuesday: Simplicity Edition.

10 thoughts on “Water tumbler roses

  1. It’s such a long time since we had a dinner party..I don’t know what I would cook-Beef Stroganoff used to be one of my favourites…that might be because DH cooked it though!!
    Alison xx

  2. Very pretty image and lovely arrangement…I’d love to come for dinner old or new menu would be fine with me either way.

  3. Hi Wanda, I didn’t realise you were a fellow beyonder, yay! Love your six word memoir, fantastic…would work for me too. 🙂 Love the sound of those flower arrangements – and your image is gorgeous, so beautiful in its simplicity. Exploring and trying new things is great….I’m trying to do the same….can’t wait to see where this beyond journey will take us. 🙂

  4. Wanda, I could hardly get past the first paragraph. I’d sure like to be invited over for one of your old-style dinner parties! Your standard menu sounds perfect to me – you even feature my favorite dessert! 🙂 That said, I love the idea for the tumbler centerpieces. I hate having to peer around something to see the person sitting opposite me at table. I hope you’ll share with us more results of your new ventures.
    And – thank you! After reading your six-word memoir, I think I just hit upon my own. I’ll have to think about it for a bit, then perhaps I’ll write my own post about it.

  5. Wanda – what a wonderful challenge you have set for yourself! I look forward to reading about and seeing the images you create of your next company dinner. You are always so thoughtful in your posts and have such an honest way of writing. I am glad to be here, following along with your learning, because I learn from your experiences.

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