Tabletop Twist :: Photo by Julia M. Usher
My Top 10 Holiday Table-Setting Tips
Still recovering from Christmas? Weary of party after same-old party? On the verge of drafting a New Year’s resolution vowing never to entertain again?
Hold on - don’t be rash! I know all too well the consequences of holiday party-planning burnout - and they’re not pretty! Foregoing good times with friends and family out of fear of more dishes, lack of novel decorating ideas, or even shortage of cash usually isn’t the right trade-off. Even now with a few days ‘til New Year’s, it’s not too late to give your holiday table some special design twists that won’t break the bank - or your back. With some thoughtful rearranging and re-purposing of things you already have, it’s possible to create an entirely new, and impressive, party ambience in much less time than you might think.
In this post, I share my top 10 tips for holiday tabletop design - basically those tricks I apply when I need to change things up fast, yet still make a statement.
3-D Cookie Cake :: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher
New 3-D Cookie Course:
NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE!
As many of you know, 3-D cookies are kind of my thing, so - perhaps needless to say - I was super excited when I was invited by eduK, Brazil’s largest e-learning site, to teach a three-day course all about them. I received the invitation late last year, and have been designing and decorating the projects for this course for the better part of the last two months! I’m pleased to announce that they are nearly done, and I am just four days away from boarding a plane to Brazil where I will videotape the course.
The course will be live-streamed from 2 pm to 5 pm (São Paulo, Brazil time), July 27 - 29, for FREE; it will be re-run once again, for free, one hour after the first live-streaming is over. After both free viewing periods have concluded, the course will only be available for purchase. (Though if you sign-up for the paid course before the live-streaming is over, you can get it at a steep discount.)
The course will be taught in English and translated simultaneously into both Portuguese and Spanish, which means that almost anyone anywhere should be able to enjoy it.
During these three days, I will demonstrate six new 3-D cookie projects (see my preview video below), all tied together with the common thread of a wedding theme. I’ll also cover close to 20 decorating and assembly techniques!
Sampling of Stencils :: Designed by Me with Stencil Ease
My New Stencil Line, Plus Giveaway:
Well, well, the day has finally come! After nearly a year in discussion, design, and development with my new partner Stencil Ease, I’m thrilled to announce the official launch of my new Prettier Plaques stencil series, along with a host of other stenciling accessories and general-purpose stencils from Stencil Ease’s Confection Couture line all to be found on the Stencil Ease site!
I couldn’t be more thrilled about this partnership (the Stencil Ease team is terrific) and how the initial launch designs have shaped up. Thank you to Jim, Stephanie, Catherine, and everyone else on the Stencil Ease team! You are amazing!
Of course, I’ll be adding new stencils to this series each month, and additional series over time, but there’s already lots from which to choose - 16 five-stencil plaque sets, all 80 stencils that make up these sets (sold as separates), 22 general-purpose stencils in the Confection Couture line, and several other stenciling tools including airbrush coloring, offset spatulas, cookie cutters, and stencil holders. The photos here show one small, but sweet sampling of the Prettier Plaques sets that you’ll find, with designs for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, all coming just in time!
- Check out Julia’s brand new stencil line, designed in partnership with the amazing Stencil Ease!
- See Julia’s exciting lineup of 2017 cookie classes - China, Argentina, Australia, Taiwan, and more!
- Woo hoo! In late 2016, Julia was named both Artist of the Year USA and International Artist of the Year by EAGA (Edible Artists Global Awards)! She is also a finalist in four TASTE video awards, the results of which will be announced in early 2017! Fingers crossed!
- Explore the world of cookie decorating! Join Cookie Connection, Julia’s free cookie community. Then grab a badge!