Saturday, November 30, 2013

All That Glitters.... Part 1: Food for Thought


Is it true, all that glitters is gold? This Christmas tablescape will prove to you that the imagination, and work put into it, is worth its weight in gold. I know what you're thinking, "I could never, ever make my table look this good."  Not true.  I will walk you through step by step, until you, too, become a gold digger.

I used to think a hot glue gun was my best kept secret.  I use it for things you would likely never imagine but we will save that for another day.  So what is my new best kept secret, you ask?  A can of spray paint or what I call "liquid gold."  Once I get a can in hand, everyone who knows me well knows to hit the deck, my neighbors especially.  I'm so particular, yet can make such a mess with spray paint.  Like a mad scientist, I begin my experimentation.  This past Halloween, I sprayed my pumpkins and inadvertently turned my new Porsche into one.  Yup, you heard me.  I backed out of my garage, where my pumpkins were drying on a breezy day.  I didn't realize that the wind knocked over a can of orange spray paint and it rolled right under my front passenger tire as I was backing out of my driveway.  Typical.  What can I say, I guess that's my signature. I got out of the car after I heard a thump and a large explosion to assess the damage. My right front tire and fender were covered in orange spray paint.  Nonetheless, I got it off the car and the rest is wearing off the tire.  On that note, my first piece of advice: be careful, use a drop cloth or old sheet, and get your cans put away quickly in a cool, safe place.

It's amazing what inspires me when I think about it.  This golden project stemmed from wanting a unique centerpiece for each plate.  I wanted something I could turn into a place setting with each guests' name on it.  A trip to the local grocery store's produce department sparked my imagination immediately.  I searched for something holiday-like and came across pomegranates, pineapples, mini apples, artichokes and walnuts.  I visualized them sprayed gold.  I chose the pomegranates for the place settings, because they are a seasonal fruit, they are smooth in texture (therefore a clean palate for writing a name on), but most of all, something I could spray paint gold.



-Buy extra fruit for potential damage or error in spelling/writing (practice on an extra)

-Plan to spray in advance on that beautiful warm winter day (outside spraying ONLY!)

-Do not spray when it's too hot or too cold.  Your paint will not adhere in any drastic temperatures.  

-Wash and dry your fruit completely before spraying.

-Lay down a drop cloth ( if there is any wind, be sure to weigh the corners down with something heavy, so the cloth does not blow into your wet paint).

-Shake you can well and test it first on something you don't mind destroying.  You need to ensure the paint in the can is still good.

-Spray a straight stream.  Hold the can upright when spraying otherwise the tip may clog and cause lumpy spitting.

-You will be amazed to find that the paint dries in minutes.

-Air them out in the garage or basement for at least a night to eliminate some of the odor from permeating the house.  You can spray artificial fruits in the summer months and leave them outside but "authentic" fruit speaks volumes in the quality department.

-Use a Sharpie marker (black for best results on gold).

-Leave the bottom unpainted to avoid  contaminating the dinner plate, or place a sticker or velcro to the bottom on the fruit to cover and/or raise.

-I used pineapples as centerpiece decor for the dining room table, as a decorative piece on my sideboard, and even propped one up in the center of a live wreath on my front door to match my golden pineapple door knocker.

-You do not have to clean the pineapple, just ensure it's dry before spraying.


Above: a golden pineapple is nestled within the dining room table centerpiece (I removed some foliage so you could see the pineapple clearly amongst all the golden dried and sprayed hydrangeas).

Above:  Walnuts took a quick hit of spray paint, and when dried I rolled them over to spray the reverse side (these last for years and became part of my regular decor).

Below:  Sprayed walnuts and mini apples fill a pair of hurricane candle holders.  The apples I gave one quick shot of paint and left the rest red in an effort to add some color to the mix (less is more).

Below:  Hollowed out artichokes made the perfect spot for clear glass candle votives, placed sporadically across the table top, for both ambiance and interest.

So as you can see, creating beauty can be easy with a little imagination.  Everything I see in any kind of store, I question if I can change its color with spray paint to match my home decor (even my fashions, purses, shoes etc).  The only limit to your creativity, are the ones you set for yourself.  Never say, I can't do that, instead say, how can I make this look the way I want it to.

Now that I gave you your golden ticket, get going on your fun shopping.  And remember: set no limits to what you can spray (except of course, anything that's living).

P.S.  Ensure your guests know that none of this is edible!

Here's to a gleaming holiday!

Jamie Gottschall
The NYClifestylist

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