Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

entertaining ideas

My Easter Menu


My Easter Menu:

Honey Baked Ham

Crêpes with chicken and gruyère



Panna Cotta (click for recipe) with blackberry garnish

Easter table

A French friend gave me her authentic crêpe recipe which I will share with you:

CRÊPES de Laurette
1 1/2 – 2 cups flour  [note from Ellen: I used 2 cups]
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 TBS. oil
3 eggs
4-5 cups milk          [note from Ellen: I used 4  1/4 cups]

Put flour + salt in bowl.

Make a well in the middle and add eggs.

Start beating and slowly add 1/4 cup milk.

Make a paste to get the lumps out.

With a mixer add the rest of the milk until well blended.

Let batter sit for 1/2 hour.

(It can last for 3-4 days in fridge)

Over medium high heat put vegetable oil in pan and pour
a little batter in center.

Swirl batter to sides of pan immediately.

In 1-3 minutes flip crêpe and cook side 2
for another minute or two.

Apply oil before you cook each crêpe. They can be stacked
and reheated.

Add cheese to cooked crêpe (swiss cheese) and salt.

Roll crêpes.

Dessert crêpes can be room temp.

Laure can make 40 in one hour!
(or 2 pans 80 in one hour!)”

(recipe of Laure Graves)

Purple Bunny

Purple Bunny

I am no good with all the wrist-y finessing required for a stove-top crêpe pan,

but I can do pretty well with an electric crêpe maker!

Readers, what are your Easter plans?

Color Calling

A Spring Meeting and Diana Vreeland

set for tea

set for tea

We set out light refreshments at my ladies’ study club meetings. Yesterday was my turn to host.

We learned about Diana Vreeland.

Our topic this year has been “Legendary Ladies of Style.”

It was also our topic last year, we just loved it so much we kept going!

Babe Paley, Dorothy Draper, Gloria Vanderbilt, Marella Agnelli, Lee Radziwill to name a few.

Someone said, Ellen, you should take pictures of the table.

(There were a few tarts and berries already gone by this point.)

I thought you would enjoy these photos of the offerings:

berries with powdered sugar

chicken salad and pimiento cheese finger sandwiches

mini-cheesecake bites topped with fresh blackberries (top photo)

Mrs. Vreeland would have approved of the huge strawberries.

She absolutely adored the color red.

Fascinating life, fascinating woman.

She “discovered” Lauren Bacall. Now, that was a discovery!

Color Calling

Christmas Cocktails


Nothing says “Party” like a martini, and a pretty martini is a favorite drink during the holidays.

Place a (dry) crystal martini glass in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.

Here is a good shaker which works better than any we have tried.

With its high-style shape, it also looks great on your bar.


My original recipe for Peachy Pink Martini, here.




Sneak Peek: Independent Church Holiday Home Tour

If you are in the Birmingham, AL area, don’t miss this weekend’s home tour benefitting

the Fresh Air Fund of Independent Presbyterian Church, a very worthy cause.

This home belongs to one of my dearest friends.

She has the most gorgeous collection of antique English bone china

you have ever seen.

(The dining table looks straight out of Downton Abbey, with six gold-and-crystal Art Nouveau goblets per place setting!)

I had to dodge some photographers from “Southern Lady” magazine,

who were there photographing for their 2013 Christmas issue, but you’ll get the idea.

The decorations are the work of the fabulous Leah Hazzard,

another friend, and flower arranger extraordinaire .

Image Color Calling

All Images  Color Calling

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Crowd the Table


Have you ever heard the advice, “If you want everyone to have a good time, crowd the table!”? Recently, a round dinner table set for 9 had to be turned quickly into seating for 11. The maître d’ did not think it could be done, but our host stayed with it. All eleven of us, at a 60″ round table! It was fun to be crowded. Conversation flowed. I can’t remember such laughter. Can you think of ways to crowd your table?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Summer Entertaining with a complementary color scheme

Source: via Ellen

I use my love of color and color combinations when I entertain. Blue/

Orange are complementary (opposite) colors on an artist’s color wheel.

Here is a sampling of a classic casual look which captures those late-

summer colors. Below, a simple but delicious lobster dinner was

served for a family birthday.

Notice the play of the colors in the “Nantucket Red” placemats and

the bright saffron embroidered-lobster napkins, with the complement

of the blue accessories and the blue and cream stripes on the chairs.

ImageImage ©Color Calling

Image ©Color Calling

When using the color scheme of blue and orange in decorating, these

complementary colors actually intensify one another visually.

I find true blue/true orange combinations too jolting or too juvenile for

home decór, when you live with them on a daily basis. (The muted versions

of the two colors can be very pleasing, however.)

Most complementary color combos work well in a table setting, though,

because table decór is all about stimulating the senses.