I came across this achingly beautiful entertaining spread while browsing the online wares of Spartan Shop, the impeccably styled and stocked boutique based in Austin, Texas. Entitled Sobremessa, this collaboration between Spartan and NYC-based clothing shop Apiece Apart celebrates that wonderful time after a meal when everyone lingers at the table, perhaps nibbling a few last bites and reveling in the pleasure of good food amidst good company.

Like the colors of a Dutch painting, the velvety greens, peaches and neutrals of these images are so rich and creamy—you can almost taste them. If you are feeing inspired to host a similarly elegant communal gathering, you’re in luck: All of the linens, tableware, and serving pieces are available for purchase through Spartan. Made of durable, timeless materials, these pieces will last you and your family a lifetime of sobremessa moments.



 { Images above: photographed by Currie Person and styled by Sarah Baker, via Apiece Apart }


{ Image above: some of the tableware pieces included in the spread, all available at Spartan Shop }


Anthology-Dahlin-al-frescoI know a lot of people suffer from entertaining fatigue after the holidays, but not me. I love the idea of starting off a new calendar year by getting together with friends—recapping the past year, while also celebrating the beginning of the next one and the opportunities that it presents. So I’ve been taking yet another look at the entertaining story from Issue No. 17/Fall 2014, which featured L.A.-based interior designer Isabelle Dahlin and her chef-husband Brandon Boudet. (It’s even been warm enough lately in the Bay Area for me to consider an alfresco gathering like theirs!)

I recently realized that there are outtakes from our shoot with the couple that haven’t been shared yet, and figured it’s a good time to do just that. Maybe seeing these images will inspire your own gathering. And if you’re interested in the recipes from the article—I’m especially looking forward to making Brandon’s Herbed Cauliflower “Rice”—you can still purchase Issue No. 17 through most of our stockists.

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I love the glimpses of Isabelle’s indoor and outdoor decor in these photos. If you’re as big a fan of her style as I am, and you’re in the L.A. area, be sure to visit her shop, deKor. (I was happy to see that the swing she installed in her living room is available online!)

{ All images by Amy Dickerson for Anthology Magazine }



by Joanna on November 3, 2014


FleurLux is the Etsy shop of Shelby DiMarco. Soft, feminine, and quiet, these hand-crafted paper ornaments are made in Los Angeles using hand-dyed tissue paper, driftwood, and hemp string. FleurLux also offers these gorgeous pieces with gold or silver leafing, making these tassel mobiles perfect for parties or really any space you want to feel extra special. I’d love to have one of these beauties hanging above my office desk.

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 { Images from FleurLux }


Chalkboard-Sign1For his birthday this year, my son Ben requested a Fantastic Mr. Fox party, which was no surprise considering that he has seen the movie numerous times, and is constantly singing the “Boggis, Bunce, and Bean” song—always pausing and then slowly enunciating the word, “nonetheless.” I loved the theme that he chose and, luckily, the party ideas came easily. I thought I’d share some of them here, in case anyone out there is planning a party and needs a little inspiration.

I went rustic with the invitation and used watercolor to paint some of the text as well as Mr. Fox.


Chocolate is Ben’s favorite cake and icing flavor, so I baked a decadent and rich two-layer chocolate cake topped with sprinkles. The flags were cut from old fabric scraps and glued to wooden skewers. The “Fantastic Mr. Ben” banner was hand drawn with a calligraphy pen on kraft paper, and then his plastic fox figurine was placed beneath the banner. 


Every birthday party, we give out favor bags filled with plastic toys and bubbles. Instead of the usual bags, I decided to sew fox masks for the kids this year. Felt is my favorite fabric to work with because it is so easy to cut and sew. Once I drew the pattern on card stock, I traced it over the felt and enlisted my husband to cut out the pieces.


I also made s’mores kits for the kids and stuffed small boxes with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. On top of each box, I wrote one of my favorite quotes from the movie to remind each kid how fantastic they are.

SmoresKitAnd it isn’t really a kid’s party without a game, is it? We decided to help out Mr. Fox and played pin the tail on the fox. My husband drew the fox from the invitation on a large poster board, and cut the tails out of felt. Instead of tacks, we used sticky dots on the back and wrote each child’s name on washi tape. It was a hilarious sight to see, and there was a prize for the winner.


Next year, I hope Ben picks an equally great theme for his birthday party!


Founded by creative director and designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, A Sunny Afternoon is an eclectic online boutique with an exquisite range of tabletop textiles. This bright and cheerful collection was “born out of Sarah’s desire to create a line that marries her style with her love of the outdoors, gathering for a meal, and the handmade.” In fact, most of the items in the shop are made in her father’s Michigan workshop, including the heirloom-quality wooden serving boards. We also love Sarah’s cheerful textiles—especially the napkins. Each piece is handmade in the U.S. using a linen/cotton blend fabric and brightly colored prints. These pieces are picnic-perfect, don’t you think?

{ Images via A Sunny Afternoon }

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