There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

easter tableau

EASTER has always been associated with sweet spring pastel confections. I wanted to create a somewhat non-traditional scene that evoked that sweet memory of Easter. When I was a kid, I liked nothing better than waking up to a cellophane-wrapped Easter basket filled with all sorts of candy and toys. There's something about peering through cellophane that is much like peering into the window of a candy store. No wonder so many foods are packaged this way.

THIS YEAR'S TREE started by making crushed velvet bird ornaments with my friend Devin and took several last-minute turns to become an entire table-scape—including the crepe paper garland-wrapped trees that look for-all-the-world like fancy cakes swarmed with butterflies, dragonflies and whirlygig flowers—all trimmed with pastel-colored "candy" eggs. The place settings were pieced together from the random collection of china and tableware I have collected over the years. Strict formality is not my style, but I do like a pleasing palette along with whimsical touches such as cups with egg-shaped saucers and a "chicken foot" egg cup.

SPRING DAYS are longer and the sun is brighter making the pastel riot of flowers like roses, azaleas and tulips all-the-more appealing. All sorts of flowering trees reintroduce themselves each spring all over again. Here in the American South, the early arrival of spring has been especially vibrant because the nights have stayed somewhat cool and there has been plenty of rain along with the sunshine. The pale pink roses seen floating in glass orbs are from the a pale pink climbing rose my mother had in her yard. I took countless spring bouquets of flowers to her from this bush—the only plant I have transplanted from my childhood home. It has grown quite large as a potted rose and promises dozens of blushing-pink blooms this year.

THE SACCHARINE SWEET sanctity of the season is a celebration of spring's fertility and rebirth no matter whether it represents a resurrection or just a new beginning. It's all good when the days are warm and there is new life in evidence everywhere. Please pass me the marzipan eggs—I'll certainly toast to that!

CONICAL CONFECTIONS | (Top) I wrapped this trinity of paperboard cones with crepe paper garland from the former Backporch Friends (Cody Foster and Co.) with hot-glued wooden butterflies, dragonflies and whirlygig flowers attached to them (butterflies and dragonflies from the defunct Martha Stewart Catalog, flowers from a local antique store). I trimmed them with glittered pastel styrofoam eggs pulled from a small wreath sold this season at Target. The trees were inspired by my online stylist friend Elizabeth Demos and her use of crepe paper garland here. The three glass orbs are a past purchase from Pottery Barn and are filled with the pale pink roses snipped from my mother's old-fashioned climbing rose bush I have transplanted to Atlanta from my childhood home.

SWEET TABLEAU | (2nd from top) Using his stainless steel table, this tableau was photographed at Devin's condominium in Atlanta. Everything looked great against the mottled gray neutral of the concrete walls. The teal fiberglass school chairs were found at a thrift store in Birmingham, Alabama many years ago. The "chicken foot" egg cup is from  BIA Cordon Bleu, Inc. in Galt, California and available here. Read "Place at the Table" below for more descriptions.

BLUE VELVET | (3rd from top) These birds were made from the velvet bird kit from the defunct Martha Stewart catalog by using rubber stamps and an iron to emboss velvet backed by interfacing and gluing two sides together. Sewing a seed bead on for the eye was the finishing touch. Some scraps of robin's-egg-blue velvet were used aside from the colors that came with the kit.

PLACE AT THE TABLE | (4th from top) The place setting consisted of a charger by Isaac Mizrahi for Target, a dinner plate in the "Sculpted" pattern by Calvin Klein, egg-shaped saucers and cups with an exterior matte glaze from the Nigella Lawson collection. The ceramic tea pot/cup was designed by Michael Graves for Target. The gold and teal-striped glasses are vintage items found at an antique store. The cake pedestal and is Martha Stewart Collection at Macys. Candleholders are Martha Stewart Everyday from Kmart. Flatware is casually placed in these photos and the pattern is "Treble Clef" by Gourmet Settings.The curled unfinished handle ends resemble the unfurling frond of a fiddlehead fern has always been one of my favorite stainless patterns because of it's handmade appeal.

SWEET ENDING | (Above, bottom and left) Marzipan Easter eggs are from Biermann Marzipan in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Pastel shot glasses are from Devin's private collection. The beautiful antique Westmoreland "robin on nest" candy dish is a cherished gift from my friend Julia Carpenter from her mother's collection.

Collecting and styling by Darryl Moland


  1. Just lovely, Darryl. Cheerful and soothing! Nothing like an Easter brunch :)

  2. Beautiful Darryl ~ I appreciate your enthusiasm for celebrating each season with the things you love and love to make...

    Happy Easter,
    ~ Johanna

  3. Darryl, I hope you had a Happy Easter! Your creations are beautiful! What a great way to celebrate Spring!