I don't normally do "crafty". Its just not my thing. There are plenty of times I wish I was more crafty and I often kick myself for never having learned to sew (I know its never too late!). For this years DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) Dining By Design event I had a change of heart. I was having an urge to do something the opposite of pretty, floral or delicate. I didn't necessarily want bold/graphic either..in other words I was looking to be a bit unexpected and crafty coming from me felt unexpected.
Mind you, I didn't go crazy with the crafting, and serious crafters may think this is a joke, but here is how I constructed our "Safari Table":
I bought a pop up canopy tent from Dick's Sporting Goods for $99 and a bolt of tulle from Hobby Lobby (the "mosquito" netting). After cutting the tulle it was hot glued around the inside of the tent.
We found the pendants in the West Bottoms at the First Friday sales. The chargers and napkin rings were reused from our DIFFA table of two years ago!
I knew I wanted eggs on the table...why eggs? I don't know, they seemed weird and interesting as well as an inexpensive prop. I dyed them with a variety of agents such as Irish Breakfast tea bags (I think I used around 15 in the pot!), grape juice and black food dye. I let them soak for several hours. The small ones in the bowl above are actually quail eggs and are naturally like that!
The other elements at the table were accessories from the store: the shiny silver antler candlesticks were perfect for the theme and added a new element to the rustic setting. The rug is a dyed patchwork Tarkan that we got in shop just in the nick of time! The egg bowls are paper mache.
The final element to the crafting portion of the table was the tablecloths. At the last minute I decided that burlap tablecloths were the missing link to completing my design. After the helpful folks at JoAnn's fabrics helped me to determine the amount of yardage I needed, I was left to my own devices on how to turn the material into two round tablecloths. Thank goodness for google! I cut two even pieces of fabric and put them together to make a large square. Since I do not own a sewing machine I had to do it by hand and so why not make a cool cross stitch detail that highlights the seam versus me trying to hide a poorly done one.
While I doubted the outcome several times along the way, I admittedly was quite pleased with the way it turned out! The table may look a bit understated, but I was running around like a mad woman all week fine tuning the details; the complexity seemed to lie in the simplicity of it all.