Meet Star Sosa, jewelry designer, business woman and now... publisher! Star (who is just as brilliant as her name suggests) is the owner of Spectrum Art and Jewelry. Her gallery also publishes a free quarterly magazine called ViViD. Each issue features an Artist, an art collector's Home, a Style section, and a Celebrations section with tips for entertaining (including a delicious recipe). The mission of the publication is to share ways to live a colorful and creative life. I am honored to be a regular contributor to the Celebrations section. Here are a few of my tips for the newest issue to make holiday entertaining look and feel effortless:
Involve Your Guests
One of the secrets behind our success is offering a fun and interactive experience. We focus on making crepes or bon bons, which creates instant camaraderie and conversation. Organize a tasting party or have guests create their own pasta or pizza with gourmet toppings. Simple group games like holiday bingo, Pictionary or Bunco liven up the festivities.
Encourage mingling with great hors d'oeuvres. Make sure they are bite-sized, easy to handle, and practical to serve. Offer a balanced selection (you don't want all cheese on crackers). If you're hosting a small group (our parties accommodate 10-16 guests), three to five different kinds are perfect; plan on three of each per person. For larger groups, increase to a maximum of eight different choices. We think a good party should last 2-3 hours. For a longer evening, supplement the hors d'oeuvres with sandwiches or a selection of meats.
Easy but Elegant
It's okay to incorporate a little store-bought help. Just remember, easy can still be elegant. Transfer pre-cut fruit and vegetables from the store container onto nice serving platters and add a unique dip or sauce. Presentation is everything. Garnish the cheese tray with a scattering of nuts, dried fruits and a bowl of chutney.
Set the Stage
Thoughtful details make for delightful ambiance. At our parties, we fill the claw-foot bathtub and sprinkle fresh rose petals on top. This little touch always impresses! Candles, lanterns, fresh flowers and evergreen branches add instant enchantment. Don't forget music. Pick a theme and line up your play list in advance.
For more of my tips on entertaining and to get a great appetizer recipe (Bacon-Wrapped Pecan-Stuffed Dates) visit the electronic version of the ViViD holiday issue. You'll also find a special offer for a discount on our parties. If you live in the area, be sure to pick up a hard copy at South 'n France or at Spectrum Art & Jewelry in the Forum (1125 Military Cutoff Road). Star has an irresistible selection of dazzling jewelry, original art and memorable gifts. Even just browsing through the colorful gallery is uplifting; soaking in the vibrant art and unique jewelry always lifts my spirits!