Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amy, Australia can't wait to meet you

There is so much excitement in the baking, caking and events industry right now after hearing of a prospective visit to Australia by the super sweet stylist who can be credited with starting the world’s obsession with dessert tables.

None other than Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events has hinted at a potential visit Down Under.

I have been so very fortunate and humbled (not to mention out-of-this-world excited!) to have had two of my dessert tables featured on Amy’s Blog Sweet Designs, here and here.

The thought of actually maybe being able to meet Amy herself has prompted many Aussie ‘styling mums’ to share their ‘how I found Amy’ stories. I love that everyone has their own story to share. I love reading them all. I know the exact same feeling that every one of them describes when they saw their first Amy Atlas dessert table. So I am jumping on the bandwagon and sharing my story too.

While I was on maternity leave with my first daughter back in 2009 I began doing a lot of reading online about women in business, small business and work at home mums. I came across one particular post – which to cut a long story short – led me to discover a blog by Australian graphic designer Sarah Thompson of Style Me Gorgeous. Listed among her favourite links was Amy Atlas Events. I had not heard of this site before so thought I would click on the link … well, it was destiny!

Ever since 2001 (when I was working as a newspaper sub-editor and Amy Atlas was probably still practicing law), I had carried around a picture of an all-white dessert table which had featured in the very first Martha Stewart Weddings magazine I bought when I became engaged.

It was a dessert table at the kitchen tea for Martha Stewart Weddings editor Darcy Miller. It was just so beautiful. I had never seen anything like it.

I loved looking at it. And there was even another feature article on the dessert table at the wedding. I would never loan that particular magazine to any of my other engaged girlfriends for fear of it being lost.

I didn’t know why I was so attached to that photo of the all-white dessert table. And it wasn’t until some eight years later when I saw Amy Atlas’ website and there was a photo of Amy behind an immaculate all-white desert table, that it all made sense.

There was nothing like it in Melbourne or maybe even Australia. Or if there was, it was yet to gain the popularity it now experiences. I spent every spare second of my day pouring over the amazing images on Amy’s website and blog. Every single item, every detail was immaculately presented and colour-coordinated! This was someone after my own heart.

Every ribbon, every piece of paper, every cake stand, every label, all the hand-crafted touches, the miniature sweets – everything matched! It was a total feast of eye candy.

I can’t be certain but I wouldn’t be surprised if that same all-white dessert table in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine inspired Amy Atlas along the way, so I guess things came full circle when she was invited to create a dessert table to mark the 15th anniversary of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine last year.

There is something just so impossibly beautiful and deeply personal about each and every one of her dessert tables. Each is a labour of love.

Among my favourites are:

The chance to hear her words of wisdom, her inspiration and to talk to someone else who loves crafting, colour and cake as much as I do, sounds almost too good to be true.

Amy, Australia can't wait to meet you!

A scallops and spots celebration

Oh me, oh my! An email from the team at Amy Atlas. What a wonderful surprise to have while away on holidays in the Greek Islands. Another of my dessert tables was to be featured on the Sweet Designs blog. Incredible!

I’ve been a little delayed in posting about this as my baby girl suffered the most horrendous jetlag … I guess that’s what you get for carting a seven-month-old and an almost three-year-old on a 30-hour trek across the world.

So … the week before we headed over to enjoy the European summer, I styled a ‘scallops and spots’ dessert table for Tahlia’s christening.

It was held at a Greek tavern, as my husband and his family are Greek, so there were already plenty of amazing traditional Greek sweets but I wanted to host a little dessert table to say thank you to our guests for helping celebrate her special day.

I chose a peach and raspberry colour scheme – as I fell in love with the colour peach while pregnant – accented with scalloped edges and spots.

The dessert table featured:

Vanilla shortbreads with monogram ‘T’ toppers

Passionfruit curd babycakes with passionfruit frosting

Dark chocolate, orange and almond chocolate bars

Chocolate covered Oreos designed to coordinate with the spotted papers

Orange rock candy swizzle sticks

Orange candy-coated sugared almonds

An assortment of orange and raspberry cream-filled chocolates

The other features of the table included:

A paper bauble and crystal garland

Scalloped edge cupcake stand created from papier mache hat boxes

Scalloped edge vessel stands

and fresh tulips

As a thank-you, guests were given favour bags containing the vanilla shortbreads, chocolate bars and the traditional five sugared almonds as bonbonniere.

The cupcake stands were crafted based on the ones featured in Amy Atlas’ Valentine’s Day table I crafted them from papier mache hat boxes and covered them in matching spotted paper with a scalloped edge.

The garland was made based on the tutorial found here.

This table shows that even if you don’t have expensive vessels and cake stands at home, with a bit of time, effort and craftiness you can present a lovely dessert table.

Once again, thank-you Amy Atlas, I was absolutely thrilled to have had this table featured on your blog.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the party, please join me on my Facebook Page, I would love to see you there.