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Halloween Eve Dinner & Birthday Party

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I'm just not ready for Halloween to be over! Hulaween was such a big bash that I wanted to wind down my weekend with a dinner party for just myself and some close friends. Sunday night, we gathered at my apartment where Chef Pierre put together the most incredible meal that everyone is surely still swooning over. The evening was also a birthday tribute to some of my favorite Scorpios, including Chef Pierre himself! I had all the glittery skulls and butterflies arranged on the table, plus a host of spooky critters and other festive decorations lurking throughout the apartment.

Wining and dining with great friends is one of my favorite ways to spend free time, and the weekend couldn't have closed out more perfectly. Now, it's time for a little sleep!  Enjoy these pictures; may our plethora of Halloween posts hold you over until this time next year!

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A glittery pumpkin, an arrangement of fall leaves, and light from a New York sunset.

1 A glittery pumpkin, an arrangement of fall leaves, and light from a New York sunset.

I tucked these little critters into plants and arrangements.

2 I tucked these little critters into plants and arrangements.

Don't be afraid to use more than one type of decoration, especially for a party. My guests loved that every corner of the apartment held a new surprise.

3 Don't be afraid to use more than one type of decoration, especially for a party. My guests loved that every corner of the apartment held a new surprise.

Buttery yellow roses lit up the bathroom. Flowers are an easy and refreshing way to add color in all the unexpected places.

4 Buttery yellow roses lit up the bathroom. Flowers are an easy and refreshing way to add color in all the unexpected places.

This gorgeous orange arrangement was littered spooky surprises. The black glitter caught the light in such a hauntingly perfect way.

5 This gorgeous orange arrangement was littered spooky surprises. The black glitter caught the light in such a hauntingly perfect way.

More creepy crawlers lurking in the Chinese Lantern arrangement.

6 More creepy crawlers lurking in the Chinese Lantern arrangement.

Some of the spiders visited the original skull and bones arrangement.

7 Some of the spiders visited the original skull and bones arrangement.

Voila! This table arrangement was as stunner; my friends loved all the butterflies especially, and glass pillars gave the table-scape a polished look.

8 Voila! This table arrangement was as stunner; my friends loved all the butterflies especially, and glass pillars gave the table-scape a polished look.

Here are all six skulls. I wanted you to see how uniquely all of their butterflies perched.

9 Here are all six skulls. I wanted you to see how uniquely all of their butterflies perched.

This table arrangement glistened all night long. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Worth the hours I spent glue-glittering in the Craft Department.

10 This table arrangement glistened all night long. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Worth the hours I spent glue-glittering in the Craft Department.

Be careful when glittering candles–little metal pieces don't get burned. They'll catch on fire! Not that I would know...

11 Be careful when glittering candles–little metal pieces don't get burned. They'll catch on fire! Not that I would know...

Already thinking about how I can top this next year. It will be tough!

12 Already thinking about how I can top this next year. It will be tough!

Some of my favorite butterflies. How incredible is the blue one that almost glows?

13 Some of my favorite butterflies. How incredible is the blue one that almost glows?

Whimsical decorations are just as important as fancier ones!

14 Whimsical decorations are just as important as fancier ones!

Tending to the details. I wanted to make sure there was room for coats after Saturday's mini-snowstorm.

15 Tending to the details. I wanted to make sure there was room for coats after Saturday's mini-snowstorm.

I kept the table settings clean and simple so the decorations and food could shine.

16 I kept the table settings clean and simple so the decorations and food could shine.

Some monogrammed napkins that I use for special gatherings.

17 Some monogrammed napkins that I use for special gatherings.

Pierre outdid himself with his birthday dinner. I'm so glad he and Jenny were able to use my kitchen!

18 Pierre outdid himself with his birthday dinner. I'm so glad he and Jenny were able to use my kitchen!

Having incredibly talented help in the kitchen and around the dining room meant that I could focus on playing host. Tremendous service from Gregory and Paul's stellar cooking assistance made the whole night possible.

19 Having incredibly talented help in the kitchen and around the dining room meant that I could focus on playing host. Tremendous service from Gregory and Paul's stellar cooking assistance made the whole night possible.

Cote de Boeuf is quintessentially French and elegant, and it was the star of the show at dinner. Pierre has started his own catering business, and I'm thrilled that more people will be able to try his incredible dishes!

20 Cote de Boeuf is quintessentially French and elegant, and it was the star of the show at dinner. Pierre has started his own catering business, and I'm thrilled that more people will be able to try his incredible dishes!

Pierre knows how to use every inch of my kitchen!

21 Pierre knows how to use every inch of my kitchen!

Cheesy hors-d'oeuvres get a blast in the oven.

22 Cheesy hors-d'oeuvres get a blast in the oven.

Drinks, anyone?

23 Drinks, anyone?

Champagne is one of my favorite things, especially Veuve Cliquot. The only thing just as elegant was the service by Gregory and Jenny!

24 Champagne is one of my favorite things, especially Veuve Cliquot. The only thing just as elegant was the service by Gregory and Jenny!

Tiny mozzarella bocconcini added depth to a gorgeous fall salad.

25 Tiny mozzarella bocconcini added depth to a gorgeous fall salad.

These tar-tar roll-ups were sealed in the most thinly-sliced cucumber shavings. It's so amazing to see something like this come together!

26 These tar-tar roll-ups were sealed in the most thinly-sliced cucumber shavings. It's so amazing to see something like this come together!

Tiny, delicious, and chic rollups by Paul.

27 Tiny, delicious, and chic rollups by Paul.

Light and bite-sized appetizers are important for any party, so that your guests don't get too impatient for dinner.

28 Light and bite-sized appetizers are important for any party, so that your guests don't get too impatient for dinner.

A tray of crostini head for the oven.

29 A tray of crostini head for the oven.

Plating the greens–anything Pierre touches turns to pure elegance.

30 Plating the greens–anything Pierre touches turns to pure elegance.

Teamwork is important in the kitchen when so much is being prepared.

31 Teamwork is important in the kitchen when so much is being prepared.

Profiteroles and chocolate sauce. These were just decadent.

32 Profiteroles and chocolate sauce. These were just decadent.

A chocolate salt cake from Baked was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday meal (http://bakednyc.com/).

33 A chocolate salt cake from Baked was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday meal (http://bakednyc.com/).

Great friends, delicious food, and beautiful decorations made for a perfect Halloween Eve.

34 Great friends, delicious food, and beautiful decorations made for a perfect Halloween Eve.

This is the Birthday Chef and Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque where Pierre took his first job in New York.

35 This is the Birthday Chef and Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque where Pierre took his first job in New York.

One of my favorite little people! How sweet is Kingston?

36 One of my favorite little people! How sweet is Kingston?

Sometimes you just need a nap!

37 Sometimes you just need a nap!

Not a bad seat for me!

38 Not a bad seat for me!

My friends are incredible people. These are the birthday Scorpios! From L to R: Mike, Marco, Biamante, John, Egi and Chef Pierre.

39 My friends are incredible people. These are the birthday Scorpios! From L to R: Mike, Marco, Biamante, John, Egi and Chef Pierre.

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This incredible headdress made it from Hulaween to my apartment for the party. Isn't it wonderful?

41 This incredible headdress made it from Hulaween to my apartment for the party. Isn't it wonderful?

Glitter & Bones

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For Halloween this year, I headed to the Craft Department where Hannah Milman taught me some easy tips for glittering objects to decorate with. I've accumulated an assortment of faux skulls and bones that I want to coat in a shimmering hue for Halloween arrangements. The transformation from dull gray to a wonderful, tinseled autumnal brown was not only fun, but also informative. Check out these pictures of my process!

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The sparkly skulls are from last year's decorations; I'm recycling and I want them (plus some additional skulls and bones) to have a fresh look!

1 The sparkly skulls are from last year's decorations; I'm recycling and I want them (plus some additional skulls and bones) to have a fresh look!

Those boards with pins sticking up are designed by Crafts to rest a glittered piece on while it dries. This is especially important when coating all sides of an object with glue and glitter.

2 Those boards with pins sticking up are designed by Crafts to rest a glittered piece on while it dries. This is especially important when coating all sides of an object with glue and glitter.

My office is right next to the Craft Department, so I was thrilled for an opportunity to rummage through their supplies!

3 My office is right next to the Craft Department, so I was thrilled for an opportunity to rummage through their supplies!

This gorgeous Antique Silver glitter was a contestant for my skull and bones project.

4 This gorgeous Antique Silver glitter was a contestant for my skull and bones project.

Until I found this tinsel-cut Brownstone hue; how warm and luscious is this color?

5 Until I found this tinsel-cut Brownstone hue; how warm and luscious is this color?

The first line of Martha Stewart glitters were all shades of stone; the neutral hues are so fun and sophisticated.

6 The first line of Martha Stewart glitters were all shades of stone; the neutral hues are so fun and sophisticated.

Testing out glitter! I just loved this tinsel variety. The Craft Department also designed these pans to catch [most of] the glitter that doesn't stick to the glue.

7 Testing out glitter! I just loved this tinsel variety. The Craft Department also designed these pans to catch [most of] the glitter that doesn't stick to the glue.

The Antique Silver color is on the right, but it almost felt like a repeat of last year. The coppery Brownstone is glamorous and unique.

8 The Antique Silver color is on the right, but it almost felt like a repeat of last year. The coppery Brownstone is glamorous and unique.

A lesson in painting glue on a skull; I'm new to this and there's definitely a technique!

9 A lesson in painting glue on a skull; I'm new to this and there's definitely a technique!

Shake, shake, shake! The key is to keep the glue evenly coated and not too goopy, so that it dries well with the glitter on it.

10 Shake, shake, shake! The key is to keep the glue evenly coated and not too goopy, so that it dries well with the glitter on it.

My turn! The first section is a success. We love the look of the tinsel glitter.

11 My turn! The first section is a success. We love the look of the tinsel glitter.

The glue had to be thinned a bit to stay smooth in all the eye and nose cavities. You paint right over the edges of the glittered parts to ensure no breaks in the final layer.

12 The glue had to be thinned a bit to stay smooth in all the eye and nose cavities. You paint right over the edges of the glittered parts to ensure no breaks in the final layer.

Looking spooky; the darker shade of glitter is just a hint more ominous than silver--perfect.

13 Looking spooky; the darker shade of glitter is just a hint more ominous than silver--perfect.

We switched to brown paint that helped fill in the crevices.

14 We switched to brown paint that helped fill in the crevices.

It looks a little like peanut butter but it worked with the Brownstone glitter much better. All glues used were basic water-soluble types.

15 It looks a little like peanut butter but it worked with the Brownstone glitter much better. All glues used were basic water-soluble types.

As I learned how to handle the glue and skulls, the process sped along. I was so excited to see some results.

16 As I learned how to handle the glue and skulls, the process sped along. I was so excited to see some results.

Chavo was concerned about my glittering skills.

17 Chavo was concerned about my glittering skills.

I deftly erased his doubts.

18 I deftly erased his doubts.

Good morning! We let the skulls dry overnight before filling in the missed spots.

19 Good morning! We let the skulls dry overnight before filling in the missed spots.

Here are the other bones I glittered to use in some arrangements. Love the spindly little feet and hands.

20 Here are the other bones I glittered to use in some arrangements. Love the spindly little feet and hands.

The texture of the tinsel glitter is so coarse and reflective; I love how it gives depth to these delicate shapes.

21 The texture of the tinsel glitter is so coarse and reflective; I love how it gives depth to these delicate shapes.

A tray of glittered jawbones.

22 A tray of glittered jawbones.

Gotcha. Spreading a project out over a few days makes it less rushed and therefore less stressful.

23 Gotcha. Spreading a project out over a few days makes it less rushed and therefore less stressful.

The Craft room in our building makes it easy to be creative.

24 The Craft room in our building makes it easy to be creative.

Voila!! A half-dozen bronzed beauties.

25 Voila!! A half-dozen bronzed beauties.

Afterward, we took the glimmer bones to a giant vent to coat them in spray-fixative, a finishing adhesive used by artists to make sure things stay put (charcoal, graphite, glitter). I solicited the help of my assistant Chavo, who aided me in this careful finalizing process.

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How fantastic is the coppery color of my bones?

1 How fantastic is the coppery color of my bones?

We had to get suited up because the funky-spraying fixative has to be handled carefully. I promise I'm excited!

2 We had to get suited up because the funky-spraying fixative has to be handled carefully. I promise I'm excited!

Ready to be sealed in glitter!

3 Ready to be sealed in glitter!

We set up our station right next to the vents.

4 We set up our station right next to the vents.

Hold on, Chavo! Make sure you face the vents while you spray.

5 Hold on, Chavo! Make sure you face the vents while you spray.

Chavo caught on quickly.

6 Chavo caught on quickly.

Getting ready to switch out from skulls to finger and toes and the other bones.

7 Getting ready to switch out from skulls to finger and toes and the other bones.

Carefully transporting our goods.

8 Carefully transporting our goods.

Almost there...

9 Almost there...

This is how it's done, sprayed at a clear 8 inches from the object.

10 This is how it's done, sprayed at a clear 8 inches from the object.

Perfect! These now need to dry overnight so that I can set them in all kinds of new configurations. Halloween goes glam!

11 Perfect! These now need to dry overnight so that I can set them in all kinds of new configurations. Halloween goes glam!

And finally, some images of an arrangement and then a peak at one final vivid element of the composition.

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Here it is! I put together this arrangement of bones and a scull with a little satin ribbon and a refined glass case.

1 Here it is! I put together this arrangement of bones and a scull with a little satin ribbon and a refined glass case.

Isn't the texture from the tinsel glitter just incredible?

2 Isn't the texture from the tinsel glitter just incredible?

Now, for round two of decorating options. I'm attaching the other sculls to these glass pillars with a hunk of wax.

3 Now, for round two of decorating options. I'm attaching the other sculls to these glass pillars with a hunk of wax.

I just crammed the wax into the top of that pillar and let the skull sink into it on top. Easy assemblage and easy clean up afterward!

4 I just crammed the wax into the top of that pillar and let the skull sink into it on top. Easy assemblage and easy clean up afterward!

Gently pressing it into the wax to position. So simple!

5 Gently pressing it into the wax to position. So simple!

There he is! Now, for the finishing touches.

6 There he is! Now, for the finishing touches.

These real preserved butterflies came all the way from Spencer, Ohio!

7 These real preserved butterflies came all the way from Spencer, Ohio!

Aren't they gorgeous?

8 Aren't they gorgeous?

I'm going to glue them delicately to the skull and bones when they're all arranged. One on the front temple, another on a finger or toe... A whole box of these little containers arrived; I can't wait to put it all together!

9 I'm going to glue them delicately to the skull and bones when they're all arranged. One on the front temple, another on a finger or toe... A whole box of these little containers arrived; I can't wait to put it all together!

These real butterflies are all harvested from butterfly farms, places that actually aid the survival and re-population of butterflies to their natural habitats, in addition to fueling rainforest preservation.  I got mine from Connie Hurt at Butterflies and Things; Connie is the only licensed dealer in the US who buys direct from these conservation-oriented butterfly farms. Aren't they completely gorgeous? I hope my glittering project gave you some inspiration for last-minute holiday crafting before the weekend arrivals.