Celebrating Autumn -pt 4 (hostess and helpers)

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An autumn pixie entered through the front door, holding a large bouquet of mostly fiery colored flowers, with some touches of bright lime green and soft salmon hues. She was singing a song, mostly for herself, something Celtic and about mummers. The foyer caught bits of it and echoed.

Autumn pixie slowed her stride as she walked down the hardwood floor hall to the kitchen, singing the song’s chorus about bringing flowers.

On her head was a fuzzy, lace work beret in glimmering yarn that looked as though it had been dip dyed from brick red to wine; it was topped off with a purplish leaf where the beret stem would be. She had kept her face bare except for some dark copper glitter speckles painted across the bridge of her nose.

A fuzzy brick red and honey colored wrap with beads crocheted into the work was casually draped, then tossed over a shoulder. Chartreuse green arm warmers covered bare forearms and palms. She wore metallic copper speckled olive leggings under the iridescent chartreuse green/bronze mini dress.

The hem trim added length to the costume – layers of sheer material provided the backing for glittery fabric scraps and goldstone bead accents. On the pixie’s feet were golden, glimmer-y socks peeking out from the short boot tops.

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Chrysanthemum flowers photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The chrysanthemums, and Gerbera daisies were for the foyer and a table by where the door to the basement was.

Pixie had made sure there were some salmon colors (mostly from the daisies) and bright chartreuse green (from the small pom-pom mums) were in the blend to smooth out the fiery colors slightly. She also picked out some colorful carnations for the group

“How are things here?” Pixie asked as she walked into the kitchen and spotted an empty mason jar for the carnations.

The cobalt blue vase for the front door was already on the kitchen table. A plain vase wrapped with a wide hunter green ribbon for the basement door area had already been brought over as well.

“The dining room is being taken care of, some are changing into costumes and we have a busy oven and stove. Speaking of…can you smell the bread?” the hostess asked as she peeked in on all the food cooking in the oven.

The sweet smell of pumpkin bread, speckled with Chinese 5-spice in the batter, wafted outward.

“That’s turning out well,” the pixie replied, looking over the hostess’ shoulder. She tended to the flower arrangements first, then washed her hands, and turned to mixing up a frosting/spread for the spiced pumpkin bread made of cream cheese, a generous pinch of ginger powder and a little raw honey.

 

The rest of the crew slowly appeared from the second floor. When the group had first been given a tour of the house weeks ago, they found that the homeowners has been practical about the plush carpeting; they were only in the bedrooms.

The countess glided down the steps in a strapless, sleek, dark red velvet corset laced gown that had a high side slit.  On her feet for the duration were plush zebra stripe house slippers. She was holding her spike heeled shoes in black gloved hands; the gloves went up to almost her shoulders.

Her skin was made paler than usual with body makeup and a dusting of bluish-white pearlescent powder. Lily’s lips were deep red and glossed, her eyes had been made up to be sultry. Her hair was styled in an upswept mass of curls. Around her neck was an ornate, wide collar of twining vines spotted with faceted jet and deep red stones.

Behind her, still up in the nook area, was an elegant fox spirit woman in a purple kimono dotted with gold flowers. She hovered near the pink rock salt lamp.

Under the side table, a pair of almond orbs, one bright blue and one amber gold, watched the proceedings.

Kitsune’s garb and makeup were a blend of eastern and western attributes. The kimono was worn to expose throat, a bit of shoulder and collar bones in a wide V-neck. A gold floral brocade underbust corset accentuated both the waistline and the other gold flowers on the kimono.

Her makeup was done to subtly bring out a blur of vulpine and western “foxy” aspects. There was contouring to create high cheek bones, bright red touches of eye color along with black eyeliner and her lips were tinted strawberry red.

Her bright auburn hair was neatly coiled in a twisted bun, which looked like a Ranunculus flower. A hair stick, dangling strands of small crystal beads and silk flowers was tucked firmly, horizontally into the swirl.

The kitsune looked towards one of the guest rooms. “Usagi-chan, are you ready?”

A bunny girl peeked out. She had on fake glasses, brown bunny ears and a low, sideways braid.  She was petite in height, nearly five feet two inches. A little salmon colored bowtie complimented her tanned skin.

“I’m still deciding the rest,” bunny girl said to the kitsune.

The kitsune smiled slightly, slyly.  Bunny girl didn’t want to be the sexier version from a gentleman’s magazine. “Where’s our nurse?” The kitsune asked nonchalantly.

“Almost ready,” came the reply from the other room.

Nursing ran in her family, but she wasn’t one. For the holiday, she would at pretend to be one (though CPR and basic first aid were the only things she was familiar with).

She had decided to wear an opaque set of black tights with a layer of glittery black fishnets over them instead of struggling with all the holes. The blue mini dress was short. Thankfully, the costume wasn’t as short as the original tv series’ uniforms (those were just long enough to cover the butt while standing up).

Trekkie nurse’s fair, sun streaked hair was twisted into an “8” and tucked a wooden hair stick through to secure her bun. The hair stick had a familiar triangular symbol on it.

Bunny girl decided on brown leggings and fuzzy socks for warmth to be worn with little denim shorts over them. She carefully pinned her fluffy cotton tail on the back of the shorts. The salmon colored bowtie and false glasses were removed. She threw on brown fingerless gloves and a fleece shirt with a red plaid pattern. Underneath the shirt was a denim halter top.

Usagi-chan had a look at herself in the mirror. Lumberjack rabbit. The only thing missing were her tan work boots – and they were downstairs. She smiled at her reflection and thought of a familiar CG bunny (but that one was gray furred and in police uniform). She reached for the tinted lip balm and applied some while taking a walk to the next room where the nurse was.

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Celebrating Autumn – pt 3 (buffet table)

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The dining room shared a wall with the kitchen, separated by a set of double, sliding, frosted glass French doors that had been opened to reveal the dining room.

From the kitchen viewing out, the left side of the formal room had three short rows of windows with semi-translucent ivory drapes and swags over the off white vertical blinds. The blinds were currently parted open to show a view of still blooming rose bushes in white, pinks, orange, lavender and multi-colors. A single, wide glass door was opposite the windows as the main entry from the foyer and hallway.

A single chandelier was hung from the center of the ceiling accompanied by recessed ceiling lights. The chandelier had a dimmer switch.

The room was painted a rich coral hue.  Bright metallic speckle accents of bronze and copper were on the walls with the French doors and the partial walls opposite, leading to the plant parlor.  Another pair of sliding frosted glass panels that separated the parlor and hallway from the dining room had been neatly tucked away into its track. The entry to the parlor was just a few feet to the right.

In a little alcove on the left, in the wide hallway between dining room and parlor, was a powder room. The recessed ceiling lights overhead in the hallway were placed like scattered stars. Smaller versions of the foyer scones had been intermittently placed along the hallway walls.

The walls were painted in glossy aqua. The powder room had corn silk colored walls and was decorated in terracotta hues, creamed honey toned wood and splashes of bright, Caribbean waters blue-green.

A stick of osmanthus incense has been sweetly scenting the little room from the sink. Osmanthus smelled of richly scented flowers and a hint of raisin bread.

Off to the side by one of the opened kitchen/dining area French doors, on a smaller table draped in gold organza, were bamboo flatware, napkins and squarish shaped plates and little bowls.

The tempered glass goblets, for sangria or latte, and little tea cups were closer to the appropriate dispensers on the end of one of the tables. The drink ware had been from a restaurant supply store. Each goblet had been etched, between the six of them, with a different leaf shape. The little Asian tea/sake cups were simply painted with deep red and gold leaves. Both were party favors.

Blue butterfly flipped on the mini white LED strings of light in each of the pair of large, stemmed wine glasses. The pirate hostess had preferred to have compostable or biodegradable vs. washing dishes (or not having enough to go around). Besides, the home owners would appreciate more food for their garden via composting.

The six of them had moved the tables slightly closer to the windows yet still allow room for the guests to circulate around it. The blue butterfly tended to the buffet table decor.

She poured some sand into either a footed dessert bowl or a large goblet before wedging a large tea light into the sand of each one. After arranging five on both tables, she went back into the kitchen. Candles would be lit and dining room lights would be dimmed closer to the start time.

An empty cobalt glass vase awaited chrysanthemums from the nearby grocery store. Of the helpers, the autumn pixie was most intrepid. She left the house in costume to get them.

An eclectic collection of place mats indicated which dishes went where.

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On a display easel, pages of a large print menu was affixed neatly into sturdy, yellow-orange colored board. Also on the menu were a cast of attendees in costume as well as what they were bringing to share.

The easel had been placed out in the foyer area, next to the welcome table, but closer towards the formal dining room.

 

There was an assortment of libations:

-Cinnamon latte with optional whipped cream

-Oolong tea

-Dark sangria with dark berries and a bit of citrus flavored Ceylon cinnamon

-Sparkling sake infused with Asian pears, slices of ginger and a little lime.

 

Sweets

  • baked wonton with minced apple filling and dusted with a cinnamon/confectioner’s sugar blend (Pixie)
  • blueberry custard pie with optional ginger-vanilla gelato (Butterfly)
  • Chinese 5-spiced pumpkin bread, with optional spread of honey sweetened cream cheese spread/frosting (Pixie)
  • flourless dark chocolate cake; crème fraiche and blackberry sauce optional (Lily)
  • Date sweetened triple cinnamon [Ceylon, Korintje, Saigon] Mini “truffles” (Butterfly)
  • jasmine rice pudding topped with a sprinkle of raw sugar (Kitsune)
  • pumpkin fudge with white chocolate morsels (Bunny)

Savory fare

  • baked sweet potato fries (purple, orange, yellow) with sauce options: hot curry coconut, Dijon-raw honey or herb infused coconut oil (Bunny)
  • black mini gnocchi with minced smoked salmon in mild wasabi sauce (Pirate)
  • chopped, sauteed mixed greens with grated beets, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and lightly sprinkled with smoked sea salt (Nurse)
  • daikon/rainbow carrots/radicchio slaw tossed with sesame seed oil, rice vinegar, black lava salt and fresh cracked black pepper (Kitsune)
  • ginger-scallion black pearls risotto (Pirate)
  • Herbed pumpkin souffle (Nurse)
  • radicchio wrapped and pancetta tied baked vegetable rolls  (Lily)

 

Butterfly left the lighter wand in the kitchen area on a counter. Luckily, the other lights throughout the house were battery operated and only needed a flick of a switch.

A slinky little shadow uncoiled from her place under the ivory drapes and went about in silence to wander the room and investigate the decorations.