May 16, 2016

Cirque Balle

If you remember, a few weeks ago, I showed you the pennants I was making for a party. The event, a spin on Elsie de Wolfe’s Circus Ball, took place over the weekend. Most unfortunately, we had rain for 16 straight days, including a huge storm on Saturday afternoon, so the party had to be moved from the great lawn to the carriage house. cirque balle  (99)

The original plan was to decorate two tables and the tent, and luckily, there was enough room in the carriage house to move several of the 10x20 foot tents inside. My pal, Andrea is super-creative, but as I was in the UK for two weeks, she was in China for two weeks, home a week, then in Europe for two weeks and back a week, much of our planning was done via email and Pinterest. image

Our scheme was to be based on some blue and white china I have, and then add pink as an accent colour. I started making the pennants, all in blue and white fabrics. We got some cheapie hot pink and white striped fabric, tablecloths and napkins. The fabric was to cover the tent poles and give the impression of a striped circus tent. I bought two 100% cotton sheets to use as the overlay on the tables, cut them into 70” squares and sewed gold, and blue and white ribbon on them, and then added tassels to the corners. cirque balle  (97)

We used the same blue and white ribbon to tie in bows around the white folding chairs, and borrowed a console table from Evergreen House to use for some lamps to light the tent and add some major interest. I had gotten the elephant from The Yard Sale last week and knew it would be a perfect addition. cirque balle  (92)

We borrowed some huge blue and white import china containers from our friends at Halcyon House Antiques, and used them for the flowers – various shades of peonies along with some pale blue delphiniums!cirque balle  (72)cirque balle  (68)Andrea found huge tissue paper flowers on Etsy and we placed them around the inside to disguise the mechanics of the tent’s interior. We also hung a few from the peak of the tent, and we criss-crossed the interior with the smaller pennants. cirque balle  (96)

Andrea also made the most amazing animals, using plastic jungle animals we’d found on eBay, spray-painting them gold, glittering them and then adding feathers, flowers, tutus and more! She also made little plinths for them to stand on, just like in a real circus.
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Our adorable 11-year old friend, Aavo, made the most spectacular elephant cookies as a favour for each person at our two tables, imageand we also gave them the fun napkin rings we’d made with more of our gold and glitter animals. cirque balle  (111)It’s all fun and games until someone tries to walk off with the decorations and then argues when you ask them not to!

So, here’s what all of the elements looked like when they were combined! Pennants around the perimeter of the tent, stripes along the tent poles, blue and white, and pink and white stripes on the tables and chair and tons of flowers everywhere. cirque balle  (80)cirque balle  (93)cirque balle  (76)At the end, there were some peonies left, so I took them home and put them in an old silver water pitcher. They were just gorgeous and smelled amazing. cirque balle  (70)

Thanks so much to Andrea for all of her hard work and creativity, and of course, her patience with me. Also thanks to the gentlemen at Halcyon House Antiques for allowing me to come plunder the shop; and to Ibello Upholstery for giving me some amazing fabrics so that I could make a variety of pennants; and to John Rosselli Associates for the stunning blue and white linen fabrics for even more pennants. 


  1. Hello Meg, You and Andrea did an overwhelming amount of work on this, and it shows in the spectacular results. I thought that perhaps these decorations and pennants needed the sparkle of sunlight a light outdoor breeze to animate them, but they work wonderfully indoors--perhaps even better, with no sudden puffs of wind to disarrange things.

    Once again, I am vastly impressed both with your creativity and results.

    1. Thank you so much! It would have been fun for it to be outside, but the weather's just been so ghastly.

  2. 1. Flowers in old silver pitchers are THE BOMB. Always awesome!

    2. Love your cirque themed "do"... if you liked that, you would love the book "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern. Check it out!

    3. In circus-themed news, Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey has just retired their elephants. This makes me sad in a nostalgic way, because as a kid I always loved the girl-riding-elephants thing... but as an adult, I'm glad because it's just better to let elephants be elephants in places that elephants want to live.

    1. Thanks! That old pitcher is great for huge arrangements.

  3. What a lovely scene! Well done!

  4. You really outdid yourselves there. That is a LOT of work and it shows. A splendid job. So creative and beautiful. I'm sure it was a big hit. Congratulations!

  5. You two have done an amazing job!! Loved seeing the pics on IG xx

  6. So, so, so fun and festive. Exuberant, even, despite the weather.


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