This weekend we went home to Maine for my sister-in-law's baby shower. We had a nice, small shower at my mom's house. My mom is an artist (check out her art education blog) and her painter's eye carries over well to food presentation. Take, for example, this veggie platter:
She used a melamine set of one large platter and six removable paisley-shaped sections. A really neat touch, though, was the celery "flower" in the middle: while prepping the celery sticks, she chopped off the bottom in one fell swoop and was going to toss it when she noticed that it looked like a flower, so instead she placed it in the center and instantly added more visual interest. (She also commented on how cool it would be to use the celery "flower" as a printing block, as detailed in her post about vegetable printing.) This is just one example of how the most mundane objects can be beautiful if you stop to look at them, and it was a cheap (free!) way of adding a little more spark to the decor.