Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Colors of the Month!

So I know it's the last day of November but I'm sneaking it in!!! I've been drawn to Cognac and Army Green as we transition from fall to winter. Green is one of my favorite colors and cognac colored leather is an obsession of mine lately.
I want that bag right now and that couch is the couch of my dreams (like most of the things at Restoration Hardware)
1. Wristwatch by NIXON at Net-a-porter 2. Snow Boots by Pajar at Lori's Shoes 3. 'pocket shopper' bag by Labour of Love at Farfetch 4. Drawstring Trouser Skirt by See by ChloĆ© at La Carconne 5. Collins Leather Sofa at Restoration Hardware 6. Street Look at DuMoment 7. Bowery Sunglasses by Spy Optic at Zappos.com 8. Wedge Ankle Boot by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Jildor 9. Vintage French Square Leather Armchair at Restoration Hardware 10. Victoria Dress by IRO at The Outnet

Hope it was a great November ;)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lira and Anthony's Wedding: Baking the Cake

You've seen a little already from Lira and Anthony's wedding but I haven't shared the wedding cake I made! It was my first ever wedding cake, a bit nerve wracking but I think everyone was happy with the outcome :) It was a carrot cake and I made it pre-birthday Cuisinart, I was determined to have freshly grated carrots but I had a sore arm in the end because of it hehe.


Here's the recipe I used:

Carrot Cake 
from Betty Crocker Cookbook New Edition
oven 350*
Grease bottom of two 8 inch or 9 inch pans w/shortening; lightly flour.

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
3 large eggs
2 c. all purpose flour
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt 
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

In large bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds or until blended. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and salt; beat on low speed 1 minute. stir in carrots and nuts. pour into pans.

Bake pans 30-35 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. cool completely; about 1 hour.

***I made two batches for my two tiered cake using 9" and 6" round pans

Here are my buttered and floured pans, I've been avoiding the cooking spray lately.

The apple sauce isn't in the original recipe but the bride suggested substituting half of the oil with the apple sauce. This is a nice way to make your cake a little more healthy without noticing, works great for things like banana bread, too.
I also chopped my raisins up a bit, I'm not a big fan of biting into a big soft raisin in the middle of my cake. By making the raising bits smaller, you still get the flavor without the globby spots.
Mixing things up in my vintage sunbeam mixer.
Here's a picture of my test cake, see the nice, small raisins?
A few days before the wedding I made a test cake to see how much cake I'd need to bake and to make sure that it would taste good! It was a perfect snack for everyone making paper flowers for the wedding (myself included) and it was a good sign when the only responses I was getting were mmmmmm, mmmhmm.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Colors of the Month!

In honor of Lira and Anthony's wedding, this month's colors are Ruby and Violet. As we head into cooler weather, it is easy to fall into a world of black, gray and brown. Ruby red and Violet are the perfect colors to add some color to otherwise dark and gloomy season.
Here are some things I love in this month's colors. I have an obsession with Melissa jelly shoes and these red ones are to die for, everyone should have a pair of red flats in their closet! The vintage kimono has a great geometric pattern making it modern, pair with some opaque black tights and heels and you have the perfect evening outfit that you won't be freezing in. I am also in love with the red coat, it's just so good.
 1.  Alice & Olivia Sandra Brushstroke Satin Dress at Neiman Marcus 2. Mel Ice Flats at Lord and Taylor 3. Vintage Kimono at Free People 4. Red Bound Seam Duffle Coat at Top Shop 5. Emerald Cut Cocktail Ring at The Limited 6. Geo Sunglasses at American Appeal 7. Citizens of Humanity Thompson Skinny Jeans at Barneys New York 8. Boatneck Cable Poncho at LOFT 9. Patterson J. Kincaid Harlow Belted Dress at Revolve Clothing 10. Red Glass Cake Plate at Neiman Marcus

Happy October!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lira and Anthony's Wedding: Paper Flowers

Having creative friends is pretty awesome especially when they are as generous as my friends Gloria and Perry. Our friends Lira and Anthony got engaged last year and as a Christmas gift Gloria and Perry offered to host the nuptials at their home. Many of the friends in our circle are familiar with putting on a production coming from various backgrounds including theater, film, television, music and fine art. It was pretty much a no brainer for a bunch of us to get together and help put on an awesome day for our deserving friends Lira and Anthony :)

Flowers are commonly used to decorate weddings but fresh flowers can be quite expensive and even a little boring. We gathered various materials in the color scheme of red and purple to make our own, fun and vibrant flowers. There is no way we could have gotten the visual variety and punch of color from real flowers. A few of us gathered a few days a week leading up to the wedding day and made flowers, lots and lots of flowers.
We scoured the Internet for different flower making techniques for inspiration and made paper flowers, plastic flowers, fabric flowers, ribbon flowers...you get the idea.
It looked like a full on floral shop when I had all the flowers laid out by color, preparing to make arrangements.
I'm kicking myself a little because I forgot to get a good shot of the bouquets I made, it can be hard to remember to stop and take pictures of your work sometimes. Here is a picture of the finished wreaths around jars with pretty little candles in them.
 Here is another shot of the various ways flowers were used to decorate the space.
While there were skeptics about our paper flowers, it all came together and was an all around beautiful day. We definitely proved that you don't need real flowers to make a wedding look fantastic! I love that so many of the couples' friends had their hand in creating this important event for them, it made a special day even more special.

My involvement with this wedding did not stop at the flowers. We all know I love to bake and when I heard that the lovely bride, Lira planned to bake her own cake, I demanded that I make the cake. OK, maybe Gloria convinced me to do it too but I was happy to do it! I'll be posting the cake soon!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Colors of the Month!

I know that September is just about over but I thought I could still sneak in the Colors of the Month. Orange and Blue are complimentary colors so naturally, they go well together. This month, I chose Saffron and Prussian Blue. The spicy, warm orange and yellow hues of saffron are a great transition to fall. Prussian Blue is one of my absolute favorite colors, I've taken many painting classes and I've always loved pulling out the tube of that rich, deep, slightly warm blue. Here are some items and inspirational photos of Saffron and Prussian Blue for you to take a look at :)
 1. Watercolor Paint at Dick Blick 2. Saffron Tea at Saffron Spices 3. Dress by Thakoon at Revolve Clothing 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses at Amazon 5. Amy Digregorio at Couture Candy 6. Forzieri Pashmina Shawl at Forzieri 7. Oversized Cutwork Top at Asos 8. Donna Morgan Dress at Macys 9. Pretty Balloons at Paper n Stitch

Enjoy!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Pillow Talk

One of the easiest ways to update and freshen up the look of your living rooms is through pillows! Now, I'm not the type that has a ridiculous amount of pillows on my couch, I just need a few.

I found this great Alexander Henry fabric at Michael Levine Fabric downtown. In a previous post I used the same fabric in blue to cover my dining chairs. I love the geometric pattern and the colors go well with the other items I have in my living room :)

I started by cutting squares with the pattern centered, then placed the pieces front to front and started to sew leaving a hole big enough for my had to fit through.
Once sewn, I turned the pillows inside out.

Next, I stuffed them with poly fill. In order for the pillow to keep it's shape, its important to over stuff it.

Finally, I did a tidy whip-stitch to finish the pillows off.

I fluffed the finished pillows and threw them on the couch. I love the way they compliment my favorite quilt!
Now, its a matter of how long these ones will last until I decide I want to redecorate again ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Colors of the Month!

The kids may be heading back to school in some places but the summer is not over! Here in Cali we're still soaking up the sun. Sunny goldenrod and light ash remind us that the hottest heat of the year is likely still to come.
 
1. "Thumbprint" Outdoor Rug at Horchow 2. Kartell Ballet Flats at Yoox 3. Op Nouveau Necklace
 at Anthropologie 4. Drawstring Tank Dress at American Apparel 5. Emilio Pucci Scarf at The Outnet 6. Striped Tank Dress at Bloomingdales 7. Beaded Necklace at Kate Spade 8. Alice & Olivia Maxi Skirt at Revolve Clothing 9. Lichen on Driftwood at Wanderin' Weeta 10. Jet Set Shirt at Barneys New York 11. KitchenAid Mixer in Buttercup at Chefs Catalog

Enjoy the rest of your summer!