Archive for September, 2008

Crown Jewels

September 30, 2008

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I don’t know what it is about fall that has me oohing and aahing over the rich majesty of jewel tones. Maybe its the changing quality of the light, or maybe it’s the sense that the holidays–though distant still– are nevertheless approaching. Whatever it is, I just want to dive into these photos and luxuriate in their depths. Have you ever seen carnations look so inviting as in this still life from Roland Bello?

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This interior from Domino is a few years old but still a classic in my book. The plush plum velvet on that chair screams "put on your fanciest negligee and lounge on me!"

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Indian silks and embroideries are a great way to get your jewel-tone fix, as in this image from Chris Everard. And with accessories like pillows and throws, you can rotate throughout the year—switch it up with the seasons.

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The moody frosted glass of these ceramics captivates me, and I love the candelabra on the right…but I forgot where I found this image! If you recognize it, please let me know. I have got to stop dragging random photos to the desktop 😦

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Of course jewel tones don’t have to be over-the-top and opulent. This gorgeous photo from Ditte Isager illustrates perfectly how a few well-placed accents can create the same sumptuous mood with a more modern sensibility. I adore the multiple pendant lamps in this one.

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In this image (also from Ditte Isager) such a pleasing tension arises from the pairing of the lavish wallpaper and hutch with the spare clean lines of the dining set. And look at those floorboards! They look honed from the earth themselves.

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And finally this Los Angeles interior from the October 2008 issue of Elle Decoration UK eschews all the amethyst, garnet and topaz shades of the other photos. But the oxbloods, emeralds and sapphires of the bud vase collection evoke the same intensity of spirit. And the regal shape of that chair back furthers the "fit for a queen" feeling. The royal "we" approves!

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Shaped Sugar Cookies: Tea for Two

September 30, 2008

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My cousin organized an elaborate tea-themed
birthday party over the weekend (is there a gene for theme-party-obsessions? And happy birthday Miss Sara!). I wanted to be there in person but with gas
prices hiked higher than my granny’s panties, I sent the next best
thing—cookies! I had such fun putting these together; it was my first
serious attempt at "cookie art" and I’m relatively pleased with the
result! Perfectionist that I am, of course there are things I would
change. But given that only one minor meltdown occurred in the making
of these cookies, it’s safe to say that I look forward to honing my icing skills in the near future.

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I wasn’t able to find a cookie cutter like this one
in any of the local stores, so I made a template and cut the shapes by
hand. I did have some trouble with the cardboard of the
template—let’s just say some of the party guests might get a little
extra fiber!—and I was glad to be making only 12 cookies this way as
the process got quite tedious. But frosting them was a lovely and
meditative activity full of color and creative expression—it made
me want to invest in better equipment than Ziploc bags with the tips
cut open…

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And that meltdown I mentioned? It happened at 11 pm the night before
I iced these bad boys…and it was completely my own fault. Who stacks
baking sheets on a slanting pile of cookbooks anyway? Fortunately I had made extra dough. And speaking of dough, here’s my go-to sugar cookie recipe. It holds up really nicely, is never sticky, and tastes as good as it looks.

Shaped Sugar Cookies
(recipe courtesy of The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook )

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder
and set aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream butter and
sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, then add
in dry ingredients a bit at a time until you have a firm, pliable dough
(you may need to work it with your hands towards the end.) Chill the dough in the fridge for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350. To shape the cookies, put a piece of parchment
paper on your work surface and roll a hunk of dough to about 1/8-1/4
inch thick. Cut the cookies and put them on your baking sheet, then put
the sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes; this will help the
cookies retain their shape in the oven. Bake for around 12-15 minutes
depending on their size. Take them out just as the edges begin to brown
(I recommend watching them pretty closely while they bake. Of course I
never do). Let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing
them to a rack, then frost with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

2-3 large egg whites
1 pound confectioners sugar (this amount will vary depending on whether you want to spread or pipe the icing)
Juice of 1 lemon
food coloring gels of choice

Using an electric mixer, combine egg whites and sugar on low speed
until blended. Stir in lemon juice until spreadable and add food
coloring. I played around a lot with the consistency: more liquid for
the pink backgrounds, more sugar for the stripes. Just be sure to add
liquid only a few drops at a time, because it can go from being too
thick to too runny very quickly. Spread using a pastry knife or pipe
using a bag. Decorate to your heart’s content!

Inspiration Board: Ruby Red Vintage Glamour

September 29, 2008

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Here’s an inspiration board I put together for a contest being held by Southern Weddings Magazine and Fuss Jewelry. The challenge was to build a board inspired by a piece of jewelry on the Fuss website; I chose the Kelly earrings in black spinel and gold wire. I may still tinker with it before sending it in, but the contest ends at midnight so if you’re interested, put your creative cap on!

Row 1: Crystal claret glasses by Gentl & Hyers; red flower initials from OnceWed’s Flickr photostream; mirror and candelabra still life by Jo Tyler; red roses invitation suite Ceci New York.
Row 2: net and feather headpiece, Sara Gabriel; Kelly earrings from Fuss Jewelry; rose petals line the stairs in a photo from Emilie Inc.; red patent shoes from The Knot; blackberry fizz cocktail, photographer Dierdre Rooney; vintage wedding gown photo from Junebug Weddings.
Row 3: luggage photograph, Bueller Designs on Etsy; Kirsten Dunst photographed by Alex Lubomirski, Harper’s Bazaar (October 2008, page 300); scrollwork silhouette photo by La Vie Photography; red and white cake on Instyle Weddings.
Row 4: Roses close-up by Gentl & Hyers; reception space, Quat Quatta in Victoria Australia; red chandelier, OnceWed’s Flickr photostream; 1940’s getaway car photo on Junebug Weddings.

Pop Quiz #3

September 29, 2008

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Image Credit: Lucky Magazine, October 2008 
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Slouchy pants with kicky sneaks. Is the combo:

a) A fresh and playful pairing for fall?
OR
b) Best left in the lithe and able hands of models, French women and Diane Keaton?

I dunno; the jury’s still out for me. But I do know that these tennies from Rubber Duck are pretty darn cute…

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Pop Quiz #3

September 29, 2008

Luckymagtrousersandsneakers_2

Image Credit: Lucky Magazine, October 2008 
———————————————————
Slouchy pants with kicky sneaks. Is the combo:

a) A fresh and playful pairing for fall?
OR
b) Best left in the lithe and able hands of models, French women and Diane Keaton?

I dunno; the jury’s still out for me. But I do know that these tennies from Rubber Duck are pretty darn cute…

10757682730d_2


 


Wedding Flashback: Ring Bowl by Paloma’s Nest

September 26, 2008

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This was one of those special wedding details that very few people—really only me, the groom, and the best man—knew about. I ordered this custom ring bowl for the ceremony from one of my favourite Etsy sellers, Paloma’s Nest. You can select any text you like, and Paloma will imprint it on one of her spare, simple porcelain bowls.

I chose the final line from one of our favourite poems, "Directive" by Robert Frost. I had originally wanted a longer quotation, but Paloma was kind enough to contact me and recommend something shorter as the bowls are quite small and can only fit so many words! But she makes bigger ones too…

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Hello, anniversary gift! I wonder if she can fit the following lines?

And if you’re lost
enough to find yourself

By now, pull in your
ladder road behind you

And put a sign up CLOSED
to all but me.

Here are your waters and
your watering place.

Drink and be whole again
beyond confusion. 

. . .

Sigh. Isn’t it the most soulful poem in the world?

Blog Love: Classic Bride

September 26, 2008

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I’d like to extend a warm thanks to Sarah at Classic Bride for adding me to her ‘Wedding Inspiration’ blogroll! Sarah is an authority on all things inspiring—for weddings or otherwise!—and it’s such an honour to receive her notice. So thanks, Sarah!

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In case you’re not familiar with Classic Bride, the site’s mission is to keep it "sweet, simple, and timeless" and that’s exactly what it does…think ‘Audrey and Grace start a blog’. Head there for gorgeous visuals, elegant fashion and beauty tips, fabulous DIY ideas, and lots more polished yet unpretentious wedding inspiration. Plus Sarah’s knee-deep in the thick of planning her own wedding—and it’s such a delight to follow her journey! (Audrey image via Classic Bride)

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Yesterday Sarah posted an event that I’d like to spread the word about. If you’re in the Seattle area, be sure to check out Get Hitched, Give Hope. It’s an evening of food, music, and bridal awesomeness with all proceeds going to Brides Against Breast Cancer, an organization that grants wishes to breast cancer patients. Some of Seattle’s top wedding professionals have donated services that you can bid on in a silent auction. So in the words of CuteOverload, bid bid bid like a baby squid!—knowing that your generousity is going to such a worthy cause. Because nothing is more "sweet, simple and timeless" than reaching out to those in need!

Blog Love: Classic Bride

September 26, 2008

Cbheader

I’d like to extend a warm thanks to Sarah at Classic Bride for adding me to her ‘Wedding Inspiration’ blogroll! Sarah is an authority on all things inspiring—for weddings or otherwise!—and it’s such an honour to receive her notice. So thanks, Sarah!

Audrey_hepburn

In case you’re not familiar with Classic Bride, the site’s mission is to keep it "sweet, simple, and timeless" and that’s exactly what it does…think ‘Audrey and Grace start a blog’. Head there for gorgeous visuals, elegant fashion and beauty tips, fabulous DIY ideas, and lots more polished yet unpretentious wedding inspiration. Plus Sarah’s knee-deep in the thick of planning her own wedding—and it’s such a delight to follow her journey! (Audrey image via Classic Bride)

Home_03

Yesterday Sarah posted an event that I’d like to spread the word about. If you’re in the Seattle area, be sure to check out Get Hitched, Give Hope. It’s an evening of food, music, and bridal awesomeness with all proceeds going to Brides Against Breast Cancer, an organization that grants wishes to breast cancer patients. Some of Seattle’s top wedding professionals have donated services that you can bid on in a silent auction. So in the words of CuteOverload, bid bid bid like a baby squid!—knowing that your generousity is going to such a worthy cause. Because nothing is more "sweet, simple and timeless" than reaching out to those in need!

Truly Gifted

September 25, 2008

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Of course the best wedding gift is the joy of gathering with family and friends in a celebration of love and commitment. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling really excited about the more material gifts we’ve received from our very thoughtful loved ones. Like these sea anemone plates from Global Table. They’re so tiny—just about two by six inches—and you can’t tell from the photo but they have a lovely textured embossing on them.

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I’ve had my eye on a Heidi Caillard guinea hen for years, but never could justify buying one. Thanks to my brilliant little sister for coming through with this beauty in ivory ceramic! Isn’t she so sweet and stylish? The hen and my sister, that is 🙂

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I put this mallet decanter on the registry as my "pie in the sky" gift…it’s an exquisite piece from British glass artisan Michael Ruh, and it’s quite expensive so I wasn’t at all expecting to receive it. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the package! The string detail around the neck and body of the vessel is so stunning and delicate.

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But perhaps our biggest surprise of all came from my Maid of Honour Jessica. She brought us these soapstone vases from her recent trip to Brazil, and I couldn’t love them more. Ancient and organic yet so clean and modern at the same time; if a gift is a reflection of how well someone knows you and your style, then Jess is clearly a mindreader.

Thanks everyone for your gifts—material or otherwise. Your love and support are priceless to us!

Truly Gifted

September 25, 2008

Dsc_0114

Of course the best wedding gift is the joy of gathering with family and friends in a celebration of love and commitment. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling really excited about the more material gifts we’ve received from our very thoughtful loved ones. Like these sea anemone plates from Global Table. They’re so tiny—just about two by six inches—and you can’t tell from the photo but they have a lovely textured embossing on them.

Dsc_0195

I’ve had my eye on a Heidi Caillard guinea hen for years, but never could justify buying one. Thanks to my brilliant little sister for coming through with this beauty in ivory ceramic! Isn’t she so sweet and stylish? The hen and my sister, that is 🙂

Dsc_0118_4

I put this mallet decanter on the registry as my "pie in the sky" gift…it’s an exquisite piece from British glass artisan Michael Ruh, and it’s quite expensive so I wasn’t at all expecting to receive it. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the package! The string detail around the neck and body of the vessel is so stunning and delicate.

Dsc_0149

But perhaps our biggest surprise of all came from my Maid of Honour Jessica. She brought us these soapstone vases from her recent trip to Brazil, and I couldn’t love them more. Ancient and organic yet so clean and modern at the same time; if a gift is a reflection of how well someone knows you and your style, then Jess is clearly a mindreader.

Thanks everyone for your gifts—material or otherwise. Your love and support are priceless to us!