Thursday, April 29, 2010

Always One to Accessorize

Always One to Accessorize

Modern-Twist DoileezAwhile ago, my partner and I were in a boutique store in Rehoboth, DE when I spotted these Doileez, by Modern-Twist. I thought they were interesting and would really add some pop to my small cake presentations and to our dessert and hors devours plates. At the time, they were a little expensive to buy a set of 4, so I regrettably put them back on the shelf and walked away. Imagine my surprise when they popped up in my "Gilt Groupe" home section this past week at half-price! I wasted no time in ordering them and love the look they create!

I really like the texture it adds when mixed into our place setting...


And our desserts enjoy the added attention as well!

You can find Doileez, by Modern-Twist on or at selected home stores. However, I also recommend joining the "Gilt Groupe" for this type of deal. Once you become a member, you will receive e-mails notifying you of upcoming sales on designer clothes, shoes, home goods, etc. It's a great way to purchase some really dandy items! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Always One to Accessorize

Always One to Accessorize

It's azalea season here in DC, and I love the beautiful blooms these bushes produce. I wanted to do something dramatic for our mantelpiece, so I grabbed my two tall glass vases, my pruning tools and set to work on the bushes in our garden.

For these two arrangements, I found the longest and straightest branches I could find. After clipping from the bush, I then sheared off the flowers and leaves below the glass line. I placed pond rocks on the bottom of the glass to add some texture and interest, then using cellophane tape created a grid across the opening of the vases (see prior post on quick tip for flower arranging.)

Once you've completed the grid, start placing the flowers through the various holes. I had to rearrange mine  many times, due to the crooked branches that are inherent in an azalea bush.

However, in no time you have a beautiful dramatic flower arrangement.

With the leftover trimmed branches, I created smaller arrangements for the other rooms in the house!

What a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fun Host Gifts

Fun Host Gifts!
Our friends hosted a "Glee" party where we all gathered for dinner and then enjoyed watching "Glee" together.

As a host gift, I presented them with the "Glee" Soundtrack, Vol. 1 & 2 
I created the CD's and the cover and song list using Itunes. To complete the theme, I printed and cut out a musical note graphic and tied it all together with coordinating black and red ribbon.

For your next party, be creative and surprise your host with a lovely gift that goes with the theme of their gathering!

Glee: The Music, Volume 1 (Special Edition with 3 Bonus Songs)
Glee: The Music, Volume 2

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cakes I Make

Cakes I Make

My niece was having her confirmation party on Saturday, and requested that I make her a cake. Since there were 30 people attending, I decided to make two different 8" round layered cakes to give people a choice of dessert.

The first cake I designed with spring in mind. I made a lemon raspberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting (see earlier posting of Tommy's Easter cupcakes.)  To decorate the cake, I used candy raspberries and blackberries with an edible pansy to give it some floral flair. I purchased the edible pansies at Sir La Table in Chevy Chase. 

To give the bottom of the cake a tailored finish, I layered a wide white ribbon with a smaller green and white striped ribbon and wrapped it around the bottom edge of the cake. To hold the two ribbons together, place a fine line of icing on the back of the striped ribbon and place it on the white ribbon.  

The second cake I made was a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. To decorate, I scattered small German chocolate candies on top and edged the bottom of the cake with a chocolate brown ribbon to continue the theme.

Everyone enjoyed them and had a wonderful time. I hope you have fun creating your own cakes for that special occasion!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easy Time-Saver

I was walking down the aisle of our local grocery store when I found this product on the shelf. I was...I'm a little embarrassed to say...very excited about it and had to post about it.

I'm forever pulling shirts out of my closets that are wrinkled and a mess. But I have no time to iron them before heading off to work or to a social gathering.

That's where the Downy Wrinkle Eraser comes in. I swear it's amazing! You spray a light coating on your shirt, pants, etc. and then tug and pull the fabric to get the wrinkles out. Let it dry and more wrinkles!



Love it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Collecting Memories

Collecting Memories
Brian and I have shared some beautiful vacations together and when his birthday came up, I wanted to do something special for him.

I found the perfect gift with This easy to navigate online program helps you build a personal photo album from several different templates. After loading all my photos, I simply clicked and dragged each photo to the desired location on the page. When finished and ordered they will send you the completed album (hardcover or softcover) to your home ready for giving!

Here is the album I created for Brian's Birthday! And yes...that is Charo (the coo-chi coo-chi girl) ;).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Always One to Accessorize

Always One to Accessorize
Today's post is about those tie belts that are so popular now. I kept seeing them in stores and thinking about the old ties I had in my closet that Brian and I never wear. So, I decided to turn them into fun tie belts. 

To begin, I purchased some "D" rings at a local craft store and then searched through my closet for some fun ties.

I found these two ties that I thought would be perfect for Brian and me.

To begin making the belt, I first measured one of my own belts to get the correct length and snipped off the extra. (Note: Cut the tie on the wider end, so that you can use the small tip as the finished end of your belt.)

I then turned the tie inside out and measured the width of the narrow end of the tie and trimmed the backing fabric accordingly (the white fabric).  Then finding the seam beginning at the narrow section of the tie, I sewed a straight line from that point to the other end of the tie. This will make your tie the same width throughout. (While sewing this seam, I left the backing fabric attached to the narrow end, but didn't sew it to the rest of the tie, that will come later).

Once you've sewn the tie so that it is the same width throughout, cut off the extra fabric from the wide end of the tie and turn it right side out.

Now take the "D" rings (set of 2) and run your tie (rough end) through the rings. Double over the rough edge (including the backing fabric) so that you have a nice hem and sew it to the belt about 2" inches below the rings. Then continue sewing up the sides towards the rings and across the belt right under the rings so that the rings are secure.

Once you've done that you have yourself a beautiful new tie belt!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Cupcakes

I had to post about my friend Tommy's cupcakes that he created for he and his fiancé Joe's Easter Brunch. I love the creativity Tommy shows and the colors are perfect for spring!

I loved these yellow and milk chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!
Tommy says you can use a boxed cake mix or make them from scratch. If making from scratch, he recommends the book "Cupcakes" because it has wonderful cupcake recipes. He does recommend making the cream cheese frosting from scratch as he has found that none of the canned icing tastes as good as homemade and says that it is easy to make! He includes the recipe below! To decorate Tommy rolled the iced cupcakes in shredded coconut died green with food coloring to resemble grass. Then he took small candy covered chocolate eggs (about the size of jelly beans) and put on top to resemble Easter eggs (you can also use jelly beans). 

These lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting were delicious as well as beautiful!
These can also be made using a boxed lemon cake mix or Tommy suggests using the lemon cupcake recipe in the "Cupcakes" book. He used the same cream cheese frosting recipe below except he added 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the mix to give a little lemon flavor.  After icing the cupcakes, he grated lemon zest on top of each cupcake (this is both for decoration and for extra lemon flavor). 

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

  • 8oz cold cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (firm but not cold)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 3/4 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the cream cheese, butter, and salt together until creamed and smooth (about 2 minutes) on medium speed.  Reduce mixer speed to the lowest setting and slowly mix in the powered sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth, however don't over mix! 

I also loved these hand dipped pretzel rods. 
For these yummy treats Tommy hand dipped them in white chocolate using food coloring to give the white chocolate some Easter color. He says that these are always a big hit and so EASY to do.

Thanks Tommy! Your party...and cupcakes...were a big success!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Knit Happens and Then There's A Bag for That!

Knit Happens and Then There's A Bag for That!

Heading to an Easter brunch this Sunday?!

These wine bags are the perfect accessory for your hostess gift and they are made by your own hands!

I knitted these three wine bags using two different knitting methods. I used knitting needles for one and a small 31/2" round knitting loom for the others. Each tool produces a different patterned bag.

When conceiving the idea for knitting the wine bags with needles, I knitted a small scarf using size 7.5 needles and when I reached the appropriate length (I simply measured the scarf against the bottle), I sewed the two side seams together with matching yarn. The knitting loom, I used for the other bags, can be found at your local craft store and comes with easy and fun instructions.

Like me, you'll have a lot of fun creating the idea for each bag!

 I love the texture of this purple fun fur bag and the black and white ribbon really provides some contrast and interest to your gift.

A second choice is this peek-a-boo pink number with white satin ribbon.
To me it feels a little frisky yet demure ;).

And this final number evokes a nice French feel which would go well with a nice French wine!

Je l'adore! 

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