Thursday, December 30, 2010

Redbud Terrace Winter Punch

punch

A staple of any holiday party is a good house drink. My husband, Brian, makes an excellent punch for our holiday gatherings that we call “Redbud Terrace Winter Punch.” It’s easy to prepare and it’s always a hit! Try this yummy drink at your next gathering! The recipe is below:

Redbud Terrace Winter Punch

10-12 servings 5 min 5 min prep

1-12 oz can frozen cranberry juice concentrate, almost thawed

1-12 oz. can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, almost thawed

1-12 oz. can frozen limeade concentrate, almost thawed

1- 31/4 cup bottle white wine, chilled

2- 31/4 cup bottles champagne, chilled

1-1ltr. bottle of carbonated water or dub soda, chilled

1 - lemon, sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint

1-12 oz. package strawberries or raspberries, frozen

Combine all in a large punch bowl or if you don't have one, combine it all in a large clean pot and serve it in pitchers. Add the frozen fruit just before serving. The mint can be left in the punch bowl or removed just before serving, but it adds a wonderful flavor so don't leave it out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy Holiday Centerpiece

This past weekend, I needed a glam centerpiece for our Holiday Dessert Open House. However, with creating my poinsettia cake and last minute party preparations, I had less than ideal time to create it.

Thankfully, I knew I wanted to use our silver and gold vase as the base of the arrangement; and when I glittered my golden wreath and berries, I also gilded some crepe myrtle branches from our backyard.

So after running downstairs and grabbing the vase and some gilded sticks, I ran outside with a pair of clippers to snip off some evergreen branches from our trees!

Once I placed the evergreen and gilded branches into my vase, I dug into my extra Christmas decorations and pulled out a string of gold beads, some glitter pinecones and some leftover golden apples.

By applying floral wire to the bottom of the pinecones and apples, I was able to insert them in between my branches. As a final touch, I draped the golden beads around the rim of the vase using the floral wire to attach the beads to the bottom of the branches.

While it took me under an hour to create, I think it made a brilliant centerpiece for the table!
 poinsettia 022

Christmas Dessert Cake

My partner and I had our annual Christmas Dessert Open House party this past weekend. I love decorating a special cake for the party and this year I decided to create a poinsettia cake using fondant

To make the red and green leaves, my husband and I took a handful of fondant and after adding food dye, kneeded the dye into the fondant. (Rub confectionary sugar on your hands to keep the fondant from sticking to your hands)

Once we achieved the desired color, we rolled the icing into thin squares and used a pizza cutter to cut out the leaves. Then using a sharp tool, we traced the vein lines across the top of the leaves being careful not to cut all the way through the leaf.


Once the leaf was complete, we then placed them on a cookie sheet to dry using different items (we used small candles) to hold up different areas of the leaf to add texture. 

To make the center pods simply kneed yellow food dye into a small piece of fondant and roll with your hands.


Once the leaves and pods dried overnight, I then arranged them on top of the cake using lemon buttercream frosting as a glue to hold them in place. To complete the holiday look, I dusted the cake with edible gold dust to add some sparkle and shine!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wintry Wine Accessories!

It’s that time of year again! You have lots of holiday parties to attend and you’re looking for something fun and interesting to give the host.

A great Wine is always a good staple to give to your host, but why not give it a little creative holiday twist.

gold 019

I knitted this wintry scarf and hat for our host gift. It was fun to knit and quick to make. I knitted this set over a couple of nights watching some holiday classics…oh Snoopy how I love your Christmas display! 

To knit my scarf and hat set, I used a pair of size 4 needles and a thin white yarn, but you can use any yarn of your choice.

scarf

To create the scarf, I simply cast on 10 stitches then knit one row and purled the next until I had enough rows for my scarf. I then hand-sewed  feather trim on each end (I bought a small white boa at the craft store then cut it up into small pieces).

hat

For the hat, I cast on 5 stitches then knit one row and purled the next decreasing my stitches until I created a triangle shape. Then I hand-sewed the edges together to create my hat. Once I added a small white pom-pom to the tip of my hat and some feather trim around the bottom it was ready to go!

P1010863 copy

Another bottle cover, that I’m particularly proud of, is this cable knit number. You may remember one of my very first posts where I turned Brian’s old Irish sweater into 2 beautiful pillows for our sofa. After creating the pillows, I kept all of the leftover pieces knowing that I could use them in another project someday. Well, today was the day, and I created this chic cover out of that very same sweater simply by sewing up the bottom of the sleeve. I love the cable knit pattern, and it looks truly wintry and beautiful as a wine bottle cover.

As you’re heading out to your holiday parties, think of what you can create to show your host you care!

Monday, December 13, 2010

All that glitters

afghan 009Brian and I are getting our home ready for our annual Christmas party. Our theme for the decorations is “A Golden Christmas.” As you can imagine, it involves a lot of gold paint and glitter. But, as my Husband says, the only thing that separates a good Christmas from a great Christmas is glitter.

afghan 007 So, while we trimmed the tree with lots of gold ornaments…

afghan 006…and adorned our mantel with gilded garland and reindeer,  I still had a few craft projects up my sleeve to complete the look!

You’ve already read about my gilded globes and this weekend I finished two other projects to complete this year’s theme.

The ideas came to me, while we were relaxing in the living room last week. I looked up at our light and thought it might be fun to add a festive touch of golden berries around the edges of the globe. I also remembered an old grape vine wreath we had in the attic that would look beautiful in our foyer. Since, I already owned the wreath and a garland of red berries, it was just a matter of running to the craft store for some gold paint and glitter.

gold 001 gold 003What we found at the craft store was this easy to use “Brilliant Gold” craft paint by Design Master and gold glitter both in shaker form and in a spray form.

After laying out the garland and wreath, I simply sprayed them with 2 coats of gold paint, a couple of coats of gold glitter spray and then topped it off by sprinkling on the heavier glitter for some extra shine.

gold 004 Once dried and completed the golden touches look beautiful!

gold 005

P1010865

Happy Holidays!
And may your Christmas be merry and golden…um…I mean bright!

cheers

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fun with fur!

Fur is huge right now, and when we were in New York awhile ago, I saw a beautiful fur-trim men’s coat at Bergdorf Goodman that I absolutely loved! Unfortunately, what I didn’t love was the price tag. I didn’t purchase it, but since that day, I’ve kept that coat in the back of my mind.

One day, while perusing the goods at the Georgetown flea market, I discovered a beautiful vintage black fur collar. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I knew I already owned a wool coat that came with a faux blazer collar that buttoned onto the inside of the coat and at $20 for the fur collar I couldn’t pass it up!

After bringing the collar home and studying my coat, I worked out a solution and set off for the fabric store and purchased some black wool felt.

To attach the collar, I cut out a piece of the black felt using my faux blazer collar as a template.

fur_coat 007

After cutting out the design, I  hand-sewed the piece of felt to the back of the fur collar, adjusting the height according to how it laid on the front of my coat. Once the collar was finished, I placed the collar onto the coat and cut out the button holes.

fur_coat114

fur_coat 016 When I was finished, I was very pleased with the results! Now, I have a fun, fabulous coat to wear when I’m out and about!

fur_coat 002 fur_coat 004

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Knit Happens

IMG_0105Back in March, I began knitting my first big project…a basket-weave afghan. It was relatively easy to knit and required only a pair of circular needles (I used a size 8), a stitch counter…and of course…lots and lots of yarn.

I finally completed it and love the results. It has certainly come in handy on these chilly DC evenings!

afghan 015 Even the pets love it! It keeps my little pussy nice and warm!

afghan 017 If you’re interested in creating your own basket-weave afghan, e-mail me for the pattern! Just make sure you buy a stitch counter before you begin. It's crucial!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Golden Globes

A couple of years ago, I purchased some mercury glass globes from Crate and Barrel. I love the texture and shine of them and wanted to use them in this year’s holiday decorations. Unfortunately, when we began decorating in a gold theme, I quickly realized that they didn’t quite work.

As I thought about how I could incorporate them, I came upon the idea of adding that touch of gold by applying gold leaf.

After making a trip to the local crafts store, I purchased the items I needed and began my work.

The process was simple and the gold leafing was easy to use.

 ornamental balls 001

  • I began by applying the spray adhesive to the globes then after 15 minutes, I began placing the gold leaf.

ornamental balls 006

  • Once the gold leaf was applied and the adhesive completely dried (24 hours) I then covered each globe with a clear gloss sealer.

IMG00580-20101202-1022 I love the way the globes came out and they look beautiful on our dining room table!

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