November 24, 2011

Winter Urns, a tutorial

Computer issues and a tight schedule have kept me from the computer of late. Hoping this tutorial is not too late for some of you.........but then again, the design principles shown here could also be employed for interior arrangements set into floral foam. Well, enough "disclosures", let's move onto the the creation of a traditional winter arrangement
My favorite is the spruce tree toppers. They add the element of height and bulk
Inserted straight up, a cluster adds an instant base

Dogwood sticks; red, yellow, etc. continues the element of verticality

Additionally set in an upright fashion
As we move on the best advice I can impart is, use a variety of evergreen forms and textures. For example if all evergreen bundles chosen have a similar needle, say all small like the spruce, nothing would "pop". A great choice here is the long needle of white pine to contrast with the short needle of the spruce.
Beginning at mid-level onto the bottom, insert at a 90 to 45 degree angle as you begin to fill these lower gaps 
(all creations will have a Dr. Seuss look mid-point, don't worry!)
LOVE coned cedar! Another texture, form (droopy) and the addition of mini cones
All inserted at the rim of the urn as a "spiller"
A few set at a 90 degree angle to bring the coned ends higher towards eye level
Whopper cones, the "jeffrey" cones.

My "have to haves", red berries and in this case, hard plastic red berries for season long impact. Actually, many seasons...... Try to avoid styrofoam, they burst and will look like popcorn mid winter. The real winterberries soon turn black and drop

Real alder cones on faux stems. Why faux stems? To hold the clusters of diminutive pinecones. Another benefit of faux is the pliable stems

Boxwood. A great mid filler and another contrasting texture

Always stepping back, I will tend to add more of the previously used until satisfied. Does this help? Don't be timid, and have fun!

General Tips;
1) buy twice as much as you think you will need
2) think "filler", "thriller" and "spiller"
3) Use opposing textures
4) When complete, mist with water and then an anti-dessicant, such as 'wilt-pruf', it holds in moisture and adds double the lifespan of your creation

I would love to see your efforts, send me photos


November 20, 2011

I found this recipe in a British magazine and it sounds divine. This will be on my Thanksgiving table, enjoy!

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Bacon
serves 4

2 T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lb. floury white potatoes
2  1/4c of pumpkin flesh, diced
2  3/4c vegetable soup
1c cream, not low fat
2 t freshly grated ginger
1/2 t lemon juice
1 pinch grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sliced bacon, diced
5 fresh sage leaves
1 T extra virgin olive oil

-Heat the butter in a large sauce pan and fry the onion and garlic
-Add the potatoes and pumpkin, cook for a few minutes, stirring
-Stir in the vegetable stock and cook for 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft
-Puree all in a blender, return to pan and add the cream
-Add a bit more stock if desired
-Add the ginger, season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg
-Fry the bacon in  small pan in the butter until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel
-Add the sage to the pan and fry for 30 seconds
-Add the bacon and sage to the soup, drizzle with the olive oil and season with fresh pepper

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received
Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling
Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse
Henry Van Dyke

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends,

November 13, 2011

NASHVILLE Garden and Antique show, 2012

It is that time again, the lovely Nashville Garden and Antique Show, February 10-12, 2012, my personal favorite venue for antiquing and garden inspiration.

Join in a guided small group tour of the show and further shopping, dining and music in Nashville, Tennessee.

Early arrival Thursday the 9th and departure early evening of Sunday the 12th.

The details;

-Accommodation at the Sheraton downtown, within walking distance to the show

-Antiquing in Nashville. Antiquing and shopping in Franklin, Tennessee

-Optional evening music venue

-Includes;  Entry all three days at the show, tickets to all three lectures, hotel accommodations, two per room, travel arrangements within the region, shipping of purchased goods to the Chicagoland area.

-Does not include;  airfare and meals, single supplement $200.00


First come, first serve, limited space. A 50% deposit secures your place.

Hope you can join us!!

MILES REDD;  Interior Designer
NANCY GOSLEE POWERS:  Landscape Architect
EDDIE ROSS:  Lifestyle Expert

The giveaway winner of the Nest Candle is; the guys at Bubble and Squeak blog!

November 7, 2011

Notes from a shopper + giveaway

I LOVE to shop and travel......have you noticed?! When I was crafting my career, eons ago (had to escape the corporate world) I made a list of my passions and then developed a business plan   incorporating the things I love. A business was born with the foundation being my own store. With a new haul and the transition  beginning towards Christmas, here is a preview of my Geneva shop
I cannot bring myself to display Christmas before halloween, so i wait, these faux Christmas trees just made their appearance.
Wooden, gold gilt, frogs. Here is an idea for a gift to a friend that is living through an illness, heartbreak.......
Give a frog and include a note that says "frogs always leap forward, never back"
Our floral designer Vicki and friend, Joy with the blog 'Savvy City Farmer' did all of the display. Here is a great basket of Joy's

faux'; the fresh has also arrived in the Christmas cottage

Crazy for these chairs; red leather seat and back, the front is upholstered in vintage paisley fabric

hmmmmm, the hangers look dreadful, must work on that

original art work, love the moody atmosphere

A HUGE trend noted in London is the buying of original portraits, of a certain vintage, to create a wall of instant "relatives". This darling woman speaks "society" to me, southern, old school. 
Need a great aunt?
Faux boxwood is so versatile, the sphere in an urn is simple and stately, indoors or out. 
Vicky came up with the idea of adding one into a chandelier.  See the squares on the ceiling? Faux boxwood panels, we're just having fun!
Faux juniper berry garland. I will always be a proponent of fresh and natural, there are times and places that faux simply works best
Elements of a London library look

Many of us are such fans of frames within frames and objects within frames, it elevates whatever resides inside. To see a great example, stop in on a favorite blog of mine, Acquired Objects. Debra has an inspirational post on this very topic

My favorite candle is the NEST 'Holiday', you will LOVE this scent! I would like to send one to a reader, leave a comment, the winner will be chosen randomly 

November 2, 2011

Celebrate with Eddie Ross

 My Eddie and Jaithan "fix" will soon be fulfilled as they are coming to Woodstock, Illinois!

                                     Celebrate in Style 
Mingle with the captivating Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar while enjoying wine and
hors d'oeuvres at a private reception followed by an inspiring demonstration on
decorating and entertaining tips for the holidays.

Meet me there, for an evening of magic!

Not been to the Woodstock Opera House? Come fall in love with this local landmark.
For tickets contact them here, hope to see you!

much love,
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...