Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Place Cards // Touch of Nature

As the holiday season drudges on and the inspiration on Pinterest becomes more sparkly and oh so out of reach, Christmas dinners get closer making simple place cards seems harder.

Here's a pretty basic idea that is (for the most part) free. 

I had twine, cardboard, a black pen and some evergreen branches lying around. so I just tied the twine around a cluster of branches that would hold the name tag up and called it a day. You could use ribbon instead of twine. I imagine velvet ribbon looking very cute in such an arrangement.

You should try this one to add a cute Christmassy feel to your table setting. The beauty of it is that you can toss it into the compose when you're done and not have to force your guests to take it or find some way to keep the diy-ed junk in your house once the holidays are over.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Save Room for Dessert

Remember how I said to keep your table-scape pure and simple to encourage movement and visibility? Well, don't worry your little cluttered head, there is a place to go all out and I deem it the dessert table.

Depending on your event or the season, gather a world of pieces to make it a land of magic. Look around you, I prefer finding as much from nature as possible. Take a walk and collect what you find. Leaves, acorns, pinecones, branches and beyond. Walk through your home and pick out the little bits of your world. Maybe that book on your mantle, the pretty tea box you saved or some old photographs (or other antique pieces). There is always a place for all that nonsensical stuff by the sweet natured desserts.

We did just that at Evolve Home, and found a universe of beauty to play with. 

The shop carries everything from decorative nicknacks to beautiful pieces of furniture, seasonal pieces, and an entire corner of chalkboard paint. They support local artists and their pieces are diverse in style to suit all tastes.

Consider shopping local this Saturday and stopping by Evolve Home for some Christmas decor (let's talk about those striped candles.) 

My tips to getting the cluttered look right:

Once you gather all your pieces, set a basic structure. Imagine yourself building a house. You need a solid foundation through the edges of your arrangement; the sturdy things that will keep it all together and frame the collection. From there start to build up. Adding height adds dimension. Break your arrangement into parts, create that dimension in the overall picture and then start to look deeper into the details. Let each corner become it's own world where you repeat the same rules of building structure and adding dimension, keeping color in mind as well. Repetition and contrast, in shape and color will add more to the arrangement as a whole. Within this keep your theme in mind but stray just far enough to make it interesting and engaging. Pretty soon people will be trying to figure out where the desserts actually are.

In terms of what's edible, add beautiful touches to your pies and cakes. Be sure to add some variety as well, add a fruit plate for those who might not be in the mood for the decadence of the sugarier treats. Maybe try adding some local or especially interesting treats like chocolates or arrange your bread at the table.

Find one dessert you especially want to highlight and give it that extra boost. Use a stemmed cake plate but don't stop there, place it on a throne of it's own. 


Photography by Candice Hackett
Styling by Sarah Kyle 
All decorative pieces c/o Evolve Home
Chalk art print by Renae of Colour & Dust

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Give me some Pretty Pie

Arguably the best part of a Thanksgiving feast is the pumpkin pie, so why not give it a little more room in the spotlight?

I see beautifully styled pies on Pinterest all the time. But if you know anything about being inspired by things on Pinterest, you know that they don't always turn out the way they look. 

I've tried my hand at several super cool Pinterest ideas and had them become nothing more than a 'Pinterosity' (caramel does not stick on circular apple cut-outs, just fyi).  

I figured the beautifully done fall leaves on a pie were probably one of those things. I imagined doughy lumps, sitting shapeless a-top my pumpkin pie.

I tried to find a way for them to work and stand out against the golden tone of the pumpkin filling. 

Here are some tips I learned: 

• Make sure your dough is extra chilled when you cut the shapes out, as in place it on wax paper and let it chill after rolling out. Even while you are in the process of cookie cutting, you'll notice you may need to refrigerate half way through. The dough cannot be cold enough. 

• Let the cut-outs chill on a plate or cookie sheet after cutting them out, as well. All of this chilling will ensure they hold their shape. 

• Use a knife to add details to the leaves.

• This is probably the most important tip. Do not place them on your uncooked pumpkin pie. Wait for the pie to become partially cooked, and then open the oven and arrange your cutouts as desired. Be sure to not wait too long otherwise your pie will be overcooked and the leaves will look raw.

**Photographs of cooked pie by Candice Hackett