Monthly Archives

October 2008


Keeping it in the Tin Can Family

October 31, 2008

Canisters with herbs

I had been using this set of vintage kitchen canisters for a while. Then I saw another set of the same canisters at one of my favorite haunts, Barntique Village in Moriches, New York. I couldn’t resist buying them; they were only $5.00!

Once I brought the canisters home, I quickly found the perfect place for them. In the canisters I planted a variety of fresh herbs and kept them on a potting bench out on my back deck. It was so nice to have the different herbs right in my backyard. I was able to add some interesting new flavors to my old recipes. Not to mention they looked great out there too!


If It Can Hold Water, It Can Hold Flowers!

October 29, 2008

I think the most interesting floral arrangements are the ones that are in a unique or unexpected container. You’ve seen the seasonal veggie and flower arrangements that I’ve posted recently and how great they look. So why not use old tin cans, bottles and more. Look around in your kitchen, garage, or attic – I truly believe that if it can hold water, it can hold flowers!

Even if the object can’t hold water, you can always put a glass or plastic cup inside of it to fill with water. Below is one idea to get your started.

Be creative and just have fun with it!!

Tin Can

This is a container that I received as a gift from the luxury chocolatier, MarieBelle® New York. The container was filled with a delicious mix of Aztec Iced Chocolate. I loved the vintage look of the tin and the family graphic on the front. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before it was on my kitchen counter filled with something from my garden. In the arrangement, I used beautiful blue hybrid delphinium to complement the blue of the container.

I’ll be posting a few more ideas so check back in a couple of days!


Cupcakes at the Brooklyn Flea

October 24, 2008

I visited my friends from Cupcakes Take the Cake this past weekend at the Brooklyn Flea. I don’t know how it’s possible that I wasn’t aware of this flea market before.

Brooklyn Flea Market
Brooklyn Flea
I read on Cupcakes Take the Cake last week that they were going to have a bake sale to benefit Cancer Care for Kids at the Brooklyn Flea, which is in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The bake sale sounded like it would be fun and the Brooklyn Flea intrigued me, so I made a mental note. When I got home that night my latest edition of Country Living was in my mailbox. I opened it up and there was a story on the Brooklyn Flea! After seeing it mentioned in two places I knew I had to go.

My visit to the Brooklyn Flea last Sunday was a great autumn day spent with my daughter, sister-in-law and niece. I visited Nichelle and Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake at the cupcake booth and made a contribution (in exchange for some decadent cupcakes), bought a few things, and had a great lunch at a local restaurant.

Rachel & Nichelle
Rachell & Nichelle
It was also a thrill to see the changes that have taken place in Fort Greene over the years. The flea market is in the school yard of Bishop Loughlin High School, which used to be the designated catholic “diocesan” high school for boys that my brother Jim attended. The neighborhood was quite rough back then, but it seems to have faired as well as many of the school’s graduates such as my bro and Rudy Guiliani!

Bishop Loughlin
Bishop Loughlin

Fall Decor

Say It With Pumpkins

October 22, 2008

I really like to use seasonal elements when decorating for events and parties. When planning the décor for an event, you need to keep in mind the purpose of the gathering. You always want to make sure the décor “speaks” to the occasion.

I recently created the decorations for an engagement party. The house had a beautiful front entrance, which gave me the opportunity to set-up an autumn vignette. The vignette set the tone for the evening and greeted the guests as they arrived.

To personalize the scene I created a “Congratulations” message to Erin and Joe, the engaged couple, with Jack O’Lanterns. I carved one letter into each pumpkin and lit all of the candles just before the guests arrived. Everyone loved it and the festive mood was set before anyone even walked through the front door!


Make a Super-Sized Cupcake!

October 14, 2008

Just as I promised, I am unveiling my tips for making a super-sized cupcake.

Making a super-sized cupcake is very easy! Obviously it will take quite a few chrysanthemums (‘Football’ mums), but it is a statement piece that will last for at least a week or maybe even two! The super-sized cupcake shown below was made in a 15” x 8” container and used about 50 mums. The same technique would be used regardless of the size of the container.

How To:

  • I started with a 15” diameter galvanized tub (you can purchase a tub like this one at any local craft store). Spray paint your container with Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Satin in Seaside Green.

  • To ensure that there would not be any leaks due to unsealed seams in the tub, I first lined the bottom with Styrofoam. The Styrofoam also ensured the cupcake wouldn’t be too heavy.
  • I then placed floral foam in a clear plastic liner and placed that on top of the Styrofoam.
  • Starting with the bottom layer of the cupcake, insert the mums into the foam so that the flower sits at the rim of the container. Place each mum so that it just touches the one next to it.

  • Repeat this step, making the next row of mums a little shorter then the first.
  • Continue until the “super-sized cupcake” is created.

I made the “sprinkles” out of wooden dowels that I painted cut to size. I attached them to the mums using Tack 2000 – a spray adhesive that is safe for florals.

Use this as an inspiration to create your own cupcake decorations. They’re great for any occasion!


Flower and Veggie Gathering Basket

October 9, 2008

You don’t have to choose just one! Make a stunning statement by filling up a traditional English gathering basket with an array of seasonal veggies on one side, and an exquisite profusion of autumn blooms on the other.

Flowers & Veggies in Basket
Simply place floral foam in a plastic dish or liner on one side to create your floral arrangement. On the other side, layer bunches of vibrant vegetables. You can actually keep the display in your kitchen and take from the basket, as you need.

Another great idea is to use one side of the basket for crudités and dip. Just have fun with it!!


Artichoke Vase

October 6, 2008

Artichoke vase
The artichoke is really a natural vase. Again, using what’s in season, I decided to go with dahlias and lavender. Using fresh lavender sprigs as accents make it smell delicious too. Here are some simple steps to follow to create your own artichoke arrangement:

  • Cut the bottom stem so that the artichoke sits flat.
  • Separate the top most petals and remove the heart (obviously the artichoke hearts are consumable so that should not just be thrown away).
  • You can place either a shot glass or glass votive holder into the cavity you just created.
  • Either fill with water or a piece of wet floral foam cut to size.
  • You can now create your arrangement!