Wednesday, September 29, 2010

IdsWest Media Lounge - sneak peek

Hi Everyone! Thought I'd share a sneak peek of the media lounge for the IDSwest show with you. The show takes place October 14th to 17th, here in Vancouver. There's a great variety of guest speakers including Sarah Richardson and Karim Rashid.

The fabulous team of Peter Wilds and Joanna Howard, designers at The Cross, created both the media lounge for the show as well as The Cross' own booth. Both are a big departure from what they did last year. Huge. I'm not a real girly girl, so this year's media lounge suits me just fine.

Patchwork seems to be the theme for The Cross' booth at the IDSwest show this year.

The Cross is now carrying the line of Timorous Beasties wallpaper, and are the only shop in Vancouver that does. Pretty cool. These are all snippets of what will be on view in the media lounge.

From what Peter and Joanna have told me, there will be lots of custom designed furniture for the media lounge. The colours will be purples, greens, gold, and black. Looking forward to seeing it all come together.

If you're in the Vancouver area, definitely give the IDSwest show a look around. It's getting better every year.

Bye for now!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Baked on Monday - Jam Buns

Hope your Monday is moving along well! I'm off to a very late start, so I'll just jump right to the recipe for these little bites of happiness.

Jam Buns - makes about 15-18

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 oz melted unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup jam - I'm using raspberry today.
2 tablespoons heavy cream/half and half
icing sugar to dust tops

Place 2 teaspoons of the sugar, yeast and lukewarm milk in a bowl and mix to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until bubbles form, in a warm spot.
In a mixing bowl, place the flour, remaining sugar, melted butter, one of the egg yolks, then add the yeast mixture. Mix together until a smooth dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes or until nice and smooth, and elastic. If the dough gets a bit sticky while kneading, add a little flour.

My niece, being put to work. 

Divide dough into about 15-18 pieces and roll into balls. Press balls flat, into 5 inch circles, then spoon one teaspoon of jam into the centre. Fold over the dough and pinch to seal. Place pinched side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let stand for about an hour, or until dough doubles in size.

Whisk together the second yolk with the heavy cream, then brush onto tops of buns. Place in a 350F/180C oven for about 18-20 minutes or until dark golden in colour.  Dust with icing sugar and enjoy warm or cold.

I will be bagging up some of these to take on a photo shoot tomorrow. All I've eaten today are jam buns. Must share. 

Back soon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Purple Haze

I've been loving purple lately. Be it flowers, throws, or Japanese paper tape.  A bit of a purple haze.
Is there a certain colour that you're drawn too? Does it change daily, or weekly?

Linen ribbon, Japanese paper tape, pantone mug, and a Designer's Guild throw.

Calla lilies, fading hydrangeas against concrete blocks (love those), and dahlias.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. See you Monday for some more baking!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Little Lamp Lift

I did a little guest post on Poppytalk (one of the best blogs out there), yesterday, and thought I'd give it a mention here. This was one easy, but extremely satisfying, project! Head over to Poppytalk for the "how-to".

If you try this out, let me know. Would love to see what you did! Back again soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For the Love of Paper and Text

I wanted to share one of my favourite stores with you all, The Regional Assembly of Text.  It's located here in Vancouver, but you can shop online as well.

Rebecca Dolen and Brandy Fedoruk are the owners of this happy little shop and they make a very creative duo. You will find a fabulous selection of screen printed wrapping paper, T-shirts, greeting cards, wooden storage boxes and you can even create your own buttons (see above). If you're in the area, you have to check it out.

I love the old lockers and typewriters (not for sale).

You can type out your own letter on a variety of papers, tags and envelopes. 

These quilted letter squares are perfect for a baby shower or a kid's room. Wooden boxes (bottom right), in two sizes, are great for storing jewelry, a small sewing kit, or pencils.

A great idea - the "one button a month" club. Love it.

A wall of wrapping paper, ribbons and typewriters.

The back room, where they create some of their fabulous designs.

I've loaded this little box up with candles and along with the vintage tumblers/candle holders,  and box of wax matches, it'll make a sweet house warming gift.

 I heart the Regional Assembly of Text.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baked on Monday - Blackberry Jam Swirl Cookies

Happy Monday everyone! It's a rainy day, so I'm quite ok with a day of post production (I'm so behind on a couple of deadlines!) and baking and eating these cookies. Here's the very easy recipe...

Blackberry Jam Swirl Cookies - makes about 30 cookies

8oz/250g softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons blackberry jam (or your favourite jam)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and beat well to blend. Beat in the flour until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Press chilled dough into a small, parchment paper lined, baking sheet (with sides) or you can free form a rectangle measuring about 8x12. My baking sheet is 9"x13", so I cheated a bit. Spread jam evenly on top of dough. Roll dough, carefully, lengthwise. Chill dough, in fridge, for another 45 minutes.

Slice chilled dough roll into 1/4" slices and place on baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake in a 350f/180c oven, for 15 minutes or until light golden in colour. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Now, eat one or two. Enjoy!

Have a lovely day! Back again soon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Origami Paper Boxes

March 5th 2013 
Hello! It's a couple of years since I posted this, but I will be updating the directions very soon. Perhaps with a video of sorts. My apologies to those who have found my directions confusing. I'm slowly learning how to be a better "instructor". I promise to make it a little more clear for early next week.
Thanks for your patience!

I needed to make paper boxes for a party I'll be going to, so I thought I'd share the process with you. They are super easy to make, and are perfect for that little gift that needs just the right size box.

You'll need the following materials to make a 7cm box:
Heavy weight paper (I'm using bits of paper that I have languishing in a drawer)
exacto knife
bone folder
white glue or a glue stick

a) Cut a 20cm square for the base and a 14.5cm square for the lid.

b) With a pencil, lightly mark the diagonals of the squares, on the wrong side of the paper. This is the guide for the first folds.

c) Fold corners into the centre of square using the pencil marks as a guide. Crease the folds with a bone folder.

d) For the base, fold two opposite sides to meet in the middle. These folds should measure 3.5cm. Crease and unfold, then repeat this for the remaining two sides.

e) To make the lid, fold two opposite sides - the folds should measure 1.4cm each. Crease, unfold then repeat process for the two remaining sides.

f) There will be a small square formed, by the folds, on each corner of the base and lid. Fold a diagonal crease across each square with the point facing inwards. Repeat on remaining corners on both lid and base.

g) Unfold two opposite sides on both the base and the lid. Refold other sides so they stand up straight. Pull up a third flap and tuck the small creases underneath. Repeat on the remaining side. Glue down the 4 points in the centre of both the lid and base. You may also wish to cut out a small piece of a contrasting paper, to line the bottom of the box. Voila! You have an origami paper box.

That's it for now! Have a lovely day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baked on Monday - Olive and Rosemary mini breads

Ahh, Mondays. They do show up rather magically, don't they? Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

It's really feeling like Autumn these days, so I thought this bread would be perfect for the rapidly fading summer, and fast approaching Autumn (fave season!).

Olive and Rosemary Mini Breads - makes 8 loaves.

2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup kalamata olives broken up into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary sprigs
olive oil for brushing

Place the yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk in a bowl and mix to combine. Make sure the milk is no warmer than lukewarm. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until bubbles form on surface.
Place flour, salt, yeast mixture and oil in a bowl and mix until a nice smooth dough forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Next, knead in the olives and rosemary until blended in. You may need to add a bit more flour as the olives will add some wetness to the dough.

Divide dough into 8 even pieces and place in greased 1/2 loaf tins. Cover with a tea towel and set in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350f/180c. Brush tops with olive oil and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden in colour. Delicious.

That's it for today. Have a good Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Underrated Houseplant

I just don't think houseplants get the credit they deserve. They are incredibly inexpensive, come in a variety of colours and textures, are easy to care for and they last a long time. What's not to love about all that? Do any of you have houseplants? Hate them? Have a brown thumb? Fill me in.

I believe this is an aspargus fern. It's perfectly happy sitting in some vintage pottery.

A gardenia (about to flower again) sits on the window sill in our bathroom.

I believe this is an asparagus fern as well. Feel free to correct me if need be! This cute canvas planter, by Serax, is from Orling & Wu here in Vancouver.

A beautiful begonia sitting in pottery by Bison (a fantastic Australian company).

Now, this next bit is not a houseplant, but thought I'd show you a bit of a "before and after" of our, once unwelcoming/hideous, front entrance.


A selection of plants picked up for 30% off. Whoohoo!

A little more welcoming now. The pot is huge, but very light weight (when empty!) and it also doubles as a chalkboard. This makes me happy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Back on Monday for Baked on Monday. I think it will be some kind of bread. I have to take a break from butter for one week ;)