Sweet girl is now settled in NYC. She is living on the 20th floor and has amazing views of the city from every room. I took the next few pictures from her bedroom window looking out onto the Hudson River.
This is looking down on Central Park, where she went for a run the first morning after her arrival.
She has a spacious dining and living area with a full kitchen. There are a row of large windows across the dining area and the above photo is the view from those windows. My husband and I didn't get to stay late enough to see the views at night, but I'm sure they are spectacular.
The Conde Nast Building
Sweet girl is great at navigating the subway system on her own, but to make me feel better we did a practice run to the Conde Nast building where she'll be interning. We walked right up from the subway stop in Times Square and there was the building right in front of us. (It's located next to "One Times Square" where the New Year's Eve ball descends each year.) It was at that moment, with the sight of the people, activity and sounds of Times Square, it really sunk in what an incredible opportunity this is for her. She'll be keeping a daily journal, with photos, all summer and I can't wait to read about her adventures.
Brand new to the shop are a selection of earrings featuring lovely subtle blush colored stones, vintage crystals and Swarovski pearls. While working on the ribbon rosettes last week for my upcoming new line, I made extra ones to create ribbon necklaces to compliment the blush earrings. They are available in the shop as well.
Last night I made sweet girl's favorite dinner before she heads off to NYC, and Sweet Pea made these strawberry cupcakes for dessert. Filled with fresh strawberries and topped with strawberry buttercream frosting, I wish you could taste them!
The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book, page 146. You can also find the recipe online here. The buttercream frosting is one of the lightest I have tasted and the addition of the fresh strawberries make these irresistible!
Sweet girl was offered a summer internship for graphic design with Conde Nast Publishing in NYC. She set her sights on interning in NYC and is thrilled to be headed there at the end of this week. She'll be working until August, when she'll return to begin her Senior year at college. We couldn't be more proud. We're going to miss her like crazy this summer, but look forward to taking a few weekend trips to spend some time with her in the city. The Conde Nast building is located in Times Square and she'll be living just a short subway ride away.
We've been busy shopping this past week building a work wardrobe. We have a few more essentials to get this week and then we leave to help her move in to her new home away from home for the summer.
I snapped this picture of our two girls this weekend. While sweet girl is interning in NYC, our youngest daughter "sweet pea" will be working part-time at The Gap - a good thing since she loves clothes and will happily be taking advantage of her employee discount. Looks like our summer will fly by, but it promises to be full of fun, new opportunities, weekend trips and relaxation!
So excited to learn that Wonki Ware, unique South African hand crafted designer dinner ware, will soon be available in the states. Up until now, only a few select pieces have been featured at Anthropologie or BHLDN.
I own a gorgeous, over-sized glazed platter from their lace-imprinted collection in this lovely color called duck egg wash. (You can catch a glimpse of it in the background of my paper flower tutorial here.)
Each piece is individually hand made, which gives it a unique character that I love. For months now, I've wanted to purchase an everday set from one of their white glazed collections, and was disappointed to discover it wasn't available in the US yet. However, it soon will be.
To keep up with future announcements about availability you can follow their US facebook site here. Off to get started on my wish list.
Photos Courtesy of Wonki Ware
I've never been a big fan of pineapple upside down cake, until sweet pea baked this one. Super moist & not too sweet, we will definitely be enjoying this again.
The recipe came from the Williams-Sonoma Cake book. A favorite in our collection, I would highly recommend it.
When the girls are home from school we do a lot of baking, so I always keep packaging supplies on hand to share our baked goods with friends and neighbors. Kraft-colored coffee bags are perfect for stacking cookies and it's always fun to add a decoration. Today I made these paper flowers to attach to our packages, and below you'll find an easy tutorial to make some for yourself. They are wonderful for gift wrapping, and garlands too. You can also use the same tutorial to create the large paper pom poms that are so popular, just increase your paper dimensions.
1) Select your paper and cut it into two large squares. For this flower, I used parchment paper and cut it into 10.5" squares. Tissue paper, or dry wax paper works well too. Cut your squares in half again leaving you with two rectangles. Cut them in half one more time, leaving you with 5.25" squares. Stack your pieces of paper together when cutting to save time.
2) Arrange your 5.25" squares into a stack and make 1/2" accordion folds. I use my bone folder to create nicely creased edges.
3) Wrap a piece of floral wire around the center of your folded accordion paper and secure by twisting it. To make a decorative edge on the petals, cut points or scallops from both ends of the folded paper.
4) Carefully open out the folded accordion so that it resembles a small bowtie.
5) Working with one half at a time, gently begin pulling a single sheet at a time towards the center, separting it from the remaining layers. Continue this process until all sheets on one side have been pulled to the center. Repeat the entire process with the remaining half of the accordion fold.
6) Once all of the sheets have been pulled to the center, your flower will be formed. You can then add any additional scrunching or fluffing for the perfect look.
I added two velvet leaves to my bags, but the leaves could easily be cut from paper. It's also nice to make different sized roses and attach them as a grouping. If you make some flowers, please share links to your pictures. I'd love to see them!
Sunday was a beautiful overcast day, perfect for working out in the garden. After purchasing our annual herbs, which included lots of sweet basil plants, I got to work planting them in the herb garden. The perennial herbs are already well established and the chives are in bloom. Next up was taking accurate measurements to plan for the potager.
Three or four additional raised cedar beds will be added to this area. The space is free of grass, and already mulched which will help lighten the work load later.
Here's a view from the other side. Depending on the final design, we made need to remove the two large yews on the right, as well as our enormous boxwood. Without removing some, or all of these evergreens, we would be limited to an approximate space of 12' wide x 18' long - probably not large enough.
The boxwood is 15' wide and 12' high - definitely in need of a major trimming if it isn't removed. However, I do love cutting fresh boxwood during the holidays for wreaths and decorations so I would truly miss having it on the property. Taking the boxwood and yews out would be a major undertaking so I did get a quote for removing them, along with their roots. I was happy to learn it would be just over $200 and that includes removing all of the brush from the property as well.
Here's a view from the other side of the boxwood. Removing it would open up the view to the potager. We have large windows all along the back of the house, with french doors, so it would be nice to be able to look out on the potager during each season.
Now that I have the measurements, the next step is to draw the existing space so I can begin designing the placement of the beds. I love planning all the details! To help with that, I purchased the above supplies. A moleskin large squared notebook for taking notes from all of the gardening books I'm reading and for jotting down or sketching inspirations. I also picked up large graph paper to draw the existing space to scale, including the herb garden and shrubs. Finally, tracing paper. With this I can sketch different designs on the tracing paper and just lay it on top of the design of the existing scaled drawing. This way I don't have to redraw the existing space each time I try a different design or later when determining plant placement.
The above photo is currently the cover of my garden board on Pinterest. You may recognize it as the potager from the movie "It's Complicated". Loved that movie set! If you keep a gardening board on Pinterest too, please leave me a link. I'd love to see all of your pins. In the meantime, I'll be busy with my sketching.
I received lots of emails about my English garden roses and the deer repellent I use so I thought I'd answer all of your questions here.
Where did I purchase the roses? I purchase bare root roses from David Austen Roses. It helps to plan ahead when ordering these as popular varieties sell out quickly. I place my orders in the fall and the roses are delivered at the ideal time to plant in your particular climate zone.
What kind are they? Abraham Darby (apricot/pink), Winchester Cathedral (creamy white) & Elegantyne (pink) Of these varieties, my favorite is the Abraham Darby. It seems to be the most disease resistant of the three and its range of color is so beautiful. I always plant several bushes of each variety in a grouping.
What deer repellent do I use? I use Liquid Fence an all natural spray product that won't harm plants or animals. I'm not going to lie though, it smells absolutely horrible when you are spraying it on. (Worse than horrible!) Must be why it works so well! As an added precaution, I also use deer repellent stakes by Sweeney's. I know these products work for us because everything that I haven't used the repellent on are devoured by the deer, but my roses finally go untouched.
How long do the roses bloom for? In my area, (Northern VA - Planting Zone 7) the first blooms arrive at the beginning of May and I'm still cutting roses into the fall. After a major bloom, it helps to cut the bushes back a bit for the next bloom. With the hot humid summers here I don't get as many blooms as in the spring or fall, but with diligent watering I always have enough for lots of bouquets around the house.
My English garden roses are blooming this week and I couldn't be happier. I chose the roses based on my favorite colors and it's such a treat to place them in bouquets around the house. I wish you could smell them. In the past, I've had a terrible time with deer eating the roses and buds, but I've finally discovered a deer repellent that keeps them at bay. Now I'll get to enjoy these beauties well into the fall.
I appreciate all things creative and am inspired by the smallest of details. Here is where I love to share projects, designs and favorite things. ~ (more)