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Playing With Food: Springtime Desserts

Hello everyone! I’m Emilie Guelpa from Paris and I’m one of Holly’s brand new columnists on decor8. I work as a freelance stylist, photographer and cookbook author and maintain a blog called Griottes. I love food so it was only natural that I met up with Holly recently at a cafe in Paris. We became fast friends and it was decided then that I would write once monthly on decor8. Today is my debut and I hope what I’m about to share makes you smile big. But first, a bit about my column…

Emily's Column on decor8 today

Once a month, around the third week, I’ll be popping in to share my column: Playing With Food. I won’t be providing recipes or step-by-step instructions on how to make anything because my column isn’t about holding your hand and telling you how to do stuff, rather this column is meant to inspire you, to build your color confidence and to show you alternate ways to look at things and how to think of ways to translate the things you see around you into the kitchen or next dinner party and to have some fun while doing it, careful not to take yourself toooooo seriously. I love to laugh and so I wish to inject some of my more quirky thoughts into the mix, too.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

Spring has Sprung! In the streets of Paris all of the cherry trees are in bloom and the days have begun to lengthen. I felt inspired by the color of cherry blossoms so I took that inspiration into the kitchen and thought to pull together a quick trio of desserts meant to invite you to embrace spring’s arrival. With March being the third month, three seemed like a good number to work from.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

First, I made a small pink Bavarian torte with a light meringue on top, as fragile as the petals of flowers.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

To invite spring to the table I brought in a few Persian buttercups along with ranunculus, pretty pastel ceramic cups, fresh pink, mint green, and a bit of Liberty fabric which is always inspirational to me. Then I decided to add some element of fun to the table, something with a little humor because this comes each and every Spring – rain! But…

Emily's Column on decor8 today
These cloud shaped cookies twirl around the table and the rain is much prettier with blossoms and tiny pompoms.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

These cookies landed gracefully upon a soft minty green plate…
Emily's Column on decor8 today
then chewed and enjoyed. :)

Emily's Column on decor8 today

The final dessert in my trio is this grapefruit sherbet which gives a soft and happy ending to this tabletop and adds something refreshing and cool. Cake has a completely different texture than a cookie and sherbet is an entirely different sensation from there.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

Emily's Column on decor8 today

You can serve sherbet (or sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt – whatever makes you happy) in a cone or in a cup topped with pretty sprinkles and mini flower-shaped cookies or serve both ways (in a cone and in a cup) to vary the height of your tabletop arrangement of pretty desserts and to suit the desires of your guests as some prefer being offered a choice.

Emily's Column on decor8 today

Have you heard of the poem, Spring has sprung? It is a short English poem that my friend Judikaela sent me. I find it perfectly sums up the return of spring, “Spring has sprung, the grass has ris (risen), I wonder where the birdies is. Some say the bird is on the wing, But that’s absurd, from what I’ve heard…The wing is on the bird.” So cute!

Emily's Column on decor8 today

Note: If this is all a bit too pastel for you, don’t be afraid to work in brighter pinks and greens as shown above! Play with color and play with your food, always!

See you next month! – Emilie.

(photos: Emilie Guelpa text: Holly Becker & Emilie Griottes)

Posted in food, guest bloggers on March 22, 2012

Handmade Home: Wall Hanging DIY

Hello everyone! It’s me Anna-Malin from Sweden visiting today with my monthly Handmade Home column for decor8. I’m sorry I missed you in July but I was on vacation – I’m back now though and I want to begin by saying thank you so much for all of the comments on my last post! Unfortunately, the summer seems to have been “raining away” here in Sweden so we haven’t been able to use our patio as much as we wanted. That’s why I’ve been focusing again on my interior decorating, the focus of today’s post. I hope that it inspires you!

DIY today on decor8

A couple of days ago, I was reading a magazine and my eyes fell on a beautiful cushion cover by DAY Home. I immediately fell in love with the pattern so I decided to translate it into something personal and special that I could use in my home — but not a cushion as that would be too literal. I wanted my inspiration to take me in a completely new direction so the project would have my personal stamp on it.

DIY today on decor8

DIY today on decor8

Since my favorite color is gray and all shades it, and because I had some leftover paint from recent projects, I decided to make a “mixed media” wall hanging using mostly fabric and paint.

DIY today on decor8

I started by painting pieces of linen in three different shades of grey and then I began to draw the patterns, free hand and with help of some of my Moroccan bowls (tracing their bottoms). Next, I cut the patterns out.

DIY today on decor8

DIY today on decor8

I then laid everything out using masking tape to place the patterns on the painted linen, using masking tape helped me figure out if the design I was creating looked right or not and it also allowed me to step back to see how it worked in the space itself.

DIY today on decor8

Once the pattern looked right to me, I then I glued on the designs I’d cut out, and voilá, it was finished! I didn’t iron it because I like how the wrinkles make the piece look less perfect and more tactile.

DIY today on decor8

To make it easy to hang it on the wall, I bought some eyelets, and placed them up in the corners.

DIY today on decor8

To give it more personality, I placed some of the patterns directly on the wall (by using masking tape) which was very easy to do and added a bit more personality to the work. I even added a little peace symbol. :)

DIY today on decor8

DIY today on decor8

I hope that you have enjoyed this creative project today from Sweden. As you can see, this quickly transformed the wall in my dining area.

I’ll see you here again in September with another creative post to encourage you to enjoy a home that you make, little by little each day, by hand. –  xo, Anna-Malin Lindgren.

In case you’ve missed them, here are my other Handmade Home posts on decor8:

(images: anna-malin lindgren)

Posted in Decorating Tips, diy, guest bloggers on August 16, 2011

Handmade Home: Creating My Dream Patio

Today decor8 columnist Anna-Malin is back to visit us from Sweden sharing her recently redecorated patio. I love seeing how people treat a patio space – some fancy tables and chairs with a big umbrella, others add a water feature or fire pit and still others incorporate hammocks or even build a koi pond. It’s amazing to see the difference from patio-to-patio as you browse magazines and books for outdoor spaces, isn’t it? I think you’ll love Anna-Malin’s patio because it’s more of a second living room and lounge space for relaxing, reading and entertaining during the warmer months and can take her straight into the Autumn. I’ll let her take it from here…

Patio Inspiration

Hello everyone it’s Anna-Malin! For my June column I wanted to share my newly decorated outdoor patio because I am very proud of it and feel that it could be an inspiration to many of you who are unsure as to how to decorate your outdoor space. Last summer my husband and I built a wooden frame in the backyard to create a room in our garden area (below). Since we have full sun in our yard all day long we needed a place with some shade for relief! On top of the wooden frame we put branches and twigs to create a rustic, natural ceiling. On the concrete wall to soften it a bit visually, we added a shelf and some wood for vines.

Patio Inspiration

This year I bought new furniture — a sofa, a big round table and a chair — all in bamboo. I wanted the feeling to be calm and relaxed
so I added a lot of pillows in a mix of patterns, shapes and colors and I store them when I’m not using the patio to protect from fading and water damage since they are not waterproof. I also bring in the sheep skin when I’m not using my patio. A sheer panel (below – you can’t see it in the photo above) not only looks pretty swaying in the breeze but filters the light as well.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

By mixing the bamboo furniture with my old white rattan armchairs and a really old bench from the flea market, I achieved the feeling that I was looking for – rustic, modern, clean and very “me”. I like to have a space that feels very personal, even outdoors. The string of lights were added to the fence to give a warm glow at night and lanterns create a romantic ethnic bohemian vibe in the evening along with some good tunes from my iPod.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

With beautiful weather finally here, this my favorite place right now, especially in the evenings with lots of candles, a cup of tea and a good book. I hope my outdoor space inspired you – do you have a place in your backyard to create something similar? Do you already have a patio that you’ve recently redecorated? You can link it in your comment if you would like to show and tell!

I’ll be back in July with another Handmade Home story from you, until then, goodbye! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

Posted in Decorating Tips, guest bloggers, outdoors on June 14, 2011

DIY: Little House Mobile

Hello again everyone, it’s me Sania Pell. Following my last posts about how to make lovely Liberty garlands, flower napkin holders and fabric wrapped lampshades, next I’ll be explaining how to make the hanging house mobiles that we suspended above Holly’s signing table as a little visual eye-catcher away from our main table setting.

As the party was to celebrate Holly’s book launch, I had the idea of creating a hanging mobile that linked to the theme of her book – decorating! The flower and leaf garlands were very much about Spring but these mobiles are all about houses and homes. Here is how to make your own little house mobiles.

House DIY

Little House DIY

(Click HERE to download the steps in XL size.)

We made three variations of this house and suspended them close together at slightly different heights. At home you could hang it on the wall using the hook of the hanger or use fishing line or cotton to suspend them from your ceiling and watch them moving around. The doors and windows spin independently in a breeze.

For my photos I opted to ‘frame’ the little house by hanging it on an old picture frame I had painted duck egg blue and simply propped it against the wall.

This is another little project that costs next to nothing and can easily be done with things you may have at home already. I do hope you’ve enjoyed this project and that it has inspired you to try something new. If you have any queries about this project please put them in the comments and I’ll help if I can. And if you tried making your own Spring garland or wrapped lampshade after my last post, let us know how you did in the comments, we would love to hear about it! Thank you all again for reading and happy making! – Sania x

(images: sania pell)

Posted in diy, guest bloggers on May 16, 2011

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