materially crafted – the book cover!

Materially Crafted - a DIY primer for the design-obsessed

Ahhh… EEK… you guys, it’s so close! The book I’ve been working on for the past year-ish is finally off to print. Here is the cover!!!

There is so much about writing a book that I want to chat with you about, and I will be following  up with more of it soon. I know I’ve been pretty quiet about it so far, but that is all about to change…

Because today the book cover was released. And the book was put up for pre-sale – right here. Pre-sale! Like you can actually buy it today! The book will be out in stores March 3rd and all I want to do is jump up and down and scream like a 13 year old .

The concept for Materially Crafted came to me a couple years ago while answering email questions about a project. I realized how often you guys try your hand at DIY projects, only to have them not come out as perfectly as you wanted. Which is the worst. I dreamed of writing a guide, a DIY crafting bible of sorts, that would walk you through the materials and processes in a fun, super pretty way. That when you do see something you love, you’ll be able to make it happen just as you wanted. And it will be beautiful! And we will all live in a fabulous world of beauty, surrounded by DIY projects we crafted with ease! Too much to ask from a book, you say? Not at all. With this little crafting bible by your side – it is totally going to happen.

I’m so excited to begin talking more about Materially Crafted, the zillion things I learned while writing a book, the killer friends who collaborated with me on it, the awesome projects included, the illustrations, the tips, and gah… everything else. I really love it, and I love you all for making it happen.

Posted October 23, 2014 9 Comments
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large bloom paper flower

Gigantic paper flower

A wilting flower bouquet holds no competition to this gigantic paper floral bloom! It’s a showstopping display to center a meal this season. From Halloween through Thanksgiving, these Kraft paper petals will set a graphic homespun backdrop for whatever festivities you might be cooking up.

The big floral bloom also makes a great hostess gift – no need to find water on the spot:) It’s gift all your friends will love, even those without a green thumb.

Large form Kraft paper flower

Huge paper flower

Gigantic Kraft paper flower

To make the gigantic paper bloom, purchase a large roll of Kraft paper (here is my favorite source). Begin by cutting out the petals – which are basically a triangle with a curved bottom edge. We added a scallop touch to the ends for a true blooming effect. Cut 15 petals out in 3 different sizes. To make this large form flower our largest petal is 34 inches.

DIY large Kraft paper flower

Once the petals are cut, use a hot glue gun to glue them together. Starting with the back layer (the biggest petals). Fold the sides up just a smidgen and glue to hold. You can see above how our petals overlapped just a bit to give the flower dimension. Once the petals are glued, gently fold in the leaves (this will give needed texture and pull the blooms together). Glue again in the center where the petals combine. Repeat these steps for the middle and front section of the flower.

Large bloom paper flower

Center your flower by gluing a circle cut and bunched piece of felt into place.

Next scour the yard to find a sturdy branch for the flower and attach the flower to the branch. I originally used a needle and thread for this, but because of the large size of the flower hot glue actually ended up working the best to hold it securely into place. Glob the hot glue onto the stick and hold the flower in place until firm – super technical, I know:) But it honestly works!

Stick the flower in a jar filled with rocks for a sturdy base. A basket or wicker planter can be used to pull the look into the rest of the table decor for a party piece everyone will love and remember.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 22, 2014 3 Comments
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hard candy caramel apples

Hard Candy Caramel Apples

Candied apples are a favorite sweet fall tradition. For a long time I made basic caramel apples, until I realized how simple it is to make a hard candy shell on top. The mixture gives all the sweetness of caramel with an added hard candy crunch – for an enormously special treat. The gorgeous caramel hued candy shell makes the apples pretty enough to serve on their own for dinner parties, brunches, and fancy shindigs all season long.

Hard Candy Caramel Apples

hard Candy Caramel Apples

To make the hard candy apples; combine 2 cups sugar, 1/2 a cup corn syrup, 1/2 a cup caramel, 1/2 a cup hot water in a sauce pan for each apple. Stir consistently until the sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 302 degrees, and stir to fully combine.

Take the mixture off the stove and dip each apple. Use skewers or small branches to making dipping the apples easy, plus they look great once served.

Dip each apple once and then again and again, three times, giving a nice thick candy layer. The mixture will cool fast, so be sure to work quickly.

Set the candied apples out on wax paper squares to cool for a couple minutes before eating. They will keep for a day or two covered on the counter – but are best enjoyed immediatly.

PS. Painted candy apples!

(Photography by Kristy Begg for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 21, 2014 5 Comments
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colorful candies & cocktails

Colorful Candy Wrappers

With all the candy and sweets going around this season, I’ve found our aisles filled with yummy treats that are covered in not so awesome packaging. Whether it’s for a party, bringing treats to school, or sweetening up the office this time of year – making your own candy wrappers is a simple way to add a colorful and pretty touch to whatever treats you might be packing.

Colorful Cocktails

Put smarties in glasses for a sweet and colorful cocktails!

Colorful Candy Wrappers

Colorful Smartie Infused Cocktails

Colorful and bright treats don’t need to stop at the candy aisle either. I love the idea of serving our guests bright and festive drinks this time of year. Infusing club soda or champagne with smarties is a great way to add a sweet touch to the already bright and festive sips. Paired with a roll of handwrapped candy, the drink combo creates a cheers of epic color proportions!

Colorful Candy Wrappers

To make the candy wrappers you will need white tissue paper (the kind used to wrap presents), a couple bright colors of paint, twine, water, and mixing bowls.  

Posted October 20, 2014 0 Comments
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why don’t we… light a pumpkin party lantern

Pumpkin party lantern

Carving pumpkins doesn’t have to be all spook. Pull out the seeds and get your pumpkins party ready by turning them into lanterns! Hung from the trees, set on the stoop, or carried through the neighborhood… I love the idea of a pumpkin lantern for lighting the night in pretty fall style.

DIY pumpkin lantern

Pumpkin party lantern

Why don’t we make one!?! Start by opening the pumpkin up and removing the seeds (here are 3 yummy ways to bake them). Use a drill with a 1/2 inch fitted drill head for an easy way to quickly carve out circles, or trace and carve by hand. Small dashed lines, hearts, and arrowheads are a couple other patterns that would work well too. Aim for an overall graphic design that will let light out evenly throughout the surface of the pumpkin.

Use thick metal wiring (available at local home improvement stores) to wrap through and over the pumpkin for making a handle. Once the wire is inserted in the design be sure to bend upward and stick the end back through the pumpkin skin to hold in place. Be sure to make your handle long enough to hold the pumpkin at a safe distance from wherever you are hanging it.

Fill the pumpkin with a flickering candle and top it off for a beautifully bright fall lantern. Although, you can use real candles while making these pumpkin party lanterns, flameless candles give the same look with a kid safe/tree safe/fire safe light source.

I am really tempted to make 50 of these beauties to light up our whole front yard for Halloween! Here are a few other crafty ways to create outdoor light this fall: A homemade rope sign | Pretty paper lanterns | Twinkle lights in a lantern are simple and gorgeous | Mini pumpkin candles | Make these garden stake candles | DIY Swedish log flame | Hand painted mason jar lanterns

Cheers to a weekend of carving and lighting!

(Photography by Lior Zilberstein for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 17, 2014 10 Comments
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cookie flavored cinnamon bat rolls

cinnamon bat rolls

I love this season – such treats and goodies! Since having kids, from Halloween until Easter there has been a non-stop treat train happening in our lives. So if I am going to make something to add to that, it had better be worth it. These bat rolls are totally worth it! They are cinnamon rolls at the core, but with an amazing added cookie flavor and yummy frosting that makes them our favorite spooky treat.

cinnamon bat rolls

cinnamon bat rolls

We made these cinnamon bat rolls as an after school playdate treat. They paired great with my afternoon coffee, and the kids quickly devoured them. Even the mom’s were asking for my secret to the sweet flavor inside. I love when that happens:) I’m excited to be partnering up with Coffee-mate this season for a series of posts to bring warmth to our cups, and to encourage us to make it awesome at home.

cinnamon bat rolls

There are two equally great ways to make these cookie flavored cinnamon bat rolls. The first option is to make your own homemade cinnamon rolls, our go-to recipe right here. In place of the the 3/4 whole milk, use 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup of your favorite Coffee-mate seasonal cookie creamer. We tried out the Coffee-mate Toll House Snickerdoodle and the Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie for these rolls and they both tasted fabulous. Bake the rolls per recipe instruction, with a wooden kitchen skewer slotted inside to make the bat wing holes.

cookie flavored cinnamon bat rolls

The second option, which is my normal mode for a quick after school playdate, is to grab my favorite packaged cinnamon rolls. To add the awesome Coffee-mate cookie flavors to premade cinnamon rolls; dredge the unbaked cinnamon rolls each in a small bowl of the creamer before baking. Bake according to package instructions with the kitchen skewer placed inside.

Once the rolls are done (while they are still hot) gently brush on another layer of the creamer to soak inside. The flavor combination of cinnamon plus cookie makes these cinnamon rolls moist and tasty.

cinnamon bat rolls

To turn the cookie flavored cinnamon rolls into spooky bats, start by pulling out each kitchen skewer. Loop a length of thick black ribbon over the skewer and rub it back through the rolls. Continue pulling until the ribbon is completely through, then pull out the kitchen skewer. Adjust the ribbon and cut to size for a set of wings that will seriously spook up this treat.

Finish off the rolls by adding black frosting. It can be hard to find black frosting at the store. If you get a chocolate version and it is not black enough, add a small amount of blue food coloring to the frosting to make the black as night bat color. Serve with a sprinkling of stars.  

Posted October 16, 2014 0 Comments
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