Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Card Display

Here are a few easy ideas for displaying your ever growing pile of Christmas cards. First one is the simplest - place them in a decorative basket in the living room or dining room for quests and family to look through.

Another idea is to make a hanging ribbon to attach them to. I took a thick piece of Christmas ribbon - and you can make it as long as you want - might need a few of them to hold all the cards. Use a suction cup with a hook to hang it up - I suctioned it to my ledges - and then using wooden clothing pins attach all the cards to it alternating sides for a more interesting look. You could also hang a few ribbons on a window or door side by side.

Another idea is to take off pictures or art work that you have on ledges in the house and display cards there - changing things up for the holiday season. That way they have a proper place in the house and its easy to see them!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fireplace Before/After

We are working with a wonderful client who wanted to update her bedroom fireplace. This is what it looked like before ...  it just needed an update and a little love to fit with her bubbly personality!

We picked new tile as well as a mantle. We wanted something soothing, sophisticated and suited to a bedroom. Here is what we found :: penny-round tiles with a hint of shimmer and opalescence.

We topped it off with a gorgeous piece of wood found in Pennsylvania for a mantle. This wood is 300 years old and since that dates back before electric saws, you can see the axe marks on it used to chop it from the tree. It's fantastic and unique.  The gold accents on the fireplace door front were painted with heat safe black paint, so that it blended in. Then we added new pulls. Our client is thrilled! Look for another blog where we style the mantle a bit to add some personality to the room.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Homemade Pizza - The Good Stuff!

Who doesn't like pizza? We are huge National's fans - and I get very sick of all the Papa John's pizza we order during the season. You get deals from Papa John's when the National's win by more than 7 runs. So it is very nice to make my own pizza in the off season! The bonus is that the whole family likes it too. Of course I have to make different sections with different toppings for everybody - but it works out! 

This whole process is very easy because I make the dough in a bread maker. Ta da! I do not spend an entire day making pizza dough. So if you don't have a bread maker, you can get already made dough at Trader Joe's and maybe Whole Foods. The sauce is simply canned crushed tomatoes with salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil. If you want, you can smash some garlic too. Then you add cheese and toppings of your choice. 

Make the sauce and let it sit for about a half an hour. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Once the dough is out of the bread maker or has warmed up to room temp, you have to get it into the right shape - but slowly! It will rip if you rush it - so using your fingers slowly flatten the dough and push it out to make it larger and larger. Use lots of flour and your hands flattened. 

I use a pizza stone from Pampered Chief from about 97 years ago. The stone is rectangular - that's why the pizza is that shape rather than circular. Place stone in 500 degree oven for 30 minutes before you start pizza. The stone needs to be really hot to cook pizza.

Make sauce and roll out dough while stone is heating up. Have corn flour ready to scatter on stone so that the dough won't stick. Then place dough on stone, add about 1 tbsp of olive oil and rub all over, then put on as much sauce as you like and bake at 500 for 7 minutes. Then pull out and add shredded mozzarella cheese with a little Parmesan too. Add whatever toppings you like - we have pepperoni and black olive and then bake again for 7 minutes. Pull out and let cool and few minutes then slice it up and eat!