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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Candy Buffet 1980's Style

My dear friend Leslie's daughter Abby got married yesterday. Abby grew up in Connecticut, so even though the wedding was in the mountains of Utah she wanted a classic East Coast theme for the reception.
 I was asked to put together a candy buffet. The bride and groom wanted old fashioned candy which to them means treats from the 1980's and 90's! Harrison LOVES all of the sour candies that were so popular then so we had a very tart but sweet assortment! 
I used Sour Patch Kids, Sour Patch Watermelon, Airhead Extreme, Sour Patch Straws, plus some classic Starbursts, gumballs, Ring Pops, Twizzlers, and some local 
Salted Caramel Chocolates 
(For those guests who aren't fans of candy that makes you pucker up!)

It did make for a pretty display with all of the bright colors on a crisp navy and white cloth.

 And here a just a few pictures of the flowers in whites and pink all arranged in crystal compotes.

The vineyard tables were lined with lanterns and bud vases filled with hydrangeas, ranunculus and stock. 

Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Johnson! 
The weather was delightful, sunny and warm but not too hot. One couldn't ask for a more lovely wedding day!

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Lovely Lavender

My lavender is bursting with blooms! Do you have lavender in your garden? I have found success growing it in the Northeast, Southwest and now the Rocky Mountains. Lavender is very easy to grow for a few reasons. It is a perennial meaning it will come back every year. It is drought tolerant and fairly low maintenance. It does well in herb gardens, formal beds as well as cottage gardens and rock walls. Lavender is also deer, insect and disease resistant, but is great for attracting bees and butterflies.
 If possible, plant lavender along a walkway or garden border where it will release it's fragrance as you brush by it.

 Lavender is also easy to harvest. Grab a handful of stems just as the buds are ready to bloom. Cut as long as possible and remove excess leaves or woody stems. Tie the bundles up with cotton string or rubber bands then hang it to dry in a cool dark location.
(Honestly, I have let it dry right in my kitchen with no problem.) Because I live in a dry climate it only takes 4 or 5 days to dry out. Each bush will yield 4 or 5 big bundles.

 Lavender is wonderful used fresh or dried in floral arrangements, wreaths, potpourri, sachets, soaps and even cooking!

Hanky Sachet Tutorial

There are dozens of different lavender varieties so check with your local nursery to see which do best in your area. I personally love the English variety Hidcote for it's fragrance and long lasting color.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Centerpieces:Fresh or Faux?

It's wedding season and there is nothing like gorgeous fresh flowers at a wedding. Or is there? When my friend's daughter got married last summer she spent over $2000 just for the flowers. Yikes! 

My son is getting married in a couple of months and I'm helping out with the centerpieces. The wedding is in California and I live in Utah. It makes sense to be able to make centerpieces ahead of time so we've chosen to use candles and a floral candle ring. I found these lovely eucalyptus wreaths recently. Nice, but they need more...something. 

First I wove in some lavender and white satin ribbons. 

Then I was offered some free silk flowers from Fake Palm Trees @

What luck! These little lavender bouquets are perfect for adding in some color  to the wreaths. Aren't they gorgeous?

Of course, they are charming by themselves. I merely plopped  a bunch into one of my favorite French pots and voila!  A bit of Provence in the kitchen!

But back to the centerpieces. I tucked the lavender sprigs into the wreath.  Ah yes, looking better.

The bride and groom are both musicians so I added some candles wrapped in vintage sheet music and tied on a tag with  their names and the date.

In the evening with the candles lit I'm hoping these provide a sweet romantic glow to the tables. 

Oh, and these cost WAY less than $2000. We'll go ahead and have fresh flowers for the bride and bridesmaid's bouquets, as well as corsages and boutonnieres. So what do you think?  Faux can be a very good option to keep your wedding costs on budget.

Commercial Palm Trees  carries a wide variety of faux trees and silk flowers. Their sister site Silk Plants Direct is offering a 10% discount to my readers. Use discount code BLOGGER10.

Disclaimer – I was provided with a free product in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/ or its affiliates in any way.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

American Craftsman and Mission Style

My son and his young family are moving from Pennsylvania to Utah this summer. Yay! They will only be a 3 hour drive away from us instead of a 3 day drive.

 He and his wife would like to decorate their home in what is commonly called Mission style. This look is also referred to as Arts and Crafts, Craftsman or Stickley. So what's the difference? What traits make this style of furniture "Craftsman"? There are many good books on this subject and many articles on the internet but I'm going to summarize and try to make it easy.
Craftsman furnishings have strong clean lines and feel very solid. The pieces are most often made of oak especially quarter sawn oak which highlights the beautiful grain of the wood. The term American Craftsman was used by furniture maker Gustav Stickley after he visited England to study the Arts and Crafts movement there. The Arts and Crafts style replaced the fancy Victorian era furnishings with all of its curves, carvings and embellishments with simple lines and stylized images from nature. The idea was to focus on pieces made by hand by true artisans as opposed to mass produced furniture that was introduced during the industrial revolution.

The term  Mission style refers to the Spanish missions of  southern California and  reflected the simple and practical furnishings of those structures. It also features strong horizontal and vertical lines. I think of it as a subset of the Craftsman style. 

This look has remained very popular today especially in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains. If you've ever seen the movie "A River Runs Through It"  which is set in Montana, the home there is a perfect example of American Craftsman styling.

A very popular and recognizable piece is the Morris chair, named for William Morris an English designer of the mid 1800's. 

Hardware is usually bronze or copper and may have a hammered finish.

American Craftsman furnishings have a timeless appeal as they work well with both antique and contemporary styled homes. The furniture is also very family friendly withstanding knocks and bumps from kids and pets! Visit your local antique store and you'll be sure to find one or two pieces. Plus many furniture stores carry good quality reproductions. Price of course, depends on quality but I have found several very affordable  pieces over the years.

I can't wait to go antiquing with my kids!

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