Saturday, December 27, 2008

january article for tastebud magazine.
When January arrives I am ready to take down the tree, pack away the ornaments and stockings but I still love to keep out a few sparkly things to reflect the clean white snow and ice outside.
Inside our winter time dinners are all about comfort and warmth. The glow of candles and simple flowers create the perfect centerpiece for these nights. Start with a clear glass cake plate and fill the entire top with glass votives and white tea lights. It is quite simple to create but gives a stunning effect when the candles are lit. Line the length of the table with a mix of silver, gold or glass vases in various sizes and fill with white flowers. Star of Bethlehem, Queen Anne’s lace, tulips, ranuculus or alstromeria are great choices and it only takes a few blooms in each vase to create a wonderful look. When choosing dishes I like to layer white and clear glass with metallic or wintry accents. This is also the time of year when I break out and polish vintage silverware. I pick up different pieces at estate sales or the antique mall and love thinking about the history of these and the memories we are creating with each new time they are used.
Now choose your favorite comfort recipe from this issue and celebrate the joy of a new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

december article for tastebud magazine:
Sweeten the Holidays
Make the holidays a little sweeter this year by hosting a dessert and recipe exchange. This can be a low stress way to gather friends at your home, decorated for holidays and gain a new collection of sweet recipes to try throughout the coming year. To prepare for the festivities send each guest an invitation along with enough blank recipe cards for each guest to have a copy of the recipe from the dessert they bring. For my recipe cards I went to Paper Source on the Plaza and bought a variety of bright cardstock and then cut to the size I desired. I also purchased glassine envelopes so that each friend could take home the recipes in one stylish package. After you entice everyone with invitations it’s time to start the preparations at home. Start by creating a fun table with glass cloches and jars filled with colorful glass ornaments. These decorations remind me of bright colored candy and will go right along with the sweet occasion. The centerpiece for the table is a large urn filled with branches cut from the backyard with glass ornaments tied on with ribbon. To create this start with a heavy urn, cut a piece of wet floral foam to fit the inside then insert branches to desired fullness, add in cut wintergreens at the base and hang with an assortment of ornaments. This should stay fresh for several weeks. Now place platters and cake plates in varying heights around the jars and urns for friends to display their treats. Ask guests to bring their own to use if you do not have enough. Don’t forget to have some salty snacks to balance the desserts. Pretzels dipped in almond bark and sprinkled with crushed peppermint sticks is great for this along with mixed nuts or chocolate covered potato chips. To serve the sweets use a mixed collection of holiday dessert plates. I have received several as gifts and usually pick up a few different ones each year at after Christmas sales and now have a great mix of traditional to modern designs. Each holiday season when I get them out they also bring along great memories from previous celebrations and excitement to add the new ones into the mix.
After an evening of sampling desserts have a supply of take out boxes so each friend can take home an assortment of the treats! Choose from large Chinese take-out style boxes found at local craft stores or craft boxes tied with bakers twine. You may even want to pack up a few boxes for a local nursing home or other organization that would love to sample the home made sweets.
Happy Holidays!

Candy-Cane Brownies
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
¼ teaspoon baking powder
6 small candy canes, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons warm water
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
remaining crushed candy cane

1. In a bowl beat sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add butter, mix well. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add to batter and mix well. Fold in ½ of crushed candy canes.
2. Pour into greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool
3. For frosting combine butter, cocoa and water. Mix well. Gradually stir in sugar until smooth adding additional water if necessary. Frost the brownies and sprinkle with remaining crushed candy canes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the lovely editor from kc weddings magazine called yesterday to see if i would be interested in making a bouquet for a fashion and flowers photo shoot they were doing today at the uptown theater. they wanted a romantic look as they are pairing the bouquets with gorgeous ruffly gowns. the bouquet is made from green hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, blue curiosa roses, mini calla lilies, lisianthus and california sumac-all hand tied with a beautiful delphinium dupioni silk ribbon from midori.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

november tastebud article:
A Bountiful Buffet
Fall is such a great time to plan a party! Gather rustic items together, cut berries from the garden, add mixed dinnerware and a few elegant touches to create a wonderful table.
Because we do not have a large enough table to seat all of our guests at, this year we will start with basic items on a buffet and pass the traditional turkey dinner items family style. To create a welcoming buffet and tables start by replacing the traditional tablecloth with a few yards of burlap. This is a no sew project- buy enough burlap to cover the length of the table with some overhanging the edges, then finish by pulling out a few strands to create a frayed edge. Burlap comes in many more colors than the standard tan, from blues and greens to a dark chocolate brown. Pick one that will coordinate with the rest of your d├ęcor and top everything from the serving buffet to the card tables used for extra seating at this time of year. For dishes I love to use one special seasonal set and add to versatile white dishes or here a deep turquoise and silver rimmed set of china. For the autumn a great brown transferware works perfectly for this rustic yet elegant setting. Place all of the dishes on an iron or wooden cake platter or in a basket on the buffet table. Use a garden urn to contain silverware and cloth napkins. Hunt garage sales, antique stores or your own home to find a tiered shelf or various sizes of baskets or cake plates to hold the rest of the items on the serving station. Here this wooden three-tiered shelf holds wine bottles, bar tools, autumn colored stemware and any other necessities. Now add in the natural fall elements that will really make the buffet and tables feel finished. There are so many varieties of gourds and pumpkins to choose from with the bright green apple gourd being one of my new favorites! Gather these various sized and shaped specimens on their own or in a rustic container for a centerpiece or anywhere there is an empty spot. For a floral element and a burst of color make small apple arrangements. Start with a good sized apple and hollow out the center. Add a small piece of wet floral foam (found at craft stores) to the center of the apple. Cut berries from the yard and buy a few fresh flower blooms from a local florist or grocery store. Cut the stems very short and insert into the foam, covering all sides, filling in the gaps with more berries or leaves in changing colors. I also love using wheat for autumn tables. Gather a bunch or two of wheat (fresh or dried) and tie together with a wide ribbon. Hold the center and twist the bunch slightly to allow it to stand on its own. Leave these around the house for the entire fall season. The final project for this occasion is to add the warm glow of candles. Place ivory pillar candles on the buffet and with the gourds in your centerpiece or make these votive cups for some more accent light. Wrap glass votive cups with brown corrugated paper and tie with ribbon. I recycled this from a recent package or you can find it at the craft store when you are there picking up the ribbon, burlap and floral foam.
Take time to celebrate with friends and family the simple and natural abundance of fall with a hearty meal, the last of the garden’s offerings, gathering up supplies from home and give thanks for all we do have.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

no weddings this weekend, but two fun baby showers! this first one at a home with modern decor. we lined the center of the dining room table with arrangements and wheat grass in square glass vases. flowers included annabelle hydrangea, orange roses, mochara orchids, ferns, gerbera daisies, coleus and cornflower. wheat grass in a wooden bowl was a fun addition for an outdoor table.

the other shower for a baby girl. they wanted bright pinks and oranges with lots of textures for a fall feel. flowers here included latin ambiance roses, hydrangea, gerbera daisies, coleus, grevilia and katone aster.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October Tastebud article:
Halloween doesn’t have to be just for the kids. Celebrate this fall holiday with a table set using classic black and white elements with added playful and spooky surprises.
Start with a tablecloth in a bold black and white pattern. This could be a fun animal print or classic damask. I found this material at a local fabric shop and made my own. Next, use the staple white dishes topped with a smaller Halloween themed plate. Try to find and use a variety of these dessert sized plates to keep the table from feeling too formal.
The centerpiece for this table starts with a large white ceramic soup tureen placed on top of a cake platter. Serving soup or chili on Halloween is a great idea for several reasons: you can prepare it ahead of time, it is usually cold and rainy in Kansas City this time of year and it can easily accommodate any extra goblins that may show up on your door step! Surround the soup tureen with acid green hedge apples-these brainy looking fruits add to the theme. Then add in the other spooky choices: wooden blood shot eyeballs, spiders and furry rats or other night time creatures. Hanging spiders from the chandelier with fishing line is another great surprise. Now add in the pumpkins. Stay with the black and white theme by choosing a white pumpkin then painting or stenciling it with black paint. Be creative with varying widths of stripes, scrolly vines or bats and ghosts. You may even choose to write a Halloween message to friends.
This table, with it’s classic color palette and goulish details, is sure to please both the adult and child in all of us. Now it’s time to decide on costumes!

Find it Here (if you dare)
Creepy crawly spiders, webs and rats
The Curious Sofa
3925 W. 69th Terr.
Prairie Village Shops

Soup Tureen
Nell Hills
4101 N. Mulberry Dr.
Briarcliff Village
Atchison, KS
Target Stores

Easy Taco Soup
2 cans of northern beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of shoepeg white corn
1 can of diced green chiles
Packet of taco seasoning
Rotisserie chicken (shred meat)

Add all ingredients to a stock pot
(do not drain beans or veggies)
Thin with chicken stock if needed
Simmer until ready to serve

Top with crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa

Saturday, September 27, 2008

flowers from this weekend's wedding at longview mansion-a great kansas city venue. this bride chose to carry a wine colored bouquet of roses, cymbidium orchids, mini calla lilies, chocolate cosmos and cranberry viburnum berries. her attendants carried ivory bouquets of hydrangea, cymbidium orchids, mini calla lilies, roses and dahlias. her four-tier cake by the bridal kitchen was topped with a mix of the wine and ivory flowers and a monogram.

Friday, September 19, 2008

this bride requested locally grown, vibrant flowers for her bouquet. with all of the rain we didn't have many choices but fred kautt provided us with beautiful zinnias, gomphrena and feather celosia. we added in dahlias, gerbera daisies, kangaroo paws, grevilia and scented geranium for a hand-picked style bouqet. venue: powell gardens.

Monday, September 1, 2008

(photo by sara farrar)

here is my september article for tastebud. i am bummed because they did not use the correct photo of the flowers in the magazine! oh well....
Market Fresh
Ahh, September: back to school, the pace of life starts to slow and the weather cools (at least all of these happen in theory). To celebrate this change in seasons, create a fun and colorful occasion with cool treats, perfect for gathering with old friends or new families met at school.
This affair starts with a brightly colored table. Create a container for the centerpiece out of a recycled can and playful paper (directions follow). I chose a paper that accents the vivid flowers gathered at the Overland Park farmer’s market. We know that farmer’s markets are a great venue to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables but they are also terrific for finding fresh flowers. It’s always exciting to see what new varieties are being grown and which mid-west classics are available in their vibrant hues. Some perennial favorites are the velvety cockscomb, electric fuchsia and red gomphrena, blue ageratum, bells of Ireland, amaranthus, blue bedder sage, queen anne’s lace and hydrangea. This arrangement includes happy and festive zinnias, cosmos, snapdragons, sunflowers and hosta leaves. The best part is that this bouquet only cost $6.00! If you love flowers and gardens make a special trip to a local flower farm. Whittaker Flower Farm in Olathe has 6 acres of flowers, woodlands and a serene pond. Visit in the summer to cut your own bouquets and into the fall for the pumpkin patch.
To keep things easy and bright serve several flavors of homemade ice cream to guests in classic latte bowls from Anthropologie. These versatile bowls come in a rainbow of colors and will quickly become a household favorite. Offer plenty of toppings from fresh berries and nuts to crushed cookies and sprinkles. If making ice cream doesn’t fit into the schedule, head to Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard and choose from any of their flavors of fresh custard to go.
Enjoy the last of summer’s heat with this simple and sweet soiree!

D.I.Y. Container
Clean an empty can.
Cut a piece of paper that is the height of the can and long enough to wrap around with a 1” overlap.
Use a paint brush to spread mod pod (found at craft stores) onto the can and secure the paper.
To create a more water-resistant vase, paint on 2-3 coats of the mod pod over the paper, allowing it to dry between layers.
Fill with water, give the flowers a fresh cut and enjoy!
After the flowers are gone use this on a desk to hold pens, pencils and other supplies!

Overland Park Farmer’s Market
79th & Marty
Sat. 6:30-sellout

Foo’s Frozen Custard
In Leawood
Ranchmart Shopping Center
3832 W. 95th
In Brookside
6235 Brookside Plaza

Monday, August 4, 2008

august issue of tastebud magazine on news stands now!
fabulous photos by sara farrar!
Time For Tomatoes

This month take tomatoes out of the garden and to the centerpiece of your table. To create an interesting table use a great bowl, basket or pedestal to hold heirloom tomatoes. These varieties of tomatoes come in unique colors and shapes and will have guests talking. Heirloom tomatoes are grown locally and available from Kurlbaum Heirloom Tomatoes, Bryson’s Farm Fresh Produce and Bad Seed Farm or at the many local farmers’ markets. This hand carved wood bowl used here worked perfectly to show off the luscious features of the tomatoes. Find a similar bowl at West Elm on-line or coming soon to the shops at 119th.
Keep the rest of the table design simple. Add a single variety of flowers in mason jars. Here I used organic sunflowers from whole foods markets. No other flower represents summers in Kansas like the sunflower! They stand up to the heat at outdoor gatherings and add to the straight from the garden theme of the table.
Add a little pattern to the table with an easy sewing project-reversible placemats. There are so many wonderful fabrics to choose from at local shops Urban Arts and Crafts and Harper’s Fabrics that you might want to make several versions of these! To make each placemat cut two 14” x 19” rectangles from fun coordinating fabrics, pin together with right sides out and sew together using a straight stitch around the perimeter leaving an inch border. Trim the edges with pinking shears for a finished look. These can be washed as necessary. Here I used a modern floral in red and white which reverses to a polka dot. Both fabrics are from Amy Butler’s collection. Heavy sheets of patterned paper can be used instead of fabric and tossed after use or for a no-sew placemat head to Pryde’s for a selection of vibrant oilcloth. For this version just cut a
14” x 19” rectangle with pinking shears and you’re finished!
Of course since the tomatoes are the highlight of the table serve your favorite tomato inspired dishes. If you are serving brunch I’ve included a scrumptious tomato and spinach egg casserole. A spicy bloody mary would be a great compliment to this dish. For a light lunch with a great presentation I love simple tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella stacks drizzled with balsamic vinegar, oil and fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Stuffed tomatoes are another great make ahead option. Whatever the occasion celebrate with fresh from the garden tomatoes before we are back inside reminiscing about the flavorful splendor of summer!

Brooke’s Tomato & Spinach Egg Florentine
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen spinach (thawed)
1-2 tomatoes depending on size (thinly sliced)6 eggs beaten1/2 lb. cheddar cheese3 T flour32 oz. small curd cottage cheese1/2 cup softened butterCombine all ingredients except for tomatoes
Mix well. Pour into 9"x13" pan.
Place a layer of the tomatoes on topbake 350 degrees 1 hour

Find Them Here:
Heirloom Tomatoes
Kurlbaum Heirloom Tomatoes
sold at local Hen House Markets
Bad Seed Farm
1909 McGee
Bryson’s Farm Fresh Produce
23832 Hwy 139
Hale, MO
Fun Fabrics & Paper
Urban Arts & Crafts
Briarcliff Village
4157 North Mulberry Dr.
7918 Santa Fe Dr.Overland Park, KS 66204
115 Westport Road

Saturday, August 2, 2008

from a wedding i did last year. ivory with touches of pale blue: lilies, calla lilies, tulips, hydrangea, roses and delphinium. this wedding was coordinated by kim ho at you're invited. kim is so fun and organized which makes for the perfect wedding coordinator! photos are by tyler wirken. the reception was held at the lodge of iron woods, an elegant but rustic venue with soaring wood beamed ceilings, lots of light and garage doors that open to an awesome patio.

Friday, July 11, 2008

fun flowers for an event in a downtown loft space. the event is for a client of moxi events.
lots of green hydrangea, orange milva roses, dahlias, scaboisa, blue thistle, china berry, safari sunset leucadendron, eremurus, mochara orchids and fern curls.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

pictures from last weekend's wedding taken by sara farrar.
the wedding and reception were at the kansas city public library downtown. such a neat venue and i learned that the space will no longer be available for weddings. a bummer because the deck overlooking downtown is the perfect modern spot for a party.
this bride chose flowers in shades of pinks, purples, blues and apple greens.
the bouquet had tulips, peonies, orchids, roses, hydrangea, gerbera daisies and scabiosa all tied together with a fun striped ribbon.
at the reception there was a combination of three different types of centerpieces: a tall one with candles hanging from curly willow branches, a short, compact arrangement and a simple gerbera daisy or dahlia floating in a square vase with curly willow and bear grass at the base.

About Me

my name is heather and i have three crazy, creative, funny, winey, smart, loving and sweet children (henry, charlie and lucy). we love exploring around town and playing at home. i love creating whether it is with fresh flowers, fabrics, papers or whatever inspires me on a particular day.