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Archive for June, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen…we have a winner!

Thanks to everyone that commented, facebooked or emailed regarding The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever post. I am happy to announce, the winner of the secret kitchen-themed giveaway is…
Gina Morgan

So, I am sure you are wondering, what’s the secret?

(And yes, my gorgeous cone flowers were added for a dramatic pause.)

Ta-da! A beautiful set of hand-wrought dessert spoons. Perfect for scooping up gooey, warm chocolate sheet cake!
If you know me, you know that I spend just as much time (maybe more) on packaging. For this special giveaway I made custom stamped wrapping paper. Gives me one more reason to love kraft paper; the possibilities are endless! Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder came home from work and said, “Oh neat, where did you get that?” – Haha, you’d think he’d know me better than that. Silly husband… I made it!

This giveaway was so much fun, I’m sure I will have more in the future. So when I do, just leave me a comment and the lucky winner might just be you!
Photos by: KHJ

Posted 6/9/10, Topic: Blog

No more pencils, no more books

I recently made several book mobiles for SJ’s Anthropologie-inspired owl graduation party. They are quite clever looking creatures and managed to perk the interest of many passerby’s. I first got the idea from an actual Anthropologie window display. (I could just live in one of their windows!) I googled book mobiles and found several variations of this concept. I didn’t have the time or the budget to order any of those, so I decided to figure out something similar on my own and the end result was just as dazzling. 

Now, if you can get over the idea of destroying perfectly decent books, then you might want to make one for yourself. These would make an awesome display in child’s playroom, in your favorite coffee nook, or a home office.

Here we go! Put on your thinking caps, I am about to go all Fahrenheit 451 on you…
Materials:

1 hardback book (preferably not one of your favorites)
small X-acto knife
Kraft glue (elmer’s works fine)
stapler
small wooden dowel
thin rope or twine (length varies depending on desired height)

Begin by cutting out pages of the book with your x-acto knife. You will need quite a few pages, so cut away! I tried to space out the cut pages evenly so there wasn’t a gaping hole in the book. Think of it as thinning the book out. About every tenth page I would remove a page or two.

Once you have ‘thinned’ the book out, begin folding groups of several pages inward towards the spine (as shown below). Continue this process until all of the pages have been folded into these ‘teardrop’ shapes. I stapled each teardrop near the spine of the book just to ensure that it stayed in place.
Now that your book looks like a wild literary blossom, begin folding the cut pages (from step one) into teardrop shapes. I used about three to four sheets per teardrop to give them a little bit of rigidity. 
I then gave them a quick staple in the center where the two ends meet. You could use glue, but who has time to sit there and hold it while it dries…just staple. 
Once all of the cut pages have been stapled into teardrops, begin inserting them into the folds of your book. This is where your own creativity can take control. There is no right or wrong place for them, it all depends on how you want it to look when it is hanging. When you place the teardrops into the folds, run a thin line of glue along each side to secure it into place. Continue until you have used all of your teardrop pages. (It might help to keep referring to the photo of the finished product during this process just to make sure you are on the right track.)
Now, insert the wooden dowel into the spine of the book. If you listen closely, you will hear the sound of an English teacher weeping somewhere. 
Take a step back and marvel at your handiwork. I could get lost in these beautiful folded pages, so magical.
Lots of neat shadows and curves. If you are as goofy as me, you will spend thirty minutes just taking photos of these tortured books. I take that back, they are not ‘tortured’, I think they would actually rather be crafted into a beautiful piece of art than lie on a dusty shelf in the back of a Salvation Army. I think they appreciate the wind between their pages.
Not many people would have passed their shelf and said, “Oh wow, how beautiful!” Now they can flutter their pages and enjoy all of the flattery.
For the final step of this book mobile ‘how-to’, attach your twine to the ends of the dowel that protrude from the book’s spine. Adjust the length of the twine to yield the desired height. Voila! A beautiful book mobile.
Photos by: KHJ, Final photo by: Katie Hollingsworth

Posted 6/7/10, Topic: Blog

Out and About: Sublime Doughnuts

Today is National Doughnut Day! This little holiday was started in 1938 as a fundraiser for the Chicago Salvation Army. Their goal was to help the needy during the Great Depression and to honor the Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.
In honor of National Doughnut Day, I thought I would share with you a fun little find in Midtown Atlanta. Hidden in an obscure shopping center near Georgia Tech’s campus, you will find Sublime Doughnuts. I have passed this store many times and thought nothing of it. The building and the signage is nothing to write home about, but oh lordy the goodies inside!

“We are trying to go for someone’s last meal on death row.” – Sublime Doughnuts
When my sister was up visiting, she made a stop by Sublime Doughnuts and picked us out some treats. (You know it is not a foodie post if I don’t give you a little something to drool about.) Here are some of the flavors she picked out:
The A-town Cream
This is pretty much their signature doughnut. Filled with silky custard and topped with Belgian Callebault dark chocolate, and of course shaped like the letter “A”. Love it!
Red Velvet Cake
This doughnut is made with their red velvet cake doughnut batter and features dutched cocoa and subtle vanilla undertones. It is topped with tasty cream cheese icing and toasted pecans.
Yin Yang Twist
The crazy twisted doughnut in the middle is the Yin Yang Twist, features original recipe dough twisted with chocolate infused dough and covered in ooey gooey vanilla honey glaze. Scrumptious!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Ok, now for the mother load! This doughnut features an original recipe doughnut with Belgian Callebault milk chocolate with a dollop of light, fluffy peanut butter cream in the center. A final sprinkling of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will just send you over the edge. Make sure you try this one sitting down, you may hit the floor fast!

Of course Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder was dying to try the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. He is a huge doughnut fan and a sucker for anything with peanut butter. Was this doughnut made just for him?
If you take a peek at the picture of the box of doughnuts above you can see some of the other doughnuts we tried: 

Fresh Strawberry N Cream
Orange Dream Star (I think this one was my favorite, tastes like a creamsicle pop.)
Frosted Croissant
Dark Chocolate Fudge
Oreo

I cannot mention Sublime Doughnuts without giving a little credit the fabulous chef behind the magic. Kamal, you’re my hero!

“Born and raised in Georgia, Chef Kamal Grant discovered baking would be his calling after a school visit from a food service executive. Since then, Grant’s culinary path took him to distant lands and to explore foreign palates as a cook in the US Navy. He then studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York and later honed his pastry skills at the American Institute of Baking in Kansas. Ultimately, Grant took his passion for pastries back to Atlanta, and by a “sublime” encounter, he came across a vacant doughnut shop on 10th Street. A month later, that shop would be the home of Sublime Doughnuts.” – Sublime Doughnuts 

While reading some customer reviews of Sublime Doughnuts, I stumbled upon a hilarious entry. If you weren’t already running to Sublime, this will definitely get you there. It pretty much sums it all up. Enjoy!

“…Oh, and as an aside, I now understand why some of the ladies seem to have wee little crushes on Kamal.  I was trying not to take up too much of his time.  I said, “Sorry if I’m taking too long to decide, I’m just overwhelmed by the selection.”

He said, “Take your time…  it’s just you, me, and the doughnuts.”  And there was R&B; playing in the background (I am not making this up).  And does his voice ALWAYS sound like Barry White’s or was I just imagining it?  I am old and fat and married, and I think I almost swooned.” – Happy Customer

Posted 6/4/10, Topic: Blog

Inside My Kitchen

I was recently reading one my favorite blogs, SweetFancy, where she occasionally features some of her favorite items around her house. I think it is such a cute idea, giving reader’s a little glimpse inside her adorably unique home. She has been collecting odds and ends since she was a little girl and has built up quite the collection. Her little treasures always make me smile.
On her most recent ‘Inside My Kitchen’ post, she asked readers to share some of their favorite kitchen items. I immediately thought of my adorable Fiesta cream and sugar dishes. I do have to give credit to Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder for finding these little neaties. We were browsing an antique store in Athens, GA  (where we also found this) and Mr. BEY spotted these hidden in an antique china cabinet. (Did I mention I love that man!)
I have to admit, I am a beige on beige kind of girl most of the time. I love natural earth tones with unique textures (burlap, parchment, jute, stone), something that looks as if it were plucked from the earth (or maybe a quaint English Cottage), but that dear sweet Fiesta has put my gears in a different motion. It causes me to be a little braver, a little bolder in my color choices. I have to admit I am quite happy with the results. I never knew such a tiny pop of color could bring such a bright ray of happiness.

Mr. BEY and I registered for several pieces of the new line of Fiesta-ware last year for our wedding. We wanted to add something cheery to our cupboards that we could use on an everyday basis. See how happy our dishwasher looks with the bright, bold Fiesta dishes inside. You just have to smile…even when you are doing dishes!
Photos by: KHJ

Posted 6/3/10, Topic: Blog

Hoot Hoot Hooray! Party

I am so excited to share with you the beautiful photos from Savannah Jane’s graduation party. Just a fair warning, if you are easily overwhelmed by an abundance of little lovelies or if you dislike sweets, vintage goodies, luscious blooms or handsome owls, read no further. 
This was Blue Eyed Yonder’s first graduation party and may just be my favorite. Building from my ‘Anthropologie Inspired Owl Graduation‘ inspiration board,  I created a party that evokes the fun whimsy of a teenage girl with the scholarly sophistication of an intellectual young woman. I chose bright and uplifting colors: pops of yellow, warm hues of pink, balanced with the deep tones of the vintage books and travel cases. 
The very talented graduate made all of the delightful desserts: blondies and brownies and cakes oh my! She baked the goodies and I gave them quirky new names with custom designed signs for a fun twist on your everyday dessert. The dessert table featured vintage books, suitcases and glassware. To top it off, the table was complete with its very own yellow chandelier, custom painted just for the occasion!
The guest tables were adorned with vintage yellow printed fabric, a variety of vintage Reader’s Digests, milk glass vases with beautiful lilac and fun whimsical billy buttons. Above the tables hung handmade book mobiles. I got this idea from an Anthropologie window display and crafted these cuties from books bought at the Salvation Army store.
To balance out the sheer sweetness of this party, we served tangy lemonade with handmade ‘Hooray!’ drink stir flags. But above all of this, I have to say the true hit of the party were the handmade mustaches. From young to old, everyone enjoyed trying out the different styles and getting in some good belly laughs!

I found this adorable little owl on Etsy. Besides making a great addition to the table scape, this owl doubles as a vintage Avon bottle. 
 
The tables were accompanied by a variety of different chairs, giving it that true ‘backyard’, vintage vibe.
The small yellow travel case was hand painted and lined with yellow patterned paper matching that used in the invitation. I just love the vintage forks ‘popping’ out of the case, each topped with a mini raspberry cupcake.
Ah yes, the beautiful book mobiles. These were definitely one of my favorite parts of the party. Stay tuned to BEY for the ‘how-to’ post sometime soon!
Can you ever go wrong with peonies?

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Seuss

Congratulations again Savannah Jane! I hope this party was every thing you hoped for – hoot hoot hooray! 
Photography: Katie Hollingsworth
Event Styling: Blue Eyed Yonder
Floral Design: Blue Eyed Yonder
Desserts: lovingly handmade by Savannah Jane Morgan, the graduate

No party is complete without a list of BIG thank yous! To Mom and Kameryn, you guys are my all-star helpers. Bringing us breakfast gave us the fuel to pull this off, thanks so much! To my Mister, I thought this was going to be my first solo party. Thanks so much for pulling some strings and showing up to make this all happen. How would I have done all the ‘man stuff’? To Mema and Papa, your house is a never ending trove of treasures! Thank you so much for letting me plunder and share all these beautiful vintage items. To Katie, thanks for taking all of these adorable pictures. It took a lot of sweat (literally) to capture all the goodies of this party. To Gina and Guy, thank you for letting me be a part of the cutest party ever! You guys followed through on everything you said you would do, made sure the tables were there, chairs set out, etc. You have no idea how helpful that was.

Posted 6/1/10, Topic: Blog

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