Happy Halloween

1 Nov

Hello Martha’s!

Sorry I have been a bad blogger neglecting you all lately! I was focusing every spare crafting and DIY time these last few months on my own wedding that just happened last month – eek! I have lots of wedding do it yourself tips for up coming brides and grooms coming in the next few posts but first things first. Happy Halloween everyone!!
mini pumpkins

 

 

Some people look forward to dressing up or overdosing on copious amounts of mini chocolate bars. Me? ummmm, painting mini pumpkins obviously!

I had a lot of leftover Martha paints from above mentioned wedding as well a new glitter paint I was dying to try out.

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It is a pretty simply craft and I must say, I love the Martha Stewart Crafts brand of paints. Compared to others they go on super smooth and wash off hands (and a new manicure I found out) with just soap and water. Helpful tip – get a bunch of used wine bottles without caps to use to stick the pumpkin top into once you are finished painting to dry without smudging your lil’ pumpkin.

 

 

This will totally work on big pumpkins too! I however felt the mini’s suited our “urban” sized apartment table a bit better:)

 

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Wish.List Colours Your Spring

15 Apr

Once upon a time before my career in PR and Event Planning this Martha fancied herself a merchandiser. So when a client mentioned they were looking for someone to help with their window displays I jumped at the opportunity.

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Wish.List Boutique is a fabulous Kitsilano boutique that specializes in great beauty, make-up, jewellery, handbag, and gifts. I can never walk out of the store without a new bangle, butter polish, or lip balm!

For the spring window concept we were drawn to colour! Who wouldn’t be after a long, grey Vancouver winter! With cupboards full of hankypanky pastel and neon prints we brought the laundry line inside and invited Vancouverites to Colour Your Spring! Next time you are at 2811 West Broadway take a peek and let me know what you think!

 

Antipasti Amuse

15 Apr

When hosting a dinner party, I always like to put out a good spread of pre-meal munchies and wines of course to get guests excited for the main attractions. Like the invite before the wedding, the appetizer sets the scene for the culinary feast ahead.

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My favourite and well repeated amuse bouche to serve is a jam packed antipasti plate. I thank my Italian roots for introducing me to this style of eating at an early age. I loved the plates you used to be served at any special dining function as it was a mini buffet for your palate. Also – it isn’t precious, thus making it easy enough for a novice in the kitchen and will get you as many ooh’s and ahh’s as a salmon tartlette!

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My Martha tip to the antipasti plate- mix as many in season pickled and roasted veg you can get your hands on with a medley of olives and at minimum 2 cheeses and one sharp salami. Forgo the cracker and instead roughly tear up some robust bread. Buon Appetito!

Chair Re-Upholstrey 101

3 Feb

This is one of my all time favourite martha tips. I credit Sarah Richardson for my obsession with fabric and re-upholstering old finds to bring them back to life. I remember watching episode after episode of ‘Sarah’s House‘ on HGTV and vowing to never be afraid to play with fabrics!

So when we needed new dining chairs for our urban (READ – small) dining area going new and shiny just wasn’t an option. One trip to Sellution on Main we foraged 4 teak chairs for the 70’s. Yes the fabric was hideous but the frame and bones of the sought after wood variety were ones that I couldn’t pass up.

Here is my step by step guide so you too can take old fabric chairs and make them new at a fraction of the cost the mid century modern trend would cost in store.

For starters here’s what you will need for this project:

materials needed

1. Enough fabric to cover all of your chairs

2. A heavy duty staple gun fully loaded. Probably a good idea to have extra staples as well

3. Scissors to cut fabric

4. A measuring tape. Remember – measure twice, cut once!

5. Pliers and a wrench in order to take apart fabric and chair legs

Step 1: Using your wrench unscrew the bolts that hold the frame together until you can remove the seat potion of the chair.

chair deconstructed

Step 2: Using your pliers and a little bit of elbow grease remove the old staples and fabric. Try and remove as many of the old staples you can without wrecking the wood or stuffing.

Step 3: Take your fabric and lay it out on a flat large surface. Please the naked cushion on top and cut a square piece of the fabric large enough wrap tightly around each side of the cushion.

Step 4: Starting at one end of the cushion fold up the fabric to wrap around to underneath the cushion. Staple in place and continue this until the new fabric is tightly secured into place.

Step 5: Using the wrench re-assember the back and legs of the chair frame.

Follow the steps above to complete the other chairs in your set.

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Home Made Winter – Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

4 Jan

Note – a good hard covered cook book with pretty pictures is ALWAYS a girls fav present. Thanks for this beauty Rebecca:) Like a kid in a candy store I was vibrating in my floral apron on in anticipating of attempting my first recipe in Home Made Winter. The photos were so beautiful I know I had a lot to live up to. Being the middle of December and my pre-Christmas gluttony phase I was going for hot and healthy, so for my first dish I prepared Squash & Lentil Soup. So easy and delicious.

  Home Made Winter

 Step 1 – Peel and cut into 1 inch cubes an entire butternut squash. Throw the squash into a bowl and add paprika, oregano, salt and pepper and a good 2-3 Tablespoons of cooking oil. I used grapeseed oil.

Step 2 – throw those beautiful squash nuggets on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the squash are golden and can be easily pierced with a fork.

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Step 3 – Put the squash to the side and in a large sauce pan sauté 1 medium onion and some chopped garlic with butter of olive oil. Add to that 1/2 cup of yellow split peas and 1/4 cup of green split peas or lentils. Sauté that all together and add 2 Tablespoons of tomatoe paste. Sauté for another minute or so and then add in 4 cups of veggie broth. simmer on low for about 35 minutes until the lentils have absorbed the liquid and have softened. Add the squash back into the pot and heat back up!

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Step 4: Et Voila! Spoon out the soup into your fav soup bowl and garnish with cilantro (if you fancy it!) stirred greek yoghurt and I also added some avocado for no other reason than I had a perfectly ripened avocado in my veggie bowl!

A Den to Dream In

15 Dec

*My personal challenge. Recreate this unused 200 square foot bedroom for under $500. With help from my fav go to furniture store, Craigslist, and some gifted antiques (thanks mom!), fabrics from Fabricland, staple gun, and peonies….the unused Den is now the sought after room in the apartment!

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Footstools - Fabricland fabric and antique stools

Footstools – Fabricland fabric and antique stools
Makes any room a little something special:)

Makes any room a little something special:)

 

*Sourcing: Chair – purchased secondhand on Craigslist (originally Urban Barn), Curtains – my first purchase at the new West Elm Vancouver, Side Table – vintage hand me down, Footstool  – Vintage hand me down recovered with fabric from Fabricland, Flowers – Kits Market (Yew and 1st).

 

Festive Holiday Cups

4 Dec

Hosting a holiday open house and short on glass ware? Instead of asking guest to BYOCup instead try this crafty tip. Purchase a flat of small to medium sized mason jars. Not just for canning anymore I’ve seen people use them for candle holders, wedding decor and rice storage, so why not cocktail cups! Add some festive ribbon and rustic twine your cups can be the hit of the party!

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*Sourcing: Mason jars from The Kitchen Corner in Kits. Ribbon and twine rope from Michaels.