he White Issue Vol. 3 Issue 1
Gatherings inspiring creative living
Gatherings Magazine Inspiring Creative Living
The White Issue Vol. 3 Issue 1
Heather Spriggs Thompson Founder/Editor In Chief/Creative Director/Graphic Designer Brigitte Lyons Copy Editor Maren Linn Writer
Carrie Hampton Media/Sales Consultant
Contributing Editors Annetta Bosakova Photography/Style Liz Hanley Social Media/Vintage Ingrid Henningsson Floral Styling Clarice Fox-Hughes Food
For Advertising and Contributing Inqueries firstname.lastname@example.org Gatherings-- 2
Ruffled Linens Ad
Real Beauty for Real Life
http://www.ruffledlinens.com Gatherings-- 3
Table of Contents 8-13 Creating Dreams in White 14-23 Heart Makes a Home in Norway 24-29 French Monogrammed Linens 30-32 Brighten Vintage Whites 33-37 Maven Collective 38-43 Winter’s Palette 44-48 Starting out White
50-55 Simply Home 56-61 Turkish Delights 62-67 Portrait D’une Femme 68-74 Nature’s Bounty White Washed 75-87 Love Letters
96-101 Party Dressed in White Photo Credits: Front Page Tina Fussell This Page: Top: Claire Donovan Bottom Right: Maaike van Koert Opposite Page: Heather Spriggs
102-109 A Homespun Love of White 110-119 Creating Winter Traditions in the Kitchen 120-123 Cherishing Memories from Treasured Collections 124-126 Recipe/Craft Index
88-95 At Home with White
Letter from the Editor
I love color! In fact, the walls of my home and the clothes in
my closet sing of a signature palette. However, when in need of respite from chaos I retreat to the white walls of my office. White becomes not only a resting place but a clean slate, a fresh start. To me, white is where ideas are born. I canâ€™t think of a better way to start the new year than with an issue dedicated to it. Flipping through these pages, will offer inspiration for starting the year on a white note.
With more contributors than ever, we share stories, spaces,
projects, and recipes from the heart. Gatherings is not only a place to inspire new endevours, but a place to come together as friends and kindred spirits.
Join the Gatherings Community Facebook: /gatherings-magazine Twitter: @gatheringsmag Pinterest: heathert/gatherings-magazine
The White Issue Vol. 3 Issue 1
Tracy Castro Crafter/Blogger Fair Morning Blue
Debra Norton Staitoner Vintage Paper Parade
Claire Donovan Stylist/Blogger Heart HandmadeUK
Beth Stanion Stylist/Model/Dancer Gatherings-6
Iris Stylist/Blogger Irideeen
Maaike van Koert Crafter/Blogger creJJtion
Victoria Hayden Designer Victoria Hayden Designs
Tina Fussell Designer/Stylist/Blogger Traveling Mama
Janne SynnĂ¸ve Rom Stylist
Laura McGuire Stylist/Designer/Shop Owner French Vintage Home
Vicki Dvorak Photographer/Blogger Simply Hue
MaryAnn Sanders Vintage Dealer
Sarah Kenney Food Stylist/Photographer/Blogger Thyme
Cori Kindred Photographer
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
rafting Dreams of White
Styling and Photography by Claire Donovan Words by Maren Linn Gatherings-- 9
I am a season lover and with each approaching season I fill with anticipation of the pleasantries they bring. My lifestyle changes with the leaves and as the quiet of winter approaches, I begin to mellow. I spend time lying in front of the fire with my feet too close to the flames, reading a book; usually it is a sweeping, all absorbing epic that involves me for hours or a comforting favorite Iâ€™ve reread a dozen times. Gatherings-- 10
I start knitting projects, not caring if I ever finish (and I rarely do) just for the coziness of it, for the soothing repetition. I cuddle close to warm mugs of coffee or tea, of cider or chocolate and stare out the window at the intricate pattern of leafless trees against hoary skies.
And every year I discover old loves anew: the frozen crunch beneath furry boots, the deepening silence that comes with snowfall, the fresh, clean feeling that comes with the cold, the sparkling beauty of a silver thaw and the calm, quiet peace of a white on white landscape after a heavy snow. It is a time to move inward, safe into a warm home and quiet thoughts. -Maren Linn
Translation and photography by Ada Amalie Abrahamsen
Heart makes a Home in
Norway Janne SynnĂ¸ve Rom of Instagram success shares tips on creating a neautral palette in the corners of her family home.
When you live in a small country house from 1955 it is important to find creative solutions to make a home for a busy family of four. They say that home is where the heart it, and I have really put my soul into making our house a real home. Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by old furniture with a history and soul. I spent all of my confirmation money on my very first antique cabinet, and I still have it. All of my favourite treasures come from flea markets, antique shops, or homemade by my husband. To create the unique look on my furnitureâ€™s, the only materials I use are a little paint and some sanding paper. White is definitely the dominant colour inside the house. To create a contrast to all the white elements, I have painted my dining room in a warm shade of grey. I love it when a home has an overall context inside, and therefore I have used the same grey colour on several objects in different parts of the house. I use flowers and candles to brighten up any occasion. Pink roses and olive trees in different sizes are my favourites.
My passion for old objects is displayed throughout the entire house, and I love to buy new furnitureâ€™s and ornaments. For this not to accumulate too much I try to arrange a garage sale twice a year. This way, I can both get rid of what I no longer use, and also earn back some of the money that I spent. My best tip to freshen up your interior is to grab your paintbrush and give new life to your old furniture. To create a great change, you do not need much equipment, and it can be done for a small price. Use your creative sense, and do not worry about what everybody else think. It is your house, and the most important thing is that you feel at home in your own house.
â€œThey say that home is where the heart is and I have put my soul into making our house a real home.â€?
Janne SynnĂ¸ve Rom shares a passion for decorating and family. Follow her @synnoverom on Instagram for more inspiring photos.
Words and Styling by Laura McGuire
photography by David Lyles
The continuing appeal of French linens conjures up visions of young maidens embroidering linens for their trousseau. What a lovely tradition it is to have household items adorned and personalized. I believe this is why monogrammed vintage pieces are so highly sought after today. The history each piece portrays and the sense of having something worth saving and collecting only adds value. As an antique dealer, I am curious about the history of monogrammed linens- how they came to be? Elaborate monograms of intertwined initials and coat of arms were first seen in palaces of royals. The Renaissance period was a time of the aristocracy building luxurious palaces with elaborate tables and bedrooms. A new lifestyle and value was placed on household items. The new demand for luxury goods led weavers to develop finer cloth. Throughout the nineteenth century until the 1950’s, every household linen, was carefully embroidered. It was imitation of royalty that led to monogramming for ornamentation, especially in the use for bedding. The aspiring middle class placed their initials on everything from linen, to silver, crystal and china.
By the 1800’s, considered the” Great Linen” century, it was customary for a bride to display a cupboard of monogrammed linens. A young woman’s trousseau meant more than just a bride’s personal wardrobe. It included the ceremony of preparing linens for years in advance by embroidering and monogramming with the future spouses initials. The amount of linens and the quality displayed represented wealth for the emerging bourgeoisie in nineteenth century Europe. The virginal white often associated with a bride’s trousseau began to symbolize a young woman’s virtue. The needlework, often learned from nuns, taught young women the moral values necessary for their future lives. All French girls studied embroidery until the 1940’s, but the finest embroidery was done by linen maids or French nuns.
My life experiences are a reflection of a beautiful order, which has inspired me to share them to the world. My work encompasses, interior and fashion styling, blogging, photography and a consistent seeking of all that is beautiful.â€¨ My style blends European elegance with west coast casualness and southern soul. http://www.lauramcguire.com http://www.frenchvintagehome.com Gatherings-- 28
Photo by Laura McGuire Ready made monograms began to be available in the early part of the 1900’s. This French “Plumetis Express” is an example of a satin stitch monogram ready to be sewn directly onto a linen item. The appearance of department stores greatly influenced buying habits in the late nineteenth century. White floors, or “Blancs” all had a trousseau counter. At the end of the 1800’s, mail order catalogs became popular and offered a selection that had never been available before. Some of these department stores, for example Le Bon Marche and Printemps continue to offer luxury linens in still demand today. Reference guide “The book of Fine Linen” by Flammarion http://frenchvintagehome.com
Mary Ann Sandersâ€™ secret recipe to
Brighten vintage linen
You will need: Boiling water BIZ powder* Large stock pot , clean bucket or tub Large spoon Washing machine Mild laundry detergent Clothesline or hangers
Method: Before washing machines, liquid bleach and tons of â€œnew and improvedâ€? laundry aids our Grandmothers and great grandmothers used the simplest of things to keep their linens and clothing clean, bright and white. Boiling water and good old fashioned sunshine. While this process is a tad more labor intensive than most conventional laundry methods and tricks, it is well worth the effort, in my opinion.
I have a large stock pot dedicated to boiling laundry. I found mine many years ago at the thrift store. If you are not quite ready for a dedicated pot for laundry, my alternate method will work for you.
Using a bucket or tub (with a lid is best) place items you wish to soak in the tub or bucket. Pour a generous ammout of powdered BIZ in to the tub or bucket over and in between the items. If soaking several items, or a large item, I am fortunate to have my grandmothers finishing school like a sheet, use a cup. Fewer items, less than a cup. book from 1912, which is dedicated to the domestic sciences and includes multiple chapters on the methods and You will need to boil enough water to fully submerge the chemistry of laundry. I have adapted some of the infor- items you wish to soak. Pour the boiling water over the mation found in this prized book in to my own whitening items and then press air out of items under the water with method. the spoon. Cover and let sit for several hours or over*BIZ powder (can be found on the laundry isle in most major stores for around $6 a box)
The hot water activates the BIZ, which lifts the stains, oil and dirt out of the fabric. After time has passed, remove lid, pour dirty water out and put items directly in to the washer. (Dirty water can be poured in the toilet or sink.) The BIZ will not hurt the plumbing. There will be an odor and a film on top of the water. For this reason, if you do pour out down a sink or bath tub, be sure to rinse well as there will be a slick film left behind. Spin wet items in the washer and then wash on gentle cycle, in cold water, using mild detergent. If using this method on clothing, an extra rinse is wise.
* Notes: Linen, cotton and blends respond best to this method. I would not reccommend on synthetics, silks, cashmere or wool.
Should you choose to use the stock pot or stove top method, fill pot 3/4 of the way full. Bring water to a rolling boil, then remove from heat. Add the BIZ and begin to stir and blow on the pot or it will swirl and foam and overflow. This part scares me every time I do it, but so far so good. As before, let sit and soak for several hours to over night. Same end method as before, drain, spin, wash and rinse. Hang to dry, indoors or out. Hanging in the sunshine will only brighten the white in your garment or linen.
Colored threads, prints, hand stitching, colored buttons, embroidery are all very tricky using this method. Prior to the late 1940’s in to the early 1950’s most items were not colorfast. Boiling would cause them to run, and bleed. So use caution if using this method on anything that includes color. If you are not sure how old it is and if it is not solid white, don’t chance it if you treasure the piece.
NEVER dry something you love, especially if it has a spot or stain. Electric dryers set and cook in stains. I have been able to boil them out, but some things are just lost if dried. If you do not have access to an outdoor clothesline, place your item on a hanger on the porch railing or in the bathroom.
Spots that look like rust may not come out. In some cases, this is actual rust and boiling can help. If dealing with an old piece, it could be fabric degeneration, and while boiling may lessen the color in these marks, it can also create a weaken the fabric further and create a hole, actually push the fabric to break down. So precious pieces of Great grandmother’s hand made lace, may not hold up. If you are using the bucket/tub method, keep the vessel of soaking choice near the stove, so the boiling water does not have to be transported any distance. Be careful and do not allow small children or animals near when dumping the water. Safety is KEY. If you use the stock pot method, be sure to clean the inside of the pot very well after use. For multiple usages, I recommend not cooking in this pot again. Mine simply hangs out in my laundry room until I am ready to use again.
~ Mary Ann M. Sanders
-Shops Around the Corner
Words and Photography by Cori Kindred
Portland, a town saturated with vintage shops, hosts one new brick and mortar store which stands apart with its unique finds and gorgeous styling. Maven Collective (in the Montavilla neighborhood) was originally run by Jacklyn Arvin who recently invited Kim Ludy of EthanOllie, Sue Teso of Solstice Home and Rebekah Dortmund of Little Byrd Vintage to join her venture. The result is a large sun-filled space filled with nature-inspired vintage and coordinating homemade wares.
Monthly pop-up shops featuring goods from their favorite makers around the globe add another reason to visit. Thereâ€™s nothing more inspiring than seeing quality products styled in unique ways that allows you to imagine in your own home. Maven Collective is the perfect combination of a lovely space, talented women and unique goods at reasonable prices. Maven Collective 7819 SE Stark St. Portland, OR 97215 503-808-9442 https://www.facebook.com/MavenCollective http://www.etsy.com/shop/ethanollie http://www.etsy.com/shop/solsticehome http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlebyrdvintage
Inspired by her Scandinavian Heritage Ingrid Henningsson Reimagines
Words, Photography and Styling by Ingrid Henningsson Gatherings--39
Winter, as we all know, can be a cold and melancholy time of year and so you want to make your home feel warm and comforting. I love and adore colour, but the Scandinavian in me is often seduced by minimalism and especially white. For the White Issue, I have created three moodboards that can work as inspiration for choosing and arranging flowers and other white objects around the home. I think flowers and art are two of the most essential elements for providing beauty and pleasure to a room and can totally transform a space. Candles are a fantastic way of providing atmosphere and give a warm and cosy feeling especially in the winter. The flowers I have used are two kinds of large white Chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums have been cultivated in China for centuries and are a sacred flower in Japan. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century and has been popular ever since. It is often overlooked as it is seen as ordinary, but it is a flower that is available during the winter months and they are also tremendous value because they often last for up to three weeks. I have simply made both large and small handtied bunches of densely packed flower heads. Hand-tied simply means holding the bunch in one hand and adding to it with the other hand and turning the bunch while working, this way you end up with a lovely rounded shape. Choosing a container for your flowers can be tricky and fun at the same time. You can use your best crystal vase or you can do what I did and use vintage apothecary jars, a re-used French honey pot and an old Bonne Maman jam jar. Mix and match according to the size and colour of the flowers and where you are going to place the arrangement.
â€œ...use vintage apothecary jars, aFrench honey pot or an old Bonne Maman jam jar.â€? Gatherings--41
Each moodboard has a different theme; one has cream ceramics in varied shapes and forms echoing the objects in the painting, the second has stacked painted wooden cubes displaying little miniature treasures and the third has a collection of glass and crystals. I used a wide range of different whites using a mix of old vintage objects from flea markets, a few small collections of found things, some newly bought or just created bits and pieces, inherited treasures, personal mementos from family & friends as well as things from other cultures. I have also used different textures, varying heights and some darker or black elements to give it a bit of drama. Use flowers whenever and wherever you can, pick some from your garden, buy some from your local farmers market or your friendly florist. Flowers will lift the spirit all year around regardless of season!
Resources: Artwork - Amy Trachtenberg http://www.amytrachtenberg.com/home/ Artwork – Ingrid Henningsson http://ofspringandsummer.blogspot.co.uk/ Jam jar – Bonne Maman http://www.lovebonnemaman.co.uk/ Paint - Farrow & Ball http://www.farrow-ball.com/ Ribbons - Jane Means http://www.janemeans.com/ Various vintage objects – stylists own http://ofspringandsummer.blogspot.co.uk/ Wooden cubes - Craftshapes.co.uk – http://craftshapes.co.uk/
Iris of Irideeen shares her style secrets for creating a clean slate in your workspace
If you are in a busy period of your life, a white moodboard and white setting for your office space provides instant tranquility and peace. Just cover a piece of soft or hardboard with some neutral fabric and attach inspiring quotes, postcards, pieces of paper, magazine clips and cloth labels to it. Do not forget to attach some quirky, small items too, to give it a bit of a bite. Your computer monitor can join the fun with a nice picture in white tones. And if your mood swings, you can easily change your board into something more colorful.
Have fun! Gatherings--47
Vicki Dvorak of Simply Hue shares the first glimpse of her new home. words,photos and styling by Vicki Dvorak
“We’ve lived here for a little over a year and it’s been a true adjustment, but I’m so thankful for a restful space with a lovely view of Lake Washington.”
With our youngest leaving for college and a chronic
Our new condo includes a tiny but functional kitch-
health condition, we needed to downsize. We made
en, a bright combined dining area and living room,
the drastic decision to move from our 2700 square
one medium-sized bedroom with an adjoining office
foot Craftsman Bungalow in a small country town to
area, one bathroom with a jet tub (I had to include
a 950 square foot condo near Seattle and a couple this little fact because I wanted a jet tub for years!), of blocks from Lake Washington. In order to make a small powder room and cozy laundry room. the move we had three garage sales and whittled away 70% of our possessions. It really showed us
Working with a Modern Rustic theme we created a
what posessions we really cherished including fam-
soft backdrop of neutral paint, peppered with vibrant
ily photos, artwork the children created when they blues, tangerine and, of course, plenty of white. were small, and boxes upon boxes of cards and let- Both modern and vintage elements form the look ters from loved ones throughout the years.
with new purchases of Scandinavian furnishings from Dania.
Vintage elements offset the clean lines and offer a
- Sofa throw pillows- Homemaker Movement
focal point including my collection of vintage cam-
- White doily banner hanging from the fireplace
eras, a 1950â€™s Osterizer beehive blender, a charm-
mantle- Emma Lamb
ing Westinghouse table fan, and a retro white and
- Small white yarn bowl on coffee table- Blue Green
orange Zenith tube radio. However, the final touch-
es to making our new home come in fhe form of
- Small felted lamb (office shelf)- Scarlet Cord De-
handmade decorations and textiles from Etsy sell-
ers. Many were the result of trades or barters.
- Felt acorn garland (office shelf)-Le Box Boutique
They include: Gatherings-- 54
Turkish Delights with
words, photos, and styling by Sarah Benton-Kenney
any of us recall that scene in the movie “The
Again, in London, England, we unexpectedly came across
Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” when Edward is
another source for Turkish Delights. It was a brisk and
tempted by the evil White Witch with “Turkish Delights”. windy November day in the city of London. We decided So many of us had to experience that taste of those soft to visit the wonderful Borough Street Market (a must pillowy little treats. Like many others, we had never en- see if you are a foodie). We came across a Turkish stall countered sweets like these before. With the fluffy white
that offered an array of Turkish Delights. We scooped
snowflakes falling and Edward wrapped up, nestled in
up little bags of assorted flavors and enjoyed the wintery
that gorgeous winter sleigh, those Turkish Delights rest-
London day, wrapped up in big scarves, and little nibbles
ed so innocently in the beautiful candy bowl and enticed at our fingertips. many viewers to seek out their pleasures. Now, we find ourselves in the vast metropolis of HousOur family, too, became fascinated by those wintery-
ton. We knew Turkish Delights could likely be found
looking soft little squares. We seemed to stumble across
in this huge multi-cultural population. It didn’t take us
them in each place we’ve lived. My son, like many young
long to discover the popular and fascinating Middle East-
Edwards in the world, was most fascinated by these sug- ern market, Phoenicia, right here in the city. While fresh ary confections. I went on a quest to find these delights
pita bread slides down a circular conveyor belt right in
and bring the movie to reality for us.
the middle of the market, tucked in the back of the store, Middle Eastern sweets are prepared and sold in the store’s
Every Christmas, since my son was eight, regardless of
bakery. And, of course, an array of Turkish Delights is
which new city we called home, he finds a little box of offered in assorted flavor varieties. Turkish Delights tucked into his holiday stocking. Right near the Public Market in Seattle, Washington there is a little shop, called Turkish Delight that sells all varieties of these pillowy soft powdered sugar treats. We reveled in selecting a few flavors to try and throughout the day in Seattle we enjoyed these little bites.
e have always enjoyed the intriguing flavor
Sarah Kenney is a food and travel photographer currently
of rose water in these sweet confections. Making them based in Houston, Texas. Born in the southern state of at home was a fun candy endeavor as we attempted to
Louisiana, Sarah has traveled with her family, moved all
master the art of making these candies. We have always
over the U.S., Japan, and back once more to the south.
stumbled across Turkish Delights during the cold winter
Food has always been a central part of her southern her-
months. The scene from “The Lion, the Witch, and the itage and moving from place to place has allowed her Wardrobe” is so filled with frosty wind-chilled moments, family to capture the wonderful stories, traditions, and just like during the cold of winter when we have enjoyed
cultures surrounding food unique to each part of the
world. She cooks, photographs, writes, and shares her love of cooking and travel on the popular blog ‘thyme’
The powdered sugar flutters all over scarves and mitts http://www.rileymadel.blogspot.com and the velvety texture of the candy is such a contrast to the iciness all around. Turkish Delights…depicted in a captivating moment in a childhood film…that inspired a generation of winter holiday tradition in our family, from Turkish Delights found in Seattle to London and now in Houston.
For Recipe See Index Page. ... 124
a richesse de
d une femme ,
e la blanche
photography: Karlie Sherer model: Mariah Sherer styling: Beth Spriggs Stanion
â€œWinter came down to our home one night Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow, And we, we were children once again.â€? ~Bill Morgan, Jr.
b Natureâ€™s Bounty
Style Contributor Annetta Bosakova shares her inspiration and tips for painting pinecones. Words, photography and styling by Annetta Bosakova
Several years ago, we lived in a beautiful neighborhood of Seattle. This little community, called Laurelhurst, was right by the water. In this beautiful place I found a secret spot where a staircase lead us to a secluded area with different vegetation and access to the water. There were loads of weathered pinecones that kept my mom and son busy as they were throwing them into the water. Meanwhile, I explored the little area in search of natureâ€™s discarded treasures. To my amazement, I found the most unique pinecones under a huge tree. I later learned that tree is a Redwood typically found on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California a rarity for Seattle!
In those moments as I ran around gathering my treasures, I knew that a chandelier would be just the thing to make. Not just any chandelier - a white one!
Since my discovery of the secret Redwood tree in the Seattle neighborhood, Iâ€™ve developed a deep love for pinecones, and find myself fascinated by the vast varieties and uniqueness of each one. I also came to find that pinecones could be used not only during the fall and winter months, but can be enjoyed throughout the year. When decorating with them outside of their usual display season, just paint them to your desired color! There are different ways you can paint them depending on the look you want The pinecones particularly caught my eye, because to achieve: you can use a paint brush for a snowy I am familiar with the pinecones in the area but this look, or spray-paint them for a natural look. The was my first time seeing these beauties with long technique I used for my pinecones and chandelier stems. As I began my search for more, I also discov- was simple as well, but requires time and patience. ered a smaller version of the pinecones, which then gave me the idea to decorate my house with these special finds.
See Annettaâ€™s pinecone painting tips on the next page!
1.Find area to hang pinecones and cover floor with newspaper 2.Tie pinecone with fishing wire 3.Dip the pinecone slowly into the paint and coat thoroughly. Suspend pinecone over the can as the excess paint drips off. Hold for 1-2 minutes. 4.Hang dipped pinecone over the newspaper. Dry overnight. 5.Remove the fishing wire and start decorating!
Two stationers share their passion for crafting Valentines with a personal touch Gatherings--75
This Day Celebrate the Art of the Handwritten Letter
Words, Photos and Styling by Debra Norton Vintage Paper Parade
sorting through boxes the other day, I found a wooden box with hand-written letters on beautiful stationery from my Grandmother. The script-like writing stirred up forgotten memories. They were written to me when I was away at university and were full of love and encouragement. I had put them away for safe keeping like an old photograph or a precious piece of jewelry.
Wouldnâ€™t it be wonderful to receive a hand-written letter?
Beautiful Japanese paper, creamy linen envelopes, pretty labels and found items will inspire the writer in you. Vintage stamps make a charming seal on an envelope or use them to create a special card. Japanese Washi tape helps seal your note. Handmade confetti, playful pom poms and feathers can be added for a fun surprise.
For a personal touch, add a memento such as this Eiffel Tower charm to your envelope.
Debra Norton is a stationery designer and blogger. She loves hunting for vintage treasures and sharing her love of handmade via her blog Vintage Paper Parade http://vintagepaperparade.blogspot.com
A Celebration of
Lzve d Gatherings--83
lllllllllllllllllllllll St. Valentine’s Day is one of my all time favorite holidays. Who can resist that yearly excuse to buy lots of chocolate? But even more than that, Valentine’s Day is the one time each year when we unabashedly express our affection for one another: we exchange valentines, teddy bears, red roses, such guileless little tokens of love. As a stationery and paper goods designer, I can’t help but be partial to a holiday that emphasizes the exchange of sweet little cards! I love the chance – especially now that the whirlwind of the holidays has settled - to decorate little cards for my friends and loved ones. I don’t have to worry about being professional or making anything anywhere close to perfect - it’s a chance to play and be creative.
When approaching a project like this, I begin with a rummage around my studio, looking for inspiration and possible supplies . This time, as I gathered little things that felt valentiney – I immediately noticed lots of pale pinks and off-whites, accompanied by some shiny odds and ends left over from Christmas. With this pale and metallic color pallette in mind, I designed some very simple cards as a starting point for decorating. I am more than happy to share these cards with the Gatherings community, so you can also print and decorate them, if you’d like. [link to download here] While this would undoubtedly be a fun project for kids – I chose to work on my valentines when my daughters were at school. Don’t you think it’s so luxurious to steal a bit of time alone be creative?
lllllllllllllllllllllll I purchased a pack of inexpensive 4” X 5.5” blank, white cards and envelopes at the craft store and printed directly on those. I used a heart-shaped punch to make a stencil for glue and glittler – to create a sparkly heart for the O in “LOVE”! Then, I tied on a few bows, stamped some pretty embelishments, added a few stickers. Since I had all my crafting supplies out, I also took a moment to decorate some kraft paper party favor bags, and to make a simple heart garland with bakers twine. What a wonderful afternoon I spent decorating and thinking fondly of my dearest loved ones. I hope that my project will spark some ideas for you to make your own fun Valentine’s project.
Bio: Tracy Locke Castro a designer, blogger, mom and wife, living in the lush hills of South Austin. Her inspiration comes from all over – 19th century typefaces, the crepe myrtle in her back yard, stories her daughters tell, and the sunlight in her dining room. Fair Morning Blue is her new design venture, featuring seasonal cards, hand-stamped textiles, and whatever other whimsies come into her head and heart.
lllllllllllllllllllllll For Printable Versions of Tracyâ€™s Cards Visit her Website: http://www.fairmorningblue.com/
At Home with White
Christiana Liddle of Ruffled Linens shares her home and thoughts on living with white. words, photos, styling by Heather Spriggs Gatherings--89
When her family relocated back to Nashville, Tn after living away for a couple of years, Christiana waisted no time transforming her family’s mid-century ranch house into a shabby chic dream. She quickly enlisted the help of friend and color expert, Kristie Barnett (aka The Decorologist) to choose a soothing paint palette. With a few licks of paint on all trim, ceilings, fireplace, cabinetry and walls, the backdrop was set for Christiana to layer her beautiful custom linens and family of white washed case goods.
Liddle created big impact with small changes such as this gallery wall of white framed family photos, the dining room “chandelier” of paper poms, painted kitchen cabinetry and updated light fixtures.
With three home-schooled children and a husband who works from home as well, Christiana maintains a laid back attitude toward her home. She believes in family over furniture.
She has a knack for creating effortless style and stays true to her motto and business slogan:
“Real beauty for real life”.
â€œWhite allows me to change out color with pillows and flowers for each season.â€?
Christiana On Living with White:
â€œI enjoy color but quickly grow weary of a permanent color in my home. â€œ
â€œ...family and friends are the color in my life and home.â€?
“I want my home to be a working housefrom toddler playdates to tween parties. I want everything in my home to bring joy or have a purpose and above all, welcome people. I never want anyone to feel like I value something in my home more than them. There really is nothing in our home that can’t be fixed by throwing a slipcover in the washer or slapping another coat of paint on something. The people are what is important in our home, family and friends...they are the color in my life and home...our home is merely a backdrop for what is truly important.” - Christiana Liddle Ruffled Linens
P arty Dressed
photos, styling by Tina Fussell
Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell Gatherings-- 98
Every house where love abides And friendship is a guest, Is surely home, and home sweet home For there the heart can rest. ~Henry Van Dyke
Craft, Styling, and Photography by Maaike van Koert
love WHITE of
I don’t know about you, but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I am in the mood for hearts. It is not as common to celebrate Valentine’s Day in The Netherlands as in Northern America (I moved to Canada in 2011). But I enjoy celebrating love and friendship; and absolutely love subtle hearts this time of year. Combine that with a funny fact about the Dutch language; the word for pillow is the same as the word we use for kissing “kussen”, and the idea for my ‘love pillows’ was born. I made the pillows from scratch, but you may take two pillows off your couch and use them. When you put the pillows next to each other, the two half hearts become one, they complete one another. It takes two to kiss and hug! For our wedding, I designed and made little crochet hearts as an addition to our thank you gifts. However, they can be used for so much more than that. I used them as decorations on Valentine’s gifts, and they look cute on a garland too. For more inspirational ideas for Valentine’s and beyond, visit my blog, http://www.creJJtion.com. Wishing you a Happy Handmade Valentine’s!
For Crochet Heart Tutorial See Index Page 126
Kissing Heart Pillow Tutorial: To embroider the heart onto the pillows, take a piece of paper, fold it in half, draw half a heart onto it with the middle on the folded part of the paper. Cut out the heart, fold it open. Cut it through half lengthwise, and with some pins pin the paper on both pillows. With an embroidery needle and a thicker yarn, make your stitches around the shape of the half hearts. I choose the chain stitch, but a basic running stitch would look nice too. Gatherings-109
â€œWinter ,to me, is a time to pull inward with my family.â€?
There are some things that embody winter; read- Coffee, snow, candy canes and hot chocolate I think ing by candlelight, snow ball fights, hot drinks with are the flavors of winter. Espresso Monkey bread marshmallows, hearth and home. Winter, to me, is a is a sophisticated take on the delicious breakfast time to pull inward with my family. Tons of family bread. Candy Cane soda is a fun treat and a perfect fun! Time spent doing puzzles, hauling wood for our use of those leftover candy canes from Christmas. stove, baking treats to keep us warm and cozy. Every Hot Chocolate hand-pies are great for outings. The season is marked by its own traditions.
grain-free, vegan Snowball cookies are my personal favorite. They are delicate but last a few days. It is
To celebrate Winter I have created recipes that em- wonderful to be able to have treats for guests who body the spirit of warmth and togetherness.
have dietary issue . These are so mouth-watering, everyone will want one. I hope these recipes become a winter tradition in your family, as they have mine!
Traditions in the kitchen
by Clarice Fox-Hughes
I have several family members and friends who cannot eat gluten, so I like to have a few recipes tucked away for them. Honestly, even though my family is not gluten sensitive I make these cookies for us because they are so amazing. Enjoy!
Snowball Cookies: Grain Free and Vegan Makes a baker’s dozen ½ cup melted virgin coconut oil 1 ¼ cup almond flour, (honeyville blanched is my favorite almond flour) ¼ cup coconut flour ½ arrow root powder ½ tsp. salt 1/8
tsp. vanilla paste, or ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sugar Powdered sugar for dusting Pre-heat oven 325 degrees Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone pad.
*Tips If you want to use a healthier sugar than white powdered sugar, than you can use evaporated cain. Just In a mixer bowl add all ingredients except the oils and run the sugar in a processor until it is powdered. But powdered sugar. Mix together, then with the paddle the cookies will not be white colored. on slow setting, slowly add coconut oil. You should Gluten free baked items tend to be crumbly, so leave be able to gently squeeze dough into a ball. If not, them on the cookie sheet (this is why you want the slow add a bit more oil until you can. You really cannot parchment paper) until they have fully cooled. roll this dough but gently squeeze it into a ball. It does You can make them smaller for more of a but I would not have to be a perfect ball! not make them bigger. Bake 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet These cookies store well for a few days, if you put 5 minutes and then shift some powdered sugar over them in a container with a tight lid. them. Do not move cookies but let them completely cool on cookie sheet. Gatherings--113
Candy Cane Syrup This fun syrup came about after one Christmas, where I was left with a copious amount of candy canes. I had a red and white theme that year. Yes, I change my theme each year! Doesnâ€™t everyone? Hating to throw them away, I created this syrup. I have to say this tastes much different then peppermint syrup. Yes, they are both minty but candy canes have spun sugar taste, kind of like cotton candy. So this is different than just a simple peppermint syrup and as I found a perfect use for those leftover candy canes!
1 cup sugar 1 cup water 3 candy canes, broken in large pieces In a sauce pan add all three ingredients. Simmer on medium heat, until sugar and candy canes have melted. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. The syrup will keep one month.
*Tips Do not decrease the amount of sugar in the syrup recipe because you will not have the viscosity you Candy cane syrup want. Just always remember with simple syrups, Sparkling water equal amount of water to sugar! If the soda is not red enough, you can add some Miix half a glass of sparkling water and 3 tbs. of grenadine or red food coloring. I have discovered over time different candy canes put out different syrup. Taste and adjust to your liking. shades of red. Candy Cane Soda
If you looking for more ways to use the Candy Cane Syrup, try my Chocolate Candy Cane Soaked Cake. http://storybookwoods.typepad.com/storybook_ woods/2009/01/candy-cane-soaked-cake.html
Cut bread dough with scissors into balls the size of a walnut. Roll the dough in melted butter and then espresso sugar. Set espresso covered dough into a greased pan or bunt pan. Fill half of pan. You need to leave room for the dough to rise. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to let dough rise a second time, about an hour. If you have leftover butter, pour it on the dough before rising it. Pre-heat oven 350 degrees Set a pan on a bottom rack to hold water, when you pre-heat the oven. When the oven is pre-heated set bread on middle rack and pour 1 cup of cold water in hot pan on bottom rack. Close oven door quickly. The steam will help the bread rise. Bake 30 minutes or until dough is cooked. Be careful because the espresso sugar can burn. So keep an eye on your bread. If your oven runs hot, bakes it at 325 degrees instead. Let cool.
Espresso sugar Espresso sugar came about from my love of cinnamon toast as a child. My mother would put a nice thick slab of butter on toast and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. Then she would pop the whole thing under the broiler, until it caramelized. One afternoon four years ago I ate my toast with a cup of espresso, and desired a more updated version of this family favorite. It was then that my Espresso sugar was created.
1 cup sugar 2 TBL instant espresso powder, if you want a strong coffee taste use 3 tbs. Mix together and store in a jar with a tight lid.
*Tips I like to use a silicone baking pan for this recipe. Because the sugar caramelizes, the silicone pan will This version of monkey bread is the same principle as effortlessly pull away from the bread, leaving all the my espresso toast. You just exchange the cinnamon caramel goodies on the bread. sugar with espresso sugar. Itâ€™s the same delicious, If you do not have instant espresso powder, use inbuttery favorite just more sophisticated! stant coffee or finely ground espresso. It might be a bit gritty but I know it does not bother me. Just remember to use a rich tasting coffee. Another use for Espresso Monkey Bread espresso sugar is my recipe for Espressodoodles. A 1 batch of bread dough, any dough will work but I re- delicious and easy cookie! ally like this no-knead brioche recipe. It makes 4 loves, so you can either make a Âź of the recipe or store the http://storybookwoods.typepad.com/storybook_ woods/2009/05/espressodoodle.html extra dough in your fridge for future use. Espresso sugar 8 TBL (one stick) of melted butter
Is there any other food more synonymous with winter than hot chocolate? These hand-pies are a perfect treat after a long day of playing in the snow. One of the lovely things about them, is they can be assembled in the morning. Just cover a cookie sheet with plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out. Store the hand-pies in your fridge, ready to pop in the oven when you come home!
Hot Chocolate Hand-Pies Makes about 6, 3” hand pies depending on the size of your crust 1 uncooked pie crust, rolled to a ¼ inch Milk chocolate truffle filling (see recipe next page) Mini-marshmallows
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to catch any filling that may bubble out. Cut a top and a bottom piece from the pie crust with a cookie cutter. I used the ring of a wide-mouth canning lid, which is about 3 ½ inches wide. Set bottom piece on the parchment. Place a small scoop of chocolate filling in the center of the dough and add a couple of mini-marshmallows. Make sure you leave a ½ inch of crust around the edge uncovered. Add the other piece on top of the chocolate and carefully press edges together with finger or fork without puncturing the crust. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut a small slit in the top of the handpie. When all hand-pies are assembled bake 30-40 minutes, until crusts are golden brown. Let cool five minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool 15 or more minutes before eating. Gatherings-- 118
Milk Chocolate Truffle Filling *Tips You can freeze the filling! Just wrap it tight in plastic wrap to keep out moisture and then freezer paper. ¼ heavy cream Supposedly you can keep it in the freezer 9 months. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a sauce pan. Do NOT I would not know, truffle filling does not last long in leave the cream as you heat it. As soon as you see my house! bubbles and the cream move up pan, pull it off the heat. Immediately pour chocolate into the hot cream. Of course as with any dish you cook, the better the Gently stir until all the chocolate has melted. A silicon chocolate you use, that better these hand-pies will spatula that is meant for heat is great for this. Pour be. the ganache into a shallow baking dish and refriger- Any pie crust will do but my favorite is Martha’s Pate ate until firm. This will take 1- 2 hours. You can make Brisee. this up to a week ahead of time, just keep the filling Use heart shape cookie cutters on Valentine’s Day refrigerated. for a perfect, I LOVE YOU. 1 cups milk chocolate, chopped or chips
Treasured Collections Memories from
words, photogtraphy and styling by Victoria Hayden
On my fourth birthday my parents took me to a toy store and let me pick out my presents. One of the presents I picked was a beautiful vintage little tea set. I still can recall the sweet pink flower pattern on the cups and saucers. They were so delicate and tiny and I was in love. I would spend my days playing with my little tea set, always admiring its beauty.
Most of the gifts I received from her were pretty vintage dishes including plates, delicate glassware, tea cups and saucers. I treasured these gifts from her. She must have known how much I loved vintage dishes, for it was mainly me that received her precious dishes. They weren’t from a collection of the best China or even whole sets, but the mis-matched pieces that she gave were perfect.
Growing up my mother had beautiful antique carnival glass displayed in her favorite china hutch. Dusting the hutch and glass was one of my chores. I always found it a treat more than a chore. I would gently pick each piece up admiring the beautiful colors and designs. I always loved after each dusting the gorgeous colors of blues, reds, pinks, gold’s and greens would show more vivid again.
To this day, some of my favorite pieces are from her. She passed away after my senior year in high school and I often think of her and miss her greatly. I always smile when I recall stories and memories of her as I share them with my children. I still wish she was here with me, but through the sentimental gifts of her pretty vintage dishes, I feel her presence.
Over the years, some of my favorite gifts were those given to me by my grandma. She did not have a lot of money, so for Christmas and birthday gifts she would give my sisters and me things that were hers. I cherished these gifts.
My thoughts return to her when I see pretty tea cups and vintage dishes anywhere. My love for vintage dishes continues to grow as does my collection. I always say “never too many dishes”. When I come across a beautiful vintage piece to add, I can’t help but think of the history behind the dish, wondering “who sipped the tea, ate off the plates and displayed the beautiful pieces in their homes?”. As I use and see these pretty vintage dishes in my own home, my love for them only grows deeper.
â€œ...my favorite gifts were those given to me by my grandma.â€?
r Recipe Index
Microwave Turkish Delight
(recipe is from the popular blog â€˜Sprinkle Bakesâ€™)
Equipment: 4 qt. microwave safe glass bowl - such as Pyrex (we used a plastic mixing bowl) Whisk 8x8 pan or standard loaf pan (we used an 11x14 tray) Two pot holders Knife or scissors Make the candy: 2 1/2 cups of cold water 3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1/2 cup for dusting candy squares 3 cups sugar 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1 tbsp. pure rose water extract (or known as syrup) 2 drops red or pink liquid food coloring Cooking spray, or cooking oil (light taste, like canola) for greasing pan 1/2 cup powdered sugar Ground pistachios *optional
Pour the water into a 4-quart glass bowl. Whisk in the 3/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup at a time until dissolved. Microwave mixture for 2 minutes; whisk smooth. Return to microwave and heat for 2-3 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to turn opaque. Whisk again - mixture should have the appearance of white paste. Add sugar and corn syrup. (we used a hand mixture until it got too thick) Heat for 5 minutes in microwave. Remove bowl with pot holders and whisk smooth. Heat for 5 more minutes; remove and whisk smooth again. At this point the mixture will be thick and translucent. Heat for an additional 5 minutes and whisk in rosewater syrup and food coloring. Whisk until mixture is smooth and color is evenly distributed. Heat 3 more minutes in microwave.
You’ll know when the mixture is done when you try to whisk the mixture and a large portion of the candy batter holds in the balloon of your whisk. Mixture will be very thick. You can check consistency by letting a small bit candy batter sit for a few minutes in a condiment cup. When cooled a little, you should be able to pick it up and roll it into a ball without it being tacky. **This is an important step. F it isn’t tacky, they will be too soft to hold a nice shape. If your batter has not reached consistency, heat at 3 minute intervals until consistency is achieved. Grease the 8x8 or loaf pan (we used an 11x14 tray) with cooking spray or oil and pour in candy batter. Spray/ grease the back of a spoon -the batter doesn’t spread well, so just do the best you can to spread it evenly with the back of greased spoon. Let candy set up at room temperature until firm enough to handle. This may take several hours - mine set up in about two. Cut candy with a sharp knife or scissors into even squares. You can do this in the pan or turn the block of candy out on a cutting board dusted with cornstarch. I cut mine a little larger than usual at about 1 1/2” square. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Roll candy in mixture. Serve candy topped with pistachios on a tray with cocktail picks, or in individual paper cups.
crochet heart tutorial by creJJtion round 1: chain 3, close loop by pulling yarn through the first chain round 2: all worked in chain-circle. Single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet, 2 single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet. You are half way the heart now and will proceed in reverse: double crochet, 2 single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet, single crochet, slip stitch in first stitch of round 2 round 3: single crochet, * 2 single crochet in next stitch*, repeat between * 2 times, 3 times single crochet, you are now at the bottom of the heart. In the bottom stitch make: single crochet, 2 slip stitches, single crochet. And repeat the other half in reverse: 3 times single crochet, * 2 single crochet in next stitch* repeat between * 2 times, single crochet, close with slip stitch in first stitch weave in the ends, and you have finished your crochet heart!
Coming This Spring Crafting With Vintage Ephemera Musings on Motherhood Easter Brunch Window Ledge Decorating & so much more.
We hope you will join us!
photo: Heather Spriggs
Brew me a cup for a winterâ€™s night. For the wind howls loud and the furies fight; Spice it with love and stir it with care, And Iâ€™ll toast our bright eyes, my sweetheart fair. ~Minna Thomas Antrim Photo: 128 Gatherings--