Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring Color Palettes You Can Use Year Round!


Courtesy of Brian Patrick Flynn, Flynnside Out Productions
Credit: Rustic White Photography

Hi Friends,

Discover color palettes showcasing spring hues in fresh ways, from muted shades of mint and artichoke to canary yellow and raspberry pink. Choose colors by sticking with those which appear together in nature. One classic color combination evocative of springtime meadows is canary yellow, Kelly green and white. The yellow tones are commonly found in tulips, and the saturated green can be seen in lush foliage. White is a perfect neutral which helps mediate the intensity of the other two bold colors.

Pistachio and Ballet Slipper Pink


Pistachio and pale pink are two spring colors which work well in feminine spaces. The key to keeping this combination from feeling juvenile is to choose a pink with just enough white undertones to prevent it from reading as bubblegum. Try light pink and a medium pistachio tone when painting walls with either of these hues.

Violet and Robin's Egg Blue


Robin's egg blue is one of the most iconic colors associated with spring. Robin's egg blue is commonly paired with chocolate brown or pink when used year round, but it can take on an entirely new personality when partnered with something unexpected, like purple. For the perfect contrast, consider combining Robin's egg blue with deep shades of violet.

Lemon and Mint


Lemon yellow is a springtime staple commonly seen in tulips, daffodils and daisies. An excellent color to pair with lemon is mint green. While yellow on walls and furniture may become overpowering, mint is a calm, soothing color which works beautifully on walls, ceilings and upholstery.

Artichoke Green and Hot Pink


Hot pink roses are one of the most desired flowers for springtime wedding bouquets. Put a new twist on this super saturated hue by pairing it with more masculine greens such as artichoke or dark olive.

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Getting Inspired to Design With Plants for Spring!


Courtesy of DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Hi Friends,

What is it about designing with plants that is so gratifying? How do you set your plants up for success so you can reap their rewards. Read on for inspiration to get you started with your design, and to it fulfill your dreams.

Priming individual plants to perform well is like taking care of any other living being: It's likeliest to thrive if you provide it with the best growing conditions, and if you respond to its needs as you get to know it better. But there are other trick of the trade to help ensure that your whole garden - not just individual plants - grows to its full potential.

Include a range of plant groups to keep interest going year-round. Trees and shrubs give height, depth and shade, as well as essential structure. Evergreens retain their leaves through all four seasons, and are particularly pleasing when shimmering with frost on a winter morning. Scented climbers, grasses, perennials and annuals all have their part to play, while bulbs and biennials signal the forthcoming spring season with a dramatic burst of color.

Take full advantage of plants' versatility. A structural plant can be a single specimen, such as a stunning cardoon in a border, or a group of plants, like a box hedge clipped to enclose a planting bed. Focal plants attract and guide the eye, whether long-lasting or shortly lived; a lovely individual specimen with vivid flowers or is just as dramatic as spiky Phormium or sculptural tree.

Plants of medium height, including shrubs, grasses and herbaceous perennials, can help define the style of your garden. Mix strong leaf shapes and flowers and foliage with different colours and textures for a dynamic display; dahlias, for example, are standouts for their shapes as well as their colors. Ground cover is another potential element; choices range from a neat, evergreen carpet to a patchwork show of flowers or scented drift of herbs. Use layers of plants to create stunning, highly textured effects.

From the heart-lifting first bulbs of spring to summer blooms, and on to fall foliage and scented winter-flowering shrubs like Mahonia, seasonal planting is a constantly evolving delight. You can follow a style strictly, or throw in the odd surprise for fun. Designing with plants is the exciting-and never-ending-pleasure of gardening.

Spring is coming, plant for it's arrival...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy President's Day!


Hi Friends,

We wanted to share this poem about our leaders who put pride in Red, White & Blue.

Our Presidents

by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.

George Washington, Adams and Jefferson three
First rulers of Uncle Sam’s land of the free:
Then Madison, Monroe and Adams again
All clever and upright and good honest men;
The Jackson, Van Buren and Harrison first,
Tyler and Polk whose terms were so curst
By war with the Mexicans who lost in the fray -
Then Taylor and Fillmore and Pierce held their sway.
Buchanan and Lincoln, Johnson and Grant,
Then Hayes, martyred Garfield, despiser of cant,
Arthur and Cleveland, Harrison (Ben)
McKinley the martyr, beloved by all men;
Then most energetic and strenuous Teddy
And plump William Taft for a second term ready
When Wilson was placed in this nation’s great chair
And promised to always rule wisely and fair.

Happy President's Day from your friends at Interior Design!

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Live well,
Yvonne

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!


Hi Friends,

May you enjoy the day with the person closest to your heart...

Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at Interior Design!

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Live well,
Yvonne

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Crystal Clear!


Courtesy of Camille Styles
Photography by Hayden Spears

Hi Friends,

Doilies not only make perfect supplies for crafting, they also make eye-catching place cards. Simply write the name of each guest onto a circular doily, seal it with a kiss and place beneath a clear glass plate. The result is a girly and unique place setting that can be repeated time and time again.

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sweet Cupcake Toppers!


Courtesy of Kim Stoegbauer, The TomKat Studio
Photography by Vicki Lynn Photography

Hi Friends,

Dress up simple cupcake with easy-to-make cupcake toppers. To create cupcake flags, cut a strip of patterned scrapbook paper one inch by 5-1/2 inches, and fold in half. Place a piece of double-sided tape the entire length of the backside. Place a four-inch lollipop stick in the crease, and fold over the paper. Trim the end to form a flag shape. Use a paper punch or hand cut a small heart; attach the heart to the flag with a foam dot to add dimension.

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Live well,
Yvonne

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Handmade Be Mine Valentine's Day Cards


Courtesy of Kayla Kitts
Credit: Kori Clark

Hi Friends,

Skip the store and show your valentine just how much you care with a one-of-a-kind, handmade card. Craft up a handmade gift, then attach one of these stylish "be mine" cards for a sweet finishing touch.

Download and print these triple-stack heart cards from DIYNetwork.com

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth!


Courtesy of Camille Styles

Hi Friends,

There's no question that Valentine's Day is all about sweets. Guests will love the chance to indulge in a stunning display of desserts; when displayed down the middle of the table, they double as a striking centerpiece. French macaroons, chocolate fudge cakes and rosemary panna cotta are all fittingly indulgent, while a delicious cheese plate adds a savory touch to the menu. Bring Parisian flair to your Valentine's Day party with pink raspberry macaroons. Here's the recipe...

Pink Raspberry Macaroon Recipe
Yield: 50 macaroons

For the Macaroon Shells
Ingredients
7 ounces almond flour
7 ounces confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons egg-white powder
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2-3 drops food coloring
3-4 drops raspberry extract

Directions
Sift almond flour, confectioners' sugar and egg-white powder into a large metal bowl and set aside.

Place egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In the meantime, place granulated sugar and half of the water in a saucepan over medium heat.

Once the sugar reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer, remove syrup from heat and pour down the side of mixer bowl as the egg whites are whipping. Tip: Do not pour syrup directly on the egg whites, or they will scramble.

Turn mixer on high and whisk until whites become soft white meringues.

Pour remaining water, food coloring and raspberry extract into mixture of dry ingredients, and stir until it becomes a thick paste.

Gently fold egg whites into almond flour mixture until incorporated and until no white streaks remain. Spoon batter into a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip.

Pipe 1/2-inch dollops onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, and let shells sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Once shells have formed a skin, place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling with buttercream.

For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg whites
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Whisk egg whites and sugar together gently in a double boiler over medium heat. Continue to stir until sugar granules are completely melted.

Transfer mixture to an electric mixer and whip until it doubles in size and makes stiff white peaks.

Continue to beat eggs while adding one tablespoon of butter at a time. (Note: The mixture will begin to look curdled, but keep whipping.) Once it's incorporated, add vanilla. Use immediately.

Bon App├ętit...

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Live well,
Yvonne