Friday, January 23, 2015

The Art of Feather Boutonnieres

I like to think that boutonniering as a skilled talent. One must have the patience and tolerance for the tedious and complex work that goes into this floral design. It takes concentration and amazing attention to detail to create these miniature works of art. 
Boutonnieres have been around for centuries. It's a French word meaning buttonhole. Men would wear boutonnieres to fend off evil spirits, odors, and bad luck. They are always worn on the left side over the heart on a man's lapel. Today's boutonnieres are purely decorative and designers are always pushing the envelope of creativity. The boutonnieres below are just a few samples of how you can incorporate different types of feathers into your man's buttonhole. 

^Black dyed rooster coque tail feather, trumpet vine leaves and variegated evergreen

^Oxalis with feathers

^Scented geranium leaves, date palm berries and spotted guinea feather 

^Duck feather with Soleirolia soleirolii

 ^Rosemary, eucalyptus pod and dyed mallard duck plumage

^Gold Medallion pods with breast wood duck feathers

^Brahma hen feathers, mimosa berries with leaf

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Flora & Fauna

Living in Southern California has dramatically changed the way I see floral designs and the elements used to create an arrangement. Since I've been here, which has been close to 5 months I've mostly foraged my ingredients for my designs. It's truly a unique experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to play with flowers. I'm always on the look out for rugged mountain sides or hidden trails that are packed with California's subtropical botanicals. In addition to foraging plant material for design I also like to alter or manipulate them so that they are perceived as something different or unusual. I love adding different textures like fruits and berries because they pop with color and add another dimension to the overall design. 

This design is created with white garden roses sprayed with "Design Master, Just for Flowers black cherry and lilac. Those yellow berries are from a Duranta bush, California Gold Medallion are the string bean looking things, rosemary, blood oranges, blackberries and an antler acquired from a Mountain Farm in Julian California. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DIY Slate Cheese Board

DIY Slate Cheese Boards

You will need the following
Piece of slate
Olive oil
Felt pads
Chalk or Chalk markers (optional)

  • Wipe clean your slate
  • Coat the slate piece with olive oil including the edges, then wash slate a second time. This process is conditioning the slate 
  • Apply another coat of olive oil and wipe excess with paper towel, do this step gently as you don't want to leave any paper towel particles on the slate
  • Take felt pads and apply them to the corners of the bottom of the slate. Use a little bit of force to secure them. Be careful not to crack your slate doing this
  • You can use either chalk of chalk marker to label your cheeses

Helpful Hint:
Refrigerate your slate prior to serving to keep your cheeses cold and fresh.
Hand wash only with water and gentle soap. Do not submerge as your felt pads my fall off. 
You can always reapply a coat of olive oil to keep your cheese board looking great! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Homemade Tortellini Soup: Quick and Easy!

Tortellini Soup for the Girl on the Go
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (sliced Roma style tomatoes with Oregano and Basil) 14.5oz
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 box of chicken broth
  • 1 package frozen cheese tortellini 19oz
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 package frozen spinach 12oz
  • 3 Tbsp basil
  • 2 Tbsp oregano 
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1/2 cup Frigo shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Boil water for tortellini in first pot. 
  • In second pot pour broth and simmer.
  • In sauce pan layer olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and stewed tomatoes. Be sure to smash garlic cloves and remove skin. Cook on high heat and stir constantly. Add in spinach and sugar along with basil, oregano and minced onion. 
  • Drain tortellini after cooking. You want to make them al dente so cooking time would only be about 6 minutes or so. Combine tortellini to broth continue to simmer. 
  • When spinach is completely thawed and cooked add to broth.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 6 servings

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pantone's color of the year 2015

They are using words like full-bodied, robust and richness to describe Pantone's new color announced a few weeks ago for 2015. Marsala is a beautiful shade of red with true brown undertones which makes it visually appealing. It evokes a feeling of sensuality as well as feistiness. This color is a good choice for 2015 as its a strong dominate color but can also be used as an accent to many designers. I'm excited for 2015 and to see how Marsala is used around the Internet. 

Here are some of my designs from 2014 using Marsala.