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Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:53

Birthday Tablescapes & Décor

Continuing with this week's Birthday theme (consider me the millionth addition to the THURSDAYS birthday crew-- mine was this past Sunday!), I'm happy to share some fun ideas for birthday décor and tablescapes.  At the end of my post, I couldn't resist sharing an adorable birthday cake idea- something very cute that I had never seen before.




Setting the table and sprucing up the space...

Adorn each place setting with fresh flowers


via Design*Sponge


Tie jars or vases together with twine; Giant balloons make a huge statement.

birthdaypost-L-twinevases  birthdaypost-L--geronimoballoons1

via Country Living; via Geronimo Balloons


Colorful tissue-paper stars and metallic foil streamers put the Happy in Happy Birthday!


via Confetti System


...Or if the birthday-girl/ guy is more of a neutral color lover-- subtle tones of diamond-shape tissue paper confetti is a beautiful touch.


via Confetti System


A very simple DIY option: dyed paper streamers! Click the image or the link below to see how it's done.


via Dandee-Designs

Don't forget the cake!

Who knew you could bake a cake in a can? I sure didn't, and I love this idea. Click on the images or the link below for a how-to.



via Oh Happy Day


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 19 March 2012 10:49

70's Throwback Week: Hand Painted Dye Shirts

Happy Monday! This week we thought we would take on a challenge and make it 70's Throwback Week.  For the next five days we will be sharing ideas on how to incorporate 70's colors, patterns, crafts and recipes into your home.  Today is a take on tie-dye t-shirts.  I have a slight obsession with stripes and became hooked on the idea of painting stripes with fabric dye.  I'm constantly torn between the more eclectic patterns and clean simple stripes, and I figured what better way to marry the two than to have a hand-painted stripe?! 

Last week our new intern, Megan, and I took out our paint brushes and made these two hand-dyed shirts.  I suggest practicing on an old tank top like we did to experiment with different paintbrushes and hues together.  We picked up the shirts from Target and used Jaquard's Dye-Na-Flow fabric dyes, but you can use any kind of fabric dye that doesn't need to soak for too long.  




Hand-Dyed Striped Shirtspainted_striped_shirtsIMG_6694

by Stephania Stanley

What you need:

  • white cotton shirt
  • fabric dye
  • paper grocery bag or cardboard
  • paintbrushes
  • paper plates or cups for dye
  • practice material (optional)

What you do:

Prepare dye according to instructions on package.  We used Jaquard's Dye-Na-Flow which comes premixed and ready to go.  Cut paper bag down so that it fits inside your shirt (this will prevent the dye from bleeding through to the back of your shirt).  Dip your brush into the dye and paint away.  If you're painting a more nautical inspired pattern, feel free to use a ruler and fabric pencil to measure the distance between each stripe.  We chose to go for a more hand-painted look so we free-handed our designs.  The dye doesn't spread easily, so for bigger stripes use a nice thick brush to really work it out.  If you want the stripe to fade out (like dip-dye) use less and less dye as you get closer to the end of the stripe.  Allow paint to dry and fix the dye according to instructions on the package.  

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 15 September 2011 11:10

International Inspiration: A Mediterranean-ish Feast and Shibori Dyeing

Last week the Louisville crew had Thursday night dinner across the river in New Albany at Jana's house. (Speaking of, how come I didn't know that Jana not only has a dog, but pretty much the best dog ever?)





















Anyway, we had quite a feast. Seriously, we ended up eating a whole lot of food. But that's what Thursday night dinner is for! We were craving Mediterranean food, so Emily made some delicious falafels and Kate fried up some fresh eggplant from her garden. Jana wanted to try out a new cilantro soup recipe and we were happy to be her guinea pigs (I don't know if cilantro is very Mediterranean, but that doesn't matter). I kind of took up space in the kitchen and took photos while they worked. But, hey, I brought the feta and pita!

Happy cooking & crafting! 


Easy Falafels med_food_plate_and_bowl
by emily ross

What you need:

  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/8-1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves (amount depending on taste; you can also use cilantro)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small white onion or shallot
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • A few pinches of salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying

What to do:

Coat a large skillet in about 1/2" of vegetable oil. Heat oil over medium high heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix all ingredients (except veg oil) in a blender, with an immersion blender or a fork.  You want the mixture to stay thick, so just a coarse blending. Form golf ball amounts of mixture into little patties (we did patties instead of balls, so that we didn't have to deep fry and they would cook faster --we're impatient girls). Put as many patties into the skillet as you can and fry on each side until browned-- about 5 minutes per side. Keep patties in the oven under the warmer while you finish the rest.

Makes about 12 patties.

Cilantro Soup
by jana morgan

What you need:med_food_soup

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • Pinch of cumin
  • 1 box veggie soup stock (if ya'll were meat eaters, I would have used chicken stock because the color is prettier)
  • 1 8 oz container light sour cream
  • 1 8 oz container light cream cheese

What to do:

Blend one cup broth with cilantro. Add remaining broth, cilantro/broth mixture, 2 cloves garlic to a large sauce pan and heat thoroughly.  Add sour cream and cream cheese to saucepan right before you are ready to serve (so they don't scald). Stir pretty continuously while the dairy products heat through. Serve.
Enjoy! Easy, breezy, beautiful!


Serves 6-8.


Serving Suggestion: We toasted some pita triangles in the oven and served them on the side. We also had feta on the side and Emily threw together a Greek yogurt/cucumber chunk combination to serve stuffed inside the pita with the falafels. We also sliced Kate's eggplant into 1/2" thick slices. Sprinkle each with salt and allow beads of condensation to form on each. Add to hot oil in a skillet and saute until they are slightly browned on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Put slices on a plate as they finish and sprinkle with some fresh ground pepper.

For the Craft:

Color me inspired. This really, fabulous post from Honestly...WTF on DIY shibori (a Japanese term for dyeing cloth with patterns by folding, binding, twisting, etc) has me itching to transform some boring old white tees I have at home. I do believe I have some extra indigo dye as well. Yay! Super excited to try. Now, which pattern should I try? All of them? (photo from Honestly...WTF).


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 08:05

Breakfast in Bed: Dip 'n Dye

Today I am headed to a little town outside of Saugatauk, Michigan for a little girls trip with my mom and sisters!  When you grow up in a landlocked area like Indianapolis, most people head north to the great lakes.  We spent a week each summer for years going up to Walloon Lake with our family friends who just so happened to have all boys.  It was like having brothers for a solid week who teased us, shot us with nerf guns, threw each other off the jet skis, and raced us around in the lake. It was a blast! This year we're staying at a B&B whose owner is apparently an amazing cook.  My mom has been raving about her pancakes for a few years now and I am so excited to finally try them! 

Getting back to our Breakfast in Bed theme for the week, I thought that I would share a little collection of inspiration for a DIY bedroom project.  Ever since I made my Dip 'n Dye Tote Bag a few months ago, I have been seeing tons of dip dye projects around.  These little dye projects are all pretty simple to make yourself.  I suggest simply altering our instructions for the dyed tote bag to fit the specfic object.

Dip 'n Dye Lampshade

Photo: Target
I saw this at my little Target run yesterday and instantly fell in love.  I resisted purchasing it though as soon as I realized how simple it would be to actually make! You can either recover the lamp shade or simply dip a plain lampshade into the dye.

Flower Pots

Photo: Design Sponge

We found this project over at Design Sponge.  I love fresh flowers to add a bit of color and life to a bedroom

Pillow Case

Photo: West Elm

I love these pillowcases! How cute would these be with really simple bedding? This project would also be really cool on a plain white duvet cover.

Have a cool dip dye or tie dye project you want to share? Email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Happy cooking & crafting! 




Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Friday, 22 April 2011 07:59

Delicious Carrot Cupcakes

Happy Earth Day everyone! We are very excited that the weekend is finally upon us! It looks like it’s going to be a rainy one, so I’m thinking a cozy Saturday afternoon with a good movie (my go-to favorite, Amelie, perhaps?) and afterwards some baking.  Sometimes it’s really nice to have an excuse to just be lazy for a couple of hours, you know?

Now we wouldn’t send you off for Easter weekend without another scrumptious Easter dessert! Today we are happy to present to you these delicious carrot cupcakes from Miss Shoko Wanger.  To accompany this dessert and in celebration of Earth Day check out some of our favorite environmentally conscious crafts that are all great to use for your Easter gathering this weekend!

Don’t forget to check Shoko out in the latest issue of Rue Magazine.

Happy cooking & crafting!




If it’s cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve, what can the Easter Bunny expect to receive the night before Easter? Circa 1991, I pondered this question very seriously – might a giant rabbit enjoy chick-shaped Peeps? Jelly beans? Chocolate eggs on a bed of plastic grass?

Many years later, I think I’ve found the answer.  These cupcakes, made using a recipe featured on the always-reliable Smitten Kitchen, are scrumptious, sweet, and irresistibly carrot-y. I adjusted the guidelines only slightly, opting not to include walnuts and raisins in the cake batter (just personal preference), and simplifying the frosting recipe to include only cream cheese and maple syrup (since the cupcakes themselves are so sweet, I thought a lighter, tangier topping might be better.) Eat up, Easter Bunny!

 Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from this recipe  (http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/12/carrot-cake-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting/), by Smitten Kitchen, 2008.

What you need: -1

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots

For the frosting: 

  • Two (8-oz.) packages softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or as much as you want, really, depending on how sweet you like your frosting)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium-sized bowl; stir together sugar and oil in another (slightly larger) bowl. Beat eggs into wet mixture one at a time. Stir in the dry ingredients, then add grated carrots.

Distribute batter into lined cupcake pan, filling each liner 3/4 full. Bake 14-18 minutes (mine were done closer to 18), then let cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a rack.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting by combining softened cream cheese and maple syrup using a stand or hand mixer. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.




 Earth Day Crafts

Buttoned Up Napkins: 


We’ve been using fabric napkins more and more at our house.  They are a great way to save on your paper usage and will add a gorgeous splash of color to your Easter gathering


Fabric and Chain Necklace and Bohemian Braided Necklace:


Colleen and I both took advantage of our old t-shirts to make our new necklaces.  Pair one with a simple dress or top and you have one cute Easter outfit.

Dip 'n Dye Tote Bag: 


This is such an easy craft and is great to add a splash of color to your plain old tote bag that you’ve been carrying around each day.  When you’re doing your grocery shopping for the holiday, save on plastic bags and use this to carry your groceries, garments, lunches, etc.


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 13:33

Easter Craft Traditions...The Organic Way

When I was little, I loved Easter because it meant that my sisters and I would all get matching dresses (oh, yes) and we would get to fun crafts like dying Easter eggs.  My absolute favorite person to do such crafts with was our babysitter, Betsy.  She started babysitting us when she was just 14 and I was 6, Hill was 4, and Mer was still in the womb.  We would always get so excited for Betsy to babysit because that meant an evening full of crafting, French braids, creek stomping, and dancing.  Bets was hands down the best babysitter anyone could ever ask for, so it is no surprise that she grew up and became one of the best mothers I know.  This darling girl below is Betsy's daughter, Miss Abigail (also Ryder’s girlfriend, but shhh I didn’t tell you that!).  I knew that Bets would have a great Easter craft and tradition to share, so I’m pleased to pass it along to you all.





My mom has Tea Time at her house every Saturday at 3:00. My aunts go, my cousin and her 2 boys (who are now 15 and 10 and still tolerate going because there are always good desserts), and Abs and I now go. There's always food--sweets and savories. Oh. And tea!

Around this time of the year, we do this egg dying craft. Instead of steeping one cup of our preferred kind of tea for each of us, she makes a whole pot of each of the following: Red Zinger will dye eggs lavendar, Green tea and Chamomile—will make them yellow, and your garden variety of Black tea (Lipton's, Earl Gray, Constant Comment) are great for different shades of brown.

Since the kids don't like the tea, Abby uses juice.  You can use pomegranate juice for pink and red (depends on how long you soak it) and Purple Grape juice for blue.

If you want a shiny appearance you can rub a tiny bit of cooking oil onto the eggs once they are dry. They will stay slightly oily.

 Dyed Easter Eggs (The Organic Way)
by Betsy Childers


Tea Dyed Eggs: 

Add 6 tea bags to roughly 4 cups of boiled water and allow to steep. Add a splash (1/4 tsp) of vinegar. (can't remember why, but I know it helps the color seep into the eggs better.) I use glass mixing bowls, a large glass Ball jar (like the canning kind) any large glass container/bowl will work. Lower egg into water for several minutes until desired color is reached. Set aside to dry by putting them back in the egg carton. (Get the paper/cardboard cartons & cut the lid off for the perfect drying rack.)

Juice Dyed Eggs:

Just use the juice straight. Bring the same amt of liquid to a boil on the stovetop or microwave, add the splash of vinegar and use the same process as the tea-stained eggs.

Speckled Dyed Eggs: 

Use one bottle of brown craft paint and a toothbrush. Dip brush into paint and lightly splatter and dab around the egg to achieve a random, lightly dotted pattern. Allow to dry. (Just don't oil these eggs)

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
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