Leave it to yours truly to bring a little moonshine to the HGTV Urban Oasis party! Today on the Dreams Happen blog, you’ll find the recipe for a Troy & Sons moonshine Bloody Mary. And, if you don’t get your fill, here are a couple throwback posts to check out:
Fact: I have been down for the count with a summer cold for the past few days. But while doing some work on my computer, I ran across this picture and decided it was as good a time as any to share some random, happy things with you.
I took the picture above when we went to an event for Southern Living at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. The post that covered said event not only includes a picture of me with my natural hair color (WHAT?!) but also a recipe for bourbon-and-cola bundt cakes that I’d completely forgotten about. You’re welcome.
Speaking of travel, I’m back on the HGTV Dreams Happen Blog today talking about the location of the HGTV 2015 Urban Oasis: Asheville, NC. Today’s post highlights 3 restaurant interiors (including the Early Girl Eatery pictured above) and how to bring their look into your own home. I found some great Etsy shops while working on this post so go show them some love! (Yay, small business!)
Random Thing #3: My family is from a small town in Virginia called Appalachia (population: 1727). It is one of the most gorgeous places on God’s green earth and right next door is Big Stone Gap. Well, we’ve been stoked around here since the rumor started that Adriana Trigiani had decided to turn her Big Stone Gap novels into a movie. When the stars were announced, I got really excited and now, after much anticipation, there’s a trailer!
The big news of the week is that we’re on HGTV.com! Today the first of 5 posts I’ve been working on for HGTV’s Urban Oasis blog went live! The rest will appear over the course of the entry period.
This year’s HGTV Urban Oasis is located just over the mountain in Asheville, North Carolina. Since they’re in our neck of the woods, I was asked to put together a little lifestyle content to introduce readers to the area. This first post has 3 cocktail recipes using honey courtesy of the Asheville Bee Charmer.
As I was mixing drinks and taking pictures, I had a bit of a revelation. You see one of the recipes is for “Block Party Jello Shots,” which is not in my usual catalog of cocktails. As I was styling the photos, I realized it’s probably for the best that I was never a party girl…
If you too want to make jello shots prettier, or non-boozy jello more alluring to your kids, it’s super easy! Simply take a sharp paring knife and cut you citrus of choice in half. Next, run that same knife around the rim to loosen up the insides. Finally, with a sharp-edged spoon (old silver works great), scoop out the insides.
I also cut off just a slice of the bottom (where the stem would have been) so that the little cups would sit flat.
Throw the leftover insides on top of salmon for dinner to impress your significant other. Then, file this under: “Killing it as a grown-up!”
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: “If it’s going to be cold and grey, the least it could do is snow!” Well this has been one of the snowiest weeks I can ever remember, and I’ve been trying to soak up every second of it! Snow days have been particularly welcome because I’ve been working on a couple projects for work that require lots of illustrating. Truth be told, it is much easier for me to make pretty things from my home studio with it’s perfect light, a cup of coffee, and Dexter. So on this snow day, I thought I’d share some new work that I’m pretty excited about.
First, a peek inside the sketchbook. I’ve started reading T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets (as part of this challenge), and that second page is covered in some of my favorite quotes. One in particular that has been on my mind…
What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present.
The doodles above represent 4 different styles of some concept art I made last week for DIY Network. It’s so much fun to try different techniques and styles, and I think what we landed on will be pretty rad. You’ll see it this Spring.
I heard a podcast a couple of weeks ago that really stood out and motivated me, and I plan on going back and listening one more time: Alton Brown talks with Robert Sparks about art and art collecting. Hannah and I have always been interested in surrounding ourselves with beautiful things, but also that it is a duty for people to support artists by buying their work. Too often people thing “I can make that”, or something similar, but if you like the art don’t steal the idea–buy it and support the creator.
The grass grow (or not).
Hannah recently bought me a beautiful edition of “The Catcher in the Rye”. This is one I missed in school (not that I likely would have read it had it been assigned. I’ve made a commitment to myself to go back and read or reread some standards of literature now that I’m a little less, well, a little less of a Holden.
I really love cool podcasts and have recently become addicted to one in particular: The Dinner Party Download. Each week hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam share news, stories, and even cocktail recipes and etiquette lessons to help you dazzle friends and strangers alike at the next dinner party you attend. The pace is quick and the guests are always fantastic. (Particular favorites recently include: BJ Novak reading a piece from his new book and Wes Anderson talking about his new film.)
Ok, I know not everyone is as into podcasts as I am, but there’s one more that I loved hearing recently. It was all about I Love Lucy and was a part of Studio 360’s American Icons series. Basically, it gave a lot of the history behind how the show was made but, more than that, how it has influenced everything that came after– female lead, characters seeking fame, an interracial couple, Cuba. And then this, which I watch every time I start to get really cynical about this great country of ours (which Husband can tell you is often)…
March was “Wear It” month on Made + Remade, and I had the privilege of interviewing designer, knitter, & author Emma Robertson for our Creative Genius series. See the Q&A here.
How YA Fiction Works
Attention fellow bibliophiles, my friend Casey recently launched a blog: How YA Fiction Works. I was lucky enough to help her pull together the look for her new site where she analyzes what works (and so often doesn’t) about Young Adult fiction. Be sure to click over and check it out.
(You may also want to follow Casey on twitter: @CaseyMarieNYC. Her thoughts in 140 characters or less are among my favorites.)
Wreath by Liz & cookie cutter ornaments by Farima. As a side note, we’ve left the little tree there and put other ornaments on it. We’ll eventually use it to make a custom hedge, but I love the little front porch christmas tree in the meantime!
So go create your own “12 Days of HGTV HOME Fabric” pinterest board, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #12daysofhgtvhome! The deadline to enter is December 24th so get to pinning!
Back in October, I posted several pics on Instagram from a secret project we were working on at HGTV. This week, I’m so happy to be able to share these behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the first video on a new YouTube channel called HGTV Handmade. I did the styling for the shoot, which was in a loft in downtown Knoxville. As someone who usually live in the world of still photography, it was so cool to watch the camera guys in action.
You may recognize that handsome man in the headphones!
These girls were so much fun! They each already have their own YouTube followings, and will now be lending their voice to the new channel with weekly how-tos starting in January. Here’s the short that was created the day of the shoot. Check it out!
If you’ve been watching my Instagram this week, you know that our Made + Remade crew over at DIY Network teamed up with HGTV’s Design Happens to throw a holiday party of epic proportions. In the coming weeks each of the blogs will be posting about how we pulled together everything from the mantel to the bar with our characteristic sparkle & charm. The fabulous team put together some really unique projects inspired by Liz’s vision of a modern, rustic holiday party. (See her mood board post here.) We shot in a stone room at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens, and while I can’t give away the finished shots, I just had to share some behind-the-scenes peeks!
Despite the fact that it made my face itchy (I’m allergic to Christmas.), that big, leafy thing on the left was one of my very favorites. My friend Virginia made it–she’s the one wrapped in fur below.
Over the past year, I’ve gotten to be a part of 3 specific projects at work that made me go, “Really? You’re going to pay me to do that? Awesome.” You can find #1 here and #2 here. (#2 just won an award that got the whole office really stoked.) While, I usually don’t talk about my day-job, this third project gives me the unique opportunity to share it with you because… I’m blogging on this crazy, cool new blog on DIYNetwork.com, and you’re seriously going to love it!
The cool thing about working for Scripps is that it’s a really encouraging environment for creatives. We all really like to make things. We’re curious about how things work. We find beauty in the process, we love collaborating, and we really like trading secrets. That’s what Made+Remade is all about. There are several bloggers from inside the office and several others from all over the country, but the underlying factor is that we all really love living the DIY lifestyle.
So, pardon the commercial, but if that sounds like something you’re into as well, hop on over and look around. (I’ve put a link in the right sidebar to make it easy to remember.) My first post is all about finding and caring for vintage costume jewelry, and I’ve got a couple more in the works. I’d love to know if you have any ideas for posts. Is there a question you question you want answered? Something you’d like to fix or a project you’re dying to try? Shoot me an email or comment below!