paper rosette tips

It's no accident that I'm not calling this post a how-to guide. I don't quite feel qualified to give anyone a guide after the terrible time I had making these %*@&#! rosettes. I wouldn't consider myself an extremely crafty person, but I can usually follow directions and get a pretty decent result. That was not the case with these suckers- they are more complicated than they look! I ended up trying out quite a few tutorials, so I thought I'd share what I learned along the way. Perhaps you can avoid some of my mistakes...

I bought most of the paper I used from Paper Source, so I figured their website would be a good place to find a tutorial. Wrong! Using the measurements they gave, I could barely get the two strips of paper to meet. When attached, they formed a sort of cone shape that would not lay flat without tearing. Fail!

Next stop, Martha Stewart. Oh Queen of craftiness, why is your tutorial even less clear than Paper Source's?! Would some photos of the steps kill you?

OK, time to find some DIYers who know what's up. I found several tutorials using the method explained on Catch my Party. It's similar to the Paper Source method, but you attach 3 fans of folded paper together instead of two. This worked a little better. I could actually get something resembling a rosette shape, but had a hard time attaching the fans with a stapler. I ended up with gaps where the fans of paper were attached (in the photo above, the top white rosette was made with this method). 

The final method I tried worked the best for me. This tutorial from the Broke-Ass Bride produced the cleanest and best-looking rosettes. One VERY IMPORTANT note: in this guide, you're using two 12" sheets of paper, cutting them both in half, and then glueing the four strips of paper together to make one long 6" x 48" strip.  Hopefully your reading comprehension is better than mine, but this wasn't 100% clear to me in the first read-through. I made one using a 6" x 24" strip of paper and ended up with another cone. You can adjust the paper size to make bigger or smaller rosettes, but the length of your paper should always be at least six times the width for this method to work. 

A final note on supplies: I used several types of paper with varying results. A medium-weight paper similar to construction paper will work best. I don't recommend using card stock, it is too thick and really a pain to fold. Paper Source's rolls of solid gift wrap are a good weight, and a good value. The fancy fine papers I used really were mighty fine. They were so soft and had a bit of stretch, but beware- they're ridiculously expensive. In retrospect, I probably should have just used scrapbook paper, but I really, really didn't want to go to Michael's...

Have you ever made rosettes? Am I the only one craft-impaired with these? 


graduation party

My good friend Kait graduated from medical school a few weeks ago, and I helped throw a party to celebrate. I partnered with Oakland Bakes to create a festive dessert bar for the occasion. 

We chose an olde timey apothecary theme with a color palette of minty hospital green, white and silver as a nod to the medical profession. We used apothecary style jars and vases, and displayed the cookies on quarter-sheet trays to suggest surgical instrument trays. I incorporated the colors into the decor by crafting rosettes and pom poms in the same palette.

Read on for more photos:


kinda inspired: forest feast

Watermelon Salad
Lately, I've been feeling inspired by the illustrations and styling of The Forest Feast. The blog, and recently released cookbook, features the photos and illustrations of Erin Gleeson. She worked as a professional food photographer in NY before moving to the woods of Northern California, where she was inspired to start her blog as a way to capture the abundance of fresh, local produce.


Her simple, seasonal recipes are brought to life with her watercolor illustrations and hand lettering.  The use of color and natural elements in her gorgeous photos make everything incredibly appealing, and the short ingredient lists keep the recipes approachable and easy.
Snap Pea Pasta
Persimmon and Brie
Even very simple recipes seem more enticing when accompanied with beautiful watercolors. I think this looks delicious, and I don't even really like persimmons!

Blackberry Negroni
And there's cocktails! What more could you ask for?

For more on the Forest Feast, check out the blog, the book, or this interview with the author (featuring photos of her gorgeous cabin!).

[All photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast]


kinda inspired: offbeat geometrics

Highway print pillow by Leah Duncan

Hello Friends! I thought I'd switch things up a bit this week and introduce a new series: Kinda Inspired. I'll be sharing a peak at whatever has been catching my eye, in the hopes of getting your week off to a creative, inspiring start. 

This week I'm feeling inspired by offbeat geometric patterns. They're not quite traditional geometrics, as they all share an imperfect, handmade quality. Some of them seem simple at first glance, but the irregularities of the artists' handiwork are what make them interesting: the overlaps in printing, the subtle asymmetry, the lines that don't quite connect. And of course, the layering of bold, gorgeous color draws me in like a moth to flame...

Katherine SableShow a Little Ankle, 2011, oil on linen, 66 x 54 inches
Nathalie du Pasquier
Mid-Century Modern Wrapping Paper
Hans Peter Sundquist, Untitled #1303, 2013, spray paint on fabric, 9 x 12 inches

See more patterns I'm loving on my Pinterest page.

[From top: Printed Pillows by Leah Duncan, Katherine Sable via Two Coats of Paint, Nathalie du Pasquier via Patternbase, Wrapping paper from Normans PrinteryHans Peter Sundquist]


gift guide: father's day

Dads can be tough to shop for, especially if they don't need a new tie. Just remember, the most important part of Father's Day is letting him know how much you love him. Spending time together doing something he loves is usually the best gift, but some fun little presents won't hurt either. 

Read on for gifts sure to make any father's day:


monday links

Happy Monday! Have you snapped up any $6.99 peonies from Trader Joes yet? Better hurry before they're all gone! The ones I bought hadn't quite opened yet, but I got them to start opening by leaving them in warm water for a couple hours. I was inspired by Little Green Notebook's trick for grocery store roses. After about 2 hours all but one little bugger had opened beautifully! I'm not 100% sure if this affects their longevity yet, but as of day 5 they're still looking good and opening more each day! 

Speaking of flowers, or 8 million flower petals that is, have you seen this insane Sony commercial? They flooded a Costa Rican town with 3 tons of flower petals to demonstrate the detail of their new TV screen and the images are absolutely incredible! Prettiest. Explosions. Ever.

If you enjoy a good pun, you're sure to love these illustrations from Jaco Haasbroek. For even more of his work, check out his site here.

Do you love Beyonce....and Dunkin' Donuts? Well here's just the parody video to get your week off to a good start! I apologize in advance if watching this will make you want donuts (it will).

[flower volcano photo via Lost at E Minor, Wolf in sheep's clothing illustration by Jaco Haasbroek via Mashable, Dunkin love photo via the blot]