Taste The Rainbow

delovelydelightful

With World Pride soon to be hosted in my fair home city and with our final meeting of the inter-school Gay-Straight Alliance this coming Tuesday, I set myself to baking this past weekend.

delovelydelightful

What does one bake for a GSA party? Rainbow cupcakes, naturally!
Rainbow confetti on the inside, rainbow icing on the outside.

delovelydelightful

 

For The Man Who Has Everything

A colleague of mine with a penchant for fancy socks is retiring this year.
To honour him, I was commissioned to create a bouquet of…. socks.

delovelydelightful

It was exactly the kind of challenge I love!
I spent a week or so thinking about how to go about it and then I sat down and got started.
I had six pairs of socks, so ended up with twelve “blooms.” Each sock became a single flower. After some trial and error, I ended up using some embroidery thread to gather each sock, using a running stitch along the bottom of the sock and pulling it tight. You can see in the photo where I stitched each one, indicated by the red dotted line.

delovelydelightful

Once each sock was gathered, I just wrapped the gathered edge together, using the toe as the centre of each flower. A few stitches secured each one in place and soon I had twelve rosette-style flowers.

delovelydelightful

What do to for stems? I decided to use a black button for each flower’s centre, securing it to a paper straw with a dab of hot glue (I stuck the shank of the button into the opening at one end of the straw). Then, I slid the straw through the centre of the rosette; the button stopped it from falling out. A few more stitches of embroidery thread through the paper straw and the sock to hold each flower together and, ta-da! Twelve sock roses!

delovelydelightful

Next up, I used garden twine to make a French-tied bouquet and then tied on a jaunty polka-dotted ribbon I’ve been saving in my stash for just such an occasion.

When he is ready to wear the socks, all the recipient has to do is snip the embroidery thread (I was sure to use contrasting colours so that it would be easy to see) and unfurl each sock. The perfect bouquet to extend the length of time between loads of laundry!

delovelydelightful

My colleague was delighted with his bouquet, I am happy to report.

A Westerosi Feast

delovelydelightful

Remember this little get-together?

delovelydelightful

Well, of course I had to extend the Game of Thrones theme to the food, too!
I started out by making a few tags to label the food– I used card stock and washi tape to make the labels. Paper straws served as the “stems” for the labels.

Then I put my thinking cap on and tried to remember food and food-related events from the novels. I had to stretch a bit in places, since a lot of what gets eaten in the novels is not the most appetizing (raw stallion heart is not exactly the ideal item to serve to a group of ladies on a Sunday afternoon…).

Here is what I came up with:

delovelydelightful

Of course we had to have Sansa’s Favourite Lemon Cake (lemon coffee cake), some Highgarden Berries and Fruits and some “You know nothing, John Snow”-ball Cake Pops. We also had Danaerys Targaryen Blondies.

delovelydelightful

What would a Westerosi feast be without Red (velvet) Wedding Cupcakes?

delovelydelightful

The drinks were similarly themed– Lady Arya Punch (though, upon further reflection, maybe Lady Arya Packs a Punch would have been more appropriate…), Queen Cersei’s Vintage (which ought to have been red, but I took some license), and a Dornish Rosé (which should have been a Dornish White, I know).
There was even a carafe of water from The Sapphire Isle and some Summer Isles Bellinis.

delovelydelightful

 

All Gangstas Must Knit (Valar Knit-ulus?)

delovelydelightful

My darling BFF is CEO of a cool little company called Wool and the Gang. It’s the brainchild of two Central St Martin’s grads who had a vision to focus on sustainable fashion, their love of knitwear and the growing maker movement. You can read more about them here— they are so cool and so are their products!

This past weekend, Delovely HQ became Gangsta HQ as my pal J and I hosted the inaugural Knit Your Own Jewelry Workshop! I was SO EXCITED! The jewelry in question was the Sansa Choker and the Khaleesi Bracelet.
Yes, you heard me: making pretty things and Game of Thrones. In ONE EVENT!
Seriously, interweb, I could hardly contain myself; my little geek soul was soaring, I swear.

I started by decking out our front door wreath in WATG style:

delovelydelightful

I invited a posse of knitters, artists, fashionistas and all-around creative types. They came in droves and we had a blast, knitting, sipping (I’ll do a food post a bit later on) and chatting up a storm. Everyone left with a bracelet and a necklace she had made herself, a pair of gorgeous rosewood knitting needles and a pattern booklet so that she can make more  jewelry at home.

delovelydelightful

People could order from the WATG website; they sell both ready-to-wear and knitting kits. We had samples of the yarn on-hand for people to see and touch, too. I am a sucker for the Crazy Sexy Wool and the Jersey Be Good. The latter is made from off-cuts of t-shirts, the kind of thing the textile industry would normally just trash. It comes from Turkey, where the off-cuts are sent to various villages to be wound onto cones for WATG; the initiative makes use of textile waste and employs women in the villages. What’s not to love? We also had a Lacy Sissy scarf that my BFF made me for my b-day a couple of years ago and our gorgeous Hold Tight Clutches.

delovelydelightful

The knitters came with a range of knitting ability and, once they got their rhythm going, there was no stopping them. The littlest Gangsta took to it like a duck to water!

delovelydelightful

Of course, being me, I embraced the whole Game of Thrones theme with a passion. I tarted up the dining room bulletin board with the WATG name, logo and hashtag, re-worked for the party with a GoT flair as “House,” “Sigil” and “Words.” (Remember when Maester Luwin was drilling Bran?)

delovelydelightful

I laid out the supplies on our dining room table (after protecting the surface with some kraft paper) and labelled each component with GoT references.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful
(I used black chalk; in retrospect, chalk pen would have been better as the chalk got dust on our supplies.
Womp womp…)

I loved seeing everyone’s individual, #madeunique creations.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

I think Sansa and Danaerys would approve. 😉

Hoppy Easter!

delovelydelightful

Need some quick and easy favours for Easter dinner?

delovelydelightful

Here’s what I did with some cloth bags from the bargain bin at Target. First, I hand-stamped them with the recipients’ names and then filled them with some cute treats: Easter-themed bubbles (because nothing says “Spring!” like going outside and blowing bubbles!), and a few sweets. I had some heart-shaped thingies meant to jeuje up Ikea string lights, so added those to the ties on the bags and, quicker than you can say, “The Easter Bunny’s your uncle!” I was done.
My kinda project: speedy and sweet.
I gave mine away to my students, but they’d work well as place settings, too.

delovelydelightful

If you celebrated Passover this week, I hope you had a great time and ate lots of yummy goodies.
If you are celebrating Easter this weekend, I hope you have a great time and eat lots of goodies.

delovelydelightful

 

Be Mine

delovelydelightful

Around Delovely HQ, Valentine’s Day is a total non-event.
Which, I admit, makes me sad.
{see: colours, imagery, general froufery}

delovelydelightful

The good news is, I get to indulge my passion for all things crafty and theme-y by giving my students Valentines. This year, good ol’ Target hooked me up with some cute-as-a-button supplies from their dollar bins. I scored some pretty favour bags, some pens, pencils and stickers, to which I added a few chocolate lips and (my very favourite!) cinnamon hearts. The pretty ribbon I also picked up at Target and some grocery store Valentine cards helped me personalize the packets.

delovelydelightful

The girls were delighted!

delovelydelightful

However you celebrate (or don’t), Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

delovelydelightful

Photobomber.

L’amour fou

delovelydelightfulsource

I love Valentine’s Day.
Not for the romance bit (being romantic on cue is hardly romantic, after all), but for the imagery and the colours. I love seeing all the decor and the cute ideas for parties and treats at this time of year.

delovelydelightfultop. bottom.

These are a few of my favourite Valentine’s images this year.

delovelydelightful1. 2.

delovelydelightfultop. bottom.

Flag Day

 Last week I was able to squirrel away a single chocolate cupcake from M’s birthday treats before I gave them to him. I popped it in the freezer to save it for my friend and colleague, R– her birthday is three days after M’s.

delovelydelightful

To make it fun and celebratory, I spruced it up in some cute packaging.

delovelydelightful

I made a sturdy cardboard base and wrapped it in pretty paper, then I made some washi tape flags on paper straws. A cellophane goodie bag and some glittery ribbon and ta-da!
A sweet treat for a sweet lady.

delovelydelightful

I think these would also make cute party favours– you could serve slices of cake at the party and send guests home with cupcakes.

{Tip: use glue dots to secure bottom of cupcake wrapper to cardboard base.
Your cupcake will stay put and not slide around inside the cello bag.}

delovelydelightful

Via Pinterest.

Confessions of a bad blogger: things in the realm of pre-holiday prep are a bit off the rails at Delovely HQ.
Oh, I had plans, Interwebz, I had plans. In my head, I had oh-so-many lovely posts lined up for you. But there have been speed bumps (see spontaneous shorting-out of new pendant lighting in master bedroom; cack-handed hanging of artwork over bed that now needs to be taken down, holes patched & repainted, blah, blah, blah; dining room still unfinished and currently housing queen box spring; giant sculpture belonging to a friend still sitting smack in the centre of my living room…) and, as a result, there has been nary a cookie baked, there is a very long list of stocking stuffers and other gifts yet to be purchased, and the blog has been languishing most un-festively. The aforementioned are not excuses, just explanations.

In the spirit of offering solace (and maybe inspiring you to whip up something pretty and yummy!), I give you this bit of deliciousness. It’s almost too pretty to eat, isn’t it?

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Find the recipe & Jessica Foster‘s gorgeous images here.

I’m Just Dotty…

…for gift wrap!
Seriously, I might have an addiction.
Which is how I have ended up with roll upon roll of pretty paper.

This past weekend, I got a chance to use some of it when I was invited to a baby shower for my friend S. She LOVES grey as much as I do and, like me, is a sucker for a polka dot. So of course I had to break out the dotty grey paper I snagged at Marshalls. I also had a gorgeous interlocking circle patterned paper in a darker grey (it’s not paper at all, actually– it’s made from STONE! Don’t ask me how… but it is very cool and has the silkiest, most durable texture), also a Marshalls find.

delovelydelightful

A Tiffany-blue ribbon, some stripey washi tape and a polka-dotted clothespin in pale blue completed the packaging. S loved it (I knew she would!) and she also loved the contents of the package: mini Chuck Taylors!*

delovelydelightful

*Tiny Converse sneakers are my favourite baby gift– I give them to EVERYONE who has a baby, ever since a colleague of mine told me that the very best gift she got when her little guy was born was a pair of miniature Chucks. Feel free to borrow this idea (as long as we are not invited to the same shower 😉 ).