CRAFTCorner | Rustic Farm Centerpiece

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Last weekend, I ventured out to the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia with a group of journalists from the DC and Hampton Roads areas to learn about wine and oyster travel in Virginia, with the centerpiece event being a vertical tasting and oyster roast at the breathtaking Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, VA. I will post a full recap of the trip this week, but tonight, I wanted to share a tutorial on making this gorgeous rustic fall centerpiece.

My writers and I were invited to tour Amy Brandt’s demo kitchen on the grounds of Eyre Hall Plantation, a gorgeous property dating back to the 1600s.

Amy is a celebrated local award-winning chef that has parlayed her 30 years of experience into a successful, creative catering business. Her kitchen is hands down one of the most amazing kitchens I’ve ever seen (and makes me hate the fact that I have ZERO space in my kitchen at home.)

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Amy made us each a bag of her homemade granola, and shared her story with us.

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Now, this woman is an exquisite chef, but apparently, she’s also a design guru. I immediately noticed this gorgeous centerpiece when I first walked in.

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Being on such a DIY kick recently, I decided to replicate it myself. Love this? Here’s what you’ll need.

-one bushel basket ($6.99 at Hobby Lobby)
-wood stain of your choice ($7.99 at Hobby Lobby)
-an old rag
-flower mousse
-About six green silk hydrangea stems
-two cream silk hydrangea stems
-faux twigs and berries
-optional: clam and oyster shells

Fist, head outside with your rag, stain and bushel basket. Dip the rag in the stain and gently brush all the way around to give it a vintage feel.

While you are waiting for the stain to dry (about an hour) , cut your flower stems with floral shears so that they are 1.5x taller than your basket. Add the flower mousse to the bottom of the basket.

Once the stain has dried, arrange the flowers, sticks, and berries and secure in the mousse. Place in the center of your table, arrange the shells around the base on the table, and there you have it!

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Did you try this? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

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Style Moments | The Look…..For Way, Way Less!

confessions-of-a-shopaholic

I love designer duds just as much as the next girl. Diane, Kate, Tory, Rebecca, Cynthia, Jenny P…. I just love all of those ladies! I’d love to be able to go on shopping sprees like the celebs (or even take their hand-me-downs! anyone!?). Unfortunately, most of us don’t have Hollywood budgets to work with, so we have to get a little….. creative.

So, who says you have to pay top dollar for top style? Here are some of my favorite “looks for less” that I recently scored….

[Read more…]

Style Moments | Alexis Bittar (or something like it)

This Saturday was dark and rainy, fostering an environment of gloomy nostalgia. Naturally, this inspired me to go to one of my favorite stores in Richmond, Halcyon Vintage.

I’ve been going to Halcyon since I was a little girl, as a nod to my then-obsession with the Beatles (I wanted to dress like the girls in “Hard Day’s Night,” and “Help!”) I’ve bought a range of items over the years, from 1950s cocktail dresses to delicately embellished cardigans to over-sized, leather suitcases to 1970s Diane von Furstenberg jersey dresses (see left- SCORE!). But my favorite items to peruse? The jewelry. Halcyon’s selection of vintage baubles, jewels, necklaces and Bakelite is to die for.

My latest acquisition is a pair of over-sized stud earrings that, if they’re not Alexis Bittar, they’re about as close as you can get. While Bittar earrings retail for almost $200, I got mine for $20.

Can you tell which is which? (besides the obvious discrepancy between the photographers’ cameras. You’re a dead giveaway, BlackBerry camera!)

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