22 December 2010

Chefs & Christmas

When the holidays come around, the store windows
of Barneys New York liven up with whimsy and
a spectacular sense of humor.

"A Foodie Holiday" is this year's theme.
Let's face it, chefs have turned into rock stars,
thanks to the Food Network.

Check out this huge pot of "revolutionary stew",
boiling with the culinary geniuses...

Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Dan Barber...

James Beard and Jamie Oliver.

In another window is what happens when chefs go wild!

Anthony Bourdain

Daniel Boulud

Mario Batali

Bobby Flay

Emeril Lagasse

Wolfgang Puck

Guy Fieri

This window honors the lady chefs all dressed up in Snuggies...

Martha Stewart

Paula Deen
{check out her favorite ingredient -- butter --
stuffed in her pockets!}

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa
{Why is there a knife in her mouth?}

Rachael Ray

Sandra Lee

Lidia Bastianich

and Anne Burrell.

Hats off to whoever made these caricature sculptures!

21 December 2010

Christmas at Tiffany's

Well hello there!
This week, allow me to be your tour guide as we
marvel at the fabulous holiday window displays
around New York City.

Today, it's off to Tiffany's, the jewelry mecca on 5th Avenue
where confections are packaged in a turquoise blue box

This year's windows unfold a fairy tale.
I really love the paper sculptures, the romance
and most of all the sparkling jewels!

Watch and see...

In a faraway land, a handsome prince fell in love
with a beautiful princess.

The prince was turned into a gentle blue bird and
banished to the forest.

Meanwhile, the princess was locked away,

high in a turret.

The blue bird searched to find...

the most beautiful jewelry to bring to
the princess.

The blue bird flew to the princess...

with a beautiful diamond ring that
lit up the night sky.

Upon a kiss of true love, the blue bird...

turned back into his princely form.

And they lived happily ever after!

20 December 2010

Holiday Traditions

Happy Monday! We won't be crafting this week and instead I'll share with you one tradition that I like to do at this time of the year -- I walk around New York City to admire the lights, decorations and store windows decked out for the holidays.

I think that traditions are memories that you keep
forever and I think Lord and Taylor would agree with me.

This year, Lord and Taylor asked their Facebook fans to share their favorite holiday stories and the response was overwhelming! Lord and Taylor chose twelve stories and executed these in their windows -- a great collaboration, don't you think?

Here are my favorites:

"My first year in the city, I thought I would be spending Christmas alone, so I was thrilled when I was invited to a co-worker's annual tree trimming party. It wasn't at all what I expected...let's just say Kate had a flair for decorating. Not only did she have a silver tree and a disco ball, everything in her place was covered in silver tinsel! Well, it was the 70's after all. When else could you actually have a "Disco Christmas"? - David Engleman (Chicago, Illinois)

"My grandmother was an amazing seamstress. Each Christmas she created the most beautiful outfits for my mother and her sisters. While I don't have her "sewing hands," I carry on the family tradition by giving my daughters new holiday dresses each year." - Linda Bennett Marblehead (Massachusetts)

"I love decorating for the holidays although my cozy city apartment (aka 350 sq/ft. studio) does not accommodate my grand ideas, it never stops my holiday spirit. Instead of "decking the halls," I simply decorate the fire escape!"
- Sarah Currie (New York, New York)

"Christmas is all about family. My husband and I were actually married on Christmas Eve, so our first Christmas together is still one of the most memorable. Our tree only had one ornament, but with every year and every child (and every grandchild) our tree, as well as our family, has grown larger than anything we could have dreamed when we toasted to our future that first Christmas Eve." - Lorraine Adams (Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey)

"It isn't Christmas at our house unless something is baking in the oven. Every year we bake all of my grandmother's great recipes while always adding a few of our own. We may have even perfected the art of building a gingerbread house. From stained glass windows to candy cane fences, gumdrop pathways and chocolate chip trees, nothing can rival our architectural masterpiece. - Nicolina Ferrara Somers (New York)

Lovely traditions indeed!
By the way, for every new fan Lord and Taylor
gets on its Facebook page, they will donate $1 to
the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

17 December 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars

Happy Friday Everyone!

One of the pleasures of the holidays is breathing in
the scent of pine! Streets and shops lined with
real Christmas trees is indeed a lovely sight.

All this week, I've been making salt dough
ornaments and here's another idea to
turn a blah tree into a TADA! tree.

Little stars made of salt dough, shaped with
cookie cutters and baked in the oven...

...then painted in ravishing gold paint.

Add one on a string...

And then another...

Until you have a garland.

Now, they're ready for the tree!

Have a magical weekend!

16 December 2010

Sweet, sweet Christmas

All this week, I'm making my own ornaments
using salt dough. It's easy and definitely a
fun activity with the children.

An empty wreath is so blah.
Here's how I'm snazzing it up:

I'm adding some sweets like candy and doughnuts,
all made from salt dough.

Here they are all decorated, ready for a tree or...

...a wreath for my front door!

Delicious, don't you think?

15 December 2010

Another Gingerbread Man

One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating the
Christmas tree.

An empty tree can be quite blah.
I just can't wait until the lights are strung, the decorations
are hung and the star is positioned on top!

For sure, one holiday tradition I'd like to begin
is to make our own ornaments. It's fun for the family,
each ornament will have a story and will never be
available in any store.

Doing that is easy using this salt dough recipe
and a bunch of cookie cutters. It's almost like
making cookies, but ones that lasts for generations.

I know, I've been infatuated with gingerbread people lately.
I just can't resist them, especially this one
with a special message stamped on it.

You can achieve this with these cool cookie cutters

Here's what my gingerbread boy looks like
after being baked and a coat of paint.

Isn't he adorable on the tree?
I hope Santa doesn't mistake
him for a real cookie!