Dearest readers, you've been so kind and supportive to me that I'm offering a Christmas in July sale for today only! Get 20% off everything in the shop, including Christmas cards, by entering CHRISTMASINJULY14 at check out in the shop.
I know what you're thinking. The House that Lars Built is confused. It's not a food blog. It's crafty! I know I know! Don't worry, it's just that these very important national holidays are dictating the editorial calendar around here. The whole month of sweltering July was National Ice Cream Month and July 30th, yesterday, was National Cheesecake day. We can't have it slip through out glue-gunned out fingers just because we are a DIY/craft blog, right? SO, ME Hammond of Baked by ME came up with THE MOST DELICIOUS cheesecake recipe you've ever tasted. You will never want to eat cheesecake in the round again. This deconstructed version will blow your tastebuds. I nearly downed the thing as we photographed it. This is one of those recipes where the baker, ME, says "it's soooo easy" but you really you can't trust her because it's that good.
And to close off the season of sorbet, I present to you a pineapple boat. Kandyce came up with this fun idea. When she was little she would spend vacations in Palm Springs. At their favorite Japanese restaurant they were given a pineapple boat for their birthday chock full of ice cream and topped with loads of sugared accessories. She decided to make one for you in a slightly more healthy version. Just carve out the pineapple and add in the scoops and top it off with some of your favorite goodies.
And to recap, here are the sorbet flavors we shared from July's National Ice Cream Month.
Pineapple with Chamomile tea and lemon juice
Take out your violin because National ice cream month is coming to a close. But I have two more surprises for you friends one of them being this pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon juice, which is absolutely delicious.
Exciting news! I'm coming to Vancouver, Canada! I'll be teaching a paper flower wreath class at the new Poppytalk studios and I'm so so thrilled! Poppytalk has long been a favorite blog of mine and they recently came out with a line of products for Target with themes of florals so you know it's a good fit. They just announced their new workshop series and there are some goodies!
The workshop is on August 20 from 5-7 and you can purchase tickets here.
UPDATED: The class has sold out! We've added a second class on August 21 from 5-7. Purchase tickets here.
I've never been to Vancouver or the Pacific Northwest for that matter...what should we see while we're there?
Ok, ok I hear you! You want the tutorial! I had every intention of getting the tutorial from the BHLDN Flamingo Pop shoot and Midsummer Mingle to you so much sooner than this, but I've been on GO ever since. But now, calm your fears, here it is. In all it's flamingo balloon goodness. I'm still perfecting the process (perfecting balloons?) but yes, turns out there is a learning curve to it as far as engineering goes.
The key to the success of creating a similar balloon arch is variety of balloon colors and variety of balloon sizes, which you can create with how much you blow it up. I tend to like color schemes that focus on three main colors. For the Bhldn shoot it was pink, mint, and white. I then supplemented it with shades of those colors. I added in some balloons that are clear, some with polka dots for a bit more whimsy. For A Midsummer Mingle I worked with Partyland here in Utah (though they ship!) and they exposed me to the EZ Twist balloon maker which allowed me to add in twisted balloons into the arch. I LOVE the effect they created and I think it would be rad for so many applications.
Figure out what space you're trying to fill. For the BHLDN shoot I knew I wanted to attach the arch to the wall so I used chicken wire to create the more organic shape and attached it to the wall and ceiling with tons of gaffers tape (so it didn't ruin the paint) and fishing line that I attached to the ducts above. The pictures shown below are from the Midsummer shoot. I didn't do a full arch, but two poles that took the place of an arch because we had a huge banner above. If I wanted to do a true arch, I would consider buying this one for your event.
The balloons will weigh down the chicken wire so make sure that the fishing line is taut.
For Midsummer Mingle we created two poles to attach the balloons to. We got two buckets from Home Depot and added cement into them to create a sturdy base (see pics below).
The night before we had a major balloon blowing up session. I got enough pumps so we could get lots of help. I had never used a pump prior to this project but I tell you, I will never go back to blowing it up with my own lungs. Not worth it! We put all the balloons into the huge trash bags for storage and transportation. I wanted balloons in a variety of sizes so we did some as small as 3" up to the full size.
Step 1: Start by applying on the largest balloons before you add on the smaller balloons. I mixed up the colors throughout the structure so they weren't clumped into the same space. We attached the balloons with clear shipping tape. Gaffer's tape worked well too. Just tape the end of the balloon. Do not be sparse with the amount of tape you use. I would even suggest taping it around the pole or chicken wire.
Step 2: Continue filling in the arch with your biggest balloons. It will not look great yet but keep on going! Make sure you're filling in all the holes and mixing the colors thoroughly.
Step 3: Once you've taped the big balloons onto your structure, now you'll begin by adhering balloons to balloons. We originally taped balloons to balloons with shipping tape but we found that they started to drop off due to heat. What I would suggest is to use glue dots instead. They are much more secure and work well on balloons. For extra security, you can even use a lo-temperature glue gun. However, in the heat, it will melt so Glue Dots are your best bet. Top off the balloons with more balloons and more balloons.
Step 3: If you're adding in twisty balloons, do those last.
Step 4: If you're adding in florals you simply need to tuck them in. There should be enough security with the chicken wire and balloons for them to not move. But, if they do need extra security, tie the flowers in with fishing line.
Remember how I started a new column called Making a House a Home in a rental? Well, first I started out by defining my style and gave some tips on how to identify your own. Then recently I worked with Farrow and Ball on a paint makeover project. This whole time I've been wrestling with what I want to do with my living room. I have a MAJOR thing for pink right now (as do a lot of people. sigh.) I know pink produces the gag factor in a lot of people, but I'm not talking about that pop pink where it's paired with black and "princess" is written in Curlz. Pink, like nearly every color, when paired with the right colors can be gorgeous. For me, a dusty or blush pink paired with lots of greenery and botanical black with golds is the tops. Or a coral pink with emerald green. Gah! It's all about what you put with a color.
SO, I'm going pink. But the problem is, in what combo do I use pink in my living room? As far as I see it, I have a few options. First, paint the walls pink as seen above. These pictures make my heart race. I might die of so much gorgeousness.
Here are the pros to painting our living room pink:
it goes well with greenery and flowers
then we could get a more neutral sofa and the sofa will be in style longer?
devil on my shoulder
Here are the cons to painting our living room pink:
We live in a basement that already doesn't get too much light. I'm afraid that the light we do get will cast a fun golden glow on it. Perhaps painting it white would reflect better and allow us for more light? Anyone have any experience with this?
what if we get a pink sofa (see below)? Will it be too much?
angel on my shoulder
OR, do I go with a pink sofa instead. I say instead because I'm not sure I want to try a pink sofa against pink walls. What if I somehow get tired on pink and all of a sudden I have both pink walls AND a sofa? Eeek.
The pros of a pink sofa:
Ummm, a pink sofa.
So much fun.
The cons of a pink sofa:
I haven't been able to find the right pink upholstery fabric. If I was in NYC, I'd head to the D&D and I'm sure I'd find it in no time flat. But I live in Utah and we don't have showrooms. If you have any tips on the perfect shade of pink, I'm all ears! I'm thinking more of a dusty pink like the image above, bottom left. I'm thinking velvet or possibly linen. Or maybe I need to take a trip to NYC.
$$$$. If I had endless amounts of money I wouldn't be so concerned with it, but I struggle with commitment because for us right now, this would be an investment. (Any sofa company or upholsterer or fabric company want to work with us on it? Sigh. High hopes.)
OR, do I go pink walls AND a pink sofa? Of course, it helps when you live in a neoclassical, high-ceilinged house.
Alternatively, I do love me some white walls. And then perhaps I would use it as a canvas for everything else.
The pros of white walls:
clean & airy
acts as a canvas
reflects more light into our basement
I can still fill our space with lovely artwork
The cons of white walls:
am I just being a chicken? Our landlord has said we can paint it however we'd like. Do we dare paint it rental white?
Will a pink sofa against white walls be enough of the statement I'm going for?
Ultimately, I have a hard time deciding on things like this because of where we are at. We don't know how long we will stay here and I have a hard time thinking that I'm investing money into something that won't last long. Do you suffer from this? I know lots of people who make a home wherever they go no matter how long they are there for. That's not me. I've never invested money into any place I've lived. A lot of it is because I know I can't afford the things I really want and I don't want to fill it with just stuff in the mean time. I want the things around me to be meaningful, quality-made, and beautiful.
Or do I just get over it and put up something in the mean time?
It's blazin hot here in Utah and the idea of a picnic isn't exactly refreshing, but in another land in another time I'm living in Denmark and when it's sunny you're outside with some cheese and sparkling water. And these DIYs help you do it with class.
In honor of National Ice Cream Month here in the states, I'm doing a series of delicious, healthy sorbets with Kandyce Caroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe. Last week we featured a strawberry rose sorbet and this week it's a kiwi mint sorbet. Guys, this one is delicious. You will want to pin/bookmark/get your typewriter out and transcribe it.
Is there anything more perfect? Yes the socks are adorable, but even better is the styling by Kate Brien for Vogue (talk about a dream job!) These socks of famous paintings and artists are right up my alley. AND they're so beautifully styled against the rad backdrops, pants, and shoes. Perfection!