Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars - Red Carpet Standouts

Sleek silhouettes, beading, white, black and pale pink were winning elements in the best dressed category at last night's Academy Awards. Here are some of my favorite dresses:

Kate Mara

Milla Jovovich elegant in Elie Saab

Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood

Louise Roe in Black Halo

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Who was your favorite?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brights and Baubles - Festive Trim and Fabrics

Here are some fun and funky trims from Lee Jofa and Highland Court. The Lee Jofa trims are from the Lilly Pulitzer Collection. These baubles are so bright and fun, they are sure to enliven anything they grace from pillows to window treatments to bedding or upholstery. Don't you just love pink?

This fabric collection from Schumacher has wonderful flames and Ikats. Look for more bright colors, neon, and bold patterns to show up in fashion throughout 2012.

The trim: (top row L to R) Lee Jofa TL10106-711, TL10106-47, Highland Court 78037H-776, 78060H-299 (bottom row L to R) Lee Jofa TL10106-407, TL10106-773, Highland Court tassel fringe 78046H-299.

To learn more about Ikats click here for my article "Ingenious Ikats" from December 2010.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I managed to escape my design studio and Virginia's cold weather (even though today is quite Spring-like) for a week in Florida. Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios in Orlando was one of my stops. This Harry Potter fan wanted to check out their interpretation of Hogwarts. I have to say, I was duly impressed.  It is straight out of the books and the movies. Occupational hazard... I did find myself wanting to add splashes of color and more lighting inside the castle.

I enjoyed a frozen butterbeer. It is offered plain as well, but I heard frozen was the way to go. It was non-alcoholic and a lot like a milkshake. My husband and I shared one figuring we could always go back for seconds. Imagine frozen vanilla cream with a hint of butterscotch, sweet but quite delicious.

This week, I am back in the studio and, strangely enough, craving butterbeer. I looked up some recipes online. Here is one from the Associated Press (July 2, 2010) that sounds like it would be pretty close. Maybe, I will give it a try. I will keep you posted. If you try it first or have a good frozen recipe, please share.

Start to finish: 1 hour (10 minutes active)
Servings: 4
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda
In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer.
Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

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