CB2 has to be the coolest store on the planet: Not only do they make affordable, modern, well-designed furniture, but they alsoÂ allow their stylists to get creative with their products for catalog staging. And cooler still, they often post how-tos for these crafty hacks on their blog, In the Loop. The blog is brimming with tutorials from their most recent edition, like the minimalist snowball wreath shown above. I think the idea to use a ladder as an impromptu tannenbaum is really fun, (and I’ve heard it’s a Kinderclausen tradition). And for folks who don’t have room for a tree in it’s entirety, or just need a high-impact item over the dining room table, this branch chandelier is a striking and inexpensive way to go. Check out the site for more ambitious holiday tutorials, as well as great inside tips from the folks behind the cool. –Megan B.
This recipe has a bit of a backstory: The first holiday season that my husband (then boyfriend) spent together, my mother-in-law-to-be made us a HUGE batch of his favorite cookies. These cookies, or “nut rolls”, made from a recipe she got from her mother-in-law, were delicate, buttery, and yeasty, and filled with a not-too-sweet ground walnut filling. After one bite, I was hooked. Next time I saw the M.I.L, I made a point of asking for the recipe, thinking she would be excited to share it with her son’s new love. She said sure, but that it would be a while before she had time to type it up. So I waited. Almost a full year. And I asked again, with a similar response. So I kinda gave up on them, and hoped that someday, I would earn the right to the recipe. As luck would have it, I was reading through one of my favorite cookbooks, the Fannie Farmer Baking Book, and stumbled upon a recipe which sounded EXACTLY like what these “nut rolls of mystery” tasted like. So I made the recipe — in the book entitled “Sugar Horns”, and lo and behold, they were the same. Victory! Over the years, I’ve made these so many times that I’ve kind of evolved them into my own thing, subbing out the walnuts for pecans, and adding finely chopped fresh rosemary to enhance the almost-savory quality of these lovelies. They are incredibly good right out of the oven, warm, with a hot cup of coffee and keep beautifully if sealed well. They look beautiful too, and one batch makes so many that they are a great choice for holiday gift giving and potlucks. Hopefully the recipe will become a closely guarded family heirloom for you, too! –Megan B. Click for Grandma B.’s Rosemary Nut Rolls! (more…)
Around here, itâ€™s never too early to begin considering Christmas trees. (And weâ€™ve considered quite a few. Tannenboing, anyone?). This yearâ€™s first find? The Filigrantrae Danish Wooden Christmas Tree. Designed by Trine and Peter Find, the Filigrantrae, meaning â€œfiligree treeâ€ in Danish, is a solid birch construction that sets up in a snap and comes down just as easily. Design Public has this minimalist option for $275, which is comparable to the cost of some artificial trees. What do you think readers, is this your type of tree? â€“Sarah C.
Have I told you how beyond excited I am to be enjoying our first Halloween in the suburbs? I’ve already showed off a successful wreath project, but now I must report a dilemma I need your help with! We carved a pumpkin on Sunday night, with our spooky house number engraved into it. Created some breathing holes for air in the back. Spritzed it with a hot-pepper solution to keep the squirrels more or less at bay. And now look it! It’s growing black fuzzy mold. Talk about scary! Luckily we still have a few pumpkins inside that we haven’t carved yet. How do we make sure they don’t meet the same fate by Sunday? What did we do wrong? What’s the point of carving pumpkins if you can’t put them on the porch to show off? Seasoned Halloween vets, please share your wisdom! — Angela M.
While cotton ball cobwebs may be fine for some, if you fancy eerie realism in your Halloween dÃ©cor, look no further than these Spider Web Circles by Emil â€œRockyâ€ Fiore. A web-catcher extraordinaire, Fiore has made an art form (and a business) of preserving real spider webs on glass. Available in 3â€, 5â€, 7â€ and 10â€ diameters, each glass circle contains an intricate web with a label noting the genus and species of its spider author on the back. A spooky extra for Halloween, these one-of-a-kind items double as intriguing pieces of art for everyday. For more on Fiore and his technique see part 1 and part 2 of the â€œTo Catch a Webâ€ miniseries on him at Coolhunting. â€“ Sarah C.