Posts in Make
Recipe: Poppy, Berry + Cream Cake

Hi, it’s and I’m so glad to be here today because I'd like to take you on a little trip to delicious food for celebrations starting this month on cattledogs! It feels like spring just took off this weekend where I live after an endless winter (at least it felt endless!), and all of a sudden green is everywhere! People are simply longing for the sun — they’re sitting on benches and on the grass eating their lunch, turning their faces towards the sun. At our market, the stands are filled with the first local plump red strawberries of the season. Isn’t this when you enjoy inviting people over again? Last weekend I kicked off the BBQ season and had friends stop by for a spontaneous evening of food and drink. Why not start planning some nice get togethers of your own to celebrate spring or even a birthday, or anything else that feels good and gets you together with those you love? I’ve started the celebration theme by making a multi-tiered cake with poppy seeds for you today and I've filled it with layers of yogurt, cream and berries. Yum! This should get your inspired to invite over some friends!

Berry & poppy seed cake (8 inch diameter)

Cake 3 tablespoons poppy seed 1 cup unsalted melted butter 1 1/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Filling 2 cups crème fraîche 1 cups yoghurt 3 tablespoons vanilla sugar 1 cup whipping cream 1/4 lb raspberries 1/2 lb strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the dough, roast the poppy seeds in a pan (without oil) and let them cool. Melt the butter and allow to cool. Mix the flour with the baking powder. In a bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the melted butter, poppy seeds and flour and mix. Lightly grease a silicone baking pan and pour a third of the dough into the pan. Bake in the oven until golden, approx. 25 minutes. Repeat twice more with the rest of the dough.

For the filling, mix the crème fraîche with the yoghurt and vanilla sugar. Whip the cream until stiff and fold under the yoghurt mixture. Hull the strawberries and slice into halves. Place one of the cakes onto a plate and place some berries on top. Spread some of the filling over the berries. Repeat with the other cakes. Decorate with some berries. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

(Photo:  ("Liz"). Recipe from "" authored by Lisa Nieschlag, Julia Cawley, Ulrike Dittloff, Jessica Hesseler, Daniela Klein and Susanne Schanz.)

Recipe: Slow Sunset Cocktail

Hello everyone and happy Monday, this is again! You might have missed us, we took a little break from our series. It ended up being a lot of work producing food videos, to be honest, and with both of us being so involved in book writing, teaching and our small children, it's simply not possible to produce videos too. We've decided that for now, we'll discontinue  and go back to straight up, pinnable, yummy recipes.

I know this is a funny post for the first thing on a Monday morning BUT hey, it's never to early to think about cocktails right? :) And when it comes to cocktails, we are such girls! We like sweet, fruity, light, creamy… Not so much smoky, bitter, and strong. We like when our cocktails tastes like a drinkable dessert. When we have friends over, we like putting on a little show by making something memorable. For instance, these super cute berry ice cubes. They are incredibly easy to make but the result is nice because as they melt in the cocktail, they change the color of the drink - like a slow sunset. So lovely… This is the perfect drink to start a fun evening with your friends.

Slow Sunset Ingredients (for 2 servings):

Fruity Ice Cubes

  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries, raspberries, or even sliced mango
  • a few mint leaves
  • water
  • ice cube tray

Put the frozen berries into a food processor with a little bit of water (about half a cup). Puree until smooth. Pour into an ice cube tray and cover each cube with one mint leaf. Freeze for at least 3 hours.

Cocktail

  • 1 cup of sparkling water
  • 1 cup of rum (I like the sweeter kinds, even the Malibu Rum with Coconut Liqueur)
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • mint leaves

Stir everything together. You don’t want to shake it because you would lose the carbonation. Serve with the berry ice cubes and enjoy with a friend! If you try this recipe, let us know what you think and how you modified it at all, we always love to see how people recreate cocktails to their liking. Perhaps a shot of vodka would be nice in this also?

Enjoy!

(images & text: liz and jewels. editor: holly becker)

DIY: Paper Flower Tabletop Display

Good afternoon everyone! My name is Victoria Hudgins and I'm here today as a guest to share a DIY that I made just for cattledogs readers in celebration of my new book, , which released today! I will show you in this post how to easily make some paper flowers that you can use as a tabletop display or on a wall, as props for a photoshoot, whatever you wish. Paper is such an awesome material to work with because you can form and transform it into just about anything. Nothing says spring like flowers and these paper flowers can be made no matter what the weather is outside. If you have any questions about this project, please ask in the comments section below. Let's get started!

SUPPLIES To make each one of these flowers you will need:

  • 3 sheets of scrapbook paper
  • 14 gauge metal jewelry wire
  • Green wrapping tissue paper
  • Small wooden blocks
  • 1 cute button
  • A drill bit
  • Glue and scissors

HOW TO MAKE THE STEMS

  • Cover a length of wire with green tissue paper. Wrap and glue in place.
  • Make a leaf for the stem by winding the wire into a leaf form and covering with the tissue paper. Note: Leave about 2 inches of wire sticking out of the leaf to wind around the stem to hold into place.

HOW TO MAKE THE FLOWER HEADS

  • Cut two sheets of paper into about 3/4 inch strips. Using a paper cutter is easiest, but it can also be done by hand.
  • Using the third sheet of paper, cut out two 5 inch circles (one for the front and one for the back) of the flower. Also cut a small flower out of this paper to cover the front section of the flower (image 2 below top right).
  • Start with one of the circles lying flat and glue 1/2 the strips around the circle, then fold each upward and glue into place to make the petals.
  • Do this a second time on the inside of the first petals to make two rows. This adds dimension and texture.
  • Glue the small flower that you cut out onto the top to cover the glue dots and loose ends and glue a button for a fun spring style.
  • Put it all together.
  • Place the flower front side down and place the top of the stem centered in the back.
  • Cover the back with the second circle and glue well into place to hold the flower together.

FINALLY...

  • Drill a small hole into a wooden block and insert the bottom of the stem into the block to hold it upright.
  • Place flowers around a spring brunch table. Fill with honeycombs, cakes and sweets for a nice way to celebrate the season.

Learning how to work with different materials will enable your crafts to always come out beautifully! That's why I wrote  (check out the book trailer if you'd like!). It's more than a book of projects - it walks you through the how-to's, tips, and tricks for working with so many of the most of common craft materials which can assist you in turning previous DIY fails into future raving successes! - Victoria

(text/images: )

Cranberry Chocolate Scones Recipe

Hi, it’s here with a new episode of our "" video series. I’m sure there’re lots of moms out there reading this. Do you also ask yourself sometimes: when did my kid grow up? Where has the time gone? Yes, I do realize when the pants are too short and the bed gets too small. But in everyday life I’m so wrapped up in chores and the hum of everyday that sometimes I forget what a miracle our kids are. And then something happens, a key moment, and you suddenly remember.

It happened to me just recently when I asked my daughter to help me with this video (below). She has been in lots of videos and always loves it. She was all excited, looked for her apron, got out her little rolling pin, flour and sugar and wanted to start right away. For the last videos we made, I had helped her and we baked side by side, in this one she did everything herself! I only prompted her what to do in which order. She even said “Mommy, just say ‘Camera rolling!’ and then I’ll start.“ She has it all figured out! Editing the video sequences made me amazed and proud. She sparkled when seeing the finished film and was ever so proud that our good friend Taylor wrote and performed a song especially for ‘her’ video. So when we get wrapped up in daily life, let’s try to stop time sometimes and realize how wonderful our kids are.

Video: I dedicated my video to my wonderful daughter. Music by .

Cranberry Chocolate Scones

2 cups flour 4 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 tablespoons butter + some melted butter for brushing 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 200C/400F. In a bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Rub in the butter. Add the yoghurt and knead. Add cranberries, chocolate and turn the dough on to a floured work surface. Pat or roll the dough in to a approx. 9 inch round. Cut into 8 wedges, brush with melted butter and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 18–20 minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

See you in 2015! -

(image: liz & jewels)

8 Easy Steps For Planning A Gallery Style Art Wall

I'm working together with to present a series of posts on cattledogs about planning and installing affordable, beautiful framed art at home with prints by artists far and wide. This is the first of three posts where I provide quick and easy advice on how I plan gallery style art wall because there is a rhyme and reason to it regardless of how many times you hear designers instructing you to just wing it. That may work, but only after your wall has a ton of nail holes and spackle marks.

To be fair, yes designers CAN wing it. But that's only after installing dozens of art walls for clients -- after awhile you can eyeball stuff and intuitively know where it should hang.  But there are still some ground rules that are followed in the selection and arrangement whether the designer realizes it or not. Because that designer had to learn in the beginning and you can believe they learned art wall 101 - the importance of balance, telling a story through the work, hanging the focal point piece at eye level, etc. And they learned through a ton of trial, error and spackle paste.

HOW DO YOU PLAN AN ART WALL? 

I don't know about you, but I rummage through what I currently own that hasn't been hung yet, or in this case, I go and buy it all at once because I have a deadline and need to get my work studio finished by the end of November. No time to build my collection over time. And I see no problem with that. I'm buying prints, not fine art originals, so there doesn't need to be a lot of thought behind each piece other than, Do I love it? Yes. Do the colors work? Yes. Does it work with what I'm already planning to use? Yes. Then it's onto size, type of framing, with it be matted, etc. So when it comes to planning, the first step is to love the work and find the right spot for it in your home.

HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT WORK?

My first thought for this particular project was: what do I want this room to convey? Energy and joy. This is quickest to achieve through color and works that don't take themselves too seriously. So no portraits of people, no black and white city views, nothing that makes you think too hard. I wanted a wall that you would look at quickly and simply feel energized and happy. Not much more. No story telling or deep emotional tales of love and war. I guess if you call my wall a person, she would be Cameron Diaz. Peppy, happy, fun, not too deep, a twinkle in her eye, feminine, free-spirited, energetic as all hell.

WHAT IS YOUR THEME OR MOOD?

Questions worth asking when choosing art for a salon style wall include: Do you plan to show favorite patterns and shapes, colors or a theme -like that you love to travel? Are you showing only family photos? Do you want to mix paintings with photography? Will you mix original works with prints and even three dimensional objects, like porcelain objects, old keys, rulers, etc.? For my wall, I'm going to mix in three dimensional objects after I install the wall, but for now I'm simply planning out the art and I'll fill the spaces after everything is up. I like to work backwards sometimes. My theme is around patterns and shapes but beyond that, it was a mood I was going for: energy and joy.

WHAT ABOUT FRAMES?

As far as frame colors go, neutrals all tend to work well together - white, natural wood and black. When you introduce metallics, stained woods, colored frames, etc. things can start to become visually distracting. In most cases, you don’t want the frame to be the focal point, but the artwork inside. I believe the frame shouldn’t contrast with the art too much, unless you are working with a monochromatic scheme (black art, white frame). So if you have a dark plum-color painting then having it framed in natural wood or black is more complementary and warmer - a stark white frame would make the contrast too great in my opinion.

For my project, I wanted to mix and match the frames, mostly white since I thought they'd stand out nicely against the slightly gray walls in this space and I wanted some with wooden frames to complement the sideboard. Frame width is also important. Do you want it super slim, a few inches wide, or wider? Lots of country-style frames tend to be wood and very thick - almost like four barn floor planks made into a frame. Modern art galleries favor super slim frames for works-behind-glass. Like pencil width. It's your choice and really about preference more than anything. If you like it, who cares if it's not typical or common.

HOW ABOUT MATTING?

I like work that is framed and matted but I also am happy with just frames. For these works, I went with just frames. I like the look of work filling the entire area.  Mostly, when I do go with matting I go with pure white or linen. It depends on the print and the room, but either works very nicely. White shows off the work 100%, linen adds texture and warmth.

HOW DO YOU PLAN OUT AND INSTALL A GALLERY WALL?

If you lack patience like me, you can “wing it”. Planning complicates the process for me. The only real planning I do is that I measure the wall and then use Photoshop to mock up how I see the art (not 100% to scale but somewhat). I usually gather all of the work together in front of where I plan to install it and lay it out on the floor, playing with the arrangement until it looks right. In this case, I used my dining room tables since the art wall will go above the sideboard. If winging it isn't your plan of attack, here are 8 steps so you can plan it like the pros.

minted_choosingart_2

HOW TO PLAN A GALLERY ART WALL IN 8 STEPS:

 

1.  SIZE MATTERS: Measure the wall area where you plan to install the art

2.  HUNT & GATHER: Gather large pieces of solid paper in white or brown -- so wrapping paper, butcher paper, any large pieces you can find, and tape them all together to form one very large sheet of paper. This will most likely be about the size of a bed when you are finished.

3.  GET LAID: Lay all of your art on the paper and move it around until it looks good. Until the arrangement speaks to you.(In my case, I laid all of my art out on the table directly in front of the wall where I plan to install it.)

4.  HOCUS FOCUS: Make sure the focal point of your salon grouping (the boldest piece) is hung at eye level either in the center of the arrangement or slightly off center- and then place all pieces around it from there.

5.  THAT'S TIGHT: For a tight grouping of art, try places them 3” apart. I don’t suggest planning your salon style wall in a symmetrical arrangement - it’s too hard to get right and a bit boring. I think the best spacing between frames is around 4-5” apart because then each piece can breath.

6.  TRACE ELEMENTS: After the art is laid out in an arrangement that you like, trace all of the frames with a black magic marker (quick drying).

7.  I'LL STICK YOU: The next step is to stick the massive sheet of paper* to the wall, in the exact position where the art will go. Tape it using painter’s tape so it doesn’t tear the wall when you remove it. Make sure the art heights and distances between pieces look right.

8.  WELL HUNG: Hang the art directly over the paper with nails and then carefully cut out or tear down the paper when all of the art is hung. You should be left with an art wall with work in all the right places. If not, then lather, rinse and repeat. It may take a little tweaking - my first gallery style art wall was a hot mess.

In my second post in this series, I'll link you up to all of the works that I selected at along with the frame styles and sizes. My final post of this series will be the big reveal, so stay tuned!

A big thanks to  for sponsoring my salon style art wall project.

* An alternative to a large sheet of paper is to use brown paper bags from the grocery store, cut them to be the same size as the art, and move them around on the wall until they look right.

(images: holly becker for cattledogs)

4 Affordable DIY Home Decorating Projects For Autumn

Looking for some Fall-ish DIYs for your home and patio? I used to LOVE when was writing for cattledogs. Her DIY column was one that I looked forward too and even though it's been forever ago, I still miss her posts! Since so many of them were warm and cozy, and Fall is but a week away, I thought I'd highlight 4 of my favorites in case you are in need of Autumnal decorating inspiration on a budget.

1 -- Branch Pendant DIY

2 -- A quick office nook transformation

3 -- Creating a cozy dream patio

4 -- Handmade fabric wall hanging

Would you like to try any of these?

(images: anna malin lindgren)

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