Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Get the Bow-WOW Boho Scoop on Dogs & Their Designers


If you know me or follow this blog, you know about a year and a half ago a Goldendoodle named Millie (that's her on the right, LOL) stole my heart. I call her my “grandpup,” since her mum is my daughter, Erin ((on the left, 'natch).

I’ve always been (and always will be) mostly a cat person. But this puppy pulls at my heartstrings, and it turns out, happily, that she loves me as much as I love her.

It also turns out I’m not alone. Author and interior designer Susanna Salk profiles for us 21 fellow designers and the pooches they pamper in her latest book, At Home with Dogs and Their Designers (that's it in the middle!), and it's a delight even a diehard cat person like me can love.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Designer Carolyn Roehm shares her digs with doggies Lucky, Beethoven, Trollop, Dusty, Baby Monkey, and Teddy Bear

Though Rizzoli released the title this past October, I spent a few months undecided about whether or not to buy it for Erin, who’s become quite the decorating diva since buying her first home just a month before Millie came into her life. And making room for poochie without sacrificing style is an ongoing challenge, though her style (and mine) are nowhere near the high end where these designers and their dogs dwell.


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House policy for Hutton Wilkinson's West Highland Terriers, Piper Dundee and Kippy of the Cavendish, is to mess up the house as quickly as possible so dad can redecorate. Not sure which one is picture here, but he seems content with his surroundings as is.

But finally, a few weeks back, I bit the bullet and bought the book for Erin as a Christmas surprise. As soon as it arrived, I started reading it and was tickled to find that even a “mostly cat person” who lives quite casually and modestly in comparison, couldn’t put it down.


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Bunny Williams' Terrier and Poodle mix, Bebe, lounges on an Indian quilt meant to protect
the upholstery.

Designers profiled with their dog(s) include such household names (in my house anyway, LOL!) as Jonathan Adler, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Brian McCarthy, Michelle Nussbaumer, Charlotte Moss, Kelly Wearstler, and Bunny Williams, to name just a few. Each profile tells how people and pooches found each other, how they get along in their extreme décor environments, and tips on living the uber-stylish life in tandem.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Martyn Lawrence Bullard and his Wheaten Terrier, Daisy Olympia Green, enjoy tea in
their Moroccan-inspired dining niche.

Some owners tell their dog’s story for them, while others step aside to let the dogs wag the tale. The result is a truly delightful mix of the magic that happens when pets capture our hearts, souls, and of course, take over our homes.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Charlotte Moss and her King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Buddy, share breakfast in bed, with emphasis on the "bed" part.

Designer Robert Couturier, profiled along with his shih tzus Hercule, Clara, Zazou and Dora, writes a compelling foreward. But it’s champion Hercule who, in that last section, speaks for the rest of the brood and tells the reader favorites—forbidden spots, restaurants and orders, meals at home, places to sleep and walk—as well as pet peeves, most trouble ever gotten into, and special talents.


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Brian J. McCarthy's Poodle Mix, Daisy, befriended this Persian lamb Lina chair
once she discovered it wasn't another household pet to compete for affection.

And, of course, there are tons of gorgeous photos inside the private homes of the designers we all love. Thanks go to photographer Stacey Bewkes for the lion’s share of these.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Robert Couturier says his pack of pedigreed shih tzus is welcome anywhere a 
human would be.

Emerging themes? Dogs rule. They are family members and treated with as much give, take and love as any partner or child. Which, I daresay, is as it should be.


BoHoHome.com @bohosusan
Jonathan Adler's Foxy Lady, a mixed breed rescue, enjoys lounging around her designer's home au naturel. Somehow, that seems to me to fit the midcentury modern aesthetic, don't you agree?

My only question is, How long must I wait before At Home with Designers and Their CATS debuts? One thing’s for sure: It’s probably the cats holding up the show, right?




At least that's what Millie told me. Isn't she adorable?

PS: I would have reviewed this book sooner so YOU could order as a holiday gift for the designing dog-lover in your life, but I didn’t want to give away the surprise to Erin and Millie. I only hope that seeing how some pups live doesn't make her too demanding. That decadent dog's life can be addictive.


If you want more (& how could you NOT?!!)…


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Windsor Smith and her German Shepherd Sur enjoy a quiet moment alone together in her Santa Monica Hills
(Calif.) home.

  • Follow the links below to browse and/or order your very own copy of this book and others by Susanna Salk. 
  • Check out the Architectural Digest review of this book. 
  • Follow photographer Stacey Bewkes’ design blog, Quintessence and read what she has to say about photographing this fun project
  • Check out author and designer Susanna Salk's website.
  • Shop (and follow!) both my Etsy and ebay stores for vintage finds, a few of my boho DIYs, and next-to-new surplus home decor. New merchandise gets added regularly, so check both places often. 
  • Sign up to have BoHo Home posts sent to your inbox using the subscription link in the sidebar (top right). Or follow with Bloglovin, a social-media platform that allows you to set up an account and access all the blogs you want to read in one place. 
  • Find additional content from BoHo Home on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Houzz, and give me a follow EVERYWHERE!! The more the merrier at this very merry time of year!



         
         

Saturday, December 23, 2017

DIY Boho Santas That Run Rings Around Stick-On Bows - Literally!

Before we start, I must tell you I did not come up with this idea on my own. I found it on a Google search for gift embellishments and put my own stamp on it.



I originally intended to make up a bunch of these and use in this very way, but by the time I got around to making them, I’d already wrapped and decorated most of my gifts. Mostly I love my gift-wrapping efficiency, but sometimes I can be in too much of a hurry. I should have waited because these were so fun to make and are really, REALLY cute.



So packages aside, I decided to use them as Christmas Day dinner table favors instead to lend a bit of panache to my non-traditional color scheme. They'd also be cute as tree ornaments or hanging in windows or on doorknobs! And they're a great way to use up leftover yarn.


Here’s what I started with…


This is the idea photo I found on Google search. I can’t credit who came up with it because the photo didn’t take me back to a tutorial. (But I'd be happy to ADD a credit if that person contacts me.)

It looked straightforward to me: Knot yarn on rings, half white for the beard, half red for the hat, then knot the red to make a hat and add a hanging loop.

I decided to change mine up by increasing the size of the ring and playing around with yarn colors used for the hat. I’m guessing this is about a 1.5-inch ring. I wanted mine a tad bigger and ordered rings along with some other craft items from an online site in 3-inch diameter. The larger size worked, but I would eventually like to try 2-inch and 1.5-inch sizes as well.

ANYONE can make these, they don’t get your hands dirty, and they go together quickly even in 3-inch size.


Here’s everything you need…



  • White yarn for the beard and whatever colors you want for the hat
  • Craft ring(s) in desired size (3 inches is shown)
  • Scissors



You also might want to grab a book or piece of cardboard for cutting your yarn more quickly. I wound mine around the narrow end of a clipboard, then cut the loops at both ends.



I did this for both the white (beard) and colored yarns (hat).


Planning your Santa’s ‘wardrobe’



For most of my Santas, I used the variegated yarn shown here.



In some, I rotated the lighter pink and peach strands with the darker, rosy-colored strands (left). In others I used only the pink/peach strands (middle). And I did one with a solid dark rose yarn (right). You could also use bright red or any alternative color scheme you prefer—for the hat, that is. Santa’s beard needs to be white regardless of hat color, don’t you agree?


Making ‘knotty’ nicely



You only need to know how to do one basic knot to make this Santa. In macramé circles, it’s called a reverse lark’s head knot, which makes it sound a lot more complicated than it is. All you have to do to make it is:

  • Fold your cut strand in half and tuck the loop under the craft ring (left). 
  • Then bring the two end strands over the top of the ring and through the loop (middle). 
  • Finally, pull the ends tight (right). 

If you look at the other side of your ring, you’ll see what a lark’s head knot without the reverse looks like. Both are made the same way; you just decide which side you want as the front.


  • Keep adding knots in your hat color (photos 1 and 2) until you fill up half the ring. 
  • Then switch to white knots for beard (photos 3 and 4) and keep knotting until you fill the rest of the ring.

The number of strands you need and the number of knots you make will vary based on the thickness and loft of your yarn, as well as your own personal preference. I prefer to err on the side of fullness. And since my beard yarn was thinner and less fluffy than my hat yarn, I needed more beard knots. My 3-inch rings required around 35 to 40 knots for beard and for hat.



You should end up with something that looks like this.


‘Tying one on’ for Santa



The variegated yarn I used had a blue-violet strand to it. I didn’t want that in the hat itself, but thought it would work to tie the hat and make a hanging loop. Plus, since I’d already cut it out of the portions I used, I didn’t want to waste it.

I cut a nice long strand of it and placed it underneath the hat portion of my Santa ring (right photo). Then I simply worked the hat strands into a clump I was satisfied with, pulling the blue tie strand tighter and tighter.

Pardon me for not picturing this part, but I couldn’t do it AND photograph it.



I ended up with something like this. When I was satisfied with my “clump:”
  • I tightened the tie strand and knotted it (left). 
  • Then I flipped Santa over, pulled my tie strands around, tied and knotted tightly again (middle—note the visual difference of the lark’s head knots on the back). 
  • Finally, I made another simple knot in the tie strand to create a hanging loop and cut off the excess (right).


Last but not least, I trimmed up Santa’s beard and tapered it along the sides. Leaving him a little scraggly is okay, too. The hats may have needed a stray yarn strand trimmed, but mostly I thought they looked best a little irregular. There are no hard and fast rules, so do it to please your own eye.



And do it in the color combo you prefer. My all rosy-red one got attached to a basket of cookies I gave my cleaning lady before I finished these and took this photo.

Next year, I’d like to try some in more alternative color schemes—teals, purples and lime greens maybe—and use on gifts instead of ribbon and bows, like I originally planned. Given this year's track record, I guess I better get started!


For now…



I will have a few this year to use on some last-minute wraps (this one’s a sweater for my grand-puppy, Millie), including that last item for daughter Erin that Urban Outfitters may not get here on time (grrrr). Instead of ribbon to surround the package, I used extra yarn and tied the Santa ring onto it with a simple bow.


But gifts aside, I LOVE how they look as part of my table setting.


When we down-sized five years ago, we got rid of a lot of stuff, including the Christmas china. No room in a 1,400-square-foot condo for a service for eight that gets used only once a year. I even gave away the Christmas napkins and tablecloth! Now I use basic white dishes and table linens that work with my decor.

That has meant I must find easier-to-store methods for making the table merry and bright for the holidays. This year, these sweet little Santas do that very trick for me.


If you give this project a try, I’d love to see how you make it your own. Feel free to post your photos in the comments section. And don’t forget to have a very Merry Christmas!

XOXO,

Susan



If you want more...

  • Shop (and follow!) both my Etsy and ebay stores for vintage finds, a few of my boho DIYs, and next-to-new surplus home decor. New merchandise gets added regularly, so check both places often.
  • Sign up to have BoHo Home posts sent to your inbox using the subscription link in the sidebar (top right). Or follow with Bloglovin, a social-media platform that allows you to set up an account and access all the blogs you want to read in one place.
  • Find additional content from BoHo Home on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Houzz, and give me a follow EVERYWHERE!! The more the merrier at this very merry time of year!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

No-Bake Holiday Cookies Your Boho Clan Will Do Battle Over


My mother was a boho baking queen and every year made dozens and dozens of cookies of infinite variety to give away at Christmas. Her freezer was always full, and everyone she knew got a plate of goodies for the holidays. One of her most popular cookies was this simple, no-bake treat she called Chinese Noodle Cookies.

All three of her grandchildren loved these cookies so much they would count how many the others had already eaten and insist they had dibs on what was left in the fridge. It didn’t take Grammy long to see she needed to give each grandchild his or her own “bucket” of cookies, making sure she divided the Chinese Noodle Cookies equally. 

Because, you know, they were going to count and compare. These cookies were THAT good.

My own daughter, Erin, loved my mom’s Chinese Noodle Cookies so much that she made a batch and took them to the hospice center where my mom spent her last days. There she shared them with family and friends who gathered round to say their good-byes.

I myself don’t bake much. Not because I don’t like to or can’t—I did, after all, learn from the best—but I don’t need the calories! Anyway, I usually make an exception at Christmas and stir together a batch of Chinese Noodle Cookies, making sure to send the bulk of them home with Erin because they are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too addictive. The recipe is so simple, which makes them a breeze to do even at the last minute, that I thought it only fair to share it with all of you.

Hope these little bites of heaven spawn some big memories in your clan, too.


Here’s everything you need…



  • 11-ounce package of butterscotch baking chips 
  • 1 cup peanut butter 
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows (the tinted kind makes prettier cookies!) 
  • 2 cups Chinese chow mein noodles 
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut 
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional & not pictured) 


As easy as dump & stir!



Melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave. The bag says 45 seconds on high, but that may vary according to your microwave. Mine took two blasts, but be cautious. The chips will still look formed though melted. Poke them with a spatula to see if they’re softened enough, then stir until smooth.



Transfer the melted chips to a large mixing bowl and stir in the peanut butter until combined.



Then simply dump in the rest of the ingredients…



…and stir until coated.



You should end up with something like this.


Now here’s where it gets a little messy…



I use a tablespoon and my (clean) fingers to form the cookies,



which I then arrange on cooling racks covered with sheets of waxed paper.



The mixture will be somewhat soft and malleable. You may need to press each cookie together some with your fingers. (For me that’s not a problem because when I’m finished I lick my fingers!)



The waxed paper over the cooling racks makes for easy transfer to the refrigerator.



My fridge has a bottom freezer drawer, and I usually clear out the top tier of it ahead of time so I can set each rack in level. I put the first rackful in and blast it with a power freeze for 5 to 10 minutes while I’m making up my next rackful.



Seems like I always end up with a few that won’t fit on my two racks, so I put waxed paper over a dinner plate or platter to finish up. My mom didn't have cooling racks OR a freezer drawer and used to use up all her plates firming these babies up!



You want them chilled just enough for the butterscotch to re-solidify and hold the cookie together before you transfer to sealed storage containers.



Place waxed paper between each layer, seal and refrigerate until ready to use. You can reuse the waxed paper the cookies set up on for this...



...then toss what’s left over. If you were careful, you won’t even need to wash those racks or platters! As you can see, I'm a sucker for an easy cleanup, proving there truly IS a thing or two mom could have learned from ME.



The recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies. Keep the cookies in sealed containers in the refrigerator (not the freezer) until ready to serve. They will soften up if they sit out too long.


But if your house is like ours, you won’t need to worry much about that



They will very quickly disappear! 



One, you see, tastes like one more.



Here’s wishing you and yours a merry (and stress-free!) holiday season and an abundance of yummy memories!


If you want more...

  • Shop (and follow!) both my Etsy and ebay stores for vintage finds, a few of my boho DIYs, and next-to-new surplus home decor. New merchandise gets added regularly, so check both places often.
  • Sign up to have BoHo Home posts sent to your inbox using the subscription link in the sidebar (top right). Or follow with Bloglovin, a social-media platform that allows you to set up an account and access all the blogs you want to read in one place.
  • Find additional content from BoHo Home on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and Houzz, and give me a follow EVERYWHERE!! The more the merrier at this very merry time of year!

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