Squash and the City

It is almost time for my annual New York pilgrimage, which is half about the city, and half about finding Fall.

October in New York means pumpkins in the windows, and on tables, and in tarts and cupcakes and art exhibits, and I walk around the city with an orange-colored smile.

Last year, I took more pictures of pumpkins than I did people. Scenes from my wanderings withMarni, Michael and Shanna:

Killer carvings at  The Rose Bar, Gramercy Park Hotel:

Pumpkins in windows all over Midtown Manhattan:

In pies (and cute cookies) at Once Upon a Tart, SoHo:

In doughnuts at Doughnut Plant (the best you will ever have, EVER, in your whole life):

Bread, at Payard:

On the Fith Avenue lawn in front of the fountain at The Plaza:

Pumpkin-colored leaves outside the cutest Biergarten in Brooklyn:

And pumpkin-colored sweaters with a heavenly forecast in the window at J. Crew:

A pumpkin-hued art installation in the lobby of the New York Times (where I went completely as a tourist — hey, I said it was a pilgrimage, right?):

All these little screens held sentences from that day’s paper. It was crazy cool:

Pumpkins and chocolate cacao beans at Mast Brothers, Brooklyn, where Marni was so happy:

Pumpkin centerpieces at a cafe on the Upper West Side:

And flanking a gorgeous stoop:

Pumpkin colors on postcards at D’Espresso, which looks like a sideways library inside:

D’Espresso was another Marni find — isn’t she cute? (Also: good coffee.)

Pumpkins lining the hallways at Chelsea Market:

And a customized pumpkin at the Ace Hotel:

Me, punch-drunk on sqaush and the city.

By |2011-10-18T16:38:02-07:00October 18th, 2011|Style|0 Comments

Pumpkinville, Arizona

Did you know Phoenix was once named Pumpkinville? In the mid-1800s, the city took its name from the pumpkins that lived happily in fields along the canals . . . to which I say WHAT HAPPENED!? I wish it was still called Pumpkinville. Once, I saw a pumpkin that grew in modern-day Phoenix. ONCE. (And P.S. The person who decided to name it Phoenix suggested the moniker while he was drunk.)

Anyway, all of these stories help me love Phoenix a little more. I’m still dreaming of my pumpkin party, which might have to happen in November. (And thank you all for the sweet, comforting words about my Granna.)

Pumpkin party supplies: I need pumpkin macarons, $25 per dozen.

Chocolate-filled pumpkin candy favors, $3.50 each.

Pumpkin menu cards, $2 each:

Pumpkin cookie favors — in my favorite colors, $22 per dozen.

Pumpkin gravy boat, $19.95, Williams-Sonoma:

Pumpkin tureens from Williams-Sonoma, $49.95:

I’m sure I could think of a use for these wooden fall leaves from Paper Source:

Pumpkin spice Whoopie Pies, $18 for six.

And I still really, REALLY, want to make these pumpkin floor cushions a la Martha. Who’s with me?

I found this vintage pumpkin illustration – maybe for the invitation. It looks cute printed on burlap.

I’m dreaming of a table that looks something like this:

What pumpkin goodness have you spied that I’ve missed?

By |2011-10-12T16:46:52-07:00October 12th, 2011|Style|0 Comments

Lacy, racy boudoir pumpkins

This craft project began as lacy pumpkins and ended as racy pumpkins. I feel kind of bad for the pumpkins. But I didn’t mean any harm.

I actually think they’re kind of awesome, provided you don’t object to a little Kiki de Montparnasse.

But this is still fishnet stockings on squash,  and there’s nothing I can do to change that.

And maybe I got into some feathers, too.

A little lace:

In my defense, I got the idea from the wholesome wonder that is Better Homes & Gardens, so it can’t be ALL bad.

By |2011-10-03T03:10:24-07:00October 3rd, 2011|DIY + Projects|0 Comments

Missoni Pumpkin D-I-Y: Fall Craft Week Begins

It’s Fall Craft Week in this portion of the internet universe, which is going to have us all in Michaels every night this week. (If you could see the gems landing in my inbox! Send yours to jaimee.rose@arizonarepublic.com.)

And now, the results of my annual pumpkin torture session:

Missoni! Yes, Missoni-inspired pumpkins. I decided I needed pumpkins to match my plates. (For the “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Party” that I still need to plan.)

Aren’t they fun? They’re also simple and quick. I did them in about an hour, not including dry time. It’s just paper and glue. (You could also paint, which might look better, but that sounds hard.) Republic designer Audrey Tate even made zigzag templates for you to download. Pumpkin OnePumpkin Two, and COLOR! (Not pictured.)

Here’s how:

Get a pumpkin, real or fake. If you’re going to all this trouble, it’s nice to keep your pumpkin around for a few years. I’ll show you how to make the faux look real. (My missonis above? Fake. Yep! And some of the pumpkins next to them are real. Tough to tell, isn’t it?)

PUMPKIN ONE: This pumpkin was $10 at Target. I like that the ribs and surface are uneven, like a real pumpkin.

Next, take the pumpkin outside, and paint it. The perfect white pumpkin paint is Krylon Fusion in Dover White. This takes minutes, since Fall in Arizona means HOT weather and quick-drying paint.

This is optional, but I think this paint looks more real than the finishes that come on the faux pumpkins.If your faux pumpkin is orange, I’d paint that, too — in a satin finish, whatever color you want.

If you have a real pumpkin stem on hand — which is the trick to making these look authentic — then pry off the plastic stem before painting. If you don’t have one, tape off the plastic stem.

Next, download, print and cut your zig zags. Use regular-weight paper. You’ll probably need three or four print-outs to go around the pumpkin.

I cut the zigzags above into two portions for my Target pumpkin: one zig zag larger than the other. Next, coat the back of the cutout with Mod Podge in Matte. Stick it on your pumpkin, and top with another coat of Mod Podge. Let dry. Continue around the pumpkin until it’s finished.

TIPS: Some inks will get smeared by the Mod Podge, and you’ll have grey glue smudges on your white pumpkin. Just wipe them off while still wet with a damp paper towel.

TO MAKE IT LOOK REAL: (Remember, you have pried off the fake stem.) I learned this trick from Lynne Bonnell, the velvet pumpkin queen. Buy pumpkins with good stems, and save the stems after Halloween. Pry or cut them off your pumpkins, and let them sit out in a ventilated area, like your garage, and dry until next year. When dry, scrape dried squash off the bottom of the stem, and attach to a faux pumpkin with Quick Grip adhesive.

If you want a stem right now, glue won’t hold it, but there is a way:  buy a pie pumpkin, hack off the stem, cut all the squash off the bottom, and use an awl to poke a hole in the bottom of the stem about two inches deep.

To attach, stick one end of a toothpick into the top of your faux pumpkin, and attach the stem to the other end. Handle with care. Next year, glue it on.

PUMPKIN TWO: It was difficult to get the spacing even between my zigzag rows, so for the second pumpkin, I used Audrey Tate’s template and printed it on cream-colored paper so that the in-between spacing was already in place. If your pumpkin is orange, print the template on orange paper.

And remember that you can make your zigzags go any direction you want.

 

Templates: Pumpkin OnePumpkin Two, and color (not pictured — and in my defense, I tried, but my printer was out of color ink — something a black and white acolyte tends not to notice).

Do you have a fall craft to share? Send me pictures: jaimee.rose@arizonarepublic.com

By |2011-09-26T17:18:47-07:00September 26th, 2011|DIY + Projects|0 Comments

Five for Friday: pretties and pumpkins chez moi, plus two wknd events not to miss

ONE. My Missoni dishes came. They were waiting for me last night, and ohhhh, my. Absolutely fabulous, darlings! I’m dreaming of a pumpkin-filled dinner party with an “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” theme.  Because I love that movie and I love these dishes and they’ve got a lot in common.

 

TWO. This ceramic box from Missoni also arrived — killer, and quite big. It could be a cookie jar. Pumpkin cookies, of course.

THREE. For my pumpkin dinner party, I will employ my sister’s enormous silver pumpkin punch bowl, because who would own a pumpkin punch bowl except a woman in my autumn-obsessed family? (Wait until I show you the matching silver pumpkin cups.) Maybe at this party, we need to have pumpkin soup.

FOUR. I got out my great pumpkin last Sunday. It’s even bigger than the punch bowl. This weekend, I think, the rest of the pumpkins are escaping their box in the garage. It’s too early for this, I know. Also: I don’t care.

FIVE. I have an autumnal orchid adding pinky oranges to my black and white stripes. It was a housewarming gift from Mark and Angela — who laughed and said they were sorry it wasn’t white. And you know what? That non-white orchid totally makes the room.

What are you up to this weekend? Don’t forget the Halloween sale at FOUND, which is now open to the public just one weekend a month and by appointment. They’re opening up their basement and clearing out summer goods — and those sales are LEGENDARY among those of us who know to go.

Also this weekend: the Halloween event at Sweet Salvage, another monthly market shop that opened this summer along the 7th Avenue Design District in Phoenix. All of this talk of October and pumpkins is bringing me unfettered joy. Happy weekend, everyone.

P.S. Thanks to you all for coming to the Storytellers event last night — it was great fun, and I can’t wait to be in the audience Oct. 21 at Narcisse Lounge in Scottsdale for the next round. Ghost stories!

By |2011-09-16T18:09:00-07:00September 16th, 2011|Style|0 Comments

Fall decor chez moi

Before autumn is over and it’s twinkle light time, I thought I’d show you the pumpkin parade at my house. I pulled out my china and went with a vintage vibe. The antlers are courtesy my father, who about lost his mind when I called and asked if i could borrow them. (He’s been, uh, discouraged from his antler habit by decorators in the past.) “They’re stylish now!” I told him, and then he let me borrow his very best ones.

My favorite tableaux: a green striped pumpkin and my platinum leather dictionary. (Confession: writers like to READ dictionaries. I know. It’s weird.)

Vintage trophies and boxwood teacup topiaries:

Pumpkins and poetry:

And behold, my birthday gift from Ty: a vintage typewriter. I hinted a little, and he researched and considered and found The One. It even works.

 

By |2010-11-20T12:19:52-07:00November 20th, 2010|Style|0 Comments

This year’s autumnal creation: Boudoir Pumpkins

This craft project began as lacy pumpkins and ended as racy pumpkins. I feel kind of bad for the pumpkins. But I didn’t mean any harm.

I actually think they’re kind of awesome, provided you don’t object to a little Kiki de Montparnasse.

But this is still fishnet stockings on squash,  and there’s nothing I can do to change that.

And maybe I got into some feathers, too.

A little lace:

In my defense, I got the idea from the wholesome wonder that is Better Homes & Gardens, so it can’t be ALL bad.

By |2010-10-15T12:36:20-07:00October 15th, 2010|DIY + Projects|0 Comments

Gilded pumpkins

This weekend, my mom and I glittered and gilded pumpkins. LOTS and lots of pumpkins.

Aren’t they pretty? To gild a pumpkin, pick up Rub n’ Buff from Michaels — in the paint aisle, near the gold leaf. It’s this paint-paste stuff that I just smear all over the pumpkin with a paper towel, and then go over the top with the opposite shade (if the pumpkin is gold, I accent with silver, and vice versa). My mom added glitter on top. Butternut squash and acorn squash are also excellent makeover  candidates.

And this  is Tyson’s birthday pie: chocolate mousse.

Filling recipe here — I doubled it, and had extra. Crust is, um, two store-bought oreo crusts I dumped into a springform pan, along with a tablespoon f melted butter, and pressed into the pan carefully so as to achieve the appearance of homemade work. Hee.

I felt slightly ashamed, but I was in a rush. Bakerella — the patron saint of internet cookery — would never fake a crust. She makes things like this — so adorable, but the idea of replicating them kind of gives me hives.

 

 

 

By |2010-10-01T03:14:46-07:00October 1st, 2010|DIY + Projects|0 Comments

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