fall

thanksgiving centerpiece inspiration — gilded pumpkins

thanksgiving centerpiece inspiration

thanksgiving centerpiece inspiration

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the decorating. As much as I love to plan a menu, planning the centerpiece is half the fun when friends and family gather around one dinner table.

I was so excited about the centerpiece I created for Anna’s baby shower, that I couldn’t imagine throwing the pink pumpkins in the garbage. However, pink doesn’t exactly “go” with the rest of our house, and the boy wasn’t stoked about having baby shower décor lingering in the house.

So, I repurposed them with another coat of spray paint and switched out the flowers a couple times to make them more suitable for two separate table settings.

This versatile centerpiece inspiration is fun to create, and relatively time and cost-efficient. Here’s a look at exactly what I did, but feel free to mix up the quantity, colors, etc!

materials

  • 7 medium-sized pie pumpkins
  • pumpkin carving set (the kid friendly kind will do)
  • newspaper
  • gloves
  • spray paint in 3-6 your colors of choice (I recommend at least one metallic color and then an ombre of another color depending on your color-scheme)
  • 3-5 small aluminum cans that have been opened, emptied, and rinsed out (small mason jars also work)
  • 2-dozen assorted flowers of your choice
  • 5 assorted candlesticks with a wide base on either end in varying heights
  • 20 additional mini pumpkins in white or orange

instructions

 

  1. Using the pumpkin carving set, the newspaper to cover whatever table surface you’re on, and gloves, carve 5 pumpkins, making sure the opening on the top is large enough to fit the aluminum can. Carefully scrape out all the “innards” of the pumpkin so they last as long as possible. Wipe them clean and dry when finished.
  2. Spray paint the carved pumpkins and any additional un-carved pumpkins according to you color scheme. I recommend wearing gloves and holding the pumpkin by the opening to ensure spray paint coverage. You can also leave some of the “naked” and in their original orange color. Let them dry for at least 30 minutes.
  3. While the pumpkins dry, arrange your flowers into equal size bouquets for each pumpkin in the tin cans or mason jars, and fill the can or mason jar with water.
  4. Once the pumpkins are dry, ease the mason jar or can into the opening in the pumpkin.
  5. Arrange the candlesticks in the middle of the table, alternating heights as possible. I also chose to stagger mine so that there was more depth.
  6. Carefully balance the pumpkins on the candlesticks. Arrange additional pumpkins (mini and normal size) around the candlestick pumpkins. Add sparkly votives for nice dimension.
  7. Gather and enjoy!
carved and spray painted pumpkins ready for their flowers

carved and spray painted pumpkins in a range of pinks, ready for their flowers

the first version of this centerpiece, pretty in pink

the first version of this centerpiece, pretty in pink

version 2, that same day, using pretty copper and metal colored spray paints

version 2, that same day, using pretty copper and metal colored spray paints

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I saw these dark purple and blood red blooms at the local grocery store and was inspired to update the pumpkins one more time for Rachel’s Halloween party

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red wine also inspired the color scheme…and the creative process 🙂

bouquet ready to be put in a pumpkin

bouquet ready to be put in a pumpkin

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Here are a few more gilded pumpkin inspiration photos Taylor recently pinned to our Brass Blossom Pinterest (check it out!)
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Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

“b” party!

As we saw our posts creep towards the 100s, we knew we needed to so something special to celebrate this blog. The 100th post happened to fall on the perfect weekend when there was so much to celebrate including the Brennans To Be (Brad and Jenna) and an inevitable Husky beatdown vs. our Ducks. Taylor had the brilliant idea to make the theme “b.” As luck would have it, many of our favorite things start with a b. Here’s a look!

decor

 

 

Our décor featured all things “b” including

  • Balloons
  • A “buttload” of pumpkins (a term Taylor coined well before we conceptualized this party)
  • Blossoms (duh)
  • Oregon “banner”
  • Beautiful votives (ok, that one’s a stretch)
blossoms and pumpkins

blossoms and pumpkins

table centerpiece

table centerpiece

"b" pumpkin with chalkboard paint

“b” pumpkin with chalkboard paint

balloons and lots of love

balloons and lots of love

menu

 

Our “b” inspired menu featured:

  • baked brie, burrata, and baguette, along with an antipasto plate
  • baked potatoes with all the toppings (including bacon and beans)
  • bratwurst
  • brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe, and berries salad
  • blackberry and brown sugar creme brulee
  • bubbly and beer
baked brie

baked brie

bakers and beans (chili)

bakers and beans (chili)

potato toppings, including bacon

potato toppings, including bacon

bratwurst

bratwurst

broccoli, brussels sprouts, and berry salad

broccoli, brussels sprouts, and berry salad

the food spread

the food spread

taylor's plate (minus the brat of course)

taylor’s plate (minus the brat of course)

taylor's beautiful créme brûlée

taylor’s beautiful créme brûlée

...with some bubbly of course!

…with some bubbly of course!

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Our celebration was attended by our favorite babes and bros…and black dogs and a brittany

the brennans to be!

the brennans to be!

abbey and zac

abbey and zac

huskies...go ducks

huskies…go ducks

tay and cas

tay and cas

the brass blossom celebrates 100 posts!

the brass blossom celebrates 100 posts!

zoe wore a bandana

zoe wore a bandana…the black dogs did too but they’re impossible to photograph

brittany, nice job starting with a "b," duncan

brittany, nice job starting with a “b,” duncan

cha-se getting him creme brûlée blow torch on

cha-se getting him creme brûlée blow torch on

and finally, as anticipated, a husky beatdown...for the 11th year in a row

and finally, as anticipated, a husky beatdown…for the 11th year in a row

Thanks to all who helped us celebrate! It was such a fun night, and we can’t wait for the next 100+ posts!

krista and taylor

 

 

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taylor’s big 2-5 — harvest inspired feast

the birthday girl!

the beautiful birthday girl!

In honor of my dear co-author’s quarter-century birthday, Rachel and I wanted to return the favor of a great dinner party in her honor. Honoring her favorite season and her vegetarianism, we set out to create a heart vegetarian feast, complete with pumpkins, vodka, and gold.

Here’s a look at the night!

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Though it was a small, all-girls gathering, we couldn’t not send a Paperless Post…We went for the ever classic black and gold template that added a little “hunter-gatherer” flair.

paperless post

paperless post

decor

It was perfect autumn weather for a cozy night. Here’s how we decorated:

  • Pumpkins and more pumpkins
  • Sunflowers and mums in mason jars, wrapped with raffia
  • Mason jar cocktail glasses with orange striped straws
  • Lots of candlelight — in our gold glitter mason jar votives, and with tall white column candles
  • A burlap, gold-painted table runner

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menu

I have to say, cooking a vegetarian meal is quite lovely and stress free — no incessant hand-washing, no fat trimming, no gross bloody packaging…That being said, I couldn’t help but slip some bacon in there! Rachel and I must have exchanged about a dozen emails plotting and plan this evening. Here’s what we decided on, and what our dear friends contributed:

  • A vanilla, pear, and vodka cocktail with a rosebud sugar rim — sweet, but very yummy!
  • Burrata (you can never go wrong with burrata) and an antipasto platter with salami, cheese, and olives
  • Homemade bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes from Sara’s garden
  • A whole roasted head of cauliflower — both cool to look at and totally delicious. The marinade was so good that I dipped celery sticks in it for the next couple days
  • An artichoke, green bean, squash, sunflower seed, roasted garlic, and quinoa salad — this provided a nice light balance to our meal, but we added some champagne vinegar to tarten it a bit
  • Brussels sprouts, Enoteca style — thinly shredded and sautéed with goat cheese and (bacon)
  • The main event, butternut squash soup — a delicious concoction that Rachel made from a fax recipe. That’s legit!
  • Mini mason jar pumpkin cheesecakes — also gluten free, the boy has devoured one of these every night for the last week (I made some extras)
delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

a perfect plate!

a perfect plate!

harvest dinner

roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

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vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

Happy Birthday, Taylor! We love you so much, and we had so much fun celebrating your big birthday!

cheers krista

brass blossom

weekend love it — quarter century life happenings

This past weekend, I turned the big ole 25. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to go to an amazing school that had an incredible outdoor program. The not so incredible part as an 17 year year old, or incredible part now looking back on it, is that I was generally tromping through the woods in somewhere, USA on my birthday as every year we had a fall trip. Looking back now, I cannot complain that I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday surrounded by friends and the great outdoors.

This year the celebrations were plentiful, although simple, which is just what I wanted. Needless to say, the past couple of weeks have been full of love, well wishes and more fall-inspired fare and decorations, all of which I adore. Below are just a few things that I have been loving lately!

1. Quarter Century Birthday. My birthday was everything that I could have asked for. The celebrations were mellow, which is just what I wanted. So thank you for all of the beautiful birthday wishes and cheers to an even better next quarter century!

Leading up to my birthday this year I knew I just wanted to keep it simple. We had a small “family” gathering on the night of my birthday with amazing food and company and then to top my birthday week off, Krista and our dear friend Rachel threw me a little girls birthday bash. The theme was appropriately a fall inspired, vegetarian harvest feast. Both celebrations were wonderful and pointed my next quarter century in a wonderful direction!

birthday treasures: just a few of the wonderful cards i received with loving birthday wishes, garden picked sunflowers and a decorative white pumpking

birthday treasures: just a few of the wonderful cards i received with loving birthday wishes, garden picked sunflowers and a decorative white pumpkin

end of the night girl's birthday celebration

end of the night girl’s birthday celebration

incredible new workout "pants" from the boy + birthday wishes from maude

incredible new workout “pants” (from vie activewear) from the boy + birthday wishes from maude!

2. Thought Catalog — Early 20’s versus Late 20’s. After our girl’s birthday celebration ended when the kitchen was cleaned and all the candles were blown out, Krista and I happened along the topic of feeling older. By no means do I feel like an old maid, even though I have always been more of a home body, but I have recently felt that I am teetering (slash 10-steps ahead of) the line towards Late 20’s. So cheers to a clean kitchen, farmer’s markets, sleeping and kale!

This ‘Thought Catalog’ by Jamie Varon had me laughing out loud and fairly accurately sums up how I’m feeling about Early 20’s versus Late 20’s. A must read for a chuckle.

You’ve aged like a fine wine that you hopefully paid more than $3 for…

You’ve aged like a fine wine that you hopefully paid more than $3 for…

3. “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. During the past year, Sandberg’s book Lean In has come into many conversations. The book has been in the back of my mind as a must read when I get around to it. But after my friend, Rachel, asked me if I have read Sandberg’s book I felt like the universe was not so casually telling me that it was finally time to get around to it.

In an attempt to be practical (now that I am 25) I put the book on hold at the library and completely forgot that I had done so. So when it finally arrived back and I received the e-mail it was available I immediately dug into the book. Ironically I had already bookmarked Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business to include in my next “Weekend Love It,” which Sheryl Sandberg is featured as #10.

I’m not finished quite yet but recommend this book to anyone, male of female, business oriented or not.

Lean In - by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In – by Sheryl Sandberg

Another side note: Apparently Lean In Org is an Instagram, which I now follow and recommend that all of you do to receive some daily inspiration!

4. Powerful Women. I wasn’t intending to highlight a theme of powerful women but after reading Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business last week I knew that I needed to share it. I was particularly captured by the trend that these powerful women are pushing boundaries into heavy industries (i.e. tech, energy, defense, and autos) and not solely focused in creative industries. In college I received a few Federal Grants for simply being a “woman in science,” which I gratefully accepted. The trend and actual happenings of supporting women in more “heavy fields” is something I firmly believe in.

Side note: One of the authors is the one and only Caroline Fairchild, who I fortunate enough to grow up with. Make sure to follow this lady as she is going places.

Most Powerful Women of 2014

Most Powerful Women of 2014

On a tangent, Business Insider’s recent article on How Your Name Affects Your Success highlighted the trend that “if you are a woman with a sexually ambiguous name, you are more likely to succeed.” As a woman with a sexually ambiguous name, I found this portion of the article fascinating. Although, I think that it takes far more than just a name to succeed the trends are fascinating.

5. Pumpkin Spice Donuts. On a note slightly less related to life growth and powerful women in business, let’s talk donuts. This spring I made heavenly (if I do say so myself) Buttermilk Lemon Poppyseed Donuts. Yesterday I cleaned out under my oven to organize the plethora of oddly shaped bakeware that I have and washed everything. After coming along the donut pan, the boy exclaimed “we have a donut pan?” I felt slightly hurt that he had already forgotten my previous donut adventures but vowed to make him some donuts due to his excitement over the donut pan. I’m a strong believer that women can be powerful CEO’s and still make a mean donut.

To add to the enjoyment of this Sunday, I made perhaps the most simple, gluten-free Pumpkin Spice Donuts that left my house smelling of fall. Recipe coming soon!

pumpkin spice donuts

pumpkin spice donuts

taylor brass

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