i really love the holiday season. there is so much beauty in the decoration and the anticipation for the traditions that this time of year brings. today, i’m excited to feature a gorgeous holiday wreath by a alyssa hoppe, a wonderfully talented new york floral designer and prop stylist. i love her take on a holiday classic that can live in your home this season if you follow her steps below…take it away, alyssa!
I was inspired to take a modern, clean approach to fall and holiday decor this year with an asymmetrical wreath in a neutral color palette. I’m always thinking about how to repurpose or give another life to what I’m making, so with that in mind, I started with a base for my wreath that would become a great wall hanging piece even after the foliage comes off. Enjoy! – Alyssa
what you’ll need:
Thick cotton twine
Black leather cord
Round Brass tube
how to make it:
- measure out desired length of brass tubing for the base of the wreath and mark with tape. We measured our tubing to 16″ long.
- secure your tubing to the table with c clamps and use a hacksaw to make the cut
- Using sharp scissors, cut the desired length of your leather cord. We cut our length at 64”
- Once your leather cord is cut, slide the cord through the brass tube
- Place the leather cord end to end and secure with masking tape so that you have a continuous loop. Slide the taped section through the brass tube so that it is hidden.
- Decide how long you would like the fringe to be, and cut cotton twine to twice that length. We cut 24 strands at 24″
- fold the cotton twine in half, with a loop at the top. wrap around the brass tubing, and pull ends through the loop at the top in a “lark’s head knot”
- Once all cotton twine strands have been attached to the tube make sure you go through and tighten all of the knots
- Now your base is made and you’re ready to make the foliage layer that attaches.
- Start with your longest leaf branches and attach them end to end using floral wire.
- Starting from the outside, working towards center, layer foliage and flowers on top of another, and attach stems with floral wire
- Once you have reached the middle you want to make sure you cover the connection with a larger flower so it feels seamless
- Once you have finished, hold up the foliage layer to your base and figure out the angle you want to attach it at.
- Using floral wire, attach the foliage to the base at the points of intersection
- Once secure, hang it on the wall and your wreath is finished
photos by: Kathleen Stalzer Bly
wreath design by: Alyssa Hoppe
more DIY projects here
we think pasta is the quintessential comfort food. look up “comfort food” on wikipedia, and you’ll find a hearty debate on the validity, origin, cultural acceptance/rejection of the term. memories and food go hand in hand, so for us, comfort food just means food that brings back memories, while making us feel good and nurtured when we eat it.
we thought it would be fun to team up with roomforty and show you how to make your OWN pasta from scratch. we recommend the following: a good soundtrack, a good work surface—(smooth, at least 3 feet long, no grouted counters), an apron, a glass of vino, and the recipe below. memories and goodness will be close behind. cheers!
some notes before you start:
• The key to fresh pasta is using the right flour. We use 00 (double 0) Flour, which can be purchased at specialty food shops, (for L.A. residents, Surfas or Gourmet Imports carries 00 flour). Whole Foods carries semolina flour but does not carry 00. Do not bother going through the trouble of making fresh pasta if you’re going to use all-purpose flour.
• The recipe below is for filled pasta—agnolotti, or ravioli.
• In the spirit of simplicity, we make our dough in a standing mixer. It works great, makes less of a mess—but of course, isn’t as fun for the kids. So if you do want to get the gooey/sticky hand thing going, go for it! Pour your flour on a work surface, make a well in the middle, put the wet ingredients into the well, mix and knead until baby bum texture is achieved.
• Pasta recipes are not exact science due to the varying sizes of egg yolks. Some yolks are large, resulting in dough that is more wet, while some yolks are smaller resulting in drier dough. Keep a few tablespoons of water on hand to balance the moisture.
• You can use any filling for filled pasta—vegetable purees, mixtures of cheeses, meats. Just remember for the actual pasta you’re using a pinch of salt for all of the pasta—so filling needs to be very seasoned so that you maintain flavor when your filling is covered with the pasta.
• 1 lb. 00 Flour
• Pinch of Salt (kosher or sea salt)
• 23 Egg Yolks
• ¼ Cup of White Wine (the secret!)
• 1/8 Cup of Olive Oil
• Egg Wash:
• 3 Egg Yolks
• 1 Tbsp Water
Step 1: Put flour and salt into standing mixer bowl. Add yolks, olive oil, and white wine. Mix at medium speed for 4 minutes using the dough hook attachment.
Step 2: Form dough into ball shape.
Step 3: Cover dough ball with plastic wrap or damp towel. Dough always needs to be moist, and needs to be prevented from drying and cracking.
Step 4: The dough needs to rest. We recommend at least 2 to 3 hours, covered in a refrigerator. You can let the dough rest in the fridge up to 3 days.
Step 5: Slice 1/8 of the ball into your portion. Whatever dough is un-used can be frozen. Thaw at room temperature before using.
Step 6: Flatten dough portion with a rolling pin so that it can be fed through pasta machine.
Step 7: Set pasta crank on “1” and feed dough through pasta machine. You will have a long rectangle.
Step 8: Take one end of the rectangle, and fold into the middle of the dough. Take the other end and fold into the middle of the rectangle. Take the “3-layered” rectangle and pass through pasta machine again with the thickness setting at “2”.
Step 9: Set thickness dial to “3”, and pass pasta through. Set thickness dial to “4” and repeat.
Step 10: Place filling in a pastry bag.
Step 11: Place long pasta rectangle on work floured work surface. Tim round edges to form straight ends. Fold the pasta sheet in half to find your halfway point. You will only be working on half the pasta sheet because the other half will end up being the top of your ravioli. Make an indention with the large ring mold into the pasta sheet. Pipe about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the indention —if you want to break it here, you can—I could go either way
Step 12: You’re going to be folding the pasta onto itself. The egg wash is the glue. Mix 3 egg yolks and 1 tbsp of water to form egg wash and brush egg wash in the shape of a square around the piped filling.
Step 13: Fold the pasta sheet onto its self and use a smaller ring mold to press the pasta sheet down around the filling.
Step 14: Now take the large ring mold you used earlier to make the indention and punch out the raviolis. Make sure your filling is centered in the middle of the ring mold before you press down.
Step 15: If you’re cooking right away, place raviolis into boiling salted water for 4 minutes or until just al dente. If you are saving for later, spread semolina flour (or corn meal) onto a baking sheet, and dry raviolis on baking sheet for 15 minutes before placing into the fridge or freezer.
Frozen pasta needs to completely de-frost before cooking. Do not drop frozen agnolotti or ravioli into boiling water.
Step 16: Simple sauces rule with filled pasta. A little butter, fresh shaved reggiano and chives are killer.
The roomforty family
(photos by brittany wood, recipes by roomforty, want more food posts? go here!))