the Forest Feast

by Dana on June 19, 2014

I think I just found the most beautiful cookbook every cooked.

Although simply calling it a “cookbook” doesn’t do justice because it’s more like art and cooking combined.

And I don’t even remember how I found it.
But it had something to do with Instagram. I stumbled on the feed @theForestFeast, and I couldn’t stop scrolling through the gorgeous photos, and the scenery, and just, the everything.
So I clicked over to the Forest Feast blog and oooooo!  More of the same gorgeous.
I wanted to jump into every photo, and enjoy a feast on Erin’s magical deck.

But instead I emailed her to see if I could review a copy of her book because I know you guys will love it.

And here it is! for you to peruse and enjoy.

Each recipe page is a true work of art…from the props and food set-up, to the graphics, to the photos, and most importantly—the watercolor fonts and illustrations.  It’s such a clever design. And just beautiful.

It’s one of those books that you want to buy for everyone you know.

I’ve already purchased two more to give as gifts this summer.

Cause everybody loves pretty food photos….and also pretty house photos.  I love that Erin included pics of the northern California forest and outdoor deck where she lives and entertains.  I think that makes any cookbook or sewing book feel personable and unique.  We love to see where the magic happens.  And for a moment—pretend we can jump into the chalk drawing with Mary Poppins and spend an afternoon in your world.

Want to join me??
Today we’re giving away a copy of the Forest Feast cookbook to one lucky person!

• Leave a comment, that’s it.
• Only one entry per person.
• Open to US residents only.
• ONE winner will be picked via
• Giveaway ends Saturday 6/21/14 at 10pm (Central Time)


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Remember those barstools I asked you about?
You guys were fantastic with the feedback!  Holy comments my friends.  Loved it!  And your ideas were super helpful with my decision making process.
So to give you an update…YES  I did choose a fabric, and I bought 9 yards of it, and now I just need a free moment to sew them up and share the final results.  So more to come on that….

In the mean time, let me show you some home details…..some of those specialty items that felt like a risky move but I totally love them.
If you’ve missed my other posts, our family spent the last year building a custom home in the Austin, TX area.
We didn’t physically build it ourselves—we hired a custom builder to do the hard part; we were along for the decision-making ride.

Check out my previous posts documenting the whole process:
We’re building a new home!
Groundbreaking Party
From foundation to frame 
Stucco, shingles, and a pretty paint job 
Sheetrock, paint, and a double-decker deck
We moved!…and an ode to the old house
Tile, Flooring, Countertops, and Color 
Guest Room makeover

In my last post I shared most of the tile in the house.
For three of the bathrooms we used Interceramic Bold Tones 6×6 tiles:

And I originally planned to do the same in the kids bathroom, in True Yellow color.

But at the last minute I got cold feet and wondered if I was being too boring (of course you might already think I’m crazy for using green and teal in the other rooms).

And yes, maybe I should have just used white tile everywhere and painted the walls a fun color.
I realized one day, while being sucked into the Houzz vortex, that the home photos I loved most were the ones that took risks and used color and texture in ways other than simply paint color.  Of course I love paint too (check out our Guest Room to win a Sherwin-Williams gift card if you haven’t already).  But I wanted to give the house some unique features….without thinking about resale value, which is what people are constantly telling you as you build a custom home.  “Remember, you have to sell this home one day.”

And you just wanna yell “Can I please live in it first?!”

For the kids’ bathroom I mixed it up and chose a 1×1 mosaic glass tile called I Love Color—is that perfect name or what??!

And one day the tile guys showed up.  And the Lego tiles went up!

Felix and his cute black glasses did a fantastic job lining up the squares.

And he never seem annoyed when I asked “can I take your picture?  And if it’s not too much trouble….could you peel some of it back so I can see what it looks like? And….”

He just patiently sponged and peeled and eventually,

….grouted all those little tiles in white.

And one day it was done!

And Clara drank water till it was gone.

Oh I love this shower!
It’s like a wall of confetti!
Or sprinkles.
Or Tetris?
Name your specialty, and this crazy shower’s for you.

Now while Clara drips herself dry, let’s go downstairs and talk about Wallpaper.
After building such an open floorplan, I really wanted the dining room to have a bit of separation, so it felt like it’s own room.  And I’ve always wanted wallpaper somewhere in our house.

I’ve just never been brave enough to do it.

But I decided again—you only build a home once!  Okay, hopefully more than once because I’ve really had fun doing this.  So why not use wallpaper? It’s just paper!  And there are so many cool options out there.   If I hate it in 5 years, I’ll pull it off and we can start over.   That’s the fun of home decorating.

So I pinned a bunch of ideas (see my boards here).  And went with something from the Sherwin-Williams store.  Did you know they carry wallpaper?  You can check out books/samples from their store.

And you can also find our particular paper on various sites online.  It’s called York Wallcoverings Bistro 750 Trellis Wallpaper (click the link for other color options from Wayfair).

I was so excited when those rolls showed up on my doorstep.
And when it was the right time in the building process, we hired someone to cut, paste, and hang that trellis up.

Oh how I love hiring people.
It’s so great to see it all happen in a few hours time……


I love it!
I think it really fits with the rest of the vibe in the house.



The geometric shapse are subtle and the green ties in with the green front door.

Now I need to decide which table will go in the space.  I’ve taped out an IKEA option…we’ll see what Casey thinks.

And that’s an update!

More Lookout Lane details to come…


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I mean, if you’re making 1 roll of streamers you might as well make 40?  Like when I made all those bags?
At least that sounds right in my head.

And it always looks right on my table.

And every time I sew Ruffled Streamers I think “Oh that color combo is my absolute favorite!”

Oh wait, this one’s my favorite….

It’s like a candy shop of ruffled paper and I just want to swim in it!….and then share the ruffled love with all my friends….which is why I was sewing these in the first place…..

Last week I was invited to a small sewing retreat hosted by Baby Lock Sewing machines, who’s motto–by the way–is For the Love of Sewing! isn’t that cute??  I’m starting a new partnership with them and can’t wait to tell you more about their machines.

So for two days straight, 38 of us sewers and bloggers got to hang out at Baby Lock headquarters, learn more about their machines, exchange business ideas, and just get to know each other!  I got to chat with Nancy Zieman—you know, THE Nancy Zieman, pioneer of sewing, Sewing With Nancy, Nancy?  She was great.  I learned about how the Missouri Star Quilt Company got started and how they’ve kept their small town alive through their business.  And I got to spend the night at See Kate Sew’s house because we were in such deep conversation that we missed our plane together—while sitting at the gate.

Long embarrassing story.
But good times.

(sorry for the ramble).
Back to streamers.

Baby Lock asked each of us to contribute an item to their swag bags for everyone to enjoy.
And I made each guest a roll of Ruffled Streamers!
This way they could decorate their hotel room….or have an after party at home with the fam.
They were really fun to make. And also fun to package.  So if you’re looking to give these away as gifts, here’s an idea for you…..

• First sew tons and tons of streamers using my video episode HERE, or my step-by-step tutorial HERE.
I made each of my ruffled rolls about 3 yards long.  And by using three rolls of standard streamers, I could make about 9 of those ruffled rolls.  That sounds complicated.  Basically, buy 3 rolls of streamers at the store and turn them into 9 rolls of ruffles.  Okay….
• While you’re sewing, listen to good music.  Or have your 8 year-old tell you stories about school and recess.
• Then enlist said 8 year-old to help you roll and package, because she just can’t resist touching every streamer.  They’re just too pretty!

I typed up my name and web address and had them printed at our local Office Depot, Staples, etc. on 11×17 white cardstock and cut them into skinny strips.  A paper cutter makes this part a lot faster.

And with just a little bit of branding, the streamers look so professional!

Then I purchased simple cellophane bags, slid my business card in the front, and stuffed a ruffled roll inside.

I also printed simple instructions so people knew how to party…and how to make new streamers in the future.

Then I included sticker dots to easily hang streamers on the wall.
And it was a party in a bag.

I don’t know how those of you with handmade shops do it.
I had the entire family help me stuff and package the bags….and there were only 40!

I did love how neatly Owen lined these up, and how he kept track of each and every bag when I handed it to him.  Those kids are good workers.

Then I stuffed them all in a box and shipped it off to Baby Lock headquarters.
And for one day our house felt like a little factory.
I seriously wish I could sell these in an etsy shop.  But it just wouldn’t be worth my time and effort.
So I guess I’ll just give them away as gifts.

Okay friends, have ruffled fun weekend!


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Remember when Clara was a baby?

…and she and I loved to make the same facial expression?

Okay maybe you don’t remember that part.
We do love the same same go-to baby blanket!
It’s fast, easy, and only uses ONE layer of fabric…cause when you’re swaddling a baby, you want a receiving blanket that’s not too heavy and feels cozy on their skin.
Check. Check.

And….(yep) it also uses my favorite sewing item: Bias Tape

So come watch our new MADE Everyday episode and make your own!

Just hit the play button below and enjoy….

And if you missed our video on How to Make Bias Tape, watch it HERE.

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create fun things using everyday items.
To watch other episodes:
• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or….
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.

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