Easter Floral Arrangement

Written By Stephanie White on 18 April 2014 // Posted Under: Decorating, DIY, Holidays with

I hope all of you have a wonderful long weekend munching on some Easter chocolate. Here in Ottawa it will be another 2 weeks before tulips or other flower might begin to show, so I decided to bring the feeling of spring indoors with this easy tulip arrangement that is perfect if you need some last minute decorating ideas for this Easter. To begin you'll need one large glass vase and one smaller vase that can fit inside the first vase. For my arrangement I'll be using a glass vase with a mason jar inside.

easter tulips diy

Fill the mason jar with water and move it to the edge of the table. Hold each tulip outside the vase and position it to the height you want then cut the stem. For more information on how I measure flower see my flower arranging tips. When cutting your tulips if you are using a shorter vase like I did you should be able to cut the tulip stem in half so that one piece has flowers and a stem and the other has the larger leaves from the bottom which you can use as extra greenery. Once done adding flowers place the smaller vase back inside the larger vase.

easter tulips diy

Next to give a more Easter feel to the arrangement I carefully filled the outer jar with Easter egg candies that hide the inner vase, and give a more festive touch. If you don't have candy various things could work such as the large tulip leaves wrapped around, the plastic grass used in Easter baskets, or plastic Easter eggs.

easter tulip diy

The end result is rather cute, and perfect for a family Easter meal. 

A Cut Above

Written By Stephanie White on 17 April 2014 // Posted Under: Decorating, Kitchen with

I've been big on cooking since I was very young when my grandfather who was chef started to teach me how to cook, since then my fondness for the culinary arts never stopped. As an artist I just find cooking to be an extension of art, and I love the playful and inventive nature of cooking, let alone how it brings people together for a wonderful meal. As a chef, your most important tools are your knives, so I've always kept them within easy reach on a magnetic bar. Magnetic knife bars are a great way to use vertical space in your kitchen, but they are also very affordable.

magnetic knife storage

// via Trendenser and the Kitchen //

magnetic knife strip

// my knives on a magnetic bar at my old home - and a very distorted selfie //

In my home, I've been using Ikea's Gruntal magnetic bar which works like a charm and sturdly holds all my knives. Mine is several years old, but the new ikea version is a bit nicer without the rounded corners and costs less than $20.

magnetic knife strip

// my knives which are kept on Ikea's magnetic bar //

While a set of good knives can be a large investment my personal favorite are the knives by Blacksmith Shousui Takeda, a Japanese blacksmith. His amazing knives stay very sharp as they are made using Aogami Super Steel that keeps them durable and retain their shapr edge, and can be identifited their unique texture along with the heart (his blacksmith symbol) that appear on them. Here is a close up of a few of his knives, which you can purchase directly from him or visit the store Knifewear that also carries his knives.

japanese chef knives

While I lived in Japan I had the amazing opperunity to visit him several times in Niimi which was just a short train ride away from where I lived. Here you can see a photo of Takeda demonstrating how he tests his blades by using a piece of paper to test the blades sharpness. Nearly 5 years since I purchased my knives from Takeda they are still extreemly sharp, due to the high quality craftsmanship. Unlike standard stainless steel knives they are much sharper but the trade off is you need to use extra caution to fully dry the knives so they do not rust.

blacksmith takeda

Here is a great group shot of myself, blacksmith Takeda and the some of my friends who I introduced him to (of course they all bought knives too). 

magnetic knife strip