Monthly Archives

October 2008


More Halloween Makeups from M.A.C Cosmetics

halloween artistry make ups for 2008 by M.A.C cosmetics

If you plan to go to a Halloween party tonight and you are still looking for a costume, why not start with an artistic make up?

I admit that these make ups are elaborate and are not for the novice. If you know a makeup artist or if you have a steady hand, they are worth a try.

You will find some tips and the complete range of color products you need to reproduce the look. I particularly like Colour Spill, Play the Fool, and She’s a Doll.

tribal halloween make up by m.a.c cosmetics

For a guy, try Tribal. Plus, do not miss my last year Halloween makeup suggestions, also from MAC.

+ 2007 Halloween makeup artistries by M·A·C – Sadly, M·A·C removed the instructions from their Web site.


No Sugar Or Calories with the Twinkle Cake and House Decorating Kits

twinkle spooky house and twinkle cake decorating kits

It is too late to make your own Spooky House for this Halloween but still we can all appreciate the beauty behind this Spooky House all made of felt pieces. If you omit the pumpkins, you can reuse the kit for a happy ghost kid party.

Assembling the house is a fun activity to do with kids. These houses and cakes are the creations of two New York designers Robin Arocha-Buckley and Elizabeth Werner. They launched Twinkle Kids in 2006.

Each Twinkle House arrives with a bag full of 100% Öko-Tex certified wool felt decorations plus the cardboard house or tiered cake.

gingerbread house felt decoration kit by twinkle kids

A creative activity at a birthday party would be to decorate the Twinkle Jack and the Beanstalk Cake. Or build the Gingerbread house on a cold Sunday afternoon as a way to occupy your kids.

If you wish to give the kit as a present, you will be happy to know that each kit is packaged in a sturdy white cake box tied with red and white bakery twine.

You can find those products at specialty retailers across the United States plus a couple shops in Canada, Australia and Singapore.

+ Twinkle Cake and Twinkle House Decorating Kits – $59 USD per kit
+ Twinkle Baby Decorating Kits – $24 USD


Preview of Living Etc December 2008 Issue

living etc december 2008

From what I have seen, the December issue is packed with Christmas decoration ideas for a stylish, modern home. Their Christmas issue is always a treat because they come up with fresh ideas.

Shopping guides for traditional and contemporary wreaths plus amazing baubles and star ornaments. Living etc likes to showcase super size accessories. This year, they found giant gold Christmas balls.

You do not need a mantel to hang Christmas socks for all the family. Learn to create a Christmas tree with Post-It leaves. This is a great option if you live in a small space. They also suggest punch of neon colors in several pages.

Living etc delivers modern British Christmas Glamour at its best. I will wait patiently for the arrival of the December 08 Living etc in a magazine stand near me.

+ Flip through the preview of December 08 Living etc – see the magazine for the photographer names – rights reserved pictures


In the Kitchen with Anna

in the kitchen with anna: new ways with the classics by anna olson

In her latest cookbook published by Whitecap, Anna Olson updates the classic dishes. It feels good to revisit recipes that have stood the test of time.

In the Kitchen with Anna, you will discover new techniques, surprising flavor combinations, and special preparation methods adapted for home cooking. You learn new tricks about 125 tasty dishes in a 224-page cookbook. I am curious about this book; I will have to check it out.

If you are a regular of Food TV Canada, chances are that you already know who is Anna Olson. For the rest, Anna joined Food Network Canada in 2002 to host Sugar, a dessert cooking show.  Before that, she worked for seven years as a pastry chef at Inn on the Twenty in Jordan, Ontario. This is where she met her husband Michael Olson, who is also a Chef.

Her latest project on Food Network Canada is a 26-part half-hour cooking show called Fresh with Anna Olson about eating fresh, eating local.

For my fellow Canadians, I am glad to report that the book costs less in Canada. In the Kitchen with Anna is published by the same publisher of another Canadian cookbook I like, Whitewater Cooks.

+ In the Kitchen with Anna: New Ways with the Classics – $22.76 USD at
+ In the Kitchen with Anna by Anna Olson – $18.87 CAD at
+ Whitewater Cooks by Shelley Adams – price: $19.77 USD at Amazon


Food Photographic Prints

jennifer squires art food photos - rights reserved

Every room needs some type of art pieces. Hanging framed photos of food or kitchen tools is a simple way to decorate your kitchen.

Canadian photographer Jennifer Squires, an Etsy seller, contacted me by email this morning. She introduced me to her beautiful photos of Greece. Maybe it is because it is lunchtime, but her sandwich shot caught my attention. I like the way she captured these close-up views of everyday food. Her photos invite you to cook.

Most of her fine art photographs can be produced as large as 24×30 inches or as small as 4×6 inches.

+ Food photos by Jennifer Squires – $6 to $35 USD on etsy – rights reserved


Announcing the Winner of The Katie Brown Celebrates Book Giveaway

winner giveway of katie brown celebrates

I wish to thank you all for participating. Thank you to the publisher, Little, Brown and Company for giving these copies away. The random draw determines the 5 winners:

  1. CHRISTINA – username: cwright04
  2. ANNE MORELLO – username: annemorello
  3. REEVA – username: reeva
  4. JAIME – username itsajaimething
  5. SUMAYA – username: everestwater

I hope the book gives you the desire to entertain more at home. I will try to contact the winners by email. Just in case, I am asking the 5 winners to send me your address via the Contact form so you can receive a copy of the book. Use KBC Book Giveaway as the subject.

And do not hesitate to praise in Places your favorite merchants, restaurants and local service providers. It is also about your taste.

+ Katie Brown Celebrates – $19.80 USD at Amazon


More Steals on Glamorous Mirrors

My latest guest post for Style Sheet, the design blog of HGTV Canada is a Splurge Vs Steal post. I selected the iconic Stardust mirror since it is an amazing home accessory. I dug two more glamorous mirrors that did not make my short list.

kenneth wingard sunburst mirror

The First one is the fabulous Sunburst mirror designed by Kenneth Wingard. Look how great these modern fisheye mirrors look next to traditional furniture.

 antiqued gold convex round mirror at Tanyas gifts and gallery

The Convex Round Mirror frame exhibits a heavily, antiqued gold leaf finish. This is one of stylish mirrors available at this unique product assortment shop, located in the heart of Toronto.

Go check the glamorous mirrors that made my cut on Style Sheet and do not be shy to leave your impressions.

guest post on style sheet :: splurge vs steal glamorous mirrors

+ Kenneth Wingard Small Sunburst Wall Mirror – $209 USD at All Modern
+ Sunburst Large Mirror – $460 USD at Kenneth Wingard
+ Convex Round Mirror – $299 CAD at Tanyas Gifts and Gallery


Twenty Past Four Plates for Good Table Manners

twenty past four plates designed by willie tsang

Born and raised in Hong Kong, the graphic designer Willie Tsang now lives in Toronto. Willie likes to infuse a sense of play in his creations. I would add a touch of education too. He created 2 plate series and a teacup set for the 2008 collection of Imm Living. I am showing my favorites.

British Table Manners

Twenty Past Four illustrates the British eating habits. Let review the rules. According to the British table manners, you eat with the prongs of the fork pointing downward.

The plate illustration reminds you how to act at the end of the meal. You indicate to that you have finished eating a course by placing your knife and fork together at “twenty past four”. Put the fork with the tines facing up below the knife, with the blade facing the fork.

Tap for Tea


Tea-drinkers tapping the table with three fingers express discreetly their thanks to the member of the party who has refilled their cup. This habit comes from a Chinese tale. It is that tale that is behind the design of Tap for Tea. I am glad to have learned about the origin of this ritual.

You may wish to revisit my quick Guide to Table Manners.

Sadly, I have no idea about the prices and where you can get these items. If I learn more, I will let you know.

+ images from Umm Living


Last Minute Halloween Decoration Ideas


I like the Halloween porch spotted last week by Sabina of Barefood in the Orchard. I could not find any details on where this picture came from. If you have a talent for designing scenes, it used props that are widely available.

Why not revive the 70s candle in the wine bottles? Finish the vignette with artificial web. You cannot find something easier to do.


ReadyMade explained how to make your own Sack-O’-Lanterns or watch Martha Stewart on a video teaching you how to make these Autumn Luminarias.


Basically, it involves printing a stencil on a brown paper bag. Fill a 1/5 to 1/4 of the bag with sand. Put the typical votive candle inside, make sure the glass cover more that the flame. Martha recommends putting a little water inside the glass before inserting your candle. It is supposed to ease the cleaning of the glass. It is even safer to use battery-operated candles.

+ Candle in Wine Bottles: Photography by Gemma Comos for Good Housekeeping – – rights reserved
+ Via Barefoot in the orchard
+ Via Black Eiffel


Last Minute Halloween Recipes

frosting web cake :: mini pumpkin cakes :: sweet popcorn balls for halloween

If you have time to do some baking, Country Living proposes six exquisite cakes. My votes go to:

Frosting Web

Bake your favorite chocolate cake. Learn the classic web icing technique plus get the recipes for a Chocolate Glaze and a Vanilla Glaze.

Mini Pumpkin Cakes

Use a simple Classic Chocolate Cake recipe. Trim the bottoms of cakes baked in mini Bundt pans to create a flat surface. Join two cakes so that the fluted tops are at either end, then drizzle with Chocolate or Vanilla Glaze and sprinkle with coarse colored sugar or nonpareils before the glaze sets. Top with a Marzipan Pumpkin Stem.

Sweet Popcorn Balls

Any types of flavored popcorns are delicious and cheap to make party treats. Country Living suggests raisins and dried fruits sweet popcorn balls as a Halloween treat.

For more homemade Halloween treats, check out Halloween Treats Menu.

+ Photography by Charles Schiller for Country Living – rights reserved