Amy Hamley Ceramics

 

I first shared the work of my friend Amy Hamley – then Redraven Studios – with you two years ago, in our Pittsburgh Makers series. Since then she’s moved across the country with her husband and pup, rebranded as Amy Hamley Ceramics, and just last week released her newest collection. This girl’s been busy!

 

 

I chatted with Amy a few weeks ago, and after catching up picked her brain about the transition between her well-known Canyon Series to this more casually sophisticated style.

“While the Canyon Series meant a great deal to me personally, and building a product line around my travels was magical, it just never completely fit. I spent two years thinking about letting this line go and how to move forward with my work, it wasn’t an easy decision at first but once I committed to it everything just felt right. I studied both painting and ceramics in college, and for a long time it was important to me to honor both processes. But one day I realized that making the pieces wasn’t fulfilling me anymore and it began to feel like work. I wanted to focus on the part of ceramics that I love, experimenting with the materials and developing glazes.”

 

 

 

“The starting point wasn’t an item, so much as the palette. I really wanted to focus on minimal, soothing tones with this collection. My favorite pieces are the black deco dinnerware.”

 

 

 

“The inspiration behind the new work isn’t that far from the Canyon Series, it’s still traveling, nature, and being witness to my surroundings. With this line however, I wanted to be true to what I love and actually use in my home. I knew that this collection was special because it’s the first time that I’ve ever kept the first editions for myself, until recently I had very little of my own work at home.”

 

 

 

The new collection is stunning, with so much thought and effort put into each piece. I’ve always loved Amy‘s work, but this collection really speaks to my love of all things clean-lined. The gold deco touches make every piece so incredibly special – the perfect mix of casual and elegant. I’d be thrilled to use the settings for a dinner party or simply a Monday night meal on the couch, which is a sign of a truly fantastic piece.

 

 

A unique facet of the new site and rebrand is the One of a Kind page, dedicated to one off pieces, experimentation, and growth. Amy hopes to add an item or two per week that will be promoted Tuesdays on Instagram – stay tuned!

Carolyn Kelly, art direction
Janelle Bendycki, photography
Gorgeous and Green, florals

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Charcuterie + Crudités + Tappas Boards

 

Snack-filled meals have long been some of my favorites, back in November I even laid out my dining room with charcuterie, crudités, and tappas for my housewarming party. What I love most about these types of spreads is that there are no real rules, only fast and loose suggestions.

These tappas boards by Samarie Designs would be a beautiful addition to any spread. Printmaker Samarie Higgins teamed up with woodworker Jeremy Happ to create these one-of-a-kind pieces that use sustainable wood. Each one features a swirling work of art that’s sure to complement the food served upon it.

 

 

Charcuterie includes mainly meats and cheeses, with some supporting roles thrown in by way of fruits, veggies, nuts, and carbs. It’s definitely an appetizer that’s heavy enough to be considered a light dinner. (A recommended 5 oz. of meat and 2 oz. of cheese per person, if you’re curious.)

+ dry-cured salami, prosciutto, smoky sausage, speck, coppa, chorizo, and sopressata
+ one of each type of cheese: stinky (blue), aged (cheddar, gouda) , soft (double or triple creams), hard (parmesan, manchego), and fresh (ricotta, goat, mozzarella) served at room temperature
+ toast a sliced baguette and/or cut up flatbreads in the oven
+ add small bowls of nuts and dried fruits scattered in between
+ olives, cornichons, and artichoke hearts will elevate your entire board with new textures
+ a few types seasonal fresh fruit, either sliced or in bowls
+ slice the hard cheeses, break up the stinky ones, provide different knives for the soft and fresh
+ add in a grainy mustard, fig jam, and fragrant honey for those who want to get adventurous

 

 

Crudités platters are usually full of seasonal vegetables, something pickled, and a few sauces. It’s a versatile appetizer because it can be served cold or hot, depending on the time of year. Separate everything into groups when plating on platters and boards for maximum visual impact.

+ cold, sliced seasonal vegetables– broccolini, cauliflower (white, green, orange and purple), radishes (red, black, watermelon), asparagus, celery, carrots, assorted bell peppers, snap peas, haricot vert, English cucumbers
+ mini skewers with things like mozzarella balls with cherry tomatoes
+ steamed, grilled, or baked vegetables such as corn on the cob, mini potatoes, and edamame
+ something bright and citrusy, like sliced oranges or Meyer lemons
+ two to three sauces for dipping
+ hollow out a few small heads of cabbage and fill them with thicker sauces for serving
+ a fancy salt, like pink Himalayan

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Block Shop Table Linens

 

You may be familiar with Block Shop‘s traditional Indian hand block printed scarves, but did you know they recently released a line of table linens? Because they did and they’re ideal for summer entertaining. The easy California vibe of each scarf carries over effortlessly to table runners and napkins, furthering sisters Lily and Hopie’s mission to make heirloom textiles with a high social benefit and low environmental impact.

 

 

 

 

 

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Decked Out for Valentine’s Day

LOVE IS LOVE! Valentine’s Day is a favorite of mine, even though I’m almost always single when it rolls around. To me the day is about love in all its many forms and any reason to celebrate it is a good one, especially lately. Check out these printables, recipes, accessories, and more for a super decked out February 14th!

 

ROW 1: Printable Valentine Stickers // Printable Hot Tea Pyramids   ROW 2: Stripe Shirt with Heart Collar // Sugar Cookie Bars // The Love Spell Cocktail   ROW 3: Valentine’s Day Almond Cake // Valentine’s Day Treat Bags // Woman of Many Hearts Shades   ROW 4: Printable Tags for Valentine’s Day // Marbled Raspberry Dark Chocolate Valentine’s Day Bark // Red and Spotted D’orsay Flat

 

ROW 1: Acrylic Heart Frame // All Around Giant Heart Towel // Always and Forever Bunting   ROW 2: Arrow Cocktail Stirrers // Brass Heart Box // Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Valentine’s Hearts   ROW 3: Chocolate Pots de Crème // Coffee Lover Mug // Conversation Heart Ice Cream   ROW 4: Heart Necklace // DIY Hugs & Kisses Garland // DIY Pompom Heart Wreath

 

ROW 1: Rose Painted Valentine Cake // DIY Rose Petal Bath Salts // DIY Valentine Bouquet Wraps + Printable Love Quotes   ROW 2: DIY Valentine Heart Magnets // DIY Valentine’s Day Wall Hangings // Gold Heart Earrings   ROW 3: Graffiti Painted Clutch // Heart Print Sweatshirt // Heart Shaped Double Wall Glass Mug   ROW 4: Heart-Shaped Rose Tart // Jute Heart Rug // Love Potion #9 Martini

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Cloth Napkins

Fabric napkins equate themselves with a special occasion to me, but it doesn’t really have to be that way does it? I’ve been trying to use the mindset that every day is a good day to use things that feel special, including the cloth napkins in my pantry. Using them for an ordinary Tuesday dinner has the ability to make the pot of soup you’ve been eating for a few days taste 100% better.

 

ROW 1: Wildflower Study Napkin // Black Ikat Dinner Napkins // Set of 4 Dinner Napkins
ROW 2: Eskayel Napkins // Floral Cloth Napkins // Hand-Blocked Geo Napkins
ROW 3: Ink Dot Napkins // Neon Piping Napkins // NPG Everyday Napkins
ROW 4: Palette Swatch Napkin Set // Puglia Napkin Set // Shapes Cocktail Napkins

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You’re Invited: Christmas Brunch

I miss doing big Christmas dinners, but brunches have their own kind of charm. There’s definite appeal in being able to do so much prep work the day before, and it’s nice being able to put out an equally sweet and savory spread that caters to everyone’s tastes. I chose recipes that are easy to grab and eat while you’re catching up around the tree to pair with a selection of cocktails and traditional non-alcoholic options. As far as decorations go, this year I’ve really been drawn to fresh greenery, golds, and glass – you’ll see all three below in decor as well as on the table. (If you’d like even more inspiration check out prior Christmases 2013, 2014, and 2015!)

 

Live Eucalyptus Garland // Boxwood + Myrtle Half Wreath // Glittery Stars Garland // Green and Silver Tinsel Tree // Clear Igloo Globe String Lights // Jewel Votive Holder // Brass Laurel Wreath // Skultana Small Candlestick // Walnut Tree Skirt

 

Boozy Blood Orange Punch // Breakfast Bramble Cocktail // Cardamom Coffee //
Creamy Almond + Cashew Nog // Hot Blender Chocolate // Winter Vanilla Paloma

 

Battuto Serving Bowl // Belgian Flax Linen Table Runner // Dauville Dinner Plate // Instant Karma XL Platter // 5-pc Ivory Flatware Set // Marble Trivet // Marta Double Old-Fashioned Glasses // Seafoam Enamel Tray // Beaker Glass Tea Light Candle Holders

 

Apple Walnut Strudel with Cardamom // Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups // Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins // Cinnamon Streusel French Toast Cups // Easy Vegetarian Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole // Easy Twisted Pumpkin Spice Danish // Gingerbread Scones // Mini Cheese Quiche // Mixed Berry Croissant Bread Pudding // Orange, Vanilla & Cardamom Challah Wreath and White Chocolate Glaze // Roasted Rosemary Beets // Spiralized Potato Thyme Casserole

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A (Belated) Housewarming Party

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Hello, my name is Kelly and it took me just over two years to have a housewarming party. It’s a ridiculous thing and maybe I should have called the party I had last Saturday an open house, but a housewarming is what it was. Aside from my immediate family and friends there haven’t been a ton of guests and plenty of people were curious, or so the past 26-months would lead me to believe. So last month I decided I was ready to entertain on a larger scale and invited fifty people over for November 19th. Not only would everyone get to mix and mingle, but the timing also meant my place would be clean and ready to host Thanksgiving Thursday! Two birds, one stone.

 

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I knew I wanted to do as little cooking as possible, which meant it was going to be heavy snacks and appetizers. Everyone knows those are the best parts anyway. But the thing I was most excited about it, aside from seeing everyone, was getting to use all of the serving pieces I’ve collected with World Market generously filling in the gaps (source links following the post). In fact, I pulled out all of the Type A stops by laying everything out a few days before and labeling them with Post-Its so I knew where all of the food was going to go.

 

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I made up a delicious apple cider sangria and infused water with citrus fruits, both were set out in decanters in serve yourself fashion. There was also a selection of Italian sodas for underage guests, a variety of beer, and so many bottles of wine! Let’s just say I’m set for the entirety of the holiday season thanks to my guests and their generosity.

 

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A non-negotiable for hosting any party is the presence of cheese. Well, at least it is in my book. I picked up six fancy varieties as well as plenty of sharp cheddar, gouda, swiss, and pepper jack to go on crackers and mini toasts. Oh, and there was a parmesan spread as well because cheese is delicious.

 

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Minted, one of my favorite ongoing partners, is currently running a promotion where all of their digital invitations are free though December 31st, so I was fast to hop on the train and email out this type heavy invitation. My timeline was a little too tight to order their fabric table linens, so I went with the prettiest gold foil-pressed table runners for both the dining room table and buffet instead. Not only did they protect the wood, I was also able to roll them up for later use since there were no spills! I also customized some of Minted’s Inkblot foil-pressed place cards with foods that might need some explainging, like my Mom’s addictive cracker candy. All it took to use them in a new way was some toothpicks and tape!

 

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My stepdad made his famous poppyseed cake that’s actually a recipe from my Mom’s grandmother. At the end of the night there were only three pieces left, which made him plenty happy. I’ll be sharing the recipe here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

 

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I picked up the florals here and there throughout the prior week and kept them well watered until I was ready to put together the arrangements Friday night. If your table is longer than 96-inches I recommend going with two slightly smaller, yet equally tall bouquets for more of an impact. Some empty places on the table were filled in with produce – apples, acorn squash, oranges, and persimmons. It’s a great trick, just use whatever is seasonal.

 

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Recently I had picked up some lavender extract paste that I was anxious to try, so I baked up a batch of lavender cakes with lavender-honey cream cheese icing in some cute paper cups. I’m not sharing the recipe because I think they forgot an ingredient or two, but they looked so pretty!

 

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The party got started around 4:30 and I think the last guests rolled out around midnight. I had such a great time playing hostess that I basically forgot to eat and the only thing I drank was coffee, but I’d call it a success! My house was filled with so much love and laughter, and just maybe the first snow of the year that happened during the party was a sign of good to things to come.

Charcuterie Cutting Board // Marble Paddle Cutting Board with Copper Handle // Oval Wood Tray with Copper Handle // Woven Bamboo Salad Bowls Set of 2 // Mid-Century Creamer // Bamboo Salad Tongs // Small Olivewood Spoon // White Frosted Glass Pedestal Stand // White Rectangular Lacquer Serving Tray // White Coupe Oval Platter // Black and Gold Double Walled Ice Bucket  // Mid Century Bottle Stoppers Set of 2

A special thank you to Minted and World Market for providing product to help turn my party into a reality! And thanks to you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content.

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