Heart Leaf Garland

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by David Dempsey

I love this idea for marking a path to a wedding reception, a lunch date in the woods or basically for any old party where the guests need to find their way. 

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Valentines Day
Heart Leaf Garland

What you need: 
Length of ribbon (I used 9 feet of a 1-inch pink grosgrain)
Green leaves
Scissors
Sewing machine and thread

What to do: 
Cut the leaves into heart shapes (don’t try to be perfect). Sew, using a decorative finishing stitch onto the ribbon

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Valentines Day

Funny Food-inspired Valentine’s Day Cards

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Editing by Candace Brower

Dear Herb,
We’re through.
XO,
Libbie

2 Creative and Affordable Valentine’s Day Party Decoration Ideas

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistants Candace Brower, Anthony Lunsmann

Throwing a Valentine’s Day party in the woods, I needed to create a moment as soon as my guest (yes, only one) arrived. Check out these two super affordable and absolutely stunning party decorations!

ONE:
Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, Valentine's Day, Installation Art, Party Decorations, Valentine's Day Parties
With a big space and a small budget paper lanterns from a Chinese New Year installation were repurposed to set the scene!
TWO:Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Chia Chong, Valentines Day
My entire team was OBSESSED with this heart curtain that was the entryway to the party.
What you need:
Paper doilies
String (I used butcher’s twine)
Glue stick (not hot glue)
A tall ladder to hang

What to do:
1. Cut (3 to 4-inch) hearts out of white paper doilies (you can cut a bunch at once). The curtain pictured took approximately 600 paper hearts.
2. Working one piece at a time, cut a piece of twine and lay on a long table.
3. Place one heart on one side of a length of sting, glue another heart on top sandwiching the string in between. Keep moving up the string not worrying about distance between. The less perfect the more perfect. Continue until you do enough strings to create a curtain (I used 20 lengths for this installation).
To Install: Tie a string between two trees and tie your lengths of heart string from them.

DIY: Colorful Paper Lanterns

This started out as a Chinese New Year Party decoration and quickly turned into an anytime party decoration! Get the step by step DIY below!
Party Decorations, Chinese New Year Party, Easy Party Decorations, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers
DIY Lantern Making
makes 1 fun recycled party decoration

What you need:
2 pieces of colorful wrapping paper, about 24″x 36″ (adjust the size according to the size you want to make the lanterns…it’s fun to make them in all different sizes and colors of paper for a grander effect)
1 pair scissors
Colorful painter’s tape
2 12″ bamboo skewers
1 12″ latex ballon
Colorful Ribbon (I used purple to hang and gold curly ribbon to “garnish” the bottom)

What to do: 

STEP ONE
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Gather your ingredients

STEP TWO
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Roll out two sheets of wrapping paper back to back and cut. Make sure to cut one sheet a slight bit larger.

STEP THREE
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Use the roll of tape to tape together all four sides of both sheets.

STEP FOUR
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Fold the papers in half down the middle, then fold the each side again.

STEP FIVE
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Open your paper to the first fold so that you can see a crease where the second fold is. Next with your scissors, cut equal lines from the middle fold to the crease. You will cut off the final line with tape on one side.

STEP SIX
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns

Unfold your paper and tape the two ends together creating a cylinder-like shape.

STEP SIX
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Poke a skewer through each end of your lantern.
STEP SEVEN
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns

From inside the lantern, blow up your ballon 12″. Attach long ribbon to the skewer at one end.

STEP EIGHT
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
Finish off your lantern by attaching ribbon onto the skewer at the top end and hang.
Party Decorations, Over the top parties, Libbie Summers Parties, Chinese Lanterns
NOW HAVE A PARTY!!!
Party Decorations, Chinese New Year Party, Chinese Lanterns, A food-inspired life

DIY Fresh Orange Candles

It’s winter in Savannah, GA and that means beautiful citrus trees are heavy with fruit. Yellow grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes ripening all around me. From my window as I write this, I can see two orange trees and one particular clementine tree where a militant orange tabby cat stands guard daily.

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at an orange candle for awhile. Basically, I didn’t believe the flame would burn for 5-6 hours like I had read. And I wanted to see if  it had wonderful citrus scent as it burned. So I put on an orange shirt to get in the mood and made 6. I made a little video too.

How To Make a Candle From An Orange
makes 2 candles

Ingredients/stuff you’ll need:
1 orange (preferably with a thick skin)
Knife
Grapefruit spoon (0ptional/you can use your hands just fine)
Olive oil or vegetable oil
Lighter

Directions:

STEP ONE

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

Pick/Buy/Steal/Borrow An Orange

STEP TWO

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

Use the knife to cut the orange in half across the middle.

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

Use your fingers or a grapefruit knife to remove the flesh down to the skin, being sure to leave the middle stem like portion intact. (I was worried about it ripping out, but the worry wasn’t necessary. The “stem” is tough and won’t pull out easily.)

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

STEP THREE

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

Pouring over the stem (this is important, you need to get the stem/wick saturated with the oil to help start the flame). Fill to slightly below the top of the wick.

STEP FOUR

A Food-Inspired Life, Citrus, DIY, How To, Oranges

Let the oil filled candle sit for a few minutes before lighting with the lighter. Even then, it still takes a couple of minutes to keep the flame from extinguishing. But, once you get it lit, it will stay lit for….wait for it.

FIVE HOURS!!!!! And, as far as the scent goes. Think a homemade orange and olive oil body scrub. Just a slight citrus scent mixed with olive oil and something else you can’t quite put your finger on.
I will never throw away an orange rind again without illuminating it.