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Fancy Summer Picnic

The idea of a summer picnic always sounds like a great one, but often results in store bought pasta salad and mediocre sandwiches. That is, unless Dishing Magazine at the helm. Because when they are, magical things ensue. Food for days, cozy benches and Carrie Patterson behind the lens, to name a few. And if you’re looking to host your own fancy picnic, spend some time in the gallery for lots of ideas!

From Dishing Magazine Since we started Dishing way back in 2011, we knew styled dinner party/photo shoots were something we wanted to include in the magazine. Fortunately for us, one of our favoriate photographers, Carrie Patterson, approached us with the idea last summer, which forced us to follow through and make our vision a reality.

Along with Carrie, we conceptualized a classy afternoon picnic on a the banks of Fish Creek in Wilson, Wyoming (part of Jackson Hole). We asked two favorite local chefs, Kevin Humphreys from Spur Restaurant and Bar and Wes Hamilton of Couloir and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, to prepare the simple, tasty menu. Everything they prepared is seasonal and served great at room temperature (key if you are going to take this meal on a picnic).

And while the scenery around Jackson Hole is nothing less then stunning, this all-ladies lunch called for some special touches. Vanessa Flory of Fleur De V and Hunter Gatherer, styled the grassy picnic spot with hay bales covered in sheepskin for sitting, as well as Pendleton blankets, pops of red flower, cloth napkins, vintage silverware and knives from New West Knifeworks and Laguiole knives.

Photography: Carrie Patterson Photography | Floral Design: Fleur De V | Blankets: Pendleton | Chef: Wes Hamilton | Chef: Kevin Humphreys | Décor: Hunter Gatherer | Knives: Laguiole | Production: Dishing Magazine | Silverware: New West Knifeworks

Carrie Patterson Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Carrie Patterson Photography

DIY Striped Trunk

Would you believe me if I told you this trunk was originally a $7 thrifstore find? Because I, for one, would pay good money for this seemingly modern piece in a fancy design shop. Just in case you’re feeling inspired to DIY your own one of a kind item, Sarah has shared every last step! And for more awesome design DIY’s, you may want to head over to Knock Off Decor.


Vintage trunk
Goo gone (optional)
Brillo pad
White vinegar
Primer (use Kilz Adhesion Bonding Primer if the surface is glossy)
Scotch blue painters tape
Two paint colors of your choice
Clear polyurethane 

step-1 Start by removing any sticky bits or stickers with the goo gone and brillo pad. Next, give the whole thing a good thorough whipe down using equal parts white vinegar and water.

step-1 Prime your entire trunk (latches and all) using your primer

step-1 Once dry, coat the entire thing in a layer (or two, if required) of your first paint color of choice. Here, Sarah used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Barcelona Orange

step-1 Once dry, create stripes with 1.25″ painters tape. To ensure even lines, use small pieces of painters tape in between each row. Be extra careful overtop the latches and use smaller pieces to get in each crevice. Press down firmly to ensure no bleeding occurs.

step-1 Once dry, remove painters tape and add a clear coat of polyurethane!

Photography: Sarah M. Dorsey | DIY: Sarah M. Dorsey | Source: Knock Off Decor

How to Make a Ragdoll & Giveaway

Jess Brown created a successful company through her want to make handcrafted toys for her kids. This desire turned to a full fledged career in fashion and dolls, with kids and adults alike flocking to purchase her one-of-a-kind creations. Now with the launch of her latest book, The Making of a Ragdoll, she brings tips & steps to her fans to create their dream doll. Today she’s sharing said steps with The Moms Project and we’re giving away an original Gypsy Doll to boot. Grab the details below!

Jess Brown Dolls from Lauri Levenfeld on Vimeo.

Choosing the Fabric:
I start off with a basket full of fabric scraps. Some are old clothes, finds from flea markets or left over fabric from stores, antique shops or designers. It doesn’t matter if there are holes or stains on them, because something can come out of everything.

I work my way around the stains and use the holes to my advantage. Some people may consider these scraps garbage and just toss them, but I treasure every bit. This is what I call my Hunting & Gathering phase. And it is this type of fabric and the unusual embellishments that make the doll so special.

Choose at least five different scraps of fabrics for layering. Choose different colors, patterns & textures to add character to your doll.

step-2 The biggest piece of fabric will be your starting off silhouette. Start wrapping your doll in the fabric and sew the body accordingly.

step-3 Once you have the starting off silhouette sewn on, you can start adding the embellishments and playing around with the smaller scraps of fabric. Have fun with it, there are no rules for creating your doll.

step-4 After your embellishments are sewn on and your dress is complete, create a headpiece with ribbon, feathers, or any type of fabric. Tie it around her head and you have your very own version of a Jess Brown Doll!


For more ideas, details and patterns, check out Jess Brown’s The Making of A Ragdoll. And her amazing story continues on The Moms Project!

Photographer: Lauri Levenfeld | Designer: Jess Brown | Fashion : Jess Brown | The Making Of A Ragdoll : By Jess Brown | Video: Razor Byrne Video Productions

Lauri Levenfeld

Contributing Editor, Life