It really is all about the small details. When I was walking the aisles last month at the National Stationery Show in New York, I rounded the corner and there they were. Push pin after glorious push pin in just about every color imaginable. It so often is the tiniest things that tickle me the most. These sure did. Just small, little things that can add a bit of life and color to what could be quite ordinary and dull. Of course, the orange were the first box I tore into when our order arrived the other day. A little Hermes-y, a little Veuve-y–these orange push pins will brighten up any board they are gracing or anything they are holding in place. They look pretty darn cool just sitting in a clear glass on the desk too. Ahhhh, the simple things…
Happy Friday all!
Yesterday was swap-out day for the dining table. Something fresh as we head into the busy season. Shells were on my mind, so that became the theme. The Lucite lidded box with a cool assortment of sweet shells would become the plate. Ahhhh, retail fantasy display. Love it.
Many of the farm stands have had beets as part of their offerings. This is a simple salad that is hearty and I think looks so cool with the contrast of the deep hue of the beets and the white of the smattering of feta. Beets can be intimidating and messy. Here is how I cook them to try and avoid both.
Turn oven to 400. Snip the green from the beets. Wash and dry with a paper towel. Put all the beets onto a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the beets are somewhat soft to the touch. This will vary greatly depending on the size. Once done, take out of the oven and set aside to cool completely. Scatter a handful of walnuts onto another baking sheet and put into oven. Every few minutes shake the sheet to move the walnuts around. You are really just wanting to get them to release their natural oils, so stay with them and take out of the oven when they start of get added color. 5 to 10 minutes max. Set aside. Once the beets have cooled, now you get to cut away the wrinkly skin. I like to do this on a plate, as beets with stain the heck out of cutting boards. With a sharp knife, cut away all the skin of the beet. Then half or quarter beet and put into a large bowl. Do this with the rest of the beets. Once done, add a bit of the very best extra virgin olive oil you have. Add salt and pepper. Mix. Put this mixture onto a plate or platter. Take cooled walnuts and break up a bit and scatter on top of beets. Do the same with good feta. Kind of like snow falling. I like the combo of tiny pieces and large pieces. Lastly, add a few pinches of fresh cracked black pepper to the top. Done. Enjoy.
Think ‘strength in numbers’ is how I always look at repetition in design. Whether at the shops or at home, this is a visual play I use often. If you collect something, let’s say silver candlesticks, grouping them together will make a much stronger visual statement than if they are scattered about a room. By grouping like things together, it creates a collective whole. The eye sees the grouping, as well as the individual objects. Try this next time you get a burst of creative energy and want to switch up things a bit at home.
Our photo shoot on the island was just cancelled today due to rain and will now take place on Sunday. I have had design on the brain these last few days. Well, actually, I have design on my mind almost always, but even more so these past few days getting things in tip top shape. Fingers crossed for a sunny Sunday…
We arrived to Vashon yesterday morning to 4 cords of wood that had been delivered and dropped off at the end of our driveway during the week. That act got me thinking of simple pleasures. What are the things that make you happy? For us, having a fire going when we are here brings us much joy. The fire cuts the cool, dampness that the Colvos Passage water brings. I also find a fire so relaxing. I love the sight, the smell, and the overall feel a fire projects. A simple pleasure. I don’t think they have to be overly indulgent, or they can be. It is really just up to each of us to know what our simple pleasures are. Then fill your moments with them. They make us happy. That in turn makes those around us happy. Always a good thing in my book. May you have a simple pleasures filled start to your week…
Tulip season has come and gone. Tulips are outrageously good in the Pacific Northwest. We really have such an ideal growing climate for the flowers. But this year they went above and beyond being fabulous–there was just week after week of very memorable blossoms. Here is a look back on this last season of the glorious tulip.
I have been working in our office at the Home store these past few days. Poor Bailey ruptured 3 discs and has been put on heavy pain medicine and rest for a few weeks to see if it will heal naturally. Mister Sive has been away this week to Denver, where he was a speaker at the national AIA convention. It was the perfect time to get a bunch of office chores done, have it nice and quiet for Bailey, and get caught up on paperwork. When we expanded the shop 2 years ago, we re-did the office, and it is like a little bright yellow cocoon that sits tucked away in the middle of the store. I love being in the space. We added an oversized bulletin board over the desk, which is filled with ephemera. Bits & pieces of things that bring back lovely memories. Looking up in between tasks, I was transported to times in my past. To the memorable dinner and evening we spent with Albert Hadley. To meeting Martha Stewart almost 25 years ago at Sur La Table, when Shirley Collins still owned it. Along with one of the times I got to meet my childhood idol, Chris Evert, around that same time. Seeing our now gone kitty Georgia O’Keeffe perched on her favorite spot on the back of the sofa. A menu from Chez Panisse and the incredible memories that still inspires. Along with the Buvette business card that takes me right back to meals there. To the lovely notes written to me by friend Barbara Barry, and the sweet ‘thank you’ note by glassybaby. Propped alongside the photo of us taken for Better Homes & Gardens magazine when they featured our Anhalt townhouse many years back. All so fun to glimpse up at while I worked away. The bulletin board has a revolving grouping of things, but they are all things that have great meaning to me. Even the envelopes with the beautiful handwriting spark creativity when I look at them. By having all of this out in sight, it really inspires me and harkens back such fond, fond memories each time I take all or parts of it in.