Archive for the 'Underneath' Category

My Pom Obsession.

For those of you who want to chew on some pomegranate seeds without the seedy mess {oh, but it is so much fun to pull one apart in search of those small apartments of snuggled pom seeds!}… let me introduce you to my newest fresh food love. I could seriously eat a few cups of these lil fresh arils a day. Gotta love the simple spoon and clean hands post snack attack.

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Creativity and Your Dreams Last Night.

I am a serial dreamer. During the night, my mind seems more active than all of the creative thoughts and problem-solving it performs during waking hours. And let me tell you, this is tangent-girl talking so my mind truly does not take a break. You could say I’m also a serial multi-taker at heart as well. But what part of my own dreams have I applied to my life, creatively?

I thought I should share the following write-up by Marita Steffe for DesignTAXI.com. Looks like many famous humankind have had successes from their night sky imaginations.

We all have dreams and they can be a great source of inspiration. I’m not talking about the wishes we have for lives but those nocturnal dreams we have when sleeping. They come unbidden to us and often are gone before our feet hit the floor.

Scientists are at a loss to explain them: why we have them or what creates them. Still, many of the greatest innovations of our day came to their creators in dreams.

Music, including Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, and great works of fiction like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, have both been attributed to dreams. If these works can be based in dreams, then what can we mine from the depths of our own dreams?

The best way to begin is by keeping a note pad and a pen beside your bed. When you wake in the morning, write down your impressions and any memories you have of your dreams. Do not wait until you’ve brushed your teeth or had your first cup of coffee as dreams are fleeting and will be gone by then.

Just reach for the paper and pen and begin writing, even if you feel as though you are still half asleep. You can even do this if you waken during the night. As long as the dream is fresh, write down whatever you can remember about it.

Later, when you look back at your notes, you may have little understanding of what you had been dreaming. Or, you may discover that you have touched on a spark of inspiration that will lead you to some new work of art, piece of music or bit of prose.

Even negative dreams can have value.

Consider the case of Mary Shelley’s dream. Frankenstein may not have been the most enjoyable dream she ever had but it ignited her imagination and she penned one of the classic pieces of literature of all time. Never dismiss a dream out of hand. Sometimes, when you look at it in the light of day, you will find that the answer to a problem you had been trying to resolve is looking back at you.

The randomness of dreams is a benefit to the creative mind. There are no surefire ways to control what you will dream about or how the dream will end. This leaves your creative mind open to endless possibilities. Take advantage of those possibilities and you may find your life improved by this wellspring of inspiration.

Hang Your ABC’s.

Looking for kids wall art ideas today and stumbled across this laser cut wooden alphabet art. I love the letters running together to form a diminutional yet one-peice work of art. Simple. Natural. Smart.

laser cut wooden letter alphabet

laser cut wooden letter alphabet wall children nursery design interior

Love the hanging tissue puffs!

Not All Scotch is an Acquired Taste.

Okay, most of us are getting on the au natural bandwagon, painting our homes with low-VOC paints, making sure children’s toys and gear is toxin-free, and even cutting out additives in our food. So what not our beauty products!? I’m curious about the non-toxic nail polish from Scotch Naturals. Literally, no chemicals included. An eco-friendly alternative to conventional polish, Scotch’s water-based formula, so they claim, delivers long-lasting, salon-quality results in a stunning array of sophisticated shades. I know that if I’m painting my own nails, there is no long-lasting anywhere on these fingers and toes. Now, the salon finish is another story (ahem, why did my nicely filed nails chip after day three last round?). And with names like To Hell with Swords and Garter, Leprechaun Lynch, Hot Toddy, and Lochness Mystery… and classic packaging, we can surely toast to forward-thinking lacquers.

Scotch Nail Polish

Scotch Nail Polish

Scotch Nail Polish

 

The Best Guacamole. Ever.

Last night, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with my good friends Julie and Matthew. They are a headed off to Belgium on a 6pm flight tonight for a few years of work and for their final night in the states, we decided to grab the best table in the house downtown at Rosa Mexicana. For those of you who have dined at this establishment (either here in DC or at another location), you know how damn delicious their guacamole tastes. I’m typically a queso-slurping chip-crunching person who tends to stuff my face with every last dribble of queso before barely being able to start on my main entree (always has and always will be a beef taco fan). Ole! But last night, I could have died for some of their crowd-pleasing gaucamole.

That is, until I realized I can make it at home. It’s an experience to have a server comes to your table with a cart full of fresh ingredients and prepare the guacamole in the traditional molcajete, a Mexican version of the mortar and pestle. But with the right ingredients and instructions, it can be yours tonight, wherever you are, right in your kitchen. Here’s the recipe!

rosa mexicana ingrediente

Rosa Mexicano’s Guacamole Dip
From Rosa Mexicano Recipes
Makes 4 servings

Chile Paste Ingredients
1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
1 firmly packed tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño, or more to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or as needed
Squeeze of lime juice, optional (I added this for a little citrus zest)

Additional Ingredients
3 tablespoons diced tomato
2 firmly packed tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
Salt if necessary
Tortilla chips and/or fresh corn tortillas

Directions
Make the chile paste:  Grind the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and salt together in a molcajete until all the ingredients are very finely ground.  Alternatively, use a fork to mash all the ingredients to a paste in a wide hardwood bowl.

Cut each avocado in half, working the knife blade around the pit.  Twist the halves to separate them and flick out the pit with the tip of the knife.  Fold a kitchen towel in quarters and hold it in the palm of your “non-knife” hand.  Rest an avocado half cut side up in your palm and make 3 or 4 evenly spaced lengthwise cuts through the avocado flesh down to the skin, without cutting through it. Make 4 crosswise cuts in the same way.  Scoop the diced avocado flesh into the molcajete/bowl.  Repeat with the remaining avocado halves.

Solar Chandelier of Blues and Butterflies.

Butterflies use the sun to get those wings flapping… as does this Virtue of Blue solar chandelier by Dutch artist and designer Jeroen Verhoeven. Beautifully made up of 500 die cut sapphire photovoltaic solar cells in the shape of four different breeds of fluttering butterflies, this is self-sufficient light fixture – gathering light into its wings during the day for a soft glow at night. Hanging gracefully from the ceiling, the delicate shade encircles a glass bulb that’s charged by the suns rays during the day to cast a sultry blue glow after sunset.

VIRTUE OF BLUE
blue butterfly solar chandelier

blue butterfly solar chandelier
Virtue of Blue chandelier is part of a solo exhibit called The Curious Image on display now at London Gallery. If you are in the UK.

Ikea Hacking Gone Glamourous. And Gorgeous.

I found this dressed up dresser on Houzz when looking for storage solutions for a clients nursery (paired here with the Crate and Barrel Colette upholstered bed). What looks a lot like other manufacturers fine goods, the solid wood $30 IKEA Rast dresser is reinvented  into a high contrast two-tone jewel using just primer, a couple top coats of white paint, walnut stain finish, and new hardware. All very easy on the purse strings or wallet. Here’s how you can save a couple bucks and spend just a a little sweat creating this DIY dresser.

An Ikea dresser all grown up. Perfect here as a bedside table with the Crate and Barrel upholstered bed.

Start with the simple solid wood IKEA Rast dresser:

Ikea Rast Dresser

Gather the following items:

  • Kilz all-purpose white primer for the drawer fronts
  • Minwax Poly Shade in Royal Walnut (Stain and Polyuerathane in one can!)
  • Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove in Semi gloss for the drawer fronts.
  • A foam roller for the paint, and two brushes for the priming and staining.
  • 6 ring drawer pulls (see my selection below)

Start by painting the face of your drawers with a nice, even coat of primer. While the drawers are drying, move over to the frame of the dresser and start staining with the Miniwax. Use long even strokes and thin coats. Wait a few hours, then add a second coat of stain. Once that’s done, add the second coat of primer to the drawers. The drying time is fast for primer, so you should be able to apply the semi-gloss paint to the face of the drawers. Wait an hour or so, then apply a second coat on the drawer fronts. I’d leave everything to really dry overnight. Once the sun rises the next day, slide the drawers into the frame, and add your new shiny drawer pulls.

To match the picture above, these six shiney brass ring pulls should do the trick for the drawer fronts. This old polished brass drawer pull can be found at Hardware Hut and cost $7 each:

Add six brass ring pulls to accessorize the drawer fronts. These are from Hardware Hut and cost $7 each.

If gold tone is not your game, this modern brushed nickel drawer pull would suit the lines of this dresser beautifully for only $3.99 each:

Belwith Camarilla Drawer Cabinet Ring Pull (Satin Nickel)

 

And as with any weekend project, make sure you’ve got a full tummy, plenty of space to work, good ventilation, and a drop cloth to lay down because you’re about to get a little messy. It’s all worth it in the end.


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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