Artist Spotlight: Eloise Corr Danch

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Have you ever wondered about the talented people behind those amazing window displays you see in stores like Anthropologie? Well, aside from brilliant in-house teams who help style the stores and the displays, there are tons of amazing artists like Eloise Corr Danch, a brooklyn-based artist who specializes in paper sculpture, illustration and set and graphic design.

I am totally blown away by the paper gardens and other sculptures Eloise makes for clients like Anthro, Macy's and Saks. Check out more of Eloise's work here.

H/T Katy Elliott

Inspiration 3.30

This may be one of my favorite kitchens this year. Ample counter space. Lots of natural light. Living areas. Dark wood. High ceiling. Sculptured stools...a real cook's kitchen right?

via Pretty Lovely

Sartorialist Vintage Photo Contest

Monday, March 29, 2010

If you haven't stopped by The Sartorialist in a little while, you need to now. Scott is currently hosting a vintage photo contest where readers can submit vintage photos of family or even strangers at their most stylish.

Of course, I'm loving all of the classic styles, but the thing that I've found especially interesting is how much more focus I place on the wearer than on the clothes themselves. All of the subjects of the photos have a certain poise or swagger about them that matters so much more than what they're wearing. So all of those times your mom told you confidence is what matters --- she was right! Although a pair of killer heels or perfectly tailored pants sure doesn't hurt.

I wish I had access to my family archives to enter, but I urge all of you guys to do so if you can. Contest rules here.

Inspiration 3.29

Love the weathered look of these unfinished walls paired with the bright blue floor.

Love: Straw Purses

Friday, March 26, 2010

The perfect vintage straw clutch is definitely on my must list for warm weather style. I'm really loving the funkier, floral embossed ones that your grandma would have picked up on an "exotic" cruise 30 or 40 years ago.

(4getmenot; Shop Handmade)

Or maybe a sleeker, undyed 1970s style....

(Leproust Vintage; Style for Life)

Or....maybe nautical, lady-like, or a no-frills style...ok, the point is you really can't go wrong with these purses. They're timeless, affordable and you can find a great look no matter if you're a stiletto-wearing exec, a maxi-dress wearing earth mother or a boarding school student summering in Newport.

Clockwise: 1. Straw & Rope Tote (Free People) 2. 1950s picnic basket (My Sugarland) 3. Straw Dots clutch (Lulu Guinness) 4. Seaside Tote (J.Crew) 5. Miss Escape Floral Shopper (Dolce & Gabbana) Top image: Sassyartz

Inspiration 3.26

I always try to avoid posting pics from recent magazine issues, but I don't think I'm going to be able to help myself this month. The most recent House Beautiful and Elle Decor were amazing. Case in point, this office in the beach house of Harriett Maxwell MacDonald and Andrew Corrie. Perfection.

Portland General Store

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't think there could possibly be anything more insulting to one's intelligence than lady-focused beauty commercials (sparkles! pink!)?

Well, um, have you seen the way they're marketing to dudes lately?? Good God, those commercials are sad. It's as if they assume that all guys think that basic hygiene = turkish bath in the village circa 1982.

The only thing more offensive to me than the concept behind most of the ads, is the visual clutter they take up in my bathroom. I mean, is there some kind of rule that all men's grooming products have to be orange, royal blue or some gradient-heavy combination of both?

Cue the very, very cool, rugged look of Portland General Store's plant-based grooming products. A bit on the pricey side, but just think how much better your medicine cabinet would look to sneaky guests. (I know what you're thinking, and sadly...yes, these are the kind of things I think about.)

And hey, ladies, if you can get over the fact that the products aren't scented "amethyst rain" [the horror! :)] I bet they would work great for us, too. Etsy shop here, and more unisex products are available at Terrain.

Inspiration 3.24

Love these adorable dressers, especially the yellow Mexican bedspread motif. Swoon.

Both images discovered on White Trash Beautiful

Inspiration 3.23

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I forgot how beautiful exposed brick can be. So stunning.

via Desire to Inspire

Seafarer Collection from Thomas Paul

Monday, March 22, 2010

This post at Design Sponge sent me over to the Thomas Paul website, where I discovered this awesome collection of nautical themed pillows and accessories. Love the "olde" New England vibe, especially the sailor pillow up top. So cute!

Vintage Spoon Garden Markers

As an apartment dweller, I'm so envious of everyone with a little patch of dirt to grow their own veggie garden in -- it just seems like a great way to take more ownership of what you eat, spend more time outside and save money while you're at it.

But just because I can't have a garden of my own doesn't mean I won't share cute finds for all of you green thumbs out there -- like these upcycled spoon garden markers from Daisy Chestnut on Etsy.

By the way, I just want to thank everyone who's visited and commented on my blog recently -- even though I've been somewhat absent from Twitter and my blog reader has been horribly neglected. I'm just wrapping up one of my busiest work periods ever, and your support is the only thing keeping me going -- so...Thank You!!

Inspiration 3.22

One of my favorites from the latest issue of Elle Decor

Cameo Stationery from Cutie Pie Company

Friday, March 19, 2010

Adoring these silhouette moleskins, thank you cards and prints from Cutie Pie Company. While I think they're beyond perfect for tween and teen girls, I kind of want some for myself too! Shop here.

Inspiration 3.19

via Desire to Inspire

Matzo Ball Soup (guest post)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just in time for Passover (but worth making anytime) is this yummy and authentic recipe for Matzo Ball Soup courtesy of Shulie from Food Wanderings.

Chicken soup, there are my pre USA days and post USA days chicken soup chronicles. In my pre USA days I never cooked or seasoned with thyme. When I arrived in the US I associated thyme with Thanksgiving, turkey and all the sweet trimmings. Fresh thyme, from a thanksgiving association, it became an every day staple in my kitchen and in my chicken soup.

The other ingredient that in fact Israelis love in any shape and form is leek. I sometimes add it to my chicken soup, but only to my chicken soup. I have mixed feelings about leeks, ok at the risk of offending leek aficionados, I really do not like leeks!! Don't ask me why!! I do bring myself to add it to my chicken soup, it will add a dimension even if you are not a leek person. Feel free to leave comments in defense of leeks, never know you guys might convert me?!

The rest of the soup is pretty straight forward chicken soup. I do use Manischewitz matzo ball mix, our guests always think I made the matzo balls from scratch. Honestly, there is not much to making it from scratch, it's just taking the plain matzo meal as opposed to already flavored Manischewitz and adding, salt, etc. Sometimes adding baking soda to make them fluffier, but the rest of the steps are exactly the same for both.

The Manischewitz really complements the chicken soup I make, it works!! I don't pack the matzo balls tight when I form them as they cook they turn light and fluffy!! I did want to discuss here kosher chickens or brined chickens but then I got into ranting (you had to see the original draft) about thyme, thanksgiving and leeks. I normally cook with organic chickens, but for this soup I use kosher chickens for it cuts back on my time brining. The soup tastes great with organic chickens but even better with kosher. I know there are kosher organic chickens out there, I have not seen them readily available. Can't fathom the cost of double certification, organic and kosher....but that is a different subject altogether! I make this soup for Passover but at times when it's a particularly wintery day, or when someone is under the weather it's nourishing and comforting. On those days when it's not Passover, serve soup with veggies and chicken and add some mini pasta, which I cook al dente separately and add to soup. Keep in mind regular pasta is not kosher for Passover!!

Click here for the original post

4lbs plus chicken drumsticks and wings (skinned)
you can also add instead or in addition chicken necks and bones
3-4 carrots, peeled and cuts in chunks
3-4 ribs celery and leaves, chopped roughly
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
2 leeks, white parts only (optional)
3-4 garlic cloves
Bunch of parsley
Few springs of thyme
2 bay leaves (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Add chicken and the rest of the ingredients to a stock pot and cover with water about 2-3 inches above. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium/low and cook for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until color of soup is deep golden. The liquid will reduce considerably. Skim the top as you go along. Strain through a sieve for a beautifully clear rich golden chicken broth.

Matzo Ball Mix
(makes about 10-12 matzo balls)
Manischewitz matzo ball mix and according to instruction on box add:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons canola
Chicken soup broth from above

Beat eggs lightly with a fork. Add canola oil and mix quickly. Add one packet of matzo ball mixture and stir with a fork. Cover and let sit if the fridge for 20 min. (says 15 min on box, but I always let it sit in refrigerator longer, you can step out of the house run errands and come back couple of hours later, that is fine too). Bring the chicken broth to a boil and turn down to medium low simmer. Wet hands with cold water and form small round matzo balls lightly packed, but nicely roundly shaped. Drop formed matzo balls into soup. Let fluff and cook, then with the back of a tablespoon tap the top of each matzo ball, and they will flip to the other side (nice little trick and it does not bruise the consistency of the round shaped matzo balls by using the smooth back side of the tablespoon). Let cook for a bit longer. You will see the matzo balls are light and airy. Turn off heat and let matzo balls sit in hot broth for a little while, relax and expand some more. Prior to serving heat up soup and serve. Soup and matzo balls can be made a day ahead.

Inspiration 3.18

I can not remember where I found this image, but how great is this idea? It kind of looks like fun too!

Inspiration 3.17

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Consider this a break from all of the green you'll be seeing today :)

via Domino

Artist Spotlight: Simon Benson

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Introduced to this amazing artist via Jenna at L'ecume des Jours. Especially love his drawings of still water which take me back to long summer days spent at Eric's family's lake house. Summer, please come now!