Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take time to stop and EAT the roses....

My best friend in NYC just sent this recipe to me this afternoon,
and although I am trying to stop eating this stuff and squeeze
into my adorable navy Cosabella bikini soon,
I couldn't resist sending this along to you all.

They sound just too delectable to ignore.

Let me know how they turn out.


Old German Rose Water Sugar Cookies

(Thanks to the Flower-Recipe E-Group for this recipe.)

* 1 c. sugar
* 1/2 c. room temperature butter
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract (subst 3 or so drops of Lemon Oil for a much better flavor!)
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 c. sour cream
* 1 1/2 tsp. rose water (ie, Rose Hydrosol)
* 1/8 tsp. salt
* 3 c. flour

Cream sugar and softened butter until smooth. Beat in yolk and flavorings. Combine baking soda and sour cream and stir into sugar mixture. Stir in rose water. Sift salt and flour; mix with batter. Roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake on greased sheets in preheated 325 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cooking time may shorten if cookies are small. This recipe has been enjoyed since 1850.

This version will give a very subtle rose flavor. If you want the flavor more pronounced, add a single drop of rose otto. (And I always use two or three drops of our organic Lemon oil in any recipe calling for lemon extract. I think the extract is yucky stuff ;)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington...

So I had the very fortunate circumstance of
visiting a clients gorgeous home this past weekend,
to work on some of his succulent containers.

This incredibly well-known playboy has just finished
the renovation of his entire second story, working with
none other than Michael S. Smith.

I must admit this house is one of the most impeccably
designed residences I've ever been in.
Everything, down to the parchment wallpaper tiles
and the glass-doored tuxedo closet,
was remarkably thought out,
and represented the man of the house perfectly.

I saw, for the first time, the absolute certain reason why
Smith had been commissioned to redo the new White House.
Traditional, with brilliant textiles and color choices,
rich, warm and inviting,
Smith's work made me want to stay the weekend
ALMOST as much
as the man who actually LIVES there.

Ahh... a girl can dream.

*although I couldn't take any photos of the house,
here is a sampling of some of my favorite Smith projects...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Design Stars, Part II

Last Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending
Angeleno Interior's WestWeek launch party
at my friend Peter Dunham's
Hollywood at Home, at Almont Yard in WeHo.

This adorable little courtyard houses some of my
favorite design shops in all the city-

Harbinger- Joe Lucas' shop, had a bamboo laquer dresser in GREY
that I was dying for,
Nathan Turner is FULL of amazing Ikat kidney pillows right now,

and of course Peter's incredible textiles- in a bunch of new blue shades-
had me rethinking my headboard.

This peacock/tea colorway of his amazing Kashmir Paisley is
completely delicious.

Please do check out his lovely shop in this tucked away corner of heaven.
I find it always makes me want to stay a while and have a cup of tea.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Design Stars...

What a crazy week it has been.

The wedding went off swimmingly, and the move is nearly done...
(photos of both shortly)

Amidst all of the insanity, I managed to get to a party or two
to celebrate the beautiful art and design
of some remarkably talented people.
(More details to follow this week...)

Last Thursday (I know, that was nearly a WEEK ago) I had the
pleasure of meeting
a lovely young artist- Cameron Kelly- who was part of the
JB Blunk Residency Exhibition at Reform Gallery.

This amazing artist, who lives in San Francisco and works for an Interior Designer as a day job, had the most inspiring works, one that floored me the second I entered the gallery.

A HUGE Eucalyptus tree trunk, in gold leaf, on a
large violet piece of photo paper.
I'm obsessed.

This artist is one to watch, and I am having a smaller version
(the original is at least 6'x8')
commissioned by this rising talent.

Please do see her website, www.cameronkelly.net, for more inventive pieces
(a herringbone-skinned rock, perhaps?)

And visit my friend Gerard's Reform Gallery for more incredible
works of art;
The Sam Maloof rockers are to DIE for.

Stay tuned for more fabulous goings-on from
the inner sanctums of WestWeek!

Until then...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why so Grey?

I've got a new thing for the color Grey.

(I know a lot of people spell it grAy, but after reading a
great blog post about
the origins of the word, I've settled on grEy)

This past weekend, I painted the hardwood floors in my new cottage
Pigeon Grey by Benjamin Moore, and the
walls White Diamond- a slightly lighter hue.
I am so completely pleased with the result-
soothing and luxurious, completely refreshing.

Looking on some of my favorite blogs this week
(Habitually Chic and So Haute are the BEST),
I discovered I'm not the only one grey with envy,
and am happy to share some inspiring shots I found before
I got the chance to post my own.

Enjoy. Ahh...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Catch a... few winks.

What a whirlwind weekend.

In preparation for moving AND coordinating a friends wedding,
I was a busy little bee.

Not only did I paint my floors- hardwood AND linoleum,
(yes, you can paint linoleum)
but I also planted 120 individual terra-cotta pots with herbs to use as favors.
(More on both later this week.)

After a hot bath,
(not only to decompress, but to scrub the navy-and-grey
splatter universe off of my limbs)
I sat down with a cup of tea and one of my favorite movies:
To Catch a Thief.

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, in gorgeous Monaco, in amazing homes,
wearing amazing clothes.
Yes Please.

This film inspires me on so many levels- the set decoration is incredible-
the detail and sophistication. I am obsessed with the costume design-
his striped boatneck and red scarf...

Her beautiful gowns...

The classic and timeless perfection of design soothes me.
I'll have plenty to dream about tonight.
Sweet dreams.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I'm having a thing for silhouettes again.

Portraits, dogs... African American history?

Kara Walker (b. 1969), is an African American artist who explores the history of racial injustice through, what else, the silhouette. Her room-size tableaux have been shown around the US, including MOMA, and she was named one of
Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007.

Her exploration of the graphic and sometimes disturbing realities of
African American culture, done in such a traditional medium,
have me spellbound.

I find her images to be perfect, and am so grateful to have
stumbled upon yet another female artist who can
portray significant and controversial subjects with sophistication and elegance.

One can only hope to be so bold.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kumquat Goodness.

I'm coordinating a wedding for a dear friend.
The theme being trees, I initially thought I'd just use branches
in my normal floral centerpieces.

Until I stumbled upon Four Winds Growers.

This fourth-generation family-owned nursery, local to California, specializes in dwarf citrus trees, as tiny as 12" tall. I ordered a dozen of them for centerpieces, and they arrived, perfectly individually packed, in under 48 hours. Each 1-year tree is about $20 + shipping, and comes already with fruit. I cant wait to wrap each root ball in ivory linen, tie with a piece of thin rope, and place them as table centers at the reception.

A living, fruitful piece of life for guests to take home to remember this special day.

How fruit-uitous.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to Design Cupcake.

S0 my first post is about, of course, the perfect design of the cupcake.
This blog is here to acknowledge the delicious little aspects of life and design that make me happy, and so there is really nowhere else to start then with the tiny little cake for one, embellished beautifully, all in one sweetly-papered package.

Sprinkles of course is my favorite- their frosting-to-cake ratio and superb colorful little disks make me swoon just thinking of them. But I have to give credit to Martha- her cover from February is too delectable to be true.

Hope you have a *sweet* day.