Read the post here.
I was browsing for Dansk Kobenstyle on Etsy and eBay. I love the old fondue pots, so started a little illustration. I think it’s looking cute.
Check out these gilded lovelies by Georges Briard. His glassware and serving pieces from the fifties, sixties, and seventies are easy to find (and mostly affordable) on eBay and Etsy. His page on Wikipedia is brief, but interesting. The Ukranian-born designer moved to Illinois in 1937 and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He also served in the U.S. Army as a Russian interpreter during WWII. Georges Briard is the name he used on his commercial work, but his given name is Jascha Brojdo.
Not sure how long the particular pieces above will be for sale, but links are below just in case (starting from top left)…
Small metallic-printed angel tray – $8 on Etsy
Metallic fruit motif glass tray – $4.99 on eBay
Casserole dish + warming stand – $49.95 on eBay
Divided appetizer plate with two-pronged fork. If any of your friends happen to be kleptos, the fork is shackled to the plate. ;) – $19.99 on eBay
Gilded ceramic pitcher – $71.99 on eBay
Cute black and gold printed trivets – $4.99 for a set of three on eBay
Metallic fruit motif tumblers – $29.00 for a set of seven on eBay
Candelabra print cocktail pitcher/mixer + glasses – $39.99 on eBay
Yesterday Mark and I did a little day trip to Naranjo. The town is in a really pretty area northwest of San José and surrounded by coffee plantations. The setting apparently has the perfect climate and altitude for growing coffee, so it is everywhere. If you ever happen to be there, make sure you go on this coffee tour. It’s interesting, the people that work there are always so nice, and the grounds are beautiful.
This particular trip was more about reindeer than coffee however. On the road into Naranjo, we always see a giant (about 2 stories tall) twig reindeer on the left. It’s usually accompanied by a host of smaller reindeer friends, lined up and ready to buy. I see these wood shaving reindeer (especially in the months leading to Christmas) at other shops and holiday stores. I knew it was definitely a Costa Rican thing, but never realized they were all coming from one guy in Naranjo. I happened to find an article online in the Tico Times (an English newspaper aimed at we Gringos who have yet to master Spanish) about the whole thing — read the full story here. A local artist, Venancio Cordero started making them about 16 years ago and selling them through florist shops. They have since become a holiday staple in Costa Rica, and are all created in his roadside Naranjo shop. The article states that this year Cordero has 23 workers making reindeer, and they’re planning to turn out 18,000 before Christmas!!
Once I read this story, I wanted to make sure we nabbed a couple for ourselves as this will be our last Christmas here. I was having visions of us pulling out our little reindeer each Christmas and reminiscing about our time here. Anyway, Mark seemed onboard so we headed out there. I think we went a little late in the month, so there was actually nothing for sale when we arrived. But the people in the little workshop were completely obliging, and let Mark snap a few photos of the process. They were working on a few little guys at the time, but still needed about an hour before they would be done. We ran into town to grab some lunch at a local place, Tio Charley’s (that’s me next to their pig à la taxidermy out front). After a coffee run at the farmer’s co-op grocery store, we headed out of Naranjo and back toward the reindeer shop. Since lunch, two reindeer brothers were now standing near the road, as well as a couple of other small guys. In the end, we bought four, totaling $8 for the whole brood. No idea how we’re fitting these buddies into luggage when we move, but I will sort it out, Feliz Navidad!
I was thinking that the Danica Habitat plates from yesterday could work nicely with a gold/yellow/brown palette for a warm and slightly retro holiday place setting.
I’m a fan of the items below…
a. toast family and friends with gold glass champagne flutes from Eden & Eden – $128 for two b. shake ule-worthy cocktails using elderflower liqueur, St. Germain – around $30 a bottle c. bring salad to the table in this vintage Kaj Franck enamel bowl – $85 on etsy d. dine with this rustic yet modern flatware from Anthropologie – $98 per place setting e. ensure proper ambiance with this linen pendant shade from Orla Kiely – $125 f. wrangle small snacks in this Ikat mini bowl from Anthropologie – $8 g. lay a rustic foundation with these wooden placemats from Crate & Barrel – $12.95 each h. keep your table cute and festive with these forest animal plates from Danica Studio – $43.84 for six i. make the Danica plate pop over this curry-colored dinner plate from Bloomingdales – $11.99 each j. pass the butter in this cute vintage Pyrex dish – starting bid on eBay at $4.50 k. allow wine to breathe in this gold-dipped carafe from Design Within Reach – $70 l. serve salad with these horn and resin spoons from Vitrine – $60 m. sip from these cute tinted tumblers via Anthropologie – $8 each n. keep holiday fare piping in this darling printed casserole dish from Orla Kiely – £55 (sold within the UK only)
I found this cute Scandinavian print while I was Christmas browsing today. It’s by Danica Studio and available on a range of household items here. These goodies would work perfectly during the holidays, but also straight through fall and winter. Would make a really nice gift for someone with a coze cabin! It’s almost the grownup version of the print I posted yesterday.
Apple and pear shaped sticky notes, complete with produce cozies.
I feel like I need this stacked animal print. It’s by Swedish designer Julia Nielsen and available (along with other Scandinavian goodies) at Huset. It’s under the little kid section, but I would happily hang it up for me!
Love this harvest motif wallpaper from Isak.
Paris card set from Darling Clementine.
Vintage Golden Book, Pantaloon. This one is sold, but I think the cover is so cute. We had this book when we were little (it was my dad’s). Now I kind of want to dig through the basement for it the next time I’m home!
Gold raindrop umbrella at Mod Cloth. Love this.
Cute bicycle basket at Design House Stockholm.
I love browsing Kiwi Collection. Looking at the hotels on that site is like candy to me (a really pristine kind of candy that I can’t currently afford). But regardless, I like to window shop for perspective/imaginary vacations. Today I was looking at their hotel picks for St. Barths, and noticed this place. It all seems perfectly appointed for a glamorous yet comfortable beach holiday, and I love the use of color. I also adore their poolside/garden chairs and tables.
The chairs and tables (designed by Patricia Urquiola) are made by the Italian company Emu. You can see them here, and buy them here online (if you’re in the market for a thousand dollar patio chair). They’re very cute, like Bertoia gone girlie!
I was searching online for historic ships today (just started working on this ship in a bottle pattern) and I ended up at this great website.
They sell antique prints, most of them 100-200 years old (not the reproduced versions that they hawk at décor stores in gold-painted frames). The site has quite a collection and a broad rang of subject matter (food, plants and animals, military, etc). I’m loving several of them, especially the gourmet cuisine and pastry prints cerca 1900. The description said these were typically made for chefs to use as reference. Love them!
These are great as well…
I’m very much into Tammis Keefe right now. She designed hankies, scarves, tea towels, etcetera in the 40’s and 50’s (until she died fairly young – in 1960). Her prints are quite modern and cute, and she used color in really interesting ways.
I’ve been in several eBay bidding wars now trying to nab some of her items, and it makes me a little stressed out! So far, I’ve acquired this cute Spanish bull-fighting hankie, polo match silk scarf, and a fun tea towel (which is stuck in some kind of shipping limbo, so not sure that I’ll ever see it!).
There is a Flickr group with various photos of her work, and there really is some darling stuff. She has prompted me to start drawing again (it has been a little while, I’ve been trying my hand at Illustrator instead), so I have a new set of Faber-Castell pastel pencils that are on their way down here. I’m also looking into taking some screen printing classes when we get back to the States. I would love to be able to design and create my own tea towels, linen cocktail napkins, and the like.
Every time we come back from Puerto Viejo (a beach town on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica), I decide that we need a beach house. I’m not in the position at the moment to buy full price denim, let alone finance an idyllic beach home, but this diminutive detail has not deterred me from drawing the whole thing up in my head. It has become my Imaginary (perhaps delusional) Beach House, and it’s coming along quite well!
I’ve been gathering ‘swipe’ (to throw in a word from art school, when we used to rummage through magazines to put mood boards together) to serve as inspiration.
I came across this place on the Pacific side of CR, called Diosa del Mar (Sea Goddess). I think the bones of the house are good, and I love the traditional Caribbean style mixed with modern elements. The kitchen is kind of meh (no offense, Person I Don’t Know’s House), but I think the whole of the house is quite well done.
So for my beach house, tentatively named Hola Gatito (Hello Kitty) until I think of something more original, I’m imagining filling it with some of the items below…
A candy-colored fridge from Big Chill of Boulder.
Scallop trim scattered about (à la this darling beach house on Balboa Island).
Vintage Nally kitchen canisters. Pretty sure you can only track them down in Australia (this site has a lot).
An assortment of stylish vintage tea towels. I scour the internet for the ones by Tammis Keefe. This one is perfect for the Caribbean (with all of the banana plantations peppered down the coast).
Vintage Dansk Kobenstyle Dutch oven. I see the eBay ladies getting pretty aggressive when bidding on these, so I have yet to partake. But it seems like the perfect thing to test chiopino recipes in (naturally, my delusional beach house comes with daily deliveries of freshly-caught sea fare).
Prints from Pietari Posti (visit his store here).
Hola Gatito would need a resident beach kitty. She could lady-of-leisure-it in this little number.
Classic beach cruisers for jaunts to the beach, market, etc. I’m a fan of this one.
Anyway, I’m starting to feel slightly creepy scouting goods to put in an imaginary house, so I think this is good for today!
When I lived in Chicago, I was really close to Lincoln Park. They have a farmer’s market outside during the warm months, and I used to stop by occasionally. They offer pretty flowers and organic fruit and veg, but it is pricey! After rent and public transit, what money I had left typically went to clothing, cocktails, and sushi, so I eventually started skipping the farmer’s market altogether. This was until I moved to Costa Rica.
We live in Santa Ana, which is becoming quite developed, but is originally a farming area. Santa Ana is known for its onions (cebollas). There is even a store in town that sells only that… Santa Ana onions, strung up in big bundles. They are good, and make some of the best onion rings I have had. We always get them at the bar here. You ask for “aros de cebolla”, they correct your pronunciation, and then about 15 minutes later you get them. Usually they come served with a delish mix of ketchup and mayonnaise. I guess this mix is a big deal in Central and South America. You can buy it at the grocery store in the mayonnaise section. It is called Salsa Golf. *I will probably end up writing a separate post at some point about the mayonnaise selection available here, because it is extensive. Costa Ricans are apparently serious about mayo variety, and I find it impressive!
In addition to onions, almost everything is grown here, and the produce is perfect all year. The farmer’s market in town happens every Sunday, and as long as we’re not away for the weekend (and didn’t stay out too late the Saturday before), we try to go. It is incredibly cheap. You can essentially go with a handful of colones (I call them doubloons because they’re big and heavy and gold-colored), and leave with a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables.
This morning we went and ended up with the items below. Everything was so pretty, so I stacked it on the table when we got home… two perfect heads of lettuce, a ripe-today pineapple, mini watermelon, giant papaya, head of broccoli, head of cauliflower, three zucchinis, two cucumbers, an avocado, a bundle of green onions, and a big bunch of Santa Ana onions. This maybe totaled 10-ish dollars US. I get excited every time about how inexpensive and amazing it is, and will miss this farmer’s market so much once we go.
When we move back to The States from Costa Rica, we want to do an American road trip at some point (complete with camper, little propane stove, etc). You can’t really camp here. Actually you most certainly can, but I always opt for air conditioned hotel rooms, sealing me off from jungle bugs, bats, sand, and seaside humidity of any kind.
Anyway, on this road trip, I imagine I will wear plaid quite a bit, and create fancy gourmet camping fare from groceries purchased at Piggly Wiggly. We will visit the National Parks. I haven’t been to many of them since I was little, and I got excited again when I saw part of the Ken Burns series.
*Little item about Ken Burns: He is apparently coming out with a series on Prohibition in America next year. I am already excited to sip brown liquor while watching that!
For this trip, I would like to think we will be traveling by way of an Airstream or pulling a teardrop-shaped trailer behind an Isetta, but this probably will not be the case. Airsreams don’t seem easy to rent, and as much as I would love to drive an Isetta at some point, I know they do not have air conditioning, are powered by a scooter’s engine, and appear to be tiny (albeit classic and adorable) death traps surely not suited for interstate travel. However, I did find (and by “find”, I mean saw it on the internet probably two years after everyone else did) this delightful little camper that can be pulled behind even small cars. It is called the SylvanSport GO, and I find it modern and darling. I would probably be looking for hotels after two nights in it, but the pictures make it seem fun!
So, my upcoming imaginary road trip (I’ll probably get bored of this one soon, and start fake-planning a whole new trip entirely) got me started on a new camping-inspired print.
It’s not done yet, but I’m trying to work it out (I had to resist the urge to throw a deer head at it – Mark was saying that the deer head is the new skull and cross bones, and I think maybe mustache motifs and wood grain are the new deer head). Anyway, it’s meant to be like a Damask print. Once I figure this part out, I’m going to repeat it and see how it looks as a pattern. I think it could be really cute on sleeping bags (if only I were in the sleeping bag manufacturing business). I also yanked the teardrop trailer that I made from it, and put a simple print together. I’m going to see how it works as a wrapping paper design.
I invented this sandwich the other evening, and it turned out pretty amazing. A while ago I made the stuffed Portobello part of it with random items in the fridge, and it was delightful… but I thought it would be even more so if integrated into a sandwich. And… it was. Recipe is below (serves 2), and is really good for summer grilling/picnic table dining.
*Recipe involves bacon, but I suppose you could make it vegetarian if you must.
- Portobello Mushrooms – Two good sized Portobellos (stems removed), cleaned with a damp paper towel
- Bacon - I went with 3 slices, but you can certainly add more
- Yellow Onion – a small to medium one, finely diced
- Garlic - about 2 cloves, minced
- Tomato - one large or two plum, diced
- Parsley - a grabful, chopped
- Mozzarella Cheese (or any grating/melting cheese of your choice) – grate a handful
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – a couple of tablespoons
- Italian Breadcrumbs – a tablespoon or two
- Salt and Pepper – to taste
- Olive Oil
- Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
- Seasoning Mix (optional)
- Ciabatta Bread (or any good, crusty bread)
- One Ripe Avocado
- Lettuce – a couple of nice leaves
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat.
- In a bowl, whisk equal parts olive oil and Worcestershire sauce (or skip the Worcestershire, and use olive oil solo if you’d rather). Spoon or brush over the tops and bottoms of the Portobellos. Season both sides with salt and pepper. *I also shake on some salt-free seasoning mix here. If yours contains salt, just don’t use as much when you salt/pepper.
- Place mushrooms (gill-side up) over direct heat. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flipping mushrooms halfway through. Pull Portobellos from grill and tent with foil until you need them again. *Leave the grill on because you’ll use it later.
- Cook bacon until crispy (if you want to get fancy you can do it on the grill, just babysit it so it doesn’t burn). Transfer to paper towels to degrease and cool. Once cool, chop into small bits.
- In a small pan, sauté finely diced onions in a bit of olive oil over medium to medium high heat. When they get soft and golden, add the minced garlic. Stir for 30-ish seconds and pull pan from heat before the garlic browns.
- In a medium bowl, add chopped bacon, onion/garlic mix, diced tomato, chopped parsley, both cheeses, and breadcrumbs. Stir to combine and salt and pepper to taste.
Portobellos + Filling:
- Place mushrooms (gill-side up) on a sheet or two of aluminum foil. Mound filling into each grilled Portobello. Press down gently with your hands to make sure the filling won’t fall off. Sprinkle with more breadcrumbs.
- Place on grill (foil included) for about 4 minutes until the mozzarella melts and the breadcrumbs brown on top. Transfer to a plate or cutting board and tent with foil.
- Bring grill temp down to medium low (to toast Ciabatta).
- Cut Ciabatta into 2 sandwich-sized pieces (big enough to each hold a Portobello). Slice each piece down the middle so you end up with sandwich tops and bottoms. Drizzle each cut side with a little bit of olive oil and place (cut side down) on the grill. Leave them for just a couple of minutes until they get toasty.
- Spread grilled sandwich tops and bottoms with mayonnaise (I sometimes make fancy mayonnaise, blending fresh basil and a little bit of garlic into it).
- Lay sliced avocado onto each sandwich bottom. *Keeping the avocado on the bottom makes it less messy if you end up slicing the sandwich in half.
- Place each stuffed Portobello on top of the avocado slices. Cover with lettuce leaves and Ciabatta top.
- This is the part where you decide whether or not to slice these in half. This stresses me out because I hate when pretty sandwiches disassemble mid-slice. Regardless, I choose to cut because I like to see the cross-section! You can stabilize each side before slicing with toothpicks or pretty bamboo picks. Just make sure you use a serrated knife, or these will end up in rough shape.
*Perfect when served with good pickles and good beer.