Saturday, December 26, 2009

winter light...after the storm

a memory of a magical weekend with a dear friend. her amazing patio after a few years of work. it is transporting in person and in the summer that place of no return.

this picture is all about the colors of nature. i love the color of the wisteria vines against all that grey.

Friday, December 25, 2009

winter 1947

taken by maxine. i am one of those family photo hoarders. this one i love and keep it year round in the built in with all my other favorite things.

even though i wasn't there, i feel a strong connection as it is seen through maxine's eyes. the holidays really cause a deep reflection for me and this photo makes me quite happy. i think one day i will blow it up and put it in the mountain get away.

here's to those of you in the midst of a winter storm...take in the quiet beauty while i watch my succulents grow in the sun. hee....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

leaning in the evening

i know. the tree is leaning. i really thought it was the photographer when i was looking through a the photo's on the computer. so, i went into the living room and took a survey for myself and realized it actually was leaning a bit to the left, but only from this angle....hmmm. i'm ok with it though, it suits me just fine.

this is christmas evening light in northern california, much to be thankful for and the mild weather is right up there in the top 10.

in a rush

i found these pine cones at lake tahoe last summer, the forest floor was carpeted with them. fortunately i am currently in a 12 step programs for pine cone collectors, and believe took everything inside of me not to rent a large u-haul to fill up with cones and bring back to the city. so many projects waiting.....

i hung these on the back stoop for 3 months to let all that sap dry up. i just took them as they hung on the stoop and moved them to the front door. my original intentions were to include a few bundles of fresh herbs, but i never made it that far. these did serve as a daily reminder that the holidays were coming.

now going to go beg to open just one little gift tonight. wish me luck.

craft fairs

are getting better and better. my friend katie from work had these amazing vessels blown by a local glass blower and she did the rest. this one is quite quaint/charming in size compared to the others.

we had a craft fair at work and by the time i got to her booth they were pretty much all sold out (you owned that katie) i have one more on back order too. if you want to see her work in person, head over to the curiosity shoppe on valencia here in the mission. she has one ginormous one there or i can connect you with katie if you are interested in a purchase.

happy christmas eve! can't blv it is christmas eve. off to work i go.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


i think terra cotta has a hold on me. i have always been drawn toward the warmth and texture of this clay and this collection has me thinking of outdoor patio's in spain....old and rustic with lots of texture and a warm breeze.....

these little gems are produced in a small pottery studio in Wales, England, designer benjamin hubert.

this photo found on met home blog, sept. 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

simple, seasonal & delish

alice waters', the art of simple food, cookbook is my cooking bible these days. she has a very basic tart recipe (flour, butter, salt and cold water) that is for both savory and sweet tart/Gillettes. it really questions the myth of crusts being difficult to make, i feel like i was reborn. anyway.....

i have been digging the pears and apples this season and can't stop making these treats. my intention's are to share with our friends and neighbors, but i tend to just want to take one little bite to make sure it is as good as the last one and you know the rest of the story. i still share, but usually a 1/2 portion.

it is as simple as rolling out the crust, spreading some apricot or any preserve over the bottom of the crust, cutting the fresh fruit, sprinking a bit of sugar and drizzling a wee bit butter over the top and crust edges, putting a healthy tablespoon of the preserve on top of the fruit and baking for 1 hour.

next time your in the "hood", i promise to whip one up.

Monday, December 21, 2009

let there be more light

i couldn't imagine a better use of space than this room, the tidiness and simple elegance is dreamy. i'm feeling all the light and think that one long, vertical window next to the stove is making all the difference. incredible use of a small space.

the sitting space right next to the kitchen is just the right the only thing missing is the fireplace (so, i guess i can image it a bit different..but who is to say there isn't one right there that i just don't get to see).

found a new great inspiration blog, the bedlam of beefy, where i found this great image. this guy from the northwest defiantly has a gift...dont you think?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

breaking up is hard to do, part duex

while driving in sonoma county during the thanksgiving holiday, we stopped a great little antique shop.

i have been working with a friend/client in NYC for a few years and still have a few outstanding pieces we need to find for her home. one of them was one more vessel to sit on her wine bar. well, the first thing i saw when i walked in to this hidden treasure location was this great little guy. it was a grab and go scene!!

so, i brought him home and he sat quite well with my collection of odds and ends, and at that moment i decided i was going to keep looking for my friend and keep this for myself. totally this little guy and i were meant to be together forever.

well, my friend came to town last week and i caved and passed on this little treasure and there is no looking back and the feeling of ambivalence has passed. i know she will enjoy this more than i, but there was still a twinge of sadness. kidding.

don't you think the new and old in the photo compliment each other quite well? the only thing missing was the brandy inside of the glass canteen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

ode to the ticking

my friend and inspiration pam robinson, just celebrated another milestone anniversary at red mid november.

here are some photo's from the celebration party, taken by our friend john grannen. these are photo's of her retail store and boy am i jonesing (definition from urban dictionary is "to have a strong need, desire, or craving for something") for that white garland hanging over her zinc containers at the cash wrap and that little string of white lights on the white cord.

Please be sure to go to her blogspot and check out other great photo's from her evening to remember.

congrats pam! beyond words of admiration and joy for you!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Punk, folk or street?

i'm not sure how to describe it other than brilliant for a few bucks. i bought these are our work craft fair last week.

an artist name, dustin kerr had a whole table full of these pure, little watercolors for $2.00. he was being very generous is offering great art at an incredible price.

i really do love to layer in urban-primitive feeling artwork like this into the mix of decor. it really isn't competing with anything else beautiful as it really holds its own place. i'm still not sure how i will frame them, but thinking of a total contrast and using the same old vintage, gold gilded frame i am going to frame the horse in. i'll keep you posted.

if you want to connect with the artist, let me know and i will connect you. i am having problems replying to comments, so please be patient as i attempt to learn something new on the computer...i am the most inept with technology and really am quite shocked i can even upload a photo to this blog...

the race is still on

the horse race that is.

i am always surfing ebay artwork in search of horse paintings. i only have a few, but am hoping to have a collection one day. the thing is, i really don't want to invest lots of moo-la, but would rather make it a hobby, more of a search for the deals.

well, lets just say this brown beauty was found for under $20 on ebay AND is still in amazing condition. no one else even bid on it and i was wondering if there was something i was missing, but is perfectly imperfect and worn. i have some old gold guilded, beat up frames that will need to be custom cut and he will be good to go. a real winner!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

waking up from the turkey and cheese coma

a few images from turkey day 2009. it was another great year, another chance to open our home and table to all our transplant friends, although we all call SF home, most of our families are outside of san francisco...mostly out of state.

anyway..thankful, thankful and another big helping of thankful.

bag it

my friend Kat just hooked me up with this new brand, named forest bound. check it out. they have that practical Unitarian charm, a touch of vintage and homemade feel.

i particularly like this bag. sorry, this isn't one of those "value" purchases....more of a splurge.

baquette, cheese and some great pinot anyone??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

lets start over

so, i finally started following my sisters blog (she is a brilliant, talented artist and has an amazing store on etsy and has been featured on martha stewart, the today show and on and proud). you must check out her blog fringe, it features her work and her inspiration.

anyway, i was looking at her links and found this great image. it is like a clean canvas that needs no paint. i think i will rip everything off the walls tonight and start painting......white on white. check out this other amazing blog where i found this image (2 or 3 things). i'm gonna follow starting now.

simpleton meets edible

first and foremost this photo was taken today, the day before thanksgiving and i already have the pies done and it is only 3pm. everything is a bit too smooth, something must be lurching in future that will put me back in hyper mode, but for now i am feeling in control for tomorrows gathering

my goal this year was to have a easy, simple, low prep, edible table top. the containers are full of sage, rosemary and sage (smells amazing). i will slice the lemons tomorrow to add additional fragrance and set a few cracked pomegranates in the mix somewhere too.

the great thing about the edible table top is that you can eat it is all recyclable... and some of my favorite fruits and herbs.

sorry about all the photo's in the dining room recently....i'm getting stale and need to step up my game.

gobble, gobble to you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

instant holiday $7.99

at wholefoods! getting ready to host a crowd for dinner on thursday and trying to keep it simple this year with the decorating.

wholefoods has these little, fresh wreaths with berries, small pine cones and a variety of fir, pine for only $7.99. i should have bought one for every door in the apt. darn.

this is really an instant holiday presence for a bargain. bowl is from ikea for $5.99 and antlers collected for either free or under $20.00.

now i have to figure out the table. going all natural this year...everything will be edible, but that's all i know right now. more to come....

ps...they have these amazing local eucalyptus wreaths, with all the varieties.... including green berries for only 29.99. not holly hobby, country kitchen type..i swear. i just didn't see them until i finished paying. and there was no way i was getting back into that line on saturday morning at 11.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


a former gap inc major marketing talent (todd barket) decided to march to the beat of his own drum and open a great men's lifestyle dry goods shop in the castro near dolores park , called unionmade.
i've been hunkering for the "soft" opening date and yesterday it was. for lack of a better reference, i have to say it reminded me of RRL in its focus, sensibility and classic fashion, but unionmade is more approachable and broad in its selection.
i'm heading back soon to to see if todd will let me take some shots of the amazing interior.
i will now take a moment to assess the damage done at unionmade yesterday....lets just say it was a good day.
congrats todd.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

phase 2 (persimmon)

well, the persimmons started falling off their branches, BUT they were not soft or rotting. i just changed it up a bit and took them out of the vase, but the fruit off the branches and piled them in this old iron vessel. i know, the leaves are all dried up, but they are a good filler. organic/compost inspired!!

phase 2 has begun and i kind of like this arrangement just as much as phase 1-- the branches in a vase (see previous post from last week).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fall = eating and packing

as in packing on the lbs. i do not have a favorite season, as i love them all (especially here in sf.....usually between 60 - 80 year round...dreamy), but fall produce and spices really welcome us into the holiday seasons and time and home....and hibernating. cinnamon, nutmeg, pears, dates, apples.....

anyway, 2 fall favorites:

pear, apple and cherry cobbler with oatmeal crumble (Ina of course). delish..

sauteed dates: easy...just put 1 to 1 1/2 table spoons of olive oil into a saute pan.
1) heat on medium until the oil starts to pop a little
2) then place the dates flat in the pan and press them down a few times until each one sizzles
3) leave them on this side for 4 minutes or so (make sure you turn one over and see if it is browned a little) then turn them over, sprinkle course sea salt over them and let them sit for about 2 minutes, turn them over one more time and sprinkle that side with sea salt as well and remove from heat. yum....

this is for my friends in Hong Kong who want to see what the "crumble" looks like. this is for you Ruby and Venus. you are a good excuse to blog

made these both the weekend before last for a picnic/octoberfest in our garden patch with friends

Monday, November 9, 2009

big and bright

talk about painting a ceiling white. this is just the architectural circumstance i am talking about, when a white ceiling works. i try to imagine this ceiling natural wood and it suddenly takes me to a lodge in sun valley idaho, but when painted i could be anywhere in the country or city.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

simpleton sensations

the simpler, the cleaner the better. i was browsing apartment therapy and found a link to my new obsession, london based furniture design firm Pinch.
you must check this out when you have a spare moment. the sofa's are dreamy too....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

late to the party

aside from literally being a bit late to an octoberfest party last weekend, i am totally late to the party when it comes to cheese presentations like this.
our friends sarah and mike (host's of octoberfest party and fellow city garden patch partners), had this great little cheese plate. they used some art pad paper and just wrote down the different varieties of cheeses. i know, i have seen this somewhere before, but never used this technique myself. sarah totally gets it and i'm on board for my next cheese plate.
well, what they didn't get was that i walked out of the party with this little souvenir that has to be framed and hung in the pantry.
can't beat organic artwork that is free. :o)

caving in to color

i know, i have been the advocate of many different aesthetics, including the neutral pallet. well, i do cave in once in a blue moon (blue...hee, hee).
found this chair at gypsy honeymoon 8+ months ago ($100.00), i couldnt turn down the golden fabric, rich dark wood and brass nail heads at that price. (does it look ggma to you/great grandma)
back to the purpose of this posting. the persimmon branches!! i must have been a good person last week because i came home to this amazing bunch of branches...loaded with fruit. apparently they will last through thanksgiving. will keep you posted on that one.

additional found objects at a bargain price: real leather patch pillow = $10.00 found in 2001 in seattle, butter churn jar (used for large vase) = $20.00 found in 2007 san francisco.

Monday, October 26, 2009

cloudy days in this room....NO PROBLEM

in a constant quest to find inspiration, i often look through one of my top 10 favorite books, building with reclaimed materials (january 2007). this is a must have book if you are at all inspired by reclaimed materials and your home.

this dining room rings that simple elegance i strive for: the whole wall of heavenly cabinets, the wide plank floors and the glass ceiling give it that calming touch. i'm pretty sure this room could be whatever you wanted it to be.

did i mention that great fireplace on the back wall? maybe it is just a wood storage spot, but i am going to believe it is a working fireplace (much unlike my "decorative fireplace" in my apt.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

blue weekends

i think my new rule is, blue bottle on the weekends only. haven't tried this blend yet, but will be sure to keep you posted. all i can say is i can smell the beans all the way in the bedroom, almost other end of the apt.

the best coffee i have had in SF, reminiscent of my seattle days. you know, it is the weekend...i think i'm gonna totally spurge and have a cup at 8:36pm (this may just be the beginning of my saturday in the PM)

no modern sensibility

but this little bathroom this all of its primitive and rustic features makes me long for that little cabin in the woods.

Friday, October 16, 2009

i need to jump off of this

my friend blake took this shot on his recent honeymoon in bora bora. ummmmm, do i have to say anything other than work is over-rated. this looks to be life at its finest.

i might ask blake to print this one up, not sure if this is in the brock street budget, but i can at least look at it here until i have the $$ saved up.

thanks for sharing this blake.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i saw the light

have you ever had a shopping moment when you see something and you dart for it like it is the last one on earth...and you are afraid someone else is going to get it before you? i know, it is a humbling moment for me as i feel a bit guilty for wanting something so bad.

well, i was in an antique store several weeks ago and right when i walked in the door i saw this little gem and did the bee line. to my surprise, it was totally in the pricing language i understand ($39.00), so i didn't even have to ask if they could do better. love that!!

total grab and go experience! actually, maybe i should be honest and say it was grab and run....i thought this must have been mis-marked and didn't want to get caught.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

its never happens...

but i still have hope. every week slooooooowly creeps by, and then suddenly its the weekend and it has already disappeared.

i ALWAYS tell myself "i'm going to take a nap this weekend", then i remind myself that it is saturday afternoon at 3:30 and i still haven't taken my nap. So i repeat the same senario on sunday and then i end up telling myself that same phrase i have been repeating for years "i'm really going to take a nap NEXT weekend, i really need one", and so life goes on.

this great little room is really causing me to second guess taking a nap at 3:30.

stack attack

i must confess...i am a stacker (much like a hoarder). i spend a lot of my free time stacking things, whether it dishes, books, clothes, towels....and they all have a particular order of sorts.

this stack of books has had a Buddha head, old mason jar, japanese miniture name it, sitting atop the stack. i decided to change it up this morning with a little treasure found in the woods. its a nice play off the little gold-gilded frame in the background.

wood = free

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

after the storm

i guess we had a wind storm the other night...i slept right through it. the next morning on the walk with the dog, the side walks and streets were full of little branches of all kinds of tree's.

well, i can't resist a little bit of natures bouquet for free. so, i put some in a little jam glass and then threw some on a little sour cream coffee cake (mcgahey recipe) packaging for a neighbor. just the right touch.

i know, nothing new and so 1980's martha stewart. i'm stuck.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

problem solving with some figs

someone brought a great surprise home last night...figs wrapped in brown mail paper, tied with a white grosgrain ribbon. i should have photographed them wrapped up...darn.

anyway, once i unwrapped them i realized they were over 4 feet long. and the branches are as thick as a 100 year old redwood....and we still are not equipped with our city dwellers chainsaw. so..the challenge was to find something that could support them. i tried several vessels, but none quite right.

then i remembered this old container i recently bought at the french sale. the poor guy has been sitting in the corner for over a month now.

the container was an investment, but the great branches that should last several weeks were only $18.00. bargain...go get some.

i think these bright green, unripened figs compliment this old zinc container. and for some reason, they are making the dining room look huge...... i guess big looks big.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

still thinking of tahoe air, with a tinge of monday night blues

the last day we took a walk up the one lane, two way road above the cabin we were staying in. this charming little cabin was on a total natural plot of land and oozing a big welcome door mat. this was a small little home, nestled among these gargantuan lodge homes.

it makes one ask the question of a local "what is real estate like right now in tahoe"? if it weren't 3 plus hours away i would seriously consider a weekend cabin. this is the time to buy in tahoe.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the final bravo

these are the final 2 photo's from her home.

i can almost feel the light breeze coming through the window above the bed. usually i wouldn't think to put a bed under a window, but this one really works. you have the great shutters inside that would really block the light....

the bathroom. need i say more, other than i hope that scale is off...lets say 10lbs-ish.

Friday, September 11, 2009

bravo too

there is a lot going on here, but the bones of the room are what makes the massive amount of furniture work. the floors, ceiling, lighting, white walls all create this ease that is eas-ee on the eye.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


i found another new designer to admire and in the same 2009 elle decor, australia...but, i cant remember her name. i took these photo's from a magazine at the cabin we rented in tahoe last weekend. i have to see if i can still get the august addition.

anyway, i love this designers point of view. majority of decor is vintage finds. just amazing how she makes it modern in the vintage way i appreciate.

i cant read the caption, but i think it says most was a find. yeah! i'm hoping some of them were those incredible finds. such a feeling of accomplishment.

this home is so great i have to only bring one image a day for weeks and weeks. kidding, only 4 days worth, but i think they are well worth the wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

am i insane to say this?

i don't always "not love" taxidermy, but it is true that some stuffed little animals take on this quasi-adorable trait. don't get me wrong though, i'm not a fan of killing for trophy. BUT then the side of me who loves animals thinks it is "sort of" honoring the beauty of that creature god made by hanging him/her on the wall.

this, i couldn't pass up photographing. we were in tahoe for a nice, long labor day vacation and the great little cabin we rented had these two lovebirds hanging right above the fireplace. when i saw them i immediately know this rental was one of those lucky finds.