Monday, July 25, 2016

Art | Swedish Watercolor Bird Prints

Mark D Sikes Southern living idea house

This weekend's unbearable heat was an excellent excuse to stay inside and catch up on some reading. I finished this book, it was an entertaining, good, summer mystery, even though I liked her first book a bit more.  I also picked up the latest issue of Southern Living Magazine.  I had seen a lot of the Idea House pictures via Instragm but I still prefer having a hard copy in my hands.  My favorite room was the living room from Mark D. Sikes.  Lots of layers of pretty and cozy neutrals, from some of my favorite textile designers.  I was especially drawn to the mass of bird prints.  I have seen these used by other well known designers (they are favorites of Bunny Williams and Tom Scheerer) and I was thankful to have a source so I could learn a little more about them.

They are copies of bird drawings by Swedish botanist and ornithologist, Olof Rudbeck.  He traveled on mission to northern Sweden in 1695 and returned with a collection of beautiful watercolor drawings of birds.  I love them for their simple graphic impact in a room and their easy muted neutral color palette.  They look so pretty in a group, especially when they are the focal point of the room.

Here are some examples taken from the Ornis Gallery website.  In all of these they are really the predominate, and often only, art in the space.

The following are from Tom Scheerer's website:
^^I especially like them grouped in a hallway, entrance or going up a staircase.  I also like them covering the expanse of wall from top to bottom. ^^

There is an absolutely gorgeous online selection at the Ornis Gallery with prices starting at $350 and up.  Less expensive options, starting at $20, can be found at Nostalgia Fine Art.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Recipe | Watermelon and Shrimp summer salad

The majority of today was spent working on the prettiest design plan for a client's powder room (Hi, Suzanne!).  Summers are tricky for me and my decorating business. I really need a quiet house, without interruptions, for a few hours, to find my creative groove, so with Andrew spending the day at my parents and Charlie at the pool with his Dad, I took advantage and tried to pretend it wasn't a Saturday afternoon.  Tonight, I have plans to make a key lime pie after I publish this quick post and think up a dinner menu for tomorrow.  We are hosting a belated Father's Day celebration for my Dad and hopefully seeing some fireworks if the rain holds out.

I've been meaning to blog this recipe for um, the last 6 years.... It's one that a colleague gave me many years ago when I was still working at Procter & Gamble.  It was an instant summer favorite.  Over time I made a few tweaks, adding avocado and more cilantro,  adding less red onion.  It is perfect for sweltering days, when you don't want to cook but prefer not to eat out.  Full of so many of my favorite summer flavors like fresh squeezed lime juice, watermelon and cilantro.  The shrimp and avocado make it filling enough to serve as a meal, along with a baguette and a cold glass of Rose.  It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and it is sooooo delicious and unexpected.  It would be perfect for this holiday weekend if you want to pass on the burgers and hotdogs.  Enjoy!

Recipe | Shrimp and Watermelon Summer Salad
4-5 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
1/4 of a medium sized red onion, diced
2 avocados, chopped
1 pound cooked shrimp, tails cut off
1 bunch cilantro, diced
2 jalapeƱos, seeded and diced
the juice of 1 lime
1 tsp honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Place watermelon, red onion, avocado, shrimp, jalapeno, shrimp and cilantro in a large bowl.  Drizzle with lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and toss to combine all the ingredients.  Let sit 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Family | Nantucket Summer 2016

We just returned from a glorious week in Nantucket.  We were spoiled with spectacular weather, because I know traveling there in June can be iffy.  Truly, our trip was everything I could possibly want in a vacation, lots of quality time spent relaxing and exploring with my little family, incredible food, quaint surroundings and plenty of sea air!   Can I just say how much I miss the smell of the ocean now that we are back?  We stayed in the idyllic seaside village of Sconset again.  It remains my very favorite part of the island and we spent the bulk of our time there.  We ate at all 4 of the restaurants in town and picked up lots of fresh baguettes from the market and wine from the corner wine shop.  The shell lined streets smelled heavy of roses and honeysuckle and I admired every tiny garden and carefully planted window box whenever I passed by.  There are grander homes on the outskirts of Socnset, but my favorite are the little fishing shacks built in the 1800's that have been turned into beach cottages, with their slightly sagging roof lines and crooked exteriors.  I was lucky enough to go on a tour of 6 cottages in Cod Fish Park (an area I wasn't familiar with from last trip) on our last day in town.  

Our days started pretty early as far as a vacation goes, the early sunrises get you going! We took long walks every morning on the bluff or the beach.  We ate breakfast on the pretty brick patio of our rental with the french doors flung wide open, sometimes those breakfasts included warm cinnamon rolls or muffins from the Sconset Market that we would pick up for the kids on our way home from our walk, other times doughnuts (the cinnamon and sugar are the best) from the Downy Flake that Jimmy would grab after an early morning golfing.  (The best baked goods are still from Wicked Island Bakery though.)  We spent our days on the beach or exploring downtown. We climbed to the top of Sankaty Lighthouse on the clearest day and saw for miles, we picked wildflowers, celebrated Father's Day, peeked in homes that still looked empty for the season, drank HUGE iced lattes, filled ourselves with lobster, enjoyed midday cocktails (that might have just been me ;)), made many trips to the Juice Bar for ice cream in homemade waffle cones, had a perfect sunset picnic at Madaket, and devoted some time to better acquainting ourselves with the island's history.  If I had to pick a highlight or favorite day, I couldn't.  Our boys are at the perfect age for travel and we are so grateful for the time spent here, together.  This trip is one for the memory books! 

I instagrammed (over grammed. sorry, not sorry) a ton of photos in case you want to see more.  Hashtag: #foleyACK2014 

Thanks for letting me share!

^^ Our little cottage for the week.  Tiny but perfect. ^^

^^Daily bike rides in Sconset were a favorite of mine.  Look long sleeves in JUNE!^^

 ^^C loved the new Sconset playground!!^^ 


^^Prettiest sunset on Madaket beach^^

^^We took some self timer pics.  This was one of many "silly with props" photos that the boys requested. I love that they are perfectly spaced with only a few seconds to grab bike and beach chair before shot went off.

^^Football, baseball and baseball gloves all got heavy use.^^

^^Just thankful that the "jumping off lifeguard chair to catch football game" didn't result in trip to hospital. ^^

^^Photo by Charlie^^

^^From Cod Fish Park tour^^

^^Boys Club^^

^^my favorite spot in the cottage.^^

^^Taken by Charlie.  One of my favorite pics of the trip.  Maybe he takes after my Dad with his camera skills!^^