Inspirations: Eva Zeisel

Visionista #2: Eva Zeisel
Ceramic Maven, War Survivor, Professor, a Star of Budapest and the World
Let's face it, we all wish we could be amazing and have these book-worthy stories to share in our old age. I mean, "Once I made the best chocolate cake..." just doesn't seem to do anything but put the yawn on. And here we have this wonderful woman with an amazing life
She has traveled, created, suffered, loved, shared and inspired. 
And still does at 102!
Thanks, Mrs Zeisel! You are a true inspiration in every way!

A good read or three, Mrs Zeisel herself by the Boston Globe (by staff David L. Ryan) and from the archives (Hillwood Museum and Gardens, 1926)
a good buy in the UK or the US.

The gravy boat makes me swoon (and I don't make gravy!) and the teapot is divine. 
We purchased a set at Crate & Barrel this year for our 10th wedding anniversary.
Now I just dream of the bookcase and coffee table (and wood floors.) I'm secretly envious of all people up north with houses full of wood floors....

A few spots to check out if you love her like I do:
Eva Zeisel on the Orange Chicken
the Eva Zeisel Forum
Eva Zeisel Originals


Inspirations: Geoffrey Bawa

This week I will share several of the designers who inspire me. Some are contemporary, some have past - all are truly amazing in their talent and vision. Enjoy!

Visionista #1: Geoffrey Bawa
Sri Lankan+British, Architect+Lawyer, R+L brain = shazaam!
Check out his contextual modernism and the Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka. If you ever visit Colombo, Sri Lanka, eat lunch or dinner at Paradise Road Cafe and Gallery (his old offices) and shop at the partnering Paradise Road shops. If you'll be staying a bit, take that long, hot, dusty ride out to Dambulla and stay in paradise at the eco-friendly Kanadalama hotel. Here Bawa joined nature and concrete to perfection.
(Bawa: say bah-wah)(kandalama: say Kahn- da - Llama) (Dambulla: say dam-bull-ah)


A delightful day

So often we share our wish lists, but rarely our delight in receiving. This holiday I received both beauty and joy and I wanted to share each with you. I hope this message finds you with joy in your pocket (or ear) as well!

To share in my joy: 
Dolfin Chocolates and heavenly Meteorite earrings from Lunicart.


New Trend: TV Show Club

I am announcing the end to regular TV. My husband and I love to watch episodes the day after, so we can hop in bed, avoid tons of commercials and watch when we want. BUT the big news is the end of regular TV. How? "TV Clubs" and online rentals.

My coworkers are often planning a Six Feet Under or Pushing Up Daisies TV Show share. They all rent the same series from Netflix or Blockbuster online and then get together at lunch to discuss the most "recent" episode. Informal, fun and easy.

Is the TV Club replacing book clubs and regular TV? Or is just another way that the internet has changed our lives?

(image from Book Daddy)


Chocolate Decadence

I was invited to share my most secret and coveted recipe in the new Design Sponge Recipes section. Here is my submission dubbed Mother Day Decadence Torte by my compadres. I'll let you know when the spot and the recipe go live!



After spending a large portion of my life in Texas, I finally had the honor of learning how to make tamales from a true Mexican. Kiki Littlefield is an amazing hostess, cook and people mover extraordinaire. Here are some photos from our tamale party. 

Carnitas in adobo, chicken mole, black bean and jalepeno, carnitas in tomatillo sauce - all to die for!


I am soooooo inspired. (and a wee bit guilty feeling)
Download your copy today and be inspired too!


Let it Snow!

Last night it snowed and I could hardly sleep. You see, here in central Texas it NEVER SNOWS, especially before April. I was jumping about like an excited puppy!

In honor of this amazing wintery gift, I'd like to share some great items from the final Modish giveaway. Each would make excellent gifts for your special ones.
Top (from left): Jewelry from Starving Artist Bazaar! , print from Irena Sophia
Bottom (from left): Mudpuppy's ceramic vases, print from Alina Jolie

And you might even win one of my prints too!


Hill Country Wine Tour

Wine is an essential part of my family holidays. Especially since my parents started their own winery a few years ago. This Thanksgiving was blessed with a great Austin area wine country tour. Beautiful views, a fun drive and fabulous wine. If you're in the Austin area, you've got to check these out!

A down home spot with a great Hillcountry view. The wines are quite tempting here (And blew our budget!) I suggest the SuperTexan, the Syrah and the Cuve Blanc. Just $5 for a tasting of six wines. (photo from chris_cogs2's flickr)

For Lunch and Wine Tasting, head on over to Mandola Winery. A gorgeous spot with a Bocce court, room for running and strolling, big shade trees and INCREDIBLE Italian food. Really. This place was made by a man long in the restaurant business in Texas and the USA - Damian Mandola. He is associated with D'Amico's in Houston, Damian's Cucina Italiana and then Carraba's. What a legacy! This is what you'd expect a Texas Vineyard to look like! (photo from their website)

After a grand lunch here, head on into Wimberly for some shopping and to avoid the pasta-coma. This town is a gem and offers art, art, art and antiques. I promise there is something for everyone!

On your way back to Austin make sure you have a good bottle of wine and some cash left and eat at the famous Salt Lick Bar-b-que. Y.U.M.

Now that s a good day!


Sri Lankan Talent

The last visit to Sri Lanka produced a love for the young and upcoming Sanjeewa Kumara. His work is full of hybrids, dreams and symbols. The colors, the gradient backgrounds and the fusion of cultures is mesmerizing. Check him out!


Tasty Emissions

Don't you just love You Tube? And now food and the tube have come together to make great stuff. Enjoy! (and thanks BananaHead Pancake for sharing this too!)

Made it to Modish Giveaway!

This week one of my prints is included in the killer giveaway on Modish. If you have not made it over to Modish yet - get your fingers moving!
Modish has amazing artisans and guest bloggers. Featuring mostly handmade items and indie artisans, it is a constant site of inspiration. 
Enjoy and good luck!


Thankful for those who make my food

I dropped in at the Austin Museum of Art Saturday to see the Sebastiao Salgado Workers exhibit. I was struck by how hard other people work to make the coffee I drink, the sugar I use, the ships to transport it in, the oil to fuel them.

Take a moment and thank these people for what is in your pantry today. They make our lives so simple. 

Thanks laborers of the world!
Sebasti├ťo Salgado for illy
Allana Coffee Curing Works. Karnataka State, South India, 2004
by Sebastiao Salgado for illy.


Something Old, Something New

When I was living in Savannah, Georgia and attending SCAD for my MFA I had two fabulous Thanksgivings. One introduced me to the old Georgia family-style T-Day traditions - eating outdoors, fried Turkeys, 20 miscellaneous guests and lots of Beaujolais- Nouveau (yes, by the CASE. )

The second was a "new to Georgia" experience. It included an elephant gun, my department chair, an art gallery owner, two humorous hairdressers with their Superbowl party video, the beach and too much wine again. 

Now that I'm in Texas, things are a bit more .... mellow. 

How do you SPICE UP your holidays and get out of a rut?


I'm a guest blogger!

The amazing Kitchen Corners blog invited me to guest blog Friday. Check it out if you'd like tips on improving your food photography or to see her giveaway this week!


Ready for a Dinner Party

I've been browsing many food and style blogs and dreaming of a dinner party. Here's some delicious thoughts to take home with you:

As always, Dessert First
Roasted Apple and Vanilla Bean Souffle
my new favorite

Appetizer: Pizzettes with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto from Everyday Italian. (Add a little fresh rosemary to the dough and it's phenomenal!)

Served on the Classic Century Dinnerware, designed by Eva Zeisel and sold at Crate and Barrel.
Check out the serving pieces - DIVINE!
Image thanks to www.pomegranita.com

And delicate Venetian wine glasses from Napastyle.com

For the Main Course: Coq au Vin (by Barefoot Contessa)

Served with extra roasted carrots (by Barefoot Contessa) and I don't even like carrots. Beware, these are addictive and easy to make!

ohhhhh, I am sooooo hungry! 
Bon Appetit!


Nesting in for Fall

As the cool winds blow into Texas to end summer, my Northern spirit yearns for sweaters, scarves and snow. Unfortunately, in central Texas, those days are few and scattered. Here's what I'm dreaming will be useful this year...
Special edition two sided felted scarf in blue and dark dark grey from Karlita, the maker of whimsical, colorful scarves

brown nuno felted muffler shawl wrap
This rich beauty comes from AkinaMina in Korea

victorians pillow - john
A little whimsy to cuddle up with on a cold night, from CommonDecency

Yardage - Handprinted Linen Fabric
Fabric that inspires me to make a Modern Duvet from Maramiki in Chicago

Hand Blown Glass  bottle
And, the perfect glass for storing my homemade Framboise/Kir (Raspberry liqueur) by
RVA glass in Chicago

Want to join me in a perfect Winter Tradition? It's perfect for breakfast on Christmas or New Year's Day,  or just because! Here's a great recipe from RecipeZaar

Bon Appetit!


Make my life easier

Oh, the time starting the Etsy site and a blog takes. I must organize and beautify in order to stay creative and focused.

Here are a few of my plans:

First of all - the Umbra Key Holder to get those important bills/letters someplace safe!magnetter

Then, a good Maggie Taylor calendar to keep things planned.
Maggie Taylor Landscape of Dreams 2008 Wall Calendar
From amazon bookseller, etc

And maybe a few extras:
The IKEA magazine file for my mags/cookbooks
And something nice to tell time....

gotta go get the kiddos to bath


New things, new times

I am no longer a blog-virgin! Tonight is my first post and I'm diving right in.
By Tuesday, I will have finally launched my site on etsy selling images. 
Here is a sampling of the images to come online soon... check out the site www.foodchic.etsy.com and enjoy!