Monthly Archives: May 2009

A Life in Rockridge, Beautifully Arranged

From JH:

lilac-tulip-hydrangea heaven

lilac-tulip-hydrangea heaven

Saddleshoos over at A Rockridge Life is making me reconsider the fabulosity of flower arrangements. Usually, my mind is of the divide-and-conquer kind––I like to disassemble bouquets, put similar species in smaller vases and then scatter them around, like this. It’s foolproof and kind of a cop-out, I know. Because balancing disparate blooms is no small skill…look at the above, for example. And this one by Saddleshoos, too, the result of a rainy day:

peonies and a pineapple!

peonies and a pineapple!

From her blog I’ve gathered that she’s had some training––she’s worked at a flower shop near her home called Bloomies, which always seems to have the best of what’s in season. (I envy her this; in my Italian-American ‘hood mums rule). So what’s the secret, Saddleshoos? Any tips? Looking at your arrangements, I found myself thinking––Recipes for Fresh-Cut Centerpieces! I’d buy the book.

For more oogling, check out her post on Saipua, in nearby Red Hook. As they say at ARL: So soothing.

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Filed under Flora

Because a Girl Can’t Have Too Many Pairs of Summer Sandals…

From JH:

cynthia vincent rope sandals

cynthia vincent delphi sandals

They’re on sale in white here! And here!

And they’re especially good for bike riding. (Those t-straps can be brutal between the toes, no?)

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LALiE

From JH:

Marie Riche’s LALiE Designer Textiles take my breath away:

marie riche's wonderful textiles

LALiE's moody-blue pheasants

 

so gorgeous!

so gorgeous!

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Raw Materials, Simple Syrup

The Penicillin

From JH:

good medicine

gourmet, june 2009

I’m not the cocktail kind, but The Penicillin featured in the June issue of Gourmet is good medicine. Smoky, sour, mildly herbal––everything that I like about Bourbon and Amaro, but on ice. Those crazy liquor chemists over at Little Branch made it up. Here’s the recipe, first the simple syrup:

Ginger Syrup:

Mix 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed ginger juice (if you don’t have a juicer, you can grate the ginger and squeeze and strain the juice from the pulp), 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1/2 ounce warm water. (P.S. You can make a bunch of this and keep it in the refrigerator for, oh, a while.)

The Penicillin:

In a cocktail shaker 3/4 full of ice, combine 1/2 ounce ginger syrup, 1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch, 1/2 teaspoon Laphroaig or other smoky Islay single-malt Scotch, and 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice (I like to add a bit more lemon juice). Shake for 20 seconds and strain into a rocks glass.

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Tenugui

From JH:

multi-tasking towels

the ultimate multi-taskers

Tenugui are traditional Japanese cotton cloths. They measure approximately 13″x34″, and in Japan they’re used for just about everything, as hand towels, napkins, handkerchiefs, headscarves. More? How about: Place mats, curtain ties, and tablecloths, too. The point is to wash them until their ends fray and they get super-soft. Really, you can do whatever you want with tenugui…I quartered the hypergraphic purple one on the left to make four dinner napkins:

before

before

 

after

after

The new summer patterns at TGS are especially cheerful. (Thank you, KH!)

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Filed under Gift Ideas, Raw Materials

The Horror…The Horror

From JH:

attack of the marigolds

attack of the marigolds

Dear Readers, 

As a general rule we try to avoid anything negative here at H&O. Why spend our time and yours discussing things we don’t like when there’s so much good stuff out there? That said, in order to give you the full Growth of a Garden report, I’m afraid I must rant a little about the currently sad state of my front yard.

Yesterday, I got a surprise visit from my landlord (without getting into all of my issues with him, I’ll just say that his visits are a.) too few and far between, and b.) ill-timed, ineffective, and always in his best interest). He started by apologizing for letting the front yard go to pot this spring (OK, I’m paraphrasing)…but then, get this, he segued into scolding JB and I for cleaning it up! Apparently, he didn’t approve of our landscaping plan. No, he wanted marigolds. MARIGOLDS! Maybe my least favorite decorative flower, EVER. You say marigold, I think: HOME DEPOT GARDEN CENTER. After all the work that we put into clearing the weeds and refreshing the soil, he came along and littered the place with marigolds! He even threatened to rip out all of the herbs! “I don’t really like the vegetable garden, eating-from-the-ground idea,” said the Evil Landlord, we’ll call him from now on, to JB. Then he rearranged the pots we’d planted with tomatoes, basil, mint, and arugula, so that everything was “more symmetrical.” UGH, so awkward and unnatural:

what the ____?

what the ____?

We bought those pots, dammit. The wooden boxes I purchased with DW at the Brimfield Antiques Fair––I travelled 200 miles and woke up at the crack of dawn for those boxes! It pains me to look at where the EL put them. It pains me even more to look at what he did to the one good thing that our garden had going for it. Remember this

before

before

Now that spot looks like this:

after

after

I am appalled. I am crestfallen. But what I really don’t understand is why he’s so insistent on it looking this way. I know, it’s his building, he owns it, he can do whatever he wants with it. But, he doesn’t have to live with it. He lives in Argentina, and comes back to Brooklyn to check on this place once, maybe twice, a year. Does he know how cheesy the yard looks now? I mean, he did this:

seriously?

seriously?

A marigold in the dead tree stump? JANG-kay. There was nothing that I could do to stop it, that was worst part. Even V, the older lady next door who’s lived in this neighborhood for more than fifty years, said it looks cheap. Thank you for your sympathy, V, we know you’ve got our back.

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Filed under Gardening, The Growth of a Garden

Deal of the Day

From JH:

J.Crew Dauphine sandals

J.Crew Dauphine sandals

Neon patent leather T-strap sandals? YES and YES! The raspberry Punch ones are on sale right now for $68.00. (The electric Yellow are still at full price…a whopping, well-spent $88.00.) Go to J.Crew. Fast.

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Filed under Clothes and Accessories, On the Cheap