Monthly Archives: July 2009

Ritmo Studios

From DW:

black walnut and african bubinga lamp

ritmo black walnut and african bubinga lamp

:

:black walnut free edge coffeetable

ritmo black walnut free edge coffeetable

:

english oak burlwood coffeetable with cantilevered curly maple leg and elm base

ritmo english oak burlwood coffeetable with cantilevered curly maple leg and elm base

The “New Hope” style of woodworking refers to a tradition that evolved in the Bucks County area of Pennsylvania. It can best be described as a blend of American Shaker austerity and Japanese simplicity, with a touch of mid-century modernism.

George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick are the most famous craftsman with shops in the area, and they are extremely influential, but there are also a number of lesser-known, but highly gifted artists still working there today…

Like Matthew Smith, an emerging craftsman who started Ritmo Studios after working with the late (and great) Mario Gioia (Gioia was part of Nakashima’s workshop for 52 years). “When you work like this in such a disciplined way, the stuff gets into your blood,” says Smith, who also makes amazing Afro-Cuban percussion instruments. Ask, and maybe he’ll make you something, too.

For more information contact: Ritmosstudio@gmail.com

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The Summer Soiree Revisited

From JH:

the audubon center boathouse in prospect park (photo courtesy of prospect park)

the audubon center boathouse in prospect park (photo courtesy of prospect park)

It’s hard to believe that the big Soiree was only one week ago (feels like yesterday, sigh). Though the evening didn’t look quite as idyllic as the event’s location shot above (translation: it poured rain, then poured more rain on our party that night), we still had a hell of a time. Just check out all of the beautiful, park-loving people who came by!

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Simple Syrup

The Growth of a Garden: Part 11

From JH:

unseemly summer squash

unsightly summer squash

WARNING: If you go too long without picking your summer squash, it will blow up like a “torpedo” (I quote all of the many friends who told me so). This is what JB and I came home to after a long weekend in Northern California. What is one to do with a yellow squash this size? It’s lost a lot of its taste. For now, we’re just keeping it in the kitchen…as a reminder…

But in other great garden news:

jb's baby tomatoes on the vine

jb's baby tomatoes on the vine

:

rows of arugula, cilantro, and spinach

rows of arugula, cilantro, and spinach

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Filed under Do It Yourself, The Growth of a Garden

Deal of the Day: Rachel Comey Rucksack

From DW:

contributor by rachel comey rucksack

contributor by rachel comey rucksack

Yesterday, I jumped into Urban Outfitters in an effort to escape a sudden downpour of rain that caught me without an umbrella….when this perfect bicycle bag caught my eye. Turns out, it’s designed by an H&O favorite, Rachel Comey. I love that it fits snugly in my front basket, converts to a backpack, and zips closed to secure my laptop.

Get it here! Now on sale for $49.99.

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Filed under Clothes and Accessories, I (Heart) Bikes, On the Cheap

Urban Ore EcoPark

From JH:

an aisle of old french doors

an aisle of old french doors

The Berkeley, CA equivalent of New York’s Build It Green! NYC is a place called Urban Ore, where used and salvaged housewares––everything from doors to faucets, electronics, and tools––are on sale at good prices with hopes of getting a second chance at domestic bliss. To be honest, pretty much everything in this giant warehouse and its adjacent scrap yard requires re-purposing, re-painting, or re-finishing of some kind, but the potential is overwhelming. I had the pleasure of visiting when I was in the Bay Area this past weekend (thanks, TB), and what I found was wonderful, the collections especially:

metal doorknobs

brass and enamel doorknobs

:

salvaged bathtub feet

salvaged bathtub feet

The weathered bathtub feet would make really beautiful bookends, I thought, but because they were so heavy (oh, so heavy, and I was carrying-on back to Brooklyn), I opted instead for a set of travel-friendly porcelain drawer pulls, to replace the rusty ones in my kitchen. Just $20 for 17:

mid-century porcelain cabinet handles

mid-century porcelain-and-brass drawer pulls

Urban Ore, 900 Murray Street, Berkeley CA; 510.841.7283; http://www.urbanore.us

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Filed under On the Cheap, Raw Materials, Recycling, Reimagining

The Soapbox

From DW:The Soapbox

Here at Home and Oats, we were initially inspired by a chance to explore “homemade” ways to improve your life, both materially and mentally. Gardening, cooking, cycling, and inexpensive D.I.Y. projects give one a sense of accomplishment and self-sufficiency that is deeply satisfying. But the heart of the mission, for me, is a knowing that I am contributing in a positive and creative way to other people’s lives. Now, I would like to expand the agenda a little here, politically speaking, so bear with me.

I just got back from two eye-opening weeks at theNorbulingka Institute in the Dharmsala area of Himachal Pradesh in India. Oversimplifying, Dharmsala is where the Tibetan government has operated in exile since 1960, after Communist China invaded Tibet in 1959. The Dalai Lama also lives in Dharmsala, along with approximately 8,00 Tibetan refugees, many of whom are monks who fled to Tibet in order to avoid religious persecution by the Chinese government. There are 80,000 Tibetan exiles worldwide today. The population of Tibet is only about 2.6 million. Since 1959 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese.

Essentially, a holocaust is being ignored in Tibet because China owns the US Treasury…sorry to be dramatic, but it is ironic that our government and press will not address Tibet, considering the extent at which we’ve chosen to meddle everywhere else. I am not particularly politically correct, but this for me was overwhelming and heartbreaking.

But, as I discovered, there is something you can do! Something useful, meaningful and creative. You can sponsor a Tibetan child through theTibetan Children’s Village.T.C.V. is a legitimate and incredibly well-managed program/community/orphanage that cares for Tibetan refugee children (many of whom left their homes at a young age and walked through the Himalayas for 30 days, at night, in the winter  to get to a safe haven). T.C.V is committed to educating the children in the Tibetan language, which is not presently allowed in Tibet. It is a remarkable place, filled with love, laughter, and, incredulously, hope. It is $40 a month to sponsor a child––it is: 1 week without Starbucks, 1 less dinner out, or 1 less impulse buy.  In other words, we can all afford this.

Once a year I go to India for some soul-searching and to remind myself that this life that I have is big and wonderful. My trip is a great extravagance, both in terms of time and money, and I am grateful for having the means to do it. I can, in the business of life, become apathetic and lose the plot, so to speak. Traveling and feeling the gravity of how others in this world who are beyond my everyday live is the ultimate “homemade” inspiration.

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Filed under Aspirational/Inspirational, Do It Yourself

The Growth of a Garden: Part 10

From JH:

summer squash!

summer squash!

What we’re doing here in the H&O garden is nothing extraordinary, I know. But I’ve been a city mouse all my life, a consumer of store and farmers’ market produce, a regular at restaurants––to attempt to grow my own food, and then to have it work (!) is a thrill I can’t quite describe. It’s so exciting, it makes me hungry.

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Filed under Do It Yourself, The Growth of a Garden