Retro Vegas

I love second hand furniture.  When we lived in Toronto and Detroit I furnished our homes with many a curb side finds.  Presently, I am into discovering more about past and present designers and appreciating elements of their styles and design.  I still love previously loved pieces. 
I am all about 'using what you've got' or in this case using what has already been made.
I took these photos while shopping with my friend M.

I really appreciate the style of this sofa set that has a rope backing.  Similar to Percival Lafer's sofa design where he used leather straps to hold the cushions together.  This piece also hails from Brazil and is made with dark teak.  The pineapple serving set, on the coffee table, is originally from Hawaii- the top leaves are removable and may be used as serving spoons.

All three of these chairs are designed by Vladimir Kagan- a German born furniture designer who emigrated to the US in the late 1930's. The white/cream colored set was amazing and swivelled.  The dark purple chair rocked- They were all very comfortable.
I fell in love with these end tables.  I love the two tiered look and as you can see in the second photo the wood detail on the side is an amazing bird or leaf like design.  Unfortunately I am not one for symmetry, especially in the family room where I was looking to fill a space- the tables are being sold as a set. 
Love this coffee table- wish it was silver- wonder if it would be hard to re-paint?!
This was very hard to photograph- but this kitchen set is pink, Barbie pink. 
So retro and so cool- to look at- but I'll take my stainless steel-
All metal- made to last.
Loved this peacock chandelier- so elegant and modern.
The tails are made of glass and if only it was not, gold.
(Obviously not a great photo but that wall clock in the background was amazingly detailed teak.)
glass and ice bucket set
A few more things I liked-
Do you like retro ?


Harvest Food

This is a photo of my monkey sorting through the bountiful harvest we picked from our neighbours yard. 
We picked peaches, pears, Asian pears and limes.
The peaches were sweet and the limes juicy.  Both pear varieties were hard yet flavorful.
We tried to make as many creative things as possible this weekend using our fresh harvest.
Here are some of our creations:
Asian pears with cinnamon sticks, sugar and one granny smith apple- boiled down and strained to make a tasty cider. In this photo is was almost all finished- All four of us said Yum!

Lime-o-ade: a bunch of limes halved (with peel on),  a bunch of mint from our garden, boiled down and sugar added at the end- This makes a very pungent syrup which tastes great mixed with water OR vodka.
I used a metal potato masher to squeeze the remaining juice from the limes and mint when straining.

This is a close up of pear pizza.
I sauteed pears in butter with a sprinkle of sugar to brown them.  Then added a little tomato sauce, feta cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary from our garden. 

The most time consuming was the peaches-
We made peach jam and peach chutney.

I know that in some states fruit found on branches that over-hang onto public space are free 'game' for the picking- I also know that there are many people who have fruit bearing trees that either don't harvest them or have more then they can use.  I am still looking for a friend with a fig tree!?

Do you have access to fruit trees?


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Giving Knowledge Back To The Forest

I am taken with the concept that two Canadian designers, Thilo Folkerts and Rodney LaTourelle, have created in the middle of a forest. Using over 40,000 books, colorful wood planks and mushrooms, the artists have made a temporary living garden with a nod towards conservation by submitting their work back to the earth. The project titled Jardin de la Connaissance (Garden of Knowledge) uses a large quantity of discarded books to form walls, walkways, benches and flooring: Based on an open compositional principle, these elements are assembled to create a garden space, integrating it with the site and the structure of the forest.

The use of books to create this garden is twofold in its use of recycled paper completing the natural cycle and the obvious connection to knowledge which is infinite. The artists hope that by exposing these fragile and supposedly timeless materials to transformation and disintegration, they also invite an emotional involvement of the visitor.

I have fond memories of mushroom picking with my father as a child and I happen to love every kind of mushroom, so am fascinated with the additional element of living art added to the books.
Eight different, edible mushroom varieties such as Winecap or Oyster mushrooms are cultivated within particular books and are nourished by the book walls. The mushrooms are pre-cultivated from spawn-sets and prepared for insertion in the book walls in well-watered book bundles.

All photos are by Thilo Folkerts. 

What is your favorite living art project?


Making Toast By Roger Rosenblatt

I read a review of this book about a year ago and remembered the title had ‘toast’ in it-So when I thought of it I looked it up and ordered it.

The book is written by Roger Rosenblatt, an author and English/Creative Writing Professor.
The story is about grief: coping with grief, living with grief and a new normal.  Ultimately it is about loss.
It took me four hours to read this book- taking one break to make dinner for my family and eat it together. Then I kept reading and crying. I cried for pretty much the whole 166 pages.
This is not a novel. It is tidbits of memories and the days and months following the death of Mr. Rosenblatt’s daughter. Amy was a young wife, mother and doctor. Her youngest child was just over a year when Amy collapse and died of a rare heart condition which was undiagnosed.
On the day that the Rosenblatt’s got 'the' phone call, they drove from their home, to their son-in-laws home and stayed to help raise their three grandchildren. A mix of grandparent laced pride and coping with anger and grief the Rosenblatt’s adjust to their new normal among play dates and diapers- Mrs. Rosenblatt wistfully observing that she is living her daughter’s life.
To order a copy of this book through my Amazon shop click this

              Do you like to read books that make you cry?


Zion- Utah

Zion National Park is located about 45 minutes away from St. George, UT at the gateway of a cute town called Springdale. It is a beautiful majestic and spiritual place. I strongly recommend putting it on your list of places to visit if you have not done so already.

Springdale- and where we ate dinner one night at the Pizza and Noodle Co.
Originally inhabited by the Paiute and Anasazi Indians, their cliff houses and rock art can be seen throughout the park. Eventually the area was settled by a group of Mormon Pioneers, led by Nephi Johnson. He named the area Zion for the Hebrew word meaning ‘a place of peace and refuge’. The Indian name is Mukuntuweap.
Zion National Park is home to a diverse collection of geological wonders, including formations such as the towering 2,200-foot Great White Throne, the park's most famous landmark; the Court of the Patriarchs; the Watchman; Kolob Arch, a 310 ft. long arch and the world's largest known natural span; and the Narrows of the Virgin River, where a person can walk upstream to places so narrow that both sides of the canyon walls can be reached with outstretched hands.
When we first visited Zion three years ago the monkeys were not old enough to hike the Narrows in the Virgin River. Dr. J and I were eager to get back to Zion and do this incredible all day hike.
The town of Springdale has a handful of restaurants, motels and B and B’s. Most importantly it has several rock and crystal shops. Dr. J and the monkeys love these kind of shops. I love the glass rocks- I have some from our previous trip in our back yard- at three dollars a pound it can be sadly deceiving. I imagine that if I get a few every time we visit, in ten years I might have the glass garden I envision.
After a LONG day of hiking:
A cool Dragonfly photo Dr. J took:
I can really go on forever with info and photos- There are two visitor centers, a lodge and museums- we also did the Watchman hike but I'll leave you with 'extra' info if you are interested in The Narrows Hike:

The Narrows is one of the most unusual hikes on the Colorado Plateau. Hiking is done largely in the river, as for a third of the route, the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall. The walls are vertical and sheer, and often red in color. While water levels change from season to season, most hikers will wade at least waist-deep, and many will swim a few short sections. The hike is 16 miles (26 km) long and is very tiring because it is in the river itself. Permits are required before hiking the Narrows from the top and can be obtained at the Zion National Park Backcountry Desk. Hiking in the river is strenuous. The water is often murky and the bottom of the river is covered with round, basalt rocks about the size of bowling balls. This makes foot protection and use of trekking poles or a walking stick essential. In the spring, The Narrows might be closed due to flooding while the snow melts off the upland areas to the north if the flow rate is higher than 120 cubic feet per second.

Have you ever been to Zion?
Where is your favorite place to hike?


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I don’t know where I first heard about this: book, film, author's sudden death, translation into several languages- There is a lot of buzz everywhere and once I heard it- it didn’t stop.

I waited patiently and when it arrived I got a skipping heart beat of excitement. I started reading it and would not have suspected a thing about violence until Sherri of The Claw posted a vlog where she reviews the film and mentions the violence. (What is that you say Sherri? Thanks for speaking up.)

I read the book over four days, unsuspecting for the first two that there was any element of the darkness that would unravel. When it did, the repulsion created attraction.

About two weeks after finishing the book I watch the Swedish, with English subtitles, film of the same name. The film is extremely similar with some overlapping and edits to squeeze it into a two and half hour film. Obviously needing to tailor this version to fit American Hollywood standards, the film is being remade to suit an American audience.

The Swedish film is fantastic. It is dark, it is violent and it is graphic. Not generally the type of film I enjoy but done in such a way that it is not glorified or sensationalized, as only a European creative team could conceive.

I am sure that the ‘new and improved’ version will be a mere glimmer of the original so I recommend seeing the Swedish version as well as reading the book before the Hollywood version comes out.
Or buy a copy here
In the January 2010 issue of Vanity Fair (one of my favorite magazines that both Dr. J and I enjoy and have been subscribing to for years) – there was an article about the controversy regarding the will and royalty collections after Stieg Larsson’s sudden death at 50. He was in a common law relationship and estranged from his family. His involvement in the communist party has sparked many conspiracy theories surround his death which occurred shortly after he sought to publish the three novels. Referred to as the Millennium Trilogy,  and rumored to have plot summaries for a total of ten- they include: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.
I look forward to getting my hands on the subsequent two published novels, will keep my fingers crossed for the rumors to be true and watch the American version of the film, but not in theaters.

Have you read/seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?


Monkey Movies- Fit For A Lady

I don’t watch every film that my monkeys do- It is after-all a babysitter of sorts, that they must earn. I do however appreciate a family friendly film with aspects geared towards mature sensibilities. I am not talking about the Hollywood Blockbuster movies with sexual innuendos-a low form of entertainment and humor in my opinion. What I appreciate is cinematography, settings and animations that blow my mind. This summer we have been alternating Family Game and Family Movie nights. Here are two films that are available through Red Box or your local library that we all simply love.
Ponyo is a Japanese animation film about a goldfish that befriends a boy named Sōsuke and wants to become a human girl.  The story is an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Mermaid and is written, directed AND animated by Hayao Miyazaki.  Mr. Miyazaki was also inspired by Richard Wagner's opera Die Walküre which is reflected in the music of the film. What totally blew my mind is that the animation for the film was ALL done by hand. Yes- that is over 170,000 separate images, futhermore, many of the regular images were done exclusively by Mr. Miyazaki, for example the waves and sea scenes. This film won five awards in at the Tokyo Anime Awards in 2009, including ‘Anime of the year’. Mr. Miyazaki received the award for best director and best original story.

Coraline is a 3-D fantasy/horror animation done in stop-motion.  Stop motion or frame-by-frame is an animation technique where the animation or object is moved in such tiny increments between each frame that it gives the illusion of natural movement. The film's creators used thousands of 3D models, ranging from facial expressions to garden plants which were printed using a matrix systems. This film is reminiscent of work by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Coraline and her discovery into a parallel universe through a cubby hole in her living room. In the Other World, there is an Other Mother and an Other Father, who are very fun, entertaining and attentive- who hasn't wished they had Other Parents!?
This film has played in our house many times and it never ceases to amaze me how precise the details are in each scene.
What is your favorite Family Friendly film?


Art Everywhere- The Flavela Painting Project

I love this project. The idea of drawing attention to the beauty which exists in every part of the world, while empowering a community, is true art.
This vision, by two Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn, is to create beauty in unexpected places.  Brazil, is South America’s largest country and a third of it’s 200 million people live in favelas (slums).
After working on a project together in 2005, about hip hop in the favelas of Rio and São Paolo, they came up with the idea to ‘bring outrageous works of art to unexpected places, starting with painting enormous murals in the slums of Brazil together with the local youth.’

Their first project called The Flavela Painting Project used ‘the idea of creating community-driven art interventions in Brazil and yielded two murals which were painted in Vila Cruzeiro, Rio's most notorious slum.' For the projects a group of local flavela dwellers trained and worked as painters thus providing them with skills and jobs.

Art which empowers a local community to feel pride for their community is true beauty.
Have you ever participated in a community art project?

Maybe You'll Enjoy These Too...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...