Friday, June 28, 2013

Marta Penter + a Guest Post Today on Mimosa Lane

I don't know about you, but I am certainly ready for a great weekend - one of the first officially Summer weekends of the year. After a long, long Spring filled with work around the house and anxious anticipation for the season, I'm more than ready for these first few days lying around by the pool and truth be told, I'm planning to have plenty of company over the next couple of days. Hooray!

Over the past couple of evenings, The Mister and I took to the kitchen to prepare for our house full of guests and all the luxurious downtime. One of the things we love to do is fill the kitchen with ready made snacks - pre-mixed salads, produce already washed and cut and ready for the taking, as well as other pool friendly foods - popsicles, homemade ice cream, pickles and of course house our house chips (I'll have to tell you all about those soon). 

On the poolside grab and go menu this weekend:

Saturn Peach + Honey Frozen Yogurt
Homemade Beef Jerky
House Chips

 A little prep time during the work week will no doubt make this weekend filled with family, friends and lounging even more delicious! 

Speaking of keeping things easy and at arms reach, I'm happily filling in for Albertina over at Mimosa Lane today sharing some other ideas to keep simple comforts easy and accessible so that you can make the most of the season. Please be sure to hop on over and check it out!

The image above is exactly what I'm aiming for - all sprawled out catching a little sun and catching up with my sisters - I'll have two of the three (and my brother) here, so perhaps this other from Marta Penter's series "Shared Intimacy" is really more the like it:

Can you believe these are oil on canvas

Count me as the newest and most enthusiastic fan of Brazilian painter, Marta Penter. I've never seen anything like her photorealistic works, so life-like and full of nostalgia, intimacy and playful emotion captured with the sharpness of detail, until now, I only thought could be achieved through a camera lens. 

I want one of a grand scale for the house and I want one bad.

They represent everything I love about this season. Be sure to check out Marta's other works-- she achieves such greatness through watercolor as well, I kid you not.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bring The Pretty To Summer Socials

Summertime means many things to me. Certainly one of the first things that comes to my mind are all the pool parties and BBQ soirees that we'll host over the next couple of months. Though I've learned that even simple, unembellished gatherings can be just as much fun, I like to up the ante on get togethers with a little unexpected flair and that for me, usually relates back to food presentation. 

I've never really entertained around party "themes" per se, but I have been scouting disposable serve ware in ice cream colors and neon hues for our upcoming days by the pool. Below are a few of the finds I've earmarked for the Summer socials that are already filling up our calendar.

1. Test Tube Shooters (we had these at our wedding) // 2. Disposable Lunch Trays // 3. Ice Cream Cone Jackets // 4. Ice Cream Cups (personalize with a stamp or monogram) //  5. Vintage Paper Straws // 6. Plastic Hot Dog Wrappers (reusable all summer long!) // 7. Biodegradable Ice Cream Spoons 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Somehow, I let a whole week slip by without checking in!  I'm not sure how that happened, but I can tell you that the days I spent disconnected allowed for a lot of productivity on both the work and home front - some of what I hope to share with you over the next week (the fireside patio is finally complete!).  Today though, I thought we should finally catch up! 

Here's a bit about what I've been up to lately.

Saturn peaches photographed by Aran Goyoaga | Gold Rings on The Glamorai photographed by Jeremy James


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Knot-So Nautical Rope Accents

I've been exploring a slew of different materials used about the house these days- one of which can be sourced easily and inexpensively from your local hardware store. I've found that rope, in all it's various colors and incarnations, has added structure and texture, strength and visual interest to both decorative objects and bigger stakes projects in recent months. It's become a favorite of mine and I've taken plenty of inspiration from the ways others have used this very versatile material in design that only hints at seaside nautical or ranch-hand western. 

I love how an everyday object can be transformed into something totally unexpected and in turn, completely transform a space. These woven dividers and backdrops give a modern nod to yesteryear macrame.

If I'm intrigued by it's use in anything, it's definitely in the chunky and masculine weight it gives to overhead lighting. I've long planned to model some permanent fixtures or even temporary party lighting using wood and rope as a foundation. I'm going to bet this happens before the year is up.

We've used it to tie down truckloads and tackle heavyweight projects, so it seems a natural transition for rope to be used in a supporting role for more decorative tasks that require some extra muscle.

But most of all, it's the surprising element of rope used indoors that inspires me. We're used to seeing softer materials used for interiors. I've found though that the scratchy sisal of rope is a good counterbalance to all the smooth and fluff, particularly when used merely as a decorative object in and of itself. 

screening | .01 .02 .03
lighting | .01 .02 .03
support | .01 .02 .03 
works of art | .01 .02 .03

Thursday, June 13, 2013

There's a Tournament in My Future

Here's one more I'm adding to our summer bucket list: a ping pong tournament. Remember way back when I fantasized about adding a ping pong table to our backyard playground? As late as this past March I had laid out all the plans and sourced materials for a pretty slick DIY, which eventually got side-lined in favor of more, lets just say practical matters like a new lawn and plants.

But now that the season of fun has almost officially arrived, I let my ping pong table dreams get the best of me this past Sunday and I suddenly found myself headed down to Monarch Beach to answer a Craigslist post for a table that was just the right size and color that I was looking for all along. A bonus - it folds up nice and compact on wheels, making it storage friendly when needed. Is it the more permanent, carmel-colored wood with a black top vibe I was originally going for? Not even close. But sometimes easy is going to trump perfection and at the end of the day, when I'm standing at the end of my fold up table, in the heat of a five minute volley, poolside with The Mister, I'm going to argue that that is perfection in and of itself.

First, I'll need to heal the two fractured ribs I got dealt while trying to load the damn thing into the car. True story.

Next we'll need a few accessories. 

Then, I'll need to learn how to play. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rhapsody Rug Collection by Surya

I've been scouring all my favorite resources for some new rug selections to place throughout the house and stumbled upon the Rhapsody Collection by Surya. The Collection offers another high quality take on the Beni styles we have all come to love so much and I thought it was an option worth consideration. 

These rugs look so full and lush and though manufactured, the irregular patterns woven into them still have that hand made artisan look.  I've pulled out some of my favorites, but there are many more to choose from, including a leopard pattern. 

For my money, I'm particularly smitten with the 'Grey + Parchment' style above. 
I wish I had just the right place for it!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Fresh Ideas // Tomas Pearce

I've had this one in my file for several weeks and quite honestly, I kept going back to it, not convinced that I favored all of the ultra-modern aspects in this kitchen. But individual elements kept standing out to me that I felt were fresh and innovative and I realized that was really the draw for me.

I love when design pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you think, don't you?

Today, I am featuring some of the fresh ideas cooked up for this kitchen by Tomas Pearce, an Interior Design Consulting Firm based in downtown Toronto. Also- you should take a peek at a peek at the cutting edge floral designs here and elsewhere for this project, labeled The Yorkville.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Fantastical 3-D Art of Amy Boone-McCreesh

Under the Big Top
I present to you, my latest infatuation. I was doing some research on another post I have planned when I came upon the colorful and inspiring art of Amy Boone-McCreesh. At first glance, I saw party and celebration, but then other aspects emerged - tribal, custom and religion... and though seemingly impossible amidst all the sparkle and tissue, a slight bit of somberness.

New Culture

I read a bit more about the Artist and in her own words, suddenly it all made sense.

Currently, my work is a tribute to craft and the long human tradition of making. I am interested in exploring the cultural lines between functional items and decoration and revisiting these themes in the context of contemporary art.  Found objects, second-hand fabrics, celebratory ephemera, repetition and the amassing of materials and mark-making are my primary vehicles for expression. Referencing the visual vocabulary within my three-dimensional work has acted as a way to inform and ground the abstract compositions of my two-dimensional work. It is my interest to evoke imagery of rituals, tradition and ceremony while maintaining a contemporary aesthetic.

The Simple Life
All Idols Fall
Everyone is Safe
Maximal Mermaid Mirror

Perhaps the favorite of my favorites:

Garland and Totems

See more of Amy's beautiful work here.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'm always in a hurry to get on to the next thing.  These last few nights I've been taking some time out to smell the roses so to speak, live in the moment and realize that life is pretty swell.

Lots of hard work has gone into creating our poolside playground and from here, the view is looking mighty fine. We're enjoying weeknight happy hours outdoors these days, hanging out by the grill, a cocktail in hand and a little music in the background. It feels good to get outside after sitting behind a desk all day. 

I quickly snapped these the other night with my iPhone. Didn't take time to grab my camera. They may not be the best quality, but I was too busy enjoying my cocktail.  

You get the idea anyway.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

3 Things I Want to Make Right Now // Summer Entertaining

How much fun are these color-blocked coasters made by Marcela at Marcelina? These would be a perfect accessory for our poolside bar this summer.

I thought this geometric table runner spotted over at Hank & Hunt was pretty genius and the pattern options are endless! Of course, I'd probably opt for my favorite triangle graphic and while I love it in black, I can also imagine this in an array of colorful hues at the summer buffet table.

Speaking of genius, Artist Ashley Walters created this textile art installment for Urban Outfitters. Justina Blakeney snapped a picture of it and it made it's way all over the internets, because well... it's just too good!  Though this was probably meant as a more permanent installment, I imagine it would make a curious and colorful photo backdrop for our next party. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

A White Wedding

If you are following along with me on Instagram, you probably got a glimpse of some floral work I did over this past weekend. I thought you guys might want a look at some of the progress shots, plus of course, a peek at the final outcome.

I've done some full scale wedding and event design in the past, but this time, I was charged only with pulling together the floral for this one, which was set in a spanish style Villa. I concepted a few options for the bride who only stipulated that she wanted an all white palette with a few hints of green, which would eventually be installed in the Villa's courtyard amongst dark wood tables and beautiful shade trees overhead.

In the end, we went with an array of peonies, mums, freesia, dahlias, carnations, scotch broom and David Austin roses for the blooms. The green accents were added with dianthus and some tropical foliage. For the bases, we decided to play up the candlelight and backlighting throughout the courtyard and went with mirrored bases. 

While I was able to source the table bases,  we wanted something a little more dramatic and larger scale for the ceremony arrangements. So I enlisted The Mister to help me build out some tall boxes that I later outfitted with some custom mirror pieces the week before the big day.

Saturday morning I was up before the sun, coffee in hand, stereo on and working away at a pretty good clip. The average temperature in our house that day was kept at 68 degrees.

Halfway through the arrangements on Saturday afternoon.
I was able to knock out all of the table and ceremony arrangements the day prior, leaving only the bouquets and wearables for the morning of.

The venue was magical to say the least. Dark wood tables- 16 feet long were waiting for floral upon arrival in the shady courtyard. I was happily surprised to find that the trees had spotlights pointed down above the tables, which I knew would add more even effect to the mirrors in the arrangements.

I loved these arrangements. I already have plans to build out some mirrored boxes for the house. 

Bridesmaid bouquets of peonies, freesia and fragrant David Austin roses.
I personalized all of the handhelds and wearables with hand stamped cards.

Thank goodness the peonies opened that morning! The bride wore an ivory lace dress and family pearls. She gave me free range on the bouquet, only remarking that she loved peonies. I loved the final result, using white peonies and astilbe, which mirrored the lace details in her gown. The stems were also wrapped in lace and pearlized pins to tie into her dress and jewelry.

It was nice to finally grab a few shots on this event. Typically, I get so wrapped up in the detail work and forget to take photos! In the end, I got the nap I was so looking forward to. But I woke up at sunset, and I couldn't help but think of the magic that was surely unfolding back in the courtyard and how beautiful and happy the bride looked that morning while she anticipated the evening to come. 

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