I’ll take a lump of coal over Pantone’s color of the year for 2015 any day. Marsala. Really? If they would have called it what it looks like, raw liver, my guess is that the people at Pantone would have gone in a different direction entirely. Picture receiving a cashmere sweater or scarf in this color next Christmas…after a year of this showing up on everything from coffee mugs to automobiles ( if their forecast is correct ). Ugh. Or, is it just me?

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Cookie?

December 15, 2014

Nothing says Christmas like a plateful of homemade Christmas cookies. If you have the time, great, but who wants to run out for that list of ingredients? Relax. Simple shortbreads…using only 3 ingredients you have on hand…to the rescue. Pull out that rolling-pin, some vintage cookie cutters and turn on that oven. If this is the only baking you do this season, no one will be disappointed.

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photos:gp

 

Where’s that list?

December 12, 2014

I find it’s easy to refer back to gifts that I have received and have enjoyed when trying to come up with a gift idea for someone else. While most of them could easily fall into that “stocking stuffer” category budget wise, you’ll hear down the road that their impact was greater than something more extravagant. Really…it’s the small things that make the difference, don’t you think?

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A journal or sketch book…always a clean sheet at hand. The perfect place to record a thought, a plan, a sketch, a dream.

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Ras el Hanout…Mix up a batch of this Moroccan spice blend from the recipe found here.http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/ras-el-hanout While great in meat, vegetable and cous cous recipes, you might include this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower soup to get things started.  http://www.kirstenjohnstone.com/2012/10/roast-cauliflower-soup/

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Heath holiday tall modern cups…ruby red inside, red suede outside. Peppermint hot chocolate will feel right at home, as would coffee, tea or a fistful of tulips or winterberry. You’ll be thought of with every use.

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Clementines, cloves and snow…really. “Winter” fragrance 3 wick candle at Bath and Body Works.

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Deerskin gardening gloves…indispensible. Protection for your hands when gardening or to keep in the car in the event you make an unplanned stop at the nursery. I’m never without a pair…or two.

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Luxurious yarn in a gift card from Purl Soho, Jimmy Beans Wool or Yarn.com.  Who wouldn’t be excited with a gift of cashmere, merino wool or alpaca? And, for the fiber freak…it’s all about the picking. It’s almost like two gifts.

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The mini wisk. I received this one as a gift years ago and it’s still in my top 5 favorite utensils.

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The “Ropey”…who’s special kid wouldn’t love a new one? 

Modern cup photo: Heath Ceramics. All other photos: gp

 

low cost / no cost

December 9, 2014

As you start stockpiling your gift purchases also start giving some thought to your gift wrap while a treasure of free materials is staring you in the face. The crisp white tissue, softly rumpled newsprint and” green” packing materials are a great place to start getting creative. And, at no cost. The addition of a $2 ball of sisal twine and a few found objects…twigs, leaves, cones…will have you presenting gifts that will be almost too pretty to open.

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Top to bottom:

Softly rumpled newsprint bound with sisal twine says simplequietmodern Christmas to me.

Maple and Oak leaves, free in nearly every yard if you want a little something extra.

The graphic black and white images of Korean comics are fun tied up with smooth white crochet cotton…just pennies at an Asian market.

Whisper thin red pine veneer from Habu Textiles makes an unforgettable impression when complimented with a simple tie of raffia and a hand marbled note. http://habutextiles.com/NK-6

If you’re looking for an extra bit of “holiday” in your presentation…give your completed packages a quick shot of gold paint. Psst…done. And gorgeous.

all photos: gp

 

Ducks in a Row

December 6, 2014

I’m not quite ready to start decorating for the holidays but it’s the perfect time to get those ducks in a row. While I generally sort and display my vintage ornaments by color, I always play them against white flowers…preferably white tulips of any variety. The time is now to get them ordered and start setting out the white Amaryllis and Paperwhites if I want them in bloom for Christmas or New Years Eve. I might even add to my collection of ornaments this great box of assorted miniatures from Terrain. The colors are amazing… and, any random combination of 9 creates for you a great vintage modern Christmas palette. Picture it…LA in the sixties… a big ‘ol flocked tree in cotton candy pink or peacock dressed in any of the combinations found in this little box of magic. Maybe use one box as is on the coffee table as an accessory, or even a group of them running down the Christmas dinner table for a mod Christmas interpretation. A lot of simplequietmodern fun for a 20 dollar bill.

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 Photos of balls by Terrain and available here: http://www.shopterrain.com/holiday-tree-ornaments/miniature-bulb-set  Tulip and vintage ornament photos: gp

 

 

That was easy.

December 3, 2014

You showed me your “ugly” and, well…boo hoo for you. All of the pics I received looked pretty good. And, trust me, I’ve seen some”ugly”. The random entry I’ll be addressing here is lovely. Even though the homeowner sees this space as a “catch-all” after a cross-country move, it is full of beautiful furnishings, art and comforting neutrals. The one item that seemed out-of-place to me was the rug. While seagrass is a great choice, the size is not … it’s too small. Here’s an opportunity to play off the graphic placement of the framed pieces with a bold anchoring base. Enter Flor. A larger area rug made of tiles in their Modern Mix recycled carpet could just be the thing to breathe new life into this familiar collection. Continuing to keep things neutral with the gray or taupe mix is one safe direction…but choosing a bold sweep of color, like the red , will most definitely ring in the holidays with style. Complimenting the bowl of glass orbs with a single large sphere of spicy carnations will add some unexpected panache. By ordering online you’ll be laying this down in plenty of time for your holiday entertaining. That was easy… so, who’s mixing up the Brandy Stingers?

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If the modern check isn’t a fit, perhaps bold hoizontal stripes in an oyster white and espresso brown? All available options can be seen here.http://www.flor.com/splitsearch/index?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=modern+mix&search_submit=Search

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Red too traditional for you? This orb of carnation heads would be simple quiet and modern if done in snowy white.

Top two photos: the homeowner, bottom two photos:gp

 

Santa ?

November 30, 2014

 OK , I thought I’d get this in early while everyone else was busy with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Until I find the time to knit ‘em up myself, I could love to receive either of these this Christmas. And, it goes without saying…but I’m saying it anyway…I’ve been very good.

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It doesn’t get much more simplequietmodern than these charcoal cashmere sweatpants or this sweaterknit blazer, does it?

photos: http://www.jamesperse.com/

 

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