Pucker up

August 29, 2012

It’s almost time. I’ve been waiting all summer for the run to the  farm stand to pick up my cucumbers and make a batch of crock dills. I had never made pickles before last summer when I got hold of a recipe that a family friend uses and everyone raves about. I commandeered a 3 gallon stoneware crock, gathered my ingredients and in no time…literally 4 days…I had quarts of fresh dills that were second to none. It’s always gratifying when a plan comes together but when the jars started disappearing and friends were asking for pickles or the recipe well into the winter, well, that recipe is a keeper.

Summer Rocks

August 26, 2012

And, that is the inspiration for this simple “assembled” floral display…a found object…a rock. Well, that and the white-hot sunlight that August brings and lush green lawns.  What could be more refreshing on a hot hot day than crisp white and the cooling effect of  mossy green? interpreted in Ornithogalum and Dianthus barbatus cultivar…simply arranged in an assortment of clear and frosted glass cylinders, this grouping can stand alone on your dining or coffee table any day of the week or, with a little further augmentation, create a quiet, elegant presentation for some occasion more special. Perhaps grouping the parts on a white lacquer tray or natural log slice, adding more egg rock or river stones and some simple votive candlelight to compliment the star-shaped blooms?  Any way you rock it you’ve got simplequietmodern that lasts and lasts ( these flowers in the photo are in week 3) and won’t break the bank.

begins with a single step” in the words of Chinese philosopher Lao-tsu.  Or in this case,a single cast on stitch. Finally, California Dreamin II has been cast on…300 stitches to start…180K to go. Phew…that’s a lot of knitting. Elizabeth Zimmerman knew the benefit of a project like this when she said “Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit,and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.”

Foreign Correspondence

August 19, 2012

In these days of email, texts and tweets the simple yet welcome gesture of a hand written note has all but dissappeared…a foreign exercise to most people. But, when the need arises don’t be caught short as  I nearly did when I recently had an occasion to send a simple note. A quiet white-on-white embossed card is my personal stationery of choice ( available at Neiman Marcus and surprisingly cost-effective at a little over $1 per card including an embossed envelope) and if I need something with a bit more flourish I always have a white-on-white floral repousse’ card from Hallmark on hand. Both are the simplequietmodern choice  suitable for a condolence note, wedding wishes or just to reach out with a kind word. A little planning and you will always be ready to make the greatest personal statement… with just a whisper.



August 15, 2012


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”    Leonardo Da Vinci





Watermelon Gazpacho

August 12, 2012

It definitely says summer. Few ingredients…5 minute prep…overnight chill… done and done. The  little kick from the hot sauce or some red pepper flakes makes all the difference. Why not serve it as a cocktail or appetizer “shooter” with a feta cube and mint leaf garnish  (would a shot of vodka be so bad?) . Or, you can serve it up with a skewer of grilled shrimp like they do over at Meatballs and Milkshakes who created this recipe. Not a bad offering for these 90 + degree days we’ve been having.


On your mark…

August 9, 2012

get set….Whoa!  Is it me or do both of these chairs look like they’re going somewhere while standing still? Produced decades apart, they share a similar design sensibility. The early Windsor style chair seems to proudly display the same rakish lines and simplicity as the Verner Panton design of 1960. It’s poised as if getting ready to sprint  to catch up with the middle of the twentieth century from its early twentieth century origin. In a modern interior the Panton chair strikes a classic profile to be sure,but the introduction of a piece like this one-of-a-kind Windsor into a room full of modern classics presents all in a new light. We are  encouraged to compare and contrast the shape , finish and patina of the old with the newer and see it as art, like sculpure…with a purpose, a function… even if that function is to simply and quietly please the eye.             http://xenoscollection.com/index/home/  


August 6, 2012

I wasn’t at  my local hardware store looking for inspiration, but  indeed, inspiration struck. Who knew that a $2 ball of gardening twine could become  a handsome vase “wrap”? Softer than I had imagined, the resulting fabric presented the great color of jute linen and the simple garter stitch…a beautiful  textural contrast to a simple glass cylinder. Secured with an additional length of the jute itself ( or maybe some tan leather lacing for fall ) you have a great seasonal receptacle for a bound hand full of blown garden roses or even an assortment of grasses and foliage. I’m thinking this could be a simplequietmodern answer to your next event or holiday centerpiece. Did someone say they were getting hitched?

Better like this…

August 3, 2012

Yikes! There’s so much going on here you’re likely to have a seizure before you reach the coffeemaker.(Gotta love the green bananas in the center of the frame.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Or , better like this? For me there is no question. The perfectly executed mid-century space is the one for me. Even back then someone knew to take down the uppers, keep the refrigerator and appliances out of view ( or minimize their visual impact), provide more than ample surface space and take full advantage of visually expanding the square footage by incorporating the outdoor view. The built in dining area is seamlessly integrated keeping the family “in the loop” while prepping for supper. I’ve got my soup pot and rolling pin…it feels like home to me.