Jump-Start

December 27, 2013

This week could be a great time to jump-start the new year and prepare yourself for a little jolt of fresh color. Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s selection for color of the year for 2014. Yes, Orchid is the new Emerald…radiating joy, love and health while encouraging creativity and originality (according to the Pantone release) with its fuchsia, purple and pink undertones.. That’s a lot to expect from a single color isn’t it?  So, why not start with small doses…a flowering plant or cut flowers injecting new life in a completely neutral interior or maybe an orchid square in the pocket of a charcoal suit.

Copy of Pantone radiant Orchid 2014

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The Stockings Were Hung

December 23, 2013

Well, I thought about passing Buddy’s Christmas stocking down to Jaxon but decided on a new direction. Something more fitting. A new Wigwam wool crew sock seemed the ticket. In charcoal wool…a simplequietmodern twist on the natural classic, an all time favorite of mine. So, he can nod off for the night…visions of sugarplums or liver treats dancing in his head…comfortably knowing that there’s a suitable receptacle for some treats from Santa.

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Merry Christmas.

 

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful

December 20, 2013

If more churches looked like this there would be an end to the myriad excuses used to get out of attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The genius behind this renovation is British designer John Pawson. His collaboration with architect Jan Hobel, through their careful and deliberate refining and editing, has created in this 1,000 year old church near simplequietmodern perfection. You can almost hear the angels voices.

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http://blog.thedpages.com/john-pawson-a-new-language-in-church-architecture

Change of Plan

December 18, 2013

Could there be a worse time for your oven to decide to act up than a week before Christmas? Well, better sooner than later, so there is still time to regroup.  Instead of cookies, I think candy is going to be the treat of choice this season. As long as it’s homemade does it really matter? I don’t think there will be any disappointed faces when they dive into this…Candied Orange and Ginger Bark.

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It’s as easy as gathering your ingredients and melting some chocolate. Make your candied oranges a day ahead and this is simple simple simple. You can find the Canadian Living tested recipe here:http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/candied_orange_and_ginger_bark.php

 

Snowflakes are like people…

December 15, 2013

each one different…one of a kind… each possessing its own unique character and beauty. Yet, en masse, both seem to lose their individual charm. That said, it’s no surprise that I’m not  a fan of holiday crowds and even at Christmastime I’m not a fan of snow. The solitary snowflake captured by an artist can be a thing of beauty and a design inspiration in its own unique way. Too much of a good thing, however, and there are treacherous roadways, snarled traffic and shoveling. Give me  little dusting on Christmas Eve and I’m good.

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top to bottom:

This modern graphic was extracted from a box of Trader Joe’s holiday Pfeffernusse. Similar modern incarnations have graced everything from product packaging, gift wrap and greeting cards since the middle of the last century. And, it still looks good.

An amazing macro capture by artist/designer Edward Horsford makes you wonder how this single thing of natural beauty can, when multiplied, shut down and airport….or even a city.http://edwardhorsford.com/photography/macro/page2.htm

This gorgeous soft brass Lynlee chandelier looks snowflake inspired. Far and beyond any of the Sputnik chandeliers of the 1950’s and 60’s, I could warm up to this any time of the year.http://shop.thedpages.com/product-p/lynlee-chandelier.htm

George Nelson’s Ball Clock in natural beach has been a classic of modern design since it’s origins in 1947. It looks a lot like a snowflake to me.http://hivemodern.com/pages/product99/vitra-george-nelson-ball-clock-beech

When I was in early elementary school, we made some modern snowflake ornaments of round wooden toothpicks stuck into a small styrofoam ball and finished with spray snow and glitter. Mine was so cool I remember it like it was yesterday. What better time to revisit and resize with a few new creations made from a styrofoam ball, some bamboo skewers  and a spritz of metallic paint? At 18 and 26″ in diameter I think I’ll do OK with no tree this year.

 

There’s still time…

December 12, 2013

to get that hand knit gift cast on, cast off and wrapped up before Christmas. Start with some giant sticks and some giant merino yarn from Loopy Mango, add the simplest knit or purl stitch and a couple of hours. Et voila….a little Christmas magic. Who on your list wouldn’t love a scarf , wrap or throw with this much style and panache? It’ll go so quickly you might want to knock one out for yourself as well.

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yarn and blanket photos: Loopy Mango

 http://loopymango.com/

Candy, Candy Canes…

December 10, 2013

candy corns…syrup*. Who knew that one of these…of Elf’s  main food groups… could be so disarming? A pocketful of candy canes is just great to carry around, ready to hand out and diffuse some impending holiday meltdown. It could be the nasty person in line at Starbucks giving the barista a hard time or the weary sales clerk at any retail location, who just needs a smile and a break, that can benefit from this simple gesture. I started doing this years ago, begining my day armed and ready. And, I always returned home with an empty pocket, feeling good. Interesting how bringing a sweet unexpected smile to someone will always have one coming back to you.

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* Elf