Festival Season

May 29, 2014

Nothing kicks off the festival season quite like The Artichoke Festival in Castroville, CA… artichoke capital of the world. Castroville…all artichokes all the time. While it’s peak  season and they are being shipped to a green grocer near you, celebrate with Castroville and cook yourself up a simplequietmodern lunch of artichokes this weekend. Trim, boil and dip. It couldn’t be any more simple than that.



While the artichokes are cooking make a quick dip of melted butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. It’s the perfect accompaniment.





If you’ve got it…

May 26, 2014

fly it. If you don’t have one…get one. Honor our nations fallen with the simple gesture of displaying the flag today, half staff until noon…full staff from noon to sunset.


For correct flag presentation and etiquette: http://www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html


Reason to Celebrate

May 24, 2014

I thought they were going to be a “no-show”, but, after a couple of 70 degree days in a row this week I noticed a bit of activity on my Dogwoods. Excitedly I clipped a branch to bring inside and by the morning…well… we had bloom. To celebrate I decided a Mint Julep would play well into my Dogwood celebration. It all just seemed simple and modern and southern some how. Perfect.




The Garden & Gun video for this perfect modern take on the classic Mint Julep will have you making one for yourself and wondering why people don’t make these more often. http://gardenandgun.com/media/mint-julep


Just in Case

May 21, 2014

It’s always good to have an alternate plan. So as I anticipate the upcoming holiday weekend I have put into place Plan B…just in case. A little inspiration from a modernist weaving by textile artist Anni Albers and a few skeins of pima cotton have me set and ready to go should the weather take an unpleasant turn.




top photo via http://blueberrymodern.tumblr.com/




Better Late…

May 18, 2014

than never. While I usually schedule my Spring clean-up for somewhere nearer the middle of March, this past Winter and Winter-like Spring has only now allowed me the luxury taking stock and pulling on my gloves. Clearly Mother Nature has taken her revenge  and has left my property to resemble Chernobyl after the blast rather than a rural retreat in the Midwest. Boxwood hedges…gone. Yew hedges…stripped to skeletal by hungry deer. Japanese Skyrocket Hollies…a moment of silence please. And, what is left in the way of  birches, pines and spruce had taken one last good beating during a severe hailstorm on Palm Sunday. Devastating.  At least the grass is finally green. And, on that one positive note I will look to the light at the end of this tunnel, entertaining the thought of rewarding myself in a setting like this…pea gravel soft underfoot, a gentle afternoon breeze weaving its way through the masses of miscanthus, and a cocktail. Oh yeah…after this mess there will be cocktails.


photo via: http://cabbagerose.tumblr.com/post/85363575103/outdoor-room-via-lorrainepennington



April Showers…

May 15, 2014

bring May…OK, more showers. While we’re waiting for the May flowers to grace us, there is the Chiara Chair to consider. Designed in 2013 by French designer Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance it has a decidedly 60’s appeal…ready to complement your growing collection of modern classics or infuse a more traditional space with a little punch. The generous flower petal inspired shape and self-returning swivel base provide the perfect perch to lounge, relax and wait.







Photos via :http://hivemodern.com/pages/product6578/bernhardt-design-noe-duchaufour-lawrance-chiara-lounge-chair



Bridging The Gap

May 11, 2014

Gabions. Wire cages filled with rock, bridging the gap between rustic and modern, old and new, hard and soft. A landscape application that  I’m surprised I don’t see more of. Retaining walls, fences or even enclosures can be achieved cost effectively using steel wire gabion baskets with rock or stone…even recycled concrete. While it might look like a DIY project, seeking out a landscape professional could save some time and expense.


photo via Pinterest






photo via http://remash.tumblr.com/


on potato salad. We want to move into Spring and Summer but the weather’s still holding us back. While a  side of potatoes is comforting we want to shift into salad mode right? Isn’t it about time?  This simplified version of an Everyday Food favorite…Potatoes Vinaigrette…is the perfect simplequietmodern transition salad. Young Yukon Gold potatoes, celery and the simplest Dijon vinaigrette will get you there in no time. Served at room temperature on a cooler day or chilled when the temperatures start to rise and you’ll find that this might just be your new Summer “go to”.


Copy of potstmF



I’ve done a simple adaptation on the original recipe below by using either new white potatoes or small Yukon Gold, as much celery and celery leaves as I like…and I like alot. My vinaigrette uses only Dijon mustard, general-use olive oil and apple cider vinegar… because that is what I always have in the pantry. http://www.marthastewart.com/315005/potatoes-vinaigrette



Now, That’s A Shed

May 1, 2014

OK…I don’t need a shed, but I’d like a shed. More specifically, this shed. It falls right into my simplequietmodern sensibilities. Maximum awe accomplished with three humble materials… wood, galvanized steel and polycarbonate sheet. And, it was pre-fabricated and  assembled on site. Thanks to the minds at Hufft Projects design collective mine is running wild with the possibilities. While I might not use it to store riding machinery or heavy equipment, I could certainly put it to great use as a studio, gallery, gym, or chapel…a place to create, host, retreat, rock, nap, meditate, hide out or… simply hang out.






photos via:http://hufft.com/residential/the-shed/