It’s Time People

June 8, 2020

Time for little acts of kindness…simple acts of beauty. They won’t break the bank and the rewards will come back to you tenfold. For a friend, a neighbor or even to elevate your desk if you’re conducting Zoom meetings from home, these seasonal white peonies make quite the simplequietmodern statement. Their gentle fragrance? Well…like the little shot in the arm your actions will give to your local economy…an added bonus. 

 

 

photos:gp

One tool…

May 29, 2020

for many tasks. I’m wondering how I did without one of these until now. Or, maybe I’m just tired of McGuyvering my way through the garden and decided I needed something new. From cutting through roots, digging up weeds or dividing mature plants, there isn’t a task that this Landscapers Hori Hori won’t be able to simplify.  A cross between a knife, a trowel and a saw this indispensable tool is constructed of heat treated alloy steel for lightness, strength and durability… right here in the USA.  With the entire Summer ahead of us it might just be a good idea to embrace it fully equipped. 

 

 

photo: https://www.shopterrain.com/products/landscapers-hori-hori?via=Z2lkOi8vdXJibi9Xb3JrYXJlYTo6Q2F0YWxvZzo6Q2F0ZWdvcnkvNDkzQkQ1Mjg

 

Is it me or is everyone having a difficult time keeping track of what month it is…what day it is? It seems like during the entirety of this Corona lock down the weather has kept us thinking it’s more like Fall than Spring and the sun has taken a back seat to the gray and rainy skies. A little inspiration seems to be in order to get us through the next few weeks to be sure. While the upcoming holiday weekend and unofficial start of Summer will be different than we know it, a little inspiration may ease the discomfort of continued shelter in place and social distancing orders. The simplest of things can bring new joy and freshness to a stale situation or outlook so look around with new eyes and see what happens. I’ve selected a few items from the simplequietmodern archives that might help get you started.

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Top to bottom:

Sheltering in place might have you contemplating a second place to get away to once we’re able to move around freely. And, while working from home may become the new normal for some, a simplequietmodern cabin with WIFI may be a neccesity.  Photo: Leonardo Finotti via Remash Tumblr

 

A comfortable place to kick back, either tucked away in the yard or on the front porch for those all important breaks between Zoom meetings. This reissue of the originalWestport Adirondack Chair design comes to mind immediately. Photo:Loll Designs

 

A simple spring dinner of steamed artichokes takes advantage of the season and satisfies while keeping time in the kitchen to a minimum. Photo: gp

 

If you need something to keep your hands busy and out of that bag of chips, this Elementary Wrap by Purl Soho is it. A modern hand-knit using their Linen Quill yarn results in a lovely seasonal project that will take care of that spring chill or tick off a special gift completed for the upcoming holidays.  photo: gp  https://simplequietmodern.com/2018/05/02/elementary/

 

The garden centers are open again. A quick stroll through might just tempt you to make a modification to your present landscaping. This Sunjoy Gold Pillar Barberry will add a little brightness even on those days the sun stays hidden. photo: gp

 

Why wait for the September running of the Kentucky Derby? This perfectly modern julep works for me any day . http://gardenandgun.com/media/mint-julep photo: gp  

 

Cabin Fever? Get out of the house and take a look at your place from a new perspective. Take a few phone pics from different approaches and try to view things as your neighbors or passersby do. You might be surprised to find that things are looking pretty good.  photo: gp

 

Who doesn’t like ice cream? My recipe for Pistachio Semifreddo will have you amazed that yes, you made it yourself.  photo: gp https://simplequietmodern.com/2015/05/24/whip-it-fold-it-freeze-it/

 

River rocks…or landscapers egg rock… can add that little touch of zen when used used in the landscape. As long as you’re home you might as well start another project to keep you outside. photo: gp

 

Not all potato salads are created equal. While I can often get a craving for potato salad like Mom made, I most often opt for this salad from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food…Potatoes Vinaigrette. Photo: gp   https://simplequietmodern.com/2014/05/04/a-simple-lighter-spin/

 

Memorial Day weekend is when those pots get planted. But, with what? I’m not into annuals…too bright. And last year’s planting of lily grass and Blonde Ambition Blue Grama grass while beautiful, did not winter over as I had expected. Now, I guess it’s back to my original choice…Blue Dune Grass. Fast grower, simple modern statement and, the deer won’t eat them. Check, check and check.  photo: gp

 

 

 

Reset

April 6, 2020

It’s apparently going to be another long month of isolation and social distancing, daily briefings will bring more sad news than good news. I keep thinking that all of this corona madness might be a blessing in disguise of a sad sort. The challenges that we are all now facing might force us to hit the proverbial reset button. The threat of Covid-19 is bigger than any of us yet affects us all in profound ways. We interact differently, we work differently and for many we find ourselves with plenty of alone time…time to listen to that still small voice that comes from within. Thankfully those reports of knock down, drag outs over toilet paper are behind us. If you are like me you are witnessing a gentler, friendlier, less selfish and more thoughtful community. And, as long as we are all in this war against an invisible enemy, that’s a good thing. It’s always a good idea to teach by example, so there is no better time than now to be that good example. Check in on people from time to time. Sure, those that are spending a lot of time alone could benefit from a quick chat or text, but, what about those that are now home all day with their kids taking on the new job of teacher? They might even need the contact and kind word more. Thank those who are continuing to work for our benefit…at the grocers and drugstores, gas stations and especially the Doctors and healthcare workers. Thank as well the restaurants, from fast food to fine dining, who had to retool to providing drive-up and curb service in order that their employees could still enjoy a livelihood. Thank them with your support…order a pick-up or delivery order as often as you can over the next month. Finally, treat yourself. While out for provisions, picking up some flowers to brighten your environment can do wonders to ward off cabin fever. And, while you’re at it, pick up an extra bunch to treat a friend or neighbor. No need to have face to face contact, just leave by their door and text a message that a little surprise has been left. With any grace at all, the sacrifices we are forced to make now will be behind us in a month or so and, hopefully, we will all be better for the experience.

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photo:gp

 

Just in Time

March 24, 2020

Just as you might be getting a little stir crazy with the ever growing ” stay in place” orders there comes a bright spot to break things up. A little ahead of schedule, and thankfully so, is the Heath Ceramics Summer Seasonal collection. With all of this Covid-19 madness who couldn’t benefit from a little bit of bright Summer color? It’s just whats needed to brighten up a gray day or our gray mood. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite as I am generally partial to neutrals. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. New glazes like Grove, Wave and Desert might be just what the doctor ordered. So, take a spin through the collection online and get inspired, treat yourself or maybe someone else who needs a lift during these unusual times. Yep…feeling better already.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/summer-seasonal-2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it’s March…

March 13, 2020

it’s time for Daffodils. The birth flower for March, nothing can make a simple, more cheerful, Spring-like statement like they can. And, while they’re still available, the Heath Ceramics bud vase is perfect for displaying these shots of vibrant color. I’m thinking multiple vases grouped for mass appeal or scattered about to spread the wealth with their electricity and gentle fragrance. Better act fast, this bud vase in Zinc, from the 2019 Heath Winter Seasonal Collection, is only available until the end of this month. Could a handful of Daffs help you or a friend deal with the new uncertainty of dealing with Covid-19? It couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

Daffodil photos: gp

Heath bud vase photo: https://www.heathceramics.com/collections/winter-seasonal-2019

 

We’ll See

February 9, 2020

We go through this often…the prediction of an early Spring followed immediately by snow, cold and yes, more snow. It’s Winter. In reality, the official start of Spring is still weeks away…plenty of time to prepare for it’s arrival, get inspired or simply switch things up to ward off cabin fever.

 

top to bottom:

Last year’s garden addition under this years last “dusting”

Forcing an armful of flowering branches definitely speaks to the promise of Spring.

Get super proactive and start now to plan a trip to the New Mexican desert next Winter and paying a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe residence and museum in Abiquiu. photo: https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/

Get on it and shake things up with this Alexander McQueen inspired velvet from Knoll Textiles. If not a chair then perhaps just a pillow will do the trick. Photo: https://www.knoll.com/knolltextileproductdetail/Arezzo

You could always spend more quality time with your favorite sidekick. Yes, even knee deep snow can be fun with this guy.

Now is a great time to revisit, reconsider and actually finish a stalled project. While these balls of newsprint yarn were created during snow days of Winters past, they still sit waiting to be transformed. Now’s as good a time as any.

Pull out that Sharpie and a clean pad. Start sketching and editing and committing some new ideas for your Spring garden projects to paper for when the weather finally breaks.

A little sustenance. The simplest recipe ever…Labneh. This Mediterranean dip and spread is basically Greek yogurt with a good pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon stirred in, placed into a cheesecloth lined strainer and left to drain out the whey over 24 hours. Serve up with a drizzle of good olive oil and a healthy dusting of Za’atar to spread on a variety of breads and vegetables.

 

Photos except where noted: gp

 

 

Time Flies

January 12, 2020

Well, it just does. There is no other explanation for the fact that simplequietmodern has just celebrated it’s eighth anniversary. At this time each year I am always interested in what subjects, products or photos you’ve been drawn to most. Black fences seems to have shot to the top of the list again along with a few of my favorites from Heath Ceramics…their new Muir flatware, classic field tiles and the updated Coupe line of Edith Heath’s iconic dinnerware. The simplicity of Spring flowering bulbs rounds out the top 5. Nice. So, thank you for faithfully checking in and checking things out…for indulging me in inspiring you and for your continued support and friendship.

 

 

 

 

photos:

Black fence: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/trend-alert-black-fences/

Muir flatware, Coupe Line and Heath Field Tile: https://www.heathceramics.com/

Tulips: gp

 

Down To The Wire

December 24, 2019

Is it just me or has this holiday season seemed like a “drive by”?  I know, with all good intentions of getting your shopping completed early, you find yourself feeling totally behind the eight ball with the clock ticking down fast. Enter the gift card. A quick trip the the grocery store will have you leaving with a pocketful or simpler yet, an hour or so online will have you checking off that list with lightning speed. In no time…in a word…DONE. From cookies to cashmere, wine to winter coats there isn’t anything that isn’t available with a gift card and what recipient wouldn’t love one?  Selecting exactly what they’d like beats having to make a return or exchange by a long shot. Santa has already started his trip on the other side of the world, so if you still have gifts to buy you better get on it.

photo: gp

 

 

 

 

 

Hard to believe,

December 17, 2019

but I am actually enjoying a Poinsettia moment. Really. Like Truman Capote in Jay Presson Allen’s Tru, I too felt that “Poinsettias are the Bob Goulet of Botany”. Decades of over-saturation in the seasonal marketplace have rendered this bright red holiday staple cliche’, cheesy and hopelessly out of date. It was spotting this new variety, Envy, with it’s bright chartreuse coloring that made me stop and rethink it’s potential. While I generally indulge in white Tulips, Amaryllis and Helebore from the Winter Solstice through till Christmas and the New Year, I couldn’t help but think how well this fresh new addition would play with the others, both in the pot and as a cut specimen.

 

Photos: gp with the exception of the Amaryllis photo via https://www.shopterrain.com/categories/blooming-gifts and the last photo via: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/poinsettias-rethinking-traditional-christmas-flower/