Tuesday, January 31, 2012

whats cooking at cottage farm

a little peek at whats cooking in the shop this week.... look for these and other pretty bits soon. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

monday mood board

dark and moody, sleek vintage, art deco, organic luxury 

images: interior, girlhorn, porsche, dress, girls

Friday, January 27, 2012

flowers for friday

 beautiful paperwhites. they are filling the house with a light perfume and livening up my kitchen windows. one is growing in a vintage jelly mold, the other in an old mason jar. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kitchen Addition

Over the weekend a little addition. My kitchen is a big wide open square. And while Im elated to have such space after the little galley kitchens Ive had before, it does have its challenges. The set up is a bit inefficient and counter space is sacrificed. 
 The solution... a kitchen island. This one is sized perfectly for the space and I am pleased with the outcome; added counter space, extra storage. I also added a vintage rug. The kitchen feels so much warmer and this thrills me the most! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fruits of Labor: breaking the mold

 i have a soft spot for vintage molds (here). There is a scene in the first season of downtown abbey when daisy carefully releases a jelly from its mold... i pretty much die at that scene. 

At the moment I am fostering a mold and its gorgeous, handmade and has the loveliest cherries crafted into the top. Its pretty much been screaming at me to use it but truthfully i was a little intimidated and unsure. Insert christmas present from my mom (donna hay's seasons), a slightly modified recipe, a little bit of luck and.... magic. 

It was my fist ever panna cotta and I must admit it was much easier than I expected. I did take a bit of the easy route and made a simple vanilla version. But I was elated as I carefully released the mold and there was this perfectly formed bit of sweetness..... i pretty much died at the scene. 
Sorry for the terrible night shot but this lovely was not going to last till morning. 

Recipe Adapted From Donna Hay

2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 Tablespoons milk
1 C of cream
1 C of milk (i used 1%)
1/3 C brown sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
and a mold or molds of some sort that can facilitate 2 1/2 cups or 1 1/4 cups each. Lightly Greased 

place the gelatine and 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl, stir to combine and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes or until gelatine has dissolved. Place the cream, 1 cup of milk, brown sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Add in the gelatine and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool

Pour the cream mixture into your lightly greased  mold/s and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or until set. carefully run the tip of a sharp knife around the rim of the mold. invert onto plate/ or plates 

to find the mold i used in my shop

Monday, January 23, 2012

monday mood board

i seem to have blush on the brain. its not a color i am usually drawn to but i am seeing it everywhere these days..........

images: pink suit, necklaces, pants, room, girl, cake, rug, flowers 

Friday, January 20, 2012

flowers for friday

happy happy friday! hope you love this pretty bouquet as much as I do. It will surely serve as some inspiration for this seasons upcoming weddings. 
Im so excited! I just booked my first two freelance jobs of the season and can not wait to start creating. 
Its only been a few weeks but it feels like ages. 

What are you getting into this weekend.
Off in search of new treasures for the shop, drinks with friends and going to attempt a panna cotta recipe. Eeep! im a terrible baker but i have a beautiful copper mold thats just screaming to be used....so away I go. 


image: luxefinds

Thursday, January 19, 2012

kitchen island inspiration

 im on the hunt for a kitchen island. our kitchen is a big wide open square, everything is pushed to the edges, and it would benefit from the addition of some type of island or cart. This addition would better utilize the open space. It would also be nice to have some extra, accessible storage for those things we use every day, and my growing collection of cookbooks 
 my concern is, that while i would jump at the chance to have a big old square butchers block in the center of the kitchen, my kitchen table is already very wood heavy. It sits in an dining nook just off the kitchen so I don't want them to compete. This leads me toward a metal island, but they all seem to look a bit sterile, a bit hospital. I also like the open feel of a cart-like island more than a closed cabinet type.

what do you think? 

images: 1, 2, 3, 4 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

flea market finds

 flea market find ~ 
    a big chunky necklace made of bone and sliver. i love the creamy earthy colors of the natural materials. great with big heavy winter sweaters i think it will carry into other seasons too. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Sense of Place

 Sonoma proved to be a fabulous weekend and our little 1930's cabin overlooking the river made it even more enjoyable. Its sweetness was inviting and made each of us feel very at home during our stay. I am always amazed by that feeling I can get in a house that is unfamiliar and doesnt belong to me provides such a strong sense of place. 

I could have sat on that big back porch for a life time. Even in the chilly winter mornings as the mist rose up blue from the pine ladened hillside on the opposite side of the river. the sun was strong enough to sit and warm my face. a cup of coffee between my hands and it was a perfect first few minutes of the day. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flowers for Friday

 the evening light these days is simply gorgeous. it seems to power into my kitchen windows each afternoon full of promise. A rich golden hue hints at the possibility of spring even though it is only the start of january, the light seems much stronger at this time of day than its weak steely morning self. I couldnt help but try to capture some of it for this weeks flowers for friday post. A collection of objects interrupted but the bright green of tiny air plants and a burst from a fern frond clipped from the plants on my patio. I am also eagerly waiting on a few paperwhite bulbs, being gone I did not want to start forcing them until now, but the entire time I was away they were "burning a hole in my pocket" as I couldn't wait to get home and start them. 
I am off on a girls weekend to Sonoma to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a dear friend. It will be nice to spend the time with everyone and I am very much looking forward to exploring a new part of my California world that I have not been to yet (im a napa girl). We have planned some hikes, bbqs from the back deck which overlooks the river and a trip on the Winter Wineroad  for sunday. It should be a full one. 

What are your plans for the holiday weekend? 
See you back here on tuesday. 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

catherine opie

there are those experience you have with art that stick with you forever, like mashed potatoes to your ribs on a cold winter evening. my first overwhelming memory of an artist's body of work is of Keith Harring at the worcester art museum a year after his death. Im not sure my 9 year old self fully grasped the extent of the exhibit, but the weight of it did stick with me. I was aware of the sense of community in his work, humans of different shapes, colors and sizes all jumbled in together. 
Though 20 years later, I experienced something similar the first time I saw the work of Catherine Opie. The nuances of the work took more time to sift through and process but the immediate weight and importance of community in her work was undeniable. I have been thinking a lot about her "Ice House" series now that winter if fully upon us. She focuses her lens on a temporary community able to exist for only a short period each year. In the dead of winter, when life as we normally experience it shifts drastically this community of fisherman, comrades of a frozen landscape, appear. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

thebes stools

im finding myself completely enamored with the curves & good looks of the thebes stool. 
Based on ancient Egyptian design they have a wooden base with leather, wood or caned tops.
I must admit I am always fascinated by designs that are able to reinvent themselves in different time periods. The popularity of this design is illustrated by the contemporary incarnation of the red madeline stuart design on the top left. 

The design was reintroduced by numerous designers, companies and craftsmen in the last half of the 19th century. One of the largest producers at the time was the London based Liberty Co and one could argue that they popularized the design among the general public. 

It seems to have stood the test of time (wink, wink). I am particularly fond of the three legged version. It reminds me of a more refined and elegant milking stool. 

alan design studio 
christies (2 dark stools on the right)
the buck house via 1st dibs triangular stool 
victoria and albert museum archive 
red thebes stool: madeline stuart 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

interior inspiration

just a quick follow up to this mornings before&after post. Here is some inspiration behind the bathroom's grid wall.....

images: AuNatural, Mrs. Blandings 

bathroom: before & after

my bathroom was looking quite sad ~too white, too sterile & zero personality. When looking at the apartment I was excited about the penny tile, chrome accents and (you cant see it in this photo) the big pewter doorknob on the back side of the door. 

But the bottom line was that this space needed a pick me up in a huge way. I had considered painting the vanity and mirror black (and I still may) and I would love to change out the terrible light fixture however the biggest issue was the very large and poorly painted wall glaring at you whenever you entered. 

And so the after: 

 A while back, I fell in love with this set of vintage scientific plates. Many of them are macro views of everyday objects, occurrences or phenomena. Their graphic quality and minimal wood frames give them a bold presences. Perfect for bringing some life and interest to a sad little bathroom.  

Some individual in 1958 carefully framed the entire portfolio and was kind enough to paste the description of each image on the back side. The second image down from the top on the left is of drosophila or fruit fly chromosomes. A detailed description is printed on the reverse and signed and dated by whomever put together these prints and framed them. I love the sense of whimsy and curiosity the evoke. Hanging a grid was no treat but im pretty happy with the results. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Fresh Start

Hello! and a happy new year to everyone. Im back from my holiday travels and so happy to be home. It was wonderful to be away and spend times with friends and family on the east coast and ireland, but its always so nice to come home again. 
I have lots of new items for the shop and will be listing them soon and have been pouring over new design and cookbooks and cant wait to share. 

How are you spending the first few weeks of the new year?