Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Diane Keaton clothes, plates and homes

It is no secret that I am an honnest fan of  Diane Keaton's.
If you've read my profile page, you know that Something's Gotta Give and Baby Boom are among my favorite feel good films ever.
So, I was thrilled to see the December issue of  Elle Deco feature an article on Ms. Keaton.
It is written in my favorite Q&A format as in
"Diane Keaton's Must-Have list: What she can't live without",
that is sharp and enlightening cause it makes people answer on the spot.
 And, surprise, Diane and I have one great article in common:
Oh yes, she is a lady close to my heart!
What's more, if more can be,
she also like lighthouses, which I love,
 and carries big bags, like I do, eventhough mine is not a Louis Vuitton,
though I would love a Louis Vuitton ;) 
I also saw her recently in some Chico's ads.
 She looks great, the kind of confident, relaxed and somehow tongue in cheek attitude that I love, in a style that is beyond time and age, and so perfectly her.
Very me, too!

Her Spanish style home -in fact she has renovated several houses in her native Southern California and she has even co-authored a substantial book on local architecture called California Romantica: Spanish Colonial and Mission-Style Houses- is sober and majestic-no frills, with favorite browns and blacks, very earthy and non frivolous, but with surprising touches, like these upside down lights that look so perfectly in place, and the cacti in lieu of the more expected-and therefore predictable- fruit and veggies on the kitchen counter.

Now Ms. Keaton has ventured into the design world herself, creating a line of bold, no nonsense everyday housewares for Bed Bath & Beyond

Though not my style (I like less matter-of-fact styles and more cheerful clourways) I find very true and charming what she said in an interview to the NY Times back in June. 
When asked 
Is the dishware inspired by anything in your own life?
Ms. Keaton answered:
I have a daughter who’s 15 and a son who’s 10. My life is such that I have these old dishes that I eat off with my kids. I’ve broken them, and all that. What’s come of all this is I like sturdy. I want something I feel will last and has some weight to it and is very simple. Like, for example, I don’t understand why we don’t eat more food out of bowls. I could eat all of my meals out of bowls.

Another favorite answer came when she was asked what kind of style she is considering for her new home. She answered:
There’s this American look which I think comes out of this factory-barn idea. The materials that are used are the kinds I find very appealing.I love cement. I love wood. I love shingle. I love casement windows. I’m now in love with shake roofs. I’m interested in roofs because they’re the most undervalued yet beautiful part of a home.I have a lot of theories, you see. 
A very interesting woman, a lady I'd love to meet, and i am sure we'd get along perfectly well together :) 

 {Elle Decor article here.The NY Times interview here.}

  love, Irene

Monday, 28 November 2011

Maisons de Montagne

Snuggle up and enjoy!
love, Irene

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Around the shop this morning

Around the shop this morning

love, Irene

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Feng-Shui for Christmas

According to Chinese metaphysical studies, everything is connected within the whole universe…….between Heaven, Man/Human and Earth. The study of Feng Shui is the environmental examination of Chi/Qi between Heaven and Earth – Time and Space, and by incorporating the principles of Balance and Harmony.

The Christmas celebration happens a few days after the Winter Solstice, when the Water energy is strongest – most Yin time of the year, which is reflected by the cold temperature outside, and the shortest daylight hours during the day.

In order to maintain a balance, we would need to activate the Yang energy in the form of:
•Lighting – both for the exterior and interior of the house.
•Activities – good time to have family gatherings around the fireplace, in the kitchen, enjoying the warmth, good nourishing food and festivities.

The Water element represents communication in terms of human activities, so this is the best time to convey the love and affection between family members, lovers and friends. Beware of intoxication due to too much alcohol consumption, as the negative side of the human activity will come out as being verbally abusive, argumentative and depressive. The Water element also represents love; this is a wonderful time for sharing with others. In our present world with the big gap between the rich and poor, the haves and have-nots, pressing environmental issues as a result of global warming, instead of catering to consumerism and commercialization, acts of compassion and kindness towards others in the form of kind deeds, volunteerism, donations in kind to charities in lieu of gifts, and a helping hand to those in need will exemplify the true spirit of Christmas.
The Earth element controls the Water element, which can also bring in the balance as stability during the Christmas season; a stable home environment will provide the sense of belonging in everyone.

As for creating Feng Shui harmony within a space during the holiday season, the most important points are still according to the basic recommendations:

1. Maintain a free flow of Chi/Qi:
•The Christmas tree is not too big for the space.
•The Christmas tree is not obstructing the Wealth Chi/Qi in front of a window.
•No cluttering due to too many decorations.
•No obstructions in front of the doorways and within pathways.

2. Pay attention to Colors & Shapes: As Chi/Qi is also manifested by different colors and shapes, we have to pay particular attention to the ornaments and decorations used in different part of the building according to the flow between the Five Elements:
◦Wood – Green in color; stripes, columns and cylindrical in shape.
◦Fire – Red in color; triangular in shape.
◦Earth – Brown in color; square and cubic in shape.
◦Metal – White/metallic in color; round and ball shape.
◦Water – Black/navy in color; wavy in shape.

3. Negative energy for 2011
Since every individual space has its own pattern of Chi/Qi according to the time the building was constructed, as well as the orientation of the building, without knowing the exact unique pattern of the Chi/Qi, the sensible recommendation in creating harmony during the Christmas season is by using a balance between all the different colors and shapes. The exceptions are as below:
•During the present Yin Metal Rabbit year, the most negative Earth Chi/Qi is located within the East sector, too much Wood and Fire energy are not recommended here – do avoid placing the Christmas tree here, especially not with red and triangular shaped ornaments.
•The other area to avoid is the South sector, which has the undesirable Sickness Chi/Qi, too much Wood and Fire energy are also not recommended here – do avoid placing the Christmas tree here also, especially not with red and triangular shaped ornaments.
•Beware of the possibility of real Fire hazards if a tree is placed within these sectors - replace lights with faulty wiring; avoid unattended candles and cigarette smoking.

Teresa Min Yee Hwang Feng Shui Master & Lecturer, FSRC Teresa Min Yee Hwang is a certified Feng Shui Master and Lecturer of Master Joseph Yu’s Feng Shui Research Center. She is also a certified interior designer, with years of experience in residential and commercial projects, 4 Pillars of Destiny charts, Face Reading, Divination and Date Selection. She also teaches seminars to beginners, and professional courses to more advanced students.

*I have known and worked with Teresa for years and I highly recommend her for her knowledge, compassion, humanitarian work and nurturing personality.Thank you, Teresa, and have a wonderful Christmas and a bright and light new year*

love, Irene

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thursday beautiful

"There's something romantic about a Henry James kind of house"

love, Irene

Monday, 14 November 2011

November Days

November so far

In the garden

The maple trees have shed their leaves, golden yellow and most favorite red.
Off went tomatos, cucumbers and courgettes~
Thank you lots, see you all in a few months, sweet darlings.

The roses, encouraged by the sky's sunny disposition, produce some pretty amazing blooms.

In the spring we planted some vines.
They're tiny and I hope they will survive the winter.
I always wanted to have vines in the garden.
They remind me of my grandpa's estate in the Peloponnese...
Over the weekend we planted lettuce, sprouts and cellery.


  Cars 2  

 It's almost blasphemy, but... it's even better than #1. 
Well done, Pixar! 

 Gross, but hilarious at times. 

 Julie Walters and Maggie Smith are perennial favorites. 
And the Neville guy, ha! he's my hero!

We have been watching Harry Potter on TV for the past two weeks. 
I absolutely loved the films, and I look  forward to reading the books.


*Don't forget to use your favorite cuttlery.
I love mine, from Cath Kidston.
The sous-plat, barely seen here, but I'm sure you've noticed in previous posts :) is from French company Les Olivades that we used to stock at the shop.

Penne, cooked, then layered with mushroom, saucage and canned sauce, half tomato, in the middle, one cheese on top. 
Add grated cheese and nutmeg. I could smell of nutmeg every day.

On Sunday we cooked some veal with mushrooms in a red wine and tomato sauce.

As of November 14, St.Philip's, we are fasting for Christmas.
So, our stews will have to be vegan. Like this potato stew I cooked the other day.

You will need
potatoes, quartered
olive oil
tomato puree
a fresh tomato
a chilly pepper
a carrot, thinly sliced
bay leaves
sauté the onion.
add the potatoes.
season to taste.
add veggies and bey leaves.
cover and simmer.
serve with feta cheese.

TV snack.

First satsumas at the shop, a treat for our customers.

Mornings start earlier, with little people requesting breakfast instead of skipping it.
Here, eldest daughter, F

And here, big cat boy Patcha, with little daughter D.

And a new addition to the gang

Meet Feta, as in feta cheese. Found wandering outside our condo. 

"Come in, sweetheart, it's freezing out there".

love, Irene

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Her home: India Knight

There are people, ladies, to be exact, that reign lovingly in my heart. 
India Knight is one. 
Edith Piaf is one. 

I have written about author India Knight's home before.
I absolutely love her style, her point of view, her writing. 

My Life on a Plate will remain forever on top of my list of feel-good reads, and I highly recommend it.
Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet: A Weight-Loss Plan for Real Women  is amazingly encouraging ang liberating from guilt and feelings of inadequacy.
Her latest work Comfort and Joy: A Novel sits on my "Dear Santa" list.

So you understand that I was thrilled to find that Red magazine features an interview and a home tour .

Pricelessly personal and very contemporary British. 
Very much what makes my heart sing.

What's more the article is on-line (thank you, Red!)
and I can indulge in my love of Ms. Knight's propos recueillis.

love, Irene

Found and liked

:Raw and Natural:
Northern Style

love, Irene

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