Monday, May 31, 2010

In Honor Of

Memorial Day, I have included this Weber Grill commercial that just puts a smile on my face.  Have you seen it?  Really, can't say much more than it is just cute, cute, cute. 

Happy Memorial Day to each and every one of you.  My sincerest appreciation for those who risk everything each and every day for our continuing democracy.  Now, to the grill for the last couple hours of daylight after a truly heavenly three day weekend.



Friday, May 28, 2010

Got my Goop

I am certain that Gwynie's Nashville digs will be making their way around the interwebs at lightning speed.  I received my GOOP yesterday morning and, unfortunately, do not have the pleasure of gimleting full time. 

Accordingly, I am just now sitting down to write this post wherein I plan to sing the virtues of fuschia over the mountain tops!

Designer Annette Joseph had ten days to overhaul a loft space in Nashville for Gwynie.  The space is a two bedroom condo  in the "Icon" building for the Paltrow-Martins to live in while Gwyneth films her latest movie.  Here is what Annette came up with. 

Accent wall (shudder) is a pop of fuschia in the muted industrial space.

Fuschia pillows fashioned from Hobby Lobby fabric!
Aside from the use of one of my fave colors, let's discuss what really stands out about this particular project.   

First, accessibility/affordability.  We can all live like Gwynie!  ish.

The lights (which are brassy and GREAT) were from a showroom floor and only cost $250.00 for the pair. 

Tile is "marble like" and is $13.00 per square foot. 

Kitchen is filled with flea market finds as well as overstalk chairs...glad to know everyone likes to overstalk. 

I spy a Targe table. 

Another view of accent wall (shudder).  Paint is certainly the most affordable way to add impact and drama.   

Second, warmth.  Adding warmth to an industrial space is a challenge.  Staying away from autumnal colors (an instruction given to Annette by Gwynie) is also difficult when you are charged with warming up a sweeping loft.  

Some of Annette's rules:  

1.  Use large scale comfortable furniture pieces.

2. Fluffy rugs.

3. "Great lighting," all on dimmers.

Check it:

Fluffy rugs in a bathroom?  Warm yes, but not so sure about the sanitary factor.  Let's ignore practicality and enjoy them as well as the cube ottos from Mitchell Gold placed across from the vanity.

Wooden stand in the steel kitchen gives it a more "inviting look." (quote from Annette) 


Large scale furniture and fluffers rugs throughout really do warm up the potentially cavernous space. 

The purple bunk for Apple and Moses really is fun...and an entire wall dedicated to chalkboard paint is always a surprise to see as most interiors showcase them in smaller doses. 

Speaking of warming up the joint, can't ignore the really fab art work. 

A view of photography series by Jeannette Montgomery Barron in the master.

From Tinney Contemporary, Sisavanh Phouthavong 

From Jackson Fine Art, David Hilliard.  Photographs mounted in plexi. 

For the complete arti, click here.  Always a treat to see how the other half lives, right?



P.S.  Happy Mem Day weekend!  We were supposed to be in Chicago and Indiana visiting our people, but someone  Beau has to work on Monday.  So, we are chillin' (well, boilin') in Nola.  I think there will be a little Greek Fest action.   As a child, I remember Greek Fest being a small/intimate little it is a mega event.  It still serves the most delicious confection ever...a baklava sundae.  Perhaps I can ease my broken heart (bummed to be missing out on the events in Chi and Indiana...) with a little yumminess at the Fest. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Blogger: E.Lee Jahncke Mead is back...and better than ever!

I am thrilled to present the second half of E.Lee's how-to post on papier macheing your very own mirrors.  If you missed the fun introduction to this project in E.Lee's original post, here you go.   Again, I must thank E.Lee for lending her creativity, artistry and sense of humor to the Gimlet community.  She's kind of a big deal. 

Now, without further ado, take it away, E. Lee!

Hello fellow Gimleters I have missed you! It is your long lost friend E. Lee. 

The Southern Living Idea house in Terrabella is finally complete and currently in the hands of stylists and editors from the magazine, phew! I hope you will stop by when it opens to the public on June 12, 2010 even though it is a jaunt from the Southshore of New Orleans

Grace Kaynor and Vesta Fort did a fantastic job with the design that (in my opinion) boasts a different approach to a typical Southern Living Idea Homes of the past. The local art flanking the walls alone is not to be missed! Make an afternoon of it and get lost in Historic Downtown Covington, a much slower pace than the Southshore. When you get hungry, stop into the Toad Hollow Cafe for some organic vittles.

Ok, so back to my task.  Making a pair of papier mache mirrors for Bebe...and showing you how to make your very own!

Before (found condition from Original Jefferson Flea)

After. Ta Da!

Here's how to get "The Look":

Let's go back in time and take it old school. Remember those masks you made when you were studying African art in first grade? This is what I am talking about, exactly the same process.

Frightening, yes. My mother still owns these.

1. Take newspaper and tear it into little pieces. Tear about one inch pieces, but this does not have to be exact. I know this sounds crazy, but the paper will blend in better in the layering process if it is torn as opposed to cut with scissors.

2. Make your paste. Gimleters, there are many recipes available to you online. This is what I did the first time I attempted this, and I could not recreate it the second time. I recommend that you buy the box of Elmer's art glue for $3.95 (behind the counter) from The National Art and Hobby Shop on Magazine Street or your local craft shop. It makes a gallon so you could split it with another Gimleter!

3. Prepare your work area and lie your mirror down on some paint cans or milk crates, really anything that will elevate it and keep it relatively stable so you can work on it.

4. Begin dipping your newspaper pieces into the glue one at a time. In doing so, you will need to scrape the excess glue from each piece of paper before you apply it to the mirror. Apply to the mirror and smooth out any air bubbles. Repeat until the entire mirror is covered.

A few tips. I find that it is good to separate a few pieces of newspaper into a pile with a straight edge, use these pieces where the edge of the wooden frame meets the glass and where the frame meets the back of the mirror. Also, when you are working around curves, you may not be able to get the paper completely smooth, don't obsess, a few wrinkles are good. Just like your face, if there aren't any, it gets to be a little unnatural looking after a while!

5. Leave to dry over night and repeat Step 4.

6. Prime. As in any project, your final product is only as good as what is underneath! No getting around it. Seems like a pain but you need to use a shellac based, brush on primer such as this or this. If you don't want to deal with the clean up, buy a "chip" brush (watch out for bristles it may leave behind) or a foam brush and toss it afterwards.

7. Choose your color. My suggestion is a semi-gloss, alkyd base, I love the sheen it has! The sky is the limit Gimleters, get your juices going.   Benjamin Moore makes a lovely acrylic (waterborne) paint called Aura in semi gloss. Something else to think about is a chalky, white plastery finish (Benjamin Moore latex flat in "cloud white") if you are craving a little John Dickinson in your life!

8. Leave to dry over night and repeat Step 7.

9. Clean up the edges of your mirror (where the glass meets the frame) with a razor blade. Clean up the glass with glass cleaner.

10. Hang and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this little How-To segment.  I can't wait to see the pair of these in Bebe'sdouble parlor! This a fresh approach to a mirror, although there is nothing like an antique water gilded one.  ..but hey, they are hard to find, not within everyone's reach and may not be your style at all!

Keep in mind that anything can be Papier Mached. My sister, Carter Jahncke Perrilliat of Moca Graphics just purchased a home and was frustrated at the lack of affordable more modern lighting available in pairs.
I found her some pretty regular looking chandys from The Bridge House which she papier mached.

Editor's Note: Don't you love Carter's paintings in the background of this shot? 

Herman (fellow lover of good design and Gimlet follower) enjoying one of his new chandys!

Wowza.  Thanks so much, E.Lee.  Gimleters, if you are not up to the challenge, you can always contact E. Lee directly via her facebook page for your very own custom mirror.  (Isn't she adorbs in her overalls?)  If you embark on your own papier mache extravaganza, however, please please send in some snaps!  E.Lee and I are dying to see what you come up with. 



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Top Chef

I know a top chef.  Her name is Emily, and she is my good friend.  She also happens to be the winner of a pretty big competition, the Jazzmen Rice Recipe Contest. 

The votes came in and Emily's Bananas Foster Rice Pudding prevailed!

Here is a link to the five finalists' recipes, including the winner.

What is Jazzmen rice?  ...I had to ask when Emily entered the competition, but now I am very intrigued to try it. 

From their website...

Emily submitted her recipe along with this delightful pic. 
For generations, the most flavorful rice Americans have eaten has been Jasmine rice imported to the U.S. from Asia (most notably Thailand). Jasmine is recognized for having the most desirable "gummy" white texture after cooking and its "aroma" before, during and after cooking is what causes it to be called "aromatic." Regular rice does not emphasize aromatic qualities nor is it noted as having any fullness of taste. Aromatic rice has a very pleasant notable aroma and taste qualities that contribute considerably to a variety of cuisine styles.

Twelve years ago, the LSU AgCenter started a project to increase rice production in Louisiana. We currently average approximately 500,000 acres of rice agriculture annually. There is a vast amount of acreage to build on.

The LSU AgCenter strives to help promote and build the quality and expertise of Louisiana's agricultural community - our farmers and our farms. And, the AgCenter thinks of everything possible to enhance and increase the productivity of Louisiana's vast acreage of farmland.

For twelve years, the "AgCenter" has been evolving, testing and improving a varietal (variety) of rice intended to compete head on with the quality, taste and cost of the thousands of tons of Jasmine rice coming into America each year from Asia. It has reached perfection.

A behind-the-scenes glance at the winning submission.

She explained that she wanted to create a recipe that wasn't too traditional but still paid homage to good New Orleans food. Emily's favorite part of any meal is dessert so she knew she had to work up a dessert recipe.  The recipe calls for the sweet and delicious New Orleans Rum, which is a  perfect complement to the nuttiness of the Jazzmen rice.  Emily added the honey toasted pecans for a "crunch element" which, although not included in traditional bananas foster or rice pudding, adds another "dimension" to the dessert.  Emily attributes her mom's always-looking-for-a-crunch-in-her-desserts to this successful part of the recipe. 

She additionally added a surprise of whipped cream on top, which is also absent from any version of the traditional bananas foster recipe.  Emily's grandmother always adds fresh whipped cream to desserts, which provides a nice contrast to such strong flavors.  She explained that she is always aiming to please her cooking mentors, her mother and her grandmother.  Both have heavily influenced Emily's lauded cooking style. 

Now.  My challenge to you over this long Memorial Day weekend.  Who is going to make Emily's recipe or one of the other four finalists' recipes?  I am tempted to do a full course meal....I will report the results of this great experiment.  If it happens, that is. 

You can order your very own Jazzmen rice (SUCH a clever name, can't stop thinking about that!) via their website.  Let me know if you have tried the delish rice or attempted the recipes. 

Thanks to Emily for sharing her winning insight with us....this is an open call for her to show us her cash and prizes as well!



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cabin Fever

We were recently discussing the merits (and pitfalls) of camping.  If I were to camp at all, I think I would have to glamp.  That being said, I am all about the recent fantasy of escaping the urban life for the more bucolic, slow, quiet existence.  Perhaps this cabin in the Catskills would do the trick....and I wouldn't have to clean my own mess kit with leaves. 

Did y'all see this on Sunday in the NY Times?  ...never thought I would hear "mid century retreat" and cabin in the same sentence, but I am glad I did!

Melanie Brandman's home...she is a rock star of sorts.  Can you imagine managing an elephant polo team?

The delightful deck.

Lights are modeled after the lobby of the Intercontinental on Bora Bora.

Another view of the main living area.

To read more about this cool lady (and her, ahem, 32 year old boyf) and check out the slideshow, click here.  You will not be disappointed. 



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hot Summer, Hot Turq

I love a hot turquoise in the Summer.  She's coming along, slooooowly, but surely.  The perfect accessory for our enormously, ridiculously huge television that takes up the majority of our family room. 

She is originallly from Pier One, but has now been painted three colors over the course of about three years.  Let's hope that the turq lasts for a while....



Friday, May 21, 2010

Swell Dwell

A little birdie (hi, Courtney!) told me that I should check out the new Dwell home stuff at the Tarj (pronounced like "barge").  We both recently agreed that Dwell for Tarj was becoming a bit ho-hum of late and, honestly, that is why I had not been conducting my usual internet stalking. 

Well.  I have undergone a change of heart.  Dwell has infused some perfectly-timed new energy into its Tarj goods based upon what I am about to show you. 

I could not be more thrilled with the latest and greatest shower curtain. Haven't seen much like this, now.

Lobster Shower Curtain for $24.99

WHAT?  Showstopper in your navy blue striped bathroom with crispy white tiles.  Let's throw in some yellow accents.  Next.

Brown and white napkins.  Set of four for $9.99.
I legitimately do not see any difference between these good looking guys and the regular Dwell napkins. 

60 x 84 inch tablecloth for $19.99
Perfect for a table (obvious), but dare I say it may be worth framing (after cutting into panels) for the look of framed wallpaper at a FRACTION of the price?

I may have to buy all three...with nowhere for the lobster shower curtain to go.  Just sayin'.

Happy Friday!



Yay or Nay

The term "accent wall" has always kind of grossed me out/given me the creeps.  I have no particular idea why, but it just conjures up images of baaaad 90s-early 2000s house farm/McMansion decor.  It shouldn't, though.  We actually had a great accent wall (shiver) in our old house, Lil Harms.  In fact, it was quite the showstopper.

There must be a reason, however, that I pause to create a new accent wall in our home.  I am not alone in my slight reservations (in the deep recesses of my mind) as accent walls are, indeed, quite controversial.

Some of the cons cited in this House Beautiful article, highlighting the debate.

"I am not a big fan of the one-wall wonder. I think it's gimmicky, like one earring. What's the point? Couldn't afford two?"

—SCOTT SALVATOR  (**EDITOR'S NOTE:  This one kills me!)

"Painting just one wall seems a bit distracting and sort of a half measure. Why be timid? Pick a color you love and go all the way with it, baby!"

Now, some of the pros:
"Pick a color out of your fabric and use it on one wall — much easier, because when you paint all four walls, the color vibrates off itself and multiplies and you end up with something you didn't expect. Just one wall gives you a strong element, without being overpowering. I like this pale turquoise, which makes me think of a beach I'm not at." -JASON BELL BENJAMIN MOORE HARBOURSIDE TEAL 654

"Painting an accent wall behind a seating group can define a living area — sort of like a rug, but on the wall. An accent wall can also stand in for windows or a fireplace that didn't make it to the party. Paint is relatively inexpensive and entirely reversible, so it's a little less scary to pick something bold and interesting, like this orange-red. Easier to change than a sofa in a similar hue." -STEVEN SCLAROFF MYTHIC SPRING COSMOS 115-6

Where do I stand?  Not sure, but loving some of these accent walls.  Check it:
Canadian House and Home.

Jessica Helgerson.

...we haven't even really addressed wallpaper accent walls!

I remember seeing this Benjamin Moore room....note how that black accent wall provides architecture in an otherwise boxy room.

Sarah Richardson.

Domino...I think.

Perhaps, for me, I will remain in the gray area on accent walls.  They will be filed away under the "in a certain context" category.  Accordingly, I now need to decide of our new dining room falls into such a category. 

I stripped down the scene to give you a better idea of the space.  However, I, of course, accidentally left my purse on the table.  I am thinking of doing the wall with the cut out (see Belgian dough bowl in cut out) to the kitchen in my usual--burnty orange.  I think it may provide some impact when you walk into the front door. 

Oh, and the chandy for over the table?

Jonathan Adler action on apartment therapy. 

Yay or Nay/Cheers or Jeers, I am trying to decide and will keep you posted.  Send me some shots of accent walls (shudder) that you like or dislike!



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Guest Post Today

I wrote a lil guest post today for my girl, Adrianne, over at Lambchop Designs.  Go on over and check it on out! 

I will be back later today with my regularly scheduled post...most likely after the Nola Tidbits event that is happening this evening at the W Hotel on Poydras. 



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Kid on the Block: Sweet as Honey

I have been passing the cutest store front on Magazine for a couple of weeks now, always mental-noting to stop in soon.  I had the opportunity at lunch the other day and am kicking myself for not checking out Tupelo Honey Design sooner! 

The sweet perfection of the name matches the store and its owner to a tee.  The owner, Maria Jourdan, is incredibly creative and talented, producing some of the most unique paper products I have seen in a looonggg time.  I asked her, "What lines do you carry here?"  She responded, "Pretty much everything is custom."  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Hand painted wedding invite.

Elegant invite to a party at Palace Cafe. 

Maria designs invitations, stationery, place cards and any other type of paper good you can imagine.  Not stopping there, however, she is also a photographer and multi media designer.  I am telling you, too....her stuff doesn't look like any of the old staples.  Fresh and new! 

Really entertaining b-day invite.

Sweet hand drawn cards like this abound.

Maria is also one of the nicest, most genuine shop owners I have ever met and graciously let me take some shots of the adorable studio (I was such an enthusiastic nerd about the shop, I had to immediately snap away!).




I could have stayed and played with her sample books for another hour.  Sweet Maria is a blushing bride herself and has much insight on wedding invites, save the dates, and all of the other wedding paper needs.  Let me just leave you with this.  RUN do not walk to Tupelo Honey Designs if you live in Nola.  If you are visiting Nola,  RUN do not walk.  If you cannot RUN OR WALK to TH Designs, then check out the website and call Maria and custom design something with her.  'Nuf said.



P.S.  Just for the record, I don't receive any compensation for my endorsement of certain places or products on this blog.  As most of you Gimleters know, I write this blog to share with you the neat things that I think are worth knowing about.  (That is the closest I will ever get to Legalese after 6:00 pm...)