Sunday, March 27, 2016

Creative Soul Series: Marthe Armitage Wallpapers

Trawling through Pintrest as I am known to do almost daily, I ran across this creative soul from Chiswick.  Marthe Armitage has been drawing and making lino cut prints since the 60s when as a young mother, she started designing wallpaper in her home.

I am mesmerized by them...

This one is called Gardeners
This one is Alphabet
This is called Cobweb and I think it is my favorite.
Cobweb in gold
Angelica, her first design

The print above is called Pagoda and would look smashing behind the floating shelves flanking the fireplace in Sister D's living room.  They custom print in whatever colors you choose... Must be a hefty price tag attached though...

Check out this video of her working with her daughter in her garage/studio.  She must be in her 80s.  When I am 80, I want to be like Marthe Armitage.  Just have to come up with a talent for something...



Saturday, March 26, 2016


Back in the late eighties and nineties, I was an avid subscriber to Victoria magazine.  I have treasured all of my copies because of the beautiful pictures and articles.  It was a magazine that spoke to me...

The only magazine I look at occasionally now is the Oprah magazine and I do so on the Newstand app on my iPad.  The subscription is inexpensive and I enjoy flipping through it.

Yesterday, I noticed that I could have a look at Victoria magazine and although it is no longer my cup of tea, the March issue, devoted to France, spoke to me.  I purchased it.  While flipping through some images looked unusually familiar...

Well no wonder!  They are from my friend Corey's apartment in Paris where I stayed for a few days last spring!

Congrats DC, on a lovely eight-page spread!

xo Stella

Friday, March 25, 2016

Homemade Dark Chocolate

 Imagine photo of said chocolate here.  EOS won't launch on my MacBook Pro because I've recently updated to El Capitan... Waiting for Canon to update EOS utility...

When I feel like a little sweet treat, one of my favorite recipes is home made dark chocolate made with coconut oil.  It's so easy and delicious and you can add: any kind of nut or seed, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, crystallized ginger or whatever suits your fancy.  Today, I made a tiny recipe: 1/3c oil, 1/3c cocoa powder a 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder (my addition not in the original recipe) and honey to taste (2 T in this case).  I poured it into a little gratin dish and added raw almonds.  Vlad came back from the grocery store with pumpkin seeds, they would have been good in there too.  The only drawback is that it takes overnight to really set well if you want to break it off, if not, a soup spoon will do just fine...


Saturday, March 5, 2016

House Rejuvenation - Project #1

Our house is turning 33 years old.  It's the only house we've ever had.  Over the years, it's had quite a number of fix-ups.  This is the last round of fix ups before we sell it. We'd like to live here a few more years before we downsize.  It's a 4-level front to back split and it's a little tattered around the edges.

If you remember, a couple summers ago I repainted the exterior of the house and we had landscaping done in the front, a new double deck in the back.

It's time to look inside now and do what needs to be done.  Best place to start?  The foyer.  I have no before picture only this one with a new entrance bench.  We used to have a little console table with two tiny drawers and a tiny bench beneath it.  It was from the Bombay Company. This new bench allows us to sit comfortably to remove winter boots and has plenty of storage. What's not to like?

Now for the wallpaper.  I am leaning towards the feeling in the two samples below, it is cheerful and uplifting. The first of the two is called Cow Parsley by  Cole and Son and is completely unaffordable and the second is Parkland by Thibaut. I know that if I wanted to be stylish, my wallpaper would be grey or turquoise but our house is an open concept and if I went that way, I would have to redecorate the living room, dining room and den too.  Not going there.  The wallpaper will cover the walls of the entrance and climb up the first flight of stairs and wrap around the two dining room walls.


The Parkland is a softer yellow making for a more subtle statement but the price point isn't prohibitive.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chef's Table

When I came across this series on Netflix, I wasn't expecting it to be so compelling, so complex and multi-dimensional.  It's a documentary series of six episodes, each featuring a different world-class chef sheds the light not only on the professional but on the man, his family, his philosophy of life, his passion, his mission, his weaknesses and his failures.
Oops! I dropped the lemon tart

Each episode is the story of how a person came to be one of the 50 most renowned cooks in the world, what privileges that kind of celebrity brings him and what it costs him.  I have watched the three first episodes and each one is very different,  as unique as the chef who is featured, and with an accent on what makes him singular.  One of them likes to cook with fire in Patagonia, another is deeply concerned and committed to producing food that tastes like it should and serves it up in his farm-to-table restaurant.  A third, an Italian has recreated classic Italian fare into modern, edgy, sparse, artistic pigeon-splatter-looking-food...

No, I'm serious about the pigeon-spatter-looking food.  Watch it, you'll see...

It's a love song to the creative process. If we're lucky, there will be be a season 2.