Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bored because of no work?


Found these cute cards at ABC last week.


A wonderfully appropriate thank you from a friend.

I have an idea. If you are losing your marbles because of lack of work - which seems to be a bit the case around town these days - start writing again. Write thank yous. Write little cards to people you are just thinking about. Emails are okay, but getting a cool card in the mail that you can arrange on a cork board or refrigerator since you have nothing else to do with your time is a good thing.

Pick a theme that reflects your life - furniture for me. Fashion for you? Poetry? Whatever. It's all good if it is you.

Cheer someone up. Cheer yourself up. Write a card.

xo
alecia

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How Sweet it Is!


A simple French park chair


70's inspired?


Red and worn.


1950's office - dug out of the basement with plenty of rust.


Love these - kind of Weiner Werkstadt to me. I want them for my NY apartment.

The above are some of the "new" retro-inspired chairs at ABC Home - simple, primitive, no-nonsense.


I have discovered something unexpectedly sweet about being in New York.

I have time to think. To percolate on what I might do next with my little pied-a-terre. To page through my books, to find inspiration for the nursery I am doing for little Oliver. To imagine a future. To observe - street fashion, art, interiors, shop windows, even graffiti. I have time to serve my muse.

It is the kind of education you can't really pay for. It is such a privilege to stop - but not to stop for tv or news or socializing or exercise. It is a privilege to stop to ruminate on my work, on design, on colors and how things are put together, on what others are doing and seeing. On what is next for Lee and me.

I'm just digging this doing a whole lot of nothing. My imagination is getting a great workout.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bibbity "Bauble-ty" Boo


Necklace and Bracelet - Total cost: $20.98


These were $5.99 each!


Ditto.


The splurge - $12.50 each.

Well, it was the week of the balls, so Cinderella is on my mind. I wasn't there. I was cozy at home in my pjs watching the prince and princess dance ten different times to "At Last". I'm sure they were thinking "At Last" when the final ball and dance was done! They could head back to their new digs, probably looking wide-eyed at each other and wondering what on earth have they just gotten themselves into.

But, back to baubles. I have a meeting tomorrow and although black is always good in New York, now that things are more hopeful around here, I thought a touch of color would be nice. But, I'm not about spending money these days. Who is?

I went out to run some errands - to get some new sox (oh, the little things!) and a pair of jeans for Lee who would wear the same old mustard-stained raggedy things (not cool raggedy) to the balls himself before ever submitting to shopping for a new a pair. So I just buy them and bring them home. I was at Gap in NY and ran into someone I know. (That seems just so impossible in NY, but it happens all the time!)

We traded woeful stories of the economy (her husband is on Wall Street) and talked about how we both just put blinders on these days to keep from being tempted. She admitted to buying two colorful t-shirts - just for some sign of spring. I bought my black socks and a pair of $49 jeans for Lee and was on my way out when.....I was beckoned to a counter with sale jewelry.

I have been noticing that J.Crew is doing the cutest, chunkiest, most colorful jewelry these days and - well, after the inauguration - all things J.Crew are on the A List. This jewelry reminded me of that and was - now here's the good part - on sale for prices like $5.99, $14.99, 12.50! For this, I can splurge. So I just loaded up. And I'll have some colorful baubles to wear on my wrist tomorrow and feel just a little happier doing it. Cinderella, eat your heart out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Here comes the sun.


William Blake

This is all there is to say tonight after that magical inauguration today. In George Harrison's words:

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

My thought: It is a new day. Seize it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What are you reading? What is not to be missed?

To the right you'll see a poll. I thought you could add to that list, but apparently you can't. So, just add your own list here as a comment and I'll transfer it to the POLL - so people can vote! Isn't that a fun little distraction in the midst of an economic crisis????

Please - I'm begging you to comment. I need some new books!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Roasted ORGANIC Chicken Recipe. Run, don't walk, to your nearest grocery.


Okay. I am, at the moment, eating the best thing I've cooked in a really long time. And, quite immodestly, I am a pretty good cook. Maybe it's winter, blowing winds, snow, things cancelled. Whatever....a chicken roasting in the oven is just the ticket. So, I hope this will make Julia Child roll over in her grave (and I love Julia! I read her book this fall!) It's just the best chicken I've ever eaten and healthy, to boot. I adapted this from my Thanksgiving turkey recipe, which was also pretty darn good. Prep takes about 20 minutes. Roasting time: mine took 80 minutes.

Start with:

A FRESH ORGANIC, FREE RANGE (DO NOT SKIMP ON THIS!!!!!) Chicken. Mine was 4#.
Cost $12.00 at my coop. (Do plan for 20 min per pound cooking time.)
Olive Oil (of course, Cold Pressed)
1 leek
4 -5 Red ORGANIC potatoes
6 ORGANIC carrots.

a bunch of ORGANIC Italian Parsley
some fresh herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage - all fine - just not too much of any
Butter. ORGANIC.
1 carton ORGANIC chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400.

In a 9 x 13 pan, scatter sliced leeks with a little olive oil. (I used a heavy glass lasagne pan. Do NOT use a rack - it changes the cooking time for the vegetables.)
Add, cut up carrots - sliced - and when they are the thick end, cut in half the long way - otherwise, use the whole carrot. Place around outside of pan.
Cut up potatoes. I peeled mine. Cut into 4 quarters the long way. Add to pan.
Save a space in the middle for the chicken.

Wash the chicken. Dry off. Salt the interior slightly. I added an entire bunch of Italian parsley tops to the inside. Cut off stems and stuff it in.

Tie the chicken wings and legs together.

With a brush, brush the entire chicken with a mixture of 1/3 melted butter and 2/3 olive oil. You'll need more later, just use what it takes for now.

Salt the whole thing. Pepper if you like. PUT THE CHICKEN BREAST SIDE DOWN!!!!! in the pan. (This causes the juices to drip INTO the breast area and it won't dry out.)

Put in the oven for 25 minutes at 400.

Put organic chicken broth on the stove on low with a carrot, potato and some of the herbs. Put them into the broth whole and chop some of them. You can sprinkle the chicken with them if you like. Not too much, though. Go ahead and add a little broth around the veggies after about 15 minutes.

After 25 min, turn the heat down to 350. Baste the chicken with more oil and 1/2 cup of the heated broth. (I just poured it on with a ladel.)

Cook another 25 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes with oil and broth. Spread the oil and broth around the vegetables.

After this, TURN THE CHICKEN. Now baste the breast with oil.
Don't add broth right away to the breast. Let it brown first for 15 min, then add more oil and broth.

Roast for 25 - 30 minutes total with the breast side up.

Test for doneness. Juices should run clear. Remove from oven. Let sit 15 min. Carve. Serve in a low bowl with veggies and juices, warm dense bread and wine!

Count your blessings.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Accidental Still Life.


What is next to me as I sit here on the sofa reading. It works: orange and pink roses, a modern vase, a Moroccan glass with red wine.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cleaning Drawers


One of the disorganized drawers. Actual unretouched photo.

I have a friend who, after 10 - 12 years of marriage, couldn't live with her husband any longer. He treated her like his slave. She was to cook like Julia Child, set a table like Martha Stewart and clean his underwear drawers annually on New Year's - all of this while raising their two young daughters. This ogre was critical and demeaning and would regularly remind her of the gravy train on which she was riding. His guests in their home were pot-smoking, chauvinistic banker types, which is a really interesting mix of descriptors, don't you agree?

In the end, all she could remember about him were the "fucking drawers."

This is a story from about 12 - 15 years ago and I still remember it every single year at this time. Now it is the new year and I make myself a slave to cleaning my drawers. Every time I open one of my drawers at this time of the year, I feel shock and awe at the chaos and completely inept and worthless as a human being. I'm a lousy Virgo. Virgos don't keep drawers like mine. They should be neat and organized and mine aren't - without a great deal of effort - unnatural effort on my part, I should add. And I have no one to make my slave, to shame or to bribe into organizing my drawers. Nor have I ever expected that.

I've learned to keep the important things organized for the most part - my client's projects, my money and my ex-husbands (ok, that is not funny.) But, drawers are a separate matter. They are hidden from public view. Only I know the truth.

In a way, I love the metaphor. They are the Jungian shadow of housekeeping, the secrets we keep, the sublimated matter. The dark side of my life. Who needs Bluebeard for a husband when I have my own voice to torment and demean?

Then, again, maybe I need to stop analyzing and just clean my drawers.