Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Flowers & Berries, from me to you!

... unexplicably, blogging has been recently taken me way more time than i can normally devote without affecting my real life, but i'm trying my best to be back to stable posting!  And i'd like to resume with some of my long-forgotten photographies, -- it's time for them to accomplish a little mission in... prolonging our Summer mood!

wild strawberries... they were so sweet!        This is my grandmother's treasure! She did it herself -- ... let's say it's an embroidered babouche filled with plush strawberries! Many-many years ago someone might have sent her DIY instructions or, probably, she might have found some European magazine picture cut, and thus the treasure was born!  It may be perfectly used as a ... needle-holder!
Sweet cherries in a Gzhel basket-vase. When I stayed in Russia, a friend of mine gifted this to me. Gzhel is a town in Moscow area (about 60km drive from Moscow, if to be precise) which is famous for its Gzhel ceramics, traditionally hand-painted in blue & white only.
... and these are my two Geraniums -- scarlet and pink!

... and this is my new sunny-shiny Hibiscus!
...now, some confidential photos! 8) When in Russia, i stayed in a house about 1 hour drive from Moscow, so, you are going to see some pics from that house! 
I don't know if the owners of the house wouldn't mind it to be displayed publicly, so I'll show it for a couple of days only for you to see and then delete it. So, be in good time to see! :)
... there were only ceramic tiles floor and wooden walls (ah, and a macrame oak too) given, and i bought all the filling -- a forged table, a banquette with a Turkish pillow on it, a vase with physalis from the garden and a framed painting.  My cat, Mansour bhai! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shopping for home at SAGE & CLARE and ESKAYEL

For today,  two curious brands on the spot! First, SAGE & CLARE, an Australian company offering handmade treasures from around the world, with a nomadic, eclectic and creative flavour.
I am always loving painted wooden furniture, like a pink dresser in the very first pic, and then a low, powdered blue table is a pure treasure! A bowl and a carpet is also by SAGE & CLARE. Below are some of their accessories and textile works...

Another brand I've found interesting is ESKAYEL, a Brooklyn based interior surface design studio. My attention was caught by their artisanal wallpapers featuring complicated abstract kaleidoscopic patterns reminding sometimes a play of northern lights. So, I suppose these designs, also pillows and fabrics, would be the best fit for interiors with Scandiavian style...
"...Utilizing imagery from her paintings as primary source material, designer Shanan Campanaro creates fantastically patterned bespoke wall coverings, textiles, pillows, and ceramics, which are all locally sourced and fabricated in the North Eastern United States..." /2modern/ check the link, some of their products may be bought also from there, but the best choice is, of course, on their official website.
Photography by Christopher Testani Styling and concept by Carla Gonzalez-Hart.
left: “Korrento Blue” by Iittala- on “Festival Feast Blue” by Eskayel  
    right:“Blue Fluted Mega” by Royal Copenhagen on “Akimbo 3″ by Eskayel
: featured is a 'Gypsy Ocean' fabric by Eskayel   

Friday, September 19, 2014

Carrot Cupcakes

Yum yum! Cupcakes are here, Carrot Cupcakes with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
The recipe has been adapted from "Vegan cupcakes take over the world. 75 dairy-free recipes for cupcakes that rule." by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I've started with this quite simple recipe on page 51, and, with such a fantastic start as it has turned out to be, I'm very intrigued to try all other 74 recipes! Ok, now here the heroes of the day are! ;)
*... i used a ready-made pastry dough, light and fluffy, containing all these ingredients (those marked with an asterisk), including even raisins.
** ... i always use ghee for baking instead of butter or margarine (as suggested in this book), -- it's 100% healthy and, as in the case with these little cuppies, I believe it's the ghee that has contributed to an exceptional moisture and tenderness of the dough.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven 10 350F (176C). Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, vegetable oil (ghee), yogurt and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and baking powder, salt, spices) and mix until smooth. Fold in carrots, raisins and walnuts.
3. Spray the cupcake liners with ghee. Fill the liners 2/3rds full. Bake for 28 minutes until the toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
4. Once fully cooled, top generously with cream cheese frosting.

VEGAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1/4 cup ghee
1/4 vegan cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together ghee and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handlheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in the vanilla. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.