A FURNITURE AND LIFE REVAMP

What with buying a new apartment, moving house, throwing out old and deciding about what to get new, coupled with moving another child across the oceans to a foreign country and throwing in a Christmas and a New Year in-between, all of that in the space of 3 months. Yes tired, but good, I think.

IMG_2939

Jack the fat cat

I bought these chairs years ago and love the old rose fabric but it just would not go with the new space. Introducing the french stripe was the right decision.Jack the fat cat of course made a bee line for the newly upholstered chairs and it is now his space, whether he fits on it or not.

IMG_2643

Old rose print

A great change I think.

French Stripe Chair

French Stripe Chair

image

He just absolutely refuses to move…..half on half off, hanging on for dear life!image

I had 2 round mirrors desperate for a change and the new deep coppery shade made old look good again. Various colours and coats of paint got it to this shade.image

Random Photo:

The perfect colour contrast.I wish I knew what plant this is.IMG_3260

My sister in law (Suzette) painted this for her house recently.IMG_3275

 

 

Coconut Bread makes me think of Islands (of course)

Zanzibar 2005: photo by Tinus

Zanzibar 2005: photo by Tinus

Of course it would, what with coconut trees, white beaches and solitude in my head. All of the aforesaid in no particular order. I woke up thinking of Zanzibar which we visited a few years ago and where the chef in the villa (which a group of us shared) introduced me to a whole new way of thinking with the way theyliterally “perfume” the food with gentle spices, creating whiffs of gentle aromas and subtle tastes. Nothing bold and in your face but oh so memorable and tasty. Thinking of islands, led to thinking of food ,led to being hungry- nothing new then.

Gluten Free Coconut bread

Gluten Free Coconut bread

My sister at nowathome posted the recipe for these gluten free and sugar free” breads”, but I really think it can be adapted to just about anything you want it to be. Savoury or sweet depending on the (hunger) mood. It is made with coconut flour and it leaves that same “perfumed” sense I was talking about because the coconut taste is just there in the background,the way I like it.image Coconut Bread (the recipe is per small bread, about the size of a bread roll):

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    Instructions
    1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the ingredients until very smooth.
    2. Using a spatula, transfer to small ramekin.
    3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds.

I toasted some cheese on top and had it with parsley, butter and Marmite for breakfast. A lot of things can come from this recipe. If you think of going the sweet way, I can just imagine how carrots, nuts and cinnamon would change this to a carrot type cake. Any sweet or savoury ideas are anyway endless. My sis brought the plain ones along to a picnic we had at the botanical gardens in Cape Town and we piled them high with pickles , cheese(of course) and avocado. Very delicious.

Random Photo: We had a great time at Klein Roosboom Wine Farm, Durbanville Area today and there are a lot of quirky things going on at the tasting room.

Classic!

Classic!

Another use for the old silver teapot.

 great lightfitting idea

great lightfitting idea

Shapes

My mind is always occupied with colour, shapes and lately buildings and roof shapes everywhere and at unexpected places even in shops ( of all places). Maybe time to tackle a painting again to satisfy the obsession.

These absolutely gorgeous row-houses were displayed above the door on the outside of the entrance to a shop in Knysna, Western Cape. Very clever.

image imageThis shop window in Seoul, Korea caught my eye and imagination.

Seoul, window dressing.

Seoul, window dressing.

These beautiful wooden houses I bought in Ulsan, Korea. I have no idea what the idea/use was behind them but they were there and had to come home with me as well.

Indiidual wooden blocks.

Indiidual wooden blocks.

The blue and white canvas roofs were lined up on the beach in Busan-I think as part of the Ice Bear Swim ( or something to that effect) event in the dead of their winter.

Busan beach

Busan beach

Yes, for sure a continuous theme going round in my head.

Random Photo:

Window to my soul.

image

Late afternoon at a time of year that it was not ” supposed to” rain in Cape Town.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Stuffed Mushrooms

What with February and the month of Valentine almost on it’s head, I think a romantic table setting is in order. Time she is a flying!

Table setting at Morrells Farm House, Johannesburg

Table setting at Morrells Farm House, Johannesburg

I bought a piece of Colby Cheese at Hillcrest Berry Orchard, Stellenbosch recently and had to read up about this gentle creamy cheese as I did not know it at all. It is very similar to cheddar but it does not undergo the cheddaring (I don’t even know if this is a word) process leaving it softer, moister and milder than cheddar. Perfect for what I had in mind.

Colby Cheese, Hillcrest Berry Orchard

Colby Cheese, Hillcrest Berry Orchard

Use:

Big brown mushrooms- top and tail them. The stems were so big that I diced and fried it separately in butter for garnishing.

Frozen creamed spinach or make your own

Onion

Feta cheese

Colby Cheese or any cheese of your choice

image

Fry onion in butter, mix in the thawed creamed spinach and heat through. Add feta and Colby cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Scoop into mushroom “shells” and sprinkle with the fried mushroom stems and more Colby cheese, of course. Bake in a warm oven until the mushrooms are cooked through and serve as a mains with salad or as a sides. I topped the lot with a bit of tomato relish for a bit of colour.

Stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms

Feasting!

Kingklip and stuffed Mushrooms

Kingklip and stuffed Mushrooms

My one and only post( it seems) for the too busy February is being submitted to the Cheese Please! monthly because I discovered the new Colby Cheese…..just because!

image

Below random photo: My office

I am a keen supporter of designer Michael Chandler in Cape Town with his beautiful shop, Chandler House around the corner of mine. His phrenology vases light up my day in my office and I constantly fill them with all sorts of things. Funny how the facial expressions on the identical vases change depending on what I fill them with. The lady with the flower head looks so feminine compared with the nutty guy. Anything just not to see those files……as if…..

Flower head and picking brains?

Flower head and picking brains?

Moving and a bit of furniture revamp

We recently moved home and one always views your furniture a bit differently when it sits there on a parking lot/pavement ready to be hauled into a big truck. Tired looking is just not the word….

A week before the big move I got a bee in my bonnet about sanding and revamping the look of my server/sideboard which I intended doing a long time ago but obviously never got around to.  I am all into the French look but I have no French furniture and with no intention of replacing big items, I shall make do with what I have.

image

I wish I had the know-how and time capacity to attempt big jobs myself but alas….. , even the small ones I want to do gets lost in time. I still wish I could do carpentry, of any sort, but this time I relied on a good reference and got a guy with magical carpentry skills to do the sanding on short notice and before the schlep of moving 11 floors up into a building with a heavenly view. He kindly sent me two pics of the work in progress.

image

Well, he did it and he did it right and now I want to have everything in sight sanded. Maybe a sanding machine doohdah thingy for my looming birthday, who knows? (Group eye-roll I know!)

image

I am very chuffed with the result.

image

Magical.

Kitch! Those were the days….

We spent a weekend in the whale coast town of Hermanus, Western Cape and we sort of happened upon the delightful Kitch Cafe in one of the many side streets and nooks and crannies this town seems to have. image Oh what I would give to have this vinyl kitchen cupboard! Elvis of course had to feature somewhere. image The Cafe is proudly kitch and beautiful with a good selection of Vladimir Tretchikoff prints hanging all over and so reminded me of a lot of South African homes of my youth. Read more about Tretchi at http://www.vladimirtretchikoff.comimage My mother used to have a copy of the swan painting, beatifully  and ornately framed and I really wish I knew what happened to it. The crying boy featured in a lot of homes in the 70’s! image For me the spanish  “dance doll” has to take the cake! I have not seen this for many years and remember an aunt that had them in the brightest of orange and bright red, proudly displaying them between other kitch items in her “formal” lounge, imagine….. image We only had coffee but the food we saw looked great and the service was excellent. Old Afrikaans LP covers used as place mats, nice touch!  I will for sure go back for a lunch and to reminisce more about the past. Ahhh, those were the days! image Visit Kitch Cafe in person where kitch is really cool or on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Kitch Cafe Hermanus-“Whale Capital of South Africa”

I love me a good design

 I am very much a vintage market person and collect a hotch-potch of Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, 50 ‘s and 60’s porcelain, ceramics, silver, glass and whatever is pretty for that matter! I use all of my finds otherwise what is the point?

Every now and then a modern design catches my eye as recently happened when seeing a display and meeting young Aaron Kearney of Aaron Kearney Design. It is just so pretty and the lovely, clever and clean lines of his plates make music to my eyes.

Image He said that the flat rim of the plate was “born” from his frustration of not having a rim on a plate to push that last fork of food against and to get the last morsel from the plate. His design then evolved into a whole collection of these beautiful shapes. I tried and tested and approved!

Image

image The flat rim is perfect to catch the last sauce, the last fork of food or to use as a serving ‘handle” but most of all the design can just sit there and be a pretty plate. High quality stuff and it comes in a variety of colours and sizes. Well done Aaron and I can not wait to see where you take this and what you think of next. image

Views are my own and I purchased the plates for own use (very happy own use at that!).