Tag Archives: spring

Greening City

High Line nyc via house and gardening addicts

New York City’s High Line park is 2.3 km of landscaped public space that floats above the city on the old High Line tracks. Last time I was in New York we spent most of an afternoon exploring the park; it was a fabulous way to explore the city and it was amazing to see all the different people using the park, from wandering tourists to locals on their lunch breaks.

Today’s post is all about how people have managed to carve out a little piece of nature even in the busiest metropolises. As you will see it doesn’t just take a green thumb but also a willingness to think unconventionally.

Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai via tripify

One of the most majestic urban gardens is surely Yuyuan Gardens in Shanghai. Created during the Ming Dynasty, strolling through the lush plant life and beautiful classic Chinese buildings is like stepping back in time. If you’re there see if you can spot the many sculptures, some of mythical creatures, as you make your way through the gardens many hidden spots.

Greenwall in MadridGreen Wall in Madrid via Treehugger

The Green Wall designed by Patrick Blanc is an extraordinary sight; it is almost as if you are looking at an optical illusion. The four story high garden can be found at the Caixa Forum, an arts and cultural space in the old industrial sector of Madrid.  The wall is home to 15,000 plants, proving that you don’t need to have a traditional large plot of land to create a greener city.

Brooklyn GrangeBrooklyn Grange via inhabitat

The Brooklyn Grange is the world’s largest rooftop farm, featuring 40,000 square feet of growing space for delicious produce. What I find most fascinating about large scale urban projects like this one is the vision of the people involved. To look at a concrete rooftop and see a thriving farm is amazing. Wouldn’t it be incredible if every city could have farms hidden in the sky?

Namba ParksNamba Parks in Osaka via daily tonic

In the densely populated city of Osaka there is little room for greenery, which makes spaces like Namba Parks so essential. The eight level garden is nestled between office and apartment buildings and the Namba train station.  The garden is fully integrated into its urban surroundings, providing an oasis from the chaos of city life.

BerlinPrinzessinnengarten, Berlin

The Prinzessinngarten in Berlin is a community garden built on a vacant lot that provides a place of solace, good food and community for numerous families and citizens in the city. Similar to other city parks, like The South Central Farm in L.A., the Prinzessingarten has had to fight for it’s survival, but those who love the park are working hard to ensure the garden is kept intact.

Nanyang Technological Institute in Singapore via freshome

The rooftop garden on the School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technical Institute in Singapore is a perfect marriage of architecture and garden design. The gently sloping roof is the perfect place for students to study, take breaks or look for inspiration. The result is a gorgeous building that shows that nature and progress can coexist.

These are just a few of the examples of urban gardening. Does your city have a public greenspace you’d like to tell us about? If you don’t think your city has enough of the green stuff then get planting. As you can see, rooftops, abandoned lots, and even walls can be places to grow.

Happy Friday Everyone!


Posted in Culture | Tagged , , ,

Recipes for an Egg-cellent Easter

Spring has arrived but it seems that someone forgot to tell Mother Nature! It is so cold and grey here in Louisville that I find it hard to believe that Easter is this weekend. The weather has made me downright anti-social, so I’m tempted to follow See Jane Blog’s lead and host an Easter egg-decorating party to help me and my friends shake off the winter blues. I love her party favours and printable invitations!

Image: See Jane Blog

I haven’t dyed eggs since I was a kid, so I was really impressed to find that so many bloggers have moved beyond the basic dunk n’ dye method to create several stunning options. And because I hate to see good food go to waste, I have included some awesome recipes to use up those eggs!

Brights

Bright colours are just what I need right now to shake me out of my funk but traditional eggs can be a little gaudy. However, not these ones:

Image: Spoon Fork Bacon

This one is so simple that even the kids can do it but the results are remarkably refined.

Image: How About Orange

For those who are as obsessed by Pantone as I am, these are the Easter eggs for you!

Image: Studio DIY

I love the idea of using candy to give eggs a little pizzazz. And it matches one of this year’s biggest fashion trends, the caviar manicure.

Image: Brown Paper Packages

Just about anything can be used to decorate eggs; these cheery ones were made by with flower-patterned paper napkins and Mod Podge.

Image: Taste.com.au

To match the vibrant hues of these eggs, I suggest Chakchouka, eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. To do this with Easter eggs, you will need to blow out the insides. To learn how, check out this tutorial. The yolks will be a little scrambled, but will still work in this recipe.

Subtle

If you prefer a more subdued colour scheme for your holiday decoration, there are lots of pastel and neutral options out there:

Image: Rosalind Creasy

For those who are concerned with chemical dyes, Rosalind Creasy shows how to achieve a rainbow of subtle shades using fruits and vegetables.

Image: Joy Ever After

And regular brown eggs look anything but plain when patterns are added with a white-out pen.

Image: Better Homes and Gardens

A mix of plain and coloured eggs makes for a thoroughly modern and understated centerpiece.

Image: Martha Stewart

Another way to add texture to your eggs is to wrap them in lace (also a big fashion trend this year) before dropping them in the dye bath; the result is extremely elegant.

Image: Pickled Plum

The easiest way to make Easter eggs is to hard-boil them but, seriously, how many egg salad sandwiches can one eat? Instead, why not make Japanese Flavoured Tea Eggs, which are as sophisticated as the subdued colours shown above.

Graphic

Black and white is not a traditional Easter colour scheme but for those who want to match a more modern décor, here are some suggestions:

Image: Fraeulein Klein

The key to these are simple, bold graphics and awesome fonts.

Image: Alisa Burke

This style matches well with a visually simple dish, like tamago nigiri, Japanese omelet sushi. While it looks easy, it can be quite a challenge to get the technique just right. Smoky Wok offers a wonderful recipe and photo tutorial and you will have lots of eggs to practice with!

Image: PIRQ Blog

No matter what style or recipe you chose, I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend full of egg-cellent fun!


Posted in Culture, Design, Food | Tagged , , ,

A Spring Table

image via mochatini

Who cares that there is a negative wind chill in the double digits and snow on the ground outside? It’s officially spring! and that’s as good an excuse as any to throw a party. Here are some table setting ideas that are a breath of fresh spring air, because whether you’re hosting Easter dinner or a spring-themed brunch, a perfect meal begins with a well dressed table.

image via on Sutton Place

No spring soiree is complete without flowers. You don’t need to spend a small fortune at the florists to style a table full of flowers. A few supermarket bouquets and some pretty jars or simple vases are all you really need. Put a handful of flowers in each container, the result is unfussy and pretty.

Sissinghurst Castle Dinner Plate from anthropologie

Sometimes all you need to create a spectacular table is the right set of dishes. These painterly plates from Anthropologie are bursting with spring blooms. I’m envisioning these with crisp white linens and gold plated utensils.

image via intimate weddings

A single colour like white, yellow, or in this case, Robin’s Egg blue, is a good starting point when designing a table. Making a bird’s nest out of twigs or grass is an easy way to create a quick centerpiece. The beauty of painted eggs, or even the simplicity of unadorned eggs, makes a lovely substitute for flowers.

image via house and home

A tempting dessert table is a lovely way to turn a meal into a special occasion. Pastel coloured treats and vintage serving platters are a dreamy combo for Easter brunch or dinner. If you don’t own a cakestand here is a great tutorial for making one out of vintage dishes.

image via Red Sole Diary

Of course, you can always ditch the pastels and go bold; lemon yellow and sky blue evoke spring in much the same way, plus they are invigorating. The tulips are definitely in keeping with the casual, fun-loving vibe of this table.

family photo eggs from a subtle revelry

For a family breakfast or brunch I love this idea of personalized photo eggs for place orders. Such a cute way to decorate. Plus it’s a good excuse to dust off those egg cups and put them to use.

Happy Friday Everyone!


Posted in Culture, Design | Tagged , ,

Fertililty Symbols

Via Inhabitots

As somebody who hails from a place where it’s hot and humid for most of the time, I am quite fascinated by where the seasons are so radically distinct, and felt in the most in-your-face way. I don’t experience the bite of winter nor the accompanying longing for spring, nor the giddy high when this longing is finally fulfilled.

I find it intriguing how a lot of the customs that are practiced even in my corner of the world revolve around celebrating spring, the season of fertility and rebirth. For instance, a lot of weddings happen this time of year, and I’ve only recently realized how appropriate it is! Weddings are traditionally a prelude to child-bearing, and what better season to procreate than when the earth is sprouting seeds, shoots, and flowers?

So for today’s post, we’ll celebrate spring by celebrating fertility symbols!

Woman of Willendorf

She used to be called Venus of Willendorf (modern-day Aggsbach, Austria) and she’s estimated to be 20,000 years old. That’s a lot of zeroes, which means she’s way older than the Venus of Roman mythology, which is probably why the name didn’t stick. She has no feet, and she can’t stand on her own. Her face is covered by horizontal bands which many figure to be plaited hair. Archaeologists have unearthed many other figurines that look very much like her. Scholars think that her disproportionately large breasts and belly, and very detailed nether parts, point to her having been used as a fertility symbol in ancient times.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Eggs & Bunnies

These are nowadays are used as Easter symbols, but they are so because they represent fertility. Eggs are themselves evidence of fertility, and bunnies, well, they are known to reproduce really quickly and easily.

Via Inhabitots

Via Simply Living, Living Simply

Lingling-o

These are female fertility charms that are used in indigenous cultures in the Philippines and in certain parts of Southeast Asia. Its key characteristic is in its shape — rounded with a slit in the bottom. The negative space in the middle is said to resemble an embryo with an umbilical cord attached. The shape too makes it easy to be worn as ear ornaments, but they can also be used as pendants.

Via Baybayin Alive

Chopsticks

It’s strange, I know. But it just so happens that the Chinese term for chopsticks, zhu, also also translates as “many sons”, and because of this chopstick sets when given as wedding gifts are said to bring luck.

Image via Live Auctioneers


Posted in Culture, Design | Tagged , , , ,

Egg Inspiration

image via Martha Stewart

You know what they say about finding inspiration in unlikely places? Well, this week’s post is inspired by decorated eggs. I challenged myself to find a room that was inspired by a decorated egg and I was surprised both by the sheer number of techniques there are for egg embellishing, and by how easily these decorated eggs translated to interior design. An egg is after all a blank slate of sorts and that is what many of us start with when we begin a new decorating project. Who’s ready to play ‘From Egg To Room’?

Pretty Doodle Eggsdoodle eggs via Alisa Burke

Black on White Eggs
Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the most effective. These striking eggs are the creation of Alisa Burke. She left them white and drew on them with a sharpie. bright coloured eggs are all fine and dandy but the stark black and white really plays up the simple shape and natural beauty of the egg.

Room by Josef Frank via skonahem

Black on White Room
This fantastically stylish room was designed by Josef Frank. Black and white are a classic decorating combo, but the mix of patterns and the casualness keeps this room looking modern and chic.

eggs dip-dyed in neonneon dip-dyed eggs via oh joy!

Pops of Neon Eggs
These neon dipped eggs look like they belong in a gallery instead of on the brunch table. This is another example of a simple technique having more pop than an elaborate one. Leaving some of the egg white accentuates the bright colours and exaggerates the lines.

Koskela's ShowroomKoskela Showroom via the design files

Pops of Neon Room
Neon is one of those trends that is inescapable in summer fashion this year, but I’ve also noticed it popping up in interior design. Paired with black and white it can bring life and vibrancy to any space.

use onion skins to dye eggsonion skin dyed egg via instructables

Warm and Nature Inspired Egg
There are dozens of ways to colour eggs with natural dyes derived from plants, fruits and vegetables. The European method of dyeing eggs with onion skins is one of my favourites, and with it you can create eggs in hues of brown, red, orange and yellow.

Ken Kelly designed living roomLiving Room by Ken Kelly via hgtv

Warm and Nature Inspired Room
This room utilizes some of the warm, nature-inspired tones from the onion dyed eggs to create an inviting and masculine space. Orange and green accents are the perfect pairing with muted earth tones, and the contrast of the blue painting above the sofa is a nice touch as well.

Pretty pink eggs with silhouettessilhouette eggs via le papier blog

Pink Silhouette Eggs
Using contact paper, le papier has created egg decals featuring sweet silhouettes. Love the pink, but you could do these in any colour I think. This would also be a fun idea for Easter brunch or dinner placeholders, if you made silhouettes of all your guests.

Tamara Robbins Griffith room with silhouettesRoom by Tamara Robbins Griffith via Apartment Therapy

Pink Silhouettes Room
I think you would be hard pressed to find a more girly room; from the pink walls, to the floral pillows and ladylike art. Without the black accents and furnishings this room could be too bubblegum, but instead it manages to be feminine and classy.

decorate your eggs with washi tapeWashi Tape Eggs via bhg

Striped Eggs
Lastly, here is a technique for when you run out of time for egg dying and company is coming in half an hour. Try using washi tape to jazz up a dozen eggs in no time. Stripes lend themselves beautifully to the rounded shape of the egg but you could try any kind of pattern you please.

yellow striped bathroomStriped bathroom via house beautiful

Striped Room
Anyone who has ever tried to paint stripes on a wall knows that it requires a ridiculous amount of time, planning and attention to detail, but the results are so worth it. This stripy bathroom has a bit of circus flair (and I mean that in the best possible sense.) Continuing the stripe up the slope of the wall makes this a much more interesting space and adds drama to a smallish bathroom.

Hope you all have a spectacular weekend. Happy Friday!


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