Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mango Season

I don't know about you all, but I LOVE mangoes! Not so much to eat them, because I'm a little bit allergic, but they're just so pretty!

I love the colors- the raw green, in between yellow and ripe red. And of course the bright orange insides!

Pile them up in a bright bowl, or stack them on a tiered server and they go great with a bright spring table!

Now, lest you think I buy fruit just for decorating purposes, Hubby does love to actually eat mangoes. And I can usually safely steal a bit or two without adverse reaction!

If you're interested in tasting mangoes but are a bit intimidated my the fruit itself (the flavor can vary widely in different varieties, and it's hard to get good sweet ones in the US!), then ordering a sweet Mango Lassi from your local Indian restaurant is a great place to start!

Doesn't that look yummy?

If you happen to have an Indian grocer near you you could also look for canned mango pulp:

which is a fantastically sweet, thick syrup made from the ripest of mangoes and is HEAVEN over vanilla ice cream!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Project ADD

What is it about spring that makes me so antsy to DO things?

Like most people, I've got a list in my head. There were a couple of projects that were on the "oh that would be nice, at some point..." list, and a few "hm, maybe I could try" ideas, and a couple actual "ok, but next up is..." sorts of things. But somehow as soon as the weather started getting warm, all my plans went out the window.
So rather than tiling the bathroom floor, which was "next", I've got something going on here:

And something down here:

And this was an interesting surprise that added itself to a project:

I was working on this last week:

And am one step away from finishing it.

I picked this up:

And have some fun plans for it.

I've got a little bit of this going on in the uber-traditional living room:

And in case all that weren't enough, I got started on this this afternoon:

Phew! Just listing it all makes my back hurt a little!
I'm blaming it all on the upcoming Derby party. I've always found that a crowd of people headed to my house really gets me motivated!
Hubby is doubting my ability to finish it all by May 1st, which of course has just made me even more determined to do it!

Do you all have spring project fever?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

First Signs of Spring

It's always so exciting when I first see Spring peeking its green little nose up through the lo-o-o-o-ng freeze of winter!

This doesn't look like a very likely spot for things to grow, what with all the sand and gravel that gets plowed onto it every winter!

But the bulbs seem to love it! If you look closely you can see Crocuses:


And Hyacinth:

I thought it seemed really early for things to be sprouting, but I looked back at when I posted about it last year and it was right around this time. By the first week of April all the Tulips were up!

That makes me so happy! Without a garden to prove me wrong I keep thinking winter goes pretty much straight through to June. And 8 months of winter is just TOO long... 6 months seems so much more.... well, I was going to say reasonable, but that's still kind of too long! Ha!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Living Room Decor Experiments

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a large open area above my couch that needs to be filled.

I used to have this large Asian screen there, but Hubby continued not liking it despite my best efforts, so I've moved that up to my sewing/workout room.

I really like the way a set of framed prints flanked by sconces look.

Classic, but with character. I thought that a set of prints from the Turgot map of Paris might look nice.

But Hubby has something against Paris, despite having spent a lovely long weekend there a few years ago. While I thought it would be nice to highlight as a place we visited together, he says that in the grand summary of places we've spent time, Paris doesn't qualify for an entire wall.
I may still override him... though I've been looking for some cool gold sconces for quite awhile now and haven't had much luck. I think I'll have to increase my budget to find what I'm looking for!

But I saw this shot:

And really liked the drama of the dark elements and animal print with the traditional couch (the upholstery of which is just like mine!) I started looking at darker sconces and found these at ZGallerie:

Nicosia Lantern

And I kind of love it. I feel like it would be even better if the back were mirror, or sliver leaf... But I like how it's kind of Mediterranean/Moorish, and totally goes with my mantle of the moment:

Isn't that light glowing in gorgeous? It was sunset. But you see the sort of Moorish lantern I have up there? It would be nice with those sconces/half lanterns, right?
The price is right, but the problem is that they're kind of HUGE. Like 4 feet tall huge! I measured that couch and it's just under 4 feet at the highest point! I don't have a ZGallerie near me, so I can't very well just go get some and try them out, and shipping is a bit high to take that leap of faith.
So I decided to try to GIMP (that's the free Google version of Photoshop) them in to see how they'd look!
First I tried them with a mirror in between:

Not such a fan of the mirror there. But the lanterns show promise... and I love the yellow pillows since my other couch in that room is yellow. Why didn't I ever think of that before?!

Then I tried the sconces with a little (err... LOT of) animal print:

WHOA!! I kind of love that... though it IS all a little large. I mean, I want to fill the space, but three big pieces (and that zebra print should properly be scaled larger since the sconces are 4 feet long and the zebra is actually 5 feet wide!) may just take over the room a bit too much.

I wish they had a smaller version of those lanterns, maybe 3 feet long would be good... OR a location in MA! Then I could just try them out for real!

And while I pondered all that I had the thought that I could go back to my original idea of a group of smaller prints and use Indian Miniatures like I did in the bathroom.

We won't be back in India until next winter at the soonest, but maybe I'll have a look around Jackson Heights while we're down in NY for Passover next month.

These are actually post cards! But 8x10 prints usually aren't too terribly expensive (for prints or lower quality paintings, anyway. High quality miniatures can get quite pricey!) Hmm... so many possibilities!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Living Room Has Been Painted (Round 301)

I finally found a paint for the living room that seems to work with the new couches in both daylight and CFL lamplight!
Remember the issue I was having with everything that didn't look blue in daylight looking green at night? I wanted something that was either a light grey, or a light cream, and I found a Benjamin Moore color that manages to be both!

The color is called Timid White by Benjamin Moore.

You can really see in this picture from my mantle decor post how the color changes really dramatically with the light:

I had been looking for something with a bit more definite color, actually, but I'm liking this a lot. Lot's of options for accent colors!

Now that I've got the paint sorted out, I just need to figure out what to do with this LARGE empty spot above the couch!

I like the oil painting that's up there now, but it's just too small for that space (and actually looked REALLY good in the dining room where I stuck it for safe-keeping while I painted!) And Hubby was just so excited to see the large folding screen that I had up there before go away that I don't have the heart to bring it back in!
But have no fear, I've got some ideas and have been having fun with a photo editing program, so check back for my experiments!