In the very near future, April 24th to be exact, Chairish will debut a collection of my one-of-a-kind furnishings on its website. It yet another honor and accomplish in my career and purpose to instill a sense of legacy in home furnishings.
Below is a correspondence with the company’s web & social media producer. If you have been on the media side, you know there’s only 30-seconds in fame and everything gets paired-down.
I share with you now the long version.
6:50 PM (0 minutes ago)
The truth is every color palette has existed and remained over time. There is a level of comfort in that everything can and will come back to life. In my own home I played off the traditional pairing of Red, White & Blue. It sounds Confederate but changed in tone, it becomes extremely contemporary. My advice is to choice a palette that you are comfortable with and expand on its limits. It is also important to note that the color wheel is a circle, there is no start and no ending so it makes sense that every color can match each other. It all depends on how you use it.
Something with a story. Every home needs to have a piece of furniture that reminds them of where they are from. Our culture is built on rich history and legacy. I walk around my house and smile. I know what I have from my mom and what pieces I will give to my children.
“Everything we do should be the result of our gratitude for what God has done for us”–Lauryn Hill
There is nothing like it. The topic is recognition as it relates to the feeling you get when some one finally notices what you are doing with accolades. You could be defeating all odds and won’t mean a thing unless someone notices. That person has gratitude.
I am frankly humbled with gratitude that Architectural Digest Germany featured my home in its March, 2014 issue.
“the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.“–Gratitude as defined by Webster’s online dictionary.
Online and in the social media version, I also thank every one else that made it possible:
- My parents: Betsy & Bob
- My Sister’s especially Nicole for the space
- My friend Laura Bays
- Tiger Lily’s Greenwich
- The North Street Man
- Irene Edwards, Lonny Magazine
- Genevieve Garruppo, Lonny Magazine
- Wendy Scofield. Lonny Magazine
- Professional Photographer Melanie Acevedo
- Writer, Kathryn O-Shea-Evans
- Art of Jahmane
- Larry the Fabric Guy
- A Picker with an Eye for Antiques
- Fleurish Florals
- AD Germany
“Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content.“-
The cottage was a very deliberate choice when I decided to move out of the city, but at times the experience has inconsistencies. In those moments I have questioned, found peace, patience and gratitude. When I live in that space and time, affirmations from the most unique of places finds me there.
“To get you choice right, you have to believe in the outcome. I live and work by choices and I am happy with that.”–Samantha Knapp
I will say this, seeing my name published will never get old. 🙂
LIVING IN POWDER: A CRITIQUE OF THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
I am living knee deep in powder with my eyes on beautiful nature shots. It is not the same white dust that attracted The Wolf Of Wall Street’s telescopic lens. As wildly separated as Jordan Belfort and I are over the powder, we share commonalities such as beauty comes with a price. Belfort bamboozled his way from a sub-city childhood to successful suburban banker in less time then the experience of ivy-league college to a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Not that formal education matters all that much. It is what you learn on the job. Here, a lack of respect for what little regulatory rules govern the market got him caught.
Belfort is like my real father that way. His story unfolds in the New York Times Best Selling autobiography, Wolf of Wall Street and the Oscar Nominated movie starring Hollywood’s king lion, Leonard DiCaprio. Day by day.
Here’s that same backyard shot one day later. More snow with a twist of blue skies and bright sun. Snow costs money and money is generally in a uncommitted relationship with love. You either have it or you don’t haveboth or neither and between the two parts, four outcomes exist. The odds are one in four. They are always changing.
“No matter what happened to you in your past, you are not your past, you are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.”― Jordan Belfort
Back to the powder, it is a cost of doing business. Martin Scorsese sets that up early in the Wolf Of Wall Street. Jordan Belfort is to Wall Street what a Wise Guy is to the City Street and that’s the attraction as Scorsese sees it. He gives you a lead character that despite the crookery your subconscious wants to emulate. I should know. I had a dad like this. Innately as a wolf knows to hunt, Belfort perfectly executes prays on middle class wage earners. His wolf pack herded under the cash cow investment firm, Stratton Oakmont. For the record, the rich identify Stratton as Vermont’s most pleasurable and exclusive ski resort. In powder, he lives a dream. Hookers in three classes ranging from Blue Chip to Pink Slip, fast cars, big houses and staffed yacht originally fashioned for Coco Chanel.
Snow’s a crazy thing. It looks pure when it starts. When the temperature is just right, it drops in flakes and is light to the touch. When it mixes with weather that is too heavy, it absorbs too much moisture and starts to weight a ton. It is that defining moment that can also dictate sales. When it is cold, people spend less. It is a fact. Consumer’s have less motivation to arrive at a destination to shop. Online sales increase, retail destinations see less traffic. It is all about getting business in the door.
If you have read my blog, you know by now that at some point I have to sell my business. I am in the business of high-end luxury one-of-a-kind goods. We transform legacy furniture and give everything individualized attention. If it has gone through Tiger Lily’s, it has my seal of approval. It means that in part of my day, I took the time to especially think of your needs, wants and lifestyle choices and am contributing my own personal part. When you buy from Tiger Lily’s, you buy the experience of a designer who thinks specifically of you. Shop Tigerlilys at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com.
For what it is worth and at the time it was worth a lot, Jordan Belfort ran a lucrative and highly successful business. He lead by example.
“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny , they’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance, if the circumstances around them suck they change them.”–Jordan Belfort
Leonardo DiCaprio, while not celebrated by the Oscars, dazzled with a performance fit for a king. It is no wonder that Belfort piped a piper of a pack of wolves. DiCaprio shows with a touch of his famous charism, knowledge of the punch line and chameleon capabilities that there is always a demand for people to be bought and sold. Belfort was taken down by the FBI, again much like my dad. I think that is why I gravitated to the story line. It is the type of movie where I saw myself. I loved my dad and Coleman, the officer who took down Belfort said it probably is the same for them to us.
“In a single word, it’s attention, a craving for attention,” Coleman says.
BEFORE & AFTER: LET OUT SOME STEAM
I don’t always know what I am going to do with something when I see it for the first time. I bought this vintage trunk for less money the miles I imagine it has had on the road. That’s a good enough reason and a good enough start. It is battered from protecting someone’s valuables over time and re-imagined has a new value to come.
“If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.” ―Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
I started researching steamer trunks for inspiration. In 1837 a 16-year-old boy walked 300-miles from the peasant village of Anchay to take an apprenticeship in the trunk making shop of M. Marechal on the Rue Saint-Honore. His name was Louis Vuitton.
Here’s the take away from that story. Out of nothing, anything is possible.
Travel and Capitalism are the inspirations. It is the background for the golden-era of industrialist. It produced the biggest industry tycoons in history in transportation, oil and banking. Capitalism in its purest form grants us freedom of business. We can be innovative and we can create the means possible to even the playing floor between the rich and the poor. Laissez-Faire is that the French call it. It means free to do. Ayn Rand is the champion of this concept.
“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” –Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Tiger Lily’s is a lot like that. Every day we come to work, http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com, we celebrate that culture. We believe absolutely anything is possible. We believe out of challenge comes great success. We believe that history has value and it is best celebrated when we return it to new.
I wanted the trunk to return to its purpose. Start at the very beginning. That’s another #Tigerlilystip. I gave the trunk to a very talented artist who works with us directly. I discussed the theme and the idea that the outcome should celebrate what is great about America in history, branding and style. I also told him I wanted an airplane, logos and a train.
This is your journey, let out some steam. Be creative, call on your best self. Explore new territory. Take advantage of it.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“I didn’t think I had it in me to write two consecutives blogs on food, then it snowed and I got hungry.”–Samantha Knapp
BEFORE & AFTER: JIFFY MUFFIN MIX TAKES A HIT: BACON CORN MUFFINS W/CRANBERRIES & WALNUTS.
The before’s are generally vintage. This recipe has 1950s Mad Men advertising world all over it. Sometimes as in this case, that’s not a bad thing.“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” –Dr.Suess
Here’s what you’ll need: 1. Boxed Corn Muffin Mix 2. Bacon 3. Egg 4. Cranberries 5. Milk 6. Red Onion 7. Sage 8. Crisco 9. Maple Syrup
The snow fed an inpluse to bake. I created this recipe from scratch. It comes from two needs sweet and savory. Start by putting the Corn Mix into the bowl . Everyone starts somewhere, it is the same the first time as the last, only the outcome is different.
Here’s a huge tip, sift the mix. It is archiac, labor intensive and I shutter to think what people who suffer from arthritis in the fingers would do. It is definitely worth it.
On the stove, heat a fry pan. I threw in cut bacon, onion, garlic, sage and walnuts and let the mixture cook. This is the sweat-out period for these foods. Let the pan get super hot to the point where rendered liquids emulsify.
The bacon and walnuts are the heart of the matter. This is the pan where all the flavor is coming together and taking place. This is the part you need to spice and taste. It should taste savory, a little salty and not sweet. The core should be balanced.
“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” –Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously…I’m Kidding
Here’s the sweet. Add a one-and-a-half tablespoons of maple syrup to the corn mix. Two eggs and two-thirds a cup of organic whole milk complete the wet mix.
Maple syrup is a natural phenomena.In cold climates, maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. It’s nature’s sugar and if well selected doesn’t need to be processed.
For the record, Aunt Jemima’s is a synethic made from high fructose corn syrup. I said that correctly. It goes with out saying, the more commerical the product, the farther away it is from its roots. Interior design is the same thing. The more commerical furniture products you buy, the further away you are from one-of-a-kind and unique. Check out http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. That’s the soft sell.
Back to Aunt Jemina. The majority is corn syrup synethically flavored to taste like maple. The real deal maple taste better, but the kids like the syrup stuff.
Mix all the ingredients together. At this point your oven should be set at 400-degrees and your muffin pan greased.
Crisco is another 1950s battle and lead advertisement. That’s the fun thing about using iconic old foods, they are loaded with brand names. Organic trends in a new generational thing.
Crisco is an all vegetable shortening. There is I am sure an entire food culture that questions crisco over butter over animal fat. I tried making them with both the shortening and the bacon fat and they tasted about the same. Crisco is however a bit lighter in density creating a lighter outcome and greater rise from the muffin mix.
If high school chemistry serves me that is all true. What is chemistry but a relationship between two or more elements anyway? Close the door and let the magic take place. Don’t peak or break the temperature for at least 15-minutes.
“Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity”–Albert Einstein
I made these for that guy. Take a bite, they are absolutely delicious. I encourage you to make them and smile when you eat. They are full of love, fat and sugar. They will warm your bones on snowy nights, that start when it is light.
It was the last time New England and Sunday Football will be paired this season and the first time this year I decided on making this hearty soup. Yes, the Patriots lost the battle on the gridiron but never was their a more fitting food. Joseph C Lincoln, the American author and poet, said this of chowder:
“A New England clam chowder, made as it should be, is a dish to preach about, to chant praises and sing hymns and burn incense before. To fight for. The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought for–or on–clam chowder; part of it at least, I am sure it was. It is as American as the Stars and Stripes, as patriotic as the national Anthem. It is ‘Yankee Doodle in a kettle.” – Joseph C. Lincoln (1870-1944)
So let’s begin to create history with the battle field in your kitchen. Here’s what you will need:
BEFORE CLAM CHOWDER
1. Clams 2. Clam Broth 3. Organic Milk 4. Canned Clams (2) 5. 2lbs Little Neck Clams Shelled 6. Potatoes 7. Celery 8. Onions 9. Sherry 10. Bacon 11. Misc. Spices
Start with a base flavor profile. In a deep pot I chopped and added onions, celery and bacon with a little bit of olive oil. The bacon arguably has its own fat, but in cooking in a pot rather than a saute pan, it is essential that nothing burns or sticks. This is the base for soup and any char that develops will stick to the bottom of the pot and surface to the top of your palette.
Wash your potatoes. It does two things. It reduces the starch and frankly the organisms still potentially living on the skin. Potatoes even bought at Whole Foods are rooted in soil. They are dug up from the earth. Mind you, I like a little grit, but that’s only on the foot ball field.
“This is one of the best individual rivalries in the history of American sports, even if the two guys aren’t banging away at each other in the low blocks the way Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain did; even without the historical significance and glitz of Magic vs. Bird; or the personal histility that Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier brought to their three prizefights.”–New York Daily News, Sunday Jan. 19, 2014
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2. Old Bread 3. Pepper 4. Salt 5. Italian Spices 6. Fontina Cheese
New England Patriots and the Denver Brancos meet at the center yard line. That’s even playing field. Peyton Manning & Tom Brady were there 14 times before the AFC Championship match-up. It started the last day of September 2001. Tom Brady won the first time. Peyton Manning, the last time. Funny the way it is.
Croutons are a story of old and new. I always use up bread. The same philosophy of reusing, revitalizing and refreshing old furniture in my design life at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com applies to food. I don’t throw food away unless it is rotton. Eat your leftovers or repurpose them. There are starving people in America who lack access to food.
According to feedarmerica.org, “In 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.”
In layman’s terms, that means two-years ago, 49-million American’s didn’t know where their next meal was coming from, the day before.When you are lucky enough to buy food to feed yourself, use it.bOtherwise it is a waste.
Use old bread for croutons cut into chunks. Mix-in olive oil, shredded cheese and spices until moist. Spread on cookie sheet and bake 350 degrees.
The croutons should crumble and break into different size pieces as you touch. They can last for up to three-weeks in an air-tight seal and perfect added texture to salads. I used it here, unexpectedly, in place of traditional oyster crackers. I stronly believe in presentation and completing a thought in any field. Similiar to design, the thought process in food has no exceptions in balance, texture, color and presentation.
“Think in layers and always ask, what elements do I need to make the circle come full round?”—Samantha Knapp
On the subject of full circle comes the completion of the soup. From the initial base, I layered in bay leaves, the potatoes, salt, pepper, the canned little neck clams while slowly adding the liquid components, clam juice, milk and sherry. Let that all cook for at least ten minutes at a boil, then simmer for twenty more.
AFTER: CLAM CHOWDER
Serve in a deep bowl with a soup spoon. Garnish with bacon bits and the croutons.
Tom Brady at 36-years-old won 10 of 14 games before this Sunday. With the Super Bowl on the line in a returning match-ups, each team has come out with a win. Peyton Manning 37-years-old now tipping that scale. On route to his third Super Bowl, a feet seen only by his rival Tom Brady, Troy Aikmen, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, Manning had this to say:
“You certainly want to win one more”–Peyton Manning
I say try the soup.