Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Kaleidoscope of Color

In case you are recovering from too much eggnog, I won’t post anything too taxing today.
(I'll explain the above divine photo later in this post)

I spent Christmas Day, cooking up a storm. It was lots of fun with family members dropping in and out of the kitchen to lend a hand and taste the results.

As we have for the last few years, our friends brought their Christmas rib roast to our house (my husband is allergic to their pets) to be consumed with whatever I whip up. This year I was feeling ambitious.
The homemade soft bread sticks with an olive, chickpea, eggplant tapenade made quite a hit.I also served pico de gallo, shown here before the avocado was added.

The sit-down part of dinner started with fresh tomato soup with tiny jalapeno-flecked meatballs, a mushroom ragout, and cioppino (with lobster, clams, squid, monk fish and shrimp)
For dessert, I baked Sicilian fig cookies from a recipe given to me by a next door neighbor when we lived in NYC. He made them every year at Christmas.

Today, I’d like to introduce designer extraordinaire Kaffe Fassett. If this seems too much for you today, feel free to come back tomorrow when you’re feeling up to it.Whether working with yarn, fabric, paint or harder materials--glass and ceramic tesserae, broken china, mirror fragments, pebbles, seashells, and even faux pearls -- Kaffe sees the world as a kaleidoscope of color.
Kaffe grew up in California before moving to Britain in the 1960s. In London, his still life paintings drew attention for their decorative surfaces, depicting patterned china on patterned fabrics.In the 70s and 80s, Kaffe designed knitting patterns, needlepoint canvases, and quilts. His books on these subjects by Taunton Press topped bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the 90s, he turned his attention to mosaics.
“Mosaics first excited my vision a long time ago. All through my early years in California I was aware of mosaic on eccentric structures like Watts Towers in Los Angeles and small examples in San Francisco's Chinatown.
"But what impressed me the most in those days were the personal mosaics of Zev Harris, an artist friend of my family who covered walls, tables and window sills with keys, bottles, tinselly glass, beads and other unrespected materials,” says Kaffe.
"Zev built his whimsical palace of a house on a sand dune in California in the 1940's and it contained walls that used colored wine bottles instead of bricks, and a floor of up-ended blocks of wood in a variety of shapes." Kaffe recalls.

Years later, after visiting artist Candace Bahouth’s mosaic-filled home in the English countryside, Kaffe began making mosaics of his own. The two teamed up to do an amazing book -- a must-have for anyone interested in this art form.Recently, Kaffe created a collection of home textiles, as well as a new book of knit patterns.
As always, he brings his mosaic-like sense of color to yet another facet of the design world.
You can view his bedding at Pine Cone Hills.

Photo Credits:
Food shots by moi, all others courtesy of Kaffe Fassett.

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***

While changing 'colour' to 'color' in Kaffe's quotes, I decided that today's Blog Du Jour should be British. Here are two very different ones. For a design blog with style, go to Print & Pattern. For a peek at British country life, I suggest Mutterings & Meanderings.


NAME: CIELO said...

Hi Barbara... Just stopping by to whish you a happy New Year. Hope you and yours had a marvelous Christmas!


NeereAnDear said...

The food looks so good! Mouth watering in fact..

Kaffee Fassett is one of my all time favorites... his vibrant colors are a feast for the eyes... and his kalaidoscopes simply breathtaking and fun... I had no idea he did mosaics also


Gail McCormack said...

Great you had an enjoyable Christmas Day, the food looks delicious! I'm thoroughly enjoying meeting your featured mosaic artists, really opened my eyes to the huge range of differnt styles, materials and colour used. Thanks Barbara!

cjan said...

Hi Barbara, Happy that you were able to change Hats for a while and do some cooking. Sounds like you had alot of fun with your family and friends!
I'll have to try some of your ideas for some recipes.

Wow the Mosaics are bright. Looks like the bright colors are 'In"??
Beautiful work!


Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Hi Barbara. Thank you for stopping by my blog for the 2007 Virtual Home Tour.

May the new year bring you health, happiness and the love of family.



Mary said...

Wow, Barbara, my mouth is watering! Can you share the recipe for the cookies?

Loved to see the Kafee Fassett mosaics -- so beautiful and colorful. There is a mosaic building near my son's apartment on South St. in Philadelphia. It's called the Magic Garden, and it's such a wonderful thing to see in the middle of the grey city.


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Yummy!! Your food looks delish! I enjoyed this post of Kaffee. I love the brightness of his colors, both in his mosaics and fabrics. Thanks for introducing me to him!

Susie Q said...

Delicious food and delicious color...such beauty in today's post.
Such delights are what makes life so sweet!
Thank for sharing this.

I hope your week is going along happily!


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Barbara, wow does that dinner sounds delicious! Wish we could all have been there for that.

And what beautiful pics from the mosaic artist. Gorgeous.

Have a Happy New Year!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Wow !! those mosaics are a feast for your eyes ~ Amazing !!!
Your food looks yummy too :o)
Gorgeous !

Mosaic*Queen said...

Hi Barbara!
Thanks for paying me a visit!
I think that I want to come to your house next year for Christmas. That food looks AMAZING!
Also, thanks for sharing the info on Kaffee Fassett.....I had no idea he was into mosaics.

She'sSewPretty said...

Thank you so much for sharing Kaffee Fassett with us. I remember seeing his quilt book and knitting patterns and loving them. I am in awe at his paintings and mosaics now. What wonderful colorful art pieces.

KimberlyRyanDesigns said...

Hi Barbara, I love his paintings they are just breathtaking, I would love to use more color in my art,i'm truly inspired! Thank you, Kimberly

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Hi Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. Your dishes look delicious. My husband's grandmother always made fig cookies for Christmas too. She is not with us anymore, thanks for the memory. Also thank you for introducing the mosaic artist. His work really is so beautiful.

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for posting the mosaic pictures, they are gorgeous...I love the vivid and happy colors.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

hmmm....I thought I posted yesterday, but I guess I didn't hit "publish".

Any who.....your food looks so good!

I love all of the bright colors that Kaffee uses, in his mosaics and all of his projects. How refreshing!

Karen Cole said...

Hi Barbara!

Thanks for visiting and a happy holiday and new year to you.

Love Kafe Fassett!!!!

love.boxes said...

All those intense bright colors are what I get up in the morning for everyday, but I just love the pictures you've posted! What an amazing artist!

Rhondi said...

Hi Barbara I really enjoyed reading your blog today and looking at the great food and pictures. I have always loved Kaffe Fassett and his sense of color. He is amazing! I will certainly come back to visit again.

graciela said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.