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.
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.