Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My dream home would have to have…

Is it amazing architectural detailing?

stairs tms architectsDesign by TMS Architects

Black steel framed windows?

black steel windows sam harveyImage from American Modern via Sam Harvey

Maybe it’s big kitchen windows that go right down to the countertop…

kitchen_design_australia_shoreline home interior photos Image via Home Interior Photos

Or could it be fabulous hardwood flooring…

herringbone inspired to share
Image via Inspired to Share

Maybe coffered ceilings?

coffered ceiling modecor Design by Modecor

Well, it’s all these things! And one more that’s my ultimate dream home must-have… check out my guest post at Marcus Design and find out what it is! And while you’re there, be sure to take a look around Nancy’s beautiful blog. Not only does she post fantastic images of all things home decor, but she’s a pretty awesome artist. If you’re visiting JAX does design for the first time, please be sure to leave a comment letting me know so I can come visit you back :-)

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

So Canadian, eh? & the ultimate summer chair

I was so honoured when Barbara at Hodge:Podge asked me to be part of her So Canadian, eh? series. Barbara has been introducing her readers to decorators and designers from all across Canada, and today’s instalment is her interview with me :-) Click here to pop over to Barbara’s blog and check it out. And while you’re there, be sure to take a look around at all of Barbara’s great design projects. The diamond tufted headboard that she made for her daughter is one of my very favourite projects :-)

There’s just something about an Adirondack chair that says “summer” to me. It’s relaxed, comfortable, casual – the perfect spot to sit and read a book, sip a cold drink, chart with friends, or just enjoy soaking in views of the water or sunset.

adirondack chair blueprintImage via Adirondack Chair Blueprint

The first Adirondack chair (originally called the Westport plank chair) was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903. He was on vacation in Westport, New York, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, and needed outdoor chairs for his summer home. The original Adirondack chair was made with eleven pieces of wood, cut from a single board. It had a straight back and seat, which were set at a slant to sit better on the steep mountain inclines of the area. It also had wide armrests.

chairs garden deviant dezinerImage via Deviant Deziner

Thomas Lee offered the design for his chair to Harry Bunnell, a carpenter friend in Westport who needed a way to make money in the winter. Mr. Bunnell realized the chair was the perfect item to sell to Westport's summer residents, and  without asking permission from Thomas Lee, he filed for and received patent #794,777 in 1905. Mr. Bunnell manufactured his plank chairs for the next twenty years. Today, the Adirondack chair is a staple in backyards, on patios and decks, and even in houses all around the world…

living-room-porch completely coastal
Image via Completely Coastal

Adirondack-chair-white shore side bride
Image via Shoreside Bride

Colourful Adirondack chairs…

Adirondack_chairs boston
Image via boston.com

colourful forma pura living
Image via Forma Pura Living

My friend Victoria painted her Adirondack chairs orange…


This one takes painting your chair a step further…

painted alderman artsImage via Alderman Arts

Of course, I have to include a purple Adirondack chair :-)

Lavender-Adirondack-Chair-via-Earth-Shots chaor blog
Image via Chair Blog

Adirondack chairs in Nova Scotia…

blue rocks house 2[3]

red school[3]

Hahahha! isn’t the fish chair cute? :-)

fish bench 2[3]

And another take on a “Fish”irondack chair…

fish washington post
Image via
Washington Post

A couple more variations on the traditional style…

Image via Gear Patrol

reclaimed-redwood-adirondack-chair furniture home design
Image via Furniture Home Design

There’s even a lucite Adirondack chair!

lucite_adirondack_chair vivre
Via vivre.com

No reason why you can’t use Adirondack chairs indoors as well as outdoors.

adirondack-chairs-margaret-mccurry-architect my design chic
Image via My Design Chic

Ah, the perfect ending to a perfect summer day – enjoying a beautiful sunset from an Adirondack chair :-)

sunset chairs hub pages 
Image via Hub Pages

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello Summer!

Wooooohooooo! Summer has officially arrived!

summer flickr sator arepoImage via Flickr, photo by Sator Arepo

No, that isn’t me in the picture – I wish! But that’s how excited I am that summer is here :-) I love everything about summer – long sunny days, starry nights, BBQs, eating outside on the patio, biking, gardening, not having to put on a coat and toque and mitts and boots before going outside to scrape ice off the car windows… Eeek, let’s not go there!

summer-sunshine red bubble artist lucy hollisImage via RedBubble, artist Lucy Hollis

My very favourite thing about summer is spending weekends at the cottage. This past weekend was my first full weekend there, and I sucked every last minute out of it! I was outside from morning till night, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, walking the dogs, reading, washing the car… right up till my last swim of the weekend at sunset last night. Ahhhhh, good times!

The dock at the cottage…


Time to jump into the lake for a swim…

jump skaneateles suites

After we swim, we can do some kayaking…

kayaking-full1 dan 128 kayaking

Well, actually, this is more like the kind of kayaking I do, minus the awesome view!

kayak oars com

Squirt likes to swim too…

squirt jumping 2_thumb

and she follows me as I kayak around the lake…

squirt swiming

Beautiful sunny blue summer skies…

blue sky thethunderdragon

Of course, we need a pair of cool shades to protect the peepers…

sunglasses sunglasshut

And don’t forget the sunblock ;-)

sunblock superlaugh

A fuzzy beach towel to dry off with after we’re done…

towels caymanmama

After all that action, we need to eat! Ever have a BBQ in a donut? :-)

bbq donut 2 elitechoice

The BBQ-Donut was designed and developed by German inventor and entrepreneur Sebastian Schmitt. This puppy is part lounge, part table, part BBQ, and part water floatation device :-) It comes with a sound system and travels at about 2.5mph.

bbq donut 1

But if you’re a landlubber, this BBQ might be more your speed… ;-)

nascar-bbq geekalerts

Once you’ve got this Nascar BBQ fired up, why not grill up a few racks of juicy mouth-watering ribs (vegetarians, close your eyes!!)

bbq-ribs1 more cowns than people

OK, you can look again… mmmmmm, juicy succulent freshly-picked berries :-)

Fresh Berries candlefind.com

YUM!!!!!! And what’s better on a hot summer day than sipping an icy-cold strawberry daiquiri complete with fresh strawberries…

strawberrydaiquiri drinkinhabits com

The Best Strawberry Daiquiri EVER!

  • 1 can Bacardi's frozen strawberry daiquiri mix
  • 2 cups ice (crushed if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Handful washed & hulled fresh strawberries

Put first three ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Add berries and blend for a few more seconds. Pour into glass and drink!

Warning: You’ll want to lick the glass clean. Don’t be shy, go ahead and do it!!

Or maybe a glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade is just what you need to refresh you…

lemonade-main_Full i ehow com

Easy Freshly Squeezed Lemonade

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup water

Combine lemon juice and sugar in a glass till the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add water. If you add ice, reduce the water a bit to prevent the lemonade from becoming too diluted. If you like extra-tart lemonade, add more juice. Toss in a slice or two of lemon for a bit of extra flavour.

Of course, summer isn’t summer without ice cream!

How cool is this colourful SuperKid ice cream from Laura Secord?? :-)

SuperKid2 where ca

And check this out — a couple of years ago, Paul at Kitchen & Residential Design posted a recipe for making homemade ice cream in a Ziploc bag. I had to try it… and it really works!

vanillaicecreamistock z about Plastic Bag Ice Cream

  • What you'll need:
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I used icing sugar)
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt (table salt works too)
  • 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
  • Ice cubes

How to make it:

  • Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt.
  • Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  • Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal the large bag carefully.
  • Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes. (I recommend wearing over mitts to keep your hands from freezing!)
  • Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!


A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don't increase the proportions more that that.

Happy Summer!

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