Everyone is attracted to gemstones. Crystals, stones and talismans have fascinated mankind for centuries. They have been used as ornamentation and as symbols of wealth and power for thousands of years. Such crystals were valued for more than their beauty- they each had a sacred meaning. In ancient cultures their healing properties were as important as their ability to adorn.
Ancient Egyptians placed a mystical value on crystals and chose stones carefully for various properties of protection or healing both in life and the afterlife. Healing stones and protective amulets were part of their daily lives.
Crystals have been found in ancient graves, indicating that ancient man placed a special significance on them. It is believed that these crystals would insure safe passage into the next world. In ancient Greece, hematite was used as protection for soldiers in battle.
Fast forward to the Victorian days, when the men of means wore pocket watches with fobs attached, with carefully chosen jewels such as citrine for its properties to gain & maintain wealth, amethyst for its healing calming properties, and tigers eye or onyx for their protective properties.
Which brings us to today, where jewels for the home are increasingly sought after in stylish homes. We adorn our homes in jewels by way of light fixtures (see rock crystal chandelier and amethyst lamps), or other creative bejeweled accessories. Some people still believe in the properties of various stones and crystals, while others just appreciate the sparkle and comfort that the jewels bring to their rooms.
If you are in search of any particular gemstones, minerals or fossils for decorative purposes and I can be of any assistance let me know. We custom design lamps and accessories around the gemstone treasures.
Wall mount options for one of my favorite devices! The clever iDock essentially envelops the iPad within the casing and comes with built in power as well composite audio connections. The iDock has been designed to be multi-functional, as this unique system provides the users with the ability to charge their ipad and even use their tablet as a fingerprint security device; is ideal for various high end environments such as hotels, hospitals, homes, yachts etc. Want one? Visit http://www.ipad-dock.at/
OR… for you culinistas out there, the FridgePad, selling at $49.99, requiring no installation:
This magnetic device requires no installation & keeps the ipad free of cooking ingredients. What do you think?
An interesting excerpt from ALuxuryTravelBlog.com. In our uncertain world, do these trends represent value shifts, and are people now opting for quality over quantity at home as well?
The future of luxury travel
Some rising trends identified:
• more privacy / less ostentation
• culturally enriching destinations
• off-the-beaten-track destinations
• open-range excursions
• simplicity and seamless service
• destinations appealing to the environmentally concerned
A rising number of exclusive property owners offer private luxury with the services of a five star hotel, but in a culturally authentic locale; an exciting emergence in the industry for those who love the attention and convenience of upscale hotels, but long for the privacy and seclusion of the private villa away from the crowds. Why stay in a hotel when you can have top quality luxury and services in a genuine setting without sharing your space with additional guests and staff?
Some corporate hotels have tapped into this concept with so-called private villas on the grounds of a resort, but these too can feel formulaic, impersonal and unauthentic to the discerning luxury traveler. The future of luxury travel may lie in independent, privately owned homes located off the beaten track, where visitors enjoy the unique feeling of being well positioned locals with inside access.
Grand Marnier Soufflé soufflé, whose name derives from the French
verb “to blow,” is an airy concoction leavened by beaten egg whites and oven
heat. Soufflés should be served directly from the oven, before they have any
chance to deflate. The soufflé dish, a ceramic dish with tall, straight
sides, is usually greased and then dusted with sugar (or, for savory
soufflés, bread crumbs) to help the batter “climb” the sides of the dish.
For the pastry cream: 1 cup milk
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Crème anglaise for serving
To make the pastry cream, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until
small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the flour,
orange zest and salt until pale and well blended. While whisking, slowly add
the hot milk.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook,
whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook,
whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the
liqueur and vanilla.
Pour the pastry cream into a large bowl and gently press a piece of plastic
wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room
temperature or refrigerate until ready to bake.
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 6-cup soufflé dish and dust with
Remove the plastic wrap from the pastry cream and whisk until smooth. In a
deep, spotlessly clean bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on
medium-high speed until they are foamy and soft peaks form when the beaters are
lifted. While beating, gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue
to beat until stiff peaks form. Scoop about one-fourth of the egg whites onto
the pastry cream and, using a rubber spatula, fold in gently to lighten the
mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites just until no white streaks remain.
Scoop into the prepared dish. Run a thumb around the inside rim of the dish to
keep the batter from sticking and help the soufflé rise.
Bake until the soufflé is puffed and the top is browned, but the soufflé
still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 30 minutes. Serve
immediately with the crème anglaise. Serves 6 to 8.
What Inspires you? Interior Design is what I do for a living, and how fortunate I am to love what I do. I find inspiration daily all around me, which I will be sharing with you in this blog. Here are a few things that inspire me:
color, proprtion, style, great textures…
comfortable chairs, high ceilings, soft rugs underfoot, fabulous kitchens…
humor, insights, continual learning, great books, thought provoking quotes…
artistic talent of others, developing my own artistic talents, creating….