the city I once lived in...

Located in the Saguaro Forest in Phoenix Arizona.

Designed by architect David Hovey and developed by Optima, this home (as well as the many others developed by Hovey) are some of the most amazing low lying, mountain perched, raw material, surround engulfing structures I have ever laid eyes on.

That was a mouthful.

Fortunately I have been able to view some of Hoveys work up close, but unfortunately I am not the most articulate of architectural critics.
However, I will say that I truly appreciate the way Hovey makes such a beautiful connection between the outside and the inside of a structure. The broad expanses of glass and methodically placed fenestration make you feel like you are outdoors when you are really not at all…

And the raised dining area on this building is so incredible to me.

I have learned that the desert can at first appear lifeless, but produces some of the most vibrant colours in its sunsets, and holds a unique and special feeling when you are open to discovering it…

….So much more than the cowboys and beans and toast than I imagined before I did a bit of living there.

I am so inspired and excited by the way Hovey respects and works with the land on which he develops, instead of just placing a mass of building materials on a beautiful piece of land.

On rainy days like today, I take a moment to remember my desert filled life and my beautiful friends that I have left behind, but will always keep with me.

Oh, and suggest that you consider a warm sunny holiday there!
(images via optima)

farm in the city.

On my wish list, and my favourite 'china cabinet' of all time.
Of course, it's more fantastic work from Skujeniece.
(images via skujeniece)


Villa Malla.

Foto: Joacim Jørgensen

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling and working with talented stylist Susanne Swegen out on location. We drove out to a lovely old lighthouse property that has been refurbished into a beach and restaurant - Villa Malla. It is located on the Hurum peninsula near the Oslo Fjord, one hour outside of Oslo by car and 30 -40 minutes by boat.

This week we will return again to get a 'summer feeling' even if it is nearing below 0 degrees outside….
Perhaps we will bring our winter hats and enjoy a cold drink on the beach beneath the palm trees… but more likely it will be a warm Chai tea by the open fire place in the dining room.
Wonderful either way!
(photos via dagsavisen, heli wing)

fall work.

I have been working away at a good friends ceramic studio, spending time with tea, wonderful music and great conversation. I will be showing some new deigns at the Julemarked here in Oslo this December, and thought I would share some of the things that I am working on….

So as the fall settles in, you will find me in my spare time sitting with fabrics and beads and supplies that I have been collecting on trips all over the globe... and my good friend Silje will stand and pour moulds and mix porcelain and fire a wonderful array of beautifully crafted ceramics.
Best part is… there is a band that rehearses on the floor below, so we have live entertainment as well!

Should you want to have a look at Silje's work before the market, you can do so by clicking and looking here.

Photography: Annette Ørvelid


James Perse.

Black and White from the Limited Edition collection - James Perse Los Angeles.
(images via james perse)



Skujeniece is a design company out of the Netherlands, run by lead designer Mara Skujeniece (who is not only a designer but a teacher at Design Academy Eindhoven). Furniture and housewares are the focus…. and these vase forms are special in a way I have never seen before. The moulds are cast from large spools of thread, and have a handcrafted and "country in the city" feel. Available in stores and online here.

(images via skujeniece)


Charlotte Perriand.

This is the last month of the exhibit at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich on the life's work of interior architect and designer Charlotte Perriand.
The exhibit, entitled 'Charlotte Perriand: designer, photographer, activist', outlines not only Perriands work with photography and influential furniture design, but her commitment to improving social conditions through her career.

If you are not anywhere near Switzerland, you can check out some images form the exhibit, and some text regarding her life and work on de zeen, the design magazines website.
Certainly an iconic designer… and an inspiration.
(images from dezeen)


October Recipe.

Chocolate Dipped Lemon Sugar Cookies.

Note: These sugar cookies are excellent for forming shapes of all kinds. The trick is to chill the dough before cutting shapes, and then chill again before baking. Imprint with antique stanps and dip in chocolate for a more sophisticated biscuit, or decorated with icing in every colour imaginable. For iced cookies, substitute vanilla for the lemon juice in this recipe, and omit the zest if you wish.

You will need:

250 g flour

1 g (1/4 tsp.) finely ground sea salt

3 g (1/2 tsp.) baking powder

115 g butter

200 g granulated sugar

1 large organic egg

5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice

Zest of 1 large organic lemon

1 Milk chocolate bar


Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.

In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter until fluffy.

Beat in eggs.

Add flour mixture and stir on low speed until combined.

Mix in lemon juice and lemon zest.

Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to and cut into desired shapes.

Place on baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes more.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 165 degrees until just before edges begin to brown.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate on low heat until smooth.

Dip cooled cookies into melted chocolate and set aside until chocolate is firm.

Makes 2 dozen medium sized cookies.

Food and Styling: Tara Ballantyne

Photography: Birgit Fauske

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