Anh-Minh

Petra Börner

by Anh-Minh on October 9, 2014

pborner_autumnredI was in London last week, which explains why I’ve had UK-based designers and artists on my brain lately—including Petra Börner. Currently based in London, Börner hails from Sweden. And I think you can really see a Scandinavian influence in her beautiful illustrations. I love her bold and graphic interpretation of nature-inspired imagery.

In addition to prints—the above is entitled Autumn Red—Börner offers notebooks, textiles, and other paper goods in her online shop. I might have to pick up a copy of her sketchbook for myself (it includes 18 illustrations from her sketchbook), as well as a couple of coloring books as holiday gifts (yes, December will be here before we know it!).

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{ All images from Petra Börner }

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Shilo Engelbrecht

by Anh-Minh on October 3, 2014

sengelbrecht1Australia-raised artist Shilo Engelbrecht currently works out a studio in Cambridge, U.K., where she creates oil paintings that are later digitally printed on home textiles such as tablecloths, napkins, and pillows. I love the vibrancy and sense of movement that her pieces exude.

The hand-finished housewares are available in limited editions as part of her Älv line. You can even purchase her fabrics by the meter for interior projects like upholstery and drapes. Engelbrecht also does custom work, so you can have her textiles made in whatever color you desire.

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{ All photos via Shilo Engelbrecht }

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zoebradley1Earlier this week, you may have seen the work of Zoe Bradley on our Instagram account. Liberty of London currently has a beautiful installation featuring the paper sculptor’s floral creations. Above and directly below are two images of Bradley’s “Flowers of Liberty” exhibit.

Of course, I was intrigued after seeing the Liberty pieces and had to find out more about Bradley, who has been sculpting in paper for nine years now. It all started with a hand-pleated paper dress she made for designer Michiko Koshino. Bradley’s own skills as a fashion designer come through in her current works—as she folds, cuts, and stitches paper. (I’m looking forward to the launch of her online shop, so I can hopefully bring one of her beautiful sculptures into my own home.)

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{ All images via  Zoe Bradley Design }

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mussels09We finally got some much-needed rain in the Bay Area this week! And around the same time, Melina Hammer‘s latest recipe arrived in my inbox—and it’s a dish that seems perfectly suited for the fall season and the cooler weather that comes with it.

Saffron, Smoked Paprika, and Heirloom Tomato Mussels

I am the kind of girl who is lucky enough to have friends who, at the center of what they do, are largely focused on the world of food. Friends who devote the core of their beings to pastry, to spirits, to fish and seafood, and so on. As you might imagine, time spent with each brings the experience to new heights, flavors, and understandings!

My seafood expert friend is Jon Rowley. A former fisherman, he’s been eating (and writing about) every kind of oyster, mussel, and salmon worth laying hands on, and he recently sent me a haul of overnight-shipped mussels, plump from the waters of Puget Sound.

If you’re anywhere near Seattle, I highly recommend Taylor Shellfish for their superior, always-fresh and delicious products. Thank you—Jon and Bill Taylor—for spoiling me, for educating me on the clues and cues as to what to look for in good fish and seafood, and helping make the meals prepared with your vittles just so tasty.

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INGREDIENTS

  • good olive oil
  • pastured butter
  • 3 medium (or 2 large) heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3-5 shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 3-5 garlic cloves (as you like), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 lbs mussels, scrubbed under cold water and beards removed
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • baguettes or other crusty bread, for serving
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1. Under cold running water, rinse mussels in a colander, scrubbing with a nylon or other stiff bristled brush to free up any debris clinging to their shells. Pulling towards the hinged end, remove the beards. Should you have difficulty in removing the beards with your fingers, secure the end with a set of pliers, encircle once, and gently pull down to remove. Drape a moist, cool tea towel over the mussels as you move to the next step.

2. In a small bowl, steep the saffron threads in the sherry for at least 10 minutes, and set aside.

3. Melt a tablespoon or so of butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Once melted, add a small glug of olive oil. Stirring occasionally, sauté the shallots until they become translucent. Add in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, stirring so it doesn’t burn.

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4. Add the tomatoes, smoked paprika, and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, and cook until their flesh begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the sherry and saffron mixture, and heat until bubbling. Lower heat just slightly and continue to cook, bringing together the flavors.

5. Empty the mussels into the broth, keeping them in a single layer if at all possible. Cover tightly with a lid and cook for 5 minutes or until their shells have opened. Here, Jon would say it is a fallacy to discard shells which do not open. If you have a relationship with your fishmonger (and therefore an understanding to the source and freshness of your mussels), then you know yours are as fresh as they get. Their passing wasn’t long ago enough to be worrisome; I have eaten plenty of mussels whose shells remained closed and lived to tell about it …

6. Lift the lid from the pan and scatter the parsley. Make any seasoning adjustments, a little more salt or pepper to your taste, and serve into bowls with the juices immediately. Have fresh baguette or other crusty bread at the table to sop up the juices, and a large bowl for emptied shells.

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If you want to read more about Jon, the Seattle Times did a great write-up on him. (He’s also the founder of the annual Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition.)

{ Text, Recipes & Photographs by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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Onefortythree

by Anh-Minh on September 24, 2014

onefortythree_industrialI recently visited a friend who bought her first apartment last year, and she has been slowly decorating it ever since. When I saw her bedroom, I had to ask about the sconces flanking the bed; they were from Onefortythree. As soon as I got back to my computer, I started clicking around the site and found the perfect sconce for my home office. I had a very specific list of requirements and had been searching for quite some time, so I was thrilled. (I can’t believe I hadn’t come across Onefortythree sooner!)

Onefortythree started out as a blog by Logan and his wife Roxy. In the process of furnishing their own house (the street number = 143), he was making a bunch of cool stuff and documenting them online. That eventually led to an e-store with his handcrafted designs. In addition to lighting, he fabricates chairs and small-scale storage—all fairly simple and exhibiting clean lines that would work well in pretty much any interior. The pieces are made to order, so there may not be instant gratification, but it’s worth the wait.

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{ All images from Onefortythree }

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