Thursday, February 7, 2013

DesignEras 1837 - WWII

Let me start off this week by saying if you are one of those people that likes to brag about not having had the flu this season or that you will not be getting it... Stop Right Now. The Flu God does not look kindly on this behavior and will force you into submission changing you into a whimpering child in a matter of hours. As I laid in bed last week wondering who would was going to finish my Blog I had a brush with reality. I realized that being a one man show is not always what it is cracked up to be; however, not having to call in to someone and explain that you are sick is somewhat refreshing. That is the call that everyone hates to make and when you finally dial the phone you are then insulted with the standard "You'll need a doctor's note when you return" totally adding a little insult to your injury.  So here is my Doctor's note for last week written by me to me .... I WAS SICK!

Well now that last weeks absence has been clarified lets get back to figuring out our vintage styles. Like I mentioned in the last posting your style is a matter of personal taste and not the taste and trends of others. Whether its crisp clean lines, curves and swirls or the bare minimum it can all be reflected in carefully chosen vintage pieces. Here is a rundown of the many popular styles of the past and a brief description of each that are available to the thrifty vintage shopper.


Style Time Line - June 20, 1837 through January 22, 1901 (the reign of British Queen Victoria)

This style featured ornateness within the home while rooms were neatly divided into public and private spaces. The most important room being the Parlor with the dining room being the second most important space. Wallpaper was made in elaborate floral patterns with primary colors as the backgrounds. To have a room that was undecorated and bare was thought to be in bad taste.


Style Time Line - 1890 through 1910

The word " Art Nouveau" is a French term meaning New Art. This era was especially important to decorative arts. Homeowners changed interiors from the proper feel of Victorian to a much more relaxed and tranquil design aesthetic. Art Nouveau is characterized by an organic feel where the design mimics the natural growth in nature.

Outside the home two-dimensional Art Nouveau pieces were painted, drawn, and printed in popular forms such as advertising, posters, labels and magazines. The influences of Art Nouveau can also be found in industry and public works. Check out the entrances to the subway the next time you are in Paris and your will find the perfect example of Art Nouveau!

EDWARDIAN ERA (Gilded Age) : 

Style Time Line - 1890 through 1910 

The death of British Queen Victoria ended the Victorian Style Era as her successor and son took to the thrown. With the Victorian era lasting the better part of a century the Edwardian era was an exciting and much welcomed change. Although still formal Edwardian Style was relaxed in comparison to its predecessor ushering in a new fresh and light feeling. Somewhat informal and feminine, this era introduced bamboo and wicker furniture into the living space along with pastel colors and floral patterns. Although Edward's reign was short with his passing in 1910 this style era is said to have extended through the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.


Style Time Line - 1920 through Post WWII 

The Art Deco period combined the soft organic lines of the Art Nouveau period with the sharpness found in industrial boom. Although it appeared in the early 1920's in France it did not flourish in the international market until the 1930's. This style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.

During the 1930's the Art Deco style was used in many public works projects ranging from train stations, bridges and public institutions. The streamline aesthetic was influenced by the modern age of aerodynamics which had resulted from the industrial boom in the aviation and automobile industries.  This era holds some of my personal favorite pieces and is definitely an aesthetic that I find attractive in homes and public spaces.

Although there are many more eras to cover this is a good stopping point for this week. Get on Google or Pinterest and conduct your style search of the eras mentioned above. You may be surprised the next time you are out and about how each era has influenced the world around us. Look for those details in architecture and interiors of public spaces that have been influenced by the past and have gone unnoticed to your eyes before. Happy hunting!

Next Week ...

DesignEras WWII - Present  

Arts and Crafts
Mid Century Modern
Hollywood Regency 


Take Out At Home!

Every culture's cuisine has it's own version of dumplings ranging from doughy balls to stuffed purses of tantalizing goodness. I have to admit that my favorite part of Asian fare is the appetizer section of the menu and a perfect potsticker accompanied with a sweet and spicy sauce will grab my attention every time. I have tried to duplicate these tasty morsels on numerous occasions but have always fell short leaving me disappointed and heading to a nearby restaurant to get my fix. Through the power of Pinterest I no longer have to worry about this disappointment since I have found a flavorful make at home version of these gems. The best part is they are easy and it makes a big batch that you can freeze for later cravings. So here it is your family and friends will be amazed at your culinary skills.

1 cup finely shredded bok choy or napa cabbage (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. lean ground pork
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 pkg. wonton or gyoza wrappers, thawed if frozen
canola oil
chicken or veggie stock, or water

If you’re using it, toss the cabbage with salt in a medium bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Pick it up in your hand and squeeze out the excess liquid, draining it as well as you can. ( I skip this since I do not put cabbage in mine)

Mix the pork, green onions, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and cabbage (if you are using it) mix it all up with your hands.

To fill wontons, place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each wrapper; moisten the edges with water (just use your finger) and fold over, pressing the edge tightly to seal.

Place seam side up on a cookie sheet, pressing lightly to flatten the bottom. Cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

(Dumplings can be prepared up to this point, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen.)

When you’re ready to cook the potstickers, heat a drizzle of canola oil in a largeish skillet set over medium-high heat.

Place half the dumplings at a time in the skillet and cook for a minute or two, until deep golden brown on the bottom, shaking the pan a few times to keep them from sticking. Don’t crowd the pan too much.

Pour about 1/4 cup stock or water into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes – this will allow them to steam, cooking them through.

When it comes to a dipping sauce make your life easy and buy a bottle of good sauce at the market!  

Makes 2 – 3 dozen potstickers.

The Pinterest Pin to the recipe



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