In French, you don't really say, "I miss you." You say, "tu me manques," which means, "You are missing from me."

I love that.

WHAT'S A GENERATOR: Green Renovated European Hostel

In Venice, Italy a former 17th century grain warehouse has been renovated into an extraordinary European hostel.

  • Green
  • Re-use
  • High design
  • Generator, Venice is part of the prestigious, fastest-growing hostel brand in Europe

What else can anyone ask for?

Well, evidently there is alot.   

"Not only is Generator the fastest growing hostel brand in Europe with a plan to reach 12,500 beds spread across 15 properties by 2018; we are also pioneers of affordable luxury and masters of social experience. With bespoke beds for sleepy heads designed for the best night’s sleep, en-suite bathrooms with showers with super powers,  fast and free Wi-Fi throughout so you're always connected, an events program that will keep you more than entertained, combined with interior designs that rival boutique hotels and you’ll see Generator is more than a hostel, it’s an experience."

You can find Generators in some of the world’s most artistic and exciting cities like:  

Don't wait to put in your reservation at your favorite Generator;  If you do, you'll be sorry! 

Generator. More than a hostel.

Source: GeneratorHostels.Com

For more green and renovated buildings, click here, "Buildings Adaptive Re-Use"

Color Trends For 2015 - They're Hot Hot Hot! & Funfetti Biscotti Recipe

House Beautiful invited eleven top designers to share what they're seeing as the 'next big thing,' and, baby, they delivered!

Ranging from olive greens to bright patterns, enjoy the ride as we visit these entertaining color combo's.

Greek Blue is fabulous when paired with grey and pink.

Greek Blue is fabulous when paired with grey and pink. It otherwise may be overwhelming, but its stunningness is perfect in this new and fun color scheme. 

Don't let the strong, strong blue distract from the use here of olive and orange.

In the 1960's the colors olive green and orange were 'groovy,' 'outta sight,' and even 'far out, man!' 
Vogue Cover, 60's Model Twiggy
At right, look beyond an overwhelming and unyielding blue and you will see a fresh presentation of a 60's colors palette: 
  • olive green
  • orange
  • aqua blue
  • sea foam green
  • lime green

A SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL THOUGHT - Skill, Talent and Dedication


Now you look at that, and tell me it doesn't take skill and talent and dedication to make THAT sh*t happen. Horseback riding is a sport people, end of story.

Art That Modifies Human Behavior + Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bonus Recipe

What happens when we can both see and fuse with an element of beauty? Exceptional moments in time occur. 

Saying this energy is unique is an enormous understatement. There are numerous styles of art that reflect efforts to enlarge those exceptional energy opportunities, including art that modifies social behavior. This is my favorite.

The First Stencil

"Before I Die Project," by Candy Chang

Candy Chang, a Taiwanese American artist interested in relationships between public spaces and personal well being created, "Before I Die." Initially started to invite people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in a public space, Chang's "BID" has gone beyond those limitations.


Universally, stoics and other philosophers encourage regularly contemplating death as a powerful tool to restore perspective and remind us of the things that make our lives meaningful. 

Since Chang's first "BID" project, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 60 countries and 30 languages by passionate people around the world. St. Martin's Press recently published her book about the project, click here to see Candy Chang's book, "Before I Die."  For more more about the artist herself,  click here.

Candy Chang received a Masters in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a BS in Architecture and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. 

She believes public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be and have much more potential to help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.

Artist Banksy melds street-fighting passion and pacifist ardor in his image of a protester whose Molotov cocktail morphs into a bouquet of flowers. (Pixelbully/Alamy)


Banksy is a graffiti master, painter, activist, filmmaker and all purpose provocateur. His graffiti art has been inducted into

the Smithsonian

Click here to continue reading 'Art That Modifies Human Behavior + Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bonus Recipe.'

Canadian Designer Delivers Calm, Simple And, Huge Style

Canadian uber designer/entrepreneur  Deb Nelson has become a national favorite known for presentation of a clean, relaxed, modern style. Those of us south of the U.S./Canadian, 'International Boundary,' can also embrace this designer's supremely fresh look.
  • This delightful entryway could be a black and white composition but for the sisal area rug and the strong vertical floral display
  • The black ribbon tie on the roman blinds adds fun to the vignette.
  • The very simple but strong black mirror visually doubles the space of the area and fits wonderfully with the narrow table just below.

Deb Nelson overhauled a once-dingy garage area into a fresh and functional living space:
  • In the selection of a color scheme or living environment we can see Deb Nelson's look and style:  a neutral, soothing color scheme, save some royal blue toss pillows.
  • The entire space is painted white
  • A large sisal rug casually serves to hold the furniture grouping together.
  • An antique bed now hosts a tufted mattress allowing it to super-comfortably serve as a sofa by day.
  • Two subtly elegant bergere style chairs complete the vignette.
  • The black and white art, placed casually on the floor against the wall, adds visual interest to the room.
  • Seen here, a sleek, clean and minimalist style can create a sense of serenity and of calm.


In the guest bedroom, the glossy white paint used on both the floor and the vintage twin beds' head and footboards is refreshing with the heavy wood of the rafters. Deb Nelson eked out a work area in the attic's guest bedroom by tucking a table as a work space below the eaves.

In making design choices for your home:

  • In this kitchen the whitewashing of the rustic planks and beams draw your eyes up, conveying a sense of casual drama. 
  • The darker rustic farm table and simple Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs  are appealing, adding depth to the room.

  • A favorite piece of art
  • A cherished painting
  • Even a patterned area rug
Can serve as absolutely-great foundations in color scheme and design style choices. 

Designer Deb Nelson often works with neutral colors believing that they are conducive to a home of calm and balance. If this appeals to you, if you like a more clean, less cluttered, look, than this may be a good option. I recall a observant adage: 

 "Less Things, More Life."   

Note that a unique part of this approach is use the space and the naturally unique parts of a room to show through - but not necessarily take over.

Belgian Church Transformed Into Rock 'N Roll Restaurant

adaptive re-use

You will swoon over this former church now restaurant, The Jane, with its mix of textiles and re-use of space. I'm gaga over the use of light and lighting, and the now so-not-typical stained glass windows . . and as you'll see, unorthodox new treatments.

Three years ago, "Dutch design studio Piet Boon completed the transformation of the church of a former military hospital into The Jane, a gourmet destination that combines fine dining with a rock 'n roll aesthetic" (from "Yatzer." )

From the awesome exterior lighting presentation to the significant 150-lights long-spiked interior chandelier, the entire venue superbly incorporates spectacular lighting systems, each perfect for its space usage. (Credit to .PSLAB)

Light and lighting is a primary consideration in any design project including lighting provided by daylight
and/or windows. Here we can see the traditional style of Western European churches and their use of stained glass windows.

But, look closer. The Jane Restaurant has neither martyrs nor miracles of medieval saints. This adaptive re-use site hosts windows " . . . decorated with a haphazard collection of objects, animals and other shapes, ranging from eaten apple cores and penguins to gas masks and birthday cakes . . ." according to Studio Job. Going 'green,' is good, for our environment, and to shake up and modernize previously used building materials.

The preserved church of a former military hospital is now a restaurant of international allure with Michelin-Star Chef Sergio Herman at the helm. This is building re-use at its most culinary.

Where the alter used to be, the kitchen now stands; and it is encased within glass walls making the entire cooking process visible to The Jane Restaurant patrons.


If you are in Europe and near the lovely Country of Belgium or are making plans to visit it, add The Jane, in Antwerp, to your itinerary.

Let me share some secret truths about Belgium:

  1. It is a genuine paradise for gourmet lovers.
  2. Then there is the Belgium fashion and nightlife. Belgium is fast becoming THE destination in Europe for the 20-30 somethings. It seems they are flocking to cities like Brussels for stylish, inexpensive hotels, great food and a pulsating nightlife.
  3. And, now there is 'The Jane.'

Heads Up! To book a space in the Upper Room Bar, allow one month. You'll need to book a table however at least three months in advance for The Jane. Go for it! I love Belgium, it's the best of the beautiful. In French - it would be said, "Le meilleur de la belle!"

For reservations, contact@thejaneantwerp.com

Photos by Richard Powers

How To Entertain And Easy Spinach Balls Appetizer Recipe

About entertaining:  I have often thought, as I prepare the house for a party, that I am doing more than I know I am doing. Something about the laying of the tablecloths, setting out of candles, and fixing flowers in vases has a sacramental quality to it - as if I am turning a house into a tabernacle - to be filled with spirits that enlarge my own.

Here are some ideas, some secrets to entertaining well.

  • Keep your guests happy, keep them entertained
  • Use the largest space available, play music there, place your food table there and provide places for people to sit, to play games and dance! Open the curtains and the windows, weather permitting, this helps set a nice atmosphere.
  • Provide food and drink. Present it attractively - people - all people - love good food.
  • Play music.  It adds to the ambience, helps your guests get in a more relaxed, festive mood
  • Provide party games.  If you don't have your own, buy or borrow (or google search) for fun games. Keep them simple. The simpler the party game is, the easier it is for your guests to get enthusiastic - and, competitive.
  • Introduce your friends to one another.  If it's a large crowd, consider name tags.
  • Talk to everyone. Thank them when they arrive; pay a few minutes of personal attention to each and every guest. If there are too many people, then talk to groups.
  • Consider a theme for your event. "Hippy Generation: Peace, Love and Flower People" is easy and fun.  Vintage-era themes like, "Gangsters And Flappers," aka, "Speakeasys," also work well. Or, opt for a particular piece of clothing to serve as your theme, like a hat.  Make it as silly or as strange as you like. Click here for a fabulous link of party theme ideas.  
  • Remember, you can lessen your own load by making it a "Pot Luck," or another version is a "Pie Party" (each person brings a Meat Pie, Vegetable Pie or a Dessert type pie - quiche also works here).

Spinach Balls Appetizer Recipe By The Kitchen Is My Playground Bonus Recipe


2 10-oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
2 small onions, very finely chopped (I use a food processor)
2-1/4 cup stuffing with herbs (I use Pepperidge Farm)
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Form into about 1" balls; place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes approximately 60 balls.
Notes:  Spinach balls may be frozen, either baked or unbaked.  (I always freeze mine pre-baked.)  For pre-baked balls:  remove from freezer about 30 minutes prior to reheating.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  For unbaked balls:  remove from freezer 30 minutes before cooking. Bake as directed (350 degrees for 20 minutes).

Enjoy!  Spinach Balls Appetizer Recipe is from The Kitchen Is My Playground, with Tracey Harrelson.

Click Here For More Something Beautiful Journal Bonus Recipes:

Designer Shares Propitious Kershisnik Art Collection Info And Caramel Cheesecake Bites Bonus Recipe

In developing a collection of art, it can be an overwhelming undertaking.  Moreover, decorating with a rich palette is highly appealing. But so often, unfortunately, exorbitantly expensive.

Then there's this artist from Kanosh, Utah . . . and this guy is hot, and only getting hotter.

Let me tell you Darlin,' Brian Kershisnik's stuff is an astounding investment.

Not only does his work sell out quickly, which can make it 'hard to get,' but check this out! Brian Kershisnik's original art sells for $50,000 to $100,000! Now you (and I!) can revel in the magic of his art, in your very own living room! A very limited edition quantity of signed and numbered giclee Kershisnik prints are available. These signed Kershisnik prints are beautiful, but, moreover, they are affordable. Read on.

His work sells quickly which makes it 'hard to get'. But, check this out!  You can have this, you can have Brian Kershisnik's magical art that sells for $50,000 to $100,000 - in your home - in limited edition, signed and numbered giclee Kershisnik prints. Read on.

I just got word today that the giclee print, "She Will Find What Is Lost," is close to selling out!

"She Will Find What Is Lost" (Below)

AND . . . check out this other very relevant tidbit for the savvy art collector: the original oil painting of "She Will Find That Which Is Lost," just sold today, April 18, 2014, for $82,800 from the Park City Meyer Gallery.  (Click here to see the actual Gallery listing).

Yes, Brian Kershisnik's originals sell. And for some hefty amounts.

His signed and numbered prints are high on appeal, but at a lesser cost. To see this piece as a limited edition, signed and numbered giclee print - which you now know, is close to selling out - click here. 

Click to see more about this valuable art article and to see the delicious Carmel Cheesecake Bites Bonus Recipe.