Monday, June 27, 2011

Where to Start!?!

So many times I am asked where do I start on a decorating project.  Let me tell you that I really do not like starting with a blank room.  I know, that doesn't sound like what you would think a designer would say but that is the way I feel.  I remember once when a client was tyring to hire me to do a job but she could not tell me one thing she wanted.  Everything I showed her she liked with no preference for one over the other.  She had nothing she wanted to start with.  Granted it was very early in my career but I did not end up doing the job because we could not land on a starting point.  Now after 20 + years in the business I know I would handle it differently but still want to have some staring point.  The starting point can be one of many things:  a sofa you need to keep, a painting you love, a color you are 'hungry' for, a photo of a room from a magazine, a throw pillow, a rug, etc, etc etc.  When you have a starting point you can get direction.  Remember it is easier to pick a fabric first because paint colors are infinite.  Do not feel 'locked in' to a color palette because of a few inexpensive decorative items you may have . ( pillows, throws, vases).  It is only when there is an expensive item that you MUST keep that you have to stay with certain color palettes.  I would rather have someone wait a little while to start a job in order to do what they really want to do than compromise. So now, go to that room you are thinking about doing and see what you really want to keep and what you can get rid of. (to kids, friends, Salvation Army, garage sale, etc) then GET STARTED!  That is the hardest part of any job.  Take that first step and the others will follow quickly!!  Have fun and enjoy the process!!  Get help if you need it.  I know you are going to Loooooove your new room!!!  hugs, ele

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back from Nicaragua

We have just come back from teaching Pioneer Evangelism in La Mia, Nicaragua.  What a blessing.  God is really working among His people there.  The people have so little materially but are rich spiritually.  Since I haven't had time to recoup and think about things here, I will share a few pics of these sweet people.

Have a good Monday,  ele

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fridays Favorite - a New Paint Product

1st mistake color -Behr demure pink- nice but not right
 Today I want to share with you something I have discovered that I do love.  It is BEHR paint that has primer built into it.  WALLA!!!!!  No need to prime so it covers so much better with less paint.  I just painted a bedroom (that was being used as a storage room until my married kids shamed me into making it a bedroom) in a beautiful color of peach - Behr Demure Pink.  It was very pretty but this designer does sometimes make mistakes in haste and especially on my own house.  The color was so pretty and soft but just not what I wanted.  I was in a hurry for company that was coming and I just picked something random with out thinking it through in order to have a freshly painted room for company.  Now (a week later) I have had it repainted to a color from Sherwin Williams, (Rainwashed)  but mixed into this new Behr paint at Home Depot.  Now it is sooo restful.  Sometimes starting with a totally blank page in a room (see pic below) is harder to do because you don't have any starting points. (another post coming about that later) .  I will keep you informed on the progress of this little room.  It is tiny 10x12.  Just large enough for a queen bed and 2 tiny nightstands.  But tiny does not mean it cannot be PRETTY!!!!!Stay in touch to see how this tiny room develops.  I will be away from the computer for a few days as I am going where there is no internet.  Talk to you next week!  ele
p.s. Please be patient with my photography as I am still learning to use my new camera and don't have the lighting down obviously!

New paint the right color

icky old builder white dirty walls

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New - Stretched Canvas Photos

Wheelehouse Cottage HHI
I have added a new category to my blog.  It is a photography page.  All the photos that will be posted can be purchased as High Resolution stretched canvases.  I will be posting many more so be sure and follow by email and check Like on my FB page for  Ellen Ellis Designs to see the latest. 

Harbor, Barcelona, Spain

Friday, June 3, 2011

Favorite Asparagus Summer Salad

This is what the finished salad look like.  Pretty!
 I have promised many of you that I would post this recipe.  Sorry it has taken so long but with all the graduation, grand baby ( she is so precious!) , and Memorial activities this past week I just couldn't get to the computer.  This is my favorite summer salad but I use the work MY loosely as this is really Giada's recipe ( you know the bombshell Italian girl on the food channel).  It is no secret that I have never really been fond of cooking.  That does not mean I do not cook.  Let's just say in the past I just have not been all that creative in the kitchen.  that all change about 2 years ago when I was home bound most of one winter with a mysterious stomach illness.  Now I realize that most people who have an upset stomach DO NOT watch cooking shows but for some reason that is when I discovered the cooking channel.  WHO KNEW??!! Wow, as fabulous a cook as my mother was, I then realized she did most (read that ALL) of the cooking and we kids did the clean up.  Not a half bad plan and one I followed suit on.  But now I was discovering new ways of cooking and techniques that I never had even heard of.  I have found that Giada from Everyday Italian is my favorite.  Her recipes are always pretty easy and very savory.  Soooo, being the highly suggestible food person that I am, (meaning if somebody talks about it I have to have it!) I began to recreate from what I was watching.  My cooking has become so much more pleasant and creative.  Now I still can't tell you that I cook 6 nights a week, or 5, or 4, but maybe 3.  But when I do cook now I really want something good.  So if you are like me and lacking in the imagination in the cooking department, then you might try watching the cooking channel too.  Food TV has a website that lists all the recipes that are on the shows daily.  So you don't have to write fast wile watching, you can just go to that episode and print out the recipe.  So, all that being said I am sharing with you this 'lick the plate clean'  asparagus salad recipe.  Sorry it didn't get here in time for the holiday but maybe for JULY 4TH!!!

Enjoy every bite!   ele        Pics and directions below!

Start with a package of prosciutto.  I get mine at Costco.

Put enough slices to cover a 10 x 14 jelly roll pan covered with parchment paper

Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes till crisp.

crumble and set aside as this goes on last

Broil a large bunch of fresh asparagus on the baking sheet.  Drizzle it with olive oil and sea salt and broil for 8 minutes.

Cit a cantaloupe in thin slices. (taste to see if it is a good one, if not throw it out!)

Make close together cuts so that when you run your knife underneath you get very small squares of melon.

You should have a lot of small squares.

Cut up a ball or loaf of fresh Mozzarella cheese. ( again I get at Costco)  Squares should be about same size as melon.

Mix the juice of  2 lemons with about the same amount of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Whisk together.

Then just start layering.  Get a pretty platter and spread out asparagus.  Then mix the melon and cheese together and spread out on asparagus.  Then pour the lemon vinaigrette over it all and put crumbled prosciutto on top!  You will not believe the flavors!  Sweet with savory and creamy!! Fabulous!!!!


1 bundle of fresh asparagus
6-8 slices presciutto
1 cantelope
1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
2 lemons
3 TBS of oilive oil
salt and pepper