So you’re back from the beach and have a huge shell collection. Now, what do you do with all those shells?
I love shells but I no longer have room to just store them. Plus, I’d like to look at them and enjoy them. Here’s a crafty way to make decorative use of them and bring the beach back with you.
This is my shell collection from last year. I assembled them in piles by type and they took up the entire dining room table.
I saved all the small and various size scallop shells in the far left corner to make this decorative shell-ball accessory that can act as a paper weight but more importantly, I just like to look at it.
I then bought a small styrofoam flat wreath and started hot-glue-gun gluing the remaining shells onto it in a way that was visually appealing and allowed the more prominent and different kinds of shells to be seen and highlighted. I have this on my door now and it reminds me of fond memories of the beach even when I’m not there.
You can even create air plants that look like jelly fish with dome-shape, top-shells. They house the air plants that you just mist to keep alive.
Other ways to bottle that serene beach feeling and keep it going throughout the year are keeping your photos up front and center by putting them onto a digital photo frame so they can rotate and you can continue to see them daily.
Early morning kayaking with still, still water with one seagull also enjoying the solitude.
Fishing — for ducks?
You can also turn some of your favorite photos into artwork via apps on your phone or your computer. This Prisma phone app turned a great kayak photo into something truly artworthy and frameable.
As an illustration
Or a painting
When things get busy this fall, recall the peace and the calm of the beach and you’ll find some meditative power to refresh your energy.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition that something homemade can be luxurious but I’ve recently experienced the luxury of homemade and there’s an art to making it work. The “homemade” I’m meaning is the essence of making one feel at home and making something from scratch — not mass produced. This post is timed with the appreciation of this upcoming Mother’s Day when mothers’ “homemade” talents are nationally celebrated.
Rose’s Luxury is well known restaurant in DC where it’s expected to wait in line. It’s where my friend Patsie wanted to celebrate her birthday. Our ELDC group decided to make it happen. We took an Uber ride from Alexandria into the city. We weren’t anticipating a Cap’s game; otherwise, we would have been there 30 minutes earlier than 5pm. It didn’t really matter because the line would have still been there. As it turned out we only waited about 20 minutes when the hostess came out to ask which seating those in line wanted. We chose the earlier seating @ 6:00 pm.
Front of Rose’s Luxury. Photo credit by Alice Wang
The restaurant is located near the Naval Barracks on 8th Street, SE, near my old haunting ground while living in DC, right up the street, so many years ago. It’s actually located near where the former Homebody store was and where I had staged a photo shoot of my Peacock Damask reusable wallcovering. This is a unique home store that has moved just around the corner. Rose’s entrance is unassuming and reminds me of someone’s home. Seeing inside further confirmed this notion and surprisingly made me think of the Georgetown townhouse where I first lived when moving to DC. The ambience has the perfect combination between being welcoming and magical. It also seems to bring that magical feeling of eating outdoors while being in the comfort of dining inside — without worrying about weather.
Roses exterior front. Photo credit Ahmad Ibrahim
While eating downstairs, you’re under a ceiling of skylights, letting the sun and sky shine through with natural lighting. I’ll have to go back for the later seating to see the evening stars. Outdoor patio lights are strung overhead. Upstairs has an enclosed front dining room with a bar area that seems dark in comparison — except from the front windows & bright overhead bar lights. There is an intimate “back porch” area for private dinners. What’s noticeable about the downstairs dining is it appears as if it might have been a side alley that was enclosed. Part of an exterior brick wall and possible door opening remains by the wide-open kitchen.
Rose’s Luxury downstairs with kitchen via DC Dining
Entrance. Photo credit Michel Thouati
view from our table downstairs. Photo credit via thestreet.com
Regrettably the website doesn’t really have a full menu, perhaps because it changes so often. I can’t exactly remember what I had over a month ago — it was the week before a fabulous week to remember — but I remember I had these dishes below and they were delicious, as was everything, even the cocktails.
FOIE GRAS TART W/ HAZELNUT, WHITE CHOCOLATE & ASIAN PEAR
EGG YOLK & RICOTTA RAVIOLO W/ SPRING ONION & PEAS
This dish looks below familiar because it was ordered by someone else in my group and passed around to share. All the dishes were meant to share.
Rose’s Dish. Photo credit via Curt Barnard
Tom Sietsema, the Washington Post food critic’s, recent review in the Spring Dining Guide knocks down his first rating by 1/2 star but still excellent, if not a little over salty. Fortunately, his descriptions of his most recent meal compare with mine and with what I had above along with the Rose’s Signature Cocktail with gin, lavender and lemon – delicious, simple, refined and balanced.
What’s so impressive to me about Rose’s Luxury is the experience is not only eating exceptional food but enjoying the company of your friends as if it was in your own home, without you having to do any of the work, or more importantly, the cleanup.
I was inspired when I read recently in the Washington Post a reader’s question about where could one linger for dinner in DC on a similar scale to The Inn at Little Washington for under $300 / person? Well, Rose’s isn’t this expensive or this high-end but it reminds of the top-notch dinner one would remember with friends while eating gourmet food but without being ostentatious.
The answer was Kinship, which happens to be Eric Ziebold’s restaurant — the lower end version of Metier, where we were lucky enough to eat with friends — as their guests.
We’re looking forward to having our own friends over soon to leisurely spend time enjoying fresh food without rushing or worrying about it being too complicated.
We’ll be using lettuce from our rooftop garden for homemade Caprese salad – simple, tasty, fresh and uncomplicated.
Homemade Caprese salad with fresh home-grown basil, bibb and arugula lettuce
Happy Mother’s Day and hope you receive a homemade experience with a meal and maybe a rose or two.