Getting Blocky With It {Study of Contrast}

When the boyfriend is away, the blocks will play--while he is soaking up the sun and shore of Rio de Janeiro I get free reign over the kitchen table. Which means that some boring cotton fabric was given a new life over the weekend and my hands have been left in need of an intensive manicure. You see, when it comes to "handcrafted" textiles I pretty much take the most labor intensive approach and  hand paint (with a stencil brush) every single block I carved before pressing them in to the fabric. Although very cathartic, this is not the approach that leaves ones hands paint free--a labor of love, I suppose!
But all the paint built up under my nails is well worth the  joy I feel admiring the tablecloth that is now draping my kitchen table...at least until the next project takes place. 


{adventures on the block} getting inky

While the frequency of my posts has diminished here on delight by design, my love for design certainly has not wained. In the past few months that passion has transitioned into the role of a creator versus an observer. I have spent my evenings sketching textile designs, testing fabric paints, carving blocks and learning how to use a sewing machine. I have certainly had some disasters along the way, which is the best possible way to learn. You can see the progression on my Instagram feed - @blairfriedeman. A few weeks ago everything clicked and I finally found a fabric, selection of prints and paint color that I loved. Now I bring my creations to you in the form of table linens and I am dying to know what you think...


Tally + Her Textiles

A couple of weeks ago I pulled out a set of newly carved block print stamps and a large piece of painter's drop cloth with no real output in mind, other than to test out new pattern placements, and perhaps end up with a couple dish towels. However, it quickly became clear that my dog wanted the newly printed fabric for her own. Every step of the way she observed my progress -- pacing back and forth along side me with each block I pressed in to the cloth and carefully watching over as the paint dried. I knew what I had to do--put my new sewing skills to use and make this fabric the cover for her new dog bed...

I would love to know what you think! And a very happy Labor Day weekend to you all.


All Boarded Up!

I make a mess in the kitchen, which I partially blame on the need to use ever possible gadget and vessel possible to make a meal. My favorite part of culinary prep is chopping--making a cutting board essential, no matter the meal. Unlocking the aroma of rosemary and seeing springs of deep green flutter across the cutting board - now that is romance, culinary romance! And these stunning boards bring it to a whole new level...

1. Jacob May Heirloom Cutting Board in black walnut | 2. Thirstystone | 3. 1.5.2 Ray Large Board by On Our Table | 4. Etched Triangles cutting board at Lief


Blocking It Out!

We all have those escapes--those activities that allow the mind to be completely at peace and leave you fully refreshed. I often relate the feeling to the magical calming power jam has on the nose of the silly little dormouse running around the table at the Mad Tea Party in Alice and Wonderland. For the past 5 years my jam has been creating--whether designing an entire interior space, layering flavors to create a beautiful meal, or more recently carving blocks to create my own unique textiles -- let's just say it is the best "jam" I have found. Just a little glimpse in to what I currently have been blocking out...
You can follow along with this adventure on instagram at @blairfriedeman.


Wine Country Crush {Bevan+Associates}

I was driving up to Sonoma this evening during that magical hour where the sun casts the most perfect light on the landscape and brings out all of the natural colors and contours. The horizon drew me in and quickly my mind instantaneously wondered what life would be like in wine country. One thing is certain that I would seek out Bevan+Associates to design my dwelling. Their work strikes the perfect chord of modern simplicity and country comfort...
  Now, I think it is time for a glass of wine...cheers!


Blocked Out {Burlap Runner}

 I have long had an obsession with creating the perfect block print for burlap and after a few weeks of pondering and some scary slip ups on linoleum blocks I finally have a design that I think works well with the casual lack of pretension I associate with burlap.
I still have some work to do on my technique and spacing but at the moment my biggest question is to use a peacock blue burlap or one that has a slightly bleached appearance for the application surface. My inquiring mind is very open to your thoughts! 
And yes I know that the iphone photos are less than idea for color judgments, but a gals got to work with what she has! 


Culinary Confidence {Fennel Roasted Sweet Potato, Beet & Chickpea Salad}

It has taken me eight years to get over my fear of experimental cooking. You see, as a confident 24 year old I was convinced that I was naturally brilliant and didn't need a cookbook.  One night I decided  I could make stuffed peppers "off the cuff" to impress someone - long story short it was an epic fail.  I relive my dinner partner's reaction whenever the idea of cooking from instinct creeps in to my head.  Tonight for the first time since that experience I decided to listen to my inner culinary voice and the result was one of the best meals that I have ever made!  Maybe it was chance but the high of culinary success definitely is overshadowing the past shame.  So here is visual evidence of my foray back into the scary world of putting away the recipe card..
It may look simple but the flavors were complex and incredibly satisfying. This salad was built from a bed of subtly sweet maiche and topped with roasted slices of beets, sweet potatoes and chickpeas that were tossed with olive oil, salt and fennel. 
A couple of crumbles of feta added the perfect dash of salt...and bon appetit!


Berry Inspired!

The past few months my passion for design has been augmented by an intense love for cooking - which is actually not at all surprising. The same way that a well designed room is built upon core elements and personal flourishes so is a will layered recipe. Along with the flavor that hits my palette when enjoying a gourmet dish I always find myself inspired by the colors and textures that appear on my plate. The vibrant and equally as dramatic color of blackberries on my granola this morning clearly inspired me and left me craving an event that exuded the bright flavors and hue of this magical fruit. And I am sorry, a goat cheese and blackberry grilled cheese - who could refuse?!

(all images via pinterest


keeping it casual {entertaining essentials}

Keep summer entertaining casual and stress free by having a few beautiful serving pieces and easy extra seating on handThese marble and wood serving trays and  pedestals are perfect for serving sides and appetizers.  Bamboo inspired cutlery and whole fresh fruit will instantly elevate any table setting. 
For the fare, opt for fresh seasonal ingredients that shine best, in flavor and presentation, when simply prepared - this roasted golden beet, goat cheese, arugula and toasted hazelnut salad is my current go to. And don't even get me started on grilled stone fruit - follow me on instagram to see why!