Friday, August 21, 2009

back from new york....

YIPPEE! It is so nice and cool here in Portland today - I LOVE IT! It was sooooooo hot and muggy! Today I went to the FARWEST plant/plant goods show at the Oregon Convention center with weirdo Todd. I can call him that. Anyhoo.....I have tons of stuff to share from NYC but I will get around to that tomorrow! Have a great evening!

Monday, August 17, 2009


So it is day three for Miss Arnica and I at the New York Gift Show and we are beat! We started out at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market yesterday.. Total bust. It just hasn't been the same since it moved from Chelsea. Just a quick 3 blocks to the Javitz Center and it's off for some marathon buying for fall at the shop. We found tons of handmade items that would be perfect holiday presents ...like the beautiful orange and red striped sock monkeys - the paper maiche wall mounted zebra head and the large concrete red with white dots forest mushrooms. Sounds like a crazy combination right? Guess you are just going to have to come into the show after October to see how it all looks - OK...you can come in before then too! I am having trouble putting pictures on this morning but I will try again tonight. But now....it is off to the market again...but not before some serious caffeine! see you soon!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

it's finally working

Getting Facebook and Blogger linked up has proven to be a monumental task - thanks to the help of Jon Nordby - we have won the battle! YIPPEE

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I AM TOTALLY BUMMED OUT! My favorite blog.......morewaystowastetime.blogspot has closed its doors. I am so sad to see it go. In my opinion, she really was the Kevin Bacon of design blogs...everything seemed to circle its way back to her blog. There was so much good information about other blogs and shopping in other cities. I found out about so much cool stuff on her site. In fact, I wish we could have had a little notice before she shut down as there was sooooo much information that I wish I could have had a chance to make note of some of it. Oh well, so it is. Leah, you will be missed!

Friday, August 7, 2009


We were lucky enough to be feature in the Aug / Sept. issue of Mix Magazine in their regular feature "Friday Night Dinner Party"....we got to write the article (YIPPEE!) so here it is the along with and the photos! Click here if you want to see the article as it was intended as well as for the recipes and the playlist. Enjoy!
Out In The Garden, A Dinner Party Offers A Chance To Unwind
J J De Sousa / photos by Mike Davis


JJ De Sousa likes to dine out, as in out in the garden. With abundant plants, furniture and lighting, she's created distinctive outdoor spaces perfect for everything from sipping tea for two to laying out a spread for a dozen guests....
I have a teeny house, only 900 square feet. I also have a huge yard, 77 x 127 feet. If you do the math, you see it's a lot easier for me to just move the party outdoors.
We have such great summer and fall weather here that my husband, Jose De Sousa, and I entertain outdoors almost exclusively. We treat our outdoor spaces as an extension of our living space, filling them with great furniture, fun colors, killer plants and pots, beautiful lighting, cozy fire pits, soothing water features and, of course, amazing food. My garden has eight places to sit, from a bistro table for two to a sectional that seats 10 for serious lounging, to a dining area for 14. Besides being total garden geeks, we are total foodies. My husband is from France, so it just comes naturally.

Keeping up with the gardening is a huge time challenge, so I'm all over the concept of quick and delicious recipes. I still want them to be chic and sophisticated, though, so it's all about the ingredients. Luckily, all the farmers markets, local butchers and fishmongers make our entertaining easier. When I get home from a day at my shop and studio, I usually only have an hour or so to pull a dinner together, but with the help of my darling husband and a few simple recipes it is entirely possible.

I believe in starting the evening with one amazing cocktail, and we get a lot of mileage out of a simple sangria. The gazpacho literally takes two minutes, the saffron rice is simple, colorful and crazy delicious. My mother-in-law in Lyon, France, sends me care packets of Spanish saffron, and we use it liberally.

The garbanzo bean salad is ridiculously easy, delicious and presents incredibly well in a red pepper shell. I got the recipe from the wife of our friend Gilbert, who owns Cuvee Restaurant in Carlton. We use cilantro, but the original recipe called for fresh basil, which is also yummy. I use a ton of cumin in this recipe; the flavor just pops off the beans.

Our method for the salmon is the easiest thing in the world: I make a simple vinaigrette and dump it on top. Done! I like to use balsamic vinegar in the dressing as it caramelizes while the fish is grilling and allows the flavorings to really stick to the salmon. Since I don't really have too much of a sweet tooth, I always struggle with what to serve for dessert. I had really been looking for a simple, quick and no-cook recipe that everyone could enjoy and I finally found it. A 10-minute tiramisu that is really a 10-minute recipe. Seriously.So there you have it: my perfect recipe for a perfect evening with friends in my garden. Plan your own garden soiree and just get out there, no matter what your garden looks like.

The kitchen's on the small side, but there's plenty of room for friends to help. JJ runs a design shop (Digs Inside & Out, 1829-b N.E. Alberta St., 503-460-3447, digs-pdx.com) and her schedule doesn't allow time for fussing, so she often relies on a repertoire of crazy-easy recipes that work.


For all the recipes - click here and scroll down the page for the link.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

getting ready for Paris......

I just found this photo I took last year in Paris. It is from the Louvre and right above one of my favorite places Cafe Marly......it overlooks the Pyramid at the Louvre and is a fab place to sit and watch. I am preparing to go back to Paris at the end of this month for my annual pilgrimage to the Maison & Objet show - the ultimate furniture/accessories/stuff show I have ever seen. It is kind of hard to buy things from the vendors there; I hate having to deal with customs..... but I always go to just stare at things - to get inspired. I think it is so important to get outside of your own environment to just look. When I come back from a trip I always feel a bit more new then when I left. Paris is amazing. I can't wait........