I spent the last day of my Nebraska trip visiting dear friends that live on a farm near Seward. I have visited them many times, but each time I visit I am impressed with the stunning beauty of their home and surrounding landscape.
Allen and Lynn are both artists. Allen farms and Lynn teaches at Concordia University in Seward.
Allen designed and built this house during the winters from 1996 to 2000. His background in sculpture and farming influenced the design of the house and are inherent in the form and materials. Poured concrete shapes create the main structure of the house inside and out. The cement surfaces are raw and unfinished, reminiscent of natural stone – honest and powerful! Corrugated metal commonly used in farm and storage outbuildings connect and enclose the sculptural cement forms. The façade is interrupted with windows of traditional glass and others of recycled glass bricks. The tension in the overall design is at once dynamic and classic.
There is nothing shy or reticent about this structure, it stands as a monument of commanding presence in the wide open country and sky of the Great Plains.
Most of the inside walls are concrete, the floors are recycled slate from old school black boards that Allen cut into large tiles. The entrances are detailed with polished black river rock set into cement. The furniture and art are contemporary and the overall effect of the interior is subdued and elegant. Allen and Lynn worked together to design the interiors and the yard and garden.
One of the joys for me as an artist and designer is to enjoy the unique vision and work of other artists. What a pleasure it is to visit Allen and Lynn’s and see the beauty in the work of their hands.
My daughter Caitlin had her birthday this month and I had fun preparing a small dinner party to celebrate. I was so happy that she and her friends wanted to come to my house for dinner!
The weather was still beautiful so we served cold cilantro-lime shrimp, cheese and fruit on the kitchen deck. We moved inside to the kitchen table for dinner. It is always festive and informal to eat in the kitchen where most of my parties end up anyway.
I brought in my darling little lemon thyme trees to decorate the dining table and put a large arrangement of white Japanese anemones on a side table. The beautiful fall arrangement of scented geraniums, rose hips and deep violet Dahlias was a hostess gift and graced the corner cabinet close by.
My menu was a lightly smoked salmon grilled with lemon parsley butter, mashed potatoes, green beans, caprese salad and “eggs in a cloud of herbs”. This egg recipe is in an earlier blog if you want to try them. They are one of Caitlin’s favorite. I make these eggs for holidays and many times when I entertain.
Good food, flowers, and most of all, family and sweet friends make a lovely evening to enjoy and remember. Caitlin and her friends left full and happy.
My Guardian Angel Shadow Boxes are perfect, fast and easy to frame my angels. You can see in the video two of the 5” angels framed and hanging in my downstairs hallway.
We are running a special on these shadow boxes to help you get acquainted with them. Order one or more, either the 7″ or 8″ Guardian Angel Shadow Box, and we will ship one FREE. One free shadow box per order. This is a limited time offer until the end of September.
My daughter’s friend Kalem came to visit from New Zealand and Caitlin and I made a pie to welcome him.
I combined peach and blackberry for the filling. Sweet peaches are enlivened with berries along with Meyers lemon juice and fresh grated nutmeg and mace. I also like to substitute half of the sugar with dark brown sugar in peach pies and I always use tapioca rather than flour in all my fruit fillings. These little details add big flavor.
Oh, how delightful are the late summer flavors of fruit from the beautiful Willamette Valley.
Margaret Furlong is an artist and designer who has had a presence in the gift and home décor world for over 30 years. Whether it be design, nature, faith or family—Margaret wants to carefully savor the details.