Thursday, December 24, 2009


Wishing All 
A Warm and Peaceful
May the New Year Fulfill Your Hopes 
Dreams and Desires-!  



Saturday, December 19, 2009

In The Christmas Kitchen

Dolls & Copper Cookie Cutters By Robert & Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
Someone's in the Kitchen  - Ready to Bake up some Good Cookies -! What's a Holiday without some Tried & True Recipes-!
Following is one for Filled Cookies that We make every year - mixed with a new recipe or two.  Happy Baking-!
Filled Cookies
16 Tbls. (2 cubes) Butter                            
2/3 Cups Sugar                                         
1 Large Egg                                                
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla 
1/4 Tsp. Almond Extract
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2-1/2 Cups Flour                                      
Grated Zest of 1 Medium Lemon 
3/4 - 1 Cup of Marmalade or Apple Butter Preserves
Place into Kitchen Aid - Two cubes of Butter - Cut into small pieces.
Add Sugar - Beat until Creamy.
Beat in Egg, Vanilla, Almond Extract, and Zest.
Blend in Flour, Salt Baking Soda.
Turn out onto Pastry Cloth.
Divide Dough in Half and Roll out to 1/8" thickness.
Cut into Desired Shapes.
Lay first half of Cookie on baking sheet that has been lined with Parchment Paper.
Dot with filling.  Cover with Second Half.
Press down edges with Fork.
Bake 9 - 11 Minutes or until edges are just brown.
Cool - Store in Air-tight Container 3-4 Days or Freeze up to 1 Month.

NOTE: Don't Forget to Sprinkle Powdered Sugar (through a screen) onto the Cookies - when they are Completely Cooled. It Looks just like SNOW-!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Red and White Decor (Loving It-!)

Angel fabric Collage - By Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
Every year about this time - it becomes so gray here in the Northwest.  All the leaves have fallen - the Garden Flowers are gone until next year.  It's when I really feel the longing for some COLOR-!  So with Christmas right around the corner - why not start some decorations for the House-!  And what better Color to warm up the atmosphere than some Red-!

While searching my closets for fabrics - I found this Angel Fabric Collage and decided to add some finishing touches and details.
First I stitched on her arms - opened wide - so welcoming - she could hold a string of fabric Hearts - or Snowflakes - or placed on the Fireplace Mantle She could embrace a collection of miniature Toys-! ( Or with Her arms closed - she could hold a bouquet of greens or Holly with bright Red Berries-!)
Suddenly -  all seems WARMER - amazing how a little Red works like magic-!
I'm thinking I could really get off on this Red & White Theme for a while - Following are some Red & White Decor Inspirations - Mostly with that beautiful simplictic Scandinavian style of Red & White Gingham - some Toiles - and Stripes too-!
Decor Images from: "A Passion for Pattern" by Katrin Cargill - Clarkson Potter 
and "Veranda" - Oct-2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Passion For Paisley

Love the neutral Pallette and Clean Look of this Room - I Noticed how it really comes to Life with the Magenta Flowers & Throw - And that Bold adaption of the Paisley Motif-! (Desiger:Jill Brinson-House Beautiful - Dec-2009)
What is the mysterious allure of Paisley-?  These curvaceous, organic, almost embryonic Tear Drop Shapes-? They seen to intrigue us - even when arranged in regimented, uniform simplicity - Just as well as the more intricate patterns imaginable-! Is it that they often recall their exotic Persian Heritage-?

The "Paisley Motif"' dates back to 17th Century Kashmir shawl patterns - derived from Persian Flora Ornament.  These shawls were much valued and worn by the ruling Mughal Court.
As the 18th Century progressed - the demand for handwoven Kashmir shawls grew - and were worn by wealthy women of fashion in Europe and Russia. (The Patterns became known as "paisley" from the name Paisley, Scotland - where many of thes textiles were produced.)
Although the Fashion for shawls passed - the Paisley Patterns lived on to become as varied and colorful as the designers imaginations-!

Images: "World of Interiors" May-2009


Monday, November 23, 2009

An American Classic

"Winter Bouquet" By Mary Maki Rae - 2014 (c) - Sauce By Robert Rae


1 Cup Frozen Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate, thawed

or Regular Cranberry Juice
1 Cup Sugar

1 12-oz. Pkg. Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, rinsed & drained
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
3 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
2 Teaspoons Minced Orange Peel
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

Combine Cranberry Juice Concentrate & Sugar in Saucepan.
Bring to a Boil, Stirring until Sugar Dissolves.

Add Fresh & Dried Cranberries, Cook until Dried Berries
begin to soften, & Fresh Berries begin to Pop.
(about Seven Minutes)

Remove from Heat, & Stir in remaining Ingredients
Chill for about Two Hours.

We make this Cranberry Sauce every year for Thanksgiving
and Christmas - It's Really Good-!
This Recipe makes about 4 Jars of Sauce to Keep or Give as Gifts
Or One Large Bowl to Serve with Your Holiday Dinner-!


Art by Mary Maki Rae & Robert Rae - 2009(c)
Wishing You & Yours All the Best this 
 Holiday Season-!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spendid Stencils

So Stunning is Henry Wilson's Kitchen - with His Hand-Stenciled Designs that are Beautifully applied to the Ceiling - Bordered on the Walls - and even the Floor.
I'm impressed with Henry Wilson's "Full Emersion" into All things East Indian - and His Bold, relentless Stenciling-! Inspired and Enchanted by the subcontinent for Thirty years - He discovered the richest and noblest of Indian resources: It's Tradition of Handicrafts.
It's from close observation of these Treasures and from His travels that All of His Inspiration for His own designs were derived.
All of the Wallpapers used in the Decoration of His Home in London - have been stenciled on his kitchen table with his own Hands - in spite of calloused palms and blisters on his index finger-!
And all done at night - as His job as photographer and Book Designer fill up His days.
An Extensive Collection of Henry Wilson's Designs in many Colorways are now Available at:
Osborne & Little.

The Wall of Henry Wilson's Study is Collaged with a Myriad of His Stencil Designs
Read about Henry Wison's Fantastic Stenciled Art - His Decorating Style - and View His Vast Collection of Treasures from India - in this Months "World of Interiors" - December-2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Little Romance

"A Romantic Evening" 16"x16" Acrylic on Canvas -
Painting and Evening Purse By Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
Blue Evening Purse - Open and lined with striped Silk - MMR - 2009(c)

Love this Vintage Rose Fabric - Accented with iridescent Mother of Pearl Vintage Buttons - (the background photo is from NoaNoa Catalog - I find their Line of Clothing Refreshingly Romantic -! And the Miniature Collection absolutely Enchanting-!) Find NoaNoa Here.

Background Art & "Bohemian Beret" By Mary Maki Rae
Sculptured Mannequin By Robert Rae - 2009 (c)

I've been experimenting with Fabric Collage Totes and Purses - why not Hats too-! Although Silk is touchy to work with - I love the way it catches the light and how lovely it drapes into soft folds - I don't know of any other fine cloth that possesses this beguiling feature - so it's worth the fuss-!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Royal Persian Paintings III

The Fath Ali Shah again - this time clothed in his Hunting Outfit and wearing his Turban/Cap - instead of the Royal Crown.
And how exquisite are those Pearls forming hypnotic floral patterns on his Jacket - Arm & Leg shields - and Long Pointed Collar-?
And if that wasn't enough - His Belt - Knife handle - Bow - Arrow Case and Sword - All encrusted with Rare Jewels and more Pearls-!!
That Puffy little Ostrich Feather in his Hat - I thought was a nice touch too-!

The Fath Ali Shah - 1800's

Woman With A Veil - Attributed to Muhammad 1845
This Idealized painting of a beautiful Qajar Princess is one of several of a Series.
The Princess is draped in a full-length black veil with Gold Embroidered accents.
Under the black veil - she wears a richly patterned calico skirt with Pearl Borders and a Pearl-Embroidered vest - over a sheer chemise with a V-shaped collar with Pearl accents.
She is gracefully pushing aside the (pichen) white face covering.
She wears an ornate headdress and a Pearl-studded necklace and armbands that indicate Her privileged status.

Dancing Princess - Mirza Baba 1800-1801

"Two Lovers" - Mirza Baba 1800-1801
These two Paintings provide a glimpse behind the Persian woman's veil of seclusion.
They represent the Classical ideal of Persian Beauty: Moon-shaped face - joined eye brows - doe-like eyes and flower-bud mouths.
Their torsos are invitingly displayed openly or behind veiled tunics. Jackets and Trousers are Embroidered and made of Cashmere. and of course - they are covered with many Pearl Encrusted Adornments. Also always present are Fruit and Wine - Persian metaphors for fertility and divine Love.
THE BOOK:" Royal Persian Paintings - The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925"
Edited By Layla S. Diba, with Maryam Ekhtiar

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birds of a Feather

"Woodsman with Woodpeckers" Tote - Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
The Image of the Woodsman on the Tote above, is from one of my Original Acrylic Paintings.
I found it amazing how many different species of Woodpeckers there are living on this Planet-!
So many to Paint - All Inspiring-! Featured in this Painting is "The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker" - One of the World's "Rarest of Rare" (Believed to be extinct) and one of the largest (19-1/2").
Others include: The "Northwestern Flicker" and "The Northern Red-Headed Woodpecker".
We were visited recently by the "Pileated Woodpecker" - similar to the Ivory-Billed - and often mistaken for it.
This beautiful Black&white patterned bird and it's mate were exceedingly attracted to the Red Berries on our neighbor's tree - after a week or so - not a Berry was left-!
(for more info on these fine-feathered totes - see:Etsy.)

"Winter Dreams"Tote - Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
This Image is also from one of my Original Acrylic Paintings (shown last Winter). Recently, I've added a Quail to this group of Birds - which include: Doves, Wood Thrushes, and Sparrows, among others. For more information - Please see: Etsy.

Art and "Alicia"Sculpture By Robert and Mary Maki Rae-2009 (c)
One of the Best Reference Books I've found for the Discovery and Identification of birds is:
"The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds - The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World"
Dr. Christopher M. Perrins
And of Course - A Field Guide to Western Birds - By roger Tory Peterson

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Timeless Indian Textiles

A Toran - from Western India - A traditional dowry textile - intricately embroidered or appliqued, often incorporating small mirrors.Traditionly brought by the Bride to her new home - to hang abovethe doorway to the main room of the house - containing symbols of Good Luck and a Welcoming device to Gods and People alike.
To brighten these past few Rainy Days - I've taken a break to Journey through this enchanting Book of the most extroidinary Textiles. Anyone who loves Embroidery, Applique, Quilting, or Beedwork - will treasure this Book. It's filled to capacity with a dazzling array of imaged textiles from every region of the Indian subcontinent.
The Authors place these fascinating domestic Arts in context by examining the cultural backgrounds - region by region - where communities and casts live side by side - at Peace - and expressing their differences through Color and their Textiles.

Bodice and Sleeves embroidered in Floss Silk on a woman's dress from North-eastern Baluchistan.

Embroidered Pashk - A smock-like dress belonging to a Baluchi woman; it has a characteristic pocket at the waist level.

Jumlo - a many godeted dress of the Shin people of Kohistan - Embellished with fine silk embroidery and buttons - edged along the cuffs with lead weights.

On the Cover of this Book: An Example of Mochi Embroidery - showing the detail of a Silk Bodice Sleeve Embroidered in Silk.
THE BOOK: "Indian Textiles" - By John Gillow and Nicholas Barnard
This Edition Published By Thames & Hudson Ltd. London-2008 - It's Great-Buy It-!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"The Garden In July" - Revisited

Limited Edition Print & Paintings By Mary Maki Rae 2009 (c)

Something I've been working on recently - a Limited Edition of Images from some of my Original Paintings - Printed on Cotton Canvas - glued to a Canvas-Covered Wooden Mat Board - Then Simply Framed. Ready to Enjoy-! For more Information See my Etsy Shop-!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Travel Jewelry Wrap

Fabric Collage "Travel Jewelry Wrap" - By Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
Just finished this Idea for a Cushioned Wrap - to hold Jewelry when traveling ( A Seaside Retreat-?). Pictured is one of my "Garden Muses" - printed on Cotton Fabric - then Appliqued with a few other collected cotton pieces - onto a beautiful Striped Silk Backing. A casual - yet sophisticated "Look" for a "timeless" item that we all need on certain occaisions-!

The Jewelry Wrap folds into Three Layers - then ties neatly on three sides - Creating a Cushioned Pillow - so to speak.
When Opened out - it would easily hang near a Dressing Table or Wall Mirror - to Display a Collection of Earrings or Pins or other Treasures-! (The Blue-cast Porcelain Earrings & Bracelet are Russian - I think they look so great with this piece.)
Following are a Few Settings in which I think it would look Charming:

In a Romantic Cottage Bedroom - Translucent filet-work Lace covers the Window, Eave over the Bed, and the Bed itself - so Lovely-!

At a Linen covered Dressing Table - Ticking Striped Upholstery on a French Chair present an unpretentious Charm-!

Simple comforts suffice in a Cottage by the Sea
Images from:
"BEDROOMS -Private Worlds & Places to Dream"- By Kim Waller
"LIVING with LACE" By Bo Niles - Stewart, Tabori, & Chang -N.Y.

Sewing Bliss Cont.

Original Art Canvas Bags - By Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
From left to right: "Spring Primroses" - "Rosemary Plant" - "Simba Cat with Playful Flowers" - The Art on these pieces are Original Acrylics on Canvas - I Designed them to hang on a Wall for Decor or to hold Flowers perhaps-?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sewing Bliss

"Columbine Doll" - Silk Fabric & Mixed Media - And Paintings By Mary Maki Rae - 2009 (c)
We're playing a "waiting game" for supplies (mostly ribbon) to complete our New Sewing Art Project - Here's a Peak at some of the Colors for my First Vision. . . . .

And the Earthy Collage Style of the other . . .
More later - when the Art Pieces are completed . . . !

Now onto some Upholstery and Slipcover Concepts-!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Magical House & Garden

Garden Muse with Day Lillies - Acrylic on Canvas 24" x24" By Mary Maki Rae - 2009
The two new Day Lillies, planted this spring - inspired this painting. What a joy each day to find these beautiful flowers in bloom. Their glowing Yellow color is like sunshine it's self-! They have a delightful presence indoors as well - and a delicate sweet scent. They are the first to be painted in my Muse's Headdress - then a Rose, Petunia, Pansy, and Dianthus - creating a profusion of Colors and flower shapes. Now on to the Bouquet - more Lillies for balance - lovely feather-like Cosmos leaves, and a soft green Butterfly. Next, I may add a pair of Chestnut-backed Chickadees. They're a Twosome that frequent our deck railing for their daily Birdseed and Water. A delight to observe-!

Upon entry to "Cock Crow", in Dorset, Southwest of England, the House & Garden of John Stefanidis, you are suprised to discover that you are in what appears to be a walled garden enclosed on four sides by long, low buildings. There is a small orchard of mixed English Apple Trees, each trunk of which is encircled by clipped Hebe 'Rakaiensis'.

Deep in the Garden - an Enchanted Circle of Lime trees - On a Hot Summer Night - a table is set here for dinner.

I find the Wisteria quite seductive - more than one variety of Wisteria thrive on the Pergola in the Cutting Garden: Floribunda - Macrobotrys - & Floribunda Alba

The Turgenev (Russian Novelist) Forest of Pale Birch Trees, with Foxgloves swaying between

CLEMATIS: 'Florida sieboldii' - 'Duchess of Edinburgh' &'Slyvia Denny' - glimpsed thruough the clipped Yew

My favorite Room pictured in the Book is the "Indian Sitting room". It took it's name from it's Hot Pink sofas, Watercolors, and objects that reside there.
The brick walls are painted Off-White, but the Pink Sofas reflect light & Sun, turning them Pink.
There are no curtains, instead - neat fold-back shutters. On the tables: A Parade of Burmese wood figures, enormous Sea shells, and a collection of Silver boxes from Thailand. Also displayed on a table - a beautiful Pink Bougainvillea - who knew that they could be grown so beautifully in a Pot-?

THE BOOK: "Living by Design" Ideas for Interior and Gardens
By John Stefanidis Photos By Fritz von der Schulenburg - Rizzoli 1997
John Stefanidis is an Oxford-educated, British Designer of International repute -
He epitomizes the French concept of "joie de vivre" - the enjoyment of all things that make life worth living-!!