Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

World of Green

When I think of green the first thing that comes to my mind is trees. A forest of rich, luscious, evergreen trees. The cool fresh scent of humid earth and fresh air on my cheeks.

Hoh Rain Forest, in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Hoh Rain Forest, in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

However this color is versatile. It stands for growth, it signals “go” and it represents luck.

Also green in its varied shades can represent many things. For example Army green just like it’s name is usually related to military camouflage. Pea green is usually associated with sickness.

Then there are the terms involving the color green. The saying “green thumb” means that a person is good with plants and gardens.


The “green room” refers to a room in a theater or television studio where a person can relax before their performance.

The expression “greener pastures” and “grass is greener” are used in reference to something newer or better.

How about using green in the fashion world maybe with your accessories.

Or how about green for a giving themed website, Green Giving Tree.

What does the color green bring up in your world?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mulled Wine

Autumn is here! With these cooler days there are many things to look forward to. I for example love the tones of plums, reds and rusty browns that surround us in nature and our wardrobes during this time of year. Another favorite of a brisk cool day is the fireplace, there is nothing better than cuddling up in front of it while unwinding from the day’s events. Lastly, I love a warm glass of Mulled Wine. It’s easy to make, you can enjoy it by yourself or impress others by making it while hosting a dinner.


4 cups apple cider

1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon works)

1/4 cup honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange zest and juice

4 whole cloves

2 star anise

4 orange peels (garnish)

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large pot, bring to a boil. Then lower and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and add orange peel as garnish and viola.

Check out the animal Brass Bottle Stoppers at Sur Design Studio.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Big announcement!

I have a big announcement! I’ve launched a small online boutique called www.SurDesignStudio.com.

As you all know I’m a big fan of art, fashion and life’s beauty. With www.SurDesignStudio.com I bring you some of that beauty by offering you pieces carefully found such as jewelry, scarves, handbags  and other accessories as well as home decoration from local and international artists.

I am also proud to announce that these unique pieces are ethically made by these artist and artisans.

Here is a peek of what you’ll find at the studio;

Flat Cube Necklace at Sur Design Studio

Flat Cube Necklace at Sur Design Studio

Flat Cube Necklace made by El Dorado Pre-Colombian Jewels a family owned business in Bogota, Colombia. Find simple elegance with this necklace.

Sage, green & beige poncho at Sur Design Studio

Sage, green & beige poncho at Sur Design Studio

This wool poncho is hand woven and dyed. Take a walk in our Pacific Northwest with this great layer for these cooler Autumn days.


Khaki Clutch at Sur Design Studio

Khaki Clutch at Sur Design Studio

From Kenya a fair trade Khaki clutch. Dress up in fall hues with this clutch and go out with the girls to one of favorite spots such as Bastilles in Seattle.  

Go check out The Studio and tell me what you think. Maybe even do a little shopping while you’re at it. 😉

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Delights and creations

Seagull Flight by Alex Mendez.

Seagull Flight by Alex Mendez.

The days have passed and somehow I’ve managed to keep busy with many projects at home and with a business endeavor in the works. Some of these projects involve the kitchen and delicious food concoctions, others involve sitting at a desk with canvas and paint. One project in particular is an online boutique that I am close to launching. This last project has captured most of my time and heart. It’s been something I’ve talked and dreamed about having for years and soon I’ll have the opportunity to share with you. Meanwhile here is a visual snippet of those other projects, the  sweet delights and imaginary creations that have enraptured me. Plus an outing to relish the day. This was a little escape to a dock, to enjoy the Northwest Sound.

The Vista on the Sound by Alex Mendez, Des Moines, WA.

The Vista on the Sound by Alex Mendez, Des Moines, WA.

I find Ina Garten’s recipes delicious and easy to make at home.  This Summer Fruit Crostata was fun to bake and eat. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Summer Fruit Crostata, part one by Alex Mendez.

Summer Fruit Crostata, part one, by Alex Mendez.

Summer Fruit Crostata, Part two by Alex Mendez

Summer Fruit Crostata, Part two by Alex Mendez

You can find her recipe in this book that I own and love, Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again or http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/summer-fruit-crostata-recipe/index.html.

Trees Pink Background, by Alex Mendez

Trees Pink Background, by Alex Mendez

And lastly some of my time has been invested in painting and creating. This painting has soft subtle hues of metallic pink tones in the background. Using mixed media, collage and India ink, I’ve been experimenting, enjoying the process and outcome and finding more balance to my compositions.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter memories

The cold has crept in. Yet certain everyday events  distract and keep my spirit warm. Watching the last leaves flutter off the trees mesmerize my view. Gearing up for the holiday festivities expand my imagination of shimmering celebration nights. Stopping to indulge at good eateries soothes my core. These are what the crisp cooler days of winter offer to warm my heart. What fond memories has this season brought you thus far?

Stunning bright tones of the last leaves shedding off this tree.

Stunning bright tones of the last leaves shedding off this tree.

Festive decoration and ideas for the holidays sprout out and fill the days.

Festive decoration and ideas for the holidays sprout out and fill the days.

Le Grand Bistro Americain, in Kirkland, Washington filled my belly with savory food and fuel my Soul. http://www.bistrolegrand.com/

Le Grand Bistro Americain, in Kirkland, Washington filled my belly with savory food and fueled my soul. http://www.bistrolegrand.com/

Time to paint and is always a must.

Time to paint; always a must.

These are my favorite, four little paintings to make the whole.

These are my favorite, four little paintings to make the whole.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Embracing Autumn

I fully enjoy this time of year, Autumn. It brings a renewed palette to our eyes as well as many other changes around us. Our daily menu becomes heartier with root vegetables, soups and other nourishing meals. We change our wardrobe to cozier more snugly attire and we find ways to celebrate and be with friends and family.

Here are some of my experiences and vistas from this fall. I’d like to also see your posts on your Autumn adventures or scenery.

The valley of Woodinville, WA framed by the cascade mountains by Alex Mendez

The view from my work-space onto the valley of Woodinville, WA framed by the Cascade mountains.

A plentiful breakfast with Banana Walnut French Toast by Alex Mendez

On cold mornings I’m inspired to make my family a plentiful breakfast. One of the local culinary destinations has a delicious French Bakery {ww.atthevineyard.com}. Here we found the perfect bread for making Banana Walnut French Toast.

Día de los Muertos by Alex Mendez

One of my closest friends had a “Día de los Muertos” celebration. We shared music, tamales and dance.

Colorful hues of leaves against a shadowy backdrop by Alex Mendez

Mostly this time of year I love the contrast from the colorful hues of leaves against the shadowy backdrop that a cooler overcast day brings.

Crow at some stage of an Autumn day by Alex Mendez

And of course the spectrum of warm tones all round us has inspired my paintings.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,


"Growing Heart" by Alex Mendez. Mixed Media, exploring India Ink and metallics

India Ink and Metallics.

Perhaps because of the cooler weather and upcoming festivities such as Halloween and those that follow it, I find myself submerged (warmly indoors) in hours of painting and once more playing with a  kaleidoscope of colors in my art, including metallic tones.

This lead my mind to the Experience Music Project.  A building designed by Frank Gehry and often referred to as a mashed up guitar. Although the beauty of this building is at times questioned in the media; I, on the other hand, found myself lost in a sea of metallic fascination.  My eyes and camera danced in delight scanning its many curves and psychedelic reflections.  Very appropriate for a building that pays homage to Jimi Hendrix and other Rock ‘n’ Roll icons plus houses the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

There are times for cool and muted and there are times for bright and metallic. During these days, with the chilling climate outside, let yourself be warm and bright on the inside.

Swells of metallic undulation at the Experience Music Project by Alex Mendez

Swells of reflecting structure.

Seattle's Experience Music Project, a sea of metallic undulations by Alex Mendez

Copper and gold waves undulate at the Experience Music Project.

EMP's Instrument structure by Alex Mendez

With one line or one strum, just like the stroking of a brush, create part of a whole sinuous composition.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Encircles

Part of the charm of living in the Pacific Northwest is the amazing scenic views that surround us. Just drive a few hours away and you will find yourself exploring majestic mountains, arid deserts or the humid Puget Sound. I propose we rediscover our surroundings and let ourselves enjoy what encircles us. Sometimes the allure stems from looking close up, other times the wonder is discovered by taking a step back.

Alex Mendez driving through the Cascade Mountains and finds a forest that is echoed in the sky. posted in vistaalley.com

Driving through the Cascade mountains many times the view will surprise me. Here I see the forest echoed in the sky.

Dandelion Metamorphosis by Alex Mendez. Taking a close look at a change.

Close observation of a dandelion in metamorphosis.

A ferry ride sunset from Kingston to Edmonds by Alex Mendez. vistaalley.com

A sunset that brought peace and calmness to me {And I couldn’t stop taking photos of it}. This was taken on a ferry ride from Kingston to Edmonds.

Ferry ride from Sequim to Seattle, Air Vent by Alex Mendez. vistaalley.com

The warm hues of the sun played wonderfully with this rusty air vent.

New techniques in painting an creating. Open Your Heart by Alex Mendez

I’m taking an online art workshop. Now I find myself submerged in exploring and learning new art techniques.  

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: