Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Creativitae Rocks! Fast, Easy, Beautiful Cards

So now it’s December 1st and you still don’t have any ideas for your Christmas cards this year. Head on over to Creativitae on Etsy for the perfect solution to your procrastination. This is such a cool idea!


Aimee offers a set of four downloads in PDF form for you to print and send yourself. No waiting for the UPS man or the Post man who doesn’t bring the cards you ordered until after the New Year.  Take matters into your own hands. Creativitae will also personalize your cards for FREE!


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Visit Creativitae at www.creativitaeblog.com or the Creativitae Etsy store for more neat ideas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Luckiest Chicken Enchiladas Ever

chicken enchiladas Stumbled upon a fabulous recipe for White Chicken Enchiladas by Ree over at The Pioneer Woman blog. If you have never read her blog you must start. It’s a great source of recipes, photography, insights, and just plain common sense.

In one of my other parallel lives I cook for a race team. This past weekend I made the enchiladas and put them on the BBQ’s top shelf to bake. Then I had to go off and photograph a press conference our team was involved in that took way longer than I had anticipated. By the time I had rushed back to the BBQ I knew I had 3 pans of burnt up enchiladas and a lot of hungry people. I threw open the lid and low and behold the propane tank had run out at just the exactly right moment. I had 3 pans of the most perfectly cooked, still warm enchiladas you could imagine.

I just love it when the gods smile on you!

White Chicken Enchiladas

Prep Time: 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 6

  • 2-½ cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken
  • 2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • Salt And Pepper (to Taste)
  • Picante Sauce (optional)
  • Cilantro, Chopped
Preparation Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and sauté for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you’d like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.

Serve with picante sauce, if desired.

Faint. Repeat as needed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I’ve Found My Holiday Cards Already!!

Usually I procrastinate until the last minute to create or buy my Christmas cards. I know that most people don’t send cards anymore but I’m old school enough to really enjoy taking the time to send and receive beautiful individual cards.

Which brings us to the very cool work of  Atlanta based graphic artist Lexie Sullivan. I found her shop today on Etsy and she is now my favorite! Check these cards out:

Lexie Sullivan Holiday Cards

She creates modern, clean, contemporary designs that are very retro stylish.  Her website is www.lexiesullivan.com. Her Etsy store is accessible through her site or directly at  www.lexiesullivan.etsy.com.


In addition to  her cards she also sells prints, boxed note sets, and note pads. I love this print!

image Check out Lexie Sullivan for all of your card and paper needs for the upcoming season.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Christmas Decor Wall Art!

I have just listed the first of many new holiday vinyl wall art decorations in my Etsy store. I just love the simplicity and modern feel of this scene.

Furniture on a white background

This scene contains 6 trees, 3 presents and 10 snowflakes of various sizes that can be placed as your imagination dictates. Just cut the vinyl sheet apart into the individual elements and arrange them to your liking. Choose as many colors as you like. I kept the look simple with just 3 colors.

For another modern take on the holidays, these evergreens on a snow bank would look fantastic above the mantle, over the couch, on the sliding glass door or outside on the front door.  Again, choose as many colors as you like or go completely monochromatic for a very stunning look.

The best thing about these decorations? No storage required during the rest of the year! More to come tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It’s Snowing Vinyl!!

Xmas 4 tree 3 presents 10 flakes sm

Just a preview of the Holiday designs coming out next week in my Etsy store. The trees, snowflakes, and presents will look great above my fireplace instead of the usual wreath . The vinyl will come with each element separate for placement versatility.  Choose the colors that work best with your space.

Something a little different and contemporary. I have a problem using the same Holiday decorations year after year. Sure, I have my touchstones from childhood that are always displayed, but I need to change up the whole look year to year. Vinyl is a great way to do this without breaking the bank.

Say tuned for more Holiday wall art this week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

How Much Talent Can One Person Have?

If you want to make yourself insanely jealous, check out the work and home of Jenn Ski.  As a rabid Mid-Century Modern person, I am all over anything from that era.

She is not only a fantastic artist, she seems to be a wonderful interior decorator as well. Holly Becker over at Simply Stated posted a photo shoot of her home done by Bob O’Connor. Jenn sells her prints on Etsy as well as her website, so take a look.


Photo by Bob O’Connor

This photo illustrates another great way to use vinyl decals.  Check out the “PUSH” lettering on the door. Not only is it fun and funky but informative as well.

I  have lettering on the wall in my bathroom hidden behind a bath towel hanging on the towel rack. Says “Hang Up The Bathmat”. Worked like a charm. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Aliens Have Landed (in Paris no less!)

The very cool and informative blog Decor8 has posted today about Elodie who lives in Paris in a 279 SQUARE FOOT apartment with 2 cats and a very accommodating boyfriend.

Yikes, I love small spaces and have lived in a 1100 square foot house with 3 cats and a husband for 15 years now, but 279 SQUARE FEET?? Total? I’m not thinking so.

Anyway, Elodie has done a remarkable job decorating and organizing her closet/home. The best feature, in my humble opinion, is the alien wall art decals waving from the corner. They add a touch of whimsy in a small portable way without dominating that portion of the room.

photo by Elodie of La Mechante


These little guys highlight the best features of vinyl wall art. Inexpensive, smile inducing, temporary, adaptable, highly individual, friendly,and just plain fun.

Check out Decor8 or la mechante for the full set of photos.

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Invitation by Ink Obsession Designs

image image image image

Maybe this year your Christmas party invitations will really impress. Maybe people will actually come to your party! Lots of them. Or your wedding. Tons of people, all attracted to your hip gathering.

Make it happen by choosing your invitations, announcements, photo cards, etc. from Ink Obsession Designs.

I chose Erin Bradley, designer and owner of Ink Obsession Designs to design the Metro Retro Designs logo, Etsy storefront, and the Blog you are now viewing. She nailed the exact look I was going for – modern, clean, and just plain perfect.

She is by far the easiest, friendliest, nicest person to work with. I had a few changes, different font selection, and the requisite  silly questions and she handled everything smoothly and with incredible speed.

Go now to her fabulous website and have a ball choosing invites, stationery, announcements and graphics packages. Don’t forget to prepare for the crowds.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bulls Eyes? Alien Frisbees? Hula Hoops ?


Couple sitting on bed

I love this abstract type of vinyl wall art. They are what you want them to be! Group them in sets or one mass school of swimming circles and dots. The set  of eight comes with the large circles, medium circles, and dots separated to give you maximum flexibility in placement. Choose up to 3 colors or go all monochromatic. We offer  the Circle Dots in three sizes or custom sized to your fabulous project.

Our newest listing, find them now at www.metroretrodesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They Don’t Call it the Golden Hour for Nothing

Golden Hour 1 small

Light is a funny thing. Invisible, but coloring your world all the time. Delving into photography makes you ultra aware of the quality of the light you are working with at that instant. The color of it, texture of it, opacity of it, just the feel of it changes minute to minute.

Many of the differences have to do with the time of day. Photographers call the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset the “Golden Hour”. The light takes on a warm hue and softens and flatters everything and everyone. The shadows are soft and round. Nothing is harsh.

This is the vista that I wake up to every morning. This day a storm had passed in the night, leaving a few residual clouds lingering and the sun breaking through, highlighting the buttes.

Golden Hour 3 sm

The quality of the light in the desert is amazing, due in part to the near complete lack of humidity and the 2500 foot altitude. Some of the harshest light in the universe is found here at high noon on a July day, but some of the most beautiful light is found here every day.

Golden Hour 2 small

Am I lucky or what?

Monday, October 12, 2009

It’s a Sign!!

M & M Sign web Every year, when Halloween is fast approaching, I remember the peaches. Not just any peaches, THE peaches. Appropriately named “Last Chance” peaches, they are  just that. The last chance to taste pure desert sunshine right off the tree before the cold winds of fall howl through the mountains.
other peach sign web
M & M Peach Ranch in Lake Hughes California is a Southern California Certified Organic peach, apple, cherry, and pear orchard. Lake Hughes is a tiny outpost in the high desert of inland California, hard up against the foothills of the the Angeles National Forest. It’s hot, dry, windy, and produces the most intensely flavored peaches in existence. They reflect the desert they grow in with a dry-ish meaty texture, perfect for jam, pies, bread, drying, freezing, or just slicing on your cereal.
Orchard web
They’re open one more weekend and then it’s over. Another long wait until the cherries come in April. I believe it is so important to support your local farmer instead of purchasing fruit that does not even grow in this country. Why not buy extra now and freeze for the winter and spring, just like your grandmother did? Beats flavorless fruit shipped thousands of miles every time.
Peach Sign web
The kind lady at the M & M stand handed out slices of the Peach Bread she had made the night before. Can’t get that at Wal-Mart. She even insisted I write down the recipe instead of trying to sell me a loaf. The bread was delicious, moist and sweet from the peaches. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
peaches on tree web(2)
M & M Peach Ranch Peach Bread
3 Cups sliced peaches
2 Cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar (use 1 cup if the peaches are sweet)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup diced pecans or walnuts or your favorite nuts
6 Tbl. coarse sugar
Heat oven to 325.  Grease and flour 2 9 x 5 loaf pan or 2 8 x 4 pans.
Puree the peaches in a blender or food processor. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well. Add the vanilla. Alternately add the peach puree and the dry ingredients. Don’t over mix.  Fold in nuts. Spoon into the prepared pans and sprinkle the tops with the coarse sugar. Bake about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy immediately with a big smear of cream cheese or wrap tightly and freeze for those cold winter mornings!
fruit stand web
M & M Peach Ranch, 48745 3 Points Road, Lake Hughes Ca 93532.  661 724-1398

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Thank you for visiting the spanking new blog for Metro Retro Designs. This will be the place to come for newly released vinyl wall designs, random observations, fun contests, money saving coupons, gossip of all sorts, and whatever else I feel is newsworthy. Newsworthy might be too grandiose a term, but hey, if it caught my eye it maybe you will like it too.

I will also have a regularly scheduled Featured Artist.  I have a whole line-up of wonderful artists working today to interview. I’ll get a behind the scenes view of each artist and what motivates and inspires them.  A selection of their art will be offered as vinyl wall art. The first Featured Artist will be appearing very soon. I know you will love her art!

So, I am hoping that you will return and find many things to interest you, brighten your day, inform you, or just make you smile!