Steve McKenzie’s Abstract Painting Workshop at La Fortezza + Artist in residence announcement.

567F7AB6-8841-48B2-B15C-B6FE204B368F IMG_2712 IMG_2788 Ciao all!  by now you know we have been trying out a few different workshops and retreats here at La Fortezza. A few weeks ago, I had my dear friend and amazing artist Steve McKenzie here with students painting all over the place. Of course like with all workshops, we served local food and our own wine. It was 5 days of pure creative bliss. Our newly renovated out building, known as the “dependence,” worked perfectly and all guests were comfy and cozy.

Our farewell pizza party was a huge hit and visiting a local castle owned by artists was a big thrill. Thank you to Steve for making every minute count and every lesson so valuable. I even stopped my duties here to paint one morning, and it was divine. Steve is an amazing teacher. Oh and we picked a few grapes with our handsome vintner Manolo since our grape harvest was in full swing! The looks on their faces tells the story. They were all so happy!

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We also had a cooking lesson, as we do with every workshop, with retreat chef, Teri. Homemade pasta was so fun to make.

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This season we have been thinking about how to come up with a way to offer a more flexible workshop experience to folks. I have people that email us all the time asking if they can come during a visit to Italy, but we were bound to our workshop calendar. I think we have come up with the perfect solution. We have a new and exciting addition to our 2019 summer retreat roster. We will be starting a new creatives program, an “Artist in Residence” program here at La Fortezza the entire month of July.

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Steve will be the very first artist to spend a month here creating under the Tuscan sun. He will be starting here the 1st of July. If you are in Italy during the month of July, or planning a trip here in July, here’s how it will work:

You will be able to book as many days as you like based availability to assist or create art with Steve. He will be working on a collection that will be hung here end of July. He will have an opening exhibition party here at La Fortezza which will be another opportunity for you to come join us at his opening the last weekend of July. More details about Steve’s art opening to come.

Your stay at La Fortezza will include:

  • Accommodations
  • All Breakfasts
  • Some Lunches
  • Some Dinners
  • Aperitivo-( Italian Cocktail hour) with me, author of Cocktail Italiano
  • Excursions with Steve
  • Lessons with Steve
  • All Art Supplies

If you’re not a painter but want a creative experience, you will be able to assist and apprentice with Steve. This retreat is open to all levels. The rate will be $500 per day. We have 5 rooms available, so if you are coming to Italy in July, please sign up early as this experience will be first come, first serve.

There will be more information on the website mid-November when we plan to announce all the spring and summer creative workshops. So if you’ve always wanted to live in the Italian countryside, paint and co create with other artists, this opportunity might just be for you. As always feel free to email me at annette@annettejosephstyle.com for more information about July’s Artist in Residence Program with Steve McKenzie.

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Have a peek at Steve’s instagram to see the whole story of his week here teaching abstract painting to our great group!

xx Annette

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Almond Biscotti Recipe

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I am sure you all are familiar with biscotti, an Italian almond biscuit. They are served in coffee shops everywhere. However, what you might not know is that these biscuits are intended to be dipped not in coffee but in Vin Santo, an Italian style dessert wine. So Italian!

No matter what you choose to dip your biscotti in, you’ll love this recipe from my sweet and talented friend Tuscan chef Guilia Scarpaleggia.

Make these and enjoy!

xx Annette

Almond Biscotti

You will need:
– 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
– 230 g sugar
– 20 g orange honey
– 250 g flour
– ½ teaspoon baking ammonia
– Grated peel of 1 orange
– 125 g unpeeled almonds
– 1 bottle of vinsanto

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 180°C, fan assisted.

Whip the egg whites for about 5 minutes until they are firm, then add the sugar and whip until you get a glossy and thick meringue. 

Fold in thoroughly the honey and the egg yolks, then fold gently in the flour sifted with the baking ammonia and the grated orange peel. Mix in the almonds.

Line with parchment paper a large baking pan and with the help of a spoon form two loaves of dough keeping them well separated, about 5 cm wide and 30 cm long.

Bake them for about 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then cut them slantwise into 2 cm thick slices with a sharp knife, then arrange them cut-side-down in the baking tin and put them back in the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes, until toasted.

You can store them in a tin for several days.

Photo by : Anne Sage

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Italy Workshop excursions :: Custom Textile Studio in Florence – meet Margherita Pandolfini

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One of the many wonderful things about conducting creative retreats in Italy is all of the available talent around our area. Florence is about 2 hours from our doorstep; it’s a beautiful drive or train ride, so the time just speeds by.

I was contacted by the lovely and talented textile designer Margherita Pandolfini, and she invited me to bring my workshop to her gorgeous studio on the outskirts of Florence, located in the middle of the most beautiful courtyard I’ve ever seen. Sometimes opportunities appear that are just unreal here in Italy. Margherita, greeted us at the meticulously handpainted door which foreshadowed the magical storybook journey through the courtyard up some rickety stairs into her surreal world high a top a centuries old building. The loft studio had the most glorious view of the Villa courtyard and gardens. It was a courtyard that could inspire anyone to create beautiful, whimsical, playful patterns of her and her partner’s company MK Textiles and Atelier. Sometimes the wonky creative spaces are by far the most inspiring to me. This space was one of those places that spoke to me.

Margherita, set up painting stations for our attendees, and then gave a brief demo, so we had plenty of time to paint our own cloth bags. As the birds chirped and the sun shined on the incredible view, we happily painted away all morning long.

Please make sure to visit their site and if you have the chance schedule a time to visit.

I have invited Margherita and her partner to Atlanta to speak at Americasmart, too, so please stay tuned for those dates.

In the meantime, look for these beautiful textiles out and about in London and Florence.

xx Annette

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Gift guides are always one of my favorite posts to write, but this one for Mother’s Day might be the most fun. I had a blast rounding-up items that not only I would enjoy receiving, but I thought you might like to receive as well. Dads and kids, use this list as a guide for choosing the perfect gifts for the moms in your life. Moms, feel free to pass this post along to anyone you think could use a little push.

This year’s guide includes everything from books to chic summer accessories. Some of the items would even pair nicely together for one amazing Mother’s Day gift. Let me know what items are on your wish list in the comments. Who knows? Maybe I need what you want!

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Onyx Magnetic Mask: I use this, and it’s amazing.

Gucci Belt Bag: Talk about a fanny-pack improvement.

Hermes Cleansing Gel

Gucci Sunglasses

Hermes Silk Scarf: I’ve been eying this for months!

Anthro Passport Holder

Zara Straw Bag

Beaded Keychain: Pair this with the bag above for a fun present

Italian Workshop Gift Card: I think mom would love to join us in Italy, don’t you?

Cocktail Italiano

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

xx Annette

 

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Cocktail Italiano:: My Book Launch Party at Switch Modern

If you were not there, you missed a spectacular book launch party at Switch Modern in Atlanta last week. Roy and Doug, and Scott and Liz really know how to throw an event. The Aperol Spritzes were flowing non- stop, along with Campari sodas and lovely Italian aperitvio nibbles in the Switch Modern showroom. It was truly spectacular and the perfect way to kick-off the release of my new book, Cocktail Italiano. We had over 150 of the who’s who of Atlanta, and let’s face it: the party crowd was ready to roll.

Roy and Doug Owners of Switch Modern

Roy and Doug Owners of Switch Modern.

Betsy Riley Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine, me and Liz Lapidus of Liz Lapidus PR

Betsy Riley Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine, me and Liz Lapidus of Liz Lapidus PR.

Me with Rachael and Justin my right and left hands

Me with Rachael and Justin, my right and left hands.

Me with Penny Randolph who illustrated my map

Me with Penny Randolph, who illustrated my map.

Me with Sandy she flew in from Florida, gotta love a fan

Me with Sandy; she flew in from Florida! Gotta love a fan.

Scott Reilly of Switch Modern, Liz and her husband Jeff Levy

Scott Reilly of Switch Modern, Liz and her husband, Jeff Levy.

My web manager Nicole Letts and her mother in law

My web manager, Nicole Letts, and her mother in law.

I had a great time chatting all things Italian Riviera, even though the line was so long, and I signed so many books. I hardly had time to chat. Thank you to the guys at Switch Modern, such an incredible launch. Liz Lapidus the best PR firm in the biz. Gorgeous fun, grazie mille.

Liz and Mary Logan Bikoff Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine's Home

Liz and Mary Logan Bikoff, Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine’s Home.

The lovely ladies from Americasmart

The lovely ladies from Americasmart.

Me mixing up a Campari Shakerato from my book

Me mixing up a Campari Shakerato from my book.

For those of you asking, I am not going on book tour. Full disclosure: for my last book, I did go on tour all over the USA, but it’s not a thing as much as it used to be. I know it looks glamorous going from city to city signing books, but the truth is that most people buy books online and are too busy to come see you and have you sign their book. When I did my book tour at huge venues and food events last time, I would maybe sign 1 book. It’s just a different time in the world. Even big box stores have a small turn out. So if you would like me to sign a book, email me; we can work out the logistics, quite simply: annette@annettejosephstyle.com

I will do a few US book signings in the fall. But for now, I am concentrating on finishing La Fortezza, and conducting our many workshops in Italy.

You can buy my new book here.

Again, many thanks to all who showed up to support me at my launch, and Liz Lapidus, I love you. x

P.S. Until the 19th of this month, head to Switch Modern’s site and receive a 10% discount if you type in my name annettejoseph in the discount section at checkout.

cin cin x

Photo Credit: Hillary Harmon of Liz Lapidus PR and Frank Joseph MD

 

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