Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Thomas Paul tea towels!

These just arrived from the incredible Thomas Paul! Aren't they amazing? Not much to say- they are just beautiful! Find them here.

The gorgeous art of Lori Glavin

Alternate Route, 2010, oil on paper with collage, copyright Lori Glavin

Caps for Sale, oil on paper with collage, 2010 copyright Lori Glavin

Balls in the Air, 2008, oil on canvas copyright Lori Glavin

Web 2, 2010 oil on canvas, copyright Lori Glavin

Recently, I took my girls to visit the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, CT. It's an amazing school that offers classes in painting, sculpture, creative writing, watercolor and pottery to adults and youth. They've been around since 1908 and have had exhibits by Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler and Jacques Lipchitz. Merce Cunningham taught dance here and the New York Philharmonic performed there. They also have a beautiful gallery that offers over 20 exhibitions a year. I have great memories of coming here as a child so I thought it would be fun to take my girls (5 and 7). I haven't taken them to many art museums or galleries. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago but this was our first real gallery visit. It was a little nerve racking since there were several incredible glass installations by Martin Kremer called Cathness Lines (see picture below) but the girls were great, we held hands and nothing was broken and no one got hurt!

At the same gallery, I fell in love with the art of Lori Glavin. The way she uses color in her work is just amazing. I love both realistic and modern art and what I love about art is the subjectivity of it. I really respond to her work. Maybe it's the turquoises and greens, the mid-tone colors that are so soothing. I love her collages because she uses old checks with oil. What a wonderful way to reuse something so mundane and make it so beautiful! That is also why she was perfect for our April Artist because of Earth Day. They are so many ways to reuse and recycle- I never would have thought about this one! Lori has been involved in the arts for over 25 years. She received her BFA from Syracuse University's School of Visual and Performing Arts. She worked in New York as a graphic designer and art director at Conde Nast and the New York Times. She also owned her own design firm. She is an artist member of the Silvermine Art guild and a co-founder if Wilson Avenue Loft Artists in Norwalk. In her words, "I accumulate and re-interpret the artifacts of daily life. Embracing the relationship between domesticity and art-making, I seek to find a second use for found objects of personal significance- whether my grandmother's lace dollies, supermarket packaging or household textiles. The theme of renewal is common in my work, as my day-to-day routine mirrors the larger cycle of organic growth and decay." Go to her site and see more other beautiful work- you might want all of them!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Designer Spotlight: Blindmice Socks

A product of great quality with a cool design- when I can find an item with both qualities, I know that I've got a winner and that's how I felt when I found blindmice socks. Their sock designs and packaging are like nothing I've seen in the market. And more importantly, their socks are beautifully made. The company is currently run by super smart and super nice Shannon Branley! These socks are perfect for baby showers and new baby gifts. Or just bring a pack over if you are visiting a friend with a baby- they are so easy and useful!

Jesse Walker, designer

Shannon Branley, founder (and her son wearing
blindmice socks of course)

In her own words, Shannon shares her story:

"My husband and I own two running stores, Fleet Feet Sports, outside Atlanta. About five years ago, at Fleet Feet, we started carrying a line of running socks called Balega, and they turned me, all of our employees, and just about everyone who shopped with us into a sock snob. Hand-linked toe seams, the perfect amount of stretch, the most comfortable, yummy feel AND they stayed in place. Sounds crazy to be so obsessed with a sock, but, honest, I wasn't alone! As my son outgrew his baby socks, I thought, Balega should make socks for little ones. They didn't. So I contacted the factory in South Africa and they agreed to produce for us. We created a line, Belleo, that we never brought to market. We were so excited when we got them back and they stayed on, but they were boring, pink, blue, stripes, not what we had envisioned. We hired a branding firm to help rename the company and work with us on designs. They actually brought the concept of selling socks in three's to us. As new moms, we got it immediately. We also loved the perspective they brought on patterns- a a pattern 'sophistication' while being childish through color. The concept for our first season and still now is reinventing traditional patterns in a bold, modern way for kids. Exactly a year after receiving our Belleo samples, we launched blindmice socks at ENK New York, October 2009 with product that looked as well as it fit!

We have so many fun ideas floating around the office, I am giddy to share them. More to come in the next seasons . . .

Included here are some fun shots from our last photo shoot, last week with famous children's photographer Jade Albert. The model search was through The Cute Kid and the footage was filmed for the pilot episode of Jade Albert's new reality television show. We saw 100 models that day and photographed 10 amazing kids!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Starbucks Birthday Cake Pops

Yes, we bribe at our house. It's a hard habit to break. But it works and when you are a working parent (or any parent)- you'll use any trick in the book! For as long as I can remember (which isn't that long), when I must make a trip to Starbucks, my little followers get something too. A bribe, maybe? Sharing in the oh-so-necessary afternoon latte jolt of sugar and caffeine- perhaps. For a while, the "bribe" was the Horizon Vanilla or Chocolate milks until we discovered these little beauties- cake pops! Genius! They are not too large, not too messy, and just the perfect little bribe to get a child to wait in line at Starbucks. My kids gave them 5 stars and just kept saying how yummy they were. I'm not too keen on the espresso bean for a 5 or 7 year old so I recommend removing that dangerous garnish but the other too are perfect! My 5 year old had the pink and my 7 year old had the nutty, marshmallow one and they were in heaven! Thanks Starbucks! And I just read that Starbucks is giving 1 million to Japan relief! Pretty awesome.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gerry Gersten- an old friend, a great artist

Recently, I came across this terrific photo of Gerry Gersten and my grandfather. Gerry, a much acclaimed illustrator, known for his incredibly detailed and funny caricatures, was also one of my grandfather's closest friends. They shared the same wry humor, persistent criticism and amazing taste for great art, illustration, typeface and the like. Gerry, born in 1927, grew up in the Bronx. His Polish Jewish immigrant parents was skeptical of his desire to pursue art and instead wanted him to be an accountant. But, his talent, was just too great. He attended the Cooper Union Art School and the Cooper School of Design. Later he became known as a skilled caricaturist. Isn't the Woody Allen caricature (above) amazing? His work has been seen in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Harpers, Rolling Stone, Esquire, MAD Magazine and Playboy. He also designed many album covers which I was lucky to find on the web, shown here. Aren't they great?

He was a member of the Society of Illustrators, along with my grandfather and I have fond memories of having lunch with them at the "Society" during the years that I lived in the city and worked at Saks. Just being in a an artistic place, in the presence of great artists was so enjoyable for me. But to be able to be a part of their hysterical, dry repartee was unmatchable. I so miss those lunches. The picture of them perfectly represents their personalities. They just never took themselves too seriously. They were quite a pair!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Designer Spotlight- Beehive Kitchenware

Part of what I love about my job is working with really, really talented and nice people. In fact, I try very hard to avoid working with the mean ones - why bother? Jim Dowd and Sandra Bonazoli of Beehive Kitchenware could not be more talented or more nice. They are just all around great people and I love working with them. We carry their simple and beautiful pewter baby feeding sets but plan to add more items for your home quite soon. I love that their product is lovingly handmade in the USA and are so well-priced. You'll love giving them as gifts because they really are great pieces that can be used and enjoyed for years to come. Here is their story and some great pictures of them and their process.

The story of Beehive Kitchenware Co. began in a tiny studio in the pantry of Jim and Sandras house in 1998. Jim had been making large sculptures, and working fabricating architectural metalwork for customers like Bill Gates of Microsoft, while Sandra was showing one-of-a kind jewelry in galleries. Eventually they became more interested in making objects for peoples homes to enjoy in their daily lives, instead of just appreciate in galleries. They wanted to be craftspeople, instead of artists that made art about craft.

They were inspired by the kitchenware they found in old homes and flea markets, and asked Why are all the useful objects made today so plain, when they could be decorative too? So they made their own kitchenware that was as beautiful as it was functional.

Now Beehive Kitchenware occupies a 3000 square foot factory space and produces many, many objects every year.Jim and Sandra are inspired by the folk art of many cultures, flora and fauna, beautiful cakes, and quirky old tools. They both hold Masters in Fine Art degrees, and their collaborative work has been shown at the American Craft Museum in New York City, and featured in numerous publications including Handmade By Design. They live in a little Rhode Island town in a little Rhode Island cottage that they have spent way too much time and money fixing up.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Calypso LOVE!

Calypso St. Barth has always been one of my favorite stores and their lookbook for spring is amazing, I want everything! And I really want summer! These are some of favorites . . . find it all here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Amanda Sterett earrings!

We just got in some beautiful new earrings from Amanda Sterett, perfect for spring or for that "oh-so-needed" night out! To read more about this lovely designer, click here. Amanda is known for her signature wire wrapping. You can see that technique here in these pieces- we just love that look. She uses semi-precious and precious stones and gold-filled or sterling silver wire. Her look transcends age and coordinates so well with just about any wardrobe. The Annie is smaller than it appears, it's approximately 7/8" in length and the color combination of the turquoise and the orange citrine is divine. The Ashley is just so darn cool in clear quartz- the stone is about 1/2" wide and the length is 7/8" also. The Nicki, with the faceted pyrite stones is ultra chic and only 1 1/4" long. It makes a statement that is not overpowering. We also love the simplicity and signature look of the hand wrapped Elle earring in gold and silver. We think it's an earring you'll go back to again and again. They are only 1 1/4" in length and quite sophisticated. Amanda's jewelry is all beautifully handmade in Dallas, Texas and the prices range from $78-$140 which is amazing for the quality of the workmanship. We hope you love these new pieces as much as we do!