Friday, December 14, 2012

My Artful Weekend Trip to Rochester, NY

George Eastman House grounds

Last weekend I spend a few days with my boyfriend and his family up in Rochester, NY.  It was such a nice trip, I wanted to share a few photos.  Now, I know it's December and with winter nipping at your nose, heading north is probably the last thing you want to do right now. However, if you staying cozy and warm is your goal, then maybe a weekend in Rochester is exactly what you need.  Between all the beautiful art museums, homey restaurants, and warm folks to meet, you might find yourself snug as a bug in a rug.

George Eastman House

You cannot miss The George Eastman House!  This mansion turned museum was once home to the Kodak entrepreneur.  Between the beautiful revolving exhibits, permanent collections, impeccable grounds, decadent architectural details, and rich history the Eastman House is a sight to behold.  The current special exhibit, 60 From the 60s is mesmerizing.  Easily one of my favorite special exhibits of late.  If you're worried that kids won't be that interested in yet another museum, never fear.  They'll love the fantastical, Jumanji-esque aura of the home.  And if you go right now, the impressive Gingerbread House Display will have them oohing and aahing.  I mean, check out these masterpieces!

60 From the 60s Exhibit

San Marcos, Texas, 1964 by Garry Winogrand
60 From the 60s Exhibit

George Eastman House "Living Room"

Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery is another home run. They've just installed a fantastic Centennial Sculpture Park on the gallery grounds complete with Tom Otterness works, and soon a Jackie Ferrara piece, among others.  I was on a time crunch and didn't have time to go in the gallery this time around.  However, last time I was in Rochester, the Extreme Materials exhibit was as inventive as it was exciting.  I wish I could have gotten at least of the Framing Edo exhibit that's currently up, but maybe I'll be back in spring and catch the upcoming, Art Reflected.

Tom Otterness sculptures from at Memorial Art Gallery
Tom Otterness at the Memorial Art Gallery

Tom Otterness depicts woman creating man at Memorial Art Gallery

Tom Otterness at Memorial Art Gallery

Tom Otterness at Memorial Art Gallery

The Owl House

I'm a mild food snob.  While I'm not the worst of the worst, I do live in Brooklyn, and I think it comes with the territory that you become spoiled living amongst the endless and imaginative choices of fine cuisines from around the world.  That said, my lunch at The Owl House in Rochester left me wondering why in the world my neighborhood doesn't have a place like this!  There was food for all tastes on the menu, but as a vegetarian I was especially pleased that I didn't have to search around for a second-rate option.  Instead, I was overwhelmed with the plethora of hearty, yes hearty, and delicious choices.  Between the scrumptious food and well-selected beer list, I could see myself eating brunch here every weekend.  On second thought, maybe it's best we don't have The Owl House in the city...

The Owl House.  Photo from Easy Vegan.

The Owl House Yumminess.  Photo from Chasin' Cakes.

Beer taps at The Owl House.  Photo from Beer Lens.

I didn't have time to get into too much shopping or searching around for good finds, but I promise next time I'll bring you more of that.  In the meantime, you record collectors should check out the Bop Shop online store.  It's a super spot for digging!  More details on the store itself on the next trip.  ;)

Have you been on any great trips lately?  Got any winter travel recommendations?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Well, Now I've Done It

Apparently, all my stress has finally caught up to me and my body is calling it quits. Today I'm stuck in the house with a bad back. Boo. In celebration of this forced break, I thought I'd share links to my favorite blog posts of late. Nothing like catching up on some reading when you can't do much else!


Bountiful Arranging Using Vegetables from Design Sponge
I should totally take advantage of this given how many vegetables I am swimming in from my CSA!

Painted Ornaments from Oh Happy Day!
Can't wait to go home for the holidays and try this out with my mom!

Don't Forget the Inside from Little Green Notebook
Painting the insides of cabinets a surprising color.  Simple, yet inspiring.

Fronds and Mirrors from Gardenista
I don't know why it never occurred to me, but as soon as my back is better, I'm getting to work on my plant arrangements. (I have a bunch that are dying now that I brought them indoors for the winter.) Thanks to this post, my plant revamp is definitely some mirrors here and there.

Mayor Bloomberg Pay Phone Design Challenge on Apartment Therapy
How awesome is this?! I can't wait to see how this works out. Maybe the winner will be you!


Former Farmhouse Turned Chalet in the Alps from Fresh Home
New goal: Save money to buy chalet in the Alps. Learn to ski.

Escala Arquitetura on Desire to Inspire
Or maybe head to Rio instead??


For the Bonsai Gardener from Gardenista
Who says you can't have a garden in a NY apartment?

Favorites From Fab on Design Sponge
Nicely curated selections from

Books to Gift on Design Sponge
I love too many of these to even begin to say which.

25% Off at Pure Home on Apartment Therapy
Nice coupon for all us holiday shoppers.


Golly Bard feature on Design Sponge
My introduction to Holly Ward Bimba. I love her prints!

A Little Pink from At Swim-Two-Birds
Something very soothing about this color palette.

Moorish Tiles on Design Sponge
The DIY wheels are turning over here...

Stina Persson Print on SwissMiss
Wish I could give this to my sister! Also, this introduced me to Wonderwall which is going to be a new go-to source for prints.

Interview with Marimekko CEO on Apartment Therapy
Brief words from the man at the helm of the iconic Finnish designs.

Woodcut Notecards on Better Living Through Design
Bryan Nash Gill is awesome, and so are trees!

Photojojo Photo Lens Series on Better Living Through Design
Wondering if anyone has experience with these lenses.  They are awfully intriguing...

Happy Tuesday all!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hey There, Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!

Rifle Paper Co.

I'm heading out for the weekend, and since I've spent a lot of time this weekend checking out holiday cards, I thought I'd do a round-up of what I consider the hits of 2012.  I think these are all pretty self-explanatory, so I'll just leave things at that.  Enjoy! 

Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Co.

Rifle Paper Co.

Egg Press

Egg Press

Egg Press

Nimbus Factory

Nimbus Factory

Nimbus Factory

Nimbus Factory

Yellow Owl Workshop

Yellow Owl Workshop

Greenwich Letterpress

Greenwich Letterpress

Greenwich Letterpress

Greenwich Letterpress 

Fugu Fugu Press

Fugu Fugu Press

Fugu Fugu Press
Lucky Bee Press

Lucky Bee Press

Night Owl Paper Goods

Night Owl Paper Goods

Night Owl Paper Goods

Night Owl Paper Goods

Night Owl Paper Goods





Will you be sending season's greetings?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for Thoughtful Hearts

8 Grams by Jon Feinstein
Benefits Housing Works
Available from Collect.Give

I love giving gifts. I really, really do. I love thinking about people. I love coming up with that special little thing they might enjoy, might be missing, or might wish for. And I love taking care when wrapping that special little thing up, and writing some sort of handmade card. Maybe there is some sort of selfish pleasure in it all, but I can't help it. I love it. I love giving gifts.

Swans and Pears by Susan Worsham
Benefits National Multiple Sclerosis Society
available from Collect.Give 

It only follows that this time of year is like a Gift Giving Field Day for me. I literally have an excuse to deeply immerse myself in the hunt for the consummate gift for every person on my list without looking like a total creep. Take it from me. People can get weirded out when you gift them too much at non-birthday or special occasion times of year. For some reason it arouses suspicion. I don't understand it really. Aren't gifts thoughtful and wonderful?  But I digress...

Old Havana Street, Cuba by Susan Raab
Benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
Available from Collect.Give

Today I've been thinking about the deep thinkers in my life: Folks who wear their heart on their sleeves, or fall asleep at night thinking about the state of the world, and what they can do to help. They are among my favorite people, and I've come up with a few ideas that will both satisfy their sentimental souls and stand-up values.

Plane Over Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Sara Macel
Benefits Camp Discovery
Available from Collect.Give

My photographer friend, Sara Macel, introduced me to a website called, Collect.Give which features a constantly growing community of photographers, whose work benefits an organization of their choice. Currently, Sara has a print up and available for purchase called Plane Over Baton Rouge. It's an evocative photograph pulled from her recent book, May the Road Rise to Meet You, a collection of stills from a cross-country trip with her telephone pole salesman father. It's a great gift for any art lover, traveler, or Americana culture devotee, and the best part is 100% of proceeds go directly to Camp Discovery,
 a week-long camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer. 

Wisteria by Jesse Burke
Benefits National Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Rhode Island
Available from Collect.Give

While I'm partial to Sara's work, Collect.Give has a wide array of photographers whose work you can choose from and browse their charities. I've included many images on today's post, but you can peruse Collect.Give's full listings for yourself to find photographs that will speak to your thoughtfully gifted friend or family member in more ways than one.

Alvin, WI by Mark Brautigam
Benefits National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Available from Collect.Give

Big Muskie Dragline by Daniel Shea
Benefits Coal River Mountain Watch
Available on Collect.Give

With so many regions of New York and New Jersey still suffering from Hurricane Sandy, another excellent organization to shop is Print Aid NYC, a collective of NYC artists whose contributed work benefits the Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Sandy relief, an organization committed to restoring devastated areas. The graphic prints are great gifts for any proud New Yorkers, design lovers, or even kids in your life. 

Empire State of Mind by Cole Nielsen
Benefits Hurricane Sandy victims, 
Available on Print Aid NYC

Excelsior by James Bamford
Benefits Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Available at Print Aid NYC

Strength from the Past by Micah Heiselt
Benefits Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Available at Print Aid NYC

NY Is by Adam Johnson
Benefits Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Sandy Relief
Available at Print Aid NYC

A really superb gift certificate option is available at Kiva, a non-profit organization that connects lenders to small businesses in impoverished areas. By giving as little as a $25 gift card, you can initiate a micro-lending cycle that can continue giving for years to come. I've had great experiences lending through Kiva and any passionate community organizer, National Geographic aficionado, or budding economist will love this gift.

Binta's Group of Senegal, retail fritter business
Available to support through Kiva

El Terrenito de la Cebolla Group, Onion Producer
Available to support through Kiva

Last, but not least, for the DIY crafter, cozy homebody, or champion of small business there is the wonderful world of Etsy. A quick Etsy search for "proceeds to charity" revealed listings whose proceeds are donated. Full disclosure: I haven't vetted any of these vendors individually, and Etsy's policies assert that each seller is responsible for his or her own claims regarding charities. However, what you can be sure of is that your one-of-a-kind purchase helps a hard-working artisan build a successful small-business in a big-business economy, something a caring recipient will love. 

Black Fur Felt Cloche Hat by Millinery Make Believe
Benefits Red Cross - Hurricane Sandy victims

Handmade Soap Gift Set by Roots Soap Co.
Benefits families affected by the economy

With Love Pillow by Olive Handmade
Benefits Kassidy, teen fighting rare brain cancer

Blue Tug Dog Toy made from Recycled Milking Tubes by Moochews
Benefits French Bulldog Rescue Network

Be the Change Notecard Set by Operation Starfish
Benefits Starfish Foster Home

Do you know of any organizations or businesses that allow customers to support great causes through their purchasing power? Have any ideas for the thoughtful gifts that keep on giving?

Photo Credits
All images are credited to artists or websites as outlined in captions, and original sources are linked.