I decided as a maker, being so inspired by other people's work as we all are, I wanted to share design I feel particularly fond of on a monthly basis. Today is my first post to that effect. All the products are clean, functional and something I would love to have for my home.Read More
My friends and family know one of the main reasons I do what I do is because of my mother. But I thought with the upcoming holiday, honoring the women who mold us into who we are and will become, I should share a little with you.
I grew up being dragged from antique store to antique store all over New England. I walked the fields of Brimfield several times before I was 10, and became VERY familiar with the phrase, "look but don't touch". I also learned what it means to haggle, what a reproduction looks like vs a genuine antique, and how to find a treasure in a box of junk.
In addition to dealing in antiques, my mom was a master crafter. Any creative event, whether it be a haunted house or the holiday gift fair, my mom was involved from planning through to the end. Is it any wonder, that I too should be involved in events, visual merchandising, antiques and making? I remember sitting on our 3 seasons porch in Massachusetts painting rocks and birdhouses along side her. No surprise they had a floral motif, have I mentioned I love plants?
As I grew older I began to draw, first I tried to replicate Disney characters from my favorite movies, then I moved on to flowers and things I found in nature. She always encouraged me and offered me anything i needed to help the process along. When I got into photography she provided me with cameras and lenses and eventually an enlarger to create my own darkroom, should the need arise. Both she and my father were incredibly supportive of me in art school when I tried a bit of this and a bit of that before finalizing my major and graduating with a BFA in the amount of time many would earn their masters.
I think I learned the jack of all trades mentality from her as well. But take this with a different meaning, as jack of all trades but master of none, never applied to my mother or to myself. While neither of us specialized in our artistic ventures, we both take great joy in learning and mastering many techniques and skills. I lost my mother in 2012. But in some ways I lost her 8 years earlier when a complication from an accident left her with significant brain damage. She seemed outwardly to be unscathed if you didn't know her. She was still charming as ever and social as was her nature. But, to those who knew and loved her, she had lost a part of herself. She used to be the person to get it done, whatever it may have been, but after the accident her focus and determination was different. There were also short term memory problems, similar to what you might see in a person with alzheimer's. All that being said we were grateful for every day of our "bonus time" as dad liked to call it.
Sadly my mother is not here with me to revel in the beauty that is a career based around making people smile. All of the things both she did and I continue to gravitate towards are life enriching. Can you survive without a beautiful enamel tea kettle? Certainly. But, what is it about design and art that makes our lives feel more full? I cannot answer that question, and likely neither could she, but we both knew it to be a truth, one I am passionately driven to share with others.
Today take a moment and think about your own mother. How did she make you who you are today? If you can, give her a call and let her know.
The picture below was found by my mom. She had it for sale in her antique booth 10 years ago and now you can find it for sale in mine. She had a knack for finding intriguing pieces, and this is certainly one of them.
Here's a good one of the whole family on a trip we took to the Olympic Peninsula while I was living out in Seattle. And amazingly while she was in Africa with my dad she found a shop she could really relate to, it kind of describes her mentality (and the one she passed on to me) related to shopping ha ha!
Excited to announce, I'll be there! This is my first Holiday Market so come on by and say hello if you are around on Sunday. There will be lots of vendors there selling a variety of wares perfect for gifting. There will also be food, drink and entertainment. I've been prepping tons of new silver-plate pieces and will be offering a discount on selected items. This is a great spot to do your holiday shopping. You'll be shopping small and supporting local artisans!
Hope to see you on Sunday 12/6 from 1-7pm @67 West St in Greenpoint. I'll be bringing this little devil and a whole lot more.
Sometimes you just gotta get out. I am lucky enough to have a vehicle to take me where I want to go. This Sunday my friend Victoria and I decided we needed to get some fresh air and admire the lush green wilderness in the Catskill mountains. And, we heard there was a flea market! We left bright and early and had a few must see/do's on our list, farm stand and flea market, with the hopes of an estate sale or junk shop. Well as soon as we passed Kingston we found ourselves a farm stand. I bought a quart of beautiful and delicious strawberries. And Vic got herself some tomatoes and eggplant. None of the strawberries made it back to Brooklyn by the way. Yum.
As we continued on our journey we saw the sign! And we turned, and we drove a long way down a country road and then we saw another sign!
Then we turned and drove a long way down another country road and then we saw the Phoenicia Flea! It wasn't big, but it was beautiful. There were about 12 vendors arranged in a half circle around a little fire with picnic blankets laying about if you wanted to take a load off.
This week the flea was hosted by The Spruceton Inn (they rotate the location to different venues in the area). Spruceton is a small 10 room inn that is well off the beaten path and a great place to unplug for a spell. The decor is lovely as is the little bar which flanks one end of the inn. We did have extra incetives to visit the Flea as our friend Maresa, of Dusty Rose Vintage based here in Greenpoint, was a vendor.
Speaking of vendors, everyone at the Flea was absolutely lovely. Small Room Collective was there, a husband and wife team that travel the country in their airstream trailer selling a beautifully curated collection of vintage and design items.
I also had the pleasure to meet Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine, whose publication I have admired for quite a while. If you have not picked up a copy yet, make sure that you do. The photography is top notch and it's full of fantastic recipes, information about designers and decor and my favorite, crafting how to's. It's $18 an issue, but it's printed on high quality paper and reads more like a mini book than a magazine. I bought the Summer 2015 issue and am loving it!
My other notable purchase of the day was this AMAZING scarf. It's vintage wool in really fantastic condition. I plan to use it as a table runner instead of a scarf. I'm sure you will see it again soon!
After a few hours chatting and browsing we headed into downtown Phoenicia, which consists of one street with about 4 restaurants and several shops. We found a cute little place for lunch had a bite and then hit "The Mystery Spot" vintage store. They had a great space with lots of fun things to check out. We wandered around downtown and then hit the road heading towards Kingston. We stopped at a store called Scandinavian Gracewhich which sold, you guessed it, Scandinavian products (which I absolutely love). They had a lovely assortment of Ittalia glassware, Marimekko pillows and a display of Kingston, NY artist Andrew Molleur's ceramics, who also happens to be profiled in the Summer 2015 issue of Sweet Paul Magazine! His porcelain bowls and vases at that location are in vibrant orange and beautiful soft greys. Loved it all, wish I could have brought a bowl home with me.
Next we moved on to Kingston, which would be the final stop of the day before heading back to Brooklyn. It was a cute town, much larger than I expected. The downtown area felt more like a small city than a town. There were lots of cute little stores and eateries and I bet it's a nice place to live. Because it was Sunday most everything was closed up tight, so we just did a drive by and then hit the road. We followed the Hudson down south through Westchester County, which soon became the Bronx, then Queens and finally Brooklyn. We were happy to be home, but hope to visit again soon. Maybe even in August, as the Phoenicia Flea will be making another appearance this summer on August 15th and 16th this time at the Westfield Orchard, details available at www.phoeniciaflea.com.
If you need inspiration of your own to get out of the city for the weekend and live in the NY area Escape Brooklyn is an excellent resource. Even if you don't live in the area, their site is worth a look!