Archive for March, 2013

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I am wrapping up the Finds from my recent trip to London on this Good Friday, by presenting the final “London Edition” of my Friday Finds.

FF LONDON: The contemporary vintage cool clothes of Ben Sherman

BS1While in London I popped into a couple of Ben Sherman stores – including one on the mid-century swingin’ Carnaby Street – one of London’s trendiest shopping destinations.

Ben Sherman, whose shirts were a big hit with the post war counter culture crowd, developed a strong brand which is still thriving with new generations continually discovering the classic cool of his clothes.

This year, Ben Sherman (the brand) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and I am a big fan of the brand and have been for years.

BS2Among the several items for the new season, I love Ben Sherman’s Plectrum polo:

“This Plectrum polo is embellished with a host of subtle details that put a distinctive spin on a classic garment. The main bulk of the shirt is made from Aertex fabric, crafted in Manchester since 1988 and renowned for its insulation and aeration capabilities. The button-down penny collar, extended 4-button placket and curved chest pocket are all made from contrasting denim, finished with subtle Plectrum branding on the pocket.”

You have to love a casual polo shirt with a button-down collar.

Visit Ben Sherman online here.

FF LONDON: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace at London’s National Gallery

BAROI already mentioned visiting London’s National Gallery on my trip. However, I ended up going back to the great museum on my last full day to check out an exhibit I read about but missed on my first visit: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace – featuring the works of a somewhat lesser known Italian master Federico Barocci.

About Barocci: Brilliance and Grace: “Experience the charm and sensitivity of Barocci’s masterpieces – never before seen outside Italy. Federico Barocci (about 1533–1612) is celebrated as one of the most talented artists of late 16th century Italy. Fascinated by the human form, he fused charm and compositional harmony with an unparalleled sensitivity to colour. The exhibition will showcase Federico Barocci’s most spectacular altarpieces, including his famous ‘Entombment’ from Senigallia and ‘Last Supper’ from Urbino Cathedral, thanks to the cooperation of the Soprintendenze delle Marche. The display assembles the majority of Barocci’s greatest altarpieces and paintings, together with sequences of dazzling preparatory drawings, allowing visitors to understand how each picture evolved and revealing the fertility of Barocci’s imagination, the diversity of his working methods and the sheer beauty and grace of his art.”

Barocci: Brilliance and Grace continues at the National Gallery through May 19, 2013.

Visit the National Gallery online here.

FF LONDON: Master of Malt

MofMMaster of Malt! Let me say that again: Master of Malt! I love it. Another great British institution that curates the best in whiskey from the British Isles and beyond.

About Master of Malt: “Master of Malt has a proud heritage of over 25 years in whisky retail. From humble beginnings in our retail shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells, we have painstakingly compiled our vast catalogue of fine single malt scotch whiskies over a quarter of a century to provide one of the most expansive ranges of fine and rare malts to be found anywhere in the world, and if we haven’t got it – the chances are we can find it for you. Combining industry-leading knowledge and experience with a drive and passion for all things whisky-related, we‘re here to help you in any way we can. We’re committed to helping you make informed decisions about the whisky you drink, and as such we’ll always try and present you with as many independent reviews, opinions and comments as possible from industry-leading experts, our own in house tasting team, and of course from other like-minded users.”

Good news – Master of Malt ships to the U.S. and they have an amazing collection of “American Whiskey” = Bourbon!

I am going to order Master of Malt’s Bourbon Tasting Set: “The ultimate tasting set for bourbon lovers. This features five stonkingly good 3cl whiskey samples from America, a couple of which are very rare indeed.”

Check out all the bourbons offered by Master of Malt here.

See all the coolness of Master of Malt here.

FF LONDON: Royal Albert Hall

C8JXE2One of the world’s great performance venues sits in the Kensington neighborhood of London on the south side of Hyde Park: the glorious Royal Albert Hall.

About The Royal Albert Hall: “The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s consort) of a ‘Central Hall’ that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences and would stand at the heart of the South Kensington estate, surrounded by museums and places of learning. The Hall is a Grade I Listed building; and has been in continuous use since it was opened in March 1871. It was always conceived as a multipurpose building to host not only concerts of music but exhibitions, public meetings, scientific conversations and award ceremonies.”

I have been fortunate to see a couple of concerts in the Albert Hall over the year. On this trip I was fortunate to see my childhood idol, Miss Olivia Newton-John perform her first concert in London in over 30 years to an Albert Hall full of extremely enthusiastic fans. I will just say: “Best. Night. Ever.”

Learn more about The Royal Albert Hall and see “what’s on” here.

BUNNYOver the winter while entertaining a guest for a dinner, I uncovered an old, long out of use, ceramic soup tureen in the shape of a rooster. This lost serving dish was a remnant of my mother’s farm animal phase, better known as the 1990’s. Anyway, the tureen was a delightful addition to the dinner table and a fitting vehicle for my world famous vegetable soup.

Anyway, I was reminded of the rooster tureen when I saw the Bunny Lidded Serving Bowl from Pottery Barn: “Beautifully handcrafted with delicate features and set in a natural, restful pose, this bunny makes a home for your favorite dish and brings springtime style to the table.”

Check out the Bunny Lidded Serving Bowl from Pottery Barn here.

See the companion Bunny Cookie jar from Pottery Barn here.

EasterCard2When I was growing up we had a “wall unit” in our house. You know the type of thing: a large piece of furniture that covers a wall, part desk, part, bar, part book case… very Mad Men era.

Anyway, in one section of the wall unit, my mother kept tons of stationary and greeting cards for any occasion. If you forgot someone’s birthday and needed a last minute card, you could alrways find something quickly in my mom’s stash. This led to any generic card being referred to as a “wall unit special” – something that continues today in our family even with the wall unit long gone.

I mention this little memory because recently, while cleaning out a few boxes of old papers, I realized I found the long lost contents of the wall unit. I found all manner of old stationary and cards, including these two vintage Easter cards – a bunny (below) and a chick (above right) respectively. There were several of each and I sent them out to the family, of course referring to them as lost “wall unit specials.”

Easter is one of those holidays that lives in my memories as a child. Finding these cards, and sharing them with the family has made this Easter season a little more special.

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It’s been a while since I posted a shot of Lake and Mount Chocorua as seen from Tamworth, NH.

It was great to get back to this glorious site after traveling abroad and a hectic few weeks.

Even though it is technically spring and almost April, it is still winter on Chocorua, with the lake still mostly frozen and snow still visible on the peak of the mountain.

But there are signs of the thaw to come… the ice is retreating a little bit from the shore line and soon the ice will be clear and the lake ready for kayaks. Well, if June can be called “soon.”

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Today for my Weekly Read I am featuring a few books I came across while touring around London on my recent trip.  Two books intended for children: Pop-Up London and London ABC; and a great collection of photos and vignettes about the city – London. Portrait of a City – from the wonderful Taschen publishers.

Pop-Up London by Jennie Maizels

b1About Pop-Up London by Jennie Maizels: “Follow the River Thames through the famous, funny and fantastic sights of London – from Kew Gardens to the Olympic Village. With amazing interactive pop-ups, flaps and tabs to lift as well as buildings to explore and tabs to move, this is your chance to see London in all its three-dimensional glory. Full of fun and facts, this is a delight for all, whether introducing this great city to novices or revealing unknown treats to the capital’s long-time fans.”

You don’t have to be a child to love a good pop-up book, and the pop-up here are really well done and are true works of art.

Pop-Up London by Jennie Maizels is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

London ABC by Ben Hawkes

b2About London ABC by Ben Hawkes: “From Aquarium to Zoo: all of London is here in this covetable portable guide to the capital. Brilliant for any visitor to London as a handy checklist, as well as a gorgeous gift for the London lover. There’s tons to spot in the pictures, including a lost penguin, trying to find his way home. Illustrated in a gloriously retro palette by Ben Hawkes, the London ABC is quirky, witty and endlessly appealing.”

I love Mr. Hawkes’ artwork. I love it so much I am seriously considering purchasing a couple of these books in order to deconstruct them and use some of the images as wall art.

London ABC by Ben Hawkes is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

London. Portrait of a City by Reuel Golden

b3About London. Portrait of a City by Reuel Golden: “Samuel Johnson famously said that: ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ London’s remarkable history, architecture, landmarks, streets, style, cool, swagger, and stalwart residents are pictured in hundreds of compelling photographs sourced from a wide array of archives around the world. London is a vast sprawling metropolis, constantly evolving and growing, yet throughout its complex past and shifting present, the humor, unique character, and bulldog spirit of the people have stayed constant. This book salutes all those Londoners, their city, and its history. In addition to the wealth of images included in this book, many previously unpublished, London’s history is told through hundreds of quotations, lively essays, and references from key movies, books, and records.”

This book is just full of so many great things for anyone who loves London or is interested in learning more about the great city. London. Portrait of a City is published by Taschen, and like most Taschen books, the book itself is a stunning work of art on its own.

London. Portrait of a City by Reuel Golden is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

OSTYour choices for Easter chocolates are endless. However, if you really want to make a special impression, you can’t go wrong with anything from Hotel Chocolat – especially their Classic Ostrich Easter Eggs.

About Classic Ostrich Easter Eggs from Hotel Chocolat: “Truly mammoth Easter eggs in milk and dark chocolate that make dramatic gifts for families and friends to share, or a breathtaking present for someone rather special. Presented in a stunning keepsake box with an exciting collection of Easter chocolates.”

I have sent Hotel Chocolat gifts to many people over the years and they are always well-received and much appreciated. If you are a chocolate lover, you will no doubt want to order some for yourself as well.

See the entire Easter collection of Hotel Chocolat.

See all the great products of Hotel Chocolat here.

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I am pleased to announce that I have been accepted by the jury to show my work in the annual Arts Fest Beverly street festival on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

I am very excited as this is the first juried festival to accept me and my art. Juried means my work was submitted, reviewed by a “jury”, and accepted to be included in the Arts Fest.

My work presented at Arts Fest Beverly will include my Mixed Media/Assemblage works and my original photography presented in multiple formats, including:

  • Unframed 4×6 prints in 5×7 mattes
  • Unframed 5×7 prints in 8×10 mattes
  • Unframed 8×10 prints in 11×17 mattes
  • Unframed prints (various sizes) on 5×7 board
  • Printed notecards with envelopes
  • Art notecards (original prints on cardstock) with envelopes
  • Limited photographs printed on canvas and wood
  • Limited photographs matted and framed

Arts Fest Beverly takes place right in the center of Beverly, MA on beautiful Cape Ann. As hard as it may seem for us New Englanders right now, but the weather in June should be nice and a day strolling around this lovely arts festival and maybe a drive around the shore sounds really nice. So plan on joining me.

I have applications in at a number of other art fairs and festivals for the upcoming season and hope to be accepted to a few – so check back here for updates.

Learn more about Arts Fest Beverly – Saturday, June 15, 2013 – here.

See my artist statement here.

MERII love Meri Meri, the great boutique cards and paper goods producer. In fact, I posted about them in my earliest days curating Lost Cowboy. With Easter less than a week away, I thought it would be a great time to highlight Meri Meri again, as they have a wonderful Easter collection.

Meri Meri’s Easter collection includes several great items featuring vintage Peter Rabbit illustrations like these Easter plates: “A great plate for an Easter celebration with a classic Peter Rabbit illustration featuring painted eggs and little chicks. The plate has a yellow deckle edge.”

Of course Meri Meri also has a great collection of Easter cards featuring their signature cut-out designs. I like the simplicity of their Chick with Googly Eyes card: “This cute little Easter Chick comes with wobbly goggly eyes and a bright yellow crest. The card has a patterned deckle edge. Card size: 5 x 7 inches. Happy Easter printed inside”

Visit Meri Meri’s Easter shop here.

Check out all the cool creative products of Meri Meri here.