Archive for April, 2014

TWYLAYou may have noticed I love books about the arts and the creative process. I am continually inspired by creative people from all walks of life. However, I had never really thought much about how creativity and collaboration in the performing arts can teach us lessons we can apply in other pursuits. That was until I picked up The Creative Habit by the renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp a few years ago. That book truly change the way I view my own creativity and how to channel it to be the most successful.

Now Ms. Tharp has given us a sequel, The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together, which expands on how creative people can work together to produce exceptional work.

About The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp: “In a career that has spanned four decades, choreographer Twyla Tharp has collaborated with great musicians, designers, thousands of dancers, and almost a hundred companies. She’s experienced the thrill of shared achievement and has seen what happens when group efforts fizzle. Her professional life has been — and continues to be — one collaboration after another. In this practical sequel to her national bestseller The Creative Habit, Tharp explains why collaboration is important to her — and can be for you. She shows how to recognize good candidates for partnership and how to build one successfully, and analyzes dysfunctional collaborations. And although this isn’t a book that promises to help you deepen your romantic life, she suggests that the lessons you learn by working together professionally can help you in your personal relationships.”

In The Collaborative Habit, Ms. Tharp explores how collaboration and true partnerships can help anyone be successful no matter what line of work they are in. Ms. Tharp gives us examples of successful collaboration, and maybe even more benefitial, examples of poor collaboration. In the end, by choosing to work with the right people – professionally and personally – you can be successful in just about anything you set your mind to.

The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

sparksI am going to get my spring flea market fix this weekend right here in Kansas – as I plan to attend the Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market in Highland, KS.

Like some of the best markets of this type, the Sparks market is one that only runs a couple of times a year for a few days at a time. This year the Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market Spring show runs May 1-4 and the Fall show runs August 28-31.

About Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market: “Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market features more than 500 dealers. From this number, 450 sell antiques. If you are searching for the right antiques and collectibles, this is definitely the market for you. Started in 1982, this market is strategically located because it is right in the path of several other markets along the way, which are held the same weekend. Together they draw 75,000 people looking for treasures.”

I am really looking forward to my visit to the Sparks market as it will be my first out here in Kansas and I really need my antiques and collectibles fix. You can be sure if I “find” anything cool I will share it here.

Learn more about the Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market in Kansas, USA here.

BUNNYI am in the process of decorating my new home in the suburbs of Kansas City, MO and as always, my mind goes right to the artwork for the walls. This is how I came across the wonderful J. Pocker, long time curators of fine art in the New York area.

About J. Pocker: “J. Pocker has been providing our clients with custom framing and room finishing solutions of discerning quality and taste in New York City since 1926. Artistic expertise, premium service and personal attention for three generations.”

In particular, I love J. Pocker’s collaboration with interior designer Bunny Williams which give you many options – and ideas – for a perfectly curated collection that may be a great solution for your decorating challenge.

About Bunny Williams for J.Pocker: “J.Pocker has partnered with renowned Interior Designer, Bunny Williams to introduce a line of curated art to the public. Williams’s hand-selected pieces from her private collection for reproduction in three art vignettes, combining unique styles of art into cohesive groupings. This exclusive line of curated art combines William’s refined taste with our custom frame expertise. Whether you are a seasoned art collector, a novice, or an everyday enthusiast, Bunny Williams for J.Pocker offers an honest aesthetic – transforming years of private art collecting into an accessible and gratifying one-stop solution that will add warmth and a finishing touch to your home. Bunny Williams for J.Pocker is available as fully framed art pieces, sold individually or as vignettes.”

Check out Bunny Williams for J.Pocker here.

Learn more about interior designer Bunny Williams here.

 Visit J.Pocker online here.

CONDMany trends have been uncovered in the four years of Lost Cowboy that have surprised me. One of the trends I did not expect is that it seems that I am crazy about light fixtures as evidenced by the number of post about lighting I have done in the past.

Well, the trend continues today, with the great Conduit Collection from Troy Lighting.

About Troy Lighting: “Being a Leader in an Industry requires many attributes. Our passion for quality, design, value and service lead the way. Our Team of Lighting Professionals are serious about producing awesome lighting and having a strong, well-run company. We strive to produce Interior and Exterior Lighting products that are unique in the marketplace. In fact, many of our Outdoor Lanterns are being used in Interior applications because the styles are so refreshing!”

Check out Troy’s Conduit Collection here.

See all the great designs of Troy Lighting here.

KC3Now that spring has sprung out here in the greater Kansas City, MO area I have been doing some more exploring of my new environs. Like most places I visit, the first thing I like to check out are the cultural opportunities. Thankfully, Missouri’s largest city has many cultural gems, including the world class Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

About the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: “The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of more than 33,500 objects. From ancient times to modern day, this encyclopedic museum is one of the best in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to explore civilization through the eyes of painters, sculptors, craftsmen, and many other artists.”

It may not be New York’s Met, the Chicago’s Art Institute, or Boston’s MFA, but the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a true gem of a museum that is definitely worth a visit. In addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s permanent collection, the museum host many special exhibitions, including the current Roads of Arabia exhibition running now through July 6, 2014.

KC4About the Roads of Arabia exhibition at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: “This landmark exhibition presents more than 7,000 years of largely unknown cultural history of the Arabian Peninsula. Roads of Arabia examines the impact of ancient trade routes that traversed the peninsula, carrying precious frankincense and myrrh to the Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman world and allowing for a vibrant exchange of both objects and ideas. With the later rise of Islam, pilgrimage roads converged on Mecca (Makkah) and gradually replaced the well-traveled incense roads. Roads of Arabia is an unprecedented assembly of more than 200 recently excavated objects, none of which had been seen outside of Saudi Arabia until 2010.”

Browse the the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art collection online here.

Check out the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s current exhibitions here.

TMFNothing says spring like going for a little fishing trip. Sure, you can ice fish in the winter, but there is nothing like dangling off of a small dock or floating in a wooden boat waiting for a bite.

Having moved from the woods of New Hampshire – where I knew the ins and outs of the best fishing spots and local rules – to the border of Kansas and Missouri, I was eager to learn about the local fishing spots and licensing.

I found the best resource to help figure out the where, when, what and how to fish all across this great country: Take Me Fishing, sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF).

About Take Me Fishing: “Welcome to Take Me Fishing, your one-stop resource for everything fishing and boating. Find quick links to purchase your fishing license or to secure your boat registration. Explore articles and videos on how to fish, how to tie fishing knots and proper catch and release. Search fishing hotspots and places to fish or boat near you, then share your big catches in our community!”

Just plug in your location – or the location you may be visiting for a fishing trip – and you will be directed to all the information you need to ensure you have a successful fishing excursion. Well except they can’t guarantee a catch.

Now if I can only find a service that will bait my hook for me.

Check out Take Me Fishing and start planning you spring fishing trip here.

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FF: The handcrafted sodas of Pure Sodaworks

ff5I have never said no to a Diet Coke, but I also love keeping a few (glass) bottles of small batch sodas on hand, especially in the summer (remember summer?). Some of the best natural sodas I have found come from the fine folks at Pure Sodaworks.

About the handcrafted sodas of Pure Sodaworks: “At Pure Sodaworks, we simply take the finest organic fruits, berries, and herbs we can find, sweeten them with natural cane sugar, and create carbonated taste sensations like no other. Simplicity. That’s what we strive for with every soda we make… while, at the same time, bringing you unique flavor combinations that will have you coming back for more again and again.”

In my opinion the best natural soda products are the old school brews, like root beer. Thankfully, Pure Sodaworks has a root beer: “We traveled back in time for this one. Based on an ingredient list created in the 1850s, this soda boasts 14 herbs and spices in its recipe. Unfortunately, the ingredient list we acquired did not include any proportions, so it took us four tries to get the recipe just right… but, when we did, we got it oh, so right.”

Learn more about Pure Sodaworks here.

FF: The Link D8 Portable Bike from Tern

FFbI keep an umbrella in my car just in case I run into some rain. Now I am thinking it might be good to keep a bicycle in my car so I can go for a ride on a whim. Now that I have found a practical folding bike, like the Link D8 Portable Bike from Tern, this could be a realistic option.

About the Link D8 Portable Bike from Tern: “Mobile phones, umbrellas, point and shoot cameras — the natural arc of evolution moves in a direction of increasing portability — the bicycle is no different. The Link D8 is your every day travel companion, whether your trip is exclusively on two wheels or in combination with buses, trains, or automobiles.”

Learn more about Tern Bicycles here.

FF: The recipe for Nutty Grain and Oat Bars from Bon Appetit

OATI eat a ton of breakfast and granola bars but I had never thought about making my own. Until now. I found this recipe for Nutty Grain and Oat Bars from Bon Appetit magazine.

I am going to try to make these oat bars, but it does come with the ominous warning:

“We can’t stress it enough: Pack the mixture as tightly as possible into the loaf pan. This is essential for the slices to hold together when cut.”

Find the recipe for Nutty Grain and Oat Bars from Bon Appetit magazine here.

Find all sorts of great recipes and foodie tips from Bon Appetit magazine here.

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