Wednesday, December 18, 2013

hellojenuine on etsy

That amazing lion was my introduction to Jen Collins. (Via Pinterest, naturally.) Sadly, he was a one-off, and he's been sold (lucky buyer!), along with a fantastic tiger and bear. (Onwards is her new collection of tangible, 3D art, and a few sweet little pots are still available.) Thankfully, Collins sells prints, cards, even tote bags on Etsy as HelloJenuine, and they're as cute as Leo up there—who comes in paper form! See:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

jennifer ament

I've given a few glimpses of her work before, but I've never focused on Jennifer Ament alone. Her linocut prints are fantastic—simple and pretty and just a little bit weird—and while you can find them elsewhere (aka Serena and Lily), her own beautifully designed website is definitely worth a look.

PS: She also paints, beautifully:

And I'm on record as being wary of word art, but this print made me laugh:

Monday, December 16, 2013

monday thoughts: holiday cards

We're not so big on the holidays around here. (Hanukah, sure, but it was so early this and we keep it really low-key anyway.) But there is one holiday tradition we observe: I've been sending out holiday cards ever since Charlie was born. I guess it's really just a form of look-how-cute-my-kids-are. But it's also a nice opportunity to touch base with faraway friends. (Yes, I'm on Facebook now, but I'm not *on* Facebook, you know?) I've loved Minted in the past, but this year something about Paper Culture seemed a little more us. It's got a great selection of designs that are fairly minimalist but not blah—and a tree is planted for every order, so you can feel a little less guilty about all the trees that went into your paper.

Friday, December 13, 2013

alex hanna

I wrote about the treasure trove that is Saatchi Online a while back, and I figured it was time to revisit in a bit more depth. Searching around the site yesterday, I found the work of British painter Alex Hanna. It's so interesting: ethereal and concrete at the same time. His subjects are mostly familiar home objects, all in a lovely gray and pastel palette. But all is not delicate and sweet: there are pills and radiators alongside the pink pillows. (Don't be scared off by the prices. Though originals head into five figures, prints for the same images begin at $150.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

me elsewhere: red tricycle baltimore art museums

The BMA has a huge Matisse collection.

Red Tricycle has my story on kid-friendly art shows in Baltimore. Check it out if you're local.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

caitlin keegan on etsy

I am such a sucker for animal art that's charming but not cutesy. Caitlin Keegan sells both original paintings and prints. They couldn't be more appealing or better priced.

Monday, December 9, 2013

ann patchett, etc.

I'm loving Ann Patchett's new collection of essays, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. From Bel Canto to State of Wonder, she's got to be one of my favorite writers; she's so down-to-earth and honest and devoted to (and good at!) making things pretty and real. (She wrote a book about her tragic best friend called Truth and Beauty, after all.) She saved an independent bookstore in her hometown from closing, and now runs it. She dispenses advice—on life, on writing—with great kindness and generosity. And she loves dogs with great feeling and considers them worthy subjects and companions.

These are also on my list for when we finally go to Florida and get away from the gross snow/rain that is keeping my kids out of school: The Goldfinch, which looks spectactular. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., which sounds like the best kind of brain candy. Tartine Book No. 3, for ambitious baking. And Anything That Moves, for food adventures I'd never take myself. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 6, 2013

caroline z. hurley

I first saw Caroline Z. Hurley's work in the revived Domino magazine. (Speaking of Domino: Did anyone else find it pretty and tasteful, as expected, but also a little advertorial? The click-to-buy business model feels weird—if necessary—and so many of the pieces seemed to come from a few sources. One whole story—supposedly an editorial layout—was, if you read the captions, Target product placement.) Not only does she sell some very sweet linens in her online shop, but you can view her appealing paintings and drawings as well.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

made by node

I'm loving these fair-trade rugs, designed by various international artists and crafted by Nepalese artisans. They're works of art for the floor. Or maybe you could hang them? Imagine the impact.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

an explanation

(image from Pinterest)

Is it just me, or is all the internet/shopping/gifts/cyber/black/bargain/madness just a little overwhelming? I see lots of pretty things, I covet them, and yet I just want to turn it all off. Is it any wonder I'm searching Homeaway for remote Maine cottages?

Don't get me wrong: Thanksgiving was great; all my family members were happy and present and well fed. (Turkey/stuffing/pies, followed by this and this—both worth a visit.) My brother and parents and in-laws all visited, bearing beautiful gifts from China and craft fairs and Tessa skated on the winter rink at the NGA sculpture garden rink, one of my favorite places in all of DC. Charlie checked out Skylab (so dated but still so cool) at the air and space museum. All good things, right? So why can't I get my act together this week and, you know, scout some art?

I go through this aversion to stuff every so often. Usually I just need to let it ride, and inspiration finds its way back to me. Tune in tomorrow, in fact, for a gorgeous project I just discovered.