[uhp-steyt fan-see] - adjective

1. not exorbitant or extravagent by city standards, however in a rural setting (like upstate new york) it is in fact, quite fancy.

2. a wonderful blog dedicated to art, design and other things that are indeed upstate fancy.

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Summer and Bird

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Sep
25
life stories
Custom Pet Charms from Augusta Designs

custom_dog_portrait_jewelry

One of my my most cherished possessions is my charm bracelet. I have had it since I was 4 years old. Although it was a bit too big to wear back in my elementary school days, it’s fits perfectly now. I wanted to add a charm to it this year to celebrate my Corgi Einstein. I poked around the internet and found a few sterling silver corgi charms but none of them looked quite enough like a corgi to me. Then I found Augusta Designs.

augusta_design_custompet_charms

Emily at Augusta Designs creates little charms and jewelry from your own photo of your beloved pet! Seriously! Any photo you love of your furry pal, and she will whip you up a custom portrait and then turn that adorable image into a wearable piece of art! I sent her this photo of Ein and within just a few weeks I was able to attach the charm to my favorite bracelet.

Of course she can also make you a charm with a chain or a bracelet if you don’t have your own piece to add it too. But wouldn’t this be a great time to start a charm bracelet of your very own! Of course there are also non-custom pieces available that are just as cute!

paw_print_earrings_augusta

Sep
05
life stories
hello brimfield

brimfiled_2

Yesterday I made my first trek to the Brimfield Antiques Show here in Massachusetts. I have wanted to go to this event for the last couple years and finally the stars aligned. When people tell you there is now way to see the entire show in one day, they are not kidding. This is huge, and I have the blisters and the sun burn to prove it.

I left the house at 4:15am to make it to the opening of the New England Motel field at 6am. I ended up being about 10 minutes late (had to stop for some fuel for me and the car) handed over my $5 entrance fee and quickly began the hunt. There were a few things I was searching for specifically, and before two long I was able to check the first one off my list.

eames_chair

Behold! The eames chair. I have been wanting one of these for many years, but have never been able to find one in my budget that wasn’t an absolute mess! The color is perfect for our space and after just a tiny bit of bargaining the price was right and I carried it right to the trunk of my car.

brimfiled

Unfortunately I forgot to put the battery in my camera before I left the house, but I did snap a few photos with my iphone. I can not wait to go back again in the spring and see what new treasures all the amazing vendors bring with them in May!

Jul
08
life stories
This Car Climbed Mt. Washington

attention_mtwashington

This Fourth of July, Matt and I decided to make the trip to New Hampshire and drive up Mt. Washington. Although you may have never been there before, chances are you have seen the bumper sticker somewhere along your own travels. I always though the bumper sticker was kind of funny, I mean how hard could it be to drive a car to the top of a mountain. Turns out…. it’s CRAZY HARD.

The beginning of the road is super simple. It’s really pretty and you have trees on both sides of you. You think you are in for this really pretty drive thorough the mountains. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Firstly, if you are the one who is driving the car, don’t for a minute think you are going to get to enjoy the view after the first mile, you will be too busy trying not to kill yourself or another car heading back down from the summit. My knuckles were white but I was doing okay, until the road turned from black top to packed dirt. Once I made it through the dirt, where I managed to make all the hairpin turns and not end up in a ditch or careen off the mountain, I pulled over in a small turn around and made the decision we would be heading back down. There was no way in a million years I was going to drive another 2 miles up this madness. Then my loving husband starting pointing out big pick up trucks passing by, some couples in their 70’s and some cars that should not even be on a road at all. He did all but call me chicken, so we kept going to the top of what I will now refer to as Mt. Death. Seriously though, It was nuts! {note: Travis Pastrana, a rally car driver made the run in 6 minutes and 20 sec – it took us a half hour I think, granted he didn’t have traffic coming at him when he drove up… see his trip video here and think about traffic coming back out you as well, he is driving on a two lane road.}

mtwashington_nh_moutain

We did make it to the top, and I had such high hopes of taking beautiful photos of the summit and the clouds around us. But. I was so shaky and petrified and concerned how we would get back down, that I planted my back to a wall and watched Matt walk up a big pile of rocks to the highest pint on the summit. I didn’t have it in me to carry around the camera. Oh how I wish i did, it was beautiful. I did manage to get a few photos when we stopped in a flat walking are on the way back down. I’m so glad I drove to the top. But I won’t ever do it again.

cairns_mtwashinton

 

Jun
25
life stories
VISITING THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST – Portland, OR

After driving down the coast from Seattle, we unpacked for a few days in Portland, Oregon. I think Matt and I were both pretty jazzed up for this trip and so excited to be on the west coast – but the time change and the early flight kicked our butts a bit. So we ordered some room service and decided to just start fresh the next day.

powels_books

We didnt plan too much before hand for Portland. We had a list of places we wanted to check out, but mostly we just wanted to walk around and explore the city. One of our first stops of course was Powell’s Books. I’ll admit, spending so many hours at The Strand in NYC, I was skeptical, but I was blown away. I love this place, the staff picks and I even signed up for their e-mail list. We picke dup some local childrens books to add to our collection and to give as gifts. (Larf is one of our neices’ new favorites. )

One of the activities we did plan while in Portland was a beer tour with Brewvana. A group of strangers who barely talked to each other were bussed around to 4 different craft breweries and sampled their amazingly crafted beer. Needless to say everyone had a good time and any shyness at the beginning was soon gone. My favorite stop was Base Camp Brewing, I hope to see them on the east coast some day soon!

basecamp_brewing_beer

I tasked Matt with the responsibility of creating a list of amazing places to eat in each city we visited. He did an outstanding job! We had lunch one afternoon at Nostrana, they serve super thin crust pizza (among other amazing Italian food) that is served uncut, hence the scissors on the table. Voodoo donuts was a must have, and yes they are that bright (and yummy) in real life. Another lunch was had at Kenny and Zuke’s in Northwest Portland. Best Rye bread I have ever had in my life. And on our way out of town we stopped by Pine State Biscuits for breakfast, I wish I could have those biscuits every day, of course my thighs would hate me.

portland_food

After packing up and heading out of Portland we decided to stop by Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon. It was simply breathtaking and definitely worth the stop if you are ever in the area. There is a trail that goes all the way to the top, but we only went up to the bridge to take it all in. I could have spent another few days in Portland and the surrounding area. Matt and I decided the next time we will start in Portland, and head south.

multnoma_falls

Jun
17
life stories
Celebrating our first anniversary!

jen_matt_wedding

Sunday, Matt and I celebrated our One Year Wedding Anniversary. We didn’t do anything fancy, or buy each other lavish gifts. Instead we sat and watched a slide show of our amazing wedding photos by the wonderful Alexandra Roberts while listening to an album by the band (the Cosmic Zombies) who played our wedding. We loved looking through and reliving our wedding day and giggling about all the amazing memories and fun we had that day last June. We spent the afternoon on the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Maine — watching the sail boats in Casco Bay. We brought along a picnic, in a lovely picnic basket we received as a wedding gift, and of course Einstein came with us to enjoy some crumbs. Here’s to many more years and many more reasons to celebrate!

picnic_instrgram

 

Jun
11
life stories
Visiting the Pacific Northwest – Astoria, Oregon

astoria_city_dock

Matt and I decided to drop the dog off at his parents and head west for a 10 day vacation to the Pacific Northwest. It wasn’t exactly an anniversary trip, but it was close enough for us to pretend it was. We flew into Seattle, picked up our rental car (the first rental car of our trip but more on that later) and headed south towards Portland, Oregon.

gonnie_house_driveway

Since we are both products of the 80’s we couldn’t drive by Astoria without stopping to see Mikey’s house from Goonies. With the help of the internet and our phones’ GPS we found the house and parked our car on the side of the road and snapped a few photos. The house is nestled high on an overlook where you can see part of the harbor and as we posed for photos we heard what we thought were some muffled dog barks. But looking down at the harbor we notice the rocks moving, the noises were heard were Sea Lions so we walked back to the car and navigated our way to the dock we could see from the hill.

matt_jen_goonies_house

I dont’t think either one of us were prepared for what we saw at the public docks. I expected to see maybe 5 or 10 Sea Lions, but there were at least 150. Not a care in the world. Piles of Sea Lions laying on top of each other, splashing in the water, sleeping under docks. Looking back this was my favorite moment of the entire trip. An unexpected adventure.

astoria_sealions_2013

astoria_sealions_dock_2013

Our next stop was Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon. the day was still windy and rainy but you know what they say… “Goonies never say Die.” A few photos and a quick walk in the sand and we headed toward Portland where would settle in for a few days.

cannon_beach

The drive through the small towns and logging roads was beautiful, even though it was foggy and rainy and it felt a little surreal to be almost above the clouds in some parts. Although we only stayed in Astoria for about an hour, it was a very cute town and we hope to visit and stay a bit longer next time. There were so many things on our list and just not enough time to do it all.

Jun
10
life stories
A new look for Upstate Fancy

rose

You may notice a new look to the blog. I have decided to move to a wider format to be able to share larger photos and projects as well as change format just a bit. Of course I will still be sharing amazing finds from fellow independent artists and designers, but I also hope to share a bit more about myself and my adventures. So welcome to the new UpstateFancy!

Apr
16
life stories
say cheese!

I’ve been taking a photograph class online, with Bella Pop.  I’ve always been really interested in photography, but know that there is so much more to learn so I thought it would be fun to take a class and learn something new. So far these are my favorite photos from the ongoing class!

Jan
24
life stories
Underrated Book: Griffin & Sabine

Back in High school I had a weekend job and a small antique shop/book store. It was a very quite position, I worked the shop alone and there were few customers, so I spent most of my time dusting, stocking and pricing items and of course browsing (and reading) the selection of books on the shelves. The owners of course knew I loved finding new treasures to read, and one afternoon when they stopped in, they pulled a book off the shelf and told me it was now mine. The book was Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock.

I didn’t know what to expect as I cracked open the spine for the first time, but once it was open I couldn’t put it down, there is something magical about it. Part novella, part artistic endeavor and wholly mesmerizing, the nook is a series of letters, notes and postcards back and forth between two strangers. For someone who loves art, illustration and postcards, I felt that this book was meant just for me. Everything is hand illustrated, even the postage stamps are imaginitve, but my favorite pages are the ones where you have to physically take a letter out of the envelope in order to read it. At times it almost feels as if you are part of the book, or found these letters by chance.

The book ends of course on a bit of a cliff hanger. I remember contemplating what happened for days after reading the book for the first time, and then of course reading it again. It wasn’t until a few years later, in a local bookstore, that i discovered this book was the beginning of a trilogy (it wasn’t over after all). I have read all of the books, but the first one is still the most beautiful to me. If you happen to see this book sitting on a shelf, pick it up, read it, and pass it on. It’s a quick haunting read, but I promise you can spend hours admiring the illustrations.

Dec
31
life stories
A look back at 2012

2012 has been one heck of a year for me. I had a few health scares. The company where I worked as the catalog designer was sold. I got married. I began working for myself. I decided to look back through my instragram feed and pick out two photos from each month to create a mini visual record of my last year.


January 2012: It snowed a few times & I took a class in Literary Theory which I earned an “A” in.

February 2012: Drove myself to the emergency room because i had a super high heart rate for no reason & my cheese markers were featured in Redbook.

March 2012: Took a weekend trip to Boston to celebrate Matt and my own birthday & it snowed again.

April 2012: Celebrated Easter by creating vessels to keep eggs from breaking while being dropped off a roof (mine did not survive) & enjoyed some local ice cream when they opened in the spring.

May 2012: Enjoyed some time paddling around on the kayaks & planted our mini garden.

June 2012: Matt and I got married on a sailboat & celebrated with Harry Potter.

July 2012: Matt and I got almost matching bikes & my family threw a party for us in Delaware where I helped my sister with her Criminal Justice homework underneath the stars (thanks WIFI).

August 2012: I redesigned packaging for my Peppersprouts coasters & went to my first drive-in movie.

September 2012: Traded in the first new car I ever bought (2004 Ford Focus) for a very fun Fit & cut down a christmas tree to photograph Peppersprouts’ ornaments.

October 2012: Spent a weekend with the in-laws here in Maine where we visited the farmers market & enrolled in a creative writing class (which I also earned an “A”)

November 2012: Cut down our real christmas tree & it snowed again.

December 2012: Was part of some amazing markets and craft shows & visited the families in Delaware and Central NY, where it snowed a lot.

I hope you have all had a wonderful 2012! Here’s to a fabulous 2013! Cheers!!!!

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