[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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Dec
03
Holiday Gift Guide
Gifts for Kids 2013

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holiday gift guide for kids 2013

Happy Handmade Holidays! These are just a few of my favorite finds for kids this year, all made my independent artists and makers on Etsy! It’s hard sometimes to find unique gifts for kids that they will love, I think these will do the trick!

1. Memory Zoo game from mama May I 2. Wooden Toy Camera from Twig Creative 3. Play Tepee from TneesTpees 4. Woodland Push Toys from Imagination 5. Kids Paper Puppet Theater from Pukaca 6. Fox Bath Mitts from Busy Bonnie Bee 7. Tell me A story Dice from The Small Object 8. Hello Baby Romper from Egg-a-Go-Go 9. Animal Tail pretend Play from Colette Bream

Dec
02
life stories
Searching for our Christmas Tree

I love Christmastime. There is just something magical about the air this last month of the year. Of course running two shops and getting to send my work to be gifted all around the world, keeps me pretty busy and in the studio most days (and nights) this time of year. Which is why Matt and I always make a big deal of going to pick out our christmas tree and spending the afternoon reminiscing over ornaments we have collected together.

This year we went to Crane Neck Tree Farm in West Newbury, MA. We ended up giving up on pulling our tree on the sled, after I documented it falling off twice and Matt begged me to stop photographing and start helping. We opted for a smaller tree than in years past, but we had such a fun time together, spending the afternoon out of doors and most of all, together. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish you a very Happy Holiday season!

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Nov
29
Holiday Gift Guide
Peppersprouts Thanksgiving Weekend Sale

black_friday_peppersproutsHappy Holidays! This weekend you can save 15% off everything in stock at peppersprouts.com  Just enter code HOLLYJOLLY at checkout. Good through Monday, Dec 2, 2013

Nov
26
Holiday Gift Guide
Gifts for Bookworms

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As someone who loves a good book, I would be thrilled to wake up Christmas morning with any of these under my tree! A little gift guide for the reader on your holiday list, who always seems to have their nose in a book, in the very best way possible!

1. Fox bookends by Design Atelier Article • 2. Bibliophile Perfume oil by Long Winter Soap Co. • 3. Animal Lovers Book Tote by Xenotees • 4. Kindle Cover by Service Partner on Etsy • 5. Vintage Sleeping Cat Book End from Guidoux Vintage • 6. Book Scarf by Storiarts • 7. Bookplate library stamp by the chatty press • 8. The believer literary journal from McSweeneys • 9. Book Brooch by House of Ismay

 

Nov
18
housewares
A new Twist on a Welsh Tradition

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I love all things British. My favorite place to shop is the Boden catalog, my pup is a Welsh Corgi, and of course I was glued to the Tv for the royal wedding. When I discovered this adorable shop, Loglike, I nearly feel out of my desk chair. Filled with amazing handmade gifts and home goods ( my weak spot) I pretty much want one of everything! My favorite are the Love spoons. A modern take on a welsh tradition, love spoons were given as tokens to show undying love, and these modern handmade versions feature bright handles that have been hand carved into little hearts. Wouldn’t this be the perfect wedding present for the couple who loves to cook. I for one wouldn’t mind finding a set under my christmas tree!

Nov
05
holidays
My top 10 favorite holiday movies

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Hello November! A chill is finally in the air, my scarves are out and ready to wear and it may be time to switch from ice coffee to hot coffee (probably not though, I do love cold beverages). To be November 1st is the beginning of the Holiday season, which means it is totally acceptable to start watching Christmas movies! There is nothing quite like cuddling on the couch under a blanket with a mug of Hot chocolate (one hot beverage I wouldn’t have any other way) and enjoying a Holiday themed flick, classic or new. Here are my top 10 picks that I make sure to watch before New Year’s Eve.

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1. Meet Me in St. Louis
I fell in love with this movie when I was about 8. My cousin Amy was really into classic movie musicals and made us watch it one evening, instant favorite. While It does cover a few holidays, the Halloween scene is adorable, the Christmas moments are just magical. The perfect dress, the perfect Beau, dance cards, decorations, and of course, the perfect Christmas Song, Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Of course everything works out in the end, in a perfect storybook, broadway ending. Make some mulled cider, turn on the christmas tree lights and please for the love of christmas, don’t be afraid to sing along!

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2. Elf
I pretty much quote elf lines all year long, but it does become more apparent during the holidays. If you seen;t one to quote one liners, don;t worry, if your kids watch this one they will be sure to quote enough for the entire family. Good luck finding your dad buddy. This one goes great with Candy Canes, Candy Corn

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3. Love actually
Every story in this film is just enchanting. Okay maybe not Alan Rickman – but everyone else you just can’t help but crossing your fingers and holding your breath that everything works out. The musical numbers are super cute, and so is pretty much every second Colin Firth is on screen. A chilled bottle  of wine (or two) and a bunch of girlfriends is the best way to watch this one. If your a guy bonus points for suggesting to your girlfriend to watch this one!

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4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The magic of Christmas combined with actually magic! What I would give to go to a feast at hogworts with the floating candles and the enchanted ceiling that makes it look like it is snowing. Maybe it is because I now love knitting gifts for family, but I would love to get a Weasley Jumper for Christmas. Figgy pudding or a yule log may be just the thing to make this film jump of the screen.

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5. Muppets Christmas Carol
It’s the Muppets in all their ridiculousness interpreting the Dickens classic. Perfect for the kids and with enough under the radar adult jokes that you won’t get bored either. Milk and cookies are a must with this one.

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6.White Christmas
I really don’t have to say much about this Christmas classic. Bing Crosby. Danny Kaye. Ver-Ellen. Rosemary Clooney. Technicolor. Over the top musical numbers. Snow. Pairs perfectly with a cup of Tea & Honey and maybe a throat lozenge nearby, your voice may be a bit worn out from all the singing along.

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7. The Shop Around the Corner
A classic romantic comedy (You’ve got mail was based on this black and white classic). Set in an adorable gift shop in Budapest in a time when love letters were penned carefully on sheets of crisp white paper. Make sure you have a handkerchief nearby for this one and perhaps a box of chocolates.

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8. Serendipity
Who meets their soul mate while buying gloves in a department store? John Cusack of course. A true romantic comedy filled with missed connections, some super sleuthing and the magic of the holiday season. Pair with a glass of wine and your BFF.

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9. Just Friends
Ryan Reynolds with the perfect mix of hilarity and sarcasm. You find yourself rooting for him, and yet thinking he really is just a jerk. Anna Farris is a hoot and you will be so happy to not actually have to spend the Holidays with her character. Pour yourself your a glass of your favorite christmas spirit and get ready to laugh.

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10. A Christmas Story
The first time I saw this movie, I thought it was stupid. I thought it was an old-timey movie (even though it was made in 1983) and It just looked super boring. I admit I was wrong. I can no longer look at a fragile stamp without saying “Fra-g-lay it must be Italian” and I wish there was a santa to visit that had a giant slide as well. This movie has grown on me over the years with good reason. Unlike some comedy movies, I think this one can be shared with the whole family.

Oct
18
holidays
The Holiday Collection from The Chatty Press

I am so excited to finally show the world the Holiday Collection I have been working on for The Chatty Press! Featuring letterpress holiday greeting cards, matching address stamps and a few fun surprises, like DIY gift tag stamps!
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I hand lettered the entire collection and so enjoyed making little illustrations to compliment the typography! I just had an absolute blast listening to christmas music, picking out the perfect ink colors and discovering new ways to celebrate the season. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed designing it!

From now until October 31st you can SAVE 20% on the entire holiday collection with the code CHEERS at checkout.

Oct
03
design
Lasercutting, The Handmade Movement & Etsy

On tuesday Etsy released new guidelines, one of which now openly allows artists and designers to use Manufacturing partners to help create an item. Some outside help has always been allowed on the marketplace, like an illustrator having their art work professionally printed on paper at a print shop, or in my case, laser cutting.

With the new guidelines some third party help does not need to be disclosed in your shop, while other help has to be applied and reviewed by etsy, and then disclosed on the item page and the new about us pages. Digital prints and posters, music, books you’ve authored, and 3D printed items do not have to be reviewed if you use a third party for help, but lasercutting now does.

I have already applied for review with my amazing partner, who has helped me grow my business and been my biggest fan as well, Ponoko. Of course, some people don’t see lasercutting as belonging in the “handmade category”, and I think that is just a shame. So I wanted to show you some process photos of one of my new products and show how something is made from start to finish with the help of my amazing partner here in the states, who is just another small business that my small business gets to support! So here we go…

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All of my designs start out as just a simple pencil sketch (my design professors would be proud . I then take a photo (who needs scanners anymore) and flush out the idea in illustrator. With this fox brooch I used two colors of brown to envision what would be engraved and what would be natural wood. Once I am happy with the final illustration, I work the illustration into lines that the laser cutter can read, here the Blue lines mean it will be cut – and the black solid areas are places for engraving.

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I place the final line art along with other line art, kind of like a really cool jigsaw puzzle, and upload it to Ponoko, where I choose the materials I want to have it made from. Ponoko cuts my art work with their magical lasers and send me exactly what I set to them, except it’s tangible now! They cut exactly what I send them, so if I made a mistake, made a line too short – forgot to close a loop – or made a spelling error – I have to fix my mistakes and make it over again.

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The next step is kind of magical. I pop all of my little creations from the board (i try and arrange things as close together as possible so there is little wasted material. Then I peel the protective paper that helps keep the pieces free from burn marks during the laser cutting.

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Then I start the finishing process. For my coasters, the wood is sanded slightly and stained and finished, with this new fox brooch, I hand paint him and then paint on a protective seal. Glue on a little pin back and them get him all ready for his new home! I design all of my own packaging (which has become one of my favorite parts of my business).

I love being part of the handmade community! Even though I don’t painstakingly hand carve my work, and I don’t own my own laser cutter a lot of myself goes into everything I make, and I love being able to share my illustrations and creations with people all over the world. I look forward to sharing some new amazing goodies over the next few weeks!

Sep
25
Accessories
Custom Pet Charms from Augusta Designs

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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.

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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!

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Sep
05
inspiration
hello brimfield

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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.

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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.

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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!

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