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Upstate Fancy
[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



My take on a vintage bookplate


As a kid I loved writing my name in the front cover of my books. Especially the Little Golden Books, they had a little illustrated bookplate printed right inside, ready to be scribbled on. When eve I find myself browsing vintage book stores, I love pulling a book off the shelf with high hopes of discovering a germ of a bookplate pasted inside, I have actually become pretty good at guessing which ones will have one and which will not. You should try it sometime when you find yourself surrounded by shelves of those beautiful dusty gems!

dots_bookplate_thechattypress chattypress_bookplatestamp_group

I have been wanting to design some bookplates, for quite a while, but have’t found the time or really the right way to go about it. Until now of course! I only have a few styles so far, but I couldn’t be happier with them, and I look forward to expanding the selection over at The Chatty Press, as summer turns to fall and the air fills with the scents of sharpened pencils and text books. I would love to make you, or your favorite bookworm, a personal bookplate that can be stamped over and over again as the library grows. Take a peek at the shop and maybe get a holiday order in to beat the rush!



Sweet Gifts & Jewelry by Lisa Leonard

I discovered Lisa Leonard over on Oana Befort’s Blog (if you haven’t seen her beautiful illustration work, check it out). Lisa Leonard creates beautiful decor items and amazing jewelry pieces, many of which can be personalized just for you.


Her work is truly lovely, and even more spectacular ( if that is even possible) once you hold it in your own hands. I bought myself the little bookworm necklace and I have’t taken it off (except to sleep  of course) since it arrived in my mailbox. I can not wait to add more of her creations to my growing jewelry collection. I love being able to support other small business, especially women owned businesses. I think it’s important that we keep the cycle going and continue to show support to each other.


life stories
This Car Climbed Mt. Washington


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.}


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.



life stories

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.


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!


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.


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.


life stories
Celebrating our first anniversary!


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!



life stories
Visiting the Pacific Northwest – Astoria, Oregon


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.

life stories
A new look for Upstate Fancy


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!

Cooking with CSA goodness

My friend Alexandra Roberts (she’s the amazing photographer who photographed our wedding) loves cooking with local ingredients. So she decided to blend her love of meal making and her awesome photography skills together and start a new blog called Rolling with the Bunches.

I was so thrilled when she asked me if I would design a logo for her new creative endevour, and began working on a design in my head before I had even finished reading the email. I’m very happy with the end result, and can not wait for all of her amazing recipes and cooking tips.  While the blog isnt up yet, you can follow her page on facebook  and see what she has been cooking with her CSA farm share.

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!

Take flight in these beautiful scarves

I just had to share these erethral scarves by the Melbourne based shop Shovava. All of her work is simply lovely but I can not stop lusting over her feather printed works. They are made from a natural cotton voile that looks light and soft and perfect for the upcoming spring season. I think they are just the perfect mix of the urban and natural world. I just really have never seen anything like them. Beautiful.

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