Tag Archives: philly local

Proudly MadeJuly 8, 2013

Terrain’s blog, The Bulletin, features some great DIYs, recipes, and general eye candy. My favorite series has been Proudly Made, highlighting the passion and affection poured into these American-made brands and products. I only wish there were more posts! Stop over there sometime and see or yourself. Here are a few of my favorites:

Folk Fibers – Austin, TX 

Jacobsen Salt Co. – Netarts Bay, OR

Peg & Awl – Philadelphia, PA

All photos from Terrain’s original posts.

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Getting to know you, DSLRFebruary 15, 2012

We recently joined the yupster revolution and bought ourselves a DSLR. Um, yeah. But it’s ok – we don’t think we’re photographers or anything. With the responsibility of owning such a beautiful machine, we thought we’d get to know her a little better. Enter Project Basho, a photography studio in Philadelphia with (affordable!) classes ranging from beginners to professionals. We scored a Living Social voucher, making it even more of a deal. Both Tom and I attended a few beginner’s courses, and love the down-to-earth, accessible atmosphere they have going on there.

I recently attended my first class – I’ll admit I was a little anxious stepping into a studio with my Canon Rebel not knowing much more than where the on/off button was, but soon I felt comfortable asking anything. Now my only problem is I want to take more classes. Fortunately, they have a rotating schedule of different classes, workshops, and tutorials that can easily fit into my schedule. Interested in taking classes? Be sure to tell them Mrs. Jamie Adjemian referred you – and score me some free bucks there, ok friend?

Not only do does Project Basho teach, but you can rent space, attend exhibits, teach, and much more in the converted studio. And please do check out the upstairs – the subtleties in architecture, such as reveals around doors instead of trim, pocket doors, curved wall, and even the center-screwed floor tiles all tie in to the calming energy of the studio. (Interior designers notice these sorts of things.)

Photo: Pia Johnson, as featured in the current show now Feb 11 – March 25.

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FIELD TRIP: Art Star Craft BazaarNovember 23, 2011

I hadn’t planned to get to Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend. In fact, as most things do these days, it sort of snuck up on me. However, after fellow Philly creative Susan over at Fleurishing kept tweeting about such lovely things, I squeezed a little time out of my Sunday afternoon to get over there and experiment with my new camera. Yeah, I looked all sorts of official with a camera – too bad I was so busy chatting that I didn’t notice my focus was way off.

It was the end of the weekend for the slew of talented crafters when I arrived – hour 14.5 of 16, to be exact. They were tired but still quite friendly, eager and willing to share stories of their process and love of their particular talent. Let’s meet a few, shall we?
Skylark Studio – I had seen Karen’s work before but it was lovely to see and touch it in person. She explained to me her continuous development of designs that have outlasted the indie scene’s anticipated expiration date, such as the birds and antlers that still seem to dominate sales. My favorite piece was a simple pendant with a new variation of her fish-scale design. Unfortunately, my camera skills were off to a rocky start and the photos didn’t quite turn out. No worries, though, as I was having a lovely time chatting with her! Quality time with an artist is worth a few blurry shots.
Kin Ship Press – They were featured etsy sellers this summer, where they share the inspirations and process. By the way, I need this mug to remind me to actually enjoy my coffee.

Gioconda Padovan – “Feel free to try!” came a pretty little voice, inviting me to use her custom-made stamps designed with her original drawings of buildings, people, and objects. A simple concept made popular in recent years by Yellow Owl Press – infinite possibilities for customers to create their own works of art. (Photo from GP site)
Meerwiibli – This coat stopped me dead in my tracks! I loved the color, the collar, the pattern, the pockets – everything. I watched as a waify little thing tried it on with her cool colored tight and rugged boots, then asked her if it was as warm and cozy as it looked. When she replied, “yes,” I knew I had to move on because I went any closer, it would have some home with me.

Brainstorm – They were working with a paying customer when I wandered up (I promised Tom I wouldn’t spend any money, but I surely took some notes for Santa). I love to see what this team dreams up, and am always happily impressed with the quality and rich color they accomplish with their prints.

Forage – Anything made by Shauna and Stephen is infused with their sense of humor, romance, and impeccable craft – Forage is no different. This was my first encounter with the bowties, and, as expected, could have scooped up a few if only I had the kind of gent who’d brave the bowtie. I’ve decided to hone in on my husband’s cousin who is getting married this spring… Matt, there’s a handsome green gingham with your name on it! And the wedding party would look dashing, dear boy! Let’s pair it with some Whitney Deal dresses for some homespun matrimony. (Photo from SHiH – mine were quite awful.)

Gilbert & Leona – Another item on the Christmas list – the bucket bag. Made of recycled and/or post-manufactured leather, it would have been a total step up from my days with the diaper bag. I’m just about done those and am in the market for a new one. Not too heavy, wonderful color, and I’m sure it would patina quite nicely…

Diamond Tooth Taxidermy – The feathery headpieces here were so elegant and pretty, I almost wished I had some fancy place to go wear it. But fancy means finding a babysitter, shaving my legs, and staying up past my bedtime… how about I just wear it around the house with a cocktail?
Concrete Polish Studio – I’m normally attracted to simple jewelry with little to no detail, but these chunky, sparkly rings drew me right into the booth. Perhaps I need to shake things up, and go straight to the double finger quartz knuckle duster? Yup, I think so. (Photo: CPS)
Farmhaus – This was the first public debut of their works at the craft fair. I was getting pretty handsy with all the cutting boards – great qualilty and a simple, modern design with crisp edges and a convenient hole at the corner for hanging. But my favorite piece was a (sold) hunk o’ wood, sanded and waxed up, on a trio of big red castors. If Lucy has been there, she’d be riding that around the place fo’ sho’.


Penelope Rakov – I had two questions for this vendor: How do you make that? and Do you like your name? The latter had more to do with taking advantage of meeting my first Penelope, a name I can’t seem to explain nor question why I like – I just do. More importantly, do you see those earrings? I had to ask how she does it – was it clay and resin, I asked? No, no – glass! In her Philadelphia studio, she plays with stupid hot glass, stretching and combining colors and patterns to create really stunning pieces. The resulting jewelry has depth and personality breathed into each piece.
Diane Koss – Cutesy But Not Too Cutesy added some frickin’ awesome baby hoodies to make your little one an adorable monster. Also a good gifts for wee ones of friends and relatives who would never, ever admit that their kid IS a little monster.
Namoo – Where were these quilts when I was planning my nursery? Actually, that’s exactly what I said to owner / maker Insung Kim, before telling her that this just re-enforces why I need to have another kid ASAP (just kidding! Let me graduate first). Her color and textile pairings were neutral and fresh, and she was sweet as pie, telling me about her desire to incorporate with more organic and natural fabrics. All the better, Insung! All the better…

Lil Fishy – This booth just had the darnedest baby gear – because every tot needs a scarf with a penguin on it! Plus their tagline is “It’s important to be little.” Well stated.
Girls Can Tell – I’ve seen these neat diagrammatic linens and lunchbags around the webs, and I had just seen their ad for their new shop in Grid. So I stopped in, chuckling aloud at a few illustrations (magical unicorns and Chicago architecture, specifically). The tea towels were so soft I could have bought a stack right then and there… but put them on my Christmas list instead.
knitknit – The embroidered felt necklaces here are so elegant and charming. The soft autumn palette only compliments the woodsy animal folk Nguyen Le draws and embroiders free-hand. (Photo: KK)
Huldra Press – Marianne was fresh out of business cards when I got to her at the end of the day – a sign she was in quite the demand this weekend! When I asked her about her work, she gushed to me about her craft, telling me her favorite creations often came from crisp metal letterpress on recycled kraft papers. Her mellow color schemes and simple forms made quite a palatable collection for the show.
Solidio – Wood buckles, frames, and jewelry all made from custom furniture scraps. Mitch was kind enough to tell me a little bit about the company and their commitment to reducing waste by using scraps for these finely crafted accessories (or to feed the wood stove and keep warm!). (Photo: Solidio)
Red Prairie Press – I only had time to quickly pass through the racks here and fell in love with the soft raglan Arrow sweatshirt, taking note of the size I’d need for Santa (medium). Then I moseyed on over to the site, where I read up a little on Rachel Bone, who creates it all herself in her house. Crazy, right? I also found this awesome Eagle print pullover with a rad Lenape Indian folk art inspired design. I’d look pretty awesome in it. (Photo: RPP)
There were many more but these were a few favorites among the bunch. Glad I stopped by – lovely to meet everyone! Hopefully my photo class at Project Basho next weekend will get my skills up to par for next time.
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Design PhiladelphiaOctober 14, 2011

In between my 9-5 job, part-time school status, and raising a 2yrs-old, I somehow missed the opening of Design Philadelphia yesterday. So now I’m reorganizing my schedule to see what I can manage to fit into my already packed week ahead. Smashing printers seems fun, as does drooling over DwellStudio in person or visiting the artist studio tours. I’ll let you know what I end up making via twitter. Hope to see you there, wherever that is.

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Shift_DesignMay 31, 2011








A sweet place to grow some herbs, eh? Cedar Herb Box by Shift_Design

Photo by Sam Oberter


Last week I started a new position at Greenable in Northern Liberties – a headquarters for green building materials, finishes, and then some. Mario from Shift_Design had stopped by to update us on new product. The Fitzwater rainwater collector currently resides in the front of the showroom, and I was sold simply on that gorgeous system. I soon popped on over to their new website and saw the installed products he was telling us about – the Cedar herb box (above), the Edgley window box, the Funston fire-pit (which can double as an ice chest).

They also do custom pieces AND keep it green with a 120-mile manufacturing radius, recycled content, and 100% recyclable product. It’s smart, efficient design. Period.

Check out even more on the website, including beautiful installation photos by Sam Oberter of their modern pieces on the oldest residential street in the country.

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Art Star 2011May 16, 2011

On a miserable and rainy Saturday afternoon, I stopped by the Art Star Craft Bazaar. I was fumbling with my umbrella, coffee, and iPhone, and wasn’t able to get any good pictures. However, here is a roundup of some faves with photos by the artists & crafters themselves:

  1. Modern Bird Mobile by Baby Jives: This booth was utterly ethereal with mobiles floating overhead. Makes me want to pin some wings on Lucy’s birds and re-hang them on a twig.
  2. Toddler Octopus Shirt by Loyal Dog: Every year I am impressed by this booth – always something fresh and new. I loved this sweet, heathered shirt for Lucy.
  3. Do-It-Yourself Kit by Chez Sucre Chez: The ever-adorable Kimberly Scola was there with her sweet and simple modern cross-stitch. Last year I purchased one of her Boyfriend Hankie kits and made one for Tom with my initials (GM for General Merriment). He keeps it in his pocket always which is why I still don’t have a picture of it. He never uses it either – only offers it to me when I need a tissue. Too damn sweet.
  4. Hipster Bingo by Hipster Bingo: Genius! Only I’m sure it would be way too easy in Philly or NYC. But definitely two thumbs up!
  5. Handwoven Greta Scarf by Pidge Pidge: I loved these scarves – lightweight with subtle color. Perfect for chilly summer nights.
  6. Man & Woman Mobile by Specks & Keepings: I ran into Hillery Sproatt’s work Friday afternoon when I stopped by Arcadia with my friend Alison. Her skilled craftsmanship surely shines in each of her pieces, and it seems to run in the family with her daughter Rebe’s mother Debra Weiss’ lovely wearable designs.
  7. Organic Cotton Onesie by Sweet Pepita: Send a favorite old tee or choose from one of the many this shop has for some cool digs for your kid. Or someone else’s little dweeb who needs some serious style – we all know those poor kids whose parents dress them like dolls.
  8. Pom Pompadour Horrible Adorable by Jordan Elise: A new twist on woodland creatures and faux taxidermy, eh? These sizable soft sculptures would make the perfect focal point in any nursery, Or living room.

Despite the weather, the fair did not disappoint. With a pretty even mix of wares – baby, fashion, ceramics, jewelry, stationery – it was a good show.

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Happy Earth Day, PeopleApril 22, 2011

Got $10? Feeling generous to do something for Earth Day? How about moseying on over to this Kickstarter page and helping a Philadelphia high school plant a veggie garden and paint a mural? I’ve been volunteering at my local US Green Building Council chapter (the DVGBC) for the Emerging Professionals Committee, helping to coordinate this event. It went from an idea of starting a garden for the new LEED Platinum Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts to a green festival with over 100 volunteers and even a cameo by Mayor Michael Nutter. Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal. But we need YOUR help to make it happen. So c’mon, help some kids learn to grow some food. And put your mind at ease knowing you’ve contributed to Earth Day in some way.

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Career movesApril 11, 2011

I’m an interior designer, in case I never mentioned that. I live and breathe design in any form, really. Life is a composition for me. So trying my hand at photographic styling should come naturally, right? Well… sort of. I recently (translation: months ago but am just getting around to posting) borrowed my friend Gavin’s amazing kitchen and sweet camera skills to get creative. I severely underestimated the amount of time in preparation, which compromised our available natural light.  I guess it’s because I’m pretty specific when it comes to lining things up, assembling items on trays, etc. It’s what a designer does, right? We go crazy getting things just perfect. Luckily, Gavin’s kitchen (one of the many highlights in the 869 Compound) was rich with natural finishes and, being home to two skilled chefs, was also filled with fun accents like vintage baking pans and fresh produce to arrange (and rearrange several times).


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I’ve decided…April 5, 2011

This a common phrase my other half hears me say often. It means that I have found a new project or cause to take on. It doesn’t mean that I will come anywhere near accomplishing them most of the time, but it is a moment where I dedicate myself entirely to something, however fleeting. The famous decision he teases me about is, “I’ve decided I need to make a sofa for this room.” So that has been the running joke in our house, though I still intend to make a sofa one day! It’s on my life list, I swear. Anyway, I think I’ll share my decisions with you to give him a break once in a while…

So today, in this moment, I have decided that I want to find a project with an open space plan to lend my interior design skills (anyone in desperate need of how to outfit their huge space?). This home by Postgreen and Interface Studio featured in this month’s Dwell, inspired the “decision”:

Photo by Mark Mahaney

[Photo by Mark Mahaney]

Basic materials with little clutter – the way living should be. I’m in a purging mood, so bare and simple-to-manage interiors are drawings me in. The balance of this kitchen come together so beautifully – the equal-width upper and lower cabinets, horizontal straight lines of all the surfaces, and the character in the dining room table and concrete floor against the clean white and black. (I’ll take two, please.)

Photo by Mark Mahaney

[Photo by Mark Mahaney]

This nursery just speaks for itself. Clean and simple, though the other side of the room is a more realistic view of the needs of a babe. Now I find myself wanting to re-do Lucy’s room for a fresh start. She’s a toddler now and has seemingly outgrown her baby toys. She needs rooms for her growing book collection (and dress-up stuff she’ll soon be amassing, the diva she is!).

Be sure to check out the rest of the home here and try their Project Customization tool to create your own house, learning how to keep a budget with REAL pricing. You can check my design out right here.

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SpoolMarch 29, 2011

I finally got myself over to Spool in Philadelphia to drool over some pretty fabrics. I had a few projects on my list so I picked up the Cloud 9 My Happy Nursery bundle for a sweet quilt for our soon-to-be nephew. I also grabbed this linen / cotton beauty from Etsuko Furuya’s Echino collection for an Easter dress for Lucy. I’m thinking of making a pretty three-quarter sleeve tunic she can wear with leggings in the spring. [We’ll see – might need to make a tank to accommodate her chub arms.]

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