Tag Archives: art

a day in florence with connie wong of moderne press

{Editor’s Note: While I’m off strolling down cobblestone streets, mainlining croissants and gelato, I’ve asked a few of my most stylish globetrotting friends to share what they’d be doing – and of course, what they’d be wearing – on a dream day abroad.}

Besides being the powerhouse mastermind behind Moderne Press, a boutique PR firm that reps some of my all-time favorite brands, Connie Wong is my very first friend from the world of blogging, way way back from my days at The Daily Obsession! As you’d expect with stylish clients like Alexis Russell JewelryRabLabs and HorneConnie is impossibly well-dressed every time I see her – think J.Crew meets Kate Spade, with a little something under-the-radar thrown in for good measure. Also, she just got back from a honeymoon in Florence, so she’s the perfect person to give you a serious case of Italian wanderlust. Pack your bags!

connie-florence-outfit Read on

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etsy search of the day: "anemone"

since i love both the flower and the spiny sea creatures, i decided to see what would happen if i just searched for “anemone” on etsy…

anemone photo pendant, $35, adornjewelry

“an enemy or an anemone?” original photograph, $40, janeofalltrades.

not exactly an anemone, but so cool nonetheless. “charming creatures 12”, $100, by lisa congdon.

and now i’m just completely digressing…because these are sea urchins, of course. this is what etsy does to you. sea urchin stationery, $9, by pixelimpress.

i sort of can’t believe this amazingly detailed piece of glass is only 2″ across. anemone gazing orb II, $95, by zenartglass

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art i want today: new jen corace prints

much as i love to ooh and aah over the fantastic prints abounding on etsy these days, i’m trying to abstain. i’m following design*sponge‘s excellent advice in her SMC interview, in which she suggests saving up all of that money you’ll blow on cheap prints and splurging on one gorgeous original from an artist you love.

but then i hear from jen corace that she has three lovely new prints available, and i have to seriously reconsider all that willpower. jen’s style isn’t normally the art i go for, but there’s a vibe to them i just love. they remind me of being a kid – when you had this ability to make a completely different world for yourself with your imagination. i particularly love the print above – you know that girl’s mom is going to walk in that room any second and wonder why on earth her daughter is sitting in the middle of the living room floor, having a conversation with the wall. art that instantly creates a story in my head: that’s what i love.

and it’s limited edition, so it’s not like 5,000 people will have this in their home – only 50 people, actually. for $80, that’s not shabby at all.

if you’re so inclined, you can pick it up (or one of its sister prints) at art star. or check out more of jen’s lovely work at her website or at tiny showcase!

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what i want today: fantastic art posters

every single one of these is better than the last. i don’t think i can resist that toilet paper picture on the right for a bathroom i’m decorating. hard to read from here, but the scribble at the top says “always check“. fitting that the site is called advice to sink in slowly.

some are funny, some are sweet, and some are just plain true. all are $10 – now that’s taking “affordable art” to a whole new level!

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etsy of the day: photography by jennifer squires

i’m pretty particular when it comes to art photography, since my hubs is a pro photographer. but when jennifer squires sent her work over for me to check out, i instantly loved her work. jennifer says her work presents “simplicty and meaning in the beauty of the everyday,” and that says it better than i ever could. she does a great job of taking everyday subjects and using unique perspectives to make you take a second (or a third) look.

her nature photos make me instantly relaxed and peaceful – a tough thing to do this week. i especially love the tree in winter and february blues prints.

and i love the kitchen-themed photos…particularly for an inexplicable reason, the portrait of a sandwich, which i think would be adorable framed in a kitchen. or perhaps a triptych of beans, rice and peppercorns, or something along those lines.

her work is incredibly affordable – signed prints will run you about $45 for an 8×8 to 8×10 size. even better, for my lovely SMC readers, jennifer is offering an exclusive 25% discount with code CARDIO, but only through the end of this month. so, pick your faves, and snap them up via jennifer’s etsy shop. just quote the code in the “comments to seller” section when you order, and she’ll refund the difference once you’ve submitted payment.

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etsy of the day: sarahjanestudios prints

i’ve had this artist listed as one of my etsy favorites for ages. everything she comes up with just somehow makes me relaxed, happy and mellow. and for a high-strung girl like me, that’s something special. so, i’m pretty confident that if i were decorating a nursery (now there’s the “if” heard round the world…), the walls would be covered with sarah jane’s beautiful prints.

until then, these will just have to be my go-to baby gift – though i’ll have to temper that with my general feeling that one should not purchase art for someone else unless you’re really, freakishly confident in that person’s taste. i can’t even get art picks for the hubs right yet. then again, babies don’t have taste…so i can force mine upon them, right?

wow, digress much? anyway, more of sarah jane’s lovely work:

(above is goodnight, friend – which is making me sigh every time i look at it. pair it with i love you, friend, and life is pretty darn idyllic.)

breakfast bunny, $24.

j’aime ma maman, $24 (also see j’aime mon papa, which is equally adorable. and they’re available as a set for $40).

what little boys are made of, set of 3 prints for $60.

and one more, courtesy of the lovely poppytalk. the three bears, revisited, $24 (available in girl and boy versions).

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you are important

i so, so badly want to buy this and hang it in my bathroom. fortunately, it’s from one of my favorite art sites, 20×200, which means i actually can buy this and hang it in my bathroom, without breaking the bank.

20×200 in a nutshell: every tuesday they release a print of a painting. every wednesday it’s a photograph. edition is limited to 200 pieces, size is 8×10, price is $20 each. they also offer a larger size of each piece, edition of 20, price is $200. or, a gigantic version, edition of 2, price is $2,000.

but basically, it’s a fabulous way to get a limited edition print, from an often very well known artist, for peanuts. i absolutely love it!

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shoppingsmycardio interviews: reform school

from my first visit to reform school‘s outstanding website, i knew i was going to be spending a lot of time there. the site boasts a truly unique mix of art, home decor, books, paper goods, fashion accessories…i could go on and on.

reform school started out as a brick & mortar store in the los angeles area, but owners billie and tootie quickly found there was such tremendous demand for their wares that they set up the website, and it’s been uphill ever since.

one of my very favorite qualities about the site, in addition to the dozens of fabulous things i never knew i needed but suddenly can’t live without, is their ‘student of the month’ series. the owners collaborate with well-known or up-and-coming artists to develop a limited-edition print that is only available through reform school, and is priced to make the work of these amazing artists affordable for anyone. i recently picked up this amazing print by jen garrido (her first print, actually), of whom i’ve been a longtime fan.

there are literally so many things i want to show you all that this post would be ridiculous if i wrote them all up. so, i’m just going to post pictures along with the interview. just click the pics, and enjoy what billie and tootie had to say – they’re just fantastic people!

shoppingsmycardio: i would love to know how you and your partner came up with the concept for this store – i don’t think there’s anything else like it out there. can you tell me a little about how you decide what makes it onto the shelves, and what the overall concept/inspiration is?

reform school: Basically the concept came from our love of several different things…handmade contemporary crafts, sustainable design and independent art and artists. We thought they fused well together and they were all related on some level. Our focus is obviously one of reused or recycled materials. Simply, what makes it onto our shelves are items we find unique and that we would enjoy in our own homes or lives. As partners, we’re always bouncing product ideas off one another and most of the time we’re on the same page. However, if one feels really strongly about something and the other may not be so into it…we trust eachothers instinct to at least give it a shot. So far this has worked out really well for us.

SMC: do you buy one of everything you stock? i’m not sure i’d be able to stop myself!

RS: We’ve learned to control ourselves a bit on ordering but still have a way to go. It’s definitely a huge perk.

SMC: what are your top 3 favorite items on the site right now?

RS: Always the Student of the Month. It’s just very personal to us. It means alot to us that these artists are willing to create something exclusively for ReForm School. We both love the Ayumi Horie pottery, Yu-i Chen scarves, We Are So Good Together print, and of course the Treeblock Treehouse and building blocks for kids. Okay, okay,…so that more than three, but really…we could keep going on and on!

SMC: are there any areas of the site you’d like to expand on in the near future?

RS: Yes, we plan to add bigger items such furniture and it’s always a thrill to discover up and coming artists whose work hasn’t been seen anywhere else. (Such as Yu-i Chen…..she’s unbelievable!) We’re constantly working on more exclusives with different artists and companies.

SMC: i absolutely love the ‘student of the month’ series – can you tell us a little about how that came into being? any artists you’re working with that you could give us a sneak preview of?

RS: Obviously when you open up a shop, you want to offer something different and origianal and we are always looking for ways to work more closely with our favorite artists. The Student of the Month is a great way to keep customers interested and it certainly keep us on our tippy toes constantly seeking new artists and product for each month. Look for new work by Alyson Fox, Hammerpress, K-Studio and many more in the coming months.

SMC: normally, i’d ask about your favorite, no-fail outfit. but i’d actually like to know about your favorite, no-fail home decor tips. any words of wisdom for those of us who are desperately trying to make our homes as cool as reform school?

RS: Personally we rely on flea markets, thrifting…and the best…curbside giveaways! Any product from ReForm School would fit well with any decor Just like clothing…always invest in quality pieces. We always ask ourselves…is this something we’ll like 5-10 years from now. It’s a great way to practice sustainability.

a huge, huge thank you to billie and tootie for taking the time to chat with us.

one big ordering tip: if something you love looks “out of stock,” it’s worth checking in with the store before you dispair. they get new stock in so often, it’s entirely possible what you’re looking for is in the shop and just not up on the site yet.

ooh, and….well, let’s just say if you’re not already a daily candy deals subscriber, but you saw something you liked at reform school…well, today would be a really good day to sign up.

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