Monday

oh hello




oh hello.  just a mama and baby orangutan to brighten up your day.

So the summer has been intense - I had to take break and compose myself after learning that a cute little critter like this one will be entering our lives soon around Christmas (not an ape, a baby!)

It's all good, just trying to figure out how to manage a day job, a creative side job, a home renovation, a barn building, and of course, a growing human. It's a lot people!  and let's not even talk about finances and health insurance.

I feel like I look a lot like that mamma up there - blissed out, exhausted, and very hairy.

So heads up!  Keep a look out for a jewelry sale!  I'm going to clean house, take a break, and regroup next year with a hopefully more beautiful stream lined shop. good times ahead!

Friday

this weekend!

Ack! I just realize I never hit the "publish" button on this post - I'm hopping in the car right now and headed up to Brooklyn for the Renegade Fair this weekend, maybe you can make it??





before I go any further in this post let's take a second to welcome me to 1998. I just learned photoshop. duh, where have I been? It's so fun!

So I have few new things I'll be bringing up to  Brooklyn (June 22/23).   I've been working in bronze a bit lately, just to warm things up and give some options to the ladies more inclined to go toward gold tones.


Here's a little sample ....



Whatever's left will be going up in the shop - I'm going to be temporarily winding down the shop as I get ready for some really big projects coming in December.  More on that later!

Wilkum!

Such a fun odd turn of events has lead to this blog post.

Many of you know that I live in Pennsylvania Dutch country, in the teeny little village of Virginville.  The style of the PA Dutch is pretty prevalent around here, of course on barns, but also on the restaurant walls, meat shops, antique malls, etc.

Eric Claypoole working on a hex sign in Virginville.

I've done several designs inspired by this style - a distlefink, a hex sign, trinity vine tulips - a whole folky collection.  They had kind of run their course, selling decently but only to people who had a real connection to PA Dutch country ...



SO, enter the Facebook page Pennsylvania Dutch and Proud!  and wouldn't you know it someone posted a link to my shop on a thread about a discussion of an antique hex sign charm bracelet.

One thing leads to another and here I am designing some new little hexes!

I made a few different bracelet options - 5 charmer, 3 charmer, 1 charm, and single necklaces. They are smaller than my other designs, some tiny hand cutting skills in action here.

For some info on how I cut them, click here.





To see the prices and specifics in my shop listings click here.




These are some little single necklaces, the charms are about the size of a penny.


From left to right we have:

Love and Romance Rosette: Symbol of good luck and success in love.

Tulip Hex: Tulips represent faith and trust in mankind, the outer scallops are for smooth sailing in life.

Daddy Hex: 12 points for joy in each month of the year.

Star Hex: Good luck and smooth sailing.

Raindrop Hex: The more obscure rain hex, for abundance and fertility.

I can mix and match, add more, whatever. It's pretty flexible since they are each made custom made for each order.


If any of you out there are looking for some more handmade dutchie goodness, my friend Mel is having a going out of business sale on her lovely prints


and my friend Sara has some gorgeous hand printed linen tea towels


AND! My fellow Virginvillian, Megan from Typothecary Press has these great modern letterpressed hex posters


So much great design happening in Dutch Country! NIX BESSER!


Wednesday

Knoll studio tours

Finally getting around to uploading some pics from a little backwoods studio tour I took a few weeks ago.  

East Greenville, PA is the home of Knoll, but many people don't realize that when Knoll was booming it brought other designers to the area to design for them.  After designing for Knoll many of them stuck around these small country towns and started up their own design firms.   Here's a link to the back story

The tour was a great combo of old timey goodness with modern simplicity.   While my love affair with mid century design is not what is used to be, I can still get pretty lusty after a Thonet chair. 



It started off at the Shwenkfelder Museum's exhibit: Modern Design in the Valley. It was a sweet little show of all the big guns in the area.  It was mostly a chair show, which is odd when you think of it.

The permanent collection of this museum also holds some dutchie stunners, similar to the ones I blogged about before.



After the Shwenkfelder we went on to several other manufacturing studios,  Shea and Lantone being a highlight. Look at these baby mock up Eames and Bertoia chairs!




Machine room envy ...




This shiny chair was a prototype for a Gehry line ...




And of course cool design happens in the coolest of old factory buildings,  and the head designer drove this beauty ... the junior designer drove a VW golf (of course!).




Then we were off to the Knoll headquarters. Usually the show room is not open to the public, so this was a sweet sneak peek.




They had an original version of every single chair they've collaborated on - this is the original Mies van der Rohe / Stephen Sprouse graffiti chair. 




And then off to the Bertoia studio, run by Harry son, Val Bertoia.  (for more info check out his wacky site).


The showroom was a wild combo of antique cars, giant gongs, and his father's classic sound sculptures.



A pretty great day - another reason why living out in the country is the coolest.

Monday

wavy times

Here's a nice collection of scalloped goodness featuring my swingy hoops from the super cool blog Moods and Appetites.




I dig the way this blog picks a theme and combines paintings, art installations, accessories, furniture, etc. into a lovely collage. Just my way of thinking ... check them out HERE.

old timey graphics

I've been obsessed with antique Japanese fabrics for years, I love the subtle dark indigo and black combos.  I especially keen on katazome and kasuri styles ... the subtle  patterns are not too over the top tribal, just enough to make it interesting.

These two below are from one of my favorite etsy shops, Furugi Star out of Tokyo. 





She recently listed INCREDIBLE 100 year old katazome, and it's got my favorite cloud thing going on. what a stunner.  




I ordered this dark blue beauty from another great etsy shop, Kimono Heaven,  for displaying my work on in my booths ....



These are usually long kimono sash lengths, here's me doing a pre show stock count ... 


I love that antique Japanese prints sometimes resemble Native American prints that sometimes resemble Pennsylvania folk patterns. There's got to be something to that. 

I found these folk inspired beauties next to the smoked meat section at our farmers market, right next to the headstone salesmen, gotta love Renningers. 

While most of the time this style tends to be a bit country for me, sometimes there is a classic that holds up.  This stunner is in dark navy blue ... 



They are made by Family Heirloom Weavers outside of Lancaster, PA.  One of the last surviving textile mills in the country, they reproduce original designs from the 18th & 19th centuries and adapt them for 21st century use.  

They recently re-created the pattern from an 1867 painting by Louis Mathieu Guillaume (General Lee surrendering to General Grant) for a new floor covering. Kind of incredible ... 




This one's back and white graphic quality reminds me of the Pia Wallen blankets and the Pendleton style that is so popular these days.  

The crux is so California mission-y yet so PA Dutch folky, I'm pretty obsessed. There's got to be a connection, the crux has a pretty cool history, but that's for another time.  




I have some new designs inspired by this blanket, can't wait to bring them out this summer.  I suddenly have a craving for some smoked meats ... mmmm. 

Thursday

xoxo

I had a sassy funny photoshoot the other other and I though these pics would be perfect for sharing on Valentine's Day ... just hanging out lounging on red silk, just another normal day in Virginville.




These are some new designs I reworked ... online listings coming soon ...


Friday

vibes

some days you just need to feed off the vibes of awesome people.

So here are some pics of Leah Shapiro, the drummer for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

 I like her for obvious reasons (motorcycles, drumming, style)  but I'm more impressed by her total sweet introverted nature.  She's this incredibly soft spoken Danish girl holding her own in this hyper masculine LA music scene.  She rarely talks in interviews, and when she does it's so dear and earnest.  I love that.

 (all pics from her awesome fan tumblr, fuck yea leah shapiro)

I've been really keen on powerful introverts lately. Extroverts get all the attention, but I feel like us shy ones are on the verge of something big.  For all you bashful ones some good reading for all you.

Thursday

pretty little packages

I had a great holiday selling season, and I was really excited Christmas morning thinking about all the lovely ladies opening their Skylark goodies.

I don't think I've ever really mentioned my fun packaging, it's probably one of my favorite things.  These little tins are great for shipping but are also awesome for storage and traveling.

I'll have to get creative when I start making bigger pieces, I'd like to keep the same aesthetic going, we'll see.  I plan on keeping the vintage japanese birds going, despite the whole "put a bird on it" phenomenon, I still dig certain birds.





I'm one of those dopes that picks wine based on the label.  I'm a real sucker for pretty packaging, there's nothing that can psyche you up more for a product than a stellar first impression.

Here are some great examples out there in the world:


The Ace Hotel does everything right, including their gift wrap ...




A nice clean approach for Egg Unlimited Bakery designed by Studio Brave ...






While not exactly packaging, this Jeopardy Magazine cover is incredible, I don't care what's written in it, I'd buy it.   I'm loving that brassy gold and dark mushroom grey combo.   As the designer has said, they were looking to create something with "maximum shelf appeal".  Achieved.



and no conversation about packaging would be complete without mentioning those iconic yellow containers from Bellocq Tea Atelier, collector's items for sure.




Got any other great packaging examples?  I love thinking about all this stuff almost as much as I like making the product that goes in it!


Monday

from our village to yours

Season's Greetings from our little ville to yours ... happy wishes to you all!


We celebrated the solstice with a lovely candle spiral in a tulip poplar grove at the base of Hawk Mountain, ushering in the new age of positive vibes and creativity. HECK YES TO THAT!

xoxo to you all for 2013 ...