Dispatches from Sweden

Contributor post by Camilla Engman

This trip is taking you to Karlskrona in Sweden, situated by the Baltic Sea. I will hang my exhibition and attend the show opening at Karlskrona Konsthall (arthall). It is a cold day with the sun trying to shine through the clouds. I was supposed to go by train but the train is set so there is a bus taking us to our destinations instead.


The bus driver could only drive four hours at a time, so after a while he takes a break and hands out sandwiches to all of us, and takes his break with us back in the bus. He lives in Karlskrona and promises to go to my exhibition.

I have great help to hang the exhibition by the gallery technicians. Half of my paintings are already in the gallery and the rest will turn up the next day, straight from my exhibition in Östersund. It is a little bit nervous before you know if everything really gets there on time. It turns out the paintings are stuck somewhere on their way, but close. The janitor, where the paintings are, offers himself to bring them to us. Happy ending :)

See the paintings here.  And a few more pictures from the arthall.

Next day after hanging it all I get time to look at the surroundings. It is a very cold day so I can't go so far. Maybe I should try to exhibit in the warm part of the year.

I walk around randomly on the streets. It is a very pretty town. Apparently the Naval Port of Karlskrona is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List The main square of Karlskrona is the biggest in Scandinavia, and actually the second biggest in Europe, after the Red Square of Moscow. I visit the Fredrik Church, the foundation of the church was laid in 1720, and it was inaugurated in 1744. It differs from usual Swedish churches in its yellow color and its adornment.

It seems like there is alot of "old fashioned" cafées in Karlskrona = they serve you by the table, they only have filter coffee, you get a refill and the cookies are small. I prefer a cafe latte, but I like these cafées very much.

Since I am going back home right after the opening, we do the celebration part the day before. They take me out for dinner and then a concert.

For obvious reasons I can't stay out late :) The opening goes well. They had a small contest before the show, people were asked to look at three of my paintings and write something, a story about one of them. We had so much fun reading them. Three of the contributions were selected and they got a small prize and read their own stories during the opening. I had tears in my eyes, they looked so proud.

A quick stop at the hot dog stand, for mashed potatoes and falafel, and then back to Gothenburg.

20 in 20


Create 20 handmade crafts in 20 days- and then give them all away? That's the idea behind Abbey Hendrickson's 20 in 20 project. Abbey, the artist behind the daily lifestyle blog Aesthetic Outburst, started her project as a personal crafting challenge, but now 20 in 20 has become a fun handmade giveaway for us all! Click here to find out how it all works! And then follow the giveaways each day!

CALL TO ARTISTS: Habitat for Artists Project Residency

Helen Day Art Center invites submissions for the Habitat for Artists project residency. From July 15th to September 25th, three 6’ x 6’ x 8’ constructions will be built and placed in Stowe, Morrisville, and Waitsfield, Vermont. Over the course of the residency, artists will inhabit these buildings, making their own work in the public realm, thus allowing for discussion with passersby. Artists have the opportunity to work with partnering organizations: River Arts, in Morrisville; Yestermorrow and Vermont Festival of the Arts, in Waitsfield; and Helen Day Art Center, in Stowe. Please visit www.helenday.com/exhibitions/upcoming for more detailed information and www.habitatforartists.org to explore the history of the project. Contact curator Rachel Moore with questions at hfavt2011@gmail.com

HFA is a collective project that uses the idea of the artist’s studio as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities.

Press Release: Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild, St Johnsbury

Feathers and Fur, Birds and Beasts

Animals we live among, some wild and some domestic, will be the subjects of an exhibition hosted by the Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild from March 5 through April 23. Elinor Osborn's photographs of birds and ValeriaSarephena Elliott's photographic portraits of farm animals will enliven the walls, while in the center of the Backroom Gallery will hang ceramic bird houses by Abby Dreyer.

The public is cordially invited to meet the artists at a reception at the Guild on Saturday, March 12, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Abby Dreyer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and studied wood working, furniture design, metal smithing and jewelry making. But it was not until January 2006 that she enrolled in a wheel throwing class and "discovered the wonders of clay." She says, "There has been nothing on my mind or in my hands since." She designs and builds one-of-a-kind birdhouses to be actual nesting boxes for various species of cavity nesting birds. The depth/width of the house as well as the diameter of the entrance hole is different for each species.

Valeria Sarephina Elliott's photography (see right) has always been inspired by nature.Her latest project has been photographing farm animals in local barnyards. She says, "With patience, the animals grow accustomed to my presence, and allow a glimpse of their personalities. I strive to reveal the emotions of the individual, always attempting to capture the spirit of the moment and my subject. "

She has a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, in New York, and says that her principal mentor is Phillip Geftner, Page One Photo Editor of the New York Times. Her work has been shown in many galleries in New York and Vermont.

Although award-winning photographer Elinor Osborn (left) enjoys photographing a variety of subjects in nature, the images in this exhibition will be of birds. In her book "Project UltraSwan" she follows the story of the trumpeter swan migration project in which scientists use ultralight aircraft to teach young swans the migration route. . Her photographs have been published in many books and magazines.

The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild is located at 430 Railroad St. in St. Johnsbury and is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Telephone: 802-748-0158. Web address: www.nekartisansguild.com.

PRESS RELEASE: Kathrena Ravenhorst-Adams at O'Maddi's Deli and Cafe in Northfield

A Touch of Green

Kathrena Ravenhorst-Adams will be the featured artist for the month of March at O'Maddi's Deli and Cafe in Northfield. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, the hoped-for coming of Spring, and the green walls of O'Maddi's, each of the artworks will have a little or a lot of green. Birds, blossoms and Vermont landscapes will be subjects of the oils and watercolors on display from March 1 - 31. O'Maddi's is located in the Mayo Building, 7 South Main Street in Northfield. Call 802-485-4700 for more information.

Image: Hidden Glade, oil, Ravenhorst-Adams

PRESS RELEASE: Elise Andréa talk in Craftsbury

Elise Andréa
Friday, March 4
6:30-7:30 pm

Elise Andréa of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont shows examples of her work and speaks about her life as an artist at The Art House Gallery at 1146 North Craftsbury Road in Craftsbury Common. Elise’s work has been included in many Vermont exhibitions, awarded numerous distinctions and are now in collections around the world. A long-time organic gardener, she traveled to New Zealand in 2006 to work on an organic sheep and cattle station, studying sheep to be able to paint them accurately. Her paintings won awards in New Zealand.

Elise's watercolors are currently on exhibit at the Brown Library at Sterling College.

Image: A Lemon Study by Elise Andréa

PRESS RELEASE: Grafton Valley Arts Guild Inaugural Showcase in Grafton

Who: Grafton Valley Arts Guild, a nonprofit art’s cooperative
What: Inaugural Showcase featuring: Campion Tillbrook, Jason Ballard and Cobb Hill
Where: Phelps Barn, The Old Tavern At Grafton
When: Sunday March 20th, 2011 4-7 pm

The newly organized Grafton Valley Arts Guild, a non profit marketing cooperative supporting the arts within the village of Grafton and surrounding communities is pleased to announce its inaugural event: Sustaining The Arts, Sustaining Communities.

The event will take place Sunday March 20th from 4-7 pm at The Old Tavern At Grafton’s Phelps Barn.

The guild will be featuring the architectural collage works of Campion Tillbrook, which is reminiscent of art deco design and the elegant wood sculpture and furniture of Jason Ballard of My Minds Design in a one night only show.

Also featured will be the award winning Ascutney Mountain cheese from Cobb Hill, one of the most successful intentional communities in the United States. There will be a screening of a short film about Cobb Hill’s focus on sustainability by Vermont Public Television called Re-Generation at 5:30 pm.

The guilds president Adam Howard will make a few brief remarks, followed by a meet and greet with guild members as well as an opportunity to make application and view the guild’s new gallery space, scheduled to open in April, directly across from the Old Tavern At Grafton.

For further information on this unique inaugural event and the Grafton Valley Arts Guild, please contact Adam Howard President or Bryce LeVan Cushing, Treasurer at 802-843-1162.

PRESS RELEASE: Lydia Littwin at Davis Studio Gallery in Burlington

Seasonal Palette

Lydia Littwin's oil paintings are on exhibit at Davis Studio Gallery, 404 Pine Street. There will be an opening reception during First Friday Art Walk, 6 – 8 p.m.

Littwin says, "I believe the greatest joys and challenges of living in New England are the seasons. I am inspired to capture the essence of a season in each of my paintings: the brilliant colors found in Farmer's Market produce, the indescribable shades of blue after a coastal storm, the familiar expanse of a snow-covered corn field. I work mainly in oil paint, and find comfort in the infinite range of colors."

Image: Ocean

Press Release: Karen Dawson at Barnes+Noble, S. Burlington

Vermont and Away-- Paintings by Karen Dawson

Artworks address the theme of seeing the forest for the trees… what is far away is also very close. Painting, as much as any other activity, is a search and a struggle; I hope this is conveyed in all of my work.

When: February 27 thru March 26, 2011

Reception: Saturday March 5, 3-5pm.

Where: Barnes and Noble Café Gallery

102 Dorset Street

S. Burlington, VT 05403

(802) 864-8001

For more information about the artist and her work, please contact Karen Dawson 802-865-1208. Lakeside Gallery and Art Studio, 58 Wright Ave. Burlington, Vermont. Gallery visits by appointment.

More work available at karendawson.com.

Image: Carrying Baskets-- acrylic on paper, framed 20” x 26,” $500

A glimpse of spring

A little glimpse from the new Spring 2011 House and Home line from Toast that just launched.  Loving the stripes!

Today at Poppytalk Handmade

steel petal press

matte stephens, alicia bock, leah giberson

redstar ink

(l to r) ruby press, pumphouse studios, vicinity studio

un lieu sur terre

New Online Magazine: dabble!

Canadian design aficionado, Kimberley Seldon joins the ranks of online magazines today launching her newest project as Editor-in-Chief with dabble magazine! The design, travel and food publication is jam–packed with features such as an interview with Diane von Furstenberg, a home tour with Nashville's James Ingram, a faux–panelled wall DIY, heaps of travel destinations and delicious looking recipes! Click here to view the first issue.

Coordinate Your Rugs!

Coordinating rugs in your home is easy if you have a great designer that can choose from rugs like these! This collection is exclusive to Designer Carpets in Atlanta which offers a range of sizes and patterns. They sell "to the trade", so send your designer to their shop for great selections!

This is a sample size wool rug with a very large geometric design. Perfect for a large carpet in a great room.
Shown in chocolate and pale aqua blue. See two more sample size rugs below that coordinate beautifully with this rug. All in the same colors in 100% wool. Exclusive to Designer Carpets, Atlanta.

Chocolate, pale aqua blue and gold.

Chocolate, gold and pale aqua blue.

Dispatches from France

Contributor post by Karine Candice Kong of BODIE and FOU

Hello everyone, today I want to tell you how I styled up our loos in France...OK not the more enticing subject but bear with me on this :-)

I'm currently in our home in France and one thing that I usually find relaxing when I'm down there - providing it's hot outside, I can get a tan without getting bored on a beach towel and I can listen to French radio - is doing DIY. Clearly February is not the appropriate season to dig out my bikini and paint brushes but while I'm there, I thought I would share with you a little DIY project in our toilet I did a couple of years ago on a budget and which still looks good.

Loos in Kong, a bar restaurant designed by Philippe Stark

I'm attracted to beautiful things and get 'a bit' stressed out when things don't look their best in my home. The loos we have in one of the homes we rent to other families during the Summer, were seriously doing my head in. Even if we hardly stay there, I still wanted to do something nice with them for the people who did. So here are the culprits....

ugly 60's style tiles, sad looking plastic bin, fake flowers hanging...

My inspiration came from a photoshoot styled by Sweet Paul for Country Living (see below) where Paul covered a wall with pages from a book. I just love how simple and calming it looked.

Sweet Paul

When I say 'nice book', it is really about the layout of the pages, the whiteness of the pages and the width of the margins rather than the content or the author of the book.
Then I just put some wallpaper glue on the pages and positioned them onto the wall...

So it's hardly as striking as the toilets designed by Philippe Stark but given the time and cost (you can get great books from junk shops for almost nothing + cost of the glue), I'm very happy with the results.

Here are a few tips...
- Select a book with a good layout. Lots of books nowadays have the title of the book on each page which won't look good on the wall so go for a book with a nice, airy layout.
- Measure the area to wallpaper and the size of your page to work out the number of pages you will need. If you need 100 pages, go for a book which has 200+ pages (pages are counted on recto & verso but you will only be able to use one side. Pretty obvious but wasn't to me at the time until my smart mum enlightened me.....
- Get a varnish that doesn't turn yellow over the years and spray your wall once finished to protect the pages from water projections.
And then of course you can do this with pages from comic strips or from The Times etc or even pages with gorgeous women from glossy mags but I wanted to create a relax feel to it and it just worked out perfectly.

Design Help for a Barbara Barry Fan

My sister Kelly called me from California yesterday and this was our conversation:

Kelly: "Ashley, I need design help!"
Me: "Hello Kell."
Kelly: "My dining room needs a major design transformation."
Me: "You mean room that has been unloved and unused for years?!"
Kelly: "Yes."
Me: "I have been waiting for this day to come!"
Kelly: "Ha ha, well I know what I want the space to look like, but I not sure how to achieve the design. I need some design direction and I don't have time with my two kids to find the resources, drag them shopping with me or stock design blogs!"

I am sure there are many of you who can related with Kelly.

This is when a little sister, or an interior designer, comes in really handy! It is part my job to know where to look, provided the resources, steer you in the right direction and most importantly, save you time!

Kelly's design inspiration is the elegant and oh so talented Barbara Barry. (mine too)

So I created this conceptual design for my DIY client

Fallon Rug from CSNRug.com
Gramercy Upholstered Chair from Ballard Design
Como Ikat Dijon Sunbrella from Ballard Design
Modern Glamour Hathaway Table from Ethan Allen
Modern Glamour Jaqueline Side Chair from Ethan Allen
Channing Silver Beaded Floor Mirror from William Sonoma Home
Crackle Jars with Brass Lids from William Sonoma Home
Rectangular Shade Pendant from Restoration Hardware

Today at Poppytalk Handmade

vivienne strauss
(l to r) silver minnow, mondocherry, starshaped press, verla ivans
place michel

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