Terrafirma has arrived!

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Ellen Evans, owner and artistic director of the Terrafirma studio, produces exquisite place settings made from a base of warm, natural stoneware juxtaposed with vibrantly colored and patterned porcelain surfaces. Her creative focus is to design and produce high quality, functional works of art for the table and home using a unique, original process.

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Patterns are created by painting through textiles and lace using liquid porcelain to produce a distinctive casual yet sophisticated look that has become her signature in both dinnerware and accessories.

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Terrafirma products are made entirely by hand and kiln-fired to extremely high temperatures, giving each piece its own personality and great durability.  Slight variations in color, texture and surface blushing are the natural and desired result of the hand building and high-firing process, and assure each piece of its individuality.

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Each collectible, copyrighted design is signed and dated.  All Terrafirma pieces are food and dishwasher safe. Place settings can be ordered in our stores where you can mix and match 3 glaze colors with 11 fabric patterns across plates and bowls for your own personal set of dishes.

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Dance Me to the End of Love

One of my favorite composers is Leonard Cohen, who wrote the well-known song “Hallelujah.” His songs convey his genius but also suggest a personal struggle, and his lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. My personal favorite is “Dance Me to the End of Love.” This YouTube video features Madeleine Peyroux singing a stunning version of Leonard  Cohen’s composition. The sound pierces me straight to my soul.

Being surrounded by art and music is a luxury in this world. My job as a jewelry buyer enables me to breath in the artistic gifts of others, and I never fail to be awed by the creativity of our craftspeople. The design team of  the Patricia Locke Studio is one shining example of such creativity.

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Patricia Locke collections always blend the depth of fine art with a modern sense of fashion. Her work is immediately recognizable for its distinctive asymmetry, tantalizing multi-metal combinations and elegant use of positive-negative space. Each piece presents an exquisite paradox, at once handsome and beautiful, organic and geometric, and contemporary with heirloom overtones.

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The Key to my Heart

David Klenk has been a woodworker in New England for the last 20 years. He designs and makes a diverse range of work including large projects such as home libraries, custom office furnishings, tables, chairs and jewelry boxes.

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Appalachian Spring is pleased present David Klenk’s handsome jewelry boxes in our collection.

Most of David’s boxes are made of North American hardwoods including maple, cherry and oak.  However, he occasionally uses mahogany and other handsome hardwoods.

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The work includes fine joinery, custom hardware and a hand rubbed varnish finish which is rubbed to a silky smooth polish.

Each box is fitted with a custom key and lock. The beauty of the wood, the workmanship and the attention to detail completely stole my heart!

 

 

Winter White

I am particularly drawn to white at this time of year.  In a season that can be dark and colorless, white provides a spark of light that is both bright and uplifting.

Art by Nel Jansen

Art by Nel Jansen

My cousin Nel is an accomplished artist, and I love seeing her blog posts every day in my inbox.  Last week she posted this stunning painting of white tulips.  Before I had time to begin to consider buying this piece, it had sold.  Lucky buyer!

Necklace by Meghan Riley

Necklace by Meghan Riley

The onset on winter also brings with it a different fashion dynamic.  High collars, scarves and the like call for an alternative in our choices of jewelry.  We might choose a long necklace to wear with a sweater rather than a short one, or a post earring instead of a long French earwire to avoid having it catch on our clothing.

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Earrings by Silver Seasons

Invariably our minds turn to the beauty of white when we have our first snowfall.  Who ever thought of carving letterforms out of freshly fallen snow?  Celebrate the creativity all around us, no matter the season!

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Calligraphy by Denis Brown

Puppy Love

“Puppy Love” was written by Paul Anka in 1960 for his girlfriend at the time, Annette Funicello. The Donny Osmond version was released in 1972 and made this preteen’s heart swoon!  However, this post is about a more tangible type of love between you and your pet.

 

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We are delighted to have several artists working with Appalachian Spring who bring joyful depictions of a variety of animals into their designs. The ceramic mugs and dog and cat bowls by Karen Donleavy Designs are simply delightful! Karen includes approximately 80 breeds of dogs and cats in her designs so you can be almost certain to find a match to your furry,  four-legged friend!  What could be better than your morning cup of coffee or tea with a playful reminder of your pet?

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Jewelry Inspired By Architecture

As a jewelry buyer, I am drawn to bold color and clean lines.  This photo of the JFK TWA terminal shouts “Good Design!”

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I’m also a fanatic about laser cut designs in any medium.  Kathleen Dautel of Spark Metal Studio creates laser cut stainless steel that is hand finished and hand colored with epoxy resin.  The forms are both architecturally based and drawn from nature with a linear graphic quality.

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Fizz Necklace

Kathleen has always had artistic influences in her life.  Her father was a printmaker, painter and art professor.  While at the University of Oregon, she took her first metalsmithing class and loved it.  After graduating, she returned to the U of O to receive a BFA in Metalsmithing.

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Kathleen moved to Portland, Oregon in 1994, and the city, its buildings and environment inspired her to pursue architecture.  She continued her education at NC State, earning a Masters in Architecture.  Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to work as a project designer for architecture firms in the area, winning several design awards for many of the projects, but her love for metalsmithing has always been in the back of her mind.  In the fall of 2009 Kathleen launched her own jewelry and metalsmithing line, Spark Metal Studio.

Kathleen Dautel

Kathleen Dautel

Holiday Bling

Even jewelry buyers have their favorite jewelers!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe Booth at NY NOW!

Infinite Universe is an elegant, eco-friendly accessories and lifestyle brand inspired by nature. The pieces are simply like nothing else I’ve ever seen in the jewelry world – gorgeous mother-of-pearl combined with 14K gold leaf and set in vermeil. Many are accented with white sapphires.  Absolutely mouth-watering!

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Meeting the jewelers behind all of this creativity is a highlight of my job. The world of handmade is truly a special place to be!

Featuring Ping Wu from Project Runway!

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The scarf is the thing and Ping Wu has a fresh new take on what scarves can be. Ping Wu is recognizable from her Project Runway appearance, and is known for her easy transformable multi-functional designs, and 3D sculptural creative thinking.

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What we love most are the fun ways of wearing these visually appealing creations. Is it a scarf or a shrug, will I tie it or drape it, around my neck or as a head wrap?  Scrunch it, wrap it, stuff it, tie it!

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So many ways to wear each of her designs. The cashmere feel comes with the ease of viscose, polyester and angora blended to make a silky smooth yarn. We are so excited to be featuring these brand new winter fashion scarves in our stores now!

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Perfect for stylish co-eds and chic urban working women.

My Little Black Dress

Fall is the time of year when we receive all the fantastic new jewelry we’ve bought at NY NOW!  It arrives daily and we ooh and ahh over it before sending it to our stores.  It’s a feast for the eyes!

One of my favorite new jewelry studios is Original Hardware.  I’m particularly drawn to these dramatic mixed metal earrings.

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This Original Hardware piece is perfect for my little black dress…
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NYC, I hardly knew you and look forward to our next rendezvous!

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Little Minnow

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Fall Fashion is happening. I don’t know about you but I am completely a scarf devotee! I wear scarves of all sorts, year around. I confess that I frequently treat scarves like jewelry–earrings and a scarf and you are good to go to the office, the ballet, or the next fundraiser luncheon!

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The “It” scarf this year is the infinity. Added to our infinity scarf collection this year are the hand screened cotton scarves from Little Minnow.

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Color plus cotton and you have a great casual addition to jeans and more. This versatile scarf can be worn as a neck wrap, a head wrap, a skirt over leggings or just draped down as a long cowl.

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    So many colors and so little time!

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We pride ourselves in finding artists who blend together the best quality of materials with eye catching designs and flawless techniques. Little Minnow is the perfect new addition to your fall wardrobe and mine!