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Monthly Archives: December 2011

  • First Night 2012

    The city of Boston hosted the inaugural First Night over 3 decades ago, and now more than 70 cities and towns in the US celebrate this New Year's Eve festival of art, culture, and entertainment.

    Here's how it works: buy a collectible button and display it proudly--that's your admission to every one of the indoor and outdoor venues all over the city. (This year's First Night Boston button was designed by artist Fay Chandler.) From 1PM until 12 AM on December 31, over 1 million people will descend on Boston's streets, enjoying everything from ice sculptures to fireworks.

    The idea of the evening is that it's family-friendly and (generally) alcohol-free. Look for a First Night near you, or attend the Granddaddy of them all in Beantown.

    Either way, Happy New Year!

  • The Art of Antique Sleds

    Maybe because it's that time of year, when holidays, nostalgia, and chilly weather combine. Or maybe we're just in a Robert-Kennedy-style state of mind. Whatever the reason, we're wishing we were just a little closer to Maine. That's because the Maine Historical Society Museum has some pretty incredible antique sleds for the viewing.

    We're charmed by the T. F. Tyler wood & metal sled, lovingly built for little Thaddeus Frank by his father, Thaddeus Warsaw Tyler, in 1854.

    Some serious shooshing, as well as present-transporting, no doubt took place on the Museum's wooden sled with extended oak and metal runners, circa 1900. Those side grips look like they meant business--we're imagining fluffy mittens concealing some seriously white knuckles.

    If you aren't near Maine, or if you want to take the nostalgia home with you, you could always buy an antique sled of your own. Happy memories don't come cheap, though: this cherry red, 19th-century beauty will set you back more than a thousand dollars.


  • Holiday Spruce Up to Last Throughout the Year

    It’s easy to cross that fine line into tacky territory when decking the halls! While I love to adorn our home with our customary holiday treasures full of memories and sparkle, some elegant touches thrown in helps to balance the nostalgia with style.

    The traditional red and green motif goes well with the collection of ornaments we’ve amassed. Glass ornaments in fun and unexpected designs are always interesting and have enough shine to make them the stars of the show. To nicely compliment the casual theme this brings about, accents around the house tie it all together. These throw pillows on the couch and neighboring chairs have enough holiday spirit, while adding that touch of elegance needed.

    A -  B - Madaspen Home  C - Zinc Door D - Zinc Door

    Tasteful strings of lights also brighten up your space, and with the right shape, can make your holiday setting picturesque. The classic styles in exaggerated sizes are a fun trend and can be as much the focal points as the ornaments. New LED lights come in many shapes and are meant to last so long, choosing a classic style is the way to go. Try the round globes, faceted bulbs, or old-fashioned light strings. As long as you’re consistent, these lights will make a dramatic and fun transformation of your space.

    Lastly, don’t forget the small touches that will catch your guest’s eye, but look like they’ve always had a home in your surroundings.

    The pieces you add for holiday should be things you could bring out any time of year to add a little POP to your décor. Red and green go together naturally, so if you find yourself choosing those colors together as accents throughout the year, go with it! Shouldn’t we all have a little holiday spirit during the other 11 months?

    E - Throw from Terrain F - Tablecloth from  Terrain G - Mercury glass votive cups from Pottery Barn H - Mercury glass votive cups from World Market  I - Rug from Zinc Door

  • Many Modern (Metal) Menorahs

    Few sights can compete with the glow of Hanukah candles, but here are a few sculptural menorahs that definitely complement the lights they display.

    The industrial appeal of this cast aluminum piece is not only in its visual elements: it's smartly useful, too. It neatly stores every candle necessary for the eight days. So sensible.

    Speaking of industrial, artist Joe Grand used galvanized steel pipes to create a fascinating plumbing-as-art piece.

    The shiny nesting menorah can be assembled day by day for an ever-changing sculpture, offering a lovely commentary on life itself during the Festival of Lights.

    And then there's the Menorah Kingfisher by artist Shraga Landesman, which brings to mind a nest in the literal sense. You may find yourself displaying this graceful work of art year-round.

  • Photo Op

    Trompe l'oeil (French for "fool the eye") has a time-honored place in home decor. But here's something a little different--room screens that look more like movie sets or photo-studio backdrops.

    This would be fresh in a cubicle at work or a really small efficiency apartment. And it might serve to open up a room in the same way a large mirror can.

    We've seen lots of the large screens that can hold photos, but not many of these large screens that are photos.

    We honestly don't know quite what to make of these--what's your opinion?

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