Revenge Of Analog

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The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax, Published by PublcAffairs November 2016.

Like the song says “Everything Old Is New Again.” In his captivating new book, “The Revenge of Analog,” Toronto-based journalist David Sax provides an insightful account of this phenomenon, creating a powerful counternarrative to the digital revolution mythology.  As a business reporter, Sax uncovers stories of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations that have found a market selling tangible things as opposed to virtual reality, citing examples in print, film, retail and so on. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas. Sax reveals this under-reported cultural trend and deeper truths about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with old-fashioned reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life -and the slow magic of the real world outside it.

Sax’s thesis is that analog is here to stay, and experiencing a revival that is not just a case of nostalgia or hipster street cred, but something more complex. In an increasingly digital world where physical objects and experiences are being replaced by virtual ones, Sax argues, “analog gives us the joy of creating and possessing real, tangible things”: the hectic scratch of a fountain pen on the smooth, lined pages of a notebook; the slow magic of a Polaroid photo developing in front of our eyes; the satisfying snap of a newspaper page being turned and folded back; the moment of silence as the arm of an old turntable descends toward a shiny new vinyl disk and the music begins to play.

The choice we face isn’t between digital and analog Sax reassures us, “That simplistic duality is actually the language that digital has conditioned us to: a false binary choice between 1 and 0, black and white, Samsung and Apple. The real world isn’t black or white. It is not even gray. Reality is multicolored, infinitely textured, and emotionally layered.” And it’s often analog -perhaps less efficient, less perfect, less speedy- which best captures those human imperfections, creating a tactile interface with the world. #fortheludditeatheart

Art Of Minimalism

“Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things” directed by Matt D’Avella, 2016. Watch-worthy spot-on social commentary of the times that examines various people dedicated to rejecting the American idea that things bring happiness, exploring the virtues of ‘less is more.’ There’s a takeaway here for everybody everywhere. #meaningfullifeofless

Holiday Sparkle

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Season’s Greetings From The Artful Blog! Wishing You A Fine Finish To The Year And A Bright & Beautiful New Year Ahead. Remember To Leave A Little Sparkle Wherever You Go!

Season Favorites

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It’s October’s end and a feeling of lasting crispness is in the air and that means pumpkin spice and all things Fall-friendly and nice. Sharing The Artful Blog’s Fall Favorites, everything from Naturopathic Fortified Honey to artful artisanal decor to a quintessential Vermont country Inn escape. Echoing Autumn leaves and earthy Amber hues of the natural world, inviting a sense of warmth and wonder and comfort to enhance your seasonal outlook, in tempting Artful Blog style.

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Chantecaille Lion Guardian Collection

Chantecaille Protect The Lions Collection was created to bring awareness to the groundbreaking work of the Lion Guardians -a conservation group based in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park that uses a solutions-based model, whereby people who were once Lion killers are transformed into lion protectors. The Lion Collection makeup was inspired by the colors of the beautiful coats of Lion cubs and the African landscape. A mesmerizing set that enhances all eye and skin colors, each limited-edition case is embossed with a Lion, a symbol of strength and pride. A key interest for Chantecaille is to be a company with a platform to draw attention to important issues of global sustainability, and to fund a foundation that supports related initiatives. Educating a broad audience and engaging people in bringing about positive change. Past and present causes and collections include: Elephants, Sea Turtles, Tigers, High Sea Whales, Wild Horses, Monarch Butterflies and Honey Bees. #powertomakeadiffernece

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Susanne Kaufmann Organic Treats

Susanne Kaufmann’s eponymous, holistic skincare range is hand-finished in Austria’s Bregenz Forest Mountains -a unique valley in the Alps where the knowledge of the healing powers of nature are passed down from generation to generation, using the intensive effect of the Alpine plant world in a modern manner for beauty, health and comfort. Working from her spa in Hotel Post Bezau -a special place with a long, dynamic history now run by the fifth generation of Kaufmanns, each Suzzanne Kaufmann skincare product is produced with the greatest care, formulated for targeted results, and packed with organic, energy-rich oils and locally sourced active plant ingredients -including Chamomile, Sage and St. John’s Wort, recognized for their nourishing, regenerative effects. #alpineluxury

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Sundance Catalog Picks

Favorites from the season’s Sundance Catalog founded by Robert Redford. Clothing with character, distinctive and handmade artisan wares, finely crafted and curated in the spirit of heritage: Legends of the Forest Coat, Flower Spirit Boots and the Morgan Backpack. Pretty, practical, and timeless, with all the feels of Fall. The Sundance Catalog -The Artful Blog’s favorite place to shop for the last two decades, having recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, is a company rooted in the American West, with a strong historical commitment to the artisan community, that creates a unique environment for artists and craftspeople to reach a broad audience of enthusiasts. Now with plans to continue its retail growth with stores targeted across various locations nationwide, from a small operation run out of the attic of the old Sundance Village Firehouse, Sundance Catalog has grown to become one of America’s preeminent lifestyle retailers. Offering a thoughtfully curated mix of unique examples of authentic American heritage, embracing the spirit of creativity and fostering individuality and independent expression, in a classic style. #heritagespirit

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Farmhouse Pottery Yellowware Collection

A modern take on an American classic, each decorative white band is hand painted by master potters at Farmhouse Pottery on their new Yellowware Collection. Bowls and pitchers perfect for serving, baking or as decoration, beautiful and functional as they are timeless. Farmhouse Pottery handmade pieces are household essentials that bring pleasure to everyday utility. Wares tastefully crafted in a neutral palette that appeals to The Artful Blog aesthetic, so that food and flowers are the center of attention, with no distraction. Handmade in Vermont by New England natives and Farmhouse Pottery founders Zoe and James Zilian, who have created a welcoming home pottery studio, workshop, and store with a modern farm aesthetic that represents farm-to-table values infused in traditionally crafted designs with authenticity and character. #classiccraft

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Naturopathica Soothing Balance Fortified Honey

Naturopathica’s Wildflower Honey -a staple of the 19th century herbal medicine chest, is infused with Passionflower, Chamomile, Lavender and Rose Blossoms, ancient medicinal herbs prized for their ability to relax and soothe symptoms of anxiety, calm the nerves and rebalance the mind. Enjoy a spoonful daily right out of the bottle or add to beverage or drizzle over oatmeal or toast to nourish the body. From Naturopathica‘s new Herbal Remedies Collection, using the restorative powers of plants to bring wellness full circle, working with the body’s natural processes to promote skin radiance, relieve stress, restore sore muscles and enhance vitality. Crafted by Naturopathica founder Barbara Close, wellness innovator, author, educator, and lifelong practitioner of the healing arts with a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Herbalism. The lovely Naturopathica East Hampton Healing Arts Center & Spa was founded in 1995, where Close began developing products and rituals that empower well-being, establishing Naturopathica as a trusted resource and leader in the 21st century wellness industry. #wellnesswisdom

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Big Picture Farm Goat Milk Caramels

Started in 2010 by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell, Big Picture Farm is a small hillside Goat dairy and farmstead confectionery and creamery located in southern Vermont. Their award-winning Goat Milk Caramels and farmstead cheeses are made with fresh, raw, creamy Goat’s milk from their herd of 40 healthy and happy, free-ranging companions. An Animal-Welfare-Approved farm, the health and happiness of their animals is the center around which the farm and farm products revolve. Their mission is also to integrate agriculture and narrative in a fresh way that properly evokes the place, animals, and work in order to bring to life the exciting and unpredictable evolution of their products, farm, and lives. The goal is spelled out in their name: to provide customers with the rich context surrounding their products “the big picture.” Louisa Conrad remains simultaneously entrenched in a parallel career as a photographer and illustrator, marrying art chores with daily farm chores in an effort to generate a living archive of the farm over the course of its life. #fabulousfarmlife

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Coral & Tusk Table Linens & Decor

Founded in 2007 by Stephanie Housley together with her husband Chris Lacinak, Coral & Tusk designs –The Artful Blog’s favorite textiles, are inspired by a love of animals, travel and adventure. First enchanted by the natural world during childhood trips to the Eastern seaboard, Stephanie’s frequent travels now span the globe. Magical experiences everywhere from Wyoming to Nepal inform the imagery and humor behind Coral & Tusk’s designs. A RISD-trained textile designer, she first creates her cheeky scenes and irreverent characters as original pencil drawings before she painstakingly redraws them stitch by stitch using special computer software. Finished by hand in Coral and Tusk’s Brooklyn loft, every machine-embroidered pillow, table linen, and artwork retains the story-telling spirit and hand-drawn allure of the original illustration. A mix of smart design, magic and mischief is at the heart of every Coral & Tusk embroidery. #naturalworldwhimsy

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The Wreath Recipe Book

The Wreath Recipe Book: Year-Round Wreaths, Swags, and Other Decorations to Make with Seasonal Branches by Alethea Harampolis & Jill Rizzo. From the women behind San Francisco’s beautiful boutique flower shop Studio Choo and authors of the widely popular Flower Recipe Book, and in the same successful format, The Wreath Recipe Book provides 100 “recipes” to make with flowering and leafy branches. The book is organized seasonally, with dozens of projects to make throughout the year. In the Fall, wreaths are created with magnolias, rosemary, and pears, and gourds are used to create an unexpected garland. Winter highlights cedar, pine, and juniper, yielding unexpected table settings and unique wreath shapes. There are detailed ingredient lists and hundreds of step-by-step photos as well as chapters covering basic techniques, sourcing, and care information. #artofhandmade

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Pitcher Inn Warren Vermont

The Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Châteaux member since 1997, is about as country chic as it can get full Fall foliage in all its glory. This luxurious gem is the sister property to Winvian Farm in Litchfield County Connecticut. The Pitcher Inn sits in a beautiful spot, offering relaxed refinement in the heart of a romantic Vermont village, surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest and the Mad River Valley. A delightfully elegant hotel in which each room has a Vermont theme yet designed and decorated to be distinctly different. Intellectual curiosity is celebrated here, as is culinary excellence, with a delicious menu influenced by French and Italian cuisine. Set in the framing of a magical rustic barn, the eight rooms and two suites decorated by 14 different designers, feature everything from vintage resort signs to antique skis, which helps to bring Pitcher Inn history to life, in New England style. #countrychic

On Fall Splendour

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Splendour In The Grass

“What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.”~William Wordsworth

Company Of Women

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In The Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney, Published by Artisan, October, 2016. Across the globe, women are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit and starting creative businesses. In The Company Of Women profiles over 100 of these influential and creative women of all ages, races, backgrounds, and industries. Chock-full of practical, inspirational advice for those looking to forge their own paths, these interviews detail the keys to success (for example, going with your gut; maintaining meaningful and lasting relationships), highlight the importance of everyday rituals (meditating; creating a daily to-do list), and dispense advice for the next generation of women entrepreneurs and makers (stay true to what you believe in; have patience). The book is rounded out with hundreds of lush, original photographs of the women in their work spaces. #designheroines

About

Grace Bonney is the founder of Design*Sponge, a daily website dedicated to the creative community. Design*Sponge was founded in 2004 and currently reaches nearly 2 million readers per day. A native of Virginia Beach, Bonney has worked as a contributing editor at publications such as House & Garden, Domino, and Craft magazine. She is passionate about supporting all members of the creative community; she runs an annual scholarship for up-and-coming designers, writes a free business column for creatives, and is the host of a weekly radio show, After the Jump, which reaches over 500,000 listeners per episode. Her first book, Design*Sponge at Home, is a national bestseller and has over 100,000 copies in print. 

Farm Sanctuary Gala

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On The Farm “Meet Your Friends at Farm Sanctuary” Print

One of the artful prints featuring Farm Sanctuary residents, custom designed for Tracey Stewart’s book Do Unto Animals by illustrator Lisel Ashlock, and available exclusively from Farm Sanctuary’s online shop, which carries everything from Plant Powered Active Wear to Youth Apparel to Home Goods to Edibles and Advocacy Materials. Farm Sanctuary, a place of healing, love, and happiness for both residents and guests, where precious animals like these reveal how their strengths and personalities triumph over their pasts, and become wonderful ambassadors for transforming hearts and minds about farm animals just like them. #fortheloveofanimals

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Gene Baur & Friends At Farm Sanctuary

The Artful Blog’s favorite animal welfare organization, Farm Sanctuary, with co-chairs Tracey Stewart and Emily Deschanel, will host their Annual Gala at the renowned Beverly Wilshire Hotel on 12 November 2016 to celebrate 30 years of rescue, education and advocacy for farm animals, the largest population of abused animals on the planet. Farm Sanctuary, with a 26-acre Los Angeles-area shelter and sanctuaries in Orland California and Watkins Glen New York, works to educate people nationwide about farm animal abuse and the adverse effects of factory farming on our health and environment. Jon and Tracey Stewart will also be opening a location at their New Jersey farm in Spring 2017. #celebrateprogress

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Gene Baur & Original VW Westphalia Serving Vegan Hot Dogs

Honorees Kat Von D and Crossroads Kitchen will be celebrated for the contributions they have made to improving the lives of farm animals -and helping others to live a more compassionate lifestyle. With Kevin Nealon serving as host, the evening will feature a 100% plant-based dinner, live entertainment, and a farmer’s market-style gift station. Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, who was recently selected by Oprah Winfrey to be a part of her SuperSoul 100 and who TIME magazine calls “the conscience of the food movement,” is a native Angeleno, hailing from the Hollywood Hills. As a nod to his days traveling across the country selling veggie dogs at Grateful Dead concerts, Baur’s original VW Westphalia van will be serving vegan hot dogs at the 30th Gala. #oldschoolstyle

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Sign At The Entrance Of Farm Sanctuary Watkins Glen New York

Tickets now available. Can’t attend? Consider sponsoring the event or contributing to this wonderful organization by creating a Legacy Gift. Join Farm Sanctuary to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living. #bethechangeyouwanttosee

 The Artful Blog recommends picking up Baur & Stewart’s wonderful new books for yourself & gifting too!

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Living The farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day by Gene Baur (Author), Gene Stone (Author), Published 2015. Winner of a Books for a Better Life award! Gene Baur, the cofounder and president of Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, knows that the key to happiness lies in aligning your beliefs with your actions. In this definitive vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle guide, he and Gene Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, explore the deeply transformative experience of visiting the sanctuary and its profound effects on people’s lives. The book covers the basic tenets of Farm Sanctuary life -such as eating in harmony with your values, connecting with nature wherever you are, and reducing stress, and offers readers simple ways to incorporate these principles into their lives.

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life also teaches readers how to cook and eat the Farm Sanctuary way, with 100 extraordinarily delicious recipes selected by some of the organization’s greatest fans -chefs and celebrities such as Chef AJ, Chloe Coscarelli, Emily Deschanel, and Moby. Coupled with heartwarming stories of the animals that Farm Sanctuary has saved over the years, as well as advice and ideas from some of the organization’s biggest supporters, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life is an inspiring, practical book for readers looking to improve their whole lives and the lives of those around them, both two-and four-legged.

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Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better by Tracey Stewart (Author), Lisel Ashlock (Illustrator), 2015. The more we know about the animals in our world and the better we care for them, the better our lives will be. Former veterinary technician and animal advocate Tracey Stewart understands this better than most -and she’s on a mission to change how we interact with animals. Through hundreds of charming illustrations, a few homemade projects, and her humorous, knowledgeable voice, Stewart provides insight into the secret lives of animals and the kindest ways to live with and alongside them. At home, she shows readers how to speak “dog-ese” and “cat-ese” and how to “virtually adopt” an animal. In the backyard, we learn about building bee houses, dealing nicely with pesky moles, and creative ways to bird-watch. And on the farm, Stewart teaches us what we can do to help all farm animals lead a better life. Part practical guide, part memoir of her life with animals, and part testament to the power of giving back, Do Unto Animals is a gift for animal lovers of all stripes.

Delightful Derian

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John Derian Company Storefront New York

John Derian Company Inc. was established in 1989 to house Derian’s designs which are handmade in his studio in New York, that employs a small staff of artists to assist with production. The retail shop carries an artful assortment of antiques, imports, quilts, table linens and a line of stationery, alongside his now-iconic decoupage wares -sourced from old and rare books, a process that credited him with elevating the decoupage technique into fine art, and collections from artisans The Artful Blog admires most like Coral & Tusk & Astier de Villatte. An ever-growing business, the John Derian Company empire reaches far and wide -in addition to the four stores he owns in New York and Massachusetts, his products are sold by more than 600 retailers worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, ABC, and Gump’s in the United States; Conran and Liberty in the UK; and the fabulous Astier de Villatte in Paris.

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Pergola Home New Preston Connecticut

The artist, designer, and avid collector of things, is releasing his first book, the John Derian Picture Book and will launch it with a signing event October 1st 2016, at one of The Artful Blog’s favorite New England boutiques, Pergola in New Preston. With its picturesque location, Pergola focuses its lens on the wilds of nature in a cultivated environment of home. The artfully displayed combination of uncommon plant material, aged terra-cotta planters, weathered antiques, botanical books & prints, Derain wares of course, and a variety of natural curiosities, offers a highly sensual shopping experience for home & garden, while product collections shift with the seasons. Relationships with the region’s premier specialty growers and greenhouses and a network of local artisans, and antique sources from around the world, adds texture and interest to the harmonious product and plant mix therein. The signing will be from 2-5 pm followed by an invitation-only cocktail reception in the garden behind Pergola, the front room of which will be filled with Derian’s products, including some signature works.

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John Derian Company New York

Derian is America’s leading practitioner of decoupage, the art of cutting and pasting paper images, combining painting & collage, beauty & utility. The designer uses color reprints of 18th and 19th-century images and pieces them together under glass, often in combination with reproductions of antique calligraphy. The result is a growing product line over the last 25 years that includes plates, vases, trays, paperweights, cachepots, wall hangings, desk accessories and more. Derian’s enigmatic works and artistry have been featured in national and international publications, such as The New York Times, The World of Interiors, Elle Décor, House & Garden, Country Living, House Beautiful, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Victoria, Garden Design, Martha Stewart Living, O (Oprah), O at Home, The New York Observer, Time Out and New York.

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John Derian Picture Book by John Derian, Published by Artisan Books, 2016.  Now, for the first time, comes the book John Derian fans have been waiting for. Culled from the thousands of images that have appeared in his biannual collections, here is an astoundingly beautiful assortment of more than 400 full-bleed images in their original form. From intensely colored flowers and birds to curious portraits, hand-drawn letters, and breathtaking landscapes, the best of John Derian is here. The result is an oversized object of desire, a work of art in and of itself, that brilliantly walks the line between commerce and art, and that is destined to become the gift book of the season.