Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2017. Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks annually set aside this hour to host events and switch off their lights, to shine a light on environmental protection and action. This year Earth Hour is at 8:30pm March 25th 2017. There’s never been a more critical moment for the world to show solidarity for and a strong commitment to fighting climate change. Coordinated by the  World Wildlife Foundation and other volunteer organizations in an ongoing effort to achieve massive environmental impact by helping change laws, lives and our planet. There’s still so much more to do! Take Action. #lightinthedarkness

Mindful Mandala

Daring Dahlia: From The Flower Mandala Project

 If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~Buddha

The Artful Blog recently posted new images throughout the Art Practice Site, some of which are part of a new ‘Flower Mandala Project’ in bloom. The goal of the project, being Jungian in nature, is to resonate aesthetically and as a meditation, to be both mystical and mindful. Based on an archetypal depth psychology premise Carl Jung illuminated: exploring the mandala as psychological expression of the human psyche and totality of the self. #artfulagenda #seedcenteroftheself

Follow The Artful Blog on Facebook for future updates and insight into the project and other things of interest related to both the site and blog & more.

As A Dream

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I love your silence. It is so wise. It listens. It invites warmth. I love your loneliness. It is brave. It makes the universe want to protect you. You have the loneliness that all true heroes have, a loneliness that is a deep sea, within which the fishes of mystery dwell. I love your quest. It is noble. It has greatness in it. Only one who is born under a blessed star would set sail across the billowing waves and the wild squalls, because of a dream. I love your dream. It is magical. Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream. You dwell in your own enchantment. Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery. Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary. And if no one knows it, then there are places that do. People like you enrich the dreams of the world, and it is dreams that create history. People like you are the unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale, by love.

~Ben Okri, Astonishing the Gods

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.

Lilac Love

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If you’ve never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Audra Foveo

Lilacs and Sunshine. What a beautiful sight and scent to usher in the unofficial start to Summer. When you plant a Lilac in your garden you are choosing a shrub that is part of this country’s history. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both recorded Lilacs in bloom in their gardens. Although Lilacs are part of New Englnd’s heritage, they are not native here. Of the 20-plus species of Lilacs, two derive from Europe and the others are from Asia. The common Lilac ‘Syringa Vulgaris’ originated in eastern Europe. This species and hybrids of it were so frequently grown and selected by French nurserymen that France became synonymous with fine Lilacs; we know them today as “French hybrids.”

Two of the most popular choices for the contemporary landscape are Syringa Patula ‘Miss Kim’ and S. Meyeri ‘Palibin.’ The compact, later flowering ‘Miss Kim’ is noted for its intense fragrance, and the neat growth habit of ‘Palibin’ fits well in the modern garden. Lilacs span a rainbow of colors, from rich Reds, Blues, and Purples to romantic Pinks, Whites, Mauve, and the delicate Yellow of ‘Primrose.’ #NewEnglandtradition #smellslikesunshine

Sacred Feminine

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This Mother’s Day, let’s contemplate the force beyond mom, the power of the feminine that gives life and that is life -that needs to be approached with respect and even awe. The Sacred Feminine. The Divine Mother in all of us. There is Divinity within each of us, and within the forces that move through and around us. We are all sparks of the Divine. As with all living things, there is a feminine and masculine element to this Divinity. Mother’s Day was originally viewed as a sacred holiday honoring the Divine Feminine Principle. We can choose to restore the more sacred aspect of Mother’s Day by honoring the Divine Feminine that exists in all of us. The place to begin, as always, is within yourself. Mother’s Day is truly for everyone.

Love The Earth

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Earth Day 2016. Today we honor this beautiful planet we all call home. Do your part to take care of it. Even the smallest act can make a big difference. Earth Day and beyond, join a movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to action. #ecoconsciousness