CREATIVE CRUSH | AUGUST

August 2, 2020

If a month passes and you don’t post, did it really even happen? Our sincerest apologies for the written recess, we promise it wasn’t personal. It goes without saying from the City-by-the-Sea, July falls smack dab at the height of summer, when sunrises, seaside strolls + layers of SPF pull ranking. Heat and humidity have arrived on island with the month of August, which translates to a trifecta of survival tactics – tucking inside, attempting to stay cool + curating a hearty helping of inspiration. A season of change is on the horizon, so we’re diving headfirst into our August edition of Creative Crush with the same intention as a scoop of sorbet between courses – a palate (or, in the case of our black + white moodboard, palette) cleanser.

CREATIVE CRUSH | AUGUST EDITION

A common thread. (@nobilis_paris | @mollyhaynes_)

Tied up in knots. (@peterbrookeball)

Natural beauty. (@maralazaridou | @cassblackbird)

Subtle curves. (@sarakatestudios | @humbertetpoyet)

Make your mark. (@stitchdesignco | @flourist)

Paris, Je t’aime. (@alexandrine_ar)

Keep going.  (Source unknown)

 

Many people and cultures believe ‘7’ to be a lucky number, and while most would contest these beliefs to be purely matter of opinion, in the context of today’s note, I’ll roll the dice and happily join forces with Camp Seven. 2020 is our seventh ‘season’ in Newport (note: loose use of the word season because we spend considerably greater time here than between the bookends of Memorial and Labor Day). Our first Summerset Series post was just about seven years ago and today welcomes the month of July, the seventh month and the peak of prime time to be enjoying the City-by-the-Sea.

Looking back on that first post in 2014, a glow sweeps across my face remembering the feeling when we took ownership of the property, fell in love with her original floors every time we crossed the threshold (which based on this photo, many of you would back us up on that one) and embarked on the journey of turning a quaint little cottage into a coastal abode. In the years since, we’ve lovingly dressed her in all our favorite shades of blue, filled her with precious treasures and most importantly, welcomed countless friends + family into every cozy corner her 1,040 square feet would allow.

Later this month, we’re scheduled to break ground on some significant renovations at the Gilded Getaway House. In 2018 we worked closely with a local Newport architect to reimagine the 1940’s house and breath new life into the space we plan to love for many more ‘seasons’ to come. After months of zoning board meetings, negotiations with neighbors and honestly, a much-needed break glass of wine to recoup from the exhaustion of it all, the time has arrived to transition from plans-on-paper to something tangible we can physically see + touch. I know many of you reading have a keen interest in design – join me as I make a brave attempt at sharing snippets of the delectable details through the process. Follow along with #tglsummersetseries for pint-sized servings, or, if like me you’re hungry for more, stick around here at Around the Pound for larger portions. Regardless where you choose to follow along, I promise the content will be occasionally golden, always deliciously creative.

CREATIVE CRUSH | JUNE

June 4, 2020

Over the past week, the corners and coasts of New England have started to emerge from the safety of their Corona-cocoons, transitioning between Phases like a rite of passage from pre- to post. Life as we all knew it has changed dramatically in recent months, and as for many, we find ourselves entering into a wounded country wrought with emotion. We’ve been served the same cocktail of uncertainty and have chosen to respond by listening, learning + reflecting on how to impart change in our daily lives. Our focus at TGL and Around the Pound continues to be centered around content that celebrates creativity in all shapes + sizes. An open invitation when you’re seeking inspiration, or perhaps in need of a reminder that in the midst of what may feel like chaos, there are places + spaces where everyone is welcome, we’d love to have you.

CREATIVE CRUSH | JUNE EDITION

Dress *a room* in layers. (@paul_massey | @stephenkentjohnson)

True blue. (@officine_universelle_buly)

Fit to print. (@searoosts | @antoinettepoisson | @lauriefrankel)

A pop of poppy. (@hesperios | @catherinebjones)

Check mate. (@mariadelaordenstudio)

Home is where the heart is. (@annakarlinstudio)

Never stop believing. (@hollieward_)

 

Right up there with fisherman knits and a perfectly poured Gin + Tonic, a designated desk drawer chock full of stationery is truly one of our favorite things. For as long as we can remember, handwritten notes, typically couriered by way of the good ‘ole USPS, but on occasion hand delivered, have been second nature when it comes to expressing gratitude, sending celebratory sentiments, or simply to say ‘Hello’. As Margaret Shepard wrote in her book The Art of the Handwritten Note, “The handwritten note’s rarity heightens its appeal.”

A global shift towards digital communication has sadly permitted (perhaps even encouraged) fundamental skills in the art of letter writing to fall into a rather frightening state of disarray. Proper penmanship (you know, the kind of cursive your grandparents used to write sentimental love letters in times of war), grammatical accuracy and an ability to communicate genuinely through the written word are seemingly foreign to most – send a beautifully penned note via #snailmail and you may be shocked by the recipient’s reaction. Paper! Postage! Prose!

We recently noticed a fresh crop of stationers emerging onto the scene, specializing in a style we dubbed ‘simple sentiments’. Take for example, one-word phrases that are straight to the point – Hello. or, Coffee? Layered with beautiful typography (preferably letterpressed) on a backdrop of velvety cotton paper – these designers have struck a chord with our most minimalist-seeking self we never knew existed. So, without further ado, let’s introduce this new(ish) crew with paper wares already on our desk rotation (or currently in our quarantine cart).

Maurèle – Reviving the lost art of letter writing by way of Montréal. In their words, “Created to help us slow down, connect with ourselves and with others, and live more thoughtfully through the ritual of taking pen to paper.”

Lockport Letter Papers | Hanover Notecards

Jaymes Paper – Founded out of a deep fascination for all things paper and design, this Los Angeles-based studio creates cards that encourage us to sit down and write meaningful sentiments to those we love.

You’re My Favorite | Classic Collection

RSVP Paper Co. – A letterpress studio specializing in social notes, founder + designer Stacey Vaughn (SV), (really folks, in the paper world, initials like that + naming your company RSVP are like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow), is in a long-term relationship with her beloved Heidelberg Windmill press and we’re reaping the benefits.

Hello | Yay! | Make a Wish

Of Note Stationers – Show up for the relationships in your life. Appreciate them, support them, celebrate them. If you haven’t signed up + stepped up to this New England team’s motto in the past ten weeks, we’re not sure what sort of world calamity floats your boat.

Post Script |  Way Overdue

In Haus Press – The veteran of the group (printing since 2010), bringing beautiful understated stationery to those who appreciate stylish handwritten notes. And simply because cafés are currently closed, doesn’t mean you can’t invite conversation + a cup ‘o joe over Skype with your bestie.

(sigh) | Coffee? | Merci

Images courtesy of all brands noted above.

You may have wondered why I so frequently share my admiration for all things textiles at TGL. The short answer – if it’s knitted, printed or woven, it’s the bee’s knees in my book. The long answer (which I’ll tuck away in more detail for a rainy day, or god forbid, another pandemic) – I studied Textile Design at the nation’s oldest textile institution so textiles are always in my peripheral vision. In my Bachelor’s course of study, the trifecta of textile disciplines were covered in depth, and while I elected for a capstone concentration in knit design, printed textiles are personally one of my favorite platforms for celebrating pattern + color.

My recently launched series The Captain’s Catch includes an inspiring interview from Business of Home featuring painter and designer Serena Dugan. Serena, whose given name still resides with the lifestyle brand Serena & Lily she co-founded in 2004, left corporate culture in 2017 in pursuit of a return to her artistic roots. Having contributed creatively to the California based-brand for more than 15 years as CCO, Serena’s passion for painting and fine art tugged at her hartstrings. After what some may call a daring departure from the safety net of direct-to-consumer retail, she completed a painting residency at a chateau in the French countryside, and in early 2020 launched Serena Dugan Studio. Textile Designers are what I like to call the unicorns of the design world, frequently overlooked for more glamorous roles in Fashion Design or Interior Design; a niche group of creatives responsible for the very fabrics showcased in end-form on respective runways and in the beautiful rooms of the aforementioned designers. Combine the talent of a fine artist with the subtle beauty of a textile and it’s a recipe for sheer magic.

Tucked in a cozy 1,000 sq.ft. studio hugging the waters of Sausalito (a tiny hamlet a stone’s throw from San Francisco), Serena and her small team have introduced a collection of screenprinted textiles, wall coverings + for those of you decoratively challenged, pillows guaranteed to make any loveseat or window seat pop with a touch of pattern. Several collections, each uniquely inspired by Dugan’s travels, translate beautifully on a ground of 100% Belgian Linen, the gold standard in home textiles and with a spotlight on screenprinting, which harmoniously blends art + handcraft, we’re yearning for yardage. Whether you have a statement wall or a tucked away sitting room calling for a special touch of tactile interest (cue the grasscloth), these delectable designs are guaranteed to provide a unique look worthy of picture-perfect ‘grams or simple, unadulterated adoration. The toughest challenge you’ll face will be deciding which print, or likely even more difficult, which colorway, to call your own.

Images by Serena Dugan Studio and Laurie Frankel.

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