Archive for the ‘Art & Design’ Category

It made my day to discover that my favorite design website, Design*Sponge, just published a City Guide for my beloved former hometown, Northampton MA. It’s worth checking out if you will be in New England anytime soon. And be sure to read the comments, which offer additional tips.


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Has it really been over a month since my last post? Time flies when summer finally arrives. I took another, and longer, vacation and made it out of town this time. It was heaven to spend some time with an old, dear friend who lives on Cape Cod. Oh, to be at the ocean! But after spending a week mostly catching up on email and putting out some of the small fires that errupted while I was away, I’m getting back into the swing of things. I look forward to exploring the rest of the 23 Things.

In the meantime, I’ve been catching up with friends face-to-face. One friend, Monica, is on the verge of moving back to England. I envy and admire Monica because she has traveled extensively and lived all over the world. Last summer she visited Turkey for the first time. Turkey keeps coming up lately in books I’m reading, and I’ve added it to the long list of places I’d like to visit.

As I get back online by delving into some of the blogs I added to my RSS reader and catching up on Facebook, I’m reminded of the interconnectedness of it all. My old college friend Betsy posted something on Facebook about Catalog Choice, a website created by her husband Chuck Teller. I was familiar with Catalog Choice (which is pretty cool in its own right), but Betsy’s post prompted me to look into some of Chuck’s other projects. One of them is Word Count Journal, which allows you to create a blog in which you write one word the first day, two the second, three the third, etc., which amounts to 66,795 words in a year. While I was trying to decide whether this was a cool idea or an overly contrived gimmick (I landed on cool idea for writers, BTW), I started reading Melissa Maples’ journal. I kind of liked it so I looked further and learned that she’s also a musician and a photographer. Eventually I found my way to her website, and then to her Flickr photostream, which I absolutely love. This is the interconnected part: she lives in Turkey and one of her goals is to photograph what Turkey is really about – which is not the “tourist-bait pictures of whirling dervishes, hookah bars, and belly dancers.” Now that I’ve seen her gorgeous images, I don’t just want to visit Turkey. I want to live there!

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In another life I would have been an interior designer. I love buying flea market furniture and fixing it up, making my own pillows from vintage fabric, buying or making new art objects, and constantly plotting the next redesign of my apartment. At least I used to do these things before I started spending all my time on librarian things. Now I just spend too much money on design magazines to feed my habit, and I imagine how I would design my dream house if librarian salaries suddenly quadrupled and I could work part time and still make more money. So I was delighted when I came across design*sponge. What a terrific blog! It has all the interior design features I could want (before & after, featured homes, do-it-yourself projects), all with lots of gorgeous pictures. The flavor of most of the designs is right up my alley, and many of the homes and projects featured are in reach of someone who doesn’t make a half a million dollars a year. I can get inspired without also being vaguely discourage like I am reading high-end interior design magazines. And just think of all the money I’ll save on subscriptions!

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