February 29, 2016

Teeny Tiny Polymer Clay Food by Shay Aaron

Wait until you see the miniature polymer clay creations of Shay Aaron!
They're so realistic, they can't be made of clay-
but they're so tiny, they can't be real.
The unbelievably talented Shay is from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Shay also makes jewelry with his wee creations!
How about a macaron ring...

...or salmon steak cufflinks?

Where to find Shay:

Images used with direct permission from Shay Aaron.

February 25, 2016

Sarah J. Perry's Splendid 3-D Embroidered Birds

Embroidery is a lovely craft by its own merits. 
Consider kicking it up a notch, by taking it to three dimensions, for instance.
 That’s what Sarah J. Perry has done with her textile art birds.
Vintage fabric, felt and twigs bring even more drama. 
Sarah loves nature, especially the birds around her home in the English countryside.
Her attention to detail brings a breath of life to these exquisite works of art!

She's also printed her work on note cards!

Connect with Sarah:

Images used with direct permission from Sarah J. Perry.

February 23, 2016

Visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial - Shanksville, PA

Being a Pennsylvanian, I've long wanted to travel
to Shanksville to see the Flight 93 National Memorial. 
This past autumn, the new Visitors Center opened there, 
which was added incentive to make the trip.

We sadly remember that dreadful day in history: September 11, 2001.
Two planes, hijacked by terrorists, crashed into the 
towers of the World Trade Center and a third hit the Pentagon.

The fourth plane, United 93, was meant to continue the devastation in
Washington, D.C. by most likely targeting the Capitol Building.
After discovering the intent of their hijackers, 
the 40 passengers and crew members decided 
to thwart that plan by storming the cockpit.
The plane crashed into an empty field near Shanksville, PA,
just 18 minutes flight time from its destination.
The Flight 93 National Memorial honors that act of heroism
and pays respect to all who lost their lives that day.

The striking design of the Memorial 
was chosen from over 1,000 entries worldwide.
Its strong symbolism and features were powerful and moving.

We approached the expansive concrete walls via a black granite walkway,
which mirrored the plane's actual flight path.
We were overwhelmed with emotion as we looked above us,
and couldn't help but picture that plane, so close over our heads,
as it streaked to the ground. 

The walkway ends at a glass panel, in which a poignant phrase has been etched:
"A common field one day. A field of honor forever."

From this overlook, we were able to view the crash site.
At the edge of the forest below, a sandstone boulder
marks the place of impact, and the final resting place 
of Flight 93's passengers and crew members.

The boulder can be seen in the field 
where the snow meets the trees
in the center of the photo.

(At the edge of this field is an area known as the Memorial Plaza,
which we will visit and explain in photos to come.)

A close up of the textured walls shows how they were 
designed to resemble the wood of the surrounding hemlock trees. 

Inside the Visitor Center, displays with timelines and artifacts
gave a clear explanation of events of the day.
Recorded phone calls made by passengers to loved ones 
were especially heartbreaking.

How moving to read through the information and be reminded of that awful day.

On impact, the plane was inverted, at a 40 degree angle
and descending at a speed of over 550 miles per hour.
This bronze sculpture shows its approximation to the tree line.
The crater formed was 15' deep and 30' across.

Pieces of the wreckage are on display.

Leaving the Visitors Center, we went down to the Memorial Plaza,
which borders the crash site in the field below.
(In this photo, the Visitors Center is on the right.)

At the end of the walkway is the Wall of Names,
made up of 40 individual marble slabs engraved 
with the names of the passengers and crew members.

The wall, also in line with the plane's flight path, 
provided a place of quiet reverence and reflection.

Faces of heroes.
Such courage was required to move into action in order
to defeat the terrorists' plan of attack on our country's capital.

I looked at each face and name individually,
honoring their memories, and
realizing that mothers and fathers,
wives and husbands, sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters,
were all part of this great sacrifice.

For more information on the Flight 93 National Memorial,
view the National Park Service website.

February 17, 2016

Anna Deegan's Adorable Prints & Patterns

"Cute Hedgehogs"

Anna Deegan, illustrator and pattern designer, lives in Dublin, Ireland.
I think her colorful, retro-inspired designs are just delightful!
They're showing up everywhere: stationery, wallpaper, pillows, 
cell phone cases, wrapping paper and tote bags!
Enjoy this selection~

"Sea Patrol"


"Floral Heart"

"Secret Forest"

"Heels and Handbags"

"Floral Bloom"


"Sweet Summer"

"Carrot Cake"

"Little Rascals"

"Organic Garden"

Find more of Anna's art here:

Images used with direct permission from Anna Deegan.

February 15, 2016

Honoring our U.S. Presidents

"It is the duty of all nations 
to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, 
to obey His will, 
to be grateful for His benefits, 
and humbly implore His protection and favor."

—George Washington, 1789

February 9, 2016

Bold, Hand-Knitted Blankets by quiroga quiroga

Innovative design and quality materials brought a 
talented group of women together to form quiroga quiroga.
They dye and spin virgin wool, then hand knit or weave it on looms, 
adding finishing touches and embroidery to create fabulous end products.

Every step along the way, from start to finish,
the quiroga quiroga team puts forth its best artistry
to create unique, handcrafted masterpieces!
These garments and blankets are sure to 
stand the test of time, both in quality and appeal.

The colors are divine, and oh, these textures!
The first one is my favorite. (I'm a real sucker for pom poms!) 

In addition to throws, they make shawls...



...and ponchos.

Here's where you can find quiroga quiroga:

Images used with direct permission from Lorena Quiroga.