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Trendspotting Not Trainspotting

Featuring Club Monaco, Society 6, Robin's Egg Blue, Aha Life and Zhush

I know it’s 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and so humid that one’s curly hair is acting as a sponge, but Club Monaco released its Fall 2013 lookbook and mentally, I’m in autumnal heaven. Dusty shades of pale pink and blue give a feminine twist to the classic palette of black, white and camel. Strange textures like calf-skin bonded with wool; cashmere, shearling and stretch leather, are calling my name. Someone crank up the AC, because I might need to wear a peacoat in July.

1. RabLabs Quadrado Spreader set of 2 Azure from Zhush. These stylish spreaders will make an elegant statement on any hors d’oeuvres platter.   Ancient agate stone is married with modern design, creating a fusion that appeals to modernists and traditionalists alike. In Azure blue or smoke gray.

2. Salt Water Cure by Tina Crespo via Society 6  in a contemporary, black, gesso coated frame. Peer into a far away place, engulf oneself in the gentle hues of the ocean and sky. 

3. Leopard No 1 Napkin Holder by Piselli Projects via Aha Life.  Exotic and oversize, this pure white ceramic leopard napkin ring adds an element of chic surprise, and a touch of wild, to your table.

Featuring metallic gold, sharp angles, grey jeans, Club Monaco, Zinc Door, Michael Aram and Pyrite

1. Michael Aram’s Convertible Sunburst Frame, via Bloomingdales, is inspired by the golden glow of the sun which channels its powerful energy and nourishing light; this frame breathes even more life into your precious moments captured on film (or in the digital realm). Unexpected textures lend a punky vibe to any space. 

2. Pyrite, from the Evolution Store, is an Iron Sulfide, and can be a stunning natural mineral. Because of its yellowish metallic luster, it is often referred to as “fool’s gold”. It is found all over the world, and takes many different forms, from blobby concretions to natural, sharply faceted and cubic crystals.

3. Organic and original, the Vanessa bowls by Arteriors, via Zinc Door, marry an earthy tone and exceptional design. An ivory crackle and gold speckle exterior complements this sets metallic gold interior finish.

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Bears Eat Berries

Prepare yourself to be swept away in a cloud of Washi tape, gentle, dusty color palettes, Kraft paper, and minimalist silhouettes…say hello to Laura Wentzel of Bears Eat Berries – Design & Letterpress Studio. My first inclination when I came across Laura’s whimsical and simple design via Etsy was to swoon, and immediately after that I giggled. Then, I was envious of her hair…she has that perfect, tousled, highlighted-by-nature-the-sun-and-lemons sort of vibe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

A graphic designer by trade, Laura’s work is recognized by its clean typography, graphic illustrations, nature-inspired patterns, and folk motifs. She also works on an honest-to-god-half-ton printing press from 1911. In case you weren’t around for that great year, it was a big year in mechanics – in fact, Henry Ginaca invented the “Ginaca Machine” that automated the peeling and coring of pineapples. Huge.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Also, as a happy coincidence (or maybe kismet), in that same year, Arizona was admitted as the 48th State in the Union called the USA. Bears Eat Berries happens to be located in southwest Arizona, therefore this was all meant to be! Circuitous logic? Maybe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Name: Laura Wentzel
Location: Phoenix Valley of Arizona
Job: Owner & Designer of Bears Eat Berries
Age: 29

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

EAT: Gallo Blanco in downtown Phoenix. It’s set in the ground floor of a funky midcentury era hotel and is furnished with eclectic furniture and decor. Overall it has a very funky vibe. It’s also the first restaurant my husband and I tried when moving to the southwest! Gallo Blanco tries to source locally and places a lot of emphasis on simple Mexican-inspired dishes. Before dinner you can bring your drinks to the poolside or climb to the rooftop for an amazing Phoenix skyline view.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SEE: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West School. It was his architectural school (still in operation) and winter home which sits at the brow of a mountain in North Scottsdale. Wright designed the nature-inspired complex in tune with its desert surroundings. It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the valley, especially at sunset.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SHOP: I love perusing Ultimate Consignment in Phoenix. It’s a huge warehouse filled with consigned and vintage items where you can find absolutely anything from a hammer to a handbag. I just recently scored two vintage tweed green office chairs there!

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

DO: Hiking and exploring the southwest. My husband and I just moved here about a year ago and we love driving out in the desert to discover new towns, mountains and the ever-changing landscape. I love spotting a line of quails cross the street and the occasional roadrunner.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

INSPIRE: I’m inspired by children’s picture books, Japanese design, traditional folk motifs from around the world, and any great use of white/negative space. Throughout my life I have been drawn outdoors, so nature-themes play a role in many of my design.

Laura Wentzel featured by The WalkupFrom a business perspective, Laura set up Bears Eat Berries studio to offer various price points so that a wide range of customers can enjoy them. Isn’t that nice of her? She offers single cards which are priced to compete with normal retail stores (why go to CVS, Walgreens, or Duane Reade, when you can support a local artist?) and she offers custom and personalized products for those who want something extra special – like for a wedding, or business card, ahem?

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I came across Bears Eat Berries while looking for letterpress (I’m a sucker for texture and hand-mixed inks) Thank You cards for my bridal shower. Immediately her craftsmanship was obvious – the cotton paper, the simple yet, bold design, the odes to nature – oh to be a symbol pressed into one of Laura’s clever cards! Think of all the joy you’d bring to your [                    ]. 

Want to send someone you love (father, mother, sister, cousin, BFF, long lost twin, pen-pal, mistress, step-son, pirate, actor) a clever, old-fashioned note? Now you CAN. Enter to win these woodland animals saying hello! Perfect to send a friendly hello. 

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Each set of twelve letterpress woodland animal hello cards includes coordinating kraft brown envelopes with two of each animal (fox, bear, hedgehog, rabbit, deer, squirrel). Original illustration and printed by hand on an antique printing press on thick, luxurious 100% cotton paper.

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Betsy Ross

In honor of this past Fourth of July weekend, and also to pay homage to my hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I bring you a series of items inspired by our most patriotic seamstress. Although there is a bit of controversy regarding who exactly did make the first flag for the, then new, United States of America, I blissfully work under the assumption of Betsy Ross as the creator of our Stars & Stripes.

No one does quirky Americana quite like Tommy Hilfiger

No one does quirky, Americana better than iconic fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger. Jourdan Dunn, Jacquelyn Jablonski and Toni Garrn model as sailors, socialites, and Cape Cod wasps, posing in nautical (undeniably patriotic) looks.

The man credited with designing the current 50 star American flag is Robert G. Heft. The exact red, white, and blue colors to be used in the flag are outlined in the CAUS Standard Color Reference of America, 10th edition. Specifically, the colors are “White”, “Old Glory Red”, and “Old Glory Blue”.

Since 1777, the flag design has officially been modified 26 times. Without being too literal, peruse items inspired by the freedom of my great country – particularly salient as the daughter of an Israeli immigrant, and the fiancé of a second generation Moroccan immigrant. America, I salute you – melting pot of the world.

Decorating with USA themed items!

// 1 Nothing is quite as American as Apple Pie ala Mode with Vanilla Ice Cream (and if you’re a real traditionalist, cheddar cheese). This unique frame print is called Americana and is by the artist K. THRO via Society6

// 2 – Picnic Pie Set with 10 forks, 10 parchment rounds and twine from Anthropologie.

// 3 Limited Edition Miss Statue of Liberty by Merci Gustave from AhaLife. The great irony of the Statue of the Liberty—the symbol of American liberty and independence—is that it is just as French as it is American.

// 4 – You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag even when sitting atop this Star Spangled American Flag Kilim Cube pouf ottoman. A striped, starry blend of earthy wool and recycled jute from Kathy Kuo Home.

// 5 – Put your patriotic style on display with this colonial inspired, metal, tea-light candle holder from Kohl’s.

// 6American Hotel Stories coffee-table book by Francisca Matteoli. From Big Sur to Boston, this enticing volume follows in the footsteps of Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Tennessee Williams, Al Capone, Clint Eastwood, and some of America’s most famous personalities and hotel guests – from Assouline.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – The Declaration of Independence (US 1776)