I love this new series of prints and greeting cards in the Gather Goods online shop designed by People I’ve Loved:
Loeffler Randall is a shoe and accessories company that I have been hearing a lot about lately. I love this tassel and raffia pouch and that they post images of what inspired this collection: straw, pom poms and minimal beachy vibes.
How cool is this pom pom backdrop they created for a company party?
I had not been familiar with Leanne Ford before seeing this recent feature in Domino Magazine. Apparently she has a new HGTV show and her philosophy is to paint everything white, one I can get behind. We don’t get cable but my daughter discovered The Property Brothers while at my parent’s house and now we have a Sunday ritual of watching an HGTV show from our computer and making homemade pizza. She wants to go into business together when she grows up and call ourselves “The Property Sisters”, let’s see how long she thinks that idea is cool. 😉
I’m an avid interior design lover. Growing up my mom studied interior design and used our home as her playground. Though I was never a fan of her aesthetic it allowed me to imagine what I would instead do myself and I remember being very struck by pieces of furniture we had in the house and wallpaper too. Her style veered more toward the decorative and I would always imagine paring down to the more essential and and less saturated. I would say that is still my aesthetic to this day.
So when I happened upon these spaces that Leanne has designed with lots of white, warm wood and pops of black I found them especially appealing. I can’t wait to dig into her aesthetic and catch her program one weekend night soon.
Photographs by Nicole Franzen for Domino Magazine. Below are more images of her work from her website:
I am always on the hunt for sources of inspiration that combine plants and interior design and highlight both through beautiful photographs. Recently I happened upon the book House of Plants, which you can find in the Gather Goods shop here. The book was written by two girls who run a company called Ro Co in North London.
I love that the interiors showcased in the book are both clean and collected, a look that is harder than it seems to achieve. This entryway storage shelf shown here embodies a feeling of controlled clutter, which I feel like is the most many of us can hope for in our homes. I’m lucky to see a semi uncluttered house maybe once a week with a tween in the house who likes to make her own collections out of everything she picks up.
Ro & Co embraces air plants, terrariums and all things green and makes plant crafts and displays in their conservatory/studio.
The book is dotted with sweet illustrations like this one that was in the front and back end papers of the book.
And how pretty are these flower crowns?
This past Saturday like millions of other women I participated in the Women’s March alongside my husband, my daughter, some friends and their young daughters. I marched here in Raleigh (a sister march to the larger one in Washington DC and the thousands of others happening around the world) and the crowd here in Raleigh was about 20,000 strong. It was the largest protest in American history and 1 in 100 Americans participated in some way. I walked in solidarity and it was affirming, powerful and beautiful. I may not have agreed with everyone around me 100%, but that is the point, that I walked alongside those who feel morally challenged in some way, like myself, and support that they have the right to be heard.
I was hesitant to go at first because I don’t like crowds and I was worried about counter protests. I thought ‘I have other ways of making my voice heard that don’t involve picketing’. Living here in the capital city of North Carolina we have been in the midst of a contentious political climate for the past few years. I am sure you have heard of the bathroom bill, not to mention many other challenging policies that have limited public schools among other things. I have watched dozens of teachers leave my daughter’s elementary school because classroom size limits were lifted causing already stretched resources and underpaid teachers to just move on to more supportive opportunities.
I’ve watched as many of my friends protested and picketed and created noise to protest, and thought ‘I don’t agree with these policies, but protesting is intense’. Then, as if all the other frustrating things weren’t enough, the then voted out (in a very tight race) Governor called secret midnight sessions to strip the incoming Governor of his power to make change and citizens the power to vote more fairly through redistricting, despite the general public having voted for this change. I know that that is somewhat typical but the values are atypical and I don’t share them. The politics obviously go much deeper than just this paragraph touches on but it feels like the ushering in of something much larger and more disturbing for democracy. It feels like a pivotal time, that just sitting idly by and voting for change isn’t enough and it took seeing this at a local level to recognize the need on a national level.
The very founding of our country is based on the right to peacefully express yourself. I believe it is our country’s duty and our duty as humans to walk beside others whose views may or may not be the same but accepting that they have rights and their own unique set of challenges. Brene Brown, whose words move me greatly had a great piece that you can see on her facebook page about her thoughts on the march. She, like me, is an introvert who was so moved to action she couldn’t not participate. She also shared this quote by Theodore Roosevelt “To stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public” meaning if we disagree with certain policies or values, it is our duty to make them known, especially if there is significant resistance to them. To those that felt resistance to the march, I hear you as well. I respectfully disagree that this was a negative blight or stain on our country more so than the tenor of the new administration. It is not at all about “an eye for an eye” instead an opposition to the priority and presentation of the values being ushered in.
I was so moved by the many expressions of love and encouragement. Here’s to a more positive and supportive environment and to being the change that you wish to see in the world.
Today in Raleigh the weather is hovering around 65 degrees. This past weekend we were snowed in and school was cancelled for many days for my daughter. I’ve lived here in North Carolina for sixteen years now and the weather still surprises me. Growing up in Northern Virginia when it snowed it was more than just a dusting and you went to school and drove unless there were more than a few inches on the ground. Regardless, because it happens so rarely here it becomes an event and it’s fun to hunker down and treat it as the special occasion that it is.
In our house when we don’t have projects going on (and the busy holiday season has passed as well as peppermint bark production) we usually spend our spare time cooking. Many recipes are too time consuming to create on busy weeknights so weekends and snow days are perfect for them. So this weekend, as the snowflakes were falling, my husband got the urge to make homemade pretzels. They are really easy to make and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. We made both traditional shaped pretzels and also shaped them into rolls. My brother works in the restaurant industry and at one of the restaurants where he worked they served hot pretzel rolls and they were mind blowing. The rolls make delicious sandwiches when they are heated up with some ham and melted cheese as well.
- 1½ cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4½ cups
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for pan
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel salt
- Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
- In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
- Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Do you have a go-to recipe or family tradition when you are snowed in?
A few years ago I had illustrator Mikaela of The Hungry Fox create a graphic for Gather to compliment our existing logo. I love the hands embracing and “gathering” plants. And, ever since I was a girl I’ve drawn floral and plant doodles on everything in a similar style. We’ve just printed the illustration onto these super pretty, very soft, heather t-shirts. All of us at the shop immediately claimed one for ourselves. The color is very pretty. You can find it online here or at the shop.
I created this North Carolina graphic many moons ago when hand lettering was just reemerging and starting to take off as a trend. Since then, this design has become a staple in my line and has graced postcards and T-shirts and now this loose and comfy charcoal gray pullover.
And isn’t Charity being the greatest sport by modeling for me? Sometimes I wonder how my employees perceive me as a boss. It is an honor to mentor, challenge and work alongside the lovely women that work for me and watch them grow and evolve. Who knows what ridiculous thing I was saying, also, this was back when I had full functionality of both of my hands, versus now, which one arm in a sling and recovering from a wrist break.
We also have Gather T-shirts if you want to wear your love for the shop literally on your sleeves.
We have these new “Roar” t-shirts which are a subtle or not so subtle nod to feminism in our signature classic and understated style. We think they’re pretty punk rock. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of these shirts goes to The Global Fund for Women.
And lastly, we have our popular “Land of the Pines” sweatshirt and “Raleigh” hoodie that I introduced to the shop last year. All of our apparel is very cozy and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your mood. These are holiday favorites and make great gifts. I only have so much inventory of these in stock before the holidays roll around so if you had your eye on one you should snag them now if you’re planning on giving them as a present.
If you are in the Raleigh, North Carolina area tomorrow night (or tonight, depending on when you read this), I hope you will join us for our Holiday Maker Market in the parking lot at Gather from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. We’ll have over nine local makers selling their wares: peppermint bark, textiles, jewelry, kids items, letterpress greeting cards, leather accessories, hand carved wooden spoons, and more.
In addition we’ll have cider and inside the shop local artist Jordan Grace Owens will have a DIY paper doll ornaments making station. You can register for the ornament portion here. Also in the shop we’ve received a lot of new merchandise and ceramics, perfect for gift giving. Everything inside the shop (not including products from the makers market) will be 20% off.
– Cat Call Collective – Beautiful, simple and whimsical letterpress greeting cards and holiday cards
– The Apothecary’s Kitchen – small batch peppermint bark made with dark and white chocolate and organic candy canes. Made by my husband here in Raleigh.
– Ask The Trees – hand carved wooden kitchen utensils and implements
– Shop Windblown – modern and minimal jewelry
– Redden Goods – hand dyed textiles, pillows and rugs
– Freshly Given – handmade leather clutches and accessories made from recycled leather
– Bird & Beau – sweet and colorful jewelry and sparkly accessories
– Tyger Alexis – custom kids clothing and accessories made from original patterns and and hand cut and sewn here In Raleigh.
And finally, in addition to our event, our neighbors in the N. Person St. area will also be hosting small events at their shops as well and there will be carolers. So bundle up and bring your friends, and we’ll see you tomorrow.
Participating neighbors: Edge of Urge, local salon, lumina clothing, oak city cycling, Pelagic Beer, Person Street Bar, Raleigh City Farm, so & so books, Standard Foods, William & Co, Wine Authorities & Yellow Dog Bread.