IMPORTANT ADDRESS UPDATE!
A few of you have reported trouble getting the USPS to recognize the delivery address. We want to make absolutely sure you have no trouble sending items! Please address to:
Soho Grand Hotel
310 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Thought I dealt with a few days without power and am still waiting for my heat to come back on, I escaped from Hurricane Sandy relatively unscathed - and boy, am I grateful. So very many others did not and are in desperate need. As the temperatures continue to drop here in New York City, Brett from Manhattan Craft Room & I began to think about what we could do to help those victims without electricity, heat, or even proper shelter. We got in touch and decided to call on the unique talents and big hearts of the crafting community we both deeply value and created Make It Better - A Craftalong for Sandy Relief.
Many Sandy victims, especially in The Rockaways & Staten Island, are living without power, desperately trying to keep warm. Reports from the hardest-hit areas are that folks are in need of warm garments to make it through. If knitters, crocheters and sewers are good at anything, it's making warm things--so please join us in a Sandy Craftalong to stitch up some warmth.
Will you join us? We are so, so excited to see what everyone whips up to help those in need!
-Natalie & Brett
Frodo confides in Gandalf: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."
Gandalf replies: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
A friend on Facebook shared this lovely movement this morning. The 9/11 Day Movement seeks to pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 by dedicating the day to service and good deeds.
Though I didn't live in NYC at the time, I'm always stunned by the stories I hear of the sacrifice and dedication of ordinary people on that day and in the weeks after.
You can enter your own 'I will ___________' to add to The Quilt of good deeds here.
Here's mine! What will you do?
Did you know that one in 9 women in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, are trapped in the sex industry?
My good friend Blair, who writes Wild & Precious, cares deeply about trying to change that. She's partnered up with The Mocha Club, a community of people who give up the cost of 2 mochas a month – or $7 – to fund relief and development projects in Africa. They work in five main project areas: Clean Water, Education, Child Mothers + Women At Risk, Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children, and HIV/AIDS + Healthcare.
To incentivize people to donate (and to push herself to do something she's always been nervous to do), she's promised to cut off her long, beautiful brown hair into a pixie cut when she reaches her fundraising goal of $1200. Here's Blair:
Don't you think she'd look good with a pixie? To help make it happen, you can donate here:
Your donation goes directly towards Mocha Club's programs that gets women out of prostitution. In return for a commitment to leave the streets, they are given intensive counseling, job training, and medical coverage - basically, a second chance at life.
There are only $96 left to raise! If only 13 more generous people give the cost of 2 mochas, Blair will reach her goal to help these women - and chop off her locks!
Stay tuned for after photos!
Right now, I'm sitting in the Seoul Incheon Airport waiting to board a plane to Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. Believe it or not, that's where I'll be for the next two weeks!
"Why?" is usually what follows immediately after I tell people I'm going, and the easiest way for you to understand why is to hop over to Mongolia Bound, a blog I created so those of us on the team going can chronicle our time there.
If you've read my About page, you know that the death of my younger brother from leukemia has had a profound effect on me; I really feel that he taught me so much in life, and continues to do so though his physical self is no longer here. It's safe to say that I wouldn't be going to Mongolia at all if it weren't for Jonathan.
Long story short, my family, along with a medical team from Wolfson Children's Hospital (and also our dear friends) will be volunteering in an orphanage and also helping plant the seeds of an improved pediatric cancer program there.
I feel incredibly lucky to have such an opportunity, and I hope that through me and the rest of the team, the ill and orphaned children we meet will catch a glimpse of Jonathan's ever compassionate, giving spirit.
For the next two weeks, I'll be focusing most of my blogging/social media efforts on this incredible journey, but will do a bit of cross-posting here to share what we're up to!
I hope you'll follow our adventures at Mongolia Bound! You can also stay updated by following us on Instagram and Twitter @mongoliabound.
Each year, Housing Works puts on Design on a Dime in the Metropolitan Pavilion. The Pavilion is divided up into many vignettes, each of which is created by an interior designer or person/company of note. On Opening Night, and afterwards during the Public Sale, you can buy literally anything from a vignette, and all proceeds benefit Housing Works' housing programs and services for homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. This year, the opening night benefit and sale in the days after raised over $850,000!
I was lucky enough to catch a sneak peek of all of the Design on a Dime vignettes prior to the Opening Night - last year, it was quite a struggle to photograph all of the lovely design work as people were fighting to buy anything and everything! The evening's benefit was a chance to rub shoulders with some of the most talented names in design, including Charlotte Moss, Miles Redd, James Huniford, Tilton Fenwick, Nick Olsen...the list goes on!
Also, I'm definitely an HGTV fangirl if there ever was one, so it was thrilling to meet Genevieve Gorder (of Dear Genevieve fame) and chat with her a bit about the room she created for Valspar. She was the nicest - and super tall, just like me!
This year, color and pattern were definitely the stars in the majority of the vignettes - lots of pattern layering as well as punctuation with brights.
Genevieve Gorder for Valspar. I love that she found all of the pieces in her booth at Housing Works, then put her skills to work and revamped them with Valspar paint.
I unintentionally matched the emerald green in Genevieve's vignette!
Succulents inside brass candlestick holders were a creative touch. An old chair was made new again with bright yellow paint and a little re-upholstering. Genevieve told me her favorite part of the vignette was these sconces, which she painted black and lit with an Edison globe bulb.
Tilton Fenwick. The lovely ladies at Tilton Fenwick dreamed up a children's bedroom that I wouldn'tve minded spending time in myself. The green (emerald again!) trim on the dresser made it so special, and I love the unexpected addition of the framed Abbey Road cover.
Fun details were sprinkled throughout, like these stuffed monkeys and the more grown-up brass elephant.
Maria Gabriela Brito. Love the pillows stacked in this console.
Pattern on pattern on pattern!
Evette Rios for Home Goods. If you visit frequently, you already know how much I love Home Goods. Evette (also super nice!) told me she imagined this space as a pied-a-terre for William and Kate were they to move to New York. It was definitely full of twists on classics, like this traditionally-structured armchair in a vibrant print, or these heavy geode bookends in blue.
Nick Olsen. Tons more color and pattern here! I enjoyed the unexpected layering of the blankets on the blue chair and the rugs, as well as the framed chinoiserie panels.
Pappas Miron Design. This vignette's retro-classic feel was given a zany punch with intense wallpaper.
I loved this chair (more emerald!): the orange velvet bolster with gray trim is a perfect contrast.
C Wonder was a vision of faux-Delft/toile punctuated by pinks, reds, and yellows.
Bloomingdales. This combination of green, red, and Hollywood Regency style managed to not look Christmas-y.
What do you think of the designers' vignettes? Any favorites among the pictures above?
I've been a fan of Help Remedies ever since I saw their simple, modern, clean packaging in the drugstore a few years ago. Aside from the pretty exterior, I can really get behind the company's mission: Take less (as in drugs). The people who founded Help believe that we don't need over-the-counter drugs as often, or in as high quantities, as we purchase them. Besides that, most OTC drugs have several active ingredients, whereas Help remedies have only one active ingredient, and no gross dyes or coatings.
Now, Help has partnered with DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donation center, to get more people to register for donation. To quote Help, "Sorry you cut yourself, but maybe something good can come from it!"
Normally, the registration process involves swabbing one's cheek with a q-tip and simply sending the sample in, but Help worked with DKMS to make a good thing out of a bad situation. All you have to do is put a tiny bit of blood onto the swab and mail in the kit.
When my brother was ill, and we were looking ahead to what happens after chemo and hopefully remission, we learned the next step for people with blood cancer is often to get a bone marrow transplant, so that the blood is replenished with healthy new cells from a donor. The really scary part is, the potential donor has to be a genetic match, and if you can't find one in your family (only a 30% chance), that's not such an easy task. There's an especially grave shortage of donors for racially and ethnically diverse patients. Many people simply never find a donor in time.
I'm so glad to see creative minds tackling the huge problem of how to get more people added to the registry; I'd like to see more of this kind of thinking. How simple would it be to add thousands to the registry if, at every doctor's office or hospital, you were asked if you'd like to donate by simply swabbing your cheek?
If you're chosen, donating is a safe process involving a simple surgical procedure (during which general or local anesthesia is used). If you're healthy and willing, you could be chosen to help save someone's life. How miraculous would that be?
P.s. If you're bored at work (I won't tell), have some fun playing around on Help's hilarious website.