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Posts from the ‘solar design studio’ Category

Touring the city of Venice

Glass, lace beads and paper. Our Montessori students examined a Murano glass vase made with black glass infused with smaller colorful pieces of glass. We looked at hand woven lace. We created our own marbled paper which was later turned into bookmarks and electric votive candles. All while touring the city of Venice in our imaginations!marbled paper


Top ten reasons to buy original art

flower ©Tadson Bussey

flower ©Tadson Bussey

1. It peeks dialogue
What a great opportunity to start an engaging conversation at that fabulous party you are throwing. Sure beats discussing that youth soccer game score AGAIN!

2. It adds texture, interest and clarity to your life story
You will never forget the memory of where you were or how you came upon the art you purchased. No one can take that away from you. The experience and connection that you have to the art illustrates your own personal life story.

3. It forces you to slow down
Really think about what you are doing. Do you want to cast your “dollar vote” on a mass produced item coming out of a cargo container from China?

4. It gets you out of your comfort zone
Do you want to lump yourself with every other weekend shopping-drone-consumer choosing slight variations of the same thing? Haven’t we had enough of “Live, Laugh, Love” and “Keep Calm And Carry On”?

5. It supports the individual
You’re paying it forward to the society gods. You’re putting food on the table of the artist. The more energy they have, the more quality art they will produce and spread across the world.

6. It’s provenance speaks volumes
We met Leigh and Leslie Keno at the Merchandise Mart on a sunny autumn morning. Their back story is interesting and engaging. For goodness sake, as children they started selling antiques which included old iron work from barns and stoneware. There is value in original work. These brothers now race vintage Ferrari’s. Need we say more?

7. It affords you to “lead by example” for your children
Children love art and want to create art. When you buy original art, it gives you an opportunity to discuss the process that led you to love a piece so much, that you had to buy it and display it in your home.

8. It looks great on your resume
Being an art collector sets you apart from the pack.

9. It extinguishes the “I could do that” mentality
The more you discover about the artistic process, the more you realize that the artist is someone who has a great ability to harness “the moment” and expose their vision. THAT is a very gutsy way to put yourself out in the world.

10. It helps you avoid the trap
I recently pinned a photo of a street sign stating “Don’t grow up, it’s a trap”. Surrounding yourself with creativity brings a sense of joy to the everyday. Art keeps childlike wonder in your soul.

There are so many more reasons to buy original art in every genre within the creative community. Care to expand on this list? We would love to hear from you!

Vegetable adirondack chairs at the farm

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By: Jen

Driving westbound out of Chicago for a couple of hours means one of two things for us– a soccer tournament or visiting the farm! Two totally different experiences yet there is a subtle connection. A healthful diet leads to a healthful body which in turn moves with ease to tackle the most challenging of sports maneuvers.

We love to visit the farm and I love to paint for Kelley Road Farms. The Vegetable Adirondack chairs were born out of love for everything sustainable at the farm. Each chair back has its own fluid mosaic patterning of nature’s bounty. The arms represent the wide open midwestern skies and the face of the chairs beckon you to explore the endless fields.

Our very good friends are the proprietors of Kelley Road Farms in Caledonia, IL. Their mission is rooted in the time honored knowledge of cooking through family life. All of their adventures incorporate their own naturally-grown produce as a signature ingredient. They grow their own vegetables without the use of chemicals or pesticides and incorporate additional local produce and organic ingredients to round out their authentic food creations. The future is very bright for Tom and Drew as they continue to build their facility, research and develop their product line and bring their vision into the marketplace.

Pull out your adirondacks and enjoy the calm and peaceful days of summer!

Spring has sprung with a new birthday chair

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By: Jen

Spring has sprung from a school house chair to a new birthday chair. Before and after at its best…

I love personal gift giving, especially the kind where an upcycled piece of family furniture gets a breath of fresh life. I had a lot of fun designing this birthday gift for my friend Michael to give to his lovely wife Denise as a surprise for her birthday! I pulled patterning from complimentary fabrics in the existing family living area and chose a bright color palette to give this chair “pop” and visual appeal.

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