Archive for the ‘random.’ Category

here comes summer!



Hello! I just realized it’s been OVER a month since my last post- how time does fly! This past month+ has been crazy for me – back to back to back art shows in Philly, visiting my college roommates in Colorado for a wedding (see above), balancing work and play while shooting a friend’s wedding in Turks and Caicos, designing other friends’ wedding paraphernalia (photos coming soon, I promise!), throwing a bridal shower for another friend, and getting prepped for a bachelorette party for even another friend (this is the year of the wedding, that’s for sure!).

Anyhow, thanks for bearing with me- I have a whole slew of photos I’m prepping to post, shows I want to write about, new work I want to show off, and more. See you soon!

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hello 2014!

2013 was a pretty good year for exit343design, but I’m ready to take on some new challenges in 2014. I prefer the term goal over “resolution”, so here’s a brief list of business goals for exit343design this year:

– set up an email campaign to stay in touch with customers and retailers

– redesign my website to be more consumer friendly and less portfolio driven

– vend at a Renegade craft fair again- it’s been two years!

– streamline my shipping process

– save up to participate in NSS in 2015!

– develop more wedding + custom offerings

what goals are you setting for yourself this year? how are you planning to achieve them?

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i had every intention to catch up on blogging this summer and already, in the blink of an eye, it’s gone! it was a busy couple of months packed with fun, friends, family, travel, and more. the fall/winter show season is quickly approaching and i’ll have some schedule announcements coming soon, along with posts about new products. however, before I get to that, i wanted to do a mini-summer recap about the places i got to visit, the fun things that went down, etc- both for your entertainment and my sanity.

it all began in May, the weekend after Art Star Craft Bazaar at Penn’s Landing. my partner Nick and I headed down to D.C. for a fun weekend of catching up with two of my good friends from my grad student days at Penn State University.



Ashley and Mark officially introduced us to Cards Against Humanity, a game I would purchase immediately after returning home and subsequently play with various groups of friends all summer long. they also got engaged shortly before our weekend visit, so we got to chat all about plans and are looking forward to their Big Day in 2014.



in early June, I dragged Nick up to New Hampshire to visit another couple of friends from my undergrad days at Rowan University. Chris and Courtney took us on a tour of their town, then showed us all around Portsmouth, NH + Portland, ME. we got to see so much in such a short amount of time, the weekend flew by! here are the highlights of the places we visited:

Earth Eagle Brewery: we can’t speak highly enough of this “nano brewery” in Portsmouth that is tucked away in the back of a brewing supply store. the size of a living room, this experimental brewery specializes in small batches of fun brews- all sold in tasting glasses for a $1 a pop. we had a blast hanging out in what felt like some kind of secret beer club. I really wish this business model was legal in Pennsylvania!

Gus + Ruby Letterpress: I had been dying to visit this store for a while- I follow their Instagram feed and I love their style! this Portsmouth stationery storefront is chock full of fun and elegant printed matter- cards, art prints, gift wrap, and more.

East End Cupcakes: I’m a sucker for a good cupcake and this Portland bakery was featured on Cupcake Wars. done and done.

Shipyard Brewing Company: we took “the tour” which was not so much a tour as a video played in a room. one of the worst brew tours I’ve ever been on- however, there was one saving grace: about 45 minutes of free beer tasting. also in Portland, ME.

Pinecone + Chickadee: Portland’s own handmade and vintage store. P + C runs the annual Picnic Music + Arts Fest that took place in August (and that I vended at) so I had to stop in! Such a nice mix of products- they also have a whole case of vintage cameras!

in all, we had a great weekend being tourists in New England. a couple of weeks after we left, Chris proposed to Courtney so we are also looking forward to their Big Day in 2014!



the following weekend, I headed down to the Outer Banks with this whole gang for a week of relaxation, pool time, and helicopter flying. yes, helicopter flying- this photo is us on the beach with my friends Gary and Evan at the helm of their octocopter. it’s pretty incredible and they recently started a business doing aerial photo and video for real estate and more- check out their portfolio here.

as it was my first time visiting OBX, we did some touristy things like checking out the Wright Bros. museum and memorial- it was pretty cool!


the summer of 2013 was pretty much the summer of all of my friends getting engaged. my friend for 20+ years (Katy) threw a backyard party to celebrate her engagement to her high school sweetheart, Jason. we all had a blast- here’s a photo of all of the bridesmaids with the bride sporting some Kate Bingaman-Burt diamond Tattly tattoos:




for July 4th weekend, I headed to West Virginia with Nick and my family. we had a relaxing weekend complete with ATV riding, a spin out in the boat on the local lake, and BBQ. i also met this owl friend:



the rest of July was a blur of beach trips, day job work, intramural kickball games, and studio time. at the end of August, I headed back up to New England with Bryan and Hilary of Yardsale Press to vend at the Picnic Music and Arts Fest.



it was a short, but fun trip- I got to see a life size chocolate moose named Lenny, eat an infinity pretzel at In’Finiti Fermentation & Distillation, meet a corgi named Isabella, and chow down on delicious fries from Duckfat in Portland.



I had to do a speed-through tour of the show, but I did manage to snap a couple of pics of some of my favorite items. from left to right: stamps by fishcakesoboy, totes by bybethany, and felt heart pins by migration goods. I also picked up some sweet Heisenberg earrings from Sleepy Mountain and dropped off a ton of my plush paisleybirds with Amy of Pinecone + Chickadee!

in all, it was a fun and busy summer. I can’t believe that September has passed and October is here! like I said, stay tuned for some show announcements, some new product features, and a few other random updates in the works 🙂

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last month, on the way home from a weekend trip, i got to stop in to Terrain. part of the URBN brand, Terrain is a modern garden center store with an active website and only two brick and mortar locations. the Glen Mills, PA location is just off the highway with a sprawling greenhouse, a cafe, room for events, and a comprehensive storefront. it was a really cool place- great for gathering ideas for a garden or get together or finding a gift.  here are some photos from wandering around:






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project penpal


a friend of mine from high school just reached out to me to tell me about her new kickstarter project entitled project: penpal– the goal of the project is “to recreate the spark we felt receiving our first piece of mail- addressed to us, stamp and all.” and “to establish connections between people- in a new (but actually old) way.” funding from Jen’s kickstarter will be used to develop the project: penpal website, where users will be able to find a penpal, post photos and share mail/package ideas, and connect with international students through a mentor exchange.

as a lover of snail mail, I’m so glad Jen shared her kickstarter with me- backing starts at just $2 so if you enjoy the art of mail as well,  please go check out her site and get involved!

check out the project: penpal kickstarter by following this link.

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happy 2013, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and compose a formal post aside from my etsy treasury tuesday features. after running the successful Hurricane Sandy relief fundraiser, traveling for holiday shows and oh yeah, the actual holidays, i’m getting a chance to reflect on the flurry of the last few months of 2012. it was packed with three wedding photography jobs, travel for fun & family (florida + west virginia) and travel for business (north carolina + pittsburgh), shows in philadelphia, friends, family, and a new kitty.

first up- at the end of October, Nick and I flew to Florida for a long weekend to visit with his family and do some sightseeing. it was also my first time ever being in the sunshine state!


we got to spend time with his siblings and see their home in Miramar. our time with them was split between catching up, lounging in the pool, chasing geckos, sightseeing for alligators in the Everglades, and more activities in the sun. i’m not going to lie- getting a suntan in October was pretty awesome!

after our time in Miramar, we got to be tourists in South Beach. what beautiful town! the Art Deco buildings and decor everywhere was just amazing- just like the weather. we stayed just off the main drag so that we were able to walk the entire length of Ocean Drive from start to finish.

miami beach instagram

we packed so much fun, food, and sun into a couple of days, so here’s a list (in no particular order) of the highlights and places I’d definitely recommend if you get to visit South Beach:

ocean drive

1. Ocean Drive Art Deco architecture– After checking out the visitor’s center, I learned that at one time, these gorgeous pieces of history were facing demolition during an economic downturn. Thankfully, there is an organization called the Miami Design Preservation League dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the area. The photo in the top left is of a hotel called The Carlyle– it was featured in the movie The Birdcage! In addition to being cool to look at, each of these places has an outdoor cafe- all the better to relax with a drink and people watch.

2. The Delano Hotel– We went here on a whim after seeing a brief travel spot on this place and HOLY COW- it was incredible. Why yes, they do have a private orchard with enormous hammocks, poolside cabanas, and the most luxurious ambience. I didn’t take any photos because it was a) dark and b) we were trying not to act blown away and be touristy, so here’s one of the pool that I ganked from google images- the manicured trees are part of the orchard:


3. Big Pink restaurant– Om nom nom nom. This place has a funky diner feel with a large and varied menu. We went here after a late night on Ocean Drive and it was perfect- breakfast for Nick, lunch for me, and everything was delicious and not terribly expensive like most of the area.

4. The Wolfsonian Museum– Since we spent much of our time on the beach, imbibing on Ocean Drive, and sampling local grub, I really wanted to balance it out with a least a little bit of culture. With our limited amount of time, we visited the nearby Wolfsonian, a museum that’s part of Florida International University. It is a unique space that recognizes and celebrates art and design mostly from the time period between the height of the Industrial Revolution and the end of World War II. Their website puts it best by saying, “. . . its unrivaled collection of modern material culture and its multidisciplinary approach to looking at objects as both agents and expressions of change.” One exhibit they had on display called Politics on Paper: Election Posters and Ephemera was particularly interesting as we saw it right before the election. They were showing old television commercials from past presidential elections on loops; it was a depressing reminder at how far America hasn’t come in regards to many social and economic issues.

5. Art Center/South Florida– We were strolling the Lincoln Road shops (an outdoor mall) and happened upon this incredible facility. I could barely control my excitement while walking through- a gallery and art space smack dab in the middle of a tourist shopping mecca? What an awesome way to make fine art accessible to everyone! I took a whole bunch of photos with my phone- here’s some photos to get an idea of what the artist studio spaces look like:

art center south florida

the artist studio spaces are offered via long-term and short-term residencies. Many of the studio spaces also doubled as small galleries- here are closer photos of some of the studios I took a peek at:

art center south florida 2

I really wish I had better quality photos to include – so much of the work I saw there was just fantastic! Miami is really lucky to have this facility for not only their artists, but the public as well 🙂

6. Puerto Sagua Restaurant– Looking to try local Cuban food? This hole-in-the-wall is your chance. Authentic food at a great price right in the heart of town.

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hanging out in Asheville today!

hanging out in Asheville today!

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back in August, i headed to West Virginia for a long weekend to hang out with my family and check out some local attractions. as usual, i took a bunch of photographs of our adventures. one day, we headed to nearby Weston to tour the famous Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a historic mental facility that runs historic architectural tours. it’s akin to Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentary, with a psychiatric twist. it was constructed between 1858 and 1881 and is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America. it is one of the original asylums to adopt the Kirkbride plan, an open building format developed for mental asylums.

this is the view from the front porch (originally part of the doctors’ quarters).

we had a great tour guide who was really engaging and knowledgeable. check out that getup!

in addition to the tour of the buildings, they had various exhibits to peruse with artifacts from the hospital and the area. one particularly interesting room was filled with drawings and writings from some of the patients.

each wing had this hand stenciled floral pattern wallpaper in varying colors.

these are cigarettes left behind by television-famous ghost hunters . . .

in addition to our tour of the Asylum, we hit up some antique shops in nearby Buckhannon. i picked up some amazing antique steals in a closing antique store:

how awesome is this Charley Harper print? every time i look at it i see something new!

i posted this photo to instagram, wishing i could bring the cain’s drugs sign home . . .

 . . . and what happened, but i got to bring it home! it’s in amazing condition and came with its own stand. anyone out there looking to buy a vintage drug store sign?

i picked up this unique whiskey bottle- the address on the side is from Philadelphia, so i had to get it! i also fell for this set of vintage floral glasses.

my final great buy was this hand painted “men’s bar” sign. it came with the brass hooks affixed to the back, but i removed them and will definitely hold on to them.

on our final full day, we headed to Burnsville Lake and took a dip. the weather was kind of strange that day, so i got this peaceful photo of the rain rolling in:

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last week, i went into Target (always such a great idea to me, but a bad idea for my wallet) and made my usual loop- the stationery section, a quick jaunt through the clothing, and a stroll through housewares. the final part led me to what has quickly become one of my favorite lines that Target has supported: The Curiosity Shoppe. this brick and mortar based in San Francisco teamed up with the ever-stylish big box to design a line of kitchenware, stationery, and gifts. I WANT TO BUY IT ALL. however, that’s just not feasible, so i settled on this adorable tea towel set:



just looking at this, i’m thinking about heading back to Target tomorrow . . . anyhow, to check out what other awesome goodies The Curiosity Shoppe is offering at Target stores nationwide, click this link to their blog post all about it.

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congratulations to Angie and Rob, who tied the knot on September 15th in the Lehigh Valley! it was a pleasure working with them and their family and friends- more photos to follow soon!

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