Tag: Art

Decorating with Vintage Pennants

Vintage and retro travel ephemera is one of my favorite categories of art. I love that period of graphic design and adding a little kitsch to my home makes me smile. A while ago I purchased some vintage pennants and have been pondering where and how to use them. Today I’m rounding up a few ways I am considering how to display mine.

vintage pennants

My new collection!


Frame Them

I’ve come across this amazing Wisconsin hotel before for it’s fun interior design. I love the large square frame with the pennants arranged in a circle as a focal point above the bed. Source: Wandawega Hotel

Here is another amazing circular display for above the bed. I wonder how they attached this to the wall? Source: Country Living – Marisa Bistany home tour

An easy, classic alternative is to frame them individually. Source: Country Living – Holly Kuhn Home Tour

Hang Them

I love the added campiness of hanging them along a tree branch. Source: HGTV blog

This bunting of pennants is calling my name! Source: Home Tour of Hula Seventy on CafeStir

Another option shows them displayed on an old window. Source: Red Cottage Chronicles

Sew Them

Source: Thistlewood Farms

Source: MG Designs

I love these two pennant pillow ideas. My pennants are a little large for a pillow, but I do have one smaller one (my favorite one actually) that doesn’t match the others in size, so this could be a fun way to use it.

How amazing is this pennant quilt? I would imagine it’s quite scratchy, but a fun statement for sure. Source: I was unable to find the original source of this photo. If it is yours please comment so I can give you credit! Pinterest is a wonderful search tool, but can cause a lot of trouble in finding sources.

I love this kitschy Christmas tree skirt. What a unique idea. Source: HGTV blog


I came across these Harry Potter pennants on my search. How cool are these!? Source: Society 6

Pennants come in all different sizes and mine are on the longer end. While most people I’ve seen just hang them on the wall, I am leaning towards some sort of group arrangement in a frame to make it feel more finished. We shall see!








The Wild Rumpus at Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

Tower Hill Botanical Garden - Wild Rumpus

A few weeks ago I met a friend at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA to see the Wild Rumpus Stickwork exhibit. It was my first time at Tower Hill. What a beautiful place!

Wild Rumpus is inspired by the famous children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. The Stickwork exhibit feels like the magical towers sprouted right from the ground. I love art exhibits you can touch and experience – which makes this a great exhibit for children. In addition to the Wild Rumpus “castle” you can walk along a trail in the woods that contains signs that feature pages from the Where the Wild Things Are book.

Tower Hill has shared a time-lapsed video of creating the Wild Rumpus – you can see it here.

Admission to Tower Hill is $12 per person. I reserved my local library pass and was able to get in for $6. Boylston residents get in free on Thursdays. Parking is free.


Modern Quilters

via Design Houston – Modernism emerges in quilting world

Is there such a thing as a hobby-crush? Because I have a hobby-crush on modern quilters. And as soon as I finish up my current sewing projects, I’m going to finally take a running leap into the quilting circle.

I’ve made two t-shirt quilts, so I understand the basic concept of how to make a quilt. But I’ve always wanted to design and sew my own quilt. It’s on my list of 101 things, and I have a whole Pinterest board dedicate to quilts that I love! I love quilts because they are so cozy, and they can be used anywhere – wrapped up on the couch, laid out at the beach, or draped over the end of a bed.

I’ve recently been very intrigued by modern quilters – which makes sense for me – it’s like graphic design in quilt form! Colors and compositions and weight and patterns. It’s all the same whether it’s on a screen, a canvas, or a quilt.

Here are some quilts that have been inspiring me lately:

Colorful quilt by Anna Maria Horner

This one is the quilt that really did me in.  I believe I “pinned” this image to my board with a caption that went something like “THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.” Consider me inspired.

Meg Callahan Quilt

Meg Callahan Ada Quilt

Meg Callahan was the first modern quilter I came across and she’s amazing! Look at all the symmetry!

Scrappy Lone Star from the Modern Quilters Guild

I love this one by Janice Ryan of the Modern Quilters Guild! It takes the elements of the classic patchwork quilt and the modern colors, weighting, and composition make a fun and punchy quilt.

Tangled by Robert Kaufman

This awesome intertwined quilt is a pattern that will be available in September through Robert Kaufman.

Bolt and Bias Quilt

Move over teddy bears and ballerinas. This baby quilt by Etsy seller Bolt & Bias is beautiful!


Quilt by Angela Flicker – The Artists House

This colorful one is AMAZING!! I would love to attempt something like this quilt by Angela Flicker. She made this one for the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change and Craft Lake City’s gallery exhibit titled, “Celebration of the Hand”. Her Flickr photostream is full of other amazing examples of her work.

Now I just need to finish the projects I’ve already started!!

The Cloisters Museum


When you enter the Cloisters Art Museum you’ll leave Manhattan and step into a little piece of Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, the Cloisters Museum is a medieval art museum. The museum is a blend of paintings, architecture, sculptures, artifacts, and stained glass. With several courtyards, you’ll wander in and out of doors admiring everything from sunshine-laden stained glass windows to dark rooms protecting tapestries featuring mythical beasts.



A cafe in one of the courtyards at The Cloisters


Books + Illumination. My medieval profession of choice.



A tapestry in the Unicorn Room



Where: The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, New York City

When: Open 7 Days a Week, 10am-5:15pm

Why: The Cloisters was the collection of George Grey Barnard, who had a personal passion for medieval art. The Cloisters has been a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1925. There are countless vivid stained glass windows, altarpieces, paintings, and statues. Downstairs in the “treasures” room are smaller pieces – and definitely worth the time. See some amazing illuminated books, and even a modified deck of playing cards.

Of Note: Don’t miss the Unicorn Room. Yes, you read that correctly. There is a whole room of medieval tapestries portraying hordes of men attacking the frightful mythical beast. There is even (what they believed to be) a unicorn horn on display. (Which is actually the tusk of a Narwhal.) Also, the Cloisters Museum has multiple courtyards (including one with a cafe) for milling about and enjoying the sunshine. (It’s always nice when art museums have pleasurable places to sit down. My feet need a break every once in a while.) Also, from the front of the building is a large terrace with beautiful views of the Hudson River.

Admission: $25 “recommended”, which means you can give whatever you choose. (I gave $10.)

All the credit for this afternoon goes out to my lovely tour-guide of a sister-in-law! We spent about three hours exploring The Cloisters, as well as some of the nearby Fort Tryon Park. We spent the rest of the beautiful and sunny afternoon walking through Central Park and then a fantastic dinner at Greek restaurant Kefi. I was in NYC for business, and managed to also eat at Rosa Mexicano (legit table-side guacamole service) and the Empire Hotel Rooftop (you’ll have to lurk for a seat but the views are worth it)! I recommend them all!

The city of a million restaurants!

Medieval art isn’t my favorite, but this museum was worth the trip. What’s your favorite type of art?

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum feels more like you’re traipsing through Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s home than an art museum near Fenway. For precisely this reason, it’s a must-go on my list. This unusual museum was the home of Isabella Stewart Gardner. She was an avid art collector in the early 1900s, who set up the museum in her Fenway home and ordered it to be left exactly as it is – which is how you’ll view it today. There are no white gallery walls with succinct wall plaques to identify the beautiful Gothic and Renaissance pieces the house holds.No photos are allowed in the museum, so I’ll be sharing images from the Gardner Museum website.

The Courtyard

The Raphael Room

The Short Gallery

The Little Salon

The Dutch Room

The Spanish Cloisters

Where: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA

When: Open daily 11:00am–5:00pm, Thursday until 9:00pm

Highlights: There are a number of large-scale paintings by John Singer Sargent, including a portrait of Ms. Gardner herself that was deemed so “scandalous” it was hidden from public view during her lifetime by her husband. Don’t miss the beautiful ceiling painting in the Italian Room and the Michelangelo and Raphael sketches hidden behind paneling. The glass courtyard is a beauty to behold with constantly rotating foliage to admire. There are a number of non-art artifacts as well, including a hand-written letter by George Washington.

Of Note: In 1990 a number of works in the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum were stolen, and the robbery remains the largest theft of all time. The thieves stole a Vermeer, 3 Rembrandts, a Manet, 5 Degas, and several other items, amounting to $500 million in art. Several of the frames remain empty on the walls of the museum to this day.

Things to Know: The museum is quite dark inside to protect the artwork. We went on a Thursday night, and the added daylight from the windows would have been helpful in a few rooms. This is cell-phone free museum, you’ll want to keep it tucked away, or one of the many lurking docents will kindly ask you to. Public transportation recommended, as parking in this area of the city is notoriously difficult.

Admission: $15/adult. Free if your name is Isabella. $5/adult if you purchase your tickets through a local library.


The G Cafe inside the museum looks lovely, and gets great reviews. However, we were there at closing time, so we walked around West Fens and tested out a great sushi/hot pot place instead – Swish Shabu. It garnered two sushi-sized thumbs up from all of us!

Does art theft fascinate you as much as it does me?