Monday, July 25, 2011


I know it sounds silly right? Howkapow is a cute little shop I came across during one of my Internet journeys and I felt it was definitely worth a mention! This UK based shop is owned and operated by a young, husband and wife team and features emerging and independent designers. They have an eclectic and unique offering of things like jewelry, home accessories, art prints and kitchen things. Their philosophy is " that investing in bright, new designers with original ideas is how innovation truly flourishes."

Here's a few things I like....

A. Cushion covers in Aqua and Pebble-E40.00
B. Hand Shadow Pendant Rabbits-E25.00
C. Triangle Mug E9.95 or a set E35.00
D. Walnut owl-E25.00
E. Sustainable Seafood Tea Towel-E9.95
F. Firehose Messenger Bag-E199.00
G. Camera Print-E15.00

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Weekend...

I love this DIY reclaimed wood headboard idea! How easy is this-and so cute! Sometimes the whole reclaimed wood thing can go awry and be too "cafe country"-but this has a cool modern appeal. I like it!

Have a great weekend!

via Decor Pad

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jen's Art Additions

Posting a quick little something from me today. I just added this ABC print to my ETSY shop. The tree and house are my original illustrations, you may remember them from an art additions post I did during my Scandinavian influence week. Check it out...Anyway, I think they are simple with a touch of modern and a bit of whimsy. I'm working on a numbers print to coordinate with it as well so watch for that. You can customize the colors to match your child's room--for FREE!

Have a look...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This summer has been wonderful for us! We live in Northern Michigan so when summertime comes there is much to do. Last weekend was my parents 40th wedding anniversary-I know right. They have my nephew for a few weeks and wanted to do something fun-maybe a romantic dinner later this month-but for the time being they decided to camp nearby at Clear Lake! We went for a visit and spent the day swimming, kayaking, and just lazing around the campsite well into the evening. It was nice!

Today's Etsy artist finds represent a little summer camp style.

Hope you like...

Toxic Guinea Pigs: Maggie O'Reilly lives in the suburbs of Columbus OH where she creates her bright illustrations. I'm loving the vintage campers! For more of her work visit these places:

Jumahl: This Etsy artist started as a carpenter in housing construction, later apprenticed in furniture design and construction for several years, spent twelve years as a boat carpenter and custom yacht joiner, designed and fabricated custom millwork for a high end construction company, and started building old time banjos for Kevin Enoch in 2005. The love of birds and photography led him to create these cute vintage camper birdhouses! Love them!

KS Peddler: This artist creates some fun signs to liven up your cottage, camp, beachouse or whatever! I'm loving her custom family signs. Have a look...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Inspirations...

While browsing the internet recently I went over and checked out Decor 8. She was talking about some trends in European decor she's been noticing all over the place. They've been making their mark here as well and actually have been around for a while now. Some of my faves were the industrial lighting (of course), the reclaimed wood trend (think big chunky dining tables) and the handsome, sturdy, Tolix chair. I like industrial designs alot, especially when it's incorporated into a home that balances the coldness with warm,fluffy textures and greenery. Check out some other posts I've done with Industrial design in mind.

The Tolix chairs are my fave of the group. The metal finish works well in a kid friendly environment where food tends to "fly" and they come in so many colors its hard to choose! Here's a few examples and were to shop for the look...

via the Style Files blog

Industrial Lighting and chunky wood tables seen here are from: Sundance

Tolix chairs are from: Antiquaire-click here for more Industrial finds from this great store!

other retailers with designs like these include: Pottery Barn, DWR, the Conran Shop

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Something from me...

I feel like I've been really out of touch lately with all things blog related! If you missed my announcement last week about Area Fare being on a kind of summer vacation, read about it here. I've vowed to a least post a few times a week though until fall when I'll be back in full swing! 

Whew-it's been beautiful here in Northern Michigan lately. We had a garage sale yesterday, goodness-someone remind to never do that again! hahaha I'm actually happy to have done it because I've been holding on to things that I just need to let go of. I also got a chance to work on my tan a little and hang out with some friends-- and that is always nice.

Anyway, I thought I'd post a little something today really quick that I worked on last week. It's a new spaceship ABC print for my Etsy shop and a little companion piece of nursery art. The spaceship art print started out as an acrylic painting on canvas. I then did some digital editing to it. Next I added digital color to my spaceship illustration and layered it onto the background.

Hope you like...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I found this shop in my Etsy taste test group.

Back in January I did an Etsy feature and told you how much I like skateboard stuff, remember?  Well, I found these recycled skateboard deck stools yesterday and I think they are so cool. They come from a shop appropriately called Deckstool, out of Philadelphia. The artist got the idea from his brother when he asked him to build "some kind of furniture" from his broken pile of skate decks. They were all broken in a uniform kind of way that made the design of the stool logical. I thought these would be cool in a teens room for when his buddies come hang out and watch each other conquer something on the PS3. My 36 year old bachelor brother would probably like one too! :)

Check it out....

Deckstool-Philadelphia, PA

Monday, July 11, 2011


As I drove away from Transformers 3 yesterday with my son, 2 nephews and their friend, the subject turned to what a job is and why do parents have to go and more importantly why will they have to go someday. They all knew that it was to get money and they all seemed to think that having a job didn't sound like much fun! lol-I told them of course some jobs aren't fun, and that they all needed to go to college for something that is interesting to them. Then I sounded like a true parent when I uttered " If you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life!" My 12 year nephew then proceeded to argue that "Confucius was kinda wrong" and "he didn't really believe that anyone likes a job all the time-every aspect of it." hahaha-Too smart for his own good I suppose. What do you think?

Well, I know that I like what I like. If I become overly influenced by others, I tend to feel like something is missing and that I'm off track a bit. We all gravitate toward what we like because it fulfills a need. Sometimes there is so much out there to choose from, and so many people telling us what we should like, that it becomes difficult to figure out what it is that we actually love.

Sometimes I feel this way about ETSY. There is so much stuff! Well, I just did my first Taste Test. It's a tool they developed to help buyers come in contact with the sellers they might like, based on the things that they gravitate toward. It's pretty cool. Mine was pretty right on-there were like 9 of my favorite shops in the grouping-it was like a magic trick! hahaha-click here to go to my taste test. It also shows other people who have similar tastes so that you can browse their fave shops and find even more stuff you love! Give it whirl....

 Now here's something I like:

The artwork of Michelle Armas. The lovely bright colors, juxtaposition of her brushstrokes and abstract quality of her work just make me happy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A little something...

I haven't exactly been doing nothing at all! I am enjoying the warm July weather here in Northern Michigan! You've got to take advantage of it when you can!

I have been working here and there too. I just completed a cute nautical style ABC print for my ETSY shop that is a companion to the nautical numbers print I did awhile back. They are popular right now and look so cute in a boys room or baby nursery!

check it out...

Another project I'm working on is a wall mural over at ALL SAINTS Catholic School. You'll have to excuse my photos-the lighting isn't the best in the hall. I'm planning to paint some children reading at the base of a large tree and the open book will have lots of characters floating from it that represent all the ABC's. That's the plan anyway!

Here's a peak...

painting the sky...

the tree base...

tree so far with green grass...


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


AHHH...back home again and showered up! We spent the fourth of July camping with the kids and a group of friends. It was a great time. Our boys were the dirtiest they've ever been but they had a blast swimming, playing at the lake, watching fireworks and eating lots of ice cream!

I have been so busy this summer and things are piling up on the docket everyday it seems. I'd be lying if I said I missed spending time cruising the Internet for things to blog about! I have absolutely LOVED being unplugged. I seriously thought I might put AF on a summer vacation of it's own and resume in the fall when school starts. I can't do it though-I love it too much-it is my source for artistic inspiration and has made me really happy!

 So, I've decided that for the summer I'll do a low calorie version of Area Fare, AF lite if you will. I'm not going to post everyday again until fall but you can expect a couple of posts per week! 

Today a little something from the Etsy Shop:

Jillian Audrey Designs

This Bostonian and self professed crafty girl was on the front page today of Etsy with this photograph:

Isn't it cute! When I checked out her shop I found that she had some summer-ish photo art of beachy things and it reminded me of Alpena, the beaches along the Great Lakes and northern Michigan summers in general!

Have a look...

Hope your summer is as wonderful as mine has been so far!