Travel

Tulip field with words overlaying reading A Creative Week in Holland

A Creative Week in Holland

In the spring of 2022, I joined a group of thirteen women on a Local Flora Field Guides trip to Holland. The trip was led by Kimberly Becker, Lauren Pignatello, and Susan Becker with the goal of experiencing the country while learning about the local flora and creating field guides. Each of the three hosts had something different to offer. Kimberly, an artist and designer, taught watercolors and embroidery. Lauren, a farmer and herbalist, taught all about the local...

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View of table with woman making punch needle art.

My Snow Farm Art Residency

This spring, I had the opportunity to participate as an artist in residence at Snow Farm, The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, for two weeks. It was the first time since graduate school that I had an extended period devoted solely to being creative. There were no limitations or requirements. I spent two weeks completely free, exploring new concepts and ideas. Often with running Design Pool, I move from one task to the next without a break or...

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Kauai Inspiration: Flowers, Pattern & Color

How do you turn your inspiration into something tangible? Of course, sometimes you don't need to. Inspiration for the sake of it fuels our creativity whether or not there is a direct line to a piece of art or project for work. But, it's also helpful to save inspiration to use as resources when you need them. When I travel, in addition to keeping a travel journal, I'm constantly snapping photos of beautiful colors and patterns. When I get...

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Travel Journal Prompts to Bring Inspiration Home

For a lot of creative people, traveling can be a huge source of inspiration. Different scenes, smells, sounds, all heighten your senses and seem to open a door to new ideas. Once home, how can we take that inspiration and use it in our work? I recently got back from two weeks on Kauai, and all I kept thinking while there was that everything seemed more intense, brighter somehow. It was more than just the sunshine. After so much...

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Alphonse Mucha at NC Museum of Art

On a recent visit to North Carolina, I visited the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh to see their exhibit Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary. This exhibit is on display through January 23, 2022. When I lived in North Carolina in the 1990s, this museum was one of my favorite spots to visit for inspiration. In fact, during that time there was an exhibit of Mucha’s work. I loved the show so much, I bought a small poster...

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The Arts and Crafts of Cranbrook

I recently attended a reunion for graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Arts who studied under Gerhardt Knodel in the fiber program. I graduated in the class of 1993 and attended the reunion with one of my classmates and good friend, Paula Stebbins Becker. Paula and I decided to use the reunion as an excuse to have a road trip and drove to Detroit together from New England. We enjoyed seeing a bit of the country from the road while...

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International Folk Art Market, Tips & Finds

Some time around 2013, I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and was sucked into a feature on the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico. By the time they went to a commercial break, Santa Fe was on my bucket list. There are many reasons to go to New Mexico, but there was something about this market that finally got me to buy a plane ticket. What is the International Folk Art Market? ...

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Traveling in Italy; Food, Art & Family History

Growing up one of three girls, time alone with my mom was not something that came in big doses; but was always savored. Our interests didn't always align perfectly, but browsing through dusty antique stores or wandering through museums were always activities we could count on doing together. So when we first started thinking about traveling somewhere together, Italy felt like the natural choice. Traveling with my mom in Italy would have history and culture, as well as family...

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Spanish Tiles Are a Must for Pattern Inspiration

If you're a pattern and design lover like we are at Design Pool, Spain needs to be on your bucket list. Narrow that down even further to southern Spain, where the decorative Spanish tiles used in the architecture will blow you away. On a recent trip to Seville, it was inspiration overload walking through the impressive Real Alcazar, the winding streets of the Jewish quarter, and (seemingly) all the public spaces. When you're in Andalucia, you can see and...

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The Ace Campers! (Kristen - left front row)

Learning Navajo Tapestry Weaving in Santa Fe

Georgia O’Keeffe first visited New Mexico in 1917 and said later, “From then on, I was always trying to get back there.” New Mexico can have that effect on people. The big sky, the clear air, the piñon trees dotting the landscape, it’s no wonder so many artists flock to New Mexico. And then keep returning. When Design Pool founder Kristen Dettoni needed a creative escape to unplug and be inspired, she came across an Ace Camps trip to study Navajo tapestry...

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