Alicia Keshishian has the threads of fine carpets woven into her DNA. In the midst of an award-winning career as a graphic designer, in 2004 she chose to follow a new, yet intimately familiar, path with the launch of her signature Carpets of Imagination line. The granddaughter of Mark Keshishian, an early 20th century supplier of rugs to the White House, Alicia’s custom designed rugs embody her own fearless sense of color and texture.
Alicia's gorgeous designs grace paper products and textiles in addition to rugs. Her much-coveted, one-of-a-kind scarves are cherished accessories. An authority on color, Alicia offers a highly popular seminars for interior designers and other creatives across the country.
We are thrilled to welcome Alicia to From the Surface and Illo Reps.
Was something missing from your stocking this Christmas—like socks? Then this is the perfect time to gift yourself with a couple of pairs from Jay McCarroll's brilliant new collection. They're comfy (75% cotton, 23% nylon, and 2% spandex) and colorful: each of the fabulous signature patterns are available in four beautiful palettes.
From the Surface loves them so much, we've joined Jay's "sock of the month" club. Trust us—your toes will curl with pleasure. Visit Jay's web site to start shopping. http://bit.ly/10BZz1U
Image © Shellie K.
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
Let's take a moment to pause for reflection. Whether or not you believe in making resolutions on January 1, we think it's a good practice to take stock at this time of the year. And this year in particular, maybe everyone just needs to take a moment. While we hold our breath to see if the Mayans were right, let's take a lesson from Shellie K's graceful birds and realize that—when we all work together—we can soar over even the most perilous cliff.
From the Surface wishes all of us peace, joy, and love—throughout the season and for all the new year.
Images © Lisa Zador
An old-fashioned Christmas with a modern twist
Christmas always has us feeling a little nostalgic. When we haul the boxes of decorations down from the attic, we always feel a flurry of anticipation, a bit of butterflies in the tummy. As each ornament is unwrapped, there's a surge of memories from Christmas past. Everyone has a favorite, the one that commands just the right spot on the tree.
To us, the perfect tree is the one that accepts the new with the old, the contemporary pieces mingling in seamless display with the tried and true—a comforting jumble of myriad delights. New Christmas patterns from Lisa Zador bring these same thoughts to mind: traditional shapes of ornaments and candy canes, all dressed up in a contemporary color palette. We be so happy to add these to our tree.
Images © Manuela Tan
The calm before the storm
Thanksgiving has always been our favorite holiday. It has nothing to do with department stores, or crowds, or presents—it has everything to do with food, and friends, and family, and fun. We have been enjoying these past few weeks of planning—who's making the mashed potatoes, will there be enough pie? But suddenly, this morning, we realized that while we are still anticipating Thanksgiving, much of the world has moved on to Christmas! The Fifth Avenue stores are already bedecked with greenery and lights, their animated windows open for all to see—and the tree is upright in Rockefeller Center, just waiting for its decorations.
So let us pause and enjoy Manuela Tan's vibrant celebrations of Autumn in all its glory. As pumpkins and gourds still dance on the vine, and red birds and squirrels prepare for the coming cold, we wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. We intend to savor every moment of the day.
Image courtesy Where Women Create magazine
Long-Time Friends Share an Annual Crafting Retreat
We would have loved to have been a fly on the wall this late summer weekend. Anne Keenan Higgins and five great friends—designers and crafters all—get together for an annual weekend retreat. Self-employed artists who found themselves connecting at different design shows and events, they devised the idea of this weekend to get away from the computer and the solitude of their respective studios. This is their ninth year—and Jo Packham of Where Women Create
magazine joined in the fun. Read about all the fun in the Winter 2012 issue.
All images © Frank Montagna
Bats—and everything else—are up for Halloween
There seems to be no slowdown when it comes to celebrating Halloween. With seven in ten Americans planning on celebrating this year, total Halloween spending is expected to reach $6.86 billion—the highest in nine years. It's no surprise that this is the favorite holiday of so many. What's not to like? Halloween gives us the chance to step outside ourselves, take on a new identity (if only for one night), indulge—and maybe even be just a little wicked.
Frank Montagna wraps up the holiday in one cheerful package, as this naughty little cat takes refuge in a jack-o-lantern. Perhaps he doesn't want his witch to know he's run off with her hat?
All images © Jay McCarroll
From Garden to City, the Patterns of Environment
Patterns are all around us. Sometimes, the more observant among us might stop and take notice—weathered paint on the side of a building, animal tracks across freshly fallen snow—perhaps snap an Instagram, and then move on. The true artist, however, will turn such observations into new and brilliant interpretations.
We are so pleased to be representing Jay McCarroll, who responds to the world around him by creating beautiful, thought-provoking patterns. Those who know and love him as the winner of Project Runway Season 1 might be surprised to see the fabric as well as the fashion, but we appreciate Jay as the consummate lifestyle designer. Growing up in the Pennsylvania countryside and now living and working in Philadelphia, Jay has a unique affinity for both the rural and the urban aesthetic. Shown above are select color ways of Blooming and Seeds and Sprouts (top, left and right) from Jay's Garden collection and Miami and Denver (bottom, left and right) from the Center City collection. Check back often to see more of Jay's fabulous designs.
Images © Manuela Tan
The Pattern Effect
Here at From the Surface, we're always thinking about patterns, but more so of late because—to be honest—we're in the process of redecorating. So now it's personal—what is that pattern going to say to the world, or at least the portion of the world that visits our apartment. The effect of so many patterns and textures can be overwhelming.
But on a dark, gloomy, rainy day like today, we were thrilled to receive this new group of patterns from Manuela Tan. Bright, cheerful florals—and butterflies!—that just make us smile. They remind us of the personal relationship we all have with patterns, and how the work of the artist can brighten the dreariest day. That's the true pattern effect: a good pattern should make you feel great. Mission accomplished, Manuela!
Images © Lisa Zador
A bird in a gilded cage, a beautiful sight to see
People have been keeping these exotic creatures as pets for years, but we associate wild parrots with the jungles of South America. How surprising then, to find that there are colonies of wild parrots right here in New York City. Brooklyn (of course, isn't everything happening in Brooklyn these days?) has given residence to two thriving colonies of wild Quaker parrots for more than 40 years. Legend has it that the original flock arrived at JFK in the early 1960s, on a flight from Argentina. A shipping accident occurred and the birds became one more group of immigrants yearning to breathe free. Needless to say, for the sake of the birds, we are happy to see the toothsome kitty contained at right.
We have known Lisa Zador for so many years, long admiring her work for Nick & Nora, Town and Country, Echo, Ralph Lauren, Publix, and many others. Her books The Well-Bred Dog and The Well-Bred Cat are among our favorite collections (and we promise it's not because a stunning portrait of our dear departed Lulu appears in the latter). We welcome Lisa to IlloReps and Fromthesurface. Check back often to see more of her work.