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PATCH NYC

VI No. 2

trimx.JPGThese textile remnants have been hanging around our house for years.   Literally.  The trim is draped over a vintage frame in the den, the long strip holds its own with a grouping of art in the bedroom and the tassel is mixed with a cluster of medallions and ornaments above the kitchen sink.fabric-x.JPGThese are amazing examples of handwork rich with details like tiny stitches and miniscule knots.   Wherever they are in our house, they add a welcome layer of texture and history not to mention color.  For this visual inspiration, we wanted to feature each piece individually because we think they are all worth a closer look.tassel-x.JPG

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Rooms We Love I

rwl-i.JPGEvery so often we find ourselves in a beautiful room.  It can be a musty attic, a hushed library hall or an artist's paint-splattered work shop but whatever the space we know we are somewhere special.  Most times, we can't pinpoint exactly why we fall in love with a certain space.  Rooms are usually made up of multiple elements so it is definitely more about the sum than the parts.  Whatever the reason, we consider ourselves fortunate to be in these special rooms, to feel the energy, inhale the smells and to let our eyes feast on all the details, savoring great big bites of inspiration.This is the corner of an odd shaped little room just off the second floor landing in our friend Joanne's house.  She jokingly refers to this room as her "library" and it is indeed fitted with a large vintage cabinet filled with books.  The chaise is covered in pieces from Joanne's extensive collection of textiles.  Joanne is a designer as well as the proprietor of a store in Boston and her house is chock full of unusual objects culled from years of traveling and antiquing.  Every room in Joanne's house is beautiful but there is something about this petite library that always makes us pause.  For more of Joanne's impeccable taste, feast your eyes on her jewel-box of a shop here.

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In the Press: Elle Decor

elle-decor-x.JPGWe are very excited because the May issue of ELLE DECOR features our new needlepoint art which is created exclusively for PATCH NYC by two very special and talented ladies: our Moms!  For a while we have wanted to collaborate again with our Moms and since we had amassed quite a selection of small vintage frames  we came up with the concept for a collection of original needlework art.elle-cover-x.JPGFirst, we sketch the designs onto burlap fabric and select the embroidery floss colors.  Next, we make a diagram showing which color goes where and we give the fabric, floss and diagram to one of our Moms so they can complete the needlework.   For the last step, we choose a vintage frame to finish each piece and label the back either "Handmade by Carmella" or "Handmade by Yasuko".elle-decor-needle-points-x.JPGThese small scale works of art are available at BON in Tucson, GUMP'S in San Francisco, PAUL SMITH in Paris, ABC CARPET & HOME in New York and some are on display in the newly remodeled men's department at BARNEY'S in Chicago.

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Stylish Men

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Two men we consider very stylish enjoy pride of place on our mantel surrounded by other treasures found at flea markets and thriftstores.  We love vintage pieces that look like they have a tale to tell and these two figures look like they are full of stories.  Of course what first caught our eye was the way these two men were dressed.  Their hand-stitched outfits are incredibly detailed almost like tiny couture creations. 

The suave man with the subtle grin and the green sequined bolero looks a bit mysterious.  We imagine him high up on a tight rope in an underground circus or facing off with a ferocious bull in a Spanish stadium.  His be-dazzled jacket reminds us of Christian Lacroix, one of our favorite designers.  Perhaps this dashing man is a famous matador celebrated for his brave bull fighting as well as his brave fashion choices like a sequined ruffle codpiece and garters.  
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This man seems much more demure, almost innocent, in his modest feather skirt.  We picture him wandering through the forest with a deer at his side.  We love the naivete of his clothes, the print fabric boots and aluminum foil belt buckle.  From the carefully placed feathers to the intricately stitched fingers, some crafty person spent a lot of time laboring over each detail.  It is this element of hand-work that we admire and why we consider these stylish men works of art.

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VI No. 1

woolworth.JPGHere’s a dose of visual inspiration in the form of a humble needle book cover.  A funny thing about great vintage packaging is that many times the product inside is rather unexciting like shoelaces or aspirin or sewing needles.  This gem was found in the $1 bin at a local thrift store and we thought it would look great on our ever-evolving inspiration wall.  We love the die-cut shape and the ‘rays’ of sewing needles with the ribbon of thread swirling around the Woolworth’s towers.  Of course, we have a soft spot for Woolworth’s.  When we started our business many moons ago, we bought embroidery thread and wooden needlework hoops in the craft department at Woolworth’s on 23rd Street in New York.  We also bought our first sewing machine at Woolworth’s, a no-frills Singer that we didn’t know how to thread properly but that still served us well when we stitched up our very first handbag order for Bergdorf Goodman…if they only knew.

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Mr. Peacock

mrp_patchnycicons.jpgQuestion: What do Diana Vreeland, Cher and PATCH NYC have in common?  To find out the answer take a look at the March 23rd post on Mr. Peacock's wonderful blog full of inspiring projects, delicious recipes and great fashion.  Mr. Peacock does an impressive job of covering a range of our favorite subjects (ginger cocktails anyone?).  His features are satisfyingly in-depth and sprinkled with plenty of visuals.  Mr. Peacock is also really good at getting his interview subjects to wander a little too far down memory lane...like into that cul de sac of bad fashion choices.  Fortunately, we've moved on from the bicycle shorts and cowboy boots and now, thanks to Mr. Peacock, we're feeling absolutely iconic!mrp_patchnycicon.jpg

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In the Press: Ready Made

double-spread.JPGOur apartment made it into the Small Spaces Issue of READYMADE magazine and, fortunately, the camera adds some square footage because our home looks much bigger in the photographs by Bob O'Connor.   The piece is titled Grey Gardeners which refers to our mini-jungle of plants as well as one of our favorite documentaries featuring Little Edie, a true non-conformist and inspiration.  ReadyMade named our decorative look after Grandma Moses who was completely self-taught and didn't start her successful painting career until she was in her seventies.  So between Little Edie and Grandma Moses we think we're in pretty good company.   We love being included in a magazine filled with great ideas and inspiring projects although it is ironic that we would be featured in the Small Spaces issue.  After ten years in an itsy bitsy studio in New York we've come to think of our new home as practically palatial.ready-made-1.JPGready-made-3.JPG

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Tucson

tacox.JPGWe know spring is just around the corner because it says so right on our calendar but the frosty mounds of white outside combined with the chilly scarf & glove weather has us rhapsodizing about a warmer clime and our autumn trip to the toasty heat of Tucson.  The purpose of our trip was an art & trunk show at Bonnie and Crystal Flynt's beautiful shop, BON, but once we arrived our hosts took us to all their favorite local sites and the trip turned into a wonderful feast of inspiration.
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Mission San Xavier del Bac was completed in the late 1700's and still functions as a parish church today.  The interior is filled with intricate details like beautifully rendered statues and very contemporary looking painted patterns.  It was a wonderful overload of stimuli for our eyes. 
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One of our favorite details was this geometric pattern covering the bottom section of the walls.
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In contrast to the ornamentation of Mission San Xavier is Mission San Jose de Tumacacori which was established in the late 1600’s.   We loved the crumbling interior walls that still show a hint of faded murals.  The space possessed a quiet serenity and was decorated with one large cross embellished with brightly colored tissue flowers.  It was truly beautiful.
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There are two BON stores in Tucson and both locations are magical places filled with an eclectic assortment of merchandise selected and artfully arranged by Bonnie and Crystal.  We love when we discover a store where it is obvious that someone took real time, thought and care in gathering together the merchandise and creating an interesting environment.  It can be a hardware store or a bakery but when we're there we know we are somewhere special.  Bon is one of those places.  
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PATCH NYC for Barnes & Noble

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Ta dah!  We are very pleased to introduce our first foray into the world of stationery: journals, sketch books and note cards for Barnes & Noble.   The original art used to create these pieces is from our series of wood block prints on collaged vintage book pages.  We love vintage books but quite a few of our really old ones have, well, started to disintegrate so it was nice to put those loose pages to new use: combining the aged paper and vintage imagery with the saturated colors and organic shapes of our carved wood blocks.   The first printing of this mini-collection has already sold out of some Barnes & Noble locations but a second printing will be in stores and on line soon.  Stay tuned for our next collection of stationery coming soon!

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In the Press: Elle Decor(ation)

elle-decor-cover-x.JPGFrom Perrier to Pepe Le Peu, it's no surprise that we're big fans of all things French so we nearly choked on our croissants when French ELLE DECOR asked to photograph our house.   We gave the ol' maison a proper cleaning: dusting and sweeping and dusting again.  We thought we had pretty much cleaned everywhere but, of course, the photographer still found that one dusty corner to zoom in on...extra close.   It's the picture on the right in the opening spread below.  Still, dust or no dust, we think the pictures of our home look way prettier than the real thing.  We're tres thrilled.double-spread-x.JPGelle-decor-2-x.JPGelle-decor-3-x.JPGelle-decor-4-x.JPG

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