Haylee Ebersole

 

I’m really excited to share the work of Pittsburgh-based artist Haylee Ebersole with you because she uses an unusual material – dehydrated gelatin. Four years ago she bought 100 pounds of the stuff, learned about its chemistry, and has been using that same quantity to create her sculptures over and over again. Different additives create different textures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mattress Factory

Vanessa German, sometimes. we. cannot. be. with. our. bodies., 2017

This past weekend I visited the Mattress Factory here in Pittsburgh for the first time in years. The non-traditional museum was founded in 1977 in an old mattress factory by artists to support artists, working in residence to create site-specific installations. Since then the museum has presented and commissioned new installation and performance works by more than 750 artists, and grown to take up three buildings in the city’s Mexican War Streets neighborhood. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a residency program that provides leadership, guidance, resources, and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging and thought-provoking. The flexibility and inventiveness offered allows artists to respond to developments in technology, explore audience interaction, and challenge traditional artistic ideals and practices.

 

Dennis Maher, A Second Home, 2016

 

Dennis Maher, A Second Home, 2016

 

Dennis Maher, A Second Home, 2016

 

Dennis Maher, A Second Home, 2016

 

Dennis Maher, A Second Home, 2016

 

Vanessa German, sometimes. we. cannot. be. with. our. bodies., 2017

 

Vanessa German, sometimes. we. cannot. be. with. our. bodies., 2017

 

David Pohl, furniture music, 2017

 

David Pohl, furniture music, 2017

 

David Pohl, furniture music, 2017

 

 

William Anastasi, Untitled (Calisthenic Series), 1997

 

Vanessa Sica and Chris Kasabach, Unbrella, 2009

 

Allan Wexler, Bed Sitting Rooms for an Artist in Residence, 1988

 

David Ellis, Summer Quintet #17, 2017

 

Jene Highstein, Untitled, 1986

 

Bill Woodrow, Ship of Fools: Discovery of Time, 1986

 

Sarah Oppenheimer, 610-3356, 2008

 

Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room, 2017

 

Meg Webster, Solar Grow Room, 2017

 

Allan Wexler, Sculpting Gravity​, 2017

 

Allan Wexler, Sculpting Gravity​, 2017

 

Allan Wexler, Sculpting Gravity​, 2017

 

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Dots, 1996

 

Yayoi Kusama, Repetitive Vision, 1996

 

James Turrell, Catso, Red, 1994

 

Rolf Julius, Red, 1996

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A Little Variety with Purely Fancy Feast Filets

 

Everyone in my house eats grain-free, including me most of the time, so having healthy foods on hand is a must.  And just like my own diet, I like to approach my pets’ diets with a little variety. They may not notice the time and care I put into their food choices, but I know they’re healthier for it and that goes a long way towards my ultimate plan of owning the first immortal cats and dogs. (Mwahahaha!)

 

 

A new addition to my cats’ food plans is Purely Fancy Feast Filets. They’re 100% natural filets of real seafood or chicken with no preservatives that can be fed any number of ways. I recruited my cat Rainey to try out all three types of filets – salmon, white meat chicken, and tuna. We opened the salmon first and flaked a bit of it over her everyday kibble, a healthy way to change up the same thing she’s eaten twice a day for the past four years. I knew it was a hit before she even tasted it because her little paws hit the stairs and she came running down before I even called her name!

 

 

 

Next up was what turned out to be Rainey’s favorite, the white meat chicken. I simply broke up the little filet into pieces she could nibble on and set it out for her to discover – which didn’t take long. This option even received her patented “prey shake” before each bite (she reserves it for the foods she approves of most).

 

 

 

The last taste test was the tuna. I set out the entire filet to see what she would do, and I wasn’t sure if Rainey would grab it and run to enjoy elsewhere or just eat off the plate I had set out. Turns out it was a little of both! After licking it all over she took a few bites and then carried it over to her food bowl to enjoy.

 

 

 

Purely Fancy Feast Filets couldn’t have been a bigger hit! I love that you can tell exactly what you’re getting before even opening the package – real food, no by-products, no preservatives. I’m looking forward to introducing them to my two seniors diets as well because I know they’re going to love them just as much.

This post sponsored by Purely Fancy Feast Filets. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help Design Crush create fresh content!





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Everything Grows with Love

 

If you follow Design Crush on Instagram you may have noticed our on-going quote project, where I’ve hand-written one a day for the past several years. Quotes are something that I’ve collected, first written in a journal and then on Pinterest board, since junior high school because when someone is able to capture a thought or feeling that I haven’t been able to put into words myself I like to hang onto it.

 

 

If you’re also into the smart words of others, you’re likely to enjoy Everything Grows with Love as much as me. This squat little book from Workman Publishing is edited by the co-founders and creative directors of Flow Magazine, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst. If you’re not familiar with the wonderful-ness that is Flow, it’s a magazine that celebrates creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures.

 

 

Similarly, the pages of Everything Grows with Love are full of hand-lettered and illustrated graphics by twenty contributing artists covering musings on life, love, and friendship. The affirmations, motivational sayings, and quotes will remind you to appreciate the small moments, be present, think happy, and appreciate the people around you.

 

 

Valentine’s Day is known for being *the* day for romantic love, but it’s also the perfect day for reminding others just how much they mean to you. Everything Grows with Love makes a great little gift or alternative to a traditional card. It’s a book you’ll want to keep around and return to whenever you need a smile or a bit of inspiration in your day.

 

 

Take out your favorite pages to frame or hang on the fridge. Mail one off to your long distance BFF. Or play Secret Saint Valentine and drop a few copies in the mailboxes of unsuspecting neighbors. Everything Grows with Love is just one of those gift that’s good to have handy for birthdays, engagements, or just someone who just needs a little pick me up.

 

 

This post sponsored by Workman Publishing. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Accounting Confessions of a Businesswoman, Part 4

 

I’ve barely started this post and I already feel naked. Last year was difficult for a multitude of reasons, and the hard and fast truth of it is that my business was one of the bigger ones. I won’t sugarcoat it or try to distract you with pretty words – although maybe some nice photos might help? At times this journey with FreshBooks has felt like picking up the rug only to discover the dirt underneath, or putting on makeup to hide the flaws. It’s made me take a very real, very deep look into my future and the future of this site.

 

 

Blogging is a funny business. It’s not even one that existed in a professional capacity when I started Design Crush almost eleven years ago, and it’s definitely not a career path I planned for myself. But I fell in love and absolutely adore what I do here, and at times probably border on being a bit of a workaholic because of it. But what was once one person sitting behind a desk or on a couch or at a dining room table putting something out into the void of the internet is now a career that includes teams, financial backers, and the dreaded pivot to video. Algorithms seem to change with every week, decimating audiences that have been hard-fought for. Then there’s the game of comparison, and reminding oneself that someone else’s endgame isn’t going to look the same as your middle. So is this my middle or am I nearing my end? Who knows.

 

 

What I do know is that even ten years later I’m still figuring it out as I go.

Last year I was able to get the financial side of Design Crush on lockdown with the help of FreshBooks, and I can honestly say that thanks to them I don’t hate dealing with money nearly as much as I once did. Having all of my invoices present and accounted for on a platform that’s well designed and intuitive with a slew of other features that I actually use has made it loads less painful. It’s so gratifying to see the charting of my earnings throughout the year, and time previously spent on my finances can be dedicated towards making those numbers go up! (Because no, product offers unfortunately do not pay the bills.)

 

 

Like I said, I’m far from having it all figured out. I don’t want to hire a team or have financial backers or pivot to video, and I never did. But one of the most important qualities any small business owner can have is adaptability and I’m certain some changes will be inevitable. And when they show up I’ll learn to roll with the punches just like I have over the last decade. (DECADE!)

Thanks for coming along with me on this four part journey! It’s been eye-opening  and mildly nauseating to say the least, but I wanted to give you an honest look at what goes on behind the scenes and through my mind – usually at all hours of the night. If you missed the first three parts of the series with FreshBooks you can catch up here, here, and here.

 

This post sponsored by FreshBooks. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Rethinking the Living Room

Minerva Wall Mirror // Harmony 2-Piece Chaise Sectional

It’s been a minute, well about three and a half years, since I did anything major to my living room. I’ve updated the floor rug and throw pillows and some other little things a few times, but nothing big. Lately I’ve been getting the itch to do an entire overhaul. Not that it’s in my budget at the moment, but it’s worth daydreaming over for a bit. The first piece I’d bring in would be this couch that I’ve had a crush on for years – I love how welcoming it looks. And a big round mirror over the mantel would make the room feel larger and add a nice focal point.

 

Chuck Log Holder // Aaron Aged Brass 3-Light Floor Lamp // Cast Tripod Side Table

My fireplace doesn’t work at the moment, but I still enjoy a stack of logs nearby and this holder could double as a magazine holder if I get bored. A sweet little side table could either be used for its intended purpose or a plant stand. Didn’t you know that I love pieces that are multifunctional? This brass floor lamp will add some cozy light to the room.

 

Ash Connections 5-Shelf Bookshelf // Laini Throw // Rattan Bowl Bullet Planter

I have a lot of books and love putting the on display, so a trio of these shelves should do the trick. (All lined up in a nice little row, of course.) Plants run rampant in my home, and one of these large bullet planters would hold a large palm nicely. A pretty blanket would bring in a simple pattern and some texture.

 

Stand Table Lamp // Victrola Gramophone Bluetooth Speaker // Warwick 3-Door Media Cabinet

If you haven’t noticed, lately I’m heavily drawn towards a mix of wood and metal in neutral tones. This little table lamp combines all three very nicely. An updated bluetooth gramophone ties together the old-meets-new aesthetic I tend to gravitate towards, and the media cabinet gives a place for all other electronics in the living room.

 

Motion Lines 3 Wall Art // Eden Cross Base Standing Planter // Hayes Leather Storage Basket

No room is complete without art on its walls, and I really like the simplicity of this piece. A pair of these standing planters would flank the fireplace nicely, don’t you think? And a decent sized basket works hard in any number of ways, including holding blankets and pillows.

 

Brass Tray Coffee Table // Vintage Distressed Rug

The edge on this coffee table is a unique feature that I really like, as are the thin brass legs. The navy blue in this large floor rug ties in perfectly with the hues in the rest of the room without being overwhelming.

 

Chelsea Double Sconce // Rose Quartz Coaster Set // Roar + Rabbit Chair

The third source of light would be ideally situated in the corner of the room, directly over the crook of the sectional – the best reading spot! A pair of chairs that make a statement in pale pink finish things up, while a set of quartz coasters check off a necessity. Here’s to dreaming!

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