I am currently in a post St. Valentine’s Day love affair with the home goods/home decorating/interior design firm and store Fringed Benefits. It is a manifestation of clever, inspirational design and good taste.
The brainchild of Interior Designer Amy Burns, who has established herself in the business locally for over twenty-years, and her partners Michelle O’Connor (business) and Kate Burns (designer), this venture is a stunning array of home decoration brilliance.
The store is located in the plaza adjacent to Wegman’s DeWitt (6825 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066). It is closed on Sundays but operates every other day of the week. (Check their website for more information)
The venue is set up like a one-bedroom studio apartment with living-room, bedroom, office and dining-room decor supplemented by areas of small accessories, art, floral arrangements, gifts, candles and plenty of pillow options.
Retailer Glory took me on a tour including the back room, which is Burns’ design studio and offers personal assistance in home decorating including selecting fabrics and wallpapers. Glory’s enthusiasm for the products and budding business acumen made me want to make a purchase. It was a wooden heart ornament (pictured below) that I will cherish.
I had been a Facebook “Top Fan” of this place, but had never wandered in until today. It is an amazing store! You must go to there. Bonus if you tell them I sent you. <3
We are doing an art lesson called “my favorite things”, which is a small drawing illustrating items using pictograms and some graffiti. I see a lot of pizza, video games, pets, and sports teams represented. Yes, there were clothes and shoes in my sample, but I tried not to be so one-dimensional. I also added…other stuff (I can’t really remember, off the cuff).
Many of these clothing items are among my favorite things/newest things – the Theory sweaters, the Coach leather skirts, the Rag & Bone boots…. Pretty much everything!
I had to change my wardrobe this year because it just feels so cold at school. I used to live in cardigans over short sleeve or sleeveless tops – layering to peel them off as the day progressed. I guess I used to get too hot, lol. Oh, and it was also because when I prepped the painting lessons and/or washed the paint brushes I didn’t want my sleeves to get wet or dirty. So there’s currently none of that.
We decided to give each student individual supplies. We are focusing on principles of art captured through sketch book assignments, as well as smaller colored pencil drawings on tagboard or Strathmore drawing paper. We just started second semester.
I was a V-neck girl before Zoom. Now I think crew necks look better for sitting in front of that screen all day. Saks Fifth Avenue to the rescue – they had a mega sale of cashmere sweaters for only $39.99! Craziness!!!
Here (above and below) are examples of the double sweater look. I know. I have a lot of sweaters. I will get them dry cleaned over mid-winter break, That starts in T-minus nineteen hours.
I will probably live in pjs and work-out gear during break. And possibly my art smock? I have several art projects that require my attention. I must take inventory of my Tashkovski jewelry collection – I recently acquired more vintage butterfly pins! I’d like to do more writing. And organize my closet. Maybe I should do that first.
Although I was in all black yesterday (above), I’m making a conscious decision to add color to my wardrobe. Color looks better in #ootd pictures. Color is just fun. I color coordinate my walk-in closet – this makes it easier to notice items bought separately and even years apart that end up looking amazing together.
This Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater (above) is something I often wear around the house over my pajamas. It is a thick 4-ply cashmere – very cozy and soft. The sleeves had frayed but I loved it so much, I didn’t want to get rid of it. I brought it to DeWitt Cleaners, recently, because I spilled yogurt on it and when I picked it up, it was not only pristine, but someone had magically mended it as well! The yarns of the sleeves were somehow stitched together (crochet hook?) and now it looks great with the most expensive skirt in my wardrobe!
This outfit (above) was inspired by one of my encaustic angel paintings, currently located on my bedroom dresser. I have had these silk velvet pants for a while. Paired with Marc Jacobs combat-style boots and the double sweater look, it felt super comfy on that cold day. We are in school on Wednesdays while the students are at home. #officehours
I rarely wear red – then this Coach leather skirt came along and now I’m singing red’s praises! Absolutely in love with the length. I paired it with an old Ann Taylor cashmere sweater from when the Ann Taylor store was on the second floor of the mall. (Does that store still exist? – IDK)
The monochromatic look was the rage at the 2021 Inauguration. It looked a bit like a circa 1980s rainbow wedding to me but fashion instagrammers didn’t agree. They loved that parade. I am not a purple head-to-toe fan either, lol. But blue? Yes!
One color works best when it is a blend of textures while allowing the hues to vary. Here (above) a new cashmere sweater with my tissue thin Rebecca Taylor summer denim dress, a navy silk mask and Frame cropped jeans. Boots, kind of, match my hair.
Sometimes I throw on my hat or earmuffs for the #ootd picture and sometimes I wear them most of the day when I am not in the classrooms. There is a lot less moving around these days due to all the Covid restrictions and such, and it just feels a lot colder at work. Hence the double sweater business too.
The fist time I wore this silk Talitha Collection top (above), I was at the Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan concert at the Ampitheater. It was something like ninety degrees in the shade that July day! For a January school day, I threw it on over a thick cashmere turtleneck.
And, P.S., every color in the rainbow looks great paired with these lambskin leather jeans (Joe’s Jeans!)
Finally and full circle, dresses over pants is a fun look – the dresses become tunics/jackets and I get to wear them through the winter and still manage to stay warm. Thank you, Joie and AllSaints, for the leathaaaaaaaa! <3
2021 is about skirt length. The maxi for day is popular with the teacher crowd. Instagram fans seem to prefer the mini on me. The midi is the most comfortable for sitting during Zoom meetings. And my new Coach leather skirt, knee length, is my favorite go-to. It is perfection!
I love the new proportion. Boots with skirts is my look. And I am loving Rag & Bone right now. Their lug sole is genius. I am truly a fan of the almond toe.
My sister owns two businesses: Syracuse Yoga (6181 Thompson Road, Suite 803, Syracuse, New York 13206) and Soflea, a small store operating in the basement of Wildflowers (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13203).
Sophia Tashkovski is part of the McCarthy Mercantile. Her collection of flea-market finds and antiques includes her signature horseshoes, brass trays, statuettes and wicker baskets, as well as furniture and rugs.
Items are one-of-a-kind gems and so, there are always new finds to covet, which always makes the shopping experience a fun adventure.
Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s open today!!! (you’re welcome <3) Enter Wildflowers then head to the basement where the collective of shoppes is housed.
Last week there was a day I forgot to bring a mask. I had to wear a standard issue one from the stash the school gave me. Ugh! It is crazy how different school is these days with the masks and the social distancing – the integration of the on-line technology and all the paperwork/organization/mayhem. But it hasn’t put a damper on the fun.
My students are happy to be back in school. I only actually have classes twice a week and students are there one day and at home the other day. My colleague and instagram photographer, Katy, and I, have been working together to recreate our art courses to align with the new safety protocols and to allow students to access the courses on-line. No clay, paint or collage work this year – the focus is more on formal principals of art, illustration and design.