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Wow! It’s been a long time since I last updated my blog! All sorts of creative endeavors, family obligations and interesting travel have consumed my writing and sharing time for the last few years. My journey continues to be interesting and fruitful and packed with new learnings.

Recently I relented to my “inner-entrepreneur” and started a new knitwear brand called Popia.  I’ve always loved designing knits which led me to sketching out a collection of hats and asking a long-time friend, who owns a family run company in Italy that produces premium knitwear, to make them for me. The result is a colorful collection of meticulously crafted merino knit hats.

I invite you to follow Popia’s journey by signing up for my Popia newsletter, or to just take a peek at my collection.

If you’re inclined to make a purchase, I’m offering Free Shipping through February 15th. Wholesale enquiries are welcome via my site.

Thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm!

You may also follow Popia on Instagram: Popia.design and facebook: Popia Design

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If you like my blog, you’ll love the vibe of AlpineStyle56 - a blog devoted to alpine heritage, lifestyle and fashion.

Assembled by a confirmed lover of snow sports, AlpineStyle56 is a delicious mix of what’s new and relevant in the on-snow and mountain lifestyle worlds, on two boards and one, both here and abroad, and laced with rare vintage surprises.

With a concise eye for style and trend, AlpineStyle56 is the Bill Cunningham of the alpine world. Here’s a little taste of what globetrotting AlpineStyle56 has been training her camera lens on recently…

Check out Julia Mancuso wearing a Houdini skirt after her World Cup run at Schladming.

OR more about this super cool Skunkfunk Jacket.

OR Bike commuting in style in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

OR her fantastic collection of vintage images collected from all over the world.

OR the section on Snow Machines where the image of this wonderful old blue Thiokol can be found.

But really, you owe it to hop over there now and scroll through its endlessly delightful images and commentary.


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Pantone®, “the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries”, has announced that their color number 17-5641 Emerald has been chosen as the 2013 Color of the Year.

Taking a leap straight across the color wheel from 2012’s Tangerine Tango, Pantone explains the selection for this year, “Tangerine Tango, a spirited, reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.”

In my opinion, Pantone’s revelation of the Color of the Year selection is a bit of looking in the rear view mirror rather than into a crystal ball. Fashion designers start their color intelligence often more than a year in advance of when the final product appears in stores and are often influenced by what they see at the runway shows. They then translate their impressions of these colors and designs into fashion for the masses. Store buyers see these trends up to six months prior to the merchandise appearing on their doorsteps. Consumers are the last to see it.

Pantone® is able to examine data from their customer’s orders for which colors ranges are being adopted as well as combing the globe for color trends. Pantone’s Color of the Year selection is spot on, but is not much use to designers as by now we’re on to choosing colors for 2014.

For more color inspiration click here.



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There’s a park-like cemetery near my childhood home, with meandering paths, shady groves, ponds and bridges, and hillocks guarded by grand monuments. It’s one of my favorite places.

I’ve always loved a particular  life-sized marble angel there with her beautiful hands and wings, wistful gaze and pretty locket. I still do, even after seeing the likes of Michelangelo’s astounding masterpieces.

I have to admire those mostly immigrant, mostly Italian, hard-working sculptors who brought such beauty and grace to Vermont villages over a century ago.

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Kathleen from Fashion Incubator blog pointed me to an article that a meteorologist friend of hers posted on her Bad Mom, Good Mom blog about the global environmental impact of raising cashmere goats to feed the western world’s insatiable desire for garments made from their luxurious fiber.

Little did I realize that the soft and lovely cashmere sweaters in my closet were a cog in the wheel of global warming. Her post has stuck with me for many months and I feel compelled to share it with you as winter sets in and holiday shopping begins. Sadly it all really makes sense.

photo: © Ellen Warner (www.ellenwarner.com)

In her post titled “The Planetary Cost of Cashmere”, which I strongly urge you to check out along with all the links attached to it, Bad Mom, Good Mom writes,

“The global dust belt has not received as much press as the global fashion weeks so you might not be familiar with this story. Occasionally, dust can be injected into the jet stream, a fast-moving river of air that circles the globe. Asian dust ends up in north America, American dust ends up in Europe, European dust ends up in Asia and so on.

The Sahara desert used to be THE major source for dust, but there are other smaller seasonal sources, such as glaciers grinding rocks in Alaska. The amount of dust is rising, and global dust season is lengthening due to both growth in dust sources (industrialization and desertification) and lengthening of local dust seasons.

In recent years, Mongolia has become a major source of dust. The Gobi desert is spreading up into the Mongolia Steppes and the goats did it. Or rather, we did it, with our collective lust for cashmere.”

Photo: The Green Backpack

So what do the goats have to do with it? Here’s what The New York Times article “Pastoralism Unraveling in Mongolia” says

“Sukhtseren Sharav has a herd of 150 goats and 100 sheep, and as they chew their way through everything else, and the sharilj spreads, he must shepherd them ever higher into the mountains to find fresh grazing land.

The lack of foraging terrain is not Mr. Sharav’s only worry. The price for cashmere, the wool made from the fleece of his goats, has plunged 50 percent from last year. The price of flour, his most essential food staple, has more doubled.

These are hard times for Mongolia’s cashmere industry, which provides jobs and income for a third of the country’s population of 2.6 million and supplies about 20 percent of the world’s market for the fluffy, feather-light fiber, prized for its warmth, delicate feel and long wear.

To compensate for low prices, herders have been increasing supply by breeding more goats — a classic vicious circle. Mongolia’s goat population is now approaching 20 million, the highest ever recorded.

Environmentalists and social scientists say this is destroying biodiversity and pastureland, and undermining herding livelihoods. But goats are hardier than other livestock, breed faster and can survive on sparser resources: so, the more the land is degraded, the more herders are driven to switch from cows, camels or other less destructive herds — another vicious circle.”

This is a tragedy for the herders with global consequences. Aerosols are a strong feedback to the global radiative budget. In plain English, this means that dust traps heat. This can have both local and global consequences as the trapped heat changes the global air circulation, impacting storm patterns, heat waves, etc.

With all this knowledge I feel guilty about my cozy cashmere collection and realize that I need to take good care of those sweaters since I won’t be buying any more new ones.  Whether you are consumer or manufacturer I urge you to carefully consider the global impact of purchasing or manufacturing cashmere garments.

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The recently released pictograms for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have jogged me out of my blogging lethargy .

The simple round figures used for the 1980 Moscow Olympic pictograms have been playfully reinterpreted and filled with a brightly colored patchwork representing a combination of the sixteen most famous and recognizable national crafts in Russia – many of them textile. (Can anyone identify those crafts?)

What is there not to love about the synthesis of sport and craft in these chubby icons? Below are a few of my favorites. To see them all click here.

And thanks everyone for your nice notes wondering where I was when I was off line!

For more Olympic inspiration click here.


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I drove a 1972 orange VW bug just like this one, but I never, ever dressed like this! Enjoy your weekend!

Via: Lawrence Peregrine-Trousers

For more VW inspiration click here


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There’s nothing quite like skiing down from a mountainous environment of snow, ice, rock and sky into an alpine village and being greeted by window boxes filled with hardy spring flowers: daffodils, primula, hyacinth and pansies. In Vermont no one would think of putting flower boxes outside while there is still snow on the ground or a chance of freezing at night. There is something so cheerful and hopeful about this alpine tradition. I think I’ll adopt it myself next spring!

To “like” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook click here.

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via: pixdaus.com


via: zetlammaltez.tumblr.com

via: weheartit.com


Source unknown


via: freckles-n-antlers.tumblr.com





via: coralmarshmallow.tumblr.com


Source unknown


via: mexican-fireworks.com

via: puddinhead.com.au


via: buamai.com



To “Like” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook  - click here 

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Lightbulb lanterns by Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto  

The government mandated phasing out of 100 watt incandescent light bulbs began yesterday. The familiar “Edison” bulbs are longer being manufactured or imported.

I for one, dread this change. It’s not that I’m opposed to energy efficiency, I just haven’t found an energy saving bulb that doesn’t make my home feel like a doctor’s office.

My quest to find the perfect replacement bulbs has been confusing and frustrating. New bulbs I’ve tried are too cool, or too dim, or are slow to warm up. They’re now screwed into closet, basement and barn light fixtures; places where I don’t spend a lot of time. None of them truly mimics a “soft white” 100 watt incandescent bulb.

Please, can anyone recommend a CFL or halogen bulb that does?


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I’m an unabashed sucker for creative packaging so it’s no wonder that this bottle of schnaps now resides in my freezer. Regardless of the quality of the bottle’s contents or price tag, I couldn’t resist it because of the edelweiss patch shot through with silver threads. Once the last drop of schnaps has warmed my gullet, the patch will certainly find a new home.

Happy New Year!

“Like” Poppy Gall Design Studio on facebook  - click here.

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If you’re an outdoor enthusiast you already know that even a 2-degree drop in body temperature could result in early stage hypothermia. Symptoms include slower heart rate, mental confusion, and lack of coordination. It also means adults find it hard to work and children find it difficult to learn.

As an outerwear designer I have a large assortment of winter coats and jackets. Some are samples, some are for testing and others are from production. I can’t possibly wear them all and I have a certain amount of guilt whenever I open my overstuffed mudroom closets. So donating my “old” coats to winter coat drives has always made me feel a bit better about sporting the latest and greatest.

Did you know that 15% of Americans, those living in poverty, are forced to consider a warm winter coat a budget “extra?”

Here are some startling facts about those who need a warm coat this year:

  • the 1 in 5 children who live in poverty in the U.S.
  • the 31% of U.S. children who live in families where no parent has a full-time job
  • the estimated 671,850 Americans who are homeless on any given winter night

‘One Warm Coat’ was founded with one goal in mind. To collect coats to give to those who need them, free of charge.

If you buy a new coat this winter consider donating your old one. Visit One Warm Coat to find a coat drive near you. There are 17 coat drives listed within a 150 mile radius of where I live.

Your donation will warm needy children, women and men. And your heart as well.

Via: Wild Things Gear



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Whether with ink, paintbrush, stone, loom, needle or mouse, keep on experimenting, pushing your limits, making a mess, dreaming! Be brave! Have fun!

Don’t forget to check out Poppy Gall Design Studio Thank You & Give Away! Do something creative this weekend!

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Time flies! I’ve been blogging here for almost two years now! My blogging style has evolved into a scrapbook of visual delights with less written observation (perhaps out of laziness or shortness of time on my part). Yet there’s continuity in the things that I am passionate about – color, apparel, the great outdoors, art , textiles, bicycles, winter, knitting and how they all tie back into great design.

Readers often ask how I keep coming up with ideas for my blog. I’ll post some tips that I find helpful soon. Luckily I have more ideas  to blog about than I have time!

Thank you all for tuning in, for your loyalty and for sharing my posts with others! I’ve become less fearful of putting myself out there as the rewards of blogging are much bigger than the sum of its parts. I’ve met new clients and friends, reconnected with old ones, and been inspired by my reader’s comments and emails.

As I launch into my 3nd year of blogging I’d like some feedback. Feel free to answer any of the below questions, or comment as you please.

  • What about my blog engages you?
  • What topics do you find the most interesting and which do you skip over? Should I narrow my focus, or broaden?
  • Should I post more images and less text, or vice versa?
  • Are there subjects you’d like to see more of, or less?
  • Are my color palettes useful? I’d love to know if/how you use them.
  • Do you ever click onto the blogs listed under “Inspiration Found” in the left column? You’ll find great inspiration there!
  • What was your favorite post?
  • How did you find out about my blog?

For all of you who respond to this request for constructive criticism, between now and December 1st, I will pool all your names together and pull one from a hat and send the “winner” a little something designed by me as a Thank You! Enter as many times as you’d like. You may respond in any of these ways:

photo: Inhabit

  • Post a thoughtful comment at the bottom of this post or any post I’ve ever made (your favorite?) by clicking on “comment” underneath the headline. You can sort posts by using the “Categories” links or “Search” box in the left column.
  • Subscribe to my blog via FeedBurner email (see the box on the upper left sidebar)
  • “Like” my Poppy Gall Design Studio facebook page and leave a comment. Feel free to suggest my facebook page to your friends.

Thank you so much for your support! I look forward to hearing from you.


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Okay, who doesn’t think this looks like fun!? Enjoy your weekend!


via: Where Is The Cool?

More vintage VW Bugs here.

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