Pizza, Art, Automattic & Fireworks in New York City

One of the perks of my husband Dave’s really amazing job is that he gets to travel to meetups to work with his coworkers. This was my 3rd time I’ve tagged along with him. I’ve gotten to go to Santa Cruz and Tokyo which were both amazing. I just got back from a week in New York City and since I’ve blogged about my other two meetups, I thought I’d make this a tradition. Dave does work for the Mobile team at Automattic so he goes on the meetups. The Mobile team is very spouse friendly so I get to hang out with the team and other spouses more than I would on other meetups.

This was my first vacation trip to New York City. All the other times I’ve gone, it’s been for work. When I was there I had only a day or two to explore the city. I intentionally didn’t plan any business meetings because I wanted to just enjoy myself.

First stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I walked around the Met for FIVE hours last Monday. If you haven’t been, GO! I’ve taken quite a few art history classes while in school, which gave me a great appreciation of what I saw. I had only seen things in a text book so it was so wonderful to see it in person. The two highlights of the Met for me were the Egypt and Greek/Roman wings. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of everything.

Here are some photos of the Egypt wing. Look at the design and colors. INCREDIBLE.

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In Art History I, I just fell in love with Greek sculpture. They just captured the form of the body in such a breathtaking way. This was the first time to see Greek sculpture in person. It was just simply amazing. I am so thankful I got to see it.

greek

I shopped so much on the second day of our trip because the next day was Dave’s birthday. I stopped by MarieBelle to pick up Dave a tin of Iced Chocolate. Ahhhhmazing! Also picked him up some Sugru at MoMA. That night I went out with a few Automatticians to a moving party for one of Dave’s coworkers.

The next day I visited the Frick Collection in the Upper East Side. I can’t stress how incredible this museum is. I was BLOWN AWAY. They don’t allow you to take any pictures in the museum so you’ll just have to look on their website. It was the home of the Frick family. Then they turned their home into a museum with their collection of art. I loved how intimate it felt. I told Dave I felt like I was viewing art like it was meant to be viewed – in a beautiful home.

Matt Mullenweg (WordPress creator and CEO of Automattic) invited the Mobile team and other Automatticians to his apartment in SoHo for pizza. That was just such a treat for me because I have been wanting to meet Matt. He’s a celebrity in tech/internet world but he is so nice and personable. He grew up in Houston, Texas. He lost his accent a bit, but didn’t lose his Southern charm.

After the meetup was over, Dave and I visited the Museum of Natural History. Then we went to Brooklyn to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. This was highlight of my trip. It was simply incredible to watch. We were on the East River at Pier 2. We could see the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower (World Trade Center), Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The fireworks shimmered off the buildings and river creating this magic I’ve never experienced before. I am telling everyone that it’s worth the trip to go just for the fireworks.

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Here’s a few food recommendations for you!

Shake Shack  Ahmazing burgers!

Totto Ramen Tasted just like it did in Tokyo. GO.

Ladurée Incredible Macaroons. I bought a box for Dave’s “cake”

Dean & Deluca I know it’s a chain, but they have an amazing Tres Leches Donut I just loved.

I Survived my FIRST Surtex

I have so much to say about my first show at Surtex. I can’t believe I did it. I am forever grateful to my mom for all of her help. I was so happy to have her there with me. I’m not sure how everything is going to go but when you see big announcements from me on facebook or twitter, it is probably because of meetings from Surtex.

SO without further ado, here is my booth.

Here is Mom and me in my booth! We picked up fresh yellow tulips. And that is my book sitting on the table. I also gave out my self promo Art of the Beat, along with my fab business cards letterpressed by my roommate. THEN I gave away MY wrapping paper. Yes, I made wrapping paper – three sheets of patterns. I had heard to get the work you want, you need to make the work you want.

Below is a spread of my pattern book (that you see sitting on the table above). Weezie is staring at the Weezie pattern. I named every single one of my patterns after someone in my life.

Below are some instagram photos (I left my camera in Jackson, so I had to take photos with mom’s camera and my iPad.)

Helen and me!

One thing that I did that I was most proud of was make “List of my very favorite patterns by Kate.” Manufacturers could write down the patterns they liked and then email me later if they were interested in me sending digital versions of them. AND it works! I am not gonna lie that I’m pretty proud of this idea. I’ve never seen anyone else doing this. Folks are sometimes tight lipped about their secrets about trade shows, but I thought I would share my tip. It was so easy to make and has proven to be SO useful.

And I met one of my surface design heroes Helen Dardik. I’m a huge fan of her work. When I met her, I turned into a complete dork. But I am okay with that. I always turn into a nerd when it’s someone I love. She was so adorable and nice! It was a surreal moment because I have been looking at photos from Surtex for years now, and here I am with Helen!

I got to make friends with a lot of surface designers at Surtex. One of my very favorites was Morgan and Carrie of Ampersand Studio. They are a design duo powerhouse. I’m such a fan of them and their work. They had blogged about me a few months ago and it was just so fun to get to meet them. Here is a pic!(And yes, that’s Jenga on their table! so fab) And I think it was Morgan who called Surtex “Pattern Summer Camp.” It was their first year, too! But you sure couldn’t tell. They do great work.

I didn’t get to snap photos but I also got to know the cutest husband wife duo of Sorry You’re Happy. And Wendy McKinney was across the “street” (across the aisle) from me, and I felt like I knew her all my life. She was soooo sweet to this little rookie. She was so encouraging and answered 1,000 questions to things that I hadn’t even thought about until I got there.

It was so encouraging to continually be told it looked like I had been doing this for 10 years and not just 1. They were surprised how young I was coming out of school. One class from RISD came up and told me that they had been studying my progress on my booth in preparing for the show. I couldn’t help but laugh! There have been so many times I questioned if I should have majored in textile design and not graphic design, much less go to the #1 textile program in the world!!! And they were following me!?! I felt such pride from going to Mississippi State. I bragged so much about my friends and teachers from school, even though while I was there we didn’t even have hot water!

The other thing I got asked by people is how I was able to afford to go. I would say I have a part-time job and then I would hand them Little Things Studio business card and say with such thankfulness that I travel to craft fairs, sell in retail stores and online and that has funded Surtex. There was a woman a few rows over who had been working to come to Surtex for fifteen years! I am very blessed and very thankful.

If you get cheesed out, don’t read this. But I have to say that I am so very thankful to every single person who has purchased a bookmark, journal, or print. Buying that “little thing” allowed me to hopefully further my career and pursue really big dreams. I am very grateful.

-Kate

Quilts

While I was in New York, I got to see an amazing quilt exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum. It was incredible. I posted a few pictures from the exhibit on my flickr page. I would literally live in this museum if I could. I just wished I was one of those really rich donors that could just say “take me to the archives, please.” I can only imagine the amazing art hidden in their storage.

Last night I was just sitting around in my room because that’s what I do these days in Yazoo City. So I cleaned off my painting table (took about an hour because I live in cramped quarters right now!) and turned on some Dexter and decided to pull out my paints. I painted four 5×5 in paintings of some of my quilt inspired doodles. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet. It just felt so good to paint again.

Oh! And I’m sure you were wondering how Weezie behaved with me painting with watercolors. (We all know how much she loves to play with water and paper!) She behaved like a little angel once I shooed her away from the water bucket. She just sat and watched me the entire time. She’s my perfect little punkin.

 

I heart NYC

I don’t know how to put into words how amazing it was that I went to New York City. I’m in love with this city. And I’m really in love with the pizza!!!! I got back on Saturday and I’ve been walking around for the past few days going “did that really happen?” I hope to post more about the trip soon.

Sale in the Shop!

So I’m having a sale in my etsy shop because I am going to NYC for interviews. I would pack all of my food to New York but I don’t think the airlines would let me. I have never been to New York City. I have always always ALWAYS wanted to go. Everything is there that I love; Chanel and MOMA and Broadway!

Sadly. I am not able to play tourist. That’s one of the main reasons I embrace the little things in life. I can’t afford to fly to Italy for the weekend, but I can find such joy in a beautiful vintage scarf that cost me $2 at the thrift store downtown. That’s what I hope to do in this trip. Someone amazing in New York wants to interview me!!! I can’t tell you how thankful and humbled I am by that fact, and so I am going with that in mind. I am very grateful.

Anyhoo! Coupon code is NewYorkCity. If you don’t see something I’ve made and you want it, please email me. kate@ktyazoo.com