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Five Items to Celebrate Spring at Artfully Elegant

Family lying on grass outdoors in spring park

Is springtime your favorite? Is the thought of growing flowers, birds chirping, and lush greenery something that makes your heart soar? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Artfully Elegant, we bring springtime to a whole new level with fun items that…

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Is springtime your favorite? Is the thought of growing flowers, birds chirping, and lush greenery something that makes your heart soar? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Artfully Elegant, we bring springtime to a whole new level with fun items that give a little extra boost to your favorite season! Here are five of our favorites!

Shake & Bloom

shake n bloom

Customize the visitors in your yard by adorning it with beautiful plants that attract a specific type of wildlife! Choose from a hummingbird or butterfly variety, or pick the cut flower kind to have a constant selection of beautiful blooms to bring into your home!

Get it here!

Caterpillar Bud Vase

bud vase

Display your beautiful fresh cut flowers that you’ve grown in your yard with this beautiful bud vase! It’s delicate and dainty, but it can stand up to the strong colors of even the brightest bloom. Use crystal clear water, or add a few drops of food coloring to make that H2O pop!

Get it here!

‘My Garden Forever’ Necklace

garden necklace

Bring your love of your yard and garden with you wherever you go with the sweet necklace. This sweet little bauble will have an extra sentimental meaning due to its emphasis on friendship.

Get it here!

Grow Like a Weed Growth Chart

growth chart

Start your children early on loving the outdoors by incorporating this stylish and practical wall art that doubles as a growth chart. Not only will you be able to accurately keep track of how fast your little critter will be growing up, but you’ll also have a delightfully cute outdoor theme to cheerfully highlight the event!

Get it here!

Babiators

You might already have the perfect shades to wear while you’re spending time outside, but what about your mini-adventurer too? With these awesome sunglasses for kids, available in a variety of sizes, he or she will be able to hit the playground in style!  

Get it here!

So stop and check out Artfully Elegant to add a little extra kick to you and your family’s spring time routine! Not only will you be making amazing memories, but you’ll be instilling a love of nature for the next generation that will continue to grow their whole life!

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Artist Spotlight: Oré Originals

fixedore w mugs

Founded by Lisa Lowe, Oré Originals has a bright and colorful history. Lisa grew up in a loving family surrounded by creativity and function, so the concept of colors, prints, and patterns was part of everyday life for her. So, with a focus on useful…

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Founded by Lisa Lowe, Oré Originals has a bright and colorful history. Lisa grew up in a loving family surrounded by creativity and function, so the concept of colors, prints, and patterns was part of everyday life for her. So, with a focus on useful products with a fun and creative edge, Oré Originals was started in her small Southern California garage in 1989, and it grew from there!

Founder Lisa Lowe as a child (left) and as a thriving business owner (right)

Now Oré has grown into a dedicated team that works hard together and makes things happen! They are always on the hunt for new functional product ideas that will put a smile on your face. Due to these facts, Oré Originals considers itself a design-driven company as unique as the items that it makes. So it’s no surprise that the products in their collection are sweet, quirky, and always comes in handy for the task it was made for.

fixedore team

The team at Oré Originals

Beyond creative aspects, Oré Originals takes pride in their products from start to finish assuring that customers have a quality item that always arrives in perfect condition. Since they are based in California, they are heavily involved in many charitable events and causes throughout the communities of Southern California, and even donate products, give directly, and assist in charity benefits.

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The company is community oriented, helping out local Southern California charities and organizations.

So the next time you’re in Artfully Elegant, check out our amazing fun collection of Oré Original products like the Cuppa Mugs. Not only will you sip your coffee or tea in one of the most adorable pieces in your cupboard, but you’ll be supporting an amazing company whose products we couldn’t be more proud to carry.

fixedore mugs

A fun selection of Cuppa Cups at Artfully Elegant

All Oré Original photos courtesy of oreoriginals.com

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Artist Spotlight: Chris Ploof Designs

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When one thinks of fine jewelry, precious metals and stones typically come to mind. Platinum, gold, diamonds, silver, and other glittering colorful stones that mirror every color of the rainbow quickly materialize in our imaginations. While these are indeed amazing materials used in most jewelry, there…

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When one thinks of fine jewelry, precious metals and stones typically come to mind. Platinum, gold, diamonds, silver, and other glittering colorful stones that mirror every color of the rainbow quickly materialize in our imaginations. While these are indeed amazing materials used in most jewelry, there are other materials that are just as incredible that emit a strong, powerful, and masculine vibe.

Chris Ploof Designs, located in Massachusetts, works with other quality materials to create amazing pieces. Everything from stainless steel damascus to mokume gane, which is a traditional Japanese method of mixing metals to replicate a wood grain pattern. From these materials, Chris and his team make amazing quality jewelry that will last for ages.

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Damascus Ring made of Stainless Steel

One unique material his team also works with is meteorite. The galactic rock that has potentially traveled light years in space and thrust onto our planet can be crafted into amazing pieces of jewelry for any occasion. Chris’s meteorite pieces are exclusively made from the Gibeon Meteorite in Namibia, a meteorite that is estimated to have landed on the planet 30,000 years ago and is estimated to be about four billion years old.

However, not all pieces of the meteorite are all usable due to varying metal content, elemental wear, and natural imperfections. Chris’s team takes it a step further and for every piece that is suitable for jewelry, Chris Ploof Designs rejects an average of 20 for every one that they choose.
From there, the ancient material is combined with platinum, gold or mokume gane to form an extremely strong and durable ring. The Gibeon meteorite also contains nickel so it’s naturally stain and rust resistant.

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Gibeon Meteorite Ring with Gold Lining

According to their website: “Each ring begins with Chris in the design process, and every single item he designs also passes a review by our skilled artisans. As a team, we make sure that, in addition to being beautiful, the design will stand the test of time.”

So if you or a loved one are looking for a beautiful piece of jewelry, head on over to Artfully Elegant or www.artfullyelegant.com, we’re the only official carrier of Chris Ploof Designs in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Not only do we carry an amazing selection, but we can help you get a custom piece that is just right for you! See more designs here!

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Damascus Wood Grain Ring made of Stainless Steel

 

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Have you seen the Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant?

If you’ve been in Artfully Elegant, you’ve probably seen the nifty vintage cigarette machine tucked neatly near our checkout desk. This delightful piece of mechanics is referred to as an Art-o-mat, and instead of cigarettes, it vends one-of-a-kind mini art!  Click Here for the Art-o-mat at…

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If you’ve been in Artfully Elegant, you’ve probably seen the nifty vintage cigarette machine tucked neatly near our checkout desk. This delightful piece of mechanics is referred to as an Art-o-mat, and instead of cigarettes, it vends one-of-a-kind mini art! 

Click Here for the Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant! 

The particular Art-o-mat at Artfully Elegant is one of over 120 unique Art-o-mats that can be found at locations all throughout the country.

10891831_10152596695337984_7613798951269155672_nThe original was created by artist Clark Whittington when a friend heard cellophane being crinkled and then had an uncontrollable urge for a snack. It was a Pavlovian response to hearing the candy wrapper being crinkled.

So in June of 1997, the first Art-o-mart was created using a recently banned cigarette machine. The piece, along with a number of full sized art from the artist, was displayed at a local cafe in Winston-Salem N.C., and contained small black and white photos mounted on blocks.

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Although the piece was only to stay displayed for a few months, the owner of the cafe loved it so much, that she asked that it stay. Due to the length of stay, Whittington needed other artists to contribute to it’s contents. Local artists were asked to contribute to it’s tiny art, and the Art-o-mat that exists today, full of different artists and artistic styles, was born!

Each Art-o-mat is beautiful and distinctly different, however, the goal has always been the same. That ”art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable.“

So the next time you’re in downtown Bethlehem, stop in and check out the Art-o-mat! Not only is it a true re imagination of a vintage piece of history, but you can score some pretty amazing art too!

All photos courtesy of Art-o-mat’s Facebook Page

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Artist Spotlight: Zpots

cup-might

If you've ever checked out the wares here at Artfully Elegant, you've probably noticed the perky little pieces of pottery spattered with inspirational quotes and sayings. These little art pieces are more than just cute and inspiring, the artists behind them make each piece with…

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If you’ve ever checked out the wares here at Artfully Elegant, you’ve probably noticed the perky little pieces of pottery spattered with inspirational quotes and sayings. These little art pieces are more than just cute and inspiring, the artists behind them make each piece with a purpose.

Zpots, handcrafted in the Zpots Studio in Vermont, are individually made by husband and wife artists Eric Hendrick and Noelle Van Hendrick.

peace bucket

Each piece starts with a chocolate clay body and is hand thrown before being treated with a variety of techniques to give each one it’s distinct and one-of-a-kind look. Noelle then incorporates her own poetry into each piece, and hand writes her words onto each one.

When fired in the electric kiln, which is powered by Vermont Cow Power by electricity generated from surrounding farmlands, the studio keeps a renewable future in mind. “We make choices within our production and daily lives to benefit the mission of living in harmony with our planet.”

beautiful
The colors used represent the elements of water, earth, and forest, and stay the same throughout each piece, while the lines are more varied and sporadic.

Eric and Noelle look at each piece as an individual that’s part of a whole collection, a family so to speak, making each one both individualized yet related in it’s method of creation and overall look.

While Zpots are available at galleries and boutiques across the country, each one is as unique and personally individual as the person who chooses to display one. Check out Artfully Elegant and choose the Zpot that speaks to you.

clarity

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Proposing to your Man on Leap Day? We Have Something Special For You

leapday

Did you know that some say leap year is the one time a woman can propose to a man? You don't remember that marginally okay movie from 2010 where Amy Adams decides that she's going to travel to Dublin and propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day,…

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Did you know that some say leap year is the one time a woman can propose to a man?

You don’t remember that marginally okay movie from 2010 where Amy Adams decides that she’s going to travel to Dublin and propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who is proposed to on leap day must accept it, or face some sort of penalty?

SPURGINyourTheManWeWant452

Well, the tradition is thought to date back to the 5th century, when, legend has it, an Irish nun called St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. source

Well, if you didn’t and you were looking for an excuse to pop the question, we have you covered.

Artfully Elegant is offering selected Chris Ploof rings at 20% off through Monday, February 29. Simply head to this link and use the code LeapDay at checkout.

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Now is the time, ladies. Besides, he probably doesn’t need some ancient Irish curse to make him say yes. Good luck!

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The Most Romantic Spots in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

It's no secret that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is one of the prettiest cities that we know of. And, of course, we have a bit of a bias since our brick and mortar location is right on Main Street in "The Christmas City." In honor of Valentine's…

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It’s no secret that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is one of the prettiest cities that we know of. And, of course, we have a bit of a bias since our brick and mortar location is right on Main Street in “The Christmas City.”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to take a look at some of our favorite romantic spots in the city we call home. Also, don’t be shy, last minute Valentine’s Day shopping is nothing to be ashamed of. Come in and we’ll help you out.

Now, onto some romantic spots!

Payrow Plaza (Behind the Bethlehem Public Library)

Payrow Plaza has a unique view of the Fahy Bridge leading toward the southside which makes it a wonderful spot to spend some time and watch the evening go by. The plaza area is also home to a garden in the summer, a Unicorn statue (for real) and a Japanese garden.

All of those are great spots to pop the question! Hint, hint.

The Hoover Mason Trestle


The Hoover Mason Trestle only opened last year and it’s already standing as one of the most breathtaking locations in the Lehigh Valley. There has already been at least one wedding on the structure, which allows visitors to walk along the former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces while also learning about the history of the company.

it’s also probably a great place to pop the question. Hint. Hint.

Sand Island


It’s a bit cold to be down near the Lehigh River this weekend, however, this little spot on Sand Island Park is not only perfect for pictures year-round, but it’s also a great spot to ask your special someone for their hand in marriage.

Hint. Hint.

Sun Inn Courtyard

A photo posted by @the_real_matt_k on


There’s something about taking a walk through history. The Sun Inn is one of the oldest inns in the United States and is open for self-guided tours on the weekends. It’s also a great place to get married after you get down on one knee and, well, you know…

Sitting Outside at Tapas on Main

musikfest with meem♡

A photo posted by @brinnautumn on

A stroll through little ol’ Bethlehem with my fiancé 💕 #560days

A photo posted by Alexandra Vidal Pérez (@alevidalperez) on

There’s just something about eating al fresco in downtown Bethlehem that brings out the romance. One of our favorite spots to dine outside is at Tapas on Main at the corner of Main and Wall streets. Their sangria is delicious and the constant swirl of people walking by into the evening hours makes it a great place for conversation.

Oh, and it’s a great place to maybe ask someone to marry you. Hint. Hint.

Historic Hotel Bethlehem


There aren’t many more romantic locations than Historic Hotel Bethlehem (right next door to Artfully Elegant!)

Whether your getting married, out on a date, or just taking a stroll through the city, the hotel is one stop you need to make.

So, what did we miss? What are some of your favorite romantic spots in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania?

 

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Use #LoveinBethlehem this Valentine’s Season to Share the Romance

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What better place to shop and experience Valentine's Day than downtown Bethlehem? Use the #LoveinBethlehem hashtag during this season of love and share your own romantic experiences in the Christmas City. Watch our short video to get you motivated to come in and visit us…

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What better place to shop and experience Valentine’s Day than downtown Bethlehem? Use the #LoveinBethlehem hashtag during this season of love and share your own romantic experiences in the Christmas City.

Watch our short video to get you motivated to come in and visit us on Main Street, or convince your loved one that they may want to stop in on their own to pick up a little something special.

What better place to shop and experience Valentine's Day than downtown Bethlehem? Use the #LoveinBethlehem hashtag…

Posted by Artfully Elegant on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

www.ArtfullyElegant.com

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Artist Spotlight: Jerry Rhodes

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Jerry Rhodes, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a ceramic artist who creates unique wares through a variety of techniques. His work has been featured in galleries in Colorado, New Mexico, South Carolina, New York, and of course here in Pennsylvania. Beyond that, his pieces belong…

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Jerry Rhodes, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a ceramic artist who creates unique wares through a variety of techniques. His work has been featured in galleries in Colorado, New Mexico, South Carolina, New York, and of course here in Pennsylvania.

Beyond that, his pieces belong in many private collections throughout the world.

Jerry has never had formal training, and he attributes it to his unique ways that he acquires his craft.

“I’m not limited by what I’m supposed to know, nor do I feel obligated to follow any well-established procedures,” he said.

By using both traditional and nontraditional methods, such as using horse hair or steel wool during the firing process, and by finishing some pieces with African Porcupine Quills, a dramatic, elegant, and one-of-a-kind piece is created. The artist does admit, “Sometimes the results are dramatically bad, but you’ll never see the bad ones!”

Rhodes has an Electrical Engineering degree from Penn State University, is a former Air Force officer, and currently serves as the Joint Staff Air and Missile Defense Liaison to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Seize your opportunity to own a piece from an amazing artist, exclusively in PA, at Artfully Elegant.

jerry non qulls

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Artfully Elegant Announces Proposal Contest Winner and Runners Up

Gary and Kathleen Matson

After reading through many fun entries and making what seemed to be an impossible decision, we are please to announce the winner of its inaugural Proposal Contest, which was held over the holiday season. Kathleen Matson, of Palmerton, won a $100 Artfully Elegant gift card for…

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After reading through many fun entries and making what seemed to be an impossible decision, we are please to announce the winner of its inaugural Proposal Contest, which was held over the holiday season.

Kathleen Matson, of Palmerton, won a $100 Artfully Elegant gift card for use in our store at 451 Main St., or online at www.artfullyelegant.com for her touching submission.

Matson and her husband, Gary, were married in 1996 after they mutually selected the same engagement ring at different times within the same store.

Matson’s story, listed in full detail below, was selected by Artfully Elegant President and CEO, Ranjeet Pawar, and Director of Operations, Erin Panner, as the best of a very poignant bunch.

“It was extremely difficult to choose,” said Panner. “We received so many great stories, it was tough to go through and pick just one, however, Kathleen’s stood out just a little bit more to us. We’re very happy to announce her as the winner.”

Stories were solicited on social media and submitted through Artfully Elegant’s website. Entries included stories that featured the Bethlehem Public Library, Lehigh University, Bethlehem’s Rose Garden, the movie “Back to the Future” and many more.

A full listing of stories can be found at this link:

Runners’ up were Samantha Kleinrock of Bethlehem and Dan Maher of Bethlehem, respectively.

Below, we will list the top three submissions.

Kathleen Matson’s submission:

Kathleen and Gary Matson 2

“In January of 1996 Gary suddenly lost his wife of 30 years after a heart surgery. He spent a lot of his day mourning her loss. His daughter Nicole and I were friends and she invited me to go with her to cook meals, hang out, go out, etc.

“(Gary and I) became friends too. In April, we went on a date and began spending more time together. In June, Gary asked my father for permission to propose. In July, he learned he would need heart surgery

“He procured a beautiful ring and told me the line from “When Harry Met Sally” (my favorite movie) ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want that to start as soon as possible.’

“It was no fancy location, his kitchen in Bucks County, but he got down on one knee and proposed. Of course, I said, ‘Yes.’ During his surgery recovery, we picked invitations, venues, caterers, and set the date for December 7. After he left the hospital we went to pick wedding bands.

“We each went to a different side of the store. We both met in the middle and said, ‘I found the perfect ring.’ He asked me to take him to my selection first. He looked and said it was nice.

“Then we were off to see his selection. He took my hand and led me across the store to another jewelry counter and pointed to his selection. It was the exact same ring. Just another sign we were meant to be.

“Along the way to our wedding we encountered the naysayers who thought he was too old or I was too young, he didn’t wait long enough, and other reasons why we shouldn’t marry. On December 7, 1996 we did marry and this Monday celebrated 19 happy years together. No fancy location but a genuine heart-felt proposal that led to a long and happy marriage.”

Dan Maher’s submission:

This is a thing that happened today with Elizabeth Wiggins.Thank you, Ben Hallman for recording this moment for us.#real

Posted by Dan Maher on Sunday, October 4, 2015

October 2013. I pretended to be a German performer named Dieter Bieber. I helped run some of the games at Oktoberfest. In most of my downtime, I chatted up this nice girl named Elizabeth, who also worked the event. We both lived in very close social circles, but this was our first time actually talking to each other.

The entire time I stayed in character, pretending to be from Dusseldorf. A few days later, I talked to her on Facebook for the first time as Dan. I told her my friend Dieter said I should ask her out. For the next two years, I continued to insist Dan & Dieter were two separate people.

October 2015, as Dieter, I just finished hosting the Dachshund races at Oktoberfest. Elizabeth sat in the crowd. We were about fifty feet away from the exact spot where we had our first conversation. The sun was out. This was a happy moment. I planned to do this the following weekend, but the moment felt so right.

I asked the audience to stick around for one more thing. I told them I spent the past two years with Elizabeth and that I wanted more years with her. All the years with her. I stepped down from the faux-mountain from where I oversaw the adorable dog races. She stepped out from the stands. I asked her to be my wife. She let me know she was in a pretty committed relationship with Dan. I told her we were the same person. October 2016, we’re getting married. Fortunately, our friend Ben Hallman happened to video-record the dog races and just kept rolling.

Samantha Kleinrock’s submission:

 

Around this time last year I started to have a feeling that might now fiancé, Chuck, might propose! But winter came and went and in the spring, we spotted a house that we really loved (in walking distance to Artfully Elegant!) and decided to move forward with buying a house together.

In April, we closed on the home and started painting and making changes before finally moving in May. Our weekends were filled with family coming to help and projects and to-do lists.

And then, one random Saturday after breakfast at Blue Sky and a trip or three to Lowes, Chuck said “Hey, you should go get some pictures of the house printed for your grandparents anniversary party tomorrow.”

I said “yeah you’re probably right” and walked into the kitchen where he was standing looking through my camera.

I started to look through the before and after pictures until I came to a random picture of a bookshelf I knew I didn’t take, followed by another, and another…. and then a picture of Chuck holding a poster saying “Sam” and the next “will” and so on.

I truly blacked out and just remember ending up sitting on the kitchen floor wearing a ring he designed around a diamond from his mothers engagement ring.

We think he officially asked and we I think I officially said yes. After drinking some champagne, we called our families and not one single person answered the phone. We eventually got to share the good news and surprised my extended family in a toast to my grandparents marriage at their 65th anniversary party the next day. We’re getting married in Bethlehem at the Ice House in October!

Artfully Elegant would like to personally thank the dozens of submissions. We will continue to share them throughout the year to inspire others on their own proposal endeavors.

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