Scouted: Antique Swan

SCOUTED-AntiqueSawn-AndGeorge This absolutely stunning antique swan is the ideal gift for anyone who appreciates the beauty of a bird in flight. With outstretched wings and impeccable plumage, it will add a wonderfully wild element to any space and inspire wonder for years to come.

And George  //  Charlottesville, VA   //  434.244.2800

Dec
17
2014

Give Outside of the Box

tsg-giving-outside-of-the-box When short on shopping time or space in the gift suitcase, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box. While this may seem a bit overwhelming, the creative exercise can actually result in some truly thoughtful presents. Giving someone an experience or an opportunity to participate in a process that will yield long-lasting results is a wonderful way to show someone you care, and an approach that can leave the recipient appreciating the gift long into the future.

tsg-seven-giving-outside-of-the-box-gifts-vertical 1. A personal portrait. Commissioning an artist to capture someone special to the recipient on canvas is such a thoughtful gift, and will result in an enduring present sure to be treasured for years to come. Birmingham-based Portraits, Inc., represents talented portraitists across the country, while those in the Durham area can contact renowned artist William Branson, and Annapolis-based residents should consider reaching out to Victoria Burnett.

2. A design-minded conversation. Who wouldn’t love to be given the gift of a more beautiful personal environment? Contact a local interior designer or landscape architect and ask if you can book an hour or two of their time on behalf of a friend who seems to always be talking about redoing a room or sprucing up the yard. Whether the consultation leads to a full-on collaboration or not, the advice imparted will make for a long-lasting present. Check your city’s local TSG directory to find an expert in your area!

3. A beyond-first-class flight. Commercial air travel can be non-family-friendly for a variety of reasons (and less-than-glamorous even when one is flying solo). Gifting flight hours on a private jet allows recipients to enjoy a hassle-free ride to wherever their final destination might be. Those interested in booking flight time for someone in the Virginia and D.C. area can contact MetropolitanJets.com to discuss options.

4. A memorable dinner. For someone who loves to entertain, hiring a catering company to execute the dinner party of his or her dreams is a present sure to please. Call a local catering expert (like Atlanta-based Sun in My Belly, whose work is featured above) and book them for a set party size for a date to be determined by the recipient, and then wait for your thank-you note to arrive in the form of an invitation.

5. A luxurious staycation. The gift of relaxation really cannot be measured. Whether you book someone an overnight stay at a haute hotel like Aspen’s Hotel Jerome or an hour-long treatment at a swanky spa like Memphis’s Gould’s Day Spa & Salon, your gift of some well-deserved pampering will be much appreciated.

6. A healthy habit. Come January, everyone will be resolving to lead a healthier lifestyle with varying degrees of commitment behind the well-intentioned vow. Help someone on your list who wants to start a new fitness-focused routine take the plunge by gifting a class package (and follow up with plenty of positive reinforcement!). Charlotte-based Hilliard Studio Method offers a variety of packages for their core-focused, pilates-based classes that many people swear by.

7. A chance to feel charitable. Making a gift in someone’s name in support of a cause that they care about means truly spreading the love and honoring the spirit of the season. For those who are passionate about the arts, a donation to Summer Stars Camp for the Performing Arts, which offers economically challenged kids living in urban environments the opportunity to learn confidence and creativity through music, dance, and outdoor activities in Northfield, Massachusetts, might fit the bill.

Dec
16
2014

Scouted: Federica Rettore Cuff

SCOUTED-Frederica-Rettore-Cuff

We are absolutely obsessed with Federica Rettore’s beautiful cuffs, and this creation is a prime example why. The Italian designer’s jewelry is utterly unique and eye-catching, yet never overpowering, making her pieces the perfect accompaniment to formal and non-fancy ensembles alike.

Neapolitan  // Chicago, IL  // 847.441.7784

 

Dec
15
2014

Up Close & Personal: Artist Alexis Walter + Giveaway

tsg-AlexisWalter_NolaV3 (photography by Sara Essex Bradley)

Who: Alexis Walter
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Occupation: Painter

Alexis Walter has been painting her entire life. Having been mesmerized by Modernist Nicolas de Staël’s lush strokes of paint and dynamic use of color for as long as she can remember (one of her earliest art class memories is from grammar school when she was assigned to paint a painting in the style of one of our favorite artists. “Mine, of course, was de Staël,” she says), becoming a full-time artist was somewhat inevitable. Her work, which is comprised of oil and acrylic on canvas, reflects de Staël’s influence in its heavy layers and through Walter’s use of vibrant—yet not overpowering—color.

Walter’s sources of inspiration come through in her paintings as well. “The history of people and places, peeling back the layers of time to learn something or someone became what they are now, is fascinating to me,” she says. “I use my palette knife to create layers of dimension to tell a story and give a little bit of history to each piece.”  An affinity for design is also evident. While Walter ultimately decided to pursue art, in college she went back and forth between fine art and interior design, a passion that still factors into her work. “I think my love for interior design is a part of why I love painting so much. I work with designers a lot, painting commissions using their fabric, wallpaper, and paint selections as my muses. I am able to be a part of the creative side of design work, which is my favorite part.”

New Orleans serves as inspiration, too. “The laissez-faire attitude and overall happiness of our city creates the perfect atmosphere to be creative. Our history, culture, and architecture are an endless font of inspiration. The layers of age-old paint on our buildings, the jazz wafting through the air, the scent of gardenias. Every day is a sensory experience.” In addition to these classic aspects of New Orleans culture, the current thriving art scene also has much to offer. “We have everything here—shows with world-renowned artists next to galleries showing young, up-and-coming artists,” Walter says. “There’s a place for everyone, and everyone is welcome to be a part of the scene. I can’t imagine that there are many cities with such a diverse and welcoming community.”

tsg-alexis-walter-collage When not in the studio, Walter can likely be found in a New Orleans gem of her own creation: her courtyard garden. “Over the past few years we have renovated and landscaped to build our own slice of heaven in the middle of Uptown,” Walter says. “I spend hours finding the perfect heirloom vegetables and fruits for the garden. I start the plants from seeds and watch them grow. I’ll admit that I had no idea how time consuming it would be, but it’s worth every minute.”

Just in time for the holidays, Walter has offered to give a lucky reader the chance to win the below painting. Titled “Honey Bunch,” it measures 24” x 24” and would be the perfect present for the art lover on your list (it’s okay if that means you!). See below for details on how to enter the giveaway. And good luck!

tsg-alexis-walter-painting-giveaway Here’s how you can enter to win “Honey Bunch” by Alexis Walter: THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED
1. Follow Alexis Walter & TSG on instagram here and here.
2. Regram this image and tag it #winhoneybunch, #alexiswalterart, and #tsg on Instagram.

One winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, at 2 p.m. EST. Open to residents of the continental U.S. only.

Dec
12
2014

Scouted: Elephant Bottle Stopper

SCOUTED_ElephantStopper-RumsonChinaandGlass

We adore anything elephant-adorned, and we always appreciate an eye-catching bottle stopper. Combining these two loves, this antique brass, hand-enameled stopper with crystals by Olivia Riegel is at the top of our stocking stuffer wish list. Pair it with a bottle of wine and you have a perfect gift for anyone who loves animals and wine (and doesn’t that cover everyone?).

Rumson China & Glass  //  Princeton, NJ  //  732.842.2322

Dec
11
2014

Holiday Cheer: Two Wintry Cocktails

tsg-cocktails-cranberry-2

In addition to seasonal standbys like the traditional Champagne Cocktail and the Old Fashioned, we like to have a few fresh—and festive—cocktail recipes on hand to serve guests gathered at our homes for some holiday cheer. To help us spice up our bar repertoire, we reached out to some TSG experts in the field for their suggestions for holiday-appropriate beverages, and were rewarded with two new delicious—and non-labor-intensive—drinks that have already become favorites: a refreshing Ginger Winter Cocktail (shown above) and a warming Dakota cocktail (below).

Ginger Winter Cocktail

2 ounces Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur
1 ounce Citrus Vodka
1 ounce Cranberry Juice

Serve chilled

This recipe comes courtesy of Jen Donahoe, owner of TSG Baltimore & Annapolis’s Mills Fine Wine & Spirits, which is located on Historic City Dock in Annapolis and has been owned by families with Naval roots since 1946. In addition to the beautiful cranberry color, we love that the drink is not sweet. An added bonus is that Domaine de Canton comes in a sophisticated bottle that will look great on any bar.

tsg-cocktails-cider

The Dakota

1.5 ounces Goslings Rum
3 ounces Apple Cider
2 dashes Shrub mix

Build in an Old Fashioned glass and serve hot or cold

Created by Matt Pawlina, bar manager for TSG Charlottesville’s Commonwealth Skybar, located on the Historic Downtown Mall, whose family has been in Charlottesville since the 1700s (his grandfather ran a dance hall in Charlottesville in the 1940s and ran moonshine from Nelson County on Sundays), the Dakota is a wonderful drink for either starting off or ending the evening.

Here’s to a holiday filled with festive libations and locally procured spirits. Cheers!

Dec
10
2014