Earth Day 2014: A celebration throughout the year

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Photos by Hazel Keisewetter.
I remember Earth Day as a small child in Colorado. Driving with my mama, I kept yelling out the car window “HAPPY EARTH DAY!!” to passerby’s and they would look at me in confusion, some would yell back, “It’s not my Birthday!” I would laugh and laugh. (Luckily more people know what Earth Day is today).
In celebration of Earth Day 2014, we are turning to the children on this Earth and at LDBA. At Farm Camp last August, we were able to spend 5 days and nights with kiddos mostly coming from Brooklyn (and one from Amsterdam). At first there was a slight adjustment from city life to farm life; “Is that sheep poop? GROSS!”, but after the first day and night spent, we noticed a palpable shift- an appreciation and acknowledgement of nature- bugs, bees, flowers, chickens, plants, trees, dirt, sun and people- all living in harmony together. The kids became part of their environment, they were in awe of every little detail, and they were full of smiles, laughter, and curiosity.
These photos are some of my favorite from Farm Camp. We pit-fired ceramics with Alexis, dug through a clay factory, and made our own clay tic-tac-toe sets with Riley. We can’t wait for this year’s Farm Camp! There’s still room in the 2nd session, so hurry and sign up HERE!

From the farms

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Last week we drove up to Great Barrington, MA and went to visit the Firth’s Chestnut Hill Farm (the place where we hold Farm Camp). Mark Firth gifted us with these beautiful eggs which are naturally different colors- no easter egg dye needed! We did, however come across a fabulous all natural dye guide so you can dye your eggs (or your clothes) at home this weekend.

Speaking of farms, we attended a “Parsnip Throw-down” on Monday night in DUMBO. One of speakers was from an incredible company called Good Eggs. ‘Good Eggs brings local groceries right to you. Order online from the best local farmers & foodmakers, and your groceries are picked and prepped to order.’ Basically they describe it as The Farmer’s Market meets Fresh Direct. The site is incredibly user-friendly, (and beautiful). You shop produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and on and on. What you choose arrives at your doorstep in a day or two- FROM OUR FARMS!- The farms are upstate- less than 2 hours away. Try it out!

Also, our French Work Jackets are fully stocked. A perfect Spring garment- get yours now!
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our favorites

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Here’s a few of our favorite images. The top photo was taken by Stephanie Stanley from Daily Candy of our Indigo Dye class- (the next one is May 10th! For details, click HERE)  The beautiful porcelain bowls photo was taken by their creator, Riley Salyards, who sells them in our shop and just received a lovely write up yesterday from Etsy! To view, (Click HERE). The stunning arrow was made in our Adult Arrows Workshop, and our next kid’s ARROW class is May 11th! We’ll take the kiddos to the garden and make bows and arrows among the flowers. (For details, click HERE.) The last images I found online, they are dreamy portrayals of camp life- Our second session of FARM CAMP is still available for registration, but filling fast. Sign up HERE!

We hope you have a splendid weekend! XOXO LDBA Loves You!

Golden opportunities at LDBA

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Photos by Hazel Keisewetter.
We went a bit crazy with the gold leaf on Saturday. I equate the feeling I had during this lesson to being a wizard, and suddenly holding the power to turn anything I want into gold- well, that’s exactly what we did! And now we have the skills and knowledge to continue- to gild anything we want, thanks to the instructor, Edward McKeever of Strong River, (pictured above with his darling son, Romeo).
We also learned about wallpaper- how and why to pick the good stuff. Farrow&Ball gifted us with rolls paper- in this incredible and traditional french floral design,(pictured above), which we hung in the bathroom of LDBA’s future home. It was difficult at first, but incredibly gratifying with stunning results!
We’re busy planning the next 4 Pillars workshop  (hint: it’s looking like Fall 2014)!

In other news, sign up for our next INDIGO DYE class happening May 10th!

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Also- LDBA Farm Camp SESSION 1 is FULL! There’s still plenty of room in SESSION 2, but spots are going fast! Sign up while you can HERE.
And while you’re at it, sign your kiddo up for LDBA/NYC Day Camp HERE.

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xoxo LDBA loves you!

We rocked the Four Pillars of Decorative Arts!

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Photos by Hazel Kiesewetter.
Saturday was kind of like magic: outside rain was splashing upon the newly installed windows and doors of LDBA’s future home; while inside some fortunate students gathered and learned the traditional techniques of Italian Plaster, Gold Leaf, Wallpaper and Decorative Painting. With the bonus of actually working in a raw space, and with the incredible instruction of our teacher, Edward McKeever, (founder of Strong River; his decorative arts company based in Vancouver), we spent the day mixing marble and lime, plastering, learning how to gild, properly hang hand-printed wallpaper, transforming the space with non toxic, quality materials and correct technique. The day flew by- and we left the workshop with our Farrow&Ball gift bags in tow as well as sheets of gold and the inspiration and knowledge to continue on our own.

Italian Plaster:
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Italian plaster takes 28 days to cure and is made from limestone, river sand, marble and water. When it cures, the plaster is smooth and strong yet flexible, shifting with the building and the earth and therefore never cracking. It cools, heats and resists moisture just right, making it the only choice for the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and beyond. We worked with three different mixtures of plaster, from grey to white when dried. The plaster was incredibly easy to work with, we used italian trowels and correct techniques- and breathing the plaster actually felt like heaven- 100% non toxic.
Edward McKeever, of Strong River painting, plastering and design education, taught this workshop and pretty much blew our minds.
Stay tuned for pictures and techniques of the additional 3 pillars of decorative arts!