Be a Dinner Winner!

Hello, li’l blog. Sorry to neglect you for so long. Let’s make up for lost time, shall we?

Here’s a happy recent event- one of my Fred and Friends products is featured in the February 2015 issue of Family Fun magazine! It’s a kid’s plate that encourages you to eat the healthy stuff before getting to uncover a “prize” at the end. Hey, there could be anything under there!

Read more about this particular item on the Fred website here.


New Summer Stuff

So, it seems that after an eternal period of bad and/or middling weather, it’s finally summer! Let us celebrate, shall we?

Maybe you’ll hit a Newport Creamery sometime soon, and grab an AwfulAwful… while you’re there, pick up one of my children’s menus. This one is Block Island themed. It was fun for me to work on this one, as I spent many summers out there courtesy of my uncle, Captain Nick.




And maybe, in your beach bag you’ll have a copy of the current July/August 2014 issue of Rachael Ray magazine. If so, you may find one of my design items in there… it’s TingTing Tongs, which are salad tongs shaped like one of those cymbal-bashing monkeys. Thank you Rachael and staff for featuring it!



Manatea in KIKI Magazine

So, one of my recent design items has been making the rounds and getting a lot of notice lately. It’s a little tea infuser called Manatea, and yes! It is shaped like a manatee and hangs out in your tea cup while brewing the leaves. He recently showed up in the Oct/Nov. 2013 issue of KIKI Magazine. That made me happy, because not only was it my girls who discovered it while reading, but KIKI is such  great magazine! I am glad to have the shout-out in a mag that that I really respect!





(Note: Perpetual Kid is a great online retail shop that carries many of my Fred/design items. Check it out if you’re interested!)

Keepin’ It Glassy in Shanghai!

Here’s something I didn’t ever expect to happen- four of my glass designs are currently on display in Shanghai, China. The Shanghai Museum of Glass contacted me a few months ago for information regarding these glass items (which I designed for the FRED company).



They are appearing in an exhibit called “Keep It Glassy”, featuring all kinds of glass works from around the world. It’s an honor to have my designs on display there, though I will not likely manage to see them in person! Check out the place:





Here’s one of the exhibit posters:


There’s me!

You never know where art will end up. It’s exciting to think some of mine is on display on the other side of the earth!

Today Show and New Press!

Well, hello, little blog- so good to see you. I’ve been away for while, mostly getting a kid through an extended hospital stay (she’s good now!), and scrambling to catch up on everything else. But hey! Here’s some stuff that showed up recently!

One of my new FRED items, Mr. Tea (a tea infuser shaped like a little guy), was on the Today Show today. Here’s the mighty Al Roker mocking it now!



Watch the whole segment HERE, whereby you can hear Al declare, and I quote, “Oh, that’s disturbing. That’s just not right.”  HA! He’s right, you know.

More good stuff:

The December 2012 ELLE Magazine: After you’re done checking out Jennifer Lawrence, perfecting your rosy cheeks and dramatic eyes, check out my Pizza Peddlar on the Gift Guide pages! And now you know how sexy women REALLY think.



Changing themes, here’s the December 2012 Issue of Family Circle (not to be confused with Family Circus, Little Billy). They have Mr. Tea featured in their 50 Presents Under $50 Gift Guide.



Ooh, la la! Qu’est ce que c’est? It’s one of my older-but-wiser items, the Chopstick Kids, featured in the Canadian style magazine, Signature. This is the Fall 2012 issue. Très bien!



New York, New York…or, Close Encounters of the Daniel Radcliffe Kind

So, I was in New York for the NYIGF last week, helping set up the booth for the FRED company, where I design homegoods and the like.
Setup went well- and the booth looked positively smashing, I must say!

I wouldn’t cross that line if I were you…

After, we had a little time to jump into the Museum of Modern Art’s store and check things out.

They periodically carry Fred items, and I found one of mine, the Half Pint creamer inside.

Even though it was an exhausting day of show setup, I really wanted to see if we could score some tickets to How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, starring Daniel Radcliffe, currently running on Broadway. Holy cow! We got tickets! In the very last row!

The coolest thing about NYC, in my opinion, is the preponderance of theater going on at any given time. You could see a new play every day, and probably never run out of options.

Here’s what the Hirschfeld Theater looks like from outside… oddly enough, there was a giant line of people waiting to get in, but because we were picking up our tickets at the box office, we went in first.

The Hirschfeld Theater has lots of (surprise, surprise!) Hirschfeld cartoon art on the walls!

I couldn’t take pictures during the play, but it was fabulous! And Daniel Radcliffe was excellent in it- it was a very demanding role, and he was up to it and able to sing, dance, and perform acrobatics, all with an American accent. I only realized he wasn’t speaking with a British accent about 3/4 the way through, so it was a good job!

We waited along with about 500 of our closest friends in the alleyway behind the theater to see if the stars would come out and meet the crowd. Apparently, this is the same scene every night. It was fun waiting with everyone, a good crowd. Oh, hey! Look!

John Larroquette…I used to LOVE Night Court! He was very funny in this play.


A little piece of Daniel Radcliffe! That’s as close as we could get before he was whisked away in a car. In fact, I didn’t really see either of these guys- Eric and his fancy overhead camera moves were able to catch these glimpses!

This is as close as I really got to meeting him!

BUT, I was able to score what I believe to be The Offical Dorkiest Souvenir Available on Broadway!

Yes, THAT’S RIGHT. An official J. Pierrepont Finch bowtie! This was specially picked up for my kid, Audrey, who happens to be cool, because she gets it.

Post-show, we wandered through the freakshow that is Times Square, still teeming with hundreds of people, even at midnight.

Every time I am in this square, I look to the statue of George M. Cohan, and I wonder just what he would make of this all now.

Moving Forward, Looking Back!

Congratulations to all the recent graduates out there! Whether you are moving from Kindergarten to First Grade, from 8th grade to High School, or heading off to college in the fall… well done!

In the Spring of 1989, just before I graduated from RISD, I was very lucky to be “recruited” immediately for a job at Russ Berrie and Co., Inc. The company was in New Jersey, which meant my first real move (since I commuted to college). Russ was famous for it’s giftware at the time, and I was put into the Plush division. Yep- designing stuffed animals for a living! Practically a dream come true!

I recently found some pertinent plush designs from way back then:

“Going nowhere fast”… haha!

This little grad turtle was a typical job. A “Product Planner” would decide what they wanted to see, and then have an artist (like me) draw it up and specify (spec) colors and materials for the manufacturer to work from. Then, we would receive a sample product. The sample would usually be presented to the decision makers (including Russ the man himself), for possible inclusion into one of the upcoming lines. Often, items didn’t make it into the line for one reason or another.

This design for “Gradzilla” was a different story. When we designers were finished with our regular work and had extra time, we could freely design items (of any type) as a “Designer’s Day” item. I was a speedy worker, so I drew a lot of these kinds of things.

Did they ever get produced? I have no idea! They probably at least made it to the sample stage. I heard recently that the once great and powerful Russ company was going out of business. So sad! But the world keeps a-turning, and we must go forward!

Good luck to everyone as they move forward!

A Very Good Design Day, Indeed.

TODAY, I was surprised to see that my Aristocakes cupcake bakers were featured on the Today Show! Yep, there they are with Matt Lauer and Bobbie Thomas, the style editor, in a segment about giving your mom the royal treatment. Well, this was a treat for me!

Later, I was flipping though the June/July issue of the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine that had just come in the mail, and there’s another one of my current products in the Fun Faves section! These are called Tropsticks… flamingo-shaped, easy-to-use chopsticks.

Yeah, it was a good day.

My Newly Hatched Home Goods!

It’s that time of year again, kids! It’s the new Spring Line of the Fred company. One never knows from season to season which items will manage to make it allll the way through the design and manufacturing process and become real products. The process reminds me of The Bill from Schoolhouse Rock. Your proposal could get vetoed, it could die in committee, it could be argued about indefinitely. Only, I’m not making laws, just products!

Anyhow, good news! Here are a few of my new items that made it through! They will be making their debut at this week’s New York International Gift Fair, and at a number of other nifty shows across the continent.

AristoCakes are silicone cupcake bakers that are perfect for your next royal party. William and Kate should definitely consider using these for the Royal Wedding.

TropSticks make eating with chopsticks easier, if you are chopstick-impaired. They also make eating more… tropical. Yeah!

Here’s GloBoy. This one took a long time to figure out technically speaking, and I never thought it would see the light of day (ha)! He is a solar-powered nightlight. During the day, he’s sleepy and recharges. At night, flip him over and he’s wide-awake and glowing. He’s designed in a way that you can take his arm and pick him up for midnight bathroom trips. Shiny!

You can currently see the latest products on the Fred Facebook Page.

And there you have it! Spring is in the air, product-wise. NOW, if we could only ditch this infernal snow!