Wednesday, February 6

Unexpected Guests: Abbey Hendrickson.

This week a visit to upstate New York. Buffalo, to be exact, the home of Aesthetic Outburst blogger, Abbey Hendrickson. Abbey also runs the fun etsy shoppe How Now Design, full of vintage finds or Abbey's handmade crafts and prints of her original drawings. My discoveries of Abbey and her collections this week have been so personally inspiring. She is definitely someone with a unique perception and a creative eye for design. Her collections are some of the most colorful and unique I've come across. I mean who collects pencils, library cards and bread bag tabs and makes them look so great? And, so collectible? Well, Abbey, I guess.

Where do you live?
I live in Buffalo, New York with my husband and our seven-month old baby boy. It’s not as snowy here as everyone thinks.

What is your favorite outing in your city?
I love to go to just about any thrift store (particularly ones lacking in major odors). We like to load up the babe and walk to the local coffee shop and to the Albright–Knox Gallery. There’s also an amazing Italian market down the street from our house called Guercio’s; they have the best produce and pasta selection. Oh, The Darwin Martin House is great too…Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo…who knew!

What's the best thing about Buffalo?
We just moved here six months ago, so I feel like I’m still exploring Buffalo and finding new things. The best thing so far has been witnessing an incredibly supportive arts community. It may sound strange, but I like the grittiness of Buffalo too…most days.

What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
Get ready for this! If I can’t sleep, I imagine the floor plan of a department store that my mom took us to when we were little (Burt’s in Endicott, New York). It’s been closed for a long time, but they had so many different rooms and they were all so interesting. Once I’ve made it to the room with the fancy soaps on the top floor, it’s lights out!

Who are your favorite artists?
This could be the longest list ever, but I’ll try to contain myself. First and foremost is my husband Phil Hendrickson. Then…excluding anyone I know personally because we have a ton of talented friends and that list would just be insane, I like the work of Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Catherine Campbell (My Folk Lover), Julia Rothman, Annette Messager, Ellen Gallagher, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Dzama, Brian Dettmer, Diana Cooper, Lisa Congdon, Tara Donovan, Georgia Russell, Ruth Asawa, and Julie Morstad. Whoa!

Where do you find inspiration?
My family and friends are a constant source of inspiration. I also like to roam around (on foot or in the car) and just look. When I was young my parents would take us for rambling car rides out of the blue and it was always an interesting experience (perhaps not as much when I was a rotten teenager). I do think that really influenced how I experience the world now; I’m always looking.

Who do you admire and why?
Wow! There are so many people that I admire, but my short list includes my husband Phil for his incredible patience and kindness; our little boy for making me laugh all of the time; my parents and brothers for their humor, energy, and constant support; my best friend Emily for her creativity and authentic style; my grandmother for her intelligence and strength; and my two friends Rachael and Kris for their dedication and ambition. I have to include our many talented friends and family members who keep me going on a daily basis (too many to list, but you know who you are).

What's the last great book you read?
You Are Here- Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon, but that was well over a year ago. Grad school + baby= absolutely no reading books for pure enjoyment.

What's your favorite film?
The Big Lebowski followed closely by Amelie…I know it’s a strange combination.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
My Aunt Dorothy who passed away many years ago; she was a source of much inspiration.

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
I’ll gladly sit down with anyone if they make chai tea lattes!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Oh, I have so many that it’s bordering on ridiculous. I like to stay in my pajamas all day and look at Flickr and read blogs. I’m also an obsessive thrift store shopper. Not only do they call me by name, but they also know our baby’s name.

Is there anything you would change about yourself?
I would develop a thicker skin.

What is your most treasured belonging?
My most treasured belonging is a 1913 edition of Pollyanna that belonged to my Aunt Dorothy. We always talked about books and she gave that book to me when I was quite young (it was hers when she was young).

What do you have really good taste in?
I don’t know that I have good taste…it tends to be very eclectic. I do have a very specific sense of personal style (my friends are all laughing right now).

Greatest indulgence?
I recently purchased a George Mulhauser lounge chair. That’s my most expensive indulgence in the last few years.

What is your idea of living hell?
Those houses on HGTV that are so disorganized that there’s only a path to walk through. I’m certainly no neat freak, but I just couldn’t live in a place totally lacking any aesthetic.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
Excluding yours of course, my daily blog reads are Book By Its Cover, decor8, Design*Sponge, Poppytalk, Tas-ka, Nina van de Goor, and The Mid-Century Modernist. As far as websites go, I haunt Etsy, fffound, The Shiny Squirrel, ReForm School, Rare Device, Fecal Face, Giant Robot, Mahar Drygoods, and my friends’ sites Pistachio Press, Preachers Biscuit Books, and Kaybu (etsy shop).

Thanks so much Abbey for a great visit! I was so inspired by your collections of oddities, all made to look so fantastic! I look forward to keeping track of you on your blog and checking out your etsy shop on a regular basis. Keep on making us smile and helping us find beauty in the unexpected.


Barbara Jacksier said...

Great Interview. I love the bread tags under glass. How does Abbey display the pencils?

sfgirlbybay said...

thanks barbara - i think we're going to need abbey to weigh in on how the pencils are mounted - but i love how they look!!


Uncle Beefy said...

Great interview, once again :)

I swear that Abbey and I have almost the identical list for favortie artists. I'd make a homemade Chai Tea Latte and chat art anytime!

michelle said...

So beautiful! Thanks for this wonderful post!

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Thank you so much for the great column, Victoria! I'm just thrilled so have my work/home on sfgirlbybay!!! Pencil FYI: I used tacky glue to attach them to a thin piece of MDF board. My husband drilled two holes in the back (not all the way through) and up on the wall they went. Uncle Beefy, name the place! :)

Meghan said...

Yes, I have to agree this was a great interview. Getting to work closely with Abbey in Massachusetts was a big influence on the direction of my work so it's flattering to be mentioned as one of her favorite sites/shops. Even though we no longer share a desk her blog is a constant source of inspiration for my work.

oldflowers4me said...

oooohhhh-my your blog world is divine- im making a pot of jasmine tea- would you like a cup-i just need to say thankyou for all your photos -wow- singing and skipping love jo anderson.

sfgirlbybay said...

It was a good visit, eh? Thanks so much for having us Abbey!

corine @ hidden in france said...

Great post. I read the blog beofre, but now I feel I know the (very cool) person behind it.

minkee said...

What a lovely, lovely home. I wonder how long it takes to make a home so lovely? I know I'd love to have such style, hopefully it will just evolve over the years as I collect more lovely things to go in it!

laurie of liquid paper said...

Thanks for posting this great interview and the photos -- love! I found Abbey's website/shop only a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with her aesthetic. Cheers to you both!

annie said...

I'm so excited to read about this girl! I grew up in Buffalo, NY! I miss it so much and would move back in a heart beat. I love the art community, and the museum is great. Oh man, I'm so jealous that she gets to live there!

annechovie said...

I especially loved Abbey's display of all the blonde Fisher-Price figures in blue. Boy, do those bring back memories!

maja said...

love this interview. i feel i have found a kindred spirit with her proclivity for chai lattes and floorplans.

Jennifer Ramos said...

you know , i REALLY LOVE that table at the seems perfect for my office. Do you know where it was bought??

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards'

sfgirlbybay said...

I'm not sure Jen. Maybe Abbey will check back in!

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

Hello there and thank you all once again. Jen, our table was a trade with a friend (Rachael Hetzel of Pistachip Press)- she actually made it. It is a great table and I hope you can find one that's similar. :)

beth said...

the glass container with the bread clips reminds me of my grandma. she had a drawer full of similar inspirations, a toilet paper roll covered with newspaper rubber bands, folded plastic bags, shoe boxes of hotel shampoo. what a fun post of photos.

imwithsully said...

What a great interview. Admire the blog!