Recent Blog Posts

Some of you may be thinking, really a photo gift that wows? Doesn't that seem like the old stand by, if you can't think of anything else. Well banish that thought!!  These gifts will WOW them and be talked about for years. Now keep in mind you can print any of these on canvas, aluminum, acrylic, birchwood, paper or mirror to up the wow factor.
  • FAMILY COLLAGE: This is perfect for grandparents get a picture of the various families and make a collage. For my family this would mean all three siblings and their family would each take a family photo then we would make a collage with one photo of my family, one of my brothers, one of my sisters and one of my parents.
  • THEN AND NOW: Get a picture of the person then and now, this works great for couples you could do when they were first dating or on their wedding ect.
  • SPECIAL OCCASION: A great collage would be a photo of a special occasion of a parent and then of the child. For example we have great photos of my husband and I each at our First Communion, making a collage with those and each of my kids at their First Communion would be so neat!
  • SPELL IT OUT: Word art is very popular so make your own take pictures of things that look like letters and spell a word, could be a name of something like family. (see my girls making an M above)
  • GENERATIONS: Taking generational photos is really neat, we are doing a photo of all the grandkids for the grandparents and I know they will cherish it, yes matching shirts are required ;) For more unique generational photo ideas follow the link.
    You can find Ellen blogging daily at Thrifty & Chic Mom.

Because Art = Freedom with ART FEEDS

Tweet Because Art = Freedom. “These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream big. At one point in their lives, they were sold for … Read More

Because Art = Freedom. “These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream big. At one point in their lives, they were sold for the amount we pay for a few cups of coffee.” - Go Team Ghana Website Art Feeds, an art therapy program based out of Joplin, Missouri developed the art curriculum programs for the Touch A Life Foundation's long term rehabilitative care center in Ghana. The Touch A Life Foundation is dedicated to rescuing children in Ghana, Vietnam and Cambodia that were sold into child slavery.  Providing holistic long-term child care to these vulnerable children, the foundation has rescued 93 children out of slavery. [caption id="attachment_2508" align="alignright" width="317" style="float:right; position:relative;"] Photo Credit: Touch A Life Foundation[/caption] Gallery Direct learned about their mission and jumped at the opportunity to help these brave children and other children that have suffered. We are honored to donate one blank canvas to Art Feeds for every piece of Gallery Direct Artwork sold in December. Your art purchase helps bring inspiration and a smile to these children's lives. I encourage you to read the story about Mark Kwadwo on the home page that inspired the, Find Your Mark campaign.  The story is heavy on the heart, but knowing that fortunate people, like most of us, have taken a stand to help these children is inspirational. "People say I rescued Mark, but the truth is, he rescued me. He has shown me what matters in life - the things that are really important. Without Mark, I’d never be the person, the woman, or the Mom that I am today. And it all started with the decisions to believe in myself, and to take a huge risk." - Pam Cope, Co-Founder For more information about Art Feeds and the Touch A Life Foundation please visit: http://www.touchalifekids.org  

Move That Bus!!!

Tweet If you remember, a group of the Gallery Direct team went out to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build last year.  The episode airs tonight!!!  Tune in to ABC at 7pm Central Time. The two hour show is the special Christmas-themed … Read More

If you remember, a group of the Gallery Direct team went out to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build last year.  The episode airs tonight!!!  Tune in to ABC at 7pm Central Time. The two hour show is the special Christmas-themed episode, where host Ty Pennington visits the Zdroj Family of Smithville, TX. Mizzy Zdroj is a female firefighter volunteer whose own home was destroyed by the largest wildfire in Texas history. The episode features an appearance by BMX biker Matt Hoffman, Chef Art Smith and some special guests from "Star Wars." No longer than two months before we arrived to the home, the most destructive wild fire in Texas history ripped through this area destroying over 1,600 homes; leaving many families and the surrounding pine forests completely devastated. The community has since demonstrated that even a natural disaster of this magnitude couldn't keep them down. After the month long fire ended, volunteers with varying skills from Bastrop and surrounding areas banded together to rebuild their homes from rubble. Extreme Makeover spent a lot of time in Bastrop speaking to locals about the specific destruction they had experienced while also searching for a family who was in need of more than a little extra help. During their search they learned about the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department which had been completely destroyed during the fire while the firefighters were out battling the flames themselves. Members of the Heart of the Pines are all long standing volunteer members, but during such an unexpected and overwhelming catastrophe, many members of community left their homes behind to help aid the Firefighters defend what was left of the town they share and call home. One of these selfless individuals was Mizzie Zdroj. The Zdroj home was located less than 400 yards from the Heart of the Pines fire station, and burned to the ground in mere moments of each other. Abandoned foundations and burned single standing chimneys lined the road leading up to the Zdroj and Heart of the Pines site. It's heartbreaking to see the widespread damage throughout Bastrop and Smithville. In just 7 days, Extreme Makeover and the community not only rebuilt the Zdroj family home, but also completed a fire station for Smithville's Heart of the Pines firefighter family. As proud sponsors of this effort and Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Gallery Direct got out of the office for a few days and into the volunteer action over in Smithville. Nearing the end of the project, for 3 days hundreds of volunteers came out to help with the finals stages, from landscaping to simply moving furniture in. Every aspect of building these new structures was donated, sponsored and offered up freely by Extreme Makeover and the community. That's pretty powerful, see for yourself and tune in tonight at 7p (CT) on ABC.

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics … Read More

[gallery columns="5" orderby="title"] Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics of course. And the lamps?  Both from one of our partners – HomeGoods. (If you didn’t already know, HomeGoods has a fabulous lighting selection.) Notice I’ve moved Pug across from my desk – see him towering over the white Barcelona chairs? Awesome! I've got another new piece – Adagio II by Sia Aria, which is nicely offset by its monochromatic surroundings. And check out my “Grunge Girl” from the Condé Nast Collection – so compelling – and available to the trade starting January 2013! Well, apparently my new digs have inspired those around me to spruce up their own. In fact, our CEO Joseph Garcia (who already has an amazing office) and I are somehow determined to outdo each other (albeit in a friendly fashion). But first – some context: With more than 30 years in the consumer business, Joe has identified the following buying patterns:
  • Competitive
  • Aspirational
  • Humanistic
  • Spontaneous
  • Methodical
Indeed our marketing analysis supports these consumer trends. Further, our own buying patterns are reflected in our offices. I’ve already shown you mine. Now contrast it with Joe’s: The furnishings are almost exclusively Four Hands Home – another one of our partners – and right down the street. Very masculine, don’t you think?! I love the lamps (one from HomeGoods naturally) and the over-sized brown lacquer tray from Jonathan Adler, both of which I selected! And how about that helmet from Indy 500? Sweet! Now take a look at Joe’s art. We recently launched an internal competition – a group of us competing on who can create the best collection. Joe is working on “Cool Art for Cool Guys” and clearly has a head start in his office. Lake City I by Roman Solar is spot-on as wall art. Another great mural directly across – Tatara's Negroni – is a street scene that works well with the windows cut out of it.  The Palm piece on acrylic is by Sony Warsono from Getty Images. It reminds me of South Beach at night – one of Joe's favorite haunts! Following the theme are Brett Pfister's framed Drifting on Water's Wings and the two Formula 1 images on aluminum– very cool, very masculine, and very Joe – do you think he might win the contest?! With a wardrobe that is almost exclusively Zegna – combined with Ferragamo and Gucci shoes (not to mention what he drives and where he lives), Joe is pure competitive. I – on the other hand – am aspirational. (I love my Trina and Tory but wouldn’t know where to begin buying what Joe has. And then couldn’t bring myself to do it!) So how does an aspirational compete with a competitive? That’s just it, we don’t. So, in concession – not defeat, I’m waving the white flag (which matches my office BTW)!    
It's that time of month ART TIME with Gallery Direct! We had a dusting of snow this morning and it got me thinking about all the beautiful winter themed art Gallery Direct has. Then I got out my Christmas decorations and I really started thinking about holiday themed art. You can easily transform your house into a winter wonderland with the perfect piece of art from Gallery Direct! Join me @ThriftyChicMom Monday November 26 at 10 pm EST for a Gallery Direct Winter Wonderland Twitter Party. We will of course discuss art and home decor and have a great time plus there will be 5 lucky winners! PRIZES: We will be giving away $200 credit for your own custom piece of art to 5 lucky winners! To be prize eligible you must RSVP HERE See you Monday night!

Gallery Direct ROCKS Formula One

Tweet Austin is still recovering from Formula One and what a blast this city was during the Inaugural Circuit of Americas US Grand Prix on November 16 – 18.  The city of Austin estimated that the brand new race track drew … Read More

Austin is still recovering from Formula One and what a blast this city was during the Inaugural Circuit of Americas US Grand Prix on November 16 – 18.  The city of Austin estimated that the brand new race track drew in 300,000 fans, and boy was the city buzzing.  From the red carpets to the race track Gallery Direct created some really cool artwork for the events.  Check it out: These are 4 feet by 9 feet prints on canvas, that we custom made for the Circuit of The Americas Opening party at the Frank Erwin Center.  They asked us to put a spin on the tradition “Step and Repeat” for the red carpet and this is what we came up with. Pretty cool huh?  Aerosmith rocked the house while the VIP’s hung out in these luxury suites. The New Era Suite out at the race track looked fast and furious with this formula one car printed on aluminum, the view wasn’t bad either. Were you at formula?  Tell us about it!!
Meet Melinda of Look What Mom Found... And Dad Too one of our Gallery Direct Style Ambassadors. Together with her husband Robb she is raising 3 kids whom you can see in this gorgeous framed canvas that she created by uploading a photo.
    Melinda really inspired me when she redid her family room with a series of prints by M. Drake. The way she filled the wall with various sizes of gallery wrapped canvas turned out just perfect. Melinda wanted a bigger impact than just one piece can make for her high ceiling room and I think she nailed it. The touch of whimsy makes it that much better. Be sure to check out all of Melinda's ideas for decorating with Gallery Direct art as well as all the other great information she shares on her blog.  
Meet Gallery Direct Style Ambassador Felicia whom you can find blogging at Go Graham Go. As a mom to two busy little boys she still finds time to do some great decorating with her Gallery Direct art. Her picture of her favorite vacation spot on aluminum first sparked my love for this incredible media, the water seems to literally sparkle. The pictures do not do it justice!

Source: gograhamgo.com via Ellen on Pinterest

  I also love the creative way Felicia used vintage art for her little boys room. It looks perfect now and yet it will still look perfect when he is a teen. She chose a great framed canvas airplane and a fabulous vintage car on gallery wrapped canvas, they both turned out great. For more great decorating ideas as well as other great tips and information be sure to check out Felicia's blog Go Graham Go.

Most Delish Design Eye Candy: Lonny Magazine

Tweet As the visual marketing and merchandising lead for Gallery Direct, a major part of my job is keeping an eye on interior design trends. That means I get to spend part of my day trolling design blogs, Houzz, Pinterest … Read More

As the visual marketing and merchandising lead for Gallery Direct, a major part of my job is keeping an eye on interior design trends. That means I get to spend part of my day trolling design blogs, Houzz, Pinterest and Piccsy for the most stunningly inspiring images to share with Gallery Direct customers (I know, poor me).

I thought I'd start sharing a few of my absolute favorite web haunts for great design inspiration, and today I want to talk about Lonny Magazine.

Lonny is an an online design magazine that's chock-full of to-die-for products, great decorating tips, and house tour photo arrays that make me want to climb through my computer screen and make myself at home.

If you're an art and design junkie like I am, I highly suggest adding Lonny to your daily reading list.

I completely fell in love with two images in Lonny's November issue; both feature oversized artwork with a graffiti-esque, gritty feel:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="476"] Image Credit: Lonny Magazine[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="476"] Image Credit: Lonny Magazine[/caption] Amazing, right? I'm considering a similar look for my new living room. If you're inspired too, check out our Urban Edge collection on Gallery Direct. I also took the liberty of pulling a few of my favorite pieces for your consideration: [gallery order="DESC"] Want one? Find them here...
Top Row:
Raisonne II by Sean Jacobs
Street Language by Todd Camp
Bottom Row:
Graffiti I by Sara Abbott
Rogue Waves I by Sara Abbott
East Side of Town by Sara Abbott

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. … Read More

[gallery columns="4" orderby="title"] Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. Now it’s a little more sophisticated. I have a small collection of religious iconic art – the stuff you see in Santa Fe or at Tesoros here in Austin. In particular, I love retablos and crèches. I also love plates and serving utensils - and yes, Christmas ornaments. More on that another day… Today, I'm thinking about clocks.
I guess I started collecting clocks about 4 years ago when we bought this Modern Cuckoo, designed by Ingolf Haas and available at dwr.com. Only about 150 clock makers in the world make remarkable time pieces such as this (which is certified as an authentic Black Forest Clock). Namely, it must be purely mechanical (no batteries or electric cords), and entirely produced (even all interior parts) in the Black Forest, a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany.
This next clock I found a few months ago at one of my favorite boutiques in Austin - PerriBerri - which is mostly a purveyor of gorgeous women's clothing (great brands such as red haute) and jewelry (designer chan luu is my favorite). QLOCKTWO, by Biegert & Funk, has received numerous design awards (reddot, iF, and interior innovation) and is manufactured in southern Germany, in a former jewellery factory in a town famous for its gold and silver jewellery.
Almost as soon as I found QLOCKTWO, we received the latest Design Within Reach catalog, and low and behold was another clock of my dreams - the George Nelson 1948 Ball Clock, conveniently reduced 15% as part of the semiannual sale! George Nelson often collaborated with other designers, and in the case of the Ball Clock, was at a dinner party with Isamu Noguchi, Irving Harper and Bucky Fuller. As the story goes, they were all sketching and "had a little bit too much to drink." In the morning, they saw a drawing of the Ball Clock on a roll of drafting paper and none of them truly knew who designed it! One of our artists - T. Graham - surely understands my obsession with clocks. Graham's work consists of an array of modern works of art, architectural abstracts and night time city views. A Measure in Thought I has a Synthetist aesthetic that reminds me a bit of Edvard Munch. If you didn't know T. Graham already, take a look at http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/t-graham. You'll like him even better when you see the picture of him holding his sweet baby!
My kids seem surprised with this steady influx of clocks - why I don't know - as clocks epitomize the cool design objects that they know I love. (And they actually despise the cuckoo clock -- or at least  how noisy it is), so I'm sure they'll be dismayed with my next clock purchase. I don't know what that will be yet, but I do know that it will occur!