Saturday, February 5

For February let's explore how travel influences our home and design, starting with the Berkshires in Massachusetts

I am happy to introduce you to my friend Ruth Beck - she is my very first guest to write a post for Nest. I met Ruth while attending one of the International Furnishings Design Association's fabulous events (I'll be a new member soon). IFDA offers many services, symposiums and conferences for their members.  After many chats, Ruth offered to guest post and put together a fabulous story, weaving nicely into this month's investigation of travel and design inspirations.  Since I'll be quite busy with the Brizo extravaganza (read the story below this post about my Brizo sponsorship during Fashion Week in New York City) this week, I am very grateful to Ruth for contributing to Nest on this lively subject.  After reading her story, I am marking my calendar for a road trip soon to the Berkshires -- I'm excited to travel to this art-rich town and meet all the talented artisans in the area.  Thank you Ruth!  

First, here's a little bit about Ruth: 

Ruth is a former Creative Director for home fashions, and active consultant in the fabric and products industry. Ruth has been a contributing editor to domestic, international, and consumer publications. Her multiple products experience started in the wall covering and decorative fabric industry. Ruth’s work has included design for major brands, as well as customized retail programs. She has been a member of The Color Marketing Group, and International Furnishings Design Association, and has a BFA from Syracuse University. Ruth and her family share their time between two residences, in Upper Grandview, NY, and East Dover, Vermont where their 1862 farmhouse is the inspiration for Dover Hill, a line of specialty linens.
Refresh, Revive, Renew...
a state of mind
written and researched
by Ruth Beck

The month of February is the perfect time to think about three R’s, refresh, revive, and renew. Easily considered a state of mind, when the grays of winter have lasted too long- emotionally we are ready for change.

Change can be found around the corner, or in this case the answer may be a short road trip to the Berkshires in Massachusetts where there are many quaint towns offering art and contemporary cultural centers. North Adams is historically rich, and was originally a textile mill town, but has transformed into a city for the arts. Boasting the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Mass MoCa the area attracts many artists, and enhanced by a unique program sponsored by the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. This resource has made it possible for various sponsors, artists and craftsman to share a forum of creativity, making North Adams a vibrant cultural destination in the Berkshires. Although many events, given the name “Down Street Art”(sponsored by the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center), are seasonal, the area offers a rich cultural experience in the Berkshires all year round.

It is here that you will find Martha Flood Design and her line of original fabrics,
The Woodlands Collection” is available in the Eagle Street Studio and Gallery. Martha is one of the few artists that maintains a year round gallery. Martha is an independent Berkshire artist with a passion for Surface Pattern Design. Martha’s non-conventional twist on textiles echoes the heritage of the town itself, while conveying a message of an eco-themed textiles.

The fabrics have a look and feel of a sturdy cotton canvas, but are actually woven from fibers made in America from 100% recycled plastic bottles. This adds, yet a fourth “R” to our quest… Refresh, Revive, Renew and RECYCLE.
“These designs are graphically repeating images of textures and patterns that we encounter in the woodlands and along country byways.  Utilizing these fabrics in the home, subliminally evokes feelings of a personal connection with nature”  Martha
Available in wide widths, the fabrics range from bark, lichen, wildflower, water, and grasses. Eco-friendly materials appeal to our sense of familiar, leading us to juxtapose interior possibilities.

Many customers have bought the grass and bark fabrics to stretch over canvas or hang on their walls.  The fresh green color and realistic textural effect, evokes a burst of spring to our senses, renewing our need for all things green, in mind and in spirit"  Martha

Martha can be reached at:

PO Box 1517
38 Eagle Street
North Adams, MA 01247

For more information on the area:


quintessence said...

Oh good tip for me! We ski in the Berkshires and our little shack is very close to North Adams. Hoping I'll have time to take a little trip to see these interesting fabrics.

Anonymous said...

Great blog!
Love the articles and I really enjoyed reading Ruth Beck's story about the artists of North Adams, Mass.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to taking a trip to visit the studios. Nice story

scanboy said...

Mass MOCA is a trip. Photographically I dig the idea of using digital printing to expand design. It's about time we found solutions that don't ruin the environment that textiles can do a number on. It's ironic that the Berkshires found a solution to reverse the process that they once created.


scanboy said...

nice job

Anonymous said...

please post a follow up about the brizo experience. I want to hear more. Jason Wu makes beautiful ladylike clothing. STK

Anonymous said...

I am interested if anyone has been to any of the local museums lately in this area. It would be an interesting follow up.

The Clark has an amazing collection, and some really beautiful nature trails. Can't wait for Spring to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Loved Ruth Beck's blog about the 3 R's and can't wait to go to North Adams,MA when the snow melts.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to travel more, and short trips away from NYC are the way to go!

More blogs like this are great ways of getting ideas.

Eric Miller said...

Great Post Tamara!! I had so much fun with you in NYC... Thanks for your hospitality to a Florida boy:) See you in May!

Anonymous said...

Hello Tamara,
I have not seen fabric like this ever and wondering if there is a place in the city that carries the work? It is very pretty and quite different. Cheryl Wagner