Author Archives: writedesigner

About writedesigner

Graphic designer, writer, and gardener Ellen Shapiro is based in Irvington, New York. A frequent contributor to design blogs and magazines including Print, Imprint,, Communication Arts, and Etapes, she writes about trends, issues and personalities in design, illustration, photography, and visual culture around the world.

Best-Ever Thanksgiving Side Dish

Zucchini Stuffed with Corn with Roasted Tomato Sauce Calabacitas Rellenas de Elote adapted from Diana Kennedy’s The Cuisines of Mexico, Harper & Row, 1986 From Diana Kennedy—her books and in-person workshops—I learned how to cook with the native foods of … Continue reading

Posted in Dining In and Out, Food from the Garden, Holiday Celebrations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheep and Wool and Much More

When my friend Frana Baruch, artist, graphic designer and craft fair and flea market aficianado, first told me that the New York Sheep and Wool Festival was “the best thing ever,” I thought she was kidding. Well, several chapters of … Continue reading

Posted in Art Inspired by Nature, Fairs and Community Events, Hudson Valley NY, Knitting and Needlework, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vest-Pocket Nursery

This was not what I expected to find, walking down the street in Lower Manhattan on the way to a photo shoot on a weekday morning: an open-air plant nursery wedged into a narrow lot between two buildings. Most people … Continue reading

Posted in Nurseries and Garden Centers, Travel-USA Northeast, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dahlias, Dahling

This is the season for those spectacular blooms that mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Here they are in a garden I spotted on a bike ride in the Remsenberg section of Westhampton, New York. If … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, Private Gardens, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nova’s Ark Project

While driving up Millstone Road in Water Mill to the Hamptons Show House, I was astonished to catch a glimpse of large-scale sculptures in a meadow. A stop at this site, Nova’s Ark Project, was the real event of the … Continue reading

Posted in Art Inspired by Nature, Public Gardens, The Hamptons, Travel-USA Northeast | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Cocktails, Anyone?

I didn’t love the 2015 Hamptons Designer Show House as much as usual. Usually, the rooms beckon me: sit down, sink into the sofa, stay awhile, get inspired, enjoy the view, covet the pool house, relax. This year, walking through … Continue reading

Posted in Beach houses, Private Gardens, The Hamptons | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Tall Tale

In Canadian and American folklore, Paul Bunyan is a mythical, superhuman lumberjack. He could out-chop, out0-saw, out-talk, out-roll a log, and climb a tree faster than any other man at any other logging camp. When a friend recommended Chris Niemiec … Continue reading

Posted in Horticulture, In My Garden | Tagged , , | 1 Comment