Monday, March 31, 2008

Let's Get Drinks

If we lived in the same town, 
I'd buy you a beer for that sweet ass shout out!

My inspiration

On this, the last day of the first month of "Rule of Threes" (started on 3/3 I might add) I wanted to post about my true inspirations - you two. We laughed till we cried, we cried till we laughed, painted the house, painted our faces, whined and dined, talked about love, talked about "Lost", played dress up, played fess up, wrote our names on the board, kept each other from being bored.
You are two of the most talented, creative and kind people I have ever known. You have both shown incredible taste - from your fashions to what you cook to who you hang with. You both motivate me and talk me down.
Miss you.

Look of the Irish

These bags are the cutest thing that I have ever seen. I mean ever. Cuter than babies, puppies, polka dots.

I wish that I had a birthday party to throw. Or a bake sale to host. Any excuse to buy these CUTE Japanese goodie bags from "little apple crafts" etsy shop.

The lady bug and clover encrusted bags are printed with the saying "I hope everyday will be happy! My heart is about to explode with joy."
I mean, come on. This is like Sanrio for Irish people. Cute. Cute. Cute.

Perfectly Cast

A long time ago in a distant place called Tribeca, I worked for a rather unfortunate TV based interior designer. The work was long and unrewarding- but, during my time there I made friends with her neighbors, the amazing folks at Chista. Largely ethnic, bold, chunky, and earthy in their design the work is often tree roots formed by nature and made into seemingly perfect furniture pieces. While I admired the craft and complexities of such items (I mean, how do you ship a WHOLE tree root from say, Indonesia to NYC?!) I never really saw how I could use one of their items- not quite my style.

Until today.

These new and totally innovative interpretations of their traditional root tables are now cast in gorgeous, shiny living bronze. I’m in love with the juxtaposition of the natural with the metal- the living form and the hard edged metal. Behold!



Yet another great style...I'd love to use this in a project with a pretty sofa.

Couleur Nature

It is no secret - table linens make me foam at the mouth. I enjoy the whole process of using them, from setting the table (not using paper napkins) to washing (always in cold water) and ironing them (I know, I am sick) for next time's use. These days I am using solid white porcelain plates which mix easily with just about any linen pattern or print.

The ones shown here are by "Couleur Nature", a company founded by Parisian designer Bruno Lamy after he traveled to Rajasthan, India and encountered their traditional block printed textiles.

These days, artisans in Jaipur hand block each cloth using carved teakwood blocks. I love that traditional French motifs are created using techniques passed down for generations.
To keep it fresh, two new prints are introduced to the collection each season.

For more information on Couleur Nature textiles, click here or visit their website

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Better Shopping

Cannibals Art Gallery 
Portland, Oregon
518 NW 21st Ave
(503) 224-BONE

Shopping in Portland is great, but shopping art in Portland at Cannibals is even greater. I heart Le Owner big for posting the article on shopping, and feel inspired to add one place to the list that was not in the article.

Cannibals Art Gallery on NW 21st can only be described with this video:

There's really nothing more I can say about this, but if you want more info here's a great story:
Willamette Weekly Article

Click on the above picture for link to Brian White's art, which is also sold at Cannibals.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Unconventional Media

Diem Chau is my newest design crush. I’m totally in awe of the unconventional materials and techniques that go into making this superbly provoking and charming work. For instance, crayons as the basis for sculpture? Brilliant. I’m a sucker for brightly colored multiples of just about anything- but this takes that obsession to a whole new level. There is such talent in these little itty bitty crayon sculptures.

Or what about these really stunning embroidered plates? I love work with unfinished edges and these little loose strings make my heart sing. But wait- how does she do this? We’ll never know- but what I’m certain of, Diem is an artist to watch.

Click, Click

I set aside some very dedicated time to the internet each day. I love the ritual of it all- coffee and the news or cocktails and social networking. My most favorite time thought is when its slow at the store and I get the time to read my ever overgrowing ‘favorites’ file. I obsess about new stores, ways to style, amazing new products, or just about anything that’s related to art and design. And hey, it's work related so there is less guilt!!

So where am I clicking these days?

I loved this article on where to shop in Portland. Since I miss TrixieB so very much, I’m planning a trip out west sometime this year- and I’ll be sure to visit as many great places as possible. This was full of inspiration!!

Why am I not pricing things like that? I love everything about it- retro card tags, stamps. Fun.

Then of course, there are the various links pointing toward the most amazing thing to happen to the outer boroughs in a long time: Brooklyn Flea. Starting next week, Fort Greene will be home to NYC’s largest outdoor flea market. Making it just that much better is the Design*Sponge collective @ the flea- Lena Corwin, Deadly Squire, Alssa Ettinger, and many more. Ladies, why, oh why, did you have to go and leave NYC....I need backup!

While clicking, I came across a store in BKLYN I've seen a few times, but now more than ever- with spring on the way, and flowers on the mind- I'm really eager to go...and I see they'll be at Brooklyn Flea too! It is Saipua of course!! With all my new gardening adventures, I need great soaps more than ever (I just picked up the Saltwater Soap- loaded with scents I love!!). And let's face it- we all need inspiration, and this store oozes gorgeous, light and airy, feminine beauty and unexpected floral arrangements. Lots of inspiration here!

Saipua in Fort Greene

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Portland Art Scene
Some may say that the Portland Art scene is dead, but I prefer to think of it as an up and coming venue. Why else would I move from New York City, art capital extraordinaire, to this "green" filled city? To find art, of course.

The first artist that I have come across is George Perrou , a "self-taught" artist whose geometric patterns and bold color palettes are reminiscent to Josh "SHAG" Agle, another west coast artist I adore.

One can purchase his artwork at his website:
Or at Etsy, naturally!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Palace Papers

Fine artist Casey Gunschel hand draws the patterns for her line of wallpaper "Palace Papers" before they are silk screened on to natural fibers.
Inspired by nature, fable illustrations and antique maps, ( eh -hem , no wonder I "love love" ) Casey's designs are both elegant and whimsical.

These patterns meet all of the "em" criteria, hand made, green and in dialog with historical ornament.

Check out the website,
for more information Casey's wallcoverings and fabrics.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


It’s no secret to those who know me that I get cool kid envy. And this time- it’s bad. The amazingly clever, super talented kids at Something’s Hiding In Here are my new current internet based crush. Based in Philly this dynamic duo keeps turning out pieces each more amazing than the next. Also, they live in the most amazing kick ass loft- and I not-so-secretly covet loft living.

Reasons why I heart SHIH:

1. Their paint by number states. Sheer genius. I’ve already contacted them and am getting my state just as soon as I can make up my mind: wisco or Illinois? Tough call. This whole repurposing paint by numbers is a trend I’m really warming up to. I’ve long toyed with the idea of blowing up a giant paint by numbers and doing a whole wall in my kitchen, but that’s a post for another day.

2. Um, plaster logs? Hell yes! I’d paint the interior of my non-existent, yet highly desired fireplace fuchsia and fill it with stacks of white logs. *sigh*

3. I’m also a sucker for great organization, because let’s face it- my organizational skills are not quite where they should be. I love this idea for fabrics, wallpapers, and paints…all perfectly uniform and super sturdy. Brilliant!

4. I’m not sure why this one is so amazing, but I love it so. It seems to me to be one of the cuter hostess gifts you could ever bring someone! I’ve gotta get on bringing their work into the store.

There are nearly limitless ideas and highly inspirational items over on their flickr site, I strongly encourage clicking through!

Andy Shaw Tableware

Poetic, modern and quiet are words that come to mind when I think of artist Andy Shaw's collection for the home and table. Much like water seems colorless unless en mass, his glazes pool into the textures of the pieces giving just a hint of cool, glassy hue. While his creations remind me somewhat of Jonathan Adler's, there is something Wabi-sabi and soulful in them that separates them from other "west-elm-white-texture" objects.

Like his work, Andy is calm and approachable. If memory serves, I pretty much picked up and admired every piece, marveling at their feel in my hands, all the while asking him questions about his process and mission.

For more information about Andy and his work, click here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What they wore in days of yore

Behold these prints from Jeffrys "Old English Dress" circa 1757. The engravings were based on portraiture of European nobility.

Hand colored and still brilliant, the clothing they depict is shown in such detail that images from this collection were included in the BBC television series,
"Through the Looking Glass - A History of Dress". Click here for a link to the companion book.

The actual prints can be found through my very favorite of all print sources, Panteek.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


One trip to that four letter giant (i…k….e…a) and I found my self with lots of empty planters and absolutely nothing to plant. Now, I know this isn’t a garden blog per se, but if we’re spending time and money on fab design, why not invest in a few knock out plants to accent all we’ve worked so hard to achieve?

But then I realized that if you live in a city like I do, there are very limited options for live plants other than those half dead, highly toxic things they sell at Home Depot.

I’ve been obsessing over Annie’s, a California based nursery that specializes in Rare, unusual annuals & perennial plants, including cottage garden heirlooms & hard to find California native wildflowers. Genius! Plants are lovingly cultivated, come with snappy descriptions and care instructions and are generally tres affordable (most plants are between $4.95-$8.95 a piece).

And fear not, there are lots of great apartment dweller options. My personal favorites:

How about great basil for the kitchen windowsill?

Or amazing succulents for that terrarium you’ve been thinking about?

Handprinted Linen Woodgrain Pillows

There is something magical about the fabrics produced at Kevin O'Brien Studio...perhaps it is that the designer spends 5 days a week secluded in the Catskills designing and the other 2 at his studio in Philadelphia...or the fact that he views the folks who run the studio in his absence as colaborators...or that they are printed by hand on fair trade fabrics in an environmentally friendly way. Whatever the reason, these pillows are available in four colors and four sizes (three sqaure sizes and a lumbar), and the fabric is available by the yard to and through the trade. For more information on Kevin O'Brien Studio's products and practices visit their website, , or click here.

Mac - is it too much to live in the woods and then have woodgrain fabric? I am SO tempted to cover my new pair of vintage white armchairs in this! And when is Sarah back from her trip to chime in?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Everyone knows: I go through some major design obsessions. There were the gem stones and the globes, then some owls, and oh, the science themed things I had to have. And then I saw this, and my new obsession was born.

That’s right, now it’s those pesky yellow blossoms that become billowy enchanting spheres. Maybe its the impending spring hovering over us, or maybe it's just their oh-so-perfect shape that makes me soon! So what else to do than pour over my favorite sites for amazing dandelion finds!...

Some really great choices for instant gratification:

Wall Sticker in grande fashion!

I've had a thing for JaredKS for awhile now... such an amazing specimen!

Yet another fantastic wall pick me up. Hard to resist these delicate floating beauties...

Vicki Niolet - Mixed Media

While Vicki Niolet has been a mixed media artist for over 20 years, the work that she has created post hurricane Katrina is particularly moving. When her own home was flooded, she lost many of the paper scraps, photographs and small objects she had been saving for future creations. She evacuated, but her husband stayed behind and barely survived. His story can be read on her website,, or click here.

When she returned home, the landscape was littered with remnants of what had once been her neighbor's most treasured possessions. Somehow, her talent and spirit were able to overcome such and experience and has informed her work both in her choice of materials and subject.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts last year, and was completely enchanted by her creations. There reasons were many; the use of found objects in a creative and compelling way, the humble, patinated textures juxtaposed with the sweetness of the music (many of her works are also music boxes), and the intimacy of her work, both in scale and the content, reminding me of the works of Joseph Cornell.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Urban Tableware

This is, as they say, hella rad.

Perhaps it’s the subtle nod to traditional Delft dishware or the graphic urban graffiti that makes my heart sing, Either way, you cannot go wrong with the multinational, multi-talented design group Lovegrove & Repucci.
ps- um, also lovin' this: