Art, Inspiration and General Musings

January 30, 2010

Burn, Baby. Burn.

I'm generally not a fan of fire, but there's something about these sleek stick lighters by Japanese design house Tsubota Pearl that makes me want to set things ablaze. Each lighter comes with a miniature funnel for easy refilling. Available from A + R Store for $32 each.

Bare Essentials

The E27 Pendant Lamp by Mattias Stahlbom is both simple and sophisticated...and I want it in all six colors. Available at A+R Store for $98 a pop.

Bubble Bobble

Whenever there's a kid with bubbles around me I instantly revert to a small child. Bubbles just make me so happy - to me they represent purity, joy and promise. So, when my friend Erin sent me a link to this bubble necklace by Italian sisters Marina and Susanna Sent, I went to a happy place. The necklace is available at the MoMA store, along with some other beautiful pieces by the Sent sisters. It's sunny out today, perhaps I'll go buy myself my very own bottle of bubbles and head to a park.

January 29, 2010

Shoe Fetish

If you're anything like me you have a closet full of shoes - some live a happy life, front and center, while others spend their days shoved into the dark recesses of the closet. It's not that I don't love them all as much as I love my Chucks - it's just that I don't have a good organizational system in place. Enter this three-tier revolving shoe tree from the Easy Living Store. It's available in chrome and bronze, has adjustable height tiers, holds 18 pairs of shoes (24- and 36-shoe versions are also available), and has a weighted bottom for stability. This could be the solution I've been looking for!

No Limit To Your Love

It's nearly Valentine's Day - a holiday celebrated by happy couples, loathed by bitter singles, stressed over by those uncertain about their relationship status and capitalized on by restaurants and florists alike. As a singleton, I can't help but feel a little disheartened by the approaching day. That said, I've decided to mentally prepare for said day by celebrating all of my loves. In fact, I've got so much love to give that I cannot be held accountable if everyone I know gets a little piece of my heart...or maybe just one of these adorable print-your-own Valentine's Day cards by Etsy seller ThreeWheelsDesign. For a mere $3 a card, you get a downloadable PDF that you can print and reprint to your heart's content. Yep, we're talking love without limits! Woo hoo!

January 28, 2010

Get Your Daily Dose

ust in case you haven't heard of the Daily Drop Cap, here's the deal: typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische posts a new hand-crafted, decorative initial cap every work day. Hence the letter "J" featured at the beginning of this post. Hische even provides the HTML code so bloggers everywhere can easily copy the art into their blogs. Just make sure to review the "usuage limitations," which include attributing the work to Hische.

January 27, 2010


Words cannot adequately express how much I love the Otto fan! Fashioned from African sapele, a decidudous tropical tree native to Africa, this industrial fan features height-adjustable legs, three speeds, and high-grade steel frame and parts. Finally, a hot fan that keeps you cool! Available at Swizz Style for $199.

January 26, 2010

This Blog is Going to the Dogs!

Ok, so you've probably noticed that a lot of my recent posts have been animal related. Sorry, but I can't help myself! I have a dog (Walter) and a cat (Oliver) and I get SO excited when I see cool pet products. I mean, when I was a kid there was no such thing as a stylish pet product - at least, not that I was aware of. We always had these hideous cat towers and tacky dog beds. It's refreshing to see so many companies specializing in functional and fabulous pet accessories. Muovo is a Finnish company, the brainchild of Sanna Väänänen and Anni Kääriä, that makes adorable dog beds. The beds feature a removable (and washable) cotton cover and can be deflated for easy travel. Unfortunately for those of us living in the U.S.A., the only retailers are in Finland...which means hefty shipping costs.

January 24, 2010

Make More Time For You

This aluminum clock by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) graduate Jonas Damon is a modern take on the double-sided clocks found at railroad stations - I heart it! Learn more about Damon and his clock at RISD works, an online shop featuring an interesting selection of products by RISD students and graduates.

January 22, 2010

Just Beat It

My best friend's dad used to take his drumsticks everywhere, and I mean everywhere! In the car he would bang away on the steering column, at the dinner table he would drum on the plates, and in the bathroom, well, who knows? It was wild! He would totally have benefited from these pencil drumsticks by Suck UK - sold in a pair, they're perfect for kids taking drum lessons or "adults who haven't grown out of the rock star dream."

January 21, 2010

Photo Op

For anyone with an addiction or fascination with polaroids (and I know I'm not alone here) - this polaroid mirror is a dream come true. Fashioned from metal and glass, the mirror is the exact size of a standard polaroid. Buy it for $20 at Black Ink Boston. Love it!

Pony Up

Not only do I covet nearly every handmade paper product created by the Boston-based Two Trick Pony - I am seriously crazy about their logo, name and branding. Conceived by Laurie Mee and Carrie Siegel, back in 2006, the company specializes in modern, screen-printed designs on recycled paper. Check out their entire 2009-2010 card collection or visit them at their Etsy store.

January 20, 2010

Hide or Hair

If you suffer from the nervous habit of constantly twirling your hair (and I do), chances are by the day's end you are a serious grease monkey (and I am). I swear by Oscar Blandi's Pronto dry shampoo, which uses natural rice, oat and tapioca starches to absorb oils and grease. Plus, thanks to lemon verbena, it smells fantastic! A word of caution - don't apply too much or your hair will have a powdery hue. At $19 - it's money well spent. Seriously.

1.20.10 - The Day I Blogged About Etten Eller

A couple of months ago I was visiting my friend in Los Angeles and he and his girlfriend took me shopping at Barney's - despite the fact that I couldn't afford a thing! Anyway, it was fun to walk around the store and I did stumble upon Etten Eller's 03.21.2007 vintage brass necklace - which I have been lusting after ever since. Each piece of the Etten Eller jewelery line is identified by a date, and this piece apparently marks the date she met a love (who she later lost). The necklace features three delicate watch gears and a toggle closure. The price tag is a little steep at $270, but a girl can dream.

It's kind of fun to peruse the dates chosen for the Etten Eller pieces - here are a few I found interesting:

01.16.1974 - The day Kate Moss was born
06.18.1967 - The day Jimi Hendrix lights his guitar on fire (for the first time)
03.01.1693 - The day the Salem Witch Trials began
01.29.1998 - The day the designer was arrested as a teen for buying beer

January 19, 2010

Kitty Condo

On my recent trip to Oakland, my friend and I stopped in on Red Hound, a pet store for stylish four-legged friends located on College Avenue. In the window was this very modern cat tower by the Union City-based pet product company Otis and Claude. Available in two color palettes - warm (pictured above) and cool - the tower comes with five stack-able boxes constructed of wood and cotton fabric. When stacked on top of one another, the tower is 73.6 inches high and way more stylish than those cat-tree eyesores you find at your average pet store. They range from $290-$325, depending on what store you buy them at.

Hello, Sailor!

I love these Sailors Knot Collars available at Mascot. Constructed from water-repellent polypropylene chord, the collars are lightweight and durable. They're available in eight color combos - I'm so hooking Walter up with the orange and blue one.

January 18, 2010

A Perfect Match

Oakland-based designer Jen Pearson, currently an industrial design graduate student at California College of the Arts (CCA), creates both modern and functional designs - much like her reclaimed apothecary matchbox bottles. Each re-purposed apothecary bottle features an etched, strike-able bottom and set of 40 wooden matches. Pearson is slated to graduate from CCA this spring - expect great things from her in the future! In the mean time, you can check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.

Rae of Sunshine

Over this past weekend I visited some friends in the East Bay, where I did a little perusing of the shops on College Avenue in Oakland. In one shop (which name escapes me), I discovered the above dishes by clay artist Rae Dunn. The dishes feature simple graphics and words, like "i will treasure every moment" and "tell me where you're going." The SF-based artist/designer has two lines: Rae Dunn and Rae Dunn by Magenta. The former includes pieces all handmade by the artist, while the later is a line designed by Dunn and manufactured elsewhere. Check out Rae Dunn's Esty shop and her line for Magenta - both include adorable clay works.

January 15, 2010

You Keep Me Hangin' On

Found these snazzy Hanger Tea Teabags via a friend who spotted them on Yanko Design. I love the concept and packaging. Designed by Soon Mo Kang.

January 14, 2010

Grab Bag

Pittsburgh-based Etsy seller Moop has some super adorable handmade bags, like the Market Bag (see here in rosewood cord). The bag has an adjustable strap, four interior pockets and is machine washable. I could totally see myself using this as an airport travel bag.

January 13, 2010

Mad Hatter

I am totally convinced that I have the best coworker. Ever. She totally crocheted this hat last night and made it a little too big for her head so she gifted it to me! OMG! I seriously love it. Anyway, I'm supposed to be finishing an article I'm writing about Sac-based Etsy sellers so I can't stay. Just wanted to say "Thanks, Kimberly! You rock!"

January 12, 2010

Cycle With Style

I'm not much of a all, but I have a friend who runs a cycling blog (La Gazzetta Della Bici) and he is constantly inspiring me to post on cycling-related topics. In fact, he sent me a link to Cyclechic, a London-based shop specializing in stylish cycling accessories. I love this cream cycling hat and these reflective ankle spats - both by Two and Fro. They're designed to keep you safe and riding in style - love it!

January 11, 2010

All Felt Up

{Image from the Purl Bee}

I stumbled upon this pattern for felt flower pillows via one of my favorite blogs, How About Orange. Head over to the original posting on the Purl Bee for a tutorial on how to make them for yourself. While you're there, thank contributor Molly Schnick, who came up with the pattern after spotting some similar pillows in a movie scene.

January 9, 2010

Purrrrrfectly Fabulous

I just back from the River City Cat Clinic, where I had to dole out $195 in vet fees, shots and flea prevention for my cat Oliver (aka Ollie). It's really too bad because my co-worker just sent me a link to these fabulous modern cat beds by Etsy seller likekittysville. They're fashioned from vintage fabrics and wood, and at $74 they're not even that expensive. Oh, well. Guess Ollie will have to go without.

Check out photos of some happy kitty (and small pup) customers here.

January 8, 2010

For Cookin' & Stuff

House Industries comes out with some pretty awesome products, including these ampersand cutting boards. The maple-block boards are limited-edition and available in small and large sizes ($75 & $100, respectively). A perfect gift for all your knife-wielding designer friends.

Check out the other great House Industry objects here.

A Bushel, a Peck and a Hug Around the Neck

It would be impossible for me to justify doling out $124 for this Two-Bushel Wheeled Hamper (available at the Museum of Useful Things), but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted. Constructed from canvas and welded steel, this hamper would make my clothes look fashionable even while they're dirty and piled up.

January 7, 2010

Don't Quote Me On That

I'm not one to keep a ton of books around. I typically borrow and return or buy and pass along. However, there are some books that manage to make their way into my permanent collection - namely anything by David Sedaris or Roald Dahl. At any rate, my modest library would look quite fetching snuggled between these Quote-Unquote Book Ends by Eric Janssen of IC Design Group. Fashioned from a concrete core with rubber exterior, these babies weigh in a 2lbs each and are non-slipping.

Rug Envy

I've been on the hunt for the perfect rug for my living room for some time. I even posed the question to Apartment Therapy readers - and got some fabulous feedback. Then, I was perusing the Anthropologie site when I stumbled upon this beauty. At $398 for a 5x7, the Coqo Floral Rug is a little more than I'd like to spend, but it's picture perfect. I have a friend who works at Anthro - maybe she'll hook me up with a discount. Hey, Nicole. Wink. Wink.

Flora, Finally

As the owner of one plant-eating cat, I have been living (sadly) without plants in my apartment for more than a year. I'll be honest, 2009 was kind of a shitty year and I blame that partially on my lack of flora. Then, my dear friend surprises me with a beautiful terrarium - complete with antique bunny figurines. Problem solved! Plants in my apartment and all Oliver can do is stare at them and drool.

Now that I've discovered the brilliance of the terrarium, I plan to stock my apartment full of them. Etsy seller TortoiseLovesDonkey has some adorable mini terrariums for next to nothing. So cute! She also sells a three-month air plant subscription, where she ships three air plants to you every month for three months. Love it!
If you're interested in assembling your own terrarium, ReadyMade offers some simple instructions.

January 6, 2010


A couple of years ago I entered Apartment Therapy's Smallest Coolest Apartments contest (see my entry here) and made it into the semi finals. How? I have no idea. At any rate, I got a lot of feedback on my place, both positive and negative. One thing that stuck in my mind, and that I totally agree with, is that my place appeared sparse to many. Well, my apartment has changed a bit since I entered the contest in 2007, but it seems that I am still struggling with my place looking sparse. I think it has to do with my lack of a rug, and all the sharp angles of my furniture. At any rate, I posed a "rug ideas" question to the folks at Apartment Therapy and they asked their readers to help me out. Check out the post here.

January 5, 2010

Rock N' Roll

I seriously need to own this "I Want To Rock With You" digital print by UK-based Etsy seller Yumalum. It's only $37. Anyone want to buy it for me? Pretty please. Oh, and check out Yumalum's blog here.

Victor, Victoria

The Victoria Classic Ladies Retro Bicycle by the Dutch bicycle company Velorbis is really something else. It features stainless steal rims and spokes, a brown leather saddle seat and hand grips, a bell, dynamo driven rear and head lamps, and a built in mud flap and chain guard. Plus, you can add a wicker basket! Ok, now the bad part, this beauty will set you back...gulp...$1,795. Ouch!!! And I thought the Electra Amsterdam was pricey!

January 4, 2010

Store Your Bike With Style

The Cycloc Bicycle Storage device by IC Design Group turns any bike into a piece of wall art - not to mention it's a great space saver. The simple, stylish and functional bicycle holder is available in green and red from YLiving ($135). Looks like it's getting pretty good reviews from people who've purchased it.

Mending Jeans One Squirrel at a Time

Next time a pair of your jeans get a hole in them, I suggest you mend them with one of these Sweetheart Patch Kits. The kits (also available in a quail shape) come complete with a felted-wool patch, needle, thread and instructions. Available from the Curiosity Shoppe for $8.50.

On A French Kick

I found this charming video by French chanteuse Claire Denamur via one of my favorite blogs, Little Brown Pen. I have no idea what Denamur is singing about, as don't speak a drop of French, but the language barrier has no impact on how adorable Denamur and the video are. Enjoy.

Bewitching French Pop

I can't find much from the Reims, France-based band The Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Heads, but I am seriously digging their single "Work," which was released back in May 2009. The track is available for listen at April77Records. It's catchy and upbeat, two things that get me every time. 

I Heart Pantone 15-5519

I've had a thing for Pantone 15-5519 (aka turquoise) long before Pantone announced that it was the 2010 color of the year. Still, if Pantone's announcement means there will be an onslaught of products in the vibrant hue, I'm okay with that. Here are just a couple items in the totally covetable color:

Pampered Pets Travel in Style

Sleepypod mobile pet beds/carriers are quite impressive. They feature a nylon bed with plush padding and a washable liner and have a removable dome top that can be added when you and your pet are on the go. The carriers have both shoulder and hand straps, for easy carrying. Oh, and when you're in the car, simply strap a seat belt around the carrier so your pet can travel in safety. The carriers are available in six colors and two sizes, and are suitable for cats and dogs under 15lbs. Damn, my boy Walter is too big!

Orange You Glad You're a Size 12

This bright orange silk tank dress by DKNY is on sale over at - unfortunately, the only size left is a US 12. If that's your size, I envy you. 

January 3, 2010

Let It Snow

It seems like 2009 was a pretty shitty year for most people I know. Still, there were a couple of brilliant things to come out of an otherwise downer of a year. For example, the release of Swedish band Miike Snow's eponymous debut album. The band, which is comprised of singer/songwriter Andrew Wyatt and producing duo Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, starts touring later this month. They'll start out in the UK, but will make their way across the pond to the Independent in SF come April. I love, love, love them - and plan to be at that show.

Get a Leg(ging) Up

I have to admit that when leggings became popular last year I was not a fan. I mean, I sported lace-hemmed leggings from Wet Seal back in 7th grade - and photos of mean wearing them are not pretty. Of course, my curly hair was more of a rat's nest and my blazer with shoulder pads certainly didn't help the situation. Well, I have finally come around and am now an advocate for leggings - especially during these colder months. This denim pair available at AKIRA are only $14 and totally covetable.  
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