Art, Inspiration and General Musings

July 30, 2010

Some Gals Have All the Luck

{image by Beau & Stella}

I could use all the luck I can get...and all the gold jewelry! So, it's not surprising that I am totally coveting this Luck Necklace by Beau & Stella. Each piece is hand crafted by Marcie Lessard, the brains behind the delicate and lovely collection. Check out other equally covetable pieces from the Beau & Stella collection here.

July 29, 2010

Le Noeud Papillon

{image from Baptiste Viry}

You know how I love my bow ties! This leather beauty is from the Baptiste Viry Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Leave it to the French to make a bow tie even more fashionable!

July 27, 2010

Chop To It

{image from A+R Store}

How awesome are these colorful, wooden My Hashi Chopsticks by IDEA? Each reusable chopstick set comes with it's own to-go container - so you can refrain from using those horrible splinter-ridden, land-fill filling chopsticks used at most sushi joints. Love, love these!

The Bronze Age

{image from Zappos Couture}

I am seriously considering getting these Belle by Singerson Morrison bronze oxfords - they are so fabulous! Plus, all the reviews say they are super comfortable, which is simply a must in any footwear choice - at least, for me. Love them!

July 25, 2010

Go Ask Alice

{images from Alice Ritter}

Loving so many pieces from the Alice Ritter FW10 collection - everything looks so classy and effortlessly feminine.

July 23, 2010

Recipe for Disaster - Albeit, a Beautiful One

Leave it to Anthropologie to make me wish I were a whiz in the kitchen. Alas, me and the kitchen do not get for the fact that it's where my coffee pot resides. Wait, do you need to wear an apron while brewing coffee? I think the answer might be yes!

Back in Black

{image from Nasty Gal}

I'm a bit conservative when it comes to my fashion style, and by conservative I mean that nearly everything I own is black - wait, maybe that makes me goth (kidding!). At any rate, I have about 20 little black dresses and I find that I can always use another, so long as it has some element that sets it apart from the rest. Enter the Riviera Dress. With its cowl neck and plunging criss-crossed back, it really is unique. Of course, it looks pretty short so maybe it's more of a long shirt than a dress. Still, slap some leggings or cute shorts under this baby and you're golden.

The Pratt Pack

{image from West Elm}

I am seriously coveting the new Pratt Desk from West Elm, which is the result of a recent collaboration between the modern home goods store and design students from the Pratt Design Incubator (part of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY). The line also features a super sleek LED table lamp, chair, file cabinet and wall organizer - check out the entire collection here.

Open Your Heart To Me

{image from ArtMind}

I love it comes as no surprise that I would love this "key to my heart" porcelain piece by ArtMind. If someone gave this to me I would totally tear up - of course, I'm emo like that.

July 22, 2010

London Calling

{images from Nadinoo}

There are so many adorable pieces in the Nadinoo Spring/Summer 2010 collection - seriously, I want it all! The British label was founded back in 2009 by Nadia Izruna, who developed three fictional characters to design for: Pixie (who is quirky and playful), Fleur (who is delicate and dreamy) and Lula (who is bold and sexy). Each piece in the collection is made by hand using silks and cottons from Liberty of London. Also, I should mention that not only is Nadia a talented designer, she also has an awesome blog. Be sure check out everything she does - it's all amazing.

July 20, 2010

The Maine Event

{image from the Daytrip Society}

The Daytrip Society - based out of Kennebunkport, Maine - features a slew of cool Maine-related items for all you Maine-iacs. Take for instance these awesome (and uber colorful) Down East Doormats by the Maine Float-Rope Company. Fashioned from float-rope, which lobstermen used to tether multiple traps together along the ocean floor, these mats are cheery, easy to clean and virtually indestructible. Lobstermen have since been required to stop using float-rope, which was found to cause injury and even death to whales. Instead of taking up space in landfills, these babies are brightening doorsteps around the globe. On top of that, the Maine Float-Rope Company donates a portion of its proceeds to several environmentally friendly organizations and groups. Pretty awesome, don't you think?

Match Maker

Who said playing with matches was always a bad idea? These adventure matches feature a ruler, conversion chart, knot-tying instructions, star navigation how-to and, of course, actual matches - 45 of them, to be specific. Super cute.

Behind the Steal

{image from Partners & Spade}

Not that I would ever condone you embarking on a life of crime, but if you're going to adopt said life style you may as well invest in this burglary kit by Matt Lenski (available exclusively at Partners & Spade). It has everything you need to be a successful burglar - including rope, ski mask, gloves, crowbar, flashlight and chicklets (say what?). Of course, if you get arrested while breaking into a house don't blame me - I told you I don't condone thievery!!

Indian Springs Fever!

My sister-in-law and I share the same birthday (July 8th) and we usually end up having a joint birthday party of sorts, but this year we ended up doing our own things. So, my mom decided to take us both to Calistoga for a post-birthday ladies' retreat. We spent the day at Indian Springs Resort & Spa in Calistoga, which has been in operation since 1862. We started the day off with a relaxing volcanic ash mudbath, followed by a soak in mineral water and finally a cool down wrapped in blankets with slices of cold cucumber placed over our eyes. Then, we each enjoyed a 25-minute massage - hello, amazing! Finally, we headed out to the Olympic-sized mineral pool, which is heated by the nearby geysers, were we lounged for a couple hours - reading magazines, soaking in the pool and eating snacks. All-in-all it was an amazingly relaxing day - just what I needed. I took a couple photos of our day, here they are:

{the outdoor waiting area at the spa}

{mom & Lisa enjoying some refreshing cucumber water}

{the resort grounds feature a bocce ball court, croquet , shuffle board, giant checkers and more}

{the entrance to the Mission Revival-style pool, built in 1913}

{the Olympic-sized mineral pool is a comfortable 92 degrees - like a giant, relaxing bath}

{the obligatory self portrait - poolside}

July 19, 2010

Positively Perfect

{image by Robin & Mould}

If I ever have a child it is so getting this pillow. Hand screen printed by the UK-based duo Robin & Mould, the pillow features fluffy clouds, flying birds and the encouraging adage, "dream big little one." Can I get a collective, "awwwww"? SO cute!! The uber adorable duo can be found blogging sure to check it out.

July 16, 2010

Bows & Sparrows visits Modern Bird Studios

{image from Modern Bird Studios}
I'm the featured "Weekly Blogger Interview" over at Modern Bird Studios. Check it out if you like Starship, Nate Berkus, Britney Spears or the best '80s movie ever, Mannequin. Special thanks to Megan and Gregg for thinking of me.

July 15, 2010

A Real Hoot

{image from Digs}

I have some really swank-looking umbrellas that get hidden in the dark recesses of my closet during the dry months - which is a real shame. Of course, if I had this ceramic Owl Umbrella Stand by Two's Company, I'd have a stylish means of displaying them year round.

The Spark(le) of Life

{image from Kate Spade}
There are two designers that I feel can basically do no wrong: the uber-talented Mr. Jonathan Adler and the ever-fashionable Kate Spade. Take for instance these charm heels, described on the company's site as "disco ball[s] for your feet." They are pure sparkly, girly perfection. Sure, they're a steep $325, but when you think about it that's really a small price to pay for owning a discotech!

Relax, Get To It

{"Relax (Frankie Says)" original painting by SuZanna Anna}

Who couldn't benefit from having an artistic reminder to just relax? This week has been crazy busy for me - if I could clone myself, I totally would. Alas, cloning is not an option so I just need to take a deep breath and remember to relax. How's your week going?

July 13, 2010

In the Bag

I am loving the funky and fabulous purse collection by the Turin, Italy-based designer Sandra Comas (aka Etsy seller ninu). The above microfiber bag is one of my favorite pieces, but she has a ton of other swoon-worthy bags available in her shop. Oh, and if you feel like learning a little more about Comas, check out her Esty Featured Seller Interview - it's chock-full of interesting tidbits about this creative creature and her covetable creations.

July 11, 2010

My Life On a Greeting Card

{Tarje! card by Fomato - front}

Can I just come right out and say that this is the best card that I have ever seen?!! Holy crap, I just about died from laughter when I saw this, and I feel fairly certain that I'm not the only one that can totally relate to this Tarje! card by Fomato. Brilliant!

Up in the Air

{the view from 1,500 feet}

As a kid, I remember spending my weekends counting the hot air balloons that speckled the morning sky. Some mornings there would just be a few in the air, while on other occasions the sky was chock-full of the brightly colored balloons. It was so magical.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to decide to actually go up in a hot air balloon myself, but for my 33rd birthday I finally decided that instead of counting them from the ground, I was going to count them from the sky! I got online, found what appeared to be a reputable company and booked my flight, enlisting my friend Darcey and my mom to come along with me - after all, no one wants to die alone!

{view of a balloon from the ground}

We decided to spend the night in Napa, since check-in was scheduled for 5:30am - ouch! I woke that morning a ball of nerves and excitement. What was the likelihood of death by hot air balloon? I mean, I'd never heard of such a thing, but that didn't mean it hadn't happened in the past.

Once we got to the check-in site, we learned that our pilot's name was Gabe and that he'd be flying SunKiss. We also learned that it was to be the first time in over a week that the crew would be able to take off from Yountville. Apparently, when the fog rolls in from the bay, the balloons aren't able to fly over the Napa Valley - instead heading further inland to Winters. Well, we totally lucked out - yay!

At any rate, we were slated to be the second balloon to take off, which was cool because we got to watch from the ground as Juliet, the first balloon took off. It also meant that once we were airborne, we got to watch from the air as the other balloons prepared for take off.

{view of a balloon from the air}

As the balloon lifted from the ground, my nerves were replaced with pure excitement and wonder. The only time my nerves returned was when I took a step in the basket for the first time and felt the floor give way a little. Not that there was any actual danger of the basket breaking, but the thought did cross my mind for a split second - one very terrifying split second.

{me up in the air - scratch that one off the bucket list!}

In no time at all, we were at 1,500 feet and cruising through the air - and let me tell you the view was breathtaking. We spent a little over an hour in the air and it was even more magical than I ever could have imagined.

{Gabe adjusting the burner}

{releasing the hot air from the balloon}

Once we landed, Gabe pulled a chord which opened up the top of the balloon to release the hot air. As the air escaped, the balloon began to collapse - its movements reminding me of a jellyfish making its way through the water. It was beautiful.

{Darcey & me - back on solid ground}

{some balloons landing in the distance}

{posing outside of Domaine Chandon}

When the flight was over, we all headed to the Etolie Restaurant at Domaine Chandon for a post-flight champagne brunch. Over fabulous food and bottomless mimosas, we chatted with pilots, other guests and vineyard owners - enjoying our post-flight highs. Special shout out to our pilot Gabe and to the rest of the folks at Napa Valley Balloons for being so wonderful - we had a blast!!!

July 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

{Rosemary, Darcey, me, Kate & Jeff}

Last Thursday was my 33rd birthday and, aside from not being carded at Safeway while buying champagne, the day was fabulous! My friend Rosemary treated me to lunch, I treated myself to a mani/pedi and then my friends joined me for a fabulous backyard celebration. Special thanks to my mom and Rosemary for helping me set up the backyard. It looked lovely decked out in a white lights, fresh-cut flowers, antique dishes, the summer bunting I won from ACME and six yards burlap. Of course, what made the backyard even more lovely was all of my wonderful friends. Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate! Here are just a couple of photos from the evening.

{the scene is set}

{lovely flower centerpiece}

{my adorable mom who went out of her way to make my day special}

{Sarah & Patti}

{Jasmine & me}

{i love this shot - it feels magical.}

{me & my delicious cake, which was chocolate with raspberry filling - yum}

{Jasmine, me, Julie & Maddie getting a little silly}

July 8, 2010

Vandalized Vintage

{dork teacup by trixiedelicious, $25}

New Zealand-based artist Trixie Delicious reworks vintage plates and cups, giving them a new life with a modern twist. Each piece is hand painted using brushes and a mapping pen - no stencils or transfers here. In fact, look closely and you can even see some of the brush strokes - an intended effect. I'd also like to note that this is the first Etsy shop I've encountered that features a warning label! Of course, with a tag line like "naughty vintage china," it isn't surprising to find some of the works emblazoned with what some might dub mature or offensive lingo. So, while the pieces in the collection might not be for everyone, they had me at "fuckwit."
Check out more works from the Vandalized Vintage collection on Etsy or BigCartel.
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