Thursday, January 31, 2008

Objects of Lust: Porcelain Apples


Each porcelain apple is handmade by British ceramist David Price. They're $50 apiece at Martin, the exquisite shop in the Napa Valley's almost too-perfect town of St. Helena.

Hmmm ... daytrip, anyone?

Mark Your Calendar: Back to Basics

This Friday, February 1, Oakland's Industrielle hosts an opening reception for its Back to Basics exhibition featuring the pinhole and Dolga work of photographers Roy Berkowitz (above and below) and Travis Kuhl, as well as metal artist Khabir Salahadyn.

The reception runs from 7 to 10 p.m. during the monthly Oakland Art Murmur. Stop by and check it out if you're local. Industrielle is located at 33 Grand Avenue, in Oakland's gallery-packed Uptown district.

And while you're in the area, don't miss Neither Here Nor There (above) at Johansson Projects, Best Western (below) at Estaban Sabar Gallery, and Invisible Cities at Mercury 20 (bottom).

Cool Stuff: Jacaranda Home

Do you think there's a condition in the DSM called "design schizophrenia"? Or maybe "multiple decorating personality"? Because I think I have it.

My aesthetic lately tends to veer wildly between simple and somewhat rustic modern, glam drama, retro funk, and exuberantly colorful pop. (Seriously, some days I wonder which of my "alters" went shopping the day before.)

Anyway, today I'm feeling colorful and a bit girly, so I'm loving the vibrant offerings from Jacaranda Home, which I spotted recently on Daily Candy.

With handmade traditional textiles from Central and South America and a focus on sustainability, Jacaranda's wares could easily fall into the "hippie world traveler" box -- but the company's collection has a cleanness that gives it a more contemporary vibe.

Indeed, New York-based founder Stefany Gonzalez draws on her Peruvian/Czech heritage to create a look that mixes "South American warmth and European austerity" and that "highlights the union between modern and natural materials."

Take a look:

Otomi fabric panels and squares, hand-embroidered in a variety of juicy hues by Mexico's Otomi Indians, can be used as a bedspreads, tablecloths, curtains, wall hangings, or upholstery. They're $72 to $395 each, depending on size.

Bolivian Embroidered Shawls, $175 each, are perfect for adding a splash of color at the foot of a bed, on the back of a sofa, or across the arm of a chair.

These Tule and Otomi Cushions, $225 each, can be used as floor pillows or as dog beds.

You can't get much more fun and feminine than these color-blocked Hand-Embroidered Throw Pillows, $45 each.

El Palomar Dishes, $30 to $42, are lead-free and handmade in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.

These decorative Painted Wooden Plates are $40 apiece.

See all of the offerings in Jacaranda Home's online store.

(Now then, who will I be when I wake up tomorrow?)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

That's Random: More Words of Wisdom

God, this is so true. I really think I need to get out more ...

On the other hand, you could just leave me a comment. ;-)

(Photo illustration by Jennifer Daniel for The New York Times, via Swissmiss.)

Etsy Find of the Day: Decoupaged Trash Bins

Who says garbage can't be glamorous?

Discard your refuse in style with these wastebaskets from Etsy seller decorative instincts. The trash bins above, decoupaged in Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis pattern in Gunmetal Gray and Citrine, are $55 each. The David Hicks-inspired design, below, is $30.

See all of the offerings in decorative instincts' Etsy shop right here. (She has great Imperial Trellis pillows, too.)

eBay Find of the Day: Capiz Shell Chandelier

Go for the glam.

Current bid: $50

(Psst -- click here for lots more capiz shell chandeliers.)

The Artful Home: Advice to Sink in Slowly

Advice to Sink in Slowly, a collection of "educational" posters designed by graduates of England's University College Falmouth for the school's incoming students, is so great.

If only we'd been lucky enough to learn these lessons at 18. (In fact, I'm still working on a few of them.)

Be Yourself, by Jane Laurie, and Show Some Guts, by Luke Tonge

Face Your Fears, Smile & Live Dangerously, by Silje Camilla Helleson, and Try Everything, by Mark Agnew

Trust Your Gut Instincts, by Carys Williams, and Keep Looking for a Way In, by Dave Bain

Work Hard, Make Beautiful Things, by Micheal Robinson, and Work Hard. Play Hard. Create Something Amazing., by Sixixis

Collaborate, by Caris Williams, and Use Your Library, by Rebecca Cobb

Ask More Questions, by Russell Hancock, and Let Go of What You Think You Know, by David Plant

Be Patient and Take Time, both by Temujin Doran

Even better? The 12-by-17-inch posters are just 5 pounds (about $10) each, and every order comes with a free copy of the print above, by David Mathews and Temujin Doran

Check out all of the Advice to Sink in Slowly posters right here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cool Stuff: Modern Art Magnets

If owning an Amy Ruppel or Trish Grantham original is a bit outside your budget right now, take heart -- at least your fridge can have a great art collection.

iPop Clicks is a collection of "curiously strong" magnets featuring the work of a variety of artists, including Portland art darlings Ruppel and Grantham, as well as more than a dozen others.

The 2-inch Big Clicks, such as Ruppel's Bird on Green, top, are $6.50 apiece, while smaller Clicks are $9.50 to $11.50 a set.

Amy Ruppel's Love Birds, Bird Watch, Pretty Bird, and Owls

Trish Grantham's Girl, Floral, Lost, and Fridge Friends

I really like this set from Seattle illustrator Fumi Watanabe, too.

See more of the iPop Clicks collection at Parkside Papers.

(P.S. I saw awhile back that Ruppel and Grantham's fellow Portlander Evan B. Harris, whose work I recently featured here, has a Clicks set of his own. If anyone's spotted Harris's magnets for sale, please drop me a line and let me know where you saw them.)

That's Random: God, I Love Craigslist

Last night while I was reading the Paris Hotel Boutique Journal, I saw this picture of a vintage moderne-style lowboy dresser that Lynn has in her wonderful shop -- and I just about fell out of my chair.

Not just because the $2,100, circa-1930s brushed-metal dresser is beautiful -- though it certainly is -- but because I own it. Or at least, I own a pretty close approximation.

It was one of those finds that you aren't looking for and don't really need, but that you know instantly you must have, and drop everything to grab it.

In my case, I was casually perusing the "for sale" postings on craigslist one day (in an effort, no doubt, to avoid doing something productive -- please note the name of this blog). Five minutes and one rushed phone call later, I was tearing out of the house to pick it up some 25 miles away.

The woman from whom I bought the dresser was moving to some seaside paradise in Mexico, and hastily selling off everything she owned. (Was she escaping the memories of a bad breakup? Running back to a vacation romance that had unexpectedly turned serious? Or simply acting on a nagging desire to live a simpler life? I was dying to know, but restrained myself from prying.)

I could tell she was sorry to let the dresser go, and she told me over and over how much she loved it. But she was making a fresh start and a clean sweep -- so go it must. I was happy to take it off her hands. The grand total: A hundred bucks.

Today, it sits in my home office, where it holds assorted packing and office supplies -- and glams up the joint a bit. Granted, my dresser doesn't have the original mirror that makes the Paris Hotel Boutique piece such a showstopper. And let's just say it's a bit more aged. (I simply adopt a haughty accent and call it "patina," darlings.)

But still, $100? You gotta love that -- and I do.

Cool Stuff: Aluminum Herb Pots

These seven diminutive plant pots (plus footed tray) are crafted from unpolished aluminum, which gives them a great industrial vibe that will only get better as the metal patinas over time.

Fill the pots with herb plants for cooking and make them the centerpiece of your kitchen table. Or plant petite succulents in them and place the grouping on a coffee table or credenza top to bring a bit of the outdoors in while you wait for spring to arrive. Once it does, you can move the entire collection out to the patio until the weather turns cold again.

The set is $129 from the Conran Shop.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Etsy Find of the Day: molldoll

I just spotted the image above in a post about equine decor on Girl Meets Glamour, one of my daily must-reads. The minute I saw it, I had to drop everything to rush right over to take a closer look at the artist's Etsy shop, where I was blown away.

molldoll (no real name given) is based in sunny Florida, though she claims to have been "raised by coyotes on the western plains of South Dakota," and her work bears the unmistakable imprint of that beautiful but mournful place. The original monoprint drypoint etchings and mixed-media collages are beautifully rendered in shades of sepia and dusky blue, and have a haunting quality that I'm finding hard to shake.

My favorites:

Sleep Debt, $66

A Tall Order for Science, $29

Attentuation, $111

Jack Rabbit, $57

Obscura, $66

See all of molldoll's Etsy offerings right here.

Wanderlust: Your Lovely Places

A few weeks ago I got an email from Sylvain Louradour in France, who has a genius blog called Your Lovely Places that collects and chronicles people's favorite spots on the planet. Sylvain asked me to contribute mine, and I was happy to oblige.

I chose Notting Hill, London. It is lovely, to be sure, but I really chose it because that part of the world has a special emotional resonance for me.

I lived in London for two years after high school (ostensibly, I was going to college -- but what I was really studying was English Bands, with a minor in English Guys).

While I was there. I spent more weekend mornings than I can count in the throngs at the Portobello Road Market. My friends and I would nosh on steaming vegetable samosas and spend hours trawling the stands, poking through bric-a-brac in search of buried treasure, before retiring to the pub for lunch and a bit of liquid fortification. That time was just a really happy, exciting, and carefree period in my life, and one that I'll always cherish.

About a year ago, I was lucky enough (thanks, Mom!) to be able to share this lovely neighborhood, with its sherbet-colored houses and dusty antiques shops, with my husband and children (those are our kids in the picture above). The trip was a bit melancholy for me, since both London and I have changed much in the years that have passed. But it was also wonderful to return to the locale that had meant so much to me -- and that still holds a very special place in my heart -- with the people that I love most in the world.

Anyway, it's fun to peruse the other favorite spots that Sylvain has collected, which range from someone's bed at home to far more distant shores. Take a look:

The Basque Country

Kaufbar, Berlin

Teluk Bahang, Malaysia

The Marais, Paris

Hôtel Luna Convento, Amalfi

Check out Your Lovely Places right here -- and if you'd like to join in, email Sylvain with a photo or a drawing as well as a brief description of your lovely place.


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