Category Archives: Stuff
It’s been a work in progress but the shop is really shaping up! Reclaimed pine countertops are installed, vintage chairs and tables have replaced the dining table (just in time for holiday dinners, too!), and a final installment of shelves are under way. And while Pop was taking care of those things, I’ve been curating a small collection of handcrafted items from some favorite vendors for the season:
Chase Studios: Fellow coffee addict, Heather Ossandon, invited me into her studio to co-design the custom mugs for the shop. She also brought in some of her recent pieces – vases, carafes, mini cups – and has some more exciting things in the works for us. Currently based in Haddonfield, New Jersey, but she’s actually a native of the Medford area where the shop is located. Small world!
Chez Sucre Chez: Kimberly Scola’s “handcrafted miscellany” has been on my fave list for years. Her embroidery work is simple and perfect every time, but she’s been getting some high praise lately from Martha herself with her pretty and functional sewn goods. But I don’t need Martha to tell me that her bowl covers, mulling spices, and other goodies are great, because I already knew that. And it happens to be that this Thornton, Pennsylvania, transplant is yet another native of the shop’s location. Even smaller world!
Melo Studios: I met co-owner Olivia Lotz through Craigslist. After an exchange of quality furnishings, we soon realized our meeting was meant to be – her husband, a contractor, and I started networking for future projects, and I knew I’d find a way to get her candles into my possession (muah-ha-ha). She and her partner, Jess Lee, hand pour each candle in their Germantown studio – not Medford, but still local.
To put it all together, I spent an afternoon with Stacy Jackson at Meadowsweet Vintage in Manayunk poring over her treasures. The various crates and hardware drawers assembled on the wall are from her shop, as well as the Neapolitan flip coffee pots added for good measure. So one wall down, one wall to go!
What does that title mean, exactly? Well, if you even plan to name your child Lucy, beware that it probably means she will be both stubborn and silly. (Blame her.) So this Christmas, with a wiser look on the world, Miss Lucy will inevitably make a Christmas list that will make this mama cringe – princesses, glitter, pink, purple… yuck. I’d be hypocritical not to allow these things in my house, as I myself wore lace and fur as a toddler, worshiped Debbie Gibson at a fairly young age, and I turned out ok, I guess. However, with little pocket money and of minimalist aesthetic (sort of… I collect vessels and chairs like no tomorrow), we’ll make this fun, old-fashioned, family Christmas more pragmatic but seemingly bent toward the self-appointed princess of the house:
- Shoes: Kids need ‘em, and she wears them out like their are her j-o-b. These botas are perfect for the winter and approved by kiddo for being pink and by mama for being grey. Win-win. And those Mary Janes ain’t too bad either…
- Body pillow: We transitioned her into the big girl bed with just a pillow to buffer a midnight fall. So far, so good, and this Colette Bream pillow is a perfect fit for her new room.
- Sewing kit: She’s only three, but she’s already interested in the domestic arts like her mum. I found this simply lovely Montessori-approved kit on Etsy, but think Lucy would rather go for something more challenging and colorful, like this vintage “Sew Many Animals” kit. The pun makes it worth it, right?
- Sleeping bag: I fully appreciate that she still naps, and would like to upgrade her nap mat at school for a nice cushy one from Anorak. It’s neither pink nor princess but, kissing rabbits? C’mon!
- Breakfast: This kid loves breakfast – particularly sausage and bacon. So perhaps some faux brunch to add to the kitchen? I’m getting tired of being served fake tea and pizza, anyway…
So despite having a Lucy, I think we’ve covered the silly, and the stubborn is quashed by amazing color and geometry. Gifts for this one will get harder, but I fully appreciate the naivety of a 3 year old for the moment.
I’ve been oddly attracted to German folk art lately – in ceramics, embroidery, wooden objects, etc. (perhaps all the general store research I’ve been up to?) So I was happy to stumble upon Schoolhouse Electric Co.‘s assemblage of Dregano pieces in their holiday section. I grew up with little smokers like these around the house, though I never remember them being used. I also have waited years to find the perfect treetopper. It’s thisclose to being in a virtual cart and shipped to my house.
Until my daughter’s preschool required printed photos of her a few weeks ago, I realized we hadn’t physically printed a photo in over 2 years! I always mean to, but there’s always excuses – the USB drive didn’t work at Target (argh!), the account login page at Walgreen’s was down the day I tried, my printer was out of ink… But 2 years? C’mon, Jamie. Get it together.
Well, now I’m smitten over Moleskine‘s newest collaboration with MILK Photo Books - aptly named the Moleskine Photo Book. Since we upgraded the family camera to a DSLR, we’ve snapped some pretty amazing shots of our kid and such. [Wait - rewind that a little - since we upgraded our lens for a larger aperture, we've captured some great non-blurry images of our running toddler.] While I’ve used other book-printing services in the past, the combination of both companies’ signature details make it a truly unique collaboration. Moleskine’s classic black journal, with its sleek lay-flat binding and rounded edges, gets an inset cover photo and a linen sleeve (with the plus upgrade) from MILK for a perfect modern family album.
Production starts in October, but you can pre-order right here. They’d also make for a great portfolio, yes? Or custom storybook for the little one? Oh, the possibilities!
Joey Roth‘s newest design, Planter, is derived from an old system… not unlike his modern interpretation of the phonograph with his Ceramic Speakers.
Planter is made from unglazed earthenware (a naturally porous material) and has a core vessel which slowly irrigates the soil, as shown below. This sustainable water conservation technique, called Olla, is still used today in dry climates.
Planter is available for pre-order now for only $45.
Bloom Room debuted a truly revolutionary line of high quality furniture… for pets. The French line, called Chimère, consists of a rocking birdcage, a kitty litter box, a “sofa” for small furry friends, fishbowl, and a hutch for even smaller furry friends (think bunnies, hamsters, and mice), appealing to lovers of all creatures, great and small. My favorite is the hutch because so little attention is ever paid to the habitats of tiniest furballs, often left to live in mud rooms and other places only seldom visited by its owners (I’m referring to the children who pinky-swore they would take care of a new pet).
Perhaps what us good parents need is a better way to incorporate the family pets into our living spaces… and add a not-so-subtle reminder to feed or clean the cage before picking up the remote. Chimère‘s sophisticated dwellings offer a new perspective on making all the members of your family live in harmony and beauty.
Via Fast Company
Last year I heard so many wonderful things about Clover Market but had conflicts with almost every date. So yesterday I fought my way through the traffic of Philadelphia to get to Ardmore and see things for myself. It was a lovely day to be out and about, so lovely that I made it a family affair with Tom and Lucy. I met some new local vendors with handmade and vintage wares, including Made by Liddy, whose paper Kusadama balls made me want to get an early start to Christmas shopping (I’ve done it before).
I even loved her signage, which was the nailhead-and-string effect that I’ve been noticing a lot lately. Nevertheless, Liddy’s booth was simple and inspiring – I’m looking forward to what she cooks up in the future!
Possibly the best valentine ever. Especially that one on the left…
Blackbird Studio via Poppytalk
This fall term hasn’t left much time for this little ole’ blog, much less my family or myself. I finally handed over the last of my final projects yesterday and can finally get back to my life. I’m sad to not have offered you some much-needed guidance in the gift department like I did last year (see here, here, here, here, and, oh yeah, here, here, and here, too). However, I can, rather selfishly, show you what I’ll be asking from Santa this Christmas – because I’ve totally earned it. Besides, each are so super-practical that they should be considered “needs” instead of “wants.” It’s actually a pretty sad list now that I look at it… I did way better last year, but times are tough and I’ll take anything.
Garlic Rocker, $15 at Uncommon Goods, which is way easier to clean than a press
Undecorate, from $24 on Amazon, for some inspiring spaces
There it is, sad to say. And I know what you’re thinking – 3 travel drinkware options? Yes, I always have something to drink with me. ALWAYS.
Why are tiny things so adorable? I don’t know, but this Little Printer by Berg makes me happy. Get the news, a puzzle, some quotable social media, perhaps… or better yet, LISTS. I think it’s safe to say that I heart lists more than tiny things, and to find both in one product is rocking my world (my husband is nodding his head in agreement as he reads this). The beta version is coming in 2012, hopefully with a boat-load of print-friendly apps to support it. They’ve got two thumbs up here – godspeed, Berg!