Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hey, guys! Step it up this Valentine’s Day!

Curious about the history of Valentine’s Day I started doing a little snooping.   In doing my research I actually found something that is a little more interesting than the history – the present.  Apparently there are one billion Valentine’s Day cards sent each year and women purchase 85% of all valentines. 

So, guys, this Valentine’s Day, step it up.  Get the woman you love (or just like a lot) a card and something special to go with it – and I’m not talking drugstore chocolates or overpriced flowers.  Get her something that will last, that she can look at and appreciate for years to come.  Something that will remind her that you’re in the small percentage of guys that actually buy their gals Valentine’s Day gifts.

If you’re short on ideas, here are my picks for substitutes for the traditional gift of flowers (and hubby, if you’re reading, I’d be happy with any of these):

Floral Branch Necklace

The Floral Branch Necklace by Lisa Hopkins.  $96. Hand-cut of sterling silver and hung from a 16” silver chain.  Just like real flowers, since this piece is handmade, no two are exactly alike.

 Hydrangea Cluster Necklace

Hydrangea Cluster Necklace by Patrick Irla. $164.25.  A few years ago my husband bought me the beautiful Blue Topaz Hydrangea Necklace and the delicate and organic flower makes a wonderful piece for daily-wear.  With a few more blossoms, the Hydrangea Cluster necklace could easily be dressed up or dressed down, and these flowers will last a lifetime.

Dogwood Vessel

Dogwood Lidded Vessel by Whitney Smith. $50.  Give this handmade lidded vessel as a gift on it’s own or fill it with chocolates, or a piece of jewelry – say, a handmade engagement ring for a Valentine’s Day proposal?  Any way you give it, this vessel is a charming gift.

Good luck, guys!  And, happy Valentine’s Day.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Bee Still My Heart


Spring/Summer 2013 Runway 2/32Spring/Summer 2013 Runway 21/32Spring/Summer 2013 Runway 31/32

We first found these looks in Vogue’s guide to Spring 2013 fashion.  Whether you’re the fashionable bee keeper, the garden party honeybee, or the queen bee herself, Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2013 is buzzing with looks for the entire hive.  This line includes magical dresses that exude the sweetness as well as tailored looks that incorporate the perfect geometry of the honeycomb.  Our favorite are the looks that include both, such as the little yellow dress (lower left, above) that  wraps a full, pale yellow, dress over a honeycomb print bodice.  This piece is the fusion of the sweetness of the bee with a hint of the sting.

If you can’t go full-on apiarist with your look, how about pollinating your wardrobe or your décor with a few bee-themed pieces instead. 

Honeycomb Clock

Hive CuffHoney Bee NecklaceHoneycomb Ring

The Honeycomb Modern Wall Clock by Pilot Design (top) has the sheer beauty of the Alexander McQueen skirt, but instead of showing off your legs it will show off your wall color.  The individual honeycomb pieces are cut out (just a few remain in a neutral color), letting the background show through.

Or, for a more wearable honeycomb, DesignERica has both a Hive Cuff (above lower left) and a Honeycomb Ring (above lower right).  These modern bee-inspired accessories remind us of Alexander McQueen’s yellow dress – let the bracelet peek out from beneath your flower shirt, showing you’re sweet as honey but with a little bit of a sting. For the apiarist, we say go for both the ring and the bracelet!

Then for the queen bee, there’s nothing better suited than Lisa Hopkins’ Honey Bee Necklace.  This hand-cut sterling silver necklace has a beautiful bee cut out of an oval shape and hung on a 16'” sterling chain.

So, with the hive fashion in place, we’re ready for spring!



Monday, August 27, 2012

Put a bird on it

Take a step back from the silkscreened bird silhouettes on suitcases that Portlandia’s “Put a Bird on it!” seems to beg us not to buy.  Then, take a deep breath, and a second look at how sophisticated and artful a bird can be.

Song Bird No. 2

Start the bird appreciation at birth with Jennifer Z. Roszell’s Song Bird No. 2 Print.  This print comes from an original collage and retains the rich layered and textured qualities.  Your little one will enjoy the sweetness and bright colors of the songbird, and you can enjoy some child-friendly artwork.


Fall Wallet

This bird is for the boys.  The Fall Wallet by Moxie and Oliver is a handmade full-grain leather wallet with a crow carved into it.  With the dark symbolism and mythology associated with the crow, this wallet is anything but your superficial Portlandia bird.


Two BIrds Necklace

Well, so we’ve certainly established we’re going to put a bird on it, so why not two? The Two Birds Necklace by Lisa Hopkins features two tiny birds sitting on branches inside an oval sterling silver pendant.  This etched hand-drawn image lets you choose a deeper symbolism – soul mates, mother and child, best friends or siblings – for your precious pair.


Bird Tea Towel

If you’re a true bird lover, or know someone who is, the Bird Tea Towel by Sweetnature Designs is sure to be appreciated.  This tribal inspired bird is intricate in the silhouette while still maintaining a clean look that goes with everything from a country to a modern kitchen.


Ducky Demitasse

Is a duck a bird?  Well, yes indeed, so let’s put a duck on it, too.  The Ducky Demitasse by Laura Walls Taylor revives the playful spirit of childhood.  One little yellow ducky perches on the handle of this hand-cast porcelain mug.


Happy birding!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Five gifts that aren’t on their registry (but should be)

Have a case of the wedding registry blah’s?  It’s wedding season, and while every wedding has its own unique character, style, and emotion, does it seem like all the registries ask for the same things?  If you’re looking for a gift that’s a little more personal, or out of the box, start with our picks:


Ginger FlaskWoody Flask

His and Hers Flasks – Pair your pick of any of our selection of handmade leather and stainless steel flasks  by Moxie and Oliver to match the bride and groom’s personalities.  Ginger Flask shown on the left ($65 for the 8oz) and the Woody Flask shown right ($65 for the 8oz)


Vita Vase

Ceramic Vase Set – Celebrate two lives coming together with the Vita Vase Set by Michiko Shimada.  These vases were inspired by, and hold, life.  The set of four vases are porcelain finished in a white gloss so these little bits of life will incorporate easily into the bride and groom’s.


Cupcake Stand Pair

Sweet Cupcakes – Whether the bride and groom have a penchant for pet names or just for pastries, the Bird Cupcake Stand Pair by Whitney Smith makes a wonderful wedding gift.  The bottom stand (two birds) is slightly larger than the top, in case there be some confusion about whose cupcake is whose.


Hello Love Cappuccino Mug

Wake Up Together – Although the Boy Meets Girl Mug Set is a wonderful choice for a wedding, we also like the Hello Love Cappuccino Mug by Simply Pretty Prints as a wedding gift.  Who wouldn’t like to know their loved and get their coffee all at the same time?

Honeycomb Clock

Time Together – Give the happy couple a way to count their sweet hours and minutes together with the Honeycomb Modern Wall Clock by Pilot Design.  This clock is made of MDF that has been cut into a lattice pattern, so you can see the color of the wall through the comb, so it will always coordinate with their décor.

Happy giving!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gift to Self: Mad Men Mod Style

You don't have to be addicted to the AMC drama Mad Men to love the mod style from the sixties. (For those familiar with the show, we're specifically talking about Roger Sterling's white-on-white office complete with Op Art, new wife Megan Draper's simple-sexy wardrobe, and the Drapers' 1966 Upper East Side apartment.)

Here's a selection of mod-style accessories and home accents to pop a piece of sixties-era Madison Avenue into your personal style.

 Cornell Clock

Cornell Modern Wall Clock

Trick out your mid-century modern home office, den, or man-cave, with this clean, but clever wall clock by Pilot Designs. We're sure Don Draper would approve of the silver-on-walnut version on his grass-cloth wallpapered walls.

 Champagne Bubbles Necklace

Champagne Bubbles Necklace

You can inject a mod style into your everyday wardrobe with the right accessory. Try pairing this laser-cut aluminum, acrylic, and sterling silver necklace by DesignERica with simple neutral dress for a sixties-inspired look.

 Charcoal Cufflinks

Charcoal Cufflinks

If you agree the real trendsetter on Mad Men is Roger Sterling, then you'll love the smoldering effect  these Christine Bossler sterling silver cufflinks inlaid with sealed charcoal will have on your French cuffs. Hmm.

Moonlight Lamp

Moonlight Modern Table Lamp
The striking design of this table lamp by Pilot Designs would look right at home in a partner office at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It comes in a variety of colors, but Roger would choose black and white.

Organic Hoop Earrings

Organic Hoop Earrings

On the Beatnik edge of Mod Mad Men style, these handmade hoops by My Sunset Road are what the fashion-forward Megan Draper would wear to the coffeehouse.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recycled Gifts for Guys

We're pleased to introduce a new selection of pieces from Christine Bossler! With a selection of recycled materials incorporated into her work (bricks, bike tires and circuit boards to name a few) her mens accessories are sure to please even the most discriminating of tastes.  Come see what we love about her work!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Handmade Luxury: Mother's Day Gifts

Psst, pencil it in your calendar and etch it into memory: Mother's Day is Sunday, May 13, 2012.

Perhaps, in years past, Mother's Day has slipped your mind, and you've ended up buying last minute delivery of overpriced flowers of questionable quality. This year, think ahead and pick out a handmade gift that will wow Mom. She'll appreciate the difference.

Here is a selection of artisan-crafted gifts, little luxuries made especially for Mother.

Dew Post Earrings
Were you a difficult child? Did you put poor Mother through the wringer of worry more times than necessary? Reward her for years of blood, sweat, and tears with these hammered sterling silver earrings by My Sunset Road

Hive Cuff
Even though her little bees are busy working the fields on their own, the Big Mama-bee keeps the home-hive humming. Give the queen bee of your family this gorgeous metal-worked bracelet by DesignERica to let her know where ever she is--is home.

Belgian Linen Pillow
Mom has bolstered you with warmth and comfort since you were a wee thing. Now you can return the favor with this luxurious linen pillow by Namoo.

Nest Necklace
Note to Dad. Although every young mother loves her progeny's crayon-colored cards and preschool pinch pots, a special treasure on Mother's Day is always a happy surprise. The perfect gift for the mother of small children, this charming silver necklace by Lisa Hopkins honors her love and care tending the nest.

Mini Spout Vase
Just the right size for posies picked by tiny hands. this dear ceramic vase by Whitney Smith makes a lovely Mother's day gift. Even without flowers, it's a sweet reminder of field daisies, buttercups, primroses, violets--the messy bouquets of childhood.