Saturday 3rd December 2016
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Gift Guide #1: Gifts that give back

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This roundup is far from comprehensive, and if I’ve left out a cause you feel particularly attached to, please speak up in the comments—possibly I’ll do a second round. First up: Thistle Farms offers sanctuary for female survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. You can support them by buying items from, among other lovely things, their bath and body line, which graduates of their program work to create. I ordered this room spray—a blend of fir, cedarwood, and spruce essential oils—because it sounds like it smells fantastic.

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The Starling Project‘s mission is to provide sustainable solar energy to communities in need around the world, and they sell these very graphically pleasing candles in order to raise funds.

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Globe In empowers artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable businesses. You can buy all sorts of cool stuff on their site, but I like their fun gift baskets best, and am particularly fond of this Celebrate Box, which comes with such goodies as a Batik table runner from Ghana, upcycled greeting cards from Malawi, and dark chocolate from the Dominican Republic. (The basket itself is from Mexico.)

 

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Sudara offers lounge-worthy pants and robes made by women who’ve escaped sex trafficking in India. I love this print, but there are tons of other good ones as well.

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Krochet Kids employs poverty-stricken women to knit caps, sweaters, and scarves. This cuffed beanie comes in a few colors, but I like this rather chill ecru.

 

Posted on November 28th, 2016 6 Comments

Tuesday trifecta

 

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This post is on attractive travel mugs, and it’s for my mother, who is forever getting behind the wheel of her car with regular old cups of coffee from the kitchen, which just seems messy and wrong and like an accident waiting to happen. This first one, which I find very attractive, was created with a patented tourmaline ionizing technology—no idea what that means, but it apparently improves the quality of your drink.

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This is porcelain, which is rather elegant—if not entirely utilitarian—and I like the pretty print.

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Just a sturdy, clean, optic-white option.

Posted on November 15th, 2016 5 Comments

Five resources for inexpensive art

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20×200 is probably my favorite of all the cheap art purveyors out there, and not just because the woman who runs it is a friend of mine and a really awesome person, although there’s certainly that: I also think they provide a strong, broad and quite accessible (but not dumbed-down) selection, and I am forever finding new things to want. I’ve long-coveted a piece from Jane Mount’s Ideal Bookshelf series, and her latest—the Feminist Bookshelf —is pretty stellar.

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I’m pretty certain I linked briefly to Swissted about a zillion years ago: graphic designer Mike Joyce combines his twin loves of Swiss Modernism and punk rock to create updated concert posters for everyone from Bowie to the Clash to Bikini Kill. And they’re just so good. Right now I very much want this one for the Velvet Underground.

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At Tappan Collective, you can buy actual one-off art (not especially cheap), as well as photographs and limited edition prints, like this digital painting by Marleigh Culver.

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Eye Buy Art releases just two new images by emerging artists every two weeks; I’m pretty crazy for this recent photograph by Anastasia Cazabon.

The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

Photographer Sharon Montrose takes wonderful portraits of animals and sells them on her site, Animal Printshop—I’m a sucker for the baby animal pictures, like the one of this zebra.

Posted on October 28th, 2016 6 Comments

Meet Tictail, the Swedish Etsy

true-love

I’ve never quite cottoned to Etsy—there is just so much to sort through, so much of it craftsy, which isn’t so much my thing, and I find that looking through Tictail is a more satisfying experience—less dross per scroll, by a lot. And I don’t know why it’s taken me until now to write about Tictail (which has stores from 140 countries, including quite a few American ones), because I am forever finding things to love on it. This porcelain plate is made by a Swedish woman who does the coolest pieces inspired by old-school sailor tattoos.

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This vase is pretty spectacular too.

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I am so amused by this pillow that I ordered it for my home, even though it shall look horribly out of place on my sofa.

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This throw, on the other hand, would pop beautifully on that very same sofa.

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The rando pattern on this coffee cup proved too awesome for me to resist.

Posted on October 12th, 2016 4 Comments

Prints of the week

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I’m in a dangerous mood today, ready to swap out all the tasteful Rosenthal china I received as a gift for entering into my misbegotten marriage for some of this spectacular—and rather spectacularly loud—dinnerware from Tokyo Design Studio. Could there be a more joyous dinner plate than this?

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I actually did go right ahead and order a couple of these—perfect for takeout Pho.

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This dessert plate is seriously perfect for sweets.

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If I had room in my cupboard for even one more mug, I’d go for this in a second.

Posted on September 27th, 2016 7 Comments

Tuesday trifecta

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Summer is all but entirely out the door—true and sad. But you can make it stick around pretty much forever by acquiring something sunny/beachy to hang on your walls, sourced from one of the following excellent online purveyors of affordable art. First up, from 20×200: the cheekily titled My Butt, by Helena Wurzel.

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This image of a single towering palm tree by Isaac Zoller via Tappan Collective is so LA.

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I found this old Braniff travel poster at Print Collection, which is an excellent—and seriously cheap—resource for all manner of cool and interesting prints, among them those awesome intergalactic space travel posters from NASA that I posted about a while back.

Posted on September 13th, 2016 5 Comments