Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Touch With Nature

I am a huge fan of the unique.

This is why I love the things that come out of Etsy, vintage finds and limited editions (my favorite words!). But it is also what I look for when adding things to my home.

Yes, I have some furniture from Pottery Barn and my crystal is Lismore (possibly Waterford's most popular pattern) but I get really excited when I see true artisan work. Items that are truly crafted - made with love and a skill that is only acquired by time and experience.

I want to bring a piece of that home with me. I want to hold on to it. I want to have something that showcases that skill for posterity. And I want to encourage others to do the same because that is how we ensure that such skills will keep on.

We go to the Farmer's Market near our town almost every weekend. From Spring to Fall there are amazing vendors. We're also lucky to be surrounded and friends with some very talented people. Next to them (okay just in general) we're total untalented shlubs! Several times a year the farmer's market has a craft show. At one of the earlier shows I met a very lovely older gentleman named Bob Barrett who does amazing hand turned and carved wooden pieces. I instantly feel in love with his work and he is the main vendor we look for each time.

The first time I met him I bought this gorgeous Cherry wood bowl.

The bowl has an amazing color to it and is the perfect size for the pile of fruit that we keep on the counter. I also like how the color warms up our mainly black and white kitchen.

What's also great is the satiny smoothness of this piece. You just want to run your hands all over it. It just glows.

The next time Bob was at the show I bought these two pieces. The first is a large bowl about 6" deep made of red cedar. It's hard to tell from the flash the true depth of color that this piece has but it is just gorgeous in person.

If you enlarge the image you can really see where Bob's skill shines through. He works with each piece of wood and takes into account the unique attributes that it has and plays them up. He preserves the integrity of the wood... in this instance you can see where the edge of the bowl is almost paper thin. At the thickest point the wood is about 1/4". It just amazes me!

We keep this bowl on the mantle in the library where it definitely has a pride of place.

The other piece we have is this Burl Oak Compote.

It would be hard to say I have a favorite but I am seriously in love with this. I just adore the pattern of the wood. When I saw it in his booth I had to have it. The shape of the piece is great too. We keep it out on display as art but it's very functional as well. I like to use it for holding candy during movie nights!

Our new favorite wedding gift is one of Bob's pieces. I think there is a lot of symbolism inherent in giving one of his pieces. Unique, sturdy, functional but beautiful, filled with love and care. What better gift or good wishes could you give?

Bob will also do special orders if you ask him. If you have something in mind - a shape or a kind of wood, he will search around until he finds it for you and then will make it as close to your specs as possible. You don't even have to pay for it up front because he'll sell it regardless. He carves his signature and the date into the underside of each piece. I predict that years from now you see people collecting his work.

Mr. Barrett doesn't have a website but I have his phone number. Drop me an email or leave a comment and I'll get it to you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Water Conservation

No, I'm not going to get all environmental here. I'm just have to talk about my new love - dry shampoo. I know I'm late to get on the bandwagon but, hey, better late than never.

I have long hair that I have to wash pretty much every day other wise it becomes a big stringy mop which is also great for my complexion. If I don't wash it - greasy. If I don't condition it - huge tangles. Lots of fun. The other fun part is it takes forever to dry. So when I ignore the alarm and wake up late, I know I'm not going to make up any time because I still have to wash my stupid hair.

Also, for some reason, my hair has not been reacting well to any shampoo and conditioner. I try to get ones without sulfates but they are leaving my hair too hard to comb through. And the regular Pantene stuff is not rinsing out well. I don't know what to do.

But for now I've got this secret weapon and I love it!

I know there are a number of dry shampoos out there but this is the only one I've tried so far - Klorane Dry Oat Shampoo.

You just spray it on and then brush it out. Just like the instructions say. Amazing!

But it works!

Even on my thick hair, it works so well that I can't believe it. And it makes my hair actually look fuller. And not greasy. I love it! It's also good for color-treated hair as you reduce the amount you are washing out your color.

I think I'm going to have to buy a can to replace this one plus a can for my office. Maybe another one for my purse because it's small enough to fit in there. If you have any recommendations for other brands or a solution to my shampoo/conditioner traumas, I'd be happy to get your advice!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dream a Little Dream

If you're coming over from Shoe Daydreams, I hope you'll enjoy reading Bubblegum Plastic as well. This site is full of fun accessories and more unique finds.

I hope you'll check back often and let me know if you have any feedback or great items you want to share.



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cast Your Eyes Down

Way back in February, Queen Michelle posted about the fabulous Scottish leg wear label Bebaroque and introduced them with amazing images of the decadently embellished tights that they create.

They have wildly patterned, covered in sequins or even dimensional like these. In April she showed images of the fringed tights here (or just scroll down). It seems Queen Michelle was popping eyes and stirring up trouble with her tattoo patterned pair.

It always amazes me how surprised people get when you wear something other than boring old-fashioned sort-of-nude pantyhose (ick!) or solid black.

But how much more interesting are these patterned beauties? And apparently they're quite versatile too.

Now tights with a ton of metal circles running down your legs (front or back) are sure to get you some notice, but hey, that's why we're here. Right?

Personally I like the teal and silver as much as the black and gold.

And look at Miss Bubble modeling the hot pink with fringe. They're even more vibrant in her photos than the site shows.

I liked the so much, I got all of these - the black with teal, the teal with silver dots, the cream with black and the hot pink and fringe.

With these and my new Chanel two-tone tights, Fall is going to be a very colorful... and interesting time. Time to shake some folks up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Artistry & Accessories

I tried to hold out as long as I could but finally I could no longer resist and had to, just had to, get some new items from the amazingly talented folks who's sites I follow and who make the best stuff on Etsy!

First off I got this adorable poster from Miss Nubby Twiglet. She has as much graphic talent in her personal fashion style as she does in her graphic design. Working in advertising and loving fashion, I appreciate both things to a huge degree. I can't wait to find a home for this, but should it be in my office at work or here at home????

I just wrote about my love for Miss Lou Lou and her darling bows. I ended up getting Alice blue (love the name, love the color) and the hot pink. I think next will be red and maybe some of her sexy satin-y knickers.

I saw this poster from Jenny's Bake Shop on Flicker, and being a fan of the original, I loved the cheekiness of her version.

I want to look like all of the elfin girls in Jasmine's art. I decided on Queen Elizabeth and the Lion because I'm in a huge English history reading streak. Plus I'm a Leo and a red head, so it's perfect.

I finally got the original Keep Calm and Carry On poster. I think this, the cupcake version above and, maybe my Village "For Like Ever" poster as a triptych display may be in order.

Then I just went crazy with accessories! I'm not kidding.

I got one of these plume pins from Topsy Turvy Design in brass and teal. I'm planning on wearing teal and purple all Fall and Winter long. This will go on blazers, bags, hats, skirt, all over the place, I think.

I know I have a Champagne tag necklace but I couldn't not get this Brandy one. The little charms give it a more cutesy appeal plus it's kind of a personal joke... my parents almost named me Brandy! It would not have been a good combo with my last name. I would have sounded like a drink order. Eek!

I fell in love with this necklace from Heatherly Designs. She does these really interesting vintage inspired pieces and I thought the shape of this was so unusual. I love the deep crimson color of this too.

I also got this piece from her. The pendant reminded me of cinnabar.

I even like the chain.

This piece was from The Hand of Fatima's store (same as the Brandy necklace above). She makes pieces from re-purposed vintage pieces and I really like that unique element. This pendant reminds me of the jewelry in one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe movies - The Prince and the Showgirl.

I even like the chain detail.

But on a another note, I like utter modern, totally Bubblegum Plastic-ness of this this cameo necklace from Zombuki. She has other colors too, so check them out.

And last, but certainly not least, more delightful strangeness from Paraphernalia. I can wait to wear these around my more conservative friends and co-workers. The heart makes them look twice, what will the skull necklace do?

I still love owls even if the "fad" is over for a bit. A confused owl? Yes please.

I'm going to have a Poochie nameplate at last! I'll need to take a picture in this.

I may wear this all the time. Especially when I'm going out. ; ) I don't think I really trade it away but maybe I'll get some good offers.

Have you made any great Etsy or hand-crafted finds lately? I'd love to see what's out there!