Friday, February 27, 2009

Enjoy your weekend - relax!
I am sitting here waiting for 70 40lb boxes of new product to be delivered to the studio. So guess what I'm doing this weekend - working. No road trips for me this time. I'd like to collapse onto this sofa, into those pillows on Sunday afternoon! So enjoy your weekend - don't work! And if you're a retailer, and you're in Vancouver for the next few days, stop by our booth at the Vancouver Gift Show, say hi to Michael and Sid and check out our new releases. See you Monday - with a backache!

New obsession
I'm hoping you'll allow me to indulge in my new obsession with old floor tiles. When I'm winding up for a design session I find inspiration in the most unlikely places - though I think you'd have to be blind to not find these inspiring. The decay, the dust, the faded colours and the wonderful ancient repeating patterns. I could look at these for hours - and have!

All of these images were taken in Lisbon and are from here. Thanks.
Lead Type
Had to follow up yesterday's pretty picture of rubber stamps with a few lovely pictures of lead and wood type. Which reminds me, my friend Kelly from Paper Stories is opening up a new letterpress studio and retail shop in Chicago and she is documenting the process over at Poppytalk Handmade. Her first post is all about moving the press - check it out. Look forward to watching the studio evolve Kelly!

These images are from here and here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Le Posh
Let's embrace our shabby side this morning. I don't know about you but I still love a certain element of vintage french styling. I know the whole Eiffel Tower craze is over but I am still drawn to its elegant design and the Parisian lifestyle that it represents. Anyone who has been to Paris knows that if you fly in to Charles De Gaulle airport at night you fly right over the city and the tower is completely lit up like a torch - it's so exciting. And when you get up in the morning and go for your breakfast most cafes still serve their cafe latte in bowls just like these. Our favourite vintage store, here at the cafe, is Posh in Chicago and if you are craving a good shot of vintage Parisian style well they have beaucoup!

This is my fave - I'd really love to have this Pastis bottle - must watch out for one locally - or must go get one in Paris - ha!

Did I ever tell you that I have this crazy(large) collection of vintage Eiffel Tower postcards - I started collecting them about 15 years ago. I'll show them to you sometime - just don't tell anyone 'cos, you know, that craze is like so OVER!
Bags | Lisa Stickley
I can hear the collective gasp when you see how grey these bags are - ha ha! Well, contrary to popular belief, I do appreciate subtle tones as well as bold colour and these bags are calling my name. I love canvas bags and I dig the pattern that Lisa Stckley is using on this collection. I don't know about you, but I am getting a little tired of the nasty collection of ugly reusable shoppers that every store is dishing out at the moment. Some of them are quite horribly designed in that nasty throw away fabric(if you can even call it fabric) that looks like interfacing. I'd much rather have this big canvas tote for my groceries thank you very much.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Help me source this necklace - please :-)
We just passed our 400th post on this blog - holy heck! So I figure there must be more than just a few of you reading this everyday(and I appreciate all of you and love your comments too BTW) So I thought perhaps you could help me out with something. . . . 
 I have this necklace that I bought in New York last summer. I really love it and I wear it more than any other piece of jewelry that I have. It looks great with a simple t-shirt or a pretty little blouse. The only trouble is that it's not silver - it's some kind of base metal that leaves marks on my clothes. So I would really like to buy a necklace exactly like this in Sterling silver for my birthday which is coming up in about 3 weeks. I know it looks very simple but it's the size of the loops that I love - the largest ones are just over an inch and a half long. I am hoping that one of you will know perhaps an Etsy seller that makes similar pieces and I can buy it online. Can't wait to hear from you with your ideas - thanks!

New pillows - new colours
I bought a few new pillows yesterday. This is part of my effort to bring colour into our home which has a bit too many dark colours, wood and earth tones. I like the bright green on the chenille pillows. I also bough the larger matching brown chenille pillows which I didn't take a picture of because basically they are just brown with more brown - oops! The flowery pillows with the blue are for the chairs that we have in the front entry. I have to take those pictures for design*sponge soon  - better work on less brown, more colour!

Designer | Anna Maria Horner
beautiful fabrics and patterns from Anna Maria Horner - so talented and stylish. Love her work - I think you will too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Inspiration | Tile patterns
Here are a few other things I have been obsessing about lately as part of my prep for designing new product. Ancient tile and architectural surface design. Lots of turquoise in our collection at the moment and I can't seem to shake it - love all the watery colours - maybe because I'm a Pisces!

Inspiration | vintage photography
We have piles of vintage magazines in the studio and I troll through them all the time for inspiration when I am designing. I'm getting ready to design a new collection to go to print in May so I have my inspiration radar turned on all the time at the moment. Even just 15 minutes spent flipping through vintage fashion mags can really get my revved up with great colour combinations and composition ideas. These images are from here - I hope you like them as much as I do. The first 2 have the most dreamy colour palette and I love the way the bottom 3 are cropped.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Road Trip | Cabin Fever
So we jumped into the car on Saturday morning and drove south from here. Within about an hour we hit the US border and find ourselves in a pretty remote part of northern Washington and Idaho. The closest city is 2 more hours south, Spokane WA. There actually are some benefits to living in the middle of nowhere - some very well kept retail secrets - one of which has made my 'top shop' list in the past - Cabin Fever in Sandpoint Idaho. Sandpoint is a lot like Nelson - a small, lakeside, ski town that was originally a silver mining town in the 1890's so there are some lovely old buildings and a few great shops. You could drive right through Sandpoint and not really notice that the retailers and restaurants cater to a hi-end summer/winter resort crowd(it's all well hidden within the friendly, heritage facades of the 3 blocks they call downtown.) We had a delicious lunch at the swanky wine bar at Coldwater Creek and then headed to the half dozen stylish little shops. Cabin Fever has been in this location for 20 years and the owner Rebecca has VERY good taste. She carries everything from clothes, to jewelry, furniture and stationery - as I have mentioned before, I love this store. Here's a small glimpse into her world . . . 

Isn't this a great way to display Moleskine notebooks?

Can you see these sweet, little, mercury glass, hanging light fixtures(above)?

I really like this dinnerware with the hallmarked pewter edges.

It's hard to take a photo of a lamp! I guess that's why they always use black shades in magazine shoots! Love this shade.

Next door and down the stairs is the clothing store. Lots of organic cotton, cashmere and leather belts, boots and bags. I really like the sexy little military shirts(below). I love the way everything is displayed on vintage tables and cupboards. You know, when we first moved to the Kootenays we used to go down to the Sandpoint area to buy vintage, painted cupboards and tables at the thrift stores!  They aren't quite so easy to find anymore but  we did spot a few in the junk stores we were trolling through on Saturday. 

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