Saturday, November 29, 2008

Indie Holiday Shopping Series 2008: Studio Style

My husband and I had an impromptu day around the bay area yesterday. We found out the night before that Heath Ceramics is having a sale so we decided to reserve a car through City Car Share and hit the road. While in Sausalito, we decided to head over to Fourth and Clay in Berkeley because I know that they are having a open house and that Sara Paloma will be there.

Here's how the day went, we had reserved the car that morning but both of us overslept. We didnt leave the house till 11:30. We got to Heath Ceramics but unfortunately we missed the 11AM factory tour. I was bummed about this but what can we do? We looked around the store for a while and ended up buying some ramekins, bowls, tumblers and Skinny laMinx tea towels (yay, finally!).

Heath Ceramics Store

Skinny laMinx tea towels

We headed out to Berkeley to go to Fourth and Clay. I made a bee line for Sara Paloma's table and was just in love by what I saw. She had votives, bottles, ornaments and vases galore.

Sara Paloma's wares

Deanna Abney of Circadian Studios was also there showing her jewelery. Fourth and Clay is the studio of Rae Dunn, Crista Asaad, and Josie Jurczenia
. Their holiday open house is going on till December 21st, with a party on December 11th. Stop by to meet the artists and see their work up close.

The work of Rae Dunn

I was happy to see many more studios on Fourth Street. A lot of them were open so we stopped in to check. We were enticed by the wine tasting sign at A Donkey and Goat. We bought a bottle of Three Thirteen 2006 and a candle holder made from wine barrels.

Candle holders

We also stopped by the studios of Sven, Photosynthesis and June Taylor where I bought jar of her Summer Sweet Peach & Rose Geranium Butter. I can't wait to try it.

After all this walking and shopping and wine tasting, we treated ourselves to lunch at Vik's! Yum!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Indie Holiday Shopping Series 2008: ReForm School

In the spirit of trying my best to shop indie and/or local for the holidays, I'm going to do a series on virtual shopping at my favorite stores in person and online.

First up is ReForm School. They are based in LA, which is not local for me, but they do support independent artists and crafters by carrying their wares. I always look forward to their Student of the Month series where they have a featured artist who often makes limited edition goods for their shop.

So what would I buy from this shop?

We will start with Student of the Month Sarajo Friedan. Sarajo is a well known LA artist. I was lucky enough to see her show a few months ago here at Rare Device in San Francisco. For ReForm School, Sarajo made these limited edition silk screened handmade Hungarian dolls. Honestly, this is a gift I will buy for myself!

This Recycled Glass Night Set is a great standby gift for those gift exchange parties you know you're going to get invited to. At $20 it is a very practical yet elegant unisex gift. Plus it is made from recycled glass so bonus green points for you!

These blank nesting dolls are a perfect gift for your crafty friend. Just imagine the fun that they will have with these!

These Lovebird Lavander sachets, made with vintage materials, are the perfect gift for your co-workers. These would also make cute ornaments for your tree. If you want to mix it up for the guys and the gals, you can also get the mice versions.

The Vintage Purse Pouch by Showpony is a great gift for your girlfriends. They can all match but still have individual colors. Perfect as a make up bag.

Last but the not least, this wooden radio is the perfect gift for my husband. It is such a simple well designed and classic item. I know he will love it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ceramic love

Those of you who know me know that I have a special place in my heart for ceramics. Here's a collection of things that have caught my eye of late.

These very intricate tiles and bowls from Heather Knight of Element Clay Studio. I love her pear ceramics as well. Heather is from Asheville, NC. Her shop is here and she also blogs here.

Esther Coombs from London hunts for ceramics at flea markets and then gives them a new life. She hand draws images into these old, discarded things and brings them back to life. I always love a great mix of the old and the new.

These old milk bottle replica from Alyssa Ettinger of Brooklyn are so nostalgic. Her shop is wonderful. I also really love this Porcelain Knitwear bowl.

Of course, a ceramic post from me won't be complete unless I mention my favorite ceramic artists of them all, Diana Fayt. The has a few pin and canteen vases at her shop right now. Every aspect of her work is made personally by hand. Not only is she a very talented ceramicists but I personally think that her drawings are spectacular. Love, love, love.

Oh, Sara Paloma. I am in love with your work. I would describe her pieces as romantic and useful at the same time. I own one of her bottles which I got an at indie show in San Francisco. I can't wait to get more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

affordable art for you

Sandra Juto is a recent discovery for me but I immediately loved her illustrations and softies. She lives in Sweden. You can buy her prints, wrist warmers (! eep !) and pocket calendars at her store on big cartel.

I am in love with this urchin triptych of little blocks by littleput books. I have a thing for sea urchins so that's a plus. I am in awe about how the sea urchin looks so real, as if it's not a photograph.

The bird trend is played out but there's a reason it became a trend in the first place. This petite bird print by Parisian graphic designer aliette is delightful. Who can resist birds and polka dots? This automne 3 print is also one to consider.

Of course I have to include Emily from the black apple. I have been a fan of her for years now. I was introduced to her by my friend Lenny. I have several black apple prints but I have not been lucky enough to snag an original becuase they sell out so darn fast! This Sylvie print is a new favorite of mine.

I am a romantic so these original pinholes from Heather Smith Jones just captures my heart. It seems like a very precise and labor intensive work has gone into these pieces.

Monday, November 10, 2008

2009 calendars are here

I'm always excited this time of year when my favorite designers come out with next year's calendar. Here are my picks.

Jill Bliss and Saelee Oh are at it again! I didn't think it was possible, but I love 2009 more than 2008. I bought my own copy yesterday from 1767 Church Street!

Rex Ray's 2009 calendar is another one of my favorites. I've always loved his work and this calendar provides a great collection of his work. After the year is over, you can even take the pages and use them as posters.

Mia from story by mia also has a wonderful nature inspired calendar. I love its understated simplicity. She also has an animals version which I think is great for a kids room.

Marisa Haedike
of Creative Thursday's calendar is just gleeful. Her story is also an inspiration for those of us who strive to incorporate a little more creativity in our lives.

The Lotta Jandotter 2009 fabric calendar is great too! You can reuse it as artwork, scarf, headband or a tea towel!

Irene Suchocki's poignant photography is showcased in her 2009 TTV Desk Calendar.

I love the artwork and the colors used in Elum's letterpress calendar.

Last but not the least, I think I am not alone when I beg Diana to please, please, please design a 2009 calendar!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kate Szabone

I have a co-worker who wears stacking rings everyday. Every time we're in a meeting, I always end up staring at her rings to admire them. I really love the look, she maybe has 8 stacked rings. I think the key to this look is to match different ring textures. I've been looking around for the perfect set of stacking rings but I've never really found any that I like, until I came across Canadian Kate Szabone. I instantly fell in love with her stacking rings. Since she gives you the option to customize or mix and match it makes it more fun to shop! I personally would get the following:

The whole combination only costs $175 for 5 rings! One of them even has a stone. That's a great price. Plus you can mix and match anyway you want. If you tend to be on the simpler side, she also has single rings that are simple and elegant.

In addition to rings, she also designs and sells earrings, necklaces and bangles.

Check out her etsy store right here!

*All images are from Kate Szabone's etsy store.