Friday, November 30, 2007

Bonus Bone: Poinsettias on Spindles

I've never been one to over-decorate for the holidays but there is something to be said for special items that only come out once a year. Growing up, when the very distinctive-smelling skull candle appeared on the coffee table, I knew Halloween was lurking close behind. Or, when tucked warm in our beds, and finding Burglar Bill replaced with The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree, my sisters and I realized Santa was right around the corner. It's about building anticipation and spirit; it's not about how many pine cones and garlands you can fit on your mantle.

I think these Poinsettias on Spindles are beautiful, in a broken-down farmhouse kind of way. The use of found objects paired with the imperfect hand-craftiness is unique and it's obvious they weren't purchased at West Elm or CB2. Yes, yes - they're frivolous and unnecessary but they're also versatile. I see them on the mantle, as a centerpiece, surrounding the stereo or TV, tucked quietly into a bookcase...

Most importantly, I see these objets d'art lasting for years. I envision them easily sliding into the status of tradition, a visual herald to magically accompany the sound of sleigh bells.

And, for some indescribable reason, I just kind of love them.

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Weekend Plans #2: Open House at the Enterprising Kitchen!

The Enterprising Kitchen is hosting their Annual Open House and Holiday Sale. Here are the details:

at The Enterprising Kitchen
4426 N. Ravenswood Ave
Fri, Nov 30, 4-8pm
Sat, Dec 1, 9am-2pm

Attendees can tour the facility and meet the staff who make the spa products, all the while snacking on refreshments and shopping up a sweet-smelling storm. There is even mention of a FREE GIFT!

If you're not familiar with The Enterprising Kitchen, I will quickly catch you up. They are a nonprofit social enterprise which helps "unemployed and underemployed" women work toward self-sufficiency. The ladies learn all about work and life skills by creating and producing soaps and spa products.

(l.-r.): Soap on a Rope, Soy Candles, Organic Body Oils, and the Spa Basket for Two
Some of their wares include Soap(s) on a Rope, a colorful string of hand-formed leftover soap remnants. They suggest hanging it in a closet as an air freshener! I bought it as a gift last year and the recipient was thrilled with both the product and the organization.

I also bought some of their Lemon Sage body oil (for myself) and it is so so nice. They have bath salts, shower gels, candles and even gift packages, which are categorized on their site by price. For the romantic price of $250, you can purchase the Spa Basket for Two, which comes with his/her robes!

If you can't make it over to the Open House, make sure to check out their goods online. It is, afterall, one hell'uva good cause.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Great gifts under $50 : Personal pouch

Personal pouch made by Working Class Heroes, available at Etsy

Is your best friend constantly searching for their keys, wallet, or cell phone in the black hole of their ginormous bag? Or maybe you'd like to run to the store, but not carry an extra 30 pounds with you. Then snap up one of these gorgeous personal pouches that can fit all of your daily necessities and look stylish while doing it. I love the felt/leather construction. It looks like it would be pretty sturdy. Plus the two snaps and cotton rubber band keeps everything in its place.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nice winter print without hitting you over the head with a holiday theme!

Chrysanthemum/snow print by ah-yi, available at Etsy

A lovely and affordable print that will look great in your home anytime of the year!

Weekend Plans #1: Holiday DEPART-ment!

It's Holiday DEPART-ment time! This 3-day craft extravaganza is taking place this weekend. Here are some key details:
at AV-aerie (formerly open-end gallery)
2000 W. Fulton #310 (third floor), Chicago
Friday, Nov 30, 7-11p
Saturday + Sunday, Dec 1+2, 11a-5p
cash only/atm onsite

Not only will I be shopping there for unique gifts but I'll be selling stuff too. For the first time in a year, Love Lights are back on the shelves. "Satin Chains" is still available (a big pink Yay!) but "Wild Roses" has been sold (sorry!).

Love Lights = $12 each

Mama Cardboard has joined the craft movement. She's adding in a couple knitted grocery bags:

Grocery Bags = $20 each

...and super sweet felted bowls in four sizes and a multitude of colors:

Felted bowls = $6 - $18

Mama C also makes a mean pair of fingerless wool mitts and retro-lovin' legwarmers (see below, left).

Mitts = $14/pair; Legwarmers = $16/pair; Alison Rose T's = $15 - $30

Also, there's a good chance Alison Rose will be sending me some T-shirts to sell too (see above, right). I'm patiently staring at the mailbox (fingers crossed!) for her box of merch to arrive.

For more info on how DEPART-ment works or to take part in the next one, read this great little interview with Craft Magazine.

* For the first person (other than Porcelain) to find my head in this photo, I promise to donate $10 (or a box of nails) to Habitat for Humanity in your name. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, November 23, 2007

Guest Post: Bird on Feliway

photo by Bamboo

Hey, my name is Bird. I am Cardboard's cat. I am bigger and more whiter than her cat other who is more black and orange and smaller. Sometimes we fight, me and the black and orange. I know she is my sister but she annoys me.

I am a tough cat probably because I was a kitten on the streets. When I found a home, I didn't know what to do. But it was really good to finally be clean. Now, if things are messy or stinky, I am reminded of my hard kittenhood and I get pissed
off...really. Cardboard calls them "accidents" but they are my plans.

I also don't like to be touched very much and I never want to be picked-up. Before, I said it: I am a tough cat. I am no sissy to be carried like a baby.

Awhile ago, Cardboard got tired of all the accidents. My doctor told her about some juice in a jar that you plug into the holes in the wall that should make me feel better. It's called Feliway. It's got something called pheromones. It's supposed to make me stop peeing on the floor, fighting with my sister, and getting freaked out about the the little things (which aren't little to me even though I am big).

I didn't think it would work: I am a tough cat. But I have to say, I'm feliwaying (get it?) pretty good. I don't want to get all mushy now and here but I never knew that a warm lap felt so nice. I still don't like to be carried (that's just embarrassing) but I do jump up on Cardboard's lap when she's blogging. I sit on Bamboo's bed with her while she does her homework. I purr. I don't pee outside of the potty dome unless it is absolutely, completely unacceptably foul. Even the black and orange is growing on me.

Bird & Mille

For these reasons, I, Bird, declare this a Design Boner.

Bonus Bone: Thanksgiving Leftovers

What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, via Domino

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today Chicago is quiet: I can already tell the holiday difference (less bus sounds, no children hollering on their way to school). And there are flurries outside, fat and tumbly snowflakes! It's a Chicago I hardly ever see and I'm thankful for the rarity.

I am also thankful for Porcelain and her man, Hardwood, because they're treating me to my first vegetarian Thanksgiving ever! Today, I hope you too are staying close to a hot oven and even closer to the ones you love.

I'm missing my Mama C & the girls but they're just a phone call away. And I'll see them soon. We'll just have to double up on the turkey gizzard gravy at Christmas.

Monday, November 19, 2007

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bonus Bone: Pink & Red Appliances for Play

When I was little, my sisters and I used to have a "play kitchen." We had a fake stove, complete with a tiny frying pan and plastic eggs, fried sunny side up. There were phony vegetables, canned goods, and a little oven that opened up, pre-warmed.

But they never looked as cool as this!

A successful pairing of pink and red is tops in my book. If I had the babies, I would certainly buy them this.

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Organizing: Starting Small

My house has gotten a little out of control lately (think "disorganized," not 4am parties with hookahs and dog fights). I need to find some small (and cheap!) project that will cut my clutter stress instantly and get the ball rolling.
I am thinking socks.
So do I go with the accordion style drawer insert?

32-Compartment Drawer, at The Container Store

Or do I stay even more linear and go with interlocking cubbies in rows?

Deep Drawer Organizer, at Bed Bath & Beyond

I need to do something in this area soon because I recently stopped balling the pairs together and my drawer has become one big intersockial orgy. Any other ideas?

Monday, November 12, 2007

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.
Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191


Ooops! I just realized that the new issue of UR Chicago should be hitting the shelves soon. I hope you were able to grab a copy of the last issue (Design Matters). There was lots of good stuff in there, including a profile (written by me!) of jamesthomas, a local design team with their finger on the pulse of man-chic.

UR is a free publication so feel free to snatch up what remains of the old issue (as it would make me sad to see stacks of them in the trash).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bonus Bone: Tinsel Tape

Tinsel tape, available at Fred Flare

First holiday post of the season!!! I've been spotting fun, sparkly, festive items for awhile now, but I'm stubborn and just could not post anything holiday-related until post-Halloween.

Cardboard and I love us fancy tape (see here and here). If you're planning on mailing some of your gifts, make them extra special by sealing up your box with some of this adorable tinsel tape. The gift's recipient will definitely be touched by the bit of added flair and care.

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Greenmaker Building Supply - new online store

I just received an email that Chicago's Greenmaker Building Supply just opened up an online store. Whip out those credit cards and get greening!!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The fanciest and most beautiful drain plug ever!

Sinko drain plug, available at Design Within Reach

There's something to say about only surrounding yourself with beautiful items. But sometimes the big trick can be finding those beautiful items. Who knew that there was a beautiful, sculptural sink drain out there? I certainly didn't until I stumbled onto it at DWR in their new Tools For Living section. Now mind you, this is also probably the most expensive drain plug that I've ever seen, but sheesh, it is a beaut alright!

Monday, November 05, 2007

6 & 7

Here are our weekend photos. Visit flickr to see the entire 6 & 7 collection.

Cardboard: left, Porcelain: right

Original inspiration by Stephanie & Mav at 3191

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bonus Bone: Periodic Table of Sentiments

Maybe the reason I find this set of six cards so endearing is because I had a big ol' crush on my high school chemistry teacher. After all, he did have a mohawk and his last name started with a Z. Yet the Periodic Table of Sentiments gets the stationery balance just right.

Nicole of Pink Loves Brown has stirred up the perfect combination of design simplicity and personal correspondence. I had no idea these cards were missing from my life until I saw them (and fondly recalled my sophomore year).

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.