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Oh, I love this time of year! Schoolhouse Electric, one of my favorite companies going way back, just launched their new line for fall 2013, and, as usual, my wish list is long. I became a fan of Portland-based Schoolhouse back when they just sold lighting, but over the past couple of years they’ve been expanding their line to include furniture and housewares – it’s become an incredible collection of stuff!

These of my favorites from the new fall line…lots of warm tones; black, brass, cream and gold.

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1. Apartment Pendant // also available with a 2.25″ fitter to accommodate a variety of glass or metal shades
2. Arrow Napkins // by Egg Press
3. Sammamish Bird Woodblock Print // by Jennifer Ament (framed or unframed)
4. Isaac Sconce — Short Arm // also available in black and persimmon, hardwired or plug-in
5. Wire-Framed Trash Bin // in misty green or marigold
6. Let It Go wall banner // by Ashley Ann Brown

I’m excited to see the “Let It Go” banner carried by Schoolhouse! I love Ashley’s work for Secret Holiday, and I have her “It’s OK” banner in my apartment — I may need to add this one to my collection as well (maybe hand it up at work, haha). I’m also envisioning those brass sconces against the black wall in our bedroom at the house…mmm-hmmm! Or against any black wall, for that matter.

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1. Isaac Sconce — Long Arm // also available in natural brass and black, hardwired or plug-in
2. Miles Desk Lamp // also available as a floor lamp, which I neeeeeeed for the apartment!
3. Schoolhouse Slogan Pencil Pack // set of five pencils
4. Schoolhouse Log Carrier // in cotton canvas with leather handles
5. Glass Jar // in two sizes, with red SECO decal

There are, of course, a multitude of colors, metal finishes and cord configurations available for the new light fixtures, and plenty of other stuff in the fall 2013 collection — it’s all up on the fancy new Schoolhouse Electric site. (I’m heading there right now myself, because I really, really need to make a decision about lighting for the kitchen! And I want to ogle that Miles floor lamp some more. I love that Aalto-esque shape…)

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Mountain and Tooth cushions from Three Bad Seeds

I’m a sucker for a cute cushion, and Three Bad Seeds in Washington make so many good ones! My favorite is their Three Sisters mountain range pillow, inspired by the Three Sisters Wilderness area in Oregon. As you may know from my Instagrams of roadside dentist offices, I have a thing for anthropomorphic teeth. I can’t explain it, I just do. Evan knows to pull over when I see a really good one. I’m also kind of horrified by teeth at the same time…it’s a complex obsession. Anyway, these Sweet Tooth pillows have a little pocket on the back for kids to put their baby teeth in for the Tooth Fairy (shudder), but I’d really like to have whole row of them lined up on a chair in my house. Just not anywhere near where I sleep.

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Gone Hunting pillow from Bark Decor

I’ve had these Gone Hunting pillows on my wishlist forever, along with a bunch of other things from Boston-based Bark Decor. I keep picturing a big pile of them on a deep, white sofa…they just look so soft and natural. Ideally, I’d be lounging on that pillow pile while wearing a Wild Catalope cardigan. Perfect, yes?

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Zippered linen pouches from Indigo Bird Design

Indigo Bird Design in Toronto make pouches. Lots and lots of pouches. I own pouches. Lots and lots of pouches. Too many pouches. And yet…I still want more pouches. I’d like to have this Emergency linen pouch (with a neon zipper!) for carrying band-aids and aspirin in my bag, and this teal Polka Dot pouch would be perfect for holding my lipstick, cash, ID and MetroCard when I don’t feel like taking a whole wallet out with me. Plus it matches my blog. POUCHES.

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All kinds of dog accessories from Grey Paw

I tried to narrow down my Grey Paw wishlist to two items, but I couldn’t make it happen. Too many nice things! I have to admit that I’m not one of those people who buys a bunch of dog stuff — Fritz and Bruno have one well-fitting sweater each for when it’s really cold outside, and they sleep on the sofa, bed and floor. That’s kind of the extent of it. Suddenly, though, I’m finding myself wanting to get them (I mean me…) a few nice things. Grey Paw is based in Portland, as evidenced by their use of Pendleton fabrics in much of what they sell — including this Camp Mat, which I’m sure Bruno would love to stretch out on while wearing this ikat-patterned neckerchief. REALLY. I’m also having a hard time resisting these natural leather dog collars, which Grey Paw will custom-stamp in any number of stamp designs. Plus signs for Fritz and triangles for Bruno?? And finally, the rope leash. Nothing says overkill like walking a 7lb dog with a rope, but man, so nice-looking.

OK, now it’s your turn: What’s on your Etsy wishlist? I always love seeing new shops!

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Under the name Stone & Honey, Teresa Robinson has been one of my favorite jewelry designers for several years now. I own her earrings, necklaces, rings…they’re part of my daily uniform, and my family and friends know that anything from Stone & Honey is a safe bet if they’re buying me a gift. I’m going to have to pass the word around to them that Teresa is now working under a new name which reflects the evolution of her jewelry designs: Tiro Tiro.

To celebrate the launch of Teresa’s latest collection, Forma Nueva, the birth of Tiro Tiro and the almost-arrival of fall (it’s September, so as far as I’m concerned summer is OVER), I’m hosting an amazing giveaway: $200 to spend on anything you’d like from Tiro Tiro!

Here’s how to enter:
Visit Tiro Tiro and pick out a few of your favorite things.
Leave a comment here letting me know what they are!

Here’s how to get two extra entries:
Like Tiro Tiro and Door Sixteen on Facebook.*
Follow Tiro Tiro and Door Sixteen on Twitter.*

* If you already liked/followed either of us, that’s fine. Just let me know in your comment so I can count your extra entries!

The deadline for entries is Tuesday, September 10th at 11:00 PM, EST. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. I’ll announce the winner here and on Twitter tomorrow. The winner will also be notified by email. Thanks to everyone who entered!

UPDATE: The winner of the Tiro Tiro giveaway is Lynn from Satsuma Press! Congratulations, Lynn.

Bonus discount!
Tiro Tiro is offering a 15% discount on anything in the shop between now and September 15th. Use the code IHEARTTIROTIRO at checkout!

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My favorites from the Forma Nueva collection:
Aures rings // Billete earrings // Quarta necklace // Pinna rings

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Back in March, the well-named Anna from Pattern Society emailed me about her soon-to-be-launched rug company, with pictures of some of the designs she was working on. She didn’t have a website up yet, but she does now — and all of the rugs are beautiful! They’re also surprisingly affordable. (And vegan — they’re all 100% cotton!)

Behold, the Union rug:

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Now, if THAT isn’t a rug that isn’t a rug that belongs in my house, then I don’t know what is. I might need to get a yellow typewriter to casually arrange on top of it, too, because I kind of just want to live in this photograph.

The whole collection is really nice (the Post rug is my favorite, I think!), and Anna says there will be more designs coming in the new year. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out, because now that Fritz and Bruno have quit treating rugs like giant wee-wee pads, I want rugs EVERYWHERE.

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(Side note: I really want to play badminton now.)

As a huge fan of Danish brand Ferm Living, I’m incredibly excited to see their new collection for fall 2013. It’s slightly softer-looking than last fall’s collection, but I’m still convinced that they’re designing all of this stuff just for me. I want everything, but these are my favorites…

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1. Grid wallpaper in black/white
2. Brass hexagon pots (also in a smaller size and as a vase)
3. Bau Deco letter posters and a wooden hanging frame (also in maple)
4. Hanging rack for clothes or pots (also in gray)
5. Triangle-patterned tea pot
6. Mini cloud wall stickers (also in neon pink)
7. Set of 7 dish cloths, one for every day of the week
8. Reversible cylinder candleholder (also in smoked oak)
9. White treasure diamond (also in gray, mint and rose)

So pretty!! All of these items and the rest of the collection are available for pre-order now, with items scheduled to ship between September and November. If you’re outside the US, you can order from Ferm Living’s Denmark-based web shop.

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I’ve been taking quick peeks here and there over the past week at H&M’s home collection, which until now was unavailable to the US market. I can’t figure out whether they’re planning to eventually offer home goods for sale in stores here as well, but the online shop is up and running! (You can buy H&M clothing online now as well, by the way, though I doubt I’d ever need to order clothes online from them — there are now 11 H&M stores and counting in Manhattan alone, which is just bananas.) Anyway, this morning I finally took some time to really look at the entire collection, and I’m surprised by how much of it I like. A lot of it does tend to run the more gimmicky route — like all of the fake-old-timey NYC subway-themed things, which I’m really not a fan of — but much like digging through the clothes in H&M stores, there’s good stuff mixed in with the t-shirts that say DO IT LIKE THE ’90s (what does that even mean?!). And, of course, the prices are crazy-low.

The wide jacquard-weave cushion cover in the photo above is probably my favorite item, which I’m sure is really shocking (hah). For $18 plus a $7 FJÄDRAR insert from IKEA, you’d have a pretty sweet dog bed with a removable, washable cover. Nice! I do wonder what happens if you put an IKEA pillow inside of an H&M cover, though. Is the Swedishness exponential? Actually, I just realized H&M sells inserts, too. So there you go.

Here are some more of my favorites…

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Canvas cushion cover in cerise / Jacquard-weave cushion cover / Velvet cushion cover in pink
Cat cushion cover / Copper candle holder / Dotted blanket
Jacquard-weave blanket / Velvet cushion cover in orange / Velvet cushion cover in charcoal

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And finally, who can resist a burlap storage tote (larger size, too)? Not me! Yeah, I do kind of wish it didn’t say STORAGE on the front, but I bet the back is blank — and even if it’s not, it’s still cute and it has a wire-framed top, which is nice.

OK, I’m going to go and try to order a few things before they all sell out, because they’ve literally been disappearing while I write this post. I’ve been snoozing, and now I’m losing!

A lot of teenagers go through a phase where they think skulls are really cool. This is because skulls are really cool. I never exited that phase. Skulls are possibly the most clichéd representation of badassery ever, and the fact that schmancy designers like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood have brought skulls into the world of luxury goods — and endless knockoffs of those luxury goods — has made them pretty inescapable. They still look cool to me, though, and I keep on buying skull stuff and feeling happy that I don’t have to wait until Halloween rolls around to do it. (This is also how I feel about black nail polish.)

Here’s my skull wishlist…

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1. Ceramic skull planter, Mudpuppy
2. Skull blanket, 360 Sweater
3. Cartolina skull temporary tattoo, Fiona Richards for Tattly
4. Skull pendant light, RawDezign (also in black)
5. Crocheted skull, Crochet Bloke (pattern available in his book)
6. Skull art print, Dawn Kelley
7. Black enamel skull ring, Alexander McQueen
8. Skull sweater, Zoe Karssen

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1. Black metallic stoneware skull, Mudpuppy
2. Skull tiles, Josep Motas for Bussoga (see below)
3. Dia de DUMBO wallpaper, Flavor Paper
4. Twin skull ring, Alexander McQueen
5. Tiny crocheted skulls, Dewey Decimal Crafts
6. Skull scarf, Alexander McQueen

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Photo from Heathrow Speaking After Dark

I had to include another photos of Josep Motas’ incredible skull tiles in use. Isn’t is neat how they seem to turn into a more traditional Mediterranean tile when they’re all together like that? D16 reader Raquel emailed me about them months ago thinking I’d like them, and I haven’t been able to get them out of my head since. I’ve tried to find a US distributor of these tiles because I would love to be able to use them in a house project, but so far I’ve come up empty-handed, even after attempting to contact Bussoga. I did find an interview with Motas, the author of which noted the same thing I did about the floral appearance of the skulls when they’re on the wall. I love this part of the description from the product page: “The top goal of this design would be for someone to like the tiles when put together, who retiles their bathroom and then one day discovers that they have to rip off all the tiles while sitting on the toilet.” Hello, THAT’S ME!!

And finally, some of my Skullstagrams…

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1. Wheatpaste on Pacific Street, Brooklyn (artist unknown)
2. My skull rings! The black & gold ones are from UO, and the plastic is from the doomed NoHo Market
3. A plaster skull at Modern Anthology
4. My office skull-buddies — matte black on the left, glitter with light-up eyes on the right
5. Mini skull candles from the Halloween clearance aisle at Target
6. My skully hand at Lisa & Clay’s wedding (the thin gold rings are from ASOS)
7. A blue jay skull I found in my garden
8. A giant skull candle from West Elm’s Halloween clearance table
9. Me feeding a delicious vegan donut from the Cinnamon Snail to one of my pet office skulls

If you’re alive and in New York City right now, then you know we are in the midst of a rather grueling heatwave. If you’re alive and you follow any New Yorkers on Twitter or Facebook, then you also know about the heatwave, because complaining about the weather to anyone who will listen is really what we do best. Temperatures have been hovering around 100°F for the past couple of weeks, and it’s just insanely humid. We walk a lot (and fast) here in NYC — most of us don’t get around in cars, so we’re walking several miles a day on the hot pavement, plus up and down the stairs into subway stations (which are not air conditioned, by the way). AND IT’S ALL UPHILL, BOO HOO. I know, I know, I’ll give it a rest, but seriously, we’re melting here right now. For those of us who wear black on the outside ‘cos black is how we feel on the inside, these are trying times. To take my mind off the fact that my hair is plastered to my head with sweat, I put together a couple of outfits that resemble what I’ve been wearing during the heatwave.

“The color for today is BLACK. That’s right, black! So you can absorb some of these rays and save that heat for winter. So you want to get on out there, wear that black and be involved!” That’s the truth, Ruth.

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1. Boycott shirt, Kowtow
2. Mosaic scarf in marigold + black, Blockshop Textiles
3. Chock A Block necklace in black/brass, Maslo Jewelry
4. Licorice nail polish, Essie
5. Lace-up espadrille wedges, Gap
6. Sexy Skinny Jeans in dark indigo, ASOS (also in plus size!)
7. Paperback bag in black waxed canvas, Moop

I know it might seem silly to include a scarf, but it’s something I always keep in my bag, even on the hottest days. You just never know when you’re going to wind up in a store or office or apartment with the AC on full-blast, and you can go from sweltering to shivering in minutes. I do realize that skinny jeans probably also seem insane in hot weather, but that’s just how I roll. I at least make sure I’m wearing sandals with them to let some of the steam out! By the way, those espadrille wedges look amazing on, but I can’t walk five miles in them. One mile, sure. Then my feet hurt. They’re great for days when you don’t have to walk a million blocks, though!!

These ASOS jeans are great for my fellow high-hip-to-waist-ratio girls. Since I’ve been losing some weight I’ve needed to buy a couple of inexpensive pairs of “transition size” jeans, and I love the deep, even color of these and the way they fit. Very comfortable! (They come in plus size, too.)

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1. Short sleeve black dress, Target
2. Super Duper Strength sunglasses, Karen Walker
3. Herringbone scarf in papaya, Blockshop Textiles
4. Tempus necklace, Stone & Honey
5. Geranium nail polish, Essie
6. Endless Bummer tote bag, Fieldguided
7. Leslie Zip Booties, Frye

YES, I have been wearing dresses! Well, one dress. I bought this guy on impulse for $25 at Target last month, and I’ve actually worn it a bunch of times since then. I wish it wasn’t polyester, but it gets the job done. The fit/length of the sleeves is flattering, and who doesn’t love an elastic waist? I have to admit it is nice to have bare legs in summer, but I’ll only do it if I’m wearing boots. I wrote about my intense love for these side-zip Frye booties back in December, and my feelings remain just as strong. They go with EVERYTHING. True four-season footwear. I even wore them to a wedding. They are so beautifully-made, too, and incredibly comfortable. I can walk in them for hours on end. I think they might be the smartest shoe purchase I’ve ever made.

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A year and a half ago, I sort of offhandedly mentioned in a post that I had bought an iPhone case from Society6, and that the quality was, to put it bluntly, complete crap. I ordered the case because I’d been contemplating (and am still contemplating — I like to contemplate) selling my own designs through their site, and I wanted to make sure the quality was good before proceeding. Reviewing products isn’t what I do here, but since I’m a self-obsessed blogger and therefore occasionally Instagram photos of my reflection in bathroom mirrors, I do get a fair amount of questions about my iPhone case. I don’t like to mislead anyone into thinking I recommend stuff just because it’s in my hands, so it seemed fair to me to post about my personal experience with this particular product.

Well, some folks got upset. One person accused me of working for a Society6 competitor (HAH!), and a bunch of Twitter accounts sprung up out of nowhere, having seemingly been created solely to tell me that I was wrong to have publicly “called out” a good company on my blog (despite the fact that I’ve said plenty of nice things about other products from Society6). It was pretty weird! A few days later, someone from Society6 emailed me and offered to send me a new case since the one I had was obviously defective. I said OK, they sent the new case…and…it was also complete crap.

Last month, I got a new iPhone. I went from a 4 to a 5, so I also needed to buy a new case. A couple of my friends told me that their more recently-purchased Society6 cases are good quality, so I decided to give them another shot. I was fully expecting to be horribly disappointed, so it was a very pleasant surprise to see that my friends are not liars and that the new cases are, indeed, MUCH better quality all around. I thought I’d take a few photos (with my new iPhone, naturally) to demonstrate the improvements.

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See the difference in printing quality alone? The old case really looks like an inkjet print, and there was a crazy amount of stretching/distortion to the pattern where the printed film was wrapped around the case. The new case has a much richer, crisper print, and even though the design is still fading a bit where it reaches the front edges, it’s something I can live with — I suspect that issue wouldn’t even be noticeable on a lighter-colored case. Another problem I had with the old case was that the design could literally be scratched off with my fingernail. After a week of actual use, there were numerous areas where the print was chipped or peeling. Not so with the new case! I’ve tried to scratch the design off, and I can’t. Gone also are the super-sharp edges on the front of the case where it meets the screen. The plastic is noticeably smoother, slightly thicker/more rigid and much more durable all around.

Both the old and new cases are manufactured for Society6 by Case-Mate, by the way.

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Inside the case is where things get wayyyyyy better. I was pretty shocked by the fact that the old case had NO shock absorption material inside whatsoever. It was literally just a cheap piece of flimsy plastic. The new case is lined with a layer of white silicone (you can see the Society6 logo embossed into it). It’s not thick enough to add bulk, which is nice, but it’s still additional protection for your phone — which, presumably, is why you’re putting a case on it in the first place (aside from looking cute). See the difference in thickness of the edge of the case, too? Again, not enough to add noticeable bulk, but the durability is greatly improved and the sharpness/gapping at the edge is eliminated.

Is $35 still too much for an iPhone case? Yeah, probably, but at least now I feel like the Society6 cases are nearly on par with the ones I like from Uncommon, which sell for the same price. I feel comfortable carrying my phone around in it, and I’d feel comfortable selling my own designs through Society6 as well — you know, if I ever finish contemplating.

✚ OLD case: Dawn Gardner, DG Aztec No.1 Monotone (now available as a new, improved case)
✚ NEW case: Domesticate, Mudcloth in bone on black

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I’m not sure how this passed me by until now, but Artek has issued their classic Alvar Aalto-designed stool 60, children’s stool NE60 and children’s chair N65 in a special Moomin edition! YES! I said Aalto stools with MOOMINS on them! That’s an explosion of Finnish-ness almost too awesome to believe.

From Artek’s March 2013 press release:

The motifs selected for Artek’s furniture comprise decorative and masterfully drawn Moomin characters from Tove Jansson’s output from the 1950s. There are several stages and styles in the artistic trajectory of Jansson’s Moomin figures, ranging from detailed and precise miniatures to expressive and stylised images. Comic strips and illustrated books were a genre apart, characterised by a highly developed visual style. Jansson’s beautiful line work and the sympathetic Moomin characters are a beautiful complement to the clear lines of Aalto’s furniture, while imparting a new feel to it.

The whole press release is great, especially the character descriptions. Snufkin was inspired by Atos Wirtanen, “a left-wing intellectual and an active member of the Finnish parliament in the 1940s.” I had a lizard named Snufkin when I was a kid, and he always struck me as being pretty progressive.

So you take a stool designed 80 years ago, add some 60-year-old drawings, and you get something that looks totally fresh and new and still modern in 2013. Isn’t that great? This is exactly why I care about good design — not to mention why the best children’s books are the ones you still want to read when you’re a grown-up. Good stuff is always going to be good stuff. (Well, maybe not asbestos. But you get what I’m saying.) I want them all!

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