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Tag "textiles"

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I wasn’t looking for a new duvet cover, but when I spotted the new-ish TOFSVIVA at IKEA a few weeks ago, I got heart-eyes and had to have it. The color palette is perfect, and I my affection for droplet patterns and clouds is unending. So nice! I love it against the dark wall in our bedroom.

TOFSVIVA was designed for IKEA by Linda Sjunnesson, who is also responsible for the Josef Frank-ish KNAPPSÄV cushion I’ve had my eye on.

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OK, I don’t iron my bed linens. I don’t really iron anything unless I absolutely have to, honestly. I started cloning out the wrinkles in this photo last night, but I quit after five minutes. Apparently I’m no less enthusiastic about digital ironing than I am in the physical world. So…wrinkles. Whatever.

The TOFSVIVA duvet comes in a set with two pillow shams for the alarmingly low price of $29.99. Like other IKEA bed linens it’s 100% cotton, but I must say it’s definitely on the rough side texture-wise. The thread count (144) is somewhere between burlap sack and dishtowel. That doesn’t bother me at all for the duvet cover, but the pillowcases are pretty scratchy on the face. Evan switched his to a plain white case last night. I think they’ll get softer with more washings, but I may just go ahead and turn the pillowcases into tote bags or throw pillows or something. But still, $29.99 for a really nice-looking duvet cover? I’ll take it.

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I still have not painted that radiator. I don’t like silver radiators, and this one is really peeling and icky—I have to address it. I know I won’t get to it before winter, though (what happened to summer?!), so I guess my new goal is to paint it by spring. And by that I mean spring 2016, which will likely come and go without the radiator being painted…

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That beautiful silkscreened “vu de l’extérieur” print is from Fieldguided. I love Anabela and Geoff’s work, and I think this piece is my favorite. So dreamy.

Happy Sunday…

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Remember when I went to Stockholm like three years ago? OK, it was last month, but geez, could it take me any longer to put a second post together? I know I’ll regret it if I don’t do it, though. Last night I was talking to a friend about how my blog still serves as a rough diary (albeit a very selective one) for me to refer back to, and how legitimately sad I feel that I haven’t written posts about a lot of stuff. My memory isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, and it’s comforting to be read old posts and see how I felt about things in my life when they happened. OK, so now that I’ve explained the arcane concept of a diary…haha.

The schedule on my second day in Stockholm was, to put it mildly, bananas.

10:15am — Get on bus to Skeppsholmen.
10:30am — Presentation about the history and design of both Hotel Skeppsholmen and the Nobis Hotel, both designed by the studio Claesson Koivisto Rune. Tour of Hotel Skeppsholmen.

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During the presentation at Hotel Skeppsholmen (which, by the way, is very beautiful), my eye wandered across the room to this AMAZINGLY FABULOUS textile hanging on the wall. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a great full-size shot of it without moving the banquet table (don’t think I didn’t consider it), but you get the idea.

I asked the hotel director if he knew anything about it, and he said he was a little unsure but that he thought it was from the 1890s. This seemed a little bit maybe not right to me, but I wrote it my notebook and decided to look it up later.

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As I was looking at my photos, I noticed these details in the corner: The number 1961 (which seemed much more likely to me as the year of origin than 1890) and the initials MR. A little bit og Googling later, and I had answers! The textile, called “Karneval,” was designed by Marianne Richter (MR) for the Märta Måås-Fjetterström AB studio in 1961. If you have a whole bunch of money, keep an eye out for auctions! One recently sold for about $12,000. Gulp. (The photos at the auction link are much better than mine, by the way.)

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Visiting the Moderna Museet wasn’t on the agenda, sadly, but I did gaze longingly at it from the window while I was in Skeppsholmen.

11:30am — Walk to Arkdes for presentations on Swedish design at the Arkitektur– och Designcentrum. (The presentations were excellent and I took loads of notes, but I’m not sure how well they translate into a blog post. They did, however, give me an awful lot to think about when it comes to the future of design, Swedish politics, and sustainability.)

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1:00pm — Quick stop at the offices and library of Svensk Form, the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design.

I could easily have stayed there all day looking at the bound issues of Form Magazine, the world’s oldest design magazine, reaching back to 1905. I was in heaven…but only for 15 minutes. It was at this point that I started feeling very sad about having to adhere to such a strict schedule, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Next time. (I said “next time” a lot during this trip.)

1:15pm — Bus to Pizza Hatt, where designers from LAST introduced their new brand and collection of design pieces.

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2:30pm — The event scheduled for this slot was canceled, so the bus dropped us off at Svenskt Tenn for about 20 minutes.

Svenskt Tenn was on my list of places I really wanted to visit, so I’m grateful for even that short bit of time to quickly zip around the whole store and take in as much as possible. I admire Josef Frank and his work so much, and seeing it in this context was overwhelming and emotional (and over all too quickly…next time). As I was leaving, I noticed Barnaba Fornasetti on his way in! I was immediately star struck, and could barely manage to sneak a quick picture, much less introduce myself.

I later spotted Fornasetti and his son at my hotel eating breakfast, waiting for a cab on the street, at baggage check at the airport, again while going through security, and then buying a banana and browsing design magazines at a new stand. I think maybe he thought I was stalking him. And yes, he dresses like that all the time. Style for days. (When you have a minute, go look at this slideshow of Barnaba Fornasetti’s house—it is fabulous.)

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3:00pm — Bus to Snickarbacken 7′s art space, where woven vinyl pioneers Bolon were presenting their new collection. A short film by choreographed by Alexander Ekman (who was in attendance) was presented.

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While loitering around on the sidewalk waiting to get on the bus, I noticed that seemingly all of the businesses in Stockholm had lit up lanterns on the ground outside their doorways at dusk. The effect was so beautiful and welcoming, and all I could think about was how having an open flame on the ground in public in NYC couldn’t possibly be legal, and how sad that is. Then I remembered a story my mother told me about a Christmas tree decorated with candles (!) catching on fire when she was a child, and I started to question whether Swedes are committed to fire safety. Then I realized it had been about 20 hours since I’d eaten anything, and went back to enjoying the lanterns.

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4:30pm — Visit to ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL, where Monica Förster introduced her new designs.

The ICEBAR is exactly what you think it is: a bar made out of ice. The walls are ice, the bar is ice, the chairs are ice, even the glasses are ice. The floor is not ice. Helpers drape you in very heavy, very warm, surprisingly flattering capes before you enter. Drinking out of a glass made of ice is unsurprisingly unpleasant, but the lingonberry and vodka cocktails are delicious.

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5:45pm — Visit the FÄRG & BLANCHE design studio for the release of an art/dance/design film by architect Erika Janunger and choreographer Oskar Frisk.

There were fresh oranges and hot tea at the FÄRG & BLANCHE event, so I was able to fuel up a bit and get my senses back in order! The film was really beautiful, and a nice (if abstract) way to introduce a furniture line. The designers behind the line, Fredrik Färg Emma Marga Blanche, were very charming and graciously showed us around not only their showroom, but also the workshop at the back of their studio where they produce all of their pieces. I’ll be keeping an eye on them in the future…

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7:15pm — Exhibition and dinner at Note Design Studio.

Note’s studio is a knockout. The whole thing is white and glass from floor to ceiling, with black dots marking the tops and bottoms of the stairwells. A bunch of their designs were on display, and I fell in love with the Silo lamps. I fell in love with everything, actually, including the chef who went out of his way to prepare a beautiful vegan meal for me (after I sneaked into the kitchen and did a little bit of begging). Shaved fennel, radishes, and cauliflower with slivers of toasted bread. I don’t know what he used as dressing, but the flavor was both delicate and full at the same time—very subtly vinegar-ish and a bit sweet. I could eat like that all the time.

11:30pm — Arrive back at hotel, crash, burn.

The final installment in my Stockholm adventure, Part Three, is coming soon! For real soon, too, not two weeks soon. That’s the most fun day, the Furniture Fair!

Here’s Part One, if you missed it.

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IKEA’s 2013 limited edition collection, TRENDIG, is just now becoming available in the US, but we have another one to look forward to* soon: BRÅKIG. And ohhhh, it’s good. Lots of pale wood and bright colors and geometric patterns.

*UPDATE: Actually, if you’re in North America, you have nothing to look forward to, because BRÅKIG will not be sold here. Heavy sigh…

Designed by Danish art collective ArtRebels, BRÅKIG includes modified versions of existing IKEA pieces (the FROSTA stool and my favorite LERBERG trestles—that’s them above, re-imagined in COPPER [!!!] with a thin plywood top), as well as entirely new works.

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I’m in love with that wood rack/stand thingy, right down to the copper hooks. I have absolutely no idea what I’d use it for, but I feel like I need it in my life anyway. If I had a need to hang 20 dish towels and some mugs in one spot, I’d be all over it. (OK, I’m sure there’s an obvious, practical use for it that’s just not occurring to me. Blankets? But then what are the hooks for?) Anyway, it’s pretty. Those ice cream-colored FROSTA stools are pretty, too, though I think I’d only want the pink one. (Remember my FROSTA makeover? The FROSTA has been discontinued here for so long.)

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Cups! Saucers! Trays! A whole line of textiles! These triangle patterns remind me of IKEA’s own 2008 textile collections (I still have mine squirreled away), Eugen Trost’s Zebra ceramics, and of course Sven Markelius’s classic Ljungbergs Pythagoras pattern—not to mention more recent designs by House of Rym and Ferm Living. These elongated triangles have become a staple of Scandinavian design over the past half century, and I love seeing the theme continue through so many new designers’ works.

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The multicolored knobs on the BRÅKIG dresser are great. I’m surprised by how much I like this, though I can’t imagine having it in my house. Maybe it’s because the knobs remind me of the SNODD cabinet knobs I used in my old, old apartment kitchen—they were really nice, so of course IKEA discontinued them immediately. I hope whoever lives in that apartment now appreciates them.

And THE CHAIR! It comes in a couple of pastel shades, too, but I think the unpainted (birch?) version is nicest. I like that the back is cut from a single piece of wood. I kind of want to paint black “socks” on it, though, just to break up all the wood a little.

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These art prints aren’t available from IKEA, but I thought it would be fun to include them anyway. ArtRebels have put together a whole selection of artwork inspired by the BRÅKIG collection, and yes, they ship to the US. My favorites (clockwise) are these by Camillia Konradsen, Sara Gade, Kristina Green Bonne, and WAAITT. Hooray for discovering new artists and designers!

You can read more about the BRÅKIG collection and see pictures of some of the other stuff in the line on ArtRebel’s blog. The full collection contains 36 pieces, so there’s a lot more to come! IKEA doesn’t have anything on their site yet, but the products are due to roll out in Europe beginning in February. No word yet on when we’ll see BRÅKIG in the US, but hopefully soon—there are a few pieces I know I’m going to want to bring home with me. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the BRÅKIG collection will not be sold in North America.

And here’s the BRÅKIG line as it progressed, as presented in a fun video by ArtRebels

I’m not sure I ever really noticed it until I started designing stuff for my own shop (which is turning out to be surprisingly pink-heavy), but I really do have a thing for pink. Not only screaming-hot neon pink, but a much softer, paler, gentler pink — shell pink, pale corals…blush, if you will. I think my obsession probably started when I was working on the design for sfgirlbybay, when I realized how great pale pinks look alongside black, white, marble and wood — my favorite tones and textures.

To be honest, this wishlist I’ve put together here probably could have been 15x longer. Once I started going through my Etsy Page and my Dropmarks and all of the miscellaneous junk all over my desktop, I found a whole lot of pink. I managed to narrow it down, though, and these are my favorites! I might still need to do a part two…

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1. Two Circles print, K IS FOR BLACK
2. Ornament Pastel Wooden Blocks, Sketch.inc
3. Short Stacked Candlestick, Kate Spade Saturday
4. Origami Paper Lamp Shade, Re-Born
5. Alfabet Poster, Leise Dich Abrahamsen
6. Pink Clay Facial Mask, Herbivore Botanicals
7. I AM HUMAN AND I NEED MONEY JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES print, Wasted Rita

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1. Mayor Sofa, &tradition
2. Nerd Chair, Muuto
3. Ink’d Pink, Sketch.inc
4. TS Berfa ampersand poster, Robert Wilson/Typespec
5. Wide-Rim Bowls, Kate Spade Saturday
6. Teepee Quilted Pillow, Ferm Living
7. Block Table, Normann Copenhagen
8. Wire Basket, Ferm Living

Happy New Year! To celebrate the arrival of 2014, I thought I’d put together a post about a brand that everyone else was talking about at the beginning of 2013, because that’s how far behind I am in picking up on things. I basically have my finger on the pulse of a hibernating bear, what can I say?

I heard about Kate Spade Saturday when the site launched last year, of course, but other than a few quick visits to the site to admire the graphic design, I kind of just put it out of my head. The Kate Spade main line isn’t a brand I pay attention to because the clothes really aren’t my style, so when Kate Spade Saturday came along, I wasn’t particularly interested. I get a lot of “saw this, thought of you” emails and tweets about Saturday stuff, though, so I finally took some time to check out the non-clothing items. Boy, have I been missing out! So much nice stuff…and pretty reasonable prices, too.

Wow, that was long-winded. Let’s get to it! Here are some of my favorite things from Kate Spade Saturday’s home line:

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1. Pyramid Picture Frame
Yes, that’s a triangular picture frame! It’s a glass sandwich held together by magnets, so you could really put anything in there, not just a piece of triangular art. So cool.
2. Wide-Rim Nesting Bowls
3. Tall Painted Vase
4. Graphic Pitcher
So very Bauhaus-ish! This pitcher is at the top of my wishlist. I like that it’s not MASSIVE, either. Just the right size.
5. Two-Color Napkins
OK wait, maybe I want these napkins more than the pitcher. They do look nice together…

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1. Carpet Pillowcase in Sunspot
You need to look at this pillow on the Saturday site and click to view it super-close. The texture is really, really nice. So wooly and chunky!
2. Saturday Morning Mug
This mug would look right at home in this room, yes?
3. Geometric Salt & Pepper Shakers
4. Desk Lamp
5. Circle Picture Frame
Same concept as the triangular frame above, but round. And pink. Just the right pink, too.
6. Positive-Negative Blanket
It’s reversible! The other side of the blanket is black with a white circle. Want.

Again, Happy New Year. I hope you’ve all had a little time to relax and decompress after the craziness of the last few months. I’ll be back on Monday with pictures of projects I’ve been working on at the house! Have a great weekend. xx

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Generally speaking, the time span between when I decide I might want to do something and the time when I actually do something is pretty long. I first started thinking about listing some designs on Society6 a couple of years ago, but after a disappointing experience with one of their iPhone cases, I shelved the thought for a while. I took my time buying numerous prints from other artists, checking out the textiles, and even ordering a new (and greatly improved) iPhone case back in July. I’ve been really impressed by the quality of everything I’ve seen, so after a lot of hesitation, I finally gave myself permission to go ahead and list a few things.

I am very pleased to announce my new little shop, K is for Black!

There are a number of Giclée prints for sale (which, according to Society6′s specs, are printed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks), as well as stretched canvases, iPhone cases, tote bags (!!!) and throw pillows. Woo hoo! Not every design is available in every format, because some stuff just doesn’t lend itself to certain applications. Eventually I’ll add some mugs and hoodies, too.

I have to admit that this is all very self-serving: I’m really just making the things that I want to own. You just get to the point where you accept that if you want a throw pillow that says “vile” on it, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. I wanted one, so I made one. Done! It’s fun being your own client sometimes.

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I suffer from what I like to call “LOOK AT ME, DON’T LOOK AT ME” syndrome. I want attention (hello, internet), but once I get it I want everyone to stop looking at me. Or at least only look at me in really good lighting. Now, thanks to the magic of on-demand printing, I can let a tote bag tell the world to simultaneously leave me alone but stop ignoring me. How fun!!!

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Victoria said she wanted a print with the word “focus” on it, so I designed one for her. (Yes, I’ll consider requests!) I have an annoying habit of putting the suffix “-ish” on everything I’m unsure about (6:00-ish, casual-ish, cold-ish, Jewish…you get the idea), so that got the poster treatment, too. That one is going up in the stairwell of my apartment.

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Oh, and you can have stuff framed! I haven’t seen the frames in person, but after reading a few reviews (like this very thorough one), I’m going to go ahead and give them a shot. I’ll let you know how it goes.

There is always going to be some concern on my part about having another company handle virtually every aspect of the production and shipping of my designs, but if I’m being honest with myself, I know I can’t handle that side of things. As much as I want to be the person who screen prints, sews and ships my own pillows, I am not that person. Maybe someday I will be, but for now I’m really excited and happy to be putting some stuff out there and making it possible to share it with other people.

I hope you see something you like! New designs will be added frequently, so please do check back. Yay!

K is for Black

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I’ve been a fan of South Africa-based textile designer Heather Moore’s work as Skinny laMinx for YEARS. Her storefront in Cape Town and her online Etsy shop are home to an amazing collection of her bold, graphic illustrations printed on everything from cushions to children’s clothes to prints and cards to fabric by the yard. She even sells textile scraps for all sorts of uses!

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Heather’s latest Skinny laMinx lookbook for 2013/2014 is sooooooo up my alley, and my favorite pieces are from the Afro-Scandi line: Oranges and ochres and browns and grays, an organic meeting of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. To celebrate the new collection, Heather has generously offered a $100 gift card to spend in the Skinny laMinx Etsy shop!

Here’s how to enter:
Visit the Skinny laMinx Etsy shop and the 2013/2014 Lookbook.
Pick out a few of your favorite things.
Leave a comment here letting us know what they are!

The deadline for entries is Friday, November 29th 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!

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I love pillows, and my favorite pillows of all are Elisabeth Dunker’s Gran (Swedish for “pine tree”) design for Fine Little Day. I’ve had a pair of them in black on white on my living room chairs for several years now, and they’re so cheerful and graphic while having a soft and organic look to them. They also manage to mix nicely with just about any other color/pattern combination.

I was so happy to open my email this morning and discover that Elisabeth is now offering her Gran pillow cases in a beautiful indigo linen with black printing in two sizes — 49x49cm (roughly the same size as the ones in my living room) and 39x 59cm. So pretty, and they look great combined with the original black/white cotton versions.

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Elisabeth has also introduced a Gran-patterned dish towel printed on white linen, which I will of course need to order for my own kitchen immediately! (I’d also like that loaf of bread, please, and maybe some marmalade and a cup of hot tea…)

Of course, you can still buy the original Gran pillow cases (available in several other colors, too), Gran baby blankets and even Gran wallpaper, which I would love to someday hang in my downstairs hallway.

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Here is the original Gran pillow cover in my house. See how nicely it plays with stripes and teardrops and super-fuzzy dogs? It’s the best pillow!

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I’m sure this will sound more than a little ridiculous, but I got a bit teary-eyed when I saw the new Weather Diary collection from Marimekko for the first time on Saturday night. You know how sometimes you have a picture in your head of exactly what something (a sweater, a chair, a plate…whatever) should look like, but it’s a little bit like a dream because it never actually materializes in front of you? I suppose that’s the moment when artists decide to create; to make real the thing they want to see. The rest of us wait for someone else to do it. I feel like Marimekko just did it for me. This is exactly what I wanted. Did I know that before I saw it? I can’t remember anymore.

The collection, inspired by Finnish weather patterns and named for islands in the archipelago, was designed by Aino-Maija Metsola. Over a period of several months, Metsola documented changes in weather along the Finnish shoreline through photographs (a number of which can be seen accompanying this interview), which then became sketches and in turn watercolor and ink illustrations. The resulting designs were printed on textiles as well as on Sami Ruotsalainen’s Oiva tableware. Collaboration between Metsola and Ruotsalainen centered around a the idea of dishes to be used for “simple picnics and cottage meals: crepes, wild mushroom soup, freshly baked coffee bread.”

Video direction by Ezra Gould at Cocoa for Marimekko

I feel like crawling inside of that video. Yesterday marked the official start of fall, and I couldn’t be happier. This is the best time of year as far as I’m concerned. Everything seems cleaner, fresher and more vibrant. There’s a sense of urgency to try to get done all of the outdoor things you can before winter comes (or before it starts raining), and a relief over not having to sweat under a blazing sun while it happens. I always think of fall as the beginning of the year, probably because I still associate it with starting a new year at school. It’s also my birthday season. The timing could not be more perfect…

Some words from Aino-Maija Metsola about weather:
“I like many kinds of weather, including rain and wind. Finding yourself in thick fog or a thunderstorm can also be a surreal experience. Of course, I’m not a big fan of unrelenting rain. Changes in weather are also inspiring if, like me, you’ve learned to dress according to the weather by living on an island. I don’t particularly dislike any weather, except perhaps too warm and drizzly winter weather. Every shower, drizzle or cloudburst is unique and beautiful in its own way. When it’s raining, everything seems to stop for a moment, which I enjoy somehow.”

Weather Diary, my favorites…

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1. Rosala poster
2. Sääpäiväkirja teapot
3. Sääpäiväkirja bowl
4. Sääpäiväkirja dinner plate
5. Sääpäiväkirja salad platter
6. Hiittinen tea towel set
7. Sääpäiväkirja mug
8. Small Sääpäiväkirja bowl

The entire Weather Diary collection is now available. I’m going to have a very hard time figuring out which piece (pieces?) will be coming home to live with me! I don’t need a teapot, but I want THAT teapot. Same goes for the tea towels — aside from being good for drying dishes, they’d also be so nice made into pillows (!) or even in a frame. And all I can think about is wild mushroom soup and freshly baked coffee bread…

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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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