I have a collection of plates featuring cities and historic sites I have visited. Most of these are decorative vintage items sold as souvenirs that I have amassed over the years. Now the fine folks at Not Neutral have a great collection of City Plates featuring cities from around the world that make collecting plates cool.

I like the Boston plate from Not Neutral’s City Plates collection:

“Part of our sixth series of City Plates. The theme of this sixth collection is ‘American Dreams.’ Each of the cities in the series (Boston, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Palm Springs) has inspired the spirit of the American dream. Whether it was freedom from religious persecution, the promise of fortune and fame, or the desire for a golden age of leisure that spurred the growth of these four cities, they are all landmarks—historically and architecturally— that represent the persistence of a national ethos full of ambition and optimism.”

See all the City Plates from Not Neutral here.

See all the cool finds from Not Neutral here.

Reading the news about the Middle East over the years it is easy to distill the region into one big vat of conflict. Oh, there is conflict and tension to be sure, but like everywhere else there are human interactions and interesting people, and most certainly a lot of history. Take all of that and put it into a novel, along with a compelling plot, and you have The Diamond Setter by Moshe Sakal.

About The Diamond Setter by Moshe Sakal: “Inspired by true events, this best-selling Israeli novel traces a complex web of love triangles, homoerotic tensions, and family secrets across generations and borders, illuminating diverse facets of life in the Middle East. The uneventful life of a jeweler from Tel Aviv changes abruptly in 2011 after Fareed, a handsome young man from Damascus, crosses illegally into Israel and makes his way to the ancient port city of Jaffa in search of his roots. In his pocket is a piece of a famous blue diamond known as ‘Sabakh.’ Intending to return the diamond to its rightful owner, Fareed is soon swept up in Tel Aviv’s vibrant gay scene, and a turbulent protest movement. He falls in love with both an Israeli soldier and his boyfriend–the narrator of this book–and reveals the story of his family’s past: a tale of forbidden love beginning in the 1930s that connects Fareed and the jeweler.”

Set across the landscape of the troubled region, this novel (now available in English translated from the original Hebrew) ties present day to a time gone by when the world was a very different place (and not so different) with a collection of diverse characters, cultures, and situations that transcend what we think we know.

The Diamond Setter by Moshe Sakal is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

I love having my feet massaged. I seem to carry all my tension in my feet and if I can get a nice rub on them from time to time I feel much better. The problem is I really do not have anyone around who is keen on giving me a foot massage, so I usually roll a baseball or tennis ball with my foot on the floor, which works pretty well. But now I have found the best thing ever for my feet – the Foot Pro from the fine folks at Moji.

About the Moji Foot Pro:

“Freeze for an ICE massage! Relieves foot pain, feels awesome and is great for Plantar Fasciitis. The Moji Foot PRO Massager features high-tech engineered stainless steel spheres which are professional grade and travel-friendly. The spheres dig deep into muscle and tissues to relieve pain and break up scar tissue.”

Learn more and find the Moji Foot Pro here.

It is May and the weather has finally turned better after a long winter and gloomy spring. Which means it is antique fair and flea market season. I was fortunate to visit the Sparks Antique and Flea Market in Sparks, Kansas (about 90 minutes north of Kansas City) over the weekend to get my fix, but I where I really want to be is back in New England to attend the mother of all antique shows – the great Brimfield Antique Show held in Brimfield, Mass. thrice as year (May, July, Sept.).

For all of those who are nearby or inclined to take a great road trip, Brimfield’s May show starts tomorrow, May 8 and runs through Sunday, May 13, 2018.

About the Brimfield Antiques Show: “Mark your calendars and book your vacation time and hotel reservations. Antique dealers and collectors travel from throughout the United States and abroad to attend the world famous Brimfield Antique Flea Markets. Considered the oldest outdoor antiques events running for over 50 years, they are held three times each year, in May, July and September for a six day period, always Tuesday through Sunday. The 2018 dates are May 8-13, July 10-15, September 6-9. The Brimfield Flea Markets are actually comprised of about twenty individually owned show fields that have specific opening times, contact information and admissions. Brimfield, Massachusetts, home of the Brimfield Antique Flea Markets, is located in Central Massachusetts just west of the intersection of Rte. 84 and the Massachusetts turnpike (Rte.90) at the crossroads of New England. It is estimated by State Police that over 50,000 people attend the Brimfield Antique Flea Markets and the exhibitors who set up booths number in the thousands.”

Learn more about the Brimfield Antique Show here.

The next show for the Sparks Antique and Flea Market is set for August 30 – September 2, 2018.

After a rather cold and damp spring, I am happy to report the weather has finally changed for us here in Kansas City. I was pleased to be able to take in a Royals game at The K (Kauffman Stadium) the other day on a perfect afternoon for baseball.

I am still looking for all the perfect accents for my new house and I am loving the search. I don’t have a place in mind for the June Entryway Table I found from the fine folks at Barn Light – but I am sure going to try hard to find one.

About the June Entryway Table from Barn Light:

“Evocative of classic furniture designs, the June Entryway Table incorporates fashionable mid-century influences. To establish this familiar look, a hand-shaped wood table top is mounted to subtle metal legs. The union between wood and metal imbues the June with warmth, character, and style. With the June sitting in entryways and living spaces, these rooms receive their own unique personality. A vast selection of woods, stains, and powder coat finishes facilitates the exact look you envision for your home. Different stain options emphasis the wood’s natural character and depth, while others replicate the look of distressed wood. Ranging from lively and playful to more restrained options, powder coat finishes put the finishing touches on the June’s aesthetic!”

Find the June Entryway Table from Barn Light from Barn Light here.

See all the fine accents for the home from Barn Light here.

I am a big movie fan, although I am all about the artistic aspects of cinema, I am always interested in learning more about the business side of the industry. Sadly, the business side has often steered the creative side – really throughout the history of film, but there was a time when the big studios understood that the creative vision of artists could lead to commercial success. However, in this age of blockbusters and global box office tallies, it is clear the pendulum is squarely on the business end of things. In his new book, The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, Walls Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz examines the current state of Hollywood and offers a scenario for what we can expect in the future.

About The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz: “In the past decade, Hollywood has endured a cataclysm on a par with the end of silent film and the demise of the studio system. Stars and directors have seen their power dwindle, while writers and producers lift their best techniques from TV, comic books, and the toy biz. The future of Hollywood is being written by powerful corporate brands like Marvel, Amazon, Netflix, and Lego, as well as censors in China. Ben Fritz chronicles this dramatic shakeup with unmatched skill, bringing equal fluency to both the financial and entertainment aspects of Hollywood. He dives deeply into the fruits of the Sony hack to show how the previous model, long a creative and commercial success, lost its way. And he looks ahead through interviews with dozens of key players at Disney, Marvel, Netflix, Amazon, Imax, and others to discover how they have reinvented the business. He shows us, for instance, how Marvel replaced stars with ‘universes,’ and how Disney remade itself in Apple’s image and reaped enormous profits. But despite the destruction of the studios’ traditional playbook, Fritz argues that these seismic shifts signal the dawn of a new heyday for film. The Big Picture shows the first glimmers of this new golden age through the eyes of the creative mavericks who are defining what our movies will look like in the new era.”

Mr. Fritz predicts that this current state of the film industry will lead to a new creative age. I sure hope he is right.

The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

I think having an heirloom-quality chessboard is a must for every home. Seriously, I do. Not only is chess a great game, a fine chessboard looks classy set up in a den, library, or family room. I like the Marine Leather Chessboard I found from the fine folks at Scully & Scully.

About the Marine Leather Chessboard from Scully & Scully:

“Handcrafted in English country workshops by the same team of dedicated craftsmen and women who make the chessboards and boxes for the World Chess Championship clash between Spassky and Fischer in 1972. Finest English Dauphin calf leather is inlaid with 2 ⅛” squares. Box is lined with suedette, including bottom of board. A special inside rim is constructed so that you open the set by pushing down on one side of the board. Chess pieces are triple-weighted wood.”

Find the Marine Leather Chessboard from Scully & Scully here.

See all the great products from Scully & Scully here.

« Previous PageNext Page »