Archive for July, 2012

Last night I swung by my favorite spot looking over Lake and Mount Chocorua in Tamworth, NH when I saw some gathering clouds.  Once again I was rewarded with another amazing scene.

I love the extra layer of dimension the large cloud mass provides above the mountain and reflecting on the lake.  It was a warm and humid night and those clouds later produced some mighty powerful thunderstorms.


MONKSWIZI have no good reason to invest in high-end swizzle sticks, or swizzle sticks in general for that matter.  However, I am going to try to find a good reason very quickly as I have fallen in love with the Monkey and Palm Swizzle Stick from Patrick Mavros.

About the Monkey and Palm Swizzle Stick from Patrick Mavros: “The lively grey vervet monkey is found throughout the subcontinent. A charming and sociable animal, it has an appealing, velvety-black face and expressive white brows. This monkey has stolen some palm wine and gotten drunk. He swivels dizzily round and round the stick brandishing a coconut and mixing your cocktail at the same time!”

I love the whole monkey motif – were he wearing a fez there would be no question – I would have three in my collection already.  I have to say I love these guys and many of Patrick Mavros’ other extraordinary silver sculptures. 

I also love the ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil’ set of monkey spoons.

See all of the silver sculptures of Patrick Mavros here.

ZEBRAWhen I was a kid one of my little neighborhood friend’s parents had designed the coolest family room ever.  It was a big open modern space furnished with funky Scandinavian-inspired pieces. The centerpiece of the room was a zebra hide rug.  This was a real zebra hide and I was fascinated by it.  Although it was on the floor, we were not allowed to step on it – just look at it and when no one was looking, stroke the mane or the fur that was smooth one direction and coarse the other.

I was reminded of this little gem recently when I came across this Zebra Hide Towel from Maslin and Co. Which is described as:  “Deluxe zebra hide-shaped beach towel, crafted in 100% cotton. Design is reversible with 100% cotton trimmed edges and measures 54” wide x 70” tall. Finished with leather holster.”  They had me at holster!

About Maslin and Co.“Named after Australia’s first nude beach enclave, Maslin & Co is a new collection of well-crafted resort particulars, dedicated to sun worshippers and bon vivants. Debuting for Resort 2011/12, Maslin & Co was conceived as a tribute to the exotic ideals of seventies hedonism and draws design inspiration from the world of nature, the surreal and ultimately, beach vagabond culture. This collection is a new horizon in lifestyle accessories and covetable beach classics for purveyors of pleasure and leisure.”

Seriously this zebra towel is so cool and different.  I bet I would be the only one who shows up later this summer at my annual beach-side vacation on Cape Cod with one of these.  But then again, one of my traveling companions does fancy animal prints.

Find the Zebra Hide Towel and all the products of Maslin and Co. here.

corkcanI found these Wine Cork Candles from Vat19 (“purveyors of curiously awesome products“). 

These Cork Candles are a very simple idea that can add some fun to a summer dinner party table.

About the Wine Cork Candles from Vat19: “Put a (candle) cork in it. The next time you kill a bottle of wine, use it as a candle holder for your Wine Cork Candles. These realistic-looking cork candles will certainly make a statement. They may even confuse some of your more tipsy guests that the bottle is on fire (which should liven up the soiree).  Each set of Wine Cork Candles includes four candles. Each candle will burn for approximately 2 hours.”

Find the Wine Cork Candles and other fun “curiously awesome” products from Vat19 here.

MASONA while back, my friend Lynda sent me a great product – the Cuppow – a plastic lid designed to cover a standard canning  jar and turn it into a travel mug.  I love it and use it all the time. A glass canning jar is the perfect vessel for summer drinks, especially iced tea or iced coffee.

The Cuppow is great, but I also recently came across the good folks at Acme Party Box who offer a whole set of Mason Jar Sippers, which are perfect for a summer party.

About the Mason Jar Sippers, Box of 12 from Acme Party Box: “Adorable for kids parties and casual chic for grown-up celebrations, our glass drinking jars and straws will set your table setting apart! Includes 12 8 oz. jars with daisy perforated metal lids and 12 sturdy multi-color paper straws. Party. Rinse. Repeat!”

These Mason Jar Sippers are just the type of thing that can turn an ordinary summer party into something truly memorable.  Fill them up with you best iced tea brew (or adult beverage) and let your guests take them home and you will be the best loved host of the summer.

See all the great party solutions of Acme Party Box here.

TODDWe have received a few inquiries from our flea market fans asking when we will be set up at Todd Farm (the Sundays-only antique flea market in Rowley, MA) selling our carefully-curated collection of “smalls” again…

Well, the quick answer is we are not sure right now.  We are enjoying the summer, which includes scouring church fairs, elephant tables, barn sales, and country auctions looking for new merchandise to bring to market in the future.

We hope to do at least one sale at Todd Farm in August – and a few later in September and October.  As always, we will post advance notice here and on our Facebook page – usually on the Friday before the sale and confirmed in the wee hours on the sale day.

If you have visited our booth at Todd Farm in the past and are familiar with our offerings and would like to see if we may have more of something you fancy – please send us a note and let us know.

In the meantime, we may show up at Todd Farm as shoppers at some point in the coming weeks, so if you are there and spot us, please say hello.

[Todd Farm is an antique and collectibles market in Rowley, MA – open Sundays, April-November.]

ORVPADI love Orvis, the fine old-school purveyor of “sporting traditions.”  There is an Orvis outlet store in nearby North Conway, NH which I have been known to frequent, for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I love the products they carry, like their own brand as well as quality labels such as Barbour.  And I am always looking for the Barbour jacket with my name on it to show up.

Anyway, I came across Orvis’ American Steerhide iPad Case recently and want it!  I have to wait a while as I already have a few cases for my one iPad, but this is seriously nice.

About The American Steerhide iPad® Case from Orvis: “Your gadgets deserve the same care you’d give yourself, so treat your iPad to this soft but durable tanned leather case made from 100% Tennessee steer hide. Convenient travel case for your iPad made of 100% Tennessee tanned steerhide leather that has been dry milled for a soft, yet durable feel. Snap closure from vintage WWII 45 ACP holsters. Tanned leather iPad case in brown.”

Wait, maybe if I get one of these cases it would be a good excuse to buy a new iPad.

Find the American Steerhide iPad Case and all the great products of Orvis here.

LONDONBUSI love when two or more of my interests collide in the perfect application of something truly awesome.  As an unabashed Anglophile and lover of modern design, I have to say that I adore the new design of the iconic red London double-decker bus by the elite design firm Heatherwick Studio.

About A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studio:  “In January 2010, Heatherwick Studio joined the team leading the design of a New Bus for London. The project marks the first time in more than 50 years that TFL has commissioned and overseen the development of a bus built specifically for the capital.  Working alongside specialist bus manufacturer, Wrightbus, the external design has been developed to reflect the functional requirements of the vehicle. A long asymmetric front window provides the driver with clear kerbside views, while a wrapped glazing panel reflects passenger circulation – bringing more daylight into the bus and offering views out over London.”

This New Bus for London is a great example of how function and design can come together for something that is just perfect.  I am told there are a couple already on he streets with a few more to be released to coincide with the London Olympics later this month.  I can’t wait to see these babies on my next trip to London. 

By the way, Heatherwick Studio (which “exists to make extraordinary projects happen“) was established by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, and is known for great design projects large and small.  I am just a fan.

See the New Bus for London and other projects by Heatherwick Studio here.

You know how we love the ever changing beauty of Mount Chocorua in the Sandwich Mountain range of New Hampshire.  We have posted many pictures we have taken of the stunning mountain and the eponymous lake at its foot over the past year.

However, local photographer Jim Salge (of Jim Salge Photography) has us beat with this amazing photo of the Northern Lights over the mountain last weekend – taken from the very spot most of our pictures are taken.  Very cool!


We have been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights a few times up here over the years, and we were on the lookout the other night and saw a few hues – but this takes the cake.

Congratulations to Mr. Salge and thanks for capturing such beauty.

See the online gallery of New England landscape and nature images by photographer Jim Salge here.

50mil1There are many books and blogs about eating local produce and the whole slow food movement.  However, just as vital is the idea of growing and sourcing locally grown plants and flowers – the subject of the wonderful book The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers by Debra Prinzing.

About The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers by Debra Prinzing: “Most flowers on the market today are imported, mass-produced and chemical-laden. The 50 Mile Bouquet introduces some of the innovative voices of the dynamic new Slow Flower movement: the organic flower farmers, the sustainably-motivated floral designers…and the flower enthusiasts who are increasingly asking, Where and how were my flowers grown, and who grew them?  With documentary-feature reporting and full color photographs, this visually elegant book takes us into the farms and design studios of these slow-flower folks to follow the green journey of the 50 mile bouquet. This is the first book to spotlight this major transformation in how cut flowers are grown, designed and consumed, which closely mirrors the locavore/slow food revolution in the culinary world.”

50mil2I love local flowers and often purchase the flowers vendors pick in the morning and bring to the market.  I also love the wildflowers that grow all around the area that make my summer bike rides and hikes so colorful.  In The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers, Ms. Prinzing takes on a journey that celebrates the idea of a local bouquet of flowers and it is more interesting than you would think.  To make it even more appealing, the book is populated with wonderful photographs (like this one) by photographer David Perry.

The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Visit The 50 Mile Bouquet blog and site here.