Archive for April, 2016

DAVAmerica’s disabled veterans need our help and supporting the fine folks at DAV in their work is a no brainer.

About DAV: “DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. The organization provides more than 700,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 300,000 benefit claims annually. In 2015, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits to care for themselves and for veterans, their families and survivors. DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible. With almost 1,300 chapters and nearly 1.3 million members across the country, DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keep the promises made to them.”

Learn more about DAV and how to support them here.

Sparks (KS) Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market – April 28 – May 1

SparksIt is time once again for the big spring flea markets and I can’t wait. This weekend I am heading north of Kansas City for the big Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market – my third year attending this nice little regional show. The Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market spring show opened on April 28 and runs through this Sunday, May 1.

About the Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market: “Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market features more than 500 dealers. From this number, 450 sell antiques. If you are searching for the right antiques and collectibles, this is definitely the market for you. Started in 1982, this market is strategically located because it is right in the path of several other markets along the way, which are held the same weekend. Together they draw 75,000 people looking for treasures.”

The 2016 Sparks Antiques and Collectibles Flea Markets in Sparks, KS runs April 28-May 1 – and Sept. 1-4.

The Brimfield Show – May 10-15

BrimMeanwhile, back east, the granddaddy of all great antique flea markets…

…the Brimfield Show in Brimfield, MA is gearing up for the spring show, May 10-15.

It looks like I will be stuck here in KCMO for the May show, but I have my fingers crossed that I may make it to the September event.

Brimfield’s summer Show will be July 12-17 and they will close out the season with a Show Sept. 6-11, 2016.

Learn more about Brimfield here.

FF: The Fine Pottery from Ben Wolff Pottery

FF1Just in time to help get my 2016 container garden going I have found the fine pottery from Ben Wolff Pottery. Mr. Wolff’s work will be a huge step above the plastic buckets I have been using.

About Ben Wolff Pottery: “Using a wide selection of clays, glazes and finishes, Ben creates all of these flower pots on a potters wheel in his home in Goshen, Connecticut. Each planter is also personally signed on the bottom.”

Check out Ben Wolff Pottery’s online store here.

Learn more about Ben Wolff Pottery here.

FF: The Providence Journal from Craftland

FF2The major newspaper in Rhode Island’s capital city is The Providence Journal, known by locals as the Pro-Jo. But I found another kind of Providence Journal from the fine folks at Craftland – a perfect travel journal and a nice reminder of the couple of years I spent working in the cool little city.

About the Providence Journal from Craftland: “Providence is particularly divine when you’ve got this well-crafted journal in which to capture your deep thoughts and favorite memories. Works equally well for drawing, scheming, sketching, planning, mapping, note-taking, and recipe-inventing! Handbound with linen thread in a coptic binding, there are 80 pages of 60lb white, unlined paper. The end pages are made from sustainably harvested lokta paper. This book opens flat to make for easy writing or sketching and in this size and shape, at 4 x 5.5″ it’s easy to take anywhere while you travel.”

Find The Providence Journal from Craftland here.

See all the great find from Rhode Island-based Craftland here.

THU1If you find your way to the website of De Vera Objects you will find it to be minimalist to say the least – but it is one of the coolest homepages I have seen in some time. Click around and you will find out that De Vera Objects is the home of a couple of very classy antique galleries based in San Francisco and New York.

About De Vera Objects: “Established in San Francisco in 1991 by Federico de Vera as a creative undertaking in lifestyle, de Vera has come to symbolize a singular point of view in the beauty of objects as well as display. Curiosity of the natural world, passion for collecting and presentation, and desire to evolve has resulted in the opening of the New York City location in 2003. The gallery shows a finely curated selection including Venetian glass, Japanese lacquer, ivory carvings, 18th century religious figures and antique jewelry. Another unique focus is de Vera jewelry incorporating rare antique elements such as Roman intaglios and Georgian brooches, with precious gemstones including rose-cut diamonds, baroque pearls and Sardinian coral.”

Find De Vera Objects online here.

cabinWho hasn’t dreamed of owning a cabin in some secluded place where you can escape the world and relax and maybe read a stack of books – or maybe even write one? Well, I have had that dream and it seems as though it is a thing – as I found out when I picked up this week’s book, Cabin Porn – Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Zach Klein with Steven Leckart and feature photography by Noah Kalina.

About Cabin Porn by Zach Klein: “Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn. Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience. The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere.”

It is fun to look at all the cool cabins there are out there. But more than anything, the places seen in Cabin Porn leave you with the idea that it is indeed possible to have a place of your own just like them someday.

Cabin Porn by Zach Klein is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.

hammThere are many fine purveyors of fine design collections out there, but few as fine as the fine folks at LA-based Hammer & Spear. Hammer & Spear offers the work of local designers, as well as a fine collection of furnishings, great vintage pieces, and an excellently curated selection of lifestyle products.

About Hammer & Spear: “In 2013, husband and wife duo Scott Jarrell and Kristan Cunningham opened Hammer & Spear, a multidisciplinary design firm and brick & mortar retailer in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. In two short years, they have grown exponentially, with the reopening of their newly expanded 5,000 square foot showroom. Here, they feature a collection of hand-picked vintage pieces and a well-edited selection of lifestyle products, while providing a platform for the work of burgeoning LA designers. This concept translates seamlessly into their design firm philosophy of working closely with artisans to achieve site-specific designs, uniquely tailored to every client.”

Among the items at Hammer & Spear that caught my eye is the Mulholland Wing Chair by Sabin (above right): “This small scaled, gently curving wing chair draws you in. Utterly, all-encompassingly cozy, it’s also a visual treat thanks to the graceful lines of the back, the quirky arms and the gorgeous ball-feet. Perfect in a pair, or great singularly to anchor a hallway or a corner.”

Visit Hammer & Spear online here.

whaleI really like bottle openers. I don’t need to open many bottles these days, but I still like keeping some funky arty openers around as decoration.

The fine folks at Aero Home offer a really nice collection of HomArt Bottle Openers that will have you wanting to start a new collection…

…like the classic Whale HomArt Bottle Opener (above right):

“HomArt’s sturdy cast iron Whale Bottle Opener is hand-painted a lifelike black with red lips and white teeth.”

must…or the Mustache HomArt Bottle Opener-Cork Pull (right) – the very bottle opener you didn’t know you wanted but now can’t live without:

“On a table as a decoration, in your hand as a playful prop, or being used as a bottle opener or wine pull, HomArt’s cast iron Mustache Bottle Opener/Wine Pull is a wonderful decorative accessory. Useful and stylish, HomArt’s Mustache Bottle Opener/Wine Pull makes a great gift.”

Check out the entire HomArt Bottle Opener collection from Aero Home here.

See all the great product for the home offered by Aero Home here.

stellaThe fine folks at Stella Artois are supporting’s mission to bring clean water to women around the world with their Buy A Lady A Drink campaign – just purchase a limited edition Stella Artois chalice and you can provide clean water for one person for something like five years.

About Stella Artois’ Buy A Lady A Drink campaign: “Water has played a key part in our 600-year brewing heritage, so we know its lasting impact. Yet today, 663 million people live without access to clean water, a problem that disproportionately affects women. That’s why in 2015, through our Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, we helped provide more than 290,000 people in the developing world with 5 years of clean water, and in 2016 we’ve partnered again with to help more people around the world who don’t have access to it. We believe it’s important for all of us to leave a mark. For every limited-edition Chalice sold, we can help provide 5 years of clean water for 1 person in the developing world.”

Learn how you can support Stella Artois’ Buy A Lady A Drink campaign here.


FF: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

IWA decade into my bourbon-loving career I am still finding new brands to try, like my most recent find: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

About I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:

“Beginning with a subtle nose, I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey leaves traces of caramel and vanilla on entry before melting into velvety bursts of wood and spice. The finish is sweet and pleasant with subtle fruit notes.”

Learn more about I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and where to find it here.

FF: The fine pens from Lamy

The world is full of cheap, disposable pens. However, there is nothing like using a high quality writing instrument to make you feel good and want to find any excuse to keep writing. Which is why I like the rollerball pens from Lamy.


About the Rollerball pens from Lamy:

“Lamy rollerballs are a good alternative to fountain pens or ballpoint pens. Combine the best of the two classic categories: Our rollerball pens are as easy to operate as ballpoint pens. And they have a similarly beautiful typeface to the fountain pen. All in all, Lamy rollerballs offer a very high level of writing comfort.”

Check out all the fine pens and related products from Lamy here.