Archive for September, 2016

FF: The Bacon Hot Dogs from Vermont Smoke and Cure

g1There comes a time in every man’s life when you just stop and say you have found perfection – and today is that day for me – as I have discovered the Bacon Hot Dogs from the fine folks at Vermont Smoke and Cure.

About the Bacon Hot Dogs from Vermont Smoke and Cure:

“Yep, there’s bacon in these dogs! We mix beef with our own bacon before stuffing into a natural lamb casing and slowly smoking these dogs. Beef + bacon + smoke = perfection!”

Find the Bacon Hot Dogs from Vermont Smoke and Cure here.

See all the great products from Vermont Smoke and Cure here.

FF: Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball Pen

g2Everyone needs a good pen. You can spend a ton of money on pens and other than status it is not much worth it in my opinion. And yes, the world is full of cheap pens. However, I think an investment in a moderately priced pen is worth every penny – and there are none better than the Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball Pen.

About the Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball Pen:

“A fantastic value rollerball pen from Pilot. This light green metal bodied pen has a patterned print accent band and uses the Pilot G2 gel rollerball refill.”

The Pilot Metropolitan Rollerball Pen is available from the fine folks at Goulet Pens.

See all the fine pens and related products from Goulet pens here.

swimWhile browsing the beautifully curated selection of art cards at the great Jules Besch in Truro, MA last month, my eyes were drawn to the wonderful works of Laurie Swim. Ms. Swim’s work is wonderfully evocative of the northeastern seaside (no surprise she is from Nova Scotia) and even more remarkable as the prints I saw were taken from her medium of choice, textiles – as in quilting – and her talent is exceptional.

About artist Laurie Swim: “Laurie has worked as an artist for some 40 years, developing unique and innovative treatments to fashion her imagery in textiles with fabric and thread. Laurie has written three books, two published internationally, on quilt art. The Joy of Quilting with an Introduction by Alex Colville, 1984, made her an early leader in the art quilt field. Laurie’s third book, Rags to Riches: The Quilt as Art with an introduction by Mary Pratt, was published in Canada in 2007. Laurie’s works grace many private and public collections, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Art Bank, Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council, the City of Toronto Art Collection and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.”

I love her work titled “In the Moment” (above right) which is available as a note card, along with many of her other great works, in Laurie Swim’s online shop.

Explore a gallery of Laurie Swim’s work here.

See Laurie Swim’s online shop here.

boyJust a couple of weeks ago the literary world (and just about anyone who cares about such things) marked what would have been the 100th birthday of the great Roald Dahl. Mr. Dahl, best known for his classic novels like James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, possessed one of the greatest story-telling minds of the last century.

I have been a fan of Mr. Dahl as long as I can remember and thought I had consumed just about everything he had ever written. However, recently I was delighted to see that there was an untapped font of his writing in the form of letters he wrote to his mother from childhood and beyond. Now, for the first time to mark the centennial of his birth, these letters have been put in the wonderful new book, Love from Boy – Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother edited by Donald Sturrock.

About Love from Boy – Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother by Donald Sturrock: “From the author of The BFG, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and many more beloved classics—a whimsical, witty, and revealing collection of the legendary children’s author and writer Roald Dahl’s letters written to his mother, from early childhood through Dahl’s travels to Africa, his career in the Royal Air Force, his work in post-war Washington, D.C., and Hollywood, and the books that made him a literary star. Roald Dahl penned his first letter to his mother, Sofie Magdalene, when he was just nine years old. The origins of a brilliantly funny, subversive, creative mind were evident in boarding school, and as he entered adulthood, his penchant for storytelling emerged in his missives home from Africa, where he was stationed by Shell Oil, and then the desert camps of the Royal Air Force. His skills were sharpened after a plane crash in Egypt landed him in Washington, D.C., where his cheery letters home were cover for his work in the British Secret Service, along with gossipy updates on his spontaneous rise in Hollywood and his budding New York literary career.”

The letters Mr. Dahl wrote home display his talents in the most intimate way. Unlike the books that have become the favorites of millions, these letters were written for an audience of one, his mother. Yet you can’t help to think that in his signature devilish way he always knew fans like me would one day devour them too.

About Love from Boy – Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother by Donald Sturrock is available from Amazon and other fine book retailers.

succI swear I helped to start the current succulent trend by attending a succulent wreath making seminar with my lifelong friend Lynda a few years back. I should have figured out a product or another way to monetize succulents, as I was a pioneer, but now I am behind the trend. Anyway, I was thinking about this the other day when I came across this Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit from the fine folks at Uncommon Goods.

About the Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit from Uncommon Goods: “How does your garden grow? Lush with hand-selected succulents and a layer of moss, this rustic, wood-framed garden is a work of living art. Designed to thrive indoors and out, the bright array of greenery is held in place by water-preserving moss and light mesh within a square or rectangular frame. Succulents are as low maintenance as they are charming, and with the included instructions, you’ll be able to keep your clippings alive and well for years. Your portable garden can be hung from a wall or fence, or used as a living centerpiece—an eye catching way to get your gardening hobby off the ground. Made in San Diego.”

I really think that a wall garden is an excellent idea and a great way to bring a little more green in your decorating.

Find the Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit from Uncommon Goods here.

See all the cool products from Uncommon Goods here.

tile1I love fine Italian ceramics, specifically, I like the tiles. When I was in Italy a few years back, I purchased a few tiles as souvenirs and have them on display at my house. They are great to have around to remind me of that trip and I am always filled with warm thoughts when I look at them, especially one I purchased in Spello on one of the most perfect days of my life.

Anyway, I like finding tiles that I can add to my collection even if they are a little less sentimental, which is why I love the fine folks at Santa Barbara, California-based Italian Pottery Outlet.

About Italian Pottery Outlet: “We have a huge selection of traditional pottery from Umbria and Tuscany, as well as new and exciting patterns from regions all over Italy. Our ceramics are made in small workshops where artisans and their families produce individual works of art using techniques handed down from generation to generation. We carry the largest collection of quality, handmade and hand-decorated Italian ceramics in the West, providing our customers with beautiful and unique items for their homes and gardens. We offer excellent customer service and prompt shipping from our fully stocked warehouse.”

Italian Pottery Outlet has a ton of great tiles to choose from, many sizes and price points – many at really affordable prices.

Of course you need this St. Francis of Assisi tile (above right): “A lovely square tile of St. Francis with Birds. Hang as a reminder of compassion towards others and the environment.”

tile2And then there are the classic location tiles, like this one featuring the island of Sicily (right):

“Our handmade and hand painted ceramic tiles are all from Amalfi Coast. The replication of the map of Sicily is so eclectic in this tile. Hang it inside or outside to decorate your home with some Italian flair.”

See the Italian ceramic tiles collection from Italian Pottery Outlet here

See all the fine ceramics and pottery of Italian Pottery Outlet here.

FF: The Woven Wire Votive Candle Holders from Charest Studios

ff1I’m really digging this Set of Three Woven Wire Votive Candle Holders I found from the fine folks at Charest Studios. These are much nicer than the average small candle holders out there and every one of them is unique.

About the Woven Wire Votive Candle Holders from Charest Studios:

“This set of handmade woven wire votive holders includes three votive candles in glass. The woven wire votive holders are about 3 inches tall by 2 1/2 wide. They are rustic. Made of annealed steel wire and should be protected from wet or damp to prevent rust.”

Find the Woven Wire Votive Candle Holders from Charest Studios here.

Check out all that Charest Studios has to offer here.

FF: Delta Blues Brown Rice

ff2I haven’t eaten a lot of rice over the summer, but I will be back in my fall eating habits soon and starting with Brown Rice from the fine folks at Delta Blues Rice.

About Delta Blues Brown Rice:

“Delta Blues Brown Rice is not your average brown rice and is sure to be a deliciously healthy addition to your menu. It has a mild, nutty flavor that people love. Brown rice comes from leaving the bran on the rice grain, which gives it added nutritional value.”

Check out Delta Blues Brown Rice here.

Learn more about all the products of Delta Blues Rice here.

alph1I rarely gush about one of my finds. Ok, I lied, I know I often go on and on about how great something is, but I swear, today’s find is the best ever. The fine folks at Alphabet Signs is pretty much the only place you need to go for anything related to signs. I don’t really need any signs, but a visit to Alphabet Signs has me wanting to make up reasons to buy some.

For example, how cool would it be to have a Mugshot Letter Board? You could have a lot of fun with this taking pictures of your friends and family at your next big event.

About the Mugshot Letter Board from Alphabet Signs: “The mugshot letter board’s small size makes it convenient for displaying short titles or messages. Used by photographers for classroom photos, police departments as mugshot boards, and concession stands with a few menu items, it is also used as door signs for meeting rooms or multipurpose rooms that require a changeable title.”

alph2Or, who doesn’t want their own portable marquee sign? You can use one of these to write those clever sayings you see all over social media as seen at a local church.

About the Portable Marquee Signs from Alphabet Signs: “Big portable marquee signs are quality manufactured so they won’t rot or fall apart. These portable business signs are fabricated with a double line structural steel frame. The steel frames are made of 1 x 1 x 1/8 inch angle steel and welded together with plates to form the box. This is superior compared to a sign box with just angle brackets in the corners, which are prone to rack. Portable marquee sign replacement parts are great for upgrading old or neglected letter boards without having to pay for a new one. We carry tracking, faces, frames, arrows, stands, electronic flashers, sockets and more.”

Seriously, the options for fun are unlimited!

Learn more and see all the great sign options available from Alphabet Signs here.

autIt hardly seems possible, but tomorrow brings us the first day of fall with the Autumnal Equinox. Which means cold nights are sure to follow and a move to indoor pastimes, perhaps like coloring, is in store. Well, just in time for those long nights by the fire the fine folks behind the Color Magic series of adult coloring books has brought us Autumn Magic: Gorgeous Autumn Patterns to Color.

About Autumn Magic: Gorgeous Autumn Patterns to Color: “The latest addition to the best-selling Color Magic series! Like all of the books in this series, Autumn Magic captures the youthful joy of coloring and combines it with the sophisticated composition of distinct patterns that everyone can color, share, and enjoy. These spectacular designs include jack-o-lanterns and cornucopias, Halloween witches and spooky bats, trees crowned with leaves just waiting for your splash of Autumn color. Coloring is such a popular pastime with people of all ages because it encourages us to slow down, challenge ourselves to try something new, and create something that is even more beautiful than we imagined. Once completed, these images are ideal for decorating, framing, and gift-giving.”

I can’t think of a better way to share the colors of the fall than by creating your own with the Autumn Magic patterns.

Autumn Magic: Gorgeous Autumn Patterns to Color is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

aabWhat do you get the spoiled pooch who has everything? Why you get them a  from the fine folks at Pipolli.

About the Dog TeePees from Pipolli:

“Everyone needs a little space just for themselves, including our furry friends. These teepees provide the perfect escape for your dog and are a charming addition to any room. They are very easy to assemble and lightweight, so it can be easily moved from place to place. Includes a matching zippered mat and a carry bag.”

Perfect for the little Boo in your life, no?

Find the Dog TeePees from Pipolli here.

Learn more about Pipolli here.

aa1There is nothing better than a cool product made from recycled material. Such is the case with the really cool designs of the table cloths from the fine folks at Bottlecloth who make their product from recycled plastic bottles.

About Bottlecloth: “Bottlecloth’s unique line of modern eco-chic table linens, featuring bold and colorful original designs, is made of 100% recycled woven fabric sourced from plastic bottles. These innovative and functional tablecloths, placemats and runners are super low maintenance, spill-resistant and ideal for family gatherings. Create memorable moments around your table with BottleCloth sustainable linens.”

Check out Bottlecloth here.