Archive for June, 2021

I have mentioned many times over the years that one of the most enjoyable books I have every read was John Adams, the biography of the founding father by the great David McCullough. I loved learning more about the often neglected founder which was brought to life life like no other than Mr. McCullough could do. Over the years I have been eager to learn more about John Adams (especially during the short time I spent living in Quincy, MA literally a block away from the Adams home) so I was happy to jump into Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis.

In Passionate Sage, Dr. Ellis focuses mostly on the post presidency years of Adams’ life an fills in sketch of a retired scholar, father, farmer, and iconic founder who may have contributed more than any other of his circle to the nation of laws we have today.

About Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis:

“A fresh look at this astute, likably quirky statesman, by the author of the Pulitzer Award-winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award winning American Sphinx. ‘The most lovable and most laughable, the warmest and possibly the wisest of the founding fathers, John Adams knew himself as few men do and preserved his knowledge in a voluminous correspondence that still vibrates. Ellis has used it with great skill and perception not only to bring us the man, warts and all, but more importantly to reveal his extraordinary insights into the problems confronting the founders that resonate today in the republic they created.’ – Edmund S. Morgan, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University”

What better way to spend the Independence Day weekend than learning more about one of the men who made it all happen?

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

Just in time to spruce up your summer cottage (and maybe your man cave or kid’s dorm room) I have found a great collection of surfboards as works of art from the fine folks at St. Frank. The gallery-worthy boards come in a variety of patterns based on the textiles St. Frank has sourced from around the world.

I like the St. Frank’s Black Tree of Life Surfboard:

“This surfboard brings together the quality of legendary shaper Gary Linden of Linden Surfboards and our iconic St. Frank Black Tree of Life Suzani textile pattern. Gary Linden has been a surfer for over 50 years and has been shaping boards for almost as long. He is a founder of the Big Wave Tour and is the oldest active big wave surfer today. This collaboration combines the highest standards of a functional surfboard with artistic expression that can live on the water or your walls. The Black Tree of Life Suzani textile is inspired by a vintage St. Frank piece created in Uzbekistan, this suzani tree of life design represents three spheres: the roots spring from the underworld, the trunk rises through the terrestrial world, and the branches reach the heavens. Traditionally used for wall hangings or as a woman’s marriage dowry, the flower designs are symbolic of fertility and fruitfulness. The tree of life’s decorative embroidery is also thought to possess a protective element.”

Find the Black Tree of Life Surfboard from St. Frank.

See St. Frank’s entire Surfboard Collection.

Visit St. Frank online.

I don’t know about you, but for me there seems to be a baby boom going on all around. Seriously, in the past few months there have been several new ones introduced in my relatively small circle. Which means baby gifts are needed. One of my favorite go-to sources for gifts for newborns these days are the fine folks at Rookie Humans. A guaranteed hit is Rookie Humans’ Hedgehog and Mushrooms Bamboo Swaddle.

About the Hedgehog and Mushrooms Bamboo Swaddle from Rookie Humans:

“Our 100% viscose from bamboo swaddle is so silky soft you might just want to snuggle with it yourself. The breathable weave keeps baby comfortable and prevents overheating. Our Hedgehog print coordinates with the Woodland Dreams crib sheet, available in US Standard size, European 60x120cm cot size, and 70x140cm cot size.”

Find the Hedgehog and Mushrooms Bamboo Swaddle from Rookie Humans.

Visit Rookie Humans online.

I have posted many times over the years about my love of the various varieties of orange day lilies that bloom for an ever so brief few weeks every summer. We are in the middles of that fleeting season right now and here is a shot of one I spotted growing wild off the path on a recent hike.

I use a watering can pretty much every day this time of year. I water my various gardens and pots and don’t like dragging around the hose. My watering cans are way more functional looking than the pure elegance of the Watering Cans designed by Shane Schneck I found from the fine folks at HAY.

About the Shane Schneck Watering Can from HAY:

“This weatherproof plastic watering can sports a clean yet functional design, with an intake that doubles as a handle and an elongated spout for easy watering.”

Find the Shane Schneck Watering Can from HAY,

Visit HAT online.

Woah woah woah – stop the clock! This is the coolest thing I have found in a long time and certainly fits my aesthetic 100%: the Rockstar Bar I found from the fine folks at Buster & Punch.

About the Rockstar Bar from Buster & Punch:

“Everyone knows a good Rockstar steals the show and ours is no different. Our whisky bar is handmade from solid American Walnut. The bar has a quilted grey berry silk back panel and is fitted with a knurled solid brass light fitting, complete with a snake’s heat cage for protection. The bar is then finished with our signature brass coin screws, a set of knurled brass furniture handles and a diamond-etched brass logo plate. The bar has mechanical soft-close walnut doors. The bar comes with foldable legs attached with solid metal machined brackets – as there is no point having a Rockstar in your house, if you can’t get it through the door!”

…now to win the lottery. …or marry well.

Find the Rockstar Bar from Buster & Punch.

Visit Buster & Punch online.

Recently on a Zoom call with a few of my best friends (you know the thing we all started doing in the pandemic that have now become therapy sessions) and I was asked what would you do if you didn’t have to work. And I said that was easy – just make art. The conversation went on about why I don’t do more now and it was all about you need to create art when you are inspired not when you schedule it in between work and life obligations. Then the very next day I came across the book Make Your Art No Matter What – Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles by Beth Pickens – which helped me realize I am just making excuses, I need to make my art post haste.

About Make Your Art No Matter What by Beth Pickens:

“If you are an artist, you need to make your art. That’s not an overstatement—it’s a fact; if you stop doing your creative work, your quality of life is diminished. But what do you do when life gets in the way? In this down-to-earth handbook, experienced artist coach Beth Pickens offers practical advice for developing a lasting and meaningful artistic practice in the face of life’s inevitable obstacles and distractions. This thoughtful volume suggests creative ways to address the challenges all artists must overcome—from making decisions about time, money, and education, to grappling with isolation, fear, and anxiety. No matter where you are in your art-making journey, this book will motivate and inspire you. Because not only do you need your art—the world needs it, too.”

Make Your Art No Matter What by Beth Pickens is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

I have always loved a piece of furniture that really makes a statement. Had I all the money in the world, the space, and the guts, I would totally invest in the Lys de France Chair I found from the fine folks at Sicis.

About the Lys de France Chair from Sicis:

“Comfortable wide armchair whose shape recalls a romantic lily, which fabric covers every part of the chair, including the legs. Available in different colors and type of fabrics. Collection designed by Carla Tolomeo for Sicis. Series of ethereal chairs, sofas, pouf that combine luxurious fabrics and mosaic-decorated features uniting a shared heritage of ancient artisan techniques. Like colorful brushstrokes, the mosaic tesserae make their statement, unleashing their souls through iconic sculptures that transcend classic design into the surreal and metaphysical.”

A statement indeed! What statement? I have no idea.

Find the Lys de France Chair from Sicis.

Visit Sicis online.

I love quality candles and there are none better than those I have found from the fine folks at Harlem Candle Company. Harlem Candle Company offers many fine selections, but I really like the idea of the classy candle you take with you on a trip, like their Savoy luxury travel candle.

About the Savoy luxury travel candle from Harlem Candle Company:

“The Savoy Ballroom was the soul of Harlem, and kept Lenox Avenue jumping for decades. It was a block long, dripping with glittering crystal chandeliers and an elegant marble staircase, and is known for having birthed the Lindy Hop. The glamour and excitement of nights on that iconic dance floor are beautifully reflected with a luscious overture of blackcurrant, tart mandarin, crisp green apple and juicy pear evolving into a flirtatious floral heart of lily of the valley and jasmine petals. Sensual sandalwood and sheer musk bring warmth to perfectly balance this intoxicating blend.”

Find the Savoy luxury travel candle from Harlem Candle Company.

Visit Harlem Candle Company online.

I’ll start by saying:

“You’re welcome!”

But seriously, how cool would you be if you showed up at your Fourth of July party wearing this shirtsleeve, button down shirt featuring an iconic great white shark ready to feast on a fishing boat?

You would be the hit of the party. Guaranteed.

This great white shark shirt is available from the fine folks at Milamode.

See all the cool and well-priced shirts and other fine clothing from Milamode.