This lovely little product is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about when I say I want even my utilitarian items to be interesting. Funny, functional, and adorable, the u-lens contact case from CB2 does the job with style. I've been wearing contacts since 8th grade, so I always need a case or two handy for traveling, or if my eyes get tired and I have to switch to glasses. This baby is under $5 and has the added bonus of getting Corey Hart's classic "Sunglasses at Night" stuck in my head. And now, yours, too. You're welcome.
contact case image via CB2
In honor of the great New York State Fair's opening day, I present the New York State table by creative studio 900 Blok. This solid-wood carved accent table is the perfect quirky touch to any home that's Empire State-proud. Available through Urban Outfitters, in four lacquer colors.
The New York State Fair runs today through Labor Day at the fairgrounds, here in Syracuse, NY. I'm looking forward to going there with my family for kid and adult fun, fried goodness, candy apples, and of course, a look at this year's butter sculpture.
table image via Urban Outfitters
I know I mentioned nostalgia when talking about the bicycle bells in my first post, but maybe even more universal for triggering memories is the ice cream truck.
“Do Your Ears Hang Low” is forever linked with popsicles of ice cream molded into the likenesses of cartoon characters’ heads complete with gumball eyes (especially the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). And last spring, before I moved from New York to Syracuse, my friends (my Real Simple home department co-workers) and I went on an afternoon hunt for Mr. Softee—no substitute would do—but he had moved on to another block and we wandered from 50th St. to 49th and back up 6th Ave, only to return to the office empty-handed.
At the first Kips Bay showhouse I attended, in 2010, the dining room decorated by interior designers Cullman and Kravis, had a 21" sculpture of a blue ice cream pop on the mantle. The next year, when I did an edit test for a job I was interviewing for, I pitched a DIY version of the sculpture as a craft idea. Probably the one and only time I've had a good idea for a craft project that wasn't an invitation to a party or some sort of decoration for a party. I'm not so DIY.
So I’ve had popsicle art on the brain for a while. Then last year at the gift show, I saw this print in Longstreet Collection’s booth:
So I took a little look around and found some other really great popsicle pieces:
These are limited edition giclée prints (above), available in two sizes from UK artist Joël Penkman.
A giclée print (above) by artist Mads Hindhede Svanegaard at Society6.
This digital painting (above) by Jane Schnetlage can be printed on paper or canvas at Imagekind.
And to take it in another direction: Dutch artist Vincent Vermeij (aka Chungkong) reinterprets superheroes in the series "My SUPERHERO ICE POPS UNIVERSE," available through society6. Thanks to geeksugar, where I first saw these.
Okay, who's hungry?
One of the best things about summer is that it's peach season. Here are some sweet goodies, inspired by the colors of my favorite fruit.
all product images via vendors
interior via apartments i like
In 2011, I was very happy to meet California-based wallpaper designer Tracy Hiner during the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at the Javits Center and chat with her for a while, because her work is amazing.
It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s abstract, it’s textural—it’s not for the faint of heart. Tracy’s designs are as much art as they are wall coverings. Specializing in artistic wallpapers and custom wall murals, her company Black Crow Studios thrives on bespoke projects where creativity can run rampant, and patterns have no repeat, at least not in the traditional sense.
When Tracy posted a picture of the paper shown above coming off the printer, I immediately wrote her to tell her how much I loved it. I couldn’t wait to share it here.
After two chance meetings with a young, talented (and extremely brave!) photographer named Gray Malin, the pair came together to adapt Malin's beautiful images on a large scale as the Gray Malin xo Black Crow Studios collection of designer wallpapers. Tracy has collaborated with designers before, but this latest collection marks the first time she has worked with a photographer.
I wish I could say I knew of Malin before two weeks ago, but I will be constantly be coveting his work from now on. He shoots aerial photos of landscapes—beaches, in particular—by hanging out the side of a door-less helicopter to capture these stunning shots. (The idea of this terrifies me.)
His work is captivating—I really can't get enough of the saturated colors and the umbrellas, people, and paraphernalia unconsciously creating patterns along the beach.
I love images that relate to pool and beach culture (à la Slim Aarons), so I had to find out more about this gorgeous wallpaper that made me swoon. A select few images from Malin’s À La Plage series, shot from various heights above six continents, have been interpreted into photo-realistic scenes on three different surface materials, including one that is removable.
The colors are so vivid I will admit I kept looking for evidence that they were enhanced, but the settings depicted are really just that beautiful.
Below, are about half of the styles from the new collection: Another design inspired by an original photo and several of the geometric and striped patterns Malin conceived based on the umbrellas and cabanas always in his lens.
Just when I think it's hard to believe it's already August, August is more than half over. And as much as I love fall—and am already secretly pining for apple cider (hot and cold)—I'm not at all ready to rush summer out the door. So to celebrate the first week of my shiny new blog, I will be sharing summer-inspired finds.
To me, summer always feels like the season of freedom. And not just the freedom to frequently indulge in ice cream, which, obviously, I do. During summer, everyone seems more carefree and happy, work schedules can often be a little lenient, and I think people make more of an effort to take a break from all their responsibilities and feel the wind in their hair.
It doesn't take much to make me think of driving around with newly-licensed friends and staying out late, sleepovers where somehow we thought we were levitating each other (were we? I still don't know), and flying down the street on my bike. The unmistakable ding of a bicycle bell is one of those sounds that snaps you right back to those moments.
But, really, the totally cute designs of Poketo's pattern bike bells are why I kept returning to their website after seeing them for the first time. The modern styles are a fun update to the classic metal look:
By the way, don't miss the rest of Poketo's site. The company started out making vinyl wallets, and over the last few years has grown to design and carry a wonderful range of products. I've loved seeing their booth at the NY gift fair become more and more robust. If you're in LA, you can check out their brick-and-mortar shop.
I really like the pink/blue/white style, but the geometric monotone design (bottom right) goes so well with my own bicycle:
I don't have a bell yet, but I feel like I should get one. Which pattern do you like best?
bell images via Poketo
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© 2014 | mrkt