Sunday, January 31, 2010

Inspiration on aisle twelve...

It isn't often that I collide with inspiration while meandering the aisles of Safeway begrudgingly doing my weekly duty - grocery shopping.  But today, as I scoured the shelves searching for curry paste, a pop of color caught my eye.  A single hue shined so gloriously from the top shelf, my eyes {and my hands} were drawn to it.  Turmeric.  Lovely, saffron-ish, mustard-ish, turmeric yellow.  {Is it fate or irony that I can only think of other 'spices' to describe the brilliant turmeric yellow?}
Though turmeric can be admired for its little grains of sunshine through any label, it is Morton & Bassett that truly built a jar to display turmeric's luster. 
And not just turmeric; anise displays its sculpted edges, poppy seeds stacked as if by hand, red chili and bay leaves resting peacefully in a heap.  The transparent Morton & Bassett jars seem to function more like museum cases than spice jars.  
There is something so simple about these little glass spice jars that make the contents seem so exquisite.  Any kitchen would be privileged to house a rack full of Morton & Bassett spice jars; functioning first as art, then as a 'dash' or 'sprinkle', and finally as a thrill for your taste buds.
Though my account of the local spice aisle may be {a little} melodramatic, it was an unexpected visual oasis among the otherwise busy blur of groceries - and a pleasant reminder to always step back and appreciate the subtle inspiration and beauty found in the most ordinary places.  
Oh, and I never found curry paste.  Where are they hiding the curry paste?!?!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The world according to Thomas Paul...

Thomas Paul has used his creative genius and flawless taste to mold a myriad of products.  I wish I could fabricate a life full of only the cheer and graphic sunshine he creates; it would be full of lovely coasters, feathery pillows, beautiful fabrics, and enough brightly bold office supplies to run the world - one optimistic stationary collection at a time.
Mr. Paul combines three of my loves {bold color, graphic prints, and all things aquatic} for his enviable pillow collections.  Here are just a few salt water creatures {and a fish bowl inhabitant} to sample: 
Thomas Paul fabrics?  Also flawless:

If you find you cannot live another day without a Thomas Paul creation, pay a visit to Velocity for an online store full of dangerous temptations - including Thomas Paul products.  If its woven delights you desire, Calico Corners carries Thomas Paul fabrics.  Cheers to Thomas Paul and all he creates.

Encore, encore...

How could I overlook the feminine lines of this perfect lamp paired with the simple elegance of a Thomas Paul fabric shade?  This piece is pretty enough just to look at, let alone be graced with an incandescent glow.
Thomas Paul has done Thomas Edison proud - what a way to deliver light.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pretty little pigeon toes...

I have had the very fortunate opportunity to relocate to the scenic wonder that is the Pacific Northwest.  I inherently appreciate the view, but I am slowly reminded everyday of the creative milieu that I have stepped into. 
One of these subtle little reminders happened upon my screen again today.  Not long ago, Design*Sponge featured a sweet little vase, cast of a vintage pharmacy bottle by Pigeon Toe Ceramics.  Pure curiosity sent me searching for Pigeon Toe Ceramics and all they have to offer.  I was not disappointed.  Here are just a few of the treasures they make, by hand, every day in Portland, Oregon...
The Cast Pharmacy Bottle that started it all.
Porcelain Garden Stakes {because one day my husband and I really will start the fresh herb garden we have been talking about and dreaming of for five day}.
I have always loved all things mason jars.  My mind often wonders into the many, many uses and adornments of mason jars.  Mason jar lovers everywhere, myself included, will rejoice for this Kerr Votive Lantern.
And last, but most certainly not least, the Cast Vintage Filtering Flask.  Scientific glassware reinterpreted in porcelain.  Artistic genius.
Pigeon Toe Ceramics also has an array of air plant specimens for sale on their Etsy site.  Intrigued?  You should be.  I should also mention the inspired hues they offer as glaze options, including peacock, dove, fig, yolk, ink, etc.  Explore all the pretty porcelain to your heart's content: Pigeon Toe Ceramics.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ecology and elegance...

Ecology, elegance, sustainable sources, artisans, organic, and living earth; all of these amazing components and descriptions apply to the philosophy of Viva Terra.  Not only does this company stand for something beautiful, but they offer truly beautiful and unique products.  Allow yourself to admire my favorite Viva Terra goods...
This Railroad Tie Dining Table is made from reclaimed railroad ties {teak, pine, and ironwood}.  The waxed finish perfectly retains the history of each piece.
Brimming with character, this Reclaimed Pine Farm Table is made from raw materials {rafters and floor joists} harvested from gracefully aged barns in Wisconsin. 
No table is complete without the perfect vignette of glassware.  The handmade Porcelain Pear Vases {top} and Recycled Glass Balloon Vases {bottom} are both 'perfectly imperfect' and just right for holding a bloom or two of your favorite vegetation.
Here are two gorgeous options for a place to rest your head.  The charming Farmhouse Bed is on the left.  On the right, the Gustavian Vintage Bed boasts its classic Swedish design influenced by French neoclassical principles.  Both beds are a vision of reclaimed Douglas fir treated perfectly to highlight the wood.
These chic Kalamkari Pillows are the culmination of hand-printed wood blocking with natural dyes and a modern view of antique patterns.
This Vintage Fir Modern Dresser displays the beauty of the same wood as the beds above, making lovely complimentary pieces.  I am not usually one for matching bed suites, but when each piece is as lovely and unique as these, how can I disagree?
A few accessories you might fancy.  On the left, the Whitewash Trophy Lamp would bring light to any room.  On the right, this terra-cotta Laughing Buddha will surely bring a smile to your face.
Possibly one of my favorite finds at Viva Terra, this Vintage Grain Sack Rug is based on {not surprisingly} a vintage grain sack.  The texture mimics burlap but allows for a more comfortable surface.  Truly lovely!
Mirrors have long been used to reflect all things good in life.  Bring a little shine to your space with this rustic Classic Floor Mirror {top} or the delightful mango wood Talisman Mirror Collection {bottom}. 
And finally, though the next product doesn't belong on your walls, it is simply too pretty to be left out.  Wooden beads covered with vintage scarves have never looked so delicious.  Is it too late to ask for this Vintage Silk Scrap Necklace for Christmas?
Looking for more green products with the beauty and character only Viva Terra can deliver?  Make every day earth day at: Viva Terra.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perfection in gloss white...

Brocade Home has generously shared their Bent Wood Chair with the world, which I will now generously share with you.This might just be the most beautiful place to rest your derriere; stunning synergy between simple design and intricate detail.
Even more, this four-legged wonder can be paired perfectly with a lavish French antique or a simple farm table worn from years of enjoyment. I'll take six. The only problem? I might be too busy visually admiring them to actually rest my derriere.
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