May 25 2011

A Few Favorite Finds

I’m always on the lookout for unique, appealing creations by local artists and artisans and wanted to share a few of my recent finds.

I have a not-so secret love of screen printed, handmade tea towels, and house a growing collection in one of our drawers.  These tea towels are strictly decorative, which perhaps seems silly, but then again, you haven’t seen the way we use dish towels!  I try to keep my use of paper towels to a minimum, so we use our dish towels for scrubbing and cleaning, meaning that they’re washed frequently.  They’ve seen better days.  The towels that I have stashed in my drawer are perfect for pictures or for draping under a plate.  But I will never use them to scrub up a coffee stain!

While in Boston several weeks ago, we made a special visit to Twelve Chairs.  I’d read about Twelve Chairs several months ago and was excited to see the shop in person.  Started by Roisin Giese and Miggy Mason, its function is both as a design studio and home furnishings shop.  The women have sprinkled their store with Pigeon Toe Ceramics, tea towels, cards, wrapping paper, and a few pieces of exquisite furniture.

We bought this cheery linen and hemp tea towel from Schoolyard and this tulip towel from Brooklyn’s Enormous Champion (as Justin remarked, it was funny to travel to Boston and return with something made in Brooklyn).  I’ve long been a fan of Enormous Champion’s whale note cards, but was entirely unaware that they make tea towels, too!

Other new favorite finds include a discovery from our recent trip to Portland, this Clive Coffee mug created in collaboration with Lisa Jones of Pigeon Toe Ceramics.  The peacock color mug’s small size is perfect for the amount of coffee I want to sip in the morning.  As an added bonus, when you finish drinking, you’re greeted with a ‘C’ (for Clive Coffee).


Speaking of drinking, did you know you could make your own ginger ale (or dark and stormies!) at home?  Brooklyn based brother and sister Tyler and Kari Morris started Morris Kitchen in 2008, crafting small batch ginger syrup and apple cider syrup.  You can use this small bottle of syrup, containing just ginger and sugar, for a number of drinks:  ginger ale, restorative tea, a ginger cocktail, or when the weather becomes hot and you can’t escape to an island—a dark and stormy.   Visit their website for these drink recipes and few creative ways to use the ginger syrup in an entrée!

Finally, we’ve been enjoying the delicate smell of this Whale Candle from The Soap and Paper Factory, in collaboration with Patch NYC.  We’re frequently welcomed by a glowing Soap and Paper Factory candle when we browse Brooklyn boutique Bird, so we’ve been joking that our apartment now smells like a clothing boutique.

It’s a soothing smell.  Unlike some candles, I could keep this lit all day and not feel like my sense of smell was ruined for all other scents.  We picked up the whale candle, instead of one of their other options, partially because of the Moby Dick like resemblance of the whale (I do love all things whale related!) but mostly because of the appealing fragrance of orange, patchouli, basil, and jasmine.  As an added incentive, these candles are hand crafted, 100% soy, and undyed.