June 30, 2008

Goldilocks' Search Continues



You may remember that I sold my vintage couch and seating on Craigslist awhile back - in a miraculous two hours at that - and that I've been searching for the perfect, or at least a reasonable facsimile of perfect, replacement.

Well, the search continues and I have another contender - "La michetta" by Gaetano Pesce for Meritalia.  "La michetta" is a system of modular components that remain unique due to the different arrangements you place them in.  The system is composed of a wooden structure with polyurethane and "fiberfill" padding upholstered in 100% cotton velvet.

June 27, 2008

The Pseudo Cocktail


Baccarat Mosaique Tumbler
My husband and I are the 'regulars', the 'locals', the ones with our own seats at the bar and table in the corner. Everyone knows our drinks and we know everyone's name. 
On that note, you may have noticed I haven't been posting too many cocktail recipes as of late.
It seems that my 'Irritably Bored Syndrome' has decided it was time to try something new.
On the advice of Cheryl at the Comox I've been drinking Soda and Bitters instead of Vodka and Soda.  It's actually quite good!
Ingredients:
Club Soda
ice
Add ice to a rock glass, fill with Club Soda, add about 6-10 drops of bitters and stir.  
Enjoy - your stomach will thank you for it!

Design Lover - Maria Jauhiainen

Ginkgo necklace photo unicahome

Inspired by the skeletons of leaves she saw while taking out the rubbish, Finnish designer Maria Jauhiainen has created "Lehti" out of silver or brass. Jauhiainen's work has received widespread attention since her first major showing in December 2005 at Design Forum Finland. Now on permanent collection at MOMA and the V&A, Jauhiainen has a long career ahead of her.

Her beautiful pieces are worthy of layering - a look I love for the summer!

June 26, 2008

A Necessary Luxury?


This is so unreal I don't think it's real:  18 karat gold Hello Kitty cell phone strap ($500), coupled with calf skin Dior ($450) iPhone case. 

June 25, 2008

Inspired Candlelight


Magnolia Lumen by Adam Frank

We all look better by candlelight so why not find your next dinner party cast beneath the shadows of pine, cedar and magnolia trees.  Adam Frank has designed Lumen a series of acid etched oil lamp shadow projectors.

If you'd rather see things go off with a bang Piet Houtenbos has given us Grenade Oil Lamps. Made from actual US army surplus grenades and gilded in silver or gold.


June 24, 2008

Mixed Tapes vs Diamonds



My parents liked to throw parties.  In order to throw a good party you need a good sound system and with every good sound system comes good headphones.  
I was lucky enough to grow up listening to tunes on my Dad's vintage headphones - you know, the big, over the ear, amazing sounding, padded type. Needless to say, I could never get into the feeling of 'ear buds' or their sound quality.  
I've recently come into the possession of a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones . These are some very amazing headphones.  So amazing, in fact, that when you take them off it takes a moment to reground yourself!
If you love music as much as I do I highly suggest investing in a pair of these - they're great for the plane, the iPod, the computer and the peace and quiet!
While your reminiscing about the good old days take a look at the Mix Tape USB stick.  It holds up to one hour of music - the same as an old 60 cassette tape. 
Nothing shows the gift of love more than a good mixed tape!

June 23, 2008

Gothic Revival does Space Odyssey



Jasper Van Gootel available at POAA

Having an eclectic design sense is a nice way of saying you're eccentric.  

Being a lover of all things dark - the Haunted Mansion was always my favourite ride at Disneyland - I'm excited to see the revival of Gothic design with 21st Century flare. Inspiration - Edgar Allan Poe lands a job as interiors decorator to the Space Odyssey portfolio. 

Japser Van Grootel, like Maarten Baas, has revived Grandma's antiques with a dose of chic. Van Grootel's collection, for Studio JSPR, has ornate indoor outdoor furniture treated with a special rubber layer that's been designed to resist all weather conditions.  I'll take these over the white plastic garden chair any day!

Another design I'm thrilled about is Franje by Marcel Reulen for Dark- you have to check out their website!  Reulen has taken Grandma's fringed lamp one step further to sexy land...


June 18, 2008

I Heart NY



One of the reasons I love NY is the spirit of community that is prevalent in the city. If you've never been to NYC put it on the list of things to do before you die.
The Alliance for Downtown New York has been working to enhance the quality of life in Lower Manhattan since 1995. They have an exceptional website put together by people who are genuinely passionate about their community and NYC.
One of my favourite projects they're working on is "The Doors of Lower Manhattan Challenge". Identify the doors of Lower Manhattan correctly and win!
Next time I go to New York I'm renting a bike for free!

June 17, 2008

Hermès Birkin - the making of a bag

Time is money and the difference between style and fashion is quality.

Remember that as you watch this.

June 16, 2008

Gold Kate Moss & White Ravens


Myth (Sphinx) on exhibit at Chatsworth in Derbyshire 2007
photo Getty

Marc Quinn has completed a solid gold statue of Kate Moss. The statue, Siren, is based on Sphinx, a piece within a series of sculptures entitled Myth he did of Moss in 2006. The statue will debut as the centerpiece of a contemporary sculpture exhibit, still in its planning stages, at the British Museum.

There are two shocking things in this story:
  1. The statue cost $2.9 million to make.
  2. The British Museum hasn't had a contemporary art exhibit in more than a decade.
On the other side of the world, the Raven family has released Corvus corax. Two alabaster colored pieces based on a design from nature.

The pieces are as priceless as they are rare.

One of the two white ravens of Qualicum Beach, BC
photo Mike Yip

June 12, 2008

Cocktails & Van Gogh


photo Royal Art Glass
A friend of mine infuses her own vodka.  Her specialty is basil vodka - she's a chef.  I'd like to see home infused vodka take the place of home made wine - please.
Last week I had the pleasure of my name sake - Stacey (with an e) - fix me up a few of his specialties at the Wedgewood's Bacchus Lounge.
  
Stacey's Van Gogh 
2 oz Van Gogh Espresso Vodka
2 drops Crème de Cacao
Add a bit of ice to a rock glass.  Drizzle in a few drops of Crème de Cacao.  Top with Van Gogh Espresso Vodka and enjoy!

Nice Lemons

Polly George Mr. & Mrs. Jones Squeezers
photo Polly George


I use a lot of citrus.  Whether it be for a nice hot, honey, lemon water or in my infamous '70s Fish' recipe it always tastes better without the pits.

Polly George has designed the Mr. and Mrs. Jones lemon and lime squeezers.  Pure and simple white shapes are the trademark of her studio and no two are ever exactly the same.

Practical - not so much.  Voodoo doll like quality - definitely!

June 11, 2008

Beauty Tried and True



I'm loyal to certain "beauty" brands - especially skincare.  I was first introduced to Laura Mercier Crème Brulee Hand Crème at the grand opening of Holt's in Vancouver last year. Although not a relatively new product, I stand by it! Crème Brulee travels with me wherever I go - even on the plane at 2 oz. With olive and grape seed oil your hands will never be more velvety.  
Another tried and true is Avalon Organics Vitamin C Rejuvenating Oil-Free Moisturizer (also travel friendly at 2 0z).  I was first introduced to this product in 2006 while spending some time in Pasadena, California.  My skin had been going through some changes due to diet, stress and dare I say it, age.  Avalon has replaced my dermatologist recommended Cliniderm

June 10, 2008

Those Patio Lanterns



...lighting up our lives, those patio lanterns, they were the stars in the sky...'; Kim Mitchell sang it out loud in '86.

Soji is continuing the tradition and lighting up our lives with a solar powered (wireless!) version of the stars in the sky. How great would your party be with these?

In case of rain, carry the party indoors under the moody light of Front's Glow lanterns. Designed specifically for Italian retailer Coin



June 9, 2008

Happy Dad's Day from the Dog


My husband and I are lucky enough to receive small tokens of appreciation from our pets on Mother's Day and Father's Day.

So, if kids aren't on your agenda but Max and Kitty are, why not recommend a De Baschmakoff Jump Hour watch to your furry friend.


Created by Prince François De Baschmakoff in 1970 and manufactured by LIP, France, the Jump Hour is a classic piece of raw 70s style that I can't resist. Read more at Moss.

Trends - Tableware




Gio Ponti "Diamond" Solid Sterling Flatware
photo Architonic

Food, to me, is something that makes me forget I'm hungry.

I was lucky enough to have a great woman of Portuguese decent in my life that taught me to make each meal a celebration.  A celebration of color. 

Thank goodness for great china, linen and flatware!  

Gio Ponti, may be best known for designing Milan's first skyscraper - Pireli Tower, however, he was also an influential contributor to post war industrial design.  Ponti designed the 1958 "Diamond" Sterling Silver Flatware collection for American silver manufacturer Reed & Barton. Described as having an exceedingly luxurious feel and staggeringly perfect finish, "Diamond" is the flatware for those who like their modernism top of the line.

I like to use vintage throws or bedspreads of Satin, Danish linen, or Italian wool as tablecloths. Sometimes I even use a vibrant cotton 70s flat sheet with a chiffon overlay.  If vintage isn't your thing, Habitat does some beautiful multipurpose throws.



Beatrice Wood, the Mama of Dada, created some divine ceramics known for their luster-glaze. Find some inspirational pieces at Etsy.

Beatrice Wood plate
photo Treadway Gallery

June 6, 2008

COCKTAILS IV

It's been strictly champagne cocktails this week.
Remember when Seabreezes were popular?  There's just something about Cranberry.

 Waterford Clarendon Ruby Flutes
Cranberry Kiss
2 ounces De Kuyper Cranberry Liqueur
Your favourite bubbly (I prefer Veuve du Verney)
Pour the liqueur into a flute glass.  Top up with bubbly or dry sparkling wine and enjoy!
Champagne Cocktail
4 drops bitters
3/4 shot C0gnac
1 cube raw sugar
Bubbly of course
Drip the bitters on the sugar cube and place in the bottom of the glass.  Cover the cube with Cognac and top with bubbly.

Dom Pérignon Champagne Sleeve

Perfect for a little Afternoon Delight.

The Dom Pérignon II champagne sleeve/cooler designed by Marc Newson (Lever House Restaurant, NYC).  Made from aluminum.  Keeps the bubbles cool and the goodies in your day bag dry!  

The White Plastic Garden Chair


photo Tescos

You know it and you know it well.  

The white plastic garden chair was probably the most known and most used outdoor chair of the 20th Century.

Frontdesign se has taken the white plastic garden chair into the 21st Century by giving it a leather seat cover and a price tag of 245 EURO or 382 USD.

Don't you wish you thought of that?


June 5, 2008

I Heart Seattle


Rem Koolhass - Seattle Central Library
photo The Seattle Times

The Emerald City has fabulous architecture, food, music, style and an under utilized downtown - quite similar to downtown Los Angeles.
28,000 patrons passed through the doors of the Rem Koolhaas designed Seattle Central Library on grand opening day - May 23, 2004. Go see for yourself why one patron refered to it as 'wearing bright socks underneath a suit'.
Experience Music Project aka the 'Frank Gehry Rock Temple' was commissioned by software billionaire Paul G. Allen and is an homage to Jimi Hendrix - child of Seattle.
The Chapel Of St. Ignatius (Steven Holl), The SAM (Carl Gould), The Olympic Sculpture Park - don't miss them.

Frank Gehry - Experience Music Project
photo Architecture Week

Saarinen & Jacobsen Anniversary Editions


In case you missed it the first time around The Republic of Fritz Hansen is releasing a limited edition series (999) of Arne Jacobsen's 1958 Egg to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the design staple.

And while we're celebrating - let's not forget the 60th anniversary of Eero Saarinen's 1948 Womb Chair designed exclusively for Knoll.

Whatever happened to comfortable seating after the early 1970s?

image KnollStudio

June 4, 2008

Valentino Themes and Variations



photo The Met

Valentino is synonymous with the red evening dress. 

June 17 - September 21, 2008 Les Arts Decoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Paris will be presenting the first French retrospective of over 200 designs by Italian couturier Valentino Garavani.  

Known for dressing the international jet set, Valentino retired in January of this year after celebrating the 45th anniversary of the House of Valentino in July 2007.  

Valentino: Themes and Variations will be released on September 9, 2008 and is currently on preorder here.


The War on Design


Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair

There's a war going on right now you may not know about - it's in design. 

On one side we have designers like Philippe Stark and his theory that;

 'I have designed so many things without ever really being interested in them...Everything I have designed is absolutely unnecessary. Design, structurally seen, is absolutely void of usefulness.  A useful profession would be an astronomer, a biologist...Design is really nothing.  I have tried to install my designs with a sense of meaning and energy, and even when I tried to give it my best it was still in vain. Design is really a terrible way to express oneself.';  from Die Zit translated from German by mademoisellea.vox

 On the other, designers like Marcel Wanders.  Wanders argues that; 

'We as designers have to represent our public and their dreams instead of the machine and the anachronistic political dogmas it represents.  We have to challenge the industry so they will learn to follow instead of lead.  It is upon humanity, which the design of the future can only be built.  With love, passion and poetry we will take design to new heights.'; quote from Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders White Fishnet Chair

June 3, 2008

Rose Cabat Ceramics



A few weeks back I paid a visit to John Lawrence, BC art collector and antiquities dealer, to have a chat about Thomas Kakinuma and his influence on the Canadian ceramics scene.  While there I was inspired by the work of Rose Cabat. Cabat is famous for what she calls 'feelies' -  sensual ceramic shapes she creates in her Tucson studio.  

Born in Brooklyn in 1914, Cabat started throwing in the 1950s and continues to this day. Some pieces are still affordable while others are fetching five figures.

Like all things sensual, the beauty lies in the natural composition and inspiration - which she finds in her vegetable garden...

June 2, 2008

Brits Love Black Vinyl



According to a recent survey of 2,000 Brits, the technology they would most like to see saved from extinction would be -
The lp!
I knew I couldn't be the only one to feel the sadness in the sound of vinyl slowing to its last spin.

June 1, 2008

R.I.P. Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin

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