It’s in the (Holiday) Cards

It’s beginning to look a lot like… well, like ’tis the season and all that. First things first; time to pick out your vehicle of self expression: The Holiday Card. There’s a plethora of worthy contenders out there this year, so this post got a little longer than I’d prefer (and there’s more to come next week), but I hope you’ll think it’s worth it. (As always, click for details!)

Elum - Poinsettias, $13/6
Rifle Paper Co - Favorite Things, $16/8
Anemone Letterpress - Ornaments, $16/6
Smock Paper - Merry & Bright, $14/6
Sweet Letter Press - Happy Holidays, $14/6
Smudge Ink - Flowers, $12/10
Looky Loo - Moose, $15/8
Heidi - Pinecone, $7.99/8
Vanora Letterpress - Joy, $18/4
Caroline Gardner - Bulbs, $10/5
Oh Louise Designs - Owls in Earmuffs, $13/12
Vandalia Street Press - Cardinals, $28/12
Elum Joyful Birds, $13/6
Paper Source - Bicycle, $13.50/10

A Host of Hostess Gifts

Party season is upon us. And while that usually means bringing a bottle of wine to bestow upon one’s hosts, there are numerous festive alternatives to show gratitude for the invite. (As always, click image to start shopping!)

My all time favorite is Marie Belle‘s hot cocoa. This, my friends, is no Swiss Miss. Sweetly packaged in a well-designed tin are shards of richly decadent chocolate, that, when melted in water or milk, become what I can only describe as nectar of the Gods.

Marie Belle 20oz Aztec Hot Chocolate, $26

Uniquely styled kitchen accessories are another approach, assuming you have a good handle on your host’s personal aesthetic. Anthropologie is my pick for this season’s best collection of uncommonly good contenders in this area.

Anthropologie Dottie Match Potholders, $12
Anthropologie Round Lumiere Snuffer, $18
Anthropologie Painted Amaryllis Measuring Cups, $38
Anthropologie Painted Amaryllis Measuring Cups (nesting)

With the knowledge that several other guests will be bringing wine to the soiree, a distinctive bottle stopper is sure to be most welcome. I especially like the playful offerings by Jonathan Adler, $18 each.

A beautifully packaged and extraordinarily fragranced candle presents another compelling option. While I’ve been a fan of Minneapolis-based Thymes for years now, the redesign of their packaging by Duffy & Partners has me falling in love all over again.

Thymes Agave Nectar Candle, $26
Thymes Azur Candle, $26

Perhaps your hostess is a traditionalist with a sweet tooth, and you’d like to provide her with a little treat to share with her guests. A tin of Peppermint Bark should do nicely.

Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark, $27

Okay, let’s say you’re hell-bent on bringing booze to share. Why not abandon the vino this once for something more interesting? I suggest Hendrick’s Gin, if for no other reason than their quirky marketing approach. (That being said, it IS the most delicious Gin I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. You will not be disappointed.)

Hendrick's Gin, about $26

Black Friday Gets Some Color

Okay, I realize that most of you are out scouring the shops for ridiculous deals today. But on the off chance you’re cuddled up with a cup of tea and your iPad or – egad – spending the day at work, why not enjoy 4 minutes strolling around Paris, watching odd little somethings attempt to spruce up the place.

Today’s Track – Thank You, Yolanda Adams

Happy Thanksgiving! On this day of gratitude, I thought a bit of R&B-laced gospel was in order. Thank You by Yolanda Adams from the album Believe, 2001. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday surrounded by good friends, good food and good music!

Handmade Harvest

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I’d share a few autumnal card designs from the Kinaloon Etsy shop. You know, to get us all in the proper mindset for tomorrow’s festivities. Designed by Barbara Raidl, a Chicago-based painter who became enamored by the silkscreening process by creating stationery to send to her niece while at camp. Each original design is hand printed individually on 100# paper and sold in sets of 6 for $16.00. As always, click the image to shop.

A Tale of Two Cities

Aah, Paris and New York… Two places in the world I simply could not do without. Each with a singularly unique voice, yet they share similar… well, suffice it to say, a certain “je ne c’est quoi”. French designer Vahram Muratyan, co-founder of ViiiZ – a design studio in Paris, has created a series of intriguing art prints that playfully express the dueling dynamics of the two metropolises. In his own words, the work is “a friendly visual match between two cities told by a lover of Paris wandering through NewYork. Details, clichés, contradictions: This way, please.” Wanna see more? Check out his blog, Paris vs NYC.

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