Leah Ball is a Chicago, Illinois-based artist whose jewelry business took a turn towards ceramics when she began creating dishes – just as a method of display. This blossomed into a passion, and she began to focus on the art of marbling porcelain, a tedious process she developed by layering colored slips and stark white porcelain to achieve swirling textile-like patterns and vibrant colors that go deep beneath the surface.
Originally from the beachside town of Carlsbad, California, Ball’s aesthetic foundation is in the patterns and rhythms of the Pacific coast. The kind conditions, workable sands, and persistence of the tides provided her a place to play, develop, and create, but more importantly accept the Ocean as a humbling force of renewal that privileges the maker with a fresh medium every day. Her kinship with the natural cycles of the sea helped generate a creative spirit that finds satisfaction in doing and re-doing, product in practice, and truth in tedium.
Here’s the thing: I think shopping for men is impossible. Maybe not all guys, but my hubby is a tricky one to say the least. So I was delighted to discover Best Made, a great little company out of NY that makes high-quality, man-friendly wares with a hipster appeal that are thoughtful and, well… just really awesome. The company was founded 6 years ago on the premise that the world needed a better axe. A year later, they expanded to carry a full line of products, from camp supplies to clothing, all with their signature nod to quality cool.
Best Made Company® is dedicated to equipping customers with quality tools and dependable information that they can use and pass down for generations. Courage, Compassion, Grace and Fortitude (C.C.G.F.). Our four most cherished virtues that we aspire to live up to — all of which are embodied by and emblazoned on our axes — and that we hope will inspire others. We seek to empower people to get outside, use their hands and in doing so embark on a life of fulfilling projects and lasting experiences.
Today, I’m celebrating my birthday. Which means I’ve taken the day off (as I have throughout my entire career), to lunch with my most devoted reader (of course, that would be my mom). She’s been asking me what I want for my birthday, and the only thing that comes to mind is one of her delicious home cooked meals. However, we’re going to poke around Anthropologie this afternoon and I get to pick out a treasure! Hmm… what will it be? (See something you love too? As always, click to shop!)
As promised, here’s the second batch of pics from my visit to New York earlier this month. These photo montages represent a bunch of the inspiring eye candy I took in while perusing NY Now (the International Gift Fair) as well as exploring Manhattan’s retail scene. This series is less so about color than the first, and much more eclectic. Hope you enjoy!
And if you missed the first chapter, you can check out the images HERE
In my book, the best Valentine’s Day gifts start as a cocoa plant, and morph into something sinfully decadent at the hands of master chocolatiers with the wisdom to hire extraordinary packaging designers.
In New York today, attending New York NOW – the biannual International Gift Fair. Also had a chance to stomp around ABC Carpet yesterday and thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. Totally inspired by their take of soft, blushing hues. (As always, click to shop!)
It came in the mail today. My brand new iPhone 5s… in gold. I’m giddy by the prospect of having a camera that doesn’t take dark, blurry photos (Oh Apple, the 3G camera – egad, that sucked), and actually has enough memory to store both photos and apps. (Gone are the days when I have to delete Angry Birds to make room for more pics!) And, of course, all of this means that I’ll be needing a new iPhone cover to protect my precious technology. Here are the contenders so far. Any favs?
As you know, I’m terribly keen on amusement. Especially so when there’s a killer (hee-hee!; a little Halloween humor there?) back story. Should you be strolling through the streets of London today, consider stopping by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies to pick up a brilliantly designed little surprise for the trick-or-treaters or a clever all hallow’s eve hostess gift (Not in London? Everything’s available on-line too!).
Established in 1818 (or so I’m told), they are a “purveyor of quality goods for monsters of every kind”. But that’s not all. Head toward the back of the shop, and you’ll find something equally special; the Ministry of Stories, a volunteer organization dedicated to the creation of stories by a new storytelling generation. Here, they provide a free space, workshops and one-to-one mentoring for young writers. The services are provided by volunteers: local writers, artists and teachers, all donating their time and talent. Now, that’s not so scary after all, is it? (As always, click to shop!)