summer salt design

i like these sweet little one of a kind birdie arches from california crafter nicole peterson for her summer salt design company. they measure about 5″h x 7″w and include embellishments like vintage millinery flowers and glass beads. i think they’d be cute in a child’s room.

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hold on – nicole makes cute reuseable shopping bags and purses too!

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i like nicole’s eye for fabrics, finishing and color combinations. these are bound to bring the spring on just a little bit earlier!

check out nicole’s blog here and purchase these and other cute items over at her shop.


martha rich mixed media paintings

i just saw these fantastic paintings on the sfgirlbybay blog and had to write about them immediately. they’re part of the painting a day exercise california artist martha rich has just wrapped up, called freedomwig. martha has created a collection of acrylic, collage, ink and pencil pieces that have consistent underlying themes of insecurity, the trends people follow to achieve acceptance and the ultimate disappointment that occurs once they realize how absurd it all is. according to martha, the series is inspired by “all the ads we see during our lives informing us of the bad smells we make, our lack of prettiness, that we are too fat, and all our flaws that will cause others to like us less.” wow.

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as a child, martha worked as a television and print ad model. the rediscovery one of her old j.c. penney shoots lead to her obsession with vintage department store catalogs from the 60’s and 70’s, as well as her signature style: an imperfect interpretation of all those stiff model poses, undergarments and beauty products found in the pages of those wishbooks from days gone by.

i love these works. i simply love them. the naive style, the stylish motifs that salute previous eras, the layers and expression, the sweet feminine palettes that belie a message that a lot of people don’t want to see or hear. these are strong statements to stand up and make in a world where superficiality, quick fixes and the next best thing abounds. but the hook is here and holds you because martha isn’t preachy about what she is trying to get across. the positive, affirming message of seeing the value in just being yourself comes through loud and clear. and that is music to my ears.

these pieces are in an exhibit which has been extended over at the la luz de jesus gallery in los angeles through january 27 (hurry!). check out what is still available here, read the rest of the sf girl’s blog post here and while we’re at it let’s not leave martha’s main website or freedomwig site out either!


jennifer delonge luxe rocking chair

i like this luxe glider chair and ottoman from california designer jennifer delonge. it’s offered in linen or velvet and is clean, tailored and elegant. jennifer’s intention for this piece and the others in her line was to make the baby’s room as stylish as all the other rooms in today’s modern homes, but with style like this why limit yourself? i’d be thrilled to have this in my family room or library any day of the week!

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purchase it at 2modern and see lots more on jennifer’s website.


susan shippey borski paintings

now begins the yearly automatic ritual for me to seek out bright happy colors as we near the depths of winter. please enjoy these contemporary mixed media paintings by bay area artist susan shippey borski. suz strives to capture the ideas of rampant movement and plenty of possibility, and frequently finds inspiration in nature. these expressive works are made with a variety of materials, such as oil, watercolors, golf leaf and acrylic.

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i love these loose, abstract compositions that are filled with flashes of light, and the spirited feeling that emanates through them. i feel hydrated and refreshed now after looking at them.

find suz’s extremely reasonably priced paintings (nothing more than $250 right now!) over on here.


red cap cards and letterpress

i love the whimsy and beautiful details in these illustrations for red cap cards. created in beverly hills by artist carrie gifford and her husband hal mertz, the collection includes multi colored letterpress and work from michael morrison and francesca montanari. all the styles merge to set a festive tone and easy, colorful way to communicate.

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see much much more on red cap’s website!


jeff benroth glass

these limited edition, substantial blown glass pieces from berkeley’s jeff benroth glass studio are simply stunning.

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custom projects and commissions are also available.

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see more beauty on jeff’s website.

via cribcandy


matanzas creek winery (and sea salt)

my sweet muffin of a husband and i were out in napa with friends (see below) in june for vacation, and while we were there we dragged them 90 minutes away to the bennett valley in sonoma county to see the beautiful matanzas creek winery. we first discovered it on our first trip to the area back in 1992 and have been big fans of their superior handcrafted wines ever since. when we visited, we were lucky enough to catch the lavender in bloom this year: 4,500 magnificent provence and grosso plants arranged in terraces down a one acre hill.

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it truly is a feast for the senses. imagine a sea of purple and the quiet, humming sound of bees drifting lazily and drunkenly from one flower to the next. the redolent, relaxing scent of the blooms and leaves wafting into your nose as you close your eyes and deeply inhale, and afterwards stroking your hands and wrists against the herbs to keep the scent with on you and in your memory for a long, long while. i am thinking “ahhhh” as i write this.

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but i digress. we were seduced by the wines as well, and decided to join their wine club. when i opened our first shipment, inside of the carefully packaged box was a small cube covered with russet-colored tissue paper. i opened it to see what it was and to my delight it was some wonderful lagniappe – a package of pink himalayan sea salt, made heady by the edition of the winery’s estate grown lavender.

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“whee! a reminder of my summer vacation!” was my first thought, which quickly changed to confusion…

“what the heck should i put this in?”

“lavender shortbread?”

“corn pudding?”

“huh? what? gah!”

so now i must humbly beseech all of you in out there in bloggyland. who here among us can offer up any suggestions about dishes that should include this salt?

i would be most grateful!


reed danziger paintings

i think i’m obsessed with the obsessive paintings of artist reed danziger. there is clearly a ballet going on here in these richly abstract, microscopic looking, lacy, spirograph-decorative-vintage-pattern-laden pieces. these are mixed media paintings of oil, shellac, pencil, stencil, paper and other media mounted on wood.

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simply mesmerizing.

see all the pieces from reed’s show this past spring at the mckenzie fine art gallery. see more images and contact her on her website.

via knowing i would via mocoloco


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