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ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS TABLEWARE

Eye-catching Tableware at Supermarket

pears by heather knight :: black bird on a tree bowl :: huge bowl :: blaue blume cake stand at supermarket

If you are looking for gift ideas for someone that has everything and who prefer unique pieces, stop by Supermarket, an online store featuring designer products. These gifts are true indulgence for someone special.

Although it was not the initial intent, I realized after I completed my montage that you could mix those as the basis for a one-of-a-kind Halloween party for grown ups. I imagine a surrealist party theme. They are many ways you can integrate those into a concept.

Fall Theme

The 6 ceramic pears are by Heather Knight @ Element Clay Studio. It is the same ceramic artist that I spoke this morning on my Etsy Finds. The pears have a soft waxy finish in soft green, yellow and red with a charming worn character.

From Bailey Doesn’t Bark, get the Black Bird on Tree Branch with Gold Dots Bowl for someone who enjoys coffee au lait or eats often on a bowl. You could buy a set of 4 or 6 and use those to serve candies or peanuts on Halloween or for autumnal party at the cottage.

Conversation Pieces

Cake created a 60’s inspired stoneware starburst decorative bowl that looks pretty amazing. The shadow effect adds drama. At $35, you do not have to think twice about this purchase. It is super cool! You can also check out the Felt Clock by Cake.

If you are looking for something that is clearly unusual, Undergrowth Design from London, UK created a line based on humor, sexiness and the elegance of lace textures. The Blaue Blume sweets and desserts stand will have your guests talking. If this idea pleases you, get the even more provocative Blaue Blume afternoon tea service tea set. Your lady tea parties will never be the same.

SOURCING:
+ 6 Pears by Heather Knight @ Element Clay Studio – price: $125 USD
+ Black Bird on Tree Branch with Gold Dots Bowl by Bailey Doesn’t Bark – price: $42 USD
+ Huge Bowl by Cake – price: $35 USD
+ Blaue Blume sweets and desserts stand by Undergrowth Design – price: $249 USD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS Gifts for HIM

Luxurious Tools for Living Gift Ideas

dwr:tools for living :: petanque set :: cedar sake bottle and cups :: adonde serving ware

In 2007, Design Within Reach started the Tools for Living line. It seems only natural to open new stores to serve that market.

Last May, Design Within Reach announced the opening in fall 2008, a Tools for Living store in SOHO, New York and another store in Santa Monica; two places I visited last winter.

If you are looking for out of the ordinary gift ideas, DWR:Tools for Living is a great place to start. I compiled a wish list with a hint of exotic. The Japanese modern culture mixed with the charms of Europe.

Garden Game

I bought a petanque set this summer but it is not as stylish as the Akiko teak petanque set. In fact, we still look for a better container to transport the boules. Here, the old-fashioned teak box elevates the game.

The Akiko petanque set is not French at all since it came out of the collaborative work of Danish designer Hans Thyge and Japanese Akiko Kuwahata, who now lives in Denmark.

For a upscale children toy, look at the woven rattan ball and cypress wood pins as a charming bowling set. Adults can display the set in a vignette.

Water Bottle

With the trends towards serving tab water in a pitcher instead of bottled water, go for the picturesque Italian Glass Water Bottle. I must confess that I still order bottled water in restaurants and serve it at home because I prefer sparkling water. But I served tap water instead of flat bottled water.

Since the Italian glass water bottle holds one liter of liquid, I will buy a second one to store my milk. Milk is colder when it is on a glass jar.

Stoneware and Wood Serving Ware

I became a fan of cold sake this winter. Designer Shunji Kurimori succeed in creating a bentwood low-conduction vessel that keeps cold sake cool, hot sake warm. The design of the Cedar Sake bottle is pretty interesting too.

Adónde is an sophisticated serving ware collection. It is basically an the stoneware assortment of different sized cylinders. Stoneware is a practical material since it is dishwasher, oven and microwave safe.

Sleek Ice Bucket

From spring flowers to champagne chilling, many uses applies to this 16-quart bucket. Graduated marked are imprinted inside the Stainless Steel Bucket.

SOURCING:
+ Akiko Teak Petanque Set – price: $200 USD
+ Akiko Petanque at Skagerak Denmark – price: £79
+ Italian Glass Water Bottle – price: $10 USD
+ Cedar Sake Bottle and Cups – $85 USD for 2 cups, $140 for sake bottle
+ Adónde Appetizer Picks – price: $25 for 6
+ Adónde Olive Bowl – price: $15 USD
+ Adónde Dessert Spoons – price: $25 for 4
+ Stainless Steel Bucket – price: $80 USD
+ Bowling Set for kids – price: $100 USD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS PAPER goods

Personalized Stationery and Accessories by Iomoi

custom paperweights:: coasters :: address labels, note pads and calling cards by iomoi

As I was looking for calling card options, I discovered Iomoi, a small Californian brand that makes calling cards, address labels, stationery, invitations, coasters, paperweights, handmade Lucite trays, memo pads and more.

Iomoi also operates an e-stationery service based on a membership. But what I like is really their physical products.

You can select amongst 90 designs for your calling cards. Most designs are available for any products. You can buy one coaster, a pair or in a set of 4, 6 or 12 pieces.

The oval and dome paperweights are packaged in iomoi’s signature brown box. A personalized paperweight makes a nice gift to someone that just got a promotion or opening a business.

SOURCING:
+ Navy Coakley Cay Dome Paperweight – price: $68 USD
+ Circle Pattern Sky Coasters – price: 4 for $95, other quantities available
+ Palm Beach Turtle Oval Paperweight – price: $42 USD
+ Address Labels – 120 for $42 USD
+ Yellow Pagoda Memo Pad – price: $48 with tray and 250 sheets
+ Leaf Pattern Green Calling Card – price: 50 for $68, 100 for $108
Via Absolutely Beautiful Things

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Shopping at Madame de Pompadour in Westmount

french style tableware and home accessories :: madame de pompadour store in westmount

After my radio interview, I went for a shopping trip. Since I wanted to visit Zone, I headed to Westmount. Luckily, I discovered an adorable new store filled with an eclectic mix inspired by French style.

I talked to Danielle, one of the co-owners. The store is the labor of love of two girl friends. We even talked about our respective wedding photographers. It turns out that her wedding photographer trained with my photographer.

My wedding photographer Angela Campanelli opened the trail in Montreal for the updated style in wedding photography. Angela is so busy that she does not update her Web site very often.

What is in the Store?

Opened since May 2008, Madame de Pompadour proposes a small collection of tableware, home accessories, linens and kid clothing. Their catalog is updated frequently.

Madame de Pompadour is the place to find special and tasteful gifts for the hostess. Write down this store for your girl friends’ birthdays or when you are invited to a housewarming party, a baby shower, a bridal shower and a wedding.

I bought the floral yellow and pink picnic quilted blanket shown on the middle row. It is cute and soft. I cannot wait for next week picnics.

I almost grabbed the entire Erasable Ceramic collection. The cheese markers, place cards and the note board deliver a charming and green solution for entertaining in style. The Erasable Ceramic note board is perfect to write down the menu and the rest of the time, it can act as a message board over the counter. Each set is sold for $35 CAD, if I recalled correctly.

You have a good selection of cake stands, all available in two or three sizes. Cake stands make adorable wedding present. Two of my favorite dinnerware brands, Rosanna and Match are featured at Madame of Pompadour.

A little history

Madame de Pompadour symbolizes style. Her taste in architecture and décor is notorious. She was able to influence her time as a main mistress of King Louis XV.

They do not have a Web site yet. So if you wish to add a French accent to your décor or your table, visit

Madame de Pompadour
4910 Sherbrooke Street West, Westmount, QC | p 514.670.6632

Subsequently, I went to Zone. I will report on my finds later.

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Seduced By The Fashionable Hues of the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS

canon powershot sd1100 is in brown

Like many women bloggers, I carry a small camera on my night handbag.

The Facts

You need at least a better than average small point-and-shoot camera to take decent pictures. The only purpose of the phone camera is to send a picture to Facebook right away or to photograph people for your address book.

My smaller camera was outdated. Last year, I bought a small digital movie camera, the Sanyo CG6 to make videos. I thought I could use my small movie camera to take pictures but it produces washed off pictures. It is fair to say that I was due for a new sleek and thin digital camera.

How To Select The Right Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera?

I did some researches on the Internet and talked to people about my needs.Have a clear idea of what, when and where you expect to photograph. Taking pictures of food at a restaurant plus being able to photograph people at events summarize my needs.

White balance adjustment and image stabilization were very important since I often use my camera in a low light environment. A cool color camera was a huge plus.

I purchased the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS. I was leaning towards the pink hue. But when I saw how rich the camera looks in bohemian brown, I changed my mind. My brown camera is more stylish in real life. I am proud that my tiny camera matches my personal brand.

What I Think So Far?

I did some tests this morning inside the house and outside on a shady terrace. The picture colors were beautiful. They matched well what I see in real life.

I really do not understand why companies still bother to put a 32M memory card in the box. It is a waste of materials since a 32-meg card is totally useless. This practice goes against the eco-friendly movement. Get a fast SD memory card since a faster memory card produces better results for pictures on movement.

From now on, I got no excuses. I promise to write more stories about my eating out and going out experiences.

>>> Sourcing:
For Americans: Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, Bohemian Brown at Amazon.com – price: $207.06 USD
For Canadians: Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS in Bohemian Brown at Future Shop – price: $279.99 CAD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Dish Entertains Won the James Beard Entertaining Award

dish entertains by trish magwood

The 2008 winners were announced yesterday night at a black tie event. I am glad that the Canadian Trish Magwood won for her book Dish Entertains.

I introduced her book when it was launched. Congratulations Trish!

Click here to see the 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards Winners.

MORE:
+ Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood – price: $28.32 CAD
+ Entertaining Book Finalists of the James Beard Cookbook Awards
Via Party Dish Host Nabs James Beard Award [Food for Thought]

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Follow-up story | My search for retailers of Koziol

pureseries_carafecupsbottlecoolerandtray

To answer a reader request, I searched for more sources of Koziol. This time I searched in Canada.

I told you this week that was harder to find retailers in North America for Koziol.  A sad thing!

A Confirmed Retailer in Montreal

I am happy to report that a small retailer in Montreal carries many Koziol products. Chez Farfelu Maison just received a new shipment of cool kitchen and bathroom accessories.

Missing Opportunities

As many small retailers in Quebec, Chez Farfelu Maison does not have a Web site. Specialized independent retailers often carry unique stuff but the lack of a well documented Web site makes the task of finding them a lot harder. I made 7 phone calls to dig one retailer that carries Koziol.

I think that retailers are missing on a great opportunity. With the current trend towards fun and colorful housewares and interior design, this should create a demand for Koziol products. A design that might not have exists in the past. Moreover, Koziol products are affordable for the masses.

I just sent an email to the Canadian distributor. I hope to get news soon It was quick (15 minutes in a Sunday afternoon, I should have checked back my email before posting). Diana Arn suggested Chez Farfelu Maison and Crash.

Update: Paulla Maxey of Crash contacted me. She told that they carry a fairly extensive inventory in Koziol and review the line continually for updates.

I dug so far three Canadian retailers:

Farfelu Maison (Chez)
p 514.528.8842 – 838 Avenue Du Mont-Royal Est, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2J 1X1

CRASH
p 604.684.9922 – Unit 7 at 1551 Johnston Street, Vancouver, Canada, V6H 3R9
open daily 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

  • I found a store on eBay Canada Your New Gift with a few items. Unfortunately the coolest products I presented to you are not in the inventory except for the Pic Up.

I keep you posted on as I discover new sources.

April 29th, 2008 Update: Diana Arn also sent me retailers for Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.

RELATED POST:
+ Bring Happiness in Your Kitchen with Koziol

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Iced Tea Brewing Pitchers by Tea Forte for Mother’s Day

tea forté tea over ice brewing pitchers :: morehouse café cup

Tea Forté showed its care for design from the start when they introduced their pyramid shape tea bags. The unique Silken-Tea-Infusers that are individually hand crafted feel luxurious. Many brides and grooms sent a delightful message with them as wedding party favors.

Innovative Ice Tea Pot

With the warm weather, we are longing for iced tea concoctions. Tea Forté Reinvent a classic. I have to agree when their ad says

Fresh and authentic flash-chilled iced teas with a boldly original tableside presentation.

Drinking tea is good for you and makes you feel good. Offer a few moments of relaxation to your mom by giving her this revolutionary brewing pitcher. Operating it is at easy as 1, 2 3.

  1. Pour boiling water over infuser
  2. Steep 3 to 5 minutes
  3. Pour over ice and enjoy!

If your mom likes a hot ice tea, she will probably appreciate the Morehouse Glass. This double-walled glass ensemble keeps your tea hot while remaining cool to the touch. A glass cover keeps your tea hot for a longer period of time.

Stylishly Modern Hot Tea Cup

If your mother is a fan of the Tea Forté, she will appreciate this elegant porcelain tea cup ensemble. Café Cup custom cover reveals the signature leaf and keeps the tea hot while steeping. Imagine serving your tea in those cups at your next dinner party. It is a beautiful sight for the stylish hostess.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Tea Forté Brewing Pitchers – two pitchers and lid – price: $42 USD
Buy online: Morehouse Glass double-walled tea cup by Tea Forté – price: $22 USD
Buy online: Café Cup by Tea Forté – price: $20 USD

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Reusable Coffee Sleeves to Save the Earth

reusable coffee sleeves :: cupkozy :: hip grip cup sleeve :: bentwood coffee cuff

When I bought my latte to go yesterday, I felt bad again for not having a recycled coffee sleeve. At least I could reuse for a few runs the cardboard sleeve I got at the coffee shop. But usually I finished my coffee while working or talking to someone, so I forget to keep it.

Today I am proud of myself because I acted. I bought three coffee sleeves on etsy. I went for the CupKozy II that is made of felt. I bought one in each accent color: orange, pink and green. I planned to carry two with me. I will keep the third one on reserve for when I need a tiny gift.

What I like about the one I selected is the key ring. Apparently once it is rolled up the coffee sleeve is about the size of lip balm tube.

Features to look for in a reusable coffee sleeve

  1. It is best to find a model that fits most 12, 16 and 20 oz. disposable coffee cups.
  2. To make sure you use it all the time, check that if it easy to carry around.
  3. Must be easy to clean

A cool option with a pocket

I saw the Hip Grip Cup Sleeve on Real Simple. The coolest thing about that is come with a pocket to store a few bills or the coffee club card. If you like to grab your java or tea after your jogging run in the park, I am sure you will appreciate the pocket.

Hip Grip Cup Sleeve is reversible with two fun prints. I did not buy it because I prefer a toned down pattern. As summer is arriving, I may wish I got a bolder fabric. For sure, the practicality is amazing.

An upscale version

The third one is a pure indulgence. You use it when you want to impress. Handmade with reclaimed architectural veneer offcuts, the Bentwood Coffee Cuff performs double duty. The concept is that you wear it as a bracelet once you finished your coffee. It is a good idea in principle. But every fashionable girl knows that wearing the same bracelet every day is out of the question. So you need to be more creative to carry the Bentwood Coffee Cuff around.

But the Bentwood Coffee Cuff is definitely the most stylish coffee sleeves I have seen so far. There are three wood veneers to chose from: bird’s eye maple, black walnut and benge.

This concept emerged from the design duo at Contexture Design. They are a design firm located in Vancouver, BC. Their unique products are sold online and at selected retailers in Canada, the United States, UK, Australia and Italy.

Sourcing:
Buy online: CupKozy II in Heather Grey and Green by cupkozy on etsy – price: $7 USD
Buy online: Hip Grip Cup Sleeve at Solutions – price: $14.95 USD
Buy online: Bentwood Coffee Cuff by Contexture – price: $68 CAD
Learn more: Retail locations for Contexture Design products
Via: Coffee Cuff – ‘Wear your java jacket’ published on bookofjoe
Via: CupKozy II on Design Crush

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

The Gift of Custom Tea Blends

tea accessories : tea code : lemon run : custom made tea blend for friends : design a tea

After your own perfume craze of a few years ago, it appears that a new fashion is slowly emerging. This time, you get your own tea blend. If you are looking for a lavish birthday gift without breaking the bank, this is it. Different tea shops are offering this service to their customers.

Blends for Friends

The ultimate experience I found so far is from a UK master tea taster named Alex Probyn, the founder of Blends for Friends. Based on the personal facts and the persona of your friend, a master tea taster will create a blended tea just for your friend.

The initial order costs £27 for 125 grams of loose leaf tea. Most of the fee will pay for the personalization process, the descriptive sticker and the decorative tin box. The price will reduce to £7 when you reorder a blend. What is also making the gift special is the quirky blend sticker. The blend recipe descriptor makes reference to the personality traits of the recipient.

Each blend of tea comes with its own set of serving instructions. An educational booklet about tea is included in the elegant presentation gift box. You are all set once you receive the gift or if you ship it directly to your friend’s house.

For a wedding or an anniversary party favor, the blend represents the couple. Some couples opt to leave a specific feeling, a sense of well-being or a mix of energy to their guests.

More options for party favors

In the United States, Design a Tea lets you make your own blend. But here, you must rely on your flair to design your blend. You can name your tea. The labels and the gift boxes are cute but not as refined as Blends for Tea. But the price tag is a lot cheaper too. It starts at $4.75 for 10 bags or 22 grams of loose leaves. If you know your taste well, this is a great option.

Tea accessories

Loose leaf tea tastes the best but sometimes, you want the convenience of tea bags. The designers of Gazin Create brought an innovation to the classic china cup. They added a silicone button to the china cup so you can secure your tea bag. No more cord swimming into your tea. Manufactured under the KEDO brand, Tea Code is available in 4 models: Small Rounded, Small Flared, Tall Rounded, Tall Flared. Rounded for men, flared for women.

If you enjoy a lemon with your tea, you may be interested by a nifty little gadget. With Lemon Run, you would not to worry about spurting juice all over place, onto people’s face or clothes? Or more realistically, no more dirty hand from squeezing the lemon slice.

Do-It-Yourself options

If you are on a budget, buy the tea in bulk. Wedding stores sell several shapes of tin boxes in bulk. You can also use spice containers or small Mason jars. Design your own sticker on a computer or craft them with a custom made ink stamp. Then set up your assembly line. You can make these party favors for baby showers, birthdays or any other occasions.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Blends for Friends – price: £27 for 125 grams of loose leaf tea, £7 for reorder
Buy online: Design a Tea – price: $4.75 for 10 bags or 22 grams of loose leaves
Buy online: KEDO Tea Code at Charles and Marie – $27 USD
Learn more: Lemon Run by KEDO

ALL occasions GIFT IDEAS

Adorable Easter bunny dolls at Bleu Nuit

bunnies_mouse_bleunuit

Just in time for Easter, Bleu Nuit carries the most adorable bunnies and amusing mouse.

Made of linen, these charming bunny and mouse dolls with their cute corduroy dresses will please girls of all age. This will be Easter gift that will last a lot longer than chocolate.

There are sold for $18 at Bleu Nuit on Saint-Denis Street in Montreal. If you organize an Easter egg hunt, you can get one as the big prize. Bleu Nuit is the bed and linen store of Arthur Quentin.

Sourcing:
Learn more: www.bleunuit.ca – it is not shown on their Web site