The Svedese Fortune Chair (above) is on sale for $258 from DWR, but it still can't beat the price of IKEA's $34.99 Nordmyra (below), though that rendition lacks certain details (like lower rungs and fabric) and only comes in white.


Under the Sea

I was surprised and pleased to find an article, "Where the Craft Babes and D.I.Y. Dudes Are," in the New York Times' Sunday Styles section.

The article discussed the indie craft phenomenon piloted by design blogs, as well as magazines such as ReadyMade and dealt particularly with every craftsters' favorite retailer, Etsy, and the Renegade Craft Fair. It was in Chicago a few months ago (having been founded by 2 Chicagoans) and I couldn't make it, but I will be sure to go when it returns in September. I was excited to hear that the fair's creators have a Wicker Park shop in the works. I can't wait to visit!

What really piqued my interest, however, was their observation, at the Brooklyn Renegade fair, that sea creatures were the new wildlife trend. Last years' antlers, owls and sparrows just won't cut it anymore, apparently. We've been hearing this for awhile now, but I will admit I am still stuck on those furry little forest dwellers. I'm a bit sick of trendiness, actually, and prefer to buy things, trendy or not, because I love them - not because they're in or out. Thus I will proudly display last years' cuckoo clock on my wall!

However, it is always exciting to see something new. And if you're are the sort that likes to keep up with the Joneses (or even if you're not!), I've culled a marine menagerie from around the web for you to enjoy!

I happen to be very fond of wood- and linocuts. I think this one by Sonia Romero, called "O is for Octopus," is quite fun, and not just for little kids. Check out the rest of Sonia's shop - she has the whole alphabet for sale. Dogs may be land animals, but I love P is for Poodle! $30 at Etsy.

This squid tie by Cyberoptix Tie Lab was featured in the article, and I wouldn't mind wearing one myself. Its scientific detail reminds me of 19th century etchings by naturalists. It's creepy but also enthralling, and definitely out of the ordinary. The rest of their offerings have are similarly cool. $30 at Etsy.

I really like the abstracted octopus print on this tank top by C&C California. It looks like a fun graphic print from far away, and then you get up close and you realize what it's actually depicting! $48 at Shopbop.

How about this whimsical Merwhale by Jon Carling? $7 at Etsy.

I've always loved Alessi's cheerful yet utilitarian creations. Their fun Expandable Fish Trivet is perfect example. $75 at MOMA.

Erica Weiner is one of my favorite jewelery designers; her price points are decent and her nostalgic wunderkammern aesthetic never disappoints. The Sea Monster Protection necklace costs $100.

If you want to add a "trendy" object to your household, something cheap and disposable is always a good option. I like this dishtowel. $14 from Anthropologie.

And how about these fabulous printed wedges from Maloles? $278 at Anthropologie.

Finally, John Derian's decoupage trove yields a wealth of treasures:

Kenneth Jay Lane

I've always loved the whimsy of Kenneth Jay Lane's jewelry. How something can manage to be so glam and so irreverent at the same time eludes me. Plus the line's pedigree is impeccable, having once been a favorite of hallowed deities such as Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Diana Vreeland. Anyways, I am loving his anthropomorphic creations on Shopbop. I wouldn't mind having an attenuated two-headed tiger curled around my wrist.

I am also drawn to the abstract fantasy of his paisley ring.


Urban Renewal

Urban Outfitters' very eco-friendly line, Urban Renewal, is finally online! They've been selling it in stores for a few years now, but it's nice to be able to see what's available without having to pop into the store. Using recycled vintage fabrics and clothes, a whole new item is repurposed for use as an unique 21st century fashion item. I have a feeling these pieces are going to fly off the "shelves", so hurry on over...

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I love the new Lerberg shelving unit from IKEA. Its tall and slender design is great for fitting into tight spaces, and the bright red shade adds an unexpected pop of color. I can see it in someone's kitchen, stocked with bright cookbooks, colorful mixing bowls, cheerful canisters and perhaps a pretty potted plant. Did I mention it costs $16.99?

John Robshaw's Passage to India

In my search for the perfect yellow and white ikat curtains* to cover the double whammy of hideous air conditioner and an even more hideous silver radiator that sits under my window, I came across John Robshaw's gorgeous Bukhara bedding at auto. I love the lush colors and the way the extraordinary patterns work together seamlessly; you'd think that all of the vibrant prints would compete with each other but they seem to work together in one luscious whole. I keep coming back to it just to stare at the pictures...best of all, it comes in twin size!*
Now, where's a trust fund I can tap into?

* Any ideas about where to find these? I'm getting desperate!
* My big complaint about Anthropologie and other high-end bedding retailers is that they offer only king and queen sizes, which is quite the travail for those of us still living in teensy studio apartments and sleeping on day beds with twin mattresses. We'd like to have pretty sheets too!

West Elm does Ted Muehling

Browsing around West Elm's burgeoning sale section (which is definitely worth a visit), I came across these Branch Candle Holders which look like a minimalist version of Ted Muehling's drop dead gorgeous Rococo candlesticks. With a super-pared-down pricetag to match, you really can't go wrong here.


How Can We Serve You?

I know I most likely sound like a broken record but I just can't get over my Anthropologie obsession. Along with their new website redesign has been a flurry of new products. I particularly like what they have been doing with serveware...maybe I am finally noticing it because with a new apartment and all new things, I can finally start thinking about what I would like for myself.

Here are a few recent favorites, mostly in shades of yellow and green. I wonder if this is because I've decided to do my apartment in yellow, green and white?

Dandelion Tray

Peacock Serving Bowl

Superiority Complex Serving Tray

Sunday in the Park with Alfie

I think the Alfie bag from Hayden Harnett is just adorable - perfect for one of those sunny summer days that finds you strolling in the park or on the boardwalk. I just can't resist a fun vintage-y print. Best of all, it's on sale for $69!

Personal update:
I still have no internet...I'm typing this post from the 24-hour Starbucks down the street from my apartment. Bear with me!


Candy Drop Throw

Isn't this throw from Anthropologie just the prettiest thing? It's made in a lovely warm wool and on sale for $49.95 (half off!).

What's not to love?

On a completely unrelated note, AOL has been fiddling with their e-mail software for the past month and I've been having trouble receiving some e-mails. If you have sent me an e-mail somewhat recently and I haven't responded, please re-send it because it's possible that I haven't received it. I really should get a gmail account but I've been with AOL for 10 years and I have attachment issues.

Blad is Rad

I'm continuing with my love affair with IKEA. I'll admit I kind of turned my nose up at it before; I saw the cheap construction and ignored the often great design. But now that I'm paying closer attention to it out of necessity, I'm starting to realize how fantastic it is - better late than never, right? Unfortunately I've found I am most to attached to the aesthetics of the higher-end IKEA items, such as those from the new Stockholm collection. When I made my last trip to the store a few weeks ago, I fell hard for this slipper chair, upholstered in the new BLAD print:

The design is clean and streamlined, making a perfect backdrop for the beautiful Josef Frank-like print (yes, I'm still obsessed) which is cheerful and fun without being cloying or cutesy. I have to say, it's also quite comforable. Too bad it's $399 - while pretty well-priced for an easy chair, it's not exactly what I would call an easy impulse buy. I do need floor-length curtains for two windows, and I was thinking about these, which are more economical at $59.99 (and would theoretically go with my tentative green, yellow and white color scheme) but I wonder if such a busy print might not be too much for my tiny space. Ideas?

Sorry about the ridiculous title; I just couldn't help myself!

Missoni for Roche Bobois

I'm still here, and still defying the internet gods by refusing to call Comcast ($42.99 a month just for internet? Seriously???). Of course, this does tend to create giant knots in my regular schedule. I miss waking up in the morning and pulling my computer towards me in a groggy haze, slowly waking myself up by checking out the blogosphere and typing up a post or two of my own. It has, however, left me a lot of free time to do a lot of useful things like reading and studying - finals week begins on Monday. I'll admit I've been doing more reading than studying. Anyways, I do have a few minutes of internet time so I thought I'd shoot off a little post.

Looking through the FT's always sumptuous weekend magazine, How to Spend It, I came across an ad for Roche Bobois. They had a cold and imposing storefront in the little Chicago suburb where I grew up. Everything seemed very sleek and modern, black leather and chrome. I remember, when I was very young, walking past there on the way to the bakery for a smiley-face cookie. I don't think it's there anymore, but this ad caught my eye, as it seems they are doing a collaboration with Missoni.

I noticed the gorgeous colors and patterns first, before I realized it was Roche Bobois. It seems very different from my early memories - warm, inviting, and totally fun! Don't you just want to fling yourself down onto one of those couches?

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Moving: It's like camping out, but boring and (hopefully) sans wildlife

I always hated camping. I loved the idea of it - ghost stories, s'mores, cozy camaraderie around the crackling fire - but when presented with the dirty, bug-infested, comfort-free reality each summer, I was somewhat less pleased. I'm now moved into my new apartment and feel a bit like I'm camping. I've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor since Friday night, with boxes for furniture and no internet, watching episodes of Commander in Chief on my iPod and studiously avoiding said boxes.

We're going to pick up my bed on Tuesday and hopefully this weekend I'll make it back to IKEA, at which point my apartment will begin to feel less like a squatters' hut and more like a home. Even though I'm currently eating with plastic plates and cups (which I've been rewashing!), I do have some very pretty new silverware:

It's the DATA set from IKEA. The picture really doesn't do it justice - as I look at the photograph I think, 'how boring!' but I think it's one of those things you have to see in person. They have a nice heft to them which makes them feel sturdy and not flimsy. And I just love the design, which makes them seem like some very strong person took an ordinary set of silverware and stretched them just so, as if they were rubber. They're elegantly attenuated but the heads are ever-so-slightly oversized. And did I mention it cost $24.99 for 20 pieces? IKEA does have cheaper options - I had planned on getting the perfectly adequate $9.99 Fornuft set - but I went to the store and saw DATA and knew that we would live happily ever after together.

Anyways, I never thought I would rhapsodize over a set of silverware but there you have it! Nordic design at its finest.


Patience...my least favorite virtue

I hate waiting. I really hate waiting. Right now I'm sitting in my empty apartment, feeling its familiar sounds echo emptily around me. Boxes, boxes, everywhere. It's pretty depressing. I'm ready to move, but I can't, because my trusty movers (a.k.a. Dad and Brother) are quite tied up until 4:30. It's out of my control and theirs, but I feel flaming mad because I can't do anything and I've taken a day off from work for nothing.

If anything could cheer me up, it might be these pretty rugs from my trusty happiness machine, Anthropologie.

Mandarin Leaf Rug

Arcadian Garden Rug

I feel better already.

Maybe I should take a walk down the street to see the real thing in person. I live just blocks away from Chicagoland's newest Anthropologie. I would be sad about moving away from my favorite wallet-drainer, but I'm moving...you guessed it, just blocks away from another one! Isn't it nice how these things work out?

Apologies from a frazzled near-graduate...

May was a pretty crazy month for me. While embroiled in my last (and most difficult, tear-filled and stressful) full quarter of college, I'm also moving (this afternoon, after two weeks of fits and starts) from the apartment I've lived in for two years with two roommates, to my first studio in a different part of the city.

I have very big plans for my new apartment - the first that I can call my very own - and my free time (which has greatly dwindled) is now filled with daydreams of my dear friends Eames, Nelson, Fornasetti and Frank (dream on!).

So I'm really, really sorry about the unannounced hiatus. I kept telling myself that I would post this, or that, and then forgetting because really, while blogging is super fun, sometimes real life just gets in the way. I thank you all for your patience, kind comments and e-mails, and promise to be back in full glory...soon! Just let me get my act together. This weekend is going to be spent on a mattress amidst a sea of boxes, since most of my furniture has not yet arrived (I'm due for another trip to IKEA and West Elm). Wish me luck!