Dan-ah Kim

I love this new print, I Kept Missing Your Train, by perennial Etsy fave Dan-ah Kim. Maybe because I'm obsessed with Hello Stranger, which is hanging on my wall right now...

There are several great new pieces up at her shop, it's definitely worth a visit.

Silhouette Scarf

As the days grow ever colder, people start to look all the same...Chicago becomes a parade of North Face-sporting drones. Do what you must to stay warm, but don't forget to inject a dose of individuality into your outer gear. It makes all the difference!

You've heard it all before - I love silhouettes, blah blah blah... so I don't feel as though I have to elaborate further. This fantastic scarf from Teal Town doesn't really require elaboration, anyways. Winter accessories can be cozy AND fun, I promise!


More awesomely big hair....

I wish I had seen this print by little doodles when I did my big hair roundup. This would have been the icing on the cake! Definitely swing by the artist's etsy shop to see her other wonderful wares.

Clearly, Kate Spade wishes you a VERY happy holiday

I just love to display a bit of humor in my accessories, and this tongue-in-chic (sorry, couldn't resist!) keychain by Kate Spade would make the perfect stocking stuffer for...well, just about any special lady in your life.

Really, I initially intended to post only about the above keychain but the peacock-themed holiday tableware elsewhere on the website was just too fantastic too ignore. To wit:

festive peacock demitasse cup and saucer

festive peacock cake plate

festive peacock ornaments

On a wholly selfish and hedonistic note, can I please take the time to say that I hope I will never be cured of my rampant consumerism? Sure, it means my life will be filled with ... window shopping, but can anything compare to the commingled pain and pleasure of coveting an elusive yet amazing _______ (fill in the blank)?

I guess consumerism is sort of the wrong word for what I feel - I'm not in love with the act of spending money or acquiring goods, but in the wholehearted appreciation for unique and beautiful objects, whether they cost $5 or $500. The former is in fact even more enjoyable, because everyone loves a bargain!


I LOVED Holly from Decor8's massive new trend post on doilies. These are not your grandmother's doilies!

I began to notice the build-up of lacy imagery this autumn. It seems to go along with the prevailing trend towards cozy, nostalgic crafts with a twist.

Her post was especially pertinent because I just picked up a doily-like bowl I have been coveting, on sale at Anthropologie, just yesterday. It looks very much like the Unblossom salt crystal bowl which she mentions. They're not available online as far as I can tell, but I have seen them in the sale sections of several Chicago-area Anthropologie stores, so check with your local boutique if you're interested.


Holiday Stockings

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I feel it's finally safe to tell you about the wonderful felt-appliqued stockings I saw at the Art Institute of Chicago's gift shop several weeks ago. They're even on sale online! The Poinsettia is my favorite.

Dots Stocking

Poinsettia Stocking

Striped Stocking

Merci Beaucoup

So as you may have gathered from last week's solitary post, I've been rather busy preparing for graduate school applications. At the moment I'm (busily) trying not to think about the GRE which I am taking tonight.

An important part of a graduate application is, of course, the letters of recommendation. Upon realizing, of course, that thank you notes must be sent to my recommenders at some point, I perked up at the idea of picking out the perfect card. Sure, I could use my regular Eames stationery (which I highly recommend) but it feels more special to choose actual thank-you cards for this specific purpose. I would like it to be apparent that I spent as much consideration on the outside of the card as the inside. In this situation, where someone has devoted a lot of time and effort for your benefit, it seems thoughtless to send them a meaningful message inside a card that reflects a thirty-second decision at the Walgreens card kiosk.

My requirement is that they be aesthetically pleasing, with an interesting design, on good quality paper. The vast majority of thank you cards, I have found, can only be described as "cute" (think daisies and buttercups and all those fun things) which obviously would not do here. Elegant and professional (but never boring) is my goal. Somehow, I would love the card to reflect my personality in a subtle way. Here's what I came up with...

Snow and Graham is a personal favorite of mine and I love that they're a Chicago company. Their designs are gorgeous for any occasion.

Eucalyptus Thank-You from Greer

Leaves Thank-You from Greer

I've featured this faux bois card by Blue Snail Papers before...I just love it. But is it too exuberant to send on this occasion?

Ditto with this super fun Merci Buckets card by Armato Design

The multilayered design of this card by Binth, another Chicago line, is just gorgeous.

Finally ... for a long time, I have wanted a good excuse to send one of the decadent yet elegant cards by Jezebel. (Like you need an excuse?) They're a little bit quirky but still sophisticated. And they're SO me - my first-ever post here was about my obsession with silhouettes.
There are several thank-you themed designs to choose from:

The only question is....which to pick?!



Sorry, guys...

I'm in the middle of filling out graduate school applications, writing essays, combating a work deadline, and preparing for the GRE which I am taking a week from today. Not to mention the upcoming holiday. So I'm warning you now - posting this week is going to be awfully spotty.

"I'm sorry" postcard from bread + butter


Books again, you say?

Now that I have made it clear to you all that I am, indeed, something of a bibliophile, book-related post inspiration seems to be seeping out of the ether. With all of the (spectacularly well-deserved) accolades from bloggers regarding Jen Bekman's new project, 20x200, I decided to steer clear of posting of it unless I had a good reason.

Today's reason made itself clear to me last night, in the announcement of Wednesday's print, Word Study by Mickey Smith.

Yup...books! I absolutely love the concept behind Smith's series, Volume, of which this is a part. Smith's focus is on the replacement of tangible books and journals in research libraries, with their online equivalent - something with which any recent student would be familiar. Smith writes, "Searching endless rows of these utilitarian texts, I am struck by the physical mass of knowledge and tenuousness of printed works as they fade from public consciousness." I loved reading about his process. Such a thoughtful artist has created a striking photograph that would stand out on any wall. It can be yours, for only $20....

I can personally vouch for the quality of the 20x200 prints. I bought the last $20 print of The Faceted Couroucou by Carrie Marril and was stunned by the richness of the print quality. It's really a beautiful piece, and you can tell that much love was put into the making of it.


Embellished Bottles are a Joy Forever

My deep adoration for these embellished bottles by the ever-talented Laura Normandin coincides perfectly with my inexplicable fixation on beautiful objects without any clear purpose. Besides just sitting around and looking pretty. Sure, they're bottles, and ostensibly you can store things in them - I suppose they'd make lovely bud vases, toothpick holders, etc. - but why fill them with things which will probably just obscure the beautiful decoration on the exterior?

I don't have a practical bone in my body. But if I get one of these for Christmas, Santa, I promise I would be a very, very good girl - the soul of practicality. Yup.

Not happening.


Au secours!

There's nothing I love better than a sale that benefits a good cause. Phoenix-based artist Tiphanie Brooke of Antigirl needs your help. Due to some turmoil in her personal life (we've all been there) she's having a blowout sale of her work, which has previously been featured on Love Made Visible. Her beautiful collages and books would make wonderful holiday gifts.

I personally love her sketchbooks

but her exquisite collages are the real winners. You can now get four for $65. So what are you waiting for?


Wisteria's Translucent Bird Lamp

Knowing my obsession with anything and everything avian, I was unsurprised when I fell in love with this gorgeous translucent bird lamp from Wisteria.

It would be wonderful in any setting, traditional or modern. This time of year, when the darkness seems to creep up so insidiously, beautiful lamps that project their warmth into the room are more important than ever.


Long Overdue...

Sorry about my unannounced absence Thursday and Friday. Last week was the most stressful week ever....gosh I seem to be saying that a lot lately. I have a lot on my mind, and although I had lots of ideas for posts, I knew that I had more important priorities that wouldn't get done if I spent all of my time blogging!

Anyways, today I finally took the time to do something I've been meaning to do for FOREVER. I mean, at least six months. I updated my blog roll. There is a plethora of deserving bloggers out there who merit a mention, so I exhort you to check out the updated links to the right (I'm slipping in my GRE vocabulary, did you notice?). Let me know if I'm missing any wonderful blogs, or if you'd like to be added...

Seems like the fashion blog links are lagging well behind those on design. I've been posting a lot less about fashion lately, mostly because I don't have money to buy clothes and it makes me sad.

Hi, My Name is Blythe, and I Judge Books By Their Covers....

It's funny - I don't post much about books here. Well, I suppose I sort of do, but not as much as I think about them. So you might not know this. But I am a huuuuuuge book person. Old books, new books, borrowed books, blue books. When I was little, my idea of fun was a visit to the local public library. I love the irreplaceable sensation of reading - the smell of the pages, the way they feel against my hands, the different typesettings and of course their covers. Not to mention the transcendent experience of a great story which is of course the whole point. I spent my childhood ensconced in other worlds, other times and places. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.

These days, I could probably build a house with all of my books. But that doesn't stop me from accruing more each month. I've actually been very good recently - maybe because I've been buying teapots instead! But my caution was tested when I came across this article, "Bound for Posterity, in the Telegraph about the Folio Society.

Eliminate any suspicions and or prejudices you may have about book clubs, as it is so much more than that (and they don't send you books in the mail every month!). I'll let the article convince you, as it did me, but a simple visit to their website just might do the trick. They put so much loving care into the production of each edition, and the gorgeous covers alone are proof of this. I'm dying to get my hands on these - and considering the quality and beauty of each volume, the Society offers a remarkable value. Any of their tomes would be a remarkable Christmas gift for the book lover in your life.


Oh My Cavalier!

I've never been quiet about my praise for Julianna Swaney's wonderful work, so I thought I might let you all know that there have been some extraordinary things pouring into her Etsy shop of late. As usual, it's dreamy, whimsical, magical...you get the picture.

If I could, I'd splurge on this set of three marvelous etchings, imbued with a sense of the macabre by their juxtapositioning of 18th century ladies decked out in all their finery with giant creepie crawlies. It's like Marie Antoinette meets Them!

For those with a more realistic budget, this bird girl with ruff print is wonderful. I love the richness of the deep orange paper, and the striking contrast between the background, the delicate line drawing and the white ruff.

Plus she's got loads of new holiday-themed goodies. My favorites of the bunch are these darling mouse gift tags. There is nothing like receiving a gift which is totally handmade, inside and out.


Fancy a cuppa?

I've recently become obsessed with teapots. Yes, teapots. It all started on that fated day at the Sandwich flea market when I discovered a tiny, perfect little yellow teapot embellished with golden daisies. Since then I've been like a woman possessed. Well, that's an exaggeration maybe, but let's just say I spend a lot of time browsing for "vintage teapot" and its variants on ebay.

And Grace's recent teapot roundup only fanned the flames. Speaking of which, if anyone wants to spend a ridiculous amount of money on me I would love you forever if you got me an Tea Set by Christine Misiak. Ahem.

What I mean to say is...the good thing about being obsessed with something as commonplace (yet frivolous) as a tea pot is that you have a lot of price points to choose from...from $4 to $400.

At $26, this adorable skull embellished tea set is just right. I love the contrast of such a traditionally "hard core" symbol with something as cozy as a tea set. And I'm tickled by the cartoony quality of its big loop handles.


If you haven't already seen Joanna Goddard's post about Cookie magazine's terrarium slide show, I suggest you take a look! These may have been produced with an eye towards the wee ones, but who says kids can have all the fun? I have always been fascinated by terrariums - if Blake could see a world in a grain of sand, encapsulating one beneath a glass dome can't be all that difficult...

I love Cookie's imaginative and whimsical take on this ancient art. If you don't have the inclination to make your own, I think Brookstone's Ecosphere globe is lovely.


Blue Monday

So....it's Monday. A rather chilly and definitely gloomy Monday which began, for me, with the sad, sad announcement of the closing of House and Garden.

I thought I'd leave you all on a lighter note, with this bit of silliness:

via AT:SF


Eye spy a holiday gift...

For your favorite art geek.

Van Gah, by Jason Snyder

Brought to you by the brilliant folks at Keep Calm.

Species by the Thousands

I really am loving these basswood plaques adorned with delicate, hand painted floral silhouettes. Slightly gothic, rather organic and definitely romantic. What a great way to add texture to a wall arrangement.

Produced by Brooklyn-based Species by the Thousands, these plaques can be found at the Shiny Squirrel Boutique.

Black Roses



Speaking of talented modernist muses....

I seriously love Jonathan Adler's surreal, stylized Dora Maar vase, and now he is making a candle version which is a bit more affordable. The best part: once the candle's melted down, you can use it as a gorgeous vessel for anything you'd like: loose change, potpourri (ick), etc.

I know that most people buy candles for their scent, but this is a design blog - who cares what the candle smells like so long as it looks gorgeous?

I kid, I kid. I'm sure it smells wonderful.

Cate Blanchett as la femme surréaliste?

This month's iD cover:

Man Ray's photograph of Lee Miller from 1930 (cropped).

I haven't seen the issue yet, so I'm not sure that they're really invoking surrealism here - in any case, I'm reading Miller's fascinating biography by Carolyn Burke and it made me wonder...