Friday, October 3, 2008

it's a whole new me!

check out my new digs {I won't be posting here any more}: nonpareil

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

aussie cuteness.

I adore Kara Smith's scarves and bags. Her line is made using vintage, recycled and salvaged fabrics. The color and pattern combos she uses are so fresh and fun. I love the pocket detailing on her large bags...and the berry color on those sweet clutches!! All this goodness is a fantastic green way to go! Maybe the reason why I'm drawn to her items is because of her California roots?!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

timeless jewelry.

My business partner and I just spent the last week at a boutique and Showcase House to benefit the Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society. We met some fantastic vendors while we were there hawking our wares. One of my favorites is jeweler, Joan Maxwell {Her hubby designed one of the rooms in the house...a talented duo for sure}. All of her jewelry is exquistely crafted. She uses vintage buttons from France, fused glass, lots of freshwater pearls and beautiful beads. These are classic jewelry pieces that you will have in your wardrobe for ages.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

sweet dreams.

I'm smitten with these boxes from Tattoo Dreams. Patricia Hecker is the creator of these little works of art. I adore their little legs, and the different themes to each one. wonderful! Tattoo Dreams is a side project for Patricia...she also travels the country showing her artwork {her gallery can be found on her site here}


Saturday, September 27, 2008

a little mixtape for you.

I've been working a craft show all week...hope you enjoy some tunes...I've been pining for California lately. More goodies next week!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes


Monday, September 22, 2008

Makool loves you.

I think I have to have the coat {above}...from Makool Loves You. It's so cute, I can't even stand it. They probably have a million hits on their site from Elmhurst, Illinois. And that would be me. Visiting the coat. The clothes on Makool are made locally {Portland, Oregon}...and are often made of sustanable fabrics & always with really great style. They also offer a nice selection of jewelry, bags and ceramics by some of their favorite designers.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

warm your weenie.

The weenie jokes fly around our house ever since we adopted our sweet little doxie boy with a wicked overbite {named Weenie, in the oval above}. Our 14 year old son is the main reason for the incessant "my weenie does tricks" etc. comments.

While shopping Etsy recently, I found Annie's Sweatshop, and her sweet sweet little sweaters and things for dogs {and not just weenie dogs}. The fabrics are made of recycled soda you'll be green while keeping your pup warm. She accepts custom orders too, so you'll get just the right fit for your dog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

feelin' bleu.

I really love the jewelry by Carolina's simple, a little vintage-y, a little dressy...really nice designs! {I'm smitten with the lucite and smoky quartz earrings above}. Based outside of Austin, Texas, Carolina Bleu offers some great repurposed fashion {tees and aprons} as well as vintage kimonos on her etsy site. Check it out!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The Sweet Unfolding is an adorable shop for brides-to-be. If you or someone you know is going bridezilla looking for the perfect little additions to their wedding, then send them to this little online shop, and they are sure to find what they need. You can also find some nice eco-friendly items, and gifts too! They also participate in Kiva, which is a site that gives micro-loans to those in need. I love to see businesses giving back!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

find balance.

I just bought some yoga pants from Even Keel Yoga...and I love them. They are lightweight, with really soft fabric made from bamboo, organic cotton and just enough spandex. So cozy! Owner Liz Matthews is offering a 20% discount for yoga month {who knew it was yoga month...but hurrah for the discount!} just enter "NYM2008" upon checkout.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

crafty goodness.

Surprise Delight Joy has got me thinking of Halloween (my very favorite holiday). I think her primitive, whimsical little creations are very sweet...I especially love the little star ornaments. Cuteness!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

heavy rotation.

Holly from Decor 8 blog suggested that fellow bloggers post what music they are listening to, then link back and maybe find common ground or some new tunes! I'm all over this. Anyone who knows me is WELL AWARE of my music obsession. So, here goes {in no particular order}:

I love the poppy goodness that is Ra Ra Riot. Especially the songs "Can You Tell" and "Dying is Fine". So good {btw, you can download "Dying is Fine" from their site...scroll down a tiny's on the right}. It's in my car's disk player as we speak.

My favorite album of the year is Alopecia by the band Why? My very favorite songs on the album are "The Vowels Pt. 2" and "The Hollows". I've been playing this over and over for months.

We Were Promised Jetpacks is probably the best band name of all time. I love their music...but have to go to their myspace site to hear it. They are from Glasgow, massively hyped, super young and unsigned. No albums out there that I can find. You can {legitimitely} download "Quiet Little Voices" via KEXP's song of the day. Catchy goodness.

Lastly, I'm totally in love with the Watson Twins cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven". I think I've listened to it 20 times in the last couple of days. It's from their most recent album. You can hear it on their myspace page {One of my favorite music blog reads, Thanks Captain Obvious turned me on to this song}

Oh I could go on...and on...but that's it for now. Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"feel good gifts".

Such sweet handmade treasures at Hasenpfeffer...absolutely adorable little bears and things made from old coats and clothing. It's hard to believe that such sweetness could come from a big 'ol unwanted coat! I love the faces on the little handheld dolls {binky buddies} and bears...such character! Love these!


Monday, September 8, 2008

send yourself a little flower.

I'm not the first to discover the lovely ceramics made by Little Flower Designs...they've been written and blogged about many times before...but I am feeling the need to profess my love for these wonderful wares on my page. Each of artist, Linda Johnson's items are made by hand and have her own illustrations etched in. Her designs are all so simple and little works of art. I love pretty much everything on her site.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

adorn + cherish.

Ok people. Back to the cute. I love the jewelry at Adorn + Cherish. Each piece is unique and made from vintage jewelry that has been reworked into something new and wonderful! Lisa, the owner and designer loves to do custom work if you have grandma's old necklace, she can give it some new life for you. Check out her site, and buy some of her pieces at her etsy shop {and check back often because her jewelry sells out quickly, and she adds new items all the time!}

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

get hot and heavy.

This post isn't about the cute and girly. It has nothing to do with accessorizing or finding the most adorable things. Nope. This one, people, is about my hubby's newest business. It's totally shameless self-promotion.

Chicago Brick Oven is the brainchild of my husband, and our neighbors Bill and Carm. The three of them love to cook {we have the best block parties ever}. A couple of years ago they decided that they wanted to buy wood fired ovens. When they did research, they found almost all of the ovens were manufactured overseas. So, they decided to design and manufacture residential ovens here in the states! Crazy, I know...but let me tell you how yummy the food {especially pizza!!} is when it's cooked in the oven {I have eaten more pizza in the last year than I care to admit}.

Check out their new website...and pass the word on to your fellow foodie friends!


Friday, August 29, 2008

cosy rosy {bird} goods.

Cute cute cute! I bought one of these sweet little wallets from Rosy Bird last year at Renegade (actually, mine is a little business card holder). I'm totally in love with her sweet little birds and their big button eyes. They have so much character! Her fun colors, blanket stitch and extra details (sweet lace and fabric) add to the adorable-ness of her goods! *oh...and she's a fellow midwestern gal too!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

get the warm fuzzies.

The problem with selling our wares at craft shows, is that it usually takes ALL of my willpower to not spend more than we sell. Last year at the Jingle, Mingle, Shop show in Chicago, I spotted Mayu Hand-Knit Alpaca scarves and wraps. I instantly fell in love with the colors, and the softness of the fabric. After I bought one, it became my favorite scarf of the season (I can totally relate to Linus...his blanket must have been made from alpaca).

Mayu owner, Kate Robertson personally works with the women in Peru who make her when you buy a Mayu scarf, you help employ independent business women in Peru as well. It's a win-win if you ask me!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"have a nice cup."

I love love love Herb and Ginger teas. They are another one of my favorite gifts to give...perfect to have on hand for the hostess-with-the-mostess. The teas are delicious, and the packaging is adorable (do they have the cutest logo ever?!). It's almost the time of year to cozy up with a good book and a hot cup of tea (though theirs tastes great iced too).

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Monday, August 25, 2008

buy Elmhurst accessories.

Good 'ol Elmhurst, Illinois. Just when I get a bit homesick for the west coast...or when I long to live in a place with the fashion sensibilities of Firenze, I come back to yet another local find! Ellu is a line of handbags by local designer, Leslie Pozen. Her bags are not only super-cute, but are really well made with durable fabrics, strong stitching and nicely detailed hardware. Check out her new website!

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

go on holiday!!

I'll be taking a 2 week break for our family trip to Italy. Woo hoo! I'm sure I'll find some fun little shops to report back stay tuned!


Saturday, August 2, 2008


Chicago designer, Grace Wang-Bishop of ZN Creative Arts, makes some of the most beautiful enameled jewelry. Her blues and greens, and greeny-blues are fabulous. I even love her purple {who knew...I'd totally love purple!!}. She also offers a silver line of jewelry, that I didn't even show here...because I'm so smitten with her enameled work.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

shop locally.

Just wanted to write a little blurb about my favorite local clothing store, Camden. Clothes shopping is slim pickins in Chicago's western burbs, let me tell you! So I was so happy to have this little shop open up! It's as stylish as any city store...I can always find something cute and the gals who work there are always helpful {without being pushy}.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

get back to nature.

Beautiful beautiful jewelry from Mushka Designs. Here's what owner and creator Sarah says about her craft: "Mushka is a body of work that represents a fusion between functional jewelry and the art of metal sculpture." She does that so well! Just love it. You can find Mushka all over the web. At Smashing Darling, Etsy, her own site, Make My Tags {for the cute tags in the picture above}..and on Muska's blog. AND, if that's not enough, she's offering a fantastic discount! Enter the code MUSHKA2559 at checkout and receive 15% off you entire order. So, get shopping people!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

unlocked: vintagey goodness.

Urban Heirlooms offers exquisitely crafted leather wallets, purses and cuffs for sale in their etsy shop. I just adore the vintage keys! Here's a blurb from their homepage {I love it!!}:

"If this were a storefront, it would be on a sunny, tree-lined street behind plate glass windows, with a wooden swing in front trailing sweet honeysuckle vines. Ella Fitzgerald would be singing from the Cole Porter Songbook, and I'd offer you a glass of sweet tea."

{Oh, and I'm pretty sure that vintagey isn't a word!!}

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

travel in style.

In my quest to be a little greener {collecting rainwater, composting, recycling, driving less, etc...}, I realize that there are folks out there who take things to the next level. Preserve Industries is the perfect example of that. I'm blown away by their commitment to the environment. All of their products have had a previous life....their repurposed luggage is my favorite! {I swear that my parents have the exact same brown suitcase in the closet back home's just not as cool without the little gold airplanes all over it!}. I'm officially inspired to do more.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

show some love.

I love Soapy Love's soapsicles. They are great to have on hand as hostess gifts, they look adorable in your soapdish, and kids absolutely love them (even surly teenagers)! So...I was really excited to learn about The Soap Lab. Each month, Soapy Love's creator, Debbie Chialtas presents mini sets of soaps to purchase through her blog (which has fun finds on it as well). Her writers block soap is shown above, left. I'm smitten!


Monday, July 21, 2008

get some steely looks.

Aran Gallagan from The Bittersweet Project uses mostly recycled gold and steel for her beautiful jewelry. I just love the way the steel looks so feminine...and mixed with gold, it's fantastic! Love her stuff!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

have mad mud skills.

Let's can I adequately express just how much I love the ceramics by Rae Dunn?! Her work is simple & wonderfully imperfect. It has been featured in plenty of magazines and big-name catalogues. But if you check out her etsy site, she sells work only made by herself! Love it!!

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Monday, July 14, 2008


Kristen Aronsson is the designer of these absolutely fabulous purses. My favorite is the roomy "vessel" bag (above, left). I'd happily dig for my keys at the checkout through one of those...Really quite fabulous! Her goods are sold at various boutiques throughout the US....or drop her an email to arrange a sale:

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

paint a pretty picture.

My business partner and I were fortunate enough to work at an art and craft show with Erica Hunzinger for a few years in a row. Not only is she super sweet and fun to have around while we were working our booths, but she is an incredibly talented artist. Every year I'd look forward to seeing her new pieces. The show we worked together is no I'm glad that I can keep up on her amazing paintings on her website!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

live in full color.

My kids are way past the baby blanket stage, but I just had to write about colorHIVE, an Etsy shop that has some of the most adorable baby blankets. I love creator Jessica's mix of fabrics and colors. Everything looks so cozy and soft too! I also love her motto "live life in full color"!

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Monday, July 7, 2008

be casually elegant.

Fresh from Baltimore...lovely silver jewelry by Beth Pohlman. I love the organic style and modern shapes of her pieces! Her mix of oxidized and shiny sterling silver is so chic. Love it!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

be green.

I've totally switched over to cloth bags. The reason why I love Baggu bags so much is that I can keep one in my purse for the times that I forget by ginormous bags at home (I so VERY often forget). One of these bags holds 2-3 plastic grocery bags worth. Great colors too. Buy yourself a few!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

become vegetarian.

These are so freakin' cute, I can hardly stand it. AnthroPoMorphCo makes these whimsical wine charms, buttons, jewelry and things with sassy veggies "drinky-poos" and "gourds of goth". She also sells her illustrations at her Cafe Press and Zazzle shops.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Such sweet personalized pillows! incy wincy stitches is based in Leicestershire, UK...but no can have your pillow sent internationally. She also sells fabric buttons and clothespin doll kits on her site. Adorable.


Friday, June 27, 2008

be worldly.

Jacaranda has unique handmade goods from Mexico, Central and South America. My favorites are the plates (shown above)...but their textiles and other finds are beautiful as well. Browsing through the shop makes me daydream of going back to Mexico *sigh*

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Thursday, June 26, 2008


How cool are these?! The birds are made from recycled metal and tins by Anna Built. She also has beautiful stained glass (some made from wine bottles) and jewelry on her site too. I love seeing an old can turned into something so lovely!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

wear pretty pendants.

I love these pendants. Liz Mathews is super young and loaded with talent. {ok, she's super young compared to me} It's always refreshing to see jewelry that is just a little different, but very wearable....and just pretty.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

get a tattoo.

In a drastic departure from sweet necklaces with flowers (from my last post)...I'm totally loving these tattoo-inspired belts by Jon Wye. I'm thinking jeans and a tee-shirt with one of these funky belts...choose the buckle to match. He also sells wrist cuffs, and some great tees on his site. Check it out!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

skip to my lou

I found Skipping Lillies at an outdoor art show two years ago...I practically had to fight my way to their crowded booth, but instantly fell in love with their pendants. Of course, my biggest trouble was deciding which one to buy...there were so many sweet flowers and colors to choose from. They have an equally sweet website.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

gain 50 pounds.

I'm a food snob. That's right. I'll admit it. So, I'm not sure what prompted me to order cupcakes from Bangerang Bake Shop on Etsy of all places. Maybe it was the near-pornographic pictures of each bite of cake and frosting! I love the little cakes packaged in re-useable glass jars. Baked in a fully licensed bake shop (here in Illinois!), without preservatives, and using the best ingredients...these cupcakes are absolutely scrumptious!


Monday, June 16, 2008

wear many hats.

I get teased for my hats. Mostly by my husband...but I put up with the grief because I love wearing them. Piper and Paisley is my newest find. The shape is an easy one for anyone to wear, and goes with just about anything. Her hats are made in Montana with fun fabrics, and are custom sized...perfect for those of us with an extra-big melon :) Check out her shop!


Friday, June 13, 2008

be a collector.

Oh my, how I love this shop. Three Potato Four is the perfect mix of vintage and new...from their refurbished 1930's typewriter (the coolest thing ever) to handbags and mugs, pillows and vases...everything selected with a fantastic sense of style.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

be skinny.

Skinny la Minx is based in Cape Town, South Africa. I love her quirky illustrations set to dishtowels, aprons and pillows. Really fun stuff! Check out the online store!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

go with the flow.

Another new favorite. Flowie has bags, pillows, scarves and table linens all designed by textile designer Yaling Hou. I love her organic style...and her floral print "gerrie" is fantastic. a must have.

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