Friday, May 29, 2009

Elephant Artists

I have actually blogged about this before, but it just makes me happy every time I see this!

This amazing piece of art is part of a collection of paintings done by, yes, Elephants.
They were introduced to me by a dear friend who is an ambassador for Exotic World Gifts, a Fair Trade member and the company whose owners took the now infamous footage of the artists in action. Check out the video and visit the site for more wonderful offerings from around the world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taking the Indoors Out

It's warm outside and it's all I can do to not just sit and fantasize about my dream backyard all day (seriously). I found this article from Sunset Magazine on beautiful backyards on the cheap.

Bargain hunter

The images carry me to a far-away place, but I was excited to find that it features a local landscape architect, Brooke Dietrich of Green...Landscapes to Envy.

Check out the article here:

and other great ideas at Sunset Magazine

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

I wish I could have crawled right into this Pottery Barn scene and spent my Memorial Day there!

photo from Pottery Barn

This brings me to my color story of the week, a new column to inspire and refresh. The palette for this week is a mix between beachy and patriotic with a twist on classic red, yellow and blue.

Stay tuned for the story.

Monday, May 18, 2009

after the rain

After the Rain Soap Dish - Teal with Speckled Bird

this cracks me up!

I love the creativity (not to mention the functional side; I hate when wet soap gets all goopy sitting in a pool of water) of this ceramic soapdish from Deb Babcock. Her pottery all has a bit of flair.

After the Rain Soap Dish - Teal with Speckled Bird

Find this and other fanciful items at Etsy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

something springy, bright and cheery

I love these log bowls by Loyal Loot Collective,
found at ReForm School

Log Bowls By Loyal Loot

...and this handmade raffia clutch from BTC Elements

I'd like to sit outside with some iced tea served in this enamel pitcher from Vivaterra

...then curl up for an afternoon nap on a bedding collection from
Rubie Green

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

organic wine country

One of the must-do activities while in Santa Barbara is to visit wine country (no argument there). I was very pleasantly surprised to find that there are now a number of organic and biodynamic wineries-so many, in fact, that we could not see all of them in a day. So, once settled into our hotel room I sat down with the wine map and charted our course through organic wine country.

We ended up visiting three: Presidio's tasting room in Solvang, Beckman and Sunstone. Each place was very different and we had ourselves a day of fun and education. What could be better than that?

the tasting room at Sunstone

my hubby in the wine vault

If you want to know more about organic wines, here is a great article from the daily green. It gives a nice short breakdown of sustainable wines and their differences.

Organic Wine - Biodynamic Wine - Organic Wines -

thinking outside the box (home, that is)

treehouse from blue forest tree houses
Photo Courtesy of Blue Forest Treehouses

Check out this article from The Daily Green on some seriously creative houses. I've been a fan of container homes for years, but all of these houses are definitely unique.

read it here:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

bee season

As the honey bees make their way back this season I can't help but think of the variety of uses for honey in my daily life. On our trip to Santa Barbara we stopped at the Clairmont Lavender Farm and picked up a jar of lavender-infused honey. Yum.

Then I found this adorable and slightly quirky 'honey jar' on and just couldn't help myself.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Yesterday I took a trip to Santa Monica for the Alternative Building Expo to see what is new and innovative in Green Building. Here are some of the highlights.

Real Door, Inc. makes custom doors, furniture, shutters and misc (they had a sink with a built-in towel rack on display. It looked like a frying pan) using scrap wood. Everything is built in Los Angeles and uses sustainable practices and materials.

Patrick Vogel is a Long Beach based artist who works with various cities on beautification projects. He also does custom metal and glass work for residential and commercial buildings and has created a line of outdoor furniture on the side. His fun, funky and inspirational work uses a finishing process on the metal that is chemical free and requires no maintenence on the pieces once they are installed. The 'Alma' bench shown above is currently retailing for around $1300.00. Pretty sweet.

Samuel Moyer uses a lot of raw edge sustainable woods and traditional joinery to create a look that is highly unique and suitable for a variety of spaces.

Dicover Green is a building supply in Los Angeles that is a great resource for many materials that can't otherwise be found locally or sold to the public. They have everything from paint to flooring to LED light fixtures and solar panels

This easy composter leaves no excuses. It uses heat to break down the material quickly and without having to be churned or drained. Made from 100% recyclable materials and costs about $0.50 per month to run, this is a great option for apartment or condo living. Find it at

Thursday, May 7, 2009

something different for Mother's Day

Instead of flowers this year, why not give Mom a beautiful floral sculpture that she can admire all year round?

These gorgeous arrangements don't need any attention (though I imagine they'll get quite a bit of attention sitting in an entryway or atop a dining table)

Find them at Designers Views in Los Angeles (they can do custom orders as well but I'm not sure what the turnaround is)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

spied it, found it

One of the first stops on our trip to Santa Barbara was the city of Solvang, also known as Little Denmark.

We ate at a cafe called Panino, which can be found all around SB County (which we did not know at the time...oh well).

Our sandwiches were served on these great splattered enamelware dishes, which I obsessed over for the rest of trip. I thought I would find them in a shop in Solvang, but alas I did not.

photo courtesy of Flickr

I took this photo through the window of the closed cafe just as we were leaving town - last chance for a picture!

So...when I got home I immediately began my search for this lovely enamelware. I found them at Crow Canyon, along with the rest of the collection of servingware, bakeware, and flatware if you really want to go nuts!

I would like to have a couple of plates and bowls to mix in with assorted white dishes for a casual but fun dinner party.

Santa Barbara Love

My husband and I just got back from an awesome trip to Santa Barbara, California. We did it all; Wine country, horseback riding, a sunset cruise, the zoo, the missions and so much more. The scenery is amazing, driving through the windy roads of Los Olivos and Montecito and State Street has some seriously good eating!

Now that we're back, I will be posting my little heart out with inspiration from the trip. Stay tuned.