Blogging about a variety of things I enjoy. Also peddling my wares at Thicket and Thistle on Etsy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

more on rifle paper co.

Over St. Patrick's Day weekend I found myself in Winter Park, FL, and happily discovered the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival taking place along Park Ave.  It was beautiful weather and there were tons of people out and about, looking at art, sampling the fair foods (we had fried Oreos and they were super amahzing), and patronizing local restaurants and shops.  The intended purpose of going to Winter Park was not the festival, though we were led there eventually by the smell of a multitude of deeply fried food.  My main goal was to visit the worldwide headquarters of Rifle Paper Co.  And it just might be my most favorite place on Earth.

Rifle Paper Co. had a little sidewalk sale going on in honor of the festival.
I broke into a sweat upon entering their store, which also serves as their studio.  Being surrounded by all of their products was overwhelming.  The shop girl and I bonded over blogs when she complimented me on my Boulevard purse and I told her it was Little Green Notebook who had posted about it years ago (I got mine from LA Plates but Tuckernuck now sells them in a few different colors).  Anyway.

Vintage stamps and some notebooks in the background.
I love Rifle Paper Co. products because the color composition is always perfect.  Their stationery and notebooks and illustrations have a hipster-vintage feel but not too much so.  They're cute but not cutesy.  They're clever but not so much so that I don't get them.  They're printed in the United States, which I appreciate.  The quality is high.  The founder, Anna Bond, seems like a mega cool person and is successfully running my dream business.  If only I had her talent.  At least I have a talent for spotting talent?  Here's what I bought during my visit:

My love of stationery is insatiable.  I'm considering framing the pug card.
I definitely don't need another notebook but I really need *this* notebook.  Plus this cute gold spoon!  Por que no?
I joked to the young woman working in the store that day that I planned to use the gold spoon for caviar.  I don't even eat fish, let alone fish roe, but I would start if it validated this purchase.  These beauties have been added to my existing collection of RPC cards and a cities-around-the-world calendar I received for Christmas.  Such a successful shop and a personal triumph to visit one of the stationery/design businesses I admire most. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

wisteria in the wild

I've been doing some driving up and down 95 lately and I love seeing wild wisteria growing amongst the trees.  The purple vines make the highway a lot less ugly.  They're also nice against a whitewashed manse in DC (even on a cloudy day):

I like to daydream about owning a beach house one day and I'm pretty sure I want the landscaping to consist of purples, greens, whites, and some yellows.  Wisteria will be a requisite for sure.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

mirror, mirror on the malm

I popped into Ikea last night (as one does on a Friday) primarily to decide whether I could live with Ikea dining chairs (yes) but of course I picked up a few random things (an extendable arm bathroom mirror, heart-shaped ice cube tray, cork stopper for my old but still in production carafe) and slowly browsed the whole store just to see what was new.  It was rather enjoyable to be one of the only people there.  In the bedroom furniture section I discovered they now make mirrored Malm dressers but I can't figure out whether I love them or think they look cheap.  In person, the mirrored effect is slightly wavy, along the lines of cheap pretend makeup compacts for little girls, where the mirror is really just a piece of moderately reflective, adhesive plastic. 

Overall, though, they're pretty hot.  I took the liberty of digging my fingernail into one of the floor models to see how tough the mirrored coating is and I didn't leave a mark, so they appear, at least in that one regard, to be pretty solid.  Reflective anything seems to be really popular right now - sunburst mirrors, distressed mirrored tabletops, etc. - and for good reason, since they reflect light and make virtually any space brighter.  These Malms are pretty mod; perhaps too mod for my place (not that I need any more furniture, anyway - except dining chairs!) but still a cool feature, especially since so much widely produced, inexpensive furniture - Ikea and otherwise - is so boring.  These definitely make more of a statement than most other pieces.  I bet if you laid some painted (black?) fretwork on the drawers, you wouldn't even be able to tell the dresser was from Ikea.  I'm considering ordering decorative fretwork for my own Malm (in Ikea's iconic "black-brown" - ha!) from O'verlays.  Such a smart idea to offer professional means to an Ikea hack end.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

springtime in savannah

The other weekend I took a day trip to Savannah with my mom and sister.  For the third trip in a row, I started off my visit at the Paris Market & Brocante.  So I was told, brocante means a sort of second-hand/vintage/flea shop.  There's a cool mix of new (Bellocq tea, Tocca perfume, washi tape, soft knits for babies) and old (vintage beads, china and glassware, canes, animal x-rays) all jumbled together in a two-story corner lot.  Oh, there's also a little cafe that serves Italian sodas and coffee.  The place is a bit like the home section of Anthropologie with a heavier focus on interiors (they offer some design services and sell really pretty linen-covered pillows, chairs, and sofas).  This time I left with a vintage mink stole courtesy of my mom, a few French salted caramels, two rolls of washi tape, a brass bead, and a starburst wall ornament (like the cheaper ones mentioned in this March 2012 post).

(This photo of amazingly beautiful silver, domed egg cups is from my February visit.)
After making pit stops at Sweet Carolina Cupcakes (the whoopie pie I tasted was yum but I heard the cupcakes were too sweet) and the gleaming Tervis store (a store devoted to cups; somehow it works and is awesome), we had a light lunch at Gryphon, staffed by SCAD students and housed in an historical building.  Initially I was drawn to the place because they serve afternoon tea, though I ended up with a salad.  And scones as an appetizer.  The interior is dim and book-sy.  We love, love, loved the studded green leather banquettes. 

We then popped into shopSCAD and bought a few cards and screenprinted tea towels.  They have some neat jewelry, super hot leather tops by student designer Brooke Atwood, and lots of other things.  So great to see students' creations sold commercially.  On the way out of town we saw a few shops and a gourmet grocery in what appeared to be a converted gas station; they'll make the itinerary next time, after the requisite visit to Paris Market.

for the record

For years I've been wanting to host a doughnut party.  For years my family and friends have scoffed at me.  Doughnuts weren't hip enough for them, evidently.  And yet, now we find ourselves witnessing the eclipse of the cupcake.  Welcome, fine doughnut shops across the land.

Astro Doughnuts does doughnuts and fried chicken, which I saw being pulled upstairs on a dumbwaiter into their tiny store front like the Phantom of the Opera.  Line out the door and down the block in its first week, which was last week.  Co-owned by a former Caps player.  Done.

I have yet to try GBD in Dupont but it does doughnuts and chicken and stays open well past midnight.  Quite the niche market.  With Krispy Kreme brick and mortars few and far between these days (although there is one in Dupont...), it's comforting to me to see the next generation of shops specializing in sugary fried dough.  It's really the American version of the European way.