Tuesday, December 19, 2006

presents perfect: guys

I love the way The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Essential Oil gift set smells. The handsome boxed set includes a sandalwood scented cologne and shaving cream, and is $40.

Bushnell has combined the distance-viewing abilities of regular binoculars and the image-capturing abilities of a digital camera in to one shiny gadget! The ImageView binoculars lets you capture and save any sight you see through the magnification lense, and an LCD screen so you can view your images. And at $89, it's a total steal.

Trusted and true, the MUJI Screwdriver set is one of the most useful gifts you could ever give a guy (or a girl!). No more rummaging around for the right-size tool when you're hanging pictures or tightening a screw. This pocket-sized set includes one handle and eight magnetic bits in a plastic storage case, and is only $14 at MoMA Store.

If his blank walls need some dressing, the Allard Car stretched canvas by artist Kiddo Smith may be the perfect gift. The black on silver piece is stretched over a gallery frame and is ready to hang. It's $60 for a 26"x26" canvas.

Yes, it's karaoke. And yes, he will love it! When connected, Griffin's iKaraoke sends the music from your iPod to your stereo without the lead vocals. A great gift for only $50.

Ah, cuff links. You can never go wrong with buying him a pair of good links. But if you don't want to drop serious cash on a set that may not suit his style, try these cute Knot cuff links from Brooks Brothers for only $9 a set (or four sets for $20). Pick out a handful from their stock of 40 colors and patterns to dress his every mood.

If he's doing the cooking, let him really put his mark on dinner! These monogrammed steak brands can be personalized with any two- or three-letter combos for $40. So cute!

— xxx —

Monday, December 18, 2006

presents perfect

These colorful, plastic salad hands from Sur La Table are great stocking stuffers for your friends who love to entertain. They come in four colors (red, yellow, orange and green) and are only $8 a pair. Toss that around for size!

— xxx —

Now, who wouldn't love to get one of these beautiful holiday floral arrangements from Flowerbud? They're so colorful and festive, and a nice departure from the traditional holly and poinsettias. And the best part? The blooms will last extra long (probably past the new year!) because they all arrive in bud form and will open up within a few days of delivery. Prices range from $60 and up.

— xxx —

These glass chocolate and pewter coasters are so pretty! The ultra hip damask wallpaper design is covered by a thin layer of glass, protecting your coffee table and these pretty pieces from water. They're $18 for a set of four.

— xxx —

These bitten gingerbread cookie cutters are the perfect gift for the baker with a sense of humor! Each little cutter has tiny "chew" marks in the mold, so the cookies will bake up with curious bite-shapes missing. Love it! They're $10 for three different appendage-less guys.

— xxx —

Your gift-ee may think this hand-made, screen printed Atelier Lzc Matriochka Dishcloth is too pretty to use! The pink, orange and red winding tree branches, decorated eggs and Matriochka doll designs are really striking. It's $16 for a 20" x 26" cloth.

— xxx —

Susie Mendive for SUM Design has taken her beautiful wallpaper designs and reinterpreted the graphics on different objects, including this great black plywood printed tray. It's $40 and also comes in brown and green.

— xxx —

jolly holiday!

Hey, guys! I'm so so sorry for being such a bad MIA-blogger for the last few weeks! Between the hectic holidays, work deadlines, business trips, blah, blah, blah ... you get it. Things have been busy. Anyway, I'm jumping right back on to the blogging bandwagon starting today, and I couldn't be happier to be back! :)

All this week, I'll be posting some last-minute gift ideas ... so stay tuned! But until then, here are my absolute favorite holiday cards of the year. Happy holidays!

— xxx ——

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the next best ring

These wood veneer napkins rings by Sarah Finn are really great. They look delicate, although they're quite sturdy. Finn uses very thin veneer in mahogany or white maple, and laser cuts them into two patterns of stars or small "s" incisions. I love the way they look wrapped around a while or cream napkin. For Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps?

— xxx —

bloom service

I love instant, give-them-as-they-are presents. That's why I love these Bloemox gift boxes. Each mini hatbox comes with strips of biodegradable, plantable seed ribbons to grow your own flower garden. The silk flowers atop the box are replicas of the blooms that will grow from those seeds. They are also available in bulb and satchel kits. Not ready to start a garden in the middle of winter? No problem— the seeds will last until the season is right for planting.

— xxx —

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

feather weight

I love the intricate and rich designs of Tiffani Taylor's ceramic pieces—the table lamp and tea set are quite striking. Taylor, a former student at the Savannah School of Art and Design, paints scenes of flowers and nature and intermingles it with her poetry. And since each piece is made to order and hand-painted by Taylor, it's like getting an original, one-of-a-kind work of art. Her collection is sold through the SCAD shop.

— xxx —

hanging around

Hable Construction's holiday wool felt holiday boxes and stockings are really adorable. I'm always a fan of their Hable-esque floral patterns, but I also think their winter character designs of snowmen and reindeer are cute too. (They even have pet stockings so you won't have to leave Fido out of the design fun!)

— xxx —

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

colin home

I have to say, I'm really impressed with Colin Cowie's new gift line at Wal-Mart. (Yes! Wal-Mart!) Not only are the pieces chic and sleek, but also amazingly priced. Most of the items are below $25, but look far more expensive. The collection includes everything from silver ice buckets and hammered metal serving platters to 12-piece cheese sets and acrylic napkin rings. It'll be interesting to see how Wal-Mart shoppers respond to this line—hopefully really well. Fingers crossed!

— xxx —

dry goods

These Language face and hand towels from Kate's Paperie are so cute—perfect for the guest bathroom or as a gift for the foreign language student. They come in French, Spanish and English sets for $48.

— xxx —

Monday, November 13, 2006

knit knacks

I don't know why, but I'm totally smitten with these cable-knit pillows and throws from Williams-Sonoma Home. Maybe it's the cute buttons on the front, the soft silk/cashmere blend or just the cozy, cuddly feeling it gives me. Either way, I'm a fan!
— xxx —

letter perfect

It's like the Where's Waldo of monograms. If you look closely, you'll see the subtlest of letters adorning these trays, pen cup holder, journal and cards from Superdeluxe. (From top: "R", "K", "T", "C" and "A.") I love the cool, graphic effect of the manipulated letters—perfect for the gal like me that's obsessed with anything personalized. You can pick from over 18 monogram designs and letters. (Sorry to all you, Frank's and Olivia's. Looks like "F" and "O" didn't make the cut.)

— xxx —

tray chic

These decoupage rectangular trays by John Derian are truly lovely. He hand-paints borders over really old ledgers and letters, combines them into collages, and reprints them under layers under glass. They're each 10" x 13" and about $180 each. Stunning!

— xxx —

Friday, November 10, 2006

when nature calls

As much as I love color, we all know that food just looks the best on a good ol' white plate. So why not give your thanksgiving pumpkin pie as much tah-dah presentation it deserves by serving in on West Elm's pretty Branch dessert plates and platter. Each organically-shaped plate is delicately embossed with designs of winter branches and leaves. Complement the set with matching glassware—elegant tumblers and wine glasses etched with branch patterns.

— xxx —