Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feb 17

The OC gets Interesting!

Posted In Art, Clothing, Decorating, Food, Green Design, Orange County, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized

There were two of us, with a few hours to spare, looking for good times in the OC.  A beautiful day, we itched for something different, unique and one-of-a-kind that would preferably be punctuated with yummy treats and drinks.

Our destination?

The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa

Have you been there yet?  Ok, yes…it is a little tough to find… but what a gem!  It’s nestled behind the South Coast Collection of furniture stores (SOCO) which I’m sure you’ve seen from the 405, just north of Harbor. The OC Mart Mix is very similar to the LAB Anti-Mall and The Camp in that it is filled with wonderfully creative places to shop, eat and just hang, indoors and out.  You’ll find unique, one of a kind items… from clothing, old and new, to furniture, home accessories, organic body products, art made from salvaged items, jewelry, sports, cycle and surf shops, a spice store, even a sewing workshop.

 

 

The Mix houses a fantastic coffee shop, wine and olive bar, bakery, a new cheese shop and by now… probably more.  Each time I go, there are new places to explore… it’s growing quickly. Definitely worth the drive!

 

You’ll want to stay for a while….  The open air courtyard is gorgeously landscaped… a perfect spot to soak up that all important Vit. D and enjoy a treat.  Visit in the evening to bask under twinkly lights and in front of the firepit.

Go to the Mix on a Saturday and you’ll get to shop the farmer’s market and sample yummies from gourmet food trucks.  Line up!

The OC Mart Mix is a fun place to explore, meet up with friends and be inspired by creative people and things.  I’m ready for another fix….!  See you there next week?!

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Jan 06

Flea Market Find of the Month/January

Posted In Budget, Decorating, flea market, Green Design, Old to New, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

I love love love flea markets, thrift shops, consignment shops, garage sales… you name it.  If they have cool old used things for sale, I’m there!  Digging through piles of shtuff and imagining where items could go, how they could be freshened up, painted, reupholstered or even repurposed is a blast.  Waaayyy better than a furniture store any day!

SOoo, when these barstools appeared in a vendor’s booth at the Sunday Irvine Flea Market (now moved to the Great Park area next to the giant orange balloon… every 1st Sunday of the month) you can imagine the heart palpitations I was experiencing.  Just perfect for my client’s black, white and red kitchen, and with NO work to be done.  Guess what we paid for these vintage beauties????

 

$30. For all three. YES, you read that right.

If you’ve shopped for  barstools lately, you know how expensive they can be, especially anything unique or repurposed.  For example, I always love to look at the NapaStyle catalogs and websites… they have loads of really cool and unique items, like these barstools made from old wine barrel staves.

Gorgeous, yes, but $279 each plus tax and $30 shipping each. WOW.  Do the math… that adds up fast!

I know we all splurge sometime on those special, just perfect items.  But don’t forget the rewarding projects, unique products and fabulous bragging rights that come with scavenging.  It feels so good to rescue something from a trip to the dump and re-imagine it into a FAB one-of-a-kind that none of your neighbors will have. And when you tell them what you paid…  now thats fun!

LOVE to see what rescues you have come across. Send pictures!

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