Tomoko's work seems to be right at the intersection of modernity, playfulness and femininity, with beautiful use of color. Her pikuniku dolls are graceful and elegant, fitting easily on the mantel of a stylish adult, but colorful and playful enough to be found in a child’s room. Her calligraphy simply makes us mad, because we wish we had that kind of hand! Either way, we trust her style endlessly, and love the collection of gifts she’s put together.
Gifts for a weekend camper
Getting out of town for a quick camping adventure in the Texas Hill Country is one of my favorite ways to spend the weekend. Outside of the hustle and bustle, I have a moment to breathe, enjoy quiet conversations with those I love, and get back in touch with the never-ending Texas sky. When I finally make my escape for the great outdoors, I like to take a few well-designed goods with me so that I always have a piece of home.
1. Bourbon infused marshmallow from Bourbon and Boots This might veer into the ‘glamping’ zone, but these bourbon-infused marshmallows are delicious and perfect for toasting over the campfire. I’ll take my s’mores without the chocolate and graham crackers—I just wonder if they catch fire quicker…
2. Painted canoe paddles by Norquay We’ve all seen the beautifully painted axes by bestmadeco, but these canoe paddles are equally pretty and—I’ll say it—far less threatening. Though they are waterproof, they might not be the most practical purchase. So instead, I’ll hang mine on my wall and dream of my next canoeing adventure.
3. Constellation poster by Best Made Co. When we’re far out, I always wish that I knew more about constellations and the stories behind them. Whether you hang this on your ceiling or wall at home, you can study up on all the stars you might not see in the city.
4. Hip pack from Herschel Supply I think hip packs (or fanny packs), are one of the most under-rated accessories out there. This will be your new best friend in the wild, carrying your trail mix and keeping your hands free.
5. Camp mugs from Poler A hot cup of coffee, tea, or whiskey keeps me feeling cozy and fueled in nature. This adorable cup will do just the trick next to the campfire.
6. Succulents poster by Leah Duncan Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nature. This poster by Leah is a beautiful rendering of succulents and it is a super cute to boot. Plus, because it’s printed on dark paper, the colors will pop anywhere you hang it.
We’re in! Despite the chilly weather and our lack of a warm enough sleeping bag, we now have the urge to camp again. Thankfully we can tolerate the cold a little better than the Texas summer heat…
NEXT GUIDE: Keith Kreeger sends us his favorite holiday picks
Holiday Gift Guide ft. Madesmith “Gifts for the Host”
Madesmith is a site both lovely and absolutely essential. That may seem like a weird way of putting it, but few other online shopping destination (that we know of) makes the story of makers and designers the highlight of the shopping experience. Even if you’re supporting small artisans online, it can still feel somewhat anonymous if you don’t know their background and what drives them to create. Simply put, it’s a really nice thing.
Theme: “Gifts for the host”
'Tis the season for holiday party after holiday party, from the fancy one your aunt's having to your friend's ugly sweater party. Any of the items featured here would be delightful gifts for a range of occasions.
Stephane Hubert does a brilliant job of reimagining furniture and home accessories from reclaimed and repurposed wood. And what does he do with the wood remnants? He fashions them into clean, modern kitchen utensils. It’s a kitchen set with an existing history, and ready for creating more delicious memories. $45
This rare Gardenia perfume solid is the perfect mix of warm and floral scents for the cool weather. Briar Winters created this blend with entirely botanical ingredients so there are no synthetics involved. I think it’s the perfect gift to bring for your hostess as the perfume solid comes in a beautiful metal container that can be reused later. $75
Having used these handmade soaps personally, I can tell you they transform your showering experience dramatically. The calming, natural scents envelop you and linger on your skin for the rest of your day. A set of 2 super moisturizing bar soaps made with organic essential and vegetable oils handcrafted by Arian Franz. Each set contains one Cedarwood & Rosemary bar and one Activated Charcoal bar. $20
Whether you’re an aspiring chef, or a professional one. We promise that Ellen Bennett’s handmade apron is the only one you’ll ever need. Our favorite part of this apron is the splash of color provided by the coral straps. $85
We love the simple, clean esthetic of this set of nested bowls handmade by Clair Catillaz in her Brooklyn studio. Whether it’s warm oatmeal for breakfast, a crunchy salad at lunch or thick soup at dinner, it feels a little extra special in one of these bowls. $98
What’s a better gift than a handmade serving tray for someone who likes to hosts parties. These trays are made from reclaimed wood from Aaron’s grandfather’s 100 year old barn. Aren’t the leather handles just gorgeous? $150
This 7-inch multipurpose knife is made from horse files and wood files. It’s perfect for cutting cheeses and fruit. Each knife is made individually by Chelsea Miller in her studio with a lot of attention to it’s detail. If properly taken care of, these knives are made to last a very long time. $135
There is something beautiful about handwritten notes, even if they are on a piece of plain paper. This set of notecards by Sesame Letterpress add a little more style to your thoughts and love that simply can’t be expressed in a note sent electronically. $30
We can easily go down the rabbit hole of Madesmith makers, and the range of prices makes a lot of these items easily accessible gifts. Plus, it’ll be a really cool thing when you can show the gift recipient the story and studio photos behind their gift.
Holiday Gift Guide ft. Boo and Boo Factory “Color & Form”
In an instance of good coming from bad, we discovered Christina Anton’s absolutely amazing Boo & Boo Factory when she contacted us upon discovering an overseas company had stolen a design from us. We explored her Etsy store and have been smitten ever since with her architectural, crazy bright pieces. We’re lucky to have the lovely Christina as our first gift guide guest…
Christina’s selections are a clear representation of her aesthetic. Embracing bright, poppy color in abstract, seemingly freeform compositions, she also clearly has an appreciation for simple geometric form. Take a look at her favorite gifts that embrace “Color & Form.”
When I first discovered Margaret and Ellen Hinrich’s beautiful handmade jewelry line Geoflora, I gasped!The pieces are playful and bold in form, ranging from geometric lattice earrings, gemstone inspired bracelets and earrings, and my fern series jewelry designs. It is difficult to select just one piece from their shop because they are all so unique and beautiful! $65
I have been following Kindah’s work for quite some time and have fallen in love with her stunning clutches.She is a talented painter and her artwork is featured on fabrics that she uses to design adorable clutch bags, as well as tapestries and scarfs.The colors and compositions of her designs are so unique and colorful resulting in major eye candy.This clutch would make a wonderful gift for a friend, or for yourself. $46
Emily Reinhardt creates gorgeous ceramic vases, dishes and vessels with beautiful colors, pattern and textures.To me, nothing says holidays like this handmade black ceramic vase with delicate gold leaf polka dots.Great décor for hosting a large dinner party or even a small get together. $36
I love color and this painting just really speaks to me.I love the abstract composition and the texture.It contains a lot of soft elements, such as lighter color and detailed pattern, with hard elements, such as dark color and heavier brush strokes.Definitely a must have! $150
This beaded necklace contains a variety of gorgeous beads ranging from howlite, lava rock, jasper and agate.I absolutely love this piece! It is so chic and elegant to wear with a party dress.The simplicity in form contrasted with the complexity of the pattern in each stone makes this a perfect holiday piece. I want them all! $100
What says warm and cozy for winter?This amazing woven tapestry by Kayla Mattes.The best part of the holidays is decorating your home to share with friends and family. I would love to have an entire wall of these gorgeous hand woven pieces.They are rich in texture and pattern, and I love her unique take on textiles, incorporating modern geometric form with bold color.Her work is truly inspiring! $125
We love the combination of natural materials and bright colors that characterize many of Christina’s picks. That Geoflora stack bracelet just might find its way into our stocking…
NEXT WEEK:: The lovely ladies at Madesmith have curated a collection of perfect gifts for a host or hostess!
Clearly, we have a love for brass. But apparently we’re not the only ones! Caitlin has put together a gift guide full of sassy gifts in our favorite metal. Take a look at how other craftspeople are using brass in their creative endeavors with her picks!
Brass is a wonderful backdrop for some lively color, and Son of a Sailor’s jewelry collection is full of just that. I’m a big fan of the Altair's shield-like shape, and will surely make any lady feel extra warrior like. It has a great shape and design, managing to keep it simple, but not boring. Plus, who doesn't love a little brass bling? $50
Speaking of brass bling, let’s talk about Stone & Honey. Her new Arcos collection is full of wonderful brass shapes and contrasting linen thread. And boy, I am a sucker for contrasts. The Polis bracelet is great bling to add to a special someones collection. $117
As someone who spends a lot of time measuring and cutting, reliability is a must. And brass is great at that….you know this ruler won’t bend out of shape, and those scissors will give you some serious cutting heft. Brass is also nice to look at, and most rulers and scissors are not. $36 from Best Made and $14-29 from West Elm
Know someone who deserves a metal for all that they do? Then snatch up one of these vintage inspired hero medals from Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. No dinky ribbons here, just pure solid brass on some nice looking ribbon. They would make a great stocking stuffer for a hero of any age. $20
Like every good hip kid, I have a soft spot for animals, especially woodland animals made out of brass. These cute little guys are not only impeccably designed with their polished accents and black patina, but they also pack a historical and collectible punch. Walter Bosse started designing these miniatures in the late 1940s and today they are reintroduced in a licensed reissue. $45
There’s something about a little extra weight in your hand that makes cracking open a cold one that much more satisfying. But no need for one of those bartender bottle openers, with the rubber handle and all. Instead, spring for one of these brass lovelies, which are pretty enough to leave on the counter and not in the draw. The other upside? They’d be a great gift for any beer lover in your life, guy or gal. $46-68 from Spartan
Brass brings an heirloom appeal to any gift, and Caitlin picked some of our favorites. (I’m going to get my paws on that little fox before they’re sold out…)
This marks the end of Son of a Sailor’s Gift Guide Series for 2012! We hope you were able to find something special for your someone special. Thanks to all of our creative friends who helped us to find the best of the best in gifts! Miss one? Here’s a recap!
GIFTS FOR YOUR SISTER (a.k.a things your really want to get for yourself and plan on stealing right back from her soon enough)
This is the perfect theme for Teresa from Stone & Honey because, trust me, as soon as you meet her you want her to be your sister. You’d even be fine with her stealing all of your awesome stuff! She’s got style coming out of her ears, and I would even venture to call her a tastemaker. Check out these obsession-worthy finds from a pretty neat lady.
BOET Jewelryby Emily Bixler.I am completely and totally smitten and obsessed with Emily Bixler’s beautiful sculptural pieces. there’s just something so soothing about her clean geometric shapes crocheted in cotton with vintage brass chain. I don’t know if there’s some magical mathematical formula about the proportion or something that gets me, but something is working here. I could stare at these all day.
Shibori Pillows from Folk Fibers. I was introduced to Maura Ambrose’s beautiful work via Natalie & Abby from Feliz, and have been in awe of her ever since. Every detail of Maura’s work is absolutely stunning. I got to see all of these pillows stacked up in person at Feliz last month, and it was painful not to be able to take them all home with me. It is now my sole mission in life to have about a half dozen of these stacked up on my bed. So beautiful! about $125
Fragrances from OLO Fragrances can be a tricky gift, but you really can’t go wrong with anything from OLO. I’ve been wearing Dark Wave and it’s the perfect warm & woodsy scent for winter. I am not kidding when I say that strangers stop me on the street and tell me that I smell good when I wear this stuff. Her newest scent, Toji, is my new favorite. It’s meant to evoke the scent of the winter solstice yuzu baths in Japan, and it’s amazing how it does just that. I like to put it on before bed and let the scent carry me off to sleep. $45
Golden Protective Hand Bracelet from Kaye Blegvad.I don’t know what it is about this particular piece that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it just feels super dreamy. Like those little arms would indeed wrap right around you and keep you safe. $76
I love the color combos and beautiful glazes on these magical jars by Ben Fiess. And how all of those pieces are held together with that contrasting rubber band? Perfection. $80-100
Sculptural rope baskets and totes by Doug Johnson. I love the stitching detail and feel on these hand sewn baskets. I like knowing that they are flexible and I think they would feel great in your hands. This tote is a beautiful take on an everyday staple, but there are a wide variety of both simple and complex shapes to choose from. $48-400
Seriously. Those ceramic jars? Those pillows? Yeah. Just consider this a shopping list for me. Now, I just need a sister…
NEXT WEEK! Caitlin Marr from Rally Made is bringing us brass baubles for everyone on your list!
Did you ever wish that you could have your favorite Austin-made items delivered right to your door? Well, Chelsea Staires has made your wishes come true. This fall, she launched Coterie Market, an online boutique stocked full of artisanal foods, handmade goods, and otherwise amazing items sourced from our fair city. Go! Sign up for the newsletter! Check out the many amazing items that you can have Chelsea bring right to you. And, in the meantime, she’s applied her awesome curatorial skills to a list of gifts to buy for the men in your life…
Your guy will crack up at this stocking stuffer- lump of coal soap from Latika. Just goofy enough that he’ll actually use it. Bonus is that it’s high-quality, moisturizing ingredients make it soap you woud have bought for yourself. $7.90
Dudes are sometimes obstinate about caring for themselves. Make it easy on the man in your life to sooth and heal his damaged skin with this easy-to-hide tin of all-natural salve from master herbalist Ginger Webb. Available at Coterie Market. $10
We usually imagine gifted wallets as large, flashy things. Consider doing him a favor and going the opposite route with Noah Marion’s rustic, yet sophisticated, sleek card case- just enough room for cash and a few cards. He will thank you. Available at Coterie Market. $45
This easy to wear leather accessory from Son of a Sailor looks especially great with long-sleeve sweaters and winter boots. I like to think of the two beautiful leather tones snuggled together as a love note to your man. Available at Coterie Market. $25
In my opinion, any boyfriend, husband, brother, son, uncle, or dad just can’t have too many of these. Criquet’s organic cotton polos are uniquely designed and go with everything from swim trunks to suit pants. Available in many awesome colors. Available at Coterie Market. $75
Get your guy a beautiful, locally hand-crafted beer stein from Rhyno Clayworks. Classic. He’ll really enjoy saying “beer stein” to anyone who comments on it. $26
Every man (and woman) will secretly scarf down this stunningly delicious chocolate bar filled with expertly salted handmade caramel from Steve Lawrence. My personal favorite flavor. Available at Coterie Market. $10
Did your fellow just move? Need some very hip, engaging wall art? Even an art collector? Consider this limited edition geo print from Alyson Fox. Available in six colors at Coterie Market. I love the black simply framed as a gift for any gentleman. $35
There’s something very nostalgic about giving a man a beautiful pocket knife. The hard part is knowing which on to give. Natalie Davis made it a no-brainer for us with her heirloom quality, hand wood burned French Opinel knives, with safety open and close. Available at Coterie Market. $38
Go ahead, get your man a creative, unique gift for the holidays. It’s not hard, with this handy guide! And remember, these can all be delivered right to your door! Score!
NEXT WEEK! Teresa from Stone & Honey will tell us all about what we need to buy for our loved ones! (Even though I just want to buy everything on her site…)
LAST WEEK! Iswas+Willbe’s gift guide for those who like roughing it!
Telle + Rex from Iswas + Willbe are one of the most inspirational jewelry designers we know. The photography of their jewelry alone is worthy of framing and hanging on the wall! Taking to the open road has inspired this week’s gift guide, and we’re loving their choices.
Maintaining a mobile lifestyle is all about finding the perfect accessories to ensure that your trips are enjoyable! Peruse our travel-inspired gift guide to find out what picks we never leave home without.
Helen Hoover bookHelen Hoover was a celebrated chemist in Chicago before she made a drastic move with her husband to the remote woods of Northern Minnesota—in 1954. Her journey from civilized city-dweller to isolated land-owner inspired several books written in a beautifully unbiased voice. She manages an admirable coexistence with the natural world around her, even going as far as befriending the woodland animals that frequent her property. Her books present a simple, rustic life in the woods, and her stories will inspire those who long to feel a connection to the natural world around them. $16.95
Wide Mouth Mason JarsOk, I am obsessed with mason jars; I find new uses for these things *all* the time. From salads to hot tea to homemade beauty products, these guys don’t disappoint. Sure, they’re more fragile, heavier and don’t hold temperatures like their modern counterparts, but I find their lack of modern convenience refreshing--keep it simple, stupid. Plus, they have what really counts: they don’t absorb odors or leach toxic chemicals, come in a bajillion different sizes, and are surprisingly inexpensive. $13.99 for 12
Shelter BagAnyone who likes to wander knows how imperative it is to pack the essentials for a successful day of adventure. Storing my daily accoutrement in a beautifully handmade bag from Asheville-based Shelter adds the perfect sense of romance to the journey. Their attention to detail and their blend of dreamy and pragmatic design give these bags a keen sense of balance. Plus, the people of Shelter are seriously awesome, and who doesn’t want to buy beautiful stuff from good people? $169
ENO Hammock Double NestThough admittedly they do make it look easier than reality to fit two adults into their double-wide hammock, we’re here to tell you that it is most definitely possible to get cozy in one of these awesome rigs. Durable, lightweight, and available with a variety of awesome accessories—like rain flys and string lights—ENO, also based in Asheville, NC, offers a practical travelling accessory to satisfy those of us who appreciate the relaxed simplicity that only a hammock can provide. $64.95
Best Made Steel Knife A well-stocked kitchen needs only two knives: a paring knife for small jobs, and a nice, big chef knife. I never really loved a knife until we bought this Japanese white steel knife from Best Made Co. It is by far the sharpest piece of metal I’ve ever used, is forged in the high-quality heritage tradition of Japanese knife-making, and slices effortlessly through thick potatoes, crusty loaves of bread, and just about anything else we can get our hands on to test its abilities. $85
Pendleton BlanketBased in Portland, OR, Pendleton Mills is well-known for quality woolen goods, dating back to its start in 1863. We love the classic Americana-style pattern of this domestically made blanket; it makes a perfect ground cover for sunny days of picnics and keeps even the coldest of toes toasty warm when the nights grow cold. This is a hardy blanket; hang on to it and pass it down to the next generation! $228
As for me, I plan on rocking some extremely amazing jewelry while I’m roughing it, like The Tumble necklace, which I own and Native Sun earrings, which I need to own!
Leonora from Yellow Heart Art is the perfect storm of creativity, humor, and energy. Her personality shines through everything she does, and that often comes in the form of bold color, geometric shapes, and playful design! Here are her favorite finds full of all of those things!
Sure, you can drink coffee out of that All State Insurance mug you got for free when you signed up with them, OR you can drink out of this beauty. When I think mugs I think of dads sitting at the kitchen table at 8am in their tighty whities sipping out of some lame-o “best dad evah” mug. But this mug? This changes everything. Who knew mugs could be swoon worthy! $16
There are so many iPhone cases on the market, but there are a few that actually make me go “dayum girl I gots to have that!”. It’s modern, sleek and well all around awesome. $18
Ok, hear me out. I was so anti this whole new antler trend. It kinda creeped me out, I thought people were going around herding deer and ripping off their poor antlers. Little miss city girl over here had no clue that deers actually shed their antlers naturally (hey, no judgment, home girl is from NY ok?) so when I found out that important piece of information that instantly became a game changer. I love how the shop, The Painted Antler, “girled up” these antlers and made them sleek, modern and stylish. It would never occur to me to paint an antler. I absolutely love it and can see all my SOS jewelry being hung from it! $64
Whenever I wear “everyday” jewelry I always go simple and modern. These triangles are just the right amount of “statement” with out being over bearing. I love how you can add a tiny pop of color to your ears. $12
I own a Krust bag and let me tell you, homegirl has talent. The bag is stitched so perfectly you would think you bought it at a coach store or something. I love how she doesn’t just take pre made fabric and bust out a bag, she actually takes the time to create her own shapes and patterns by cutting up the fabric and stitching it back together. I’ll take one of everything please. $50
Spoiler alert: I own so much son of a sailor swag. 2 necklaces and 2 bracelets (and even more added to my christmas list) (do you hear me santa? don’t make me make any threats) (just give me my SOS and your cookies will go untainted) I had the opportunity to meet Jessica at Renegade Craft Fair over the summer and shes super sweet and amazing! You can tell her and her husband put so much work into their craft, and it shows. The quality is superb and I always get asked “guuuurl where did you get that necklace?!” every time I wear it. They are great for layering (Since they are perfectly dainty!) or wear by itself. They are my go-to necklaces. $30
If you liked this stuff, you’ve gotta take a look at Yellow Heart Art's shop. L creates prints and jewelry and pillows and scarves and stamps that are so full of love and fun that you'll have a hard time not falling in love, instantly! I gotta go order one of those new stamps…so cute!
Mockingbird Domestics knows good design. But they also know good design that’s being made right here in Texas! Their showroom is full of gorgeous and eclectic pieces that make the perfect addition to a well-appointed home. Here are some of their favorite gift picks for those who have an appreciation for goods with a modern aesthetic made by Texas artisans!
We are seriously obsessed with everything made by Bexar Goods. These guys make every bag by hand, and we love how they mix waxed canvas and leather in a manner that’s perfectly androgynous. The Cruiser Roll Top Tote is perfect for the everyday adventurer. $240
Everything designed by local designer duo Satchel & Sage is delicate and colorful. But they aren’t afraid to get really graphic with their prints. The Sea Star print in this handmade pillowcase is great for print lovers and those who can’t get enough fun pillows. $47
Sometimes we buy ceramics just for show, but all of Keith Kreeger’s handmade pieces are beautiful and functional. We love the simplicity of porcelain, and this delicate sugar-creamer set would be perfect for some who celebrates fine pottery and loves to use it too! $95
With cooler weather comes the need for having cozier blankets around the house. And Stone Textile’s bamboo throws are pretty great for getting cozy. This local textile designer has a way with textiles, and stripes have never looked so cozy as this Chunky Stripe Throw does. $375
Don’t forget stocking stuffers! These little Texas-shaped beeswax candles make fine little gifts. Beeswax Co. uses 100% beeswax in their candles and only in the purest form. That means no artificial scents or colorants—just sweet-smelling beeswax!
And while we love Son of a Sailor jewelry, Jessica and William’s graphic prints always come to mind when we’re thinking of the perfect gift for a friend. The simple and bright color palette makes their prints impactful, and we’re very fond of their vintage-inspired designs. $15
Go visit Mockingbird Domestics here in Austin at 2151 South Lamar Boulevard, or on their super fancy website. It’s an inspiring selection of beautiful wares!
I’ve had a daydream, ever since we bought a house and got married, that I will begin to throw perfect dinner parties and effortless cocktail parties! I’ll put my new serve wear to good use and learn to mix a magnificent manhattan. This gift guide is for all of those folks out there that love to entertain in style!
I’ve got an addiction to tea towels, and this White Lines example has a hand drawn pattern on the front that appeals to my love for geometric pattern. I don’t think one can have too many towels in the kitchen, so this is an easy addition to this week’s theme. From Pawling. $24
These mini planters are the perfect gift for an entertainer! They make a modern and simple centerpiece, or can be spread about the house for pops of fun decor. Wind and Willow Home hand dips each planter in your choice of a great palette of colors—-this Mink brown is my favorite! $24
We’ll add these next items to the “splurge” category of this guide. Hay & Clara von Zweigbergk’s Kaleido Trays are a simply stunning set of modular serving dishes! Found at A+R Store, they come in the perfect color palette and are almost, almost, too pretty to put food on! $17-84 per tray
Bringing home the best fresh produce from the farmers market is more fun if it’s in a chic geometric reusable tote! I can’t get enough of triangle patterns lately, so this bag from BROOKLYNrehab, available at Milly & Earl, is right up my alley. $25
Gold-dipped flatware? Yeah. I’m in. These stainless steel forks and knives are plated in 24k gold, and will make any place setting look stunning. Anthropologie brings the fancy, without fail! $38 for a five-piece setting
Spartan, one of our favorite Austin sources for slick decor, has this gorgeous walnut cutting board with a leather strap. Perfect for cheese boards and charcuterie, I love the addition of strapping to the board! Wood and leather always work, in my opinion. $84