Etsy Find of the Week – FSC Coffee Table

Since I posted that video on FSC earlier today, I thought it would be appropriate for this week’s Etsy find to be made of FSC certified wood.

I was delighted to locate this table, by Payanstudio, which not only has a base made of FSC certified Jatoba, but also sports a top made of… Read the rest of this entry »

FSC = Forest Stewardship Council (= Sustainable Forestry)

“Who cares about the forest?” I do! I do!

Oh, and so does FSC, as you can see in this wonderful video for FSC Canada done by Franke James.


Who cares about the Forest? from Franke James on Vimeo.

Friday Wrap-up – 4/22/11

Happy Earth Day everyone.  Let’s hope this is the year people stop looking at the Earth as something to pay attention to only 1/365th of the time.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting things that caught my eye this week…

1. Love the way this couple “down dated” their contemporary house’s interior so it would feel like a home that had been there for a long time.  It doesn’t fight the architecture, but it also doesn’t feel like a tract home anymore. (Etsy)

2. On the opposite end, this garage door in a Victorian home makes me uncomfortable.  I understand there are parking issues there, but I don’t think preserving a historic neighborhood should only be about how it looks from the street. It’s clever, but is it respectful? (BoingBoing)

3. One of these years I will be able to go to the Salone Internazionale de Mobile (oh how I want to go!), but meanwhile I can look at other blogs for a peek at some of the great new talent and design coming out of Europe. (Apartment Therapy)

4. Love this elegant solution for how to house chickens.  A giant egg, just in time for Easter! (design*sponge)

5. Must read post if you want to update your kitchen, but don’t have the funds, or the desire, to rip out your existing cabinetry.  Here are 10 easy ways to spruce up your kitchen cabinets (could work for bathroom too!). (re-nest)

6. Beautiful gift to give, that also gives to a fund to clean-up the Gulf via the Bird Project (what? BP isn’t paying for everything???).  These lovely black, bird shaped soaps slowly wash away to reveal a beautiful, white ceramic bird made of Louisiana clay.  (reMade USA)

7. And finally, here’s an Easter egg that really puts the ones from Peter Cottontail to shame. Dang! (Craft)

Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone!

So, Does It Work? – ECOS Paint

Today we are reviewing ECOS Paints, a product line that has been manufactured and sold in Britain since 1988, but only recently opened up manufacturing and distribution in the United States.  Available in a large variety of finishes and specialized application formulas, ECOS promotes itself as being solvent free, odorless, and free of all toxins.  In fact, it was invented by a paint chemist, Ian West, who discovered he was chemically sensitive after feeling ill for some time.  According to ECOS, their paints and varnishes are so pure you can actually eat them, although they warned they were still pretty nasty tasting, so I decided not to add that to the testing procedure!

Here are the results for what I did test – Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find of the Week – Embroidered Chair

Reclaimed wool blankets, reupholstered chair, hand stitched embroidery,… what’s not to like???

Here is a fun take on handstichery by Etsy seller abigaildace.  I love that she has given this simple chair such personality.  There’s something about the combination of doily like embroidery, mid-century chair, and gray wool flannel that makes me think of a stylish 50′s grandma.

Can’t you just picture an impeccably dressed older woman sitting there, martini in one hand, a copy of Vogue in the other?  Heck, how about a young hipster chick?  Although then it would probably be a glass of artisan crafted beer and a copy of Dwell.  Hmmm…  Either way, this chair has a truly unique style.

Of course, you would have to go all the way to Britain to buy it, which probably won’t work out for most of you.  For those of you residing in merry old England, this chair can be yours for a mere £800.00.  Might be just the thing for your sitting room, or maybe you could give it to someone as a classy gift?  I hear there is a wedding going on there soon…

Trending – Cardboard Lighting

Cardboard makes for really sturdy, recyclable, cheap packaging.

You know what else it makes? Great lighting!

Flute lamp by Giles Miller of Farm Design

Scrap Light by Graypants Read the rest of this entry »

An Ode to Woad – Part 2

So, as I mentioned last week in An Ode to Woad – Part 1, I now have a serious addiction problem.  Let me show you how that came to be…

After gathering at the lovely French General for the workshop, we all carpooled over to the park where our dyeing experience would take place.

Once at the park we got a delightful and informative overview of the history of woad dyeing from Denise Lambet, who flew all the way from the South of France just to create a legion of new woad addicts dyers.  After regaling us with stories of previous woad workshop students stripping down to their skivvies in an attempt to have just ONE more garment to dunk in the vats, she proceeded to explain how the process worked, and what we would need to do to have a successful dyeing experience.  Then we got to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Wrap-up – 4/15/11

Happy Friday everyone!  I have a young son on Spring Break who swears he will die of boredom if I don’t go and read to him.  This from a kid who can read through an entire Harry Potter book in a day.   In any case, I promised to write my wrap-up quickly so I can rescue him from his fate.

So here are things I thought you might find interesting this week:

1.  Coming to a living room near you – anti-gravity furniture! (PhotoShop Disasters)

2.  I kid you not – Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” is going green.  Well, at least his re-usable laundry bags are. (Inhabitat)

3.  And speaking of bags, this “living” art installation almost makes me like plastic garbage bags – ALMOST. (Green Bag Lady)

4.  This may or may not be green, but it is definitely the best and most attractive design I’ve ever seen for a pool side lounger. (Trendir)

5.  Crazy but beautiful effect achieved from painting a herringbone parquet floor in a variety of colors.  (re-nest)

6.  Saw this chair made of coat hangers all over the internets this week, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a looksee. (re-nest)

7.  Not sure if I think this light fixture is a clever re-use, or a scary monster coming to get me. (Standard)

8.  Great article on how we have abandoned so many activities that have traditionally taken place in the community, and replaced them with activities in our homes, thus necessitating larger and larger houses.  Short and worth reading.  (Treehugger)

9.  Finally, the great folks at Lonny have teamed with Traditional Home to create a new online magazine – TRADhome, and it looks terrific! (2Modern)

I already want that amazing chandelier on the cover.  Of course, I also want an iPad so I can slouch in a chair while leafing through all these great new online mags coming out, but that’s a whine for another day.  Sigh.

See you next week!

An Ode to Woad – Part 1

I’ve recounted my experience dyeing with woad this last weekend to quite a few people in the last several days, and almost every one of them had the same question, “what the heck IS woad?”  So, for those of you who have the same question, here is a little background:

Woad comes from the common Isatis tinctoria plant.  It has been in use as a pigment and dye since Egyptian times, and possibly longer.  Many have thought that the blue pigment the Picts (early Scottish tribes) used to color their skin blue was woad, although there is some debate about that.  Oddly, for a dye that has been around for so long, it is surprisingly difficult to extract.  Because of that, the cultivation and processing were controlled by wealthy “woad masters” throughout much of European history.  Until Napoleonic times, the extraction method took a full year and a half, and involved a long fermentation in urine filled vats.  I can’t even begin to imagine the smell!  And not just any pee would do.  In order to have the proper ph level. it had to be human male pee.  Thus the preponderance of taverns near where the woad was produced.  Cheers!

image via


Even once Napoleon’s chemists had figured out a quicker (and hopefully less odoriferous) method, so as to supply his army with blue cloth, the extraction was still a laborious process.  Above are workers hand rolling “woad balls” in order to put them out to dry.  Unfortunately, the heavy manual labor required to extract the dye made it fall out of favor, and the last woad production ended in England in the early part of the 20th century.  Happily, some dedicated people, like those at Bleu de Pastel de  Lectoure , have been working hard, to not only revive the art, but to improve upon it and make it a commercially viable, natural, alternative to synthetic dyes.

image via

Read the rest of this entry »

New Stripes From Twill Textiles

Twill Textiles has just released a handsome new printed fabric collection by Peter Fasano.  Both Taconic Ticking & Taconic Stripe are printed on Belgium linen in 5 colorways: Mushroom, Sage, Straw, Lake, and Chinese Red.  Perfect for drapery or upholstery.  I love the way the printing highlights the texture of the fibers.

Contact Twill Textiles to learn about this and other sustainable fabric offerings.