jonathan fuller

Sea glass couples with geometric shapes result in sophisticated — and gorgeous — installations. Jonathan Fuller collects the glass himself to create gradations that echo the colors of the sea itself.

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sign up at coléoptère

Launch page for the debut collection of jewelry from coléoptère.

Launch page for the debut collection of jewelry from coléoptère.

We (as in my new business) are launching a capsule collection of sustainably-source fine jewelry this fall, with nary a brass triangle, ear cuff or double-finger ring in sight.

Sign up, and be the first to see the inaugural collection from Coléoptère when it debuts.

the good life — no.5

I really admire Sarah Maine. She isn’t just brainy (she went to Wesleyan and then went on to earn a MBA that focused on sustainbility) but she’s a food lover, community builder and she lives what she believes. For starters, she’s a cheesemonger. Could there be a better job title anywhere? Methinks not! On top of that bit of awesomeness, she has a small Etsy concern, The Finest Kind, where Sarah, a talented metalsmith, sells — among other things — absinthe spoons. Yes. Absinthe spoons. And they are lovingly crafted. And that’s when she’s not acting as the force behind the playful food site, Recipe Relay. In short, she’s the bee’s knees.

Without further ado, Sarah’s ruminations on the good life.

Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine

The good life, what is that?  Everyone can agree that the love of friends and family, a comfortable shelter and a full belly are essential ingredients for a good life.  I would argue further that goodness lies in how each of us arranges and connects those elements.  The web we make of thoughts, deeds, words and objects that carries the unique impression of our hand.

My childhood was draped across Southeast Asia, looping around Indonesia, then up to Sri Lanka before traversing oceans and continents to land in Italy, and finally in the US.  I saw many different ways of living, of permuting the elements of people, places and things.  The result is an internal web that is far reaching and not always orderly; the warmth of beauty is snarled with cold longing; happy strings may be kinked with sadness.  Every twist and knot has been worked into being by myself and others, places and things.  My very own hand made life.

Sarah's hand-crafted Christmas ornaments

Sarah’s hand-crafted Christmas ornaments

Absinthe spoone

Absinthe spoon

I currently live in New York City, a super-organism that can seem specifically evolved to spoil your day, your week, your year, or even your life.  In this city, things that make life good can act as amulets, cushioning against rough edges.  Space is precious; light is coveted; beauty and practicality are the mismatched roommates of most New York apartments.  Fashioning a good life here requires an openness and a readiness to relate to people on a level beyond words and interactions, it is necessary to listen to the story of things.

When something new enters my life, I look for a message of care, that warm sticky fact of connection that tells me something of the intentions of the originator or maker.  Conversely, when I do things or make things I hope to tell my own story of beauty and energy and thoughtfulness through design.

Some of Sarah’s images from Instagram:

vanessacorrea.com

vanessacorrea.com

vanessacorrea.com

vanessacorrea.com

 

Stolen mother/daughter moment captured by Sarah

Stolen mother/daughter moment captured by Sarah

vanessacorrea.com

Sarah’s beloved cat.

refinery 29

vc_refinery29Feeling pretty lucky to be hanging out over at Refinery29 today with some of my favorite Pinterest mates: Design Conundrum, Shop Sweet Things, Miles to Style and SF Girl by the Bay!

the good life — no. 4

Some people are just born chic. That, I’m afraid, is part of the curse my lovely friend Erin Hiemstra must bear as the doyenne at www.apartment34.com.  She’s preternaturally stylish. You can imagine, of course, that she sprang to mind immediately for a series on the good life.

So, without further ado, “The Good Life” according to my lovely friend, Apartment 34′s Erin Hiemstra. Enjoy.

Erin Hiemstra of www.apartment34.com (Portrait by Emily Johnston Anderson)

Erin Hiemstra of www.apartment34.com (Portrait by Emily Johnston Anderson)

I recently read this William Morris quote that epitomizes my definition of the good life:
The ideal home should have nothing in it which we do not know to be useful or feel to be beautiful.

 

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After multiple moves in an under a year and finally settling into our San Francisco loft, I’m reveling in having purged three times over. Now we’re surrounded by only what we need and love, nothing more nothing less. It’s heavenly. Added bonus: when you clear out the excess you suddenly find space, both physical and mental, to enjoy all the other requirements for the good life: wonderful food, good wine and sharing both with friends and family! 

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{oh and what I like to call the cherry on top of the good life: a beautiful pair of shoes!}
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the modern leather chair

Hans Chair by Dwell Studio

Hans Chair by Dwell Studio

I’ve just spent a couple hours on my Sunday morning searching for modern chairs that feel warm, slightly bohemian, chic and, most importantly, truly comfortable for a friend’s new — and undecorated — apartment. Spending time poking around my own Pinterest boards, as well as some of my favorite pinners (like Sharon FarberKirill Mazin, and Sooh), was just what I needed to feel reinvigorated and inspired to do a little work around my own home.

Some of my favorite chairs from the search, and one damn cute stool:

 

Paulistano Chair at DWR

Paulistano Chair at DWR

 

Valdes Chair B by Christian Valdes

Valdes Chair B by Christian Valdes

 

1938 Butterfly Chair at CB2

1938 Butterfly Chair at CB2

 

Toro lounge chair by Blu Dot at Design Public

Toro lounge chair by Blu Dot at Design Public

The absurdly gorgeous Olmsted Chair at Totokaelo

The absurdly gorgeous Olmsted Chair at Totokaelo

 

Hans Wegner's Shell Chair at Danish Design Store

Hans Wegner’s Shell Chair at Danish Design Store

And, as promised, one very cute stool. At a pretty amazing price.

Moxo Stool at Ecostasy

Moxo Stool at Ecostasy

 

 

the good life — no. 3

It’s easy to fill one’s house with stuff. I’ve plenty of things purchased “just for right now, because I need a xxxxx right now.” But then I find myself looking at/using the blasted thing years later. (In fact, I’m looking at a very hated floor lamp purchased in desperation as I type this.) Now, I make a very conscious effort to buy objects mindfully. I need to love it, and, hopefully, I know who made it — and how — and where it came from. I like my things with stories. And no, “I was standing in the check-out line at Ikea and decided that I absolutely needed a new set of Klåppnøtt placemats as well as this 6-pack of cinnamon rolls” is not a particularly good story. At least not anymore.

Kena & Jennifer of Brika

Kena & Jennifer of Brika

What’s interesting about Brika is the amount of emphasis they place on the makers. It’s, well, a lot. I can just buy something pretty, of course. But if I want to learn more about, say, what motivates Victoria Vu of Paper & Type, well, Brika spends a fair amount of time introducing you, dear purchaser, to what makes Victoria tick.

I like it.

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Victoria Vu at work

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Thank you note

Some thoughts from Jennifer Koss on what the good life means for them.

Kena and I met serendipitously a few years ago, and it was at our first coffee date that we realized we were destined to do something entrepreneurial and creative together.  After a decade of working in corporate jobs, we started a new journey with BRIKA – telling the stories of passionate, inspiring and talented Makers and bringing their gorgeous products straight to our customers inbox.  We believe the good life is about following your passion, igniting your creative spark and inspiring others to do the same!

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Mox Grey Boots

 

Black hand-stamped clutch

Black hand-stamped clutch

 

Shield Necklace

Shield Necklace

 

Fire escape pillow

Fire escape pillow