Thursday, April 27, 2006

Can't wait for a baby roundup, this is too cool

I saw something in real life today, fell instantly in love and had to rush to the web. It's a round changing pad with pockets, by Patemm. The shape is perfect -- round is ten times more sensible than square or hourglass, as it keeps all the limbs on the pad, in case you are changing on a less than clean surface. You can stick diapers and wipes inside and it folda up into a little square, a lot neater than the bulky normal kind. I adore it. And it comes in slick (wipeable, of course) prints. Because otherwise it would be just nice and not covetable. My favorite prints are the hannelore (that's a swatch in the picture) and the kinaban.


This is a perfect example of how to make boring things interesting. After all, this sandwich bag is still a sandwich bag...but now it's a fun sandwich bag! Why not make everything aesthetically pleasing? Really, sandwich bags are sort of a waste of plastic, but if they exist, they should look like this. (And maybe if we had to pay that much per bag, we'd reuse a bit more.)

(By the way, Uncommon Goods is full of fun stuff. I am extremely amused by the fake-wood cooler bag with speakers -- someone has a sense of humor over there.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

North by northwest

I love this -- a compass in a necklace! It appeals to my accessory-loving side and my dorky traveler side. It's by LeeAnn Herreid, who also makes things out of levels and modeled on screws. There's also a fabulous ring that is shaped like a nut but has dots like a die -- hard to explain, just scroll down here.


The quilts by Denyse Schmidt Quilts are not your old-fashioned log cabin quilts. No indeed -- they are lusciously designed, especially the "couture" (read "expensive") line. They also have great names, like There Goes the Neighborhood and Snake Charmer. There are also some lower-priced lines available -- and a quilt-making workshop. I would do that!

Something you can't touch

In a break from my usual fixation on material objects, I'd like to talk about Invisible-5. This is a fantastic thing. You know those audio tour whatsits you can get in museums? Well, imagine something like that, only you don't have to carry one of those ridiculous fugitive-from-the-carphone-era handsets. Focusing on environmental justice, Invisible-5 is an audio narrative that accompanies you as you drive down the 5 freeway from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In sound snippets and the voices of the people who live there, it tells you about the land that most people think of as a brown, boring bit that you just have to barrel through. You can cue the tracks based on signage -- I mean, sometimes you have to stop for lunch, right? Maps and audio are all downloadable, so if you live in the area, don't forget to visit the site before your next trip.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Juice me up, baby

What is better than a clever, super-functional tool that's also extremely cute? That's a rhetorical question -- and I'm talking about the Leatherman Juice. Now I'm aware that it's girly, but it's girly pliars! Although the picture is the S2 model, I think I'd go for the CS4, as it has a corkscrew. (And yes, I have tried to push a cork into a wine bottle with the handle of a wooden spoon, why do you ask?) It also has a serrated blade. That's really neat. Orange is fantastic, purple is No. 2.

The stuff of life

These Ecospheres are neat. Each is a self-sustaining, closed ecosystem -- all you need to add is light. And they are pretty.

The light makes the algae grow and the shrimp eat the algae. It's sort of like Sea Monkeys for grown-ups.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Shower power

I love shower curtains. I'm not sure why -- but they are like big, water-spattered pieces of fun. What an opportunity! There's no excuse for a boring shower curtain.

IKEA is a good place for nice ones. I like this 3D bubble one, though I think it doesn't hold up too well over time -- those bubbles are filled with liquid. Even better is the one in the photo . Which -- I kid you not -- is called "Ethel." What was up that day in the IKEA Name Factory? They were watching I Love Lucy?

I was always an Ernie fan in my Sesame Street days, so I do like the rubber ducky shower curtain. They have them at this excrutiatingly named store (one of these things I refuse to type). This is also pretty good -- crazy junk food. And somewhere I know I saw a really great shower curtain that was a photo image of grass...if you see one online, let me know.

What I really need, of course, is a shower curtain with the text of, oh, Persuasion stenciled on it. Because you can't take a book in the shower.

Beck stack

I really like these stacking rings from Anna Beck. Nothing else to say, really...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A bunch of Bull

OK, so I guess I'm predictable...

This is how it went. I always liked Tepper Jackson, right? Of course, who wouldn't -- see below. Well, I was digging around, doing some coveting of a certain diaper bag I will blog about later, and -- thanks to an enabling friend -- came across Modernseed, which is just way too much fun stuff. It's all the nice, simple lines and bright, interesting colors that I like -- but for kids. You know I want to go crazy there. One of the things I really like is a French Bull place setting for kids. And French Bull combines so many of my little passions: melamine, nifty patterns, etc. So I'm coveting stuff right and left:
like this very elegant Vine pattern or the crazy-but-it-works Mosaic. The Monsters also really work, although I'm not sure how I'd feel about seing their eyes peeking through under a pile of rice or whatever.

Now the point of all this is that the designer behind French Bull is Jackie Shapiro, the "Jack" in Tepper Jackson!

My new flame, Angela

Uh oh, I'm in trouble. I have become deeply in covet with Angela Adams.

I first coveted one of her rugs -- this one -- at 2Modern, which is a nice online shop. That led me to the Angela Adams site, and quicksand.

Her patterns are just wonderful bits of color -- look at this! I am safe from stationary and journals, a bit, because I never do write proper letters any more, and you guys get my journal time. It just now occurs to me that I saw that stationary this very day, at Zinc Details (an extremely fun shop).

However, I certainly am not safe from her fantastic rugs, or the extreme attractiveness of her glassware, even if you can't actually see anything but sketches.


Finland, Finland. Home of excellent design, and an abundance of Ks.

Witness Marimekko, which has been around for half a century and keeps on being fab. The blobby poppies, or whatever they are, of the Unikko pattern are terrific (I think I like red best, but there's something sort of special about a black flower), and Ruusupuu is a close second. This is a picture of a tea towel, actually -- I like the ceramics, and of course the bags.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Water, water everywhere...

In honor of my best friend, I would like to bring up the subject of waterbottles.

I don't actually like to drink out of waterbottles, but I often find myself oddly coveting them. I think it's a reversion to childhood -- they look so much like candy, don't they? I want one in every color, just because. There's your regular Nalgene bottle, but even slicker is the Swiss Sigg bottle. I don't know what it does -- maybe gets FM radio or lets you text message -- but it sure looks sophisticated.

However, better than a water bottle, a coffee bottle! The Press-Bot turns a Nalgene type bottle into a french press. Now that's my kind of invention.

As the elephant says

This is a quote from Tusk's website: Diana Vreeland once said that pink is the navy blue of India.

Now doesn't that make you want to check them out? And yes, I know I put up a picture of something white, but I happen to covet this cosmetics case particularly. The company is a family-run one from India, by the way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Flight is right

I covet the whole store of Flight 001 -- from the decor to the merchandise. They have this great aesthetic -- half Pan Am and half Logan's run. The website is wood-paneled.

The merchandise is really just slick, nice stuff, and not travel essentials. But it's fun and good-looking. (They even carry Tepper Jackson...check out this bag! Man, I wish I had an excuse...)

Baby Covet Roundup #2

Yeah, yeah, another post about baby stuff. Sorry. But hey, I would totally wear these shoes by Buskins (if they had a bit more structure). I'm tired of cartoony decor for babies -- they don't care anyway, so they might as well look flash. Isn't that a nice retro stripe?

I like the Kringelring -- yes, that is what it's called. On sale at Padilly, it's made by Haba, the German maker of wooden toys for babes. Not all Haba toys are so cute, unfortunately. Some are downright annoying. But most are pretty decent, and certainly better to chew on. (For fun, visit not the Haba US page but the original German page, via Babelfish. "An exciting world from colors, forms and noises expects me. How their me to help can to understand this world?" I love machine translation.) If I were in charge of the world, I would love to replace all our plastic toys with Haba versions. And I really wish I'd seen this before -- for a Baby Containment Device it's remarkably unhideous and comfy-looking.

I love me some babylegs, oh yes I do. They are great for keeping the cold breeze away and the socks on, plus they look fantastic. We have these orange ones and they are super cool, oh yes. Wouldn't they look cute with those shoes up above?

Fab begins at home

I want a prefab home. No, not a trailer -- one of the many supercool, modernist prefabs available. They're so airy, the lines are so interesting and most are customizable (I am a sucker for customization.) The one in the picture is a Place House, and pretty pricey. There are cheaper types, though. There's a whole list of homes at fablist, which is a fun site to browse. I like to browser-window shop, not like I have any place to put a prefab home...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Keep your eye on Halsea

I have a nice rollie -- it's Samsonite, pretty nice-looking and very, very functional. However, I have that problem that is known as (well, should be known as) Black Rollie Syndrome. That is, in spite of the fact I have festooned my rollie with colored shoelaces (seriously), it's incredibly hard to spot on the armored conveyor belt thing.

This above is my way of pretending I need the Halsea rollie because it will help me get out of the airport faster. Sounds good, doesn't it? But really I just covet it because it's so damn cute. I also really like the weekender bag, which actually is the size of something I'd take for a weekend. Look at that nifty pattern! And the contrasting handles!

Halsea is a brand new line, so now is the time to grab one if you can -- I saw the bags at Behind the Post Office in San Francisco. Now if she'd only do a diaper bag...

Friday, April 14, 2006

The little pot with the funny name

I am an IKEA fan, because there is so much fun stuff there and it's all so cheap, unlike most of the stuff I covet. And say what you like about particle board and those little dinky wrench things, one can certainly do a lot worse than IKEA style.

Recently I saw this cute pot. It's even sweeter in person -- there is just something so cartoonishly space age about it's rotund little figure. I want to pat it on the head. Like everything sold by our yellow and blue friends, it has a funny (sorry Sweden) name: MEDALJ. I don't even know how to pronounce this.

Technology is cute #2

OK, I'm not so into virtual pets/people (I have enough on my plate dealing with the real versions). But Cube World guys are cute. They harken back to those old Nintendo handhelds -- they are just stick figures -- but you stack them up so that they are connected. They jump fom cube to cube to interact, come in colorful little boxes, and you don't have to feed them!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bose? Never heard of it.

Remember radio?


In fact, I listen to the radio all day, so don't I deserve one of these? Of course I do. Sweet Tivoli. Never has a simple radio -- the Model One set -- looked nicer. Not to mention the sexy sound quality. Henry Kloss is responsible for that, and he said, "My new radio is the culmination of more than 40 years of bringing music into people's homes via products they tend to keep and enjoy." Bravo. But I don't know who designed the box, with that beautiful placement of elements. Look how the tuner balances the speaker! Brilliant.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Technology is cute

I like a good piece of computer hardware, but they're usually so boring and utilitarian, if not hideously ugly and festooned with blinking blue LEDs. Of course, Apple is consistently lovely, but like 95% of the world, I use a PC.

LaCie, though, has come up with something cute -- this external hard drive disguised as what looks like a mutant LEGO brick. Actually it's designed by ORA-ÏTO, a French designer hewing to the minimalist line. The brick comes in red, white and blue -- I like the idea of an alternating stack of red and white, although goodness knows I don't need that much extra space.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


A friend tells me that the resin housewares and jewelry of Dinosaur Designs has to be seen in person, and that web pictures don't do them justice. Well, in that case, this stuff must be pretty damn amazing, since I already covet it and I have only seen the website.

It's made of polyester resin, but the genius is in the fantastic colors. Basically, this is candy for grownups. I love the bangles and rings, especially.

These three rings

I love decorative things that incorporate words and characters, although I've had it with those crappy, fake-engraved, "inspiring" rocks.

These are pretty, though, and I think the rough hammered silver of these rings makes for a nice look of industrial elegance. I'd do three stacked, myself. Most of the jewelry at Etsy is beaded (and often amateur), but Powder Mill Studio makes solid stuff with simple and appealing lines -- I also like this silver and sapphire circle necklace.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

(m) (c) (p) (m)

I love this idea! Typewriter keys are turned into jewelry at What's Your Type. Not only is this clever, the result is really beautiful -- I've seen them in person, at a trade show -- and the fonts are so charming. But how on earth do they make them without any solder? And are they waterproof? Enquiring minds want to know.

Karmann Ghia

Welcome to my favorite car ever. Yes, there are sexier cars, rarer cars and certainly more reliable cars, but the Karmann Ghia just has that special something. I love the little grills in front, and the way the chassis is a combo of sleek and comfy roundness. The interior is fab, and even the logo is enough to make a typographer break into cheery song. And Maxwell Smart drove one. In fact, there are inumerable ways to love the sweet KG. Someday I will get one.

Sleek, silver beauty...

This is just the sexiest pen ever (next to certain fountain pens). I love how shiny it is, and it can write upside-down! No, I don't need to write upside-down, but it's nice to know that I could if I needed to, right?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

One in every color, please

These Reston Lloyd colanders are great. Just look at the available colors:


I want one of each, but failing that I think pink is my favorite.

Little things

Just so you don't think I only covet expensive stuff... This little pin is perfect in its little odd self. The maker, RxDesigns, has other nice pins, but there's something just special about this one. It's the little blue line, I think.

Baby Covet Roundup #1 -- but you don't have to have a baby to covet this stuff

All babe clothes are cute. That is more or less true (except that some are hideous, but we pretend they don't exist). But of the cute, there are brands that stand out -- like Zutano. Now, not everything at Zutano is covetable. But some of their patterns are so excellent, and the fact that they have cute patterns at all is pretty rare in the baby rag game. One of my favorites is Big Dot, which they have at Oliebollen, one of the many "cute stuff for kids" sites around. Oliebollen also carries egg + avocado stuff, like this very slick jacket.

Half the time, when I'm coveting this stuff, I wish I could buy it for myself! For example, I really like this Bu and the Duck bag, although I don't even know if it's for a kid or a grownup. I don't care, it's mega-slick. And all of the vivid, comfy cotton things at Entertaining Elephants look so cozy, and their "philosophy of stuff" is all about good materials and lasting items -- plus, on their site it says, "Spring has sprung. Time for a new dress!" Now that's a sentiment I can get behind.

Oh, covet...check out Katvig. That is about the best opening photo I have ever seen. All their stuff is fabulous, especially the clean, abstract apple graphic, in large -- on gramps to the right -- and mini. And forget the baby stuff, I want some of this for myself. The accessories are also slick -- what fun sheets!

I really like Skummis. They are sort of the fun, clever version of the Bop -- you can play with it (it's clearly an "it"), but you can also stick the babe in there during those sitting practice sessions, or use it as a pillow. I like the iea of a bunch of them hanging out on the couch. The Swedish site is incomprehensible because, well, it's in Swedish, natch. But those weird running shapes are actually what they look like. The interesting Salvor Kiosk has them but not for long.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Francis, Francis, I adore you

I am a coffee person, let's start with that. In high school I worked at a coffee house where my bosses were pretty strict about making it right. I still latte myself up every morning and my bubbles are silky smooth, even on a very low-end machine.


Ever since I met Francis Francis! in Europe, I have been coveting the X1 with great intensity. How can you not love this? It's so beautiful. The simplicity! The color palette! The metal switches! The little girl's face! Yes, the reviews are mixed -- some feel it's too fiddly -- but CoffeeGeek is happy and that's enough for me.

I would love to live a life where everything functional was also a masterpiece of form. In this imaginary life, I make my coffee with the FF X1.

Words to live by (from the Francis Francis! site):
The espresso machine would no longer be a misshapen, parallel-piped object, an inexpressive thing that should be hidden away in a cupboard. It would be a beautiful coffee machine, which would fill the kitchen with joy, be pleasing in design and inviting to the touch…". (Francesco Illy)

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