One of my favorite Christmas books for children, this is part of Elsa Beskow's Peter and Lotta series, written in the early part of the century and only recently reprinted in the USA in English. Ursula's favorite part - and mine too - is the appearance of the Christmas Goat (see the pic!), which is the Swedish equivalent of Santa Claus, but far more interesting!
"Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) is the most popular children's illustrator in Sweden, where her picture books have been known and loved for over a century."
Ok, so I want to give a big shout out to my friend Becca up in Stowe, VT who just sent me the link to her fabulous Etsy store where she's making all of these super cute nickel and sterling silver ornaments (and jewelry).. even right now as you read this. Check these out and get a gift for someone you love. :)
While known for LACK tables and Swedish meatballs, IKEA's little holiday side projects are often scene stealers. Drawn from the illustrated world of Silke Leffler, these hats pair with shoes to allow for some great imaginative holiday play. Turn off the computers! :)
Brand new from one of our Design Evening guests and orderable now, this super cool new product will transform any wall into a gallery in minutes. A combo of a breakable metal strip that sticks to your wall and rare earth magnets, Kermit, Azadeh, and Anthony's invention is simple, practical and beautifully done. Check it out.
Square or Round: My mother has had a set of these square wood plates in her cupboard for years, but I only just noticed how unusual and lovely they are... especially as they age. A welcome respite from your regular china, these plates add a warm rustic touch to the tabletop and work perfectly as serving and cheese plates as well.
We bought these year to decorate our apartment for a video shoot and they are awesome. Long strings of tiny, bright single LED bulbs, they have a much, much more beautiful and more twinkly light than typical Christmas tree lights, come in four colors (I like Amber), and are cool to the touch. You can drape them, wrap objects or run them in a lines across doorways and windows.
For the day after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd give you something cool to distract you. I just bought one of these to test it out, but I trust it already. Kohler does good work and bluetooth is very reliable. Want some fun in the shower? Here you go! :)
Designed and made by this young Portland, OR company, The Aurora Lamp is a lovely new design that looks old. They call it "a beautifully handcrafted lighting solution for people with limited space." Comes in a tabletop as well as a hardwired version.
This is a fun ultimate find. My absolute favorite pillows in the world are from Savoir and were given to me by a friend, but I didn't know who made them until I recently peeled back the pillow cover and checked the fine print on the label: "The Pillow Bar" it said. This company makes totally luxurious pillows out of 650 fill European White Goose Down and 300-thread-count, double-stitched, 100% cotton sateen zippered pillow protectors with a lavender sachet buried deep inside.
At first I thought that this new fanged shape for a wine glass was odd, but now - after looking at wine glasses for years - I find it refreshingly distinctive. For the modern table, this is one of the best (only) choices out there.
Winner of the iF (International Forum Design) award as well as the Les Découvertes award, the Essence collection is made by Iittala of Sweden.
I'm just going to quote Faith on this one: "Janel and I had dinner with Maxwell a couple weeks ago, and at the end of the meal he broke out a bottle of startlingly good chocolate sauce. Until that moment, I thought chocolate sauce came in two varieties - milk, and dark. Silly me. These sauces are wickedly good, with notes of spice and alcohol, and just as good whisked into a boozy drink as drizzled over ice cream."
Brand spanking new, the Fjallberget is a really nice combo of materials (beech, birch, wool and steel) that shows IKEA doing more premium work. Great for a swank budget office or even for a modern dining table, the chair swivels and adjusts up and down.
In over seven years of combing curly hair, this is the first product that works and gets out all the knots and kinks so you can brush it all out nicely after washing. It's amazing. You can get the details here.