hello, portland!

i had no idea i'd enjoy portland as much as i did. luckily, our main shopping afternoon in the pearl district was rain-free. i found a few favorite spots that i'll be sure to visit again next time.

first stop was oblation papers and press. on top of it bringing to life all the neat stationers i've come across online, there was a special surprise towards the back of the shop. their letterpress studio! aside from making a visit yourself, only pictures might convey how fun it is.

plus, apparently they make all their own 100% cotton paper, which they use for their letterpress printing. no wonder their paper looked so unique and pretty!

they also have the "standard" goodies you'd expect to find at a fine card store like pretty gift wrap, various greeting cards, notebooks, plus extra treats like a maypole of ribbon.

like i just mentioned, oblation, along with a handful of other stationery shops around the area, carried a bunch of the neat stationery lines i've been seeing online, plus more! like ...

... cecily ink ... cielo blu studios ... dauphine press ...

... whimsy press ... hello lucky ... o plus d ...

... paper*ink studio ... smudge ink ... snow & graham ...

ecru modern stationer was the other shop in the area that carried many of these lines as well. very cute and friendly. and the owner keeps her own blog too.

and new & blue is similar but is focused specifically on the wedding market. very pretty space with two elegant chandeliers, one huge one and one medium one, both assembled crystal by crystal by the owner's husband. paint color on the walls acts as a lovely backdrop.

and that should cover the stationery scene in portland for now ...

because there's so much other great design shops in the area. first we'll start with hive modern. they showcase just a small fraction of the pieces they offer on their site. during our visit, we tried the womb chair and ottoman, the eames lounge chair and ottoman and a couple sofas on the floor. they were fairly nice and said we could try sitting on whatever we saw. it's very similar to dwr, except they carry way more. and while in the shop, i overheard the guy calling up a customer who had ordered a piece and offering to sell it at a 75% discount because it was slightly damaged during shipping. i'd jump on that!

then there's relish which had a bunch of cute stuff by designers like marimekko, urbana design, design house stockholm and monacca.

and out of gray was more on the gift-sized side of things. with similar offerings as relish. they even had the smaller purse-sized version of the monacca bag! and more laser cut felt placemats!!

and(!) portland seems to be into their designer chocolates, but we'll leave that to be explored another day.

dream a little dream of prada

was i dreaming, or did i really see this shoe in a catalog? i swear i saw this spring 2008 prada pump in some catalog in the past couple months, but i haven't been able to find the same shoe online anywhere. so i've photoshopped a rough mock-up of what i remember.

has anyone else seen this? it's basically a pink (i think patent leather) pump, with a heel sculpted in the shape of a flower, with the stem of the flower acting as the rest of the heel.


come on and safari with me

here's a bunch of fun stuff i've come across recently on some of the blogs to the right ...

let's start off with something totally neat. this is planned to come out in early 2008, but only to be retailed in the netherlands. darn. the ios lamp designed by angela jansen features crealev's levitation technology.

a less futuristic, but still very pretty lamp is the legna table lamp by jefdesigns (design company based in portland). i especially like it in the zebra wood veneer.

something else featuring wood is amy bengtson's mod floral necklace. it's etched rosewood with an inlaid mother of pearl flower. how do you not win with etching, wood and mother of pearl?! i think she's based out of seattle, judging by her store "locations" page.

even lovelier jewelry though, and stuff i could see myself wearing every day: these pieces by elizabeth yarborough, a designer now based out of new york. check out her site, there are some hilarious pictures of chickens on it (by stephen green-armytage). anyway, love the texture of the woven leather button pendants and the rib knit, seed stitch and cable knit handknit cashmere bangles.

speaking of texture (though i hate to bury this stuff within a huge post but), helen murray creates the most luxurious fabric pieces, by cutting, sculpting and stitching fabrics like leather. her pair of lady and gentleman edwardian armchairs upholstered in bloom leather for a client in london in 2006 has gotten some press.

but i'm more drawn to her parker knoll winged armchair upholstered in rose leather for a client in taipei in 2006. check out the two-toned leather!

she has several other designs as well, but i especially like her jungle, lattice, oriental flower and succulent designs. i've included examples below since her site is a pain to navigate. love her work, but i hate the website interface. i think i'll reserve a spot in the floor plan of my future home for at least one delicious leather chair by helen.

and more on intricate cutting: peter callesen does wonders with paper. not sure how practical these would be as art in a regular home, but they're pretty neat. this one is called "the short distance between time and shadow, 2006." check out the site for a bunch more.

for some other papercutting that's a tad more accessible, check out nicholas manion's work with international currency. some are even on sale on his etsy site. last day of the sale is today(!) since it's the end of his semester at queensland college of art in brisbane.

and that should do it for now.


with a golden [notebook], it's a golden day

i went to doe a few weeks back in search of the nantaka joy notebooks i mentioned previously (end of post). but they didn't have the silver or copper notebooks. just the dot and floral ones. so i was a little disappointed. but it wasn't a total loss.

there was some cute jewelry by polli, an australian design duo. i especially liked their pendants. well, mainly because i can't wear earrings. but their earrings were neat too.

and the toord boontje book which i would have flipped through if i weren't pressed for time.

and modern-twist's hide box (modern-twist is a collaboration among san francisco-based designers)

and cards and paper goods by local designers like good on paper. there were a few others that i'd recognize by sight, but i can't remember them now.

but anyway, i couldn't find the nantaka joy notebooks at doe. and no online site carried both the silver and copper notebooks. so i was out of luck. that is, until oct 29th! well, actually oct 30th, because i wasn't really in the loop. but i quickly ordered both notebooks off the newly launched commerce site for nantaka joy. order WEB-00009. i figured, wow, eight other giddy fans beat me to it.

and finally, my notebooks arrived yesterday! and not only did i receive my lovely notebooks, i also got an extra goodie! that was super sweet of joy. little surprises are so fun!