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Thursday, October 2, 2008

bottle open green

a selection of  unique bottle openers from cutting up knives

the cutting edge... trash becomes treasure

I've never really understood the saying "one's man trash is another man's treasure"... it reminds me of those terribly tacky yard sales that inevitably pop up in the summer, tempting bored saturday-afternoon-wanderers to purchase perfectly useless objects to clutter their homes. That said, the designers at Cutting Up Knives have me biting my tongue... they reimagine selected broken, damaged, and useless knives into beautiful, unique and highly practical bottle openers. The process is far from mass production, as each bottle opener is individually chosen and cut... some derived from beautiful brand name knives, others from factory-rejects, and a special few second-hand collectables.

It's a fabulous way for the design-savvy to be green by reusing old and non-functional products without sacrificing style. And with all the shapes, sizes, and styles I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love such a uniquely fabulous way to pop the cap off their beer without chipping their nail polish.

Monday, September 22, 2008

green bagging it

"beau bag" by beau soleil, $44

a stylish girl goes green

I recently discovered beau soleil a very interesting little company making very good looking "green" apparel... it is the creation of Anne Salvatore Epstein, a Manhattan girl with experience at Marc Jacobs and ISLI who traded her "overly excessive New York City lifestyle" for one much more organic. The company -- named after Epstein's favorite oyster -- focuses on sustainability, fair trade, and the use of organic raw materials, using fabrics made from bamboo, vegetable-dyed cotton, tencel (a product of eucalyptus trees), and recycled leather trims.

The bags are particularly pleasing to the eye. The original "beau bag" is a sensational cotton canvas sack... it bears an uncanny resemblance to Anya Hindmarch's (see green chic) but is much more affordable, actually obtainable (phew!), and available in three distinct color ways (natural canvas/grey, dark denim/white, light denim/red). Intrigued? So was sophisticate and supermodel Christy Brinkley, who sported the chic tote with a pencil skirt and pumps in July.

For those who want to start small, the "beau dob" cosmetic cases are the perfect size for daily essentials. Crafted from undyed, raw canvas and surplus leather tabs, each case features text on one side and the company's signature leaf logo on the back. Finally, the "beau pouch" is the perfect way to stow all those extra "library" cards you collect... it snaps onto any bag handle for safe keeeping. Now that's smart!

Find it... you can order products directly from beau soleil's website, or keep your eye out at fashionable retailers... SAKS Fifth Avenue stores, ABC Carpet & Home,, and

"beau dob" raw canvas cosmetic cases, $26

"beau pouch" credit card holder, $18

Friday, September 19, 2008

you're a prize

Jessica Grindstaff Prize Ribbon
photo by Scott Irvine

competitive coping

I tend to think of myself as a free-spirit, a fairy-child who flutters about in a world of creativity and colors... This existence, albeit real at times, is in my head; sadly, my body has always existed on planet Earth where parents prod their children along like little cattle, tempting them to reach their dreams with licks of salt. I went to a fabulous and outrageously competitive prep school that taught its students how to succeed (or at the very least persevere) by ensuring that they regularly failed... a bit tough on the ego yet quite effective. With the help of Billy Ocean, I developed my own motto -- when the going gets tough, the tough get creative -- and my very own solution, the consolation prize

The consolation prize is a prize or celebratory act reserved for the most valiant failed attempts intended to momentarily lift the spirit of the devastated losing party. When executed properly, it is a beautiful, beautiful thing... and I honestly believe it may be the key ingredient to an eccentric's survival in a tailored world.

prize ribbons

Naturally, I love these clever prize ribbons by quirky New York artist Jessica Grindstaff. I think they are a hilarious and very attractive commentary on awards. Grindstaff began making the ribbons in 2006 and has officially awarded prizes to artists and individuals, including Yoko Ono and Bam Margera. They are available for sale in a rainbow of colors and featuring a variety of emblems (think bugs, anchors, cougars, skulls). This is one piece of flair I seriously must have... if not to parade around my bedroom in, then certainly for the next time I need some serious consoling. In the words of Grindstaff, "Everyone's a prize!"

Jessica Grindstaff Satin Prize Ribbons