Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ode to the Bandana


I have had a love for bandanas for quite awhile now and although this may seem like a strange blog post, I decided the bandana is a classic design who's style and function need to be acknowledged.

It began in 1990 when (I thought) I was moving to Europe. I condensed my luggage to just one carry-on as I knew I would be walking everywhere and jumping on and off trains. I remember throwing a bandana in my bag thinking it would serve me for so many things:
A headband
A wash cloth
A Kleenex
A napkin
A shower cap
A luggage tag
A towel
A necklace
A Band-aid
A carry-all when tied hobo style
And finally, a scarf

Some of you may avoid this universal accessory thinking you look like a cowboy or pirate when wearing one (not that there's anything wrong with that)- but not to worry. Designers from Louis Vuitton to my beloved Ralph take this scarf to a whole new level by adding their familiar signature.

My love for the bandana is two-fold. I not only love the classic paisley print because it falls somewhere between masculine and feminine but the soft cotton texture of a well worn bandana is equally appealing. Once the starchy stiffness is out there is nothing like reaching in your bag and pulling out that 'ol friend. I try to collect the dull, neutral colors whenever I find them (what a surprise) from Wal-Mart to the dollar shop but my favorite place to hunt for bandanas is the local thrift store. There they are always soft and worn and often found in offbeat colors and patterns. I even search for them on eBay now and then.

I roll them, fold them, sometimes iron them and have been known to coffee stain them to dull the colors down a bit. They're in my hair, around my neck, in a pocket or worn as a belt. (OK, not me, but maybe some of you). I also cut them in skinny ribbons to wear alone or with a pendant.

From pirates to bandits to rock stars- the bandana is one of the few accessories that are fun and functional- and sometimes found for only a $1.00! So tie one on.

My own personal stash.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New January Products


January means we can see the walls of the store again! Frosty trees, mercury ornaments and fake snow have been replaced by new furniture, Valentine gifts and the beginnings of Spring.

Take a look around at where we are going for February and also mark your calendar for our first 'Love Hurts' Valentine Art Show, February 6 & 7. (More on that to come).

For Valentines Day the color starts to trickle in:

Beautiful journals.

Crystal, enamel and gold heart necklaces.

Glossy printed heart boxes.

Cards, notepads and French berry bowls.

Tiny devil rubber duckies.

Just in! French General stationery and labels inspired from antique textiles.

Oilcloth coin purses and bags.

New furniture:

Tall Rustic Wood Bookcases.

Raw Wood and Dark Charcoal Upholstered Arm Chair, Crochet Throw, Burlap Bolster.

A pair of new Chenille Bergere Chairs are in. Here shown against our newly painted wall and silhouette tree I finished Sunday night.

A trifold room divider with beveled glass and upholstery base.

A new/old wing chair with fresh ticking fabric.

A perfect size French style Loveseat with soft, burlap linen upholstery and whitewash trim.

Sticking with my neutral accessories:

White and black bangles with various sayings.

Glass lamp, vintage clock and recycled newspaper frame.

Tin containers in three sizes.

Duck cloth nautical pillows with large stenciled numbers.

Also, XL messenger bags.

My new favorite: Large match boxes with antique Asian photographs.

The first birdhouses have started to arrive.

...also new lamps, jewelry, pillows, kitchen items, books and more. Please stop in!

Monday, January 19, 2009

In or Out


I always love seeing those 'What's In, What's Out' lists you inevitably see this time of year. After my eyes jump back and forth over two columns of familiar items, my first reaction is always, "Who says so?" I imagine a group of bored editors sitting around a glossy table with tons of tear sheets throwing out comments like, "Yes! I agree, I'm starting to hate pink skirts too..."

The following is a current list I tore out of a trade magazine. This list of Ins & Outs were submitted by retailers commenting on what they say customers like and don't like.

Some of my favorites (with personal commentary included):

Monograms (Why wouldn't they be? They're personal!)

Scent diffusers (Wrong. We've all learned it was a great idea but short lived. Most are not worth their money and rarely scent a room.)

Cheeseboards, platters and bowls (Seriously, these are 'in'?)
Decorative bathroom rugs (So many choices, so little time.)
Window treatments. (As opposed to bottles of Windex).
Owls, penguins, monkeys and Buddhas. (Please, not on the same shelf).

Rustic glamour. (I would love to know what this is).
Living rooms as lounges. (Consult your local air traffic controller).
Jewel tones. (Someone please put these on the OUT list).

Permanent botanicals. (A nice word for fake plants).
Velvets, linen, cotton and silk fabric (What's left, corduroy?)
Comfort (I hope so).

High maintenance furniture (Oh darn, I was so hoping to sell some!)
Unnecessary extravagance (Does this include two-ply tissue?)
Muddy earth tones (However, bright, fluorescent earth tones are in!)
Boring lamps
Boring lampshades (Really!, These were listed separately)
Matchy-matchy (I love that they used this description as if it were in Websters)
Country, primitive, shabby, Victorian or vintage looks (Wanted: Buyer for retail store in Prairie Village, KS)

My own short list of What's In/What's Out
IN: Buying something significant and useful with an emotional reaction. From a fancy coffee to a well-made, comfortable sofa- enjoy it!

Buying to buy. Buying to feed the hoarder in you. Adding to a collection. Enough already!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Day Late

Returning back to my room tonight during the Atlanta Gift Show, I get an email telling me Country Home is shutting down. This news comes after I spent the month preparing my home for the possibility of finally getting on their pages. This also happened to me with Victoria during their first run in 2002. Rats. On to another publication. Any takers?

In the meantime, a tease of what I was up to.