ACCESSORIES

Elemental Blocks

What better gift than the gift of science? If you’ve any young children on your holiday list, think about these Elemental Blocks from Uncle Goose. And, if the elements aren’t the right sort of subject, there’s quite a few other block sets that could benefit a young mind: Braille Math or ABC Blocks and several Foreign Language options.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $34.00
Available from: Uncle Goose

Stella Arianna Stovetop Espresso Maker

Like your espressos but hate your machine? Or, like your espressos but can’t be bothered to buy a machine? Take a look at this stovetop espresso maker and see if it doesn’t tempt you with the idea of a DIY espresso-driven bliss each and every morning. There are four sizes available (2-cup, 4-cup, 6-cup and 10-cup, all measured in tiny espresso cups, mind you, not standard baking measures) and a special filter in the funnel can be flipped to make half the amount if you should so choose.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $129.00
Available from: Kaufmann Mercantile

United States Flashcards

I picture these simple United States Flashcards being used before touch-screens and other hi-tech devices. Why not bring back some old-school schooling? Might make a nice gift to your favorite niece/nephew/child (if they appreciate flash-card variety games) or, hey, be selfish and use them decoratively. The Alphabet Flashcards are equally appealing (shown below).
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Purchase Information:

Price: $42.00 - 68.00
Available from: Michele Varian

Stainless Steel Bonsai Shears

Make Magazine’s recent mention of Bonsai Shears brought to mind one of my own recent experiences. For a while now I’ve attempted to keep alive a variety of plants, and I’ve been somewhat successful. However, out of all those experiences, perhaps the most disappointing was losing a small bonsai tree to the Texas weather (and my ineptitude).

A recent find of the Jabily succulent (Operculicarya decaryi), which can be grown as a bonsai and is easy to care for (lots of sun, lots of water), has offered redemption. Before the Jabily, I had two okay-ish pruners: one of which I never used because it was cheap and didn’t work well, and the other I reluctantly used, but it wasn’t exactly ergonomic. After the Jabily, I obtained two pairs of Japanese stainless steel butterfly scissors* of different size and function; I’m serious this time.

Having the right tool for the right job makes a difference, as you may know, and the proper pruning scissors I purchased work better and will last longer than my previous pairs. Also, as it often happens, because I invested a little more money I find myself taking extra care to wipe the blades and keep them in tip-top shape.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $37.11
Available from: Japanese-Cutlery.com

Si-Bottles and Lids, Set of 4

Yeah, you remember these, don’t you? They’ve been featured here before (years ago) and therefore need a fresh post with a link that works. They’re glass bottles in the same shape as the familiar plastic bottle, thus drawing attention to consumerism and reinforcing the reuse/recycle ethos. But it’s made of glass, you say, and will break! Not necessarily, as the bottles are made from borosilicate glass (the same stuff your Pyrex measuring cup is made of).

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Purchase Information:

Price: $108.00
Available from: YLiving

Diamond Hooks

Ferm Living’s Diamond Hooks look good with or without clothes (just like you, right?). Two or three sets scattered all over an entryway wall would serve as wall art when not being utilized as coat/clothes/bag hook. Three hooks in one set.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: Ferm Living

Scaffolding Floor and Table Lamp

Update: Do you happen to remember the Scaffolding Lamps by Rodger Stevens? Well, check out the current sale prices: Scaffolding Floor Lamp $499.99, Scaffolding Table Lamp $299.99. Quite a discount from the previously listed prices in ’09 (below).

How absolutely wonderful are these lamps by Rodger Stevens? I’ll tell you how wonderful they are: they’re the sort of lamps you’d buy without thinking about how you can’t afford them because they are freaking amazing, that’s how.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $299.00
Available from: Green Depot

Hola Doormat

Give this to your favorite Republican and be prepared for an awkward thanks. Or just buy it as a friendly welcome mat for all your guests; either way, it’ll clean shoes regardless of political affiliation.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $50.00
Available from: Gessato

Themis Prism Mobile

Yet another Themis mobile? Yes, indeed, and this one has five distinct palette colors: salmon, beige, green, balck and gold. If you’re not familiar with the others, the Themis Mono Mobile is one dodecahedron with warm and cool colors, the Themis Mobile has five faceted ornaments, and the Themis Trio Mobile has, you guessed it, three polyhedra in a palette of neon and neutral colors.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $44.00
Available from: PLASTICA

Red Thread Notebook

These notebooks from WRITERSBLOK use old fashioned string tie closures to keep your notes secure. Note: if you are particularly picky about paper, do a little research and read a few reviews on WRITERSBLOK journals- a few people have commented that the paper is a little thinner than Moleskine notebooks, so you might have some ink bleed-through if you prefer heavier/thicker ink. Available in small or medium, brown or black, and plain or ruled.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $11.00 - 16.00
Available from: Kikkerland

54/40 Maps of Geography

Geographical! Created from actual elevation data, this wooden topographical map of the United States is laser-cut and hand-assembled in Portland, Oregon. The 48 contiguous states are $750, but get in touch with 54/40 for individual state pricing.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $750.00
Available from: 54/40

Jensen Koppel Clocks

If you’re in the market for a classic wall clock, and would like something quite small and elegant, do turn your eyes toward the collection of timepieces designed by Henning Koppel for Jensen. Choose between the 10cm (~4″) or 15cm (~6″) size, stainless steel or black stainless steel, and white or black dial. Also, you can save your pennies in hopes of one day adding a barometer, thermometer, and hygrometer alongside the clock for a full collection of weather instruments. Also, do you know (or can you guess) which decade these clocks were designed? Was it the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s or 2000+? Answer below.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $120.00 - 200.00
Available from: Georg Jensen

Domestic Wall Sticker Animals 2

If you happen to remember the Forêt Noire Scenic Wallpaper, you might recognize some of these little guys. Designed by the same Nathalie Lété, these vinyl wall stickers are sure to keep you in good company. They’re self-adhesive and could be an excellent alternative to wallpaper wherever you want- and don’t go putting these in the ‘only suitable for kids’ box. In fact, you are hereby challenged not to put these in a kid’s room- scatter them throughout a hallway or wherever else they look at home.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $70.00
Available from: greenergrassdesign

Variopinte Plates

How about some colorful dinnerware for this season’s festivities? Variopinte* enamel plates were created as part of the A TAVOLA! project, where Stefania Di Petrillo created a dining room that’s easily transported via a clever packing plan/container. The plates are available in three sizes and can be stacked or used separately. Best of all, the enamel is durable enough to use out of doors should you fancy a picnic.
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Purchase Information:

Price: $16.50
Available from: The Vitrine

DIY Kits from Haptic Lab

Remember Haptic Lab’s Great Lakes Quilt that was featured last week? If you like the look of a modern city quilt and are known to be handy with a needle and thread, think about purchasing one of their DIY kits. Choose from several cities- each basic kit comes with a 36″ x 42″ single-use map template and sewing instructions while a full kit ($74) includes the material and thread in ivory as well. Choose your own fabric with the basic kit and you’ll have a nice project to work on with a one-of-a-kind end result (that would make an excellent gift, by the way, but after all that work, everyone will understand if you decide to keep it for yourself). Keep in mind the 36″ x 42″ size is large enough for a crib quilt or wall hanging.

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Purchase Information:

Price: $38.00
Available from: Haptic Lab