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Articles Written by Simon


About Simon: Simon has worked in the fields of graphic design, multimedia and production. He has an obsession with objects and their relationships with people. He enjoys making things and sketching in notebooks. Simon is currently studying Industrial Design and rides his bike everywhere in Portland, Oregon. (View Profile)


Arcto Alpine Salt and Pepper Shaker

When you’re off on your adventures, you need not go without salt and pepper. The Arcto Alpine Travel Shaker is designed for robustness: it’s humid proof to prevent clumping and housed in a extra tough plastic case to withstand all sorts of abuse. It opens with a “click” so you’ll know when it’s open- no unnecessary spills in your bag, thank you very much. Get it, and all of your future travel companions will want to be your best friend come dinner time.

Purchase Information:

Price: $18.58
Available from: Camping Survival

FieldNotes Archival Wooden Box

Keep those dozens of exhausted memo books lying around with this archival wooden box. Made specifically for FieldNotes memo book (though it will fit other brands), it features cabinet-grade birch construction and includes twelve letter-pressed tabs for organization. Holds up to 60 notebooks. Perhaps would also work well as a recipe box?

Purchase Information:

Price: $34.95
Available from: FieldNotes

Source: Hypebeast

Simon Yuen Gift Picks

Wait! Here’s one more gift guide, just in time for holiday shipping. Warning: There’s oodles of Portland Oregon / Pacific Northwest love all over this post.

1. Ipad Sleeve by The Good Flock. Sure the Apple magnetic sleeve is nice… but waxed denim! Come on! Made in Portland.

2. Never actually wanted to own a terrarium until I saw these stunning handmade steel and wood ones from Arc & Ash. Made in Portland.

3.  Fell in love with these majorly cute ceramic ornaments at Gemma Correll‘s opening at Land Gallery. I’ll take the whole set please.

4.  Molecule Synth. A snap-together modular synthesizer, designed to be infinitely changeable. Made in Portland.

5. Hues and blues from this collection of ceramics from Mociun.

6. Well it’s the new year, you need a new calendar. Stay in-tuned with the our lunar neighbor with this screen-printed Moon Calendar.

7. Simple and forever-lasting Falcon enamelware tumblers from Hand-Eye Supply, Portland’s storehouse for design nerds.

8. Cards Against Humanity. “A party game for horrible people”. What can I say? I totally want this.

9. From North St Bags, a clever waterproof bicycle pannier that converts to a backpack, a must have for the year-round commuter. Made in Portland.

10. Tombox: Vintage stereos get new life as battery-powered portable amplifiers.


Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung Gift Picks

Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung have been operating Poketo, a go-to source for well-designed and curated homegoods and art, since 2003. We’re never shy to feature their products on BLTD, so we were curious to see what was on their holiday list. Here are their top ten picks from ’round the web as well as their own offerings:

Kate Bingaman-Burt Gift Ideas

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an illustrator and educator. She has been making work about consumption since 2002, teaching since 2004 and drawing until her hand cramps since 2006. I never met anyone who works harder than Kate, and oh yeah, she just happens to be the nicest person ever. Here are her ten very colorful gift ideas for anyone in the creative professional field or has an appreciation for great design.

1. Biography on acclaimed New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg.

2. Custom hand-lettered posters from illustrator Nicole Lavelle.

3. A vintage German beer hall table for entertaining parties both large and small.

4. A very marigold school satchel.

5. Colorful Japanese kettle.

6. Gift certificates to Portland Oregon’s finest purveyors or art and books. Reading Frenzy, Palace, Monograph Bookwerks, Ampersand, Division Leap, Floating World  Comics

7. A capture-it-all wall organizer. In red!

8. Utilitarian and gorgeous ceramic ware from B. Fiess.

9. Warm and mega stylish knitwear by Annie Larson.

10. Useful and nicely-priced iPhone cases.

Donky Cargo Bike

Get everything on your grocery list. Don’t skimp out on the 12 pack and the cake just because you can’t haul it home on your bike. The Donkybike sports both front and rear cargo racks that are attached directly to the frame, allowing for a stable ride without any unwieldy steering or swaying rear end. The frame is created in no-nonsense and durable steel, sure to last a lifetime. Available in green and black.

Purchase Information:

Price: $800.00
Available from: Donky Bike

Source: HiConsumption

Ceramic Subwoofer by Joey Roth

Joey Roth completes his Ceramic Speaker sound system with the addition of this subwoofer. Made in stainless steel, porcelain and Baltic birch plywood, the Ceramic Subwoofer extends your system’s frequency response down to 40 Hz, adding a balanced yet not overwhelming bass response to your speakers.

Purchase Information:

Price: $695.00
Available from: Joey Roth

Source: Materialicious


You need the perfect dresser. You’re not content with what retailers, Ebay, or Etsy has to offer. And even if you do find something similar to what you need, it’s either the wrong color or wrong size. How about instead of tirelessly searching for that possibly non-existent furniture piece, you design exactly what you want, and craftsmen will bid and build it for you? This is the vision of new Boston-based startup CustomMade. The site is populated with over 3500 furniture makers, artists, jewelers, installers, and product/homegoods designers, all looking to build the perfect piece for you. As of writing, 2884 projects have been completed. What do you want made today?


More information:

View CustomMade here

Source: Core77

Lacie Petitekey

Lacie shrinks down its already very portable iamakey usb drive to make the PetiteKey. Measuring a mere 1.5″ in height, it’s waterproof, scratch-resistant and has AES 256-bit encryption. Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities.

Purchase Information:

Price: $14.99
Available from: Lacie

Source: The Awesomer

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.

Purchase Information:

Price: $750.00
Available from: 54/40

Concrete Goods by 22 Design STudio

These new desk accessories from 22 Design Studio are sure to snazz up your desk/workspace. The 4th Dimension Clock, Sketch Pencil and Sketch Pen are cast in concrete and provide the pragmatic functions needed in a workspace; they also stand as works of art on their own.

Grip Rings

True story: I currently have skinned knees and 4 inch bruise on my chest. Why? Because I completely wiped out going down a parking garage when my left handlebar grip slipped off. Anyways, don’t be like me and have properly maintained grips and bar-ends on your bike. But do it with some style! These new GripRings from Spurcycle are individual silicone rings that make up a complete handlebar grip. Each set included 16 rings in the color pattern of your choice. Ride safe!

Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: Spurcycle

Source: Bless This Stuff

Libratone Portable Wireless Speakers

Warm and fuzzy are words to describe pleasant sounds coming from your speakers, but what if your speakers themselves were so? Copenhagen-based Libratone recently released a series of AirPlay-enabled wireless speakers wrapped in either wool or cashmere. Three sizes are available depending on your room size and portability needs. AirPlay works with all iPads, iPhone 3Gs or newer, iPod touch and Mac/Pc. Fabric covers are available in eight colors.

Purchase Information:

Price: $449.00
Available from: Libratone

Source: Design Boom

Puurco iPhone Wallet Case

This wallet is traveling light at its best. Handcrafted in Prague, a 100% Merino wool sleeve is stitched together with a vegetable-tanned leather pocket. Your phone and credit card, what else do you need? Fits iPhone 4S/4/3GS/3G (maybe the new iPhone 5?). Gotta love that red thread accent and packaging!

Purchase Information:

Price: €29.00
Available from: PuurCo

Faraday Porteur Bicycle

Clunky batteries, impractical, and just plain ugly are words that come to mind when the words “electric bicycle” come up. However, as urban bicycle ridership increases, bicycle manufacturers such as new start-up Farady are addressing these issues. Their flagship bicycle, the Porteur, is their first offering. It starts with a US-made steel frame with time-tested geometry. Safety and practicality are built-in with a removable front rack, integrated lights, wood fenders, and an accessory bag. The 8-speed internal hub is attached to an electric assist for those challenging hills or heavy grocery hauls. I had the pleasure of seeing this bike at last September’s Oregon Manifest, a handmade custom bicycle show. As it was my favorite bike at the show, I’m extremely pleased to see that it came to life from a mere show concept to market, something that rarely happens at these kinds of events.

Purchase Information:

Price: $3,800.00
Availability: Buy Faraday Porteur Bicycle here

Source: Core77