Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've Been Struck...

... with the dreaded flu so I'm off the blog for the next few days.

Be kind to yourselves. Stay well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Les Mondial de Nathalie Lete

You might recall that I went to Boston recently. I posted a few pics of what I saw, but failed to mention a trip to Anthropologie that catapulted me into a frenzy of research. A brief account into my investigative reporting follows...

While in Anthropologie, my sis found these adorable pink hand towels with the Eiffel Tower on them. We both scurried to find larger ones, but to no avail. They weren't made. She still got them for her girls' bathroom.

"Chat Chien" is at the bottom of the design, but the label is in Japanese. A search on Google didn't bring up anything with the information we had, so I knew there must have been something we were missing.

I was back in San Antonio, my sis in Boston, but I couldn't stop thinking about these towels. A visit to my local Anthropologie proved fortuitous as they had one remaining Eiffel Tower hand towel. I immediately purchased it, as well as a bird design. An adorable Paris plate that I couldn't resist (perfect for cookies) also found it's way into my bag. Upon further investigation, I discovered that they were all by the same designer!

After much searching (and subsequent purchasing), I am pleased to tell you about Nathalie Lete. Though she is new to me, I was, admittedly, slightly disappointed to find that she is no newcomer to the design scene. (I thought I had come upon an undiscovered gem! Design*Sponge and Decor8 are among the many that have already written about her.) Nonetheless, I felt a sense of accomplishment for having tracked her down.

Lete lives and works in Paris (oh to live and work in Paris). With the City of Light as her backdrop, she's got an endless amount of inspiration, but also looks to her travels and vintage toys (which she also collects).

Check out some shots of her workshop. It's like a craftster paradise.

She works in several different mediums including illustration, ceramics, textiles and paintings and from what I can tell, her creativity doesn't stop. I'd love to live in les modial (the world) of Nathalie Lete!

Enough words. Her work speaks for itself. (All images via Nathalie Lete unless otherwise indicated.)

Octopus via Apartment Therapy

And I couldn't leave you without an image of the towels! Here they are in my store bathroom. It's hard to believe that those little things were responsible for such a flurry of activity. (I suppose that's my designer/retailer/researcher heart coming out!)

Click image to enlarge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Viva la France!

To start us off....

I thought this postcard set from Yellow Owl Workshop was rather festive and fun. I like how it feels slightly traditional - a bit like "old school" France - but still manages to pull off a fresh execution of images such as Joan of Arc and the crests.

Bonjour, Mon Ami

As you can tell from my blog, there are several things that make my heart go pitter-patter. But if I had to narrow it down to my Top 5 - only including the things that make my heart really sing - Paris would certainly be included on that list.

I think about Paris all the time. How wonderful it would be to live there. To work there. To vacation there (often). Unfortunately, the likelihood of any of the aforementioned coming true doesn't seem realistic at this point in my life but I can still dream (sigh).

That said, I was fortunate enough to have visited a couple of years ago. Despite the time lapse, my trip still seems so fresh. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Pompidou, the Seine, museums, quaint cafes, Montmartre, the Left Bank - heck, the Right Bank. And walking. Just walking.

A similar love affair with Paris is shared by so many. That's why I thought I'd bring you some of Paris, France and all things French. So, this week, you can look forward to blurbs about French designers/artists, French companies or just things that look or feel French. Obviously, with only 5 days in a week, I won't even be skimming the surface, but hopefully I'll bring you something that's interesting and enw to you. I'd better hurry, though. (It's already Monday!)

Photo of Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day (July 14, 2009)

Friday, July 17, 2009

{Fashion Friday} Staying A-head

What happens when two stylists from LA come together? Well, I suppose a lot can happen, but in this case, I'm referring to a pair who is - shall we say - ahead of the game.

In 2008, friends and co-workers Jen and Jamie started Inspired by vintage pieces and girly touches, they use feathers, rhinestones, brooches and ribbon to create masterpieces for the head.

Because of their immediate success with their head bands, they now offer several different styles for other feminine areas of your body including your neck (collars), chest (corsages) and waist (belts). And with funny names like "she likes drama" or "pink hotness" (a personal favorite), they are hard to resist.

If you are a pending bride, make sure and check out their bridal selection. Otherwise, throw one on for a night on the town. I imagine you'll be turning a few - ahem - heads.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pop Goes the Placemat

I love all things pop up. I actually collect pop up books, a hobby which started not too long ago with one of Robert Sabuda's Christmas treasures. I must have 25 or so pop up books now, none of which are terribly old, but I'm still proud of my growing collection.

That's one reason why I'm also a huge fan of Publique Living's pop up placemats. Yes, you heard me. Placemats! I first saw them last year, but was thrilled to see their beautiful, new designs.

Dinner will never be the same.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


These have been in style for a couple of years, but I never grow tired of looking at them or dreaming about having one. Moroccan poufs make a nice design statement, provide extra seating (for a hiney or a pair of feet) and don't take up too much room. (They come in various materials, sizes and prices so make sure and do your research before purchasing one.)

Found here on ebay

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Take A Dip

When we were kids, my grandmother would swim laps at Barton Springs in Austin, Texas during the summer. (Barton's is a famous pool fed from under ground springs. It averages 68 degrees year round and attracts all sorts, the likes of which include conservative legislators as well as old hippies who prefer to sunbathe in the buff.)

In her better years, Tootie would get her big-bosomed, petite figure in the frigid water to do her exercise. Her large, white, teased, bubble hairdo (pinned in the back with black bobbie pins, but still round and ever visible on top) would bob up and down as she scooted length to length doing the breast stroke. She was careful never to get her hair fully wet as this would require an additional trip to the beauty parlor (where she was already a faithful patron once a week).

I was reminded of my grandmother when I saw these images. Despite having no facial features, these women (and girl) all appear to feel comfortably relaxed and happy, much like my grandmother did when she came out of the water.

Images found on etsy by Kiki and Polly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

(limited editions x low prices) + the internet = art for everyone

20x200 brings artists together with buyers. Unlike traditional galleries, though, where art can cost several thousand dollars (and hardly affordable for your regular Betty like me), 20x200 keeps things on a cost-conscious level without sacrificing innovation, expression and creativity.

Jen Beckman, a gallery owner in the Lower East Side of NYC, developed the concept. When she first launched 20x200, the smallest size was reprinted in the largest batch – an edition of 200 – and sold at the lowest price – $20. Hence the name 20x200. Most images are now available in three sizes (which vary somewhat according to each artist). The bigger you get, the higher the price goes.

As I browsed the wonderful gallery of images, I came across a few that resonated with me.

You can purchase these (and other great prints) from here, but hurry. Pieces from 20x200 are only produced in limited quantities for a limited time (once they are gone, they are gone). New editions go online every Tuesday and Wednesday at 2 pm EST so check back often.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A New Series: {Fashion Fridays}

Given my interest in all things fashionable, I thought I'd launch a new series entitled "Fashion Fridays." From here on out, I will use Fridays to post something having to do with - you guessed it - fashion.

What better way to start off this series than with a posting about new arrivals at Galeana, my store! I promise I won't take advantage of self-promotion every Friday, but given that I got some new stuff in the store yesterday, I thought I'd share it with you, too.

So check out the email that went out to all my store customers announcing our latest arrivals.

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

Summer is in full swing here in South Texas and there's no doubt about it:

It's not just any kind of hot, either. No, it's the really bad hot.
The kind of hot where you stare in your closet wondering what you are going to wear,
knowing that by mid-morning, your clothes will be sticking to you.
The kind of hot where you start sweating on your short jaunt from your back door
to your garage. The kind of hot where you have a temporary lapse of better judgment
and allow your 6 year-old to go and see the new "Transformers" movie where the
language and sexual connotations are barely appropriate for a 13 year-old. (Oops.)

Thank goodness Va Va has us covered with their airy and breezy dresses.
Lightweight and cotton, you definitely don't need an occasion to wear these puppies.
Just throw them on with a pair of flip flops for an easy, put together look -
regardless of where your day is taking you. They are perfect for a trip
to the grocery store, your child's playdate with Little George,
or the BBQ/Pool Party on Friday night.

The best part? In Va Va, you'll be feelin' hot (as in hottie)
but still be lookin' cool (as in cucumber).

Only at Galeana.

Happy Fashion Friday, everyone!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

That's A Wrap

"Practical. Pretty. Tape." That's what TapeSwell is all about. Purveyors of decorative tape, these guys have created dozens of designs that are anything but dull, brown and tacky. Use them to make your packages prettier, or for other DIY crafts such as scrapbooking or picture framing.

Via Design Mom.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Short Cuts

Have you ever wondered where the short films at the Oscars come from? Have you ever wondered where they go after they've been nominated and/or won? Furthermore, have you ever been disappointed that you've never seen them? If you answered "yes" to any or all of the above, you are not alone.

While I can't give you any answers to those questions, I can tell you that last night, I was lucky enough to have seen 8 of the 10 nominated shorts from 2009. No, Joan Rivers wasn't there asking people what they were wearing (I was in Corey Lynn Calter in case you are curious), nor was there a red carpet filled with celebrities and paparazzi. But as a movie buff, I was delighted to have been amongst the crowd who got to see them.

Hailing from all over the world (Germany, Ireland, Denmark), and varying in length and format (animated and live action), these little morsels were thoughtful, tender and well done.

The bad news? You likely won't be able to see these in a theater, the way they should be viewed. The good news? Some of these movies are now available on iTunes (search under "Movies" and then "Short Films"). A list of all 10 of the films that were nominated in this category is listed below:

Via here

The longest one was 30 minutes, so even if you only have a few moments to spare, it'll be well worth your while. I HIGHLY recommend viewing them.

This viewing was part of a series called "Cinema Tuesdays." Texas Public Radio and the Bijou at Crossroads Theater have teamed up to bring (old and new) films that might not otherwise be shown in San Antonio. For more information, click here.

Out and About {in Galeana}

Good friends and co-workers,
Trish T. and Mary H. looking lovely in prints.
Trish T. wears a silk Corey Lynn Calter dress from Galeana.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To Dry For

Some of us cook. Some of us clean. I fall into the latter category (though have fantasies about improving the former one). You can understand why, then, I was delighted to find these cup towels from To Dry For.

Drying the dishes has never been so fun! Find all the designs here. (Via Print & Pattern.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Give Me the Names of Four Boys...

If you are my age (or close to my age), you'll remember the finger-operated fortune telling devices that we made out of notebook paper and then read on the playground.

After the tool was laboriously created (making sure that it was perfectly creased and folded), the "customer" would choose a handful of boys names, dwelling types, numbers and cities. The "fortune teller" would then insert the data into her folded hand-held device and the game began. After a series of back and forths, folds and unfolds, a final declaration was made: you will marry Trey P., live in a shack, in Paris, and have 26 kids.

Well, thanks to Sycamore Street Letterpress (and Design*Sponge who first posted this little lovely), you don't have to be on the playground anymore to enjoy such trivial fun. Thankfully, though, they've taken it to a new level.

The design is not only letterpressed, but the spaces are all filled in with witty and clever predictions. Ever wondered if Bob Saget loves you? Now you can know for sure.

Or tap into your younger years and create one of your own. Find the easy diagram below or refer here for step by step details.

Perfect for an invitation or gift, this creative and nostalgic trinket is sure to keep those you love entertained.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

O're the Land of the Free...

... and the Home of the Brave!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th!

The GrayBear and I are headed back to the coast to celebrate the 4th of July with our friends, Lisa S. and Cis-co-bob. Hope you and yours have a delightful weekend. Cheers to Lady Liberty!

1. Balinese umbrella; 2. Morey boogie boards; 3. pink dominoes set; 4. playing cards;
5. J. Crew flip flops; 6. Felix Rey bag; 7. Micheal Kors bathing suit; 8. swim shirt;
9. boys Vilebrequin bathing suit; 10. crocs; 11. visor; 12. eGo ipod waterproof speaker; 10. hat

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Feeling Blue?

Is the heat getting to you? Has the recession got you down? Are you feeling - well - blue?

Look no further than Jonathan Adler to help cheer you up.

Miss Fashionista, Miss Recessionista...

Though I'm certainly not recession proof, I figure a good attitude can only help things. Purchase here:

Via Byrd and Bleecker.