Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our last gift-a-day is our gift to you - the shop - in all its holiday finery. We hope you enjoyed it. Each year it's our pleasure to dress it up. We thank you for being our customers. And we wish you a lovely, tranquil and merry Christmas !

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cup of kindness

Colorful glass letter and number cups. Many uses. Votives. Pots. Vases. Holders for pens, tooth brushes, paint brushes, loose change, whatever. $20.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Money penny

Lovely colors in a soft leather wallet with great interior space. Designed by 49 Square Miles in San Francisco.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeps on giving

All of the proceeds from the sale of these candles are donated to College Visions, a non-profit based in Providence which provides low-income and first generation college-bound youth in Rhode Island with the individualized advising and resources needed to enroll in college. A mouthful of a sentence that means you can invest in the success of their dreams for the future.
A worthy gift.

Invest in achievement - a fundraising letter from College Visions - better than a candle ...

When you contribute to College Visions before the end of the year, you support over 200 low-income, first-generation students on the path to college graduation. You invest in students like Dioni, who in 12th grade wrote: "Ever since I can remember, my mother has always told me that everything she has done has been for me to have a better future, to have a better life than she has had. She would say that to reach that better future I have to do well in school and get good grades." Like me, you're probably inspired by Dioni and his mom's hopes, and you want the same for all young people in Providence. But there are many obstacles on the road to college. Dioni continued: "I came to the conclusion that to achieve a great future, however, you need not only good grades, but also a great amount of money. When I looked at the cost of colleges, the future my mother always told me about seemed to drift farther and farther away." Sadly, Dioni's concerns aren't unique. While most high school students dream of going to college, only a small portion of low-income youth actually do. You have an opportunity to make a difference. With the help of committed friends like you, College Visions ensures that motivated students like Dioni stay on track and achieve their dreams. In fact, during the past 6 years, 94% of College Visions students have enrolled in college. Dioni's College Visions advisor worked closely with him through the admissions process, and helped him choose colleges that would provide strong financial aid. He applied to Holy Cross, which he'd never heard of before College Visions. It was a perfect match. "I wanted a good education but the deciding factor for me was financial aid. Holy Cross gave me a full scholarship! My family works really hard, but not hard enough to be paying thousands and thousands of dollars towards school, so it was great that I got the full scholarship." Enrolling in college was an important accomplishment for Dioni and his family, but it's only a first step. Now he's a sophomore math major at Holy Cross and a member of our College Success Program. With the College Success Program, Dioni has received help with financial aid renewals and care packages during exams. He's also given back to CV, helping with summer workshops and hosting College Visions 12th graders who visit Holy Cross. You have an opportunity to make sure that young people like Dioni not only enroll in college, but also
graduate. Although only 11% of low-income students who enter in college earn a bachelor's degree within 6 years nationally, 70% of College Visions' first class graduated within 5 years. These victories are thrilling, and they require partners like you - people who are committed to promoting educational equity. You understand the benefits of college education. You see the promise in young people like Dioni. And you want your support to have a lasting impact. Dioni knows that a college degree can lead to long-term financial stability for a low-income family: "In my future I see myself providing for my kids what my mother couldn't do for me, which is to help pay for college. So my future, the future my mother always told me about, is the same future I'm going to tell my kids about, and hopefully the same future they will be building for their kids." Your contribution to College Visions ensures that many more low-income students like Dioni earn college degrees. Your investment will pay dividends for generations to come. Please make a secure online donation at Thank you for your support!

Best Wishes, Simon Moore
College Visions Founder & Director

PS - The Carter Family Charitable Trust has generously offered to match contributions made before December 31 up to $20,000. This offer doubles the impact of your contribution. Help us meet our match!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Low tech magic

German glass radiometers have reflective blades suspended in a partial vacuum that spin in the light. More light more spin. More magic. $45 to $60.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The purloined penguin

We had a great busy day today. Thank you everyone. But on an unjolly note, we have had yet another theft in a long, really depressing string of thefts. This time it was the 4' high penguin in our shop yard. This afternoon. This is his picture (minus the crown). I know it's highly unlikely, but if you came to the shop today, and noticed anything, please let us know. The penguin aspect could almost seem amusing, but I have lost it completely.

Waiting for Santa

Soon Santa can take a well deserved rest, perch on his favorite bench, kick off his boots, and stare into mid bramble. $340.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Paris in December

Fracas was created in 1948. Gin Fizz was made for Grace Kelly in 1955. Two really beautiful scents - one intensely floral, the other light and citrusy. For different tastes, each one is perfect.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unsecret Santa

Cute little mercury glass candles with a vintagey Santa and a cinnamonny scent. $12.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Runners up

In the market stalls of Guatemala it was impossible to resist the festive happy colors and lively floral designs of these long embroidered runners. Approximately 16" by 8'.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's a wash

A seasonal selection from New York soap maker Saipua, who features inventive ingredients and the best wrappings. Speaking of visuals, they are also masterful floral designers. Look at Design Sponge on line for a glimpse of their beautiful arrangements - and because it's fun to look at Design Sponge. $9.00

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fir me

Love the smell of Christmas trees. Good old fashioned ordinary balsam. The fancier trees have appealing visuals, but not so much fragrance. Forget plastic. December treks to the flower market in Boston, the van filled with cut greens, the sweet woodsy smell soothing despite the inexplicable any-time-of-day traffic creepalongs. Little pillows made for us in Maine. $10.00.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Purse your lips

Found imagery collage on handy little purse mirrors from John Derian's New York studio. $12.00.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dish it up

These charming and useful little hand painted ceramic dishes were made in Guanajuato, at the Gorky Gonzalez pottery workshop. If you are ever fortunate to be in that part of the world, make a plan to visit their lovely studio. As an added bonus, visit the childhood home of Diego Rivera. 4" to 5 1/2". $12. $14. $18.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Horse of a good color

This lusciously soft throw was designed by Thomas Paul and beautifully hand woven by artisans in Lima, Peru. The fiber is baby alpaca. The color is that particular excellent orange. The reverse side is an orange horse on a natural ground. In this case, the real thing is worth a thousand words. $350.00.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mental block

Fiddle with these cool blocks when you need to drift off to kinderland. Or when a dose of amusement is prescribed. Blocktor's orders. Rhode Island designed by Fred. $32.00.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Playing favorites - part 2

Our new also favorite holiday candle is Pine made by Tatine in Chicago. A perfect winter's walk through deep mossy piney forests. The dark recycled glass and letterpress box have a most pleasing green sophistcation. $30.00.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Playing favorites - part 1

Our all time favorite holiday candle is Christmas Tree in a Can made by Aunt Sadie's in Boston, who, by the way, has a most wonderful shop to visit. So perfectly balsamy with the absolute scent of a christmas tree, that just inhaling the open can is mesmerizing ... if you like Christmas. $18.00.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Picture this

Little leather wallets and card cases are hand printed with fun images by
Shara Porter. Perfect in the pocket. $32. and $40.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cosseted fingers

Silky soft shearling in deliciously fun colors. These European gloves glide onto the hand and offer a most luxurious warmth. $110.00

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Let it salt

Slightly askew Salty the salt shakerman will charm your winter table. Tweak his little carrot nose to fill. Fellow Rhode Islander Fred Roses dreams up these clever wonders. $12.00.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Folkloric piney pillow

In the market stalls of Antigua, Guatemala we found these 6" uselessly sized but charming textile pieces. We sent them on a trip to Maine to be filled with our favorite eau Christmas tree balsam. And now they have a purpose in life as a fragrant fiesta. Winter woods with a hot flash. $20.00

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's ticking . . .

The countdown begins. Depending on our state of frazz, the jolly fat man is either the symbol of festive anticipation, or of never enough time. One memorable year, Granny was helping us unpack Christmas ornaments and on each box she wrote "santa", but by the end of her chore the boxes said "satan". Which about sums it up. $15.00.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Glad tidings

bedecked, tinseled, and brightened

our 18th year of holiday delights
the amusements
the sweet little things
the momentary flashes of sparkle
that make this festive season
worth contemplating
a time out from the humdrum and drear
a place marker to remind us
to be kind and generous
and to have good cheer