string dispensers: a utilitarian collection

cozy kitten

Sometimes when I seplace for something utilitarian I find not only the perfect solution, but also a perfect collectible. After googling “twine dispenser” to take care of my perennially tangled gardening twine, I found everything from R2D2 to a celluloid doll head. My favorites? The Cozy Kitten from the ’50s, a silver plated ball and new dispensers from Garden Trading and Terrain. — Sarah L.

From our partners

finally, some eames furniture i can afford


When Mary did a post off asking what cool chair you dreamed of owning, the response was overwhelmingly for Eames. (Okay, except me — I’m the dork that wants a long Windsor bench.) Seems you’re not alone in your modern chair love — or regrets over lofty price tags. Now, however, you can get Eames chair for just $15-30. The only catch? They’re 1:12 scale. The New York Times recently featured several blogs from miniature modern enthusiasts including Christine Ferrarra‘s Call of the Small. In her clever hands, dollhouses are anything but child’s play. — Sarah L.

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geek love: dungeons and dragons soda


Cult beverage makers Jones Soda have with a new series of carbonated pop candy guaranteed to make you drop your 12-sided dice and fuel you through your “Firefly” marathon. Based on the Dungeons and Dragons game, the Spellcasting Soda series includes flavors with names like Potion of Healing, Dwarven Draught, and Illithid Brain Juice.The limited edition pops are available now: $10.99 for six or $18.99 for 12. — Katie D.

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post off: how do you feel about yard sales?


Growing up, I don’t remember ever going to a yard sale, at least not until I was in high school — and by then I was at the age where I hated going with my Mom to look through other people’s stuff. (Ironic, given my love for antiques.) What I do remember, however, were farm auctions: fields full of tools, equipment, old harnesses, generations of accumulated furniture, linens, and magazines, all of which served as perfect mazes to run through with my siblings and friends. While I haven’t been to a farm auction in ages, I have finally become an official suburbanite after staging my first yard sale. It was a ton of effort, but by following tips from the Yard Sale Queen, we got rid of most everything. Plus we taught the kids another way to practice the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). I’m just not ready to do it again for at least another 10 years. What about you? Are you planning a yard sale this year? — Sarah L.

From our partners

love of packaging: compagnie de provence limited edition liquid soap

Like many of us here at Shelterrific, I am a complete pushover when it comes to chic packaging. My latest packaging crush comes in the form of La Compagnie de Provence’s Extra Pure line of liquid Marseille soap — if it were a man, I’d marry it. I’ve had my eye on the collection for a while, what with its contemporary, clean graphic design, all-natural composition, and intoxicating array of fragrance options, but folks, this romance just got serious. For its 20th anniversary, the company commissioned Marseille artist Stephan Muntaner to create three limited edition soap dispensers, and it’s official: I’m in love. Inspired by the art of sailor tattoos and the port city of Marseille, each vibrant design adorns La Compagnie de Provence’s signature glass bottle. The liquid soap therein is made in the traditional fashion with vegetable oils and is scented to give a salty whiff of the sea with each wash. It appears that my bathroom will now be home to Swoonfest 2010. Snag the design of your choice for $28 at And for more packaging to love, check out their Savon de Marseille Origami Bar Soap, $10. Each French-milled bar comes with instructions to turn the bright paper wrapper into an origami sea creature. — Sarah C.

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