We’re big fans of Donna Wilson‘s whimsical designs, from her hand-sewn creatures to her charming ceramics. They instantly put you in a good mood. And, every time we get glimpse of the designer herself, whether it’s at a gift fair or something she’s writing about on her blog, we think, there’s a lady we could hang with. Call it a girl crush. So we were especially pleased to see that she’s been featured in the newest issue of Heart Home magazine. Her Bethnel Green studio is where the magic happens, as you can tell from the stacks and stacks of fabrics and rows of colored thread. The magazine follows Wilson around as she visits some of her favorite inspiration spots in London, giving us an instant virtual getaway. Today we really really wish we were in London. Donna’s having a sample sale, offering 50% off of her beautiful hats, mittens and scarves. If you go, say hello for us!
If you’re one of those people who wishes you had time to make a homemade valentine for your sweetie, but life (and your schedule) have other plans, consider the Cup of Love from Catherine’s Table. Each piece is made with care by potters Noelle VanHendrick and Eric Hendrick of Zpots Studio Pottery. With a unique texture and carefully molded to feel good in your hand, these little beauties were clearly made with love.. and the handwritten font gets an A+ from us on design. Use them for hot toddies or to hold a bouquet of flowers on a breakfast tray. $32 at Catherine’s Table.
This weekend, tens of thousands of people will be descending on the snowy little ski town of Park City Utah, to schmooze, deal, gawk and watch hours of movies in dark theaters at the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve been lucky enough to attend more than once, and whenever I come home I want to add a little mountain cabin style to home — perhaps a Navajo rug or maybe something sheepskin. This year I’m observing from afar, but I have my eye on these antler roasters from Rustic Roasters. Made by Steven Wymer out of either reclaimed branches or naturally shed antlers, they are selected, then lovingly shaped and stained, cured and crafted. Handles are colored and coated with non-synthetic finishes and the toasting rods are food-grade stainless steel. They’ll bring your s’mores to the next level — even if they’re being made on the back of your deck in a suburban firepit. $129 for a set of four. See more at rusticroasters.com.
The end of another year is a upon us and these are the last two days to make a donation to a deserving charitable foundation and have it count toward your 2013 taxes. If giving back has been on your to-do list for a while, and you remain undecided, consider a few of our favorite orgs that are in need and deserving of your funds.
1. The Pacific Whale Foundation
Based in Maui, the PWF monitors and helps protect all sorts of vital marine life. Of course, the Pacific Humpback Whale is their focus, and over 2,000 of the giants pass through the warm waters of Maui each year. (Right now, in fact! January and February are the height of the season.) Give $55 and you’ll receive a Hawaiian Pancake breakfast kit, including coconut syrup, pancake mix and a Kona coffee gift box. You can also “adopt” a dolphin, whale or turtle for $75.
During Hurricane Sandy, we learned first-hand what is like to go without clean water for a few days. It’s hard to fathom a life without it being easily accessible, but for millions around the globe, obtaining clean water is a difficult chore. Co-founded by Matt Damon, Water.org is an amazing organization that is bringing clean water sanitation systems to remote communities around the world. Buy a $25 special edition Camelback bottle or just donate $100 to their year end campaign. That amount will support a family’s water supply for a year.
3. Support your local NPR station
In a world where quick headlines and re-appropriated stories dominate our media streams, the role of NPR and its news gathering force is more crucial than ever in our American lives. We can’t even begin to count the number of amazing reports we heard over the past year. If we gave Ira Glass or Terry Gross $5 every time they moved us to tears or caused us to really laugh out loud, they’d be rich indeed. Now is the perfect time to support them. Click here to find the station near you.
Some things are always smart gifts — like bars of fine milled soap, hand printed tea towels, or lovely scented candles in re-usable votive holders. Jonathan Adler helps you cross that item off your list today by having a one day only, two-for-one sale on his super adorable Pop Candles. They come in a rainbow of colors (though none of them are radiant orchid, sadly) and a variety of scents. Our favorites are earl grey and grapefruit. We’re going to nab a half a dozen and give to co-workers, teachers and neighborhood hostesses that are on our list! Click here to buy today and use the code GIVEGETPOP.