December 23, 2010

Controlling Christmas

As someone who recently said; "I think everyone will have more fun if we each make our own gingerbread houses instead of making one giant gingerbread condo because I can get pretty control freaky in group craft situations," I found this article to be helpful.

December 15, 2010

Resource: "Mapping America Census Bureau 2005-9"

I love maps. I love maps even more when they illustrate other stuff like weather patterns and flight routes (Southwest Airlines cocktail napkins!). But here's what I really want to see: an interactive and wildly comprehensive geographic survey of American communities made using samples gathered between 2005 and 2009 by the Census Bureau that captures race and ethnicity, income, housing and education! What's that? There is one? Remarkable!

December 10, 2010

Vermont Country Store Pick #5: Lefty Scissors

I'm not a lefty and so I don't think I can accurately imagine the daily annoyances lefties must face in a world designed for righties. Let's show the lefties in our lives that we care and get a pair of scissors just for them.

December 9, 2010

Vermont Country Store Pick #4:Lanvin Arpege

""Promise her anything, but give her Arpege" was the slogan for this soft, sultry scent that makes women feel and smell beautiful. When Arpege, a powdery floral scent debuted In 1927, it found favor with Hollywood's glamorous femme fatales. One whiff of this eau de parfum will conjure memories of dancing the night away with your first love and inspire you to stroll hand in hand with someone you love today."-VCS
Get it here

December 6, 2010

Vermont Country Store Pick #1: Snowball Victim (Set of 2)

Get on here

Resource: Vermont Country Store

On a recent trip to my cousins' house, I spent a good deal of time with the Vermont Country Store catalog and I was reminded of how much I love it (I like to think of it as SkyMall's slightly more directed and utilitarian grandfather). So, for the next week I will be drawing your attention to my favorite products from the VCS.

December 3, 2010

"When a Trusted Brand Disappears" by Ricki Morell

As someone who doesn't even like when products change their packaging (Pictionary, you were once so lovely!), I was quite pleased with this article in yesterday's New York Times.

December 2, 2010

Product Appreciation: Sharpie Extra Fine Marker

Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers are too big. (These are the standard Sharpie size, don't be fooled by the name they're actually quite large)

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers are too small.

Sharpie's Extra Fine Permanent Markers are juuuuuuuust right.

...however, they are the hardest ones to find (and they only come in 4 colors but you probably don't need a Valley Girl Violet or Banana Clip Yellow Sharpie anyway). So, should you come across a fleet of Extra Fines I would like to encourage you to give one a test drive. I think you'll find they handle with greater maneuverability than the Fine Point and offer a smoother ride than the flimsy Ultra Fine.

November 4, 2010

Product Appreciation: Smart Wool Socks

My love affair with Smart Wool socks began when I was living in cold country. However, now that I'm back in the tropics they're still in heavy rotation. They're just so comfortable. Seriously, if you've never tried these socks you'll be shocked that you've been living your entire life wearing socks that come in a plastic bag with a litter of their siblings. Yes, they're about $20 a pair but they also last longer than any pair of socks I've ever owned.

October 14, 2010

Product Appreciation: Ab Ex Stamps

These stamps are my favorite stamps to be released in quite a while. The images are great, of course, but I love how enormous they are! The really help to make letters look livelier.

September 27, 2010

Thing Celebration: Annecy's copy of "White Noise"

As I've discussed before, I'm a big fan of books with reader annotations. This recent NPR piece tells the story of a young lady purchasing a copy of White Noise that happened to be annotated by the writer David Markson.

I love this story for two reasons; it tells the history of an object and I'm lucky enough to be friends with the young lady, Annecy Liddell. Listen to it, it's only 5 mins.

September 20, 2010

Lonny Blog

I'm now writing for the Lonny Magazine blog. Here's my first post.

September 13, 2010

Product Appreciation: Rose Water

Ever since I read this article I've been putting rose water on everything. It's especially good with strawberries.

Happy 1st Birthday Order of Things!

September 7, 2010

Product Appreciation: String Dispensers

I'm rather fond of the idea of having a string dispenser but I'm afraid I don't use string enough to justify getting one. However, if I were to get one I'd want this cast iron one from Cast in Style. While researching these dispensers online, I also came across someone using a diner-style sugar dispenser for string, quite clever.

August 18, 2010

Product Appreciation: Sanford Giant Pencil Mountable Sharpener

My heart really goes out to the Sanford Giant Manual Pencil Sharpener. It may not be the flashiest or prettiest sharpener out there but its simple and sturdy design makes the electrical sharpeners that light up when the pencil is sharpened look like some real brown-nosers. The Sanford Giant is ready to work with you, not for you even in the worst power outages.

August 5, 2010

Product Appreciation: Kork-Ease Sandals

I recently watched The Runaways...and then I watched it four more times. It's a pretty silly movie and I'm still unsure why I enjoyed it so much but I think it has something to do with the film's mid-to-late 1970s So-Cal aesthetic. In fact, I was so taken with the cars, interiors and clothes that I purchased a pair of Kork-Ease wedges. They're surprisingly comfortable and make me feel like Cherie Currie.

July 21, 2010

Product Appreciation: Cotton Clouds

I never gave much thought to cotton balls until I tried Cotton Clouds, now I wouldn't dream of using anything else. Sure, I was pretty certain I would like them before I even used them because 1. their graphics remind me of Peanuts cartoons and 2. they come in a "rainbow pack" with a variety of pastel colors (the colors of the Clouds in the picture don't quite do them justice), which feels very fancy, even better, they get their color from natural vegetable dyes (white is also available for more serious individuals). Once I actually tried them I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked the product. They're absorbent, soft and don't leave little cotton whisps all over the place when they're damp. An added bonus is that because of the weave of the cotton, it is possible to separate them in half lengthwise for thinner Clouds.

July 15, 2010

Resource: Ask Andy About Clothes

I'm fearful that this resource may be something my male readers have been reading for years however, while researching an upcoming post I came across Andy Gilchrist's Ask Andy About Clothes (AAAC). Have you see this website? It's really quite amazing and so comprehensive!

The content on AAAC has not been updated since 1997 and it is rather difficult to navigate but this only adds to the charm. The forums are still very active and include conversations which examine both men's and women's clothing and discuss hard-hitting matters such as "shoe trees vs. travel shoe trees" or "do jackets always have to be blue to be called a blazer?" Also, don't forget to look at Andy's FAQs where you will learn about the difference between a lamb's wool and a virgin wool sweater.

So, here's why Andy Gilchrist is my new favorite human:
1. He wrote his own Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes which is available for download or CD-rom, how quaint!
2. He has a color wheel for sale which he uses to explain matching and color pairings but he also has a page on AAAC called "The Simple Version of Color Theory & Matching" which is quite involved but very informative.
3. He attends something called the "Sartorial Excellence Show" which is a 2 day conference with discussions entitled "More than you ever wanted to know about: Socks" and "Correctly Sewing a Button." (I'm concerned that this event might actually be a thinly-veiled marketing camping but I'd rather live my life thinking that such a conference would exist with the strict goal getting the word out about socks).

June 18, 2010

Thing Celebration: "Sweet Bird of Youth"

Oooooo, I absolutely love this tableau from the film "Sweet Bird of Youth." The fuzzy figure on the left is Paul Newman running to pick up the phone. I just don't know what the brown thing to the left of the U.S. map tray is. I think it's a pack of handkerchiefs, any ideas?

June 17, 2010

Product Appreciation: Sonicare Toothbrush

I was once told this story of someone going to the dentist: the dentist looked briefly at her teeth and said to her "Your teeth are pristine, I don't have to do anything, you must have a Sonicare." And she did.

After hearing that story a few years ago I was sold on getting a super-duper Sonicare electric toothbrushe in theory but never got one because I thought they were far too expensive. After some uncomfortable gum recession from brushing too hard (yes, I'm the kind of person that brushes their teeth too hard) I decided it was time and opted for the HX6710 model. It's wonderful! My teeth have never been so clean.

Part of me thinks this feeling of cleanliness could be because the timer on the toothbrush encourages you to brush for a full 2 minutes, something I wasn't doing before, and not because the bristles of the brush are really that advanced. Then the another part of me thinks it's best not to think to much about it because at least I'm brushing for 2 minutes

May 18, 2010

Product Appreciation: Chemex Coffee Maker

When I first started The Order of Things, I made a list (big surprise, huh?) of classic products I think are beautifully and thoughtfully designed that wanted to write about. The Chemex coffee maker was the first product that came to my mind. I love that the design is so simple and yet so effective.

Here's what my beloved New York Times T Blog recently said about it.

May 17, 2010

Giuliana Camerino dies at 89

I love pretty much any Roberta di Camerino product. My appreciation grew even stronger while reading the obituary of its founder, Giuliana Camerino, and I learned several endearing things about her and the company she founded. For example, she got the name "Roberta" from a film with fred Astaire and Irene Dunne and the brass hardware on her bags was originally made by the same craftsmen that made the metal fittings on the gondolas of Venice. How romantic!

May 15, 2010

Resource: Valet.

If I had a dollar for every time I wished that magazines for women were more like magazines for men, I'd be rollin' in it. {Please note: I'm making a distinction here between "magazines for men" (Esquire etc...) and "men's magazines" (Hustler etc...).} Of course, I'm not giving up on magazines for women it's just that magazines for men seem to be generally more well-rounded and informative and they take themselves less seriously... yet, I don't buy magazines for men because I'm, well, a lady.

That's why when Lauren over at The Art Object told me about Valet. I was smitten. Although they do have lifestyle/culture stories, I'm most interested in the clothing-related articles (pun) many of which have interesting historical facts. For example, they reveal the history behind that little "v" on the collar of sweatshirts and teach readers about how Paul Sperry's cocker spaniel, Prince, was the inspiration for his classic boat shoes!

May 13, 2010

Resource: Homemade Book of Useful Information

I spend a good deal of time asking myself this: "What would I do without the internet and being able to find the answers to my most trivial questions in seconds?" However, once I saw this homemade reference book (on Dull Tool, Dim Bulb) full of facts clipped from the newspaper I decided that this is most likely exactly what I would do.

May 6, 2010

Celebration of Things: Hilda Grahnat

I'm wild about the Swedish photographer, Hilda Grahnat's, Vintage Love series of vintage things organized by color. These photos make me want to rearrange everything in my room.

May 5, 2010

Product Appreciation: Baggu

I became aware of Baggu bags when a dear friend of mine started working for the company. Since that day, I have seen them all over the place. I like to think they're so popular because they are so incredibly functional as reusable shopping bags. They can hold an incredible number of things and fold into nothing.

The bags pictured above are the classic but they also have a wide variety of other bags and in just as many colors.

April 27, 2010

Resource: Hollander's

I would love to visit Hollander's Decorative Paper and Bookbinding Supply store in Ann Arbor . Their selection of 1,500 different kinds of paper is truly exhaustive and their website is equally encyclopedic. One thing I especially like about the website is that you can see both close-ups and full page shots of the paper (I know this is a given for most products sold online however, the online community of paper sellers hasn't really caught on to this feature.... Hollander's has).

April 22, 2010

Library Week Continues: American Memory

There are lots of ways to waste time on the internet however, hours spent on the American Memory section of the Library of Congress' website are never wasted. So far, I've only scratched the surface of this resource but my favorite parts include: Walt Whitman's butterfly (above), the American English Dialect Recordings and browsing the Panoramic Photograph section by subject.

April 21, 2010

Mark Twain's Annotations

This week is shaping up to be library week here at The Order of Things...
There are two kinds of people in this world; those that annotate their books and those that don't. I like to write all over my books. I'm also wild about reading the the annotations of others and I will even go out of my way to find used books that other people have annotated. Here's an article about the things Mark Twain wrote in his books. Jackpot!

April 18, 2010

By George: George Washington's $300,000 late fee

George Washington owes the New York Society Library $300,000 in late fees for two books that are 220 years overdue. Read more about it here.

March 17, 2010

Product Appreciation: Label the Cable

"Cord control" products are a dime a dozen these days however, I am confident that the German company Label the Cable has created the most versatile cord labeling/managing system to date. Label the Cable products use a clever combination velcro, elastic and label all of which allows you to not only keep the slack of a cable under control but also strap chargers to their designated devices when they're not in use.

It's the cord control system to end all cord control systems (rolls off the tongue doesn't it?)

March 15, 2010

Thing Celebration: "30 Dumb Inventions"

T.V. Glasses! Yodel Meters! Baby Cages! ... and much, much more!

I think you'll find the whiz-bangery of the Life slide show "30 Dumb Inventions" most entertaining.

via Dwell blog

March 13, 2010

Product Appreciation: L.L. Bean Rubber Moc Bean Boots

Chances are, if you've seen me since January 1st I've been wearing a pair of Rubber Moc Bean Boots from L.L. Bean. Now, I know that this is not my first post which sings the praises of Mr. Leon Leonwood Bean's products (and I doubt it will be my last) but these shoes have actually made my winter better! I think I resisted buying them for so many long winters because I was concerned that they would be too "ducky," however, I've been pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and downright wearable they are.

Click here to watch a video on how they're made!

Note: the sizing is a bit strange so be sure to read the info on the Bean website.

February 24, 2010

February 10, 2010

Lonny: Issue 3

About a month ago, I started helping out part time at Lonny (LONdon + New York), a brand new online interiors magazine. It has been both an honor and incredible learning experience to work with such brilliant, creative and dauntless individuals...

... here is our third issue!

February 4, 2010

Thing Celebration: Unhappy Hipsters

So, this has been on lots of blogs but I think it's hilarious...
(...and I think it add some levity to Devo Loweth's fourth semester of architecture school)

January 27, 2010

Thing Celebration: The Work of Michael Johansson

Michael Johansson is my favorite artist of the month. I think his work is great but the thing that really sold me on him was reading this:

"I am intrigued by irregularities in daily life. Not those that appear when something extraordinary occurs, but those that are created by an exaggerated form of regularity. Colours or patterns from two separate objects or environments concur, like when two people pass each other dressed in the exact same outfit. Or when you are switching channels on your TV and realize that the same actor is playing two different roles on two different channels at the same time. Or that one day the parking lot contained only red cars."

via but does it float

January 26, 2010

Resource: Brook Farm General Store

I would like to own every single item sold at Brook Farm General Store (75 South 6th b/n Berry & Wythe Brooklyn, NY). However, the item I want most of all, a necklace made from a real vintage tiger claw, is not available online!

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I once took a personality test that told me I was a perfectionist and I thought the test was flawed. True story.


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