December 2010

shiny sparkle

So now it’s really down to the wire, but hey you can still go to soho (along with all of the knuckleheads in the NYC vicinity) but instead of hitting up Uniqlo, J Crew and H&M, head over to slightly less crowded Crosby St and check out Jill Platner’s beautiful store full of breathtaking jewelry. I have worn little else since I first put on one of her pendants many (many) years ago. If you wear one of her pieces, you can’t take your hands off it.

If you want to learn more about Jill and how she makes her work and the thought that goes into each piece, check out this video. It’s short and amazing and really does offer a glimpse into her magical world.

And if you want to make somebody in your life very very happy, buy them something from this store or website, depending on where you are.

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She also has a home line, which is well worth checking out as there are some people who just aren’t into jewelry. And others, like me, that are so addicted that they want some Platner for their table as well.

save the ocean (gift idea #11)

When I asked my good friend, Jill Platner (brilliant jeweler– the next post is going to be about her) what she likes to do for the holidays, one of the things she talked about was giving. And as she is very into the ocean and all things aquatic, she likes to give to Oceana, an amazing organization devoted to preserving the 3/4 of the planet that lives under or near the water.

I checked out their site, and you can adopt an animal in someone’s name– say a polar bear or a killer whale. You receive a cookie cutter, a framed certificate as well as (most importantly) the knowledge that your money is going to preserve the way of life of these creatures who are in such peril these days thanks to global warming and oil spills.

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Even if you don’t chose to donate, the website is worth checking out. There’s an interesting blog by Oceana’s own Will Race about how he is making one small change in his habits each week to help move himself towards a greener way of life. Tiny steps, but huge impact. Even if we all did just one of these things, like cutting out bottled water or washing your laundry with cold water, the world would be a significantly better place.

radiance (gift idea #4)

This is the kind of gift that is both brilliant and a little mean. Because once you’ve tried this skin care line by red flower, you cannot go back. Which means you end up throwing out all of the products that you used to think were so incredible and perfect because they now feel like tar and dishwashing detergent in comparison.

Or maybe you’ll be like me, and slowly replace your old products with these new ones as they run out, everyday secretly using more of the old stuff than you should in order to more quickly deplete them.

However it happens, if you know somebody who is not already turned on to this stuff, hook her up. All natural (for real!) and light on fragrance, this little set is like getting to go to a super high end luxury eco spa in Costa Rica or something. Without the hassle of a full body scan at the airport.

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Mind you, you don’t get to go to the beach right afterwards or anything, but whatever. When I find the skin care line that includes a trip to paradise, I will let you know.

ps: sorry to have been off for a couple of days– we had a technical glitch that took a minute to solve. aaaah computers……

beauty and knowledge (gift #3)

When in doubt, a subscription to a brilliant, thoughtful, singularly constructed art and literature (oh and music) magazine can be just the ticket to happy gift-land. And by far the best mag out there (in my humble opinion) is Esopus. I have been hoarding issues of this inspirational work since it’s second issue (the first issue is completely sold out, though I have considered trading my husband in should one become available. He would understand.)

Each issue is built around a theme (the current one considers the medium of television) and includes written, musical and visual work that digs deeply into said theme. This issue, for example, includes an interview with Norman Lear by Claire Barliant, artist Alex Bag’s storyboards of parodic TV commercials, and a CD of original songs by various artists inspired by their favorite TV shows.

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SO click here to subscribe for yourself and as a gift for somebody else. The CDs alone are worth the price of admission. And I promise you, this magazine will not disappoint. It is actually an illuminating example of the power of the printed medium when it is at it’s best, and something that digital could never replace.

And that is a beautiful thing.

in memoriam

A moment of silence for my friend Josh Levine, a farmer who lived in Sag Harbor with his wife and two children. Their life was the stuff that dreams are made of– they left the city to live a more authentic life, Josh as a farmer and Anne, his wife, as a teacher at the local Waldorf school. Our daughters have similar spirits and play together. Josh lit up any space he was in and was loved by literally every person he met.We were not super close, but he made me happy every time I saw him. And I had been very much looking forward to and working toward a life in which he and his family played a much bigger part.

He was tragically killed on Tuesday beneatht the wheel of a tractor he was operating.

My little family feels so lucky that we were able to know him and that we will continue to know his amazing family. His light will continue to shine.

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My advice? Call everybody you cherish and tell them you love them. Right now and often.

I’ll go back to the usual topic of holiday shopping tomorrow. Just didn’t feel in the mood for that kind of thing today. 

crafty wonderland

I have a special place in my heart for Waldorf schools the world over. Some aspects of their educational philosophy may be a bit extreme for my taste, but in general, every experience I have had with their teachings has been a positive one, and the kids in my life have benefited quite a bit from their Waldorf-inspired activities.

And speaking of benefiting, this Sunday, if you are out and about in Brooklyn looking for something to do with your kids, you should check out the Brooklyn Waldorf School’s Winter Fair. Which I have actually been looking forward to for weeks now.  For real. There will be all sorts of creative, hands-on activities for the kids that don’t involve sponge bob or dora or video games (thank god or allah akbar or whatever) plus an assortment of the most beautiful handcrafted objects you could possibly want to populate a playroom with. I’m actually so excited about this shopping opportunity– oh no wait– fair, that I have had not one, but several dreams about it.

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Now granted, my dreams have all featured my friend (and one of the most talented photographers out there) Roe Ethridge in his role as the pocket fairy, which promises to be an outstanding performance filled with irony for the adults and prizes for the kids. That alone should be worth a trip across the river. I’ll be the one with the video camera.