December 2007 Archives
We want to thank each and every one of you for visiting Extraordinique and joining us in our passion for "All Things Extraordinary & Unique." We have lots of plans for the new year and hope you enjoy the features and some of our favorite finds. There's lots of great designers, artists, products and more lined up for you in 2008. Thanks for reading, subscribing and following us on Twitter.
Keep your comments coming and be sure to let us know when you find something extraordinique we should know about.
From everyone here, we wish you a very extraordinique new year!
While they are only sold and configured for homes in Japan, I thought these modernly designed humidifiers by ±0 are super cool. If you live in an arid environment or need a humidifier for health reasons, you know the one's on the market today aren't exactly designer accessories you want to display openly. Modeled after water droplets, these humidifiers come in vibrant colors and are shaped beautifully. ±0 believes in the design philosophy that finding "the essential shapes necessary for objects and crystallizing these shapes into actual products" is what good design is all about.
I'm loving what they have created here. I think they create the perfect "atomosphere" literally and figuratively. I'm hopeful their designs will make it to the States soon.
While I typically text myself all the fun and favorite finds I come across when I am out and about, I have to admit I am a sticky flag fanatic when it comes to pouring through magazines, catalogs, newspaper clippings and the like. These "Have Fun" sticky notes from Compendium Incorporated are super, well, "fun" and perfect as a stand out reminder of something you want to follow up, plan or visit.
I have about five flags marking the very cool and up-and-coming restaurants and clubs we want to try from the latest issue of Sactown magazine.
Check out the rest of their products. I love their mantra to Live Inspired.
Skins debuted this Fall with an innovative two-part interchangeable footwear concept that is "made to measure" - custom to your feet to give you the most comfort and wear. From there, you can buy any outer layer "skins" to cover the inner structure, referred to as the "bone."
Their concept - Skins + Bone: Made to Measure.
"We live in a time of personalization. A time when we come to expect a product's innovation to match our lifestyle needs. Skins broke all footwear paradigms; we created a cutting edge product and a distinct culture that at all times pursues the highest level of excellence, engineering, design, quality control and customer satisfaction. With this in mind, we took all preconceived notions about footwear constructions, put them aside, and started fresh," say Skins.
Skins seems like a company with ideas and beliefs, which are in our opinion, extraordinique. I'll be curious to give them a try. The Preview for 2008 look like they have some fun styles for men and women too!
When you have a good martini, there's nothing better. After having a Pomegranate Martini at Crush 29, which included fresh pom fruit at the bottom, my plans for New Year's Eve now turn to finding the right vodka to stock our bar and a collection of good recipes and glassware to serve these great cocktails in.
Just reading up on a new vodka released last month, Purus is the first 100 percent organic Italian wheat vodka, harvested from the Piemonte and Lombardy regions of Northwest Italy combined with crystalline water from the Alps. Purus is unique blending old world distilling and new world filtration methods to create a vodka without impurities.
This spirit is extraordinique being both 100 percent organic and environmentally-conscientious. Every aspect of Purus' packaging has environmentally-friendly attributes: 100 percent recyclable bottle, 100 percent tree-free paper label made with safe soy-based inks and water-based adhesives and an environmentally sustainable cork closure.
Additionally, Purus is working with American Forests, a group dedicated to ensuring there are healthy forest ecosystems for every community. Begining this month, American Forests will plant one tree on behalf of the first 100,000 adult visitors to register for this free program on the Purus Web site. Trees will be planted in areas of need in California, Florida and Texas.
While champagne may be uncorked at midnight to bring in 2008, I'm thinking Purus should be poured for a good cause for this year's NYE celebrations!
We love Bob's Your Uncle office products. They make great sticky notes, bookmarks, flags and table calendars to write down what's happening in the week for all to see. I just recently found they have the Multi-Task Notebook which includes all different page styles to format your notes and make your "multi-tasking" a little less crazy and a lot more organized.
Bob's Your Uncle is not a direct reseller, but has lots of great online shops who carry their products. Check them out.
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday. We'll return next week with more of our favorite finds, featuring all things extraordinary and unique. We have a long list to feature and offer more to you in 2008. Thanks for following and providing us great tips and stories about your favorite finds as well. Keep them coming.
The Editors of Extraordinique
These brightly colored, ganache-filled almond cookies are an inspired collaboration between Paulette Koumetz, who has a passion for the celebrated Parisian macaron, and French pastry chef Christophe Michalak, winner of the 2005 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.
Paulette's unique macarons are made daily in their beautiful bakery located in Beverly Hills designed by Viennese architect Andrea Lenardin Madden. Paulette Beverly Hills offers a wide variety of tasteful treats, including New Orleans Praline, Madagascar Vanilla, and a favorite Carribean Chocolate. Have a warm cup of tea and a couple Paulettes to unwind and make your afternoon an extra special treat.
During the summer, everyone had to wear the brightly-colored Crocs. Now, when winter comes, it's back to black leather boots. Unless... you have some Plueys. From Lotsa Dots to the SubLime, Plueys come in a lot of bright patterns that make stomping in puddles in between holiday errands a lot of fun.
As our city's traffic increases, I've found I'm less inclined to go for rides like we used to. I've tried helmet rear-view mirrors and one on my handle, but it still never gave me the full confidence out on a busy road. Now, Cerevellum has integrated all of the latest cycling tools, MPH, distance tracking with a digital rear view mirror that mounts on your handlebars so that you can keep your focus in front of you with the ability to view what is approaching from behind without having to move your head.
I think this is a great innovation and one that might just get me back on the road for a more enjoyable ride. :)
Samsonite is coming out with some very impressive couture collections under the Samsonite Black Label. I was pleasantly surprised to see their new Fashionaire collection. It's ultra modern and stands out beautifully among the sea of black luggage on the carousel. This line has a variety of pieces, including a matching shopping bag and wallet for everyday travel as well. Now, if I get this luggage, I'll have no excuse not to go to Paris. Bon Voyage!
My friend was wearing this really cute knit beanie one very cold morning when we met for coffee. It was so totally cute on her and I had to ask her more about it. She told me Coal Headwear is one of her favorite items to put on before she leaves the house.
Returning back to the office, I had to check out Coal Headwear online. I'm impressed with their mission to make headwear more than just an accessory. Their collection is intended to offer distinct pieces that reflect your own identity, a distinctive culture and unique lifestyle.
While I think Santa can keep me on the "Nice" list this year, I'm still wishing for some Coal in my stocking. I personally love The Stella or the The Madison. I also have The Hectare Brim in mind for a certain someone special I know... :)
Thinking about several restaurants and nightclubs we visited in Las Vegas not too long ago, I was "enlightened" by the various colors and exquisite designs that chandeliers can bring to a room now. Struck by the subtle light these chandeliers can bring, I have found La Murrina to have the most amazing styles and color options like this chandelier, called Glamour which is self-described as "whimsical" bringing a subtle sense of playfulness to any environment.
Whimsy and warmth -- I love that in a living space.
Bring Your Own Bag™ (BYOB) was founded by Jenny Hughes and Elizabeth Clark after they noticed there were no preferred alternatives to the single use plastic bag at the grocery market or retail stores. With this, Hughes and Clark decided to do something about it and started Bring Your Own Bag™ (BYOB), a business dedicated to offering eco-chic reusable cloth shopping bags, including bags made of organic cotton. BYOB is inspired by a passion for fashion and sustainability. Their product mission is to provide people with the best selection of reusable shopping bags that combine fashion, style, quality, and awareness.
BYOB bags are sustainable, stylish, and carry a message. Quotes such as "We do not own the Earth, we borrow it from our children" and action-oriented messages like "Stop Using Plastic!" adorn the unique bags.
Next time you're asked "paper or plastic?," tell the clerk you "Brought your own bag" thanks to BYOB.
Here's a way to get from here to there -- Electrobike's Pi E. This ultra-quiet "Electrobike" has a 48V e-Pi motor that propels the Pi E while your feet are planted on the foot pegs for an easy ride. Great for short commutes and local errands, the Electrobike Pi E as has an optional gas engine which can convert into a plug-in hybrid with range that is "virtually unlimited." You get to choose how you want your ride to be powered -- run on pure electric or hybrid mode. This mode of transportation is environmentally responsible offering a choice in street travel with a brighter, cleaner, lower CO2-emitting option. Oh yeah, sunscreen and a helmet are required.
Mom better not be reading this one because this handmade herb wreath is the perfect gift for her. Providing up to a year's supply of culinary herbs, this wreath is made using fresh organically grown Rosemary, Thyme and natural Bay leaves, accented with fresh organic red Chili Peppers to spice things up with eye-catching color. The herbs are grown in a beautiful organic herb garden nestled in Mendocino, California.
Organic Bouquetis my new favorite florist because they have set out to create a nationwide market for organic flowers. Organic Bouquet notes "Our hope is to be a shining example of how the confluence of our [business, social, and the environmental interests] can work to build a better and more sustainable future for all living beings of this beautiful planet."
Now, that's a mission I can get behind.
I love writing for Extraordinique because I am so heartened each time I find another creative genious who is "creating" a difference in art and in life. Designer John Hardy creates beautiful pieces of jewelry for men and women that reflect the organic brillance of nature. His designs are created as "sustainable luxury."
Hardy's story is extraordinique. He has a deep appreciation and respect for his craft and the community and land he shares with Bali, where his design studio is located. It's one thing to appreciate the creative craftmanship of his elemental and expressive design, but you also can take pride in wearing his creations knowing they come from a beautiful heart, mind and place.
I've always been drawn to mosaics as beautiful artistic decoration. Recently, exploring floor tiles and treatments I was introduced to mosaic tiles used for flooring, accents and wall coverings for our home. Sicis - The Art Factory blows my mind in their approach and boundary-less artistic decor. Sicis features an amazing array of mosaic tile collections and capabilities. With glass, steel and marble tiles, the spaces they can uniquely impact are gorgeous. Their "rugs" are intricate and impactful. They also feature an Icon collection that explores mosaic sculptures that are extraordinique.
Fambuena features in their latest collection of modern and sophisticated lighting, the Laszlo collection by reknown industrial designers, Jurgen Laub and Markus Jehs of Laub+Jehs. Laub and Jehs are responsible for designing the uber cool (literally and figuratively) Room 606 at the IceHotel in Sweden.
Laub and Jehs created these table lamps to be playful and rythmic -- giving off unique light and shadows to a room.
Chocolate letters on Sinterklaas Eve make children in Holland smile and celebrate. When I ran across this modern take on the chocolate letters by Sandra Kübler and Christine Voshage of Typolade, I knew we would make our visual designers smile exhuberantly with glee.
On Sunday, we spent the day in Tahoe and stopped by Northstar at Tahoe for a little ice skating and dinner. After dinner, we walked around the new Village and stopped in Freckles Children's Boutique, which had absolutely amazing clothing, decor and gifts for newborn to seven years old.
Right when you walk in, they had a great selection of Robeez which I think by far are the cutest baby footwear I have ever seen. Every mom I talk to says Robeez are the best. Could they be any cuter?! Robeez is now featuring their holiday collection which has five limited edition designs.
What makes Robeez "extraordinique" to me is the innovative product and the "Mompreneur" behind them. Robeez' founder, Sandra Wilson gives "motherly advice" to other aspiring moms who are looking to have business success as a mompreneurTM.
Robeez also founded the Heart & Sole program which generously gives back to the community. Their program states: "Caring about first steps - it's about more than the shoes we make. We also care about our communities. This is why we created Robeez Heart & Sole program of charitable giving.
The Robeez Heart & Sole program focuses on supporting the needs of infants and children in need. Today, we regularly provide shoes to disadvantaged children all around the world. Since the inception of the program, Robeez has donated over 150,000 pairs of adorable shoes and booties."
In it's third season, Robeez notes that they have compiled a donation worth $300,000 of Robeez shoes and booties to warm the toes of a baby or toddler in need this holiday season.
Robeez shoes and booties as well as the spirit of the company, in our book, seem extraordinique!
Hannukkah is the Jewish festival of rededication. A celebration of religious freedom, Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, which includes the lighting of the menorah. Looking for a housewarming gift for a friend's new home, I found ModernTribe, who has a great collection of modern designed menorahs, dreidels, and host and hostess gifts for Hannukkah. This Chrome Modern Menorah has a simple and elegant design that I loved.
Every girl loves what comes in the "little blue box" from Tiffany & Co. Now, Dean & Deluca offers a birthday cake that elicits all the senses that this little blue box cake can bring. This edible blue box is tied with a dark chocolate bow. Happy Birthday to all celebrating their birthday on this day!