Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gifts for the Camera Buff

Here's a few gift ideas for the photographer in your life.

Bottle Cap Tripod

I just bought myself one of these super portable Bottle Cap Tripods ($10). Complete with an adjustable 15 degree pivot this little gadget is the perfect camera accessory. Screw your camera onto the universal tripod mount and then snap the cap on any bottle for perfect low-light shots or self-portraits. Available from

Poloroid PoGo

Print your digital photos on the go with this compact photo printer from Poloroid ($99). Prints directly from cell phones and digital cameras with Bluetooth and USB connections. 2x3 photos print in as little as 1 minute. Approximately $12.99 for 30 sheets of ZINK photo paper. Available from

Ikomono Camera

This tiny Ikimono 110 camera ($19.99) clips to a key chain or fits easily in your pocket. The Ikimono uses 110 format film and features illustrations of little creatures, called ikimono in Japanese, by Mika Sasaki. The resulting photos have a unique retro look and 110 film can print 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 prints. Available from Brooklyn5and10.

Camera Tee

Available in both men's and women's versions this camera tee ($45) from Sundance features a cool camera print on either a black or white t-shirt. The shirt has the word "focus" printed on the back. Also available with short-sleeves.

Camera Strap

There are a variety of different camera strap patterns to choose from on the site MyFunkyCamera. Regular camera straps are $32 with a a quick-release kit for an extra $5. I love this chocolate brown strap with purple and green flowers.

Even better (in my opinion) are woven camera straps. They remind me of the70's strap on my Canon AE-1. Kat Straps has an assortment of woven camera straps like this fuzzy red and black strap with rustic leather connectors. ($27) that I love. Their tie-dye strap is also really cool.
Camera Bag

Finally, if that photographer in your life is REALLY special, these leather camera bags from Jill-E are simply the coolest, most fashionable camera bags I've seen. The women's styles are great, but I actually like the new men's line even better. This medium brown leather bag ($239.99) is my favorite and reminds me of a vintage camera bag (without the moldy vintage smell!).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All I Want for Christmas...

Here is what is on my personal Christmas list this year although Santa is a bit broke right now. At this point I'm hoping for a Christmas miracle to fix this latest economic crisis. If that happens, then maybe I will treat myself with one of these wish list items:

I've had these Nespresso machines in a couple hotel rooms I've stayed in lately and my office has a larger version as well. The coffee comes in little capsules that you insert in the machine, but it's amazing what great flavor the coffee has. Complete with a little layer of foam and everything!

Machines start at $199 for the most basic model and go up from there if you want ability to steam milk, etc. The only downside is that the capsules are only available online and they are about 50 cents each for a single serving of coffee. Still, it's cheaper than coffee from a local coffee house.

Available online from or you can search for a retailer near you on the site.


I own a few shawls already including a great alpaca wrap from South America that my mom gave me. However, you can never have too many of these in my opinion. They come in handy on plane trips, chilly summer evenings, for the office when the air condioning comes on, etc.

Here's one I've been eyeing from Badgley Mischka. This metallic wool paisley wrap ($160) comes in aqua, grey and brown. Available from It would definitely dress up even the most plain outfit.


I've been having fun with my Holga, but would love to try out the Seagull Twin Lens Reflex Camera ($295) medium-format camera which is offers a little bit more control over aperture and shutter setting than the Holga.

This camera is still a reasonable way to enter the medium-format realm without breaking the bank. Available from Sundance.


I love all kinds jewelry even though I tend to stick to a few basic pieces that I wear all the time (even in the shower). Jewelry is also something I tend not to buy for myself even though I'm constantly looking at it!

I blogged about these stackable sea urchin rings from Lauren Wolf months ago ($44 each) and never bought them. I just may make an exception and buy them for myself, but saving up until I can buy 4 or 5 of them to stack!

Psychic Reading

My mom has bought me a psychic reading from the Psychic Horizons Healing and Meditation center in the Mission for my last two birthdays. Despite whatever skepticism you may have about psychic abilities I highly recommend this experience as a tool for greater understanding about yourself. This is not about predicting the future (in fact they do not do that since we are all free to create the future), it's more about understanding the present.

I recommend the staff readings ($150 and up) although less expensive student readings are also available. You can also do readings by phone. I'm thinking it may be time to treat myself to one. Here's an article about the school from


I love large men's styled watches and I especially like the watches from this Italian-based watch company--IKE. This clear plastic version is allegedly as rugged as steel ($295). I also like the all black rubber style. Available from

Monday, November 17, 2008

Listen to This

I am loving this Nigerian-born artist, Nneka, who relocated to German as a teenager to pursue a singing career. Reminiscent of Lauryn Hill or maybe a more angry Tracy Chapman. I highly recommend her new album No Longer at Ease which is dowloadable from

Here's a performance of her song, "Come with Me".

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Black and White


These elegant pigeon lights ($155) from Areaware were created by British designer Ed Carpenter. They include a clothespin attachment for clamping to shelves or window ledges. Made of acrylic they take a maximum bulb wattage of 25W. Available in black or white. Available from

Mix it Up

I've blogged about these confetti mixing bowls ($28) before and actually own a set of the yellow, blue and pink bowls. However, now they are available in black with white! Crafted from recycled melamine they are eco-friendly as well as cool. Available from

Stick It

Add privacy to a window without curtains with this adhesive wall film from UK designer Emma Jeffs. I love this morroccan tile pattern. ($76) for a 37" x 52" roll. Just add water and adhere to a window. The film gives privacy while still letting light shine through and easy to remove later with no residue. Available from

Also available from this same site, these adhesive tile tattoos jazz up plain white tiles. These stickers resist water and moisture and it only takes a few dabs of water to apply. ($16) for a set of six.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Heart Paris

I was just on in Paris on a business trip and had a day to myself to explore the city. I was so inspired by the crystal clear Fall day with blue, blue skies that I bought a Holga large format camera (at left) at the Paris store Colette and sat down in the Tuileries and loaded it with film right away. Hopefully the pics come out!

Here's a few of my favorite finds from my wanderings. I think all total I walked about 8 hours that day. By no means an exhaustive list, but I did manage to stumble on quite a few interesting shops.

Zadig & Voltaire

Zadig & Voltaire is a great boutique designed around the concept of "affordable luxury" with t-shirts and cashmere sweaters decorated with crystals, skulls and slogans like "Paris Rocks", "Muse" and "Elvis" (€ 80.00). Very casual and rock n' roll.

Cashmere sweaters also come with great logos and designs although they run a bit more expensive like this yellow sweater with the slogan, "Just Rock" (€ 268.00).

Zadig & Voltaire carries great bags, shoes and jewelry as well as a men's and children's line. If you can't make it to one of their stores (they have on in L.A. among other places) you can shop online on their e-store.

Matières à Réflexion Paris

This boutique in the Marais features a line of bags made from vintage leather jackets and army jackets as well as a selection of jewelry and apparel from local French designers.
I bought a silver bracelet from designer House of Done that features tiny silver chain that has been crocheted (at left) (€ 75). I also picked up a great pair of fingerless mittens and a purple keffiyeh scarf of the kind that is popular among French students.

I definitely recommend this store for finding that special something made in France. You can view some of their wares on the website or visit in person at:
19 rue de Poitou - Paris 75003 +33 (0)1 42 72 16 31

DOM Christian Koban

A vraiment hypercool lifestyle boutique with edgy and inexpensive housewares, accessories, clothing and furniture. I was tempted by a "Hells Kitchen" vinyl wall sticker.

You can view a video on the website which showcases some of their products. Wish they had an online store, but unfortunately you have to visit them in person at one of there locations including the Paris store:

21, Rue Ste. Croix de la Bretonnerie +33 (0)1 42 71 08 00

Publicis Drugstore
Right next to where I was staying on the Champs-Élysées was this great drugstore, magazine kiosk, gift shop, restaurant and take-out food emporium called Publicis Drugstore. Open until 2am every night which was extremely convenient.

In the L'Épicerie I was able to find great gluten-free and dairy-free salads like ginger quinoa or lentil carrot as well as sushi, juices, chocolates, etc.

The store carries a selection of Kiehl's, Shu Uemura and Acqua di Parma products. There were also great bags, children's clothes, paper goods and electronics. Definitely worth seeking out!

133 avenue des Champs-Elysées 75008 Tél : 33(0)1 44 43 79 00

Le 66
I did not have time to check out this new mega fashion emporium on the Champs-Elysées. However, I did peer through the windows when the store was closed and it will be top of my list when I have the occasion to go back to Paris again.
66 Avenue Des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Femme Fatale

I usually don't go for anything too overtly feminine, but every now and then a touch of the "girly" is a good thing. Here's a few finds I'm conveting right now that definitely veer more to the feminine side of things:

Jonquil Sky Dress
What I love about this kimono dress ($198) by Anna Sui for Anthropologie is that could be dressed up with heels for a holiday event, or dressed down with tights and boots for everyday wear. What's even better is that this color palette of bright orange and blue on creamy silk leds itself to Fall and will transition equally well to Spring. Feminine and slightly retro. This just may be my holiday dress this season.

Opera Length Pearls

I've wanted a strand of opera length pearls since the mid-eighties. That was when the movie "St. Elmo's Fire" came out and I think in one scene that's all that Ally Sheedy's character wears.

J. Crew has come out with a long strand of real freshwater pearls ($495). These are 7.5-8mm pearls on a 54" strand. They are still a little pricey so I probably won't buy these for myself, but if anyone out there wants to make me REALLY HAPPY...:-)

Silver Shoes

These silver Mary Janes with silk ribbon ties ($128) are much sweeter than shoes I would normally wear. However, I'm a sucker for all things sliver and love the shape of the slightly upturned toe. Available from Anthropologie.

Fall Accessories

No More War

Love this great new nail color from Rescue Beauty Lounge. The olive green ($18) is a great neutral for Fall.

Studded Belt

Over 200 brass studs decorate this leather belt ($78) from Sundance Catalogue Company. It's definitely got a heft to it! Great over sweaters or a broken in pair of jeans for that rock 'n roll vibe.

Metallic Scarf

I love this knit scarf in metallic gold from ShopIntuition ($108). Also available in silver. Both would look great with Fall creams, browns and olive greens.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Your Photo Here

Custom M&M's

Here's a great idea for a child's birthday, a wedding or even a corporate event. Upload an image to print on the back of Hershey's M&M's! You can also print text message and choose from 22 different colors. I just ordered purple M&M's with Paloma's picture on them for party favors for her 12th birthday.

Design your own M&M's on A minimum order of $39 is required.


Print up to 90 different images in these sticker books from High-quality vinyl stickers made with photography or design starting at $9.99. Great gift idea or stocking stuffer.

Custom Postage Stamps

Create your own postage stamps out of any photo. Available from and Stamps cost about $5-$10 in addition to postage depending on how many you order.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holiday Decor

Now that Halloween is over it's officially time to start thinking about Christmas. I saw that Santa's workshop was already up in our local mall! Here's a few of my favorites home accessories for the holidays.

Retro Lights
I can totally picture these retro Santa & reindeer lawn lights on the roof of our country house. A little bit pricey at $695, but definitely a statement. Comes with Santa and 9 reindeer (not forgetting Rudolf, of course). Available from Sundance Catalogue Company.


I just bought one of these handcrafted rose wood wreaths ($55) from Smith and Hawken. The red wood curls with small wooden stamens look like roses. Great on the front door (if your door is shielded from the elements) or above the fireplace.

Faux Snow

I love this faux snow vase filler ($12) from Pottery Barn. Use inside arrangements or scattered across a tablestop or mantle.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

I love the rusted look of this reproduction "Cut Your Own Trees" metal sign ($14.99). Sign measures 14" in diameter. Available from

Graphic Tees

All of a sudden I'm on a mission to find some cool graphic t-shirts to pair with blazers and trousers to work. Here's a few of my recent finds:

Keep Calm

I blogged about these WWII slogan posters already, but here is the t-shirt version from UK streetwear company Yes No Maybe. There are some t-shirts available from other companies, but not with the bold lettering and font that these t-shirts have. Men's and women's styles available in black (shown), blue, red as well as black with gold lettering (£26.00).

What Happens in...

This is a great shirt for men from McSweeney's ($22). I used to live right across the street from the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, so this shirt brings back fond memories.

Nothing is Impossible
Here is another shirt from McSweeney's that I love. This one is available in both men's and women's sizes ($22). The saying echoes my sentiments exactly!


Etsy is an amazing source of original graphic tees from artists all over the country. I love this the double colt t-shirt ($34) from 1 A E O N which is available in a variety of colors.

I'm also really into squids and octopi (or is it octopuses?). A quick search on etsy turned up dozens of different styles. I particularly like this one ($28) from etsy seller la•tak'.