Form & Function

IMG_4151
We always appreciate thoughtful design, and one brand we especially adore for their well-considered products is Areaware. For example, their over-sized key rings are not only visually striking, but practical for anyone with lots of keys, or anyone prone to losing things. They can be worn on the wrist, and the threaded screw clasp makes it easy to take keys on and off. We also love their table tiles, which give a 3D illusion when placed together. You can use them as coasters or simply as decoration.

IMG_4109 The bottle opener from Areaware features a single bent nail that cracks open your beer or soda, and it has a magnet that prevents the cap from falling afterwards. The magnet also allows for the bottle opener to be hung from places such as your fridge.      IMG_4162 One of their neatest little inventions are the architectural blocks that imitate Brutalist design. Not only are they beautiful objects by themselves, but they’re surprisingly fun and fascinating to stack and counterbalance.  Blocks

Spicy Summer

IMG_3981
If you’re the type of person to amp up all your food with hot sauce, we’ve got a few new ones at the Baltimore store for you to try. Red Clay Hot Sauce, created by Georgia-native Geoff Rhyne, is made with Fresno peppers, salt, and white wine vinegar and then aged in southern bourbon barrels. It’s your classic hot sauce, but with a lot more complexity and nuance.  Put it on just about anything to elevate it to a new level.

IMG_4054
Another sauce brand that’s bringing the heat is Huckle’s Hot Sauce, born and produced right here in Baltimore. We’re carrying the “HONbanero” and the Fire-Roasted Jalapeño. These gourmet sauces pack a punch in their own unique way. We love that the ingredients are sourced from local farms, bringing the farm-to-table movement one step further. On top of that, we adore the beautiful packaging designed by Annie Howe of Bmore Papercuts!

IMG_4028

Artist Spotlight: Will Holman

IMG_3904
Will Holman is a Designer, Craftsman, and Author living here in Baltimore. His book, “Guerilla Furniture Design” showcases 35 inexpensive projects that can be made from salvaged and recycled materials.
You can visit his website here and see a portion of his work on instructables. Visit the Baltimore store this Friday, June 5th from 6-8 to get his book and have it signed by him.

What is “guerilla” furniture design, and what is the mindset behind it?

Most people think “guerilla” is a military term, but it is really political — someone or something that stands in opposition to the dominant political culture. I use it because I think design and construction are useful means for pushing back against the tidal wave of overconsumption, waste, and consumer passivity that characterize American culture today.

IMG_3921
What events and experiences have led you to this point in life?

I graduated with an architecture degree in 2007, right into the first rumblings of the Great Recession. Instead of getting a traditional architecture job (then in short supply), I took a series of jobs for design-based nonprofits that involved architecture, woodworking, carpentry, and teaching. Over the eight years since I’ve graduated, I’ve lived in rural Arizona, rural Alabama, Chicago, and now back in Baltimore, near where I grew up.

Tell us about your involvement with the community in Baltimore. What are recent ways that people in Baltimore have adopted this “guerilla” mindset in their own lifestyles? What are some good places in the city for people to find materials and tools to get started?

In my day job, I work for the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation, a non-profit development company that brings safe, affordable, and sustainable space to Baltimore’s creatives. We are working on a large makerspace in the Station North Arts District, to open in 2016. As part of that work, I’ve been helping organize a group called the Industrial Arts Collective, which is a coalition of makers, artists, designers, craftspeople, small businesses, and nonprofits. We are trying to build an inclusive, diverse maker culture in Baltimore, and include groups like the Station North Tool Library, which is a great spot to learn basic woodworking in a welcoming environment.

IMG_3930
What were some of your very first projects/designs? What have been your most recent? Do you have any personal favorites that you’re particularly fond of?

Some of my first pieces, now lost to history, were cardboard chairs for my freshman design studio. Most recently, I’ve been experimenting with open source design, releasing CAD files on a site called Open Desk  so you can download and cut your own version on a CNC router.

 

Posted in Community, events, furniture

New Vintage

IMG_3812
We’ve got a fresh new haul of vintage goods from Brimfield recently! Among this load there are a bunch of rolling tables and shelves, wooden crates, book ends, chalkboards, industrial spools, and much much more. These vintage pieces are a great way to add interesting, unique highlights to your home, at a really reasonable cost. Both the Baltimore and DC locations have their own assortment of new products. Since so many of these pieces are so unique, come in soon to see what we have, before it’s gone!

IMG_3842 IMG_3853 IMG_3872 IMG_3833 IMG_3826

Posted in vintage

Small and White, Clean and Bright

IMG_3788S
Among our favorite kitchen wares and home goods are these beautiful pieces by Canvas Home, and we’ve got a fresh new shipment in at the Baltimore store. From vases to pitchers to serving dishes, these products are all finished with a pleasing soft white. We especially love the ice bucket and bowls from the “Dauville” collection, which feature not only shiny gold trim, but contrasting matte/gloss finishes when you look up close. Whether you’re looking for a special new addition to your home, or for the perfect wedding gift, this is a great place to start!

IMG_3762 IMG_3726 IMG_3740 IMG_3711

Warm Weather Windows

IMG_3533
Here at the Baltimore store, we’ve been hard at work making the new window displays for spring and summer. We’re delighted to say that they are now up and ready to see. The theme for the season is “farm to table” and it features some paper veggies blown up to a gigantic scale. While we don’t sell any produce, of course, we have lots of unique and fun products to enhance your cooking and eating experience. We couldn’t be happier with how these displays turned out, so next time you’re out enjoying the warm weather, please come and take a look for yourself!

IMG_3505 IMG_3504 IMG_3496 IMG_3517 IMG_3481

Garden

IMG_3296
Perhaps one of the best things about spring is seeing so many things come to life—and it’s this time of year that we look in the all-but-forgotten backyard and wonder what we could do with it. Regardless of the scope of your ambitions, we’ve got a plethora of gardening books to help you bring some life to your back yard (or fire escape).  One of our current favorites is Epic Tomatoes, an in depth look at different types of heirloom tomatoes and how to grow them. A few of us actually met the author when he stopped by the store a few weeks ago. It’s always fascinating when you meet people who devote their whole lives to something many people hardly think about. His book is filled to the brim with valuable information and mouth-watering photographs.

IMG_3309 IMG_3303
Another book we love is The Vegetable Garden, a collection of prints originally published in the 19th century by the French company Vilmorin-Andrieux & Cie. The first thing you notice is that this book is hugeeach and every page would make a gorgeous piece of wall art. We’re torn on whether to tear out each page for decoration purposes (pun semi-intended).

IMG_3291 IMG_3278 IMG_3283
Besides books, we also have a bunch of neat supplies to help get your garden started. If you’re more of a beginner, we have these great all-in-one kits that include seeds, soil, food, and container. They incorporate a wicking system to help prevent under and over-watering, so no one has to say they have a black thumb.

IMG_3318

Posted in Outdoors

Elderflower Tonic

IMG_2916
We’ve all been enjoying this latest beautiful weather, and it definitely has us in the mood to sit around outside with a refreshing cocktail. That’s why we’re so happy to introduce a brand new mixer from Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Elderflower Tonic. It’s handcrafted in Charleston, SC with quinine, lemongrass, orange peel, and organic dried elderflowers. We tried simply mixing it with some champagne and the result was quite amazing. The suggested recipe on the bottle is for a gin & tonic, and it’s also delightful. Take a look:

In a collins glass, combine:
– 2 oz. of your favorite gin
– .75 oz. Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic-  add ice, top with 5 oz. soda water
– stir and drink

IMG_2889
As always, we carry a varied, ever-shifting selection of recipe books for cocktails. Whether it’s all-purpose bar books with a wide array of recipes, or books specializing in specific spirits, we’ve got you covered.

IMG_2931

Posted in cocktails

Jumbie Industries

IMG_2863
A brand new product we’re carrying is this gorgeous laser-engraved wood poster reading “Baltimore, Maryland.” It’s designed and made by Jumbie Industries, and each a portion of purchase goes to helping children with cancer and their families. The lettering is inspired by turn-of-the-century illustrations, and is engraved in high-contrast in sheets of birch. Photos can only convey so much of the beauty and detailcome in to the Baltimore store to appreciate it up close and personal!

IMG_2844

Posted in Art

Son of a Sailor

IMG_2684 One of our new vendors that we simply adore is Son of a Sailor, a brand that makes jewelery and accessories with a bold and beautiful sense of design. From necklaces to key chains to decorative horseshoes, they combine a love for color and geometry into products that are both classic and modern. If you’re looking for something really unique for yourself or a friend, come in to the Baltimore store to check these accessories out in person!

IMG_2758S IMG_2809 IMG_2792

Posted in accessories