this album came out a couple of months ago but i felt compelled to write about it now, since the timing is appropriate. in a career spanning roughly 50 years (!!!) and 47 albums, bob dylan has finally recorded a christmas album, which comes as a surprise to some of his loyal fans. first of all, he was raised in a jewish family, second of all, people assume something like this, coming from him, is meant to be ironic and not taken seriously. but he is serious, and his straightforward approach to recording the songs (with background singers and traditional arrangements) is a measure of his appreciation for the music. the album might not be for everyone but if you’re a fan of either christmas music or bob dylan, or both, definitely give it a shot. plus, all proceeds from the album sales in the u.s. will be donated, now and in perpetuity, to feeding america, which guarantees that over 1.4 million families will be provided with meals this holiday season. proceeds from sales in the u.k. and worldwide will go to the charities crisis and the world food programme, respectively.
check out this really cute video, by painter/animator jeff scher, for bob dylan’s “little drummer boy”:
a lot of people think that when it comes to giving gifts, gift cards are the easy way out. but that’s not necessarily true…a lot of times if you don’t know exactly what to get someone, it really is the ideal gift…especially if you personalize the gift card by giving it a creative touch. here are some suggestions for fun ways to wrap a gift card that are so cute, no one can accuse you of copping out…
frame it! frames are great gifts anyway, and you can find a pretty inexpensive one and decorate it or paint it yourself for an added touch. Tape the gift card to a piece of patterned paper like the one above.
these are some fun things you can do with felt that look very simple to make. i especially like the mushroom, which is actually meant to be a business card holder. but on second thought, why not make a holder for your gift card that can be re-used as a business card holder as well?
put the gift card in a cute little coin purse or pouch like one of these…they’ll think that’s the gift, and when they look inside they’ll find an added surprise! see more of our small bags and purses here.
if you’re anything like me, the winter months can be a bit depressing…but did you know that wearing bright colors can actually improve your mood?
studies show that the brightness and purity of certain colors, and personal associations with them, can have specific effects on your mood. shades of red and purple are said to boost energy levels by causing your body to pump out more adrenaline. green and yellow are naturally associated with sunshine and the outdoors, and studies show that they can make you feel happy and upbeat. green also evokes feelings of hope and renewal, like the feeling you get on a sunny spring day. blue, which brings to mind the sky or the ocean, is a soothing, calming color that can make you feel less anxious. and if you really want to bring out your fun-loving spirit, wear attention-grabbing neon colors like hot pink and lime green, known for being flirty and fun.
i’ve probably mentioned this before but our graphic designers are awesome…i love this artwork!
and since we’re in the holiday spirit, i’ve made it available on our flickr page for you to download! you can use it on your desktop, as a card, or whatever else you may want to do…just click on the image!
of all of the jewelry designers we have featured, this one is my personal favorite…
the name love heals immediately brings to mind the notions of compassion, spirituality and family, which are the core elements behind this jewelry collection created by adriana goddard. the line is run in collaboration with her son gunnar and daughter elisa. adriana spent the earlier part of her life traveling around europe and supporting herself by selling jewelry at markets. more recently, she has studied healing and spiritual arts, the influence of which is very apparent not only in the name of the jewelry collection, but in the pieces themselves.
each symbol and charm holds an individual meaning, and the jewelry also represents greater social and environmental causes, such as tree planting, child slavery and child blindness organizations. for each piece of jewelry purchased from love heals, 10 trees are planted, a donation is made to abolishslavery.org (to fund the equivalent of one month of a child’s freedom), and a donation is made to keep a child from blindness for one year with vitamin angels, who provide critical nutrients to children on the verge of going blind in inner cities around the world. in just one year since starting the program, 250,000 trees have been planted in the u.s. and africa. in addition, all of the love heals jewelry is made by hand inside a 30-foot geodesic dome on the family’s organic farm in ojai, california. the results are very earthy, bohemian pieces with a feminine touch, and the greater meaning behind them makes them all the more irresistible.
check out our selection of necklaces by love heals here.
on friday another free people girl and i attended a ‘how-to’ session on potting paperwhites…it was really easy and they’re so pretty – it will be a great addition to brighten up my desk at work. they’re also a great decoration for your home. here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it yourself.
first pick out a pot or container to plant your bulb in – you can use pretty much any type of container, just make sure to allow about two inches underneath the bulb for the roots to grow. i used a pretty little glass one.
paperwhites can be planted in soil, water, stones, gravel or decorative materials like glass beads. i filled my container most of the way with stones and then a layer of cute little pinecones.
place the bulb on top, pointed side up. i surrounded it with some moss to add some color.
you can plant several in one pot, and they can be placed closely together. here are some other creations being made:
fill with water, but don’t submerge the bulbs, just have them sit on top of it. make sure to water the plant enough to maintain the water level.
store your paperwhite in a warm room (60-65 degrees) and if possible, set it by a south-facing window for best development of the leaves, stalk and buds. once the flowers bloom, move it to a cooler place with less light to prolong its life.
william eggleston is a memphis-born photographer who is credited by many for establishing color photography as a legitimate artistic medium. the majority of his photographs were taken during the 70s…i’m really drawn to the color and composition.
“this is beginning to be my new favorite kind of light. it brings out a spectrum that appeals to me, warmer colors that i don’t always notice at other times. it’s like when a thunderstorm moves through and the light changes swiftly from cold to warm.” -william eggleston