Clean lines, sharp edges.
From Good morning Midnight.
Shopping blog featuring products made by people not factories.
Clean lines, sharp edges.
From Good morning Midnight.
Eastern Market, the legendary open-air arts, crafts, and antiques market on Capitol Hill, is absolutely full of gems. The market is huge, and visitors will find something a little different every weekend, but there are also some pretty amazing regulars. One of those delightful fixtures is Mann Made Designs, an eighteen year veteran of the Market.
Mann Made Designs is the brainchild of full time artist Jimmy Mann, a Florida native who has been making things out of silver, aluminum, glass, and whatever else strikes his fancy since 1989. The Mann Made line is brimming with pop culture references, bold color, and clean, modern lines.
While I was browsing the booths at Eastern Market, Jimmy’s colorful jewelry for women is what caught my eye. Bright, apple green on just about anything is like a magnet for my eyes, but combined with sleek sterling silver? In such an elegant, yet still playful setting? It was like he made this pendant just for me!
The designs at Mann Made go far beyond pretty things for ladies. Jimmy creates an extensive line of cuff links, ranging from the whimsical and irreverent to the elegant and classic. How to categorize the cuff links made from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer bottle caps is probably up for debate in some circles, but there’s no doubt they are popular.
In addition to his collection of cuff links and ladies’ jewelry (including pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets and watches), Jimmy also directs his considerable talent with metal smithing and his eye for color towards creating wall art.
He combines recycled aluminum and stainless steel and patches of bright color to create three dimensional works that are simple and modern, but quite dramatic. All the wall art is made to order, so that means you can request custom colors to match your decor!
My son remarked to me the other day that he felt that he had been born about 25 years too late, and should have grown up in the 80s. I laughed and told him that I thought the same thing about myself; I would’ve been right at home growing up in the mid-50s/early-60s. I have always been drawn to the architecture and design of the era and I can’t honestly remember a time that a good Formica counter top, a sunburst clock or an Eames chair didn’t make my heart beat a little faster. Eco-friendly tote, featuring an Eames chair silhouette (below), by Modist.
I don’t know if Atomic Age design ever really went away (not in my books, anyway), but it has really made quite a comeback over the past few years. I’m sure a big factor in that has been the popularity of the program Mad Men, but I like to think that it was just the world coming to its senses. After a couple of really questionable decades of design, we are once again appreciating the clean lines, bright colours and clever shapes of mid-century modernism.
Some creative craftspeople, like Mark and Jeff of Ypsilanti, MI are taking this appreciation one step further and incorporating the everyday items of this time into fresh, new objects of desire. Take this piece, for example – a simple container intended to store your leftovers has been taken off kitchen duty and transformed into an awesome table lamp (above). Check out the Boots n Gus shop for even more lamps in all sorts of shapes and sizes, like the pendant light at the top of this article; you’ll be seeing Tupperware in a whole new light!
Another ingenious example of retro kitchenware finding a home in the living room is this eggbeater clock, pictured above, by Kim aka The Sassy Crafter. Made from 12 recycled electric beaters (and a whole lotta cheek), these clocks are a brilliant reinterpretation of the classic mid-century sunburst design and can be purchased as-is from Kim’s shop, or custom ordered to match your decor.
When we’re talking about mid-century design, I can’t go without mentioning the advertising of the age. It was a time of rampant consumerism and the ads were a perfect reflection of that; shoppers scrambled to fill their homes with the optimistic, modern goods that would separate them from the stodgy belongings previous generations. To that end, ad agencies seized the opportunity and pushed the idea that new was best and the future was now, such as in this advertisement for Scripto Satellite pens, cleverly made into a durable coaster (below) by Jenn and Jenny of Robot Candy. Maybe it’s just me, but 50 years later it still makes me want to buy a pen (and a coaster, for that matter)!
Ironically, our nostalgia for this time has us channeling the Drapers and filling our homes with the relics of the atomic age. Even with the advances in science and technology since then, the many of the designs and fabrications still seem modern and relevant…perhaps the future is (still) now.
“Mad Men”-inspired print, above, by Yumalum.
Booger and Tash is the sweet as sugar brainchild of a mother of three who learned to sew on her Nanny’s old 1960’s Singer when she was ten. Vickie, the shop owner, has filled her shop with super cute stuff for moms, infants and children, including several items that I was pleasantly surprised to come across, like her collection of wonderfully vintage-looking Little Man Neckties. And, my personal favorite: the I Made You a Mix Tape burp cloth.
Grandma will kiss his little cheeks clean off when she sees him in one of these.
You know what? It doesn’t matter what medium we’re using to record music, a mix tape will always be a mix tape. It’s up to us to pass this knowledge on to the next generation, so why not use burp cloths? Start early I say.
Vickie also makes an adorable collection of hair accessories as well, sized teensy, which I can appreciate. I’ve got two young girls, and when they were in the baby and toddler stage, it was difficult at times to find really cute, modern hair clips that didn’t cost a fortune. These are hip and stylish, cute and girly, and totally affordable. So, stock up.
I love that the ribbon and fabrics she uses are so bright and modern and yet somehow look a little retro. One of my other favs from the shop are her Pacifier Clips. No giant plastic dump trucks or Dora the Explorer heads dangling from baby’s hem. Just a simple cloth tape with wonderful vintage style. And bonus, these can also be used a toy leash on a stroller or carseat.
Be sure to check out her burp cloths, and bibs (the Bandana Bibs are especially cute) as well as her luscious Minky Blankets. I especially enjoy this Orange Bumblebee pattern.
With the cold weather almost behind us, the spring trends are starting to emerge just in time for the warm weather. This season the nautical trend is back in full force featuring classic strips, preppy pants and boat shoes along with anchors, lobsters and any other sea animal that comes to mind. While most of us don’t have a boat upon which to enjoy the sunshine, you can still look the part in a few of these great handmade finds.
A great spin on the classic horizontal striped shirt, this navy blue and white top by tsifca features both vertical and horizontal strips for a preppy, yet modern look. Featuring a comfortable fit and wide elbow-length sleeves, this shirt is perfect for lounging, but could easily be dressed up for a night out. The light weight fabric will keep you cool during your time out at sea.
These forest green pleated summer shorts by Eleanor Rot are just perfect for enjoying some time out in the sun. The preppy pleats and cuffs fit perfectly with the nautical trend, but the unexpected color and large gold button keep them modern and a bit edgy. These shorts are the perfect compliment to a striped shirt, but be sure to tuck it in order to create a clear waist line.
This blue, red and gold-toned anchor necklace by Debbiecarroll Designs is the perfect way to add a little bit of nautical into your everyday wardrobe. The gold-toned anchor features a touch of red and is nicely complimented by bright red lucite beads, Swarovski crystals and other gold-toned vintage components. This necklace is a great way to add a bit of vintage glam to your striped shirt or dress up an otherwise plain outfit.
The digital sailboat print featured at the top of this post was created by JC Arts.