Uptown Jane‘s pillow is so comfy and stylish. Match it with a cup of coffee and a good book and you’ll be all set.
Normally my shopping instincts are sharply honed onto pretty things to wear: clothes, shoes, jewelry, anything I can sew a flower on to, that sort of thing. But every now and then my eye is caught by beautiful home accessories, and I get the itch to beautify my living space, not just my closet!
Sue Henry is a sculptor and ceramic artist whose work moved over to textiles when her children came along. A dusty studio filled with fragile, breakable things was no longer practical with little ones running about. She decided to take up carving linoleum blocks – the tactile experience reminded her of her first love, working in clay.
Sue has been an artist all her life, and remembers her first creative instinct being about creating comfortable places to live. As a little girl, she wanted to be an architect and an interior designer. It just seemed like a natural next step to print her designs on textiles to create beautiful, functional home goods.
Seeing the lovely things that Sue makes really got me thinking about how I’ve been neglecting my living spaces lately. Her designs are full of movement and energy, and I love the bold colors she uses, which really make the designs stand out.
Every item at Tulusa Home Goods begins with a linoleum block hand carved by Sue. She is inspired by her travels to India and South East Asia, and her love of cooking, architecture, and design. The designs are printed on cotton or linen canvas with solvent-free block printing ink. The pillows are stuffed with organic kapok, a fluffy, soft, and environmentally friendly alternative to polyfill. The textiles are designed to be functional and durable, and are machine washable.
Included in the collection at Tulusa are pillows of all sizes, including large meditation pillows, and table linens of all types. Sue’s favorite part of the creative process is carving the linoleum block, so there’s really no limit to what she can print on, once she completes a design.
Right now, the most popular item at Tulusa Home Goods is the Ganesha pillow. Ganesha is a Hindu deity who is the remover of obstacles, and the bringer of good fortune and new beginnings. A good friend to have around as we approach the busy holiday season and the new year, wouldn’t you say?
You can find Tulusa Home Goods at Sue’s online shop, and you can also contact her for custom orders or to be invited to her December pop-up shop in Alexandria, Virginia.
I needed a good laugh and this gave it to me!
by Karen Kurycki.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, is one of those places far enough away to escape the rat race of Washington, DC. And still close enough to be a getaway spot for DC metro residents. That’s how I think of it, as a place to escape to a friends family house where fresh crabs and wild horses can be admired.
So when I found Soapomoke River‘s shop, I knew I had to check it out. I was tempted right away by the River Otter Soap, and Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar. Ah, good smells, no chemicals, and good memories.
I was even happier when my order arrived. The Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar is smooth and melts easily on the skin. And it smells wonderful. It also comes packaged in a small travel size, perfect to toss in your purse or backpack.
On small note for vegans, the first ingredient of the lotion bars is beeswax. But the cold processed soaps are vegan friendly.
The River Otter and Neem Oil Bug Repellant soaps are cold processed, and unique. The Neem Oil smells a lot like a citronella candle. Which is great, if you’re going to be outdoors. I love that I can just give the soap to my child at bath time and not have to fuss with bug spray when we’re going out the door.
The River Otter has a grainy feeling from the kelp it contains. And the smell does make me think of a river. It also has a nice rustic look.
Also shown, is the In the Buff solid lotion bar. I have not tried it yet. But it has the same ingredient list as the Blackwater Honeysuckle. And smells nice too.
Many of Soapomoke River’s products are named for the surrounding area. So when you visit the shop and you’ll get a bit of a geography lesson. Or if you’ve lived nearby, like I have, a trip down memory lane.
I read something recently at zenhabits that has stuck with me. I’m more than a bit ashamed to admit, lately, much of my online reading has come to an abrupt halt. I suppose this is why coming across a gem like this — so simple and yet so true — meant all the more to me. It was discovered in one of those rare moments where I was just being with me; myself. It was written, not about food, but about wanting very little in life. Yet it applies so beautifully to the journey we often travel in finding artisan food that I had to share.
Don’t be meaninglessly minimalist. Be purposeful and deliberate in your quest…
In the weeks leading up to The New Year holiday I thought extensively about where I wanted to go with this column; what I wanted to accomplish in 2010. All I was able to come up with was to ‘Have Direction’, but struggled as to what that really meant. I knew that in 2009, in its very infancy, I had felt pulled this way and that; I had wondered if anything good was actually being done with the words I was writing here. I struggled in December to know how to fix that until I was confronted with the direction of meaning.
In seeking an artisan or handmade existence, especially in the food industry, being meaningful is a complex and oft times misdirected effort in an of itself. There are so many camps of foodies out there. Local, organic, artisan, simple, slow, complex and fanciful — knowing which is right, which is meaningful for your individual situation is never clear cut or easy.
In 2010 I hope not just to ‘have direction’ but to be meaningful and to promote the importance of meaningful decisions in the food industry. That means uniting for the cause. Whether local or organic, simple or complex it means understanding and accepting that meaningful food choices come in many colors; under many schools of thought.
Here’s to meaningful food in the New Year — for one, for all!