Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A bit of bubbly

Edge Champagne flute, available at Crate and Barrel

Marc Jacobs David Champagne Saucer, available at Waterford

Manhattan champagne flute, available at Bodum

Stemless champagne flute, available at Crate and Barrel

Start the new year off right and toast with a bit of bubbly!! Here's a tip to prevent the champagne headache: Don't drink it too quick! Hold the champagne in your mouth briefly and let the bubbles pop before you swallow. If you gulp it down too quickly, the bubbles burst in your blood stream which gets you drunker quicker and causes those headaches!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Peace Be With You

Merry Christmas, everyone!

While you're enjoying your festive activities, I hope you take the time out to remember the Kim Family who is missing someone very dear to them today.

A bunch of caring artists donated sackfuls of arty & crafty goods to be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Kim Family. The auction starts on January 3, 2007 but the preview is up now so please go browse.

If helping the Kims isn't enough to get you click over and check out the wares, these guys might...

Mohair Kitty & Friend, crafted by Lynn Roberts

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bonus Bone: Crazy Holiday Diorama!

Outside Porcelain's door

Detail of deer in CRAZY holiday diorama

Detail of Santa's Bag, note creepy bear!

This is what guests are greeted with when coming into my building! Most people either laugh or are stunned into silence. This delightful, yet crazy, diorama was created by my landlady. When the holidays roll around, she adds the Santa to make it more festive.

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Gimage: 4:49am

"4:49 am"

That about sums up how I feel right now. I woke up in the wee hours just now to see if I could get on a flight to Denver today. Hilariously, I'm waitlisted on the exact same flight I was supposed to be on yesterday.

I am also trying to get a train ticket but those are sold out so I've been calling every hour or so to see if there have been any cancellations.

Nothing yet.

Yesterday, I drove to Union Station to try for a last minute train ticket. I even bought a bus ticket online and showed up at the Greyhound Station, braced for the 22 hr bus ride ahead of me, only to find out that they've canceled all their buses to Denver and simply neglected to say anything about that online. As it stands now, I'm booked on a flight for Christmas Eve - leaves Chicago around 10am, lengthy layover in Cincinnati, lengthy layover in Atlanta, arrives in Denver at 9:30pm.

I'm tired and don't have much fight left in me, hence, the cheese.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Holiday (with a Touch of Humbug)

Formica's Christmas Tree

I was scheduled to fly to Denver tomorrow afternoon, to spend Christmas with my family. My sister just recently returned from living in Japan so this was going to be the first time we've all been together in a year and a half.

And then it snowed.

And snowed....and the wind blew...and it continued to snow until Denver International Airport closed. Delta canceled my flight (arriving in Denver tomorrow at 2pm) so I patiently called to reschedule. I thought maybe I'd have to come in on Friday (no big deal). The operator then tells me that the next available flight isn't until CHRISTMAS EVENING! I'm so bummed! Yet I'm still a bit hopeful that I can take my giant bags and my smiley face over to O'Hare and stand by, stand by, stand by. I've watched the Amazing Race; I know how they do.

In the meantime, if any of you works for an airline and wants to make Cardboard's Christmas the BEST EVER (or at least the normal one it was supposed to be), please send me a note!

One way or another, I'll get there. Wish me luck. I hope all of your travel plans succeed fully and I wish you a lovely (snowy only after you arrive at your destination) holiday!

Luck Runs in the Family

Congratulations, Mama C!

Remember how
Apartment Therapy gave me Carlos, the little porcelain dog that now lights my path to the bathroom? Well, I just found out that my very own Mama Cardboard stuck her lucky little hand into the very same Gift Bag and pulled out the Modern Bedding from Inmod! I can't believe it! To be clear, Mama C and I live in different states so we're not breaking the ONE GIFT PER HOUSEHOLD rule.

At first, she wasn't even going to submit her name for the bedding. She found a few styles she liked and thought it was terribly fun that customers can choose their own design but she feared it was all a little "too modern." [She says this with a whisper, much like the Biggest Loser talking about cake]. I convinced her to send in her name and now I get to help pick out a design!

Keeping in mind that we want to take advantage of the creative D(esign)IY process but still suit Mama Cardboard's non-neon ways, here are a few suggestions Porcelain & I conjured up:

"Three" on cream linen with copper & gold embroidery

"Autumn" on sky blue silk dupioni with white & silver embroidery

"Geo circles" on cream linen with chocolate & ocean blue embroidery (detail)

"Autumn" on gray silk dupioni with dark gray & cream embroidery

Try your own hand at textile design by visiting the Inmod Design Studio. Send us your favorites!

House 5863

Today's email from Daily Candy Chicago showcased a new Bed and Breakfast, House 5863. Located in Edgewater, it's just around the corner from my apartment. I've walked past it a ton of times but never knew what it was. Turns out it is a hip place to stay! Room rates seem very affordable, ranging from $99-179 for double occupancy. They offer a lot of great amenities, such as free wireless internet, work area with printer and fax, fully equipped office with conference room, plasma screen TV, in-room spa treatments, and daily passes to Cheetah Gym (for a small fee).
So if you have a lot of visitors coming for the holiday and not a lot of places to sleep, House 5863 might be a great place for your guests to try! If you've stayed there or know someone who has, please let us know what you think of the place.
House 5863
5863 N. Glenwood
Chicago, IL 60660
773.341.7419 (fax)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Newlywed's Ornament Collection

Newlywed's Ornament Collection, available at Bronner's

My best friend from childhood gave me and my husband (Hardwood) this Newlywed ornament collection for our wedding. There are twelve European glass ornaments and each carries a special wish of happiness for the newly wedded couple. It was one of my favorite gifts we received. If you know of any couples who are going to get hitched, this is a great gift.

S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G: Caputo Cheese Market

Cheese snuggle

If you love cheese, you really must try this. Caputo Cheese Market is a wonderland of stinky, soft, bleu, herbed, crumbled CHEESE! Nearly 2/3 of this family-owned and operated market is devoted to any kind of cheese you could possibly imagine. The staff is very knowledgeable and attentive. In fact, if you would like to sample a variety, they will crack open the shrink-wrap (on most cheeses) and cut you off a piece. If you like it but want a smaller portion, they'll downsize it for you. But, if you've got many mice to feed, you can easily purchase one of those impressive wheels or giant wedges. The aisles are littered with chef-recommended recipes so you don't need to walk in with a game plan. However, it is a good idea to have something in mind because it's easy to get carried away by the sheer abundance of taste and beauty.

Spanish Sheep Cheese w/Rosemary

Ukraine Marble Cheese

blah, blah, blah, blah...Cheese!...blah, blah, blah

Caputo's also consists of a small grocery with canned goods, pastas, Italian mineral water, and bagged spices. If that weren't enough, there is also a bakery and deli where the staff present fresh cannoli, seafood, sandwiches, and cut-to-order deli meats. To complete your antipasto plate, Caputo's also hosts a small village of an olive bar.

For under $20, I left Caputo's with a gorgeous White Stilton w/blueberries, a small portion of Bleu Cheese w/pear bits (Quezo Azul con Pera), and another variety which I can't yet reveal. (I picked it up for Santa and he hates it when his stocking stuffers aren't a surprise on Christmas morning). Porcelain scored a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano that looks as if it was lifted straight from a shoot in Food & Wine magazine. Formica sampled a beer cheese that made her turn up her nose (thank goodness for samples!) but soon found an Ireland Cheddar w/Guinness that rocked it.

Caputo Cheese Market (and much, much more) is open 7 days a week. They're located a bit outside of the city but it's well worth the trip. If you don't get out there in time to stock your holiday cheese plate, you should definitely get out there in the new year. Why not start 2007 with a healthy slice of CHEESE FUDGE? Seriously. It's cheese that tastes like fudge. It's even got the nuts!

Fudge? Cheese? Fudge?

Caputo Cheese Market
1931 N. 15th Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Phone: 708-450-0074, ext. 217

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Welcome Home, Carlos!

Carlos finally made it home this past weekend. He's adjusting nicely. Hopefully the cats will warm up to him soon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bonus Bone: Rubber Dipped Balls

The title of this post may make you think I'm about to introduce some kind of pervy fetish but you should know better by now! I found these ornaments on Apartment Therapy New York and fell in love with them! Nothing perverted about that.

Rubber dipped orbs, $24 for 4

Some smart, crafty person took plain ol' clear glass ball ornaments and dipped them in red (or green or white) industrial rubber. Such a streamlined look!

Sadly for us mid-westerners, they seem to be exclusively for sale in NYC but, if you really love them, you can contact the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and see if they'll take your order over the phone. Or the DIY-er in me wonders if you can't try it yourself using melted wax (or even glittery paint). It'd be like combining Christmas & Easter into one decorative holiday! Happy Chreaster, everyone! Eastmas?

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


We all love Craigslist but it's important to remember that there are those out there who love it for other reasons, like pulling fast ones! Captain Vellum recently posted his Convertible Coffee/Art Table on the beloved online classifieds. We've sold and bought things through Craigslist before and have been nothing but pleased with the community. However, we got our first taste of (as Hardwood put it), "Weird."

Do not reply to this email address!

The person on the other end of that line is a scam artist. To sum things up, he offered us full price for the table and told us that he wanted us to take the ad down immediately. Then he told us that he would send a cashier's check to us and would have someone else pick up the table because, although he would love to pick it up himself, he can't. Uh, this is where we started to get suspicious. We then wrote back to him and asked if he needed the table packaged for shipping and, if so, that would cost extra as we would have to buy a box. He INSTANTLY writes back that he will send us a check for $3,800 (!!!) to cover the table and packaging. We are to deposit the check...well, wait, let me tell it in his words (and, yes, the CAPS are his):


He ends by saying he wants us to know that he is "someone to trust."

Porcelain investigated general online fraud after this exchange and we saw that this transaction is a textbook classified advertising scam. Craigslist says that if you meet with a buyer in person, you'll avoid "99% of the scam attempts" lurking out there, waiting to apprehend your innocent furniture. Be careful, ya'll!

Whew! Yesterday, we wrote back to "Ryan Jason" and told him we were canceling the sale. We haven't heard from him since. But speaking of furniture, the Convertible Coffee/Art Table is still for sale. She's a little shaken up but she's lovely.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bold rugs

5'x7' Quatrefoil printed cotton rug, available at Urban Outfitters

3'x5' Woodcut feather printed rug, available at Urban Outfitters

5'x7' Teardrop printed rug, available at Urban Outfitters

I'm digging all the bold patterned rugs at Urban Outfitters. What I'm digging even more is their price! They range from $28-68, a total steal of a deal. The teardrop printed rug looks like some Rex Ray artwork.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Star light, star bright

Aluminum star, available at The Well Dressed Home

I love this aluminum star. It would look fantastic on a colorful front door. A nice alternative to a wreath.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Baker's Edge brownie pan, $32.50

I love me some crusty edges!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hello, I'm Carlos.

Carlos Night Light, designed by Kathleen Walsh, available at SHOW

Unbelievably, I just "won" this night light from Apartment Therapy's Gift Bag! Every weekday (until December 22nd), this inspirational website is gifting super fun merchandise to their loyal readers. If you spy something you covet, simply send in an email with your contact information and (optional) a photo of your dwelling. That's so apartmenttheraputic, isn't it? Not only do you have the chance to walk away with some special design treat, but you also get to show off your own design talents! Although I would probably never have purchased an illuminating porcelain Chihuahua with an ear infection, I know he will soon become one of my favorite things!

Thanks, Apartment Therapy!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bonus Bone: Furry woodland creatures

So you want to decorate your home or yourself for the winter season, but you don't want to fill it with images of snowmen and Santa or wear one of those god awful holiday sweaters. For a more subtle look, try looking at some of our furry woodland friends. They're popping up all over the place and in a rather muted, sophisticated palette.

Deer pillow cover, at West Elm
Reindeer cushion, at Aspen & Brown

Plywood Moose Trophy Head, at Graham & Green

*If you like Kiku's stuff and will be in Chicago this weekend, go check her work out at the Holiday Renegade Craft Fair!

For these reasons, I, Porcelain, declare this a Design Boner.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fun Lamp!

Pop Flowers Table Lamp, available at Target

I think this lamp is ever-so-cute but still very hip and modern. I think it would look perfect in Porcelain's living room!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Birch wreaths

Birch wreath, £13.50, available at Aspen & Brown

Roost Birch wreath (featured in Dec./Jan. Domino), $20, available at Watson Kennedy

A birch wreath is a nice alternative to the typical piney green or red berry holiday wreaths. It would look great contrasted with a big floppy satiny bow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

For Sale: Convertible Coffee/Art Table

If you see something you like or just have questions, please send us an email and we'll get back to you faster than a speeding belt sander.






Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Sad but Good-Smellin' Tree

Porcelain recently offered up a couple pretty trees and I would like to counter with the most adorable little mess of a tree that may not look like much but sure does tug on the heartstrings!

Charlie Brown Pathetic Tree, $24

This fake tree by Urban Outfitters makes me feel so happy/sad! The holidays often do that same thing to me: happy that I'm together with my whole family for a few days, sad that I have to leave soon. This tree is the perfect decoration for that crazy mix of holiday emotions. To increase the "awwww" factor, that single festive red glass ball comes with it.

If you're in the market for a faux fir, either glorious or meager, you can make the whole experience more authentic with this "Tree" scented candle from Bath & Body Works. I bought one of these candles last year and was completely impressed with the true-to-life scent of "Douglas fir, sweet musk, warm vanilla sugar, [and] crisp winter air." The scent disperses well and puts me right in the mood for wrapping presents!

Tree scented candle, $16.50

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bonus Bone: Potion Brand Holiday Cards

I am in love with holiday cards. Actually, I have a crush on all things stationery but nothing gets me more excited than the moment when all the boxed cards start taking over store displays. One of my all-time coziest moments is sitting down with a stack of artful cards and a smooth pen. Writing the personal notes, the part which everyone claims to dread, is easy. Finding (or making!) the perfect card is the challenge.

To help you in your search, I've found Potion Brand, a beautiful line of holiday card designs from a small company in San Francisco with "aspirations of delighting correspondence connoisseurs worldwide." An added bonus is that they will personalize the blank-on-the-inside cards with a greeting, a quote, or even a company logo. These cards are fantastic and you should be proud to send them out with your signature but, as we all know when we g
et a card in the mail, it's truly the thought that counts.

Series 1

Single card from Series 2

Series 3

For these reasons, I, Cardboard, declare this a Design Boner.