Thursday, December 30, 2010


"Marrow" from Butter

One of my favorite eco-friendly gifts this season: Butter nail polish. Based out of London, their motto is "3 Free," which is to say, their polishes are free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (Phthales). And the colors are exquisite, the best I've seen from any eco brand. My favorite right now: the Vena Cava designed "Marrow."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gift Idea: Alyssa Ettinger

Alyssa Ettinger Ball Mason Lantern, $39 each

I do love shopping, but the pressure of holiday shopping always makes it an enormous chore. That said, one good thing to come out of this season's shopping is my discovery of Alyssa Ettinger's pottery. Based out of Brooklyn, her pottery is the result of a 9/11 career change. I am especially in love with these ceramic Mason Jar Lanterns. I see them hanging in an old apple tree on a summer's night. Sigh....for summer and for the pottery.

Sure Seal replica lanterns

Friday, December 10, 2010

Annual 50% Off Table Top Sale!

Plover's Cartouche table top collection

Our annual 50% off table top sale launched yesterday!! Just go the to "Table Top" section of the store to find our half-off prices, which will be in effect until Dec. 24, 2010 only. Needless to say, napkins, tea towels, table cloths, etc. are perfect for gifts. Or for dressing your own holiday table!

Thread Counts

Thanks to Sheila, who forwarded me this segment about thread count on the CBS Early Show. (You can also access it here.) By now, we've all heard about the marketing ploy that is "high thread count"; even Consumer Reports says that a 200 thread count is just fine, and anything over 400 only comes with a higher price tag, not greater quality. Far more important than the thread count of course is the quality of the cotton. But according to this segment, new studies indicate that sheets with a lower thread count actually are better for your skin. They let your skin breathe, and, as an added bonus, they are lighter to wash and dry, which saves on energy consumption.

In case anyone is curious, here are links to two other articles on thread count that are enlightening: from TLC's How Stuff Works and from Linenplace. And of course, The New Yorker's ditty on the lady who sued Bed, Bath & Beyond for selling her 800 thread count sheets that were scratchy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

San Francisco Sample Sale!!

Plover's first collection

For all our friends in San Franscisco—Plover is participating in this year's 3rd Street Holiday Sale! We've got napkins, table cloths, tea towels, euro shams, pillowcases, crib bedding and more for sale at prices I shouldn't even list here. Just go! Sheila will be there doing sales, and if there's something you really really want that's not at the sale, maybe you can convince her to do a deal. ;)

Another sale exclusive: Plover Organic charm packs! We'll have this up for sale on our site in the Spring, but you can purchase them at the sale before anyone else for $9.50. 

Here's the sale details: Saturday December 4th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. One day only.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vintage Towels

Sheila and I have been on a vintage towel kick lately. Maybe it's a reminder of childhood, of life before neutrals (at least in my household), but there's something about old Fieldcrest and Martex towels that we just love. Finding matching sets can be a challenge, but if you like to mix and match, Etsy (or your local thrift shop) is the place to shop. Here are some of our favorite designs of late...

This train towel is actually for sale here

Love this crazy color combo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pillow Lust

Cavern Collection floor pillow

Floor pillows are the best. As much as I don't like the way they have to be sloppily stacked against the wall when not in use, they are amazingly handy for kids and adults alike. I've always used our euros as floor pillows, and now I can't imagine what I did without them. Sat on the cold, hard floor, I guess. Anyway, I saw this pillow by Cavern Collection on Design For Mankind today, and I'm in love. It's 48" square, made of linen, and hand fringed. And the X-pattern is genius. Also: check out their beach towel collaboration with Assembly NYC! I want to hang that on my wall...

100% cotton cobra towel

Pretty Birdie

So sexy. And I love the mustard.

Thanks to Annie for turning me on to her friend Stephanie's eco-fashion Etsy shop, Pretty Birdie. She's got some amazing designs in there, made of hemp, organic cotton, scrap wood and recycled leather. These are two of my faves...

Hemp stretch with recycled wooden belt—so cute!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


"Galxia" wallpaper by Tres Tintas, available at Walnut Wallpaper

It's "Wallpaper Week" at Apartment Therapy, and there is an excellent post today on the history of wallpaper. I am personally obsessed with wallpaper, although I have none in my own home. (Which is to say, I have none on my walls...I do have vintage rolls I've collected over the years stashed away. I'm saving them until I find just the 100% perfect spot for them, which may or may not ever happen!) Sheila has purchased many a vintage wallpaper book on eBay, and even has some framed swatches hanging in her home, which is a very thrifty and cool way to get art on your walls, I think. I just wanted to mention L.A.'s Walnut Wallpapers in this post. I've never been to their retail store, but perusing their site is one of my guilty pleasures. They've got a vast variety of papers, and they've got them organized by color (genius) online. 

I love the drama of dark wallpaper above a blue wainscot. ("Grove Garden" wallpaper by Osbourne & Little,  at Walnut Wallpaper

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, Inverted...Ballet

Photo by David Allen for the New York Times 

The Smuin Ballet in San Francisco turned 8 songs from "Oh, Inverted World" into a ballet. It premiered last week, and we just heard through the grapevine that it's really good. There's a review in the New York Times here.

Big News: New Sheet Sets Are Here!

Tesserae sheet set by Plover Organic, exclusively at Anthropologie

It's very, very exciting to finally be able to share some new sheet sets with everyone!! Plover Organic has two new patterns, available *exclusively* online and through the Anthropologie catalog. The first is the Tesserae sheet set, which we based off an old foulard pattern. ("Foulards" were lightweight silk cloths that were often made into handkerchiefs in the 19th century, but the term also refers to small repeated patterns often seen in handkerchiefs, men's neckties, and more.) The second is our Falling Leaves sheet sets, which you can purchase in either gold or blue. I am so in love with these! 

Falling Leaves sheets, in Gold

Fawn + Forest


We are so excited—one of our favorite online shops for kiddos, Fawn + Forest, now has our entire new collection, in baby and twin bedding, online. See it all here. And we're a Forest Find for the month, too (thanks, guys)! They offer free shipping and no sales of the many reasons I love shopping through them. Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Check out exclusive pics of  Jane Mayle's collaboration with Sigerson Morrison over on Refinery 29. Something amazing to look forward to! Makes me wish I lived back in New York again...well, kind of.

DIY Halloween Costumes

Has anyone been following Ohdeedoh's Homecrafted Halloween series? So clever. What I appreciate almost more than all the ideas they throw out (is it just me, or does a straight-forward store-bought costume defeat the fun of Halloween?), is the fact that they start throwing them out early, giving procrastinators such as myself plenty of time to pick something and then actually execute it. So far this baby owl is my favorite. It looks tricky, but they give detailed how-to info, so I just might give it a try. (By the way, don't you love that the parent is holding down the child's arms in the photo...story of every Halloween costume, right?)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Just saw Kim Eichler-Messmer's Skyscape quilts on Apartment Therapy today, and I am in love! The colors are so inspiring. Forget the bed—I want to hang them on my wall to get the full effect. You can purchase these on her Etsy site for $ worth it. And visit her website to see her Narrative works. Oh, how I wish I knew how to quilt!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Please Don't Let Summer Be Over

Thank you, dear Annie Beedy, for capturing "splits down the slide."

Dillweed's Revenge

If you're in Portland in the coming month, stop by Nationale on Burnside to see new illustrations by Carson Ellis, on display until Oct. 3rd. Carson of course is well known for her artwork for The Decembrists, among other things. These new illustrations are amazing—they're for the book "Dillweed's Revenge," a dark tale written by Florence Parry Heide (author of the Treehorn books) that was originally supposed to have been illustrated by Edward Gorey (!). The ending is, um, grim, so I'm not sure when I'll show the book to my daughters, but I can't wait to own it nevertheless...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh No: Trader Joe's

Photo by Anda La Lucha

I must shop at Trader Joe's at least once a week, and of course the biggest reason for that is their unbelievable (at least on some items) prices. I've never been a big fan of their produce—I hate that it comes packaged in plastic containers, which seems beyond wasteful when dealing with produce, and the freshness is often questionable (too many times I've come home with a container of berries to find mold already thriving).

But I had no idea that their prices were at the expense of farmworkers' rights. Of course I should have; everything cheap these days seems to come with a much higher price than anyone knows. Read the full article on Grist. It's an eye-opener. And a good incentive to shop at Whole Foods instead of TJ's this weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wish I Had Thought of This

What to do with all the paint chips you've collected over the years? Sally Kuchar turned hers into dining room art. Love it. (And the neon green sneaks.)

(Via Design Milk.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Japan, Pt. 3: Best Packaging

I have to admit that I read about Mister Hollywood in the July issue of Vogue, on the plane ride over. (Normally I don't have the luxury to read magazines.) They mentioned organic cotton t-shirts packaged in "drawers" with metal handles. I had to see them, and there they are.

This was a hard-won picture, after about an hour of trying to find the store in high heat and humidity. Finally a young Japanese guy led us to it, tucked away off the main road, with a big truck blocking the entrance. It's not easy to find, but if you're in the market for high-end men's design, I can't imagine a better place to shop. I mean, just look at the marquee.

And the the chandelier, and the scary clown.

Japan, Pt. 2

My husband and I spent our only full day in Tokyo just wandering the city. One of our favorite finds was a little "organic" shop called I-Uki-Kaha-Ngurengure. The shop itself was gorgeous, with a little garden out front and two stories of all sorts of eco finds, from Japanese honey, to Stewart + Brown clothes, to Japanese handmade shoes from Space Craft, to Japanese hand-woven silks. Confession: this is where I spent my whole shopping travel budget. It was so worth it.

Japanese pottery

Fair Trade baskets

Silk cocoon and silk thread used to make...

These gorgeous scarves and wraps. They felt as light as air...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Japan, Pt. 1

Excuse our overextended vacation!  We took a much-needed little summer break, and one of the places I was lucky enough to find myself was Japan, tagging along with my husband for the Fuji Rock festival.

We had only 1 1/2 days to explore Tokyo itself (it was my first time), but we pounded the pavement, and found some amazing stuff. This will be the first of a few Japan installments.

These were the tents at the festival—neatly lined up. Unlike camping I've seen anywhere else. And they were all the most beautiful colors, much like...

These taxicabs. Yes, I took a picture of taxicabs. But look at the colors! I would paint my walls these colors. They also had a mint-green cab and a deep navy (unbelievable), which I wasn't fast enough to capture on film. 

More tomorrow....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strawberries, Still...

I found the most amazing baked strawberry pie recipe almost a month ago, and I've been meaning to post it, but as time wore on and strawberry season seemed to be ending, I figured I had blown it. But then I went berry-picking just yesterday, and though we mostly picked blueberries, raspberries and marion berries—resulting in a slightly stressful all-night canning session with my husband—we did get some delicious, amazing strawberries as well.

Which has inspired me at last to post the Baked Strawberry Pie recipe! It's such a great way to use up strawberries, besides the usual jams and shortcake desserts. But here's the trick to your berries not ending up a pile of mush in the pie (the biggest complaint about strawberry pie): once you mix the cornstarch and salt with the strawberries, place the berries in a sieve or colander for at least 30 minutes. I left mine sitting there for 45 minutes, tapped out the excess juice, and then placed them in the pie crust. The result was a still-juicy, not watery or mushy, strawberry pie. (I also mixed in some nectarines and a handful of blackberries I had sitting around the kitchen, and they were a great addition.) So there it is—enjoy the rest of the season!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Such an easy, lovely summer dress, but it's sold out!

Just read about Bhalo on Refinery 29, and had to share some of their summer staples. Nevermind how cool the fashion is, their cotton is hand-loomed and the line is hand-embroidered by rural Bangladesh women, providing them with valuable employment and all that follows, like education and childcare. 

I love the colors in their Canary/Violet Layer Top. 
Get it now before it sells out too!

Doodlers Do It Best

I have major Heath Ceramic envy. If money was no object—and I didn't have two little ones who break on average about 3 bowls a week—I would be their best customer. But alas...we are simply breaking our way through the dishes from Crate & Barrel we got as a wedding gift. My husband couldn't be happier...all along, he's asked me, "Why can't we just get a bunch of plain white dishes from Goodwill?" I'd started to come around, but this cinched the deal: DIY ceramic decorating. This doodling on A Merry Mishap (via Re-Nest) is cooler than anything I've seen. Can't wait to get started...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eco on the Beach

This picture was taken on Oahu back in December. The sea turtle was swimming only about a foot away from us. Magical.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it's just gotten summery. Finally! After a rainy and overcast weekend, we have some 90-degree weather coming up. I actually had to go to my favorite local store, New Seasons, to buy sunscreen today. It was a good feeling. But it's also inspired me to post the Environmental Working Group's 2010 Sunscreen Guide, since there's still so much confusion about which sunscreens we should be buying. (And according to the list, only 8% of the 500 rated are actually recommended!) I know it sounds boring, but the list is a fascinating read...just scroll to the end of the list to see the brands that flunk in more ways than one: many expensive brand-name cosmetic sunscreens, Neutrogena, Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, Banana Boat, drugstore generics. Even if you don't care about how residues from sunscreens effect the environment (good-bye, coral reefs!), you'll care about how they effect you and your family.

For a great summary of sunscreens and their effect on you and the environment, click this link to the GOOD.Is website.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vintage Mayle

My dear friend Susan at Odessa sent out an email this week that she was selling some vintage Mayle pieces  in mint condition. So exciting! (Jane Mayle of course closed her eponymous line—to the horror of all of her fans—in 2008, saying the fashion system had gotten "out of control.") When I stopped in, I was so, so happy to see a certain floral geometric top from the Spring 2006 line, which I have always regretted not buying! There is just something about this print—the teal and gold with the flesh color, paired with the triangles on a black background—that I can't get enough of. It's vintage looking and ultra-modern at the same time, and I can't stop looking at it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Time For A Glass of (Natural) Wine

Wonderful, wonderful wine...

This was not a good week to finally watch Chris Smith's film Collapse. (Click on the trailer below if you don't know what I'm talking about.) Say what you will...the film is interesting, and it definitely rattled me. Coupled with the oil spill still raging in the Gulf, my anxiety level is higher than I'd like. Which brings me Frivolous? Yes, but then, that's the point.

The Times ran a story Wednesday about the Natural Wine movement, but the far more interesting read was on Grist. I always knew there had to be a reason I didn't like "2-Buck Chuck" from Trader Joe', thanks to writer Tom Philpott, I know why. Here's to buying wine from small, independent (and even better—organic, sustainably-produced or biodynamic) producers, where you can actually taste all the weird and wonderful flavors of the wine.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hurry: One King's Lane sale!

Selected Plover tabletop is 50% off for 3 days only on One King's Lane

Big news: Starting today, for 3 days only, selected Plover tabletop is half-off at One King's Lane. (Full disclosure: basically everything but place mats and table runners are on sale!) We love shopping on OKL (the deals on there are always incredible—and it's stuff you actually want), so we couldn't resist the opportunity to get Plover up there, just in time for summer picnic season. Go soon, though...some pieces are already sold out!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Genius: Anthropologie M&M Tool

How many times have you wished you could take bedding (and furniture, and curtains, and rugs...the list goes on) home to try out before you commit to buying them? You must visit Anthropologie's new Mix-And-Match Bedding tool online. It's pretty exciting—you can actually select which sheets you want and see how the toppers would looked paired. Yes, Plover's exclusive sheets for Anthropologie are up there, but I promise would be blogging about this even if they weren't. It's too handy.

The Thorns print in these colors is exclusive to Anthropologie