Category Archives: Marvelous items

Fine Feather

Front view

As promised in last week’s New Orleans wrap-up, here is the headdress I purchased at Maskarade on St. Ann Street.

The artist is Jane Clugston and you can find more of her work in her etsy store. I have no idea where I’ll wear it or with what, but somehow the opportunity always presents itself.

Side view

For now, we’ll call it a shout out to Jodi Meadows’ new release, Incarnate.

In other news, I’ve mentioned before that Shadow & Bone will be published in the UK by Orion’s new YA imprint, Indigo (under the title The Gathering Dark). I recently got this lovely invitation to the Orion Group Author Party in London. Champagne! Canapes! The Natural History Museum! Sigh. Almost tempted to pack my headdress and hop the next British Airways flight. Who wants to be my date?



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Into the Woods

Seems like I’ve been falling in love all over the place lately. From the aisles of the Renegade Craft Fair, I bring you the illustrations and magical creations of Emma SanCartier, the artist behind Odd Fauna. I saw her work for the first time on Saturday and I had to nab this handmade shadowbox:

You can choose your own creature!

I also picked up these adorable ornaments:

I bought them as gifts, but I’m so tempted to keep them and let them cavort amid the teacups. Make sure to visit Emma’s Etsy shop and the Odd Fauna storefront for more holiday treats and marvelous items.

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The Most Marvelous of Items

Sometimes, you step out for coffee and cake and you end up in Narnia.

Last night, a family friend invited me over to meet her houseguest, a conceptual artist visiting from Italy. I thought I’d shmooze a little, have some dessert. I didn’t realize I would be KNOCKED SENSELESS BY THE AMAZING.

Angela Lorenz is an artist and author who creates completely mind-blowing works of the exquisite and engaging. They’re whimsical, but they’re also challenging, poignant, and occasionally creepy in the best of ways. Her work is exhibited in museums around the world and taught in universities.  (She’s also just totally charming and lovely to chat with.)

After bowling me over with her incredible creations, she gifted me with this truly Marvelous Item:


becomes this...

and opens up to this...

Those prints are not reproductions. They’re originals. She MADE them.

And the beautiful paintings on the other side…

I'm quite smitten with this fish.

She also wrote the 900-word rhyming poem that accompanies the images. Is there anything she can’t do?

There’s actually a lot more going on here than mere loveliness and sublime craftsmanship, but my brainpan is too shallow to do it justice. To really get a feel for the meaning of the work and its iconography (and to see more of Angela’s work), click here.

She also showed me a bento box of wordplay, faux graham crackers loaded with filthy latin poetry and accompanied by a compressed marshmallow made of paper that bears the face of Sir Thomas More burned into its surface (S’more, geddit?). Then there was Bacon’s Bits of Broken Knowledge— a decidedly unique take on Sir Francis Bacon’s worldview.

You can take out the leather “bacon” continents, read Bacon quotes with the magnifying lens built into the lid, and circumnavigate the globe with the compass in the jar’s base. Now that’s the tangy taste of Natural Philosophy!

Oh sigh, I am officially an A Lorenz fangirl. She said I could visit her studio in Bologna. Maybe I should book my flight right now.

Before I sign off, I also want to give a shout to Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, a truly magical place for young readers. I dropped by yesterday and had a wonderful time chatting with some fellow authors and the welcoming staff. Even if you’re not in the area, their site has lots of great gift-giving ideas for the holidays. (By the way, the town of La Verne? Surprisingly charming. Craftsman houses everywhere! I’m a bit embarrassed by how little I know about the world just outside of Los Angeles.)

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So Fresh & So Clean

From deep in the Book 2 bunker, I bring you another find from this summer’s Renegade Crafts Fair, the delightful Denver-based Clean Getaway Soap Co. They feature:

  • Organic ingredients
  • Vegan options
  • Lovely old-timey packaging
  • Really great smelling products

Also, just look at them. They’re adorable. –>

Check out their etsy shop and you’ll see that each bar is like a little work of art. (My favorite thus far is the fresh and sprightly Happy Camper.) In addition to their marvelous soaps, they make lip balms, solid lotions, and even dog shampoos. Til next week, my lovelies, stay tidy!

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Sweet Salvage

One of my favorite finds from Saturday’s Renegade Craft Fair was Blue Ribbon Salvage. Melissa Abercrombie collects vintage medals from the mid-1800s and early 20th century and turns them into very wearable lovelies.

It was tough to choose but I limited myself to two Marvelous Items

This medal celebrates 50 years with the Belgian postal service. Okay, not the most glamorous theme, but I just love the image of these two ladies sending letters across the world. (In sheer frocks, of course. That’s how I manage all my correspondence.) Front & back:

The second piece is a vintage Knights of Pythias medal that features a stag on one side and a knight on the other. His shield shows the KofP motto: Friendship, Charity, Benevolence, but I’m more a House Baratheon kind of girl. Ours is the Fury, indeed.

I had such fun chatting with Melissa. She’s based in Petaluma, and has medals of every variety– divers, deco telegraph priestesses, even geese and pigs.

If there’s a specific image you’re looking for, drop her an email. She has tons of gorgeous creations that don’t make it onto her blog.

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Cthulhu wants you to relax on the porch!

Crafting is a slippery slope. Start buying wind chimes and, next thing you know, you’re wearing a hand-dyed kaftan, 20 pounds of turquoise beads, and answering to “Kiki Sequoia”. But for these marvelous creations by Deborah and Richard Bloom, I will take the risk.

These are wind chimes a la Lovecraft, equal parts dream and nightmare, handmade from bone, thorn, seed pods, and obsidian shards. Easily my favorite find at the Contemporary Crafts Market and I want them all.


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The Harbinger… of Style!

I’ve decided to take a break from my ongoing coverage of the coverage of the Game of Thrones coverage for a little retail therapy.

My taste in jewelry tends to skew a little… baroque, but occasionally I find modern pieces that I adore. Right now, I’m loving California-based Harbinger, not only for their apocalyptic name, but for their clean bamboo designs.

I found these double-triangle earrings at last year’s Renegade Crafts Fair. I call them Silverlake-safe because they always make me feel chic, even when I venture out amid the hipsters. (A filthy business, my friends, and not to be entered into lightly.)

Deal: Harbinger is running a Mother’s Day special: Enter “merci” at checkout and get 20% off.

Blog-appropriate aside: I just learned that Harbinger is also a DC Comics superheroine from the 80s… who wears a deeply whack helmet.


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