Sunday, May 26, 2013

Teak Panel With Protection

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When I go hunting for global treasures in Thailand, it's imperative that I go to the trusted craft and trades people who I have become close to and work with during every trip. Like many businesses, it's about relationships. Working with people you trust and you know respect and understand what is important to me when I make purchases. I like to buy local, fair-trade, and from people with a conscience. This can be tough to figure out when you are alone.

This Amulet Panel comes from the happiest guy I know in Chiang Mai. He is a hoarder, a collector and innovator. When I am in his work space, I begin by putting a pile together. It can takes hours. This is just one of the pieces I scooped up on my last trip. 

This particular panel is made from an old, teak window panel and adorned with Buddhist amulets. It measures 10.5-inches wide by 31-inches high and is about 4-inches deep. Mounted on a black stand, it will surely offer major protection and is an art object for any space. 

Amulets are serious business in Thailand! If you want to know more about them in general,
here is a link to some interesting information I found...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

summer mix-n-match

 Swim Stroke of Genius One Piece // Mod Cloth // $241.99

Belted Sailboat One Piece // Lime Ricki // $55.50

Polka Dot Underwire Tank // J. Crew // $98-$100

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These bright and super fabulous cotton blankets from Morocco are on my list of current favorites from the shop. On my trip to Morocco in December I met Nina in Fes and launched a wonderful collaboration to make these textiles. Every week she heads to the mountains to works with a group of women that weave each blanket. It takes several days to weave one blanket and we get to play with colors. Each in this first group has a dominant statement color and is accented with an equally bright contrasting stripe and fringe. The all-neon-yellow blanket has a great nubby tactile quality; its long fringe and stripes play beautifully against a neutral blanket. It was fun coordinating them with these one-piece swimsuits above – they're a perfect way to make your space and presence known at the beach or pool this summer!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tray Service

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I've got a serious thing for trays. They're so practical yet come in various styles and materials ranging from just plain beautiful to whimsical and fun. Metallic trays instantly makes whatever you're doing fancy; I tend to use them for fruit and cheese service when I'm entertaining. My makeup and cosmetics bottles are corralled on a lacquer one. And I have an array of plastic trays that get used for cooking or tucked under a planter to keep my flowers alive. Don't get me started on all the decorative things I do with them! What do you use your trays for and do you go for certain shapes or styles?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Accidental Flea Marketing

Yoruba Ceremonial Crowns

At the loaded trunk the most unexpected paths followed often lead me to finding some of my favorite collectible pieces. This pair of beaded Yoruba Crowns is but one example.

I was recently visiting my mother in Palm Springs and for years it was a ritual to head to the Sunday flea market. It used to be lined with merchants that made their seasonal pilgrimages around the USA with trucks filled with treasures from their countries. There was a time when you could go and find vendors from Mali, Nigeria, Morocco, Turkey and lots of cool and innovative artisans. That was then and now is now. It seems more and more of their vendors are selling mass produced products from sunglasses to golf shirts. Perhaps they have merely found their niche.

The last few times I have traveled to Palm Springs I have missed the flea market on purpose. This time my Mom and I really wanted to see an old friend and a jeweler who is still there. It was 100 degrees, we were hot and cranky and had 1/2 hour before closing. We found Nina..."kiss, kiss" and purchased some "real" pearl earrings from her and then we headed to the car. Looking left and right  while quickly moving closer to the parking area I rounded a corner and there sat these two beauties and their smiling owner Bakai. He is one of the vendors I spoke about earlier. He doesn't email, have a website or a store. He sells from his truck and follows the outdoor markets around the country. I miss these moments as it has become harder and harder to find these folks. Each time I do I make a friend for life. As they pass by my home on the way from coast to coast I become a stopping point.

As the weather warms and more traders hit the road...I look forward to a stop off and an opportunity to check out their wares! When I started The Loaded Trunk I had no idea it would be such an adventure. Each piece has its own story and its own journey to me. This pair of beaded Yoruba Crowns is but one example. 

find out more about these beautiful collectible pieces

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Monday, May 6, 2013

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My travels to Turkey and Morocco and countries that load you with wonderful tea and mouth watering small plates of food called mezze, have made me a convert to using any cool old or new bowls, baskets, trays or stools throughout my home that aid me in re-creating some of my memorable travel moments. Each piece has multiple uses. Use them in your bathroom, patios, and by all means to add dimension to your entertaining accouterments.

There are still towns where craftsmen using old techniques have not changed in 1000 years. This group mixes old and new pieces, all useful, re-purposed and functional.
From top left clock wise...