Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fast 5 + 1 suggestions for a last minute gift

Pure Alpaca Wraps - Our Holiday Bestseller!! ( $99 )

Warm, beautifully colored and sustainably made. Our sales show that you can't go wrong with one of these. ...Psst they come as throws & shawls as well. 

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925 Sterling Silver & Pewter Salt'n'Pepper Shakers ( $66 )

Look at it!! 
Isn't it cute? 
Well Ms. Squirrel and her nut are looking for a home!
Intricately detailed and hand-finished in highest quality 925 Sterling Silver and pewter alloy.

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Patch Soy Candles - designer made in NYC. All natural. ( $37 each )

When in doubt... Candles... We know not the most imaginative gift... BUT these 'lil soy puppies will are beautifully packaged most unusually scented and US made. Did we mention they are all natural? Perfect for Secret Santa office party gifts.

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Authentic Vintage German Pottery ($125)

Ah ya!! 
Beautiful colors, precision craftsmanship - the BMWs of vases.

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 14 Kt Gold over Sterling Silver Earrings ($38 a pair)

No gold-digging for me; I take diamonds!  We may be off the gold standard someday.  ~Mae West.

She's dead! 
We say stick to Gold!

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White Bliss Tea - ($16)

A relaxing cup of white tea with hints of Vanilla and Coconut. Neutralize your coffee breath and show the world you know all about antioxidants.

click here

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


09.10. – 30.11.2014
opening reception: 18.00, NAG, Ball Hall

On 9 October the National Art Gallery opens the exhibition “A Parisian in Sofia”, which will show paintings, graphic works and drawings by Nikolay Nikov - Nicheto (1924-1989). The exhibition is organised on the occasion of 90 years from the artist’s birth and is his first retrospective exhibition.

Nikolay Nikov, called Nicheto by everybody, was born in Sofia in 1924. His mother, Rayna Rakarova, was the founder of the first Bulgarian Applied Arts and Crafts School “IZA”, whose teaching staff included renowned Bulgarian artists and applied artists.

Since his childhood, Nicheto had been surrounded by his mother’s intellectual circle including their relative, artist and occultist Emanuil Rakarov, Nikolay Raynov, Boris Sharov, Dechko Uzunov, the young Pavel Vezhinov, Bogomil Raynov and many other artists, musicians, writers and journalists.

As a child, Nikov had enviable education in the field of fine and applied arts, music and languages. That allowed him later to work freely in all painting and graphic arts genres and techniques, to play the piano, the guitar, the mandolin and the trumpet, to sing jazz and opera pieces, popular songs and ballads with his trained voice, as well as to use freely 8 European languages (Latin and Old Greek included).

Later, his education involved thorough knowledge of European art history and literature (with a preference for French literature), occultism and esoteric sciences, which laid the foundation of an impressive, well cultivated and rich in themes and styles work. Most of his work would remain unrevealed for the public, even for his closest friends, until his death in 1989 and up to now. In this sense, we should take the words of his friend, the artist Atanas Neykov – Nayo, literally “Nikov’s art is hidden”.

For the first time, the viewers will have the opportunity to get to know the artist’s deeply hidden and personal work, created in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His work is a kind of a style and thematic compendium of Bulgarian art from that period and unique evidence of the epoch.

Always impeccably and elegantly dressed, a Dandy and Bohemian, everybody’s favourite, Nikov was emblematic with his presence in the cult clubs from the 1960s such as “The Bamboo”, “Production” restaurant, “Slavyanka”, “The Journalists’ Club” and others, where he used to be the life and soul of the company.

The first visitor to the exhibition on 23 September this year was the French intellectual of Bulgarian origin and a close friend of Nikolay Nikov from Sofia and Paris - Tzvetan Todorov, during his short stay in Sofia.

The exhibition is accompanied by an album-catalogue, which contains 500 pages, a monograph on Nikolay Nikov and a foreword especially written for the edition by Tzvetan Todorov.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Retail Star Power in the City of Angels

When Michelle van der Heijden was growing up in the suburbs of New York City, her mother owned a book and gift shop with a “mom and pop” feel that she always loved. She was also exposed to the bohemian-style boutiques of lower Manhattan during frequent visits to see her father. Fast forward a couple of decades, and the result is an eclectic store created by Michelle named MUSH.

With over twenty years of retail and interior design experience, Michelle personally picks out every item sold at MUSH, which features rare jewelry, local art, elegant furniture, home accessories, antiques and gifts. Her expertise has led to high-profile consulting projects, including set design gigs for actress/talk show host Jenny McCarthy, and having her in-store art collection appear on several network programs, including Heroes and Saving Grace.

Even with Michelle’s New York upbringing, MUSH has a distinctly LA vibe. “Los Angeles still seems to offer possibilities for small, unique shops, much like Greenwich Village did in the 80’s and early 90’s”, says Michelle. “Although LA can be hectic, it’s still laid back in many ways compared to New York City.”

Michelle’s support of local artists and designers-- and strong belief in featuring products made from reconstituted materials-- has led to a loyal clientele, including many celebrities who have followed her from the original MUSH in Hollywood, to the new store in Silver Lake. But it’s her dedication to local talent and community building that keeps the traffic coming. “One of our main objectives is to keep smaller neighborhood communities intact by selling art and jewelry by talented local artists”, says Michelle. “We also support other small community artists from around the country, and if we choose to buy internationally, we make sure each item is produced in locations that share our philosophy. Our intention is to create a neighborhood shopping council where all businesses along Silver Lake Boulevard will work together to better the shopping experience in the area.”

MUSH has also developed a healthy online business, which accounts for approximately 45% of gross annual income. Michelle’s strategic use of social media, local business listings and attending swap meets and fairs in and around Los Angeles has made the transition to Silver Lake relatively smooth, and in an era ruled by faceless big box retailers, her creativity and hands-on approach has proven to be a refreshing formula.

Like many small business owners, Michelle initially struggled with the costs and logistics of outside accountants, who handled her books on an ongoing basis. She credits a switch to QuickBooks in 2008 as a game-changing decision that helped MUSH achieve its current level of success. “Once the QuickBooks database was set up, it functioned as an integral part of our business, helping us keep tracks of vendors, sales, allocating money spent and allowing access to charts with details about cash flow and income projections”, said Michelle. “One of its greatest features for us is the cloud functionality, and its ability to share accountant reports over the internet. We have a small office space and telecommuting with our accountant has saved us money and scheduling headaches.”

The first incarnation of MUSH played a significant role in reinvigorating a previously underdeveloped area of Hollywood. Michelle now looks to replicate that success in Silver Lake, where unique shopping experiences and celebrity sightings are part of an increasingly vibrant landscape.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Memorable Gifts: 5 <= $50 and 5 <= $30

Pure Alpaca Scarves - Our Holiday Bestseller!! ( $48 )

Give the privilege of luxury with these pure Peruvian Alpaca Scarves. They are warm, beautifully colored and sustainably made. Our sales show that you can't go wrong with one of these.
...Psst they come as throws, shawls and wraps as well.
click here

925 Sterling Silver & Pewter Bottle stoppers ( $36 )

Show that you care about that carefully curated wet-bar. Psha!
The pewter figural duck on this Flying Duck Bottle stopper is intricately detailed and hand-finished in highest quality Sterling Silver and pewter alloy. It has a nice weight to it to keep the spirit in the bottle or do some damage at the after-party brawl.

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Soy Candles - US made. Burning 240 hrs. All natural. ( $38 each )

We know... Candles... Not very inspiring... BUT these 'lil soy puppies will last you for some time, they are beautifully scented and are US made. Did we mention they are all natural? Perfect for Secret Santa office party gifts.

click here

Uber cute Animal Pouches ($48)

Adopt an animal today without any of the hassles of having to remember to feed it or even take it out for a walk. You can be lazy. You can be forgetful. Just look at those eyes!

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Sterling Silver and Freshwater Pearl Earrings ($36 a pair)

Just out of principle it is safe to say that a woman can never have enough jewelry. So when in doubt a pair of these Sterling Silver danglers will keep you safe from trouble, clenched teeth and disapproving side-way looks.

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Another One of our best sellers - Fingerless Gloves. ($24 a pair)

Handmade in Nepal. Wool with cotton lining. Show your bling, text or pick your nose no matter how cold it is outside.

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10" Sand Hour Glass ( $24 )

It was said 'Well-timed silence is the most commanding expression' - hammer the message home with these beautifully crafted and colorful Hour Glasses. 30 mins to 2 hrs.
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Frilly Scarves ($20)

Soft and cuddly. Bright colors. Spandex for shape. An easy gift. Guaranteed crowd pleaser.
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White Bliss Tea - ($16)

'Bliss out' during the Holidays with one of our signature blends. A relaxing cup of white tea with hints of Vanilla and Coconut. Neutralize your coffee breath and show the world you know all about antioxidants.
click here

Italian Home Diffusers by Millefiori of Milano ($28)

NO MORE SMELL OF OLD SOCKS in the bedroom! Designers in Milan have come up with the perfect solution for masking out those pesky household bouquet's. Mama mia! questo รจ incredibile!
click here

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why Alpaca?

This is my favorite time of year, when there is a chill in the air...yes, a chill...even in Los Angeles!  There is nothing I love better than cozying up on the couch at night with an old movie, my cat, and a cup of tea!

I am super excited to have these yummy, soft and warm Alpaca throws in my shop.  Why Alpaca?

1.   Hypo-allergenic
2.   Doesn't itch or irritate your skin
3.   Light weight and warm
4.   Eco friendly
5.   Beautiful natural colors (and natural dyes)
6.   Excellent breathability
7.   Easy to maintain (can be hand washed)
8.   Durable.
9.  Is considered by some to be a higher quality than Cashmere

To really appreciate the process of these fine weaving's,  I am going to treat you to a visual journey to Peru, so you can see the gifted artisans in their element...

Very cute Alpaca in their natural and BEAUTIFUL environment.

                                                            The spinning process
The dying process 

The gathering and winding process

The weaving process

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Brooklyn Flea Market Flip Out!
I'm getting excited for this season's premiere of "Flea Market Flip", with Lara Spencer.  It airs on HGTV this Friday, March 15th at 9:00pm.  

Last Spring, after a long road trip, hunting for collectible treasures all throughout New England, my best friend, Desiree Kelly and I had decided to rent a booth at the Brooklyn Flea Market one Sunday and turn some our new "trash into cash!"

Lara Spencer and HGTV were set up right next to our booth, filming an episode for this Season's "Flea Market Flip".  While setting up, Lara kept coming into our booth to snoop around.  I could really see this stuff is in her blood.  It takes a "junky" to know one!  

 I collected a lot of the old rusty, junky, broken, steampunk stuff.

 While Desiree brought in a funky Mid-Century flare to the table with her vintage bar ware and boomerang ashtrays.

Lara was interested in our authentic Mid Century Modern chairs by designer Adrian Pearsall.

The film crew came over later in the afternoon and started filming us. 

And let me just say, it was super hot and humid that day, but unlike me, Lara didn't show any signs of heat exhaustion!

It was a long, hot day, but in the end, we got to hang out with Lara Spencer and her amazing HGTV crew, appear on her TV show and we sold the pair of Adrian Pearsall chairs.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Art of Steampunk

Whenever I go to a flea market, my eye is always naturally drawn to old industrial, mechanical, utilitarian objects, such as old pocket watches, hand tools, type writers, cameras, goggles, and anything with cogs and gears.  And sometimes, the rustier, the better! 

Over the years, I have come to learn that there is actually a name for this kind of style.  It's called "Steampunk".

Steampunk is inspired by science fiction and fantasy from the Victorian era.  It integrates all these things I've been collecting over the years, with a sometimes retro futuristic aesthetic.

I think for this blog, my pictures will describe the art of Steampunk much better than my words.  

Here are a few photos of some Steampunk style items I've discovered...

This super cool cast iron adjustable table is currently for sale on our website.

 There is nothing like the architecture of an old camera. 
 This is an old Kodak from the early 1900's

This Antique barber's chair is a good example of Victorian Futuristic Steampunk.

An Antique Triunial Magic Lantern and Candlestick Phone.

These Antique Brass Goggles with colored lenses will add a fashionable Steampunk flair to your wardrobe!

This Steampunk Lamp screams Futuristic Sci-Fi.

Steampunk is also an emerging art form.

 Steampunk artists are creating retro Sci-Fi art.  

 Steampunk art exhibits are becoming more popular in America and in Europe.

 Industrial Steampunk lighting and design is becoming more popular in home decor... well as in the entertainment world, as you will notice, the set design for the 2013 Academy Awards was very Industrial Steampunk. (notice the large Hex nuts encasing the Oscar statues in the background). 

Edison bulbs were also used throughout the ceremony.

Steampunk has also inspired jewelry artists to recycle some old parts.

 You'll find these one of a kind Steampunk inspired "Timeless Pieces" on our website.
Each pendant is hand assembled by me.  I have been collecting old broken watches and turning them into Jewelry art pieces for over 20 years.