[photos by Jessica Reid—mostly taken from my car (when stopped!)]
LA. The weather can't be beat, and it's gorgeous by the beach, but I have had a hard time appreciating the rest of the city until now. As an east-coaster who loves to walk, the driving culture in LA has always made it a bit difficult for me to love the place, but this time was different. Instead of seeing the dingy strip-malls and lack of people on the streets, I came to appreciate the vast blue skies, the vintage signs and the bits of Old Hollywood that remain.
I even found some great neighbourhoods to explore on foot. Here's what I recommend checking out if you go.
2. Larchmount Village: This sweet little neighbourhood features a great kids' boutiques, the not-to-be-missed Salt and Straw ice cream from Portland and local institution Chevalier's Books, which has been on the strip since 1940.
3. Atwater Village: I love me some fabric, so I had to check out Sew L.A. I was not disapointed by their selection of textiles and patterns. And Proof Bakery across the street had tasty sandwiches and pastries.
4. Rosebowl Flea: If you happen to be in Los Angeles on the second Sunday of the month, and you like looking for treasures, you can't miss this massive market!
5. Little Tokyo: You must check out Kinokuniya for an amazing selection of art, craft and design books in Japanese and English and more beautiful stationery items than one can possibly handle. There are also tons of great places to grab a bite, as well as a Japanese grocery store and Anzen Hardware — an old school emporium where top restaurants come to buy kitchen supplies. A nearby shop that's also worth a visit is the design-driven housewares shop Poketo.
6. Santa Monica: Closer to the beachyou'll find this amazing, twice-weekly farmers' market. Or head down to Venice Beach, stroll along the shore and then take a walk down Abbot Kinney Boulevard to explore the shops and restaurants and check out the nearby canals.
[1. Mid Century Modern Teak Ice Bucket, Stonesoupology; 2. Glitter Fringe Garland, Elisabeth Nicole; 3. Hooray Flag, Larkspur and Linen; 4. Paper Straws, Pomtree; 5. Dixon Tea Towel, Avril Loretti; 6. Retro Drinking Glasses, Variety Retro.]
While we're deep into the festive season, here at Covet Garden we like to find reasons to celebrate all year long. And presentation is a big part of living life to fullest. We totally subscribe to the idea of having beautiful objects on hand to help make any occasion — from a New Year's Eve event to trying out a new recipe — feel more special.
Etsy is a one stop shop for things to dress up your next fête. You can toast your guests with bubbly chilled from a sleek modernist ice bucket or you can wave your flag with a handmade pennant. Follow Covet Garden on Etsy and check out our Celebrate list of party favour favourites for many more ways to dress up your special days!
401 Richmond has been headquarters for happening art and events as long as we can remember. This restored industrial building in downtown Toronto is home to over 140 artists, cultural producers, microenterprises, galleries, festivals, and shops. And 2014 marks the centre’s 20th year as an exciting arts hub that is open to the public year round.
And each December, the creative folks at 410 Richmond celebrate the space by throwing open their doors for a Frolic!
The annual Frolic Open House and Artists Marketplace features a rad selection of contemporary art and gifts from the centre’s galleries, studios, artists, shops and other local makers. It’s a fun way to meet 401 Richmond’s artisans and to get extra insight into your purchases in an unintimidating atmosphere. You'll find handmade crafts and original, affordable works of art for everyone on your list.
And if you attend the Opening Night party on Thursday, there will be tasty food, a bar and live printmaking demonstrations at Open Studio.
The Frolic runs from December 4 to 7. The fun begins at 11am everyday. Check out 401 Richmond’s website for specific hours for shops, galleries, and artist open studios.
[cover image: Naomi Finlay]
2014 has been a spectacular year for Covet Garden and we want to cap it off with a spectacular space. Ian and Alexx's condo is a carnival of delights. From a cavalacade of crazy collections to a a well-reasoned and thoughtful use of space, colour and design, their home manages to connect the space to the history of craft, commerce and domesticity with a fun and comfortable place to live in the moment.
Ian is an illustrator and printmaker and Alexx is a ceramicist. Both have encouraged us to tap into our own creative sides this season. Ian's cushions served as the muse for our DIY pet pillow project. And the couples' innovative use of vintage containers got our Jessica talking about her own love for retro tins (and the potential treasures they can hold).
So drop by Ian and Alexx's for a fun and inspiring tour.