Sponsor Post: Hex Goods

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm happy to announce our newest sponsor Hex Goods, an online market place for independent designers.  
 Hex Goods was founded by Zach Supalla who was formerly a Dartmouth Aire along with my husband Scott (for those of you who watch the Sing Off, the Aires were one of the three final groups).  Remember my Bird on a Wire Bedding?  Well Hex Goods is now carrying it.  
Hop on over and check out their merchandise and stop in often as they add new designers and creative wares to their treasure trove. 
Now for a little Q&A with Zach.

Nest: Why did you start Hex Goods?

Zach: I started Hex Goods because I believe that there are a lot of enormously talented designers out there who haven't been "found", because there aren't a lot of great outlets for their work. As an independent designer, you have a few options to get yourself out there: first, you can sell through local boutiques, but then you're limited by geography. Second, you can sell your products on Etsy or eBay, but then you're buried in a sea of hand-made products, many of which are pretty mediocre, and it's difficult to be found. Third, you can create your own web presence, but that can be difficult and time-consuming and you have to focus your energy on driving web traffic and marketing and SEO when you really just want to make cool stuff.

On the other hand, consumers are in a tight spot as well. People want high-quality, designer products, but they're either too expensive (designer brands) or hard to find (independent designers). If you're willing to dig on Etsy or spend your afternoons at design fairs, there are plenty of gems to be found, but it's not easy.

I see Hex Goods as a way to bring together design-focused customers and independent designers, and create an environment where real design talent can shine.
Nest: What do you have planned for the future?

Zach: In the very near term, the first thing we need to do is grow our assortment of products. We're going to be focusing on home decor, fashion accessories, technology accessories, and jewelry. We've also got a special collection planned for Valentine's Day that's going to be pretty spectacular. If you have a cool product that you'd like to see on our site, email us at hello@hexgoods.com!

In the longer-term, we hope to help create more opportunities for independent designers to grow their business, such as helping designers scale their manufacturing or sell their products through major retailers. We hope that one day, all designers will have to worry about is design, and we'll take care of the rest.

Thanks Zach!  Can't wait to see what you add in the next few months!

Guest Post: Small Shop New Years Eve

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hi Friends!

I'm happy to let you know that today I'm over at Small Shop helping Erika with a post while she's enjoying a much needed holiday.  Here's a little sneak peek at a New Years Eve party guide I put together.  Hop on over to check it out.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

For the Rugged Man...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My husband recently received the Filson Catalog.  I had never heard about this brand of "better outdoor clothes since 1897".   They've been around a while and obviously know what they are doing.  The catalog pages are chock full of classic items for the outdoorsman in your life (or maybe even that hipster brother of yours).  Here are my favorite picks just in time for Christmas.

[1] Cowichan Sweater
[2] Leather and Stainless Steel Flask
[3] Mackinaw Wool Lap Robe
[4] Clip Suspenders
[5] Small Carry On Bag
[6] Mackinaw Wool Vest

[7] Carrier with Vacume Bottle

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guestroom nightstand hack

Monday, December 19, 2011

Well, I was at the hardware store the other day (made it there while the parents-in-law were in town helping with baby) purchasing some paint to complete my drapery project when I spotted some decorative brass furniture corners.  I'd been trying to think of a way to dress up the cheap white IKEA Lack side tables that I'm using in the guest room as night stands. This seemed to be the perfect solution - adding the hardware gives them a bit of a campaign furniture quality.  It was super easy, just a small drill bit and screwdriver were needed.  I finished the project in about 10 minutes.
Of course, prior to getting out my tools I was perusing the blogosphere / procrastinating and came across a post from Jenny at Little Green Notebook about the exact same project.  So much for my original idea.  I guess there really is nothing new under the sun.  Fortunately, Jenny's post has inspired me to eventually move these to the family room to use as coffee tables. I'll repurpose the master bedroom nightstands in the guest room and then find a new solution for the master (which I've been wanting to do for a while). Perhaps some draped tables with borders like this.

Happy Friday

Friday, December 16, 2011

Need I say more?

Horsetail Reeds - done and done

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I posted a couple weeks ago about the narrow planting bed along our front walkway and my ideas for plant selections in that space.  Well, a trip to the nursery, some consultation with some experts and then a bit of elbow grease by moi and my father in law, and the horsetail reeds are in along with some heuchera (the bronze low growing lacy stuff in the front) and ajuga (Also bronze) and some icy ground cover.  A nice palette. I'm exited to see how it looks as everything grows in. 

Immerse thyself

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A while back I bought an immersion blender for Scott, king of the kitchen gadgets.  The blender sat in the kitchen cabinet for several months until recently when I started getting CSA deliveries with various fall veggies such as squashes, potatoes, carrots and celery.  In previous years, I'd made a few blended soups, always resulting in a big mess with the blender, pots and pans and a lot of cleanup.  Now, I can't get enough.  We've made all kinds of blended soups this season requiring just one pot and a little hum from the immersion blender.  Here is a little something I made with some butternut squash, potatoes, celery and cilantro I received the other day.  Healthy and yummm!!!

Guest Post: Small Shop Gift Guide

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thanks to Erika from Small Shop for her awesome gift guide for the hostess with the mostest.  I'm definitely inspired to do a little entertaining:

Hello nesters! It's Erika from small shop, happy to be filling in for new mommy Jess. I've been having a ball creating these little gift guides, so it was a piece of cake to create one for all of the holiday hostesses in our lives! Cheers to them, they deserve something special this season!
[ 1 ] Furbish leopard tray, $42 [ 2 ] C.Wonder tortoise old fashioned, $10 [ 3 ] DVF green zebra coasters, $25 [ 4 ] jingle bell wine charms (set of 10 colors), $12.95 [ 5 ] Kate Spade appetizer plates, $50 [ 6 ] Anthropologie disposable polka dot napkins on a roll, $28 [ 7 ] C.Wonder DIY Stationery Kit, $24 [ 8 ] Leif glitter tart server, $20 [ 9 ] St. Germain liquer, $29.99 and Hendrick's Gin $28.99
Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Here is Bryan's birth announcement that Cindy from Lucky 8 Letterpress helped me out with.  She did a great job creating a simple in-budget design highlighting our little one with a nod to the year of the rabbit. 

Happy Friday

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bryan testing out his Baby Belle carrier.

Christmas is here....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas time has arrived in the Davis household!  I took some cues from Emily Henderson's show and hopped on down to the flower district for some fresh Eucalyptus to use as garland. It doesn't shed like normal garland and I was able to decorate the mantle, stair, and table for a grand total of five bucks!  Of course, now it's starting to dry out so we will see how it looks as that happens.  Otherwise, we are in full festive mode here.  This is our biggest Christmas tree yet.  I think it occupies about half of the living room which ought to be interesting when we host our holiday brunch this weekend - speaking of holiday events, I love the invite I created with Paperless Post.  I'm obsessed with their invite tool - so much classier than an evite.  Anyway, I think we outdid ourselves this year. Thankfully Bryan is a little dude and won't remember this year's Christmas and expect the same in years to come.  Although he is pretty stoked about his new stocking I got from Etsy seller Little Buddy Designs.

Happy Holidays!

Sponsor Post : Robert Vega Photography

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sorry to do two sponsor posts in a row, but I just had to share these photos with you.  Our newest sponsor is talented photographer Robert Vega.  He did a great job shooting my baby shower so I had him back to take some photos of our new little family unit and some shots of the nursery.  I'm not yet revealing the nursery pics, but here are some of the ones he did of us and Bry-man.

Sponsor Post: Lucky 8 Letterpress

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A guest post from our new sponsor and long time friend from my college a cappella group (think the Sing-Off), Cindy Lin:

Hi Eagle's Nest readers!

I'm Cynthia Lin, of LUCKY 8 LETTERPRESS, and I'm jumping in today to guest-post a little Q&A about letterpress printing.  I invite you to check out the Lucky8 Etsy shop - use coupon code "EAGLESNEST" and get free US shipping through the end of the year!

Q: How did you get into letterpress?

A: I got into letterpress through another artistic pursuit - I'm also a singer-songwriter.  (Fun fact for readers - Jess and I were in an a cappella group together in college!)  My first album was professionally manufactured - for my second album, I wanted something more personal, and I loved the idea of using recycled packaging and printing CD cases myself.  A friend introduced me to the idea of letterpress, and I found a studio in Brooklyn where I could learn to print and rent a press.  It was such a thrill to print my own limited edition CDs.

Other musicians began asking me to print CD cases for them, and then just by word of mouth I was printing invitations, business cards, bookmarks, stationery, custom wedding favor CDs.  Now I'm printing non-stop.
Q: What is your process?  Do you have your own press now?

A: I recently moved to San Francisco, where the handmade arts are extremely popular, and I found a great studio to rent a letterpress.  I print on a Vandercook, which weighs nearly a ton - if I ever move out of the city, I might get my own, but for now, I'm happy to rent and have someone else maintain the press.
 So, the reason letterpress printing is so expensive is because there are so many steps and details to the craft.  First, you need a design that's letterpress-friendly: line art and type work best, large solids require more finesse to ink properly.  Second, I make a plate of the art, which has the negative (mirror) image and gets placed on the press bed. 
 Third, I mix ink, add ink to the rollers, adjust roller height and paper alignment, and pull a print to check my initial ink density, print impression, and paper registration.  Because each paper has a different thickness, softness, ink absorbent quality, and color, every project requires fine adjustments.  This fourth step is where letterpressers drive themselves crazy, in a neurotic, fulfilling way.  I might add tiny dots of ink, or clean off a touch of ink, or double ink each print.  I may add a bit of tissue-paper packing to get a hair more impression, or feed an extra sheet.  It might take 30 proof sheets to get the print quality that I want or I might hit it on the first try.  When I'm finally ready to print, I hand-feed each sheet through the press one by one, and keep a close eye on ink consistency and registration.  Beyond printing, I spend time experimenting with different papers (including brown recycled chipboard and black cotton museum board).
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: I'm a total nerd for the craft of letterpress printing -- my goal is to create designs that will maximize the beauty of ink, impression, and paper.  I love white space, bold color, super crisp impression, unique papers, and ultimately I enjoy "petting" the paper and running my fingers over the textured details. 

For custom work, it's important to me to capture the personality of whomever I'm creating for.  I love hand-drawings, which I can turn into digital art to print.  I am also a big fan of typography - the right font makes all the difference, and I often create custom fonts to perfectly suit each project.
Q: Why do you think these sorts of hand-made arts are making a comeback?

A: First of all, it's hugely satisfying to make real, physical things.  Most people have jobs with no tangible product.  When you work with your hands, there's a rush, an instant gratification, and a sort of soothing magic that comes, and you love whatever you made, no matter the imperfections.  Second, the ease of digital reproduction has made us run towards one-of-a-kind goods.  It's an expression of individualism - we want to define our own style and embrace our idiosyncrasies.  I love buying hand-made goods because I know I'm directly supporting someone's artistic expression and encouraging more creativity. 
 Thanks Cindy!  Stay tuned for a post about the beautiful announcement Cindy did for Baby Bryan's birth.

Mickey D's gone upscale

Monday, December 5, 2011

Moving to LA has made me appreciate a good burger. Burgers seem to be ubiquitous with the land of sunshine and automobiles.  LA is home to In-N-Out, Tommy's, Father's Office, Umami Burger, the Bucket, and Oinkster to name just a few of the low and high brow options that abound in our city.  McDonald's, the chain who really brought the burger to the rest of the world, has stiff competition in the City of Angels.
 McDonald's of yore courtesy of Flickr

That said, in France McDonald's must compete with other more refined cuisine and the French propensity to linger over a meal. "Fast" food is certainly a bit counter to what the French palate is all about.  Enter the new French McDonald's designed by Patrick Norguet and located in Villefranche-de-Lauragais.  The Atlantic recently published some images of the new concept and I have to say, it's pretty compelling. 
I'd give it a whirl.  Then again, if I found the same food that McDonald's is known for everywhere (and it is this consistency of product that made McDonald's what it is) I'd be pretty disappointed.  Maybe an upscaling of the menu is in order as well.  Deep frying their french fries in duck fat or olive oil perhaps?