So many treasures out
there -- take a peek at my (current) favorites.



The Seldom Seen Kid ~ Elbow
From Manchester and winner of 2008's Mercury Prize, Elbow is ...Coldplay minus superstardom? They're bold, but every song is also warm and gorgeous. Velvety supper-club music. (The good kind of velvety supper club.) "Grounds for Divorce" has the most amazing lyrics: "There's a hole in my neighbourhood down which of late I cannot help but fall" is only the beginning.
Their website is also spectacular.


Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid



Peace Like A River ~ Leif Enger
What a beautiful book -- really, it's Prayer for Owen Meany good.
Peace Like A River follows the Land family (twelve-year-old Reuben, his sister Swede, and their father) across the upper Midwest and every emotion as they search for older brother Davy, who's running from the law. Despite the circumstances and the story's dead-of-winter setting, it is the warmest, most comforting book I've read in a long while. No sentimentality here, though; narrator Reuben's gorgeous prose and delightful literary references are always delivered in a guileless pre-teen voice. Although it's a story of ordinary people and very human circumstances, this is a book about miracles and extraordinary faith, from Page One to the end.


Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle


Peace Like A River




Om Shanti Om
Another Bollywood movie? Yes, yes! This one's fabulous.
Om Shanti Om spans--and parodies--the Bollywood era from the 1970s to today, opening with an awesome, exuberant roller-disco number. During the first half of the film, amazing camera tricks bring the 70s to life as our hero Om Prakash (Shah Rukh Khan) talks and stumbles his way, as usual, into the heart of huge star Shanti.
After tragedy strikes, the film continues in the present day. Watch as the film lampoons the Bollywood industry and its stars (many of whom appear in cameos), even while bringing a beautiful, epic conclusion to the story of Om and Shanti. Fun!


Om Shanti Om




Slipstitch Designs
I can't promise that every design site I highlight from now on will be Etsy-related, but it's a safe bet. DIY culture and my handbag obsession have come together this year in a happy, budget-friendly way. Latest purchase: a new compact vinyl & canvas messenger bag from Slipstitch Designs, a graphic-designing, handbag-designing husband and wife team.
I found it at the Portobello West market in Vancouver!




Slipstitch Designs


Fonts & Graphic Design:
Does everyone know about MyFonts already? That's okay; it's The One. Their inventory is massive, their search engine is great, and the thumbnails they feature (displaying fonts in use) has inspired me over and over.
Their handy
WhatTheFont app for iPhone, however, gets mixed reviews. When I first downloaded the app this summer, it identified nearly every font I could snap a photo of. Lately it's useless about 70% of the time -- so I'm crossing my fingers that a little more development makes this tool as brilliant as the idea.

- FONT LINKS - -- I love their Type ID feature!




Egg Press
How I envy their talent and their beauty. They excel in custom invitations and holiday cards, but everything's just perfect. They're even making sewing kits now (remember those?!).
Their handiwork is available in hip stores nationwide, but I found out they've opened a storefront in Portland -- through January 4. (Sigh -- another reason to wish for a Portland trip.).



Egg Press