I am a complete sucker, bleeding-heart softie most of the time. When I buy for Yolk I often end up loving items that, when produced, allow someone less fortunate to get a leg up in this crazy life. Nowadays, there’s so many fair-trade, ethically-sourced products in the world that are manufactured with thought for the maker as well as the consumer. I really try to mindful when ordering items and….shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I would one day love to produce my own line of something beautiful that also gives back. For now, I make do by being impressed and humbled by others.
With the above in mind, my heart swelled a bit when I read the email from Connor at Would Works. His company makes beatiful solid wood cutting boards and all the finishing work is done by homeless men and women living in downtown Los Angeles (mere miles from my store). Perhaps because of my former life as a journalist, I love anything with an inspiring story and Would Works has that in spades. The cutting boards are also totally swoon-worthy and would amazing on any table or kitchen counter.
All serving boards are made of solid maple or oak.
Artisans work on a point system that allows them to purchase necessary items of their choice.
I didn’t realize I was missing felt in my life until I started buying for Yolk. What could be more delicious than something that is bright, bold AND functional. I guess I also didn’t realize that most felt items seem to come from Nepal. Since I’m a curious soul I went to the University of Google and found that the main industry of this South Asian state is Tourism but SURELY it must be felting. I’m positive if you look VERY closely at the pic below you will see the beautiful Nepalese people felting away in the snowy mountains (OK maybe not this exact pic).
There’s just something about the colors that wool felt takes on, even the palest of pinks retains a brightness that I just adore. This trivet below is one of the top sellers in Yolk to the point where people will come in and buy them in stacks, have us wrap them all separately and then keep them on hand in their “gift closet” (note to you: I do not have a “gift closet”, seems a bit Candy Spelling).
Sunny side up with this felt ball trivet!
Other bits of felty deliciousness that we’ve recently received in Yolk are from the amazing line Muskhane, a line from Paris but made in (altogether now: NEPAL!).
These felt leaves are amazing placemats and coasters.
More beauty from Muskhane. The perfect felt catch-alls.
I have been known to do the odd “impulse buy” (I don’t care what anyone says, they don’t call it retail THERAPY for nothing). Usually, I’m not a crazy spendy person but a few years ago, my relationship went bust and I was feeling a bit wounded, lonely and, well, stupid. I decided I need a divorce present. I drove on a tear to Modernica on Beverly Blvd, and UNABLE to wait the lead time for a custom upholstery job, I purchased the Hans J. Wegner Papa Bear chair right out of the window. I had wanted a blinding citrus green velvet but instead opted for a muted olive wool (Kvadrat fabric…delicious and available at Modernica). I wrastled that chair into my car, wedged the foot stool on the front seat and then carried the whole thing up two flights of stairs to my living room. I love it. It’s my first piece of really adult, pricey and timeless furniture (I haven’t been able to afford anything else in that vein since) and it makes happy every time I walk in my door.
My very own Papa Bear chair.
Of course, every good chair deserves an equally delish accessory and I recently took home this blanket from Yolk by Leo Atlante (they don’t have a website but you can find them on Facebook). It’s a fine weave wool, made in Morocco and hand-embroidered. I like to sit in this chair and read a book (or trashy tabloid mags that are too trashy for me to even name) and always need to curl up with a blanket around my legs so this one is perfect for oddly-cool LA nights.
This Leo Atlante blanket is at Yolk and also in my living room. Score!
While we’re here, I thought I’d share a picture of one of my loves, Jake. He’s an oldie but a serious goodie. He has equally good taste in textiles. Enjoy.
He has many names but I usually call him Snoop. Photos: Reuben Reynoso
In Los Angeles, it literally feels like we get a sliver of spring before we are launched into full-blown summer! This weekend was THE weekend us Angelenos crossed over from the “do I maybe need to bring a sweater” to “gah, it’s so hot!!!”.
Shot in my Silverlake backyard. Photo: Reuben Reynoso
Back in my magazine days I used to love styling photo shoots so this weekend I went back to that and did some styling of Yolk products at my house. My friend and photographer Reuben Reynoso helped me out with his camera skills but I had such fun buying props (read: croissants that didn’t make it into ANY photos) and these gorgeous blooms you see above. This fantastic tote is by Virginia Johnson and her wonderful goods are always available at Yolk.
Oh stop it you beautiful French napkin! Photo: Reuben Reynoso
I think I’ve expressed my love of wrinkly linen before. This past Friday I got a partial shipment from this French company, Ligne Particulieur that makes my heart skip. These raspberry napkins make me want to have people over for dinner, light candles, eat souffle, listen to Serge Gainsbourg and use my VERY limited highschool French (I love speaking pretend French and do so on a daily basis with a very select few). The tablecloth is from the lovely Leo Atlante (who I wrote about in earlier posts).
All this color makes us feel so heart-poundingly happy and hopeful. Love.
If you’ve never been to Silverlake (where Yolk and I both live) then you wouldn’t know that it might, in fact, be the dog capital of the world. Everyone seems to have a canine, if not two, and I even know someone who has 8 (she won’t be named). Maybe it’s the lake, the weather or general mellow-ness of most local businesses but dogs around here go everywhere with their people–I won’t even go into the Halloween dog costume parade and the “have your mutts photo taken with Santa at Christmas” shenanigans.
Perhaps it’s because I’m taking one of my dogs for his first acupuncture appointment tomorrow because he’s old and a bit sick so I’m feeling very sentimental towards all our furry friends (and rarely meet one I don’t like). This might also be why I tend to subconsciously buy dog-themed things like this hemp and leather Virgina Johnson Pouch (below), the locally-made Chester and Co silver necklace or the Douglas stuffed pup that looks too, too cute sitting on a shelf.
Oh yeah, we’re still working on getting stuff on the site so you can always call 323-660-4315 if you have any questions or would like to get something or would like to ask my ideas for good dog names.
This is the time of year that stuff just rolls through the front door of Yolk like a magical fiesta of spring! It’s funny, I never really knew what my taste was until I started doing the store–I would just buy things for my house and arrange them just-so and be done with it. What my actual taste was never really came into it.
Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what you like by working backwards and realizing what you don’t like (or indeed, what you hate). My main decorating gaffs happened either in college dorm rooms (of course a milk crate can also be a TV stand?!?!) or apartments from my 20’s where most of my “decor” came from a street corner and usually had a sign on it that said “free” or IKEA, before I realized HOW to shop the Swedish behemoth. That is another post entirely.
Here’s what I like: Things that are colorful. Things that are functional. Things that are made of wood. Things made of colorful wood. Functional things that are colorful. Things in 3’s (always odd numbers). Things with interesting texture.
Do. You. See. Where. We. Are. Going? See below and tell me what you love!
I’ve been in bed feeling a bit poorly, which wasn’t so bad because it let me watch season 2 of Borgen in one go! I don’t watch much TV but this series has me totally hooked, right down to the PM Birgitte Nyborg’s expertly tailored blazer in every hue of grey, navy and emerald. However, my favorite part about any Scandinavian TV series or movie is always that a) people drinks coffee all day long (very true) and you also notice how important design is to all the Scandi countries.