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.
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.
The answer to the above question in “yes”. Years ago I went to Marrakech and all of it, from the beauty of the crowded souk market with piles of fresh spices and fabrics, to sparseness of the Berber villages, took my breath away and left colorful images burned in my brain (it takes a lot to do that to jaded, bored 20-something). Of course, there were tons of donkeys and dogs, which are also two of my favorite things (as long as the dogs aren’t too skinny and itchy, then it’s sad).
When I was in Paris this past January I met the most lovely Christophe, who showed me his AMAZING line of Moroccan table linens Leo Atlante (they don’t have a website but you can find them on ye olde Facebook). This literally hit every sweet spot in my design vocabulary—delicious natural fabrics, embroidery, bright colors AND function. Christophe and his partner design the linens and then they are all handmade by a women’s collective in the village of Amaragh, located near Tiznit in southern Morocco. My favorite are the small kitchen cloths which Christophe called a “tete a tete” tablecloth, to be put across a table when having an intimate dinner for two. What a delicious idea!!!!
This embroidery oddly reminds me of my Swedish grandmother.
Here’s a close-up of the embroidery on a full-size tablecloth. Note the hand-embroidered trim!
Tete a Tete anyone?.
The bigger tablecloths like this one are 100% cotton.
These are not up on website yet but you can always call us 323-660-4315 and we’ll happily help.
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!
An old magazine colleague and I used to joke that all news would be much more palatable if served to your in a gift basket. “Ms. Smith, we’re letting you go. Here is your pink slip, carefully nestled in this basket with some muffins and lovely tin of tea!” Well, I’ve now changed my mind about that theory because I think everything would actually be better if served on a cake plate, namely this one, made of acacia wood by Chabatree that is, or course, available at Yolk.