gifts for small peeps

what is xmas, if not a time to spoil the wee ones you love. i am finding it hard not to go nuts with redford turning 3 christmas eve. i have reigned it in somewhat but there are still 3 days to shop!

crayon rolls:
awesome for stockings or to accompany coloring books and sketchpads


felty house full of crayons

stuffed elephant

and zebra

bla bla mobile with sweet bird

bla bla owl mobile

sheep mobile from bla bla

birdy mobile from bla bla

andiamo the dog from bla bla

lulu the flower from bla bla

bandit the raccoon from bla bla
mcnuttie the squirrel from bla bla

dwell zoo book for we ones

super cool placemats by dwell that kids can color, great to take to restaurants





lots of new baby garbs for newborns and toddlers by sckoon


new kids clothes from little lark (this tee comes on cream with a red bike too)

a coloring book for hipster kids and adults alike

owl piggy bank

new book, great xmas message


beautiful book by yoshitomo naro

and or a small stuffed puppy (perhaps in lieu of a real one?!)

super creative coloring book,
lots of room for a kids imagination

and last, but by no means not least,
the piggy flashlight, no batteries needed!

v & a

"Wild and Wolf have collaborated with the V&A museum in London to produce a range of tools for the home and garden in three classic William Morris prints. The Daisy, Cray and Anemone prints come from a volume of wallpapers from part of the most comprehensive collection of Arts and Craft Movement designs which is housed at the V &.A"

here are just a few of the sets and pieces we have at o'suz. they make great gifts!!!












jonathan adler menagerie

oh how happy it makes us that we are carrying jonathan adler ceramics. they are all creamy white and pay homage to one critter or another, so what's not to love. i finally snagged a whale butterdish this time around and absolutely love having him on the counter, especially since redford wants cinn/raisin toast almost every morn these days. cold butter is just a bummer, but no more. now it's soft and living in a whale!




bottle stoppers!

ornaments (more critters in the shop)

this squirrel holds a nut...
this nut hides or holds something very small and very special,
you decide what. (he's bigger than he looks here)




this whale of a pitcher is just that.
he or she is nothing short of awesome.
this turtle doubles as a box,
to stash whatever you feel might be happy in the belly of a turtle!

imm living

the coolest line of ceramics have landed at o'suz.
it's simple but edgy and all pieces are functional which is even better.
gnome juicer
teacup with a dear deer inside to greet you as you sip
my fave, the teacup with an owly within





how cool is this? deer antler jewelry dish
oh so sweet nightingale creamer
this squirrel hangs on the wall and can hang your coat or scarves.
(we have yet to hang it up so please inquire)!
4 different braille cups with messages including "be kind"
(great for a pen/pencil holder as well as to sip from)


bird juicer

yoska stacking cups

and lastly, this snowman is a multi-tasker! he holds sugar, salt and pepper,
all while making you smile.

daddy's day

we are just 4 short days away from father's day, june 20th. and while you may think you have the dad that has everything, we think we have some great gifts, books and cards to brighten your dad's day and to let him know just how much you love him. here are just a few examples of the great manly gifts floating around the shop.


torpedo 8 pc. screwdriver set


hamburger timer

handy little flask

10' teeny measuring tape

light wood fish corkscrew

days with my father is a really touching book by phillip toledano, documenting his father late in his life. the photos are all incredibly moving and a great way to say a sincere i love you.





the man's book: the essential guide for the modern man by thomas fink is a great little gift for more fun-loving dads, and will teach him to tie a tie, mix a martini, among other things


finally send some love his way with these great cards:

dad father papa daddy pop by dee and lala

happy father's day by dee and lala

i love you, dad by dee and lala

happy father's day by fugu fugu press

dad card on wood by night owl

2009 hostess gift guide



#1 beehive heart measuring spoons cast in lead free pewter, $40 for the set


#2 sachets from charlottesville's own lotta helleberg of inleaf, $20


#3 hand soaps from la compagnie de provence, 25 g for $2 and 100g for $6



#4 tag squirrel salt and pepper shakers, $12


#5 roost wood slice cutting board, $44


#6 modern twist coasters in a variety of designs $26


#7 jonathan adler vases, $30


#8 caskata note card box sets for the correspondence loving hostess, $18



#9 kikkerland champagne stopper, $8


#10 charley harper serving bowl from tag, 4.5" high, 10.5" diameter, $46

july love it...amy noel!

this month we're excited to feature one of our local artists, amy noel, who makes the hands-down cutest cashmere critters you've ever seen. it's always a pleasure when amy visits the store (usually with her equally adorable younger daughter in tow) with a new bag of animals for the shop. she has made bunnies, elephants, pigs, owls, chickens, mice, and other forms of fauna, all from reclaimed cashmere. they're even stuffed with cashmere scraps! whenever someone comes in in search of a one of a kind (literally) baby gift that will be both functional and a keepsake, i always show them amy's work. who wouldn't want a locally and lovingly made little creature, perfect for little ones of all ages. i love telling our customers that amy's older daughter often contributes to the "art direction" by telling her mama where to put certain parts or her signature stitched heart. of course, the appeal of amy's work extends beyond wee ones, and many a critter have been purchased for a slightly older demographic. here's o'suz regular nicole's masked buddy in her home, photographed by good pal melissa (check out her blog!):


when we were thinking about how to best feature amy, we knew the best way to convey the appeal of her work was to show it with its ideal audience, and who better to complement critter cuteness than red fisher himself. i spent a day with red while suzannah rocked it out in the shop, and it was good times all around when i handed over the bag of goodies:

pulling them out, one by one...

decisions, decisions.

calling attention to monsieur elephant.

maybe this one?

hmmm, this rooster is rather nice.

red and rooster have some face time.

how are you today, rooster-roo?

yup, he's the one. for sure.

many of amy's creations are visible in these photos, but you really have to feel these little softies to understand how amazing they are. so come check out the menagerie in person at the shop! amy was kind enough to answer our usual questions, so please scroll down for her responses. thank you, amy!

what was your first job and how did you end up making your adorable creatures?

At eleven, I took on the hardest job that I can think of...babysitting. I took on not only one, but three children under the age of five, and was attempting with the best of intentions to replace their mother for four to six hours every day in the summer. Wow, have the times changed. I am a mother of two now and can only hope that I am doing the best that I can. In a way, I feel honored, for my babysitting went on for years and sometimes over weekends as I got older..these parents trusted that I was a good replacement for them while they were away and I did the best that i could. I feel now that this was a good basis for owning my own business and raising two children without the stress of a 9-5 job.

As far as how these creatures came to life, I feel this could be a long and drinking wine kind of story, so I will keep it "simple." I was a traveler before I gave birth to my first daughter five years ago, and I found metal objects on the XX tracks and began making mobiles, rather large and clumsy, but with a raw beauty nonetheless. Then the leather came to me free to recycle from a local boot/saddle maker, from which I began and continue to create books, bags,and baby moccasins...If I want to make it, I will give it a whirl. This giving of leather reminded me of my childhood and all the "hand me downs" I had received and altered to fit my tastes at the time, thus pushing me toward this desire to create things that had little or no waste to them and a bit more function than metal trash mobiles (my heart still loves thee). Granted, one cannot realistically keep every thread that comes from something before, but I can try to impact this world without crushing her with my feet. So, these creatures, with the help of the babe inside, gave thought to all the cashmere sweaters I had found at a frequented thrift store...reinvented and stuffed with the leftover cashmere and just a bit of thread...no choking hazard and pretty edible if so inclined.

what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?

So far, I have a hard time with a favorite choice of the animals I have made... maybe the green rooster, the pink bunny, the black owls, I can't make choices like that.. [ed. note: you can see a black owl in one of the above photos.]

who or what inspires you?

They are inspired by children. My children, five years and six months, the man and father of my children, who I am crazy about..they are my greatest inspiration. Not only to be a better woman and mother, but also to love and follow the beautiful things I see and find in life. For children see the world with this indescribable beauty and honesty that for us over time becomes a bit jaded if we let it, and they do not discriminate unless taught or told to be so. I find myself learning more acceptance daily just by watching my babes see people and things uninterrupted by the daily obstacles. I also find myself inspired by life itself, but music, dancing, and timeless textures are my other inspirations.

this is a new lavender rabbit. (or a jumbo mouse if you prefer)

closer examination reveals extreme cuteness.

what three websites do you visit daily?

The three websites I frequent often, besides google for my need for information DAILY, are etsy and an informative blog on nature's child (written by a friend and mother ). Being a new cyber space gal, I am still finding my way around...or stumbling, but it's fun no less.

describe your ideal sunday.

The day of sun is my most cherished day, an end and a beginning in one day. To start fresh again and remember the week previous. My ideal sunday is spent with my family, for it is hard to get us all together in one moment. So, as we get to know each other, these times are often spent at sugar hollow (a close and beautiful river hike waterfall berry picking paradise) in the summer or lying blissfully around the woodstove in the winter. The day of sun is really set aside for recuperation in my house, even if that means exerting tons of energy and having fun.

critters inspire hugs all around.

what do you see outside your studio windows?

Outside my studio windows, which is my sunroom, are these two giant quince bushes that bloom twice in the year..once in Janurary (even through ice storms) to remind me that spring is on its way, and then again in early May. And then there is my garden of strawberry, tomato, yellow squash, melon, basil, thyme, mint, and rosemary plants and the occasional cardinal or finch roosting in the rose of sharon. This rain that we have been getting has cast an almost luminescent green quality to my country living. In reading this, it almost sounds a bit surreal, but I feel that my life is just a bit enchanted. I don't have much for possessions, but I sure love making something out of nothing. Enjoy this life for all that it is. Thanks for viewing.

life is pretty sweet.

march love it...alena hennessy

here we are in march, and that makes me think of brisk, sunny days and freshening up for spring. alena hennessy has just the thing for the changing of the seasons, from new art for your walls, soft cotton scarves, and beautiful printed tshirts. best of all, we recently got a nice big box of new goodies from our favorite asheville peep!

about a year and a half ago i kept seeing alena's work on various websites, and i was completely smitten with her scarves and the imagery printed on them. eventually i ordered a couple with the intention of only keeping one (haha), and there was no turning back after that. then i was lucky enough to meet alena at the new york gift fair last february, and we placed our first order for the store. since then alena's work has been flying out the door!


alena creates beautiful paintings whose imagery centers around flora and fauna. she then transforms the paintings into prints, and we have this lovely owl in the shop right now. (you know how we love our owlies -- look at his little feet!)


alena also uses many motifs from her work on various textiles: scarves, tshirts, and bags. the scarf above is suzannah's new favorite, she snagged it right away. it has a little bit of a thicker rib than the others and is super soft and cozy. it's the perfect weight for spring and is also a great way to add a little flair to your daily ensemble. they're super long, so you can wrap away in all sorts of ways. also exciting is the fact that alena works really hard to make sure her production is eco-friendly. nearly all of her fabric goods are printed locally with earth friendly inks on organic materials - yay!


we also love alena's tshirts -- this is a new purple burnout tee that is beyond soft. the bright colors make me so excited for spring tshirt weather!


one last thing, and then i promise i'll let alena tell you the rest! at this past gift show alena introduced a new series of eco tote bags, and we got this sweet tree bag in the shop. great for everyday use or for shopping!

we're so excited to have more alena in the shop, and we're thrilled to have her here on the blog as well. still, the computer screen does not do justice to the yummy softness of her textiles or the vibrancy of her prints, so come visit her goodies soon! thanks, alena! xoxo, jessica

what was your first job and how did you end up painting? by extension, what attracted you to using textiles in your work?

my first job was working as an after school arts teacher in a small private school down the road from my house. as far as painting, that is something i have always done, since i was little. well i guess it was drawing at first, and then i got into painting once i was older. i love art and design that can also be functional, and i love the feeling of soft fabrics, and the idea of adding just a simple motif to that piece, so that is what initially inspired my attraction to textiles.


what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?

oh that's hard! it changes monthly probably. i usually am most attracted to what i am working on currently. right now i am working on a new series of paintings inspired by my trip to india (so think long tail feathers, bold colors, elephants, sleeping cows!) but i like my most recent organic scarves i came up with. i like the baby rib cotton that's so thick, along with the designs.

who or what inspires you?

nature and animals inspire me. simple lines and classic narratives, like zen mythologies, and color color color. my sweet little town of asheville and all the dear people that live here also inspire me very much. i love having four seasons.


what three websites do you visit daily?

my own to fill orders, facebook (its so addictive, i hate to admit it!), and well nothing else daily really because time is a limited resource these days it seems.

describe your ideal sunday.

sleeping in as much as i can stand it, going out to eat to sunny point cafe for some huevos rancheros, going to the park and spending some time with friends.


what do you see outside your studio windows?

trees and blue sky!

our economic stimulus package(s)

so we were thinking of ways to encourage good gift giving this year. we know times are tight but it's xmas, and it's hard to refrain from the festivities. giving just feels good, plain and simple. here is what we have up our sleeves. we are having a 2 for 1 sale on lots of fun goodies, some of them are even already wrapped! some are out now & some will be out black friday bright and early. here is a list of we have come up with so far:

sniff tissue packets in fun prints 2 for $3.50
apivita to go packets (skin, face and hair care)
aluminum post it note holders 2 for $10
lafco bath salt packets 2 for $10
cool aluminum cases (wallet like) 2 for $15
vibrant nylon bags that can be zipped into a pouch 2 for $15
jill bliss posters 2 for $20
sabre french utensils (we have peelers, bottles openers, demitasse spoons, cake knives....)
decals by dvider 2 of the same priced decal for 1 (range from 30 to 56 and come in tubes)
and the best for last are the lotta jansdotter pillows 2 for 1. these are no longer made by lotta, making them super rare and super special! they are amazing and would make a beautiful gift (or you could give 1 and keep 1).

quantities are all limited, some more than others, so come stock up. many of the goodies will fit perfectly in a stocking! (we've got those, too.) hey, and have nice thanksgiving.

gift fair, take one

while most new yorkers are fleeing the oppressive heat of the city during the first few weeks of august, thousands of professional shoppers descend on manhattan for the new york international gift fair. the javits center plays host to countless aisles of vendors, selling everything you can imagine: books, bags, product, baby gear, jewelry, tableware, and so on. this is one of the ways we keep up with what's new from our current peeps and also find new lines that we love. between placing reorders and new orders, collecting catalogs, fiddling with the calculator, chatting with our o'suz pals, and trying to remember to eat, it's an absolute whirlwind of activity! in other words, it is SO much fun.

definitely one of the best parts of the gift show is discovering new lines and meeting people whose wares you've only ever heard about on the internet or through word of mouth. (also, i should say there are some 'celebrities' at the gift show. for example, thomas paul was actually working his own booth, and i was so starstruck by his natty style that i was dumbfounded into silence.) we wanted to give our faithful readers a little sneak peek into some of the new delights that will be popping up in the store this fall -- we hope you'll be as excited as we are!


(photo courtesy of pillow pillow pillow)

one of the products i'm most excited about is the tote bag group from pillow pillow pillow. while i can't actually show you the tote bags (no photography is allowed at the show), i can tell you that these bags are painfully adorable. as a hardcore lover of the mighty boston terrier, i can assure you that i will be sporting my 'otis' all over town. fyi, all the dogs in their line are actually modeled after real life pooches, and they are always on the lookout for new pups to lead double lives as pillows.

we love our jewelry at o'suzannah, so we are forever scoping the scene for beautiful and fun new lines. this time around we found several new possibilities, but we can tell you for sure that lucid new york will be debuting in the shop soon. (check out their site for images!) we're getting a few of anna's classic pieces and several others from her 'charming' collection, which are all sterling silver single charm necklaces. as you know, we love the proud and prickly hedgie here at o'suz, so i was pleased as punch when a good friend gifted me with lucid's hedgie necklace last christmas. however, we know that not everyone is as enamored by the hedgehog as we are, so we also ordered a nice selection of her other charms -- horseshoes, keys, birds, wishbones, and so on.



(image courtesy of the lomographic society)


on the giftie front, we're excited to introduce a few cameras from the lomographic society. they've not only invented some new cameras in the last decade, but they've also brought back some of the most iconic cameras of the 20th century, among them the lomo, holga, and diana. we'll be getting a few of the newer cameras, like the actionsampler, but also the classic diana, an all-plastic camera introduced in the 1960s. the diana is a great experimental camera and produces more lo-fi imagery. all of the lomographic society's cameras come with modern instructions and tips for getting exciting photos. no one would ever call me a photographer, but i do own a few of these babies and have a lot of fun experimenting with the end products.


(image courtesy of third drawer down)


one of the hands down coolest things we got at the show comes from australia's third drawer down. they print contemporary artists' work on household linens: tea towels, handkerchiefs, aprons, pillowcases, and so on. continuing one of the most dominant themes of 20th-century art, these objects encourage a dialogue between art and everyday life, which is a project i personally find extremely compelling. all of their textile projects are editioned works of art -- it's up to you how you use them, whether they're hanging on your oven door or mounted on stretcher bars in your living room. this is an incredible way to bring art into your home and to support contemporary artists. i can't wait to get my hands on a camilla engman tea towel!

these are just a few of the new lines that you'll see in o'suzannah in the coming months -- there are so many more en route, too! stay tuned for the second part of my gift show post, where i'll let you know about some of the new goodies from our old friends. xoxo, jessica.