Wednesday, December 31

let's get hitched.

we had to tell you about the sweetest thing that happened in the shop the other day -- o'suzannah hosted a marriage proposal! the newly engaged couple had been high school sweethearts back in the day, but according to the new fiancee, he dumped her when he got a car. (gotta love teenage boys.) they went on and lived their lives, going down separate paths, and then, five years ago, he wandered into the store on his lunch break, and lo and behold, there she was. they reconnected for the first time in many years, and now, five years later, they're engaged to be married! he had it all planned out and insisted they pick up prescriptions downtown, much to her confusion, but it was all so he could get her into the site of their meeting five years ago! it was so exciting to hear this couple's story and to have the store be the location for such a happy day in their lives.

Sunday, December 28

happy new year friends!!

so i have started 2 posts since the 17th of dec. and not been able to finish either of them before their potential interest expires. busy times.
i am trying again, but extra early, so those of you who peek at this semi regularly will be the first to know..... our
big january sale begins on january 3rd, next saturday. we will be closed january 1rst, to relax with family and friends, and jan 2nd, to do our annual inventory (gadzooks people), clean and re-evaluate. we will also be setting up the sale, which, as always, despite the 2 for 1 that has been ongoing since thanksgiving, will be hugely juicy. one thing that always illudes me is how to streamline the merch in the store. i love when a new year approaches for so many reasons. it's a chance for an ultimate spring cleaning but in the dead of winter! it's a chance to reflect on all that is good in our lives. we had a tough fall with the move and the economy but we pulled it out in the end. let me say, i am grateful to all who used the locally circulated coupon. the response was great. thanks to elizabeth b for the idea and the follow through. also, in general, people were shopping but maybe buying less and that's ok. we had the 2 for 1  which emerged victorious. we made many peeps happy i think. bottom line: we usually have a big sale in january anyway, but this year gift givers could be more generous, or treat themselves, and or save some at the same time. we sold more then we would have. it was a win win all around. thanks for shopping at o'suz!!!!!!
oh and......
see you in 2009!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17

craft night at suz's....

...proved to be full of handmade and edible secret santa gifties, potluck yummies, crafts and good friends just hanging out. myself, aaron, helen, jessica, and our new family member, jen, all got together sunday night and exchanged our santa gifties, made crafts, and ate!!! what fun, but it always is. it's the best part of xmas at o'suz really. first we ate. we had cheeses and salads and mac n cheese and mexican dip. then we exchanged our santa gifties. here is what we opened!

.....then we made crafts, including: pomanders, amy butler paper covered clothespins and sugar and salt scrubs. i was in charge of the product making, as i love product, so it just seemed fitting i would gather the ingredients and get us going with scrubs. we made grapefruit salt scrub and peppermint and lavender sugar scrub. we also used some yummy yonka oil that my lovely husband got me last year at oasis day spa and made a special sugar scrub with that. we used stickers from work to adorn our jars.
jen brought the amy butler paper, which was so lovely to see and use. aaron and jessica brought clothespins that they keep stashed at home. here is where jessica keeps hers (from her childhood). i wanted to steal it, it was so sweet. aaron keeps hers in a lotta jansdotter box from a vase she bought at o'suz years back. the box left looking very different then whence it came via scraps applied artfully by helen. no hands idled. then at eves end, jessica and i made a pomander, mine random, hers beautiful. both smelling delicious. the only downside was knowing it may be a another year til we craft together again.....

Friday, December 12

2 for 1 continues with reckless abandon!!!!!

just a few things real quick, that we added to the 2 for 1 holiday gig:

daub and bauble's lotion and hand soap in sorento lemon and ginger scent, yum. usually 10 each now both for 10!!!!! here is an example of the packaging, it comes 3 diff. ways which is fun.
great host(ess) gift idea.
lavender soak and bubble bath by jane inc.
lavender is so relaxing, as is a bath. even better when you combine the two.
it makes us ladies feel special when we take the time to soak, ya know.
rub a dub dub....
some dryads roof tin frames which are super cool and rustic:
we have 4x6 and 5x7 but only 1 set of each!!!!
lotta pillows are dwindling but there are still some left. these are so rare and hard to get, i recommend them highly. they are beautiful and such a nice gift!!
tomorrow is going to be busy but come on out anyway, the mood is festive as is the decor, and we will all be there to greet you with
holiday cheer!

suz's top 10 gifts to give and receive

so we thought for fun we might list our favorite gifties to give and receive at o'suz. this is my top 10. jessica's and aaron's favs are soon to follow.

my #1 gifty to give are
sachets made by local textile designer, lotta helleberg, of inleaf designs. the sachets are hand printed with a pair of fern fronds or a geranium leaf on soft natural linen. They are filled with dried organic lavender buds and smell delightful. a most lovely gift indeed. i use them in my car on the dash over the vents.

my #2 fav gifty is a
charm necklace by lucid new york, my favorite is the owly. there is also a flying bird, a horseshoe, a wishbone, 3 keys, a feather, a hedgehog and a bee.they are sterling and just as sweet as can be and just 50 bones each.

my # 3 gifty is anything by fluffy co. i love it all. i especially love the little card cases. i have this one: but these new designs are so tempting! the poppies are so bright and cheery. and the owls, well, we know about my love of owls...
my # 4 gifty is the 2009 nikki mcclure calendar. she just keeps coming up with the most amazing calendars each year. i think this is the 4rth year we have carried them. they are so hot, we ordered 36 to start off the season. i always keeps the sample and can't wait to turn it's pages. here is the cover and 3 of my favorite images from inside.

my # 5 gifty (and mind you these are in no particular order) is a pencil roll made by our own aaron wine of sew seamless. we featured her a while back as our love it artist and created quite the buzz. they really are incredible and made so sweetly by hand. red has 1 ready for when his creative juices flow and can be contained no longer. i think we have 5 pencil rolls in the shop now and 2 marker rolls that aaron just brought in. here is red's:

we had a blast shooting these, he put them on his john deere tractor and then i put them in his truck. we pushed them around the room, aaron's pencils never had so much fun.

my #6 gifty is any rae dunn really, but the mugs, in particular, appeal to lots of folks. the words are simple, the shape is basic and it just feels good in your hand. you could sip your coffee, tea or your hot toddy in style. they have words like think, dream, create, calm, pause and begin.

my #7 gifty are the new zents attar roll on solid scents. we have them in fresh, petal, water, sun, oolong, earth and ore. they are scents we have come to love at o'suz, only stronger i think, and we agree the scent really lasts. my fav is oolong. here is pic of some of the scents that zents makes in the attar. we will happily order those we don't carry. no problemo.

my #8 gift would be the big gift on someone's list.
a crispina blanket. boy are they special. i have a few that i have collected over the many years (almost 13) i've carried her work. there are so many reasons they are a favorite. they are all made by hand and from 100% recycled sweaters. they are made in pittsfield, ma (home to james taylor). they are all so unique given the nature of the craft which makes them more like a treasure. some have buttons, pockets orthe occasional alligator from the knit's past life.
all i can tell you is they are one of my all time favrite items that i carry. we always have between 5 and 10 in the shop, right now e have 7 i think. she also makes sweaters that i live in and pillows and xmas ornaments which we also have in the shop. this is a quick pic of my most recent crispina aquisitions. i love yellow!!!!my # 9 gifty is anything made by jenna rose. it is all so cool. belts and hats to adorn ourselves and each other and these cool storage bags for stashing our stuff. here are some pics. she is also our featured artist this month but we have not posted her interview yet as the merch just came from canada in the post this week.
last gifty i would recommend is a reclaimed wood frame by dryads dancing. we just got some new ones in so the selection is good and varied. all sizes including some new 5x5's and some new mirrors made with celing tin.

Sunday, December 7

all manner of planner!

you've heard about our calendars (and you'll hear about one more super cool one that is en route soon!), but have you seen our planners? i love planners, i kind of even hoard planners, in the sense that i actually have more than i can legitimately use and therefore always have a nice stack of untouched pages waiting to be inscribed with appointments and birthdays. planners are serious business, and everyone knows that you have to find just the right one, or ones in my case. everyone has their own set of criteria -- spiral, monthly, weekly, dated, so on and so forth. i feel pretty darn good about saying that we have a little bit of everything at o'suzannah.

let's break it down. one of the make it or break it factors in choosing a planner is whether or not it's already dated for you. we have a few of these dated planners knocking around the shop from cavallini, whomi, cath kidston, grady mcferrin, and the slingshot collective.

this is the whomi agenda, which comes in two sizes and two cover designs, both of which are pretty easily portable. the top half of this planner has monthly overviews, and the bottom half has weekly pages with extra space for keeping you (and the rest of the family) organized. the whole thing is enclosed in a clear plastic cover, so this baby will survive anything you throw at it.

the cath kidston pocket agenda is uber sweet. like whomi, it has a plastic cover and even a little zip pocket at the back for keeping track of receipts and business cards. this is a weekly planner with lots of extra swag at the back, including time zone information, foreign language phrases, conversions, and more. i love how compact this is, and i'm amazed they were able to cram so much good stuff into this petite little book.

the slingshot planner has been in existence for fifteen years and is produced by an all-volunteer collective out of berkeley, california. this planner has a very indie aesthetic and radical tone -- each weekly page is different, and includes information about important dates in history, from the russian revolution to the patriot act. my favorite part: "anti-copyright. borrow whatever you want. we did."

most of our planners are actually undated, which means you have to fill in the dates yourself. it's a little more work, but i actually think this is awesome because it means you can use the planner at any point -- there's no expiration date. it also makes a lot of sense for students who want to use one agenda for the entire academic year. this is the second year we've carried millimeter/milligram planners, and these are hands down some of our favorites. last year suzannah and i used different versions of past present future (and you), and this year we both ended up with grafik.

here's past present future (and you) in silver. it comes in two sizes and has both monthly overviews and weekly pages with extra pages in the back. we have it in silver, black, brown, and red. this is a simple planner that's well-designed -- an all-around favorite of o'suz and our peeps.

and here's grafik, which has weekly pages that are whimsical and often hilarious. i mean, who doesn't want a little picture of a girl with her bunny rabbit that says "wir sind familie" (we are family)?!? i also love the shape of this planner, it's an almost perfect 6.5 x 6.5" square, which is pretty unusual.

this is mm/mg's sketchbook planner, which, i have to admit, is in my planner pile, waiting to be loved. i'm just not sure i can bring myself to use it, i love it so much. some people aren't so neurotic, however, and i can say for sure that our helen used this planner last year. each page is hand drawn, and at the back is a section for notes, addresses, places to go, and websites. helen even colored in some of her pages, which made this already charming planner even more personal. and in practical terms, this is spiral bound and easy to toss in your bag.

draw your tomorrow is a nice big desk planner that opens flat and gives you tons of space for each week. this is great for work or school obligations, and the idea of drawing one's tomorrow seems so much more exciting than the obligatory "agenda" found so often on the cover of planners.

the last mm/mg planner i want to mention is called daily color, and it's a nice fat little book that would appeal to those of you who want a page for each day. like the other mm/mg options, there's lots of extra space for notes and addresses and the ever present quirkiness of all mm/mg products.
another of our favorite sources for planners is little otsu. not only do they make some snazzy calendars (see our calendar post), but their agendas are always beyond cool. this year the new offering is the annual planner vol. 3, which we have in spiral and perfect bound. little otsu products are always printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks, and they always showcase impeccable and interesting design.
this is one of our favorites, the little otsu come along planner. this spiral-bound planner is meant to suggest a landscape as you travel through the space of the year. this means EVERY single page is different. and this is quite a feat because each page features hand-drawn illustrations by lart berliner.

uh oh, another planner from my pile o' planner. i only wish i were able to use this non-planner datebook by keri smith -- if only i were a little less rigorous in my need to plan, plan, plan, structure, structure, structure. i love this planner, i do. there are monthly pages scattered throughout, but between these are pages like "day of indecision" with little bubbles for pros and cons and potential outcomes and input from friends and family. and pages that say: "this day will never happen again. so maybe you should write about it." even if you don't use this on a daily basis, i think it's a great gift for anyone, not just for planning, but for reflecting.

new to o'suzannah this year is linea carta, and we have a few agendas left from designer diva pyari. these are printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks in oakland, california. and, not that this will surprise you, dear reader, but this, too, is in my planner pile. hello, mushrooms and little deer with diva's amazing script??? i'll take it. this agenda has monthly overviews with pages in between for individual days and to do lists. we only have two of these left, so snag one while you can! (also, in terms of planners by our individual peeps, you'll remember the jill bliss planner from our november love it post.)

last but by no means least is bob's your uncle. this is always a customer favorite, and in the past few years the company has introduced some new additions to their planner line. the group started with the 8 days a week planner, which comes in a spiral bound notebook like you see above and in a large tear-off pad akin to the traditional desk calendar. everyone wishes there were eight days in a week, and this gives you a space to write down all that you wish you could accomplish on that eighth day. more recently, they've added the multi-task and do-doodle planners, which are also nice spiral-bound books similar in size to a standard notebook.

wowee, that's a lot of planners, and i couldn't even show them all. moral of the story? come check them out, flip through their pages that are fresh with the promise of a new year, and i hope you'll find the one that's just right for you. xoxo, jessica

Friday, December 5

calendar heaven, here we come!

we are straight up calendar fiends at o'suzannah. even as i write this there are four different 2008 calendars hanging above my desk. (and don't forget the other two in the kitchen!) there's just something so exciting about starting a new month by turning over a new page of lovely work by our favorite artists. we have scads of 2009 calendars (and a few perptual ones) in the shop, and we thought we'd give you a little tour of our favorites.

to start, we've got desk calendars, which are handy for your office and also make great gifties.

the annual calendar by ilee (pronounced eeeeleee) is a perpetual customer favorite, and i think you can see why. who wouldn't love to look at this for all of october? this calendar is super handmade with a combination of letterpress, silkscreening, and foil stamping. it comes in a cd case that you can use as a stand, as in the photo, or you can take out one month at a time and put it on your bulletin board or fridge. this is definitely one our favorite gifties in the shop!

modern printed matter produced this amazing botanical desk calendar for 2009. each month features a botanical specimen photographed by anna and then translated into a multi-color screenprint, which produces a beautiful layering effect in the colors. this, too, comes in a cd case for easy display.

the last cd case calendar we have is by driscoll design. driscoll's cards are always a favorite of our peeps, and the calendar delivers twelve months of characteristic driscoll sweetness, with cupcakes and ice cream cones and friendly little creatures to add a little cheer to your day. also, angela has kindly added important dates to remember at the bottom of each month's page. mother's day isn't getting past you this time around...

now this is one really neato calendar by cat seto. as you see, it comes with a woodblock that serves as the calendar's stand as well as a pencil holder. this is the only desk calendar we have that really allows you room to write, and even better, if you send your 2009 pages (printed on recylced paper) back to cat for recycling at the end of the year, you get a discount on the 2010 refill. we love that this is eco-friendly and beautiful. who wouldn't want this on their desk?!?

we've got a few more desk calendars, including one from seltzer with some of their most popular images, including the much-beloved "pugs and kisses," the more sophisticated cavallini mini-easel calendars, and the aforementioned
night owl all-wood calendar.

when it comes to wall calendars, there is one that, every fall, without fail, has us girls waiting with bated breath, and that is the always stunning nikki mcclure calendar. you'll be hearing more about this from suzannah soon, so stay tuned.

another of the most eagerly awaited calendars is jill bliss's. we love, love, love us some jill bliss and always use her calendar as our store schedule. this is the fourth year jill has collaborated with saelee oh, and the theme this time around is gathered together. the images in this thirteen-month calendar combine the artists' cut outs, found objects, and photographs, and jill and saelee use recycled paper and vegetable-based inks. this is also a great choice if you need to space to write!

also coming from the west coast is a small group of calendars from little otsu. above is jennie smith's treehouses calendar/poster. on the front you get all twelve months on one page (18 x 24"), and each month is hand lettered and surrounded by whimsically drawn tree-dwelling fauna. once 2009 rolls on by, you can flip the calendar over and there you'll find a poster, which we think is pretty snazzy.

also from little otsu is chris duncan's "two years of the youniverse" poster calendar, and like jennie smith's, this is double-sided, 2009 on one side, 2010 on the other. and when it's all over you can tear off the dated sections along the perforated edge, and you still have the images! we're really keen on the idea of a calendar having a life after its initial use -- it's so sad to put them away...

also check out lart c. berliner's 2009 railways map calendar. this, too, reverses to a poster, and like all little otsu paper products, is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable-based inks.

finally, we arrive to the 2009 rex ray wall calendar, which i am listing with some trepidation because we are currently sold out. never fear though, it is on order, and we are hopeful it will be here soon for all you rex ray lovers. this calendar is great because it's BIG and has lots of room to write, and, of course, because it features the bold, graphic designs of rex ray. (and a free poster!)

so, now my only question is, which one(s) are you taking home? and stay tuned for our o'suzannah planner guide! xoxo, jessica