Two pretty little purchases

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I wanted to share two items I bought while in Portland. I have a thing for well designed, meaningful objects and often times can’t help but pick up a few little items from places we go. The first is this sweet little postcard printed on Birch Veneer of a ‘corny raccoon’ from Night Owl Paper Goods. I love how it is this great combination of modern whimsy combined with a great materiality. Of course, I couldn’t part with it now, the intent is to frame it as a little accent in the girls’ new room. There were only three different designs in the florist shop next to Trader Joe’s in the 23rd Avenue area where I bought this, but looking on the product’s website, I am absolutely in love with many other designs as well, particularly the simple flowers HERE and HERE.

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Additionally, I had my heart set on getting a vintage copy of William Goldman’s the Princess Bride to read as a bedtime story from Powell’s books. However, after asking three different people, I finally found out that just about every Christmas they completely sell out of every single copy. Second to that, I scoured the store hoping instead to buy this version of Disney’s Cinderella, which beautifully combines Mary Blair’s original painted conceptual imagery for Walt Disney’s classic animated film, and paired with her elegant art is narrated by an equally beautiful story written by Cynthia Rylant. Visually, this book has appealed to me for a while, since I first saw it featured on another blog (can’t remember which one). But in real life, I am floored by the elegance and rich storytelling gathered together as a picture book.

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The images are moody, suggestive. A far cry from current Disney Princess stuff. Araiya, of course, loves Disney Princesses (or what little she thinks she knows about, enough to be quite obsessed). But for me, I am very turned off by the over-the-top frivolity of it all, the strong push towards Character identification and marketing without substance or meaning that simply fuels our children to be obsessed consumers of mass-marketed goods. This book is such a breath of fresh air to that culture, presenting quality literature and imaginative illustrations, telling a story in such a way that has deep meaning, not shying away from the darker truths of life. Honestly, much of the story I see as opportunities to open up far broader conversations about real life with my kids. This book is a thing of beauty, a piece of artwork in an object I plan to cherish for my children to enjoy. I have been asked to read it multiple times a day since we bought it, which I think speaks pretty clearly how amazing this book indeed is.

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~ by gdesign on January 6, 2009.

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