In the last call for shopping queries, a Magpie reader requested “Everyday items and experiences that bring joy to combat long hours of working from home.” I thought to myself, “This is my person.” This is the raison d’etre for Magpie, I think: to find the poetry in the everyday.
There is a fantastic poem by Marge Piercey called “To be of use” that runs me across a knife’s edge when I read it. It is, for me, a tonic against lethargy and the shrugging accumulation of junk and things-done-hastily and “that will just have to do.” It is yeoman-like, galvanizing talk that crescendos into taking artistic pride in one’s every exertion. She writes:
“But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.”
Today, then: how can I make my everyday poetic? How can I fashion the quotidian spaces and schedules in which I live with an eye for “shape that satisfies”?
+I drew similar conclusions on recognizing everything I do in my daily life — including the chores, the errands! — as part of the architecture of my day here.
+Thoughts on reimagining times of day that bring us trouble.
+Everyday items made great by wonderful design.
Shopping Break: Everyday Items with Shapes that Satisfy.
Today’s shopping finds ares especially geared towards interesting design in everyday objects.
+Absinthe match strike.
+Letter brush pot. Use this as a pen cup on your desk!
+Personalized key chain. Seeing this in my bag in a punchy color would bring a smile to my face.
+Blue velvet AND red piping?! Be still my heart.
+The calligraphy on this stationery is breath-taking. Comes in many sophisticated colors, too!
+A rainbow of pens!
+Mon cheri bud vase. For us Francophiles!
+These pajamas look like a ray of sunshine!
+Personalized phone case. Fun to put a number of special significance, or your initials!
+This Rachel Cusk book is towards the top of my tsundoku pile. She is a serious, inventive writer you should know about. I read her first novel two years ago and it really took me places. It made me angry, curious, frustrated, impressed — all responses that indicate the quality of her art.
+Valet trays — the set for $20! A great way to corral pocket change, keys, etc.
+Richard Ginori mug. Morning coffee never looked chicer.
+Amy Heitman note card. Somehow a pretty card heightens the meaning of a handwritten letter.
+Colorblocked coupes. By no means necessary, but beautiful glassware makes happy hour a lot more fun. I also love these reasonably-priced high balls for Tom Collinses and those strawberry drinks I was into during year one of this pandemic.
Not seen above, but a few other honorable mentions:
+A few years ago I randomly surprised Mr. Magpie with a bouquet of colorful chopsticks like these. We use them weekly (we eat a lot of Asian food in our home, especially for lunch) and they never fail to spark joy.
+A $30 scalloped bowl for — well, anything! Citrus! Candy! Nothing at all!
+Elegant leather mouse pad.
+All of the whimsical pieces from Helle Mardahl are equal parts trippy and breathtaking.
+Dramatic (!) olive oil cruet.
+I have a few decoupage dishes from John Derian that I positively treasure.
+A zebra matchbox. Just because.
+Jonathan Adler candle holder.