The color.


You may not understand the psychology behind it, but you have probably noticed that color affects your mood.

If you haven’t, simply step out into nature and feel its impact. (After all, there is no better color palate than the one right outside your door.)

Stressed? Let the intense blue skies and ocean offer you a sense of calm and well-being. Sluggish? The lush green of the grass and trees can provide you with a feeling of renewal and hope. (You get the idea.)

In other words, color can elevate your mood.

(Of course, color can also suppress your mood. If you’re too relaxed, too motivated and/or too happy, let me know. Once I finish rolling my eyes and suppressing my urge to strangle you, I will tell you which colors can help.)

Knowing the power of color, the guru’s at Pantone have chosen Tangerine Tango as the Color of the Year for 2012.

Why? Well, as you may have noticed that the world is a crazy place these days. We are facing a number of challenging local, national and global issues — unemployment, foreclosure, bankruptcy, debt, war, politics and healthcare (just to name a few). In other words, this is not the most carefree, prosperous time in modern history. (I apologize if that comes as news to anyone.)

We need a color that can counteract the feelings of despair and pessimism that can (and occasionally do) emerge in this era of uncertainty.

Tangerine Tango does just that. It is a bright, energetic red-orange that is imbued with optimism.

Created by perfectly blending vivacious red and friendly yellow, Tangerine Tango is the perfect antidote to our all-too-real lives.

Check out the great American manufacturers below to find amazing ways to get your dose of this dazzling hue.

glassybaby – Made in Seattle, Washington

Light it up!

Lee Rhodes, the founder of glassybaby, has found a way to do just that.

Faced with a rare form of lung cancer, Lee began to search for a distraction from her disease. She found glass-blowing.

The elegantly shaped votive holders that soon became her trademark literally glow with “color, light and love.”

Today, Lee’s votives are available in over 120 colors ranging from translucent to opaque and bold to subtle. And all as lovely as tangerine (above, $44).

But don’t Lee doesn’t limit her talent or vision to tea light holders. She also makes gorgeous glasses (called drinkers) and she uses part of the profits from the sale of glassybaby products to charities that promote health, healing and quality of life.

Buy one and help spread the spark.


Marketa – Made in New York, New York

Fold on!

Don’t say you cannot wear orange.

Whether you are a winter, spring, summer or autumn, you can rock Marketa’s Tangerine Portfolio Clutch (left, $135).

(If you are not old enough to remember a time when people had their colors “done” to determine which seasonal palette they should be wearing, just know it was peculiar.)

With generous dimensions (15″w x 11.5″h), the Portfolio Clutch lets you take all of your day-to-evening necessities. (No more playing favorites with the lip glosses.)

It is even large enough to hold up to 13″ laptops, magazines, notebooks or anything else you need to stylishly transport.

The woman responsible for this chic handbag is Prague-born, FIT educated Marketa Psenickova.

She has brought her exceptional eye for accessories to bear on an eponymous line of totes, clutches and pouches. Her Manhattan-made bags come in a variety of fun and functional sizes and a sumptuous array of leathers and suedes.

Grab one and get going.


RGB – Made in USA

Nailed it!

RGB created the perfect color to ensure your manicure looks as optimistic as you do.

The gorgeous red-orange color of their Coral lacquer (left, $14) is as high-shine and chip-resistant as all of RGB’s colors.

And, of course, like all the rest of RGB’s formulations, Coral is free of harmful chemicals — no formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, or camphor. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I do not know what most of those things are but they sound icky which makes me glad RGB has found a way to do without them.)

RGB originally launched their cruetly-free nail color and care collection with 10 signature colors. Today it boasts over 40 colors that include the original 10, seasonal offerings and collaborations with celebrity stylists.

A brush with great color in every bottle.


Russel Wright by Bauer Pottery – Made in Los Angeles, California

Good informal living substitutes a little headwork for a lot of legwork. – Russel Wright

Two American icons have joined forces to help you set a stylish, thoughtful table.

Who are they? Glad you ask. The first is celebrated American industrial designer Russel Wright.

Wright is credited with revolutionizing the American home through his inexpensive, mass-produced dinnerware, furniture, appliances and textiles. Drawing inspiration from origins as unrelated as Colonial American and Surrealism, he designed goods that made life easier, but no less gracious.

The second is Bauer Pottery of Los Angeles, a company whose original stoneware creations graced gardens and tables for over 80 years (1880s-1960s). Today the company reproduces its much-acclaimed designs from the 1930s and 1940s.

Given both entities interest in well-designed and well-made pottery of the modern era, it is not surprising that they have joined forces. As part of their fabulously vintage modern product line, Bauer Pottery offers the Russel Wright American Modern Line.

The American Modern line consists of 19 pieces – dinnerware and serving pieces like the American Modern Pitcher (above, $75). Each is available in a range of colors designed to pair perfectly with any vintage Wright-ware you are lucky enough to own and/or set a dazzlingly table all on their own.


Swigg Studio – Made in Brooklyn, New York

A good friend is hard to find.

Thank goodness you can always buy one.

Graphic artist Stephanie Wenzel has created a menagerie of  Swigg Critters, like Harold the Giraffe (left, $28), who are just waiting for the opportunity to put a smile on your face, a song in your heart, lighten your load, listen to you woes, agree with your opinions or whatever else you require from a friend.

(You might not want to be so demanding with Harold and his compatriots. Your neediness could be the reason you are having to buy your friends in the first place. Just something to think about.)

Harold, like all the Swigg Critters, is made of cruelty-free, easy to clean vinyl and filled with poly-fill and poly-pellets making him as perfectly suited to whimsically hold down a stack of papers on your desk as he would be for your young-friend to tote around and talk to. (I guess you could tote him around and talk to him also, but fair warning, it would seem odd!)

Take one home today.


From Our Old Friends

Graf & Lantz – Made in Los Angeles, California

Why shouldn’t your technology be as on trend as you are?

Above left to right: (All products shown are made of felt and accented with leather. Other colors available) Laptop sleeve ($69); iPhone sleeve ($24); iPad sleeve ($39)

Original fifty post: The tote.

Pigeon Toe Ceramics – Made in Portland, Oregon

Stick it to you popsicles.

Above: Popsicle Sticks (5.5″l x 0.5″w) made of porcelain and accented with glazed ends (Citrus shown. Other colors available.) ($12 each/$44 for a set of 4).

Original fifty post: The chevron.

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