Daily Fave: Leather Orla Kiely Stem Ivy Bag!

See it here!


Around Town: Houdini/Art & Magic Exhibit at the MMOCA

Let’s see you try to escape this exhibit. Harry Houdini is one of the most well known entertainers of all time. Visit the lovely MMOCA through May 13, 2012 and see original props, artwork and contemporary artist’s pieces influenced by the greatest escape artist ever.


Holiday Gift Guide #3 – The Office

We love “The Office” here at Pop Deluxe. For this Holiday Gift Guide, we asked our Gift Experts to pick a gift a two for one of the staff members at Dunder Mifflin. Here’s what they chose:


Our friend Dwight is well known for owning and operating a 60 acre beet farm. Therefore, I feel like it would be appropriate to indulge his love for the purple root vegetable by giving him a Jane Jenni “Up Beet” plate or cup.
We also can’t forget Dwight’s obsession with weapons. His mishap of accidentally firing his gun in the workplace might have landed him in a lot of trouble, but I know of a weapon Dwight can have at work that won’t cause any harm. The Stress Beater by Fred emulates brass knuckles, but is made of a soft material that would allow Dwight to look tough, get out some tension and fulfill his love of weapons in the most gentle way.


I would buy Slang Flashcards and Farts: A Spotter’s Guidefor Michael Scott!
I know Michael would love all of the gross (and sometimes impressively long-winded) sounds emanating from the Farts book–after all, he wrote an entire parody song entitled “Total Eclipse of the Fart.” I think Michael would also benefit from owning the Slang Flashcards. With a little careful studying, he’ll be able to branch out from “that’s what she said” and expand into the vocabulary realm of “hella” and “rollin’ deep.”


I would pick the Mistura Pellicano Watch in red for Ryan. Ryan is an ever growing character in the Office, he started as a temp at Dunder Mifflin that quickly gained the respect of Michael Scott. Michael sees Ryan as the “Hipster” of the office, the guy to go to for for advice on style, what’s “in” in the design world, ect. I would get this watch for Ryan because it’s a beautiful mid-century style watch that exudes beauty and exemplifies great taste…just like ryan.


Kelley is the officemate who is obsessed with labels! Her number one gift this Christmas would obviously be Orla Kiely Daisy Stream Dorothy Bag in Blueberry. It can be used as a work bag, but is 10000000000000 times more stylish (and it’s designer). Another designer gift for her would be the Jonathan Adler Peacock Ornament. Its “happy chic” design would fit with Kelley’s personality of the perpetual teenager. Why a peacock? “The Office” aires on NBC, who’s symbol is this majestic bird. I realize accepting this gift means that Kelley will have to accept she is a fictional character on a television show, but I couldn’t resist. Have you seen the ornament? Super cute. Worth breaking down the “fourth wall” of theater for.


I would buy Jim the chocolate bar calculator because he could use it to trick Dwight into thinking it was a real chocolate bar. I would also get him the InAnimate Character Stickers so that he could put them all over everything on Dwight’s desk. These gifts would allow Jim to continue to play silly pranks on Dwight and keep the office entertained.


Meredith is known for her inappropriateness around the office. She always chimes in with raunchy sexual innuendo and pulls out hidden bottles of alcohol. I would get her the knock-knock “>Why I must get drunk with you & Self Therapy pads. Unfortunately I think she would use the Why I Must Get Drunk With You pad up before the Self Therapy pad, but I think she needs it anyway since her personal problems always come up at work. I would also get her the “What’s Your Poo Telling You” daily desk calendar because she she enjoys blurting out TMI to her coworkers and Trashed sticky notes since she gets trashed at every office party.


I would buy Angela the Fisticup Brass Knuckle Coffee Cup and the Shit List Pad. Since Angela is the most tight-fisted of her coworkers, I think she would enjoy using the brass knuckle coffee cup to intimidate her coworkers while she drinks her morning coffee (which she must drink a lot of) and she can use the Shit List pad whenever she’s ticked off, to plan her excellent comebacks.


Pam loves art and although her career as an artist didn’t work out you can still find her doodling and making funny drawings for the office. I would buy her the sketchbook 642 Things to Draw. Pam would never run out of fun when she’s working at the office. I would also buy her My Quotable Kid: A Parents’ Journal of Unforgettable Quotes. Pam has a little girl and a baby boy on the way. If her children are as funny as she is, I know she would love to write down their hilarious quotes!


holiday gift guide #2 – Our Favorite Art Student!

We all have art students, art lovers or actual artists in our lives. This week we asked our Gift Experts to pick a gift for their favorite art lover.


Sketchbook With Voices provides many thought-provoking questions and drawing prompts by some of the most prominent contemporary artists. A very cerebral journal, this sketchbook is a great gift for any artist that continually strives to expand their artistic repertoire.


I would love to give “Pantone: The 20th Century in Color” to an art student–this book is packed with amazing prints and art history! The book hones in on color trends throughout the years, highlights influential works of art, and could act as both an educational and inspirational tool!


I would get my favorite art student the book “Library of Dust”. I have never seen this sort of photography done before. The idea of having the cremated remains in canisters being photographed seems a little morbid, but in having these canisters undergo chemical reactions David Maisel creates something truly beautiful and to my favorite art student I know that they could really appreciate the depth of his work. I would even recommend cutting a few of these pictures out of the book and framing them, they’re too beautiful to keep in a closed book!


Many of the art students I know have gone high-tech. From graphic design to graphic novels, artists need their computers. Why not give them a gift that’s functional yet artsy? I’m giving my art student friend a Built laptop sleeve. It’s made out of neoprene (so your computer is protected from coffee spills) but also a work of art in itself (continuing with your art student’s aesthetic)! Check out the one’s they have especially for MacBooks!


I would give my favorite art student the Thumbprint Notecard Craft Set. It would allow them to be creative and express their inner child. Plus, they could use it to send the always necessary but dreaded holiday thank you cards!


My favorite gift for an art student is the watercolor postcard set. I like it because you can design your own cards this holiday using your own special talents, cater them to the spiritual beliefs of the receiver or invent your own interpretation of what the holiday season means to you. It also saves you some cash on expensive holiday cards, and is a fun holiday activity to do with a friend!


I would give my favorite art student a graphite sculpture. I especially think the Poppy Graphite Sculpture is an awesome gift because it is a beautiful piece of art work that can be used to make more art! The graphite sculptures can be used just as an artist would use a pencil but it is more than just that. It is a unique and long lasting writing utensil and a great gift for anyone who likes to draw.


Art students can be of any age (and they don’t need to be in school, right?) My favorite art student is my Mom, who just started learning how to make ceramics after several years spent perfecting stained glass. I would love to buy the book “The Art of Instruction” for her, as I think she would find inspiration for colors and patterns she could use in her stained glass.


hipster vs. grandma

We asked our resident Gift Experts what they would give their favorite hipster and their favorite grandma for Christmas this year. Here’s what they had to say…


hipster: What causes more wry amusement than embracing the outdated music technology of decades past? If that hipster on your holiday shopping list has every music gadget imaginable, embrace their sensibilities with the the cassette tape wallet. Lifelike and functional, it can’t be beat!

grandma: My grandma has a thing for lighthouses because they remind her of summers spent at the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. Grandma also likes to party it up with peppermint schnapps at our family Christmas. The Paper Boat Schnapps Set would be the perfect gift to help Grandma forget the frightful weather outside by reminding her of sunny childhood days and by helping her share her favorite holiday cocktails with family and friends.


Hipster: I love hipster parents, and hipster parents would love the XYZ blocks by Fred. I love that these funky building blocks feature unconventional examples to help budding hipster kids learn their ABCs. When “A” is for “afro,” “D” is “dentures,” and “T” is for “trailer,” counter-culture offspring will quickly pick up some exciting new vocabulary!

Grandma: I’d love to gift my grandma with a hot pink enameled bird feeder! My grandma is an exciting combination of unexpected spunk and rather typical elderly bird-infatuation, so she’d definitely go ga-ga for the bird cut-outs and bright color of this fun feeder.


Hipster: I would gift the Modern Recycled Cardboard Moose Mount (Large) for my favorite hipster. I love this product as a gift because it allows you to either customize it or leave it as-is. The “Hipster” I would gift this to could trace and cut up a variety of decorative papers to paste onto the moose!

My favorite item for my favorite grandma is the Jonathan Adler Peacock Bowl. I know she would really love anything by Jonathan Adler, but I think she would love the Peacock Bowl because we always use the cutest dishes during the Holidays and all of my relatives usually gift really fun dishes for christmas whether they are small or big ( sort of an unsaid competition ;o] ). This Bowl is very in her style and I love the real gold accents! So posh!


Hipster: For my favorite hipster, I would buy the book “Cyclepedia.” Nothing says hipster more like a coffee table book about the history of man-powered machines.

Grandma: My mom is now a grandma, and she really wants an Uglydoll. Pick the cutest-ugliest one so the grandma in your life has something else to love!!


Hipster: My favorite gift item for my favorite hipster would be any of the neon colored Sprocket Rocket cameras from Lomography, so that they can take artsy pictures to impress other hipsters.

Grandma: My favorite gift item for my grandma would be a Jonathan Adler doggie scarf, in a color that would match the inevitable doggie sweater it would be forced to wear.


Hipster: My favorite item for my hipster friends and family members is the Lomography Diana F+ Kirameki camera. White as snow with a beautiful Japanese design, you can capture all of the fun gatherings this holiday season with your closest family and friends. You can add funky color or black and white film; in their stocking to get them started, as well as a camera bag or changeable lenses for limitless photo possibilities.

Grandma: My favorite item for grandma this holiday season is the Joseph and Joseph adjustable rolling pin. Since Grandma is always busy in the kitchen around the holidays backing bread, rolls, cookies and pies this adjustable rolling pin is a handy tool to make the dough the perfect thickness for each item by switching out different size discs on each end of the pin. You could also throw in the ABC gingerbread cookie cutters to add some fun to her (now) perfectly rolled gingerbread dough.


Hipster: If I could choose one gift for my favorite hipster, I would choose the book, “The Mustache Grower’s Guide”. My brother-in-law, an aging hipster, has grown every variation of mustaches in his life (including several handlebar mustaches), and I think he would chuckle if he received this gift (and my sister could get the joke, too).

Grandma: For my favorite grandma, I would choose Lotta Jansdotter’s “Simple Sewing for Baby”. My mother, a grandmother herself, loves to quilt and sew clothes for my niece and nephew. This book has a lot of great patterns she can be able to use, and they’re easy enough for her to whip something up for them in a few days.


Hipster: For my favorite hipster I would buy the The Indie Rock Poster book. Each poster is created with the inspiration of a famous indie-rock song. The original and unique posters are colorful, fun and references some of the greatest rock bands of all time!

Grandma: For my favorite grandma I would buy the Herb Pot Duo. My grandma loves indoor plants and this gift would make growing them fun and simple. The pot looks great and makes watering herbs easy and convenient.


A day in the life: Pop Deluxe in NYC!

Nothing quite like spending a warm and rainy week  in New York City.We decided to stay at the Jane Hotel in the West Village and it was love at first sight. Quaint and full of history, this charming yet affordable hotel is now our top NYC pick for lodging.Follow Amber and Mackenzie for a day to get a taste of their latest travels…

6:00 am Wake up in a super quiet room that’s literally the size of a closet by midwest standards; a cozy 50 square feet in all. It’s quite like staying in a ship cabin; In fact, survivors from the Titanic voyage stayed here when they finally reached the city. Slim bunk beds with drawers beneath, a mirror and a few strategically placed hooks and shelves make up the tiny space. The decor is lovely; gold emblazoned vintage wallpaper and a real ’90s flair (and I mean 1890s) with dark wood accents and rich colors. I’ve slept with my Orla Kiely Upright Cabin suitcase at my feet for lack of storage. It’s so cute and colorful, I don’t mind sharing my space. We spend a half hour in the bunks catching up on our social and blog reading on our phones, there’s no cell signal but we connect to the house wifi with ease. BTW: Mackenzie loves the top bunk and I am terrified of falling out, so we make excellent mates at the Jane.

6:30 am Off to the shared baths to get ourselves in order. It’s our first venture into a shared bath concept and it’s relatively easy. Large, private shower rooms with cute little black and white tiles seem well attended. Our Foundation Hanging Toiletry Bag was a life saver for sure. Our only gripe is that the double sinks and vanity area is constantly dripping with water!  There are no hand towels or paper products available to give anything a dry off. Gross! Top Jane Tip: Request an extra towel for sopping it all up every day.

7:00 am Living in a tiny space is fun! We take turns hopping up on the bunks to allow the other space to rummage around in the drawers. There isn’t even a closet in this closet! Creative wall climbing, positioning and Twister-like hilarity ensue.

7:30 am We’ve discovered our favorite breakfast spot in New York is located in our hotel! Cafe Gitane is adorable and authentic. Super cafe americanos, baked eggs, croissants and a huge fruit salad laced with fresh mint. How will we ever get to work when we want to hang out here all day?

8:15 am A quick walk over to the Gansevoort Street entrance for the High Line Park finds us above the noise of the city. Originally the High Line was used to keep dangerous freight trains off the street level,  the railroad section was mostly abandoned by the 1980s. Decades later, it’s been transformed into a beautiful public space. It’s raining steadily; good thing we brought our Jonathan Adler umbrellas! It’s quiet and absolutely inspiring, lots of sculpture and prairie style plantings. Even the benches are cool. Of course, a  billboard from Manhattan Mini Storage captures the spirit of  recent NY politics. We could stay up here all day, but there’s work to do! Off at 30th and only a few blocks to the gift show.9:00 am Walk, talk, look, buy, repeat. You know how they say there’s someone out there for everyone? Same thing applies in the gift market. From goofy souvenirs to fine china, there’s truly something for everybody. We have a lot of fun, talking to vendors and old friends, checking out new stuff.  The show makes people weird after a few days, we couldn’t resist taking the photo of someone working on their laptop in the public toilet. What is happening here?!? The convention center is like a casino; once inside you have no sense of time and finding an exit is futile. Ha! A shopping casino! Betting on what your customers will enjoy. Someone check me into Retailers Anonymous, fast!6:00 pm Quitting time. Our dogs are barking from walking all day, but the High Line is calling! Back up to our park oasis for a calm and much needed break from the noise and stimulation. The rain has let up and Mackenzie buys me a Lime Coconut Mexican Ice Pop from the La Newyorkina vending cart. It’s a perfect day.6:30 pm We’ve got time to dump our stuff off in the room and spiffy up for a night out with a few former Pop Deluxe employees that now live in the city. Down to the Jane Ballroom Bar for a cocktail. It’s an exotic travel back in time, lush fabrics and wild taxidermy abound. Artisan cocktails make the experience more authentic, we melt into a comfy couch and try to relax.7:30 pm Mackenzie has a super idea and we’re off to Benny’s Burritos for a Mexican Bulldog. Huh? Well, it’s a frozen margarita, topped with a shot of tequila then a Coronita with lime wedge is flipped upside down into your glass. Straw is a must. Drink your frozen treat and it’s finished with a cold beer. Physics wasn’t my thing in school, so don’t ask me how it works. All I know is that they are delicious and you really only need ONE.8:00 pm Cab over to The Smith to meet our friends. These girls all worked at different times over the history of Pop Deluxe; they are more like little sisters to me than former employees. We have a great time visiting and hearing about their adventures in NYC. Hilary works in public relations; she’s a spry little pixie and she tells us about seeing Sleep No More, a horrific interactive  MacBeth style performance set to look like an old hotel in some abandoned warehouses on w 27th St. By the end of her story, I am terrified while Mackenzie looks ready to book the next performance! Lucky for me, they are sold out for months ahead of time. Cata is working for a non profit that helps at risk teens graduate from high school. She’s been in the city all of two days after a summer in Columbia; Cata seems happy just to have a mattress now! Maddie is a riot as usual; she’s working for the Webby Awards and doing Improv. Maddie Davies may be one of the funniest young gals out there, so watch out for her. We spend the night laughing and catching up. I mention cheese curds and they all get weepy, missing Madison.11:00 pm No trip to NYC would be complete without a late night trip to the Sephora Cosmetic Shop in Times Square. It’s not the best location in the city, but they’re open until midnight! We paw through bins of  nail polish and lip gloss. My highlight was a free bottle of Birthday Girl Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel and having the Sephora staff ring a bell and in unison say “happy birthday”. Oh, and the new True Blood Lip Tint from Tarte. Times Square is a hot mess, even at midnight. It takes 15 minutes to walk a few blocks. We’re itchy to get back to the West Village after our fill of tourists and lights.12:30 am We’re back in our little room, reviewing orders and catalogs, making a plan of attack for tomorrow. I head to the bathrooms and find by the time I finish brushing my teeth, I am totally freaked out by Hillary’s story from earlier. My quaint Jane Hotel suddenly goes way of “The Shining” . I literally run through the narrow maze of hallways back to our bunk cabin in a panic. What a dork! Mackenzie can’t stop laughing.


A Decade of DIY: Saying goodbye to ReadyMade Magazine

photo courtesy of readymade.com/blog

Late last night, I was looking for unique deck and outdoor decorating ideas online. One of my regular stops is the ReadyMade magazine website; between their community forum and endless projects, I figured I was bound to find some inspiration.Clicking on their blog link, I read an alarming post from mid June which stated that ReadyMade would be closing up shop. As a longtime reader as well as carrying the magazine in our shops since it’s first issue, I was shocked and sad.I don’t know what your ReadyMade library looks like, but mine is well loved…tattered, paint covered, stiff with modge podge and sticky notes. As a homeowner, decorator and shop owner, ReadyMade challenged my DIY skills, forcing them to a new level. Suddenly, my projects were small fish in an ocean of creative genius. The effect was sometimes overwhelming; like “why do I even try to make anything?” to “this project seems impossible” to “i can’t believe this worked, how AWESOME!”  It brought together a generation of self starters, sharing cool ideas and feedback.Folks will argue that ReadyMade changed over the years, that it wasn’t as cool when they became part of Meredith Publishing. It may be true, but I challenge anyone to create and run a magazine/website that stays consistently groundbreaking and innovative issue after issue. I am sure it’s tough.Here’s wishing the staff of ReadyMade well…I’ve enjoyed your run. Thanks for the free decade of art school.-Amber


And now for a deliciously creepy collection film for Orla Kiely Fall 2011…

One thing I love about Orla Kiely is that she really has a good time with her collection films.This season is no exception. Mercedes Helnwein has created a “Twin Peaks meets Alfred Hitchcock” style piece that will either totally creep you out or induce mad love for Orla’s fall collection. For me, it was the latter. Strange usually equals beautiful in my world.We’ve got the Pre Fall Orla Kiely Oval Stem Print Bag collection for sale on the site now, so if you like with the video, head over to our site and shop away! -Amber


Mr.&Mrs. Muse

Here’s a cute idea!Our friend Samantha Peckham used Jonathan Adler Mr. & Mrs. Muse salt and pepper shakers as toppers on a wedding cake she made.

We think this is was great way to add a happy chic vibe to the wedding cake. The best part? The bride and groom can take them home and use them… every time they need more pepper they’ll be reminded of their special night.

Gallery Nights

 Madison, WI is a city known for its love of the arts. We have museums, art and music festivals, and galleries galore. Organized each spring and fall by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery Night gives local galleries and businesses an opportunity to show off the work of mostly local (but some international) artists.



This year, Pop Deluxe showcased a Lomography photography exhibit featuring local artists Leah Schultz, Grace Daniels, Kaley Ingenito, and Mackenzie Holmes. A wide array of Lomography cameras were represented, including the Diana Mini, Holga, and Supersampler.Also present were the  Echelon String Quartet who set up in ourstorefront window and entertained visitors for two hours with their nontraditional arrangements of music by artists such as Radiohead and Pink Floyd (my personal favorite in their repertoire).Pop Deluxe is also home to an Art-o-mat, a retired cigarette machine which now dispenses pocket-sized original art. At 5 bucks a pop, it’s art anyone can afford!We had tons of fun (seriously… best night of work ever) and met some great people. Thanks to all of our friends, customers, and local art lovers for making the night such a success!