In a world where everything is manufactured it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty that’s right in front of us. Here are a few of nature’s finest creations that are completely awe inspiring.
In Animal Architecture, Ingo Arndt explores marvels of nature with spectacular imagery, showcasing the complex and elegant structures that animals create both for shelter and for capturing prey. Studio photographs supplement the images from Arndt’s journey and offer close-up views of the nests, mounds and webs constructed by the animals. Clearly mankind isn’t the only species that frets over the perfect home.
Maison & Co.’s Kourtney Lamp is made up of authentic mussel shells hand assembled and mounted on a wood base. This is a lovely reminder of natural beauty for your every day life.
The Chuka Bow Tie pays homage to the upland lifestyle with a bold yet versatile design. A gorgeous example of mother nature hard at work, any owner of this tie will be paying a great tribute to a beautiful bird.
This ancient Ammonite Fossil Bracelet is accented with sparkling diamonds and complimented by Tibetan agate beads. Ammonites lived in the seas approximately 65 million years ago, when they became extinct along with dinosaurs. You may not be the oldest person in the room, but you will definitely be wearing the oldest artifact!
Agate Coasters are the ideal accessory for any living room. These little slices of stone are all unique and interesting and look great in a grouping.
These naturally formed Chinese Wood Sculptures are about as organic as your artwork can get. Display them on their own or in a group for greater impact.
Fifty Nests and the Birds That Built Them is a book composed of photographs of nests, both messy and meticulous. It is a showstopper on a coffee table and makes the perfect gift for any bird lover.
Writer, editor, television personality, decorator…. there’s not much that Sara Ruffin Costello doesn’t do. And while her name has been sprinkled across mastheads over the years (Domino, Wall Street Journal, Glamour), she’s also pretty recognizable – you may have seen her in Target’s recent print and commercial campaign doling out entertaining tips. Basically, when Costello talks about design, people listen. It’s not only that she has style oozing from her fingertips, she also manages to put it all together in a way that’s completely new and effortless all at once. Whether it’s a prescient knack for forecasting the next big thing, or making a room feel thrown together in just the right way, this lady just knows. But don’t let her relaxed attitude fool you – the Virginia-bred New Orleans resident also has a few things to say on the subject of proper entertaining. Case in point: her favorite hostess gifts from Taigan. Get ready to take some notes.
Berti Knives: Extraordinary house warming gift for someone with a new weekend place.
Maria Evora Soap: Everyone is appreciative of soap. Especially when it’s good looking enough for the powder room.
Brass Box: I love giving a little decorative box to special friends. Especially filled with something meaningful to the recipient like pictures of the great weekend you just had. Or pot.
Tea Towels: Cant go wrong with dish towels. I am keeping a stack of these on hand this summer.
One Man’s Folly: This picture book (photographed by my husband Paul Costello) makes a great hostess gift for the ladies who love to decorate.
Vase: For when you really need to impress. I’d be thrilled if someone gave this to me.
Beach Blanket: This gift is everything. Well…maybe just three things…a tablecloth, a blanket and a beach towel.
Bowl: Attention guests…This is what I would like to receive .
I Married Adventure: Bookshelves belonging to adventurous pals would do well with this classic by Osa Johnson.
Wool Loafers: These are a fun antidote to the usual hostess gift. Just get the size right.
Neriage Bowl: Gorgeousness. I might just “give” this to myself.
Between World Cup fever and the 4th of July there are plenty of occasions to sport red, white and blue these days. Get on the team USA bandwagon with these patriotic picks for the little ones in your life!
The Ashley Circle Skirt Dress is comfy enough for the beach, but is dressy enough for dinner. This is sure to be her go-to dress for the rest of the season.
Your little one is sure to have a whale of a time in these red, white and blue Chris Board Shorts.
Homegrown everything is all the rage… including babies. Make a statement about the newest member of the family with this Organic Onesie.
The Cherry Red Tulle Skirt from Virginia Dunn walks the perfect line between dress-up and real life. Thank heaven for little girls, indeed!
For the little one that wants to look like a grownup, this Navy Blue Blazer from Peter Elliot fits the bill.
These Big Star Hair Clips are the perfect accessory for little girls celebrating the 4th. Wear one, or pile them on for a super festive feel!
Shop all of our patriotic picks for your little one HERE.
It’s summertime and the weather is high, which of course means it’s time to whip up a batch of refreshing cocktails. We recommend a Ginger-Blackberry Smash from Maureen Christian-Petrosky’s new book The Cocktail Club. Serve them up to order, or in a chic beverage dispenser alongside Tara Guerard’s lovely hemstitch napkins. Either way, people are sure to appreciate a little heat relief!
1 cup sugar
1 four-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 lime wedge
1/4 cup silver tequila
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3 fresh blackberries
1 thin slice crystallized ginger
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and fresh ginger with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let the ginger steep over low heat for about 20 minutes, or longer if you want your cocktail spicier. Strain the syrup into a container and let cool completely.
On a shallow plate, combine the salt and ground ginger. Use the lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass and dip it lightly into the mixture. In a shaker filled with ice, add the tequila, 1 ounce of the ginger-flavored simple syrup, and the lime juice; shake until chilled. Lightly muddle the blackberries in the bottom of a glass, then add ice. Strain the shaker into the glass and garnish with a sliver of crystallized ginger.
Who doesn’t like flowers?! Margot Shaw, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of flower magazine, has a deep appreciation for beauty and all things floral. The pages of flower inspire a floral lifestyle whether it be in interiors, art, travel, fashion, jewelry or entertaining. There is something for everyone who likes flowers…and even those who don’t.
Since its debut in March of 2007, flower has continued to grow at a steady pace, recently moving from quarterly to bimonthly, and available in all 50 U.S. states and 17 countries. Margot takes a look on Taigan for pieces that are inspired by some of her favorite flowers.
Photo image credit info: Photo by Cary Norton
Nature is such a source of joy and inspiration, and, of course, as Editor-in-Chief of flower I see it everywhere, in everything. I’ve had such fun finding summer picks that evoke—whether in form, color, texture or essence—a visit to the garden.
poppy pod + french wine bottle sign
This marvelously patinated 19th-century wine bottle sign reminded me of a big, fat poppy pod the minute I saw it, and would add a dash of provincial whimsy to a garden gate, ivy-covered wall, or even an exposed-brick sun porch.
Flower image credit info: Photo by Julie Soefer, courtesy of flower magazine
croton + wool loafer
My daddy lived in Key West when I was in college, and his courtyard was ablaze with crotons. When I spotted these one-of-a-kind loafers made from fragments of vintage Turkish rugs, I thought immediately of the stripey, orange-and-green tropical mainstay—and Dad.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/sarra22
butterfly bush + raw silk shawl
Though summertime is invariably warmer, if not unbearably hot, where I live, I always take a wrap when going out at night, as air-conditioners rarely adjust to the cool of the evening. Butterfly bushes are blooming right now and so will you in this raw-silk shawl. Maybe even pin a stem on your shoulder.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/Tamara_Kulikova
silver brunia + alexander the great cufflinks
It’s all about repetition in shapes and colors. These rare, antique cufflinks emblazoned with Alexander the Great’s profile recapitulate the same timeless tone and form as silver brunia, and in their own way, feel just as organic.
Flower image credit info: Photo by Natasha Mishano, courtesy of flower magazine
trumpet vine + lucky charm necklace
This graphic necklace, with its bold reddish-orange tassel and elephant charm inscribed with the word “brave,” embodies the same plucky attitude as the trumpet vine. Both are small but not to be ignored, and cause for constant comment.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/PeterEtchells
stock + dennis stock
Aside from supplying the double entendre with the name of this book’s author, a whiff of stock may be one of the coolest scents around. So, I paired it with Dennis Stock’s primer American Cool, a must-have for all who relish the best of the best of our culture from the ’50s to the ’70s. Stock’s plainspoken self-assessment alone is enough to sell me: “I think there is a thread to be observed throughout my work. It’s that I am relatively affirmative. I am not inclined to make fools of people and I love beauty.” Pick up a bunch of stock, drop it in an empty Tang jar by your Eames chair, and settle in.
Flower image credit info: Photo by Liesa Cole, courtesy of flower magazine
fiddlehead fern + french garden bench
Art almost always imitates life, and in this case, the fanciful curlicues of a fiddlehead fern are repeated in the back of the 19th-century French garden bench by Maison & Co. It makes sittin’ pretty fun.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/pokergecko
sweet gumball + kosta large sphere
This naturalistic sphere constructed of oyster shells is every bit as rustic looking and mesmerizing as the beautifully architectural sweet gumball, but won’t prick your hands when you pick it up.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/DianaLynne
dogwood + wall sconce
We always think we’ve invented things… The time-honored quatrefoil, so popular in jewelry today and the decorative arts throughout history, has its origins in, among other natural things, the humble dogwood bloom. Niermann Weeks’ sconce is a wonder of nature even before you turn on the lights.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/wbritten
bluebells + swing dress
This swirly bluebell of a dress from Busy Bees is as simple and bright as the flowers next door. Both make me want to go outside and play.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/efired
bleeding hearts + heart leather coin purse
Sting sang, “That’s not the shape of my heart.” Maybe not, but this bleeding heart bloom is almost exactly the shape of Copenhagen de Luxe’s red leather heart purse. With the handy clip, you can wear it on your sleeve, or better yet, your belt loop.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/fotoclick
chrysanthemum + faux bois table
Bob Christian, the master of hand-finishes, emulates the spikey pinwheel motif of a chrysanthemum in his faux bois table. Maybe a cluster of mums in a cachepot in the center of the table would be amusing—not to put too fine a point on it…
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/aristotoo
anemone + peanut butter and jelly cookie
When I was little, peanut butter and jelly was my favorite combo. What am I saying? It’s still my favorite combo! But part of what I love about these PB&J Big Awesome cookies by Sucré is the round, dark center that brings to mind one of my favorite flowers, anemones. Both the cookie and the flower have that playful vibe I love. But, please don’t eat the anemones.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/Andyd
green pea & vine + green and ivory brimmed hat
It’s not everyone that can rock this hat, but it has a precedence in the vegetable garden, as you see in the curves and swirls echoed from the green pea vine. I wager you’ll spot this sassy chapeau this summer at races, tea parties, and even afternoon weddings.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/Nadanka
clover + bermuda bag
I’ve never found a four-leaf clover, but the ones on this Bermuda bag by Glamourpuss NYC are bound to bring you good luck, and are as vivid and iconic as the originals.
Flower image credit info: ©iStock.com/enter89
For more of flower magazine and just in time for all your summer entertaining, order your own subscription of the gorgeous publication yourself! flower is offering each Taigan shopper a special price of $16.99 with promo code 1TGN14. Enjoy!
We’ve turned to the experts at Sallie’s Greatest Jams for a couple easy, refreshing ideas for summertime bites and drinks. Try one of these simple and delicious recipes for a night with friends.
Start off with a Peach + Mint Sweet Tea Martini
1 ½ oz. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka
1 ½ oz. Orange juice
1 oz. sparkling water
1 heaping tsp. Sallie’s Greatest Peach + Mint Jam
Thin peach slice
Fresh mint leaf
Put it all in a shaker with ice. Shake to blend then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a peach slice and fresh mint leaf.
Pair up your cocktail with a starter.
Baked Brie with Blackberry Spice + Sage
17 oz. round of Brie cheese
3 tablespoons of Sallie’s Greatest Blackberry Spice + Sage Jam
Fresh or Frozen blackberries
Slice the top rind off cheese leaving the side round in tack. Place Brie in the center of a Brie baker or pie plate. Put the Blackberry Spice + Sage Jam in the center of the brie. Top with blackberries. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese melts (about 10-15 mins). Serve with crackers and sliced apples.
Scallop & Roasted Pepper Salad with Peach Pepper + Ginger Dressing
1 lb. scallops
2 large green or red peppers (or buy roasted peppers and skip this preparation)
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
1 cucumber sliced
1 small sweet red onion chopped (can use white sweet onion or 2 green onions)
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
Mixed salad greens or arugula
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Sallie’s Greatest Peach Pepper + Ginger Jam
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat broiler. Place washed peppers on rack in broiler pan. Broil about 15 minutes close to heat until charred. Put peppers in plastic wrap or a brown bag and let stand 10 to 15 minutes until skin wrinkles and can be pulled away. Remove loose skin. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds, then cut into I inch pieces. Arrange salad greens on plates (or in a bowl) top with peppers, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and goat cheese. Pan sauté 1lb scallops or shrimp in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter. After browning on both sides, put 1 teaspoon of Peach, Pepper + Ginger in pan with 2 tablespoons water. Toss to glaze. Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and Peach, Pepper + Ginger jam together. Toss salad with dressing and top with scallops or shrimp. Serves 6.
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
¼ cup plain flour
½ tsp. baking powder
Sallie’s Greatest Blueberry Lemon + Thyme Jam