Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A few of my favorite things :)

With the unexpected development of us returning home for a few weeks this August, I began thinking about some fun Thailand goodies that I could bring back to the States to sell to some of you.  (Yes, I wish I could give all these things away, but unfortunately Stevo's not made of money, money doesn't grow on trees,  eh... it would just be too expensive!)

ANYWAY, over the last couple of weeks I have continued brainstorming and shopping for some of the treasures I have come to love in Thailand.  It brings me great joy knowing that I can give our local handicraft workers some business while also selling beautiful things to you at a cheaper price than what you probably get in the States.  Steven has often asked me why I'm going through the trouble of doing this (as there's not one-stop shop like Target here in Thailand... I've been running around to all these little stores placing my orders), but I thought it would be really fun and a win-win situation for all.  Plus, I know that a lot of our family and friends will be asking, "So, what did you bring back from Thailand?" And well, I'd hate to show up empty handed!

So without further adieu, here are a few of my favorite things that I've discovered since being on this side of the world that I hope you'll love too.  To say that I'm excited to share them with you would be a major understatement.  (I usually come home from my shopping spree and immediately hop on Skype to show my mom all my purchases.  Steven doesn't quite give me the validation and excitement I am looking for, so I have to look elsewhere...)  The thing I love most about these products is that not only are they beautiful and totally "my style", but each comes with a unique story and person behind it.  And while I do admit that I love Target and it's cheap-mass-produced things, there's just something special about knowing where these things came from and who made them.  Enjoy!

(*DISCLAIMER: Right now I only have a limited amount of each of these items, so if you see something you like email me or comment below so I can make sure to bring enough home!  Also, because most of these things are custom and handmade, I can't just go pick some up the day before I leave for America.  Which means... you'll need to let me know sooner than later so I can have ample time to have them made.)

*I only have a limited supply of JOYN bags since I ordered them from India, so once they're gone, they're gone!  First come, first serve :)

Remember when I blogged about these beauties?  Well, I just loved them AND their company AND their people AND their vision soooo much that I just had to place an order with them.  They are trying to break into the Chicagoland area, so I figured this would be a great way to help them out while also providing you all with some super cute, fashionable bags!  Below are some pictures of the actual bags I have to sell:


*I have one of these bags myself and I absolutely looooove it.  It's a great every day bag!

 So many pretty colors!

Oops!  Couldn't forget my favorite one... Oh yellow chevron, how I love you!

*And yes, I also have one of these. . . which is totally justifiable because it really will make a great diaper bag!  (Or a great back-to-school bag!)  I think it has a total of 9 pockets -- 5 on the outside, 4 on the inside.

 It has a button closure, but has 2 button metal clasp closures as well

I like the "peacock" one in the back :)

Just have one of these, but thought it would be great for the pool or beach!

Okay, moving on to...
I think these would make great wedding or housewarming gifts.  I have always seen them at the market, but have never splurged on one for myself.  Now that I actually have some, I may have to convince Steven that we need to keep one!  They're just so gorgeous.

(I believe you can get a mango wood salad bowl from Crate & Barrel for $80!)
Diameter of bowl: 12''
The girl who sells these was an orphan at the age of 5, but was fortunate enough to be put in a Christian foundation here in Chiang Mai.  She is now a young woman who we discovered actually lives very close to us!

 Diameter of bowl: 10"
The cute family that sells these was telling us that they make them all at their house!  Steven watched a t.v. episode on how they make mango wood bowls here and was astonished by how much workmanship goes into them.  They're truly one of a kind and a labor of love.
 Bowl: $25

Matching Utensils: $10

*I only have a limited supply of jewelry since I bought them in India, so once they're gone, they're gone!  First come, first serve :)

This was another company that we visited in India, but for security purposes I can't reveal too much.  Just know that they are doing amazing, fruitful work among a very unreached people group.  It's an honor to sell their treasures.
 Hands hard at work



These may be my favorite find yet.  When trying to make our house feel more like a home, I was desperate to get some pictures of family, friends and familiar places up on our walls.  Enter random/nothing-to-write-home-about frame shop.

We found this place on the side of a road on the way to one of the craft markets outside of town.  Not looking so impressive on the outside, we decided to check it out anyway.

But little did we know, this whole shop was filled with vintage, distressed frames!  
I fell in love instantly.  They custom the frames to any color you want, with lots of different sizes, shapes and styles.  So fun.

 This is our "travel" wall in our house. (We decided that we are going to hang pictures from every place we vacation or visit--India & Vietnam are next to be added to the wall!)  Not only do I love this wall for all the memories it evokes, but I also love what the frames add to the overall look.  
How did that little frame shop know that distressed, painted frames are all the rave in America?

*Below are all the colors that I have right now, but again, I can order specific colors and sizes if you'd like :)

 They can display horizontally or vertically and also be hung on the wall

 I thought the last couple would be cute for a little girls room :)


Believe it or not, it does get somewhat chilly in Chiang Mai at the end of the year.  I was unprepared for this since I only packed summer clothes when we moved over here.  So, like many of these other goodies, I was forced to buy some beautiful scarves :)  Again, they're all handmade/handwoven and I just love them!  (Do you see a reoccurring theme here?!)

 Janell, I bought this one for YOU in mind! :)

Gosh, I love mustard yellow :)

The lady I buy these from has a wide variety of colors--bright, muted, summer, spring, fall, winter, vintage, etc--so if you're looking for a particular color, just let me know!

And last, but not least...
Everyone in Chiang Mai goes to a woman named Wasana for all their sewing needs.  As a fun little gift for Pawn, Kristi had this idea to get aprons made that had the Uuai Pawn logo embroidered on the front.  So off we went to the big fabric market in town :)  Once we picked out some cute patterns (and lost 5 lbs in sweat--the market is extremely hot and filled to the brim with fabric!), we headed over to Wasana where we were pleasantly surprised at how cute they turned out!  So... this got me thinking, could she make some other super, cute/trendy, Anthropologie-inspried aprons for friends back at home?  (The answer is YES.)  Although, I guess I should let you be the judge.

*Again, like most of these things, I can pick out custom fabric/colors if you're looking for something specific!
 Be still my soul.

 They are really well made--double lined and hemmed with great attention to detail! 
(She said one apron took her all day to make!)

 I love the daintiness of this fabric :)

I think I may have a matching children's apron made for my niece!  
Mommy/daughter aprons, wouldn't that be so cute?

BLUE PATTERNED APRON: $30 (same as yellow one, but this one doesn't have a pocket, but it can be added)
 Same design, different color

 I love a good ruffle.

This one is shorter than the yellow one... but I like it :)

Alright friends, I have to cut myself off there.  (Or rather, Steven doesn't want me to end up with a thousand different things if we don't sell all of this stuff!  Gotta love my practical husband!)  Anyway, I hope you found some of my favorite things cute and again, please let me know if anything caught your eye!  I'd love to share a little bit of Thailand with you :)