Who says that Josh Spear is the only cool hunter. I wandered into the Spotted Magpie a few weeks ago while moseying down Oxford St, heading back to Sydney. (See tall building in background? That’s Sydney..Australia. Note also the car driving on the left side of the road? Okay then.)

With a sign like this, the store could be anything.

Outside the door there are rolls and rolls of oilcloth, one more fun and fabulous than the next. And inside is a collection of whimsical, practical, deco, retro and joyful new and not-so-new decorative items for the home.

After chatting with the owner, Mary, for a minute I recognized and American twange (yep, Ohio..) behind her Aussie accent.

Great store, creative owner who is also an interior designer- well, duh!  She can decorate my house- fun, fun, fun! My friend, T, would get a real kick out of this store. Mary says:

“The idea behind Magpie is that, like a bird, we collect things here and there to create our own unique nest. We normally don’t go into it with a big master plan – we pick up things along the way, we bring back souvenirs from when we travel, we collect mementos from our lives, and are given, for better or worse, things that reflect the taste of those we love.”

I bought a little oilcloth apron as a house gift for Lela (2 years old). Too cute:



Gluten-free Tamari on-the-go

February 28, 2011

This is a good quality product. We use this brand in our home. And now you can take it on the road without the bottle spilling in your handbag! I haven’t seen this in store but you can order online-of course.

San-J manufactures Tamari soy sauce and quality Asian-inspired products. The San-Jirushi Corporation of Mie, Japan, began selling Tamari in the United States in 1978 as an importer to natural food and industrial food markets. San-Jirushi decided to build a plant to brew Tamari in North America. In addition to the production facilities, San-J’s administration, research and development and sales and marketing departments are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

Available: amazon, dealnay (both with decent discount but you have to 240 packets, that’s alot of dinners out…buy with a friend or two)


Hat Tip: Josh

Oil and Water Don’t Mix

October 26, 2010

Thoughtful way to use art to draw our attention to the BP spill and do some good, too. Check out Anthony Burrill’s poster, limited edition of 200 posters, screen printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster. All the benefits go to CRCL, the Coalition to Restore Louisiana coastline.

Via: Josh Spear

Move Over Ma Bell

October 27, 2009

Okay, I am not sure that I would need this service but check out GoogleVoice. On the google blog you can read more about how to keep your existing phone number and still take advantage of neat features like call recording, call screening and getting text messages via email. You can subscribe to Google Voice with your existing mobile number OR with a Google number. Watch the youtubes to see all the bells and whistles. The catch? You have to be invited. Visit the site and request an invite.

via: Josh Spear, via: Gigaom.com

Proud Mom

February 20, 2009


What can I say, I am so proud of my boys and all they contribute in the world. Josh encouraged me to start blogging and I hope this weekend he will give me some tips on how to improve JoanSpear.com.

Here is a link to a new interview with Josh (Josh Spear)  at DesignGlut.com.  He says about his family: 

“I came from a brand savvy, product savvy, never “settling” household. My dad is a designer. He’s a feng shui expert. When I grew up he was designing hotels and private residences, working with people like Karim Rashid. In grade school I always had Muji notepads and pencils that my dad brought me back from trips. There was always some thought put into a purchase, and what brands stood for, and what values they had. But it took a long time for me to realize how interested I was in brands. I just knew that I liked some of them.”

But what he might not remember is the grief he gave me having to buy the “right” Northface jacket or the “perfect shoes”. Josh always had a sixth sense about what he wanted to wear, use, be around. He does not settle. He holds out for the perfect product. Hear it from him.