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2010 gift guides: california born and bred

by Grace Bonney

Hi everyone! Simone LeBlanc again, and I want to share with you some thoughts on a topic that keeps popping up for me this holiday — the great state of California. I gain a certain type of satisfaction by looking in my own backyard and being inspired by all that it has to offer. Yes, I look forward to trips to many of the world’s great cities just like the rest of us, but I have to say that I am pleasantly impressed by all that this state has to offer. From north to south, there are some talents and visionaries turning out products with an inspired West Coast point of view. Whether it is hand-harvested bath teas from St. Helena, Byzantine tile artisan chocolates from Los Angeles or remnant wood desk boxes from Marin, the honest materials and straightforward approach define the California sensibility. The key is the balance (spoken like a true Californian, I know) – a distinctive line of sophistication and ease, excess pared down to simple quality. Relaxed and refined.

Maybe it’s the comfort that a breath of fresh air is always right around the corner or that if life gets too intense, I really can escape to the woods in a matter of minutes.

So to the rest of this beautiful country — you have a place in my heart, but there is something to say for a winter’s day that may not dip below 65 degrees. –Simone

Image above: 1. Hand-Cast Cement Geo Planter by Kelly Lamb $90; 2. Commune Shop Chocolates Inspired by Byzantine Tiles $49 ; 3. Rib Garland Brass & Leather Necklace by ACB $270; 4. Organic Lavender Bath Set, including Bath Milk, Himalayan Bath Salts & Harvested Bath Tea $38; 5. “Woods from the Forrest” Carved Deskboxes $40-$100; 6. San Francisco Stamp Set by Yellow Owl $11.50

Image above: Organic Printed Linen Fabrics by Flock $16-$54

Image above: Coyuchi Cozy Wool Blankets $148-$248

Image above: Clare Vivier Remnant Foldover Clutch ($79-$149) and Beatrice Valenzuela Handmade Leather Shoes ($160)

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