The Shop at Little Spoons Design

inspiration in plastic?

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
a few pics from our trip to Sayulita that "inspired" and also made me think more about plastic in our oceans!

it's that time of year.

spring break and other getaways have spawned hundreds of dreamy landscapes of sun and fun. when we arrived at our jungle hideout overlooking the ocean we were in love. it's as if they carved the bits out of the mountain while leaving much of the foliage in tact. of course I know it isn't true but so much care is taken to bring the outside in that it feels like you are meant to be there. there are notes about respecting the wildlife especially during turtle and crab season and to be sure it is not a place to go if you fear any kind of lizard as there are many large and small that might be napping nearby. on the other hand, there is so much plastic use and so close to the ocean (where much of it ends up) it is baffling. I know the drinking water is an issue and has been. but it was the multitude of unnecessary straws that really got me thinking why? why in a country that so clearly cares about it's flora and fauna would they so wantonly use straws on every drink served especially when not a "to-go"?  upon arrival we were given a drink in a plastic cup with a straw (ok that sorta made sense as we were walking a bit precariously on the winding paths but I would have gladly waited!) and in the mornings smoothies came with a straw.  in the evening any cocktail, even in beautiful handblown glass, had a straw!  

ok I know this was supposed to be about texture and color and inspiration!!  and it is to some extent. the images above truly did inspire and bring peace to my mind as well as spark ideas for future patterns.  but it also got me to think of something larger. beyond the inspiration is the consequences of those straws and the multitude of plastic bottles used every hour of every day. so much of it is habit. and a bit of malaise on the part of travelers to say "no" and use refillable bottles. so I am asking you, dear reader, on your next trip abroad or to your fave local spot.  just say a simple "no, thanks, I don't need a straw!"  every little bit counts. working on the larger bits too. we all have to take part in this!

PS :: have you played "spoons" lately? highly recommend revisiting this simple yet fun card game! yes I know I am partial to "little spoons" and yes we brought those 3 pictured above with us on our trip but don't judge!  try it!  you'll thank me!  xo

Plus One and beyond

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
the wristlet in plus one (also available in rose gold / pale pink! I know!)

the wristlet in plus one (also available in rose gold / pale pink! I know!)

The Plus One pattern evolved from the use of symbols and what they mean and perhaps as a way to simplify the mass of emojis we see every day? It was a way to celebrate your "plus one" which I remember first seeing on a wedding invitation years ago when I actually did not have a "one" to invite! But appreciated being included (even if it caused panic at first)!  Since then I have come to almost take for granted that now my plus one includes a husband and 2 kids. And that I am never really judged for that. So many people are struggling with their own identities as what it means to be a gender or in between, not to mention not being allowed to marry or have families because of who they are or what they believe. 

With the state of our country post election I felt that now more than ever it is important to make all feel welcome and safe whomever they choose to be their Plus One!  Let's celebrate the diversity of our country and beyond. While this pattern was not originally a part of my pattern for good program, I cannot stay silent and allow the hard work of so many slip away. A portion of the proceeds from the Plus One pattern (includes the wristlet shown above as well as the Lady Mini Vino here!) will go to the ACLU and Human Rights Campaign. Be proud of who you are and who you champion! 

photo by jocelyn lee studio

Save the Bees and...

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

Apples!  Almonds! you name it! chances are a bee has been busy helping it grow. In fact you may be surprised to learn that bees are responsible for one third of the food we eat. And yet they are not being protected from harmful pesticides approved for use right now. They are quite literally dying. Would you want to wake up without coffee or fruit on the table? Not to mention flowers all around? This year's pattern for good is launching at the National Stationery Show on May 17-30 in NYC. The pattern is double sided: one side has painted images of the fruits, vegetables and plants that will be most affected by their loss. On the other side they are actually spelled out in a painted typography similar to those found on farmer's market signs as sometimes an image is not enough. This is a truly serious issue!

A portion of the proceeds from the “save the bees and” collection will be donated to help protect the bees and our food. stay tuned for more information about which organization(s) will benefit. And the collection will be available here in July! 

New styles include the Wristlet, the Lady Mini Vino and the Lady Farmer available in the recycled cotton canvas as well as a black bottle bag made from recycled soda + water bottles.

And we are proud to say that the Lady Mini Vino (first 3 images above) is a finalist in the Best New Product / Eco Chic category. 

 

Mother's day collaboration

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

a special pairing available for mother's day and beyond! Lady Mini + pouch in Fleur
and some goodies from the American Made Market

I was asked by the ladies of American Made to once again fill a bag (and in this case a pouch too!) with some of the amazing things from the Market. It is always a challenge since there are so many great items to choose from...but with "mom" in mind I set out to find a nice assortment that would treat and celebrate the moms in our lives!  take a peek at marthastewart.com  makers include: short stack editions, milk&honey luxuries, ULIVjava, serendipity confections, urban bird and co., two tumbleweeds, waxing kara, poppy soap co., miniature rhino and son of a sailor.

Do note that the items listed are available on their own and do not come inside the bag or pouch. And this special pairing price is only available as a part of the Market. enjoy! 

 

a week away and what that means

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

my family and I usually do the "staycation" this time of year...a terrible word invented for those who cannot get away but put on a brave face as if to say we are still on vacation even if we are here!  well guess what?  you aren't . And I can say this because up until this February we stayed put due to work or budget or just plain disorganization! and while there can be "warm" moments of togetherness there is mostly the race to figure out what's next while everyone else is with you too.  we honestly did not realize how important it was to truly disengage with schedules and stress which is almost impossible when at home even if technically on vacation!

this year was different.  we decided (a bit late but with conviction) to go somewhere warm! and I will say it was the best vacation we have had. and with kids!  ha.  At first I wondered how I would document it. I now was fully invested in social media (well not quite but...) and was told that to keep your "audience" engaged and "liking" you, one must post every day if not twice a day. well...that is a bit silly if you really think about it don't you think?  when staring at the beautiful blue green ocean must we stop to document it?  can't we simply enjoy it and talk about it later when we really need to remember it?  I decided that yes that was the case.

so here now is a small sampling of pictures (simply click through) I did manage to take that inspired me (there's that word again!) with the colors and textures that make Mexico so unique and beautiful. it made me engage in nature, the sounds and smells that we forget about when we are so concerned with posting the perfect picture. the joy of feeling the sand in your toes without snapping a picture is beyond measure. 

is there another word for inspiration?

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

three recent images that "inspire"...simply click through to see each one.

If you are on instagram (and of course you are "following" @shoplittlespoons!) you have probably seen many a post with the hashtag inspiration this time of year!  I mean every other post perhaps? I am right there too. What I had forgotten was it used to relate to being able to receive some sort of divine communication! Now that is quite lofty for us designers to be saying! But is there a better word? When searching for a synonym none feel quite right: "insight" "innovation" (again too lofty) "finesse" "flair" (well that is fun) "creativity" (yes but..) "vision" (back to religion!) There does not seem to be a better word that captures that moment when you see something and there is a click in the brain that turns a thought into a color or bits of shapes into a pattern.

The images above were a recent bout of inspiration starting with the Amaryllis my dear Aunt Peggy sent us for the holiday. We had all taken bets one when it would open and we all got it wrong. It is truly a majestic plant and it like many flowers almost looks painted it is so perfect. Later the same day it bloomed I was in west chelsea and happened upon an exhibition by Hugh Steers of gorgeously lush paintings. such hauntingly similar hues as the flower. Love when that happens. In particular the edging on the house (cropped from original painting) and the edging on the flower. Even later as I was searching for something in my photo archive I found the third image that was taken last Fall in Red Hook. It is a close up of a painted wood picnic table outside of Steve's Key Lime pie. A happy (now distant) memory and yet still attracted to the pink / red combination.  How will this influence me? It already has I am sure. But looking forward to discovering more. 

and then sometimes you just have to plunk down on the floor and look back at some of the goodies collected to *inspire* ! no screen needed!  yay!

and then sometimes you just have to plunk down on the floor and look back at some of the goodies collected to *inspire* ! no screen needed!  yay!

 

where do they go? trees + time

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
these beauties were not yet picked up for the holiday and I wondered ... where do they go?

these beauties were not yet picked up for the holiday and I wondered ... where do they go?

I love a fresh evergreen just like the next person but am always conflicted about the sustainability of it all.  Even if sourced from an organic tree farm what are the pros and cons of having a live tree during the holiday?  Obviously it is a gorgeous to look at and take in that unmistakeable fresh pine smell (no candles needed!) but what was the environmental impact of it coming to our living room?  In general the main concern lies in the pesticides that can be used to prevent the pest problem common on many tree farms.  The good news is more and more farms are turning to natural forms of pest control and ultimately a fake tree has more hazardous forms of chemicals inside the materials that are emitted into the environment (i.e. your living room!) And a study was done recently that said you would have to use that fake tree for 20 years in order to have the benefit of it being more environmentally friendly than the yearly live one. Something to think about!  Of course the real take away is to find a farm that is as local as possible and that uses organic methods. And do note it does not need to be certified organic (something that actually costs a good deal of money) it just needs to be pesticide free.  And lastly be sure to look up when tree collection is in your area to be sure it gets used for mulch or compost and not put into the general garbage mill.  I was told that the ones above would go to mulch if not snatched up in time. Let's hope!  

winter picnic anyone? yes please!

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

I was asked by the lovely ladies of Martha Stewart American Made Market to create a gift "basket" using the Lady Market tote. It was so hard to do I must say as there are so many amazing things to choose from. for real! not being paid to say this!! And I had to keep it to just 10 items. but in the end they allowed 12! yay! so grab your favorite picnic mate and take a peak at all the goodies here. It makes a truly unique gift for that special someone. And the best part is the "basket" is actually a fabulous bag you (or your gifted) can tote about after. see all the patterns available in the Lady Market and find your favorite to fill. 

patterns for good

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
and not just on "Giving Tuesday" !  every purchase each time! available in the pouch and lady mini

and not just on "Giving Tuesday" !  every purchase each time! available in the pouch and lady mini

So today is "Giving Tuesday" which is amazing especially after a weekend of shopping, debauchery and whatnot! Each year I create a pattern that benefits a cause that is near and dear.  I chose Housing Works this year because my aunt who was a dancer lost many friends and members of her dance company to AIDS in the eighties.  I feel like many of us don't think it is still such a huge crisis as it was then but that is what is so amazing about organizations like Housing Works. Take a look at all they do to help those in need or visit one of their fabulous thrift shops scattered throughout the city (brooklyn too!) When my aunt passed we donated some of her furniture to them (and they don't take just anything!)  So not only do they help those suffering and on the streets you benefit too by their carefully curated array of chairs (yes!) tables, clothes, jewels, bags and more! 

now go do some good in the world!

Getting ready for Renegade NY

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

November seemed so far away and now here we are!!  Holidays looming!  Excited to be a part of the Martha Stewart contingent at Renegade NY this year.  Come visit!  Booth 62 near the MSL Pavilion and not far from many holiday treats!  Get your shopping done early (ha) or at least indulge in something for yourself (even better!) Hope to see you there!

Recycle more?

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
gorgeous "gravel" pathway made up of crushed glass of all kinds at the Sims MRF in Sunset Park.

gorgeous "gravel" pathway made up of crushed glass of all kinds at the Sims MRF in Sunset Park.

I recently went on a school trip to the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Sunset Park Brooklyn. It is right on the water and is strangely quiet as you approach. Inside though is a whole other story! lots of whirring and stomping as bulldozers, cranes and conveyor belts work nonstop to manage the mounds of garbage that is now recyclable. It is an amazing feat of sorting and crushing to make bales that are then sent around the globe to be "recycled" anew into fleece and other things. What I was most surprised about though was that we are still only at 50%, meaning half of garbage that could be recycled is thrown into a landfill. How is this possible when we have the bags / cans to do it?  Come on people!  We can do better!!  Think before you throw something away! And maybe even carry it that extra block to find the city's bins now on most corners. 

 

inspiration behind paper chain

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
Judith Lenore Latimer in the 60s flying to perform with José Límon Dance Company.

Judith Lenore Latimer in the 60s flying to perform with José Límon Dance Company.

My Aunt Lenore's birthday was last Thursday. She would have been 79. She is missed! We celebrate her by going out for lobster - or at least some oysters - some favorite summer treats she would allow herself to indulge in once in a while. She hated noisy restaurants and we often had to ask to have the music turned down. She had great style and poise as well as a wonderfully loud laugh.  You always knew where you stood with her – I admired her for that. She lived in the same apartment on the Upper East Side since graduating from Juilliard in the '50s. Teaching dance was her passion and her students were inspired by her even if dance was not their passion.

The Paper Chain pattern was inspired by Lenore. The contrast of the pattern reflects her boldness and kindness; the silver evokes her creative and stylish side. I am reminded that she taught herself to knit as well as needlepoint and collected buttons and fancy beads to put on special gifts to friends and family.

She ate 5 raw almonds a day to ward off illness. Sadly that did not cure what ailed her. But she is still here with us in her button collection my daughter now covets, the various bakelite pieces I enjoy, and the vintage chair we couldn't give away and that my son and husband both like to sit in. Through her generosity and inspiration, I will always give a portion of the proceeds from my business to various organizations including Housing Works in NYC, a charity she lovingly supported.  

paper chain pattern // available in the Lady Mid or pouch size. why not carry on a plane somewhere? or take the pouch out dancing!

paper chain pattern // available in the Lady Mid or pouch size. why not carry on a plane somewhere? or take the pouch out dancing!



the paper coffee cup

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
And why wouldn't I want to use this every day instead? so lovely!   

And why wouldn't I want to use this every day instead? so lovely!   

What is it about the paper coffee cup? As much as I want to walk the eco walk and use a real mug or thermos for my daily need, there is something about that perfect white cup with black lid from my local shop that gives me comfort. So strange and yet I am not alone (right?)! Friends say the same thing. Of course I recycle it (yay New York for doing this finally!) but still it weighs on me. And what's interesting is when I do drink my coffee in a real cup I tend to finish it more often than when it is in the paper cup. Probably because it tastes better (duh)! But still I wonder...why do I need to tote about my paper cup for the better part of the day. Is it the tactile nature of holding something? I tend to spill it on things I'd rather not spill on. And I often leave it places by accident then feel bad that I did. All so silly, I know! But why can't I just give it up?  

I am trying. starting tomorrow.  

okay well I'm in...

Vicki Latimer RoanComment
I almost got into a fight over this coat at a vintage fair long before instagram existed. 

I almost got into a fight over this coat at a vintage fair long before instagram existed. 

everyone seems to agree that instagram is a must.  okay then!  I'm officially banning my social media ban and doing ONE.  it is visual after all. and I do love a good pic now and then. and it is fun to see other folks' visions / posts. we'll see how it all goes. slowly but surely.  

thanks for the shout out from Stumble & Relish, a lovely store in Evanston, IL and Urban Mercantile very cool in San Fran.  Yes I know i am supposed to do that on instagram. in due time!

@shoplittlespoons :: now if they could just come up with a better word for "follow" ..... please be patient while I get my act together! 

10 x 10

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

night before the Signature Mix Marketplace debut of the Shop as part of the National Stationery Show.  10 x 10 is the size of the booth we got and it is a nice size.  not too big, not too small and yet I am still bringing things in to place here and there.  We didn't want to construct walls even though it does make for a lovely display. It just seems a waste.  But as I stare at the ugly white curtains a part of me wishes we sprung for the walls!  On the flip side everything in the booth will be used in some way afterwards or recycled if needed. I even went for faux fleurs! Something I never thought I would do.  As much as I love fresh flowers it is again a bit wasteful (in this instance) and this way my daughter (who has already laid claim to the pink ones) can use them after for dress up and in her room. my son wants the peg board for his lego collection.  perfect.

come visit if you are in town May 18-21st at the Javits Center, NYC.  enter on 35th street / 11th avenue. go towards the Gift-it section at left / we are booth 1109!  cinnamon sugar cookies await!  

social media mania

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

I am not on facebook or twitter or even instagram.  I know. you might say it's stupid. downright dumb if I am trying to sell things right?  Well yes, I suppose it is.  But didn't we sell things before all this came about?  And why is it necessary?  I am going to find out!  Stay tuned...

why another tote?

Vicki Latimer RoanComment

When I set about launching this line I was faced with the inevitable question of "why another tote?" We all have the ubiquitous shopper from our favorite nonprofit or school. But I found that I would use them for a bit to show my support and they soon found their way to the closet or "clutter corner" as my guy likes to call it.  What would make me want to carry a tote?  Something colorful or maybe neutral when in the mood. And what about metallic? That jazzes things up a bit now doesn't it?  

I like things to match but not in that Laura Ashley drape and lampshade matching kind of way. I like to find shapes that work together but don't necessarily make sense.  I like it when someone has a peep of a color in a sock or scarf that ties an outfit together.  

And most of all I like that no new cotton was used to make it!  

So here we are.  Mix and match and above all else, USE and enjoy. 

So here we are.  Mix and match and above all else, USE and enjoy.