Friday, December 19, 2008

7 Quick Takes

In imitation of Jen....

1. American Apparel -- All the generic items you could want, no obnoxious logos, all made in the USA, in Downtown LA. Avoid if you are offended by immigration reform or primary colors. Nice quality. I bought some shirts as a gift, there.

2. Papyrus -- I have previously been underwhelmed by the fact that 100% of their gift bags are made in China. However, not all their wrapping paper is made their. About 60% of the their wrapping paper is unlabeled, the rest is made in Switzerland, India, China, or the USA. I went for Switzerland.

3. Crate and Barrel -- More positive news from this store. Much more of their Glassware is made elsewhere since the last time I went there! The vast majority was made in Eastern Europe, with some Italian, and american pieces, with the occasional chinese martini glass. I'm warming up to them again. They are very good about labeling in store, too.

4. I found a perfect shampoo for problem scalps like mine at Lush. A++ to Rehab. Sadly, it is very pricey, compared to the rest of their shampoos. I still bought two bottles, it was that good. Don't be fooled by what they say that it is for "dry, damaged hair". Works fine for oily hair with damaged scalp. But given everything else irritates my hair, I deal. (some of their solid shampoo is good, too, but my favorite, Reincarnate, is discontinued).

5. My Red Oxx Amethyst Flying BoxCar came in the mail! It is built to survive the apocalypse, and is super roomy. It has metal latches instead of velcro, molded plastic zippers, a sturdy id tag, a comfy shoulder strap, and is a very nice color. I can fly carry-on only from now on, I think. It is also very light.

6.  Phaidon Wallpaper City guides are Made in China. Why are travel guides so ubiquitously printed in China? Am Sad.

7. Looking for ribbon, I found that most cloth or metallic ribbon was not made in china (usually Taiwan, but it varies). However, most curling ribbon is made in china. It might be one of those things like fake leather for shoes and books that just gets manufactured there (and seemingly nowhere else?). 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bookshelves and Ikea

I purchased bookshelves on Saturday. From Rodney's in Central Square. They sell real pine bookshelves for not much more than say... Billy Bookshelves from Ikea, that are particle board and, although I cannot confirm this, I highly suspect they are made in China. I still have to go to ikea to investigate. 

Anyway, as a sort of price comparison, a Billy half-tall half-wide shelf costs 49$. Mine cost 65$. The half-tall, full-width one costs 69$ at ikea, but 79$ at Rodneys. No assembly required, too. And real wood. Considering the Billy shelves are flat-packed, they are basically slabs of wood cut to the right dimensions and some holes drilled in. If you like the assembly process, go to Home Depot, get some 2x10's and some screws (They cut wood for you there!) and a piece of plywood, and you get the same "materials" as a ikea shelf for a quarter of the price. And you save the gas all the way to Ikea (but you will lack swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce). 

Before I slander Ikea too much, though, I'd like to note that Ikea does have some fine not made in china things. This bunk bed, made of pine, is one of the few bunk beds in the market not made in China--it is made in Finland. Also, these glasses  are not made in china, either, as I found out at a party this weekend (the glass contained wine, so my recollection of where they were made is a bit fuzzy).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brand Post: Red Oxx Bags

Everything Made in The USA! Hurray! I think I'm buying my next bag from here instead of a Zuca Bag. Yes, It has no wheels, which I'm sad about. But the bags seem very light and spacious, and have a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. And most importantly, look good and come in a variety of colors. I love colors. Also, I'm not sure they are censoring themselves or not, but I did not see anything reviewed with less than 5/5 stars. That is amazing to me.  I'm thinking of getting a messenger bag to replace my dying purse and a carry-on week bag for traveling. We'll see. I'd like to see one in person first, but I don't know what stores carry it.