Well hi there, Bees, and welcome to The Juice Standard’s first-ever holiday guide! With a nod toward our favorite honey-making mascot, bee goods ain’t all we got…but from bee-inspired wares to #shoplocal hotspots we think you’ll heart, we’re sharing a few of our fave ways to mindfully (and playfully!) show you care this holiday season.
FOR A NESTING BEE:
What: Hand-painted octagonal side table with bee motif in chalk and milk paint
Where: The Painted Cupboard
Contact: Artist Lucia Corwin (Facebook message her at @thepaintedcupboardVT; email at email@example.com; or call 802.843.5158)
Why Buy? Continuing a lifetime of creating beauty with her hands (after a long romance with latex), artisan Lucia Corwin broke up with the toxins in her former favorite medium and fell in art-love with a whole new technique: chalk and milk paints. Exploring the intricacies of layering paints and colors, she opened The Painted Cupboard and now fills custom orders and sells her wares in local shops to folks who have equally fallen hard for the technique as much as she has.
“Annie Sloan chalk paint: The colors…and the aging you can achieve are just wonderful,” sighs Corwin, who has lived across New England and is now based in Grafton, Vermont. “I also use Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint because I like the crackled goodness you get from layering it. [Both] are very low in volatile organic compounds (VOC), they’re all natural, and when it comes to painting furniture, the paints provide endless opportunities for creating washes, glazes and distressing…the interesting detail that can enliven antiques,” she says.
Corwin’s work through The Painted Cupboard has crackled open more than just specked, distressed layers on the large- and small-scale pieces she’s building a business around. It’s opened a whole new chapter in her life. At a time when some busy bees start thinking about winding down, this former librarian—who later raised Alpacas after gracefully raising two now-grown children on her own—is now plugging into the heart of why she craves getting lost in painting that little bee as well as her other treasures.
“I love gift giving,” she gently admits in a phone interview with TJS. “I love buying gifts, and I love figuring out what someone would love. With my furniture, hopefully someone is so pleased they will hand it down [in their family] or gift it as a gift themselves.”
Adding she’s “had a blast trying to get into somebody’s mind to figure out what would give them pleasure,” it’s the pleasure Corwin gets from repurposing something from junky to pretty that fills her up, and gives her the leeway to explore her creativity…even if she needs the occasional do-over. “With chalk paint, there’s a sense of freedom,” she says. “You can just keep painting it over and over….”
(And who doesn’t love a do-over…especially when the result’s so damn nice?)
Corwin On That Bee: “The Royal Bee is a French motif, but I like the simple bee, because I love bees! I like putting it on small tables because they’re just so useful and they can go anywhere.”
Insider Shopping Intel: Corwin accepts commissioned work, so if you like that bee and want it on a tray, a set of chairs, a side table, or any other piece, she’s an expert antique explorer who can hunt down exactly what you’re looking for, and then buy-paint-ship it where you wish.
FOR A HONEY-LOVIN’ BEE
What: Annsley Naturals Southwest raw local (to Las Vegas)honey
Find It: At local Whole Foods and Sprouts
Why: For years, Annsley Naturals Southwest has been TJS’s honey of choice, as well as the local purveyor we’ve proudly bought from (you can read about our relationship here).
Knowing our passion for turning to honey and bee pollen for fighting local allergies, it’s especially important to know where your honey’s from, Honey. And if you live in the Las Vegas Valley, buying from Annsley takes the guesswork out of wondering where all that gooey gold is made.
Find It: Where drugstore items are sold (i.e., Target, grocery stores, Walgreens, etc.)
Why: Unlike other lip lubes and balms, this iconic balm by the iconic honey-driven Burt’s Bees company, will give your lips a healing, sealing, waxed-in coating that’ll keep moisture in and dryness out. The stickiness is an acquired feel if you’re not used to it, but those who love swear by its long-lasting hydrating superpowers.
Made By: Beehive Handmade
Why: This husband-and-wife design duo located in Bristol, Rhode Island, creates ceramics (among other things) that are hardy enough to withstand the daily wear and tear of its wares. Especially darling to us is Beehive’s honey pot, of which we think even Pooh would greatly approve.
Where: Planet Homestead
Buy What? Adorably playful bee jewelry, mugs and sundry wares for every fan in your hive.
Why? As the name suggests, Planet Homestead prides itself on purveying fine, homesteady wares from its home base in the great state of Utah. Items are curated by owner Caroline, who leans toward items that reflect many of the animals and things she holds dear on her family farm.
Insider Shopping Intel: For the farm- or bee-lover in your tribe, you can practically shop local even across the Internets at this comfy site with the homespun pics that make you feel like pouring a cuppa with Caroline.
FOR A #SHOPLOCAL BEE
What: Self-love your skin (or giving the gift of smooth) with gift certificates or product from this local-to-Las-Vegas waxing salon.
Where: The Birthday Suit
How To Shop: On the Internets, or in person at these locations here.
Why You Should Indulge: Beautifying for the holidays is hard work. Painful work, too, if you don’t know what you’re doing. While you’re give-a-give-giving to everyone around you, consider a little pampering for yourself (or get a gift card for someone
hairy you love) at this salon that specializes in a luxe, azure-blue custom-blended wax designed to excel at lower temps that are easier on the skin…even in your most tender places.
Insider Shopping Intel: Few salons use all-natural products to fight little nasties like ingrown hairs, but The Birthday Suit’s self-professed “hero” product is a serum that fights hairs while being gentle to the most sensitive skin. Check out the line here.
FOR AN ARTSY BEE
Shop Here: My Modern Met
What Makes This Site Special? Founded in 2008, this site shines a bigg-ass light on amazing artwork and the artists creating it. Priding itself on not just telling other people’s stories but giving artists a platform to sell and share their work—and, to tell their own story—MyModernMet.com has become a reliable source for people seeking beauty in typical and non-typical places, and at the holidays and every day, TJS thinks that’s just rad.
Annnd What Exactly Should I Buy? These amazing lights look like everyday shapes when they’re off, but turn ’em on and they morph into whimsical wall animals. We think they’re delightful for a child’s room and playful enough for the living room of every adult kid in your life (including yourself).
FOR A PHILANTHRO-BEE
Presents don’t have to be one-and-dones. Donating to an organization is a gift that keeps on giving and is especially perfect for when your Secret Santa draw is Uncle Silas who just bought another island last week, blows his nose with Benjamins and not-so-secretly wants for nada.
- Kiva (Remember college, when Grandma would send you a $20 and expect it buy food for a week? Well these really are loans that save lives.)
- Heifer International (Like the site—and Sade—says, this is no ordinary
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Will the pipeline go through? Won’t it? Here’s how to donate directly to the tribe juuuuust in case things turn around from recent reportage.)
- KNPR (With all the fake-news reportage lately, people are talking more than ever about the need for unbiased, well-reported content. Do you listen? This is Las Vegas’ local station but consider donating wherever you live.)
- Shade Tree (This longtime TJS fave org gives women and children a place of safe respite during crises of all kinds. Its vision? “Self-reliance for every woman and child.” And-how.)