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Get a Jumpstart on Personalized Holiday Cards with SF's Minted.com

Each year I make the same promise to myself to sit down and make my own set of holiday cards that are at once beautiful, ever so slightly witty, and 100 percent personalized. Every year, without fail, I break that promise. Sigh! It takes a lot of time and work to be that perfect. This year I'm getting an early start, and I've decided to be honest with myself about my capabilities, or lack thereof. Rather than spending far too long designing the perfect card in my head, then quickly scrapping the idea after realizing (again) that my creative skill does not equal the creativity of my ideas, I've decided to outsource things. Enter Minted, a crowdsourcing stationery site based in San Francisco.

Craigslist Deal of the Week: $1475 NoPa Studio

Most studio kitchens are meager, to say the least; a small chunk of the wall with a few plates-worth of cabinets, a sink, a wisp of a stove, and virtually no counter space to devote to actually preparing a meal. On the other hand, find a studio that's big enough to actually cook in, and who wants to? When that quick sole meunière is bound to spend at least a week hanging out in your nearby sheets and pillows, it's just not worth the effort.

Oakland-Based Tikoli Makes Textiles for Commitment Phobes

Oakland textile designer Maja Brugo was influenced by Scandinavian design, California, graphic design, art, and music. Oh, and Japanese design and mid-century modern design. Whew. Tikoli's cotton tea towels are colorful, modern, and made to mix and match—perfect for those of us who have trouble making a commitment to a color or pattern, even in the kitchen. Read more. . .

Digging Up Treasures At Mid Century Mobler

One of the beauties of San Francisco is that you can dig up quality accoutrements in some pretty unexpected places--like a tiny garage in the Castro. We've recently become hip to Mid Century Mobler, a passionately-curated collection of gorgeous furniture hand picked by Julian and Gabe, two design-obsessed friends who work out of said Castro garage.

Ghost Nest: Custom Hardware for the Home

Adding some personality around your home needn't be a laborious undertaking; if you've ever switched out your home's knobs and pulls then you know what a huge upgrade fresh hardware can make. And the best part is, it's pretty much the easiest DIY you could do.

Green Living and a Dynamic Washer/Dryer Duo at The Ki

You know you've really arrived when you can say you have a laundry room in your actual apartment. And since you've finally graduated from weekend runs to the laundromat, it's time to take the plunge into smart living. This weekend, The Ki hits Treasure Island with a three-day showcase of smart living brands, sustainable designs, and innovative technologies. And guess what's there? Whirlpool’s new Vantage washer and dryer, which combines technology, high style, and efficiency into a high-performance clothes-cleaning duo.

News from Apple Land: New Macbook Air Revealed

Apple devotees are probably all over this news already, but for the rest of you, the turtlenecked one unveiled a new MacBook Air today. It weighs a whopping 2 pounds, sports a super-sensitive glass trackpad and offers 11- and 13-inch screens with insane amounts of battery life (try around 7 hours).

Instead of CD or DVD drives, the Air comes with a USB drive containing the Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system. So what will it be on your Christmas list? The new Macbook Air or the iPad?

Department of the Interior

What’s new on the local design front, from stores to collections to zines.

OPENINGS


1. Restoration Hardware’s Gallery Store
The mainstream design store that was right up there with Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn just got a major makeover. Expect rustic, antique-inspired wares—brickmaker’s tables, industrial tool chests, and domed burlap-backed chairs as living room decor—in a muted palette of brown, ivory, and beige that’s anything but boring.

Craigslist Deal of the Week: $1550 Inner Sunset 1 Bdrm

It's thanks to HGTV that I'm aware of the country's fascination–nay, obsession–with granite countertops. Every show features someone or another insisting upon nothing else gracing their kitchen. And once a property is found with gleaming swathes of the stuff, you can practically hear the potential owners purring with content.

So it's for all of you out there with similar proclivities that I offer this week's Craigslist Deal. See that counter? It's granite, people! And brand new. You could hack at that thing with a cleaver for hours and it'll still look all shiny and, um, granite-like.

Fab Finds @ Russian Hill Estate Sale This Weekend

The best estate sales are full of mystery and melancholy, not to mention great finds and bargains. No one understands this like Old Hat, a company that stages some of the best ones. This week, they have a goody on Russian Hill (1080 Francisco St., Apt. 31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., today through Sunday).

The folks who run Old Hat get that the past and present mix and mingle as bargain hunters and antique lovers dig through the sum contents of someone's life. When closets are thrown open, boxes emptied and basements cleared, the personal items that are revealed tell a story as clearly as if the departed ones were speaking aloud. Read more. . .

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