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Sale at Chronicle Books

S.F.-based publisher Chronicle Books is known for its unique selection of titles and subject matter (cough, What's Your Poo Telling You, cough), but for the Architecture or Interior Design buff there are some particularly great gift ideas to be had. And now through December 5th you can enter promotional code FRIENDS at checkout to receive 35% off your purchase plus free shipping - not bad!

A few recommended titles:

 

Pop-Up Department Store Opens in the Upper Fillmore

Important notice for procrastinators everywhere: there's officially no excuse to buy a lame present this year. Starting December 1st and for the remainder of the holiday season, the good folks from CITIZEN:citizen have put together a sort of pop-up department store in the Upper Fillmore, offering quality design goods at warehouse prices.

Hayes Valley Holiday Block Party

Design lovers of the city over are no doubt familiar with the choice home decor pickings over in Hayes Valley. From Propeller  to Plantation, there's a little something for everybody, from the "minimal modernist" to "over-the-top maximalist". But if your style tends to lean more towards the "cardboard-boxes-as-coffee-table recessionist", don't count the neighborhood out yet. Their annual Holiday Block Party is this Friday, and along with live entertainment there will be free food and drinks. And maybe a free box or two if you're lucky. For more information on the event, click here .

Make Santa Happy with Eco-Friendly Stockings

Just because we’re all grown up now and have our own chimneys doesn’t mean we’re not still waiting for santa. But perhaps (and not to be ungrateful) he could fill one of these organic-cotton/hemp stockings ($55) from L.A.’s Amenity Home for us instead of the usual polyester sock? Snatch 'em up at Spring on Polk Street. 2162 Polk St., 415-673-2065

Happy Owlidays from Night Owl Paper Goods

There are many choices for 100 percent recycled, eco-conscious holiday cards, but Night Owl Paper Goods makes the ones I find most charming. I first received one from my husband on Valentine’s Day, and I cannot bear to part with it. Printed on FSC-certified paper made to look like birch wood, this messenger is as compelling as the message. $15 each (less when your order in quantity);

Marimekko's Holiday Treats

Finnish design company Marimekko just revealed their winter 2008/09 collection, which features a whimsical variety of fabrics and covetable design accessories. Their new line of easy-care, machine-washable cotton velvet fabrics come in three vintage-inspired designs, while other quirky, frost-bitten themes show up not just by the yard, but on mugs, tea towels, serving trays, tablecloths and ornaments. marimekko.fi/eng

Local Etsy Shop We Love: Hannah Stouffer

Local illustrator Hannah Stouffer, daughter of wildlife documentarian Marty Stouffer, finds inspiration in a “grand array” (also the name of her online Etsy shop) of pop-culture emblems, which are neatly disorganized into graphic mash-ups emblazoned on everything from posters to pillows.

Winning the War of the Words

How do you win an argument? By proving the other person wrong? You may feel a fleeting victory, but if you've come out of a disagreement with one person right and the other wrong, and deeply chagrinned, then you both lose the pleasure of being on good terms with one another. And nobody enjoys the aftermath of an tiff, often characterized by hurt feelings and cold shoulders. To truly win an argument, you must settle the question but also reiterate to the other that the argument isn't more important than they are. This is where the small gesture of humility and caring comes in.

Design Shopping in Hayes Valley

Hayes Valley may be the premiere design and furnirture shopping destination in the city.  Check out this video tour from California Home + Design, which takes us inside the local art collections of Zonal, The Framing Store, The Painters Place, and the modern design store, Propeller.

 

Eco-Friendly Wooden Postcards from Night Owl Paper Goods

Sending a good old-fashioned note in the mail is so unusual in this time of e-mailing, instant messaging, texting and online social networking. But I still like to send notes and am particularly fond of the postcard (bonus: no wasteful envelope).

I discovered products from Night Owl Paper Goods at an event with eco-friendly merchants and fell instantly for the postcards made of sustainably harvested yellow birch with sweet and simple designs of birds, flowers and butterflies (pictured). I bought a couple but they sat on my desk, where I admired the designs for a while—then I finally went ahead and framed them. Now I plan to go with my original intention of sending them by buying a few more.
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