SLOW AND STEADY: TURTLE CROSSING

by Marisa Marcantonio

With summer comes a slowing down. Longer days, warmer weather and vacation time on the horizon add up to a general change of pace. Switching gears is a good thing. Try to enjoy the fleeting days to come, and hopefully these turtles will aid in the promotion of  a vacation state of mind.

Photo courtesy of Karen Robertson

Add interest to your wall with texturally interesting pieces like Karen Robertson's hand-painted Brown Hawksbill Turtle, made from a mold of the real thing.

Photo courtesy of Katie Ridder Wallpapers

When an interior designer with a flair for fabric and wallpaper design creates a new pattern that is this much fun, it is hard to resist sharing it.  Known for her great sense of color and hand-drawn artistic designs, the new Katie Ridder Wallpaper pattern with a large sized sea turtle swimming is a transporting pattern.  Here, a sneak peak of the soon to be released Sea Turtle Wallpaper in Blazer red, available through Holland and Sherry and Harbinger in LA. I hope an outdoor fabric in the pattern comes next,  just think of the possibilities...

Photo courtesy of August Morgan

Politely remind guests to take it easy on the sauce with August Morgan's adorable (and well-priced) embroidered turtle napkins.

Photo courtesy of Barneys

Need a gift for the person who has everything? Chances are they do not already own an engraved silver pill box with a turtle on the top. Made in England by Ari D. Norman, you can track down this little gem at Barneys  and gift to said partygiver above to hold their  hangover helping Aleve stash.

Photo courtesy of Aerin

Every table can benefit from the addition of something whimsical. Adding this little stoneware glazed Turtle from Aerin to a dinner table or side table is a conversation starter.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

Have a friend that is really into their bar and the stylish accessories it holds? Chances are their collection of bottle openers will be enhanced and enlivened by the addition of this rugged Turtle Bottle Opener at Pottery Barn

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Covering a bit of ground at 20" in diameter, Anthropologie's blue and green glazed ceramic Sea Turtle Planter will make a statement in the garden amidst a sea of green.

TRULY GIFTED: A GUIDE FOR THE HOSTESS

by Marisa Marcantonio

For the hostess with the mostess, the mantra is always be prepared for the unexpected. Friends bring friends, things spill, people get hungry for snacks, and the like. Here are some gifties for those that like to have intimate gatherings, or the masses over for merriment. Tis' the season to party with a reason.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

If it is marbleized, I like it. These incredibly bright Trousdale tidbit plates from Jonathan Adler are great for hors d'oeuvres time. Every year they come out with even better patterns.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany

You will be so over toothpicks once you upgrade to tiny silver cocktail forks. They just make everything look delicious, even if Glorious Food was not on hand. The inimitable Elsa Peretti-designed Padova forks from Tiffany come in a set of six.

Photo courtesy of Waterford

The coup is the way to go for champers. Waterford's brilliant new Mixology cut crystal set of 4 glasses come in the most tantalizing colors wtih names to match-  talon red, neon lime green, circon purple and argon blue. Amazing.

 Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Clear glassware is another soignee option. Antropologie's Frosted Panes Coupe has subtle sophistication.

Photo courtesy of DwellStudio

Highball and lowball glasses with the golden touch from DwellStudio have glamour and style for an added glow.

 Photo courtesy of Bloomingdales

A good pitcher is a mainstay of every bar. Cobalt blue captivates in Diane Von Furstenberg's Twirl Pitcher that resembles Venetian glassware for a far steeper cost.

Photo courtesy of Target

Get things shaking with the Altuzarra collab Neiman Marcus did for Target. This vintage-inspired cocktail shaker rocks.

Photo courtesy of Asprey

If you need a little refresher course on what makes a perfect Martini, Manhattan, or Old Fashioned, Asprey has created the Tell Me How Cocktail Shaker with the recipes included for a subtle reminder.

 Photo courtesy of Mecox Gardens

Keep ice cool in a sleekly tapered lacquer ice bucket with loads of style. Mecox Gardens carries them in 4 cool colors.

Photo courtesy of Global Views

The combination of teal leather and nickel on Global Views ice bucket adds a pop of color and texture.

Photo courtesy of C. Wonder

Create a makeshift bar on a tray, or serving stations. This C. Wonder red lacquer version has a jaunty white trim.

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lily

Pedestal trays, such as this glossy teal one from Serena and Lily  provide additional surface area for hors d'oeuvres.

Photo courtesy of New York Mouth

Want to ensure you get the invite for impromptu gatherings? Send a Cocktail Hour Every Month subscription from New York Mouth complete with NY-made delicacies. Then you can enjoy the spoils.

Photo courtesy of Havens Kitchen

Havens Kitchen is one of the coolest places around, where you can shop, take cooking classes, get your daily coffee and have private dinner parties. They have just launched their e-commerce site, so you can send their gourmet goodies far and wide.

 Photo courtesy of Mark and Graham

Gotta have one of these on hand at all times- Mark and Graham's Anchor Bottle Opener is shore thing for the sailor and all-around water-loving friend.

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Pay homage to the great outdoors with delicate lookingTwig Bar tools from West Elm.

Photo courtesy of Gracious Style

If you know a dog lover, and who isn't, Kim Seybert's Best in Show Cocktail Napkins from Gracious Style are sure to amuse. They show six breeds. The bulldog is very true to life.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Funny drinking quotes on August Morgan's cocktail napkins make party guests instantly at ease providing great conversation starters. Available through Anthropologie.

 Photo courtesy of Della Terasi

Every party girl needs a great clutch. The recently launched bespoke label Della Terasi creates stunning custom clutches and clothing from the finest interior fabrics, like Fortuny and boldly colored ikats. Their Envelope Clutch is lined in metallic leather providing a stealth luxe detail.  Select the fabric and shape on their website, that includes their super chic resort wear fashion line.

 Photo courtesy of Asha by ADM

I can't resist showing a little bling this time of year. Give some sparkly baubles like these Elizabeth pave stunners from Asha or give in to the temptation to wear them yourself.

TRULY GIFTED GIFT GUIDE: THE NEW STONE AGE

by Marisa Marcantonio

From geodes to agate,  malachite and minerals, gemstones and natural elements are leading the way in decorative objects.  Capturing the beauty of the natural world, these one of a kind earthly accessories with incredible diversity in shape and color  make you realize how precious, wonderful and varied nature can be. Give the gift of the unique this year.

Photo courtesy of Tozai

Dransfield and Ross for Tozai created Malachite Shadow Boxes with gemstones found all over the globe. Perfect for those needing a gemstone primer.

 Photo courtesy of HSN

Encourage a friend to take their flower arrangements to new heights in interior designer Richard Mishaan for HSN's purple Amethyst Vase.

 Photo courtesy of Tory Burch

Rock out in Pietra Doro Earrings from Tory Burch.  Mixing Lapis and Mother of Pearl they are made with an inlay technique from the 16th Century, Pietra Dura.

 Photo courtesy of Noble House

This Noble House Designs Santos Cuff with stones like agate, jasper and rock crystal has had me smitten for quiet some time. Totally divine. That Sarah Lowery Ng really has a great eye.

 Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren

Need that special gift to awe and amaze? Ralph Lauren Home's Malachite Bianca Box sheathed in hand-cut malachite is gorgeous.

 Photo courtesy of Eduardo Garza

When only the best will do. Amethyst set in a gold leaf surround sits atop a black lucite box created by artisan Eduardo Garza.

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Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Melissa Joy Manning created this Raw Pyrite Hook for Anthropologie. Adding a bit of chunky stone chic to your walls, why not give them to a friend to hang  their necklaces?

 Photo courtesy of Hillary Thomas Designs

Give a lamp new life with the addition of a cheery finial. Hillary Thomas Designs circular Spiffy in orange Howlite is just the thing.

 Photo courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

For that friend that has it all, Kelly Wearstler's gem encrusted brass Bottle Opener is sure to jazz up their bar.

Photo courtesy of HSN

A little bit new agey, Richard Mishaan for HSN's blue Agate Obelisk can spruce up any tablescape.

A limoges porcelain Malachite-patterned lidded box houses a fragrant pink champagne-scented candle by L'Objet from Williams-Sonoma