Saturday, April 6, 2013

Goodbye, Lovely Readers

Dear Readers,

As we wrap things up here at What We Covet, we'd like to take a moment to thank you for your support throughout the past three years. This has been an interesting journey and we appreciate the time you took to read our (sometimes excessive) posts about everything from video games to triple-platform heels to lemon cake, and we hope you've enjoyed everything along the way. This isn't the last you'll hear from the three of us, we're sure, but the time has come to lay our covetousness aside and branch out into other endeavors. As always, you can find us on Twitter.

Happiness and deadly sins,

-Cate, Maureen, and Bonnie-

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Use Your Brain

First, I want to apologize for missing last week. The thing I was coveting then was so crazy I didn't even want to talk about it: broadband Internet access in rural areas of the United States. That's nuts. I know.

But this week, this is my grand finale. I am coveting something that can be used no matter where you are located on Earth. What I want is a pen. The Montegrappa Brain.
This pen is inspired by the human brain! The top of the cap is a cross-section of the brain, the clip is a spine, and the rest of the cap is decorated with neurons. I'm not sure you can see it in this picture, but there's a seahorse on the nib--or, shall we say, a hippocampus. Clever! It's an unusual pen, but I'm really digging it.  What do you think?

Buy through Pen Boutique for a mere $49,500.00.

Image via Pen Boutique.

Peace out, everyone!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Here the Frailest Leaves of Me"

There is a truth universally acknowledged: if Walt Whitman is there, I will show up for the party. But how can that be, you may wonder? He's been dead since 1892. Ladies and gents, this is how:

It's difficult to tell from that tiny picture, but what you see before you is a first edition of Leaves of Grass, that seminal text of American letters. This is a rare book indeed, and one treasured by generations of readers. You all remember how I feel about Whitman, I'm sure. If you've never read Leaves of Grass, get to it pronto, and I promise it'll unlock some of life's mysteries. And if you can afford it, snap this up now, and maybe send it my way, because this book is one of those I covet most.

Image via Bauman Rare Books.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Drop a Line

One thing everyone should have on hand at all times is stationery. You never know when you're going to need to send a missive to a friend or simply dash of a quick thank you note. Personally, between my stationery collection and Maureen's, we could probably open a shop. But I've always wanted some of the really good stuff--personalized, classy, and high-quality, much like this sheet from Crane:

I can't even stand how good this looks. Can I please have some? Pretty please? If you buy some for me, I promise to send you a letter.

Image via Crane.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Junk in the Trunk

My pen collection is growing fast. Sure, it mostly consists of cheap Chinese pens and Pilot Varsities, but it's growing, and I need places to put my pens! My mother likes to get me cigar boxes when she passes by a JR's, but until I get a Cuban cigar box, I will not be satisfied. (I only mean that if it's illegal to have Cuban cigar boxes? But then not really because breaking the law usually makes me intensely uncomfortable.)

Anyway, today we're talking about something made to hold pens: a fancy-pants burlwood pen trunk!

It holds ninety pens! And it's fancy! Just imagine that sitting on my desk, or a special pen-trunk-holding table. Like a candle stand, for my pen trunk. I'm not sure my little heart can handle these pen dreams, you guys.

Image via Pen Boutique.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rose to the Occasion

Tesler + Melendovich, a pair of designers from Tel Aviv, run an Etsy shop that has me absolutely entranced. They make these amazing clutches out of wood, such as the one seen here:

They carve and bend their wood into submission, turning it into works of art. The innovation here is astounding, and the craftsmanship superb. These have a timeless look about them, and I think anyone would be happy with one for years to come.

Buy through Etsy for $400.00.

Image via Etsy.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Seahorsing Around

Remember that time I coveted that unicorn pin I should have saved for today? Linking to that is going to ruin the effect of what I am about to show you, but I don't care. Have a look:

It's a seahorse! Made out of a bunch of crazy gemstones! And gold! I like it, okay? It's super pretty, and seahorses are really cool. And it's wearing a crown. This seahorse is so fancy it has been crowned King of the Ocean. I like fancy seahorses in crowns. And I want to wear one on my person. But only for a few seconds and then I want to put it somewhere safe because holy cow. I don't know how people who aren't rich only in their imaginations survive; I'm sad for the rest of the day if I drop a slice of pizza on the ground.

Image via Tiffany & Co.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Estate jewelry is the best, am I right? For example, check out these babies:

Although I love my own birthstone, the emerald, the peridot is also an amazing gem. These are set off nicely by the diamonds (but what ISN'T set off nicely by diamonds?), and their size makes them a great conversation starter as well as the perfect pair of earrings to wear with a classy black ballgown at, say, the Academy Awards. Not a frequenter of the award-show circuit? Not to worry! I'm sure they would look good at any formal function.

Image via Shreve, Crump & Low.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Ultimate Scrapbook

Of course, if you feel scrapbooking is too irreverent for something like this, then maybe it would be a suitable place for your centuries-old secret society member list or a written record of your Dungeons and Dragons campaigns:

This, I'm told, is a reproduction of early sixth- and seventh-century books, but I'm not really concerned about history here.  I just want this and a nice book stand and someone with really good handwriting, and my life will be complete.

Buy through Epica for $4,900.  It's on sale!

Image via Epica.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Final Countdown

Dear Readers,

After much consideration, I've decided that it is time to bring my covetousness to an end. 

For those faithful few who have been with me from the start, I thank you. My partners in crime, Maureen and Bonnie, have been indispensable in this journey, and I would like them to know how grateful I am. This has been a fun, interesting ride, and I'm happy to have shared it with all of you. 

In order to give What We Covet a proper send-off, the three of us have agreed to blog for one last month, starting tomorrow and ending on our three-year anniversary, April 6th. We all hope you'll tune in, because we're going all out and intend to bring you the most outrageous posts yet. 

Yours in commandment-breaking,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flowers on the Floor

There's good news and bad news. The bad news: it's still February. The good news: spring is coming soon! And I've found the perfect shoes to wear when it arrives:

The delicate pattern offsets the saucy platform, and the criss-cross straps will keep you from falling out of the shoes on your first spring outing (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything). What could be better than that?

Buy through BHLDN for $380.00.

Image via BHLDN.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Light It Up

I'm a big fan of my little apartment. But it has a drop ceiling, the kind you see in basements and office buildings. This is problematic for at least two reasons: 1) leaky pipes and 2) aesthetics. It's impossible to mount any kind of interesting lighting fixture on this ceiling, so when I see pendant lamps like this one, I die a little inside:

The clean lines and clear glass shades are just about perfect, fitting into my decorative preferences well. Plus it's just classy, am I right? 

Luckily, I won't live here forever, so there's a chance that I might someday be the proud owner of such a slice of lighting heaven.

Buy through CB2 for $249.00.

Image via CB2.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wrapping Paper

With temperatures swinging wildly from day to day, at least in North Carolina, I thought it might be time to covet something that could help our gentle readers layer themselves up in style. I give you the basketweave stole:

A pashmina/silk blend, this stole is perfect for those days when you're chilly enough to need something extra but not cold enough to wear your coat in the office. Plus, it's versatile enough for a night out on the town. How would you style it?

Buy through the Pashmina Store for $69.99.

Image via the Pashmina Store.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Today I want to talk a little about something I never get to do. I get to do a lot of things, but it is rare indeed that I get to play board games. When I do play board games, it's always Monopoly or Life. And those are fun! But some days I just want something different. Enter Zerpang!

Image via Whirling Derby.

Zerpang! is a battle royale of craziness, with zombies, elves, robots, pirates, aliens, ninjas, and gunslingers all battling for domination! Hint: the title comes from the first letter of each of those. Anyway, each group has its own win conditions, and it all sounds very exciting. Apparently, if you take too long, the elves win just by outliving everyone else. That doesn't sound so exciting, but I don't know what you expect from elves.  Keep the fun alive yourself.

A friend of mine and her husband are the folks behind Whirling Derby Games, and they have several others available, too. I just really like the title and having the option of playing as pirates! Yarr. It also has received good reviews, and has been so well-received, apparently, that it's actually in its deluxe edition. Sweet deal!

Buy through The Game Crafter for $44.99.  Then invite me over so I can play too.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Color Me Pewter

Though I rarely wear bracelets, I do enjoy coming across a good cuff from time to time. Right now, I'm coveting this pewter model from Patina:

Its sleek lines fit well into my personal aesthetic, and no one ever suffered from adding a little bit of shine to their outfit, am I right? I'm thinking it would go best with a little black dress, or maybe a little purple one?

Buy through Patina for $24.00.

Image via Patina.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mrs. Peacock, in the Study, with the Fountain Pen

So if you buy that three-hundred dollar pen I talked about last week, you're going to need some ink, right?  I propose something nice and spendy.  A bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku ink will be right up your alley.  It's the same brand, for one thing, and for another, it's just beautiful all around, price tag or no.

Picture via the Goulet Pen Company.

This particular color is Ku-jaku, or Peacock.  I got a sample of it recently and really, really liked it.  Look!  It's so pretty!  And not only that, the packaging for the Iroshizuku line is fantastic.  Look at that bottle!  It's not ugly, it's not gaudy.  It's just plain classy.  And the little string around the neck is like a little scarf that completes it!  Also, though you can't see it behind the lovely simple label, there is a little dip into the base of the bottle so that when your ink level gets low, you can still get your pen in deep enough to fill it.

Buy through the Goulet Pen Company for $28.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Show Me Your Stripes

I know some of you probably think me incapable of coveting things at lower price points. But gentle readers, I assure you this is not the case. Take, for example, the clutch on which I have my eye today:

It's black and white! It's striped! It has my name ALL OVER IT! And--best of all--it costs less than $40.00. That's shocking, coming from me, I know. But here it is, in all its streamlined-zebra glory. Do you love it as much as I do?

Buy through LuLu's for $36.00.

Image via LuLu's.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If Lisa Frank Had to Write a Letter...

Do you you think she would use this pen?

Picture via the Goulet Pen Company.  They're all beautiful people.

This pen.  I saw it and I said, "GLITTER."  It's not glitter, as it turns out; it's raden, and my understanding is that raden is a Japanese craft involving lacquer and shells.  I have no idea.  But in this Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen, it's like class and sass came together to appeal to both the adult and twelve-year-old inside me.

The Vanishing Point is one of the few fountain pens with a retractable nib.  The clip is at the end with the nib, which is a little weird, but most people work around it.  It's so you don't get ink in your pocket when you store it.  Pilot thinks of everything!  What would you write with your fabulous glitter VP?

Buy through the Goulet Pen Company for $304.

Yours truly,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

These Boots Were Made for Something

There is a part of me--however small--that will always have a soft spot for goth-inspired fashion. It's the same part of me that is nostalgic for high school, which is to say a teeny tiny corner of my heart (seriously, there's not enough money in the world to compel me to return to those days). And that's why I'm currently coveting these patent boots:

This is the sort of boot I never have, and likely never will, wear. They just don't fit in with my everyday aesthetic. But damn, I love to look at them and imagine what life might have been like if I'd gone down a different fashion path.

Buy through Good Goth for $54.95.

Image via Good Goth.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

But No Elephants?

I'm a big fan of salt and pepper shakers. Since I haven't blogged about any recently, I thought I'd restart the trend with these beauts from kate spade:

Look at these cute little things! Their scrollwork ears and teeny tiny trunks are so adorable I just want to squeeze them. As it is, I'll recommend simply shaking them. Would you bring these elephants into your home?

Buy through kate spade for $30.00.

Image via kate spade.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adventures in Fragrance

Back in October, I was cleaning out my bedroom closet as well as the space under my bed, and I think you should know two things. 1) The dust bunnies in North Carolina are ENORMOUS. 2) When you haven't actually sorted through anything since, say, your junior year of college, a few interesting items are bound to crop up as you embark on the bloodbath that is closet organization.

My most fascinating find was a small bottle of Rimmel London Cool perfume, which, as far as I know, hasn't been on the market since about two weeks after I purchased it in 2005 (I have no proof of this whatsoever, but it sounded good). As soon as I sprayed it, I remembered why I loved it back then--its tones reminded me of fresh rain and enticing flowers. I wish I could recommend it for you, but new bottles appear to be unavailable, though the link above will send you to a page where you can purchase some that's been sitting on the shelf for a few years. 

So my back-up recommendation for you was supposed to be Forest Lily by Diane von Furstenburg for Avon, which I borrowed from my mother over Christmas break when I found I'd forgotten to pack any fragrance of my own. As it turns out, Forest Lily--which has a gentle smell, like walking in the woods on a warm spring day--has also been discontinued. 

Then I had a third choice (another bottle I'd found in the closet): Aura by American Eagle. No joke--it was a fresh, citrusy, breezy scent that was playful and age-appropriate for AE's target demographic, and I still enjoy it. Alas, I struck out yet again, and I was ready to give up on this post altogether.

It's not that I couldn't share one of my other favorite scents with you. It's more that I was so hoping to pass these three along. So instead of making a recommendation, I want to ask you, our readers: what scent makes you happy, even years after you started wearing it?


Friday, January 4, 2013

A Bag of a Different Sort

Happy New Year! Gosh, I haven't written to WWC's dear readers since last year. I know, I know, a horrible joke. But it's out of my system. Now if only I can get back on my weekly posting schedule...

Among the more common New Year's Resolutions are those that involve becoming a better steward of the earth or recycling more or saving money. Allow me to help you out with that in a sturdy, functional, pretty, and cheap manner.

Not all of their bags look like this. Check back periodically for new styles. 

Whole Foods' A Better Bag is made of recycled plastic most commonly found in the form of water bottles or Coke bottles (I was born & raised in Georgia, so every soft drink is a Coke, even that abomination known as Pepsi). Not too long ago, I was without a car and reliant upon friends and public transportation to get from place to place. I remained this way for nearly a year, and during that time I used my Whole Foods bags to carry everything from groceries to a change of clothes on the bus and on overnight trips. I have loaded them down with cans and gallons of milk as I huffed and puffed carrying them up a flight or two of stairs. Not once have I had one fail on me. I get compliments even at other grocery stores when I use them because they are big, sturdy and cute.

But if they ever should, you can take it back to the store and they will replace it for free. Even if you've used it and taken the tag off. Best. Return policy. Ever.

I...may or may not have between 10 and 20 in the trunk of my car and in my apartment total.

Buy at Whole Foods for 99 cents each.

Image via Whole Foods.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Playlist: 2013

Last January, I shared with you a collection of 10 tracks that I thought would accompany me throughout the year. Of them, I'd say a good seven were on near-constant repeat across the months, so I've decided to construct another playlist to take me into 2013. As with the previous list, the songs were culled from my current collection. Most aren't recent, but they certainly sound good to me, and that's really the goal of any playlist I ever make. They come to you in no particular order. I hope you'll check them out, if you're not already familiar with them. Enjoy!

1) "Little Bird," Annie Lennox
I have a friend who recently relocated to England, and after he left, I sent him a playlist of good British music, and this song was central to that assemblage. The point I made when I sent it to him is that, as Scottish as Lennox can be, she's also oddly American at times, pulling inspiration from Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin and having an impact on Stateside artists as diverse as Fiona Apple, Lady Gaga, and Gwen Stefani. (NB: the link is to the video edit of the track; while I recommend the album cut, the video is worth a look, since Lennox doesn't hesitate to send herself up. You might also check out her performance of "Little Bird" from the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, where she was at her theatrical finest.)

2) "Too Close," Alex Clare
Speaking of British musicians, here's another. I'm not sure what to do with Clare; the video for this song makes no sense (even more so than a standard music video), the track was inexplicably featured in a commercial for Internet Explorer--INTERNET EXPLORER, I ASK YOU--and he sounds American but looks impossibly English. Setting those things aside, "Too Close" is indebted to Depeche Mode's "Dream On," which I love, and is a great tune in its own right. I can't skip it when it comes up on shuffle. If you're not totally sold on the electronic aspects of the song, check out this unplugged version; for me, it doesn't have the same impact, but it sounds good nonetheless.

3) "Wayfaring Stranger," Johnny Cash
Some of my friends seem to think I know nothing about country music. The same dude from above told me, "You need Johnny." What most of them don't know is that I do have a decent sense of some country musicians, including but not limited to the Man in Black. One of my favorites of his is "Wayfaring Stranger," a traditional tune included on American III: Solitary Man. It doesn't get much better than this, am I right? Plus, fun fact: Sheryl Crow played accordion on this track!

4) "Last Day of Magic," The Kills
I've been on this Jack White kick lately, and The Kills are sort of ancillary to that--Alison Mosshart works with White as part of The Dead Weather when she's not busy singing for The Kills. This song appeals to me because I feel like it describes so much of my life--the wondering, the chaos, the attempts to work it all out. Mostly, though, it sounds fun, and it's great to sing along to in the car.

5) "Come Along," Titiyo
The truth about this track is that it should have been on last year's playlist, because I love it to pieces. The first time I ever heard it, it was March 2011 and I was in a Ford Focus station wagon in Belgium, listening to English-language pop on the radio (this sounds like the start of a bad joke, I'm sure, but it's not). I found myself wondering why the artist wasn't more of a Thing in the States, because she has a great voice--not to mention some fabulous cheekbones--but, like many international artists before her, she seems to be more of a European phenomenon, particularly in her home country of Sweden. On a side note, she's Eagle Eye Cherry's stepsister!

6) "Pocketful of Sunshine," Natasha Bedingfield
Like Olive Penderghast before me, I have a love-hate relationship with this song. It's catchy as all get-out, so I can't flip past it on the radio. But it seems a little too twee for me? On the other hand, it's possible that this is the kind of aesthetic I need to incorporate into my life a bit more. So I'll keep turning it up, even if I say, every time, "Blagh, worst song EVER."

You may notice a trend here: I'm pretty late to every party out there, hence the reason it took me until 2012 to come around to Fergie's 2006 hit. Say what you will about her, but Stacy Ferguson's vocal gymnastics on this track give me hope for the future of pop singles. Plus the track is full of the type of bombast that can only be achieved by someone confident with herself, and that's a cool thing to witness.

8) "Take Your Mama," Scissor Sisters
My friend Ed regularly shares with me songs he thinks I should hear. Of all the links he's sent, this one might be my favorite. Scissor Sisters are clearly the heirs to Elton John's throne, which is part of what draws me to them, but I'm also attached to this particular cut because it's perfect for strutting (no joke--I do it all the time when walking to work) and also brings a summertime feel to your life when you're stuck in the rain, snow, or mud.

9) "A Long December," Counting Crows
I'm a famous non-fan of Adam Duritz's voice when it comes to him being a lead vocalist (though I adore his background work on the Wallflowers track "Sixth Avenue Heartache"--one of my all-time favorites). Having said that, I think "A Long December" is a stellar track, and it only takes a few notes of the bridge to send me right back to fifth grade, the age at which I first heard the song. Moreover, it's pretty much a time capsule for everything that was right about alternative music in the mid- to late-'90s, and you have to respect that.

10) "Genius of Love," Tom Tom Club
My first introduction to this song was, like so many others of my generation, via Mariah Carey's "Fantasy." That track made great use of the original, incorporating the sample seamlessly with a few tweaks. Tom Tom Club's master, however, is way more spaced out than Carey could ever hope to be, and it's a great cruising song--just roll the windows down, turn the volume up, and enjoy the ride.

Feel free to share your own essential tracks for the coming year in the comments; we'd love to know what you're listening to right now!