Dark & Stormy Winter

Liz Phillips' Jaipur

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. - Sir Francis Bacon

These are the words that jeweler Liz Phillips designs by. “I tend to be drawn to things that aren’t entirely correct or beautiful in an obvious way,” she acknowledges. It’s a visual belief that is most apparent in Liz’s surprising gem pairings, self-described as “a bit off" -- deep violet amethysts surrounded by tsavorite, stormy labradorites anchored to a black pavé band, and bright emeralds big enough to swim in. 

Though she recently moved her studio from Santa Fe to Brooklyn, Liz continues to work with her long-standing production team in Jaipur. She spends three months in The Pink City every year, sourcing and designing alongside a community of creatives. For anyone who has experienced this famously colorful city in Northern India, it’s a sensory overload of sights and sounds, and one that is a fitting source of inspiration for Liz’s work. “It was a planned city, created in the 18th century, and from the beginning there was a great tradition of patronage to the arts. So the best artists and craftsman came to Jaipur and you still feel that legacy today,” explains Liz. In the buildings, textiles, and people of the city are the colors she captures in her jewelry.

For a designer who doesn’t shy away from any stone, Liz still plays favorites. “I have always loved labradorite. It always looks to me like some kind of magical, shimmering storm is raging inside of the stone! But I also absolutely love spinels. They occur in all sorts of pretty, subtle colors -- dusky pinks, purples, and blues -- but I love the bright red ones. You see them a lot in old Mughal jewelry…gobstopper-sized red spinel drops! They’re just amazing.” 

Experience Liz Phillips' color-filled world at Catbird's Williamsburg flagship and online



The Saucer: Five Leaves

It’s the dead of winter, I almost slipped off the M train platform on black ice this morning, and there was frost INSIDE my bedroom windows last night.

Cue: Cocktail to ease my angst. Enter: Five Leaves.

A resounding favorite of the Catbirdettes, this place boasts the best truffle fries, like, ever, and my absolute stand by -- the bruléed grapefruit (I have a penchant for any foods your grandmother might have eaten, and am a Florida girl at heart so citrus is my jam - spring break 4 evr). They’ve also currently got our Kitten Candles burning, making me feel right at home.

I think the bartender, Chris, could sense my need for a mental escape, and, at 11 am on a Tuesday served me a Southern Belle - the ice around my heart melted and I may or may not have left him my business card. I highly suggest visiting the bar yourself, but if going outside is just not an option, (no judgement!) try the recipe at home and light a Kitten Candle for full effect:

Southern Belle
2 oz. Tea infused Vodka
1 oz Lemon Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
5-10 mint leaves

Shake, pour over ice, top with sparkling wine.


Book Club: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

“I love that word. Forever. I love that forever doesn't exist, but we have a word for it anyway, and use it all the time. It's beautiful and doomed.”  - Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine from the Slits

I'm not usually the first to sign up to read a music autobiography but who doesn't want to read about hanging out with Sid Vicious when he was awkward with girls, being a leading pioneer in the punk scene, being intimidated by Vivienne Westwood in the 70's, and living as a strong feminist while still longing for someone to love you? Viv Albertine is surprisingly relatable and a true badass. Plus, the fashion. Come on.


Photo of The Slits in 1979, Viv is far left.

In the Studio with Mullein & Sparrow

Long before Anit Hora created the apothecary line Mullein & Sparrow, she practiced her craft in any and every spare moment found. Though she never lost her deeply rooted passion for ayurveda and aromatherapy, Anit detoured into corporate fashion in her 20s. Only after an eye opening trip to South America did Anit fully immerse herself in the teachings of herbal medicine, leaving her 9 to 5 to work at a yoga studio. "All the natural instincts about self care and holistic remedies just came back to me,” she says of her turning point. Today, Anit continues to develop and batch the full Mullein & Sparrow line herself while also practicing as a Brooklyn based holistic esthetician.

Since the Catbirdettes have been bemoaning our lackluster winter skin, we asked Anit for a DIY recipe to help us exfoliate and hydrate some of the dullness away. “Oats are amazing for helping with any skin irritation, honey is incredibly moisturizing and also antibacterial and sugar helps retain moisture and exfoliates,” Anit said of this simple remedy she generously shared with us. 

  • 1 tbspn oat flour
  • 1 tbspn floral powder( you can use rose, lavender, chamomile in any combination- I use them all!)
  • 1 tbspn honey
  • 1 tspn sugar for exfoliating action

  • Mix ingredients into a paste and then add a little water as needed.
  • Spread mixture around face using circular motions to lift up dead skin cells and dirt. 
  • Wash to reveal cleaner skin with a glow! 
  • Can also leave this on as a mask for 10 minutes.

Enjoy Kittens! You can also shop our Mullein & Sparrow offerings here



Did Someone Say Carrier Swan?

New York Kittens, this one's for you! We've partnered with our neighbor Parcel to bring a very last minute Valentine - planning ahead is so over - straight to you! Choose from three limited edition gifts and we'll do the rest. This means fancy wrapping and a Swan dispatched to your door on Thursday or Friday night - your choice. Okay, the Swan might actually be a Parcel driver, but beating Catbird's holiday crowd and free same-day delivery still sounds like a win/win. 

And if you want to get creative and send this Valentine right to your love's door, we're in the business of surprises too. 


Catbird Bride: Emily

He proposed on a houseboat in Amsterdam, and while I was totally overwhelmed in the moment (and getting splotchier and more emotional by the second), I was completely thrilled by the two black diamonds he presented. Ryan has a timeless and simple taste, and the rings perfectly represented both our styles. 

Valentine's Day Playlist!

Cupid's reign is upon us my friends! Whether you have a special someone, or that "special someone" is actually your cat and a bottle of jim beam, these tunes are sure to put you in the mood for love. 

Chocolate-covered smooches,

We're Playing Cupid for a Day!

We know how it goes with Valentine's Day. You plan and primp and re-think and then plan again. Or you might be baffled by the holiday all together. And like some of us at Catbird, the day just entirely sneaks up on you, until you finally notice how stocked on heart shaped chocolates your local drugstore is. 

However you like to do V-Day, we promise you'll love this dreamy date our friends at Vensette and ShopBAZAAR have planned - and so will your dude, best gal, or lucky mom. Whoever you choose to share it with! 

One lucky kitten will win a set of rings from yours truly and a $1,000 shopping spree from Fleur du Mal - maker of the prettiest underthings. Then you'll be whisked off to hair and makeup from the expert artists at Vensette, and end the day with a reservation for two at Bar Primi, courtesy of The New Potato. So celebrate Valentine's Day your way, but let us do the rest!

Enter here, Kittens! 


Book Club: Wuthering Heights

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” - Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Cue heart in eyes face, classic broken heart, stream of tears face emoji characters in that order...


Still from the 1939 film adaptation

Lay Lady Lay

We're snowed in though there's not much snow - a delightful excuse to putter around and practice the magic of tidying and preen just a little.

 Bianca Jagger via Pinterest


Shopgirl: January Picks

January, the month of resolutions, new beginnings, and a chance to get it all right again. Thankfully, this edition of Shopgirl has nothing to do with any of the above! 

Josephine was one of the first Catbirdettes to land the Sweet Nothing bracelet, which debuted approximately five days ago. This thin chain bracelet is classic in a way that allows it to be worn any which way. It can be a subtle player in your existing wrist stack or worn alone as a barely there thread of gold. 

Oh, and who's that perched so elegantly on her desk? Well that's Mr. Sweet Bun, our resident truffle enthusiast. 


What We Love Today: ManiaMania for Catbird

Today, we love the belated snow. The Cat Cave faces the Williamsburg Bridge, and its red steel frame is finally coated in a dusting of white. 

We also love that our dear friend Melanie of ManiaMania has done it again, and created a wondrous necklace exclusively for us. The Ritual is a triangular pendant with seemingly mystical properties. A single champagne diamond hangs suspended on thin chain over an open pavé arrow cradling the most glorious rose-cut diamond stunner. How does she do it? We're spellbound. 

The Ritual Necklace, exclusive to Catbird, is available at the storefront and online meow! 


Let's drink very cold champagne and groovy slow dance.

Romy Schneider and Alain Delon, dancing at home - 1959


What We're Giving: Catherine

Catherine is our graphic design extraordinaire, the Catbirdette behind everything from the direction of our latest look book (Off Duty Ballerina!) to that killer neon sign in the Catbird Wedding Annex. Kind of an obvious statement for me to say she has a great design sensibility, which is why I've been looking forward to peeking at her gift list!

I'm giving Rodin Lip Balm rings to my gal pals. I love finding gifts that strike that perfect balance between casual and fancy. The most refined lip balm in a pretty kitsch container hits the mark.

The Swan Ring is for my mom. As a Catbirdette who joined the team this year, I'm so excited to be a part of our ten year celebration, which almost everyone here worked on! My mom also collects unique pieces of jewelry from all over the world, but she doesn't own a swan from Brooklyn (yet).

For my fiancé, the Equilateral Nails (and an appointment to the Wedding Annex. Haha). The nails are made by my friends at Winsome Brave, and are perfect for the apartment sprucing we're planning for the new year. 

What We're Giving: Anna

Anna is our super awesome web manager -- the gatekeeper to the flurry of holiday orders coming in and shipping out to Kittens worldwide. Her whole system kind of mystifies me because I know hundreds of requests are passing through her everyday, but she never seems to break a sweat?! So what's the lady who gets all of you your holiday presents on time giving her BFF? 

Anna's giving her best friend the Les Fleurs Wall Calendar -- complete with 12 Rifle Paper Co. illustrations to mark 2015. The calendar is being paired with the porcelain swan mug, our favorite vessel for morning caffeine jolts. 


In the Studio with Ariel Dearie

Ariel Dearie easily has one of our favorite career hyphenations. She’s created towering headpieces for Dior and bucolic fantasy backdrops for VOGUE, but her twisting, overgrown floral designs also have a very real life presence among Brooklyn locals who see her magic up close and (wildly) contained in tiny jars and bouquets. Walking by the street-front windows of her South Williamsburg studio space on any given day, you’ll find amnesia rose, anemone, and ranunculus among piled antique brass and silver vessels reminiscent of a topsy-turvy Persian tea.

So what’s the hyphen to master florist? Ariel’s second calling is, in a way, a natural extension of Ariel Dearie Flowers. As a compliment to her botanical work, Ariel began developed apothecary in 2013. Royal Botanicals started with three signature bath soaks that capture the aromatherapeutic properties in natural elements. She continues to small batch the crystals herself, bottling them in deep amber glass with spherical stoppers. 

We scooped up her bath line soon after its debut, along with Marlow and Sons and The NoMad Hotel. But when this didn’t quite satisfy our girl crush, it came time to make something special with Ariel, tapping into our collective love of all things rose. Released today in our storefront and online, Thousand Rose Bath Soak is an Ariel Dearie x Catbird exclusive. “We worked with Leigh and discussed what scent characteristics the Catbird girls love most,” explains Ariel of the starting point. “We knew we wanted to do something with roses and worked to create a blend that was powdery and feminine yet also had a warm and woodsy quality to it.”

For more of Ariel's world, scroll down Kittens! 

Lush overflow with Japanese Ranunculus
"When we were looking for a new studio space, natural light was the highest on the list." 
Ariel's collection of antique brass, a signature accompaniment to many of her designs.
Two Henris: Ariel cites the influence of Matisse and Fantin-Latour in her work

Scoop two to three tablespoons of Thousand Rose into a warm bath for a moooost soothing soak. Velvet Underground record and a glass of wine optional, but highly recommended.


What We're Giving: Rony

Rony is keeping her recipients anonymous so as to not give away the surprise, but her top picks do reveal that she leans towards tiny things in pretty packaging. 

I give Egyptian Magic to all of my friends over 35 because it's all natural and truly good for any skin type. 

Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil is is a rich blend of nourishing oils at only $28 a bottle. It's one of my favorite new beauty finds. 

The Sleeping Beauty Ring is just the right amount of sparkle - you can't really go wrong with gifting jewelry this classic and subtle. 

Goest Silent Films is a complex scent packed into a simple bottle. It also comes with a beautifully illustrated card that explains the different notes in just a few words. 

Continuing with my love of gifting tiny things, the new Marvis Gift Set includes two small tooth brushes. It's a great idea for anyone with a guest room. 

Head in the clouds.

And the body, too.

The Nightgown Enthusiast

confection by Christian Lacroix 

What We're Giving: Amy

I’m giving my mum a Jewel Thief Bandit Raccoon. She loves tree decorations, especially ones that my sisters and I pick up on our travels. I’ll be sending him all the way to Australia soon! 

In the Studio with Darner

Socks have taken a fashionable turn. The tubesock variety we've always known are spinning off into patterned and bright, flirty and accented. And they're surfacing - as any bold makeover should. You've seen them peeking out from rising menswear hemlines and more than a few Catbirdettes have tried the modern sockhop - lace trimmed socks with patent Mary Janes and slingbacks. But alas, we found our perfect pairs. They're sheer and silky, with a beautiful seam detailing to elongate the foot. And did we mention they're in every color of our dream palette? 

The duo behind Darner, Roxi and Harold, showed us their LA workspace - complete with mood boards covered in Acne pinks and McQueen black and whites. 

A scroll through Darner's Instagram shows a deep knowledge and love of directional and minimal brands - Celine, Acne, The Row. "We create the socks with the idea of being an addition to the runway looks we love, and hope they convey a similar aesthetic," said Roxi of their design approach. "We like to start each season with a broad range of prints, textures, and colors. Throughout the design process, we narrow it down based on wearability, trends and our personal favorites." 

Both Roxi and Harold touch nearly every aspect of their business, from working with fabric mills and designing to packing and shipping new orders. But when it comes to the big picture, they're on their game, having already teamed with LA based womenswear brand Wren, and other artistic collaborations in the works. 

It goes without saying that we're so happy to welcome Darner to Catbird's growing home & lounge offerings. You can shop our selection here.



What We're Giving: Leigh

Leigh is dolling out the sweetest lollipops to the sweetest babes she knows. And our new Kitten Onesie is going to the babe's babies.

As for Leigh's Chihuahua, Teepee, well she's getting a crop top version of the onesie because she fits into it perfectly and dusty violet is so her color. 

Hand-painted lollipops available in marshmallow full and crescent moon and champagne stars. 

Custom Chihuahua crop top not for sale. Unless Leigh is willing to make you one. 


Red alert: this post has nothing to do with Winter Holidays

Refinery29 has an absolutely fantastic interview with Girls' Executive Producer Jenni Konner. So much of it rang true to my ears as to what we work hard to achieve here at Catbird. Hire not only amazing people, but also people who get along, manage with kindness, that it's okay to take things personally - even when you're the boss. And it's okay great to do your job like a woman!

The full article is here. I can't possibly recommend it enough. Especially for any other women running companies out there. 


PS - Jenni & Lena - I heart you, big time.

Some quotes from it that really stood out for me:
"And, I have this personal theory that women crew up differently than men. Instead of being like 'Okay we need the best DP, and the best gaffer,' they think ‘We need the best gaffer that’s going to get along with the best DP.' They think about personality balances in a way that I think is uniquely female. [That’s a part of why] our crew keeps coming back year and year. It’s not a very convenient job to have, honestly. They can get on other shows that last all year long. So, it’s not the most lucrative job, but all of our crew comes back, and I think that’s because it’s a lovely place to be. I’m really proud of our management style."

How have you taught yourself to take a beat and process the thoughtful criticism — to deal with the idea that someone is unhappy with your work, which is so personal? "People always say you can’t take that stuff personally, but that has never worked for me. I actually do take things personally and that’s okay, too. I do feel like our work is personal and sometimes we feel personally about it. I think one of the great gifts of being a woman in the world is that we take things personally — and our work is different because of it. 
"I don’t ever try to back away from what the female version of a showrunner looks like. I never try to do my job like a man; I’m trying to do my job like a woman. I do take things personally and I do very much care about the feelings of everyone including our crew, our cast, and our writers. And, I think we have a very functional cast and crew because of it, not despite it." 

That’s such a refreshing approach. We give so much career advice to women that is about hiding their female-ness, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. "I know. I was being interviewed recently, and they were talking about the dos and don’ts in the office and asked about crying. I was like, ‘Yeah, I cry at work!' It’s okay to show vulnerability and still be in control." 

Do you believe there are people working for you right now who are taking away those same kinds of lessons? "I hope so, I really hope so. Lena and I both, we really try to do our jobs with kindness. There are plenty of people who don’t run a show in a kind way and still have really great shows. The equation isn’t be nice and your show will be good, but even with that being said, why wouldn’t you? I hope people learn [from us] that you can be really kind and open and still have a lot of strength."

What We're Giving: Sea of Shoes 

We had to interrupt our regularly scheduled What We're Giving to share this sweet "one for me, one for you" idea, courtesy of Sea of Shoes' Jane Aldridge and LoveGoldLive. Jane gifted her sister our Dollhouse Locket, and herself one to match. Get creative and include a little illustration or note on the inside to make it extra thoughtful.

"It is such a simple gift to give, but the sentiment behind it stands the test of time. I fell in love with the minimalist design of this locket by Catbird. When I saw it I knew it was something my sister would love. I love the idea of sharing matching gold lockets with her, and I’m so glad to have found the perfect gift for us to share." 

Jane and Carol are pictured below in the 14k gold pendant. Also available in sterling silver


What We’re Giving: Josephine

Our bows and boxes and tissue are flying through the Cat Cave as the holiday season gets underway. While we’ve been plenty busy prepping the very first batch of holiday deliveries for the early birds, there’s still the matter of our own lists. As purveyors of the sparkliest jewels and overall delightful finds, we take gift-giving seriously around here. Over the next few weeks, we'll share our personal picks with you in hopes of spreading a little gifting inspiration. Because let’s face it, we all have the one who stumps us every year with their discerning eye and darn poker face. 

Kicking off What We’re Giving is Josephine, whose taste in nail polish and baked goods I already hold in high esteem. 

Formulary Bath Bars are my favorite add-on gift because the packaging is so pretty that you can just tie it into the giant bow of an already wrapped gift. My favorite scent is Bonjour Monsieur, a smoke and citrus blend (even the guys love it!). 

A Threadbare is going to all my lady friends. It’s subtle and classic and opening a box with one tucked inside has never been met with anything but sheer excitement.

My sister is getting The 14k Yellow Gold Changeling Necklace because it’s fancy and she deserves it. 

Ghost Rose Solid Perfume is another add-on gift for all the ladies in my life. It’s ultra-moisturizing and even though scents sometimes feel too personal to gift, this one layers really well with other fragrances to create a signature scent. 

RGB Haze is long lasting and the loveliest smokey violet hue. I'm giving it to my BFF who loves a good beauty upgrade. 

Book Club: Tender is the Night

“Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.” Tender is the Night a forever favorite by F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Collage by Eugenia Loli.

Tell me a story.

Let's light a KITTEN candle and listen to Alice Coltrane and talk about when we were small.


photo of Twiggy and her eyelashes and baby blue sweater via Garance Dore's Pinterest 

The Thanksgiving Table

The week leading up to Thanksgiving always stirs up a fleeting "food stylist gusto" in me, where I momentarily think of creating a full-on setting with split open figs and pomegranates, golden foliage, and a perfectly glazed piéce de réstistance bird. Though that's never fully been realized, when it comes to culinary daydreaming The New Potato always wins. I've been digging their latest recipes, not to mention flawless plating. 

I think post-holidays I'll try a few at my own pace. I recently noticed this PB & J recipe that seems like a good starting point. Of course it had to be photographed with split-open figs. Ha.



photo via The New Potato 

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