stylish (and suprising) finds on amazon

We are constantly amazed at the useful and stylish stuff that is available on Amazon – WAY beyond books, music and electronics. There are obvious design treasures like the fine bone china pitcher by Jasper Conran (a perfect wedding gift) or a cowhide rug (below) seen in so many chic interiors these days. But what we love most is to see what we can find on the unexpected sectors of the site, like “Scientific and Industrial” where we find all sorts of things that we use in ways they weren’t intended for…

…like oddly-shaped glass laboratory vessels that we uses as flower vases; these Pyrex long-neck flasksthat come in sizes ranging from a tiny 50 ml to 1000 mL and higher:

We use glass beakers for flowers, mixing drinks, and storing food. This starter set is a steal at $26.37:

When we worked in restaurants, we made big batches of aioli by hand in a big porcelain “labware” mortar and pestle like this one, that holds 1000 ml, about 4 cups. (The inside is rough to help the process of crushing and pureeing).

…the “Metals” section of “Scientific and Industrial” always gets our imagination going (Check out the Metal Finder at the top of the page to get an idea of possibilities)…

…we wonder how 4-x-4-inch squares of aluminum or copper (left beautifully tarnished) would work as coasters…

…or what we could do with a roll of stainless steel foil that can be “cut, folded, and crease-sealed with ease”:

…We discovered that there’s such a thing as a 10 X 8 X 6 Open Angle Plate (used by machinists and auto hobbyists) that would make a wonderful moderne bookend or doorstop,or could work as vertical struts for make shift bookshelves…(they could probably be found second-hand):

…and then there’s that cowhide rug

2 Responses to stylish (and suprising) finds on amazon

  1. Jim Dillon 02.24.2015 at 10:51am #

    Looking forward to seeing the mortar & pestle in your shop! I just ordered the mandoline and am excited to get it. We are into fermenting vegetables these days and need to be able to slice thin and consistently by the gallon!
    Also: any recommendations for good cheap kitchen scissors? I am about to try a pair of big oversized bandage scissors designed for trauma medicine and will keep you posted on how those work.

  2. Sally 03.03.2015 at 1:23pm #

    I’ve got a beauty of a vintage, marble two-ton mortar that I hauled back from France many years ago. But I often use makeshift pounding devices — rocks or stones, even a door knob — in a stainless steel bowl (for the mortar) or right on the counter. Check out this post and this one.

    The being said I WILL find a worthy mortar and pestle for the shop. Most of the high-design ones I see are too small and too smooth to be useful. And a good mortar is a great thing to have.

Leave A Comment

Feeling Inspired?

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.