Several years ago I found this lovely umbrella at Crate and Barrel. It was after my very first trip to Sweden, with my at the time boyfriend and now husband, and after my very first introduction to the wonderful world of Marimekko. Marimekko is a design corporation specializing in bright, cheery and all around happy textile patterns. I instantly fell in love. I wanted all things Marimekko and we actually have quite a few Marimekko things gracing our home. Our shower curtain is the famous Unniko flower pattern and I also have a metal canister and apron in the same pattern in red. We also have one of the featured fall 2009 floral patterned oiled fabrics as our balcony tablecloth and my husband and I each have several items of Marimekko clothing. The designs and fabric patterns are timeless and classic and I just love them.
But one of my favorite and best purchases to date has been my Kivet red and white umbrella. I stumbled across it in Crate and Barrel some years ago and because of my previous Marimekko knowledge I knew it's worth and snatched it up right away. I think I would have liked it anyway but knowing what a find it was I was completely thrilled and even a bit sneaky as I walked sort of hiding it to the register, paid and ran out of the store before anyone realized what was before them. There are a handful of people in the US who now know about Marimekko and stores selling Marimekko are popping up everywhere so my secret is out.
One of the things I love about my umbrella is the fact that this particular design, by Maija and Kristina Isola, is from 1956 and made to appear like circles cut out of paper freehand with scissors. It's sort of whimsical and childlike and I love that about it. Using my umbrella when it rains makes me happy and lifts my spirits, even if I'd rather be on my bike with my orange scarf sailing behind me.