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coffee + cre8tive {aug 21 ’06} + Blueprint Review (Fall Issue)

Happy Monday! For those of you anxiously awaiting the next issue of Blueprint, my friend (huge thanks to her!) at Omnimedia sent me an advanced copy (it arrived on Saturday) and in my opinion, it is far better than the premiere issue. Why?
I liked most of the features this time, I could see myself using some of the ideas vs. just looking at them and saying, “maybe” or “not” as I did with the last issue. I’ll take a moment to highlight my favorites.

Before I get started, I love that they featured two pages of The 100+ Best Websites – I was soooo happy to see home blogs being mentioned, as well as shopping sites like 2Modern. Of course, publishing giants tend to focus on blogs with the largest audiences, but the ones they gave props to deserved it as well (it wasn’t just about the numbers). Maybe they’ll think of us little guys someday (sigh). I can see blogs like Oh Joy!, Print + Pattern, Happy Mundane (along with many other great blogs), earning a spot in there, too. What blogs DID they mention? Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so you’ll have to pick up the issue and flip to pages 148-149.

Blueprint highlights (at least for me):

P. 34 They featured a GREAT sewing machine, a new model from Husqvarna that is UNDER $150! If you are new to sewing, BUY THIS MACHINE. Husqvarna is a heavyweight in the world of sewing. Pick up the issue for puchasing details.

P.35 Beyond Diapers. I merely loved the various safety pins, such mundane little objects, but I could really see using some of these for sewing projects, or even art in a shadowbox frame.

P. 36-39 Off With Their Shoes! A very sensitive topic, I’m aware, is that of asking your guests to remove their shoes upon entering your home. Fortunately, my pals immediately step out of their shoes when they visit, they require this when visiting their home, too. I imagine if I were to throw a cocktail party or have strangers over to work on something in my home (like the construction crew that was in here most of this past winter/spring), it would take much effort and tact on my part to ask. This article gave some helpful little tips for socks and slippers, and included templates that you can use to make cute pictures for the wall that ask your guests, nicely, to remove their shoes. I love the photo on P.36, the mustard yellow, chocolate and white entryway is quite striking!

P. 40-45 Plants in Glass Houses. This article was quite helpful and the photos provided unique ideas that I’ve not seen before. I love how they teach you to use plants in glass containers, creating lush landscapes using succulents and silver sand.

P. 52-53 DIY: From Buttons to Bling. Fantastic simple layout, easy instructions, how to transform buttons into rings. My only question is, where did they get the actual “ring” piece? When you see the issue, please let me know if I missed something here or where I can find the actual ring, I haven’t a clue where to purchase something like that. Michael’s, perhaps?

Center: Handbook – Buy Better Luggage. Last issue, the insert helped those looking to purchase a sofa. This time around, luggage, packing tips, and additional luggage features that you should look for. I read the entire insert, especially since I’m flying to Germany next month. I plan to apply lots of these suggestions. One suggestion that I wasn’t aware of: TSA recongnized locks. They have them at Target, so if you’re looking, now you have a resource. They go for around $8 each and come in snappy colors like silver, black, lime, pink, blue and red. Chic and secure!

P. 98-105 Ye Bolde Colonial. This was my favorite article because it’s about a 1852 Charleston home (South Carolina, where I grew up), and I just loved the architecture of it, along with the colors used in the decor. It wasn’t exactly a style I would use, but it was so welcoming and cozy, and I just loved the owners and how sweet they came across in the article. It wasn’t some mid century modern home (again) in CA and it wasn’t another Brooklyn/NYC post war apartment or loft. Finally, an actual home in a town that deserves some press. Coastal South Carolina is gorgeous!

P. 116-125: A Tale of Two Pretties. With two home offices on display, the article not only lists resources on where to buy everything you see, but everything is organized in that lovely Martha Stewart way. I love the downtown home office, the second office featured. The yellow, grey and white is very clean and appealing. Cool storage tips and the screen divider project looks fun and functional.

P. 140-147 They’ll Drink to That. This was a true education for me because I’ve not visited a wine store before that offered samples and treats, and I’ve never thrown a wine tasting party, nor have I ever attended one. I wasn’t into wine until 2001 (I’m not a big drinker), so I’m guessing that’s the reason. Had I liked it in my early 20’s, I may have had the exposure to this swank swirling and sipping experience. Taking the reader on a tour of a wine store in Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport, you can visit with the owners, view the space, pick up how to tips, learn about a proper wine tasting table setting, grab several bruschetta recipes, and they’ve even included checklists and scorecards! Fun!

P. 156 – Book Review page, spotted a few that I need to pick up, was reminded of one that I’ve always loved called, “The World of Ornament” by Taschen (amazon seems to have crashed this afternoon, so the link may not work right now). I decided to make it the decor8 book of the week so that you could consider picking a copy up for your coffee table. It features over 5,000 images and patterns from ancient Egypt all the way through to 19th-century Europe in 528 oversized pages. Because they are all copyright free images, you can use a color printer and go crazy – create frames, gift wrap, wallpaper, candle wrappers, you name it. It also comes with a DVD. GREAT BUY.

Of course, not mentioned above, Blueprint articles on shoes, fashion, skin care, natural makeup tips, etc… But honestly, those don’t interest me (and I am a total fashion addict). I’m just not into $800 shoes and with all the books on the market (and magazines) that specialize in beauty and fashion, I really don’t see the need for these things to be covered in Blueprint, especially since the items they feature aren’t SO fresh and amazing that you break your neck to look at them.

I would love to see Blueprint add more home tours, decor suggestions, home organizing help, shop tours, reviews, and even take a movie and rip it apart – show us how to create the same room at home (for instance, the office in The Devil Wears Prada or the apartment in the Break Up) to replace the beauty and fashion bits. But, that’s just my opinion.

With all this said, I found a lot of good in the Fall issue, which I’ve already highlighted above, so with the fashion/beauty bits aside, this is a strong issue. I like it. I give it 3 stars.

Hope you enjoyed the highlights. As soon as it hits newsstands, please let me know your opinions, as well.

Posted by decor8 in uncategorized on August 21, 2006

Your comments...

  1. Viv commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 6:31pm

    I’m so glad that you wrote this, as I have been wondering when to find the follow-up issue. Also, I have been in the market for a sewing machine (total novice) and now I’ll wait to read more about that one mentioned.

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  2. Hayan Design commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 6:41pm

    looks good. At first I wasn’t sure of the mag. But now I will pick uo the next issue.

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  3. JulieWi69 commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 6:43pm

    Holly thanks for writing about this because I wasn’t that interested in Blueprint after the first issue. Now I have to buy it, you’ve whet my appetite and restored my faith.

    Julie

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  4. Lena commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 6:58pm

    hi holly
    i got the 2nd issue saturday in the mail, from my subscription. i felt the same about this one as i did the first- some great ideas but i don’t feel like the target customer. it feels similar to real simple to me- which i like to read but don’t quite identify with. i loved the story on home offices though.

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  5. Anonymous commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 7:06pm

    which blogs did they mention?

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  6. decor8 commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 7:44pm

    well, since lena already rec’d her subscription copy, I guess it’s okay to tell…

    the blogs they sang praises of are, of the course the best of the best:

    apartmenttherapy.com
    betterlivingthroughdesign.com
    coolhunting.com
    designaddict.com
    designboom.com
    jeansnow.net
    mocoloco.com
    treehugger.com
    and finally,
    tropolism.com

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  7. joy commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 8:21pm

    hey holly,

    i got mine in the mail this weekend, too, and i actually liked it less than the first issue…too many different topics for me. i like some of the crafty ideas and storage solution which have seem a bit more fashion-based than if they were in martha..but i don’t think they have the greatest clothing/fashion picks and should stick to some of the more crafty/organizational/layout stuff. maybe i am not their target audience though?
    and, thanks for your nice mention of oh joy ;)

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  8. jenny commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 8:31pm

    I’m very interesting in reading the new Blueprint, if for nothing more than to read the article on wearing shoes in other people’s homes. I was watching one of those home selling shows on HGTV the other day and noticed that prospective buyers all removed their shoes when viewing the home. I won’t take off my shoes. It isn’t that I don’t respect other peoples’ homes, but I get very nervous about germs and about stepping on things. It’s a bit neurotic, but it’s true. One time I was at somebody’s home without shoes on and I stepped on an earring. The back of the earring pierced my foot and went in all the way to the back of the earring. That was the last straw for me – shoes all the time now. This person’s home was immaculately clean, she had just lost an earring. It could happen in anybody’s house.
    What if you didn’t allow people to wear shoes in your house, you asked a guest to remove their shoes, and the guest kindly said “I’m sorry, but I have to wear my shoes.” What would you do?

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  9. Mer commented
    August 21st, 2006 at 11:23pm

    I’ve heard so many people say they didn’t like the premiere issue of Blueprint, which makes me feel a little alone–I really enjoyed it! For a first issue, especially, I thought it was quite solid. I’m really looking forward to the second one…

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  10. gina commented
    August 22nd, 2006 at 3:09am

    i don’t understand – you got an advance copy but we all got them on saturday too?

    gina

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  11. decor8 commented
    August 22nd, 2006 at 3:55am

    yeah, the package arrived here early last week, but it went to my po box, and i don’t check it daily. it actually arrived on friday (not sat as i stated on the blog).

    holly

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  12. Neal commented
    August 22nd, 2006 at 4:31pm

    don’t care for Blueprint, but regarding shoes in the house – i keep a basket w/ inexpensive filp flops by the door so that the crud from outside isn’t brought in…

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  13. decor8 commented
    August 22nd, 2006 at 4:56pm

    from mari, via email, asked me to post this on the blog since she can’t figure it out.

    thank you for posting this summary. i am in madrid, and going to have my family in miami post this issue to me right away. your international fans thank you.

    mari

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  14. boltandfrolic commented
    August 26th, 2006 at 3:27am

    Re: ring pieces… where to get them? Holly, you may have already found this info on the ‘credits’ page (p. 166): It reads: Lords of the Ring p. 52 Ringblanks, $1 to $7, Metalliferous, 212-944-0909 (minimum order, $25) Adjustable finger ring, $1, Toho Shoji, 212-868-7465.

    And: I heart your blog! Thank you, for finding and sharing all the wonderful info, inspiration and imagery. Such a gift.

    Ellen

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  15. decor8 commented
    August 26th, 2006 at 3:29am

    Ellen thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much :)
    I didn’t see that!!!

    Holly

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  16. boltandfrolic commented
    August 26th, 2006 at 4:18pm

    Hey! No problem- it looks like a fun and easy project (the glue may be kinda noxious tho) and jeez, the parts are so reasonable…

    Ellen

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