Sometimes the best school is the old school, especially in the case of the Polaroid. Though I won’t be handing in my digital camera anytime soon, there’s still something about the raw untouched-by-Photoshop appeal, their often faded colors and that sweet little off-centered square format that keeps me coming back for more. Or perhaps it’s the feeling of nostalgia since it was the first camera I got my hands on as a child and much to my mother’s display I’d burn through all of the film in the back seat of our car long before we arrived at our vacation spot.
To some, the Polaroid is dated technology that’s fun to play around with but nothing more. For others it’s about producing images that evoke an emotion and over time creates an audience and a way to earn a living. A network and Unix systems administrator by day and a photographer and poet by night, Elinor Scott-Sutter of Equivoque has a body of work that is revealing, sensitive, and absolutely stunning. I can’t take my eyes off of these images above, the lighting is absolute perfection and the faded tones give them such a vintage flavor. I know someone who needs to quit her day job… Elinor… :) What an eye, I look forward to watching her shop updates to see what she’ll do next.
(images from equivoque)
Jennifer Ramos not only authors a lovely blog, but she’s the designer behind Made By Girl, a brand new stationery collection specializing in sassy styles using 100% recycled card stock – and by the looks of things, this girl gives eco a little edge.
Ramos’ designs reveal her fun, playful side and she spices things up a bit with a little sarcasm or sexy thrown in for good measure. When I asked Ramos about Made By Girl and the eco lifestyle, she was refreshingly honest about it which made me really respect her as a designer, “I’ve changed my lifestyle in many ways… Even though I’m not 100% green, I am making changes in my everyday life to help out.” She simply wants to produce products that raise awareness without sacrificing style, and using recycled papers helps her to do this in good conscience. She knows she’s not an absolute treehugger, but she is trying to work closer to that goal day by day. And I think that’s pretty neat because if more young designers gave a little more consideration to the environment, even if it’s recycling the trash in the office or riding a bike more often, that’s a big impact towards a greater good.
When it comes to going green, many take the cold turkey route and just jump in head first setting up composting bins in the kitchen and purchasing only organically grown clothing. For the rest of us, this approach doesn’t work and so some don’t bother to think eco at all. This all or nothing approach has to change and it’s designers like Ramos that help put out the signal that it’s okay to simply do what you can, to at least do something. Make an effort in some area of your life.
For 2008, I vow to sort my garbage, I already installed 3 trash bins below the cabinet so that I can accomplish this. Do you have any earth friendly goals for the new year? What about now? Certainly during this season there’s a lot of paper around us, try to reuse some of the boxes, gift bags, etc. for another time or incorporate these things into your crafting projects.
Thank you Jennifer for your email, for raising awareness, and for the introduction to Made By Girl paper products, we wish you much success!
(images from jennifer ramos)
For the kid in us all, adults and children alike will enjoy the sweet stores featured in this round up today. This is only part one since there are so many fantastic stores to list. Since so many of you contact me for suggestions on where to locate the best children’s furniture and bedding, I wanted to pull this together to help point you in the right direction. All the links appearing in part one and part two can be found on the new decor8 links page that I pulled together with the help of Lorissa over at Dynamic Vantage in the UK. They are blog template meisters in case you’re interested…
With that being said, here are some of my personal favorite shops that I highly recommend visiting online. From furniture to soft toys, I think you’ll adore these lovely stores and remember, whether you have a child in your life or not, we all have a child within and sometimes you can find things for adult decor in kid’s stores, so be sure to keep an open mind and have fun shopping around!
With the launch of a new website, Dwell Studios is looking better than ever and designing some of the hottest products for baby + kids on the market today. Their bedding is gorgeous.
Le Souk in the Netherlands has a thoughtful collection of things for the children of parents that want to introduce their little ones to a more modern ethnic style. I cannot imagine any little girl not feeling like a princess in these leather slippers!
BabyGeared is well, geared towards babies and their selection will make you want to spend cash you don’t even have, like on this crazy gadget called Nabaztag. They have a great collection of art, too.
Giggle is one of those sites you could stay on for hours, the selection is so extensive you could easily make this store your one stop shop. I especially like this quilt by Denise Schmidt and the CUB furniture collection by designer David Netto.
Mimmo focuses on modern design for kids and offers a nice selection of furniture amongst other things, but what I think makes them stand out is how easy it is to navigate their site and that all the furniture works together so well it takes the pain out of trying to match things.
Modern Child is so clean and contemporary you’ll wonder if it’s really for kids but surprise! And if you have a minimalist space, you can still maintain it after having kids because we have stores like Modern Child to help. I don’t know about you, but this hat has to be the perfect present to give to a new mom. Oh it’s so sweet.
Kid O is such a great site, you have to bookmark this one. They are dedicated to “inspiring your child with the right materials”. One thing I appreciate is how much thought they put into their selection because as they say, “As children get older it is important to try to match their toys to their level of development so that they are challenged but not frustrated.”
Part two will follow tomorrow, Friday December 21st. :)
(images used above are linked in this post)
There’s no end to beautiful paper products and Essimar is living proof of this fact. Although this Chicago artist studied Interior Design in college, her focus has shifted a bit to creating intricate lace-like paper goods. And I’m glad it has because looking at her creations in her online shop, on her blog, and displayed so nicely in flickr, I can tell this is her current calling.
Essimar is listening to her voice of today, and I say today because our voices change as we age, but for right now she’s following her passion and I think that’s beautiful. I featured her work in my ’08 calendar round up thanks to Abby’s tip, but in case you missed her I thought I’d highlight her again because her paper goods are far to pretty to not know about.
I find much inspiration by observing the creative process involved in just about everything. Cooking, fashion design, interior design, painting, sewing, all of it. Even that Orange County Choppers show inspires me because those guys build some amazing bikes and though I’m not a biker chick, I appreciate the level of work that goes into building an amazing bike. The goal of any project is to complete it at some point, but I always enjoy the journey. It can be compared to driving across country. If you are so focused on getting there you may not enjoy your travel and arrive at your destination totally drained and uninspired. Instead, enjoy the ride by pacing yourself, stop along the way for refreshment, observe the landscape as you pass… Then once you arrive you’ll feel really good and be ready to take on whatever lies ahead because your journey there stimulated you. Essimar’s journey is one she appreciates and takes time to document and that is inspiring to her, influences her body of work, and inspires the rest of us too.
Documenting a process is exactly why I enjoy reading the blogs of artists who talk about their creative journey vs. only showing the end result. I like seeing what things inspire their work, who they look to for inspiration, even the music and movies they watch because I believe that everything we absorb in our daily life influences our work somehow. In the case of Chicago-based designer Essimar, her process is just as captivating as her finished product.
I thought that to remind and encourage all of us to pause and enjoy the view along the way so to speak, in whatever you’re working on right now, Essimar is now our blog of the week. Having her there in the left column is your daily reminder to not only click in on her blog to see what she’s up to, but to take a moment to breathe in, breathe out, ya know – chill. Enjoy the moment.
And this time of year, everyone needs this reminder because of the rush to get things done before the new year. But enjoy today, take a moment to be in your life right now instead of flicking on the autopilot switch and “just getting things done” so you can reach your goal already. I believe that when you enjoy your process, the end result is a better quality of work. As we can learn from the talented Essimar, it’s not always the destination but the beauty of the journey that allows you to gain insight and experience and to produce beautiful things.
(images from essimar)
Do you think Etsy is only for finding softies, pillows, and prints? While they have a super selection of those things, they also have some great furniture that ranges from quality flat packed creations to hardwood tables made in Vermont. It’s amazing who finds their way to etsy and builds a storefront there, the range is amazing! So let’s look at some furniture from a few of my favorite etsy sellers.
Delightful decoupage from UK designer Bombus. This girl is so creative, my goodness. Her chairs are fantastic, Living Etc. worthy for sure. Her Comic decoupage chair already made the pages of the London Times!
Next we have the work of Flat Pattern. This guy has quite an interesting bio. His flat packed furniture is affordable and great looking. If you’re looking for something really unique, Flat Pattern is your man.
This may be way out of the price range of most, but for those truly wanting something unique and extremely well made, Melia Design in the UK makes some pretty amazing contemporary pieces. Their plasma tv unit is gorgeous.
Nashville-based Ruppel Design Group creates classic shaker styles using wood from the forests of Tennessee. Their work is exquisite, and who doesn’t love a handmade rocking chair?
Baroque inspired furniture with wood frames and an overcoat of soft skin rubber, is Modern Front joking? Oh no. Their brightly hued furniture blows the mind, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it outside of movie (or cartoon!). The white plastic fantastic chair is quite an eye catcher!
Los Angeles business Mod Mom Furniture designs and builds furniture in her garage. Can this lady be any cooler? I love a girl in a tool belt. Her furniture is mainly geared towards kids, but some of them could be used in alternate ways, for instance the Maisie Chair in the kitchen, I’d add my lagoon checker storage box from Hable Construction on top, and store all of our tea’s tea bottles inside (we’re addicts). Or it would work as a simple low table for a tall plant. Go mom, go!
Using woods that are native to northern Vermont such as cherry, maple and ash, Bergman Fine Furniture consists of one man – a RISD grad passionate about furniture making. He has his own workshop creating pieces inspired by the early Biedermeier movement. Superb!
Need a custom headboard? Try Aboveboard Products. Nice options if you’re looking for something that’s not in every store in town.
I don’t know much about Michael Arras, but I do know that he makes the most gorgeous chair (shown right) I’ve seen in a long time that’s actually affordable. It’s stunning, I love the curves, the simplicity, and the cotton webbed upholstery is fantastic. It’s one I’ve been looking at for about a month and I can’t decide whether to just break down and order it for my bedroom or not.
Custom cubes from Philly girl dkoss2. Life size cuteness squared. I saw these things and had to post them because they’re absolutely odd but also quite fun and could work in the dorm room as a table or something. I just don’t know what yet. :)
Looking for more, how about this vintage enamel table or this oak table? I think I’ll round up some vintage furniture dealers on etsy, as well as those that sell the best vintage finds over all. Have any suggestions for me? I have several bookmarked, but I love a little reader input so fess up. :)
(images from etsy sellers linked above)