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Simplesong Designs {handmade office goodies}

Suann wrote in to share what she calls her, “little creative endeavor/etsy shop”, called Simplesong Designs. If this is what she calls little… Imagine if she did this full-time!


Suann creates push pin boards framed and covered with lovely fabric available in three sizes, and makes other pretty things for the office like thumb tacks and paper goods, including lined envelopes (by hand!) for that extra special touch. I like her gift tags with the metal edges (vintage charm), which would also be cute around the necks of bottles and jars with fresh flowers inside. Is there anything here that you wouldn’t like to have to pretty up your office space? Ah, so sweet… Thank you Suann for sharing your creations with us today.

(images from simplesong designs)

Posted in etsy, stationery, workspace on December 14, 2007
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Farewell Blueprint {your thoughts?}

Confession: I’m addicted to Creature Comforts, I don’t know, it’s like all of a sudden I’m hooked and can’t stop looking at this gorgeous blog. And though I heard the news of Blueprint folding several days ago over on Apartment Therapy NY, I didn’t think to bring it up here on decor8 until I noticed Creature Comforts posted her thoughts on the topic. And after a few readers wrote to me asking me to blog about this, I figured why not. Wanna dish?


Although I’m sad to see Blueprint fold, I’m happy Amy Butler’s home was recently featured, and I loved all the other homes they gave us a chance to peek into – each felt loved and lived in, and a bit crafty (minus the skulls and rhinestones), and I really liked that because this is a void that other glossies just don’t fill. Most cater to less of a DIY (do it yourself) crowd and more of a BIY (buy it yourself) crowd. Blueprint featured homes of those that run their own business, make lots of the things in their spaces, and they were real everyday people that just so happened to have a huge chunk of creative spirit and know-how.

We really need Blueprint and I’m sad to see them go. They should bring back MS Kids and merge it with Blueprint – in other words, take the “best of” from both magazines, dump the shoes and raincoats and makeup, keep the amazing typefaces, and offer this shiny new car to the new-nesters they want to target. The DINKS and the couples with young children. That would be ideal and I would support it for sure.

And let Sarah Humphreys take the lead because she is talented and down-to-earth, and I like that. How many editors-in-chief do you know would allow you to tour their tiny 1-bedroom NYC apartment decorated solely by their staff? That’s humility, that’s real, and I I liked her since the get-go based on her apt tour alone. She felt approachable, like if I met her at a party I wouldn’t get butterflies – I’d walk right over to her and have a human-to-human conversation. Sarah doesn’t strike me as some media celebrity. She feels real in her editor’s letters and though some of her staff come across a bit snobby, I’m thinking that if I worked at a company like MSLO, I may feel a little full of myself after awhile too. It’s a whole different world inside those offices vs. out here in the real world. They have test kitchens and craft labs and companies sending them cool stuff all day long, access to things you and I will never see or know about. It’s like the freaking Pentagon – only instead of being the headquarters of the American Dept of Defense, it’s more like the American craft headquarters or something. It’s too cool in there for me, I know that much.

I have to let you in on a little secret though… Their last issue is due out soon, it’s for Jan/Feb and I’m in it. Well, not my picture or anything, just some blurbs about my opinions on displaying photography in the home. Look for that, along with a little decor8 mention, in their final issue.

So, what are your thoughts on Blueprint folding?

Psst: Still looking for an ’08 calendar? If you love that gorgeous Blueprint font, here is a free little download.

(image from the wonderful creature comforts)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration, small business on December 14, 2007

Flowie {fabric + such}

I saw this fabric over at Flowie and had to blog it since so many emails arrive asking me for leads on quality fabric that is modern, inexpensive, and not “for the trade only”. Flowie is a collection of products ranging from napkins to bags (love the patterns, don’t you?), but there’s also a section on the site where a small collection of hand screen printed fabrics is offered that you can purchased for $29 USD per yard. Yippie!


Thank you so much Sarah for sending me this link, reader Sarah found this on d*s today and sent me over to check it out. Flowie appears to be a brand new shop, so support small biz and view her wares here.


TIP: I’d love to use Gerrie (yellow) in a simple way, cut into a square or rectangle, hem 3 sides, sew a rod pocket on the top, and slip it onto a lovely slim tree branch collected from outside and mount on the wall over your bed. I think it would look great for under $30, adding both pattern and something from the natural world to your sleeping space. I’m a bit of a nature freak, but if you’re not into tree branches, you can use wire or simple pins for a more relaxed look.

Thanks Sarah for the tip, and best wishes on your new shop Yaling!

(images from flowie)

Posted in diy, textiles on December 13, 2007

Cupcake {Berlin}

How sweet it is! I have to introduce you to Cupcake in Berlin, I hope that if you’re ever there you’ll seek it out and support this small business because though it may have nothing to do with shopping for interior products, cupcakes are quite delicious to eat and this shop makes a great resting place while you’re out and about. Plus Cupcake is darling inside and no one likes breaking in well designed places more than me. Okay, you too. :)


And Berlin isn’t America – a cupcake is a hard little delight to find in northern Germany, you just can’t find them dotted around there as you can here. They aren’t in bakeries, or grocery stores, and they don’t have dedicated little cupcake shops all over as some American cities do – until now. That’s what makes this shop in Berlin so very sweet – they’re truly unique as they are Berlin’s first! I asked the owners, American Dawn Nelson and her boyfriend Daniel Baderif (who runs his record label out of the office in the shop) if they could send over some photos for your enjoyment, so here’s a peek into a very tasty place. Cupcake is located in the heart of Friedrichshain, a short stroll away from the last remaining section of the Berlin Wall.


In regards to the design of the shop, Dawn said that they started out with “All these ideas for the decor. first it was vintage 50′s funiture, then streamlined 70′s, and then finally this is what we came up with”. They wanted something minimal, clean and fresh with the focus on the cupcakes, so this is the result. I think it reminds me of a cupcake shop Audrey Hepburn would have rested her tired feet after a day of shopping at Tiffany’s. If Tiffany’s were in Stockholm. It really reminds me of a Swedish bakery for some reason with a touch of classic Hollywood. And the light fixtures are 2 Die 4, aren’t they?

Cupcake, Krossener Str. 12, Friedrichshain, Berlin

If you’d like to know more about Dawn and her background, click here to read a great interview that I Heart Berlin had with her – it’s in English – and there’s a video as well. It was there that I learned Katie Holmes frequented Cupcake while she was with Tom Cruise in Berlin filming. Too cute.

(images from cupcake)

Posted in Shop Tours, shopping, small business, travel on December 13, 2007

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