Yearly Archives


Etsy Faves

Pen and Paper {New}

November 27, 2007

Got a thing for woodgrain and silhouettes? Pen and Paper’s Jeeyon Shim just opened a store on Etsy that I’d love for you to visit with terrific original works and a great neutral palette.

Pen and Paper {New}

Here’s what Jeeyon says in a very nice email sent earlier today, “As an art student, I’ve always felt mildly frustrated with how polarized art can be for a student; on the one hand, if you want to buy decent, appealing art it’s usually completely out of your budget, but on the other hand if you want to MAKE affordable art the equipment and resources are usually astronomical as well.

Good point.

Jeeyon continues, “I try to make all of my pieces with this conundrum in mind. At the moment my shop primarily features handcut silhouettes with naturalist and mythological motifs, but I’ve also done a few mixed media pieces using vintage photographs and offer a few original drawings as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing what other explorations this project will guide me towards.

Thank you so much for sharing your new shop with us and we wish you the best with your new business, yeah! Go indie!

(images from pen and paper)

Etsy Faves

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays

November 27, 2007

Tah-dah! It’s Take Five Tuesday, where I showcase five etsy artists on Tuesday, ones that I think deserve a little blog love, who have great taste, and that are items I either own or would own myself. In other words, the official holly seal of approval. I think you’ll really love today’s batch of beauties. Scrambled eggs, birds in 3-D, beads and baubles, prints from down under, and an usual suspect – pot plants! No, not the kind you smoke kids, the kind you plant stuff inside and watch legal greens emerge from.

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays First up, postcards from Fiery Eyed Studio.
Display on an inspiration board, frame, send…
They’re positively delicious.

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays

Then there’s Jade Scott Jewelry. I don’t know how to tell my
husband that I want everything in her store without sounding
selfish. ;) It’s all so Anthropologie-ish. Drool.

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays

Next we have Cotton Bird Designs, with little birdies
handmade and ready to fly home with you. Rest
them on a shelf, frame them in a shadow box, display
on a stack of books, gift to a friend.

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays Plants? On Etsy? Oh yes! Greenware Design – A Savannah-based
design duo make up this small business. Here’s my new porcelain
piece, hand-crafted by one of the artists, filled with love by the other.
These are really small, but they’re absolutely darling, sweet for a
window or on a bedside table. I love the little feet.

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays And finally, Australian etsy artist Linda Kruger of
Yellow Monday. View more of her work here.
Sweet. Lots of forest imagery, cute characters.

Missed my 5 picks from last week? Click here to view them. If you know of an etsy talent that you’d like to share, just send me an email – I read all submissions!

(images from store owners linked above.)

Small Business

Shop Talk: Seek and Conquer!

November 27, 2007

I’m annoyed. Shopping in boutique stores is no longer as exciting as it once was for me. Maybe it’s because I know most of the products I see (sorry if that sounds snotty but c’mon, look at what I do all day). I’ve noticed now more than ever that little stores are almost as boring as large department stores and mall stores because they’re quickly becoming a cut and paste copy of all the other little boutique gift shops in town. The same candles, the same wrapping paper, the same trinkets, same, same, same! Ugh. There’s a heaping load of wonderful finds online to discover, there’s no need for small stores to all carry what the next guy has. What is happening small business owners? Some of you are losing the magic that makes shop ownership so, well, magical in the first place.

Shop Talk: Seek and Conquer! Retro Etc, a Stockholm shop that I visited with Danielle and Emma.
The owner mixes old with new for a fresh medley that is anything but carbon copy.
Great example of a how to run a small business.

Oh I know what may be weighing you down. Gift shows. While they provide a great means to find talent and view products up close and personal, try not to become completely hooked on shows for sourcing new products – branch out – there’s a lot to be found on the web and thousands of talented artists are waiting for their lines to be picked up by shop owners like you. I know many who ditched the last gift fair and scoured the web or even indie craft fairs like Renegade and Felt Club to find new and exciting things for their stores. That’s more like it. This is where blogs and online sites like Trunkt, and Etsy come in super handy. They’re completely free to browse, accessible 24/7, and your store won’t look like every other one on the block – yours will stand out.

Remember, some of these talents cannot be found at a gift show because they either do not have the means to create 10,000 pillows if approached, do not desire to go big time (and that is perfectly okay), or they cannot afford the thousands of dollars one needs to invest in a booth, booth help, and travel. It doesn’t mean they won’t be there someday, I think many artists aspire to showing at a gift fair at some point, but for now you may need to find them at sources online.

Sorry if I’m going off on this subject a little. Background: I remember my struggle. I was helping a friend with the launch of her handbag collection back in ’05 and nearly every single shop owner I spoke to said, “Does she show in the gift fair down in NY?” and the moment I told them she didn’t, they lost interest instantly. It was like I told them she spit on the fabrics she used to sew the bags (ala Who Spit On My Polymorphic Cape?). In their eyes, a gift show appearance is the golden ticket to entering the world of retail – or that it somehow says you’ve hit the big time, you are driven, you are professional, and you’re now entitled to play with the cool kids. I love me a good gift fair, but there are other ways to find talent, keep your store unique, and maintain your vision (shouldn’t your shop showcase your finds and favorite things?) without sole reliance on trade shows. Plus, some indie artists are mothers and fathers and have day jobs, they are plenty talented and professional, but they will never be interested in showing at gift fairs. This doesn’t mean you still cannot write to them if you find that their craft fits your store. Am I right?

If you own a store (online or brick n mortar), how do you find your collections? How do you keep your store from becoming a copy of all the others, selling the same merchandise? I think lots of us are curious to see what the modern store owners are doing to score their finds. Anyone care to talk shop?

To read additional posts on the topic of store ownership, click the words shop girl below.

For an example of a smart shop owner, read about my friend Enna.

{I’m not knocking gift fairs, I see their place, attend them, and even write about them for publications from time to time. However I know some very creative store owners that are building entire shops using only finds they’ve come across online or through word of mouth, and as a result their business is thriving. Gift fairs are great, but is there more? That’s the topic I’d like to explore.}

Shopping + Products, Travel

Huset Shop {New Scandinavian Design Shop}

November 27, 2007

Your suggestions mean a lot to me, and despite how far behind I am lately on responding to email – I do read them and enjoy hearing from you, especially when you send me great links to places you shop or to things that inspire you. Reader Gilly recently wrote in from eka and her suggestion ended up here as a post because she shared with me a brand new store (never been blogged!) and certainly stocks great things. Check it out.

Huset Shop {New Scandinavian Design Shop}
Gilly wrote, “I have a little gem of a shop to tell you about. It’s a Scandinavian webshop situated in Malibu. I was contacted by the owner, Holly, when she told me she wanted to buy a few of my accessories for her shop in Malibu, I was pretty surprised as I am a small UK designer situated in Sweden.”

Huset Shop {New Scandinavian Design Shop}
She continues, “The shop has just opened to the world and I have been reading your lovely blog for a while now and when I saw that she had home furnishings as well as textiles (this will be a massive hit I think) lighting and all I just knew you would need to know about it! Have a look at Huset Shop when you have a moment, I know you won’t be disappointed. Have a little look at the hats and bags by eka if you have time to browse (they’re mine : ) If you want to contact the store owner, she is a lovely Swedish girl called Holly Hallberg. Enjoy!” -Gilly

Huset Shop {New Scandinavian Design Shop}
What a pleasure to receive such a nice email and of course, a fantastic link because this store is not only based in California but accessible online for placing orders – both really great for those of us in the US because it’s so crazy expensive to order these things and have them shipped over. Huset stocks those fab teak table stands from Design House Stockholm (they are fantastic and affordable), I’ve had my eye on them since seeing them in Living Etc. magazine last year. I was recently very tempted (design devil on my left shoulder) when I was in Sweden to purchase one, but unable to cart it home on the plane, I was able to avoid the little voice. But, now a new temptation has arrived – I can have one shipped to me at home. Sigh.

Huset Shop {New Scandinavian Design Shop}
Huset also carries the 3 and the 2 tier dessert stands from Bengt & Lotta (also a stool for the kitchen in this pattern) and tea towels by Hau Hauz and defyra. She stocks a few Barbapappa things (they’re French, I know). My favorite item in her store though is the yellow Bird On A Wire coat rack. Tres peep, um chic! But seriously, they look like yellow peeps, and though I won’t be licking the walls if I install them, I’ll smile whenever I walk by. Such cuteness.

Psst: The Designers’ Bios page is not to be missed, it really helps you put a face to a name and also learn a quick bit about their background all in one handy guide.

Love Scandinavian fashion? Huset carries some clothing by Ivana Helsinki and Odd Molly, both collections are stunning. This tunic is my favorite.

Thank you Gilly for telling us about this great shop!

(images from huset shop)


Amsterdam Design Guide

November 27, 2007

No need to travel alone! Danielle over at Amsterdam Design Guide
I can’t wait to return to the Netherlands with her guide in hand next year – beautiful work Danielle! It’s an 8 page PDF file, divided by section (sleep, shop, eat + drink, etc.) so you’ll have to download it, but it’s so well organized it will put any Time Out guide to shame (sorry Time Out). Plus being a PDF file makes it so easy to print and take along with you on your journey. Of course I am a bit partial to anything Danielle does because I really like her style, she is one classy lady.

Psst: And if you like her blog, you’ll love her new store Le Souk. But more on Le Souk later…

(image from the style files)


Doily Love!

November 26, 2007

Do not fear the loyal doily! Listen to your grandmother, your lacey round friends can be quite practical and, with thanks to designers giving them a fresh creative spin, even trendy. And because they resemble snowflakes, I’m thinking this is another reason for their increased popularity in the cooler months. If you prefer to take the doily into your own hands (a little DIY’er are you?), perhaps this post will offer you a few affordable ideas where you have an ah-ha moment, “I can do that myself!”. Because in some cases, you certainly can!

Doily Love! {via Inhabitat}

Doily Love!These look pretty simply pinned to a linen board as a decorative touch. This is the work area of Holly Waterfield’s office space in the West Village at her boutique, Camp. Notice the many doilies framed above her desk…

Doily Love!Another modern use for a traditional piece – shape one into
something pretty just like blogger Sweet Paul did here.
Artsy! {via Emma}

While in Europe, I spotted the darling doily on linens and plates, even clothing, and now back in the states, I’m seeing them around town trying to win your favor and love despite how most tend to view them as, well old-fashioned and boring. Ah, c’mon… Show a little doily love. After this post, you may just start rummaging through the attic or hitting the local flea to find a few that you can bring forward into 2007. That’s my goal.

Tips: I think it would be fun to hand sew a few to the bottom edge of a linen curtain (tone on tone is best for this look to stay modern vs. kitschy) or apply a few in random areas on a throw pillow. You can even use the paper ones and with a little spray glue, affix them to the exterior of a glass lantern or candle holder. Candles look so pretty glowing behind their intricate patterns.

Doily Love!Hannover-based German artist Evelyn Hahn incorporates doilies
into her mixed media art, on display here at Gross Stadt Rekorder.

Doily Love!Wrapping paper from Eieio at Rose + Radish, a doily chair by
the uber talented Tara Murray, the many ceramic bowls and plates
from Country Creek Pottery, the gorgeous work of
London artist Mhari McMullan. Are you a believer yet?

Doily Love!Unblossom salt crystal bowl vis Inhabitat.

Doily Love!Of course, you can always count on the craft queen Martha Stewart
for a few good ideas. I like the Lacy Luminarias, the
Lovely Lace DIY idea, doily envelopes, and
the doily-edges shelves – this is a nice idea for a kid’s room.

Doily Love!Thomas Paul is in on this motif, he has some
dinner plates offered over at Velocity Art + Design with
a goth vibe.

Doily Love! Floating vintage doilies framed from Dima Designs,
Small Stump “Tea For Me” Silkscreen print
(she churns out the cutest stuff), and
sweet retro pillows from Dottie Angel.

Doily Love! Or you can be all fancy pants with these 22K gold plates
by notNeutral, also at Velocity.

Doily Love! Modern doily gift tags and cards created by May Third.

Doily Love!

Ink Jet’s badge set in black and white, or a damsels
and doilies key fob from Mary Mo. A black and white
tote made with love by Oh Honey, or how about
a cute wristlet from Generi Online?

Doily Love!

There’s also these black rubber coasters or a set of 8 pink vinyl
doilies – both from Rockett St George, Silver
Elissa Frankino contemporary jewelry with
doily impressions (lovely), and Amy Butler lace work fabric.

Doily Love!Crocheted doily jewelry, and another darling creation from
Dottie Angel: dish towels. Tea towels “Tree House” from
new Scandinavian design store (in the USA – yeah!), Huset.
Love this store. You will too. Contrary uses a doily in her
dyptych painting, “When I Was Happy”.

Doily Love!

Anthropologie is one we can always count on to be in on the
trends with a mug in blue and white, the porcelain doily cake stand
(perfect for cupcakes – make sure you view the up close details,
it’s very sweet), and the bone doily mirrors (these are such a good
example of bringing a traditional design into 2007 in a very grown-up way).

Doily Love! Doilies influence New Hampshire-based artist Gina Adams.

Doily Love! This is perhaps my favorite of the bunch based on the story alone. How cute is this?

“The doily will be handmade by my mother who has been crocheting for over 50 years! She has made nearly 2000 of these doilies and therefore I guarantee the quality. The cost is $15 for up to 8 letters. Each additional letter would be $2.00.”

Available in white, ecru, and cream. I’d like one with my name on it in
pure white to center in an all white frame and mat. Modern yet
extremely old-fashioned at the same time. I’m ordering! I have
a friend with an all-white home, this would be perfect for her
since she relies to much on texture to add warmth to her space.

Doily Love!The Suspect Shop seems to be inspired by our little lace friends too.

Doily Love!First Snow patterned dinnerware just released by Rosanna at Kekk2.

Doily Love! Crate and Barrel has some dessert plates, felt placemats
(I picked one up for my coffee table over the weekend),
and some very dainty glasses with a doily motif.
Perfect for something a little boozey. :)

Psst: Free crochet doily pattern links {via Inhabitat}.

And for all the fashion victims out there, this doily tee from Urbans is a great piece to throw on beneath a cardigan or black velvet blazer.

So now I ask, do you or don’t you desire a doily?

(images: All from those cited in this entry, with the exception of the intro image via Inhabitat.)

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