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Essimar {paper goods}

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)

Posted in Stationery on December 20, 2007

Furniture Finds {on etsy}

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.

Now it’s time for retro modern galore over at Lunar Lounge Design. My favorite is the Leentu lounge chair because I love the lines and that it’s available in cream.

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)

Posted in Etsy Faves, Objects on December 19, 2007

PhatSheep {textiles}

Suzanne Shearer of PhatSheep in Scotland sent me some beautiful images of her work today, she’s totally going on my list of resources for textiles. You can see why…

The talented Suzanne is a mom and a textile designer, she blogs, and she runs her studio out of her home in Scotland. How’s that for girl power?! I enjoy her simple clean aesthetic and I like seeing plum, lavender, and turquoise living together in some of her prints so nicely, like on this duck tote below. I know Suzanne doesn’t need tips from me, but I totally see her extending some of these patterns into homewares, like pillow covers, table linens, etc. because I think they’d be a big hit. And did you notice her seaweed scarf? It’s amazing.

If there’s something here that you like it’s painless to purchase from her to because, surprise surprise, she’s not some remote store in the corner of Scotland, her business is on Etsy in addition to her website and such. She’ll also ship worldwide, another perk. I’m not sure why I’ve not heard of PhatSheep before, she’s been on Etsy since May and I would think someone with this level of talent would have been blogged to death by now. Well, time to change things because her creations deserve our attention so spread the word ya’ll.

(images from phatsheep)

Posted in Etsy Faves, Objects on December 18, 2007

Etsy: Take Five Tuesdays

It’s time for Take Five Tuesdays. I always look forward to pulling together this round up of things I find appealing over on etsy, it’s quite fun. I’m trying to mix it up a bit this week by bringing in a little more color this week. Hope you like my picks as much as I do!

First up is an amazing west coast artist, this time it’s animals and botanicals photographed by Elizabeth Soule of Portland, OR. Elizabeth wrote to me back in November while I was still in Germany, and I’ve been watching her work ever since and I like everything I see from this creative lady. I want to order some cards from her today, for sure. I adore the use of plastic animals with living flowers, it’s an unexpected combination that somehow really works. I’m transported by the colors and composition, soft and very natural, dreamy. After arranging this little collage I noticed something though… I think I have a crush on the little deer and flower image as he popped up in 3 out of 4 images. Ah so cute.

Here’s another Portland artist, her name is Lucia Johnson and she paints on windows, isn’t this neat? Again, lots of color and fun images. Lucia has been painting for years but only recently in ’02 did she develop her technique on windows. Lucia works as a full-time artist selling both originals and prints on etsy and in shows in her local hood. Let’s hear it for artists making a living. Starving artists no more!

Next up is graphic designer Angela Liguori of Carta, Inc. Her work is bit more subtle than the others shown here today, but I have to give a little love to a local and Angela is so very talented. A Boston transplant from Rome, she owns a graphic design studio specializing in custom paper goods, including hand-bound books, cotton ribbons imported from Italy, and beautiful handmade books printed in a limited edition of 80.

Recently I discovered a Seattle artist and her fully saturated work, her name is Mary Maki Rae and it was Imelda who wrote about her. Blue Tambourine is my favorite, especially after seeing it laid out on Imelda’s table (she ordered it), it’s so captivating. I can’t help but think of my friend Marisa from Creative Thursday, she’s such a fun-loving person and she adores bright colors and unique work, I have a feeling she’ll like this work very much (do you, Marisa?). Mary is best known for her limited edition serigraph prints, paintings and children books. They have an almost folkloric vibe to them, somewhat Nordic I think, just with a palette that feels very Moroccan or Russian to me. Such a talented lady! {via Imeldagoze}

And I can’t forget the lovely Ink Jet, this lady is so sweet and when she wrote in asking me for a little nod here on decor8, I couldn’t resist her sweet email. I’ve had her shop bookmarked as a favorite for a long time now, way before her email. Ink Jet is based over in the UK and has some of the sweetest badges, pocket mirrors, and magnets. As a die-hard Smiths/Morrissey fan, I especially like the Meat is Murder magnets. I’m thinking that if you have a shop on etsy, or you just suppport ’em like I do, you may want to own one of these badges and put it on your messenger bag or something. Then when people ask what your badge is all about, you can hand them your etsy shop card. Ha! {insert evil marketing grin here.}

If you missed past Take Five Tuesdays, click here to learn about other faves of mine.

(images from etsy stores linked above.)

Posted in Etsy Faves on December 18, 2007


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