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Tiny Showcase: Spring Collection

Do you have a favorite artist that you follow? One lady that I’m a big fan of is painter Jennifer Davis, I own 3 of her paintings and a print. She emailed me a few weeks ago to give me a tip that on March 20th “Mississippi” would be available as a print at Tiny Showcase as part of their Spring seasonal collection so I marked my calendar! And what’s the date today? It’s the first day of Spring and the Tiny Showcase Spring collection just rolled out.

Jennifer Davis’ “Mississippi”, Josh Keyes’s “Weaving”, Nigel Peake’s “The Town Spring Found”, and Jack Long’s “He Knew That He Had To Leave” prints are available for $30 each right here.

All four prints in the collection are strong, and not exactly ‘tiny’, they’re larger than most of the limited run prints that are usually offered. In addition to Davis’ work, I’m drawn towards Nigel Peake, his illustrations of towns and cities are very interesting.

10% from the sale of each print will go to the National Resource Defense Council, one of the nation?s most effective environmental action organizations.

Tiny Showcase also ships international.

(images from tiny showcase)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on March 20, 2008

Turning Patterns Into Product {open discussion}

Samantha Hahn is a Brookyln-based artist that I’m a big fan of, especially since purchasing some work from her recently and seeing it in person. She’s so talented, her splashy hues jump from the page. So when she wrote to me recently asking about pattern design and turning patterns into products (other than prints), I wasn’t sure where to direct her. I’m asked this question quite regularly by readers and I often feel awkward answering since I have little experience in this area. Time to change that with your help!

Patterns designed by Hahn.

So the question that Samantha and so many other designers out there have is: How do you take your patterns to the next level — from the drawing board to an actual product — textiles, wallpaper, gift wrap, etc?

When I think about companies like Amy Butler Design or Hable Construction, I see amazingly talented people who do most of the work in-house and then send it out to a mill to be produced. I think the Hable girls use a textile mill in Massachusetts, I know Fall River, MA has lots of mills that people work with but I have no idea how to even contact one and what the initial investment would be. I’m sure pricing varies due to quality and the amount of colors used. A one color textile would be less costly to produce than a multi-color pattern. And if you wanted to go eco-friendly that would be even more expensive.

Then there are designer who produce patterns and send them off to a licensing company and they do the rest for you. The rep may come back to you with news that a card manufacturer would like to purchase your image or a store like Urban Outfitters would like to turn your work into art on canvas and at that point, you negotiate a price and all the details around the product. But I’m going to stop talking now because I really don’t know that much about this.

More patterns designed by Hahn.

I know Marisa Haedike has some experience in this area, as does Julia Rothman, Joy of Nantaka Joy, and Meg Mateo Ilasco so maybe these ladies can jump in and give some advice. Not to put anyone on the spot, I just look at these ladies as quite helpful and they have had a lot of success building their business taking patterns they’ve designed to the next level. Maybe they have some suggestions, links, or a few good books to suggest. Ashley G of Kitty Genius wrote about her recent experience with Urban Outfitters, AshleyG and Drew: Taking it to the Next Level While Staying Small, over on Etsy. Perhaps her words will be helpful to some of you.

I invite all readers to jump in if you can help by commenting below. Also ask any questions you may have on this topic in the comments section, too.

(images from samantha hahn)

Posted in small business on March 19, 2008

Cookie Magazine Home Tours

Speaking of design in Berlin, check out this Berlin apartment via Cookie magazine. Michele Reeb and family occupies a beautiful apartment there that I just love. These are very typical apartments in northern Germany (I’ve not been to the south, so I can’t comment as to what they are like in say, Munich), high ceilings, spacious, wood or pergo flooring, large windows. It’s what the average Bostonian or New Yorker could only dream of finding. And these apartments are so affordable which makes everything that much more appealing. Here’s a glimpse of Reeb’s space below, you’ll have to click over to Cookie magazine to see the rest.


Cookie has a slew of inspiring home tours from their readers up on their website if you have a moment to browse them today. They have a nice collection over there.

Elisabeth Dunker’s home in Gothenburg, Sweden.

I especially enjoyed the five-story pagoda home of John and Cynthia Hardy in Bali (that bed!), Elisabeth Dunker’s kids’ rooms in Gothenburg, Dutch bag designer Esther Veereschild’s place in the Netherlands, and Stephanie Congdon Barnes in Portland.

Links to this artwork here.

One thing I notice in all the stylish homes I come across is a beautiful array of artwork in kids’ rooms. After noticing this for a long time now I decided to write about it today over at Real Simple so if you’re interested in reading about Art in Kids’ Rooms I’m sure you’ll find this helpful.

(images from cookie magazine)

Posted in Home Tours, kids on March 19, 2008

I Heart Berlin

I was reading I Heart Berlin this morning since blogger Frank wrote in introducing himself and his blog to me. I’m trying to tap into what’s going on in German design right now so that I’m up to speed when I spend the summer there. Here are a few good links that I found totally worthy of sharing, I think you’ll like them to. Especially helpful if you’ll be in Berlin anytime soon.

First up, a modern take on a classic piggy bank. Theo the pig was designed by Morphorm and is available in white, white with blue, white with gold, and more that you can view right here. American store owners should totally look into bringing some of these over here as I’m sure these pigs would fly off the shelf.

Here’s a cool shoe store/coffee bar called Latte Wie Hose, a play on a German expression “Jacke Wie Hose” which is like saying Nobody cares or It doesn’t matter it’s all the same, not in a negative sense but more in a laid back no worries kind of way. Perhaps it’s also like the American expression, “6 of one half dozen of another”. I guess since they sell coffee, they’ve exchanged Jacke with Latte. In German there’s a lot of expressions like this which as a student of German, I find frustrating but oddly fun at the same time since I love word games. And did you know that it’s becoming increasingly popular to add a coffee bar to a clothing or home design store in northern Germany? I absolutely love the idea. Do you remember when we toured La Merceria in Toronto here on decor8? It’s part design store part coffee shop. I’d love to see this become a trend here in America — cafe meets design store. :)

The Lido Creative Fair (info in English here at Berlinista) kicks off on May 4th followed by the DMY International Design Festival Berlin a few weeks later which is an experimental platform for fresh new talent. At the Arena Berlin young designers will showcase their work from May 21-25, 2008.

Frank at I Heart Berlin interviewed the American shop owner of Barcomi?s Kaffeer?sterei, Cynthia Barcomi. She owns a popular deli in Berlin Mitte that I have to visit because not only do I love that neighborhood but her cakes look amazing. Read his interview here.

In June, a monthly creative fair called TrendMafia will begin in Berlin showcasing art, jewelry, fashion, photography and much more over in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area at the RAW in hall 40 located at Revaler Str. 99. The dates scheduled for ‘o8 are: June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, and October 4th. Details in German here. I’m planning to hit the August 2nd event.

03 Berlin is a craft store that has a rotating gallery, meeting space available to rent, and there’s even a little garden in the rear of the store where you can hold events. I’m so glad that Frank blogged about this place, I have to check it out as there are lots of things in the photos I’ve never seen before.

Frank also talked about a shop in Berlin called Redspective that I’d not heard about before, so I’ll be adding that to my Berlin shop links in the right column. Great blog, Frank. If you are interested in viewing more Berlin-related stuff, click here.

(images from I Heart Berlin)

Posted in blogs, shopping, travel on March 19, 2008

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