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Enfin, La Voila!

I found Marijke Janssens and her shop Enfin, La Voila! today while looking to restock my quickly fading supply of stationery and have to share her with those unfamiliar with her work. Marijke is a graphic designer who is based in the countryside just outside of Brussels, Belgium. Doesn’t that alone sound glorious? I could just end this post right now and I bet you’d already be left with nothing but happy feelings. Imagine spending the day traipsing down country roads in beautiful Belgium…

Marijke uses her surroundings as inspiration, her life translates into her work and you can just feel the joy. Not only do I love the graphics, but I also like how happy and all skippy-like I feel while looking at her designs. You know that feeling when you want to put daisies in your hair and run through a field in your favorite cotton dress? Please say you understand this because if not, then I’m a confirmed nutcase. :) When I look at Enfin, La Voila! this feeling of childhood, freedom, and joy washes over me. They are just so pretty. If I had a store… I know complete this sentence for me… I would totally stock these.

(images from enfin la voila!)

Posted in etsy, stationery on April 30, 2008

Blogs & Etc.

I want to get a little something out in the open because a post that I wrote over at Real Simple hurt some of my fellow blogger friends and I feel the need to clear things up. To quote a blogger who wrote in recently, “But you have to know that publicly posting your top-ten list was hurtful to the dozens, hundreds, of other bloggers out there who are pouring their hearts and souls and untold hours into what they do. I’ve since heard from several of them who told me that they felt really hurt by that post, too.”

Here’s the post that hurt some of my friends.


By publicly posting the blogs that I read daily I was not trying to discredit other blogs that are out there. I do read other blogs on a weekly basis via my RSS feeds that were not mentioned. On a daily basis I’m clicking around on the various comments that are posted on decor8 to see where they are coming from which leads me to dozens of beautiful blogs spanning every imaginable topic. In fact, I bookmark many blogs and save them in a special file on my desktop and they each eventually become the Blog of the Week.

I know that all bloggers have an important voice and that everyone has something valuable to say because it’s you — your voice — and you are important to me and all of your loyal readers, too.

I’m sorry that my words hurt and made some bloggers feel excluded because perhaps your blog was not listed. I never meant to exclude anyone, I was just honestly revealing the blogs that I enjoy reading, at least this month. Ask me next month and who knows, I might be hot on Cute Overload again.

Want to know a funny story behind this? I wrote what I did in reaction to a decor8 post on the topic, Is there such a thing as too much inspiration? where 63 of you commented and many expressed how blog reading can be draining and that many are trying to cut back or stop reading blogs altogether. When I read that I thought that I needed to some how help. The mission behind my words was to show blog readers that they don’t have to stop reading them, but instead to try narrowing down the list if one is feeling overwhelmed. Read only the ones that ‘click’ with them and help them to see their way through the smog that can appear when one feels like they can no longer be creative due to over-exposure. I thought I was being encouraging when instead, I ended up helping blog readers and hurting blog writers.

So with that, please forgive me and know that I’m here to support everyone the best way that I can. But I also can’t write as though I’m walking on eggshells. I have to be authentic and honest, that’s what I think is sometimes missing in society today. People are afraid of hurting others so much that everything just comes out so fake and kiss kiss and never real or genuine. I have realized though that there is such a thing as ‘seasoning’ and I need to exhibit more tact and season my words a bit more than I do. I promise I will work on this because the feelings of my blogger friends are worth considering.

I know some will tell me that this post was completely unnecessary but I’m a small business and my heart is in this — if I said something that hurt or offended my blog friends, I need to step up and admit it and apologize. Thanks for giving me a moment to address this. :) Again, I am very sorry.

xo,
Holly

(card shown from turtle papers)

Posted in inspiration, small business on April 30, 2008

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Oh Etsy, how you continue to inspire me with your thousands of new stores popping up every millisecond. But the time! The time! Where does it go? It takes hours to scour Etsy for finds that I write about in this column, but I don’t even mind because I’m always ready for a little treasure hunt. Here’s what’s on my radar this week friends — hope you love ‘em as much as I do.

Dandee Designs has some darling finds, I like their crafty feel and how well made everything is. The Mini Spring in a Can kit is super cute, complete with burlap and pom pom trim and if your garden doesn’t grow, you have a cute pencil cup for your office.

I love the Big Idea notebook from Chewing the Cud in San Francisco, along with their old-meets-modern design aesthetic and cards — I really like vintage typewriters so I can never see too many of them as a design motif. So cute.

If you have a crush on chairs, you’ll delight in the work of Maria Janosko. Her current chair series is excellent but then again I’d have a house full of chairs if only my husband would allow it. :)

Nina Van de Goor in the Netherlands, whom I just love (her home is gorgeous), just opened a brand new Etsy shop where she currntly offers her ceramics, so fluid, sculptural, the shapes are organic and lovely in pure white. But more is to come, including screenprints and collage. Congratulations, Nina!

Turkish designer Irem Petek Guven has a store packed with handmade jewelry, placemats, and more. Colorful, fun, happy, and definitely unique. Great work.

If you’ve missed previous Take Five Tuesdays please click here to see them.

(images linked above to source.)

Posted in etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on April 29, 2008

Anthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?t

I’m intrigued by the work of Nathalie L?t?, a 44-year-old artist and writer living in Paris, born to a German mother and a Chinese father. Lete is an icon in Japan, Japanese youth really appreciate her aesthetic as most of her work is inspired by her childhood and they find it very tender and Parisian. Her work reminds me a little of that of Niki de Saint Phalle, one of my favorite artists.

In Japan, her designs are distributed under the name Chat Chien, perhaps you’ve heard of it before? In addition to Japan, you may know her from her collaborations in the past with the Designers Guild in London, and her designs for the French ceramics studio Astier de Vilatte, where her pieces range from $890-6,200 for ceramics, lithographs, and hand-tufted wool rugs. For the first time ever in the United States, Anthropologie has commissioned her work to bring a broader audience to her style with the work of Nathalie L?t? appearing on cotton voile bedding, plates, ceramic drawer pulls, vases, and rugs.

Nathalie L?t? has her first U.S. exhibition at Anthropologie in New York City at 50 Rockefeller Plaza now through June 20, 2008. You can also find these items in their retail stores nationwide and online via their website. I think it’s exciting that large companies like Anthropologie are promoting the works of artists and I’m certain since we have a demand that the trend will continue in this direction.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of what’s on view at their NYC store.

Love those rugs! In addition to Anthropologie (more to come), you can also purchase some of her work at La Marelle.

Side topic: I’m still pushing for Anthro to publish a book — we need an Anthro Visual Display DIY book release from them because they have to share with us all their unique display ideas and crafts that they create in their stores. It’s all too amazing and pretty to not pull together for a book, don’t you think?

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, shopping, travel on April 29, 2008

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