Monthly Archives

April 2008

Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

April 29, 2008

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.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays 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.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays 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.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays 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. :)

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays 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!

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays 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.)

Arts + Crafts, Shopping + Products, Travel

Anthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?t

April 29, 2008

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.

Anthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?t

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.

Anthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?t

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.

Anthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?tAnthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?tAnthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?tAnthropologie Introduces Nathalie L?t

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)


Thanks, Dooce!

April 29, 2008

I was thrilled when my bloggy friend Erin over at the Unclutterer blog told me about my appearance on Dooce. Yowser!

Thanks, Dooce!
I mean, not just me but also Restless Things, a shop with work by Olivia Jeffries that I really love. Being on Dooce is like having an Oprah moment or something so I’m thrilled. Thank you so much for the mention Heather, and to Erin for the headsup! I’m all “Yay! I’m on Dooce!” today. So cool. Now I know what it feels like when mega bloggers write about me. Happy dance time.

(image from dooce)


What To Do… Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}

April 28, 2008

I can’t believe we’ve finally reached the end of our discussion, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do. I hoped that it helped our dear friend Nathalie over at Design Undercover, the inspiration behind this series, along with Marisa at Creative Thursday and our friend Erin at Design For Mankind and of course, readers out there that may have wondered how creative types find their calling in the design world. It’s a tricky topic and there’s no easy answer. It’s been a lot of fun for me to read all of the submissions from creative types who so willingly offered to help build this series. So a big thanks to everyone for participating!

What To Do... Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}
To conclude the What To Do… series, I’ve asked Heather Moore, a surface pattern designer and writer from South Africa who also goes by the name Skinny LaMinx to offer her insights. This lady has a huge fan base from all over the world, people really seem to respond to her handmade designs that she sells on etsy and many flock to her blog daily to see what she has to talk about next. She also blogs for Elle Decoration South Africa. So with that, let’s chat quickly with Ms. Moore, shall we?

How do you think a person can find their spot in the world of design — your true calling?

I think the first thing to do is to find out what you like and why you like it. This is quite fun because it’s like window shopping, but with a degree of self-awareness. So take note of your own reactions, seeing what it is that attracts you, and start to understand this. By doing this, you’ll get a sense of where you belong in the world of design, and the kinds of other people who will like your things. When I was very attracted to comics, I used to often copy the work of artists that I liked. It was just for my own amusement, but often helped me understand what it was about their lines and shapes that I liked so much, and it improved my own practice enormously. Copying is not encouraged in a professional capacity (obviously), but it can help you grow.

Any other tips?

The next thing is to trust yourself and the things you make, and to stop second-guessing your own decisions. I used to do this, but the point at which I gained the confidence to make my own way was when my husband told me that my first ideas were usually my best. This passing comment made me realise I could trust my decisions and my own sensibility, and through this, my confidence in my own designs grew. Confidence builds on confidence, and the more positive reaction I get to the things I make help me feel like I can take more risks with my designs. It’s a very exciting feeling! Oh, and the other thing is to take risks. I was too scared to spend money on making things happen at first, but when I broke that barrier, it was fantastic, and immediately led to more exciting things.

What To Do... Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}
Do you feel that you found your calling and if so, how did you get there?

I spent so many years doing illustrations for schoolbooks, feeling desperately unhappy about the work I was doing, largely because the final product was almost always cut-rate and shoddy (in my humble view!). Now that I’m able to spend my time making things that I know to be high quality and pleasingly made, I feel a lot more fulfilled, and happy with what I do all day. It’s so hard to answer this question about design being a “true calling”. My Protestant upbringing and living in Africa makes it hard for me to think of this fairly frivolous occupation having such a lofty title! Nonetheless, it is true that my own design work gives me loads of satisfaction and seems to make other people happy, so maybe it is my true calling (although I do still dream of starting a community veggie garden!)

Add any other thoughts that you think may help others?

Finding your spot in the world of design will involve helping others do the same. I have found the experience of others to be so useful to learn from, and am always happy to share my small experience with others. Blogs are one of the most generous media I’ve ever experienced, both in terms of friendliness, helpfulness, and also in the way people share their process and discoveries.

Thank you, Heather!

If anyone would like to ask Heather any questions, please do so by commenting below.

{If you’d like to read words of wisdom from our creative panel, you can click here — I can assure you that the time will be well spent because if you’re searching for your creative calling I think you’ll have a better idea as to how to find it after reading the What To Do… series. I’ll follow up later on with a quick summary highlighting some tips collected from everyone’s entries in case you’d like to hang onto it for your own self-discovery.}

(image top: altered by me, original photo by Ez at Creature Comforts, bottom image from skinny laminx)

Books + Magazines

Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design

April 28, 2008

I recently dug into a new book called Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design by image consultants Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte. As I started into the first section, the ideas sounded vaguely familiar and it was then that I remembered columnist Cynthia King first introduced these ladies to us awhile back in Domino magazine in the May 2007 issue, “Phone date with (style) destiny”. Since I like what I’m reading so far, I’ve decided to make this read the decor8 book of the week.

Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design
I can still recall how intrigued by McCarthy and LaPorte Cynthia was, and their ability to take in all this information about a person and using only two words, describe exactly their style, or as they call it — your Style Statement that defines your authentic self. Self-branding if you will. Cynthia is Cultivated Wonder.

“In a culture obsessed with image and materialism, it can be hard to feel like yourself. Amidst the craze of ?bigger, better, faster?, living real takes some determination. All too often, one?s best self gets buried beneath conformity and confusion. You wonder if the real you?the life-loving, juicy, most dynamic parts of you?can be excavated, re-invented or finally pulled together all in one place.” – Style Statement.

For instance, author McCarthy calls herself Refined Treasure. She has styled and designed homes, hotels, and magazines. LaPorte’s style statement is Sacred Dramatic. She brands companies for a living. You can learn more about the authors on their website, Carrie & Danielle, Inc. I often think I’m too complicated to be described in only two words, which is why I purchased Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design because I’d like to see if after reading this book I can actually do it. The book is loaded with profound (sometimes funny) questions and mini tests, if anything I’m up for a little self-discovery and fun. I’d even love to have a phone consultation with them as did Muse Marian, wouldn’t that be fun?

What can self-branding do for you? These ladies feel that it can help you to be more confident, make wiser decisions, and even dress and decorate with more confidence. In other words, to be more authentic — to be exactly who you are without fear, to live your life in full color.

Has anyone read this book yet or have an interest in uncovering your Style Statement? Your thoughts on this?

(image by holly becker for decor8)

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