Monthly Archives

February 2009

Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

February 24, 2009

It’s never a challenge for me to locate gorgeous handmade work online, it is abundant! Would you like to see what’s on the decor8 radar this week? Polaroid collage, print your own party, products that look to be straight out of Sweden, felt photography and boho jewelry are a few of my favorite things…

Megan Auman in Pennsylvania is so very talented, I mean look at her creations! They are what you’d imagine viewing at the Design House Stockholm or displayed at the ICFF. Her new home collection is all about openwork floral patterns and metal with most being made from laser-cut steel in her latest pattern, small cluster, and finished in either matte black or white powder-coat. (Powder-coat is like paint, only much more durable.) The storage basket, for my ever growing magazine pile, is my favorite of this collection — I can’t take my eyes off of it! I’d gladly own the pendant light too. Amazing! {blog} {flickr}

Lisa Teso is a creative mom who lives in Massachusetts and has a shop called Trampoline featuring her original Polaroid collages. Lisa sums up her unique work nicely, “Original collage created from too pretty to throw away Polaroid cast offs. They are studies in color, texture and nuance…peeks into everyday life.”

Kima is the founder of Kup Kup Land who is originally from Barcelona now living in Athens. Her background is in graphic design and illustration though she loves to experiment with felt and photography too. She combines her felt creations with photography and offers unique prints. Not limiting herself to only wool, she has a fondness for tiny plastic animals and pastries as well (tiny animals are a current trend in independant photography, have you noticed?).

Wiyomu Jewelry designs pretty necklances and earrings as a hobby that seems to cater to the dreamer — the bohemian girl at heart, the eclectic collector, the flea market junkie. So feminine and soft! {flickr}

Happy Papers is a good name for this shop as it’s hard not to be joyous looking at all of this red and blue! Nesting dolls, owls, sheep, so many sweet themes to choose from. This shop features only work that you can download and print, which is great for those looking to save money and have instant gratification. Party kits, stationary sets, cards, tags, a to do list, bookmarks, birthday sets and more!

Thanks for joining me this week for another Etsy Take Five Tuesdays!

(images linked to their sources above)






Arts + Crafts

My Fine Garden: One Week Sale

February 24, 2009

My Fine Garden by photographer Shanon Gass has a great sale this week only on all photographs in her Paper N Stitch shop — buy one, get one (equal or lesser value) for 50% off! If these don’t say Spring… nothing does!

I try to write here as often as possible about things I have seen and touched in person and/or about ones that I already own because I’m beginning to sense that this may matter more to more to those finding a bulk of their products online. From a personal perspective I want to know that what my friends are suggesting they have experienced, touched, or maybe even owned at one time (or currently) so that I can count on their product reviews to some extent. I think this is even more important in these economic times in order to avoid purchasing things that may disappoint us. I’m not putting this out there as something other bloggers should do, of course not as I’m just one person who absolutely does not set blog standards, but I am putting it out there as something I’m personally working harder to do going forward — making decor8 even more intimate and closer to home for me so that I continue to enjoy writing here each day and to make your experience when visiting one that you can continue to trust and enjoy. Of course this may not apply to all products that I feature, particularly art and Etsy finds because it would be impossible, but I will make an effort as I write posts to mention if I myself have had personal experience with what I’m writing about so you’ll know. Sound good?

With that being said, I happen to own a few of Shanon’s prints and can truly say that each day when I see them on display in my workspace they remind me to keep it simple and to enjoy the beauty in the mundane taking note of all the little details that make life so sweet!

(images from shanon gass)






Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Artist Nancy Tobin

February 24, 2009

Oh Nancy Tobin what you do to me! Nancy is a contemporary visual artist who just launched her new website displaying her gorgeous work — what a dreamy spot to land on first thing in the morning amidst vibrant, happy colors and shapes, flowers and fanciful swirls.

Nancy is another artist that I have on my list for the time if and when I open a storefront. Here’s just a glimpse of her work above, nine pieces in acrylic and painted paper collage. If your budget doesn’t allow you to own an original yet, you can always purchase a fine art print from her here on Etsy!

(images from nancy tobin)






Arts + Crafts, Interviews

Meet Squam Art Workshops

February 24, 2009

I am so pleased to introduce you to the founder and director of Squam Art Workshops, Elizabeth MacCrellish, who lives in Sandwich, New Hampshire. If you already know her then this may not be an introduction but rather a nice opportunity to get to know her better. When I first heard about Squam Art Workshops (SAW) last year and that it’s a local art retreat I had to pinch myself — a creative haven right here in New Hampshire? I don’t have to hop a plane and head west? Yay! With a year of SAW behind her I thought it would be a great time to catch up with Elizabeth to not only learn more about her background but to see what she enjoys most about her newly formed retreat, where the idea came from in the first place and what one can expect from the whole SAW experience. Lets get started!

decor8: Hi Elizabeth! It’s nice to have an opportunity to talk to you today about Squam. What exactly is SAW?

Elizabeth: It’s a retreat located at Rockywold-Deephaven Camps in Holderness, NH. From the time you arrive Wednesday to the time you leave Sunday, there’s no cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, no driving kids to practice and all meals are taken care of for you. There are workshops all day with spectacular teachers to indulge your creative spirit. Squam attracts the full spectrum of attendees– we have working artists who are looking to recharge and gain fresh inspiration for their work as well as people from all walks of life who do not consider themselves artists but cherish the opportunity to mess around and play with stuff– and lots of people in-between those two extremes. And, on top of all that, the people who come have the most extraordinary energy so the whole gathering becomes the event itself.

decor8: What inspired you to create an art retreat?

Elizabeth: In 2006 I attended Artfest which absolutely changed my life. I have written about this many times, so I am just going to link to one of my rambles here.  In a nutshell, it opened me up. It connected me with my tribe and set me back on my true path. I launched Squam because I wanted someone else to have that same experience. And, it turns out, quite a few people did.

decor8: All of our past decisions place us where we are today so I’m curious to hear about your path. What is your professional background?

Elizabeth: Well, unlike most creative types who zero in on a career soon after high school and stick with that one thing their entire professional lives my professional trajectory, as it were, has been rather erratic. For a number of years I taught French and coached lacrosse at Holderness School and then did a stint of writing including publishing a book, Dorm Room Feng Shui. I also spent seven years getting a taste of corporate life as the commercialization manager for EFI, which was an exceedingly interesting experience. Today, I teach writing at The New Hampshire Institute of Art and it is hands-down the best job I have ever had; I absolutely love it.

decor8: How much does it cost to stay at SAW and take classes there?

Elizabeth: $890 all-inclusive, room & board or, $480 if you want to stay off campus.

(Where the magic happens and founder Elizabeth MacCrellish)

decor8: If someone lives locally and wants to just show up for a day or a single workshop, can they?

Elizabeth: No, I’m sorry to say– it’s a retreat. We’re not set up to offer one-day classes.

decor8: What is your personal mission with this project?

Elizabeth: Well, I’m a little bit behind in writing our mission statement– I am gonna sit down and do that one of these days. Meantime, I just want people to come, have a good time, and keep the high spirit and creative energies flowing into their daily life long after the weekend is over.

decor8: How do you locate the artists that you invite to participate as instructors?

Elizabeth: I seek them out. Some I know through attending Artfest, some I know cause of blogging, some are referred to me by friends. It’s a mix.

decor8: What is the rooming situation like?

Elizabeth: It’s champagne in a tin cup. If you like pine trees, being on directly on a pristine lake surrounded by mountains, and starry nights– you’ll probably like this, but it’s definitely not for everyone. The cabins were built at the turn-of-the century and each one is unique. Every one has an ice box and the ice is cut from the lake each winter. Yet, all the modern conveniences are in place including wireless internet, should you want to keep hooked up to the outside world.

decor8: Where do most of your students come from?

Elizabeth: Last year, people came from 27 states and two eastern provinces of Canada. This year, we’re already expanding beyond that and have attendees coming from Switzerland, Mexico, Vancouver and the UK and registration only opened at the beginning of February. It kind of blows my mind.

decor8: What makes SAW so special in your eyes?

Elizabeth:We receive such wonderful letters, mothers and daughters who come together, old friends who meet up here after not seeing each other since college, husbands who joined their wife here last year but this year are going to come and do the workshops, too — people write us the most BEAUTIFUL stories and it pretty much knocks me off my feet. I honestly feel so deeply grateful and privileged to participate in the creation of this gathering where people get to have such extraordinary experiences (read the raves here).

decor8: How do you spread the seeds and get SAW out there?

Elizabeth: Word of mouth, baby. Thank heavens for bloggers. And to YOU, Holly. My deep thanks to you for sharing information about Squam at your beautiful site! Looking forward to the day when YOU are here bringing your magic to Squam!!

Thank you so much Elizabeth for this terrific insight into your inspirational program. I wish you much success and joy!

(photos: Elizabeth MacCrellish and Denise Andrade of Boho Photography)






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