My creative wheels are spinnin’ this morning, especially after seeing the imaginative art journals that mixed media artist Patty Van Dorin from River Bend Ranch in Texas creates and sells in her etsy shop. Would you like to see some of her creative journals? Look at this stitch work and these found papers — such a nice combination of old and new.
The moment I saw these this morning I thought about my own books and folders (here, here and here) and how I should really give making a few of these more artsy journals a try. I collect piles of paper and tear sheets, ribbons and clippings, fabric and paint swatches, it would be a perfect way for me to use ALL of these things in one place but also to have a little art project to enjoy at home when I’m not feeling particularly interested in having a rhyme or a reason — or even when I am interested in perhaps pulling a book together with a goal in mind which I’ll get to in a moment. Anyway, when I make my journals, I don’t add anything other than papers, photos, etc. — things that are flat in other words. Seeing Patty’s work inspires me to try adding fabric, buttons, and other more bulky items to my books next time.
Her work also reminds me of how much I love the idea of handmade books, especially since we’re living in a digital age and with Kindle and all of these other gadgets, I almost want to rebel and encourage book making because in my opinion, there is nothing like the pleasure of holding a book, smelling it, turning physical pages. So with Patty and her book making, you could take this idea and use it for your next design project.
- If you are an artist, you could collect all of your inspirations in a single journal that you would like to inspire your next piece of art.
- If you’re an interior designer or decorator your next collection could evolve by keeping an inspiration book like this. A few of my friends, who are interior designers, carry around such books with fabric and wallpaper samples spilling out… this is a similar concept only you will adhere things to each page and keep the book well after the project you’re working on has ended.
- Maybe you are designing a room or your new home, this idea may also work.
- Going to a flea market? Bring a smaller notebook with you that is easy to carry around with all of your color swatches, inspirations, fabrics, clipped very small but pasted nicely into a little book so that, as you shop around, you can reference it often for inspiration and to stay on track.
- You can even try this out if you are a jewelry artist and are trying to pull together some inspiration for your next collection.
- Getting married? Why not collect everything in one book. What a nice piece to keep long after the wedding is over to remind you of the very special planning period that you experienced.
Another thing that I love about a book doubling as more of a traditional inspiration board found on a studio wall, is that you will always have the book. Once you remove things from your inspiration board, unless you’ve photographed it of course, you have no history really that you can touch and feel. You will always have your book to refer to for inspiration and to ‘remember when’, it becomes a piece of your history, your life.
If you aren’t feeling all that creative, you can also purchase Patty’s handmade books in her etsy store. Thank you Patty for giving us all some creative inspiration today and for putting your very special work out there to be admired and to share with others. If you’d like to know more about Patty, her art and her process please visit her blog here.
(artwork and images by patty van dorin)
I’ll be frank, I don’t knit and I honestly can’t picture myself as someone who will anytime soon because it takes tremendous talent and patience and that’s already a sign – I may not qualify! But I love, and I mean love, knitted goods and yarn. I look at blankets like this one from Cosas in Sweden or even this scarf from Papa Stour in Scotland I feel positively smitten. Whenever I’m around yarn in all its glorious colors I experience a certain weakness (Oscar Wilde once said I can resist anything except temptation - that’s me), like when I spot cupcakes or puppies or pretty books and magazines. When I was single, I had crushes constantly on every man with either glasses or an accent, if they were English with dark hair and blue eyes with a gorgeous flat in London, all the better… he he. I digress. Point is, this cupcake, puppies, pretty boys and pretty books helplessness that I’ve explained is the same that I felt a few days ago when I came across the Spring/Summer issue of Debbie Bliss – knitting magazine. I’ll share just a glimpse here to entice you… Gosh you’d think I was selling something but I’m not, I’m merely trying to rope you in to my magazine obsession and the fact that I am now having to justify why a girl like me who does not knit is purchasing, in fact, a knitting magazine. Oh help me.
The photographs inside are so lovely and I especially enjoyed her personal favorites spotlighted throughout like fabrics, books, collections, recipes… It’s all very sweet, charming and of course – girly. All of the photography, I believe, was shot by English photographer Richard Burns. Most of the styling is by Julie Mansfield. The layout of the magazine is beautiful, very clean and uncomplicated with an attention to details like pretty little drawings, subtle patterned backgrounds, pretty font styles and colors (mostly pink, gray and blue), and there’s even a travel diary documenting some of the spots that Debbie recently visited like Florence and Bath, England. I also like that the magazine is only produced quarterly and that the price per issue is $8, this may seem expensive but it’s not consider that the issue is so carefully put together and includes many great patterns in the back. I’d rather have quality over quantity any day, I want work I can feel, believe in, connect to… and for me to connect to a knitting magazine, a subject I honestly have no interest in, makes me believe even more in the power of beautiful, well-crafted, things. If they are a work from the heart, they often reach out beyond even their niche market to attract others for reasons that do not even have to do with their overall subject.
I like how the magazine is written, how it feels, the size (it’s slightly wider than your standard magazine) and the purpose behind it — to help people craft their own gorgeous things using yarn. It’s getting people in touch with a hobby that can bestow peace and pleasure, but also in the end, a functional item with value. Beautiful!
For all of you Aussie interiors mag lovers you will be happy to know that the fab Inside Out magazine now has a blog. Did you know that? I heard from an editor there just today who pointed me to their new blog which I thought was really nice. I remember that feeling of being a new blogger and reaching out to others showing your site for the very first time, it’s hard sometimes even if you’re a big magazine. Maybe even especially if you’re a big magazine. I mean, so much expectation to live up to. Thankfully for those of us outside of Australia who may not read Inside Out regularly, we feel lucky to catch a tiny glimpse of the magazine and if it’s tearsheets on a blog from time-to-time then so be it! Speaking of, here are a few pages from a recent Inside Out issue where they feature artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove.
I really like this lady and her art, doesn’t she look so friendly and creative? She also looks like a lovely mother and seeing her work proudly displayed in her home makes me happy because I think it’s great for her family to live around her passion like that. Inside Out had the honor of interviewing her and shared their conversation with their blog readers here. I could sit with someone like this for hours though I must admit at first I’d feel slightly intimidated by her lifestyle & talent wouldn’t you? But it would not hold me back from accepting her invitation! I think the first half hour would be me seated there just drooling on the floor.
In addition to Lizzie, I also learned about a company called Lightly in Melbourne from the Inside Out blog. They have the most lovely objects on their website, please take a moment to look at it because I know you will like it very much. I found these butterfly saucers which can be mounted to the wall as art and they’re a new favorite mine because they are delicate and feminine. If you don’t fancy them you may find another product better suited to your tastes as they have a wide range of all sorts of beautiful things at Lightly. I really love butterflies… So soothing and to me they represent such freedom, spontaneity, and gentleness. Did you know that in some cultures they are a symbol for long life, acceptance of all creatures, martial bliss, the necessity of a secure home, strength and persistence, success, the overcoming of obstacles and hardships, happiness, freedom, individuality and more. Interesting, yes?
(images all via the inside out blog)
Ready for a little Take Five lovin’ this week? I sure am! Letterpress, beeswax, photography, baked goods and bags are on the menu. There is also a special discount and a bonus #6 shop!
Featured Artist: Jane Heller
#1 Jane Heller, a photographer in Montreal, is offering decor8 readers a special for one week only on her photographs that is valid from April 14 – 21st. If you purchase something from her etsy shop she will give you 20% off just for being a decor8 reader. Isn’t this nice? I think so too. Just mention it in your notes to seller that you are a decor8 reader and wait for her to send you a revised invoice. Thank you, Jane!
#2 Lovely letterpress, especially fancy and dressed up, from Tallu-lah in San Francisco. Perfect for the soon-to-wed crowd, there are even dressy-masculine cards for men. Nice touch!
#3 Shannon Newby from Newby Art is an artist based in Atlanta who recently returned from a show and has a unique series of encaustic work called “Communitea” that explores relationships and the desire to be known. Shannon puts tea on a whole ‘nother level! This is a thoughtful way to recycle; I think we all have a special spot in our hearts for artists who explore new things whether that be mediums, techniques, materials… I especially love seeing everyday items being used in art, it pushes me to think outside of the box, what about you?
#4 Jujie in Toronto makes some great bags for girls who want a little girly mixed in with clean & modern design. I love the way she gives ruffles a hip edge and that her bags are quite affordable. I’d definitely own one of these!
#5 Whimsy & Spice is a small family-owned business in Brooklyn that you’re certainly find hard to resist. My husband, who was born and raised in Germany, is extremely particular when it comes to baked goods. He won’t touch a donut or any of the fluffy puffy* stuff he often finds here (*his words, not mine). That is why I do a lot of baking, there’s not much here in New Hampshire that he finds even closely resembling baked goods back in Germany. When I’m not baking for him, I’m ordered from companies in different parts of the country to satisfy his little sweet tooth. That’s why I’m thrilled that I found an etsy shop that sells baked goods only these aren’t just any cookies or brownies — they are ones he’ll actually eat! Ha! For the past month he’s been enjoying his W&S treats and let me tell you, for a wife with a picky husband this shop is a dream come true. If you are particular about your baked goods (in other words you will only spend your calories on the best) then you will adore this shop.
Bonus shop: So She Sews creates darling little flowers out of fabric. Such sweetness for the Spring.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my round up today! See you tomorrow friends. :)
(images linked to their sources above)
It’s time to announce the winner of the Serena & Lily book and market sling giveaway. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this fun giveaway, I love these slings and the book is just so inspiring for new parents… Anyway, I’ve selected three winners using random.org and they are:
Congratulations to #47 Trina, #52 Desiree Fawn and #121 Jen, I will contact each of you soon to find out the pattern and size (S,M or L) of the market sling you would like so please take a look at your choices so you can let me know.
I’d like to thank all who participated in this giveaway and to Serena & Lily for sponsoring it — each generous prize packaged is worth between $140-160!
(image: serena & lily)