Monthly Archives

May 2009

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

May 5, 2009

Pulling together my etsy finds for the week is always such a highlight for me. I’m both touched and humbled by the amount of talent out there. Crafting has always been such a huge part of my life but over the past few month it’s taken the back seat as other things jumped in and took the wheel. You know how that goes. My goal is to make time for balance over the months ahead because I made a promise to myself back on January 1st to schedule more time to MAKE and CREATE things — physical things that exist offline – ones that I will hand to my children someday as my mother handed to me. I’ll talk more about this below, but first let’s look at some of the lovely creators I’ve curated for you this week. I’m in love with this week’s etsy artists. I think you’ll be too.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

The mixed media art of Natasha Morton in Scotland, who happened to be up on the etsy main page today as I mumbled “darn it” under my breath since I wanted to show her work here for a few weeks now. That’s what I get for snoozing on this. Well, if you didn’t already see Natasha’s work on Etsy today, you can bookmark her store now. It’s so, so pretty — the art she makes — it’s truly from the heart.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Second on my list of sweet little etsy must-shops are these mixed media paintings turned into prints by Carving My Initials (don’t you love the name?). This is where serene colors mix with nature and urban landscapes for a somewhat floating feeling…

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Janet Hill Studio has such beautiful prints of her paintings and best part, they are only $10! There’s nothing quite like owning an original, but when money is tight a print will do just fine. Janet’s work is feminine and holds ones attention as there are so many details to examine in each of her works. I appreciate her focus on fashion and the home and love how she seems to incorporate flowers as often as she can. Charming!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Fabric Farrago is another fave of mine this week because Jamieson has the best fabric covered thumbtacks around! I also like her fun new embroidered hoops that she’ll customize just for you. I quite like this idea for hoops, especially for a craft room or kid’s space! How cute would these be in a stationery shop — I imagine them above a card display spelling out “u send me” or something. I think the fact that Jamieson is a teacher by day shines through in her work, don’t you?

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Beaky in England is nesting doll heaven for fans of the kitschy cute matroska doll. Totes, lavender sachets, pillows… this mother of two is one busy and talented lady!

Now to continue my little story from above… did you know that both my mother and aunt were painters? My mother was trained as a floral designer but did many oil paintings (as a hobby) when I was a little girl, mostly still life with her focus on flowers. She also sewed constantly, from making clothes to everything else in the home that included drapes, shower curtains, you name it. She also taught these skills to me along with wallpaper, faux finishing, stencils, wreath making, all sorts of arts and crafts. My aunt, her sister, was an award-winning fine artist and art teacher, who lived in South America for some time, then Russia, Austria, Spain and she attended and later taught at the Holbæk Slots Ladegård in Denmark until settling in Newcastle, Maine where she taught art at a nearby waldorf school (I’m hoping to send my future child to a waldorf school, we’ll see — they’re quite expensive, but I’d really love to). She spoke fluent Russian, Spanish and of course English and loved ceramics, fashion photography, eastern religion and children which she unfortunately was not able to have. Her children were her students and though she passed away suddenly, my fondest memories as a child are of the things my mom and her sister made for me, from paintings to embroidered wall art, handmade board games, wooden doll houses, there was a lot of love in everything which instilled in my heart a deep appreciation of arts & crafts at a very early age. My mother is alive and well and when I call her we talk about crafting and decorating for a good part of our conversation.

As I am all grown up and writing this blog, seeing all the beautiful handmade works each day inspires me just the same — I love it. And I want to do more with my hands again too! I was once the home project/decorator crafty queen, known for this amongst my friends and family. Now I’m known as the writer and blogger — crafts are not the focus in my life currently. My resolve as the year continues is to make more and to continue to buy as much handmade as I can to show my support of others. I’m staying away from large department stores as much as I can, trying to reuse what I have, get creative with things, sell what I don’t use, etc. I want to contribute actively to the changes that we all as a global family need to make in order to contribute to the greater good. I always have, but this economy has encouraged us all to really think about how and where we are spending our money. I know a lot of you are feeling this way, the economy sucks, lots of you are drained, financially tapped, so let’s try to allow some of this inspiration that we’re finding online to influence our day-to-day life a little more… to make by hand something at least once a month or even to set aside an hour a week to do something creative. To look at everything in our homes and think, “How can I use this in a different way?” before storing it somewhere only to collect dust. More walk, less talk — make time, less whine.

Your thoughts? Are you making more lately? What changes have you made during this economic crunch?

(images linked to their sources above)






Decorating Tips

Green With Glamour {eco-friendly}

May 5, 2009

I recently discovered Green With Glamour, a lovely shop that showcases products both stylish and eco-friendly, in the April issue of Lucky magazine and instantly marked the page for future blogging! Owned by Kathleen Rowan and Deana Bracken, two Chicago-based friends and business partners, they founded GWG a few years ago and bring the eco-conscious shopper glamorous accessories, clothing and my favorite, items for the home.

Green With Glamour {eco-friendly}

Oh and my, my, my… look at these gorgeous ikat cotton throws… tell me you don’t love a little ikat now and then in your life? I sure do, in fact I’m determined to find the perfect ikat throw or pillow for my home. Perhaps one of these will do? Hmmmm.

(images: green with glamour)






Arts + Crafts

Prize Ribbons – Your Ideas

May 4, 2009

Remember my little horse show ribbon post last Friday? Seems some of you have already been up to some pretty creative ways to show off those show ribbons! Here are some images that readers sent in — thank you so much! I love that about you guys, you are all so interactive that I never feel alone as I’m writing here each and every day. I really appreciate all that you share with me.

Prize Ribbons - Your Ideas

Prize Ribbons - Your Ideas

Ribbons on display via This Is Glamorous from Francine Zaslow Photography. I giggled a little when I saw the over-the-bed display. Perhaps this is good for those who have a real stallion in bed? he he. Sorry, that was a little fresh for a design blog now wasn’t it? Sorry!

Prize Ribbons - Your Ideas

Prize Ribbons - Your Ideas

How about these from Katie Runnels? She uses prize ribbons in art and as brooches. Thank you for sending me these links Katie!

Prize Ribbons - Your Ideas

And check this out… artist Hayley Carmo sent me this image above of her work — this is an image of horse ribbons that she installed at the Urban Outfitters headquarters in Philadelphia. Isn’t this inspiring stuff? Love it!

(images linked above to sources)






Shopping + Products

shopSCAD: New Website & Goods

May 4, 2009

I heard from Jessica at shopSCAD last week and I’m finally getting around to posting this as I’ve fallen a bit behind from my accident. I have so much to catch up on so I’ll be posting as much as I can this week! :) You may have read about this already elsewhere so my apologies if this is a repeat episode for you but I really like what shopSCAD has done to redesign their online store and thought you may too.

shopSCAD: New Website & Goods

Lots of pretty things for Spring! I especially like their new Re-Gift collapsible fabric bags to use for gift giving or as a tote. Each one is made of durable natural cotton and features a reinforced bottom and available in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes. The patterns were designed by the SCAD professor of fashion, Ben Morris. And talk about affordable, they’re only $5 each!

(images: shopscad)






Books + Magazines

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

May 1, 2009

It’s time to say goodbye for the weekend but I’d like to share with you a glimpse into what mine will look like… It involves lots of reading and movies as I need to still recover. Oh poor me, right? I think this weekend I’ll indulge in Marie Antoinette and some James Bond and a few Turner Classic movies. Other than my badly damage ankle, the rest of me is not too pleased having to stay indoors for the past week but oh well… I must, “cherish the down time” friends say. Okay, if I must. Here is another way I plan to spend my down time, with a magical new book that just arrived on my doorstep filled with gorgeous images of Paris.

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

Paris Made By Hand is authored by the lovely Pia Jane Bijerk, a stylist and writer from the Netherlands by way of Paris and ultimately, Australia where she was raised. I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this precious book so I ordered it in advance and here it is, waiting for me to turn each and every dreamy page. Soon I will be relaxing with my special little book to read all of Pia’s lovely writing and to view her 50 must-see shops where stylists and decorators find their goodies in Paris, the subject of this book. Sounds dreamy, oui?

I met Pia last year and thought she was so very nice in person, much like you’d expect her to be from her blog personality, and so I feel really good about recommending this book to you even before reading it. I know it will be special, very very VERY special. So please, support Pia and her new book.

It should come with a warning though: it will give you major Paris fever!

Congrats, Pia!


(images: holly becker)






Arts + Crafts

LivingEtc Forums For Inspiration & Ideas

May 1, 2009

I find the LivingEtc forums quite a nice spot lately for drawing inspiration because many “real” home owners and apartment dwellers gather there to share spaces and ask for help.

LivingEtc Forums For Inspiration & Ideas

LivingEtc Forums For Inspiration & Ideas

LivingEtc Forums For Inspiration & Ideas

LivingEtc Forums For Inspiration & Ideas

I found this London loft particularly inspiring as it’s eclectic and definitely not confined to strict rules or some copycat design out of a book. It’s pure style, real, quirky, and a creative use of color and space. Don’t you love the blue tea kettle on the counter? It’s one of those electric ones, I think. I have to look into that… I want one!

And notice the Keep Calm and Carry On poster. Ha ha! I think I need to just frame mine already and stop resisting the trend. Having one is pretty much telling the world that you read design blogs, don’t you think? I mean, you know that if someone has a Keep Calm and Carry On poster that they must have read about them on the myriads of blogs out there. It’s pretty cute to be honest, I was having a love/hate with them for awhile but now I’m starting to see how they’re defining this whole freedom movement when it comes to design from indie crafts to small design firms to blogs and beyond. When I look back on this period I’ll forever remember the KC&CO poster! (If you don’t own one here’s your chance.) That’s got to say something.

Oh and notice the view out of the window beyond the tulip table. How charming is that? So very London.

(images: livingetc)







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