Monthly Archives

July 2009

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Musical Thursday

July 2, 2009

Here’s what’s on my iPod this week because it’s been raining and cold every single day followed by T storms so my brain thinks we’re entering Autumn despite the fact that Summer just kicked off. I’ve been bundled up in a raincoat and scarf, sipping lattes to stay warm and listening to my usual Autumn tunes which tends to be a little mellow and folksy.

Musical Thursday

Laura Veirs, Saltbreakers, is such a great folksy CD. Singer-songwriter Laura is based in Seattle (such a great indie music scene in the pacific northwest, huh?) and her lyrics and voice are quite good.

Another artist that fits rainy weather with all my candles aglow in the window is British songstress Adele who is quite the songbird, isn’t she? Really good for the soul.

Right now though I’m feeling like dancing so I have Rihanna on, a little Breaking Dishes is a fun way to start the long weekend….

(photo: taken a few years ago by me, holly becker)

Books + Magazines

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

July 2, 2009

The moment I spotted this little red, white and blue cottage in Hus & Hem I was in love and thought it would be the ideal spot to escape to this weekend for the long holiday break.

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

Located near the coast just south of Copenhagen, Denmark this cozy cottage oozes with charm and spirit. I adore the eclectic aspect of it all but what I appreciate most is how happy and full of life and energy it is. Plus, the kitchen is adorable. I really like how well the recycled furniture, flea market finds, vibrant paint and a mix of explosive patterns has transformed this place, owned by Lan and Brian Frandsen and their 4-year-old daughter Frida Mei, from a dark den (before they moved in) to a bright retro paradise. I read that most of the furniture came with the house when they purchased it but since it was not their style they brought in a few cans of paint and went to work, mixing in their flea market finds and IKEA goodies of course.

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

Copenhagen Cottage Escape

I love the quilt in Lans and Brian’s bedroom and found out that it was made using a combination of retro fabrics and new ones from Liberty in London. To view more beautiful homes, make sure you visit Hus & Hem online.

(Photos: Tia Borgsmidt & Stylist: Sidsel Zachariassen)

Designers + Stylists

London Designers To Watch

July 2, 2009

I felt so flattered when Margarita Lorenzo, a graphic & textile designer based in London from Chocolate Creative, wrote in asking if I’d like to share her views from a couple of London handmade design fairs she recently attended. Um… let me think about this. Right. YES! So Margarita has pulled together some of her opinions and rounded up a few of her favorite designers here for all of us to enjoy. I’m calling this the London Designers To Watch since I see some genuine talent here. Ready to view some beautiful handwork?

Take it away, Margarita!

London Designers To Watch

I attended the Central St Martins textile degree show recently, and as usual was presented with an amazing variety of work. I am glad that they have this public events, where people can view and appreciate the gorgeous work of these talented future designers. On my visit to the show, I met Solenne Morigeaud, a graduate from the Masters in textile futures. She is a Paris-born surface designer, that having graduated in fashion and textile design at ESAA Duperré school in Paris, went on to do this masters. I love her work, it is very unique and dedicated. This antique door is the piece that she was exhibiting at the show, GORGEOUS! Smoke and Mirrors is a collection of mirrors, glass and wallpaper that blur and interact with our perception. The inspiration comes from ink stains, clouds, shadows and smoke trails – coincidental patterns that create an unforeseen imagery. Mirrors are etched, laser-cut and overlaid, creating unexpected illusion effects. Through her work, Solenne imagines the future of textiles as a way to encourage people to get into their imagination, too often forgotten.

London Designers To Watch

I met Mijae at the Chelsea Textile Degree Show and she was very nice and took her time to explain her project. She makes garments with the fabrics that she designs to mimic brick work. I can see why she gets so inspired by bricks — not only they are everywhere is London, but the colors and textures that they can achieve over the years are extraordinary! I like the simplicity of her work, don’t you?

London Designers To Watch

I saw Xiang Zeng’s movable wallpaper, Freerange Doodle, at the show too and thought it was a clever and very cute idea of telling a story. This time not through a book but via an interactive medium, where you get to make your own version of the tale and became the narrator of your unique wallpaper… very creative!

London Designers To Watch

Another designer that caught my eye was textile designer Lilli Cowley-Wood. Birds, parrots, dogs, plants, etc…they all seem to live in this beautiful, imaginary world… I love her drawings!

London Designers To Watch

More and more talent… next meet designer Aurelia Dupas (sorry no link). Her blankets were one of the first things I saw at the show. I fell in love with them from the distance and the closer I got the more I liked them, so much detail, the fabric textures… She uses natural fabrics and dyes, hand stitching and silk screen prints such beautiful patterns. Her collection is called Warmest Feelings comfort blankets for adults.

More work I love…

London Designers To Watch

Betty Pepper, Textile design and jewelry artist: I don’t have words to describe Betty’s work, it is extraordinary! So delicate, unique, gorgeous… I remember seeing her work at Origin in London, and falling for her unique way of doing textiles and paper media together. Her work is very distinctive, the fabrics she choose, the old books, the vintage look of her work, everything is so beautifully put together.

London Designers To Watch

Jennifer Collier: Textiles designer from Manchester Metropolitan University. Found papers, buttons and ribbon transformed into hats, pins, and artwork.

For addition London design inspiration and highlights from shows that I attend, please visit me over at the Chocolate Creative blog! – Margarita.

Thank you Margarita for this lovely round up. I see a definite theme in London when it comes to design and enjoy seeing this view through the eyes of a London local. Thanks again!

(images supplied by margarita lorenzo)

uncategorized

Marie Claire Maison & Your Dreams

July 2, 2009

I thought we’d have a little fun today and discuss dream destinations and how you feel about this topic. I am hugely inspired by magazines, like all of you, and appreciate the beauty that they so effortlessly showcase on a monthly basis like French decor magazine Marie Claire Maison. It’s one of those glossy beauties that instantly transports me a thousand miles away whenever I pick it up. This is the allure of such magazines, the lifestyle they’re showing — it’s exciting to imagine that we can also live like this if we style things just so and experiment a little with our creativity. And while that is true in many cases, all the paint in the world isn’t going to give me that townhouse in London or the apartment with the soaring ceilings in Paris overlooking a gorgeous garden. That is where the dream lies. The fantasy of What If.

Marie Claire Maison & Your Dreams

We may not live in the most amazing city or even the best apartment or home but it’s the dream that possibly we could that inspires some of us to keep dreaming or working towards it as a goal even. Others prefer to dream through the pages of magazines because while they’d love to have that Paris apartment circumstances in life just won’t allow for it and when it comes down to the wire many would not pack their bags leaving behind close friends, family and business relationships to live on another continent. Again though, it’s these dreams that keep us humming along and excited for the next day to unfold. And for those of us not running off to a new land, we can still enjoy this idea of running away to our dream spot by simply doing the best we can in our homes with what we have and showing appreciation for what we have and I’ll tell you why…

I think it’s important to consider that despite how glamorous a city may sound, once you arrive there you are faced with normal everyday life after the honeymoon phase has ended. Sure, you may still love your new city and do well there, but go to any expat forum online and you’ll see thousands of whining expats hemming and hawing over what they left behind after the new has worn off. “I miss Peanut Butter”, “I wish people here spoke English”, “Why are the locals so hard to get to know”, the posts are endless. In the end, we complain no matter how beautifully the gift before us is because it’s human nature. We find fault in even perfection, “Oh that is too perfect!”. Magazines like MCM give us the taste of the dream without leaving our home. We have the chance to explore new places without buying a ticket. And if you do get the travel bug you certainly can visit most of these locations and have the time of your life without necessarily taking up residence there.

I’ve always wanted to live in Paris for a year and coastal Australia (anywhere scenic with a nice city) for a few years, and while I still have time to do this, I often think about an expression I learned at a very young age and I may not have it exactly right but it goes something like this, “Never move to your dream destination”. It sounds funny to hear that, doesn’t it? But really it’s interesting to turn the idea over a few times in your head. I guess the point is that if you live where you’ve often dreamed of living then perhaps you could no longer have something to be excited about, look forward to, or a place that is your muse… Once you live there the new will wear off eventually and then real life sets in. Who knows, it may no longer be the same dream to you then. Some say you may just have to look for a new pot of gold, a new dream. That is exactly what I always say to this — it’s easy, if you get sick of something just change it! But I wonder if that really works… I wonder if perhaps the next dream of the perfect place is no longer as exciting because your original one didn’t pan out to be all that you’d hoped. And so now you go through life thinking all other places will be the same — you move to your dream destination, life sets in, and you move on.

Marie Claire Maison & Your Dreams

This makes me think about the word home and what it really means. And community. And the fact that we have this online world to dive into that brings us all together without borders so really we can travel anywhere, anytime virtually speaking. It also makes me wonder about dream destinations and how this really works once you move there. I’ve never lived in a dream destination. I guess I never really thought about it because I enjoy visiting on vacation and that usually takes the “edge” off. I’ve moved many times in my life and from this I’ve learned that life is life no matter where you go — eventually you just have to be happy with yourself and those who live with you. And while I’ve imagined Paris, London, Sydney and some gorgeous California beach town in my dreams I talk to people already living there and they don’t seem to think anything special of it. They love where they live but they are sitting there dreaming of other places to live to. We’re always chasing after butterflies in the end, and that’s okay because it makes life more exciting and of course, this desire drives us to get off of our chairs and push for new goals. Dreams keep us going no matter if we reach some or all of them. Just having them feels good.

So when you look at these rooms from Marie Claire Maison, do you dream of living in some of them? Do you often try to recreate the things you see in magazines in your own home? What do you have to say on this topic?

(images: marie claire maison)

Books + Magazines

Introducing Lonny Magazine

July 2, 2009

Have you heard the news? Lonny (decorating/lifestyle mag) is soon to hit the web in September with a new online magazine rounding up the best of the best editors, designers, artists, bloggers and friends. Designer Michelle Adams of Rubie Green just announced it — you can read more about it over at Rubie Green. Yay!

Introducing Lonny Magazine

Sounds pretty exciting, I can’t wait to see what inspiration they have in store for us! I’ll try to post the link as soon as they launch, so stay tuned..

Congrats Michelle and Patrick — go get ’em!

(image: lonny magazine)

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