Mer Mag: Favorite Things

August 27, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Mer Mag

Hello friends, both new and old! This is Mer from the Mer Mag blog and I’m so happy to help the lovely Holly out while she is en route and in the midst of moving mania. Her timing was great as I myself am looking to move out of my little home come September (not overseas of course…more like over a few blocks). So what better time to share with you a few of my favorite magical spaces in my current location?

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

This little display makes me happy as it’s the first thing I see when I walk through the door. I’m very fond of the vintage wire basket I purchased a couple of years ago on ebay (my husband thinks it a tetanus trap waiting to happen…but design always comes before health right?) and as a magazine hoarder I find this to be a tidy and attractive way to keep everything all together. In fact I like this little spot so much that it’s one of the few spaces I insist on always keeping in order. Jon (the huz) knows better than to download his keys and coins atop this dresser (a second hand mid-century modern steal by the way…also a love of mine).

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

Where the “magic” happens. Believe it or not I do most of my work here…work meaning illustration, blogging, printing, scanning, etc (crafting/sewing happens elsewhere). Because it’s so small I’m forced to keep it simple, which I like. I’m often drawn to glorious looking clutter but for the teensy-weensy space that I’m currently in I find my creativity works better with things more simple and minimal. I’m also very happy to sit down to a painting that my little one and I worked on together during an arts and crafts afternoon. The memory is as bright and sunny as the painting.

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

This clock display is adjacent to my work desk. With clients on both coasts and even in the UK I find this set up very useful. I threw up a few hooks for displaying inspiration, current projects or paperwork that needs my attention.

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

I love all the art supplies I have around the house. They add such a fun splash of color and help keep me ready to create whenever inspiration strikes. This set of colored pencils in particular produces a smile as it’s meant for small hands and is part of a coffee table display that is both functional and beautiful. With two littles running around it’s crucial (and fun!) to incorporate small design into the home.

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

You know how I mentioned that I was a magazine hoarder? Well that’s only partially true. I’m a magazine “page” hoarder. In the not too distant past when the world was filled with exquisite publications at every turn I made it my personal responsibility to absorb as much of them as possible. I did that (and still do) by tearing out pages that speak to me and then proceed to categorize them in my “genius files” (a term I fondly borrow from Anna Sui who does the same thing with tear sheets that inspire her). I’m a little OCD about this and am still not sure why I do it…only that it makes me happy…if not a little crazy. I guess I love that I have my own “tailored-made” magazines when I’m through (“magazines” that I treasure even more now that so many of the source publications are out of print).

Mer Mag: Favorite Things

This is a jewelery display that I simply think is pretty. With a nine month old on the hip, wearing these necklaces for a long periods of time is out of the question so I appreciate that I still get to enjoy them here.

Being a visual person, physical spaces like these are necessary for my peace of mind but I also find a great deal of inspiration in music, film and those around me. I’ve always been a fan of Tori Amos music videos (and who doesn’t love her music?). If ever I’m in a creative funk I just pop in my Tori Amos video collection and the collaboration of music and visuals always seems to get my juices going. I listen to Pandora stations (current favs are Joanna Newsome, Howard Jones, Lykke Li, and Vampire Weekend) when I can but often find that the “music” of my littles is just about as much audio as I can handle. My family and friends inspire me a great deal. Things I want for my children, but can’t seem to find or afford, is one of my greatest source of inspiration as of late.

And to end I’m to give you some of my favorite advice. There are so many little sayings that I adore but one that seems to be a constant is “Do it today, you’ll be ahead.” I can be slacker in many areas of life while indulgent in others and so to try and get things done (that I might be dreading) this little idiom rings in my head, helping me along.

Thanks again Holly and to all of you have trudged through this with me! I’ve so enjoyed spending a little time with you and the opportunity to share a bit of my world with you. – Mer

(images: mer mag)


  • Reply chiaroscuro August 27, 2009 at 6:43 am

    what a nice post! I also hoard loads of interior magazine-papers from over the last ten years. I always knew the day will come when I really use some of them for inspiration – and now is the time!
    .-= chiaroscuro´s last blog ..Found Type II =-.

  • Reply laura trevey August 27, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Hi Mer,

    Lovely post! I love the clock display…. functional with a decorative touch!!
    Have a wonderful day :)

    xo Laura
    .-= laura trevey´s last blog ..The Goblet =-.

  • Reply Kim August 27, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Ooh I love the clocks! I am so obsessed with them and you have them displayed so cutely!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..What I Would Wear…To My Dream Job Interview =-.

  • Reply Maria August 27, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for the great advice :)

    I’m also a magazine hoarder but can’t tear out the interesting pages in fear of later finding something even more interesting on the other side of the pages and not having the chance to see the whole story anymore… It’s crazy, I know.

    I’m loving the yellow art piece (painting?) above the table!

  • Reply vintage simple August 27, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Your home is beautiful – and so inspiring..! I love how peaceful and serene it is, the vignettes, the vintage pieces, the thoughtful quietness of the space… I love the clocks and the binder idea for magazines – I may have to do that myself. What a clever thought. Thanks for sharing bits of your home – and life. I truly enjoyed getting to know you a little better.
    .-= vintage simple´s last blog ..Sweet ideas =-.

  • Reply Marlene August 27, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Love the jewelry display.
    .-= Marlene´s last blog ..Whimsical Bird Print =-.

  • Reply Jacqueline August 27, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hiee Mer! I love that cute little orange hair doll that greets you when you walk through the door. :) And i adore your work space…so organize and very inspirational. I really like the idea on how you organize a magazine “page”. Thank you for sharing with us your favs! Have a lovely merry happy day to you and dear Holly! Love to you!
    .-= Jacqueline´s last blog ..Cotton candy.Cotton time =-.

  • Reply Andee August 27, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I really enjoyed this Favorite Things post! It was inspirational, but not intimidating. Thank you! Good luck with your move.
    .-= Andee´s last blog ..So grown up! =-.

  • Reply Tricia McKellar August 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Oh wow! I love that photo of a charm bracelet turned into a necklace with a lovely ribbon! What a cool idea! I have two lovely charm bracelets that don’t get much wear (all that going on around my wrist drives me a little batty, especially when I’m typing on a computer keyboard so much of the day)– I’m going to try the ribbon necklace. Thanks so much! :)
    .-= Tricia McKellar´s last blog ..Pastoral (3559), 16×20 Fine Art Photograph by Tricia McKellar, Modern Landscape Photograph with Vintage Feel =-.

  • Reply Elena's Custom Designs August 27, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I love your whole place! Such a nice setup. I have the exact same genius file setup! Except mine don’t have such cute covers. I, too, put the tear sheets in page protectors. I save them up and do a bunch at once, and my husband looks at me like why am I saving old magazine pages. Inspiration, duh, honey!
    .-= Elena’s Custom Designs´s last blog ..NEW Fabrics! =-.

  • Reply leslie August 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Hi Mer,
    Great post! I really dig your magazine page organization ability- very inspiring -I think I need to get on this asap.
    As you know, I am a huge fan of your work and cannot get enough of your blog!
    Thank you so much, xo Leslie
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Pinks, Melons and Peach =-.

  • Reply nichole August 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi! I love the like typography print in the first photo of your hallway. Where could I find one?

  • Reply Nuit August 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Wow I love everything about your place!! the clocks and hooks are genius, and the magazine page collection looks so good! I’d like to take a peek! lol good luck with the move!
    .-= Nuit´s last blog ..Bed Time! =-.

  • Reply Wedding Chicks August 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    love the clock display!!! how fun!

  • Reply SMB August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Oh geez…I have a “binder collection” too. Started out as one, now comprises five BIG binders separated into sections such as storage/organization, decorating, health, car, etc. It’s a big pain in the butt but at the same time, I love knowing exactly where to find a useful article when I need it. Plus, I love to browse through them on sick days.

  • Reply Tricia August 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Love the post! such great style!

    I’ve been looking for a white branch hook, similar to the one you have for your necklaces, for some time. Anyone have an idea where I can get one?

  • Reply gina August 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Your binder with inspiration pages from your favorite mag pages was a great idea. I also loved the clocks!

  • Reply mer August 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    thanks gals!


    you can get the print at the etsy shop persimmon and ink: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5055067&ga_search_query=persimmon&ga_search_type=seller_usernames

    . so cute!

    .-= mer´s last blog ..[Come take a look at a few of my…] =-.

  • Reply Minnie August 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    OK, I have a geeky question about your magazine tear-sheet organization, if you would happen to have the time to answer. I have tons of magazines, have managed to tear out quite a few sheets but I’ve only put them in file folders. The thought of putting each and every sheet in a page protector seems daunting. Do you put each sheet in a page protector, or the entire article in one page protector? Your binders look great, much, much better than having piles and piles of magazine lying around everywhere (like I do!)

    BTW, I just peeked at your blog and am enjoying it, especially since I have little ones too. My husband also thinks some of my decor is a bit, um, quirky (LOL at the tetanus comment) and (like another commenter) wonders what’s up with all my magazine tearing.
    .-= Minnie´s last blog ..Bookshelf love gone bad =-.

    • Reply decor8 August 28, 2009 at 2:49 am

      Minnie — I’ll let Mer answer your question but since I also maintain binders like this (I have all the city shopping guides from Domino and Lucky magazine in a binder) and other binders organized by room, I’ll say YES it’s a pain to sit down with a stack of 300 pages or so once you decide to do this project and insert them all, one by one, into a page protector but SO worth it because you can create your own magazine this way and refer to it often without ruining the pages. You can also move pages around easily. I put each page in a protector, sometimes two pages if the backside of both do not interest me.

  • Reply kasey August 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm


  • Reply dr.lowem August 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Genius files are rad! I’ve not heard of the term *boo!* but now that I have, I should start doing it at home. Coming from a publication design line, I understand how tear sheets are fab help in inspirations. So no more mag hoarding, and tear away I go! :) Thanx Mer!
    .-= dr.lowem´s last blog ..you’re so smery =-.

  • Reply christy August 27, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I am a child of God :)
    love it

  • Reply Daly Essentials August 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I love the basket for the mags! I’m always looking for cute/creative ways to store my piles of them!
    .-= Daly Essentials´s last blog ..Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction =-.

  • Reply elizabeth@shoptwig August 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    So glad to have discovered you, your work and blog today! You’ve been bookmarked. :)

  • Reply Caitlin August 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    I love these little glances into Mer’s home- so sweet, creative, and inspiring! :)
    .-= Caitlin´s last blog ..Airplane Necklace Outfit =-.

  • Reply Suzy Lorenzen August 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I absolutely adore the typography print as well so I went on a little search and found it on etsy:

  • Reply patty August 28, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Yay, another “magazine” maker – I do the same thing and I get picky about which plastic sheets are the best. I think I have about 20 binders worth of gorgeous mag pictures dating back from about 20 years ago now, but I don’t separate them into categories (one o’ these days!).

  • Reply Kristin August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I had my own little set of “genius files” when I was in college for design. I still keep tear sheets, just haven’t managed to put any in binders for some time! :)
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Happy Weekend – August 4.0 =-.

  • Reply mer August 28, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Minnie & Holly,

    I too have all the domino and lucky shopping guides saved!…but like you Minnie, I haven’t put them in a specific binder yet…because it’s more work than the other binders (pages have to be in a specific order, etc). So yes, like Holly said, sit down and do it one page at a time…so worth it! Take a Sunday afternoon and just tackle it a little bit at a time (and like yourself and Nicole my husband gives my crazy looks when I do this! but I love it!).
    .-= mer´s last blog ..[Come take a look at a few of my…] =-.

  • Reply Jennifer August 29, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I love your desk and I have tear sheet file too! It’s a habit I kept with me from being in school! Lovely things and thank you for sharing them with us!

    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..The OC Fashion Haul =-.

  • Reply Jessica S. August 29, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Great post! And wonderful advice, some that I really need to take to heart. There are so many things that I should be doing today. I’ll do my best to start now!

  • Reply Minnie August 29, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Thank you, Mer and Holly, for the magazine tear-sheet tips. With two little kids, I don’t have much free time, but this project is certainly something I can do while watching a little HGTV. It seems so worth it to have all my favorite images/magazine stories readily accessible. Glad to know I’m not the only magazine hoarder who obsesses over little details like this …maybe we should form a club. :-)
    .-= Minnie´s last blog ..Bookshelves to swoon over =-.

  • Reply Lisa August 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Great ideas! I have a “genius file” too, but I scan everything so it’s digital. I can’t have too much stuff around or it gets to me!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..monday morning confession =-.

  • Reply cecilia August 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I’m so glad that there are other of you out there that keep magazine binders.
    Most my friends & husband think i’m crazy saving all this for future reference and inspiration!
    I have 5 binders and two boxes full of tear outs that i have to sort out when i have some time over.
    agree to one of the previous – to join a club! ;-)

  • Reply cecilia August 31, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I’m so glad that there are other of you out there that keep magazine binders.
    Most my friends & husband think i’m crazy saving all this for future reference and inspiration!
    I have 5 binders and two boxes full of tear outs that i have to sort out when i have some time over.
    agree to one of the previous – to join a club! ;-)

  • Reply philippa September 2, 2009 at 3:34 am


    What a delightful home. So light and airy, you must be so comfy and happy living there.

    I adore your necklace display. I have been searching for something so similar for a very long time, but it seems that the UK does not carry such cool items as your twig hook.

    Could I be super cheeky and ask you where you got it?


    P x
    .-= philippa´s last blog ..Pinch and a punch… =-.

  • Reply jen September 2, 2009 at 8:15 am

    it’s almost as great as being in your home.
    your jewelry is so great, it’s time to get that 9-month-old off the hip and put them back where they belong!!!
    i hope to see you over the holidays!! counting on it.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..day 5 =-.

  • Reply Penny Patten September 3, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Our Men don’t always understand our need, or desire for the things we like to have around us. Your so organized, which is great! I too am a magazine hoarder, they are every where, stacks and stacks of them. I have cut and torn a lot up, and filed them, but some just stay in one piece, in a stack some where, or on a shelf, waiting for me to look through them again. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply mer September 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Tricia and Philippa – I purchased my white branch jewelery holder at urban outfitters last summer. I’m not seeing it on their website but you might still find some in their stores.
    .-= mer´s last blog ..[Come take a look at a few of my…] =-.

  • Reply philippa September 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Thank You Mer. I’ll keep hunting!

    P x
    .-= philippa´s last blog ..My old house and music from home =-.

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