Monthly Archives

August 2009

Guest Bloggers

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

August 20, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Little Brown Pen

Hi everyone. I’m Nichole from Little Brown Pen (blog and etsy shop), and I’m delighted to share a few of my favorite things today. It’s no surprise Holly asked me to take part in this series, as a few of her favorite things are now mine. Quite literally.

Last month, my husband and I drove to Holly’s home in New Hampshire, and like a couple of brazen, broad-daylight thieves, stuffed her sofa, chairs, tables, dresser and lamps into the back of a UHaul. We took anything that wasn’t nailed down, including some rhubarb we yanked out of the patch next to her shed.

What surprised us most is that Holly and her husband allowed this to happen. No arguments. No cops. No car chases. Not even a token four-letter word. In fact, Holly and Thorsten helped us load the truck, and provided us with refreshments and a parting gift (a cute Jonathan Adler plate).

If this sounds like it took place in some sort of alternate universe where fairy design bloggers bestow their best furniture upon the needy, you’re not far off. We were very much in need of furniture—lots of furniture—because we had just returned from living abroad in Pairs. Holly was more than happy to stuff our Uhaul, because the more we took, the less she had to worry about selling prior to her move to Germany. Her move abroad and our return to the US could not have been timed any better. Divine design intervention? You bet. Holly’s furniture has made our new house feel like a home, and I’ve shifted my focus from the things my home needs to things in my home that make me happy. Here are a few of them.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The patio. I went completely crazy at the nursery, and transformed our bare patio into a cheerful, green space where my husband and I enjoy early evening drinks.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The kitchen nook. Thanks to Holly’s table and chairs, and the light from the large windows, this is one of my favorite places to have afternoon coffee.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The office. I’m a freelance writer, and for as long as I can remember I’ve longed for an office. For years, I lived in small apartments and worked on my bed or at the kitchen table. I feel spoiled simply because I get to sit on a chair at a real desk.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The living room. I like to ambush my unsuspecting toddlers when they’re chilling out on the couch – kisses, hugs, giggles. The good stuff.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The kitchen. Especially the espresso machine. It was a splurge when I was pregnant with my second son. We cancelled our vacation due to relentless morning sickness, and as consolation, channeled the money we would have spent into an outrageously priced espresso machine. We use it multiple times a day, and it’s honestly the best money we ever spent.

On Inspiration: When it comes to inspiration, it comes down to two things: complex thought and simple living. I’m inspired by people who make me think, rethink, engage, and question, and by the small pleasures (coffee, snow, laughter) that add up to a full life.

On Advice: When it comes to advice, I look to my dad. He taught me simple, but important things like, “don’t get in over your head,” “don’t stress about things you can’t change,” and “enjoy every moment.” I’ve rarely seen my dad in a bad mood – he takes everything in stride – and it’s served him well. He’s one of the happiest, most content people I know. When I feel lost, disconnected or in need of a kick in the pants, I read Alain de Botton or Matthew Arnold. Their eloquent writing and insight into the human condition inspire me to either write better or live better. And usually both. – Nichole

(images: little brown pen)

Guest Bloggers

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

August 20, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Freshlyblended

Hey folks, it’s Nicole from Freshlyblended~ I’m here to share with you a few of my favorite things while Holly is on the move. I hope you enjoy my sneak peek at some of the things that inspire me day by day, some that I’ve just randomly collected through the years and others that hold deep meaning in my life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

This is one of my most favorite things in my whole house and it’s not even mine! it’s a beautiful quilt handmade from my good friend Shanna Murray for my little peanut, Zoe. She threw me the best baby shower this year and on top of that made my daughter something original and handmade she can cherish her whole life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My little matryoshka nesting cats, given to me from my grandmother one Christmas. They are each hand painted and in the very smallest cat you’ll find the mouse. They sit right in front of one of my two Dawbis pieces.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My vintage cameras, (I have one more not shown in the photo), all were either given to me or found somewhere.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

A great vintage 1930’s serving tray that I found at the world’s largest yard sale. Isn’t it pretty?

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

Two very dear to my heart drawings that my mother did in 1971. These are a creative reminder for me every time I stop to take a gander. These pieces let me know where my roots are and represent how important art is to me in my life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My Julia Rothman print which sits right off to the side of one of the great peaked archways in my house. (built in the 1940’s, it’s a common architectural style in that era).

There are many things that inspire me, each day it’s something different but my mainstay is nature… I’ve always been fond of the outdoors and all it’s organic beauty. Most of my hobbies are related to the outdoors, I’m an avid gardener even though where I live (upstate New York) we only get about 3 months of decent weather every year. Most of the time it’s snowing so I’ll then hit the slopes and go snowboarding with my husband or just cozy in with the family and watch a good flick. I’m very much a homebody even though I run such a creatively rich blog, family is the most coveted thing in my life and much of my creative inspiration stems from them. I have creative roots on both sides of my family, ranging from architecture to quilting! My goal is to pass along all the creative wisdom I’ve collected through the years to my daughter in hopes that she can appreciate the little things in life that inspire, as I do. – Nicole

(images: freshlyblended)

Inspiration

Good Things

August 19, 2009

I thought I’d share with you a small curated collection of just a handful of things that I’ve come across over the past week. No real theme, rhyme or reason, just things that caught my eye. Good things. :)

Good Things

We Make Sense poster from Bubbo, whom I adore. Isn’t this the best?

Good Things

Sandra Juto and her wrist worms make me happy today, I’m already thinking about owning a pair for Autumn. Lots of girls wear them where I live and though I own a few felted ones, I don’t have knitted ones from Sandra. Yet.

Good Things

I also love New Hampshire artist/designer Lisa Occhipinti’s pink journal, it makes my heart pitter pat just a little harder. Lisa is awesome, what a lady.

Good Things

And okay, Sandra’s buttcrack characters still make me laugh. And her blog makes my hungry for travel and good food.

Good Things

Good Things

Noa Noa’s Fall collection, which I enjoyed the full preview yesterday because my local shop was stocking it. Can you believe I live 5 minutes by foot to a Noa Noa? Warning: danger! danger! I picked up their Fall catalog too – it’s gorgeous and set in some beautiful rooms. Very inspiring. Get your hands on a copy if you can.

(images linked to their sources above)

Guest Bloggers

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

August 19, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Oh, Hello Friend

Hello, friends! My name is Danni, from the blog oh, hello friend. I’m super excited to be here on decor8 while Holly is settling in to an exciting new place! Today I’m focusing on images in my workroom because it is the room in my house that inspires me most and where I get stuff done. I’m big on thrift stores and flea markets, so that’s where a lot of these things come from and I’ll be sharing some of them with you. Here we go!

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

I love this photo because all the objects in it are inspiring to me. My gocco, my sewing machine: these objects help me create. The shelves also hold my collections of items I love: old keys, tape rolls, vintage milk glass finds. I love finding new things to add to my stash. :)

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

I like this part of the room because it is calming to me. A simple collection of wall hangings, drawers, and shelves. The typewriter was a gift from my mom — she found it at an old antique shop and knowing how much I love old typewriters, she bought it for me and fixed it up so it works.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

I told you I love old typewriters. :) Do you ever get excited when you find a really great vintage piece at the thrift store? Of course you do, right!? This was one of those finds – I just found it in the back of the thrift store, sitting in the pile to be thrown away. It was in such great condition, I couldn’t believe they were going to toss it! But I simply love this piece — and for $7, it makes it even better.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

I found these drawers on Craigslist for only $5 each. Sure you can get them at IKEA, but these were already assembled ;) The drawers are covered with old security envelopes and something about the simple patterns is really lovely to me. These are so perfect for storing all the odds and end craft items I have. Side point…I really like the light coming through the lace curtain in this photo.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

Finding these jars at thrift stores is always fun because they are also great for storing things while making it look nice at the same time. These jars hold the collections of vintage keys, wood bobbins, mini globes, and manila tags. I really love that floral jar at the right – it’s so pretty and unique.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

Thought I’d show you inside one of the many drawers – I have a huge collection of vintage plates + bowls and they are great for storing little things within drawers. This drawer has some of my favorite things to work with: stamps, wax seals, paper lace, and old vintage buttons.

What inspires me… I am inspired by my everything that surrounds me. Art, blogs, nature, a sunset, crafts, handmade, shops, window displays, books, artists, magazines, and friends. I gather inspiration from everywhere – it is sometimes so overwhelming at all the beauty and creativity in the world! Music definitely helps — Some recent tunes I’ve been working to are Regina Spektor and Joshua Radin. Do you know their music?

Advice…. Some good advice I’ve received is, “Pursue your dreams” and to, “Strive for excellence”. Pursuing your dreams sounds really cliche but I am really inspired by my friends who just go for it, literally. The ones who move away to an unfamiliar place to work and pursue that goal or dream of theirs. Or the ones who quit a perfectly good job for a job that pays less, but that they really truly love. I love this advice because it is so relevant to my current work situation. Finish those goals. Start a business that’s been on your mind. Go back to school to learn something you actually enjoy. And while you are doing these things, strive for excellence. Someone told me that once and just told me to think about what it meant to me. So I’m passing it on to you to think about what what it means to you :)

Thanks for letting me be apart of your lovely blog Holly and decor8 readers thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things with you! – Danni xo

p.s. If you want to see a few more photos of my workroom, visit my flickr account.

(images: oh, hello friend)

Guest Bloggers

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

August 19, 2009

A few of my favorite things: A Field Journal

Hello, I’m Livy, visiting from A Field Journal as part of Holly’s August guest series and I’m here to share some favorite snapshots of home and what it means to me. Ready? Here goes…

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

I love the way childhood backyards linger halfway between imagination and memory. How those gates opened on a boundless wilderness, home of tree forts and tire swings. Though that half acre seems yards smaller now, few places are more dear. On summer evenings you still hear the ageless sound of crickets in the tangle of vines and ferns.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

On my 14th Christmas my grandmother gave me her cake dish. The one I loved with the the ruffled edge and the milky glass and the embossed pedestal. I’ve started a small collection of them now on the highest shelf of the kitchen cupboard, and always pull them out when I bake.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

The apartment I live in at college was built in the late ’40s, and has so many curious details, checkered floors, decorative grates over the vents and a doorbell that makes it sound like Ethel Mertz is on the back porch. My most favorite elements are the wainscoting in the kitchen and the fold out ironing board behind a narrow little door (see last photo below).

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

I can’t think of much to say about my girlhood room, except that when I’m home again it’s instantly ordinary and familiar. I love its white walls, airy curtains and the old dark wood of the furniture.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

What inspires me… I study history and art history and I suppose it shows in the things I find inspiring – 18th century fashion, 1940s musicals, art deco fonts, old photographs, neoclassical architecture, Victorian novels. It’s been lovely sharing with you – thanks for having me Holly! – Livy

(images: a field journal)


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