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Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Good morning friends! I thought I’d get started early today with Etsy Take Five Tuesday so are you ready to see what’s cookin’? I hope you like my finds because well, I do! :)

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Feeling crafty? Fall and winter brings out the crafter in all of us. How about some Korean crafts from Lemon Tree. Don’t miss the pineapple and leaf post-its. {etsy}

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Next, Lovely Pieces and lovely pieces (totes, cards and more) they are! If you’re a yoga addict, you’ll love her posters and tees. {etsy} {blog}

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Embroidered bits and patterns are available at September House. {etsy} {blog}

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

More hand embroidered beauties, this time pins and ornaments from Hare and Drum. {etsy}

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

And finally the paintings, stationery and prints of Marisol Spoon. She also has released a limited collection of brass lockets. {etsy} {blog} {website}

(images: linked to their sources above)

Posted in etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on October 27, 2009

Lotta’s Printing Studio

Recently my contact at Chronicle Books in San Francisco was nice enough to send me a copy of Lotta’s Printing Studio, which is more like a kit, and it arrived this morning which was a nice way to begin a new week. Lotta’s Printing Studio was my morning read that I enjoyed as I had breakfast, and bonus! Because it’s very light reading and compact I finished it in about an hour. Yippee! I love a book that is simple and quick when it comes to crafting. If it gets too wordy, I’m likely to not make it beyond chapter 3. This booklet was great and I hope that more craft books go down this path of booklets because they’re so easy to toss in a bag and show your best friend over lunch and they just feel accessible – quite the opposite of some of those crafting bibles out there that often leave me overwhelmed and feeling a bit like I signed up for something I cannot commit to. Or worse, I go out and buy the long list of supplies that the craft project calls for, then I fizzle out halfway through and never go back to the project again. Sure, some things I’ll take my time on like quilting, my last quilt took me a year but it was worth every cut and stitch. However when it comes to an afternoon craft project, I want it quick and dirty. :) Here are a few views of this great new booklet with other goodies on my work table…

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

In this newly released kit you receive a 48-page booklet, stenciling sponges (2), a set of carving tools with two different blades in case you want to try lino-block printing at home, and custom stencils drawn by the talented Lotta Jansdotter who lives and works in Brooklyn. I’d like to note also that the booklet was photographed by freelance photographer, Jenny Hallengren, who is based in Stockholm. I’ve included a glimpse of her work below too.

Jenny Hallengren Photography

This DIY decorating kit will certainly give you many creative ideas and a ton of inspiration, you’ll be stamping your aprons, curtains, walls, clothing and handbags in no time. And at $19.95, it’s a terrific value. Carving tools alone can run you half of that price, but also consider the stencils included and the sponges. This is a great budget option and would be a perfect gift for a friend who needs a little creative push because it suits beginner and intermediate crafters (though I wouldn’t suggest it for advanced stencil pros and printers, it’s basic and not really meant for those who have years of experience). Enjoy!

And by the way, Chronicle gives me nothing for posting this – they send me books from time to time and if I like them I review them, if not, I don’t. Of course, I get to keep the book but that’s it!

(images: top four: holly becker for decor8, bottom grouping: jenny hallengren)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 26, 2009

Lizette Bell Photography

Lizette Bell is an Australian photographer that I recently came across via lovely Lucy and I like her work and think that you will too. Lizette’s diverse portfolio features two of my favorites: still life product shots and interior photography. You can also find fashion and portrait work too — here is just a peek into her portfolio pages.

Lizette Bell Photography

Lizette Bell Photography

The pale green with cream looks very nice, I imagine it would be a new and interesting palette for winter if you felt like going off the path a bit and trying something new amidst all the pine green and white we typically find during this time of year. I think the pale green, along with gray and cream and soft caramel could be a really warm and rustic palette.

Next, look at the photo above the two green/cream images… What do you think? I like the assemblage of natural wonders set against a white background. I’m not sure if that is a fireplace mantle or a rugged table, but it is very nice to just stare at for a moment… it gives a sense of relaxation, a feeling of rest mixed with curiosity, if that even makes sense? To me, it does. ;) I like to examine all of the details, for instance notice the 3 books with two pages facing outwards, one with only the spine. Perhaps the stylist and photographer thought that having all three blue spines showing would give a weighted affect to the left side of the image, causing lack of balance or maybe it would create a focal point in the wrong place? With the pages turned outwards, their grain and color speaks to the tall vase, which creates a sense of balance but also allows the eye to travel.

It’s so interesting to consider these things when you’re looking at the work of a photographer and important if you want to learn for your own work or even when it comes to decorating or creating stylish vignettes in your home — be curious, ask why, take notes, pay attention to the details. One warning though… be careful not to get into the habit of collecting hundreds of images without really asking yourself WHY you like the photo, what in it speaks to you, what you can learn from it to apply in your own lifestyle, etc. When I started asking myself real questions like that, I got so much more out of the photos I found in some of my favorite publications and it really helps you to train your eye and fine tune your sense of style. :)

To see more of Lizette’s work, please visit her website. It’s a nice way to begin the week!

(photos: Lizette Bell Photography)

Posted in inspiration on October 26, 2009

Seasonal Decorating

I thought that this morning I’d share a glimpse of how one blogger, Nadine from Herz-allerliebst in Germany, decorates her home for the seasons. Her cozy decorating style is, at least the colors and accessories, quite common here (in the north where I live) in books, magazines and in many of the local shops but Nadine infuses lots of her own handmade elements to give this look personality and warmth. I love seasonal decor because nature redecorates the landscape every three months and with that, there are so many textures, smells, colors and patterns that we can bring into the home. Seasonal decor, at least the style that I prefer and use, is kept very simple by either bringing in found objects (nuts, seed pods, leaves, etc.), using flowers and greenery that is in season to create thoughtful arrangements, or simply by using functional items as decor — instead of hiding them away, display your pretty scarf on a hook in the hallway and your yellow wellies by the front door.

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

There are many simple, affordable touches that one can add without going overboard or spending too much money. In my opinion, I guess based on the time period when I grew up, less is more when it comes to this sort of thing if you want to keep the look clean, focused and somewhat modern  – whether that’s vintage modern, mid century modern, Scandinavian modern – I think the key is to decorate without the decoration taking over – bringing a season in from the outdoors doesn’t have to be the focal point, you can simply mix it in with what you already have to complement your current decor – not distract from it. Nadine does a lovely job at this. I’m quite fond of how well she mixes things without losing her personal style or straying from her color palette. These photos show both her fall and winter ideas. They are so cozy and accessible and while not all decorate in this style, you can still pick up ideas from examining her photos and arrangements of things no matter what look you have going on in your pretty little nest.

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

Seasonal Decor with herz-allerliebst

You can see how some elements are used again, but in a different way or with other things that make them look fresh, like the glass cloche and the little deer, for example. Lots of simple touches, like ribbon and baker’s twine, are inexpensive but charming. Simple wreaths on a cabinet give an otherwise all-white cabinet a bit of color and warmth. Using seasonal fruits, flowers, branches and twigs, nuts and veggies also dress things up but are also functional – you can eat most of them or return them to their natural environment when you are finished. I like that her muffins were made with homemade flags, an easy DIY but it definitely makes a simple snack look even more appetizing! Add a warm blanket, some candles, and you can easily create a cozy space, too!

Lovely work, Nadine!

(images: Herz-allerliebst)

Posted in Decorating Tips on October 26, 2009

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