Skip to content

Little Circus (& Thoughts On Small But Great)

Today I’m thinking that I’d love to own everything in the Little Circus shop… I love that all of their products inspire curiosity and an appreciation for the small, the handmade, the lovely. All items are made by crafters and artists worldwide — mostly small ateliers churning out pretty things by hand. I currently see a trend in thinking out there that also inspires me personally — the trend of thinking small. Not in terms of dreams and goals, but in terms of doing 5 things exceptionally well vs. 100 things not so well. I notice this increasingly becoming popular as it relates to how we work and live. It is better to be small and really good at what you do, filling a niche that is unique to you – to be a giant in your field but not a corporate giant or some massive brand. I appreciate and respect those who have chosen to stay small, focused and grounded.

Little Circus

In addition to those writing books and producing beautiful magazines, designing clothes that make us drool, and food show hosts that get us in front of the stove and off of the sofa, this is a shout out to the smaller makers out there who may not be “known” in terms of being a household name like Jamie Oliver or Donna Hay or Martha Stewart. I respect the small zine authors and self-publishers and makers who are motivated so very deeply by their passions — those processing orders at midnight as their little ones sleep (Jenna!) and those producing interesting content that is authentic (Nichole!), and others who work so diligently to create something with a personal stamp on it (Lena! Tara! Alex! Mati! Lisa!Jason! Kelly-Rae! and also to my dedicated friends making and writing and encouraging our online community in so many countless ways). There is a human being attached to the products and/or services these great people offer. There is heart. And if you are one who makes something and wonders if anyone cares, if it all really matters, let me tell you right now. It does matter. You matter. In fact, people like YOU inspire me and so many others. I wouldn’t author this blog if I didn’t appreciate all makers despite size or popularity. Like Little Circus for instance — a shop with heart & soul which makes it a very special place to find very special things. Please have a look around… There is definitely a good vibe within their shop full of treasures…

Little Circus

And so I’m thinking that this week, in my Talk It Out column, we’ll discuss the value in focusing on smaller batches, less is more thinking, the trend of being small but great vs. big and overbearing. Not that big is always overbearing but there was a trend that made people think for many years that ruling the world was the ultimate goal. I’m suggesting otherwise. So think over this topic until Thursday when I post Talk It Out and we’ll discuss it then. You have a few days to let this idea simmer and stew. Sound like a plan?

(images: little circus)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 10, 2009
decor8 great.ly shop

Caravan: Craigslist for Creatives

I love the idea of house swapping or subletting a home or apartment for vacation, don’t you? While I enjoy a nice hotel, I do like to stay in places that have kitchens and a bit of local character to them that may be off the beaten path and provide an opportunity to mingle with the locals vs. other tourists in the typical hotel lobby scenario. This is why I love Caravan and the concept behind it. Have you heard of this Australian company yet? I stumbled upon it today, they had an ad on a blog I was reading so I clicked over and felt this was cool enough to share….

Caravan

Caravan is a free house swap and sublet resource for creative people only – they call themselves the craigslist for creatives! It’s for commercial creatives and those working in the advertising/media/fashion/art and design industries. From California to Brooklyn, Paris to Sydney… are you ready to get away? Here’s some more information taken directly from their website.

“If you’re an art director relocating internationally for a new job, you can find sublets for far less than the price of a hotel. If you’re a photo assistant wanting to try New York on for size, you could post a ‘house sitter available’ ad and have no accommodation costs at all. And if you want to do some marketing in Paris, maybe someone in Le Marais has a vacant apartment you could rent very cheaply for a few days in exchange for walking their little Bouledogues Français. A room in LA for a bedsit in New York? A harbourside Sydney apartment for a Collingwood terrace? The possibilities are endless and the costs are miniscule compared with even a modest hotel bill, not to mention the savings of being able to cook at home.”

Sign me up!

(images: caravan members)

Posted in travel on November 09, 2009

Color Me Pretty

Hello friends! It’s me, Leslie with Color Me Pretty and this time I wanted to work with a softer palette filled with neutrals, leaf greens, amber, lavender and a little chartreuse. My experiment was to use these colors while trying to find my inner “botanist” because little touches of science seems to be a popular trend in home decor that I just can’t get enough of… I hope you like my translation of this today!

Color Me Pretty

Decorating Tips: You can bring this decorating “scientist” look into your house really simply with lovely glass lab bottles filled with samples from a walk in the park or around your yard. I also love the look of amber glass for a similar effect. Instead of recycling my glass vitamin bottles I save them as little flower vases to hold smaller “specimens”. If you are not into vitamins you can also purchase amber glass bottles really inexpensively at bottle supply companies and they come in all sorts of fun sizes.

Color Me Pretty

Old botanical drawings of plants and antique looking fonts can also be easily found and used to compliment this look. If you are making your own projects, it helps if you create a little series and use date stamps -think science project observations! I walked around my garden and painted a few samples of what was growing last week, but photographs or collages could have been good too. If you put a little label and date on each piece you start to create a “study” kind of look that can be displayed together.

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

DIY Idea: I wanted to create a quick clothesline effect to hang watercolor renderings I did of what is growing right now in my little garden. However, I could not decide where I wanted to drill the holes into my walls! Instead I made a clothesline canvas that can be propped up anywhere and made in a jiffy. I used natural twine, mini wooden clothes pins, a canvas board (from an art supply store) and some heavy duty tape. As long as you do not hang anything too heavy, the mini twine clothes lines reinforced with duct tape on the back of the canvas can hold your inspiring little pieces. If you want to do something a little stronger you can use a prepared canvas that is wrapped around a wooden frame (ones made up for oil paintings) and use hanging screws and wires to create the clothes lines. Attach the hanging screws to the sides of the canvas, screwing them into the wood and use the wire as you hanging line. Either way you have an easy moveable display for your bits of inspiration. – xo Leslie.

Do you have any ideas that you’d like to share on how to bring a little decorating science into your home? Please share in the comments section!

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty, diy on November 09, 2009

Blafre Design

I read about Norwegian designer Ingrid Eroy Fagerviks from Blafre Design over on the Frau Haselmayer blog and I can’t stop looking at Ingrid’s home! I especially love the arrangements of things. Recently photographed by Elisabeth Sperre Alnes for Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet Sondag and published this past July , here are a few views of her colorful space to inspire your own decorating ideas today…

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

And by the way, if you wonder what the word Bad is doing over the light switch, it means Bath (or bathroom).  Here are a few more views, this time taken by Ingrid of her hallway and also photos of some of her products.

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

Blafre Design

And if you’d like to learn more about Ingrid and her inspiring paper goods and decorative home products, please visit her beautiful blog.

(images: Elisabeth Sperre Alnes and Blafre Design)

Posted in inspiration on November 09, 2009

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)