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Artist Margaret Meyer

Erin was nice enough to send the talented Margaret Meyer from Portland, Oregon my way this week — she thought I’d be keen on her artwork and oh my — was she right. These are magical. Want to see? And make sure you read a bit of her background that I’ve shared below. It’s not everyday you run into those involved in the film industry, especially in the creation of films you’re a fan of!

Margaret Meyer

Margaret is an illustrator and artist and told me that she has spent the last few years working in stop-motion animation on various TV shows and film like Coraline, Robot Chicken and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack in costume design and fabrication. Fascinating who we meet online, isn’t it? This was an especially interesting email to receive as I’m a big fan of Robot Chicken (I know, I’m a geek) and Coraline which was some of the most delicious animated work produced recently in my opinion. Margaret recently decided to share her art through Etsy and opened a shop with some of her personal paintings and prints. The prints are mounted on wood plaques or placed into vintage frames.

Part creepy, part cute, her surreal Alice in Wonderland-like muted interpretations of the world around her are quite fascinating and I find her characters ones that I  imagine in a children’s book or even animated on the big screen. Don’t you just love that she is sharing her work in this way? I often wonder about the talented people who work on animated films and what they do on the side while not in the studio. I shared these illustrations with my husband, Thorsten, and he really liked them… Which made me think that you may want to share this post with the man in your life too. :)

(images: margaret meyer)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 06, 2009

Inspired by BoligLiv {again}

I just received an email update from BoligLiv magazine in Denmark and was reminded to pop over and check out their current issue. I nearly died when I came across the home of Danish designer Sonja Wolffbrandt Christensen featured in their current issue. There is nothing about it that I do not find lovely and charming. It’s just alllll good.


After some research, I learned that Sonja either was or still is in business with Dianna Wittig, also a designer, and together they create pretty girly things for their lingerie brand, Viola Sky in Copenhagen. I tried to find a website for Viola Sky but the one I located was down. And I couldn’t located a site for Sonja… AND I couldn’t find out the name of the photographer who shot her home for BoligLiv so unfortunately these are the only views of the home that I could find online. But I think they’re impressive enough… now I wish I had the actual issue!

Now I want the floral wallpaper for my bedroom… it looks really familiar. Is it Cole & Son or Designers Guild, perhaps? If you have the issue, can you please check for me?

(images: boligliv)

Posted in Books + Magazines, Inspiration on November 06, 2009

Polish Paper Chandeliers

Good morning friends! Today I have a few artists to share with you, another fabulous photographer and a shop tour of a favorite blogger of mine who happens to be a seriously talented interior designer with a gorgeous shop in addition to her blog — so stay tuned for that. First up is a little something I’ve been spotting around the web and they’re referred to as Polish paper chandeliers, mobiles, and Pajaki. Have you also noticed these beauties?

Polish Paper Chandeliers

The first time that I heard of them in the online craft community was when Laura Normandin of WREN handmade talked about them on her blog. Above is the photo that she took of one purchased at a Polish Art Center in Michigan made out of tissue paper. In Polish they seem to be called Pajaki which translated to English means something like spiders of straw and so I’m guessing it has to do with its web-like patterning. Pajaki are typically made out of crepe paper and wool. You can learn more about them below. Want to see a few more?

Polish Paper Chandeliers

Inspired by her find, Laura tapped into her creativity and talent and made her very own paper chandelier since her husband’s family is Polish and she wanted to present one as a present to his aunt. Here is Laura’s translation of what she found above. Isn’t it magical to view such examples of how a creative mind translates what they see into a new creation unique to them? Let’s view another example of this by a second Brooklyn-based designer.

Polish Paper Chandeliers

Inspired by Laura’s modern translation of the Pajaki, Lena Corwin created some for a recent show that she curated. Again, another spin to the Polish paper chandelier that looks and feels uniquely Lena. But wait, I have another to share from one last artist who I found out also makes them.

Polish Paper Chandeliers

This one was made by The Small Object. I’m not sure if she was inspired by the artists above, or if it was simply coincidence, but no matter… hers is stunning and very detailed, too. I especially love how she placed tiny white paper flowers at the end of each strand.

The Polish Art Center website has this to say about these beautiful works of art, “Located 90 kilometers from Warsaw the town of Lowicz and surrounding villages comprise the center of what many consider to be Poland’s most colorful folk region. A typical village house from this area was full of colored flower paintings, fancy paper cut-outs and mobiles made of straw and colored paper. The mobiles or pajaki are delicate creations hand made by the women and girls of the villages as decorations for their homes. The finest examples of this folk art from the 19th and 20th centuries can be found in the local museum located in the town square. As Poland continues on the path to modernize the country the number of folk artists grows smaller. Our selection represents the finest examples of the older generation still practicing their craft.” Here are a few that they sell online below in case you’d like to see more of the traditional styles. Looking up from below, you can clearly see the web-like design which better explains their name.

Polish Paper Chandeliers

Aren’t you feeling a bit inspired now to make one for yourself? Though the traditional ones are stunning (shown above), I feel more drawn to those made by the talented ladies I’ve featured here because they are a bit more modern and less ornate. What do you think? They would be beautiful for a party at home, or in a kids room or even as a window display in a shop? So festive and fun!

If you like folk art, you may also want to research the Polish paper cutout art called Wycinanki primary found in two parts of the country: Lowicz and Kurpie. It’s very intricate and beautiful and much like the intricate German paper cutting design called Scherenschnitte, which I’m learning about currently as I’m fascinated by lots of the Swiss and German art of paper cutting. My aunt, before losing her to illness, was a fine artist and a Waldoff school teacher who also taught at an art school in Denmark. Having lived in Russia, South America, the U.S., Austria and Spain, she not only learned Russian and Spanish fluently, but studied art and design in these countries applying lots of traditional techniques to her work. As a child, she sent me many of her creations as gifts – and they fascinated me because I lived in South Carolina with very little exposure to the outside world in my small coastal community. The boxes that would arrive with her beautiful works inside along with pretty stamps on the packages from foreign destinations, set in me at an early age this desire to see the world and learn more about art and design. I’m saying this because if you are a mother, or an aunt, or anyone who has the chance to influence a child — I strongly encourage you to share things with them things that aren’t necessarily mainstream craft — share what they’re not exposed to on a daily basis because I believe this inspired curiosity in me and helped to develop my own creative mind further and it has made my life so rich. With my mother crafting, decorating, hanging her oil paintings all over the house, and making all of my clothing as a child I was also inspired to explore arts and crafts from a very early age by her as well.

While I’m not sure if learning about art and design and exploring the traditional works of other cultures makes you a better or even happier person, I do believe that it helps to connect us with others and can cause a greater respect and appreciation for their heritage and even their world views through their crafts (as a good part of traditional hand work stems from cultural beliefs, religious and other). This can also create sense of harmony between cultures. There is so much prejudice out there but barriers can be broken through education and understanding. Often prejudices aren’t based on anything real — just a passed down perception from peers and even family members — and if altered somehow and one is taught more about a specific culture then prejudices can be broken. So, I guess in the end, learning about art and design does make us a little happier because when there is harmony and peace, there is joy.

(images: linked to their sources above)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 06, 2009

Talk It Out: Should I Remove a Blog Post?

After my bloggy blog was down for several hours today, I felt a bit disconnected from you and eager to come back and write since I’m not one to stay away for long! So how is everyone out there in blogland today? As I’m typing this post, I’m watching the MTV EMA music awards live in Berlin, which is a bit surreal to be living so close to Berlin knowing all that is going on so close by — but also that it’s the 20th year now after the wall fell which is why MTV selected Berlin as the host city for the awards this year. I just made a chai latte so I’d have enough sugar in me to blog since it’s 11 pm here now! But I’m energized and ready to write! So… let’s throw out the question of the week for the new decor8 column, Talk It Out…. shall we? This question is rather interesting and was sent in by blogger Trina Brandon from Decor Addict.

::elephant & butterfly::

“Just over a year ago, I visited a store and met with the owner, interviewed him, and of course blogged about it. I absolutely LOVE the store, and everything in it. But, a problem with the store has arisen in the past 6 months or so, I have been receiving emails from countless amounts of readers saying that they visited the store, and when ordering/buying from the shops custom furniture line, they have yet to receive any of their goods. Many customers of the store are now taking him to court for goods not received/fraud, etc. The store owner is cashing deposit cheques, not returning phone calls, and not following through with any delivery promises either. I have been asked by many of my readers to remove my “glowing” review of the store, which I have now done, as I don’t want to lose readers, or upset them either. I haven’t myself experienced anything negative with this store in the past, fortunately, but I have received enough negative feedback from my reader’s to warrant removal.”

“Just wondering if you have experienced this in the past? And if you think, or the decor8 readers out there think this was the right thing to do? What about other bloggers, what would you do in my shoes? “

(image: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on November 05, 2009


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