Yearly Archives

2009

Rooms

Océchou

October 21, 2009

Aw…. this makes me want to decorate a kid’s room or nursery! These forest creatures and the little red riding hood made me smile today… Nicole from the Swiss brand, Océchou, lives and creates in Switzerland with her 3-year-old who inspires her work and goodness, I just adore her cute style. Launched last year, Océchou publishes stationary and fashion accessories like postcards, posters, gift tags, badges, magnets, stickers for children, with alphabet posters in French. And whether you speak French or not, I think you should watch this video about Nicole and her process and products, it’s very, very sweet. I really enjoyed it… And goodness, I’m using a lot of commas lately aren’t I? I’m suffering from comma-overdose.

Océchou

Océchou

Océchou

Océchou

In addition to being extremely conscious of the cuteness factor, Nicole considers where things are made so Océchou products are manufactured in Switzerland and France and she ensures that all materials are of the best quality and environmentally safe. For instance, her papers are all FSC certified and 100% vegan and so they’re biodegradable. All digital illustrations begin as hand drawings and after using her magical tablet and Photoshop, she transforms her sketches into digital works of art.

(images: océchou)






Inspiration

Jennifer Davick Photography

October 21, 2009

Ready to slip into la la land together and drool at some truly remarkable photography shot in some fantastic spaces and places? I am… There is nothing I like more sometimes than to simply peer into the life of someone else and examine all the little details of a shot to see what went where, why, and also to consider how the colors relate, why they were chosen, etc. Jennifer Davick, who specializes in photographing food, is based in Birmingham, Alabama and she’s able to take you by the hand and lead you into some very special places (and moods) because she captures so much emotion through lighting, subject, depth… that it’s hard to not feel inspired by her work. See for yourself…

Jennifer Davick Photography

What I love about the images I’ve selected to share from her portfolio above: the colors! Soft yet vibrant, that peach and green looks so fresh and I love the orchids on the porch along with the sweet”heart” swing. They look like this typical laid back country look that I admire a lot and though living in a city, I still work to achieve a laid back feel in my home because it has an impact on my life — when I’m at ease everything naturally unfolds for me. I also like laid back living at home because it so closely matches my own personality.

Jennifer Davick Photography

So now I have a more personal question for you… do you think your home is laid back with a little pile here and there? Or would you define your home as being very organized and buttoned up – everything perfectly in place and looking like a magazine home? Or is your home a big chaotic mess that you feel ashamed about? Have you ever tried photographing your own home to see what it really looks like? I know, sounds strange. But I suggest doing it. Clean your rooms, make the bed and such, and then pretend you are a photographer and go through each room with your camera, shooting in natural daylight (no flash). Upload the photos and take a critical look at each nook, each room, and see what can be moved, improved, stored, fixed, etc. This is a fun exercise and worth taking the time to do.

You can even pull together a binder with your photos – store your notes and even your during and after photos there as you complete your rooms. When you photograph something you notice the details. That is why the photos you see of rooms in magazines look so perfect. The photographer takes the photo and they look at the picture on their computer (especially if they are shooting tethered) to see what’s what. They mostly are looking at the technical stuff, while the stylist and others involved in the project are looking at the actual shot from a creative perspective – what could be altered, moved, etc. to make the photo look even better.

Maybe those vases on that mantle instead, and that tea towel can be moved over to that table and off of the kitchen counter, etc. Once all of this combing and processing has been accomplished, the end result is the magazine photo that you drool over. And even then, sometimes color editing and other image editing is done to perfect the actual shot – perhaps the color correction is needed. That is called, “magazine perfect” and what we think is just another “normal” home that we don’t have. Well, it’s not. And then we swing open our door at night to our shaggy apartment thinking What The Heck Is My Problem, feeling insecure about our homes because they don’t look like a magazine image.

So remember… one way to help you to achieve a more pulled together home, or perhaps a neater “laid back” home, is to photograph your space as I’ve mentioned and go in with a critical eye to examine what needs help. Style a fireplace mantle and photograph it. Don’t like it? Style it again. And again, and again…. Then once you you really like it – well, it’s done and you can move on to another area of your home. Take inspiration from other rooms that you love — arrange things in a way that you liked from the home of another person — it’s not copying — your objects and colors will no doubt be very different. But it can be helpful to train your eye in the beginning as you start to take more interest in the details of styling and how it’s done. Gosh, I could go on and on about this, I’m passionate about the whole art of making something look beautiful. :) Wow! Looking at the work of Jennifer Davick gave me a lot to talk about, didn’t it? :)

(images: jennifer davick photography)






uncategorized

Swedish Design House

October 21, 2009

Hello friends! I just returned from the farmers’ market and guess what? I returned to receive confirmation that our boxes from the states will arrive here next week. To say I’m over the moon is a light way of expressing my joy, I’ve over the galaxy! Our things left Boston by boat on July 27 and we expected them one month ago but our shipping company was having a hard time booking a truck for us so everything has been sitting in London for 3 weeks now. I’m so pleased that soon I’ll have all of my belongings, and the funny part of this is: I only remember 1/3 of what I packed so it will be a bit fun to go through all of my boxes. Have you ever moved to another country and experienced this – waiting for your shipment and then forgetting what you actually shipped? Ha! I learned a bit of a life lesson from this: THINGS don’t mean all that much when it comes down to it, they are easily forgotten. At least most things.

Swedish Design House

Though I must say that the 1/3 of what I remember are those that do mean something to me – old photos, letters, journals, childhood toys (only a few but still), gifts from friends, fabric, all of my decorating books and magazines, and some of my favorite outfits and shoes. And also some crafty items and of course, the art I’ve collected over the years. But the kitchen things and glassware and gosh, the other masses of things: well…. I wonder now why I bothered packing them if they could be so easily forgotten? So, from this, I’ve learned a valuable lesson and so I thought I’d share this with you before you spend thousands of dollars to move – bring what you absolutely love and what is meaningful to you if you’re relocating abroad anyway… the rest will take care of itself when you land in your new country.

See, I just taught you and your family how to save a good amount of money that I feel I’ve wasted by not carefully considering every single item that I packed. But, life is this way of course: you have to learn through mistakes because if you did everything right all of the time, well for one that’s not possible but if you always did everything with absolute perfection then you’d have little room to learn and grow. I think that so much has to do with our attitude when we do something less-than-perfect. Do we beat ourselves or have a sense of humor about it – laugh, learn, share the mistake (helpful to others and keeps us humble), and move on? So instead of complaining over it, I’ve chosen to laugh and move on. The way I see is that if I open all of these boxes and find lots of things I no longer want or need, I can rent a table at the flea market one Saturday and sell it, or put it on eBay. All is never lost, right?

So… the title of this post is Swedish Design House and by now, you’ve most likely noticed the gorgeous photos above and wondered, “Where is Holly going with all of this?”. So let me quickly share that the Swedish Design House is a new online shop that I wrote about today over on Real Simple. You can read about it here if you’d like to. They ship worldwide and carry some items with the lovely dala horse motif…

Oh and one last bit to share. Gosh peeps, I’m so sorry for allowing my heart to rule over my head yesterday because I took the entire afternoon off to spend with a friend of mine. I made apple, cinnamon, nutmeg pancakes with maple syrup for her (and sent some over to my mother-in-law who never had pancakes American style, nor had she ever had maple syrup), and we ate a huge stack of them by candlelight with rooibos vanilla tea. Then we watched a movie and talked… and day became night, and well you know how it goes. As a result, I did not post Etsy Take Five Tuesdays. I took five in a different way, I guess, I took five hours to do absolutely nothing but cook, eat and spend time with my friend. But a girl needs that now and then. As a result I feel refreshed, inspired and ready to write and share with you today. :) And wow, did the pancakes taste amazing. :)

(images: swedish design house)






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