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Jordan Clarke (+ Vintage Circus Trend)

I was reading Daydream Lilly this morning and found a beautiful link buried in one of her old posts that I clicked and boom! into the rabbit’s hole I fell! I found Jordan Clarke in Australia who has a delightful blog that I’d seen before but somehow forgotten but a new discovery awaited me — Jordan’s online shop!

jordan clarke

About Jordan’s work, “Fascinated by all things dark, whimsical and vintage her work is characterized by a collision of Victorian vignettes, rockabilly pin-ups, religious iconography, tattooing, 20th century circus and fairground lore, to name but a few.

I’ll admit, none of these themes are ones that I am naturally drawn towards but somehow when combined they really interest me! Funny how that works. Jordan has a very curious eye and a delightful way of mixing things that is really fun to watch.

It’s interesting to note how she mentions her work being inspired by 20th century circus and fairground lore. Did you see the new Anthropologie catalog for Spring which had some circus inspiration sprinkled throughout? And what about the recent film, Sherlock Holmes, also with a scene of a vintage circus. Same with animated film Coraline. Even the most recent Pink album and of course, Britney Spears. I find it so interesting how you’ll begin to spot certain themes pop up – maybe in film, then fashion, then video, and suddenly you notice it in art or in home accessories. When I was watching Sherlock Holmes last night at the theater, I thought about how I’d love to see a vintage style circus come to town, wouldn’t that be grand? Of course, only if the animals were treated fairly and if the clowns were not scary as I truly have a fear of wild-eyed clowns. But other than that, I can imagine a vintage circus being a very exciting event to attend – candy wrapped in decadent papers, gorgeous costumes, painted elephants, pointy tents… and then I start to wonder how this theme could be interpreted for the home through color and pattern — all in very subtle ways of course.

Have you spotted a bit of a vintage circus love thing going on too? What do you think?

(images: jordan clarke)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on February 10, 2010

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Hello friends! Sorry for not getting this up a bit sooner. Hopefully we can apply a little bit of better late than never to excuse my tardiness? And how are you doing? Is all well for you?

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

I’ve talked about Leah Duncan and her illustrations before but I keep returning to her prints and tea towels because I really like her style. If you missed my review of her work before, here’s another chance to bookmark her site – she’s brilliant.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Whisker Graphics sells printable stationery and tags and big, yummy spools of baker’s twine in pretty colors which is all the rage and a bit hit when used on gifts.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Mélangerie Inc. is a Brooklyn-based design consultancy that specializes in one-of-a-kind gifts and other designs for both large and small events, like weddings and parties. These bags are so cute, a great way for guests to write down and air their dirty laundry at your party. :)

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Mandy Lynne, also known as Skippy Designs, has such a fresh and whimsical view of the world. Looking at her light hearted work cannot help but inspire joy – a little vintage and a lot of color make her photographs very special.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Lilla Lotta is designer Anna Barrow in France who makes by hand cotton tapes and fabric in her little studio – she also accepts custom orders if you have a shop or special occasion for instance.

(images linked to their source above)

Posted in Etsy Faves on February 10, 2010

Interview With Deborah Needleman

I just read such a lovely interview with former Domino magazine Editor-in-Chief Deborah Needleman over on Natalie Walton’s blog Daily Imprint.

interview with deborah needleman

If you didn’t catch that, you must check it out. I have to quote Deborah for just a moment because I love how she defines what she thinks makes a truly stylish person. I think it shakes up the typical impression one has when they think of successful New York stylist, writer, designer… I once only imagined ruthless and pretentious types (ha ha Hollywood films and television series didn’t help!) but Domino did a great job of bringing in those who possessed genuine passion for the magazine and decorating vs. those who simply had talent for design and a massive attitude problem. Domino had heart and soul.

Natalie asked Deborah who inspires her and she replied so perfectly, “People with great style who live easily and happily with it. Many seemingly stylish people are pretty awful — fussy and uptight. But I am interested in style that is expansive, that makes lives more beautiful and the people in your life happier. This goes back I guess to the team we put together at domino: I am really inspired by many of the people there like Rita Konig, Dara Caponigro, Sara Costello, Stella Bugbee. I am also really inspired by women who are focused, smart and accomplish a lot while never becoming one of those scary businesswomen, if that makes any sense.”

I also love her thoughts on how she created a strong team and how she views that as her proudest career achievement. “It was a collection of the most talented, wonderful, kind and hilarious people ever. We never made a space for someone who might have been gifted but was difficult or tricky.” Truly great words!

The above photo was shown first in the NYTimes in 2007, you simply must view her home tour there if you didn’t see that already.

(images: deborah needleman, her home in NYC)

Posted in interviews on February 09, 2010

Real Simple Weddings 2010

There is one thing I think that we can sometimes misplace during the course of a lifetime. Of course we can get it back again, but it’s good to try not to lose it in the first place. It’s our sense of curiosity. Not really for things we’re naturally interested in, but for those in which we are not.

Children tend to explore a lot more than adults, when we age we start to fall into comfort zones and ruts and forget that once in them we can always crawl out and allow ourselves to become curious explorers once again. That is why I frequently reference things that are not always associated closely to decorating, but that I think can help us all to stay out of comfort zones and ruts because I believe they can be comfortable little traps, we become like birds in cages and forget how flying really felt.

Real Simple Weddings 2010

So when you are out and about, look for things that you would not normally find yourself trying to find. In a bookstore, go to a section that you never visit. In a store, hit a food aisle with things that you normally do not buy, and buy them — I like to experiment in the international foods section and in the organic areas because if I had my way I think I would eat the same food every single day.

Real Simple Weddings 2010

And this brings me to the point of this blog post: Real Simple Weddings. Huh? You say? Well I believe that a creative person can find inspiration from random places, not always in your favorite design showroom or boutique. In my case, I find lots of inspiration in Bridal magazines, not so much the white flowing gowns but all of the little embellishments and flowers and just the sheer delightful details of it all — and I often think of ways to interpret what I see into the home. For instance, in the 2010 issue of Weddings by Real Simple there are many gorgeous images to enjoy that show several combination’s of colors and patterns that perhaps you’d not thought to combine before. You can interpret them into your wardrobe, home, even your makeup palette. I sat here this morning flipping through it after breakfast and felt inspired to share some of my favorite pages with you.

Real Simple Weddings 2010

And yes, I am a columnist on (for two years already!) but they are not paying me to say any of this and trust me, I get zero brownie points for this post. This is merely a sincere observation that I had concerning how so much can inspire us that we often fail to notice. If you happen to pick up this issue, it’s a special edition so it costs around $14, turn to pages 72-75. These are my absolute favorite parts — two pages show color palettes that I think can be amazingly helpful in many ways — you can cut them out, clip into small sizes, and laminate — keeping them in your wallet or purse for quick reference when you are shopping. Having a palette on you can be extra helpful when you are looking for gift wrap + accessories, clothing, even flowers and of course, home accessories.

Real Simple Weddings 2010

Real Simple Weddings 2010

Sometimes I stand in the middle of a flower shop feeling overwhelmed by the color choices that having a quick cheat sheet, a palette reference, would certainly help me. Then I could focus and quickly select colors that I may not naturally put together, or even pair certain ribbons or vases with my flowers that I may not have thought of before. Then the palette suggestions in the magazine are followed by two pages of flowers, illustrations of some of our favorite blooms with text that lists the flower name, season, color, along with important facts like the Anemone, “The blooms’ back centers add a striking graphic quality to bouquets”. I found that a simple yet helpful thought. So in the home, they would do the same in a vase on the coffee table.

If you happen to grab a copy of this issue, let me know if it inspired you or not and whether or not you found the color palette and flower tips to be helpful.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 09, 2010


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