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Playing With Books

Book artists don’t miss: Playing With Books.

Posted in uncategorized on April 21, 2010

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

How are you doing? It’s time for Etsy Take Five Tuesdays and today I have some fabric, art prints, wallets, wooden letters and fashion illustrations to share with you for a little color and fun. One shop is even extending a special discount to her customers… Curious to see who it is? Let’s get started and you’ll find out!

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Stylish Viv from Ish & Chi is not only a great blogger but also a talented decorator and artist based in Sydney, Australia. Her work is so pretty and girly — many of them originals!

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Peggy Wolf is from Germany but who now lives in London. She studied fashion design and then discovered her talent lies not in designing clothes but in drawing them, along with beautiful women wearing her designs. I really like her aesthetic – her color choices are gorgeous!

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Designer William Dohman from St. Paul, Minnesota has a passion for photography, prints and creating recycled wood signs.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Ever since watching Dear Sukie show Martha Stewart how her craft wallets are made I’ve been thinking about featuring Kristy Boucher’s work on decor8. She makes everything from moo card holders to holders for passports along with wallets in many sizes. Get 10% off your order when you tell me her that you found her on decor8 — Just write in the “Notes to Seller” box at checkout and she’ll refund 10% of your purchase to your Paypal account.

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Fabric! Weeee! Can you ever get enough? Not me! Booster Seat is another great surface pattern designer on Etsy with fun fabrics made by Anda Corrie in Brooklyn.

(images: linked to their source above)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves on April 20, 2010

Print & Pattern Book Review

I am so excited to review the new Print & Pattern book today because I love the author, Marie Perkins (aka Bowie Style), and her blog under the same name — Print & Pattern! And what a lucky girl to have her book named after her blog, right? Love it. Okay so let’s get started in seeing and discussing Print & Pattern (the book). First let me tell you a little about Marie.

Print & Pattern

Marie is a surface pattern designer in London who started blogging in March ’06 which seems like ages ago now (I guess web years are a bit like measuring time in dog years?) and I’ve followed her site from day one. I guess I always felt like she and I were partners in crime since we got started blogging during a time when it wasn’t yet hip or cool, and certainly before blogging became the next big thing. Marie and I always supported one another, I had launched decor8 only a few months before she got started, so again — there was this bond between us that made showing up each day to write online a nice experience — I knew she was out there, along with a handful of other new blogs that I enjoyed. This is another reason why I am so proud of her as she has been writing religiously on her site for four years now and that is some dedication — especially since so many blogs come and go. That level of commitment and consistency is quite impressive. Now Print & Pattern is both a blog and a book — the blog is loaded with bazillions of illustrators and products to drool over but the book is equally handy because you can reference it snuggled up on your sofa or carry with you to the balcony during lunch. And of course, a book pulls everything so nicely together and gives the Print & Pattern blog a permanent home that Marie can take pride in for years and years to come… even long after she’s wrapped up her blogging career and moved on to discover other paths.

Print & Pattern

In Marie’s beautiful book you can find 120 designers on over 300 pages with over 750 full-color examples of their work. I like how each designer has their own spot and that each has a mini bio along with contact details so that you can find them on the web. Marie has been working on turning her blog into a book since 2008 — I remember because she had put out a call for entries back then on her site which resulted in hundreds of entries (naturally). I think Print & Pattern may require a second book after I read this one… as I know Marie is scouring the globe daily for designers that I’m sure in a year or two she’ll have more than enough for a possible volume two. Fingers crossed!

Print & Pattern

In this book you can find the best of the best — works by surface pattern designers who have had their designs on products ranging from wallpaper to bed linens and greeting cards. You can expect to find the fabulous Orla Kiely, Caroline Gardner, Lotta Kuhlhorn, Petra Boase, Rock Scissor Paper, Sanna Annukka, Sukie, Nathalie Lete, Julia Rothman, Anne Wendlandt, MOZI, Marilyn Patrizio, Jessica Gonacha, Samantha Hahn, Fifi Mandirac, Heather Moore… and dozens more! It’s a fantastic introduction to surface pattern design that is happy, bright and inspirational. And Marie if you’re reading this, I’m so proud of you — inspired by you, happy for you, and extremely impressed by the beautiful book that you’ve pulled together.

Print & Pattern

Congratulations Marie on this delightful, super informative book! I hope I see it in stores everywhere — this would fit in so nicely at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters because it would help to educate the average consumer who shops there… they could learn about where all the beauty around them comes from — people! Very talented ones — I often think most people don’t even consider this when out shopping, those who aren’t reading blogs and who haven’t made the whole “online connection” yet. In fact, this book would be great in many shops for this very reason — an education — especially in stores selling some of the works from the designers featured therein!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 20, 2010

Prop Stylist Barb Fritz (+ Thoughts on Freelance Life)

I first heard about Barb Fritz during the Domino days but recently a dear reader reminded me to look at her portfolio again and so I did…  Barb’s portfolio is definitely beautiful to behold. I am inspired by her work but equally by her background as she has spent two decades producing photography and has worn many hats along the way — creative director, food editor, food stylist, and prop stylist in many different outlets from magazines to books, catalogs, advertising… even television! I am inspired by this because lots of times people pass (sometimes harsh) judgment on those who are creative, like we can’t get our “act together” because our focus is not on one thing but on many. This always irks me.

Barb Fritz

I find it unfair and to hopefully present an alternate viewpoint I like to point them to accomplished people like Barb who has made this life of multiple-hat-wearing a successful one. Not all artists are starving. Not all creative minds are wandering without clue. And not all who are working from home strange, geeky, against the man, or unable to cope with a 9-5 job. There are so many misconceptions about the freelancer out there, those with a free spirit are so often cast as flighty and unable to make decisions and it’s simply not true of us all. The truth is that some of us like to experiment and have the circumstances (or made them) to support these experiments. Some experiments bomb — it’s true — but if passion, talent and consistency are in the recipe then most of the time experiments can turn into careers — or at the very least, temporary paths that lead to something greater. And then there are some who just don’t grow up knowing what we want to do exactly. Scientist. School teacher. Doctor. Vet. At one time I wanted to be the type who did know because kids who knew back in school seemed to be the most loved by the teacher and certainly the focused kids got further in life more quickly than the “artist types”. I always admired those who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life – like my uncle who became a surgeon. I find it most interesting though that once you finish school and enter the workforce, you start to understand how life really works and that there is really no universal right way, there is only the right way according to individual definition and that definition is, or at least should be, defined by Y-O-U.

Barb Fritz

Deb says in her bio that she has styled for Domino magazine but also for Gourmet magazine. She has done some catalog work for Crate and Barrel, ads for Eggo and Godiva (hope she got to eat some of it while on the set!), and cookbooks for Bobby Flay, TV shows for Martha and signs for Target. In addition to her work as a prop stylist wearing many hats working in many different areas, Barb enjoys her garden at home in Pennsylvania.

Barb Fritz

I have come to the conclusion when it comes to career that in the end, it’s okay to experiment within your field and even to dip your toe outside of that field to see what other options exist for you. But I’ve come to learn from my own personal experience that once you find your calling, you usually don’t have an interest in experimenting outside of that particular field. For instance, you may become a painter but you also may want to experiment with other mediums (it’s all art, your creative expression). And you may want to write about your art or podcast about it or teach a class or write a book about it. So someone may judge you for wearing many hats but you are still staying within your field and that is why it works. But if you became a painter, and then decided to be a classical pianist, or a car mechanic, analyst, or sky dive instructor — well that’s a bit more difficult to do and is why changing careers many times may not work if they aren’t somehow, someway, linked to your life’s passion.

Make sense? Thoughts?

And please visit Barb’s portfolio while thinking over what I write here…

(images: barb fritz)

Posted in uncategorized on April 19, 2010


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