Monthly Archives

September 2010

Color Inspiration

Purple Hues

September 27, 2010

Hello and happy Monday to you! It is Leslie here with September’s Color Me Pretty column. This time around I am using muted purple, cream, grey, silver and a touch of black. I was reminded of some of these colors in Holly’s post here where she discusses a décor possibility for her new home, which she moves into this week! The palette was inspired by Sibella Court’s paint line which I am sure most of you have checked out on her website. I tried using this palette loosely in a much smaller scale with a few little projects to get your creative wheels turning.

Purple Hues

I have been seeing many of these colors appearing in my catalog pile as well and, once again I can’t help but tear out images. They are clipped into my journals, stuck onto my mood board and taped on my wall for further inspiration. Today you will see images in my photographs from the Noa Noa, J.Crew, and Himla catalogs.

Purple Hues

Purple Hues

Purple Hues

Purple hues seem to dominate the flowers in my garden too, like lavender, salvia, geraniums, verbena and solanum. I plucked a few sprigs and popped them into my vintage Amethyst bottles for the series. For some of the bottles I put on a little white paper with Japanese silver tape to balance out all the purple. You could tape any patterned paper on any kind of glass vase or jar for a similar effect. It is simple and shows you do not need to spend much time or money on flowers to have a nice display for your home.

Purple Hues

Purple Hues

Purple Hues

I had fun using my watercolors to create little studies on small 2” by 3” cards. Sometimes it is nice to do really small creative steps towards a larger project, especially if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. Like myself, when it is 95 degrees and I have no air conditioning in my studio! As I painted, stitched and glued sequins on these little cards I began to feel inspired and ready to work on the entire photo series. Do you have suggestions on how you get motivated for your creative work?

Purple Hues

Purple Hues

I hope you have enjoyed the series today and I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take care, Leslie.

(images: leslie shewring)






uncategorized

Enjoy The Weekend!

September 25, 2010

I’ve really enjoyed our week together, thank you for your visits, comments and general amazingness! This week has been busy for me but I went and got myself a nasty little head cold so I had to lay low today as I’m finally starting to feel better after a week of moaning and whining… so I chilled a bit today because I need to get my energy up — I’m moving next week and so there is no time to be sick!

Enjoy The Weekend!

I found this image in the latest copy of VTWonen, a Dutch mag that I subscribe to, and I just love the idea of taking tears from magazines to form a house-shaped inspiration wall. Fun! It also put me into the “moving into a new house” mood. I went into the new place a few days ago to measure the windows and have a general look around and I left feeling so inspired and happy because I really “feel” this space. I need to pack and get things organized because I am just dying at this point to move in. So, that’s what I’ll be up to this weekend in addition to some fun social stuff that I have going on.

What about you? What will you do? Want to come help me pack? :)

See you on Monday!

(image: vtwonen)






Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips

House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

September 23, 2010

There are some lovely rooms to be inspired by over at House Beautiful, do you visit them regularly online? Reading magazine websites really help to keep you plugged in to the world of design and decorating — no matter where I live I always feel like I know what’s going on in America which is great because that’s where I’m from.

House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

It’s a nice feeling to have such resources at our fingertips, don’t you think? I’m an expat and now more than ever before I see the value in reading magazines online that I once could find at the local newsstand. It has been a huge source of comfort at times when I wonder what’s happening or what’s new — I just go online to sites like House Beautiful and feel instantly plugged in.

If you are also an expat, you must find this super helpful to you, too. I often think about what it was like many years ago before planes and the internet when people left their homeland on a boat and traveled many miles over the sea to a new country — I can’t imagine what being a foreigner was like back during such times! Once you left your country back then, you were truly cut off and could only carry your home in your heart and then, try to recreate it a bit in your new surroundings. Even in the 80s and early 90s before the internet really took off — how did foreigners cope I wonder? I think it took a lot more gumption to make a success of yourself  as an expat back then – much more than now even – don’t you?

House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

Many of my friends in the states admire me for selling most of my belongings and moving to Europe, but I don’t think I’m that courageous at all – I have it easy with the internet, international shipping, i-Tunes (for TV shows), DVDs so I never miss the films I long to see, cheap flights, cheap long distance (or skype), fast snail mail (I get most letters from the states within 3 days – when I was dating my husband writing him letters by hand back in 1999 it took around 10 days for them to arrive in Germany from Boston), I personally don’t feel like moving took much courage at all. When my family came over on boats through Boston back in the day arriving from Europe, that took way more strength than my move to Germany.

House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

These photos are so nice to look at, aren’t they? One thing I notice since moving to northern Germany over a year ago is how very American things look to me suddenly! I never noticed or really thought about how American design looked to those in other parts of the world but living abroad has really given me an alternate view and that is something that I cherish immensely. When I see certain styles, whether it be in fashion, interiors, product packaging, trends… I immediately can tell whether or not it originated in the states. House Beautiful reminds me of the differences between decorating trends and styles in Europe and those sought after in the U.S. and it is quite fascinating to consider.

House Beautiful + Expat Thoughts On Decorating

If you are an expat, can you comment on what differences you see in design/decorating in your new country vs. your home country? I’d love to hear your thoughts, no matter where you live in the world – it’s a fascinating topic I think!

(images: house beautiful magazine)






Arts + Crafts

Mamau Illustrations

September 23, 2010

Sara Olmos is a graphic designer in Rome who is currently exploring illustration as an alternate means of communicating her vision of the world. She sells her sweet drawings in her etsy shop, Mamau, if you’d like to take a peek at her work today…

Mamau Illustrations

Her current series of illustrations, le petit monde, or Little World — is inhabited by characters who interact with objects that are drawn out of scale in order for them to explore new meanings and relationships with these everyday, ordinary things. Giant cupcakes, larger than life dandelions, an April shower from your very own showerhead up in the clouds… They would be lovely combined in a whimsical children’s book, don’t you agree? So imaginative!

(images: mamau)






Etsy Faves, Objects

Soraam Pillows & Totes

September 23, 2010

Soojin Yum is a Korean designer who lives in Seattle where she makes silk-screened pillow covers and totes under the name Soraam (Korean for “Please have a look with a smile”). That is such a sweet shop name, don’t you think? I like the white bow pillows and totes…

Soraam Pillows & Totes

“Pillow covers are 18″x18″ and silk screened on pre-washed cotton and have a zipper closure along the bottom edge or some with an envelope closure. Tote bags are made of pre-washed black canvas with kona cotton lining.”

Soojjin wrote such a delightful email to me saying that decor8 has, “So many beautiful designs featured — it has been the biggest source for my inspiration. Now I started my own design business, I’m hoping my work can motivate someone to just start creating something. Starting out was the hardest part.” I thought that was really sincere and so true. Often just getting started, taking that first step, can be terrifying! But I believe that if you have passion, talent and courage that success will follow.

Congratulations Soojin on your exciting new business!

(images: soraam)






Decorating Tips

Simple Flower Arrangements

September 22, 2010

I love casual flower arrangements. I don’t feel comfortable fussing with things too much. In fact, the more I fuss the worse things usually look anyway because then my original vision gets lost. I’ve learned to just go with my first instinct and to be happy with what comes the most natural to me. I tend to like flowers in a variety of containers and I enjoying mixing blooms so that there is plenty of texture and color, even if I’m using mostly pink flowers I find that the many tones give such depth and personality to an arrangement.

Simple Flower Arrangements

I also like white carnations and find that they get such a bad rap for no reason, a carnation is a feminine flower with lovely ruffled layers. I think the carnation is a tricky bloom though, it doesn’t play well with others and looks best when it’s paired with other carnations and in my opinion, looks best with others the exact color — a carnation can suddenly look so sophisticated bunched together. In addition to flowers, I also love flowering branches in my home and recently I’ve been getting more and more into plants like olive and rosemary topiary trees and succulents. What about you, do you like simple flower arrangements or do you tend to spend a lot of time putting yours together?

Simple Flower Arrangements

One lady in blogland, Constança Cabral, does such a nice job arranging casual bunches and displaying them in her home. She just may inspire you — her many lovely photos are shown above. She is from Lisbon but currently living in England where she has an apartment in the countryside with a small garden where she picks most of her lovely stems. Constança makes things by hand and sells them in her etsy shop and she also blogs quite frequently so if you like flowers you will love her blog.

(images: Constança Cabral)






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