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David Stark For West Elm

What is gray and white and metallic all over? This has been in stores since the beginning of October so perhaps you’ve seen it in person… but tell me, what do you think about the winter collection from David Stark for West Elm? I love the whole handmade take — it’s very much what I’m used to seeing over here in Europe this time of year and what those of us online have been seeing for years now thanks to the influence of independent artists and crafters who have been sharing their garlands, handmade flowers and other paper crafts on their blogs and in their online shops.

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

To see our world go a bit mainstream is somewhat surreal — it’s great that people are catching the crafty bug, including those at the top like those who run these large retail companies. I love how much our online community has helped influence this trend. Plus, this kind of handmade, uncomplicated decoration is something you can use all winter long not just for 6 weeks during the Christmas season. For instance, I’d use most of this stuff until Spring and beyond — I even use garlands in the Spring and Summer (mine are from Lobster & Swan on Etsy who started making them ages ago with recycled paper).

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

To think, there was a time when table settings and decorations such as these would not have been offered simply because craft was regarded as something mom’s did with their kids and certainly not elevated enough to be sold to the public or even seen as a trend by top designers. I love that people are getting “real” in design more and more — that the guard is dropping slowly and decorating is evolving into being a bit more personalized, cozy, tied in to the lifestyle of the family, budget-conscious… Sure, there is always room for high end (and their should be, mixing high and low can result in a gorgeous space and if you have the money then why not spend it) but I remember a time in design not very long ago when handmade and DIY was not considered an option unless you were flat out broke or you didn’t confess that you’d actually covered your headboard yourself — you did that in college but once you were grown up you hired out or bought it finished.I remember growing up with a mom who made our curtains, shower curtains, roman shades, you name it — people looked down on her sometimes for it! Nowadays I think if you told someone that you made your roman shades yourself they’d think you were quite amazing and want to know how you did it so that they could try it too!

I love how the handmade movement has given so many the green light to do as they wish. Lots of us did it long before we were told we could, but it’s just nice that the rest who may not have had the courage to DIY can suddenly feel like it’s cool to craft. Good. It’s about time.

I love these table settings and pretty decorations so I thought I’d share them with you in case you’re looking for a little inspiration for decorating your nest this coming season! Yay to David Stark for his lovely collection, too. He’s such an inspiration to so many…

(images: west elm)

Posted in Decorating Tips on October 29, 2010
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2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 5

Extra! Extra! I know, I’m dorking out on you but I still have more calendars that you can see, click, and possibly buy! And remember, you don’t have to stop with your home, use them to bring art and design to your office or give a favorite to your child’s teacher, your personal coach, a favorite friend, a calendar can be a great gift — especially those that contain beautiful imagery that you know will be loved and cherished by the receiver. Looking for more calendars? Here’s a batch to peruse… Enjoy!

2011 Calendar Round-Up

My Owl Barn

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Labokoff, Snow & Graham desk calendar, or their Accordion calendar.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Puzzle calendar, Academic Grid wall calendar, Snow & Graham write on calendar and birch wood calendar.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Mizu Designs

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Danish owl calendar, critters in wood, Katsumi Tamura animal calendar, Chairs calendar from MoMA.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Life Through The Lens, Creative Thursday, giant color block calendar, Letter C Design.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Three Square Design, Perideau Designs, Jackie Cooper and Campbell Raw Press letterpress hardbound book calendar.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Camilla Engman, Shannon Blue Photography, Be Happy Now and Françoise Rachez.

Almost finished — Part 6 coming up soon will complete the decor8 annual calendar round-up for 2011. Stay tuned for the final batch — and then somebody (YOU) has some deciding to do! :)

(images: linked to their sources above.)

Posted in round-up on October 29, 2010

The Exquisite Book Tour

I have a lovely book to share with you this morning. Julie Rothman and Chronicle Books asked me to participate in a book tour and I couldn’t resist – I am a fan of Julia’s work and so naturally I’m happy to see her new title, The Exquisite Book, published by Chronicle. It is so stunning, interesting and altogether a fun book to add to your collection of fantastic art books. What I mean by “fun” is that it’s not your typical art book – the pages fold out for one and there’s not a lot of blah blah text — which is nice for a change — you are free to interpret as you please and simply sit back and enjoy the stunning visuals. What makes it so interesting to me, which will be explained more in detail below, is that the book is loosely based on a game started by Surrealists in the 20’s called the Exquisite Corpse.

Exquisite Book Tour

Julia’s version of this game brings together 100 of today’s hottest indie illustrators, artists, designers and comic artists that so many of us know and love like Jill Bliss, Lisa Congdon, Camilla Engman, Matt Stephens, Susie Ghahremani, Irina Troitskaya, Mike Perry, Caitlin Keegan, Lab Partners, Betsy Walton and many more.

The Exquisite Book

Now here is that detailed explanation of how the book works that I promised, “There are ten groups of ten artists participating in the process. Each artist is contributing one page to the book. The first artist was given a few words to inspire their drawing. Each of the following artists saw only the page that immediately precedes their own. Each artist is using images (and optionally, words) to create their continuation to the story, and the inspiration for the next artist in line. Besides continuing the story of the last artist, there is another, more visual, connection between the pages. Each artist has a horizon line in their image that starts on the left side of the page and ends on the right. Where the horizon line of the first artist’s page ends, is where it begins for the next artist. (The horizon line part has been very loose and it has been exciting to see how everyone interprets it.)”

The Exquisite Book

If you think it sounds cool, well I own the book (thanks, Julia!) and well, it IS cool. I spent at least an hour looking through it and trying REALLY HARD to not remove the gorgeous pages and frame them – ha ha – the amazing work oozes from this book is positively awesome. Thankfully, Julia told me a few days ago that they’ve set up a shop where the art from the book is being sold as prints – yay! You can buy whatever you see in the book that tickles your fancy right here.

The Exquisite Book

You can also watch a video about The Exquisite Book here or purchase a copy for yourself here on the Chronicle website — PROMO OFFER: Get 25% off AND free shipping (in the U.S.) with Promo Code EXQ if you buy from Chronicle Books directly. Weeeee!

Congrats Julia and to your co-authors Jenny Volvovski,, Matt Lamothe, Dave Eggers! Way to go and much success to you all — this book is a job well done!

(images: the exquisite book)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 29, 2010

2011 Calendar Round-Up: Part 4

Just when you thought I had finished – I’m not! There are still oodles more to go. I love doing these round-ups each year and hope you have fun looking at the many gorgeous calendars featuring art work and photography from some of my favorite independent artists working today.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Little Brown Pen

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Aunt June Overdue Book Calendar, Bookhou tea towel calendar, Paule t.b. and Merry Blues Art.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Gabrielle Kai, Amelia Kay, Chelsea Victoria, Jennifer Squires Ross.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Dizzy Wizzy

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Mothball Charlie, Sodapop Design, Paper Squid and Nantucket Mermaid.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Two Little Pixels, Cut The Cake Designs, Lucie Wicker Photography and Gretchen Mist.

2011 Calendar Round-Up

Able & Game

2011 Calendar Round-Up

JHill Design, XO Azuree, Capow and Stephanie Fizer.

It’s not over yet… But I need to do some work so I’ll be back later with more calendar round-up goodness!
xo, Holly

(images: linked to their sources above)

Posted in round-up on October 28, 2010

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