Monthly Archives

October 2010

Arts + Crafts

Jennifer Davis – New Prints!

October 8, 2010

I’m so drawn to the work of Jennifer Davis, she is one of my favorite artists working today and I own several of her original paintings and some prints, too. I can’t wait to display them in my new home because the walls feel so empty and are screaming for color and pattern and art is my favorite way to bring beauty into the home. You can purchase her work, including three new prints, over at Sebastian Foster which happens to have lots of other great art to adorn your walls.

Jennifer Davis - New Prints!

Jennifer Davis - New Prints!

Jennifer Davis - New Prints!

Aren’t these color combinations just fab? So many of Jennifer’s peices could inspire a palette for an outfit, table setting, party or room design don’t you think?

It’s Friday everyone! Aren’t you happy? This was a very challenging week for me, I was so busy with a million projects and now I have to read and edit the entire Decorate book from start to finish so wish me luck, I hope I make it through!!! :) And I need to get prepared for Morocco – I leave in one week! Yay!

How are you doing? What’s new?

(images: jennifer davis)

Inspiration

Amanda McLaughlin Photography (+ some updates!)

October 6, 2010

Specializing in interiors, food, travel, still life, lifestyle, portrait and wedding photography (wow, what a list!), talented Australian photographer Amanda McLaughlin has a gorgeous portfolio online to peruse for inspiration today. Would you like to see some lovely visuals that may perhaps spark your creativity? Of course you do!

Amanda McLaughlin Photography (+ some updates!)

Amanda McLaughlin Photography (+ some updates!)

Amanda McLaughlin Photography (+ some updates!)

Amanda’s work is so gorgeous, isn’t it? I love seeing the branches in vases above… my friend Ingrid brought me a huge “bouquet” of berry branches from the German countryside that she picked and they are gorgeous and in my ceramic vase on my work desk. They are so pretty and really brought in some of the outdoors which always helps to “warm up” a space, especially in a brand new space that is quite spare currently as mine is…

How are you doing today? I hope that you are well! I have been very busy trying to sort out our new apartment (you can see photos of it here) — unpacking, sorting, deciding what I should keep and what I should pass on to a new home, etc. Plus I’m still working on Decorate (which will be published first in England in March and then in May in the US and THEN in Germany next Autumn!), planning my kitchen (the new Smeg (thank you dear Yvonne for the suggestion!) arrived today – I love it and can’t wait to bake the first cupcakes in there) and I decided to make some presents for my students that I’ll bring to Morocco next week on my teaching adventure there —  so I’ve been doing a lot of crafty stuff which energizes me so much and makes me very happy! Once I’m back from Morocco, I’ll share some photos of the gifts that I made for them so that you can see — but not yet, as they read my blog and I can’t blow the little surprise with a sneak peek (sorry).

I’m also working on my class materials and handouts for my lovely class there, too. I can’t wait to meet the lovely ladies who will be joining me — I feel so blessed right now. To top it all off, this morning I was able to attend a photoshoot at the home of my new neighbor who lives upstairs from us — a German stylist and photographer from Hamburg were styling and shooting and I was able to watch them in action which was a lot of fun.

So! Those are my updates for the week so far. How are you doing?

(images: amanda mclaughlin)

Rooms

Attia

October 6, 2010

Attia, or natural beauty, is an Australian homewares company that carries many beautiful pieces that are chic and inspired by nature. The company was founded by former stylist turned designer Rachel Brown who proves through her collection that “warm” minimalism does indeed exist popular to contrary belief that minimalistic design is usually sterile and cold. With organic shapes, natural wood and a variety of texture it’s easy to warm up a spare environment.

Attia

About her company Rachel says, “We value products that are energized by the makers touch, things with soul and love the patina that time and use leave behind.”

With a focus on muted tones, wood and natural finishes (for instance products have a matte finish versus gloss), this calm collection is the perfect marriage of form and function. So lovely!

(photos: amanda mclauchlan)

Travel

Istanbul Bound – Suggestions?

October 4, 2010

Hello friends! I’m flying to Istanbul with my husband and dear friend Esra in November and I can’t wait! Istanbul has long been a destination on my “dream vacation” list so now that I’m only 2 hours and 40 minutes by plane, non-stop, then I figured I’d seize the moment and just do it! I’m extremely excited to be flying to this exotic destination in four weeks. Have you visited before? Oh if so, please fill me in on what awaits us there! My friend is Turkish so we can easily get around the city thanks to her – plus she knows my taste and promises to take Thorsten and I to places that we’ll love. But, you know, I always like to hear what suggestions YOU have because whenever I post about an upcoming vacation you always give me the best tips! Plus, for others going to Istanbul soon (like my blog friend Alina) your tips can really help us all so please, share, share and share some more!

Istanbul Bound - Suggestions?

Istanbul Bound - Suggestions?

Istanbul Bound - Suggestions?

I can’t wait to go to Dhoku (for a patchwork rug!), Abdulla for bath things, and definitely Tulu (for pillows and fabric). In fact, I plan to take a billion photos so I’ll share my trip with you on decor8 upon my return. I’ll be there during the first week of November so you can expect my trip posts shortly thereafter. I leave for Marrakesh, Morocco in 10 days as well… and I’ll share highlights from Morocco on decor8 too. You have lots of exotic destinations to enjoy through my eyes over the next few months. Yay!

But first, Instanbul and places to go, things to see… What are some must-see locations there?

(images: tulu)

Shopping + Products

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

October 4, 2010

I really love online shop Papa Stour based in Scotland because everything looks so warm and cozy — what home should be, Gemütlichkeit. I’ve talked about this sweet spot on the web before but do you know much about the owner, stylist Rosie Brown?

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

I went exploring on her site this morning and found out that she now has a charming vacation home for rent in Scotland available through Wilderness Cottages, it is located in the North West Highlands of Scotland 8 miles from Applecross with fabulous views over to Skye, Raasay and Rona. Look at these views of it sent to me by Rosie’s office this morning (thanks, Sally!)… This blue bedroom is divine.

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Doesn’t this look like the perfect getaway? I’m longing to to go to Scotland and so is my husband so perhaps next year we will stay in Rosie’s postcard-like home. I love the idea of being tucked away in a secluded natural spot with only a few small local pubs or grocers and nothing else… It reminds me of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire and all of the times that I spent in the mountains or countryside there with little around me, those times were always so relaxing and I would return home feeling quite refreshed.

Over the past several years, I’ve been spending vacations in cities which, honestly, never feel like a real vacation in the sense that there is little to no relaxation involved. It’s just rush, rush, rush from one big attraction to the next. Maybe I need to mix things up. A few city vacations and few near the shore or nestled away in the woods…. but it can’t always be about the hustle bustle (but gosh I love it so!).

Ha! And this is the same girl who is going to teach in Marrakesh this month (though this will be relaxing for the students because they’ll be doing a spa day, eating some amazing meals, dining rooftop, enjoying morning yoga — the works!) and who is flying to Istanbul in November with my friend Esra and then going to Paris in January to meet up with Nichole and Evan. I think the NEXT adventure after that needs to be either to the shore or to the countryside for a long weekend. Then again, my home is my haven and I get plenty of rest and joy at home so perhaps this is why I always select cities for travel destinations… But still, a weekend in Scotland in the middle of nowhere at Rosie’s cottage – sign me up!

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Papa Stour + Stylist Rosie Brown

Rosie Brown, who is not only a shop owner but a talented Scottish designer and stylist, has a lovely online portfolio for browsing too – lots of her work has appeared in Livingetc magazine so you may recognize some of the tears above. It really puts one in the Autumn mood.

(images: papa stour)

Handmade

Cosima Sempill Ceramics

October 4, 2010

Good morning and happy new week to you! A new week means new possibilities, which is always exciting as you never know what good things can happen between now and Friday. Sounds a bit chipper, I know, but it’s how I handle Mondays because I am the girl who could easily live in a never ending weekend! Thinking positively gets me through — I believe that if you smile and think positive, then good things seem to find you. Take for instance this good thing: Ceramicist Cosima Sempill who lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cosima comes from a creative family and spent an early part of her childhood in South Africa, which no doubt influenced her work. Having creative surroundings and a supportive family can work wonders!

Cosima Sempill Ceramics

After studying ceramics at the Glasgow School of Art, Cosima decided to live in Edinburgh and launch her business under the name Kitty & Dude. From quirky mugs to cupcakes, flying pigs, clip on birds and Russian nesting dolls that you can’t stack — she is not afraid to express herself through her work and as a result, has found success and joy in it though she is also quite flexible when it comes to what she does for a living (something I appreciate) because in her bio she says, “I love my job but if it doesn’t stick I’d love to be a stylist. My dream job would be working for Elle Decor- swoon. Also dream of eating mangoes and making pots in the sunshine, preferably the South African Sunshine.

I like that bio. It’s honest and something that I can closely relate to because I’ve had made “jobs” in my life and love to try new things though we all know society as a whole still seems to discourage it. Living a somewhat “career vagabond” lifestyle, as I call it, is the only way I know as I have a creative soul and can become bored easily if my life becomes too predicable. What about you? Can you relate?

If you’d like to learn more about Cosima then you can read a lovely interview on the Home Plus Scotland website right here. You can also purchase some of her things at Papa Stour online.

(images: cosima sempill and rosie brown)

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