Skip to content

The New Artisans: Book Review

Today the book that existed only in my imagination landed on my doorstep, The New Artisans: Handmade Designs for Contemporary Living, written and compiled by Australian blogger Oliver Dupon for Thames & Hudson. It’s a massive volume of contemporary craft for every lover of handmade, an abbreviated craft encyclopedia of sorts, that will certainly be on my bookcase for years to come. Bravo, Oliver!

artbook1

From the gorgeous cover illustration by Richard McAdams (of Puddin’head fame) to the content which delivers some of the best of the best makers out there today, it’s a book that blog addicts everywhere won’t want to miss. I’ve written about many of the talents found in this book or linked to them at one time or another on Facebook or Twitter, so if you love the work that you’ve seen on decor8 and on other blogs like mine, then you’ll love The New Artisans: Handmade Designs for Contemporary Living as it’s like having a blog-as-book with beautifully curated contemporary crafts at your fingertips, all in a single (very hefty) book. Here are some spreads that I enjoyed and a list of 18 of my personal favorite artisans linked below. There are 75 designers all over the world featured in The New Artisans so you are sure to find many favorites for yourself. What a treat!

The New Artisans: Book Review

The New Artisans: Book Review

The New Artisans: Book Review

The New Artisans: Book Review

The New Artisans: Book Review

The New Artisans: Book Review

Most of this book showcases individual artisans with their work and in some cases, their work studios and usually each artist has a few spreads dedicated to only them with text and imagery. As a nice unexpected surprise, another area has a visual directory sorted by category such as illustration, jewelry, furniture, etc. It is such a helpful resource and for me, a most excellent one as it’s very visual with light text vs. only text as so many directories typically are. I like that the author took all 75 of the artists and broke them down by group so if you are looking for a quick gift, you can turn to the Jewelry pages for instance and locate artists who make jewelry. If you want to learn more about that particular artist, you can then locate them in the index in the front of the book, find the page numbers where they’ve been featured, and you’re off! Practical!

Here are 18 of my personal favorites from this book:

This is a most wonderful book and I highly recommend picking up a copy — you’ll love it and it would make for a terrific present.

Pick up your copy where fine books are sold or online at Amazon.

Please note: The links to Amazon in this blog post are affiliate links which means that for each copy of this book sold after you click on them, I earn a small percentage (6.00%) that I put into purchasing more books to review on my site as not all are press copies provided by the publisher. If this offends you, simply google the book in a new tab or window. Thank you!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on December 13, 2011
decor8 great.ly shop

Explored & Liked

Hello and happy Monday to you, though it’s hard to wish anyone a happy Monday isn’t it?! It’s not the same as saying Happy Friday, but let’s pretend for a moment that it is. :) How are you doing? I’ve been well, feeling a little better though I’m still a bit groggy and achy from last week. I did something surprisingly inspirational yesterday though – I went to our local zoo on the edge of our forest. It’s such a beautiful space, the kind where you don’t leave depressed worrying about the health of the beautiful animals. It’s a surprisingly lovely place to visit, especially during the winter.

This weekend...

Our zoo is filled with so much to see and do from ice skating and a Christmas market to handmade donuts to munch on, an ice rink for skating, gorgeous snow owls, sledding and tubing slides for the kids, various themed areas (Australia, Yukon Bay, India, Africa, etc.) that aren’t cheesy but rather very natural and sweet. I really liked the area where you could go in and walk around with the kangaroos – nothing between you and them – it felt so nice to do that. I also enjoyed watching the little kids react to the various animals — and how people’s dogs reacted to the animals — one sheepdog was really taken in by the Timber wolf area – he was wagging his tale excitedly and seemed keen on jumping straight in! I think it’s great that you can bring your dog (leashed of course) to the zoo. They even have to pay for their own ticket, ha ha! I must confess that I am not a zoo person, meaning I once hated to go almost as much as the circus since most depress me but our zoo is the first one that makes me happy to see animals being cared for, protected and shared with others for educational purposes without sacrificing the comfort of the animals. From my visit, I fell in love with the many patterns on animals that I saw, the tones of blue from the sky to the water – especially navy paired with worn, bleached wood and I found the ice skating rink and outdoor food carts a lovely touch for winter along with the twinkle lights and general peaceful spirit in the air. Funny to admit that I found so much inspiration at the zoo, but I did.

This weekend...

Another place that I explored locally this weekend was the big weihnachtsmarkt downtown. Germans really do this season right, it’s incredible how many festivals are taking place in this country and the markets are brilliant and packed. There’s nothing like it! It was a color-filled explosion with candied apples, chocolate-covered bananas, nutella crepes and candy canes bursting from carts everywhere along with everything from bratwurst to smoked salmon. We also have a Finnish market and a Medieval market downtown too, so there are lots of yummy things to eat and drink and to see and buy. Between the weihnachtsmarkt, the Asian grocery store that I love to shop in and the flea market along the river… I had plenty to occupy my Saturday.

This weekend...

I also explored my cookbook collection a little and played around a bit with the shelves in the kitchen. I tinkered around a bit — placing all of my washi tape into a single box in my studio drawer instead of having them here and there throughout the house. It’s the little things that make us happy, and for me organization is such a little thing but yet also a very big thing if you know what I mean. Without organization so much suffers, at least in my world. I also popped some berries into a ceramic vase that I found on sale and liked at Impressionen (here) and made some cream and silver puffs to display in my home. It’s a nice time of the year to nest and craft, cook and bake, organize and chill out. I did a lot of chilling out too – I watched several films and ordered some new music (Snow Patrol, Coldplay and Glasperlenspiel). Yes, I still buy CDs. I know, I know…

This weekend...

Finally, I simply watered my plants, changed the water of my many flower arrangements and dusted a bit – sounds boring but I like tending to things in my home with my favorite tunes on. I like my warm and cozy home in the winter, it makes me happy.

What did you explore and like this weekend?

(photos: holly becker, taken with the instagram app for the iPhone.)

 

 

Posted in inspiration on December 12, 2011

Color Me Pretty: Holiday Edition

Hello friends, it’s me Leslie and I’m here today to bring you a very merry holiday edition of Color Me Pretty. For me, it’s all about apple green, red and aqua at the moment because it feels fresh and joyous. What do you think of this palette?

Color Me Pretty December

Here’s how my inspiration began. First, I got really inspired by an old photo I found of my aunt at the Calgary Stampede circa 1970. The pale minty aqua was in my head for days and then I picked up a notebook set by Rifle Papers (for Chronicle Books) at Anthropologie and figured I had a pretty color combination to work with. Here is what inspired my color selections…

Color Me Pretty December

Color Me Pretty December

I later realized that my chosen palette is very Martha Stewart Living circa December 2009. Oh well! Great colors are meant to be used again and again. Check out that back issue if you can though as it is loaded with inspiration from Martha’s expert team.

Color Me Pretty December

During the holiday season I always enjoy some kind of crafting project. These days I am obsessed with painting driftwood. I promise, living on the dark and rainy Vancouver Island has not made me totally bonkers (yet). I am just really inspired by the work I saw in the summer of Toronto artist Ginette Lapalme. I saw this photo in her flickr and this post on her Tumblr and thought what a great idea! I decided to make a holiday tree out of driftwood I collected off the beach as shown above. I painted some patterns on each piece using acrylic paint from Martha Stewart Crafts. I am thinking of mounting it to a framed board or I could also hang them on a wall. These small pieces of driftwood are very light and thus easy to hang.

Color Me Pretty December

Holiday parties do not have to be elaborate. Little gestures of unexpected color can make regular items seem festive. I plan on using more of these stripey straws from my friend Jessie’s shop Sweet Lulu. She also supplies the petite milk bottles I have been using and some great treat bags that I have stocked up on.

Color Me Pretty December

Stripey straws can also make cute cards! I couldn’t help but cut up a few in apple green to make another tree motif. Simple buttons glued to white cardstock with a hand drawn stitch border can also be cute to pin on your mood board or to use as a pretty gift tag.

Color Me Pretty December

Gift-wrapping is a paper fanatics dream job. I could wrap gifts for days if I get to use interesting papers! I combined ordinary school supply graph papers with fabric tapes and various pieces of patterned prettiness I had around. I also tried drawing some patterns on some kraft boxes to use for some little treasures I will be giving during the holidays. I used a basic white acrylic paint to prime the boxes and then used some Marvy markers to add a few colors. These simple patterns should look nice even after the holidays are over.

Color Me Pretty December

Lastly, never underestimate the power of a single bloom! Pop them into clear bottles and wrap the bottles with your favorite washi tape, masking tap or fabric. If you use several down the center of your table you have a very affordable yet lovely tabletop with little effort.

Well, that’s it from me folks. I hope you all got an idea or two to take with you. I look forward to seeing you back here in the new year. Have a wonderful holiday season, all my very best to you. — Leslie Shewring, A Creative Mint.

(photos/styling: leslie shewring)

Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty on December 09, 2011

Stylist Barbara Groen

Dutch stylist Barbara Groen has been on my radar for well over a year now since I first fell in love with her work in VTWonen magazine when she styled a story about diverse work spaces. I’ll quickly show a quick glimpse below — I fell in love with these three magical spaces instantly.

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

After finding her work, I’ve been following her ever since. Here are some more views from the portfolio of this talented stylist. To see many, many more you’ll need to visit her online portfolio here.

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Stylist Barbara Groen

Yeah, that is some SERIOUS inspiration overload. I love how she uses color and generally sticks to three colors in each of her stories – maybe it’s just a coincidence but it seems to be her recipe. I also admire how creative she is – I found so many fun decorating ideas simply from studying the images above. She also loves to use paint and doesn’t have any problem putting very bold colors on cabinets, inside and out – love it! Her use of pattern is minimal, she relies more on objects, color and displays to tell her story. I like many of her wall arrangements and how she uses tear sheets as decorative elements. What an inspiring person Barbara is!

(images: barbara groen)

Posted in uncategorized on December 08, 2011

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)