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Rose and Radish: Time for a Tea Party!

Jill at Rose and Radish sent an email out today sharing their latest exhibition called Tea Time. It looks so sweet in the most beautiful pinks and blues ever! I love that this store takes so much time to make shopping a genuine experience, it’s so impressive that they’ve transformed their San Francisco showroom to inspire and share such beauty with their customers in a unique way. Rose and Radish describes this show as, “A fanciful mix of sophisticated tabletop design, sweet home accessories, and modern floral displays with a summer garden feel.”


Doesn’t this look wonderful? The show features the work of illustrator Miki Amano who created a limited-edition piece called Tea Time (shown above, top row, center). In addition to this illustration on display, you can also enjoy the works of other talents such as Nicolette Brunklaus, Lisa Stickley, Jacqueline Dufresne, Esther Derkx, Gesine Hackenberg, Third Drawer Down, Pakhuis Oost, Vautrin & Delvigne, Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, and Paper Together to name just a few.



This exhibition makes me think about our Shop Girl/small business posts and some of the things we talked about, like clever ways in which store owners can drive more business to their showroom by offering customers something that sets them apart. Rose and Radish certainly does this and as a result, others will blog about this event and they’ll soon have more great customers from both web traffic and those who will attend the show in person. I think this is such a great way to give to the community as well as get back in return, it’s a full circle, and a smart way to do business. I really like all of the creative ideas they have for keeping their gorgeous store alive and well. These events also help more than just Rose and Radish put bread on their table and support their families, but also the many designers and artists that they support through their beautiful store. Yeah to Jill and the Rose and Radish girls!

If you can’t visit Tea Time in person, don’t worry, you can shop for these beautiful wares via their website. So charming!

(images from rose and radish)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, kitchen, shopping, travel on June 07, 2007
decor8 great.ly shop

Keith Scott Morton, Photographer

So, I’m blogging about Creating a Craft Room and noticed that Country Living used the talent of Keith Scott Morton, whom I’d never heard of until now.

I am forever amazed by the internet for this very reason – instant gratification for nosey —>me<--- people! I can find everything yesterday. Love you, www! Show of hands here, but how many of you paid attention to the photographer behind the images in your favorite magazines? I rarely did (ashamed to say, but true). Going forward, start taking note, because they give us all the visual stuff that magazines are made of, what we can't live without, the drool inducing imagery! I don't know much about Keith Scott Morton, but I did find out that one of my favorite books, The Collector's Eye, was shot by him. Viewing his portfolio online gave me enough ammo to start digging around on his site and so far, I’m beyond impressed with this guy. Gorgeous work!

Side point (I always have to make them!!!): This little bed gets around, doesn’t it? Domino blog king Nick Olsen, aka The Deal Hunter, spotted one like it recently at PBTeen for under a grand, and you can snag it in dark iron or antique white. GO Nick!


(images from keith scott morton)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, walls on May 31, 2007

Create a Craft Room

I love to read blogs, but wow, with so many, I’m finding myself a bit lost at sea sometimes. Take today for instance. I stumbled upon a blog I’d never read before called One Good Bumblebee. I know the name from attending craft fairs, but had no clue Miss Bumblebee was a fellow blogger. After hopping on a BOGO offer for paper packs on her site (hurry! offer good only for a few more days, save $25!), I found her link to this cool article on the Country Living website, all about how to create a pretty clever little craft room. I love the word MAKE above this workstation. It looks so forceful, doesn’t it? Like sew it right now girl, or die! :) I also love the bolts of fabric and how disorganized things appear, although I’m guessing the girl behind the room knows exactly where everything is located amidst all the piles, just like me!

(photos: keith scott morton)

With so many of us busy at work in our home studios, I thought that this article would be a fun and informative read, especially since early June is a great month to get your work station working for you before schedules become hectic and crafting gets placed on the back burner. I love looking at well organized workspaces like these, not only does the eye candy inspire me to create, but these images provide a swift kick in the pants – must. organize. chaos.

(images by keith scott morton for country living)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration on May 31, 2007

decor8 Interview: Meet Claudine Hellmuth

I’m back from vacation feeling refreshed and ready to go, go, go! I thought I’d make a comeback by sharing an inspiring chat I had recently with talented Florida-based artist and decor8 blog of the week, Claudine Hellmuth.

Claudine’s home studio space

For those of you trying to make a living doing what you love, you’ll find Claudine an excellent role model, and we all know how much we need more shooting stars in the world – people that don’t say they’ll do it, but actually set their life course on following their dreams. Whether it’s making the best grilled cheese sandwich you can make or painting a masterpiece, no goal is stupid or “not good enough” if it’s your dream and you want to pursue it. If you can dream it, you can achieve it, right? Yet, somewhere along the road of life, we toss aside our dreams and follow the natural progression of life and its stages. Fall in love, get married, buy a home, get a dog, have a kid, and continue working in a profession we dislike in order to support the life we’re not too keen on in the first place. Then you meet someone that leads by example, like Claudine, who shows you that you really can follow your own inner compass, and not the one society hands you, and find happiness and inner peace by going your own way. Ah, the beauty of that reality, huh? Would you like to meet Claudine?


decor8: Hi Claudine! I’m so happy to have a chance to “meet” you, if only through email, I’ll take what I can get because I find you to be quite an inspiration. I’ve watched all of your DVD’s from Creative Catalyst and read your recent book, Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected, which inspired me to paint this during my recent vacation, so being able to take a moment with you is very exciting for me. Okay, so let’s get to talking! Being that your name is all over the web lately, and reading your website seeing your huge list of accomplishments, I have to ask, now that you are being recognized for your beautiful mixed media collage art, at one point in your journey did you wake up and feel like you’ve “made it”, you know, you had “arrived”?

Claudine: I am such a striver and pusher, that I wonder if I ever will feel like I have “made it” because there is always something bigger around the corner to “make it to”. Sometimes I wish I could just be like “ahhhh this is the goal I wanted, I am here now, I am happy”. But that usually lasts about 20 minutes and then I’m onto the next thing. I think it’s the chase of the goal that excites me more than reaching it. I have to remind myself to celebrate the steps along the way. I am seriously working with my coach on that!


decor8: Because so many questions I’ve had were answered in the various interviews I watched via your DVD’s and from the Martha Stewart radio program, I learned quite a bit about you. For decor8 readers that haven’t had a chance to learn about you and your work yet, I’d like to talk about the early years. You studied at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. Looking back at your art school education, what 5 things did you like, and dislike, about the experience?

Claudine: The 5 things I liked: lots of studio time, being around other artists, new ideas, art history classes, living in Washington, DC. 5 things I didn’t like: critiques, typography (this was before computers), the wood shop, welding, and wheel throwing.

decor8: In one interview I watched on your DVD, Collage – MORE Textures and Techniques, you mentioned that you enjoy reading magazines that span many different genres, some that you aren’t even attracted to. I found this interesting because you said that this helps you to appreciate art and also to not focus just on one specific art form. Can you explain exactly why you think it’s important to stay open-minded as an artist?

Claudine: Sure. I think it keeps things fresh to look at a variety of different styles of art. Even if I come across a piece of art that I don’t like, I ask myself why I don’t like it. What is it about it that I don’t like? Is it the color, the shape, the message? You can learn just as much from looking at work that you don’t like as you can looking at work that you do like.

decor8: Wow, that’s a very unique perspective. I recently started buying altered art magazines and although all the angel wings and fairies do nothing for me on a creative level, I think you’re on to something when you say you can learn a lot by asking yourself what you don’t like about it. I have to start doing this! Next question… You love color and your paintings never cease to incorporate lots of it. Give us 3 color combinations that you swear by.

Claudine: That’s easy! Teal, red, and green is one. Then there’s orange, lime green, and yellow. Finally, hot pink, butter yellow, and turquoise.

decor8: Now let’s get down to business. You once said that artists need to either have good business skills or hire someone to represent them if they don’t. How does an artist go about acquiring business and marketing skills if they aren’t a natural at it already, and cannot afford to hire someone to help them?

Claudine: From personal experience, I really enjoy the business side of working on my art because it’s all about my work and my career. What’s not to like when it’s all about me!? Everything I do works toward bettering my business. I have recently found The Switchboards and they have a forum there which is very helpful for indie crafters and artists. They have lots of great advice on there. I also read a lot of business/PR blogs like The Publicity Hound and Art Biz Coach.

decor8: Thanks for pointing us to those resources. I know they must be working for you because you seem to be a lady about town – you’re all over the internet! You’ve written a few books, teach workshops, you have several amazing DVD’s through Creative Catalyst, and you’ve even been on Martha Stewart Radio and HGTV! In addition to all of that, you accept commissions and paint constantly. You’re married, maintain a home/office, have fur kids, and travel a lot. (I’m out of breathe already!) Being so busy, what 5 key things help you stay on top?

Claudine: Number one is being organized. I have a calendar and I stick to it. Second, to answer emails promptly and check email a lot. Next, I try to blog every day. Fourth, I work every day. There is hardly a day where I take off completely. I like to stay in my bubble and keep on making the kind of art that I like and keep moving forward. And fifth, I have a business coach (Feisty Females) and she helps keep me on track, especially when I feel overwhelmed.


decor8: When you feel overwhelmed, how have you learned to pull out of that feeling and move forward?

Claudine: Well, when I feel a rut coming on, it means I need to play more and relax. So I try get out of the studio, read, watch movies, and just take a little break. Even if it just for a day or half a day. Something!

decor8: I heard you work from home, out of your living room. Can you describe your workspace and provide some images of it so we can take a peek?

Claudine: You heard right, Holly! My current studio is in our formal living room, so it’s the very first room that you come to when you walk in the house. It used to drive me crazy that it was there and everyone could see my stuff, but then one day I realized that no one comes over but family anyway so why should I worry about it. Now I really like it there. BUT my dream studio is a little tiny matching house in the back of my “real” house and that little house can be my little studio. I can imagine if I do get that one day, I might feel lonely out there in the little house and want to be inside! So now I have come to terms with my current studio!


decor8: You said in one of your interviews that all artists should be online either blogging or with some web presence. I couldn’t agree more. Especially when it comes to blogging, as it’s a very easy and inexpensive way to voice yourself and show your work. What are some tips you can give to artists that want to start a blog but have been told, “Serious artists go straight to galleries, you can’t sell art online!”

Claudine: I love the Internet! Everything that has happened to me has been BECAUSE of the Internet. I actually sell my work better online then I do in real life. I think through the Internet you can find your right audience, the people who will love your work. Locally I have a much harder time selling my work because it limits that audience. Blogging is magic. It opens you up to a whole community of people that are also blogging. I love it way more than I thought I would. My blog feels like a little community to me, and I am checking it a million times a day to see if anyone has commented about my posts. :) If you are starting a blog, the best way to get the word out about it is to post comments on other people’s blogs. Thoughtful posts. Not just “Hi! Check out my blog” because that is the equivalent of spam. Also make sure you post often to your blog. If you start a blog and then only post every once in a while people who visited your blog will forget to come back. I try to post at least six times a week and sometimes more.

decor8:
Great advice. And finally Miss Claudine, what are 10 things that you can’t live without.

Claudine: Hmmm…1) Crystal lite – I gave up diet coke a year ago and now I drink lemonade crystal lite ALL the time. 2) pets 3) gel medium 4) my wonderful husband
5) PITT pens 6) my computer! 7) email! 8) Tylenol PM 9) Thai food and 10) 10+ hours of sleep a night!

Thank you Claudine!

You can visit Claudine’s blog or website to learn more about her and to inquire about her commissions or classes. If you’d like to know more about Claudine and how she grew her business from the ground up, visit her website and make sure to listen to her interview on Martha Stewart radio (click here).

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, interviews, small business on May 31, 2007

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