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Annike Laigo

By Christine M. Liu, Guest Writer, decor8

I got note of this lovely estonian artist, Annike Laigo, from one of my regular reads: the completely addictive and girlgeekily cute Popgadget blog, personal tech for women. (it’s in my nature to fall for any design blog that highlights japanese robots, food technologies, and pink cellphones…)

I was immediately attracted to the image of the glowing carpet concept because my studies at MIT involve textiles, fashion, and technology. The rug seems like a treat for the eyes as well as the toes! It seems like a concept in progress, though I imagine that it’s made by either coating some of the fibres with highly luminescent coatings (like a very efficient glow-in-the-dark compound), or weaving small bits of electroluminescent panels within the piles.
I fell in love with the furniture pieces featured on her website. They seem very sensual and highly form-based, yet domestically tongue-in-cheek and a wee bit subversive. Some highlights:

The handtufted wool 3D stripe wavy carpet wins my heart, especially juxtaposed with the starck-esque martini chair. The colors are so vibrant, and it makes me want to smile and imagine the *tuft, tuft*.

A wool felt wall hanging/room divider is given the moniker ‘spy’, with visible peekage through petaled cut-outs. Is it not tempting to run forth and put your eye up close, curious on what you’d see on the other side?
‘Oh! This is me!’ is a black felt rug, emblazoned with 3000 rivets in a folk-art pattern. This design is so lovely and evocative!
One way to create a zen environment in your home is to artfully place the ‘kivi pebble’ furniture in your environment. (indoor sand optional.) I love these pieces, they delight me in the same way as candy that look like river stones. The utility of rocks know no bounds…
Not only does Annike (photo below) have adorable glasses, she produces amazing work. Hope we’ll be seeing more of her soon! (and discovering the secret of her glistening carpets…)
[photos above from designboom and annikelaigo]

Posted in Arts + Crafts, guest bloggers on February 27, 2006
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Denyse Schmidt: Quilts, Books + Stationary, Oh My!

By Christine M. Liu, Guest Writer, decor8

As one of the millions dabbling in the vast creative depths of DIY culture, I have seen things like knitting, crocheting, and felt appliques shed their old-fashioned status and become the next new hip. iPod cozies are the new tea cozies, and grandmothers meet glampunkers at modern craft fairs.

One craft that has shied from the limelight a bit is quilting.

At least for me, quilting seems still relatively entrenched in the German Dutch tradition and midwestern generational home-making. Yesterday, my roommate (in true presidential holiday spirit) was cruising daytime TV and became engrossed in a very old-skool ‘America Sews‘ crafting show on PBS. Though it was an interesting (if not somewhat unpalatable) fragment of American culture, it completely reinforced the traditional, old-fashioned quilting scene.

That’s why I’m spectacularly impressed by Denyse Schmidt’s quilts, which are fresh, modern, and a long way from the tacky, fussy quilts that might come to mind. Quilting meets couture: the bright colors and geometric lines are paired with soft textiles and comforting construction. Denyse is a RISD alum and does a fabulous job of tradition reinterpretation.

I cant get enough of the deep colors and playful stitching!


Denyse has books published by Chronicle that teach basics and offer patterns for many quilting projects. More images here on Amazon.

She was commissioned to create a chain link coverlet for Crate and Barrel:
Also find some of her delightfully cute photo books and stationery in the dots + jots and what a bunch of squares series…

She’s such a talented designer, I can’t wait to try making one of her quilts someday! Her books are high up on my wishlist.

-Christine M. Liu

Posted in Arts + Crafts, guest bloggers, stationery on February 21, 2006

Elsewares

Pop ink dinnerware. Silkscreened linen pillows. Artist-made panels. They’re all crafted by independant artists and sold at Elsewares. I love seeing all these talented people gain exposure (and business!) through websites like Elsewares. Take a glance on some favorites of mine. Maybe they’ll soon be favorites of yours!

12″ handmade art by three sheets, $45 available in several modern color choices.
star coasters, $25. set of 4
the alcohol won’t be the only thing causing you to see stars.
fashion plates, set of 2, $40. chocolate plate shown, other plate is in pear
cocoa meets coco chanel
wallpaper plate set, $40. blue shown, other plate is red
cupid rocks this design
lumen oil lamp, $48
see the forest through the little tree
by night
or by day…


(photos: top photo flower outline pillow from three sheets, $65. all photos from elsewares)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, kitchen, textiles on February 09, 2006

Rosanna

Flashback. 80′s Toto. Sing along with me, “All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see you eyes, Rosanna, Rosanna – I never thought that a girl like you could ever care for me, Rosannaaaaaaa…”

Fast Forward. 2006. Cute dishware by company called Rosanna. No relation to Toto song. Just felt a rocker chick moment and had to seize it before a live audience. (You are still live after that, right?) Now onto said plates.

I’ve been purchasing Rosanna dishware since 2001, so I have some say in the matter. First off, they are so ridiculously cute. They’re like the cutest puppy looking up at you with big eyes cute. The plates are sold in sets of 4 for around $25 and come packaged in girly girl decorative boxes that look like little hat boxes. They are made of sturdy stoneware and are microwave, dishwasher, and leaving them dirty in your sink for weeks, safe. The Rosanna collection also features mugs, teapots, frosted glass tumblers, and so many more not-so-plain-jane dishware that you just have to check them out for yourself.

Design tip: Buy a shadow box that is deep enough for the plate. Paint, wallpaper, or cork the back interior of the box. You can even use a mirror. Then, with amazingly strong hot glue, glue one of the “Parisian Wallpaper” plates into the frame, centered. Viola! Very cool art under glass.

“Need you all the way. Rosanna yeah….”

(Photos TOP: “Parisian Wallpaper”. BOTTOM: “Chandeliers” collection of plates, teapots, teacups and saucers. All photos from Rosanna Inc.)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, kitchen on January 19, 2006

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