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Sweet William

Sweet William is one of my favorite shops because I adore their prints and handmade goodies and really like the illustrative characters, patterns and colorways. My current favorite is the print of the chairs on notebook paper shown below, it’s the best! I bought some things from them over a year ago as gifts for some friends in Germany and they loved their Sweet William pouches and prints! I kept a print for myself and cherish it so much. I really get the sense that all of these nice things were created in love and it makes the purchase feel good because the items come from a happy place inside of one’s soul — produced out of passion and a genuine love for handmade craft.

sweet william

Sweet William is a very small company formed by sisters Shelley Gardner in New Zealand and Paula Mills in Australia and though they live thousands of miles apart they share a connection through Sweet William, “We share a passion for all things creative, we make, draw, sew and collect lots of lovely, sweet things and we are so excited to share them with you.”

Above there is another print that I like in addition to the hand drawn chairs, it’s with a girl and an elephant (I happen to love elephants) and it says, “When choosing friends one should be wise.” This is a very good reminder even when you are all grown up! We often tell children to choose their friends carefully but it’s equally important that this pattern continues into adulthood because friends can really make or break our spirit. I was watching a TED lecture recently (do you watch TED? I barely have time but try to when I can) about social networks and how we can impact one another negatively or positively and why it is important to consider who we call our friends for this reason. I don’t believe in dumping friends when they are going through hard times simply because it could be hard to deal with — but I do believe in distancing myself from those with whom I am not close to through years or blood if I sense that the friendship is weakening me in a way that begins to negatively impact my life. Online this can happen in the social networks we form and so it’s a good idea to watch how certain interactions impact your health and well-being. It’s tricky sometimes isn’t it? But this sweet print is a nice way to remind us of how vital good friends really are.

If you like what you see above (I know you do!), you can also follow Shelley and Paula on the Sweet William blog.

(images: sweet william)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 13, 2010

Katie Kirk + EightHourDay

As you can imagine, I am exposed to the design work of so many that some conclude it must be easy to forget who’s who and and sometimes it can be! Truth is, no matter how many illustrators and graphic designers that I find and feature here, I tend to remember them all (even if I forget their names!) because what I write about strikes a cord with me and so they stick in my mind like glue. And some, like EightHourDay, really stand out as exceptional and it’s then that I find myself revisiting the work that I love regularly to see what’s new — no doubt just as you do with the faves that you collect. Katie Kirk is an illustrator and graphic designer based  in Minneapolis and with her husband, Nathan Strandberg, they own EightHourDay and if you’ve not seen their work before then perhaps they’ll become one of your favorites, too.

Eighthourday

Eighthourday

This multi-disciplinary design boutique has been raved about by Print Magazine, PDN Magazine, HOW Design, and Communication Arts. “Most often found either at the studio, the dog park or an antique shop they aspire for the designed life(style), a place where work, life and inspiration are all equal and integrated organically.” Above is just a glimpse inside of their portfolio… you can view more on their website, her illustration blog, or in their etsy shop where you can purchase some of the prints shown. Enjoy!

(images:eighthourday)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 12, 2010

Parasol Co. – New Fabric!

Parasol Co. just announced that they have created four new fabrics in mushroom, nesting doll and ikat dots (the navy/white is my favorite) in case you are looking for something to freshen your chairs or to transform into a table runner.

Parasol Co.

In addition to fabric, Parasol Co. designs patterned paper goods and limited run digital publications which promote the work of both emerging and established creatives. You may really love their website (nudge, nudge) – it’s so perky and inspirational.

Parasol Co.

Parasol Co. also has digital patterns in their shop that you can also purchase and use for online scrapbooking or even to enhance your blog photos to use as borders and such.

Go color, go!

(images: parasol co.)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, textiles on May 11, 2010

Bigprint Little

I’ve had a huge girl crush on illustrator and textile designer Allison Langton ever since I met her earlier this year. She is such a gifted lady! Whenever I read her blog, Bigprint Little, I’m transported into her dreamy world of pretty pastels and gorgeous graphics. Allison is busy with lots of illustration work for magazines currently and I’d like to share a glimpse of it below. I think you’ll really like to step into her world and to see everyday objects through her eyes – she is very imaginative which is why I adore her so much.

Bigprint Little

Allison, who lives in Melbourne, has over ten years of experience in visual merchandising and holds a degree in textile design. She is certainly up to date when it comes to trends, as you can see in her intuitive, jaw dropping work. I’d love to see her patterns in my home as pillows and curtains, or on products like coffee cups, candy wrappers and party plates.

Bigprint Little

Bigprint Little

Bigprint Little

Allison takes me to my happy place. Does she do the same for you too? I keep hoping she will open an etsy shop so we can buy some of her illustrations as prints. :)

(images: bigprint little)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 10, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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