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Delicate Doilies from Martha Stewart Living

I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.

The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!

I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.

Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).

Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.

MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.

(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, inspiration on November 20, 2008

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

It’s time for Etsy Take Five Tuesdays. Would you like to visit some fun shops this week along with me? Good, take my hand and let’s go. Here are five that I think you may like…


Can anyone ever get enough positive affirmation? I doubt it. Their isn’t enough sincerity in the world in my opinion – there’s a difference between being nice and meaning it from the heart. I find that the best way to pull myself up when I’m feeling a bit heavy at heart is to rely on the strength inside. You know, that ever glowing light that no one can take away. That is why I appreciate the work of Sarah Gardner so much, her positive art reminds us that we’re completely capable of finding answers within ourselves, of finding our inner hero.


When I hear the words “French” and “Illustrator” in the same sentence I feel a pattern of goosebumps form on my arm. There is just something about French illustration that has me at hello. Have you heard of Adolie Day? She has a lovely little Etsy shop and a new blog too, pouring with information about her art and life along with photos from art shows (like the one shown above) that she has been a part of. Not to mention her blog has some of the loveliest music to listen to as you browse… turn it up. Transporting!

Ladies & Gentlemen is the sweetest little vintage shop… I love their ornaments but I’d use this year round on tree branches. Ask my husband, I’m a branch addict — always bringing them into the house to decorate or hang above the window to decorate with glass balls… We have a small spider problem when I first bring them in but I place them outside so they can run back to their little webs. I imagine that they’re cheering, pumping their little spidey legs in the air (woot!) as I close the door, happy I spared their little life. I digress… Ladies & Gentlemen has the sweetest little decorative birds, animals, and fun shapes to play with whether you have a branch or not.

Morris & Essex has some great cards, folksy, modern, and I really like the homemade feel of the brown kraft paper. Fun! They are very warm and decorative, you can frame them to enjoy year round.

Village Clayworks, handmade ceramics by Catherine Reece, are totally sweet and make beautiful gifts I think. I especially like the little birdie vase.

I’m going to get dressed up now because we’re going to a concert – yay! See you back here tomorrow.

(images from stores linked in this post)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on November 18, 2008

New: Project Announcement – Kindred

The best things in life are often FREE… :) I’m very excited to share a new project under the name Kindred. I’ve teamed up with Heather “Ez” Pudewa from Creature Comforts because we share many of the same dreams and passions and feel as though we are kindred spirits, though we’ve never met in person we have a strong online (and telephone) friendship that really means a lot to us. We thought it would be fun to work on mini projects together, collaborating with artists in the process, and sharing the results with all of you. That’s what Kindred is all about…

The first and current project under Kindred is called, “Wallpapered Together.? Through this project we hope to:

  • Bring a seasonally curated selection of art and photography to your desktop on a quarterly basis.
  • Show our ongoing support of the independent online community by sharing the work of 5-8 accomplished and budding talents per quarter (at no charge to the artists or to you).
  • Share some of our favorite talents with the many friends we’ve made online over the years – a little way of saying thanks to you, our blog readers.

The artists participating in this season?s lineup of wallpapers were asked to create around the theme, “Winter: Dreams.” We see winter as a joyous time but also a resting period, when nature takes a much needed break, people slow down, much hot chocolate is enjoyed by warm fires, and time is spent considering plans for the new year…dreaming of what will come. The artists who have joined us for the launch of this exciting project are listed below. You can find their individual desktop wallpapers along with more information about them, their inspiration for the image, a few dreams of their own, and of course download instructions here.

Many of you, like us, may have your own kindred spirits online, those who encourage, share, motivate, comfort… Kindred is a mini celebration of such friendships formed inside the delicate and vast online web, showing the power of friendship and how kindred spirits can pull together to do creative and fun things all in out of love for art and design. Happiness truly comes from giving and receiving, Kindred is our gift to share with all of you. Enjoy!

A special thanks to Jen, Samantha, Tara, Kerry, Marie-Klara for helping us with the launch — we love your wallpapers and couldn’t have done it without your participation!

See the wallpaper gallery and download your favorites right here.

Psst: You can expect additional desktop wallpapers in a few months, our Spring release of Wallpapered Together will be sometime mid March. Summer will release in June and Autumn in September. Stay tuned!

(images from kindred)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, small business on November 17, 2008

Inspired: The Red Thread by Lisa Tilse

Today over at Real Simple I wrote about the work of Aussie designer Lisa Tilse from The Red Thread. You may remember her from the decor8/Amy Butler contest because she entered the most adorable boy’s room mood board ever (view that here) and placed 3rd runner up. You can read my Real Simple post for the background info on Lisa but I thought I’d simply highlight some of her beautiful art here today since I felt inspired by some these colors and patterns…

Psst: Lisa also has a blog where you find everything from the shows she loves to watch to her creative inspirations and beyond. I’m off to the museum today but I’ll be back in a moment to leave you with a daily discount… Then in a few hours I’ll be back again with a few more discounts and blog posts, some special news about a new project I’m rolling out with another blog I’ve partnered with on something we’re excited to share, and of course I’ll conclude the week with a Happy Weekend post only this week, the post will highlight ALL of the special offers from the past two weeks in case you’ve missed any of them.

See you in a moment!

(images from Lisa Tilse)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, kids on November 14, 2008

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.

eCourses:

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