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Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

I’ve really been enjoying the hand-picked items on the Etsy home page recently, especially today as some of my finds here came directly from shops I spotted in hand-picked. Wanna check out the stores on my radar this week? Here we go, friendsies! :)

I adore the bag designs of this South African designer, Wendren and her shop Wren. Handcrafted by Wendren and with help from her local community, no two bags are alike. Motivated by sustainable principles, Wren is a small business dedicated to the production of conscientious design that is authentic and well made. Lovely! (Psst: She also has a website here and a DaWanda store here.)


Hettle in Connecticut connected me to a bit of my past today. Did you know that when I was like 19-years-old I was trained by a seamstress to construct custom hats, headpieces for brides, and pins/clips for bridesmaids in a millinery shop? Oh yes. And I remember very clearly all the work involved, and all of the rosettes just like the ones shown on Hettles pillows that we had to make in a week by hand. It was such a wonderful job though and I stuck with it for a few summers in a row. After seeing these pillows today I remembered this period in my life and that I really should try to make something with rosettes for my home. I imagine the drapes in my bedroom, my white linen ones, could use some fancy (but simple) embellishment. Perhaps a few rosettes as a simple tie back with velvet pale mocha ribbon? Hmmm. Anyway, I love these pillows – linen and velvet? Oh sign me up!


Piano Bench Designs in New Mexico is just holy smokes cute. Cupcake necklaces? Check. Initial necklaces? Bunny wabbits? Check. Happy clouds? Check, check, check! Love this girl, love her jewelry… Weeeee!


Canadian photographer Jennifer Squires has my attention this week as I’ve been experimenting more with nature and travel photography and so I find her work a bit of an inspiration to my own. Jennifer currently has a series in which she has photographed pieces of her vacation to Greece and I find them so serene and exactly how I imagine life in Greece to be. Thanks Jennifer for writing in about your work this week!

And last but far from least, I’ve really been into blankets lately. Lap quilts in particular. I do love those granny-esque crochet ones (you know, the one that a designer was kicked off of Top Design last season for…oooh!), and of course ethnic patterned blankets (esp. if they’re vintage)… but lately I’m really craving a good old-fashioned quilt to curl up under on my sofa. I made one and I use it in my New Hampshire home, but it took me like 30 years to make it so I’m not sure if I should attempt another one before the ultra-cold weather sets in or if I should suck it up and shell out some dough on a beautiful handmade quilt on Etsy. I mean, I am supporting small business if I purchase one, right (justifying a purchase is hardly a problem for me)? I picked up a blanket at IKEA in August but it’s not warm at all, that’s synthetic fibers for ya, and it basically looks pretty and nothing more. Arm candy for my sofa, no substance — it can’t keep me warm at night. I bet the ones from Golden Gate Quilts (aka SFOQuilter) would be a nice replacement for the IKEA one. I appreciate that they’re so affordable given the sheer amount of work that goes into piecing all these squares together… having made a full-size one myself, I know the work involved. If someone sells a lap quilt for $150, they are basically earning $5 an hour to sit and make it. I like the patterns and fabric combos that the SFOQuilter uses, lovely! I wish she shipped abroad because I would purchase this quilt in a heartbeat! (Psst: She also sells quilted table runners.)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my eclectic round up this week! :)

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on October 21, 2008

Muse Magazine {Fashion/Art}

Does anyone out there read new Italian fashion/art magazine Muse? I’m HOOKED… I mean H-O-O-K-E-D. It’s more coffee table book than magazine as it’s super thick and filled with images that you will want to refer back to often. It’s a lot like Lula, my all-time favorite fashion magazine. I just found Muse here in Germany and I cannot stop looking at my copy called Back to Nature. If you can get this in your part of the world I strongly encourage picking one up. Chic, fashion forward, amazing photography, creative… Lovely.

It’s also where I found out about the photography of Osvaldo Sanviti and his blog. Oh my.

And I found UK fashion photographer Karen Alexander who took the most lovely portrait of Kate Moss that I think I’ve ever seen, so delicate and feminine. I am a huge Kate Moss fan (her work as a model I mean) so it was lovely to come across this photograph above taken by Ms. Alexander.

I encourage you to visit the Muse page on My Space and listen to the song featured on their page “Roche ” by Sebastien Tellier, sit back with a cup of tea for a moment, and enjoy the sights and sounds. And full disclosure here: I do not speak French so if this song is offensive I am not responsible! :)

(images: muse magazine, karen alexander, osvaldo sanviti)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, fashion + accessories on October 20, 2008

Heisuke Kitazawa: Illustrator

I was completely blown away this morning when I started to research the portfolio of 32-year-old Heisuke Kitazawa, also known as PCP, his surreal vivid work has been picked up by large clients like Sony Music and Honda, along with Kenzo (he designed the packaging for L’Eau Par Kenzo Homme) and in ’07 he designed the interior murals for San Francisco-based Hotel Tomo (large collection of photos here). One piece of his work that I must briefly highlight today is his CD cover art and website design for San Mateo, CA indie band Her Space Holiday. (They are also on My Space if you’d like to hear their music.)

The design for his own website is completely imaginative and gorgeous but the works he has recently done on the Her Space Holiday band site is just super. Make sure you view his online portfolio because I think you will really like it!



Hotel Tomo in Japantown San Francisco, CA. A great space for J-pop style! I love seeing hotels commission work like this. And to think that this is a Best Western hotel really blows me away. I’ve already asked my husband is we can stay at this place since we’re due for a visit to San Francisco next year. :)


Three original watercolors for the Tree show at Giant Robot from this past summer. Not bad for first time watercolor paintings, Heisuke!

He also designed the CD cover art for Japanese solo artist Kushibiki Sayaka (available here on Amazon Japan). I think combining photography with illustrative work has to be my favorite form of contemporary art at the moment.


A snippet of his work, “The end of ICO is beginning of another”, inspired by one of his favorite PS2 game called ICO, currently on display at Giant Robot in San Francisco, CA.

If you’d like to view his work live, he is currently taking part in a really cool art show in San Francisco called Game Over, a show featuring artwork inspired by video games (love this theme, don’t you?) now until October 29, 2008 @ Giant Robot located at 618 Shrader Street.

You can also purchase some of Heisuke Kitazawa’s drawings, prints, books, and wallets in his store right here. Fantastic!

(images: heisuke kitazawa)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, furniture, travel, walls on October 20, 2008

Manuela De Simone: Illustrator

This weekend I came across the work of 26-year-old Italian illustrator Manuela De Simone in one of my new favorite magazines, Advanced Photoshop (UK). My husband has been reading this magazine for quite awhile? but this is the first time I actually sat down and looked at it… Talk about a GREAT thorough publication that not only covers how advanced users of Photoshop can improve their designs (obviously) but showcases the work of up-and-coming and established artists from all over the world. I was blown away by some of the work that I found in issue #49, especially that of Manuela shown below.

Using a combination of pencils and Photoshop, she creates colorful characters that transmit good feelings and her love of children’s illustration. After researching her a bit online, I discovered that she not only has a DeviantArt page, but an Etsy shop (yes really!), a new blog, AND a calendar for 2009 (in case this post didn’t give you enough calendar options, he he). You can purchase the calendar here if you’d like.

Also in the issue I found the inspiring work of Brand Nu, Heisuke Kitazawa (who I’ll feature more in depth here in a moment), Lee Woodgate, and JeanSpezial. Mind blowing links, I seriously encourage major exploration! :)

(images from manuela de simone)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on October 20, 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.

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