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Arts + Crafts

Arts + Crafts

Julia Rothman

September 19, 2007

My Julia Rothman Luxury Apt print finally came back from the frame shop. I had it mounted against a soft blue background because I love the look of the raw edges on the print. I spent an hour deciding on this frame, I drifted from wood to white to silver and although I disliked it with polished silver, the matte silver with lots of texture (mostly lines) won.

Julia Rothman
Because it’s silkscreened and I don’t want it to fade, I had the framer use UV glass to protect it. I don’t know where it will end up, perhaps the living room or the office, but for now it will hang out on my credenza until it finds a home.

Julia Rothman

My credenza is the unofficial parking lot in our house, the transition space, limbo land. It’s where I put everything until I’ve decided on it’s final destination. And when it comes to art, I’m careful not to install it quickly as I prefer to live with it first. Julia has such beautiful prints, and she’s a really nice person, which makes shopping from her a pleasure. :)

(image by holly becker for decor8)

Arts + Crafts, Inspiration

A few of my favorite things…

September 18, 2007

I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite things this week. The first shot is of Boston Home magazine flaunting it’s sparkling new image. With the arrival of editor Rachel Levitt along with a new art director, the renamed Boston Home magazine feels fresh, hip, and for me, way more exciting that previous issues that still felt a bit trapped in the Ye Ole New England that most of us like for it’s charm, but certainly don’t mind merging a bit of the old with latest trends and ideas. This magazine is great news for Boston because the city is rapidly growing and with transplants making a home for themselves in brownstones and loft spaces throughout the city, they really need a great local magazine to turn to for inspiration and resources.

A few of my favorite things...
If you look carefully at the cover (top right), you’ll see my friend Fernanda of Simplemente Blanco, an interior designer, amazing stylist, product designer, seamstress (the list goes on forever, she’s such an inspiration to me!) from Argentina who now lives in Boston with her husband. They have an artist’s loft, office, and showroom in the South End, a home in Brookline, and they’ve recently opened a new retail storefront called On The Side, collaborating with the extremely talented guys from Boxx Furniture. The store flaunts the more industrial, contemporary furniture from Boxx, and the soft touches, clean lines, and multiple layers and textures of Simplemente Blanco. Together, the unexpected combinations of warmth and beauty mingled with modern and industrial, really work. And that’s the beauty of an amazing designer – they can merge several different styles and somehow make them work in ways the average person may never have thought of. Gorgeous. Here’s a shot of their new storefront, located at 46 Waltham Street in Boston.

A few of my favorite things...
If you’re local, you have to go visit them, they’re all very nice people and the space is exquisite – a breathe of fresh air for Boston. Also be sure to pick up Boston Home magazine and look for the article and beautiful interior photos of the Simplemente Blanco home in Brookline. Congratulations, Fernanda!

Another favorite thing of the moment, Martha Stewart’s Good Things (just hit newsstands, top left) showing all these affordable and easy DIY projects for the home. For $4, it’s compact, loaded with ideas, what every DIY enthusiast should own. I have to try out the stenciled doormat next Spring, it looks so easy and I love the idea of personalizing one using paint and stencils. FUN.

A few of my favorite things...
The next little thing I’ve found quite useful lately is the Perry Street clock at Kate Spade. It’s available in yellow, blue, black, green, and pink (in stores, online just yellow) and so very cute and sturdy. It even has a little screw in kick stand that holds it up, and the alarm is loud enough to wake you from even the deepest sweet dreams. Because it’s so compact, it makes for the perfect travel companion, this little guy is going with me to Germany. It’s also affordable at $40, a mini splurge that you’re sure to love for years, plus it would make the sweetest gift.

A few of my favorite things...
While browsing the South End Open Market this past Sunday, I met Mimi Kirchner and viewed her textile artwork and dolls, which are so intricately made that I walked away thinking she must have more patience that 10 people combined. I purchased this 4 x 6 artwork, and although you can’t see the details, the girl is painted, sewn, and it appears as though she used ink to draw in all the details on her face.

A few of my favorite things...
For $22, this is such a special piece of work. I framed it in a $3 IKEA frame and think it looks really pretty, maybe I’ll give it to a friend or something. I was glad to meet Mimi as I only first heard about her about a month ago from the girls that run the Boston Handmade blog.

A few of my favorite things...
If you love cooking and gorgeous imagery in cookbooks, you have to get your hands on Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. It’s flat out AMAZING. Trust me on this. The recipes are wonderful and you can spend an entire afternoon just looking at the pictures in this inspiring book. I saw it at Anthropologie last night and still feel bad that I left it behind. I’m going to order it right now… If you’d like to learn more about Tessa Kiros, visit blogger Who Wants Seconds and read her interview with Tessa.

A few of my favorite things...
And I can’t talk about favorite things without showing you some Amy Butler fabric that I picked up last night. A decor8 reader commented once that Fabric Place in Woburn wasn’t as nice as the one in Framingham, so I headed over there on my way to meet my friend Paris for dinner and shopping at the new Natick Collection, I had to swing by Fabric Place to explore – and score! Lots of Amy Butler fabric in my favorite colorways – blues, blues, and more blue tones!

A few of my favorite things...
This one will become a roman shade or curtain of some sort for my kitchen where the walls are yellow – I think it will really highlight them. This is one of the projects I plan to work on while in Germany with my seamstress friend Susanna. Some of the others will be used to make a large gumdrop pillow, another project for Susanna and I to keep me busy on rainy days. When these projects are complete, I’ll share them with you.

A few of my favorite things...

And of course I’ll bring along my new Amy Butler Sew-It Kit, it includes a booklet, tons of patterns, instructions, thread, 2 pieces of fabric, and more!

What are some of your favorite things of the moment?

(images by holly becker for decor8)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Selflesh

September 18, 2007

I think the work of Selflesh is fascinating, I love enlarging the images and looking at the details on the maps. Shannon Rankin is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Maine, with a blog and an etsy store where you can find these prints for around $20.

Selflesh
Shannon uses her art to discover the many connections that exist between geography, anatomy, and botany, combining “the visual elements of maps, anatomical illustrations, and natural forms to explore themes of travel, healing, and time.”

Psst: Would you like to see her workspace? Click here to visit her shed, it’s pretty cool!

(images from selflesh)

Arts + Crafts

Stephanie Levy

September 18, 2007

If you crave color, you’ll love Stephanie Levy. This talented lady recently wrote to me about her mixed media collages and paintings that depict fictional interiors of colorful, retro spaces. An American artist from Tennessee now living in Germany, Stephanie is quite a shooting star on the web, as her work is jumping around from blog to blog, and now from gallery to gallery. Currently, she’s showing some collages at SQFT Gallery in Nashville, and they’re available in their online shop until September 28th.

Stephanie LevyI’m quite drawn to mixed media collage art, my fascination started as a child because my mother and aunt created art for our family home, including my nursery, I feel warm and at home when I’m around it. Stephanie’s work is exciting because she infuses gorgeous patterns and bright, mostly primary colors that aren’t a bit childish or harsh, but joyous and invigorating.

Stephanie Levy
Seeing this work motivates me to create, don’t you feel the same way?

Nice work, Stephanie, you not only create beautiful things, but also ignite a creative spark in others. :) Thank you for writing in and congratulations on your new baby girl!

(images from stephanie levy)

Arts + Crafts, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Travel

Nahcotta: Enormous Tiny Art Show II – Reception Tonight!

September 14, 2007

If you’re in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area this evening, you won’t want to miss the Enormous Tiny Art Show II currently underway at the beautiful Portsmouth-based gallery, Nahcotta: Enormous Tiny Art Show II - Reception Tonight!The show features work that is 10″ x 10″ or smaller and runs from September 12th – October 7th in conjunction with Three Graces Gallery and their Teenie Tiny Art Show. Amy Ruppel, Tara Hogan (Ink & Wit), Marisa Haedike (Creative Thursday), Dan-ah Kim, Cathy Nichols, Matte Stephens, Burcu Okay, Sam Faix, Ann Kirchner, Jennifer Judd-McGee (Swallowfield), Kate O’Leary, Lucie Summers, Sofia Barao, and Susie Ghahremani (Boy Girl Party), are a few of my picks, of course many other terrific artists are taking part in this amazing show so if you attend, you may find a few favorites of your own. Some of these artists will be attending in person, like Jennifer Judd-McGee and Tara Hogan, and it’s rumored that Amy Ruppel may attend as well, so if you’d like to meet them, stop by!

Nahcotta: Enormous Tiny Art Show II - Reception Tonight! Carefully mapping out everything for installation.
Nahcotta: Enormous Tiny Art Show II - Reception Tonight!That’s a lot of art!
Nahcotta: Enormous Tiny Art Show II - Reception Tonight! The work of Kelly Moore on display.

If you aren’t in the Portsmouth area don’t worry, you can view everything in the show online, and if you see something you like, write to Deb at Nahcotta for more information and how to purchase. email: Deb at gallery AT nahcotta DOT com.

(images from nahcotta)

Arts + Crafts, DIY

Unfinished Frames on the Cheap

September 13, 2007

I’ve been trying to stay busy this week to avoid falling into a total state of depression over the recent death in our immediate family. The only way I can get through it all and maintain some joy is to find things to do around the house, play positive music, and work on a few projects that are easy enough so that I don’t walk away frustrated and tense. Stay positive! Keep smiling! That’s the only way to deal sometimes when all I want to do is hide under my blanket.
No hiding allowed.

Unfinished Frames on the Cheap
So I painted a wall in my living room this morning. No clue why, but I felt like painting things was the way to kick my sadness. And it works. Last night, I put those sticky discs on some of my favorite plates like I told you about earlier. No real effort there, but it made me feel like I accomplished something because I seriously detested those wire hangers I had before. So a few easy tasks later, and my smile is more natural and less forced.

But I still feel like painting, so I took this small unfinished wood frame that I found at the craft store and applied a few coats of white paint. I love all the little original works of art that I buy, but most of them look so much nicer when framed and I’m not about to run to the frame store for every little painting I have. I just came back from the local frame shop and $200 later, I have two of my favorite prints up and gorgeous. But still, $200 is a lot of money and I certainly can’t give all of my art work the royal treatment. Unfinished frames, no glass, that’s the way to go for mini paintings. Plus, it makes them appear much larger.

Unfinished Frames on the Cheap
I think this $4 one works nicely with one of my Creative Thursday paintings purchased back in March. These frames come in various sizes and widths, so I didn’t give it much thought, I just grabbed the only one on the shelf assuming that for $4, it will work until I can buy a better frame. It had a 5 x5 insert, the painting is 5 x 5, so what could go wrong. Nothing.

Unfinished Frames on the Cheap
The results are very nice after applying a few coats of primer, a few coats of white acrylic paint, and a single coat of clear lacquer. I simply popped the 5×5 painting in the back and taped to secure. I know I can use hardware to secure it, but until I run to Lowe’s, strong tape will do just fine. So what will I do next? Maybe I’ll go buy a new staple gun and try not to staple my hand as I did last time when I was reupholstering a chair and held the gun backwards. Ouch! Okay, no staple gun projects for me this week. I think I’ll sew something, that’s always great therapy and I do have some pants to hem…

Psst: If you’d like a pretty painting from Marisa, don’t miss her online sale going on today – I’m not sure what time she’ll be posting them, but I’m sure they’ll sell out quickly so make sure you keep checking her blog for updates.

{Update: Marisa just posted her paintings right here.}

(images from holly becker for decor8)

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