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I Vote For Art

I was so happy when Ben from I Vote For Art wrote in to announce his newish (opened in May) affordable art shop online featuring the work of talented artists worldwide. I am so inspired by art, seeing how people translate emotions, dreams, their surroundings, memories, etc. into something visual that can be displayed and cherished is so very special to me as I know you feel the same way as I do… We are such art junkies, we can’t get enough! Fortunately there are websites like I Vote For Art to satisfy our desire for more, more, MORE!

Jellyfish by Leo Hillier.

Here is how I Vote For Art works: Create a free account like I did and then have a look at the artwork and if you see something you like click on the little thumb to cast your vote. The art with the most votes gets promoted to the front page giving that artist the chance to have their work seen before all who visit the site. I think this is a very cool concept — site users can voice their opinion — way to go with your rad idea Ben!

Instructions by Kareem Rizk.

Casitas by Marco Recuero.


Mr. Bowler by Sauerkids.

Abril by Seniorita Polyester.

Today Is The Greatest by ben the illustrator.

Of course, the site isn’t only about voting… you can buy art (yay!) and even sell your own work and by listing your piece(s) on I Vote For Art you can also see how people respond to it. Interested in learning more? You can find out the full scoop-de-doop here.

Thanks Ben for writing in, I voted for the works above…

(images from the sources listed above via i vote for art)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on September 30, 2008

Sidsel Gaustadnes & Spagat

I cannot deny my love for owls. I carry a photograph of one in my wallet and look at it whenever I need courage or if I’m in a bad mood — I glance at my little owl and the world is all better again. Don’t laugh, I love carrying around little tokens that reel me back in whenever I’m feeling a little out of balance. Something about owls in particular really captivates me. When I was little my mother took me regularly to this beautiful sculpture park and garden in South Carolina near our house called Brookgreen Gardens. It was my absolute favorite place to go, especially because it had a small zoo where I would spend hours admiring the owls. I would stand before them perched high in their tree and imagine what they were thinking, what they did when the zoo closed, if they understood what I said as I spoke to them. I always felt tremendous peace looking at them, the great horned owls were my favorites…

It’s no surprise why today I’m still very much a lover of owls. I’m always interested when I find others who have been inspired enough by owls to photograph them or include these gorgeous birds into their artwork or pattern designs, like artist and graphic designer Sidsel Gaustadnes from the Spagat blog and shop.

A card Sidsel designed that will soon be in her shop… no owls here but look closely at what it says. It’s a riot but many a truth is told in jest!

Doesn’t this arrangement look so sweet? These are paintings by Sidsel and her studiomate Line Juhl Hansen. Line is a professional artist and freelance architect who has a lovely blog here and an Etsy shop. I’d love to own a painting from Line or Sidsel.

Do you like owls too? If not, what do you enjoy seeing in artwork that gives you good memories of times past? I love owls, birds in general, and girls – fashion illustrations, abstract paintings of women, and of course florals… I never tire of flowers.

(images from Sidsel Gaustadnes)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on September 29, 2008

Paintings by Amy Rice

I had such a wonderful day today! Remember, I’m between 6-9 hours ahead of my friends in the states, so for me the day is just about to end (it’s 11:30 PM here). What did I do? Well first, my IKEA kitchen was delivered and installed — I cooked my first official meal tonight (that wasn’t in a microwave!) in our new space and we had our friend Allie over. He kept telling me how crazy he was about the kitchen, how my light looks like a little dog, and the great walnut counters that he went ‘nuts’ for. Well, not real walnut, they are IKEA laminate, so faux bois… But they look spectacular and I’m thrilled. I also did a ton of errand running with my husband and Allie in the city this afternoon… stocked up on art supplies at this massive 2-floor art supply/craft store called Idee. No Martha Stewart supplies there but honestly, I don’t care and don’t miss MS at all because I’m learning to live without certain products just fine, replacing them with new ones that I’ve never seen before. It’s a nice change for me I think.

Wren & Chickadee

I have been living in Germany now for 6 weeks and keep wondering when the fun will end because every single day has been great and I’m not exaggerating. The best part of the day was when my mother-in-law came over again today with yet another friend of hers to ‘tour’ my apartment. She makes such a big deal out of my place and all of her friends are the cutest — picture 60+ year old ladies who have very ‘old German style’ interiors with lots of orange, blue, and brown touring my modern mostly white, lilac, gray, and pastel-y apartment swooning over my stuff. The best part was when one of them was going nuts over my photography from Wren & Chickadee and a surreal print from Betsy Walton. I was grinning ear to ear. They all told me that I should open a shop here and, “bring this style to us”. I have concluded that it’s not that older Germans do not like light and bright colors and fun motifs, it’s that they aren’t exposed to it in the same way that I am being online all day… One thing I must comment is that I’m going to try harder to bring the art I see on sites like Etsy, DaWanda, Trunkt, etc. to those who I know aren’t online like some of the ladies that have been visiting me via my husband’s mom. I was thinking of placing a big order for postcards and such from all of my favorite shops and keep them in a vintage wire postcard holder in my entryway so that when people come over and see my art and all this stuff they’ve not seen before, I can give them some postcards and small prints to take home with them. Spread a little indie art love. Why not? So now I just need to find a vintage postcard holder that I can mount on the wall or perhaps something that spins for a shelf top… eBay Germany here I come!

Betsy Walton

Okay so back to art… I was shopping yesterday in Jennifer Davis’ etsy shop and while talking to her she told me about this project that she recently worked on with Amy Rice and so I looked at Amy’s blog and website and stopped dead in my boots. Amy is phenomenal! Now I’m wondering is Amy has prints because I’d love to add something to my apartment from her collection too.

Amy Rice

My goodness she is talented. Where has she been all of my life? I cannot believe I’ve not heard of her until today because I’m sure all of you talented design savvy creatures already know… and I’m just light years behind perhaps? If some of you are in the same boat as I am, then let us drool over the paintings of Ms. Rice together, shall we? First let me show you my very favorite piece, “Make a Wish”, from her collection. I heard it’s sold so my heart hurts a bit but oh well, I’m certain someone out there is very happy with it.

Look at the colors, the frame, oh.my.god. I just made a wish that whoever purchased Make a Wish will feel sorry for me and send me this painting. I doubt it will work. :) Making a wish does not guarantee it will be granted but part of the fun in life is hoping and wishing, don’t you think?

And look at this stenciled building with her paintings on it. I really enjoy seeing her work in such a natural setting. I can totally see her work hanging over some lush velvet sofa in an Anthropologie store, can’t you? It would fit into so many different decor styles from bohemian modern to a country farmhouse.

Amy if you’re reading I’m sorry for not blogging about you much sooner as the more I’ve read about you online this afternoon the more I realize how famous you are and how behind I am. Your work is brilliant and has inspired me so much today… Thank you for sharing your vision and lovely work to the world Amy!

Find Amy here: Her blog, Flickr, and website.

(images from wren & chickadee (first), betsy walton (second) and all others from amy rice)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on September 24, 2008

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Hello and thanks for your patience today as I know decor8 has been down for about 12 hours. Lucky for me, most of you were cozy in your little beds so you may not have noticed, but being 6-9 hours ahead of my friends in the states, I have been diligently working on the problem to see exactly why the little decor8 blog has been sick while you were asleep. I think I may have blog diva Heather Armstrong to blame. Even if I don’t, I will blame her anyway because I feel like it. :) No, serious… it really is all her fault. The moment she blogged about me on her mega hit blog Dooce I was screwed. One part happy another part oh crap! (in that order) because when she wrote this I was happy (and shocked and flattered because we all know she is next to take the seat when Oprah passes the torch to the next big thing) and then 5 minutes later I couldn’t access my blog anymore, a so-called “server error”. I think she sent some kind of crazy traffic spike my way because my server couldn’t take it. I have the prima deluxe ultimate mega server package too so I have no clue why it turned into the little blog that could…n’t but longggg story short, I’m happily blogging again! And thank you Heather, you made my day!

Okay so what shall we talk about today? I’m thinking I’ll start with Etsy Take Five Tuesdays and go from there. Sound like a plan? Okay… Here are my Five Faves for the week.

I love Lucie! First up is Summersville (Lucie Summers) based out of the UK with bright perky prints and home accessories that have a clean, modern aesthetic. Loving Summersville this week!

Cards and calendars never steer far off of my radar as I find myself always loving them. Half of the cards I buy I never send though… it’s more like a paper obsession thing. I love looking at them, tacking them up on my inspiration board, placing a few on my magnetic board, I can’t get enough. Jessica Gonacha makes it easy for paper addicts because finding something you’ll love is super easy. Great product shots too. She gets major props for that.


I don’t think I’ve ever included the High Street Market in my weekly round up of fantastic Etsy sellers and thing is, I’ve meant to ever since she opened up her lovely shop! I know I blog a lot of ‘cute’ things but High Street Market is more grown up for those of you who are looking for some seriously nice (and affordable) home accessories and furnishings. Owned by a talented interior designer, items are carefully collected and made new again to resell in her fab Etsy shop. Such a great selection and best part… it updates constantly so be sure you sign up to be on her mailing list (HighStreetMarket [at] gmail.com).

And finally we have the talented Bow & Arrow out of Brooklyn with letterpress cards… Letterpress is like a totally ‘new’ concept here in Germany for cards – I can’t find a single paper shop that sells them. I’m not sure why, but paper products here are not that great. We need a really kick butt paper seller in this country to establish a chain of high quality stationery and gift wrap shops. Seriously. I see this happening in the future…

Next up is Toast. Puffy fabric floral pins for my jacket? I’m IN on this trend because whoa is this not the cutest ever?? Oh my heart… it’s melting! I really like seeing fun brooches and after realizing lately that my personal style could use a bit more color (I wear wayyy too much purple, gray, silver, and black) I think I’ll place an order with Toast. I want to pin some to pillows too. BTW: Speaking of fashion I have a quick trend report from Germany for ya: Gold (bright yellow) tights are HOT for Fall. They are everywhere here and I heard that they’ll be hot in most northern European cities over the next few months. I noticed them in Berlin over the weekend paired with lots of bright purple. It’s 1988 all over again…

Any Etsy sellers that you’re into this week? I go through phases so my favorites are constantly changing as I’m sure yours as too. Please share, even if you want to be totally shallow and give your own shop a plug. No problem-o!

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on September 23, 2008

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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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