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Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Mixtape Zine: Pre-order your copy today!

July 11, 2007

Jen from Craving Anthropologie told me about a crafty zine from Australia that you can pre-order for $4 from the Mixtape etsy store. I pre-ordered mine because I really love zines and wish I could afford to support every single crafty one out there because they’re just terrific resources on that home grown, handmade, down-to-earth level that so many of us love.

Mixtape Zine: Pre-order your copy today!The debut issue of Mixtape (cover artwork by Shannon), will release August 12. The issue combines craft, from eco-hip items to pop culture kitsch, with features on eco-friendly tips for renters, 5 ways to go green, best of etsy, positive parenting, a recipe for walnut & maple scrub along with a slipper tutorial, and lots of other fun things. Order yours right here. And thanks again Jen for the tip!

Psst: To learn more about this zine, and how you can take part as either a contributor or advertiser, click here. I’ve secretly always wanted my own magazine, so maybe I should try a decor8zine someday, all about decorating, design blogging, and pretty things that inspire along with loads of encouraging thoughts. That would be fun. But of course, I’d want to include my favorite bloggers and friends on the internet that I’ve made. Can you imagine how fun it would be to create a collaborative zine like this, only with more of a focus on decorating from the heart? I’d love it. Now my brain is churning this idea. Something to think about as I’m on vacation…

(image from mixtape)

Arts + Crafts, Objects, Shopping + Products, Travel

re:makeables

July 11, 2007

There’s another cutie Japanese craft store online called re:makeables that I’m excited to share with you. Shop owner Amy stocks only a few lovely things at a time, like these buttons (there’s a flower bouquet project for you), and of course, the sweet little fabrics for crafty projects. Thanks Amy for letting us know about re:makeables, it’s adorable!

re:makeablesre:makeables
Looking for additional Japanese craft resources online? Click on keyword Japanese, highlighted below.

(images from re:makeables)

Arts + Crafts, Inspiration, Rooms

Notes on finding refreshment…

July 10, 2007

Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.

Notes on finding refreshment... A fabulous 50s kitchen from Crafty Beaver

I think it’s important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider “time suckers” when referring to hobbies involving entertainment – like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it’s not a time sucker if it’s productive in even a small way. If you’re parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that’s a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that’s positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can’t over-analyze everything we do because that’s no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it’s good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I’m focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.

Notes on finding refreshment... A colorful corner from Wisecraft with curtains that I really like. :)
Notes on finding refreshment... A nature-inspired grouping on a simple shelf from Little Birds.
Notes on finding refreshment... Ivanka Trump’s Living Room from In Style magazine via SarahLeeAb. Spot the foo dogs?
Notes on finding refreshment... A gorgeous fireplace decorated by Abigail Percy. What a dreamy blue background.
Notes on finding refreshment... An IKEA paper lamp with an added touch from two straight lines – handmade butterflies! This is a nice way to add some charm to something that all your friends may have… You don’t have to accept something as is. Look for inexpensive ways to make things more personal, and beautiful!
Notes on finding refreshment... Jeana_Sohn’s cozy kitchen nook. I love this little space because it’s simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in dotting all the i’s. Maybe we can give some corners of our homes a little “less is more” treatment? Just a thought…
Notes on finding refreshment... Great use for library card catalogs – a craft room must for bitsandbobbins.
Notes on finding refreshment... Kitchen flowers from GMW.
Notes on finding refreshment... Ships ahoy! Amazing sailboats handcrafted by Ann Wood. (She is something else!)
Notes on finding refreshment... A Brooklyn brownstone in the heights, snapped by Alternate Words (also my husband). This place had a ton of pendants hanging inside, see them? It isn’t a reflection, there must have been at least 6 of them. This is from our June trip to NYC. We both agreed that Claire Huxtable and Heathcliff had to be due home any moment.
Notes on finding refreshment... Sleepy kitty from Accolady. Zzzz. I want to kiss its little nose.
Notes on finding refreshment... A fabulous inspiration wall from Matirose.
Notes on finding refreshment... Altogether gorgeousness from Annamariahorner. What colors!
Notes on finding refreshment... A pink beetle in Mexico via ***anahita.
Notes on finding refreshment... And finally, a lovely arrangement of things by mizutamago.

On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It’s also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.

It’s not about just accepting what we’ve been given. It’s about being more.

To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let’s take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it’s through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!

I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)

(images: sources noted beneath each photo)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Shim + Sons

July 9, 2007

Pretty new things from Shim + Sons that I thought you’d enjoy seeing today. I have to make a pencil cup now, these look like a fun project for the abundance of scrap fabrics and papers I have laying around. There are lots of new products just added today, including button magnets, and patchwork tea towels. Beautiful, as always! (I love these faux bois magnets, so sweet.)

Shim + Sons

(images from shim + sons)

Arts + Crafts, Color Inspiration, Inspiration, Rooms

Just Add Orange!

June 29, 2007

Flickr user Robertspeg sent me a lovely little note a few days ago that I’d like to share with you since it gave me a few thoughts on orange that I’ll mention below. She begins, “I loved your orange post today. Orange is a color I never thought I would use in decorating. Then a couple of years ago, I found I really loved it with pink. Now I use it all the time.”

Just Add Orange!
Peggy is right, orange doesn’t always “click” with everyone at first, at least until they spot it mingled with colors they do love. Eureka! A feeling of surprise sets in, orange suddenly becomes your new best friend. Peggy adds that for her, there was a certain something that she had to do to make orange click in her apartment, “I painted the walls white and now I find I use orange, blue and pink constantly. I never thought I would use such a strange color combination.” And it works, as you can clearly see from Peggy’s photos above.

Orange looks great with pink, also with blue (remember this mood board from Starlee Matz?), and of course, green and cocoa brown, too. They all work nicely together in nature, which is where a lot of designers draw their inspiration, so of course they’ll work indoors, too.

Consider the colors of the desert, the coast, a sunset, or those in your flower garden. When I see color combinations in nature that interest me, I photograph it and save for future reference, as these often inspire my own work. Even if you don’t consider yourself a shutterbug, purchase a digital camera and carry it with you at all times. Just the other day, I saw the most beautiful whitetail and I asked my husband to photograph it (I wasn’t patient enough to chase it as he was!) because it was so pretty – the gorgeous blue body combined with silvery gray wings with cocoa accents. It made me think of a room where the key color is blue, accented with gray and of course, some cocoa and silver.

Artists have looked to nature for inspiration over the centuries, so when decorating your home, look to color combinations outdoors as your guide and let them ignite your creative spark. With every photo I take, I’m stopping to “smell the roses” and it feels so good. Not only am I looking for terrific color combinations, but in the process I discover beautiful little creatures, flowers, plants, all that I may have missed otherwise.

Maybe this weekend, you can carry your camera with you and snap some photos of terrific color combinations in nature? It’s a fun study and will most definitely fire up your imagination. You’ll be surprised to see what you find. :)

(images from robertspeg)

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