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Creative Plans for the Summer?

What will you do this summer to tap into your creativity? Please feel free to share, I think that together we can stimulate one another to action!

I decided that if I’m going to bring this up as a topic here today, I better show you that I’m going in head first, too. I signed up for a summer painting class this morning so I’ll be dedicating time each week to exploring the arts while tapping into my artistic side. This is exactly what I needed to do for myself. I can always tell when my imagination isn’t running at its usual pace, I think we all can sense when we’re in need of making some adjustments and for me, I need to get dirty and play with paint because creating something, no matter how small, will make me feel energized. My schedule will change drastically in August, as I have a lot going on during the rest of the year, so I want to take advantage of June and July before they slip through my fingers.

Do you plan to take any summer classes or workshops? Attending any lectures? Have you resolved to spend a morning or afternoon each week to doing something creative? How about a few hours one night a week? How will you be more creative this summer?

(photograph: holly becker)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, small business on June 09, 2008

Community Table at Martha Stewart Online

Just a little tip in case you haven’t stumbled upon this already… I recently jumped in on the crafty action over at Martha Stewart online for creative inspiration and because I was looking for a project once featured in Blueprint magazine. After clicking around for what felt like hours, I found the Blueprint project and I stumbled upon Community Table, a pretty cool feature because it allows you to upload your photo and create a profile, bookmark favorite Martha finds from recipes to crafty home projects, sign up for daily email updates like Craft of the Day (love!), even rate, print, share comments with other community members, and email projects and recipes to friends.

A shiny new project each day of the week.

You can register for Community Table here or if you’d like to see what a profile looks like, mine is available here. You can sign up for a reminder to be sent your way whenever there’s a new Craft of the Day, Cookie of the Day, or Organizing Tip of the Day on the site, they usually arrive in the morning M-F. So far, I really like the custom doormat and the magnetic flowers projects. Do you have some favorites that you’d like to share?

(image from martha stewart)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on June 09, 2008

San Francisco Letterpress Print by Lab Partners

The last thing I need is another print but I cannot resist this San Francisco letterpress print created by Lab Partners. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in this amazing city along with Sonoma, so we have a special place in our hearts for one of our favorite spots in America. It will be seven years next month, I can’t believe how fast time goes by between 28 and 35… All I can say is that things better start slowing down now! :)


This is such a lovely letterpress print, the colors, the retro vibe, so sweet! I just purchased one to pack for Germany since I want to hang it in our place over there. These prints seem to be flying off of the shelves so if you want one get ‘em while they’re hot (and available) right here.

There’s this quote about San Francisco and I can’t help but feel exactly the same as Mencken, “What fetched me instantly (and thousands of other newcomers with me) was the subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States.”-H.L. Mencken, Writer.

(image from lab partners)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, walls on June 06, 2008

Meet Pretty Little Things

I’d love for you to meet a lady who turned her passion into a small business. Her name is Lori Marie, the artist/designer behind the California-based business Pretty Little Things. Based in Oakland, Lori started out as an aerospace engineering major at UCSD and decided to take some art classes, “to balance out my math and science courses,” Lori said. “It wasn’t long before I realized that my passion for innovation and creativity was better applied to pattern making than rocket science…so I transferred to FIDM in San Francisco and graduated with a degree in fashion design instead.” This is a lady who followed her heart! Would you like to know a little bit more about Lori and see her work studio? Sure you would. ;)

Some of Lori’s handmade creations.

How did you get started after your studies at FIDM?
Lori: My first design job was as a pattern maker for a leather handbag company called Libaire. I learned a little bit about everything in this position since I hand drafted all the patterns and worked directly with the sewers to see the designs through production. I needed a change after 2 years and so I began freelancing as a textile artist for Pottery Barn Kids. I got the job the old fashioned way, through the classifieds, followed by a series of interviews and … Voila! I worked with them for over 4 years doing hand embroidery and appliqu? samples for childrens’ bedding collections. I am currently working with a brand called Whistle&Wink (launched in 2007 by the original design director for Pottery Barn Kids), in addition to creating handmade designs under my own label of course.

This is where the magic happens, in her little art house. How sweet is this!?

What inspires your work?
Lori: I am inspired by all sorts of stuff, but mostly by print and pattern. I like to combine interesting colors with unexpected details to create fun and functional pieces of art.

Any favorite designers/artists on your radar right now?
Lori: There is certainly no shortage of inspiration online these days and you never know where you might end up after a series of links. I love to search aimlessly through etsy listings when I need a good dose of inspiration. I am constantly adding to my list of faves.

Here are some of her favorite spots in her art studio…

What is the best business advice you’ve heard and applied to your own business?
Lori: I think it’s easy to get lost in the crowd with so many talented ladies willing to share a glimpse of their world with us through blogging. It can be a challenge to stand out and sometimes I wonder where I fit in. I have to remember not to compare myself too much to others, but just keep on doing what I love and hope it will shine through. {note: Lori’s blog can be found here.)

Where do you sell your work?

Lori: Since I still make each and every pretty little thing by hand, I sell them exclusively through my etsy shop.

Any advice for those looking to start their own business?
Lori: You better make sure that you LOVE what you do because you will eat sleep and breathe it!


Psst: Lori was on the Martha show this past February, here’s a project of hers that you can try yourself at home!

Thank you Lori for visiting us here on decor8 and a special word of thanks to reader Michele for telling me about Lori in the first place!

I’d also like to mention that Lori makes a super point about how one can easily start comparing their work to that of others and what a downer that can be. I think many of us battle with this tendency, it’s human. When you find yourself doing this think of what Karl Lagerfeld once said to pull yourself in and regain focus, “Personality begins when comparison ends”.

(images from lori marie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Home Tours, interviews on June 05, 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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