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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

Oh Poketo!

Poketo has some great work, you really should check out their website and see for yourself. I just noticed their collection of artsy t-shirts, particularly this one, and I just love ‘em. Art to wear from some of my personal favorite artists? Sign me up baby!


If you’re a fan of super soft t-shirts and artists Betsy Walton, Pepa Prieto, Melissa Contreras, Lisa Congdon, Pietari Posti, Stella Im Hultberg… You have to click here because you will love what you see. I found five that I want to buy, and I’m not even a t-shirt person because most are boxy, shapeless, and thick – more for the boys. These little numbers are cut for the curvy goddess (and they have others cut for the boys), and they’re lightweight so they can go from summer to autumn simply by layering, a long sleeve shirt here, a jacket there. But you don’t need a fashion lesson and trust me, I’m not teachin’ because no one has ever referred to me as a fashionista. But I love me some art, I adore these shirts, and I live in jeans so I think I’m going to give in and order some.


Poketo totally impresses me. Founders/owners Ted and Angie just can’t help themselves, they have that magic touch. Great job with these artsy tees you two. And to the artists, you knocked this ball out of the park. Lisa, Betsy, Stella, Melissa…. You ladies are remarkable. You constantly raise the bar and I love seeing your art popping up everywhere, often in unexpected places. It’s brilliant.

(images from poketo)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on June 05, 2008

Can You Inspire Someone?

It’s time to inspire and be inspired! I recently read about the beautiful pack of fabric and notions that Emily Martin from the Black Apple sent to Marisa Haedike at Creative Thursday and I felt like I should do something to inspire others in this way so I came up with an idea to create Inspiration Packs and give them away. But I need your help.

(Emily’s gift to Marisa)

Many artists read this blog and after talking last week to my friend Tara Hogan at Ink & Wit, I realized that lots of you have scraps galore that you’d like to get rid of. Why not donate them to a good cause? Tara thinks it would be nice if makers considered donating their leftovers to others instead of allowing them to overtake their craft room or worse, throw them away. I couldn’t agree more.

Would you like to donate a few of your scraps?

Inspiration Pack Details: Anyone can donate at least 10 items minimum. Please make sure that everything is in good condition and clean. Fabric scraps should be no smaller than a 6 x 6 square. If you are feeling generous and have yardage to donate, please indicate the amount before shipping. From fabric to buttons, your own prints or cards that perhaps didn’t print out perfectly, scrap papers, ribbon, if you have leftovers that you would like to donate to give others a little creative inspiration, please contact me via email at decor8blog AT yahoo.com.

Once I have everything, I’ll spend the first week of July sorting through the goods and I’ll organize packages, photograph each of the 10 packs, and show them on decor8 along with a simple comment contest where I’ll randomly select 10 winners. If I get enough goods, I will create more than 10 gift packs (10-20).

Deadline: All donated items will need to arrive to my New Hampshire address no later than June 30th.

What you can submit (ideas): Fabric : Wallpaper Scraps : Stationery : Journals : Pages from Books : Buttons : Ribbons: Stickers : Stamps : Gift tags : Gift Wrap : Vintage Photographs : Pencils : Pens : Art Papers : Patterned Papers : Prints : Cards : Envelopes : Fabric Tim (ric rack, pom poms, etc.) : Postcards.

Also include: 10-20 of your business cards so that I can place your card inside a special envelope that will be included with each Inspiration Pack. That way the winner will know that some items in their pack came from you.

Why: Recycling is smart and helpful to others. The purpose is to recycle what you have and make someone else happy and inspired to do something creative.

Please do not send: Prints in tubes (flat pack only — rolls of wallpaper or gift wrap are fine though because I can cut it up and flat pack it to winners), Paint or liquids, magazines or books, glues, sprays, metal, staples, paperclips, tools, scissors. In other words, nothing that can spill, nothing toxic, explosives, nude or violent imagery (some people are sensitive), etc. I’m trusting you guys with this.

What’s in it for you? I will also dedicate a post to all who donate listing your name and blog or website address, and you will be entered into a drawing to win one free 120 x 120 static ad space here on decor8 for 3 months. The ad will launch along with the all new decor8 blog, I’ve beefed up this little blog and your ad will appear on the new site as it goes forth into the world sometime in July.

Thank you Emily, Marisa, and Tara for inspiring this idea. I can’t wait to see who will donate and how we can all inspire others through this creative recycling project!

(photography by marisa haedike)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, contests, inspiration on June 03, 2008

Indie Textile Designers on Etsy

In keeping with the theme of my last post, you may enjoy learning about some of my favorite independent textile designers who sell afforable handmade fabric (often by the yard) on Etsy. If you have any to add to this list, please email or comment below so I can edit this post to include them. :) I don’t want to leave anyone out!

Everyone loves Aunty Cookie, including me, so I have to include her in the mix. I adore her work, fabrics and trims alike. She’s amazing.

A Stitch in Dye creates hand-dyed and patterned fabric that you can either purchase by the yard or as quilts, coasters, pillows, table runners, even custom projects. If you are attending the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY this month, you will have a chance to meet the maker and view these gorgeous fabrics up close and personal.

Creature Comforts wrote about Kalla today and so I have to include her in this round up (Ez always finds the best!). Hitomi Kimura is Kalla, a Japanese textile designer based in Japan who designs and hand prints her fabric using water-based ink. I really adore this work.


Pippijoe is an independent designer with background in interior and landscape architecture based in Australia. She makes hand screen printed designs using using environmentally friendly inks on 100% hemp or hemp/cotton mixes that feel like linen. Stunning!

Of Paper and Thread is another favorite of mine. Danielle is a textile designer who freely shares the entire process on her blog. I really like that she sells her fabrics by the meter, you can make whatever you want from roman shades to a bench cushion.


If you love ethnic prints and patterns from India, Saffron Marigold is your shop. They stock everything from shower curtains to duvet covers, pillow shams, sheer curtains, and beyond. They design their own fabric and their artisans hand block print it in small lots. These tab curtains are so pretty for $23!

Bianca van Meeuwen of Hollabee is based in Australia but a native of the Netherlands, her Dutch heritage evident in her design aesthetic. Her clean modern designs are fresh and cheerful. Bianca designs the fabrics herself and has them hand screen printed by a professional screen printer in Melbourne.

Have you heard of Maramiki? She’s new to Etsy and based out of Chicago. I really like her screen printed floral designs, they look great! Welcome to Etsy Maramiki!

Here’s a few more textile designers who sell their own fabrics on Etsy. Just think of the projects you can work on with these lovely goods!

Out of the Box
Crazy Coconut
Skinny LaMinx (love her!)
Fisk & Fern
Jezze – I hope she stocks her store again soon!

Updates:

  • Cicada Studio (Thanks, Dr. Andy!)
  • Lara Cameron, though she just moved her shop I still want to include her since Etsy is where I purchased fabric from her last year. (Thank you for the reminder Bolt and Frolic!)
  • Jan DiCintio just told me about her store called Daisy Janie, along with the work of textile designer PataPri, whom I love and forget to include in this list so thanks Jan for emailing me!
  • Miko Design in the Netherlands, thank you Erika for sharing your company with us, love your nesting dolls!

I’ll gladly add to this list if you’d like to email or comment below with your favorites.

(images linked above to source)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, small business, textiles on June 02, 2008

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