It’s time to update the blog of the week so I searched high and low to see who I could introduce that may be fresh and new to your eyes. This week meet Paper Flower Girl who is Isis Sturtewagen — a young jewelry designer + artist living in Belgium with her husband and she authors a beautiful blog, etsy shop, dawanda store and takes the most stunning images of her home! What a gifted person she is. Like me and many of you, she loves natural tones and homes with lovely bones… she also loves to cook. I’ve included a recipe to this lovely compote shown below, so scroll to the end of this post to scribble it down in your notes.
What I love about these corners is that they’re all lovingly curated and much attention went into the details. I also enjoyed reading that most of Isis’s finds are thrifted and/or handmade. It demonstrates a real sense of self and style to be able to decorate in a way that so expertly highlights cherished possessions in a personal way – making the item fit you and not the other way around. And now, for the recipe from Paper Flower Girl that I promised earlier. It’s delicious, I know because it’s the same recipe my cousin shared with me recently. You can also modify it using pears instead of apples…
Apple Compote Recipe:
4 big apples
the juice of 2 oranges
1 teaspoon cinnamon
honey to taste
Peel and slice the apples. Put everything in a pot and bring to boil. Leave to simmer until tender. Bring to a boil again and pour everything in glass containers.
(images: paper flower girl)
Photographer Diana Brennan recently started a new blog, Song and Scene, that I find unique and inspiring. Especially since my husband is a photographer and music composer (both hobbies, yeah he’s a smarty) and often composes songs around the photographs that he takes. I have to tell him about Diana’s new blog! This may inspire him because she shares a photo that she took along with a song, not her own song — but a favorite tune that she feels fits the photo. In case you wonder what she’s using on her blog it’s called Soundshark, suggested to her by Tara Lutman Agacayak.
I really like this because it’s so nice when artists try to make the blogging experience more emotional and heartwarming, attaching their work to music and/or video certainly makes it come alive and also gives one further insight into the personality of the artist. Check out her blog and see what you think, I’m sure that she’d really enjoy your feedback on this idea of hers as well… it’s a nice one.
(image: diana brennen)
I just realized that I need to update the blog of the week and so while I was reading Door Sixteen this morning, I found the blog that I would put in the featured spot until next Monday. It’s called Nestled In and is written in English by Finnish couple, Katja and Minna, who have the best taste and who are quite fond of IKEA. These two will change the way you look at IKEA, especially if you’re one to dismiss them as either the last resort for something or not grown up enough, or simply for the college crowd as some may say.
Here in Germany, and I’m assuming most of Europe in general, this store is what Target is to Americans — the place to go for those staple items you need in the home without spending a fortune and of course they’ll have style, your bowls and table linens will be in either fun patterns and colors or in the best modern shapes. Not only the college crowd shops IKEA here, but many others do as well… including me! Some buy the furniture, others just accessories like lamps and trays, and still others go for the textiles available on the bolt by the meter for sewing up projects at home. I like their plastic trays, food containers, appliances and kitchen cabinetry, and office furniture for example. I also like their plants and flower pots. And of course all of the opportunities to repurpose or paint some of your finds.
What I love about Nestled In is that Katja and Minna seem to take those things in-store that you may have walked right by not even giving them a second look — but then you spot them on their blog and think, “Hey, that thing is cool – how come I didn’t notice it in the store?”. Whether from a big box store or a thrift shop, they score some of the best pieces! This is the sign of a person with a good eye, they spot the things that others often overlook which is why reading a blog like Nestled In (or any other blog written by someone with obvious good taste) can train the eye. If you don’t feel that you are currently that type of person, the one with the good eye, then blog reading can definitely aid in becoming better at sourcing finds in the future and in developing your own sense of style.
I hope this doesn’t sound conceited but I’ll say it anyway, those of you who know me know I’m not a show off, but I’ve always had a good idea of what I liked and some refer to this as good taste, and this is why I started decor8 in the first place. I’ve always had a knack for finding things that others didn’t see. However, I must confess, that blogging for nearly four years now has definitely improved my eye and sharpened my ability to curate and pull things that fit into my aesthetic.
I believe that blogging, based upon my own personal experience, works wonders in this area. The more you “curate”, the more you come across a sort of pattern or spot a theme – you’ll notice that your tastes and interests start to become very, very obvious to not only your readers but to you. It’s one of the many reasons why I always kept a written journal since the age of 7 or 8 and why I still do — I can go back and see a pattern to the way I’ve always thought or felt, or see what dreams I had 10 years ago that are still very much alive today. Like my dream of relocating to another country. And now that I’ve done it and can go back to entries in my journal 15 years ago talking about my trip to Paris and how much I’d love to relocate to Europe (I never had my eye on one particular place, I thought about England and France, but doesn’t every American?) and seeing now that I’ve accomplished that goal I feel very happy and confident that I can reach the other goals that I wrote down years ago (and currently) as well.
Same with blogging. I think putting yourself and your likes out there you can find your personal taste and even your calling in a particular profession. That is also why I don’t highlight things on my blog that I dislike, or that others try to pressure me to write about (I get that a lot), I only want to curate things I like from my heart, things that I want to be part of my online journal – those I want to influence my taste and style further so that I can stay on course with exactly what I like versus things I sorta like or am not so sure about. So when people ask me, “How did you find your style?”, one reply I have that makes the answer short and easy for others is: through consistent research and blogging. I mean, there is much, much more that has to do with how I grew up and what I was exposed to from the time I was born but these are not things that make others feel like what you have is also possible for them since we cannot change how we were raised. I was lucky to be raised by a highly creative family of mostly small business owners. But not everyone else had this kind of expose from birth. So if you did not grow up this way, you can still get a sense of your style and become more creative by starting a blog or even a written journal where you collect your inspirations in one spot through photographs, tear sheets, even paint swatches from the hardware store, fabric samples and leftover pieces of wallpaper. Your blog, or book, can be the space in which you collect everything that inspires you and makes you happy. You know who does a beautiful job at this? Yvonne from the Yvestown blog. She has another blog, but it’s more of a drop box for things that she finds and loves with little text, and it’s called Today I Love. Check it out. This is another way to blog your inspirations if you’re not big on writing. Visual blogging as it is commonly referred to.
Okay so I’ve gone a bit off track but oh well… If you are still reading and haven’t completely zoned out or fallen asleep, then perhaps you’ve enjoyed hearing my thoughts on this whole topic of developing ones own personal style. Now, let’s return back to the original reason for this post…. :) Let us resume regular programming…
I hope that you enjoy reading Nestled In this week as the blog of the week, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed the images I’ve shared with you in this post from Katja and Minna’s beautiful home in Oulu, Finland. They’re quite inspiring, don’t you think?
(images: nestled in)
Today I’m inspired by the photography of Nicole Hill Gerulat in San Francisco and thought I’d take you on the inspiration journey with me. Would you like to come along?
Nicole has a beautiful blog too, it’s the decor8 blog of the week and is called A Little Sussy. You will love me today for sharing this link, I just know it. :) On her blog, you can learn more about her life and work which is altogether inspiring and a sheer delight.
(images: nicole hill gerulat)