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Australian Design Blog Round Up

Prepare for a lot of reading and clicking because this post offers a boatload of resources when it comes to Aussie bloggers. I like to talk about things that inspire me, and right now I am feeling some major inspiration coming in from Australian magazines, designers, and blogs. I find it all so interesting as I research what’s available there – so much talent – hot, hot, HOT!

Vogue Living Australia

Australia, the sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, USA, and Brazil, is a country I am eager to someday visit. It’s not only large, but from a design standpoint, in charge! From the warmth of its people, the natural beauty that exists there, the architecture, countryside, and my favorite, the modern design, handmade crafts, as well as the gorgeous Aboriginal art… I’m trying to satisfy my desire to travel to this lovely land with a little research and visual comfort from the web.

Vogue Living Australia

Thanks to decor8 readers, I not only found a slew of amazing Australian design, but I’m now going to take what I’ve found on my own, combine it with your advice (from this post), and hopefully give you some great new sites to check out. First, I’ll start with Australian bloggers. Isn’t that where everyone heads first nowadays when they are trying to research design in a faraway land? Google for design bloggers living there.

Vogue Living Australia

Aussie bloggers that I’ve heard of, read, etc. (not in any particular order):

  • Anastasia Christou – Based in Sydney, this mother of two is a wife working part-time in the world of finance and the rest of her days she spends crafting, drawing, blogging, and taking care of her family.
  • Anna Spiro is a lady I’ve grown very fond of her because she has a warm, caring voice and really takes the time to reach out to her fellow bloggers. She also is a shop owner, a stylish designer, and a blogger than brings you into her world and shows you some pretty fantastic finds.
  • It’s a blog! It’s a zine! It’s Mix Tape. Editors Justine Telfer and Nichola Prested are super creative ladies and if you don’t already know about their handmade zine ($6) than considered yourself informed. The cover this month features the artwork of Lisa Congdon and it’s just great.
  • Speaking of Real Living magazine, Deborah Bibby is the editor and through the Real Living blog she takes you behind the scenes which is always a fun read.
  • Natalie Walton is yet another Real Living editor with a terrific blog called Daily Imprint. Love it!
  • Clair Wayman works as the Melbourne Style Editor for Real Living magazine and, you guessed it, she has an inspiring blog too called Styling With Friends. Love seeing all these editors out there blogging!
  • Magic Jelly – Gorgeous blog (love the paper background), she has an etsy store where she offers lots of pretty prints, pocket mirrors, and paper goods.
  • My Folk Lover is Melbourne-based Catherine Campbell, an artist/illustrator on etsy whom I’m purchased from in the past and featured here on decor8.
  • A lovely ceramicist, Brisbane talent Mel Robson writes feffakookan, a blog about her inspirations and ceramics, everything she makes I want to own – she’s some kind of wonderful.
  • Hyena In Petticoats – A a fun-loving Adelaide-based bartender with a degree in Art History, this blogger makes adorable things (like these Nongs) and blogs about them along with everything else that pops into her head.
  • Loobylu is a living doll… I adore her work and her blog and can’t say enough good things about this lady.
  • Made It – A blog dedicated to indie design in Australia that has quite a worldwide following and it should, much is covered and there’s lots of fun links to click.
  • How can I not mention the wonder woman of handmade, Aunty Cookie? I think everyone online knows this lady, at least those who read craft blogs. She’s a craft celeb!
  • She Sees Red – Musings from Lauren Brown, an illustrator also based in Melbourne… My goodness what a huge blogging community in Melbourne huh? Wonder if they have bloggy meet ups?
  • Martine Booth is Green Olive who has a love of design, a penchant for all things green in color, and she adores typography.
  • Lara authors Kirin Notebook and writes about her life living in Melbourne and the things that inspire her. She sells things that she creates in her online store called Lara Cameron Design. I love her fabric packs – really nice stuff you’ll want to get your hands on for creating cool crafty projects.
  • Handmade Life – This blog talks about just that, how to lead a handmade life.
  • Beauty Button – More crafts and inspiration from a mother of two.
  • Lexy Art – Lexy is a new blogger from the Gold Coast talking about her art and such so please make sure you visit her and give her a little ‘new girl on the block’ love for me, okay? :)
  • Michelle is a mother and an obsessive home decor junkie who authors j u s t i m a g i n e, a beautiful, colorful design blog.
  • Modamuse – A design and fashion blog that I’ve been following for over a year at least. It’s terrific, I highly suggest checking it out. The authors, Nancy and Jessica Lim , have an online store promoting the work of indie designers in Australia and New Zealand and they co-own Wild Garden.
  • Prints Charming blogs and sells bright, colorful fabric. For anyone interested in fabric design, it’s especially inspiring to read this blog.
  • Hop Skip Jump – Fiona is another crafter that I love, I was lucky enough to grab Juliet, a dolly she made and posted this past October in her etsy store. Not an easy task, her handmade dolls sell the second she posts them. Beautiful work.
  • Tabitha Emma – What a beautifully designed blog – wow. Super creative. She even has a Dawanda store and an etsy shop selling her darling goods in all their pastel perfection. Even her talented mom has an etsy store.
  • Udder creates ‘handmade friends’ (softies) so extremely cute that if you have a weak spot for soft toys, you’ll fall instantly in love with her work.
  • Desire to Inspire – Half of the duo behind this design-focused blog lives in Australia (the other half in Canadian) so it’s only fair to include these ladies. I first introduced you to them when they launched over a year ago, their blog is like looking at a design magazine since all the images they source have been seen in the pages of some of your favorite glossies so it’s a one stop shop.
  • Canberra seems to have a reputation for being ‘stale and boring’ and blogger Canberra’s Got Style is determined to change that reputation for the better through her design and art blog.
  • Soozs is a mother and crafter who doesn’t believe in sticking to one thing, she enjoys having her hands in many different things at once. Her blog is about fabric, knitting, felt, and all the things that inspire her.
  • Hollabee is Bianca van Meeuwen who creates fabric, stationery, homewares, bags and other crafty things in Melbourne, Australia. She sells her hand printed fabrics in her very own online store.
  • Sally Morrigan is Georgie Love who promotes the work of others and likes comic books, music, animals, and is a self-confessed Mac geek.
  • Little Glowing Lights is based out of Tasmania and what a simple, elegant blog this is. Catherine cooks, crafts, and blogs along with sharing some of her handmade goods over in her etsy store under the same name.
  • A Melbourne shop that also blogs is douglas & hope, it’s fun to read to see what things they are adding to their shop — lots of products I’ve not seen before.
  • One Red Robin is a blogger and etsy store owner, another highly skilled crafter. The gorgeous handmade work that comes from Australia is something else. Seeing everything rounded up like this really highlights this fact. Sheesh.
  • Duckcloth is a terrific fabric store with a blog showing lots of clever projects for, you guessed it, fabric!

Factoid: Did you know that the popular craft blog Whip Up was started in Australia? I did not know that, thanks to decor8 reader rooruu for the headsup!

The work of Australian artist David Capra (please look at his website,
it’s quirky and amazing!). I found out about his work by reading Modamuse.

In case I forgot some of your faves… If you have any art, craft, or design-related blogs to add to the mix above, please comment with your favorite Aussie bloggers below. Please don’t forget to include their blog address so we can locate them online. Thank you!

Coming soon – more on Australian design!

(images from vogue living aus and bottom image from david capra)

Posted in blogs, shopping, travel on May 08, 2008
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What would a perfect magazine look like?

I really miss Blueprint magazine. I know lots of you weren’t big fans, but looking back I think you’ll agree that it was becoming a very special magazine… I’m sad that it’s gone. Another magazine that ended far too soon is craft mag Adorn, Christina Hatch was the editor-in-chief and thankfully for us all she is now leading marketing and other efforts over at Etsy. Christina did a great job at Adorn but in the end, it’s all about ad revenue for print publications and when they can’t bring in enough cash they have to close up shop no matter what. It’s just a shame, we’ve watched several magazines close their doors in the past year alone.

(Purl and Purl Patchwork, NYC)

You may recall these beautiful photos, they are of the gorgeous one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment of Joelle Hoverson, who owns two yarn and fabric shops in NYC — Purl and Purl Patchwork. These were originally published in Blueprint magazine and can now be viewed online. It’s a glimpse of what was — our beloved Blueprint. Martha bring it back and combine the idea with MS Kids, drop some of the over-priced finds, and showcase what we love about Martha best, some good old-fashioned DIY projects that we all need and crave. We humble bloggers try, but no one produces a better DIY than Martha Stewart from concept to layout and photography, MSLO rocks it. Of course they have major resources and employees that we little bloggers just don’t have, but that’s even more reason for them to roll in and take charge. It’s the one thing they have that the web can’t seem to duplicate with all it’s DIY tips and videos so why isn’t their a magazine out there going for it?

If you could build the perfect magazine, what would it include? What do you want to see that’s missing currently in magazines? What do you think is missing on blogs that you’d like to see more of (this question is something that I can do something with). Good news! I’m diligently working on a decor8 redesign with a company based abroad, the new digs here should be up and ready to go mid July. I took all of your advice and the decor8 you asked for will hopefully be what you get! Yay!

(images from blueprint magazine via mslo)

Posted in blogs, inspiration, small business on May 08, 2008

Nabefabric (blog of the week)

This week I’m inspired by the blog and flickr photos of nabefabric, a graphic designer in France. I love all the pretty things she creates for her home, including frame pieces of some of her favorite pieces of Farrow & Ball wallpaper. I also think her kitchen is so sweet looking, very minimal but there’s still lots of character in there and it feels so warm and inviting.


I also like lots of the pretty things she blogs about under the same name Nabefabric, also the decor8 blog of the week. You should visit it, it’s so pretty… And filled with wonderful links to things that inspire her work that you may enjoy as well like:

The paintings of Toronto-based fine artist Holly Farrell
who I just noticed is represented by the Chase Gallery in Boston.

Ceramic pins to adorn your clothing from Dutch designers
Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler.
British product designer Christine Misiak who designs tea sets she finds and rejuvenates into elegant one-of-a-kind pieces to celebrate the old and new, the past and present. Lighting and things from Malin Lundmark.

UK artist and designer Magie Hollingworth.

French artist Lyndie Dourthe, a person with work I’d love to see live with my own eyes. Wow.

If you like some of these things above, you’ll adore Nabefabric. Visit her blog and enjoy all the new finds you’ll discover. Have fun!

(images from nabefabric, others linked above to their source.)

Posted in blogs on April 09, 2008

Blog of the Week: 365

Jen Renninger is someone that won’t let me forget her because she writes the most expressive and kind emails that really touch my heart. Beyond words, Jen is also a lady that I find impressive based on the talent she exhibits through the graphics she creates — I’d love to explore my own talent in the arts at some point and it’s ladies like Jen who give me a little push in that direction without even realizing it.

Jen said that she visits decor8 because the content reaches far beyond design, “Your blog is really about positive inspiration and creative joy,” she says. I think that she makes a good point because I’m constantly moved by the work I see from so many of the talented men and women that sharing it here comes so natural. I’m obsessed with decorating and all the elements that make a beautiful home, but I don’t blog because I’m obsessed with trends, shopping, and owning the latest finds, I write because the many projects that people work on truly make me happy and help me make sense out of all the bad things in the world that co-exists with the good. When I see beautiful art or fabric made from a person who put so much of themselves into it, I can’t help but be inspired by that level of talent and skill but also the determination that went into bringing the concept to reality.

I can’t imagine living in a world without creativity, without the ability to create things. Lately I’ve been a bit hard on myself because I haven’t been ‘making’ things that much. I’m pretty busy with other things that don’t involve sitting at my sewing machine or working on a fun DIY project, things that fuel me. I haven’t even taken on a new design client because my current schedule does not allow it at the moment. But then as I thought about how little I’ve spent on creating things I realized through Jen’s email that I do make things. I make words that promote the talent out there and that inspire each of you to continue on or to find your path. And after realizing that, I felt a lot better today. I think that a lot of writers suffer these feelings at times, if you are a writer perhaps you understand what I’m saying here. You can sometimes feel like a cheerleader who just wants to get out there and play ball.


Jen, an artist who just so happens to run a lovely etsy store Still Room Studio, has been working on a project this year called 365. It’s a blog showcasing a year of everyday images she posts that is the decor8 blog of the week. Some of her images are collages, others are paintings and drawings, and lately she’s been photographing the drawings with collages under them. The results are beautiful. Her sister, Raydel is another amazing talent that I’ve talked about here before but I wanted to point you to her work again today too. These sisters are fantastic!

Congratulations Jen on your new project and the way you are encouraging us all to be creative everyday whether through art, the way we handle a problem, how we prepare a meal, or the words we write — thank you for encouraging creativity in all its forms.

(images from jen renninger)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, blogs, etsy, walls on March 28, 2008

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