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My Friends

I believe you are the company you keep. Surround yourself with positive people who, despite hard times, keep their eyes fixed firmly ahead and press forward to accomplish their goals and good things will start to happen in your life. I prefer to be around such ones. I had my share of draining relationships when I was in my 20’s so once I hit 30, I decided to change all of that and ‘weed’ my little friendship garden because people are a huge part of our life – they really can make or break us. We can flourish or die inside simply by maintaining regular contact with those who aren’t good for you. Your gut will tell you if you listen. That’s why I’m so excited to share these two friends of mine with all of you today because they encourage me, support my work, and I know for a fact that they are authentic – what you see is what you get. I’m honored to be around so many creative types who are out there shaking the trees and making some good stuff happen!

First up is Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday fame, a friend who came to me via this very blog! We have been friends for exactly one year this month. It’s funny how we came together, it has to do with a person who wasn’t so kind to us and as a result, we started to talk about the experience and became great friends. It’s funny how friendships blossom. Today I noticed that Marisa’s name is up in lights over on Erin’s wonderful Design for Mankind blog so I have to point you over there to check it out. I’m so proud of you Marisa. And she’s in great company. When my grandfather passed away last month, Erin sent me a gift package of chocolate and homemade cookies because well, Erin is that kind of lady.

Marisa is an artist who, like me, had to explore the non-traditional approach to making a living because the common path didn’t work very well for us. Often in life the paths we are told to follow or that we think are the best for us when we’re fresh out of college don’t always pan out. Sometimes the realization that it’s not working doesn’t hit until we’re in our late 20’s or beyond, some don’t see the need to make a life change and explore a new career until they are in their 40’s and beyond. I read about a lady recently who attended law school in her 60’s so there’s no ‘cap’ when it comes to the time in life when you are meant to explore whatever it is that you were put on this planet to do. You’ll just know, so the next step is to act. And that’s what Marisa did. She’s a 35-year-old painter who has not only built up a huge following through the internet, but her art goes beyond the canvas as she explores the business side of being a freelance artist on her blog through her podcasts that have a cult-like following. Her encouragement and advice seems to resonate with a broad range of people, me included. Topics she speaks about openly include Artists are Sensitive, Trust the Process, Dealing with Adversity, and my favorite, You Can?t Give A Sh*t What Anybody Thinks. Now that’s honesty, people!

Click here to read all about the lovely Marisa and how this L.A.-based painter spends her day as a freelance artist.

Next up is another friend of mine who has her name up in some major lights this month, yay! It’s Maryam Montague of the blog My Marrakesh. I found her huge spread in the April issue of Budget Travel starting on page 62 and so I have to share this great article with all of you. If you have access to Budget Living please pick up a copy and read it. She talks all about the best places in Marrakesh to shop, eat, see… It’s an extraordinary treat and will make you want to instantly hop on a place headed toward this gem of a city in North Africa. Beautiful job, Maryam.

(image from marisa haedike and design for mankind)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, blogs, travel, walls on March 26, 2008

Jen Gotch {prop stylist}

I’m completely smitten by the photography of California-based prop stylist Jen Gotch, her flickr photos had me at hello. I can’t wait to spend time looking through all of them over the weekend, it’s like a virtual candyland and if you click here you’ll see exactly what I mean.

I can’t wait until her website launches but for now, we have her blog called My Polaroid Blog to enjoy. I particularly like the photos she shot of the Parker Palm Springs in California (blogged here last April). It’s the one hotel in America that I’m dying to stay at, it’s #1 on my list. I imagine spending a weekend there lounging poolside with a pina colada, then slipping into my spacious room designed by the one and only Jonathan Adler to dream the night away. Jen’s photos entice me to fulfill this dream very soon.

A special thank you to Jen Altman from Nectar and Light for writing in about a book she started where she invited 25 photographers to join efforts and we’ll see the results in July under the title For the Love of Light: A Tribute to the Polaroid. Through Altman I discovered Jen Gotch, one of the photographers involved in this special labor of love, her photos above.

(images photographed by jen gotch)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, blogs, walls on March 20, 2008

I Heart Berlin

I was reading I Heart Berlin this morning since blogger Frank wrote in introducing himself and his blog to me. I’m trying to tap into what’s going on in German design right now so that I’m up to speed when I spend the summer there. Here are a few good links that I found totally worthy of sharing, I think you’ll like them to. Especially helpful if you’ll be in Berlin anytime soon.

First up, a modern take on a classic piggy bank. Theo the pig was designed by Morphorm and is available in white, white with blue, white with gold, and more that you can view right here. American store owners should totally look into bringing some of these over here as I’m sure these pigs would fly off the shelf.

Here’s a cool shoe store/coffee bar called Latte Wie Hose, a play on a German expression “Jacke Wie Hose” which is like saying Nobody cares or It doesn’t matter it’s all the same, not in a negative sense but more in a laid back no worries kind of way. Perhaps it’s also like the American expression, “6 of one half dozen of another”. I guess since they sell coffee, they’ve exchanged Jacke with Latte. In German there’s a lot of expressions like this which as a student of German, I find frustrating but oddly fun at the same time since I love word games. And did you know that it’s becoming increasingly popular to add a coffee bar to a clothing or home design store in northern Germany? I absolutely love the idea. Do you remember when we toured La Merceria in Toronto here on decor8? It’s part design store part coffee shop. I’d love to see this become a trend here in America — cafe meets design store. :)

The Lido Creative Fair (info in English here at Berlinista) kicks off on May 4th followed by the DMY International Design Festival Berlin a few weeks later which is an experimental platform for fresh new talent. At the Arena Berlin young designers will showcase their work from May 21-25, 2008.

Frank at I Heart Berlin interviewed the American shop owner of Barcomi?s Kaffeer?sterei, Cynthia Barcomi. She owns a popular deli in Berlin Mitte that I have to visit because not only do I love that neighborhood but her cakes look amazing. Read his interview here.

In June, a monthly creative fair called TrendMafia will begin in Berlin showcasing art, jewelry, fashion, photography and much more over in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area at the RAW in hall 40 located at Revaler Str. 99. The dates scheduled for ‘o8 are: June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, and October 4th. Details in German here. I’m planning to hit the August 2nd event.

03 Berlin is a craft store that has a rotating gallery, meeting space available to rent, and there’s even a little garden in the rear of the store where you can hold events. I’m so glad that Frank blogged about this place, I have to check it out as there are lots of things in the photos I’ve never seen before.

Frank also talked about a shop in Berlin called Redspective that I’d not heard about before, so I’ll be adding that to my Berlin shop links in the right column. Great blog, Frank. If you are interested in viewing more Berlin-related stuff, click here.

(images from I Heart Berlin)

Posted in blogs, shopping, travel on March 19, 2008

Blog of the Week: Design for Mankind {and her e-zine}

Design for Mankind, who is also the decor8 blog of the week, just released her second issue of monthly e-zine Inspiration. It looks so nice, I’m looking forward to reading it soon myself and I’m so proud of her hard work — way to go Erin!

Click here to download your free copy! Yay!

(image from design for mankind)

Posted in blogs, inspiration on February 27, 2008


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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