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Books + Magazines

Books + Magazines

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

May 25, 2010

Visiting Amsterdam soon? You’ll want this book in your bag! When Pia sent me an advanced copy of Amsterdam: Made By Hand I knew that the moment I had some time to read it, that I would love it. This past weekend I had a little time on Sunday night to flip through the pages and read her lovely introduction which feels so personal, and some of the shop profiles, and all of the images (because let’s face it, the visuals are always the best in books like this)… and well it’s quite charming and certainly worthy of a review. I’m sure that many bloggers who have the opportunity to pick this book up will give it a glowing review in addition to my own because it’s one that will appeal to so many I think.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Amsterdam: Made By Hand is a compact guidebook, published by Little Bookroom in New York, that has around 171 pages with many pretty photographs taken by the author, Pia Jane Bijkerk, and it captures how Amsterdam looks and feels through her eyes along with some of her most cherished shop suggestions. This book is ideal for those looking for a bit of an “off the beaten path” guide to where one can find shops catering more to the handmade, upcycled, vintage-loving crowd.

Here are some peeks from my copy:

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Swarm – Shop shown above.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Juffrouw Splinter Curiosa – Shop glimpse above

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

The Frozen Fountain – Shown above.

“As a stylist, I am always on the lookout for objects that are distinctive and alluring—which is why I adore all things handmade. Amsterdam: Made By Hand is an insider’s guide where you’ll discover Dutch ateliers tucked away on the cobble stoned backstreets of the old canal district, and boutiques that Dutch designers and stylists have kept well-hidden inside their black books. . . until now. Between its pages you can expect to find woodworkers, flower artists, jewelry designers, dressmakers, ceramicists, and more: with the backdrop of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and wonky buildings, you can expect to see this quaint old city in a whole new light.” – Pia Jane Bijkerk.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Another view of The Frozen Fountain shop.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Tesselschade Arbeid Adelt shown above.

Not all of us traveling want to shop only at big department stores – many delight in finding things that feel like no one else has ever found them before and most of the shops in Pia’s book feel exactly like this – mini hidden treasure boxes tucked away on random side streets owned by passionate people who have made their retail store and the products in it their entire existence. It’s hard to find shops like this in cities nowadays, even in Europe, as more and more chain coffee shops and stores move in paying top dollar for property forcing long time tenants out and sometimes not just out to another neighborhood but out of business altogether. Don’t get me started on this topic though as it makes me quite warm and my cheeks get a bit red! Ha! But yes, this is happening because how can one compete with paying top dollar costs for renting a shop when your store is really more about passion and community building than counting stacks of bills at the end of the day?

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Fabrics at Tinctoria.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Cute things at Happy Red Fish.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Gorgeous and a bit edgy – jewelry at Gild Goldsmith Atelier.

And so, when you go to cities you often only find these big stores in the main sections and sometimes it can seem as though a city lacks a local identity, the very identity that is found from the shops that had to move out to make way for the big boxes. Fortunately, in Amsterdam, many sweet stores do exist but often tucked away here and there and Pia has found them and placed the gems lovingly into this book. This is the real value of a book like this – it supports those who are happy to stay small and leads us who are happy to shop there to them. Thank you Pia for your efforts in pulling together this sweet glimpse of your Amsterdam and I hope that anyone interested in handmade goods will pick up this title the next time they plan to visit there.

Amsterdam: Made By Hand

Psst: If you are in Amsterdam on June 5th see the above image for a fun signing party that you can attend! If you go, have fun!

Psst Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: top 5 photographs taken by Holly Becker for decor8, all others submitted by Pia Jane Bijkerk for this review.)

Books + Magazines, Round-ups

e-Magazine Round-Up

May 13, 2010

There are many design e-magazines popping up, also known as online magazines, paperless magazines, or digital magazines (I vote we drop the name game and call them simply: e-mags!) that I decided to pull together some of my favorites in one place. When it comes to e-mags, some say that they are the future of magazines but I don’t believe that they will replace print but I think that they can easily live alongside our favorite glossies, don’t you?

In today’s fast-paced world, you really need both with so many of us online receiving and sharing information at the speed of light. Exclusive content is becoming more and more of a hot topic with the bevy of blogs out there and this is where e-mags can really deliver as they have the staff and sponsorship to run almost exactly like a print publication without most of the major financial stresses that have sadly forced some of our favorites to fold. Many bloggers are talking about their favorite e-mags lately so my goal is to give you a mini round-up of the ones that have blog authors a-buzz with hopes that you’ll help by adding your comment to include those I’ve missed that make your heart go pitter-pat too! Here we go…

e-Magazine Round-Up

Sweet Paul NEW! – Food + Entertaining

e-Magazine Round-Up

Lonny – Decorating/Design

e-Magazine Round-Up

Antler – Fashion

e-Magazine Round-Up

BY FRYD NEW! – Scandinavian Lifestyle

e-Magazine Round-Up

Paper Mache – Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

Small Magazine– Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

la petite – Kid’s

e-Magazine Round-Up

Utterly Engaged – Wedding

TIP: If you are considering to author an e-mag yourself, I’ve noticed a trend when you’re out shopping for a domain name — Add “mag” after your magazine name — Lonnymag, antlermag, sweetpaulmag and so on… It’s a good thing!

I’m heading to London now so while I’m traveling these links will provide you with plenty of inspiration to last until Monday when you can stop by decor8 for a few guests posts (I’ll drop in to say hello as well) to hold you over until I’m back in full gear on May 21st.

Out of those listed above, what do you read and why? Do you like digital magazines better than print, if so why? If not, why? Did I miss an e-mags that you read? If so, please post the name and link in the comments section below – all I ask is that you list only those about decorating, design, art, craft, kid’s, food, wedding, fashion…

(images: linked to those mentioned above.)

Books + Magazines

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

May 10, 2010

I’ve talked about Jeanette Lunde before but I’ve been hearing so much lately in blogland about her newly released e-magazine that I must share in the excitement and show ‘n tell a little myself! This inspiring work is available to download at no cost here at Issuu. An English version will be available soon but if you want some visual inspiration to hold you over until then, knock yourself out.

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

It’s a beautiful magazine, Jeanette has designed a very special bundle in 92 pages that is devoted to…well… I guess pretty things, home things, inspiring images, baby things, flowers, inspirational quotes… just stuff — stuff that makes you feel more creative and joyous and alive.

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

Above you will find but a snippet of some of my favorite images, there is so much to see that I’ve not included above so please support Jeanette and download this issue, tell your friends, blog about it and most of all – love it!

Congratulations Jeanette!

(images: jeanette lunde)

Books + Magazines, Shopping + Products

Anita Kaushal

May 3, 2010

Author/stylist Anita Kaushal would like to offer decor8 readers a very exclusive discount as she is currently making room for a few new things in her online shop and would like to offer her current wares at a very special discount of 50% off for decor8 readers (click here and enter the password: decor8). Just a few exquisite things for us…

Anita Kaushal

And in case you don’t know Anita and her book… here’s a visual introduction to her glamorous yet livable personal style… Please examine all of the fine details as you peruse these photographs. Which rooms appeal to you the most? Do you see any ideas that you’d like to use in your own living or work space?

Anita Kaushal

Anita Kaushal

Anita Kaushal

Would you not love to own a dining room or work room like this with such beautifully tiled floors? This looks like the most beautiful home, doesn’t it? I love the architectural details, the light, those windows! Eek!

Anita Kaushal

Anita Kaushal

Anita Kaushal

If you aren’t familiar with Anita’s work, she is the author of the beautiful FamilyLifeStyle Home book published by Thames & Hudson and she was a regular contributor at Cookie magazine before they (sadly) folded. Above, you can see some glimpses from the book. It’s simply gorgeous… I have a copy and could flip through it a hundred times over. I think the silver bathtub is amazing with the Moroccan wedding quilt laid out on the floor before it. I also love seeing the bubbles… it really calls out to the viewer doesn’t it?

(images: anita kaushal)

Books + Magazines

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

April 27, 2010

I was thrilled when author Kari Chapin asked me to be a contributor in her book, The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line and now that it’s sitting here before me on my desk I’m even more honored to have been asked! Thank you Kari! This informative book, which is the decor8 book of the week, is packed with advice from many contributors who have made a successful business from the ground floor up which makes the book so exciting because everyone included grew their business based on passion, determination, talent and in an organic way — which is usually how the most successful businesses are developed — over time.

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

Included in this book, in addition to my own contributions on pages 125-127 (I wrote about how a business can attract attention from their favorite blogs) , you can find words of wisdom from Ashley Goldberg, Elizabeth MacCrellish, Emily Martin (who also did most of the illustrations found throughout the book), Jenny Ryan, Jennifer Judd-McGee, Leah Kramer, Liz Smith, Mati Rose McDonough, Matt Stinchcomb (VP of Community at Etsy), Megan Reardon and Yvonne Eijkenduijn. Kari helps readers who are looking to launch their crafting business in many areas from how to determine cost of goods to market competition, the pros and cons of wholesale versus retail sales, tips on styling and propping crafts for photographs, technical explanations of how the most popular online marketplaces work, how to approach bloggers to get your work featured (the section where I stepped in with my own ideas), how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships, record keeping, showing your work at craft fairs and more – 218 pages of current concrete advice from Kari and her 30 contributors.

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

I highly suggest picking this book up if any of these topics interest you — there is so much to learn inside of The Handmade Marketplace that you’ll enjoy, it’s one of my favorite new small business/crafty guides because it’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend on your business (and it’s a tax write off!).

Kari did a beautiful job organizing a myriad of topics from so many voices and making it an easy to follow small business book that is not in the least bit boring (most business books can be a real snooze-a-thon) or overly techincal (yawn) – it’s smart, fresh and easy to digest and most of all, gives small business owners the tips and tools that they need to either get started or to keep going strong and forward with their business. Yay, indie crafters!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

April 26, 2010

I just received the most beautiful floral design book called Flowers Chic & Cheap by Carlos Mota who is the Elle Decor editor at large. There are so few “good” floral arranging books and magazines on the market in the US — my friends and I always comment that such a huge hole exists in the bookstores when it comes to floral design books that are modern, fresh and well… not kitschy or packed to the gills with silk flowers. Flowers Chic & Cheap is a beautiful book and it came at the perfect time as I just picked up bunches of ranunculus, freesia and bi-colored carnations today at the flower shop after being so inspired yesterday by my visit to the Herrenhauser Garten. I’ll take some photos of this beautiful book later this week and share a proper review of it then but for now I’ll leave you with some floral inspiration with photos that I took yesterday at the garden.

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

All of these colors and patterns really make me feel energized and inspired – and I hope my snapshots inspire you as well. Please note I do not use a digital SLR camera and I have little clue what I’m really doing with camera settings but I think these photos came out nice considering all of that — and so perhaps if you feel up to it maybe you can find a park or garden in your local area, bring your camera and find some memorable shots for yourself too. Nature always has such a perfectly composed palette, doesn’t it? Flower gardens never clash and patterns always look so fresh and lovely together no matter what the scale or shape. And nothing goes out of style – imagine that! There is so much for us all to learn from the examples provided in the natural world around us. And another big thing to consider with flowers is the broad range of color. Of course, I always lean towards the pinks (you know me!), yellows and violet tones but there are also oranges, reds… the colors are endless so the bottom line is really this: don’t be afraid of color!

Next week I’ll give you a full review of Flowers: Chic & Cheap!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

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