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Amsterdam: Made By Hand

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 Party

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.)

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 25, 2010

e-Magazine Round-Up

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-mag round-up

Sweet Paul NEW! – Food + Entertaining

e-mag round-up

Lonny – Decorating/Design

e-mag round-up

Antler – Fashion

e-mag round-up

BY FRYD NEW! – Scandinavian Lifestyle

e-mag round-up

Paper Mache – Kid’s

e-mag round-up

Small Magazine- Kid’s

e-mag round-up

la petite – Kid’s

e-mag 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.)

Posted in Books + Magazines, round-up on May 13, 2010

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine: New!

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

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

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

FRYD + DESIGN Magazine

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)

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 10, 2010

Anita Kaushal

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)

Posted in Books + Magazines, shopping on May 03, 2010

Books:

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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