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Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Inspiration

Inspired by Skona Hem

December 11, 2008

I’m feeling VERY creative lately, I think it’s due to the friends I’ve made here in Germany (and in other countries nearby) and being around so many ladies who are so into all things handmade, it’s absolutely inspiring. All of my friends are making something by hand and I find it very motivating too. I really love life in northern Germany, it’s not perfect in any country but I’m satisfied with what I have and the things I’ve been exposed to. Wonderful!

Another thing that has been fueling my creativity lately is the access that I have to so many different cultures, I don’t even have to leave Germany for this but when I do it feels almost surreal to hop over the border to another country because I’m American and when we leave our state we are still in America (unless we go up to Canada or down to Mexico of course). It’s so different on this side of the pond and I’m enjoying it immensely. I was at the train station the other day and nearly fainted when I saw a train boarding for Moscow. As in Russia. That is one train I cannot take in New Hampshire! :) I traveled up to Stockholm last year for under $100 round trip and felt so appreciative of that opportunity as I’d wanted to see Sweden for most of my life. I love America but I am really having fun with this experience!

Speaking of travel and Stockholm in particular, I always think of Skona Hem magazine and their glorious monthly spreads, they feature mostly Scandinavian homes that are very impressive and I wonder how they never seem to run out of gorgeous pads to feature given that Scandinavia is not that large. But they continue to publish beautiful places… here are a few to inspire you today.

Psst: Skona Hem has a blog so you can keep up with what’s going on in the world of Swedish design.

(images from skona hem)

Books + Magazines, Events + Markets, Shopping + Products, Stationery

Mateo Ilasco: New Products

December 11, 2008

I’m also so pleased when I hear from Meg (Mateo Ilasco), she is such a talented and clever business lady and I find that she is a really positive example for small business owners out there. As a product designer, blogger, author, online shop owner, as well as many other things (lot of hats!) she has many things to juggle but manages to stay organized and continues to inspire so many through her work and life. Meg’s resolution for the new year is to be more organized so she developed a collection of office products around this theme and added them to her online shop.

These products include: the Numbers Desk Set which includes a Blueprint Notepad, Numbers Notepad, and Number Organizing Clips, and the Office Desk Set which includes a Weekly Notepad, a To Do List Pad, and Action Organizing Clips. During the month of December you can enter the coupon code TEN upon checkout to receive 10% off your order.

Meg is based on the west coast but surprise! she’s currently in New York with a shop at The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park for 6 weeks (look for the brand Mixed Co. which includes Meg (of course), Allymoon, SusyJack*, Nantaka Joy, Linea Carta, Carrie Saxl of Blue Wild Indigo, Laurel Denise, and Good on Paper Design.) until December 28th at booth #C03. There you can view and shop for Mateo Ilasco products and books, including signed copies of her lovely and popular book for small business owners called Craft, Inc. In addition to Meg, there are seven additional shops featuring gifts, stationery, and jewelry, over 100 in fact! Artisans, designers, and food merchants from around the world.

And stay tuned! Meg is finishing up on the Craft, Inc. Business Planner, a companion to Craft Inc. that will help a creative business get organized in order to build a successful business. This book will be released during Fall ’09 by Chronicle Books. Yay, Meg!

(images from meg mateo ilasco)

Books + Magazines

Happy Weekend!

December 5, 2008

I’ve had one of those weeks, I explained why recently, and I’m happy to report that decor8 is back in full swing. Yay! Life is good again thanks to my husband. I cannot believe what he had to do to save my blog (and me) from hundreds of hours of repairs, but he did it through some complicated means that I cannot even begin to explain. When he starts speaking in tongues with tech terms I glaze over and just nod politely, “Uh huh, okay honey, good, nice, thank you”. Not because I don’t care to know the details, I do not UNDERSTAND the details because it sounds all Japanesey to me or something. I know this much, I had 978 links to create today but thanks to him, I had zero.

Now I can relax… (photo from Anthropologie)

This weekend I have lots of fun things planned, tomorrow I’m going to a big outdoor market and a flea market and on Sunday I’ll be with friends and then next week I will take off on Monday as I have a project to complete, but I’ll be back on Tuesday with posts and goodies for the week.

Until we meet again my friends – ’til Tuesday!

(2nd image from amazon, I’m dying to order Easy Elegance by Atlanta Barlett set to release in the Spring. Yum. All of her books I own and cherish.)

Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Delicate Doilies from Martha Stewart Living

November 20, 2008

I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.

The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!

I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.

Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).

Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.

MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.

(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)

Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Fashion + Accessories

Muse Magazine {Fashion/Art}

October 20, 2008

Does anyone out there read new Italian fashion/art magazine Muse? I’m HOOKED… I mean H-O-O-K-E-D. It’s more coffee table book than magazine as it’s super thick and filled with images that you will want to refer back to often. It’s a lot like Lula, my all-time favorite fashion magazine. I just found Muse here in Germany and I cannot stop looking at my copy called Back to Nature. If you can get this in your part of the world I strongly encourage picking one up. Chic, fashion forward, amazing photography, creative… Lovely.

Muse Magazine {Fashion/Art}

Muse Magazine {Fashion/Art}

It’s also where I found out about the photography of Osvaldo Sanviti and his blog. Oh my.

Muse Magazine {Fashion/Art}

And I found UK fashion photographer Karen Alexander who took the most lovely portrait of Kate Moss that I think I’ve ever seen, so delicate and feminine. I am a huge Kate Moss fan (her work as a model I mean) so it was lovely to come across this photograph above taken by Ms. Alexander.

I encourage you to visit the Muse page on My Space and listen to the song featured on their page “Roche ” by Sebastien Tellier, sit back with a cup of tea for a moment, and enjoy the sights and sounds. And full disclosure here: I do not speak French so if this song is offensive I am not responsible! :)

(images: muse magazine, karen alexander, osvaldo sanviti)

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