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Lotta’s Printing Studio

Recently my contact at Chronicle Books in San Francisco was nice enough to send me a copy of Lotta’s Printing Studio, which is more like a kit, and it arrived this morning which was a nice way to begin a new week. Lotta’s Printing Studio was my morning read that I enjoyed as I had breakfast, and bonus! Because it’s very light reading and compact I finished it in about an hour. Yippee! I love a book that is simple and quick when it comes to crafting. If it gets too wordy, I’m likely to not make it beyond chapter 3. This booklet was great and I hope that more craft books go down this path of booklets because they’re so easy to toss in a bag and show your best friend over lunch and they just feel accessible – quite the opposite of some of those crafting bibles out there that often leave me overwhelmed and feeling a bit like I signed up for something I cannot commit to. Or worse, I go out and buy the long list of supplies that the craft project calls for, then I fizzle out halfway through and never go back to the project again. Sure, some things I’ll take my time on like quilting, my last quilt took me a year but it was worth every cut and stitch. However when it comes to an afternoon craft project, I want it quick and dirty. :) Here are a few views of this great new booklet with other goodies on my work table…

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

Lotta's Printing Studio

In this newly released kit you receive a 48-page booklet, stenciling sponges (2), a set of carving tools with two different blades in case you want to try lino-block printing at home, and custom stencils drawn by the talented Lotta Jansdotter who lives and works in Brooklyn. I’d like to note also that the booklet was photographed by freelance photographer, Jenny Hallengren, who is based in Stockholm. I’ve included a glimpse of her work below too.

Jenny Hallengren Photography

This DIY decorating kit will certainly give you many creative ideas and a ton of inspiration, you’ll be stamping your aprons, curtains, walls, clothing and handbags in no time. And at $19.95, it’s a terrific value. Carving tools alone can run you half of that price, but also consider the stencils included and the sponges. This is a great budget option and would be a perfect gift for a friend who needs a little creative push because it suits beginner and intermediate crafters (though I wouldn’t suggest it for advanced stencil pros and printers, it’s basic and not really meant for those who have years of experience). Enjoy!

And by the way, Chronicle gives me nothing for posting this – they send me books from time to time and if I like them I review them, if not, I don’t. Of course, I get to keep the book but that’s it!

(images: top four: holly becker for decor8, bottom grouping: jenny hallengren)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 26, 2009

The Well-Dressed Home {Book}

Fashion and interiors definitely go hand in hand, especially since fashion often finds its way into interior design trends within a year or two after walking down the runway… sometimes even sooner. I love watching the master minds out there translate what they’re seeing on the runway into a cohesive collection for the home, whether it’s West Elm, Zara Home, or your local boutique – fashion does seem to inspire many a home collection. Yesterday over at Real Simple, I reviewed a newly published book called The Well-Dressed Home by Annette Tatum, which not only shows examples of fashion and mood boards but how all that inspiration is collection and translated into a room. It’s a rather interesting book, you can read more about it here in case you’ve been wondering about this title since it seems to be popping up on lots of blogs lately.

The Well-Dressed Home

Also, The Well-Dressed Home is the decor8 book of the week. This means that if you purchase it after clicking this link that I will earn 6% from the sale.

Have you read this book? Or flipped through it? What are your impressions?

(images: the well-dressed home)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 20, 2009

Jonathan Alder Dachshund Bookends

Barnes & Noble has these delicious little dachshund bookends designed by Jonathan Adler and I’m dying here because I cannot order them as they don’t ship outside of the U.S. – wahhhh! (update: Wait! I take that back! They will ship other things outside of books and videos. YAY!) I want these so badly for my books. Well those of you who are in America, you are the lucky ones… You can have this set of precious white resin bookends for under $40. Oh, I’m positively dying here. Want. These. Badly.

Want. These. Badly.

Look at the little tongue. Cute. Ness. And let me tell ya, I just know that pup is sticking his tongue as if to say, “nah nah nah nah you can’t have me!”. Little jerk! Rrrrrr.

(image: barnes & noble)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 06, 2009

Joy of Cookbooks!

How is your day going? If you’re looking for inspiration (as I was), spend some time in your local bookstore in the cooking section. Oh my! There are so many great titles releasing right now as the holidays roll in. I found a few that I scooped up immediately, one is called La vie en rose by Murielle Rousseau (heavenly French recipes!) with illustrations by Berlin-based artist Stefanie Roth and the other is Gemüse and Gemüse by Delphine de Montalier (a vegetarian cookbook, gemüse means vegetable in German). With food photos to die for, styling to learn from and even some personal references to family along with pretty illustrations, they are both such inspiring cookbooks. It’s dark here now and well, I just removed my precious new books from their bag in my somewhat dark living room so excuse the poor lighting. But I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to share — the ‘feeling’ may be lost and no doubt I’ll be onto other things! :) So here’s a few snaps of what inspired me today…

Joy of Cookbooks

I can’t wait to crack them both open and start preparing meals for Fall. But this post isn’t a book review for either of these titles, it’s merely to say that the cookbooks in your local bookstore may be a great place to look for inspiration. The presentation of food in newer books seems to be stronger than ever — styled beautifully with food so enticing that you wish each page had a scratch ‘n sniff sticker so you could experience the smell of each recipe to go along with the visuals.  ha ha. :) No seriously, the photos really draw you in and make you want to cook but even more… they give you ideas for color palettes and even styling ideas for the home. I was looking at one and noticed how beautifully olives looked with turquoise dinnerware and hadn’t given it much thought before today… now I’m thinking of how nice it would be for presenting a meal or setting a table. So, need some inspiration and unable to find a decorating book you really click with lately? Try a cookbook, you never know what could come out of it — in addition to a great meal of course!

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

And a BIG P.S. on this post because I hope major booksellers everywhere read these words and put this into practice immediately… it’s popular here, at least in the bookstores I’ve visited, that books that have photographs in them — like coffee table books, cookbooks, art and design books, etc. have a “customer” copy on top a stack of shrink-wrapped copies. I LOVE THIS. I have been telling my husband for YEARS when we were living in the states that bookstores should have a customer copy and then all the others should be in shrink wrap. Why? It made me feel annoyed with people would take books into the restroom, cafe, or even just sit in those chairs at large booksellers for hours, breaking the spines, bending pages, etc. and then not buying them. It was getting so bad in our local Barnes & Noble that I would only go to flip through a book that I was interested in and then I’d go home and buy it on Amazon because at least that way I knew the book was new – it would arrive unused and in shrink wrap. I once bought a book for $50 and it had a coffee stain on a few of the pages! Now that I’m in Germany, I go to the bookstore and find my idea in practice and let me tell you, it’s a great idea and not just because I had it. he he. It truly makes buying a book a wonderful experience again because well, I want to be the first to crack it open and smell that fresh book smell. :) Does this sort of thing matter to you?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 29, 2009


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