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Books + Magazines, Inspiration, Small Business

Farewell Blueprint {your thoughts?}

December 14, 2007

Confession: I’m addicted to Creature Comforts, I don’t know, it’s like all of a sudden I’m hooked and can’t stop looking at this gorgeous blog. And though I heard the news of Blueprint folding several days ago over on Apartment Therapy NY, I didn’t think to bring it up here on decor8 until I noticed Creature Comforts posted her thoughts on the topic. And after a few readers wrote to me asking me to blog about this, I figured why not. Wanna dish?

Farewell Blueprint {your thoughts?}
Although I’m sad to see Blueprint fold, I’m happy Amy Butler’s home was recently featured, and I loved all the other homes they gave us a chance to peek into – each felt loved and lived in, and a bit crafty (minus the skulls and rhinestones), and I really liked that because this is a void that other glossies just don’t fill. Most cater to less of a DIY (do it yourself) crowd and more of a BIY (buy it yourself) crowd. Blueprint featured homes of those that run their own business, make lots of the things in their spaces, and they were real everyday people that just so happened to have a huge chunk of creative spirit and know-how.

We really need Blueprint and I’m sad to see them go. They should bring back MS Kids and merge it with Blueprint – in other words, take the “best of” from both magazines, dump the shoes and raincoats and makeup, keep the amazing typefaces, and offer this shiny new car to the new-nesters they want to target. The DINKS and the couples with young children. That would be ideal and I would support it for sure.

And let Sarah Humphreys take the lead because she is talented and down-to-earth, and I like that. How many editors-in-chief do you know would allow you to tour their tiny 1-bedroom NYC apartment decorated solely by their staff? That’s humility, that’s real, and I I liked her since the get-go based on her apt tour alone. She felt approachable, like if I met her at a party I wouldn’t get butterflies – I’d walk right over to her and have a human-to-human conversation. Sarah doesn’t strike me as some media celebrity. She feels real in her editor’s letters and though some of her staff come across a bit snobby, I’m thinking that if I worked at a company like MSLO, I may feel a little full of myself after awhile too. It’s a whole different world inside those offices vs. out here in the real world. They have test kitchens and craft labs and companies sending them cool stuff all day long, access to things you and I will never see or know about. It’s like the freaking Pentagon – only instead of being the headquarters of the American Dept of Defense, it’s more like the American craft headquarters or something. It’s too cool in there for me, I know that much.

I have to let you in on a little secret though… Their last issue is due out soon, it’s for Jan/Feb and I’m in it. Well, not my picture or anything, just some blurbs about my opinions on displaying photography in the home. Look for that, along with a little decor8 mention, in their final issue.

So, what are your thoughts on Blueprint folding?

Psst: Still looking for an ’08 calendar? If you love that gorgeous Blueprint font, here is a free little download.

(image from the wonderful creature comforts)

Books + Magazines, Rooms

Simply Breakfast {book}

November 6, 2007

This is such a wonderful project, one that runs deep with passion for Brooklyn photographer Jennifer Causey who decided to self publish (via Blurb) a collection of her favorite breakfast photos in her own book titled Simply Breakfast. It looks good enough to eat. :)

Simply Breakfast {book}
For $33 it would make the best present for a foodie friend, don’t you think? I respect that she took the alternate route in publishing and did it herself, it’s so empowering to do good work without the big guys sometimes. Based on that fact, coupled with the beauty of her work, I encourage you to support Jennifer by either spreading the word about this on your own blog or purchasing a copy (or both!).

I’m so proud of you Jennifer, we all love your Simply Photo etsy store so much and to see that there’s now a book, it’s well, simply exciting.

(images from jennifer causey)

Books + Magazines, Rooms, Travel

Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}

October 26, 2007

While shopping DesignTorget in Stockholm, I noticed wall plates in blue and white but upon closer inspection I realized they were not plates at all but decals.

Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}
I had to bookmark the designer’s names in my head so I could come back here and share these clever decals with you. They’re designed by Ahnlund-Karl?n, a team of two designers Anna-Ella Ahnlund and ?sa-Karin Karl?n. Their beautiful apartment was featured in the book Stockholm?s Apartments published by Jeu de Paume.

Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}Ahnlund-Karl?n {Swedish Designers}
Ahnlund and Karl?n met at Beckmans College of Design and have been creating together since ’06. You can purchase their adhesive wall dishes at DesignTorget or Galerie doux dimanche online.

(images from ahnlund-karl?n and galerie doux dimanche)

Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Rooms, Shopping + Products, Travel

Larissa Bertonasco Illustrator + Cook {Hamburg}

October 25, 2007

I’m obsessed with cooking lately. Perhaps it’s because we’ve been staying in a hotel suite for weeks and the only thing I can make in our room is coffee or tea. I miss having my own kitchen! So lately, anything even remotely related to dirtying up the kitchen interests me like never before. From spices to machines (the silver limited edition Tord Boontje Senseo coffee machine is fun), cookbooks, to Pino funnels. Adding to my list of must-haves is the Larissa Bertonasco cookbook, La Nonna La Cucina La Vita – Die wunderbaren Rezepte meiner Gro?mutter, which I’ve ordered along with her wall calendar. Her illustrative style is fun and colorful, reminding us of the importance to enjoy the whole cooking experience. I applaud her for wearing two hats, she’s both a professional cook and an illustrator. Let’s hear it for doing what you love, right?!

Larissa Bertonasco Illustrator + Cook {Hamburg}
If you don’t already know Larissa, she lives in Hamburg and is quite the popular girl here in Germany lately, I see her products in bookstores all over. She even has a new line of paper napkins, cloth tea towels, and other small misc. products for the kitchen. But her cookbook is gorgeous. I mean, worth buying even if you can’t read German because it’s just page after page of large colorful illustrations.

Larissa Bertonasco Illustrator + Cook {Hamburg}
The recipes are centered around Italian cooking, just like her grandma would make, and the book is 100% illustration so there are no real life settings photographed which in itself is quite unique right? Most modern cookbooks show photographs of actual food.

Larissa Bertonasco Illustrator + Cook {Hamburg}
This hand drawn cookbook is hot here and who would have guessed that it would be so popular being that it’s mostly filled with illustrations and only brief recipe summaries? It’s highly visual in a very unconventional sense without a single food photo. I think people are starving for new formats, clever new ways to deliver information, breaking the mold.

Larissa Bertonasco Illustrator + Cook {Hamburg} I would love to own this cow as a print for my kitchen.

Have a peek at her portfolio here. And if you want to purchase her calendar or book, just go to the German Amazon site. That’s where I ordered mine and it’s all set to be delivered to my U.S. address. Easy.

(images from larissa bertonasco)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Browsing German Book Shops

October 23, 2007

I just love Autumn, don’t you? I was out and about today enjoying the sunny weather — walking around the city, looking for property (yes, it’s true, we are officially going for it – a 2nd residence in addition to New Hampshire, USA), and shopping at the book store downtown. Strolling around is huge here when it’s sunny outside, it seems the entire city heads to the pedestrian zones (where the stores are) for meeting up with friends, eating, and shopping, mostly with ice cream in hand. So that’s part of what I did today and it was heaven.

I even indulged in one of my favorite treats, a visit to the book store. If you live in Germany, here are my picks for a few great design and crafting books. If you live outside of Germany, you can always google the ISBN to see if it’s available in your language in your part of the world, as I know some of them are available in additional languages. First, let me start with my favorite book of the moment, Ganz mein Stil which means “Totally My Style”. And it is. Totally. :)

Browsing German Book ShopsGanz mein Stil by: Sonia Lucano, who is a stylist and lives in Montreal and her husband Fred Lucano is a well known photographer. ISBN: 978-3258072043, Available in French and German. I have to quickly comment on this book. It’s simplicity is overwhelmingly gorgeous complete with patterns, drawings, watercolored illustrations, and the projects are great. I hope it will be available in English at some point because it would make the perfect present for a crafty friend. I love the format, the photo styling, everything absolutely speaks to me on every possible level. Can’t you tell, I am blown away by this book! Psst: You can purchase Sonia’s little dolls here.

Browsing German Book ShopsBehaglich wohnen in allen Jahreszeiten by: Ilkka Falck, Inga Aaltonen, and Anne Saarenoja. ISBN: 978-3512033056, Available in Finnish and German. Breathtaking interiors.

Browsing German Book ShopsAufger?umt by: Terence Conran. ISBN: 978-3766716743. Available in German.Terence Conran, need I say more? Up next, Tildas Haus by: Tone Finnanger. ISBN: 978-3426645222. Available in German. The style is Scandinavian and mostly geared towards children, but the project ideas, colors, and imagery is gorgeous. And W?nde kreativ by: Linda Barker and Wiebke Krabbe. ISBN: 978-3421036018. Available in German or in English under the title Wall to Wall. And finally, Papier verziert by: Nathalie Delhaye, Stephanie Hure and Charlotte Lasceve. ISBN: 978-3258072029. Available in French and German. Another book I think you’ll like a lot. It shows many projects using basic collage techniques that are highly creative.

(images from

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home

October 19, 2007

Most of you know my latest obsession is with Scandinavian and Dutch design magazines, like vtwonen, and you know what they say about crack, once you start you can’t stop. Magazines intoxicate me. Especially European and Australian ones (at least lately).

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home
Oh but wait. There are dozens of places with magazines of which I’ve not opened, smelled, lingered over (don’t you love magazine smell?), but dear friends I am young and there is time. :) I will find more magazines on this planet to desire and despite my inability to read most of them (I only read English and German), language barriers present no challenge gazing into gorgeous photos of styled spaces like the ones in this post from the recent issue of vtwonen. YUM.

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home
vtwonen is a super stylish Dutch interiors magazine, I’ve waxed on about them here before, but a few days ago I found out that they have a brand new book called “Enjoy Your Home” and after looking at some sneak peeks in the October issue of their magazine, I decided that I must have it. I don’t *need* another design book, but you know how it goes.

And by the way, have you noticed that green and teal are all the rage for Fall this year along with various shades of white and gray with hints of silver and lilac? At least in interiors magazines and stores over here. It’s sublime – I love it. Grass green extends into Fall? How lovely!

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home
Books are like shoes, you start collecting them and there’s really no need to stop. So I’m now circling like the Tasmanian devil trying to locate a copy online.

vtwonen {new book} Enjoy Your Home
The ISBN number is 9789085743835 if you want to scour the web along with me, maybe one of us can find it from a vendor that ships to America.

(images from vt wonen)

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