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Books + Magazines

How To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume Books

August 7, 2007

I thoroughly enjoy reading Netherlands-based blog Yvestown, written by the creative Yvonne Eijkenduijn. Her wit is refreshing and her blog is informative and altogether beautiful. I appreciate the care that she puts into her posts, especially these that spotlight some of her favorite books. I read through all of them last night and ordered several of her picks from Amazon, including Cheap Chic by Emily Chalmers (my idol from Caravan Style in London, also author of one of my top ten decorating books of all time, Flea Market Style.), and In Bloom by Alice Whately.

How To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume Books
But there is beauty in having patience and combing through the archives of your favorite blogs. It was during this treasure hunt that I discovered a small Japanese book publisher that comes highly recommended by Yvonne for having the best design books called Jeu de Paume, also known as Paumes for short. “Jeu de Paume explores the environments of those who stimulate the creative industries, and in doing so has produced a set of creative bibles that overflow with inspiration,” says Paumes. Browsing their books online, I’m sold!

How To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume Books
After their first visit to Paris, Paumes was so inspired by what they saw that they went on to visit other European design meccas like Stockholm and London. This began their series of books documenting their favorite stores, creative workspaces, and homes. If you’d like to order any of their books, contact them directly via email: info AT paumes.com. You can also order them directly from Amazon Japan. But seeing a website that looks like this (below) can be a bit intimidating if you don’t understand the language, right? Wrong.

How To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume Books
No worries friends. We have Yvestown to thank for this amazingly simple tutorial on how to order from Amazon.jp. I just walked through it to order a few of the Paumes books myself and it was a breeze using her guide (great job, Yvonne!). Just think: You can go broke shopping in websites that are not only in your native language, but also on websites that you don’t even understand! Yay! The beauty of the internet and pretty pictures! :)

How To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume BooksHow To Order from Amazon Japan + Jeu de Paume Books
(images from paume and yvestown)






Books + Magazines

Barnes & Noble $2 Book Sale, Working Class Studio at B&N, & Carmen Segovia

July 26, 2007

Not sure if you live near to a Barnes & Noble book store, but if you do, rush over as soon as you can (especially before the weekend when the crowds roll in) and see if they have a $2 book sale going on. The one nearest to me has many beautiful interiors and crafts books, I picked up 8 books for $16, not even the retail price for one of them. My favorite is a children’s book I found called China Doll by Eliza Pilgrim, illustrated by Barcelona-based artist Carmen Segovia. The story is really great, it’s all about a doll that wants to please the girl who owns her and the journey she takes to find a special gift to give her. What captivates me though are the illustrations. I really love them.

Barnes & Noble $2 Book Sale, Working Class Studio at B&N, & Carmen Segovia
I’d not heard of Carmen before seeing this book, but the moment I cracked it open and looked at the illustrations, I had to buy it (only $2!) and learn more about the illustrator. I googled Carmen and found her portfolio online, she just so happens to be represented by the Marlena Agency, the same agency that represents Camilla Engman and this is the first book in North American that she’s illustrated, most of her illustrations are for books in Europe. If you have time, maybe you’d like to look through all of the portfolios on the Marlena Agency site because each one is glorious, and please do visit Barnes & Noble before the beautiful books are gone! :)

Barnes & Noble $2 Book Sale, Working Class Studio at B&N, & Carmen Segovia
Oh and P.S., Working Class Studio at SCAD has their paper products at B&N now, so look for it in their stationery section. I saw them last night on display and they look really great in person and are made very well. Also, you can buy them online.

Barnes & Noble $2 Book Sale, Working Class Studio at B&N, & Carmen Segovia
Do you have any favorite children’s book illustrators to share? I decided that I’m going to start a small collection of new and vintage children’s books. I’ve been working on it already for a few years mixing in some of my own books from childhood that my mother saved for me, and so many books from the late 70’s and 80’s have reprints floating around (or you can find originals on eBay), so I’m collecting the ones that I can remember that I really liked. Recently on Charles Street in Boston (Beacon Hill), I spotted Petunia in a window display and ran in and purchased it on the spot. Petunia! I loved that book growing up. Do you know it?

Are there any children’s book illustration groups on Flickr? If so, please let me know, I’d be interested in joining that.

(images from me and also b&n)






Books + Magazines, Objects

Bluelines: It’s Electric DIY Wallpaper Lanterns

July 25, 2007

Bluelines fashion editor Katie Hatch posted a fun how-to project It’s Electric: DIY Wallpaper Lanterns that you may want to check out. It’s a fun way to recycle those leftover bits of wallpaper that always remain after an installation.

Bluelines: It's Electric DIY Wallpaper Lanterns
Since she mentions her inability to confirm how safe they are (she only uses hers for parties while she’s awake), I suggest following only her template instructions on creating the actual lantern and skip the whole light part and hang them without lights to add some character to your space. You can string several around your kitchen or on the patio, for instance. Maybe you can create tiny ones and string them beneath the umbrella of your patio set? Or use twinkle lights (clear bulbs, white cord) and fashion a mini lantern around each one by hand. Okay that’s time consuming, but imagine the cuteness factor…

Click here to read more.

(images from bluelines)






Books + Magazines, Reader Questions, Shopping + Products, Travel

Reader Q: Where can I find Japanese goodies?

June 19, 2007

A few readers wrote in to reply to my earlier post about Sock and Glove, asking for some tips on where to purchase Japanese books and magazines. In case you are new to decor8 and haven’t had time to scan my archives for Japanese goodies, here’s a mini guide to get your started in the right direction. Have fun!

Reader Q: Where can I find Japanese goodies?
Kanako Yaguchi + Funtrap: Japanese fashion and home products.

Peppermint Pig, Lorina, Zakka Mania, Online Zakka Search, Sunny Style, Pip, and Lumiere Mira. All blogged here.

Maminka: Hand-painted art and other pretty things from Japanese crafters. Via: Wee Wonderfuls, who also suggests shopping ripple, tar-tan and Anano Cafe.

Shop for Decole at Chocoa. There’s even a Decole addicts Flickr group!

Reader Q: Where can I find Japanese goodies?
You can’t mention Japanese goodies without Aranzi Aronza coming to mind. Here’s a post about them here.

Atelier Akiko. Pillows, totes, quilts… Need I say more?

Also, don’t miss Saliva.

Here’s some more links from previous posts on decor8:
Japanese Fashion Magazines
Japanese Crafting
Inspiring Images from Japanese Craft Books
Kita Usagi
Purchasing Japanese Books and Magazines, like Real Simple Japan!

Some of these links above are from blogger Wee Wonderfuls. A blog I’ve been following for awhile, that I really enjoy and feel a connection to. You have to read it if you’re not already addicted, it’s really crafty and sunny, which is always a good thing! Also check out blogger Buzzville, who is addicted to handmade goods with a focus on Japanese crafts and fabrics.

And don’t forget Lou’s on Etsy. She is one of my all-time favorite places to find Japanese goodness!

Reader Q: Where can I find Japanese goodies?
And finally, home goodies from D Bros in Japan. Via: Oh Joy! And thanks for writing in ladies… You know who you are!

(images from lou and d bros japan)






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

Sock and Glove: Creating Softy Friends!

June 19, 2007

I came across the cutest book last night, Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori, I have to share it with you! Part children’s story, part instructional guide for creating softies with personality, it’s great for all ages because it gives lone socks, gloves, and mittens purpose again and gets you back into sewing without a huge time commitment.

Sock and Glove: Creating Softy Friends!

The book has 13 adorable friends to make, from fish to dogs, cats to mice, and the author encourages creativity by explaining that each doll can have a unique personality according to how you arrange the face and how much stuffing you use in the body. She encourages experimenting with different looks and not copying one for one what she shows in the book. In other words, live a little, it’s okay to go outside of the line. It’s simple format and darling photos lured me in at first, especially since I’ve had a thing for Japanese craft books since I first “discovered” them in San Francisco back in ’01, but find them hard to follow in Japanese and looking at pretty images only takes me so far when sewing… Sock and Glove released in Japan a few years ago, but was recently translated into English and released here in America just this month.

Simple Sparrow reviewed this book on her gorgeous blog, make sure you take a moment to read what she has to say about it, she wrote a nice review and has some great photos.

(image by holly becker for decor8)






Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines, Inspiration, Small Business

The Crafter’s Companion *New* Book

May 23, 2007

You absolutely must read Anna Torborg’s new book, The Crafter’s Companion: Tips, Tales and Patterns from a Community of Creative Minds. Let me tell you why.

The Crafter's Companion *New* Book
I discovered the book, not via a blog or surfin’ the net as you’d expect, but the old-fashioned way. At a bookstore. As I navigated my way towards art/design (where else?), I passed the crafty section and there it was, the Barnes & Noble featured title. With a juicy apple green cover and a to-the-point title, I was lured in instantly, so I grabbed it and started doing the anxious flip. As I flipped, the more excited I felt because I recognized so many of the artists featured inside. Some I’ve even blogged about. I had to buy it, and so I did. Sure, I could have found it for $13 on Amazon, but I wasn’t feeling patient enough to wait and order online.

The Crafter’s Companion takes the reader on a terrific journey into the minds of creative types that sew (either by hand or machine) beautiful wares ranging from dolls to pillows and everything in between. These artists also talk about crafting via their blogs/websites where they form creative connections, making new friends, exchanging ideas, and offering encouragement. Anna Torborg pulled together a beautiful read, combining heartfelt text from each artist along with inspirational images, pulling in the most beautiful shots of studios, inspiration boards, work surfaces, and handmade items. The flow of the book is very easy to follow, it profiles one artist at a time — Each with their own images, name, location, age, url, why they create, what inspires them (my favorite part), and information about their workspace (another great feature). But that’s not all.

The Crafter's Companion *New* Book
An added bonus is when each artist wraps up their profile with a mini project, so you can try getting crafty yourself. Lisa Congdon shows how to make a log cabin pillow, Wee Wonderfuls demonstrates the art of making a pillowcase apron, My Paper Crane crafts up a quick “house” tissue cover, Angry Chicken teaches how to create a quilted throw (I want to try this one), or learn how to make a library tote from the fabulous Fiona Dalton. With 17 crafter profiles and projects, The Crafter’s Companion will motivate everyone, from the experienced artist to the closet crafter, to reach out and create something from the heart. It will also inspire you to blog, and although you may not thought it possible, when you finish reading the book, you’ll appreciate handmade wares on a level you may not expect.

The Crafter's Companion *New* BookI appreciate how the artists reach deep inside and express exactly why they craft. Not for money or to win some popularity contest, but often for spiritual and emotional reasons, and for the friendships they make through online networking. Of course, some are able to supplement their income from their craft business, but none of these ladies are rolling in the cash – for them, money is only a small piece of it. Their work is from the heart. What does this really mean to them? It seems that each hopes to use their talent and energy to put a stamp on something unique, to gain the approval of others, feel appreciated, form friendships, bond with others, and make money doing what they love. Certainly a different approach to the mission of most companies today. Isn’t that refreshing? Of course, they also appreciate the value in owning something unique and handmade in a world that has become so commercial and, flip over any object you buy these days, is stamped “Made in China”. So it’s a combination of things that encourage the modern crafter to do what they love, but the common theme is that they all seem to use crafting as a creative outlet to balance the boring, mundane things in life that can sometimes crowd out the creative side (i.e. working for a living and taking out the trash). These ladies make room to craft because it helps them stay balanced and happy. A good lesson for all, isn’t it?

The Crafter's Companion *New* Book
I’d like to give a little shout out to each one of these talented women because they put so much of themselves into this title. I hope you click on their links below and visit their sites. But first of all, a huge shout out to the energy and spirit behind the book, the editor, Anna Torborg from Twelve22. And then, in order of appearance in the book:

Alison Brookbanks, 6.5 st, Australia
Amy Karol, Angry Chicken, Oregon
Cassi Griffin, Bella Dia, Idaho
Fiona Dalton, Hop Skip Jump, Australia
Heidi Kenney, My Paper Crane, Pennsylvania
Hillary Lang, Wee Wonderfuls, Illinois
Juju Vail, Juju Loves Polka Dots, England
Katey Nicosia, One Good Bumblebee, Texas
Lisa Congdon, California
Lyn Roberts, Molly Chicken, England
Maitreya Dunham, Craftlog, New Jersey
Mariko Fujinaka, Super Eggplant, Oregon
Myra Masuda , My Little Mochi, Hawaii
Sarah Neuburger, The Small Object, South Carolina
Tania Ho, Chocolate a Chuva, Portugal
Tania Howells, Canada

Congrats ladies on the powerful, positive message that The Crafter’s Companion sends. Excellent work! And if you’d like, listen in on a podcast CraftyPod had with Anna Torborg. It’s all about crafting + blogging and how Anna selected each artist, the message she is trying to send through it, and her feelings about blogs in general.

Psst: If you’ve read this book and created something inspired by the patterns in it, feel free to post your project to the The Crafter’s Companion Flickr group.

(images from individuals linked above)






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