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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)






Books + Magazines, Shopping + Products, Travel

The Independent London: Store Guide

March 6, 2007

Look what Joy found: The Independent London: Store Guide. This is perfect, I can’t wait to see it. I purchased it online, they ship worldwide, and you can pay via Paypal. I’ll be in London later this year, so I plan to put it to good use. Anyone else planning on visiting London this year? Isn’t this cat the cutest?

The Independent London: Store Guide(images from the independent london)






Books + Magazines

Blueprint: Sweet 5 Finds

February 22, 2007

Blueprint arrived over the weekend, but for those of you who do not yet have a copy, I promise this sneak peak won’t be a spoiler. I’m sure lots of you have your subscription copy anyway, so let’s discuss!

This is a surprisingly solid issue, given their first two issues created lots o’ chatter in the blogosphere about its lack of cohesion, over-priced finds, and ‘been there done that’ products and ideas. Some of you were split down the middle, not knowing what to think.

This time, you’ll see a sharp, refreshing contrast. Everything works. It’s vibrant. The styling, gorgeous typography, Marthaesque layout, well-written, informative content — it’s a full course meal. A beautiful collection of things, from entertaining tips to peep toe flats and gorgeous rooms that are well arranged and attainable. I was glad to see Editor-in-Chief Sarah Humphreys bare a bit of her soul with a home tour of her newly decorated 307 sq. ft. foot West Village pad (does everyone live in the village these days?!). It was designed by three Blueprint editors. That was quite cool, at least according to me.

Here are a few tear sheets from my issue, heading straight for my look book.

Find 01. Holly Waterfield’s office space and West Village (see what I mean!) boutique, Camp, are featured. I love how she layers her collections, everything with such care, creating warmth and charm. Here’s her desk…

Blueprint: Sweet 5 Finds
Find 02. Using job jackets as frames. Brilliant. When I worked in town, I used the black ones constantly to insert project plans in for one wall, and next to my computer, photos I’d taken to perk me up. I had no clue that they were available in a myriad of colors, and to use them in the home as art, well that’s just clever! Some Blueprint tips: Insert lightweight children’s books that you love, vintage magazine covers, kids art, food labels, origami papers, calendar pages (letterpressed or illustrated), greeting cards or postcards, digital photos, and seed packages. I’d like to add favorite textiles, wallpaper, stamps, and current magazines (or just their covers) that you find inspiring to their list. Blueprint lists Lineco as a resource, but their website doesn’t show these jackets, so you have to call them. I suggest googling “job jackets” or “job ticket holders” until you find what you need. You can also try Filmguard, they carry them in several primary colors, or try Media Street.

Blueprint: Sweet 5 Finds
Find 03. This was an exciting find. Polaroids neatly arranged on the wall with acid-free double-stick tape behind a plexiglas sheet. I want to run out and buy a polaroid camera right now. Everything old is new again, including polaroids. Another major find in this photo is that killer stainless-steel table. I love metal tables, but hadn’t known about this resource until now. Visit Restaurant Services online for affordable metal, this one starts at $281.

Blueprint: Sweet 5 FindsFind 04. Oh the Parsons table. Margaret Russell calls it the little black dress of interior design, the one piece everyone should own. I’m on board. But it’s not the Parsons that I’m interested in here. It’s that photo over it. It’s an oversized picture of an Italian beach scene that the homeowners love, and not in a small way, either. It’s large and in charge. Mounted on gatorfoam board (which Blueprint assures us is stronger than foam core), you can mount it with velcro tabs from the office store. Turn your favorite image into art for as little as $100 at Duggal. Love!

Blueprint: Sweet 5 FindsFind 05. Sarah’s apartment. Great spread, lots of ideas, loads of detail (even a floor plan), and beautiful photos. I love her new shelving systems, styled as perfectly as you’d expect from Martha staffers, and her superb sofa and fabric divider between the kitchen and living room space. Not shown, but worth a mention, is her iMac cozy. I actually started designing these about 8 years ago for friends and then, when the new sexy iMacs came out, saw no need to keep producing them because most people feel Apple is like Prada, it makes a statement. Seeing her iMac cozy made me rethink all this… It’s back to the machine for me!

Blueprint: Sweet 5 Finds
With talk of a new Blueprint Saturday afternoon Block Party on the Style Network, their own blog due to roll out soon, and the Blueprint radio hour, Tuesdays at noon EST on the Martha Stewart Living Radio channel 112 on Sirius, it looks like Blueprint is ready to dig in. They even plan to roll out 6 issues this year, so it doesn’t look like Blueprint is fading into the sunset, but building for a very strong, and confident, delivery for ’07.

(images from blueprint)






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