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Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines

Book of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French Twist

February 12, 2007

Meet my new favorite book, Simple Sewing with a French Twist by the popular Parisian designer, C?line Dupuy. Her work is regularly featured in Marie Claire magazine and her portfolio can be viewed on her website. Simple Sewing with a French Twist showcases C?line’s talents offering all of us a glimpse into her stylish world.

But wait!

It does much more than delight the eyes. It provides the necessary tools to jump right in and create our very own Paris right at home with over 50 projects for all levels – from ohmygodwhatwasIthinking beginner to beentheredonethat advanced. It offers clear instructions, illustrated patterns, and images of the completed project that encourage you to take your idea from your head to the work table.

Meet C?line…
Book of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French TwistBook of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French Twist
I love her eye, from the things she creates and how beautifully she styles them, giving everything such care and consideration, paying close attention to each detail without coming across too fussy… Absolutely beautiful. Lots of great patterns to sew up for your home, from placemats to pillows, as well as fashion accessories (love the totes), gifts, and super creative customizing ideas for your furniture (i.e. the buttons sewn on the back of this chair below. What a fantastic idea.) Here are some images from the book for a sneak peak.

Book of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French TwistBook of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French Twist
Book of the Week: Simple Sewing with a French Twist
This title is in English and is also available in French. Simple Sewing with a French Twist is exquisite on every level, a real gem for crafty girls everywhere and only $18!

(images from C?line Dupuy)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

The Shop Is Open!

February 4, 2007

I’m excited to announce a shop I’ve been working on at the request of readers who’ve asked me for tips on music, movies, and books to give as gifts. I could write for hours in reply, but instead, I thought the best way to keep readers in touch with my favorite picks is to simply pull everything together into one neat package.

The Shop Is Open!I went through each corner of my home to inventory what I own, pulling only the best of the best to list in this store. This shop stocks books (art, design, small business, crafts, decorating, travel, organization, sewing, cooking, and more to be added), music, magazines, movies, and so on. I’ll add new items weekly, so check the store as often as you’d like.

I stand behind everything in this shop because I own it; items are 100% decor8 approved based on experience and actual use. Well, with the exception of a few items that are not yet released that I’ve listed.

When you purchase something from my shop, I earn 8.5% of the total, so the earnings are pretty unexciting. But, as an amazon affiliate, it’s nice when a few new books arrive in the mail each year, so I can’t complain. Please don’t purchase anything because you think you’re helping me, purchase it because you really have a genuine interest and will use it and love it.

As you flip through each category, I’m sure you will find many items that we share a common love for. I hope you benefit from, and enjoy, this new amazon shop.

Thanks for looking!

Books + Magazines

Book of the Week: Flea Market Style

February 2, 2007

I recently heard about Emily Chalmers from Joy so I had to learn more. I found out that she’s authored (and co-authored) several books, one being Flea Market Style, which comes with rave reviews on all of the book websites.

Book of the Week: Flea Market StyleAfter purchasing it and falling in love, I decided to post it as book of the week because it gave me a Springy feeling, like March is just around the corner so chin up! Aside from budding trees and warmer temps, Spring brings cleaning and organizing the home, along with refreshing the decor. And there’s no better way to refresh than to hit flea markets because you are supporting sellers, saving money, and more importantly, it does the planet good to recycle. Queen Flea Victoria says that out in the Bay Area, the Alameda Market kicks off this weekend. For those of us wrapped like a mummy in winter gear, attending an outdoor flea is months away. That’s why I’ll live through the pages of Flea Market Style and of course, Victoria’s blog.Flea Market Style is a beautiful book, it’s not the typical flea read, where everything leans more on yee haw Country (roosters and plaid) or the all white Shabby Chic style. While it’s hard to define the style, picture fresh cut flowers in a canning jar, on a metal folding table, in a Notting Hill flat with soaring ceiling, crown moldings, and a sweetly upholstered 19th century French Louis XV sofa against a soft blue wall, and there you have it. The photos are so gorgeous.

Books like this one are really helpful for those who may not have the eye to source amazing finds. I have friends who’ve accompanied me to Brimfield and they just don’t get it. They don’t have the vision to get excited about it. To them, it’s all junk. I don’t fault anyone for that because we all have talents in different areas. I’ve been going to fleas since I was a toddler (with my mother and grandparents), so although I can’t couldn’t compose music or write code to save my life, I can find potential scores at flea markets.

For a flea market junkie, this title offers plenty of styling ideas, and for those a bit overwhelmed by the thought of combing a huge market, helps them develop an eye for precious finds so the shopping experience becomes exciting. The more you look at pictures, attend fleas with friends who are savvy market shoppers, and my #1, have in mind exactly what you are looking for, the more beneficial your trip will be. The days of coming home, stressed and exhausted, opening your bag wondering what you were thinking, are over!

If you need any flea market tips, just ask. So many readers are complete junkies, I’m sure one of us can offer some advice. Once Spring comes, I’ll post a list of some of the best flea markets to hit, look for that in mid March.

Pick up a copy of Flea Market Style on Amazon for $18 right here.

(image from amazon)

Books + Magazines, DIY

Shredded Bliss DIY Project

January 16, 2007

I found a fun and inexpensive DIY project in the Budget Living “Home Cheap Home” book last night (it’s amazing what you discover when you sort through your bookcase). I’ve flipped through it so many times and never came across page 139 until it nearly hit me in the face last night as it flew off the book shelf, landing with DIY project, Shredded Bliss, looking straight up at me. This is the coolest and cheapest project ever, and I’m imaging it’s a bit challenging and fun to boot. If you don’t have the book (shame on you!), I’ll insert the instructions from the book just below the image. Have fun!

Shredded Bliss DIY Project
Shredded Bliss How To: Grab all the magazines you’d like to incorporate into this project, issues you won’t mind sending to the shredder, that is. Find a shredder that creates strips (try Staples where you can find them for around $20) and feed your colorful pages through it. Collect the strips that appeal to you the most, that work within your desired palette and the ‘look’ that you’re going for. Grab a narrow paintbrush and apply a craft glue to the back of each strip (Budget Living suggests Delta Sobo from Dick Blick. Locals: There’s a Blick across from the new West Elm over by Fenway Park, they have it.).

Place the strips in a pattern on a dry, clean, smooth wall and allow them to set overnight. The next day, brush on an even coat of clear sealant. Let that dry overnight and viola! You’ve just given your walls a facelift for less than the cost of one roll of wallpaper. Budget Living shows it in a bathroom, but with the moisture factor to consider, I’d suggest this project for a small office space, entry way, guest bathroom (no shower/tub), or just for one wall – behind the bed or your work area, for instance. If you have a galley kitchen, this would look great on the back wall. By the way, Home Cheap Home is loaded with excellent projects, the focus being on use what you have vs. constant spending, so I highly suggest picking up a copy.

Here’s the cover:

Shredded Bliss DIY ProjectAnd here’s another cool project that is totally animal friendly and easy to create in an afternoon. Use white linoleum, cut it into the shape of a zebra rug, and paint the black stripes yourself. I especially love the Gucci heels flung by the rug, but I have no clue how you can DIY those…

Shredded Bliss DIY Project
Learn more about this book over at Wilson Art (great website for designers, by the way). Grab a copy of this book for under $15 here.

(images via wilson art)

Books + Magazines, Rooms

Book of the Week: The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper

January 11, 2007

Are you a bookstore addict? I’ve been a junkie since I was a ‘tween and purchased my first copy (of many) of the Sweet Valley High series. You know, those two sun-kissed California blondes that bopped around in thier fiat with their cute ponytails, crushing on every football jock in town? Before Sweet Valley High, I purchased my books mainly from the school book clubs (remember those flyers? I confess buying books JUST for those cute baby animal posters), town book fairs, or they were given to me by my family. But, as soon as I started to understand how money worked and how many books I could buy via negotiations with my father (raking the lawn, washing the dogs, cleaning the birdcage, etc.), I was hooked on spending money on things that lasted and meant something to me. To this day, I will always cherish my library above anything else in my home. Well, okay some of the art I’ve purchased and of course, my chocolate drawer where we stash the good stuff.

Book of the Week: The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper
Last night, while rummaging through titles at Barnes + Noble, I felt those happy shivers, that feeling you get when you’re stoked about something you’ve spotted because you’ve not read about it or heard of it elsewhere, a thousand times over. Especially when it’s a book. “The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper” was my catch of the day. When I reeled it in, I thought about decor8 readers and how I had to share this book on my blog because it’s such a informative and beautiful find.

The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper is droolworthy gorgeousness. My friends would dub it wallpaper porn, the new word we add to the end of everything that is just so sexy you can’t stand it (room porm refers to well designed spaces, bag porn is when you look at all those amazing Anthropologie bags online, etc.) Anyway, I digress.

This book is a magical dream-like escape into the recent Wallpaper craze that has resurfaced after many years of experiencing somewhat of a dry spell here in the states. The sheer variety of papers represented in this title is exciting, some of my favorites are included, like Neisha Crossland, Susan Bradley, Timorous Beasties, Cole + Son, and over 70 others. The book begins with a great (non-snoozy) introduction to wallpaper and how it has evolved into a artistic medium that is used for self-expression by the home dweller, and then it continues by looking at paper today and introducing them by characteristic; geometric, architectural, figurative, interactive, technical, discussing techniques, products, and all the great designers we love – some we’ve not heard of yet. Charles Stuckey then speaks on the crossover between this medium and fine art, which I really enjoyed.

Title: The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper (Paperback)
Author: Ziggy Hanaor
ISBN: 978-1904772569
Price: $26 (or pay $40 at the bookstore)

If you are interested in design and want to learn more on this topic, don’t miss The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper.

Books + Magazines

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure’s 100 Greatest Trips

January 5, 2007

Travel + Leisure, a magazine that I have been hooked on since 1989 (my friend Judith gave me a gift subscription as a teen), is known as the leader in directing thousands in the right direction when it comes to planning the perfect vacation. As a reader for 18 years, they have helped me put the dollup of whipped cream on all of my travel plans, that extra touch that I may not have ever known of had I not read about it in their magazine. This is why I am so excited to tell you about the new title from Travel + Leisure magazine, a gorgeous 287 page book called, “100 Greatest Trips”.

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest TripsCategorized by country, from the United States to to western Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and beyond, this book is jam packed with hundreds of beautiful photos arranged neatly around quick bites of information (it isn’t text heavy) in clean, modern typeface.

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest Trips
Inside you’ll find everything from shopping expeditions to culinary tours, driving vacations, beach getaways, art and culture explorations, outdoor adventures, travel tips, mini-guides, and listings of recommended hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, musuems, and tour operators. The best part, everything they suggest seems to be within my budget! Score! (This isn’t too common in most travel books, as they tend to cater towards the money crowd.)

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest Trips
Shot by some of T+L’s award-winning photographers, it’s one of those books that grabs, and keeps, your attention. It’s one that you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again, it’s almost a cookbook for travel. I love it because there are so many delicious interior shots that it gave me loads of inspiration. I highly suggest it either for yourself, or to give as a gift.

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest Trips
decor8 gives it: 5 stars
newsstand price: $34.95
amazon price: $24.12 (and comes shrink wrapped, so you can crack the spine. I know, I’m a dork, but I love being the first person to open a book.)
available here at amazon.

Book of the Week: Travel + Leisure's 100 Greatest Trips
See more photos of this book here.

(images snapped by holly becker for decor8)

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