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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)






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)






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