It’s time to say goodbye for the weekend but I’d like to share with you a glimpse into what mine will look like… It involves lots of reading and movies as I need to still recover. Oh poor me, right? I think this weekend I’ll indulge in Marie Antoinette and some James Bond and a few Turner Classic movies. Other than my badly damage ankle, the rest of me is not too pleased having to stay indoors for the past week but oh well… I must, “cherish the down time” friends say. Okay, if I must. Here is another way I plan to spend my down time, with a magical new book that just arrived on my doorstep filled with gorgeous images of Paris.
Paris Made By Hand is authored by the lovely Pia Jane Bijerk, a stylist and writer from the Netherlands by way of Paris and ultimately, Australia where she was raised. I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this precious book so I ordered it in advance and here it is, waiting for me to turn each and every dreamy page. Soon I will be relaxing with my special little book to read all of Pia’s lovely writing and to view her 50 must-see shops where stylists and decorators find their goodies in Paris, the subject of this book. Sounds dreamy, oui?
I met Pia last year and thought she was so very nice in person, much like you’d expect her to be from her blog personality, and so I feel really good about recommending this book to you even before reading it. I know it will be special, very very VERY special. So please, support Pia and her new book.
It should come with a warning though: it will give you major Paris fever!
(images: holly becker)
I’ll be frank, I don’t knit and I honestly can’t picture myself as someone who will anytime soon because it takes tremendous talent and patience and that’s already a sign – I may not qualify! But I love, and I mean love, knitted goods and yarn. I look at blankets like this one from Cosas in Sweden or even this scarf from Papa Stour in Scotland I feel positively smitten. Whenever I’m around yarn in all its glorious colors I experience a certain weakness (Oscar Wilde once said I can resist anything except temptation - that’s me), like when I spot cupcakes or puppies or pretty books and magazines. When I was single, I had crushes constantly on every man with either glasses or an accent, if they were English with dark hair and blue eyes with a gorgeous flat in London, all the better… he he. I digress. Point is, this cupcake, puppies, pretty boys and pretty books helplessness that I’ve explained is the same that I felt a few days ago when I came across the Spring/Summer issue of Debbie Bliss – knitting magazine. I’ll share just a glimpse here to entice you… Gosh you’d think I was selling something but I’m not, I’m merely trying to rope you in to my magazine obsession and the fact that I am now having to justify why a girl like me who does not knit is purchasing, in fact, a knitting magazine. Oh help me.
The photographs inside are so lovely and I especially enjoyed her personal favorites spotlighted throughout like fabrics, books, collections, recipes… It’s all very sweet, charming and of course – girly. All of the photography, I believe, was shot by English photographer Richard Burns. Most of the styling is by Julie Mansfield. The layout of the magazine is beautiful, very clean and uncomplicated with an attention to details like pretty little drawings, subtle patterned backgrounds, pretty font styles and colors (mostly pink, gray and blue), and there’s even a travel diary documenting some of the spots that Debbie recently visited like Florence and Bath, England. I also like that the magazine is only produced quarterly and that the price per issue is $8, this may seem expensive but it’s not consider that the issue is so carefully put together and includes many great patterns in the back. I’d rather have quality over quantity any day, I want work I can feel, believe in, connect to… and for me to connect to a knitting magazine, a subject I honestly have no interest in, makes me believe even more in the power of beautiful, well-crafted, things. If they are a work from the heart, they often reach out beyond even their niche market to attract others for reasons that do not even have to do with their overall subject.
I like how the magazine is written, how it feels, the size (it’s slightly wider than your standard magazine) and the purpose behind it — to help people craft their own gorgeous things using yarn. It’s getting people in touch with a hobby that can bestow peace and pleasure, but also in the end, a functional item with value. Beautiful!
Would you like to catch a glimpse of Sewing Green, a book to soon be released by STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books? Written by Betz White with inspirational photos by John Gruen and styling by Raina Kattelson, I was reading their blog recently and noticed they were nice enough to include a preview of 22 photos from the book – this is such a nice bonus when a publisher takes the time to give readers a sneak peek.
How cute is that vintage sewing machine and the faux bois draft snake?
You can view all 22 photos here.
(photos: john gruen – if you are looking for additional interior inspiration, be sure to visit his online portfolio – stunning!)
If you aren’t already familiar with her work, Deborah Bibby is the Editor-in-Chief of Real Living magazine in Australia, my current design mag fix (in English) now with Domino gone. Real Living is truly a feast for the eyes! In addition to the pages inside their highly inspirational decorating mag, Bibby authors the Real Living blog giving fans a behind-the-scenes look into their gorgeous, colorful world.
I particularly love how they spotlight finds from recent design shows they’ve attended in addition to showing what goes on during photo shoots including images that didn’t make the final cut. I love how laid back and approachable their blog is and I get a sense that they’re not only connected to what’s going on in Australia and New Zealand but they “get” what is happening in the rest of the world — like right here in America. They frequently spotlight artists, bloggers (like me), and designers from the states, and for that I’m grateful!
In addition to the Real Living blog, they have their own gorgeous shopping website called Real Shopping. Their online editor Belinda Graham also blogs, she writes The Happy Home highlighting her personal decorating projects (like this custom letter project) along with spotlighting trends and other, more personal, inspirations.
If Bibby, Graham and the RL shopping site weren’t enough to fuel your design cravings then add RL deputy editor, Natalie Walton, to your list because she authors her own blog called Daily Imprint. The design cup over at this mag truly runneth over! I love her recent post about London-based designer Lisa Stickley (her gray bag is shown in the last photo above – swoon!).
Now if this doesn’t inspire you to check out the blog of the week, well friends — nothing will! Have fun! Ill be back after lunch with Etsy Take Five Tuesday…
(images from real living, daily imprint and the happy home, all linked above)