I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.
The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!
I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.
Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).
Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.
MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.
(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)
I wrote about Kari Herer Photography some time ago, do you recall her work? I was working on a small project this afternoon for an upcoming issue of People magazine and I came upon Kari again over in my Etsy faves and noticed that her new photography ‘boxes’ just listed. Wouldn’t one make a perfect present?
(images from kari herer)
Does anyone out there read new Italian fashion/art magazine Muse? I’m HOOKED… I mean H-O-O-K-E-D. It’s more coffee table book than magazine as it’s super thick and filled with images that you will want to refer back to often. It’s a lot like Lula, my all-time favorite fashion magazine. I just found Muse here in Germany and I cannot stop looking at my copy called Back to Nature. If you can get this in your part of the world I strongly encourage picking one up. Chic, fashion forward, amazing photography, creative… Lovely.
And I found UK fashion photographer Karen Alexander who took the most lovely portrait of Kate Moss that I think I’ve ever seen, so delicate and feminine. I am a huge Kate Moss fan (her work as a model I mean) so it was lovely to come across this photograph above taken by Ms. Alexander.
I encourage you to visit the Muse page on My Space and listen to the song featured on their page “Roche ” by Sebastien Tellier, sit back with a cup of tea for a moment, and enjoy the sights and sounds. And full disclosure here: I do not speak French so if this song is offensive I am not responsible! :)
(images: muse magazine, karen alexander, osvaldo sanviti)
When I travel outside of the states I have this must-visit on my list that I often hit the second I’ve unpacked: Locate a book shop! Not only because I need to find magazines, cookbooks, interior design and craft books but I must locate the children’s book section. One can learn a lot about a culture by visiting a local book store, don’t you think? Illustrated books provide me with endless inspiration and are such a huge personal pick-me-up. I often flip through them imagining the day when perhaps I’ll author my very own, and if it’s not meant to be that I write a one that is sold in bookstores then I will write them once I become a mother for my own kids.
My aunt was a great lover of illustration and sent me books ever since I was a baby that made a deep impression on me. She paid such close attention to illustration and had great taste, as a fine artist and illustrator herself I now understand why she so carefully selected books for me. My favorite book was The Maggie B, I still have it and when I’m missing my aunt (she passed away at age 41)… I take it from my bookcase and read it because the story so perfectly captures the meaning of comfort and the joy of having a rich imagination, you instantly feel warm the moment you read it and the illustrations convey care and comfort so beautifully.
Here in Germany I escape to the bookstore whenever I need a break and recently discovered publisher Annette Betz and in particular the German illustrator Silke Leffler. I REALLY find her illustrations so full of whimsy and they have a definite fairytale feel to them. I immediately purchased Das Andersen M?rchenbuch because I really like the full page color illustrations. I’m studying German right now and such books help me to learn the language since I’m so visual, and you can’t even believe how I use this point to my advantage when it comes to justifying the purchase of beautiful kiddie books. :)
If you also like Silke’s work you can purchase a print from her at a website in the UK called EasyArt. She has designed bedding for IKEA that Inspire Co. blogged about here that is really sweet, too. I think it’s available in the states in addition to IKEA in Germany.
Now I’m wondering… what is your favorite children’s book? I like so many, but the Maggie B is at the top of my list because it’s a very emotional imaginative tale and connects me back to my Aunt.
(images from silke leffler)