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coffee + cre8tive {nov 29 ’06}


Shadow boxes are making a bit of a comeback, at least at Anthropologie, where I spotted them gracing the walls yesterday in all their 3-D splendor. With roots in Victorian times (just like silhouette art), they can be a nice way to display cherished memories in your beautiful boudoir – giving guests a bit of a peek into who you are. I’m not big on the ornate, so I wouldn’t want to style my own box after these above because they look a little too dated for my taste (the exception being my favorite shown above, top right corner, with the 3 birds inside – that’s quite cute.)

What drew me to these boxes yesterday is my own crazy hoarding issues, which is totally OCD, I know. I have a few shadow boxes that I’ve never touched, but have felt somewhat guilty over saving. They’ve been tucked away in tissue paper for a few years now. Maybe it would be a fun December project to stop saving them and put them to good use, huh? They are in modern uncomplicated wood frames, just like the birdy box shown above, with a white interior and a creamy burlap background. A little magnet keeps them closed. I have two. I just have to come up with a clever showpiece. That’s where I’m stuck.

What would you put inside a shadow box?

I’m leaning away from the traditional (ticket stubs, photos, lace, velvet ribbon) and considering a simple tree branch with a handmade paper bird resting on it. A branch created with pretty wrapping paper or a brightly colored blue road map, something like the Real Simple sections that Happy Mundane wrote about a few months back. (I loved that post, Jon!) Or maybe steer away totally from the map idea and go with something more personal, like a 3-D diary of sorts but that may clutter the box too much and I’d like to keep it simple. Maybe I could take 12 of my favorite little badges or pocket mirrors in bright colors and in a perfectly neat grid, pin or super glue them inside.

TIP: Go learn about the history of the shadow box. A fun read indeed!

Have any clever shadow box ideas? Have you ever used one in your decor?

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, shopping, tips on November 29, 2006

The Fab Floor!

Here’s a great little story to remind us of just how small the world really is, thanks to having both print publications and the online world of blogging at our fingertips (seems to work so much better now that we have the two, don’t you think? draws us all much closer).

decor8 reader Susie from Rock Scissor Paper wrote to me after reading decor8 Reader Question: Linoleum Resources?, a recent post responding to an inquiry from reader Julia who needed some good Linoleum resources and tips. After spotting the post, Vanessa (another reader) commented that she found her linoleum inspiration in Domino magazine and applied what she saw to her kitchen by combining a little elbow grease with motivation, her kitchen floor was replaced with what you see above.

Susie now enters the mix. “It’s a small, small world at decor8. I nearly fell out of my chair this morning when I went to your site and scrolled the page down to see what I missed yesterday and saw her floor! Here are some snaps I took of our kitchen and one picture from Domino. Just to share!”

How cool is that, huh!? Here’s Susie’s kitchen:
Isn’t that a cute story? A great example of a fun, affordable DIY project using a surface that most people accuse as being too boring or dated. Not when you add some creativity to the mix! I’d love to see this floor in mustard, gold, rust, all those yummy autumal tones, wouldn’t you? A warm version of what is pictured here would look great in my kitchen. I can see a warmer version against cherry or maple cabinets…

(images from susie and vanessa)

Posted in diy, flooring on November 02, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {sept 5 ’06}

Here’s a creative idea to start off your week! It’s always fun to find new and exciting ways to display things, right? Traditional methods can become quite boring after awhile, but with a dash of creativity, finding an alternative way to show off your things can transform your space into a visually stimulating and appealing place to hang out.
By creating inspirational focal points in your home, guests will linger, conversation will fill the air, and friends will return home with a new eye for their own space. Most importantly, displaying your favorite things (vs. tucking them into drawers or displaying them somewhat incorrectly) makes you feel happier at home, more stimulated, too. Don’t you want your home to sing your song? Your space should tell your story, your home = your life. All of the things you’ve collected and cherished throughout the years deserve a place, whether grouped together on a shelf or dresser top, displayed on a transparent wall mounted shelf or carefully congregated on the fireplace mantle, all deserve a place to shine and be seen.


If you haven’t picked up the September issue of Living Etc (UK) magazine yet, grab it and turn to page 41. There’s this great tip called “Off The Peg” which suggests using a clothes line in your kitchen to display your favorite dish towels. That idea didn’t interest me much, but the thought of using a retractable clothes line did give me ideas for other spaces in the home – over the bed, over the sofa, down a long narrow hallway… I encourage use of this clothes line technique to any room in your home, going far beyond dish towels, to include posters, photography, fabric, even strips of gorgeous wallpaper. Install a clothes line over your sofa, for instance, and clip on 3 bold prints from the International Poster Gallery in Boston (or online). Viola! Art you can rotate without purchasing poster frames.


Living Etc. suggests using a clothes line with metal wall mounts, which I stand behind as well since the look is more contemporary than rope, wood pins, and eye hooks. I would like to see the clothes line extrended across an entire wall, rotating your favorites as the seasons change. How fun! This clothes line and these funky black birds clothes pins are hip and functional, as well as affordable. Gotta love that!

Have you experimented with this display technique in your own home? Do you like this idea?

(images from living etc, international poster gallery, where did you buy that, and
vendio)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, shopping, tips, travel, walls on September 05, 2006

Adorn Magazine – NEW!


Have you heard of Adorn magazine, the new craft mag on the block for women? Geared towards ladies that love to create as well as those that never progressed beyond 1st grade macaroni necklaces, if you’re willing to learn something new, Adorn delivers. It’s well-written (short + sweet!), informative, fun, and packed with DIY projects from totally kitschy stuff to projects that have a more grown up appeal.


I think it’s a great magazine for all ages, perfect for mom and ‘tween daughter to come together for an afternoon of crafting with her friends, terrific for you and your friends for a Friday night craft meet. Despite how much I tend to dislike craft magazines, this one is actually a huge step up from the typical country kitchen stencil, silk flower wreath, and glue gun galore that’s so present in most DIY publications. Adorn is smarter, hipper, and even smaller than your standard size magazine. The fresh cover first caught my eye, and as I flipped through, I was impressed by the layout and design, full-color photos that inspire, and the appealing typefaces. Adorn touches on trends, party planning, DIY fashion and accessories, and cool projects for embellishing the home. They throw in a little bit of everything, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it’s missing focus (no signs that the entire staff has ADD -smile-).


The message Adorn sends forth is clear – carve out time to be creative, whether you consider yourself a lost cause or a crafty diva. Flipping through that pile of magazines on your floor or drooling over what others create isn’t half as fulfilling as making something with your own hands. It also helps you find your own personal style and create a home that oozes with personality and charm.

I found my copy at Borders, however I’ve since spotted them at Barnes + Noble and a few local craft stores, too. You can preview their premiere issue online, and you can check out their blog if you’d like a glimpse of Adorn behind the scenes. Their Fall/Winter issue will hit newsstands on November 7th, so you still have time to pick up their Summer premiere.

Psst: Some of the items created for the product shots are being offered by etsy seller Indie Craft Movie, like these crochet embellished pillow covers and this funky hobo handbag.

(all images from adorn)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, inspiration on September 01, 2006

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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