We always find it interesting to learn about how others gather inspiration – is it always from the usual places or, if we peer a bit beneath the surface, will a whole new world of ideas unfold? I think that is the case most of the time. Inspiration comes in corners and alleys, in many shapes and sizes and often hidden upon first glance though once found, you wonder how others don’t also see it? I wonder if you know what I mean?
Take for instance, catalogs. Lots of us get them and are often inspired by the color palettes and patterns found in clothing. It could also be the obvious location, like an Italian square around a fountain or in an English garden. In fashion, surroundings and backgrounds can be blurred or barely noticed simply because the focus is on the clothing. It is in these shots that I’d like for you to pay careful attention. Go beyond the obvious and consider what you could extract from an inspiration standpoint.
I recently tried this exercise with my new copy of the Boden catalog, a fashion brand that is colorful, happy and feminine. In some ways though, it was cheating because the location for the shoot (at least most of the indoor shots) was in the home of my friend, London-based photographer Debi Treloar. In fact, I recognized it in their video right away shown on their home page – at least that is where it was last week. When the catalog arrived today, I dug in quickly to check it out – I’ve been to Debi’s a few times so I wanted to play a game of spot Debi’s cool house. Like all good fashion catalogs, the eye should immediately fall upon the fashion upon opening it – and a good fashion photographer will make that happen – yet try to look at the surroundings a wee bit to take away some decorating inspiration. You can do this in any catalog – especially those shot indoors – cafes, homes, shops, etc. Here are 5 decorating ideas that I picked up on immediately from Boden, via Debi’s home.
Another fun exercise is, after you’ve shopped of course, to take the catalog apart at the seams (carefully) and display pages on your wall using washi tape and other elements you’d like to stick nearby for inspiration – a little hunt & gather. In the process, you may even find a pretty dress to order for Spring (oops!).
Now, what to do with the big mess on your table? Why not arrange everything on your wall in 10 minutes with washi tape? In fact, I thought to combine idea #1 and #2 above and use vintage wallpaper, maps and others misc. papers with pages from the catalog and look — now there is something fresh nearby my desk to inspire me until I’m ready for something new.
I’m loving fresh green right now combined with mint, hot pink, yellow and turquoise so this is the palette I went with. Not only did a simple (free) Boden catalog give me 5 good decorating ideas, also for free, but it gave me images to arrange on the wall, free again, with things I already had laying around and viola! something pretty for my workroom without spending a dime. Okay, the dime was spent on a dress but still… (smile).
What do you think?
(images: holly becker for decor8)
It’s rare these days to come across ideas not seen yet when it comes to decorating, isn’t it? Yet, I managed to find one despite how saturated the web is with images of cool ideas. I found this very cool paper wall hanging a moment ago via 101 Woonideeen and I just love it.
This gorgeous paper wall hanging was made mostly by using a single roll of drawing paper, 120 gr., 1 × 10 m and a circle cutter from the art supply store! Here is how you make it and a list of supplies here.
(image: 101 woonideeen)
Hello again friends! I have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow morning (I’m SO not a morning person) to catch a flight to London so this will be quick but I had to get this post up before I go… It’s to inspire you as you wrap your pretty presents this season! I made a bunch of these the other day for my students and thought you’d like to check them out because they are SUPER EASY to make using simple tags, fabrics and washi tape.
The first thing you do is consider your recipient/s and what message you are trying to convey. Once you know what you will put your gift in and which wrapping paper you’ll use, it’s time to get started on some tag making so raid your craft cabinets and drawers. It’s best to work with your scraps before cutting into yardage because for a simple and small project like this you can really use up those scraps! After you find the fabrics you love, you tear them into strips (or cut neatly if neat is your thing) and then lay out your washi tapes and see which colors work with your fabrics.
Once you have your tags (you can make tags by hand using card stock and a hole punch, buy a tag punch from a craft store, OR buy tags that are already made), start tearing your washi tape by hand into strips, in all lengths and widths. Raw torn edges look best. Layer them, create patterns, do whatever works and stick washi tape on ONE side of the tag, trimming the edges so that you aren’t folding the tape over the tag to the other side – you want the other side to be washi-free so you can write your message there and so your project doesn’t look sloppy. Loop the fabric through and tie it. You can also use ribbon instead of fabric, of course, but this is more unique.
Aren’t these pretty! Try to make lots of them in a single craft session so you have some on hand for future gift giving.
I love how my tags turned out, I’m really pleased with them. I made 18 in about 40 minutes. Not bad!
Will you try this project too?
I’m going to pack now but I’ll be back again on Tuesday! Bye for now!
(photos: holly becker for decor8)
Ready for a fun no sew DIY? I thought I’d share a project with you that I recently worked on for the first time in my hotel room earlier this month in preparation for my book launch party at Anthropologie. I mentioned to my husband, Thorsten, that I wanted to give those who were helping me and speaking at my party a special tag to wear but a sticky name tag felt too generic and boring so I wondered if I should just skip the typical name badges and give them something pretty to wear on their lapels and shirts that would set them apart from the crowd AND that they can use and wear again & again. He suggested using fabric, in keeping with my obsession for textiles, and to create simple bows. Of course, it’s impossible for me to be inspired and then just do as I’m told – I have to spin it a million time around and around so that I can come up with my very own idea and so that is exactly what I did. I decided to make bow TIES with fabric button centers and pretty ribbons hanging from them. Easy!
STEP ONE ||| My first stop was Liberty where I found lots of ribbons and fabrics. You can approach this project two ways, using: 1) Neat fabric strips, ribbon or bias tape OR 2) Torn strips of fabric with frayed edges. I opted for the “neat” look but in the future, I want to try out the frayed torn fabric strips because I think those could be amazing too! At Liberty, I picked up several packs for their bias tape in, of course, iconic Liberty prints. So YOUR first step for this project would be to pick the fabric, ribbon and/or bias tape that you want to use.
STEP TWO ||| My next idea was, because I was in a hurry, to find already-covered fabric buttons. Liberty had loads in their haberdashery department so I bought a jar of them. You can also make your own with button kits (like the kit from Cath Kidston for Chronicle Books), or buy packages of button kits at your everyday craft and sewing store (the most affordable option). I made them for the first time in the beginning of 2011 at Sania Pell’s house when we were crafting together and have been hooked ever since – they are super easy to do, so don’t feel intimidated! After finding the buttons, I started shopping at Liberty for ribbons.
STEP THREE ||| The next step is to lay all of your tools out before you and start to think of the colors and patterns you wish to use and determine how many bow tie pins that you’d like to make. This past Saturday, I made 17 of them for students who will be attending the Blogging Your Way: Studio class in my home studio space.
STEP FOUR ||| Loop your bias tape (or whatever you decided to use) around your hand, with your fingers closed, 3 times and pinch in the middle to form a bow. You may want to use a pin to hold it in place for now. If you want your bow to be stiffer, you can use horsehair from a millinery supply shop.
STEP FIVE ||| Next, grab a covered button and put a ribbon or string through the center of your button.
STEP SIX ||| You will now tie the button to the bow by flipping it face down on your work surface. But first, before tying, lay two ribbons down to form an “X” over the ribbon that your button is on.
STEP SEVEN ||| Now tie everything together good and tight. I suggest making a knot.
STEP EIGHT ||| Now add a safety pin. I used gorgeous French Pins by Merchant & Mills that I bought at Liberty – but they are available online too. I am addicted to them now and will never use standard silver ones again – these are softer and more flexible but also elevate the craft a bit making it look more fancy.
STEP NINE ||| Flip over your bow and admire it, along the lines of, “ohlala”, and then do a little happy dance. Make some friends for your bow so there are more pretty ones to enjoy and giveaway. You can make big floppy bows for curtain tie backs, for jackets, for presents and everything else you can imagine topping with a pretty handmade touch. You can also add tags to them with the names of your guests for a party.
STEP TEN ||| Finally, wear your bow with pride – you made it! No one has to know that it took you minutes to pull together. Doesn’t that feel good?
Note: If you share this project on Pinterest and your blogs, please add the link back to this blog post so your followers have the complete instructions and because, well, it’s just the nice thing to do.
(images: styling/project & photography: holly becker for decor8)