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Fabric Market Love

If you ever need to pull yourself out of a creative rut, hit an outdoor fabric market (see bold text at the bottom of this post and then the comments section to find local markets in your area) like I did this weekend. I had one of those weekends, you know the kind… every twist and turn is eventful and fun and the housework doesn’t get done, dishes are stacked high, but at least you had a weekend to remember. Friday was busy, Saturday was amazing (more on the decor8/Dawanda event later!), and Sunday was spent here in Hannover with friends at an outdoor fabric market and then at a really gorgeous Autumn festival. Remember when I was in Amsterdam and how I told you about an textile market that I had stumbled upon by accident? I remember on the train ride back home how I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because I thought Hannover didn’t have something like this. I was WRONG. Here’s proof.

Twice in the Spring and in the Fall all those amazing textile dealers come from the Netherlands to visit us here to share their wares and yesterday was their first Autumn show. I took a few photos to give you an idea of what I saw. In addition to dealers from Holland, many Germans were there with fabrics on bolts, ribbons, patterns, books, buttons, even Bernina had a tent with sewing machines! I didn’t see ANY Amy Butler or fabrics from Free Spirit so if anyone in Germany has these textiles I strongly encourage you to find out how you can be a vendor and come to Hannover to introduce these American designers to markets like this one because it was PACKED and everyone was going crazy shopping… No one sells Amy Butler or Free Spirit fabrics in this entire city so having access to them at this fabric market would be a great way for you to expand your business. They’d definitely be a hit.

All of the fabrics are brand new, but unfortunately no one sold West African prints, Batiks, Indian prints, and nothing vintage. I would LOVE to see a vendor with batiks also take part and maybe even a few vintage textiles dealers if the fair owners allow it because I think the one thing the market lacked both in Amsterdam and in Hannover were ethnic prints, British textiles, and American designs (like Amy Butler). I did love that the market had tons of Tilda fabrics designed by Tone Finnanger from Finland (which I happily purchased, you can find them here). I blogged about one of Tone’s books last year in my post about books I found in Germany that I love, but I’d like to let you know that Tildas Hus is now in English in case you are interested). I also spotted loads of brightly colored felt, and some amazing buttons and trim. It was like a fabric and notions candyland! A total crack market for fabric junkies… I noticed many stumbling about with eyes glazed over in a bit of a trance like a true junky… drunk from the tactile and visual inspiration. I was in a bit of a daze myself after the first hour but I found some beautiful things and met a ton of great people so I’m very excited to know about this market and that I can hit it again in November. I have to add that I was so happy when Ingrid from YIPPIEYEAH! showed up to say hello. She was such an inspiration to me when I met her last year so seeing her again was so nice.

This is the booth (above) of Tipp Tapp Stoffe in Germany (they have an online shop), it was there that I met the friendly Anne (she has a blog called Gretelies) and purchased ribbons and an iron-on decal. I nearly fell down when she told me that she reads decor8. It was so random, I never expected her to know me. I think the world just keeps getting smaller and smaller through blogging, don’t you agree!?

Two of my friends trying to make a decision on some silk that they’ve fallen in love with.

I met the super sweet Nic from Luzia Pimpinella at the decor8/Dawanda event on Saturday (she gave a great talk about her personal journey as a blogger) and it was there that she gave me a charm for my purse that I immediately clipped to my bag. I was pysched to find some of her ribbon at this market. Here is the charm she gave me:

Nic had told me that she also designs ribbons for a large company here in Germany, so when I was at the Hannover fabric market (technically called the Hannover Stoffmarkt) and found many them I was over the moon with happiness! If any fabric manufacturers or designers are reading this, you have to consider selling some of Nic’s trims in your shop because the world needs Nic! Her trims are delicious. Here is a sampling of some of them below. Not all that I’ve wrapped around this postcard are from Nic but at least half of them are, the rest are Estio Lindo ribbons by German textile company Stenzo (find Stenzo fabric for sale here). We are talking cuteness overload.

Nic also has a wildly popular Dawanda shop where you can order her trims and handmade products online. I cannot wait to do some fun things with my new fabrics…

My cutesy batch of goodies… My favorite is the pure white ‘embossed’ circle print beneath this stack (can you see it?). It’s absolutely gorgeous and reminds me of letterpress. :)


The above silks were scooped up for home-related projects, a bit more grown up than the red and blue cuteness above. The top piece is vintage from Petra, a local designer who owns a shop and atelier here called Rani Pink. I visited her studio yesterday after the fabric market and purchased it from her, she has stacks and stacks of gorgeous ethnic textiles so if you see something you like in her shop just ask her, “How much!?” like I did and if she doesn’t already have it reserved for a customer it’s yours. Petra has an inspirational blog which I’ve just made the decor8 blog of the week starting today.

If you’d like to see more photos of this market, click here. My photos taken above were right at opening so few were present. If I had waited to take photos later, I would not have been able to because the aisles are so packed with people you can barely move. Tip: Arrive early like we did!

The next (and final) fabric market here in Hannover this year is the first Sunday in November. If you are local and would like to meet up with me there, just let me know. I’m always looking for shopping pals and to make more friends in Germany.

I’m curious to ask you… do you have fabric markets in your town and if so, can you link to them in the comments section below? I think it would really benefit readers to have this post as a resource for either when they travel to new cities or to simply learn about local markets. Thank you!

(images taken by holly becker for decor8)

Posted in events + markets, shopping, textiles, travel on September 22, 2008
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Happy Weekend (& Berlin!)

Hello! Quickly I want to let everyone who has reserved a seat for the decor8/Dawanda event that the location has changed so please click here for location details and a map. An email was sent to all confirmed attendees of this change so you may already have heard, but for those who may not have reserved a seat via email and have decided last minute to attend — please note the location change. We originally had a lovely space booked but due to an overwhelming amount of interest we had to locate a larger space to accommodate everyone.

If you plan to attend this event please make a point to come up to me after my talk to meet me and give me your business card, I want to meet as many of you as I can so please do not be shy. Truth is, I’m a little scared to because this is my first big blogging event so we’ll all feel awkward at first but with drinks and cupcakes, music, and a room filled with creative people I’m certain everyone will feel instantly at home.

New location: Gotischer Saal, details and map here.

See you in Berlin tomorrow!

And to my other friends who cannot attend, I wish you a delightful weekend filled with plenty of creative projects and inspiration!

xo,

Holly

(postcard designed by enna)

Posted in events + markets, small business, travel on September 19, 2008

Flea Market & Thrift Finds

I usually save the more ‘personal’ posts like this one for my Haus Maus blog, but I am way too excited about my recent flea market finds to not share on decor8 today. For those of you who may not know, my husband and I took on a second home here in Germany in addition to our New Hampshire home (primary residence) since we visit Germany 2-3 months each year and last year we got REALLY tired of always staying in a hotel suite. We wanted something that belonged to us, that we could furnish and decorate and live in while we’re here. And we needed a place where we could stay whenever we wanted, not having to check in with the hotel to ensure dates were available. BIG PAIN. Last Fall, we decided to take an apartment and it was gut renovated and became ours officially in April. Of course we weren’t able to come over right away, so we let it sit and wait for us over the summer and then we arrived the first week of August. We are still here and will remain until the 3rd week of December. We will then return back to New Hampshire to spend the winter and most likely, in the Spring or early Summer, come back over for 3-4 months. I’m guessing this will go on for the next few years so I’m really enjoying the experience of dual residency and western European living — it’s so nice to experience!

With all that being said, I’ve been working hard on our apartment here over the past nearly 6 weeks. I had to start from scratch, we only had floors and walls pretty much! It’s been a really fun process, but I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the thrill of the hunt the most… hunting for furniture and housewares. Between Amazon.de, a few German websites I enjoy, and all of the local stores I shop here in Hannover, I’m doing great and staying within my budget. One great tip I must share though is that if you do decide to relocate to Europe one day yourself, don’t pass up your local flea markets. Find out where they are the second you arrive. Also look at ‘junk’ shops. They are really great and filled to the brim with mid century modern furniture (mostly 1950s stuff) priced to sell. I recently purchased two 1950s bed tables (solid wood) at a local thrift shop for ?20- for both! They will be delivered this Thursday. I also found a beautiful mirror with lights for 100 Euros and some gorgeous white porcelain vases.

Here’s a vase/flower pot that I found just yesterday for ?2,50- (that is around $3.60) that is a mid century piece. It’s very Jonathan Adler I think. I thought the flowers gave her some much need hair. She is so stylish!

From the local flea market I found some coasters with lace dollies and glass. All four for ?1!

Here is another local flea market find. This is an old French plate with great colors and I adore the illustration on it. It has a hook for hanging, which is what I plan to do with it. It was priced ?32 but I got it for ?25.

This is a vintage ruler for ?1. I will use it on my desk to hold my favorite postcards (once I get an actual desk, that is). Another great flea market find I think. I love old folding rulers in yellow. No clue why.

This is a little desk lamp from the early 50′s. It was ?25 but I got the seller down to ?20. I have a rule, if it’s over ?8 I never pay full price. :) The vase is also from the flea market, ?7!

These two blue/white floral bud vases are so sweet, both for only ?1 at the flea market.

I found the best pink lantern candles and small crystal cube holders at the thrift shop yesterday, 20 candles and 3 cube holders for ?2.50. I like to light them in my window at night. The bowls, tea tins, and the lilac and white bowls are new. The tins are from House Doctor and the purple bowls are from Rice. I’m not sure of the company that produces the Lilac/White patterned bowls because they are not marked, sorry.

For ?1 I found this stone mouse that hangs on the wall. I will paint it a soft gray and place it near my front door since my husband calls me ‘haus maus’. I can’t tell you what a great flea market day I had this past Saturday but I think these photos express that — it was just great. It’s amazing what a few vintage finds can do to make a new apartment feel warm and loved. I will be in Berlin this Saturday so I won’t be at the Hannover flea market this weekend, but I am attending a garden & home festival on Friday and a fabric bazaar here on Sunday, so if I find anything good I will post some photos next week.

Hope you enjoyed some of my flea market and thrift shop finds for the month!

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in events + markets, vintage on September 16, 2008

decor8 & Dawanda Event in Berlin: September 20th

I’m so excited to announce this as I approached Dawanda some time ago with hopes they’d help me plan a fun blogger event in Berlin this year. And it’s planned! We’re ready to invite all who’d like to attend so if you plan on being in Berlin this month, please mark your calendars for a free fun event I’m hosting along with Dawanda in a few short weeks.

On September 20th we will hold a special workshop called ?Make it! Shop it! Blog it!? for artists and designers to get together and mingle, learn from guest speakers (including yours truly) all about how to build your business through blogging. When I finish speaking, I’ll stay to answer any questions from the audience that you may have about how to use your blog to maximize your small business as an artist or designer. If you do not have a small business, you just may walk away inspired to build one when I am finished because believe me, I have a lot to say on this subject!

Note: This event is bilingual! I’m speaking in English and Nicole will be speaking in German. No translator will be present!

During the event, we’ll supply complementary “Kaffee & Kuchen” (coffee and cake, well really cupcakes from an American bake shop, Cupcake Berlin, that we’ve asked to cater for us) and then later in the day, our second special guest speaker (after me) is Luziapimpinella (Nicole), a DaWanda shop based in Germany which is not only a very successful DaWanda shop, but a popular German blog too. She’ll share her first hand experience as a blogger and shop owner.

Of course we plan to do more than talk. Play time is part of the fun! We’ll holding a screenprinting demonstration from both Smil and Bloodbunny who willl share screenprinting tips, help you print something of your very own, and you can leave with your very own creation. Materials will be provided, but only a limited number can participate so this is on a “first come first serve” basis (see schedule posted below and show up for this session a little a head of time to be included).

Here are the details and schedule:

Date: Saturday, September 20th 2008
Location:o3 Berlin – Oderbergerstr.3, 10435 Berlin. (M1 stop Eberswalder U Bahn / Schwedter Str)

12 pm – Doors open – Bring your business cards and make new friends!
1 pm – Holly?s talk and Q & A session
3 pm – Nicole?s talk and Q & A session
5 pm Screenprinting workshop
6:30 We all go home inspired!

Spaces are limited so please RSVP if you would like to come! elizabeth {at} dawanda {dot} com

Thank you Enna for creating the beautiful art work for our Make it! Shop it! Blog it! postcards.

Hope to see you there. :)

(image from enna)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, blogs, events + markets, small business, travel on September 04, 2008

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