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Susan Gower of Nifty Thifty Dry Goods

Are you ready to meet trim lady? Well, she’s not really called that, but it’s tempting when you see what she surrounds herself with beneath her massive tent. Trim lady is Rhode Island-based Susan Gower, owner of Nifty Thifty Dry Goods.


She has ribbons, buttons, trims, beads, and more, both new and vintage. Susan travels around selling new and vintage notions that you’ll swoon over. And yes, I said she travels. She gave me a copy of her upcoming show schedule so I’ll post it below because she’s hitting IL, OH, MN, MI, WI and TX between now and November 2nd.


I discovered Susan just a few days ago via Country Living magazine (June ’08 page 90) and after some extensive online research (she doesn’t have a website), I found out that she’s showing currently at the Central Park section at the Brimfield Show in booth #116. I wanted some of the items shown in Country Living but she told me that they took those images 7 years ago so she doesn’t have those items anymore. I nearly fell over. Seven years? She was surprised too. But I’m happy that they ran it when they did because I found her. :) You’ll love Susan’s tent and the section she is in has lots of of ladies selling fabric and notions so you’ll stay busy for awhile. The tent directly across from Susan’s carries vintage tablecloths starting at $10 — you can’t miss their heaping piles of fabric and women going completely bonkers.


Susan organizes the things in her tent by color, so it’s super easy to navigate. And everything is set up so nicely. She is a little shy, but once you get to talking to her she’s so very nice. She even gave me a discount on some trim I purchased, which helped because I spent $135 on her stuff and could have easily run the bill up to double that. It’s hard to not drop mounds of cash, everything is absolutely amazing as you can clearly see.


She doesn’t have a store or website, but if you’re in Rhode Island anytime soon you can find lots of her goodies at a shop called Refind located at 436 Wickendon Street in Providence (401-277-0606).


Nifty Thifty Dry Goods 2008 Show Schedule

June 19-21, The National Quilting Center, Columbus, OH
June 26-28, Minnesota Quilters’ Annual Quilt Show, Rochester, MN
August 21-24, Stitches Midwest 2008, Schaumburg, IL
September 11-13, Quilt Expo – Sewing with Nancy, Madison, WI
September 26-28, The American Sewing Expo, Novi, MI
October 25-27, International Quilt Market, Houston, TX
October 30 – November 2, International Quilt Festival, Houston, TX

(photos taken with permission by thorsten becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, vintage on May 15, 2008
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Brimfield – Yay!

I had a really nice time at the Brimfield Show today. But man, people are hysterical when it comes to photographing their booths. It’s a public place, I didn’t pay an entry fee and I wasn’t IN their booth doing product shots (a good read on this topic). So if you plan on attending the show beware. You can’t even take a casual photo from a distance and they pounce on you. I wasn’t IN the booth and I was super discreet. But unfortunately I can’t show you photos. And I’m sad because I went with every intention of surprising you with great pictures. In this one below, you can see the booth lady making her way around the corner. She came all the way outside and scolded me for taking two pictures. I offered to delete them and she said no but she was super angry. She freaked me out a little but I pushed the experience aside and had fun anyway. I think Brimfield should post a “no photography” sign.


On a very positive note though, I met a woman that I was dying to meet — I read about her in this month’s issue of Country Living and the second I saw the article I knew I had to check out her booth. That’s where this gorgeous trim came from. I asked permission to photograph her booth and she allowed me to do it so as soon as I upload them I’ll share. You’re going to love her things and the best part is she sells at a store in Rhode Island. Seriously. Wow.


Thorsten came with me this year and he managed to find a book for $20 that is currently listed on eBay for $499.00 (This man amazes me, he does this a lot.) We also bumped into our good friends Paris and Greg the moment we entered the gates, it was terrific to run into them and we were able to spend some time chatting so it made the whole day that much nicer. The fact that it’s sunny and 73 with a slight breeze helped too. Oh I love flea markets and the thrill of the hunt.


Here’s my loot. I have very little, but what I did find is gold to me because I plan to bring these trims with me to Germany, and the vintage table cloth, and turn them into a DIY project for my new apartment. I’ll show you what I make out of them in a few months. The colors really speak to me so I couldn’t refuse. Oh what fun I will have with this stuff.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in events + markets on May 14, 2008

Have a Fun Weekend!

I didn’t forget to wish you a happy weekend, in fact I’ve been wanting to log on for hours to wish you well but I was out and about. I hope each and every single one of you plans to do at least one thing creative this weekend and that you enjoy time with friends and family. Next week I’ll reveal the details regarding our Amy Butler Design contest so get your mood boards ready for action! I’ll leave you with a few links although I’m sure the Aussie blog post is still keeping you busy… :)

Australian design lover Leanne has such a pretty home, her bedroom
makes me smile. You can enjoy more of her photos here on Flickr.

New Amy Butler fabrics.

More inspiration from Amy. Is this stone tree stunning or what?

Art by Canadian Natalia Grosner.

Samantha Hahn has loads of new, gorgeous patterns as she prepares for her first show at Surtex. Recall this post, Turning Patterns Into Product? She’s doing it, everyone. I’d love to see this pattern above, Raindrops, as a wallpaper or fabric. Especially if it has a little metallic gold running through it. Oh la la!

Fresh new bedding from Amenity.

Mystique wallpaper from Graham & Brown.

News & Such

  • Boston, MA - Koo de Kir weekend sale: Save 10% storewide when you shop with a mom, for a mom or you are a mom! Complimentary Mimosas from 12pm – 3pm on May 10-11.
  • Brimfield, MA - The motherload of flea markets kicks of May 13-18. Details here.
  • Alexandria, VA - Old Town Arts & Crafts Fair, May 10-11. Details here.
  • Los Angeles, CA – Poketo First-Ever Warehouse Sale on Saturday, May 10. I’m so green with envy, I wish I could attend! Details here.
  • San Francisco, CA – There are only two weeks left to apply for the AltCraft section at the American Craft Show in San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center, August 15-17. Deadline for entry is May 23. Details here.

  • Weigh in with your opinion: What would make a perfect magazine?
  • A good read: Money and Happiness Under the Microscope over at Yahoo! Finance.
  • Mogwaii is perfection. See for yourself.
  • Artist Marija Hamed presents an excellent tutorial on encaustic painting over at Heart Handmade this week.
  • New: SCAD’s Working Class Studio just launched additional plates and napkins.
  • New: Fantastic letterpress stationery from Zeichen Press.
  • More letterpress to love with works from Paper Stories Letterpress.
  • New: Hello Lucky launched a line of personalized stationery this week.
  • New: Bumble Ink wrote in, they will debut their line of 100% post consumer recycled cards at the National Stationery Show next week in New York, booth 2447. Click here for a preview.
  • New: Transparent House Team presents its vision of the classic flooring material – concrete art. I’m in love.
  • Robson and Mason sells buttons and tons of crafty supplies, keeping their prices affordable to support indie artists.
  • Pico, a jewelry company founded by Andrea Panico who is a tabletop designer for West Elm, is one you’ll want to bookmark. Love!
  • I adore the uti?le dul?ci pin cushions made with love by Moriah Perez.
  • New: Rian Rae added some gorgeous new items to her store, the mushroom shaped soaps are darling.
  • New: Shop owner Erin Parker just launched 29 Olives filled with all kinds of goodies this week. Congrats, Erin!
  • New: Another shop that deserves a peek is Sheherazade. It’s been around for 8 years but I just heard of it today. They offer items for the home from Damascus, Cairo, Istanbul and Marrakech. Lovely site!
  • New: Designer Stanley Ruiz will launch the New Organic collection at the ICFF next week and would like decor8 readers to see his products if you have a moment…
  • New: “A New Flower is Born” is a limited edition print by Ana Ventura exclusively for Twig.
  • New: Recycled tote bags from Delphine to premiere at the National Stationery Show next week, booth 3845-3847.
  • New: Aussie designer Rhani Capobianco just launched Idea + Ink featuring works of art and branding for small companies. Beautiful, fresh website. Must success to you, Rhani!
  • Me@Real Simple: Stencils As Wallpaper
  • Me@Real Simple: The Ultimate Turn On: Lighting and Bulbs
  • Me@Real Simple: Lighting Guide: 25+ Must Stop Shops

See you all on Monday — Thank you for visiting with me again this week on decor8, having you take the time to read my posts and share finds and opinions with me through your comments and emails really makes a difference in my life. You are all really great, you know that? xo – Holly

(images linked to sources above)

Posted in events + markets on May 10, 2008

Real Simple: Design on a Dime

I was invited to the Real Simple Design on a Dime event held in New York last night but couldn’t make it. Now I wish I had. Thom was there! Thom! My hero.

James Huniford, Designer, Sills Huniford; Kristin van Ogtrop, Managing Editor, Real Simple;
Charles King; Founder; Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress; Thom Filica, designer, Thom Filicia.

This is going to sound totally braggy, but just over the past few month’s I could have mingled with Orla Kiely, attended a taping of the Martha Stewart show, met Amy Butler, Nathalie L?t?, and the crew over at Domino magazine just to name a few. But I feel shy about showing up at these events alone. And last night I could have swapped stories with THE Thom Felicia over at Design on a Dime. Had I known he would be in attendance — I most certainly would have been there. Serves me right for not reading the invitation a little more carefully!

Real Simple, along with co-chairs Maggie Gyllenhaal, designer James Huniford and Real Simple’s managing editor Kristin van Ogtrop hosted Design on a Dime to benefit Housing Works. They are the nation’s largest community-based AIDS-service organization. During the event, thirty designers ? including Thom Filicia, Sills Huniford, Jamie Drake, and Charlotte Moss created room vignettes that people were able to purchase from at 60-80% off the retail price. All proceeds benefited Housing Works. Here are some of the rooms. What do you think? There’s a lot of artistic expression here. Click on each image to enlarge.

Designed by: Thom Filicia
Soft, casual, symmetrical. Maybe a little too beige? But I would gladly take tea in this room. But IKEA wouldn’t approve.

Designed by: Ernest De La Torre
A little too much patriotism for me here.

Designed by: NathanEgan Interiors.
I’m not sure I know how to feel about this room.

Designed by: Sills Huniford.
What’s on those fish lamp shades anyway?

Designed by: Jamie Drake
Hmm. Gold hands, green and lilac?

What do you think of some of these rooms? Do you have a favorite? I like Thom’s best. I think it must be hard when you’re a designer with work constantly in the public eye, must be a lot of pressure to perform, be innovative, and still stick to your own vision.

(Images by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

Posted in events + markets, shopping, travel on May 09, 2008

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