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Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

I loved recently learning about the Martha Stewart American Made audience choice award in her most recent issue of Living magazine. This is a contest that I can really get behind and I don’t generally even LIKE contests – but yet this seems so good for all of those involved from an exposure standpoint – and also simply the excitement of being nominated and recognized in the first place, that you can’t help but get excited for everyone despite who wins. They’re all winners anyway, right?

Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

Currently, you can go to the Martha Stewart American Made website where you have until September 13, 2013 to vote for your favorite makers in 6 categories: food, craft, design, style, technology, and garden. You can vote up to SIX TIMES per day for your favorites. Each vote enters you into a weekly drawing to win a book signed by Martha Stewart, American Express gift cards, and other prizes.

The six nominees with the most votes in each category (food, craft, design, style, gardening, or technology) will receive an American Made Gift Basket and be featured on their website and on Sirius radio. From this group of finalists, the audience will then choose the Grand Prize Winner between September 17-23 and on September 24th the winners will be announced.

The 2013 Audience Choice Winner receives $10,000 to further their business plus a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made Workshop where for two days, Martha Stewart Living magazine will transform New York’s Grand Central Terminal Vanderbilt Hall into the American Made Workshop and showcase the best artisanal and handmade crafts, gifts, foods, gardens, projects, and designs. They will also be given a feature on marthastewart.com. Not bad!

A major German fashion magazine owned by Conde Nast called Myself had a similar contest a few years ago for a reader’s choice award and I won in the design category. I was so thrilled. I was given a trip for two to Munich, they shot a video of me working at my home, I was featured in their magazine, photographed with my husband at their red carpet awards gala, honored on stage before a large audience and given a lovely prize that I still cherish and display in my home. These types of things can really mean a lot to those of us who are working independently, at least it meant a lot to me. I was just nominated for a German media award called the Lead Award but we’ll see… I’m up against some amazing writers and bloggers! I just feel honored to have been nominated in the first place. To me, that’s already a win. I’m sure all of the current American Made nominees must feel the same and if they don’t – they should. It’s an incredible honor!

I wish ALL of the nominees the best of luck and I hope all of my readers will get involved and vote!

(images: marthastewart.com)

Posted in events + markets on August 27, 2013

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Ever stumble upon something where you just think, “YES – this is something I would have organized!”. That’s how I felt when I saw the video and read about this Dutch wedding event called Engaged. While the theme isn’t anything I’d explore professionally or host an event around, the overall concept is definitely one I can get behind and that I really like. I guess it’s because it feels very American to me and that is something I often miss about living abroad – Americans do wedding, craft and blog events REALLY well don’t we? (With the exception of our big, cheesy mainstream ones hosted by massive corporations.) It’s different in Europe, where lots of these things are just taking off – most of the events can be feel very typical “trade show”. So I applaud these girls for launching this event in The Netherlands. Could set a new standard here and launch a refreshing new trend in this part of Europe. Want to watch the cute Engaged video first and then I’ll tell you more? It’s in Dutch but you’ll get the gist of it.

This event, to be held in Rotterdam DELFT on UPDATE: October 5, 2013 will not only include a curated group of vendors for brides-to-be and their grooms to mingle with and learn from, but also yummy food and various DJs that you can hang out with – all in an inspiring space. They will even host a dance party so bringing your dancing shoes is strongly encouraged. The organizers, Janina and Judith, assure you that there are no boring stands, leaflets or flyers (so typical at the usual wedding fair), just real and fun experiences. And for only a €25 admission fee, you really can’t go wrong (€32.50 at the door)

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged is still accepting vendor applications so if you are interested in attending and reaching brides, definitely fill out this form ASAP!

I’m already married and I want to go – looks so cute! So, will you be attending?

(photos: engaged)

Posted in events + markets, uncategorized on August 26, 2013

Get Creative at West Elm with Jessica Senti + Washi Tape!

West Elm has this neat thing going on this coming weekend on Saturday, July 20, 2013  in lots of their stores nationwide. It’s an event called Get Creative With Color and their stores will have local tastemakers giving instruction on something really fun and practical that you can do in your own home. For instance, you can go to the Edina, Minnesota West Elm located at 3879 Gallagher Drive and see my friend and decor8 assistant, Jessica Senti, who  has been my right hand girl supporting me and my business for the past several months, teach you how to get creative in your home with washi tape from 10-11am. To reserve a free seat in her workshop, you have to RSVP here.

Get Creative at West Elm with Jessica Senti + Washi Tape!

I hope that you will join Jessy if you live near Edina and let me know how it goes – I bet you guys will have a great time! And if you live no where near Edina, call your local West Elm and see if they have any Get Creative classes on July 20th locally – have fun!

(image: west elm)

Posted in events + markets on July 15, 2013

The Renegade Craft Fair in London

Hello decor8 readers! My name is Ishtar Olivera and I’m an illustrator and crafter from Spain. Two years ago I moved with my family to the UK and I can tell you it’s been a very exciting adventure so far! I’m so happy to live just two hours away from London. I can visit whenever I need a fresh dose of inspiration, feel like taking the kids to the museums or attend unique events like the Renegade Craft Fair!

Renegade Craft Fair London

This was the second year that the event was held in London, at The Old Truman Brewery on September 15th and 16th. I had the date reserved on my calendar as soon as I learned about it and so, off I went, early on a Sunday morning and this is what I found waiting for me, oh my!

Renegade Craft Fair London

There’s nothing that I love more than flea markets and craft fairs! Handmade crafted objects are real treasures to me. I feel happy just walking along the booths and talking to people and admiring their work. I think they even have a  special energy! You can feel it as soon as you walk in.

Renegade Craft Fair London

There’s something welcoming about these events don’t you think?

I loved how spacious and luminous The Old Trueman Brewery was, and how all the booths were displayed, the bunting along the ceiling, the cheerful colors of the tables, the variety of crafts, the music playing in the background and the friendly folks at the door greeting you! See? How can you not feel welcome ; )

Oh, but where to start? So many lovely things to see! Jewelry, dolls, tea cups and pins, tea towels and prints! Here are a few of my favorite things…

Renegade Craft Fair London

First, cute pin cushion houses

Renegade Craft Fair London

And even ice cream and hedgehog badges! These were made by the sweet illustrator Debbie Greenaway.

Renegade Craft Fair London

Embroidered words to stop by, read and laugh at made by Stephanie Tillman from What Party.

Renegade Craft Fair London

So hilarious and original!

Renegade Craft Fair London

I was surprised to find artists I have followed and admired for years like Stella Baggott from Atelier Stella. I really find her ceramics to be one of a kind. Little succulent pots, doves, clouds with raindrops and even spoons! All with their cute faces which make them irresistible!

Renegade Craft Fair London

I had to bring one of her Mr. Spoons home with me. Who wouldn’t want a spoon with nose and eyes to stir the coffee with ? : ) Don’t forget to check out her website for more lovely ceramics.

Renegade Craft Fair London

Next was the booth of talented doll maker Lucy Brasher from The Cat in the Shoe – you could spot her whimsical creatures from afar!

Renegade Craft Fair London

Renegade Craft Fair London

Really something special, don’t you think?

Renegade Craft Fair London

And then there the Sweet Trash booth filled with wonderful quirky colors and curiosities made of recycled garments and objects.

Renegade Craft Fair London

A bit of kitsch here and there topped up with retro style marvels! Sweet!

Renegade Craft Fair London

The booth of Butterscotch and Beesting had the loveliest circus themed housewares; cushions, lampshades, teacups…

Renegade Craft Fair London

Their booth was beautifully decorated as well. It’s something I enjoy very much about these events: the creativity artists show while setting up their booths in order to make them stand out and be attractive to customers. The theme and colors they choose, different props, it was so inspiring.

Renegade Craft Fair London

Then there are booths that really don’t need to do much, because the artists’ crafts and creations stand out all by themselves. Such is the case of Jess Quinn  and her rag dolls.

Renegade Craft Fair London

Jess was definitely one of my favorite artists of the fair. Her inspiration come from her childhood memories and the dolls her mum used to make.

Renegade Craft Fair London

Each doll had so much personality! The fabrics she uses are mostly vintage. They each come with fun accessories like sunglasses, scarfs, pom pom hair bands necklaces and more.

Renegade Craft Fair London

And last but not least the world of jimbobart and his hand-drawn ceramics. Bears, mice and badgers… Woodland creatures that have a special love for cakes (as he says himself ).

Renegade Craft Fair London

I very much enjoyed going through all his work!

And so, there you have it! A brief visit through London’s Renegade Craft Fair and some of my favorite artists. I left with a smile and a spoon! And hoping to come back next year. :) I hope that you enjoyed my favorite things at the Renegade Craft Fair – thank you decor8 readers for having me as your guest today!

(photographs: Ishtar Olivera)

Posted in events + markets on September 21, 2012

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