A few of my favorite things: Oh, Hello Friend
Hello, friends! My name is Danni, from the blog oh, hello friend. I’m super excited to be here on decor8 while Holly is settling in to an exciting new place! Today I’m focusing on images in my workroom because it is the room in my house that inspires me most and where I get stuff done. I’m big on thrift stores and flea markets, so that’s where a lot of these things come from and I’ll be sharing some of them with you. Here we go!
I love this photo because all the objects in it are inspiring to me. My gocco, my sewing machine: these objects help me create. The shelves also hold my collections of items I love: old keys, tape rolls, vintage milk glass finds. I love finding new things to add to my stash. :)
I like this part of the room because it is calming to me. A simple collection of wall hangings, drawers, and shelves. The typewriter was a gift from my mom — she found it at an old antique shop and knowing how much I love old typewriters, she bought it for me and fixed it up so it works.
I told you I love old typewriters. :) Do you ever get excited when you find a really great vintage piece at the thrift store? Of course you do, right!? This was one of those finds – I just found it in the back of the thrift store, sitting in the pile to be thrown away. It was in such great condition, I couldn’t believe they were going to toss it! But I simply love this piece — and for $7, it makes it even better.
I found these drawers on Craigslist for only $5 each. Sure you can get them at IKEA, but these were already assembled ;) The drawers are covered with old security envelopes and something about the simple patterns is really lovely to me. These are so perfect for storing all the odds and end craft items I have. Side point…I really like the light coming through the lace curtain in this photo.
Finding these jars at thrift stores is always fun because they are also great for storing things while making it look nice at the same time. These jars hold the collections of vintage keys, wood bobbins, mini globes, and manila tags. I really love that floral jar at the right – it’s so pretty and unique.
Thought I’d show you inside one of the many drawers – I have a huge collection of vintage plates + bowls and they are great for storing little things within drawers. This drawer has some of my favorite things to work with: stamps, wax seals, paper lace, and old vintage buttons.
What inspires me… I am inspired by my everything that surrounds me. Art, blogs, nature, a sunset, crafts, handmade, shops, window displays, books, artists, magazines, and friends. I gather inspiration from everywhere – it is sometimes so overwhelming at all the beauty and creativity in the world! Music definitely helps — Some recent tunes I’ve been working to are Regina Spektor and Joshua Radin. Do you know their music?
Advice…. Some good advice I’ve received is, “Pursue your dreams” and to, “Strive for excellence”. Pursuing your dreams sounds really cliche but I am really inspired by my friends who just go for it, literally. The ones who move away to an unfamiliar place to work and pursue that goal or dream of theirs. Or the ones who quit a perfectly good job for a job that pays less, but that they really truly love. I love this advice because it is so relevant to my current work situation. Finish those goals. Start a business that’s been on your mind. Go back to school to learn something you actually enjoy. And while you are doing these things, strive for excellence. Someone told me that once and just told me to think about what it meant to me. So I’m passing it on to you to think about what what it means to you :)
Thanks for letting me be apart of your lovely blog Holly and decor8 readers thanks for letting me share some of my favorite things with you! – Danni xo
p.s. If you want to see a few more photos of my workroom, visit my flickr account.
(images: oh, hello friend)
A few of my favorite things: A Field Journal
Hello, I’m Livy, visiting from A Field Journal as part of Holly’s August guest series and I’m here to share some favorite snapshots of home and what it means to me. Ready? Here goes…
I love the way childhood backyards linger halfway between imagination and memory. How those gates opened on a boundless wilderness, home of tree forts and tire swings. Though that half acre seems yards smaller now, few places are more dear. On summer evenings you still hear the ageless sound of crickets in the tangle of vines and ferns.
On my 14th Christmas my grandmother gave me her cake dish. The one I loved with the the ruffled edge and the milky glass and the embossed pedestal. I’ve started a small collection of them now on the highest shelf of the kitchen cupboard, and always pull them out when I bake.
The apartment I live in at college was built in the late ’40s, and has so many curious details, checkered floors, decorative grates over the vents and a doorbell that makes it sound like Ethel Mertz is on the back porch. My most favorite elements are the wainscoting in the kitchen and the fold out ironing board behind a narrow little door (see last photo below).
I can’t think of much to say about my girlhood room, except that when I’m home again it’s instantly ordinary and familiar. I love its white walls, airy curtains and the old dark wood of the furniture.
What inspires me… I study history and art history and I suppose it shows in the things I find inspiring – 18th century fashion, 1940s musicals, art deco fonts, old photographs, neoclassical architecture, Victorian novels. It’s been lovely sharing with you – thanks for having me Holly! - Livy
(images: a field journal)
A few of my favorite things: Pink Loves Brown
Hello there. I’m Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely and Pink Loves Brown. I’m so excited for Holly, and I hope she’s settling in and enjoying her new home and her new country! I’m honored to fill in today as part of Holly’s guest series, “A few of my favorite things”. If you’re familiar with my blog Making it Lovely, you know that I’ve chronicled the work I’ve done to my house since moving in two and a half years ago. Here are five areas of my home that I love and that make me happy. Hopefully they’ll make you happy too.
I adore my pink living room! It’s feminine but not girly, modern but not stark, graphic but not too intense. Of all the rooms in my home, the living room probably best exemplifies my style. Each piece of furniture reminds me of what was going on in my life at the time. The couch was the first big furniture purchase my husband and I made. The coffee table was an impulse purchase that I didn’t even have room for at the time, but I knew we’d someday have a home and it’s proven to be perfect here. The rocker of course will always remind me of my baby Eleanor, because we bought it for her. And the zigzag rug (you can just see a smidge of it in that photo) reminds me of doing the National Stationery Show last year, because we bought in while we were in New York for the Pink Loves Brown booth. I love being surrounded by beautiful things with such wonderful memories attached to them!
Ah, the wallpapered dining room. My husband and I did that while I was five months pregnant. Then again, that wasn’t so unusual… I tackled a lot of projects throughout my pregnancy! I can’t just sit still. Anyway, I always knew I wanted wallpaper in the dining room but it took me two years to settle on a pattern. In the end, I chose a pattern that I had considered right from the beginning. I tend to overthink things sometimes!
I spend a LOT of time in my daughter Eleanor’s room these days, so this photo makes me particularly happy. I read to her in that chair, I feed her there, we take naps together in it, and I soothe her by rocking in it. Some days are hard as I’m going through them, but looking back I know I’ll see that overall this has been a very, very happy time in my life. I couldn’t have imagined that fifteen pounds of cuteness could make me so happy.
What can I say? This makes me smile. All my pretty shoes and my patterned dresses above, all organized neatly behind closet doors. I think I’ll have to add some wallpaper to the inside of my closet and then it will be just perfect. A happy little surprise just for me, that I can see every morning.
The room won’t stay like this for long, and soon my baby will be sleeping in her nursery instead of at my side. Right now though, I cherish her closeness. The cradle is a family heirloom on my husband’s side, spanning several generations. Eleanor’s father, cousins, aunts, grandmother, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather have all slept there, and now it’s her turn.
I’d like to talk a little now about inspiration. I’m often asked about what inspires me to design new stationery or pull a room together, but it’s a hard question to answer. I’m always filing ideas away, whether I’m out on a walk, watching TV, reading magazines, or just sitting on my porch. I think the easiest reference point would be blogs though. I love blogs! I read new posts over breakfast every morning, and I save particularly interesting photos to a folder on my computer called “some things I like”. I have everything sorted from there into sub-folders, and I like to just browse through everything from time to time. Sometimes I pick up on a color combination, other times I might pick up on a particular room arrangement. Either way, I’m often inspired after my morning read!
Oh, and I know it’s probably a huge cliché, but I’m also inspired by my daughter. Sometimes I look at her, and she strikes me as so beautiful and lovely, I want to make her world a fitting place for her.
In parting, I’m leaving you with some of my favorite advice. I try to remember and act on these three quotes (though I’m sorry I don’t know to whom they’re attributed):
“A good idea today is better than a perfect idea tomorrow.“
“Don’t let best get in the way of better.“
“Done is better than perfect.“
They all embody the same idea. An idea that is hard for the perfectionist in me to act on. It’s so easy to be paralyzed by the pursuit of perfection that you end up doing nothing! Remember how I said I tend to overthink things? Sometimes when I’m working, I just have to force myself to hit “publish”, “send”, or “print”. Then I do it, and I’m always so much happier afterwards. -Nicole.
(images: nicole balch)
A few of my favorite things: Automatism
Hello, I’m Lori from the automatism blog — lovely to meet you! Holly was kind enough to invite me to be a part of her August guest series, “A few of my favorite things” while she’s busily moving, so here are a few objects from my home that I thought I’d share with you.
This beautiful little porcelain bowl (it’s just the right size for me to hold cupped in my hands) was the start of what is now a small collection of bowls made by local potters. I love the coppery tones of the glaze and the interesting texture, created by scratching into the glaze before firing.
On bright afternoons the sun streams through the white cotton roman blinds in my kitchen and makes these silk cherry blossom branches (which I display in a plain tall glass vase mixed with bare branches) glow. I never get tired of how pretty these look — plus, as I’m so terrible with plants, it gives me the illusion of nature!
I recently invested in a set of white Sophie Conran dishes, which are so beautifully designed that they make even a bowl of muesli in the morning an occasion. Just lovely to use.
I picked up this fragment of driftwood from the shore of the lake in northern Ontario where my mum and step dad lived for years before their recent move back into town. It reminds me of summer days spent canoeing at dusk, sunny afternoons paddling about in the shallows, and listening to the haunting cry of loons late at night.
Several years ago Andrew and I visited London, where I found this lovely old skittle in an antique shop on Portobello Road. The proprietor was a sweet and shy man — I remember he had a sign above his tiny counter that read, “All prices are final as the owner is not emotionally equipped to haggle.”
I feel lucky to be a visual person as I find inspiration all around me, from films, books and magazines to the way the afternoon light falls on a glass of water. There’s so much beauty around us — all we have to do is pay attention. I have a favourite quote by the French writer Collette that’s become a bit of a motto for me: “Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” I think it’s a good way to live one’s life.
A few of my favorite things: Ninainvorm.
Hi, this is Nina from Ninainvorm and I’m visiting while Holly is taking a break to settle in here in Europe. Though I’m really happy and honored to be included among the already wonderful ‘A few of my favorite things’-posts so far, I also have to say Holly asked me like one of the most difficult questions one can ask me… Okay, I know it’s not a difficult moral question but still… It’s hard to choose a few from my many favorite things. So I decided to just share a few more or less random favorite things with you.
In this photo you see a part of my tea towel and apron collection. I’m in love with beautiful patterned tea towels, preferably hand-printed like these from Skinny Laminx, SpinSpin Design and PataPri, all etsy sellers. Though we have a dishwasher, I regularly add a beautiful tea towel to my collection. In fact, I think it’s even better that we have a dishwasher, so that I can keep these in good shape!
I bought this tin Mother Mary sculpture years ago while backpacking in Mexico. I fell in love with it at a little market in Oaxaca on the first day of the 4 week trip through Mexico and Guatemala, so it was quite a journey to protect it during the rest of the month of traveling and to get it home safely. In fact, I was so determined to get it home safely that I sort of protected it with my life (I was more worried about protecting my Mary than about stuff such as catching our buses, not falling out of boats and more things like that!). Well, let’s assume that apparently we protected one another… ;)
I love babouches, oriental house slippers. I always try to bring at least one pair home when I travel to countries where they have nice ones, or ask people to bring a pair for me from their travels. My current collection includes pairs from Morocco, Turkey and Afghanistan, but I’m always on the lookout for additions to the collection from other countries. On the photo you also see a little vintage 1950s wooden Herlag bench, a piece of furniture that I inherited from my grandparents. Since we’ve very few inherited pieces in the family that bench is very dear to me.
I like to notice the beauty that can be found in everyday items, such as wrapping material for products. I always drag everyday products home from trips abroad, such as these beautiful little boxes filled with sweets that I bought in Italy this summer. I have no idea how they taste, it was the wrapping that seduced me… I also brought (please don’t start laughing, like all my travel companions did…) 10(!) large boxes of seasalt home from Italy, simply because they were wrapped so nicely. I love to display these collections in my kitchen, but I’m having trouble finding enough space. So, a box of seasalt, anyone? ;)
No ‘few of my favorite things’ would be complete without some vintage tableware and ceramics! I’ve never really found a reason or explanation for it, but beautiful ceramics and tableware just make me very happy… What else can I say about it?
It always sounds a bit cliche, but I can find so much inspiration in the beauty of everyday things. I just came back from my holiday in Tuscany, Italy, and over there they somehow manage this creation of simple, everyday beauty so well. Just a bunch of simple flowers in pots against the walls of an age-old farm, some fresh laundry waving in the wind, a few old traffic signs nailed on the village church… Beauty then seems to be everywhere, and it makes me realize that we shouldn’t try too hard and make it all too perfect. So right now I’m inspired to look for this nonchalant beauty instead of the too perfect, over-styled things.
Oh, I’m never good at this kind of thing! I always hear and read those nicely formulated bits of wisdom and think ‘I should remember this’, but somehow I always forget them… I’ll leave it simply at this: work hard for the things you love! - Nina