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Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

August 21, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Skinny laMinx

Hello and Happy Friday to you! I’m Heather Moore, living in Cape Town South Africa, where I design and produce textiles and illustrations (shop), and also write the Skinny laMinx blog. Holly kindly asked me to come and tell you about the things I like in my home, so I waited for a sunny day and took some snaps. I hope you enjoy taking a tour around this place we share with our beautiful kitties. Let us began, shall we?

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

As with most of the things I treasure, this little wooden stool cost hardly a thing and it took me while to decide to buy it. Now it lives in our lounge, where we occasionally curse it as we trip over it, but often I look up from my book in the evenings and admire its simple, perfect lines.

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

Since and exhausting renovation two years ago, we didn’t do much about our bedroom, but recently we’ve started putting in a bit of work, which has been great. The afghani rug on the floor was a recent birthday gift (from me) to my lucky husband, and it goes surprisingly well with the 70’s flowery curtains (another surprise find)

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

This little bottle opener was a gift I bought online for my husband a few years ago from the Canoe store. It’s Japanese and cast iron, and makes me excited about opening a bottle of beer every time.

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

I’m not sure there are many people with a brick taking pride of place in the lounge, but we love this one, which we found holding a tarpaulin down in Thailand. Much pleading managed to convince the brick’s owner that a stone would do the job just as well, so now it graces the windowsill above our Ercol daybed (which we love too, even though it’s probably a knockoff)

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

Just to the right of the table are shelves upon which this stone bird carved by a Zimbabwian artist lives. He’s so glossy and alert, and definitely a prized possession. More black birds, these by Missibaba creator, Chloe Townsend, currently live above our dining table.

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

So much vintage stuff, so little space! We’re managing to fill up the shelves of our bright green kitchen pretty effectively.

Skinny laMinx: Favorite Things

Yup, vintage pots are also on the menu. The ceramic one was a recent buy, and it was only after I had it with me at home that I discovered it was the design of a design hero, Stig Lindberg. It’s the kind of moment that makes a vintage hunter feel that all those rainy mornings spent poking through worthless junk were worthwhile after all.

I can’t find the quote, but I think the best advice I’ve heard was from Paul Smith who said something about how the things he’s said “no” to have allowed him to do some of his best work. Learning when to say ‘no’ so that I can concentrate on doing things properly is something I’m still trying to learn, but I’m getting better at it. Good luck with the move Holly! – Xx Heather

(images: skinny laminx)






Guest Bloggers

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

August 20, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Art and Ghosts

Hi there, this is Louise from Art and Ghosts (blog & shop), just popping in to say hello and to share a handful of my favorite things as part of Holly’s series. I currently live in the north of England in a small yet sweet little village located on the outskirts of the town where I grew up. My home is actually 160 years old, although extensively modernized throughout; the only reminder of days gone by being a strangely battered horseshoe tacked above what was once the kitchen door. Having only moved into the house last December, much of the surrounding countryside and even the house itself still feel so very new to me, which is something of a novelty. In this sense, the house itself could be said to be my most favorite thing of all.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

My favorite room has to be the living room. Prior to moving here, I had lived in a fairly modern, third floor apartment for almost ten years, which comprised of four small, featureless rooms with tiny, shuttered windows. In contrast, my new home has a certain lopsided individuality, large windows, and best of all, a mantle piece! Being the central focus of the room, the mantle tends to get a makeover every few weeks or so, so that the objects on and surrounding it are continuously changing. I suppose you could say that it functions a little showcase for my favorite pictures, knick-knacks, etc. Most of all, I adore the serenity of this room, it seems to contain its very own ‘silence’, a sensation of stillness, relaxation.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

My paternal grandmothers writing desk. We have something of a love-hate relationship, myself and the writing desk: love, due to enormous sentimental value, and hate due to the upper lid never failing to bite or nip my fingers whenever I attempt to open the top compartment. A family heirloom which found itself taking up residence here a short time ago, I am actually more attracted to its functionality as opposed to its age or aesthetic appeal, which in my own opinion, doesn’t leave a great deal to be desired. Almost every piece of furniture that I own tends to be white, contemporary, so the desk makes for quite a pleasant distraction.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

My books. I am never quite complete when not engaged in reading. In this sense, I suppose that I consider reading to be a vital aspect of my existence, something which I could not live without. There are far too many of them, and no matter how much I attempt to downsize, the collection will simply keep on growing until it has overtaken my expectations – and space! I am the type of person who can spend hours sitting cross-legged in the corner of a musty old book store, or else browsing them online until dawn breaks.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

Tea, cups, and saucers. I have a somewhat unhinged passion for tea. Isn’t there an old English mindset which considers tea as the cure for all ills? Well, I believe in it! As I have mentioned somewhere before, tea has quite a remarkable place in my life, something which I consider to be more of an ‘experience’ than a mere beverage, in much the same way as chocolate.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

Treasured possessions, mostly gifts or purchases from online friends and artists. Something that I dearly love about being such a tiny part of a greater online community – our ability to share our passions with others of a similar mind, regardless of distance. For some reason, the novelty of this continues to remain so alive and fresh, for me, that sense of there being a personal, unique story behind each and every one of these possessions, whether vintage or handmade.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

The dolls house, which I snapped up for less than £2, then had to carry home on a long distance bus ride in a broken plastic bag. Such is love, and a renewed passion to renovate! Dolls and dolls houses have always fascinated me. They also inspire me creatively, having been such a large and consistent element of my visual art work since as far back as I can remember. I just adore miniature worlds and the stories that we can invest in them, how they have the power to spark imagination, whilst also rekindling feelings and memories of childhood, when play and imagination were so essential to our perception and exploration of the world around us.

Art and Ghosts: Favorite Things

My village in winter time. One of my most favorite things of all. Words could never possibly express my love for the colder months, how it seems that I only ever come fully alive at this time. My senses literally rejoice the coming of autumn (as they are doing now!), the darker evenings, the longer nights. Perhaps this suits me so well because I am a confirmed night-owl, preferring to work through the night time, as late as my commitments will permit. Snow, especially, defines the very concept of magic for me.

What inspires me: Oh, too much! So many things that are intangible, like dreams, memories and sensations. The natural world, the seasons, ideas of places which I have never seen. I am besotted with music, both contemporary and classical, and can barely exist without it, especially when working. Each and every day I am hugely inspired by the passion and integrity of creative people, their own work and the thoughts they share amongst us. I am also quite obsessed with fairy tales, mythology, children’s literature and film.

The most unforgettable advice that I have heard so far is quite possibly one of the most simple, yet carrying it out can take a monumental effort: Have faith in your own feelings, to take notice of your intuition. If only I had done this on so many occasions! We have a tendency to push such things aside as mere irritations, but in my own experience I have often found them to be an invaluable source of truth.

Having said that…one more piece of advice, which I stumbled upon whilst browsing the internet this week: never, just absolutely NEVER make a decision when you are angry. This one really ought to speak for itself! Thanks so much for reading my little offering, and a huge thank-you to Holly for making me so welcome! — Take care, Lou x

(images: art and ghosts)






Guest Bloggers

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

August 20, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Little Brown Pen

Hi everyone. I’m Nichole from Little Brown Pen (blog and etsy shop), and I’m delighted to share a few of my favorite things today. It’s no surprise Holly asked me to take part in this series, as a few of her favorite things are now mine. Quite literally.

Last month, my husband and I drove to Holly’s home in New Hampshire, and like a couple of brazen, broad-daylight thieves, stuffed her sofa, chairs, tables, dresser and lamps into the back of a UHaul. We took anything that wasn’t nailed down, including some rhubarb we yanked out of the patch next to her shed.

What surprised us most is that Holly and her husband allowed this to happen. No arguments. No cops. No car chases. Not even a token four-letter word. In fact, Holly and Thorsten helped us load the truck, and provided us with refreshments and a parting gift (a cute Jonathan Adler plate).

If this sounds like it took place in some sort of alternate universe where fairy design bloggers bestow their best furniture upon the needy, you’re not far off. We were very much in need of furniture—lots of furniture—because we had just returned from living abroad in Pairs. Holly was more than happy to stuff our Uhaul, because the more we took, the less she had to worry about selling prior to her move to Germany. Her move abroad and our return to the US could not have been timed any better. Divine design intervention? You bet. Holly’s furniture has made our new house feel like a home, and I’ve shifted my focus from the things my home needs to things in my home that make me happy. Here are a few of them.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The patio. I went completely crazy at the nursery, and transformed our bare patio into a cheerful, green space where my husband and I enjoy early evening drinks.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The kitchen nook. Thanks to Holly’s table and chairs, and the light from the large windows, this is one of my favorite places to have afternoon coffee.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The office. I’m a freelance writer, and for as long as I can remember I’ve longed for an office. For years, I lived in small apartments and worked on my bed or at the kitchen table. I feel spoiled simply because I get to sit on a chair at a real desk.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The living room. I like to ambush my unsuspecting toddlers when they’re chilling out on the couch – kisses, hugs, giggles. The good stuff.

Little Brown Pen: Favorite Things

The kitchen. Especially the espresso machine. It was a splurge when I was pregnant with my second son. We cancelled our vacation due to relentless morning sickness, and as consolation, channeled the money we would have spent into an outrageously priced espresso machine. We use it multiple times a day, and it’s honestly the best money we ever spent.

On Inspiration: When it comes to inspiration, it comes down to two things: complex thought and simple living. I’m inspired by people who make me think, rethink, engage, and question, and by the small pleasures (coffee, snow, laughter) that add up to a full life.

On Advice: When it comes to advice, I look to my dad. He taught me simple, but important things like, “don’t get in over your head,” “don’t stress about things you can’t change,” and “enjoy every moment.” I’ve rarely seen my dad in a bad mood – he takes everything in stride – and it’s served him well. He’s one of the happiest, most content people I know. When I feel lost, disconnected or in need of a kick in the pants, I read Alain de Botton or Matthew Arnold. Their eloquent writing and insight into the human condition inspire me to either write better or live better. And usually both. – Nichole

(images: little brown pen)






Guest Bloggers

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

August 20, 2009

A few of my favorite things: Freshlyblended

Hey folks, it’s Nicole from Freshlyblended~ I’m here to share with you a few of my favorite things while Holly is on the move. I hope you enjoy my sneak peek at some of the things that inspire me day by day, some that I’ve just randomly collected through the years and others that hold deep meaning in my life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

This is one of my most favorite things in my whole house and it’s not even mine! it’s a beautiful quilt handmade from my good friend Shanna Murray for my little peanut, Zoe. She threw me the best baby shower this year and on top of that made my daughter something original and handmade she can cherish her whole life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My little matryoshka nesting cats, given to me from my grandmother one Christmas. They are each hand painted and in the very smallest cat you’ll find the mouse. They sit right in front of one of my two Dawbis pieces.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My vintage cameras, (I have one more not shown in the photo), all were either given to me or found somewhere.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

A great vintage 1930’s serving tray that I found at the world’s largest yard sale. Isn’t it pretty?

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

Two very dear to my heart drawings that my mother did in 1971. These are a creative reminder for me every time I stop to take a gander. These pieces let me know where my roots are and represent how important art is to me in my life.

Freshlyblended: Favorite Things

My Julia Rothman print which sits right off to the side of one of the great peaked archways in my house. (built in the 1940’s, it’s a common architectural style in that era).

There are many things that inspire me, each day it’s something different but my mainstay is nature… I’ve always been fond of the outdoors and all it’s organic beauty. Most of my hobbies are related to the outdoors, I’m an avid gardener even though where I live (upstate New York) we only get about 3 months of decent weather every year. Most of the time it’s snowing so I’ll then hit the slopes and go snowboarding with my husband or just cozy in with the family and watch a good flick. I’m very much a homebody even though I run such a creatively rich blog, family is the most coveted thing in my life and much of my creative inspiration stems from them. I have creative roots on both sides of my family, ranging from architecture to quilting! My goal is to pass along all the creative wisdom I’ve collected through the years to my daughter in hopes that she can appreciate the little things in life that inspire, as I do. – Nicole

(images: freshlyblended)






Guest Bloggers

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

August 19, 2009

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!

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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. :)

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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.

Oh, Hello Friend: Favorite Things

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)






Guest Bloggers

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

August 19, 2009

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…

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

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.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

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.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

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).

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

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.

A Field Journal: Favorite Things

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)







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