I’m so excited to bring you Anna-Malin Lindgren, a new decor8 columnist based in Sweden, who will produce a special project for us to share on the 2nd Monday of each month. She isn’t really writing a DIY column, so all of the details will not be provided step-by-step, but she will be sharing things that she makes for her home along with how she used them to decorate a room for a little decorating inspiration. I’m going to hand the mic over to Anna-Malin now, so please, take it away and show us what you’ve made!
Hello decor8 readers! Today I’ll show you a nice, personal lamp that I made from simple means and how I decorated my dining room around the light so that you can get a double dose of inspiration. I will do this in all of my columns because showing only what I made may not be that helpful but seeing something handmade in the home — “in-situ” — just may give you a different perspective on how you can decorate nicely on a budget by making things yourself. If you want to try to make this affordable branch pendant you’ll need only a few key ingredients: an electrician, a branch from a tree (quite large) and 4 fabric-covered cables with either plastic or porcelain white sockets (try NUD Collection for a variety of cord colors). I got the idea for this lamp when I saw a picture in a magazine a year ago (inspiration below) and I thought to myself – I can do this! Here is my inspiration…
I kept this tear from a magazine, I can do this! So I did!
I had the branch already for several months. It was brought home by my youngest son when we were out walking in the woods last summer. I started by hanging the lamps on the branch to figure out the perfect placement. When they had the right amount of space in between them, I used ordinary black tape to secure them in place. The next step was to measure the distance from the ceiling and then I selected a point where I gathered all of the cords and taped them together, tightly. Tip: When you finish, make sure you use clear bulbs – not frosted ones!
Taping them into place…
Next, I cut the cords (with a few inches to spare) and called my “hubby” — he did all the electrical stuff and fixed it so that the four cords connected to only one. You can use a terminal strip for this but I suggest calling in a friend who is an electrician because you can seriously cause problems or worse, burn your house down if you do this wrong – I nor decor8 can take responsibility for your safety, so check with a trained electrician! My husband also removed the tape and secured the cords onto the wood with u-shaped nails.
Voilá! Not hard at all. Now I have a unique, personal lamp for not much money at all. The cords were about 10 euros each (so 40 Euros) and the branch was for free! Of course, you’ll have to pay for the time of an electrician (I was lucky to have my husband) but if you have a friend who is one, or relative, perhaps this light will be an affordable option over your dining room table, too.
Did you like this? Next month I will surprise you with something fresh and fun (and affordable) so stay tuned. If you have any questions about this project please ask in the comments section below.
See you with another project on February 14th! – Anna-Malin Lindgren.
(images: anna-malin lindgren)
I have some exciting news that I must share before the weekend begins. I hired a second columnist to write on decor8, so in addition to the lovely Leslie Shewring and her wildly popular Color Me Pretty column I now have the talented Anna-Malin Lindgren from Helt Enkelt, a Swedish blogger, photographer, illustrator, craft lover, wife, mother and DIY-queen joining us. I can’t wait to work with her, I’m so happy she has accepted!
I met Anna-Malin last year (I wrote about it here) and saw her beautiful home and was so impressed that I knew that somehow I would think of a way that we could work together — so of course, parts of her home is in my upcoming book but beginning next week, you can expect Anna-Malin to visit us once a month for the entire year with a DIY project that she will produce especially for decor8 readers that she’ll share in English. I agreed to let her show it on her own blog in Swedish a week later, but we have first dibs and she is creating them with the decor8 reader in mind so we can count on her to share projects that we’ll all love.
In this post you can see some photos from Anna-Malin’s beautiful blog to give you a glimpse of her fresh, Scandinavian style — and to whet your appetite for the projects that she’ll be sharing with us! And stay tuned, because next week her column will debut and she will demonstrate how we can make a very cool pendant lamp on a budget.
My goal is to have 4 columnists on decor8 so I’m looking for 2 more to join me so that I can have Mondays each week devoted entirely to our visiting columnist of the week. I’ll let you know how my search goes!
Thank you Anna-Malin for accepting my offer to work with me on decor8, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.
(images: anna-malin lindgren)
Hello everyone! I am so pleased to share with you Color Me Pretty for November, styled and photographed by decor8 contributor Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint. We skipped October to give Leslie some time off as she was traveling but now we’re back on schedule with her monthly columns and surprise! Leslie will continue her column here on decor8 for 2011 so you have lots of CMP inspiration ahead of you. And remember, if you missed any of her work on decor8 in the past you can simply click here to view all of her color stories for lovely palettes that may inspire your next project, room scheme, party, outfit — whatever you fancy! And so with that, Leslie, take it away!
Hello Friends, it is Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for November. Last month I joined Holly in Morocco at Peacock Pavilions for a wonderful week of creative time organized by Angela Ritchie of Ace Camps. The gorgeous surroundings decorated to the nines by Maryam got me really inspired to continue painting yet more Moroccan patterns. It is kind of addictive and as you may know I have done a couple Color Me Pretty series in the past inspired by Moroccan patterns. They don’t get old for me but I do hope I am not boring you with more! To keep it fresh I used a warm grey for the patterns and then added a little golden yellow, dark olive green and pink to the mix. I really hope you enjoy the combination.
I have tried to use the patterns for some crafty little projects for you. With holiday entertaining time upon us, I thought I would spray paint a bunch of old glass bottles and jars to make an interesting floral display for the table or mantle. I can imagine them filled with red berries or evergreens, however I used a bunch of Lisianthus this time. After I had finished spray painting the bottles I couldn’t help but paint a few with some tile patterns. You could really apply any pattern to the finished painted bottle. I used acrylic paint for the pattern and a matte white spray paint for the glass bottles. Metallic paint would also be lovely to use for the holidays.
I thought it would also be nice to give you some more wrapping inspiration. I took photographs of my water colored painted patterns and then printed them out on matte photo printer paper. I then used the printouts for wrapping accents and for some tags. I use a Marvy Uchida craft punch for the tags. I love it because I am able to use up scrap paper for the tags. I also use catalog envelopes that have an adhesive strip for my wrapping because they are fast and simple. You just pop your gift into a large envelope and then fold over and seal where needed. No taping! Then you can just decorate them as little or as much as you want. The envelopes are readily available in 6”by 9”, 9”by 12” and 10” by 13”. If you are interested in learning more about Moroccan patterns a fabulous but pricey book called Zillij The Art of Moroccan Ceramics is excellent.
Lastly, I used some “Nut and Party Cups” from Michael’s to hold some mini succulent plants I picked up for under a under a dollar each. I thought they made a sweet inexpensive display or gift. The cups could be cute with many different kinds of plants in them and you can easily punch a hole in them for drainage.
I will be back next month with many more ideas for you in a holiday inspired Color Me Pretty post. Until then Happy Thanksgiving or Happy November and thank you for joining me here today. – Leslie.
(photography by Leslie Shewring)
Hello and happy Monday to you! It is Leslie here with September’s Color Me Pretty column. This time around I am using muted purple, cream, grey, silver and a touch of black. I was reminded of some of these colors in Holly’s post here where she discusses a décor possibility for her new home, which she moves into this week! The palette was inspired by Sibella Court’s paint line which I am sure most of you have checked out on her website. I tried using this palette loosely in a much smaller scale with a few little projects to get your creative wheels turning.
I have been seeing many of these colors appearing in my catalog pile as well and, once again I can’t help but tear out images. They are clipped into my journals, stuck onto my mood board and taped on my wall for further inspiration. Today you will see images in my photographs from the Noa Noa, J.Crew, and Himla catalogs.
Purple hues seem to dominate the flowers in my garden too, like lavender, salvia, geraniums, verbena and solanum. I plucked a few sprigs and popped them into my vintage Amethyst bottles for the series. For some of the bottles I put on a little white paper with Japanese silver tape to balance out all the purple. You could tape any patterned paper on any kind of glass vase or jar for a similar effect. It is simple and shows you do not need to spend much time or money on flowers to have a nice display for your home.
I had fun using my watercolors to create little studies on small 2” by 3” cards. Sometimes it is nice to do really small creative steps towards a larger project, especially if you are feeling stuck or unmotivated. Like myself, when it is 95 degrees and I have no air conditioning in my studio! As I painted, stitched and glued sequins on these little cards I began to feel inspired and ready to work on the entire photo series. Do you have suggestions on how you get motivated for your creative work?
I hope you have enjoyed the series today and I look forward to seeing you back here next month. Take care, Leslie.
(images: leslie shewring)
Hello Friends, it is Leslie here with another collection of Etsy finds for you. The picks are quite summery because it’s warming up here in Los Angeles and it is hard for me to think about anything else. I hope you enjoy browsing through these wonderful shops.
1. Mincing Mockingbird 5×7 Print. This shop has an incredible collection of fine art prints and cards. I especially love this little 5 by 7 print that I purchased.
2. Gallant and Jones Caligata Garden Deckchair. Beautifully handmade chairs and stools finished in all sorts of fabrics.
3. OliveManna Hand-Dyed Jute Twine. A few items are featured from this store today and I could really do an entire post on this store as it is a dreamy place for me!
4. OliveManna Hand-Dyed Twill Tape Fabric Ribbon. Gorgeous ribbons and the product shot is perfect!
5. The Wild Plum Japanese Wood Serving Bowls. These bowls are elegant and and would look beautiful on an open shelf in the kitchen.
6. Atelier Pompadour Paper Globe Ornament. I could imagine these hanging in a child’s room instead of a mobile or possible off some branches in a vase. 7. Prince Design bird bowl. This shop has such pretty patterns and sweet pieces like this can really brighten up any tiny corner of your home. 8. This and That From Japan elephants fabric in green. A fun fabric I have in my collection. 9. Leah Giberson Caravan Series. I really enjoyed browsing through Leah’s stunning artwork. 10. Jill Bent Grain Sack Pillow. These pillows are casual and sophisticated!
11. Peeko Apparel Canvas Tote. It seems we cannot get enough of stripes this summer and this bag looks really functional and well made of reclaimed cotton fabric. 12. Fishbone Deco Retro Fan. It is a feat when you can find a fan that looks this good. 13. OliveManna Jute Twine. More twine for a summer project. 14. Spinthread Cubic Bracelet. I just love this bracelet and am having to really hold myself back from buying it right now! 15. Extraseed Eco Friendly Leather Flat. There are many pretty flats to check out in this shop.
Thank you for joining me for another edition of Etsy Take Five and I will see you back here in a moment with another post to inspire you — Holly is back in Germany now and will be with you again tomorrow. – Leslie.
(images linked to their sources above)