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Wanted: Interior Mags from Denmark/Sweden/Norway

Danielle posted on the Style Files about her interest in finding a swap partner for interiors magazines from Denmark & Sweden and I am actually looking for the same, including Norway, so I thought I’d post about it too.


If you’d like to swap with Danielle, she’ll give you some great Dutch magazines in return. If you’d be interested in swapping with me, I can send you magazines from America. Let us know if you are interested in swapping. For a Dutch swap, email danielle AT style-files.com or for an American swapmate, email me at decor8blog AT yahoo.com. If you are nervous about shipping costs to America, I’m more than willing to Paypal you for the shipping expenses. I’m thirsting for Bolig Liv or Boligmagasinet!

I like seeing the space of Danish actress and singer Xenia Lach-Nielsen (directly above in these three images) because she’s an art lover like I am and it looks like she’s into the works of collage artist Nanna Ask, which I have to say, after seeing her work, I’m a new fan. Great abstract characters and soft hues of pink, blue, green… What’s not to love?

(images from Boligmagasinet and Bolig Liv)

Posted in inspiration, small business on July 24, 2007

Design Star *Week 1*

What did you think of the first episode of Design Star last night? Per the request of Becky and Paola, I’ll post a weekly open thread each Monday so those of you who are DS viewers can dish about the show. I struggled through last season, so I’m hoping that season 2 brings a bit more drama and decent design so we can at least have a little fun watching it and maybe learn a few things. I’m also hoping for a little character bonding to happen because if a viewer can relate to at least one finalist, it’s a good show (at least until that finalist gets canned).

I predict a lot more drama this season, a few cat fights coming on, and with the finalists being quite an assorted bunch (two words: Josh Sparkle), I’m thinking we’ll at least have fun watching it until Project Runway kicks off.

A few snippets from the bio of Mr. Sparkles himself: His favorite designer is Versace, if he weren’t a designer he’d be a Solid Gold dancer, and the boy knows how to clog. Pair him up with finalist Christina Ray, who adores the designs of Christopher Lowell, or with Neeraja Lockart who adores Muriel Brandolini, and you just may have the recipe for good reality tv.

(images from HGTV, photographer: Dennis Galante)

Posted in inspiration, reality tv, small business on July 23, 2007

Budget Travel *New* Look

You are amazing. Do you know this? If not, here’s a huge pat on the back from me. I put out my cry for help the other day in regards to my upcoming vacation (leaving tomorrow!), and you replied with fantastic tips, links, even the owner of the Headquarters Gallery & Boutique in Montreal wrote in offering to be my tour guide. I mean, hello? And human kindness is hard to find? Whatever! Then reader Nicole commented about the current issue of Budget Travel featuring a story, My Montreal Is Better Than Yours.

Not realizing the issue was online, I ran out to perform pre-vacation errands (toothpaste, travel size shampoo, maps) and hit the local Barnes & Noble for a copy. I haven’t read Budget Travel in years. I can’t recall if I even ever read it. For some reason, when I thought of Budget Travel magazine, visions of articles featuring the top 10 hookah lounges in Amsterdam and the best hostels in Europe (not already featured in a teen horror flick) danced in my head. Was I wrong.

I couldn’t put my finger on why, but this issue looked different to me perched on the newsstand than when I’d passed it by before – I felt compelled to grab it this time, and to read it, which I did from cover to cover. Why hadn’t I given it a chance before? As I scanned the editor’s page the answer was revealed: It was JUST given a major makeover. No wonder! It looks prettier. A little like Cookie magazine (layout and design) mixed with Travel + Leisure (I’m a huge T+L fan), I loved the font, the format, the imagery, everything felt very fresh, hip, and young. But not too young. I didn’t get the impression that BT was only geared towards the college crowd, but us older girls can be proud of our quest for a good travel bargain, too. Above all, no peddling of hostels as a hip alternative to hotels and a very informative issue all around. There was even an article about hugging pandas in China. Hugging! Pandas! That was all it took for me to fill out the subscription card.


And Nicole, thanks for the tip because I found the best blog in this issue authored by two Montreal-based bloggers, Endless Banquet. I can’t wait to get up north now and check out all these great places! And everyone else, go read Budget Travel!

(some images from budget travel and the endless banquet)

Posted in inspiration, small business, travel on July 11, 2007

Notes on finding refreshment…

Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.

A fabulous 50s kitchen from Crafty Beaver

I think it’s important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider “time suckers” when referring to hobbies involving entertainment – like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it’s not a time sucker if it’s productive in even a small way. If you’re parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that’s a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that’s positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can’t over-analyze everything we do because that’s no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it’s good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I’m focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.

A colorful corner from Wisecraft with curtains that I really like. :)

A nature-inspired grouping on a simple shelf from Little Birds.

Ivanka Trump’s Living Room from In Style magazine via SarahLeeAb. Spot the foo dogs?

A gorgeous fireplace decorated by Abigail Percy. What a dreamy blue background.

An IKEA paper lamp with an added touch from two straight lines – handmade butterflies! This is a nice way to add some charm to something that all your friends may have… You don’t have to accept something as is. Look for inexpensive ways to make things more personal, and beautiful!

Jeana_Sohn’s cozy kitchen nook. I love this little space because it’s simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in dotting all the i’s. Maybe we can give some corners of our homes a little “less is more” treatment? Just a thought…

Great use for library card catalogs – a craft room must for bitsandbobbins.

Kitchen flowers from GMW.

Ships ahoy! Amazing sailboats handcrafted by Ann Wood. (She is something else!)

A Brooklyn brownstone in the heights, snapped by Alternate Words (also my husband). This place had a ton of pendants hanging inside, see them? It isn’t a reflection, there must have been at least 6 of them. This is from our June trip to NYC. We both agreed that Claire Huxtable and Heathcliff had to be due home any moment.

Sleepy kitty from Accolady. Zzzz. I want to kiss its little nose.

A fabulous inspiration wall from Matirose.

Altogether gorgeousness from Annamariahorner. What colors!

A pink beetle in Mexico via ***anahita.

And finally, a lovely arrangement of things by mizutamago.

On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It’s also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.

It’s not about just accepting what we’ve been given. It’s about being more.

To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let’s take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it’s through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!

I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)

(images: sources noted beneath each photo)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, Rooms on July 10, 2007

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