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coffee + cre8tive {nov 21 ’06}


I’m really enjoying artist Margaux Williamson lately, her new works appeal to me on so many levels. Despite being so young (I think she is 29 or 30 now), her works show real depth and maturity, and although quite melancholic, there’s a glimmer of hope in each of her captivating stories on canvas. To me, they hold a lot of mystery, almost a feeling of being trapped at first, but upon careful inspection, the story each tells seems to contain a secret, enlightment perhaps, as if finding the the key to free yourself is entirely up to you. Much like life itself, isn’t it?

Today I am inspired by Margaux. What about you? What have you seen lately that inspires you?

(images from margaux williamson)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration on November 21, 2006

Random Images to Inspire

We spent the day roaming the cobblestone streets of Hannover Linden today, where I met an old friend who is the largest book seller in Germany, with over 1 million books for sale on Amazon. We browsed his extensive collection on towering bookshelves, all which overflowed with rare titles, mostly published between the early 1900’s-1985.
I loved the children’s books I found, and he was nice enough to give me 3 of my favorites, which I happily accepted. Not only do they help me practice my German, but the pretty illustrations and typefaces are so lovely, I can’t stop looking at them. Two appeared as good as new, but it’s the one that is clearly used that appears to me the most. Inside the front cover, there is a handwritten dedication from oma to granddaughter Nadine. Nadine stamped her Berlin address, along with a maus sticker, inside. To think that a little girl from Berlin once owned this book in 1972, a book that now belongs to me… I don’t know, it’s somewhat touching. This story was once read to her and tucked away on a bookshelf… I wonder what became of young Nadine?


While roaming the narrow halls of books, I noticed an old poster taped to the side of a wooden bookcase, and thought it was lovely enough to capture and share with you. The print was already in sephia, so I think the photo came out rather nicely… Her porcelin complexion and his adoring gaze couldn’t resist my lens. Too bad they’re smoking and not simply about to engage in a kiss.

After visiting the warehouse, we stumbled upon my new favorite coffee shop, Cafe Petit in Hannover Linden.
I snapped a few photos while there, and since I’ve been big into sephia shots lately, I thought I’d experiment a little. I clearly need more practice with my camera, but I really like how these came out.

Note: I’ll be returning to Linden on Saturday for a studio tour and to meet a designer that I love, so I will post some photos from that tour on Monday. See you later today with some great design finds! I’m off to dinner, but upon my return, I promise to post some more goodies for you today.


(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, shopping, travel, walls on October 19, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {oct 3 ’06}

Today is a holiday here in Germany, the Day of German Unity, so we spent time eating with the family (homemade German food is so yummy) and taking walks through the forest and then, the city. Overall, it’s very quiet here today, it is nice just to rest, grab a cafe latte, and stroll around the nearly empty city streets. We popped into a cafe called Am Thielenplatz, and fell totally in love with the decor in mostly red, white, and black with hints of canary yellow.
You can relax here and enjoy a simple cup of coffee in a most chic atmosphere. Don’t you just love it? I could have stayed for hours, and here in Europe, you can linger at these ultra chic establishments just as you would back in the states at Starbucks.

Notice the chandeliers with shades over them? I especially enjoyed those, along with the wallpaper, which was applied to one wall and then extended onto about 70″ of the ceiling. The rest of the ceiling was white. It looked great, I wish I would have thought to photograph it for you.

Up today… A factory tour of a ceramics company based in California, an interview with a Boston interior designer, and some fresh finds to give you something to spend your money on! :)

(images from decor8, click on them for full size)

Posted in inspiration, shopping, travel on October 03, 2006

Adorn Magazine – NEW!


Have you heard of Adorn magazine, the new craft mag on the block for women? Geared towards ladies that love to create as well as those that never progressed beyond 1st grade macaroni necklaces, if you’re willing to learn something new, Adorn delivers. It’s well-written (short + sweet!), informative, fun, and packed with DIY projects from totally kitschy stuff to projects that have a more grown up appeal.


I think it’s a great magazine for all ages, perfect for mom and ‘tween daughter to come together for an afternoon of crafting with her friends, terrific for you and your friends for a Friday night craft meet. Despite how much I tend to dislike craft magazines, this one is actually a huge step up from the typical country kitchen stencil, silk flower wreath, and glue gun galore that’s so present in most DIY publications. Adorn is smarter, hipper, and even smaller than your standard size magazine. The fresh cover first caught my eye, and as I flipped through, I was impressed by the layout and design, full-color photos that inspire, and the appealing typefaces. Adorn touches on trends, party planning, DIY fashion and accessories, and cool projects for embellishing the home. They throw in a little bit of everything, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel like it’s missing focus (no signs that the entire staff has ADD -smile-).


The message Adorn sends forth is clear – carve out time to be creative, whether you consider yourself a lost cause or a crafty diva. Flipping through that pile of magazines on your floor or drooling over what others create isn’t half as fulfilling as making something with your own hands. It also helps you find your own personal style and create a home that oozes with personality and charm.

I found my copy at Borders, however I’ve since spotted them at Barnes + Noble and a few local craft stores, too. You can preview their premiere issue online, and you can check out their blog if you’d like a glimpse of Adorn behind the scenes. Their Fall/Winter issue will hit newsstands on November 7th, so you still have time to pick up their Summer premiere.

Psst: Some of the items created for the product shots are being offered by etsy seller Indie Craft Movie, like these crochet embellished pillow covers and this funky hobo handbag.

(all images from adorn)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, inspiration on September 01, 2006

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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