Specializing in interiors, food, travel, still life, lifestyle, portrait and wedding photography (wow, what a list!), talented Australian photographer Amanda McLaughlin has a gorgeous portfolio online to peruse for inspiration today. Would you like to see some lovely visuals that may perhaps spark your creativity? Of course you do!
Amanda’s work is so gorgeous, isn’t it? I love seeing the branches in vases above… my friend Ingrid brought me a huge “bouquet” of berry branches from the German countryside that she picked and they are gorgeous and in my ceramic vase on my work desk. They are so pretty and really brought in some of the outdoors which always helps to “warm up” a space, especially in a brand new space that is quite spare currently as mine is…
How are you doing today? I hope that you are well! I have been very busy trying to sort out our new apartment (you can see photos of it here) — unpacking, sorting, deciding what I should keep and what I should pass on to a new home, etc. Plus I’m still working on Decorate (which will be published first in England in March and then in May in the US and THEN in Germany next Autumn!), planning my kitchen (the new Smeg (thank you dear Yvonne for the suggestion!) arrived today – I love it and can’t wait to bake the first cupcakes in there) and I decided to make some presents for my students that I’ll bring to Morocco next week on my teaching adventure there – so I’ve been doing a lot of crafty stuff which energizes me so much and makes me very happy! Once I’m back from Morocco, I’ll share some photos of the gifts that I made for them so that you can see — but not yet, as they read my blog and I can’t blow the little surprise with a sneak peek (sorry).
I’m also working on my class materials and handouts for my lovely class there, too. I can’t wait to meet the lovely ladies who will be joining me — I feel so blessed right now. To top it all off, this morning I was able to attend a photoshoot at the home of my new neighbor who lives upstairs from us — a German stylist and photographer from Hamburg were styling and shooting and I was able to watch them in action which was a lot of fun.
So! Those are my updates for the week so far. How are you doing?
(images: amanda mclaughlin)
Yesterday was a busy Monday but such a great one. The week started off very well. How about for you? I had to teach the BYW class (we’re having so much fun!) and then needed to sketch lots of floor plans for a project I’m working on.
In addition, I was quite busy organizing work things, then I went out for an hour in the forest to just clear my mind and work out which was a real treat. I’m in the process of redesigning the decor8 template and working with a graphic designer on a new logo (and tagline) plus I’m putting a proposal together for my next book to give to my literary agent in October.
On top of that, I’m going to Morocco in a month for a teaching trip and need to plan out my lessons and handouts — and then in early November I’ll be in Istanbul for a week. I can’t wait to see Turkey! My dear friend will take me to the hidden gems there so that I can share some shopping tips with you upon my return.
I also move in a few weeks — we went into our new place today to measure the kitchen and bathroom, I drew a floor plan for each, and now I have to get started on the design of it. I counted how many lights we need to install, 15! That breaks down to 11 pendants, 2 sconces and 2 bathroom lights. Oh my! Wish me luck on that, I’ve never had to purchase so many lights in my life in one shot.
This busyness is fun though, but sometimes I wonder how I’m not wearing socks that don’t match and how I end up leaving the house with matching earrings on because my brain is all over the place!
I hope you are doing well! In this post I’ve placed some inspiration taken from my Flickr group called Interior Styling. Members are invited to post edited and styled rooms and corners of rooms, it’s a very sweet group and a nice place to take a break during the week to flip through all of the images submitted there. I hope that you’ll bookmark it, or join, and visit regularly.
I see a theme above — lots of greens, blues, yellows… so soothing and cozy.
(images linked to their sources above)
I’m delighted to share the work of English illustrator Alice Melvin today. Alice grew up in northeast England but today calls Edinburgh, Scotland her home – a place I long to travel to since Scotland has long fascinated me. Her work is inspired by a love of creatures both on land and in the sky along with text and pattern and everyday objects like teacups. How nice.
Alice adores paper and the process of screen printing images by hand which is still an integral part of her work — in fact the entire production process is her “thing” and so she produces lots of her own work from start to finish. She even makes fantastic cut-out kits and sells them in her online shop. I’m guessing that Alice is trying to promote the process of making through such kits, it only makes sense that she wants to share the act of creating something by hand with her adoring fans. There is so much joy that comes from making something with your own two hands and the best thing about crafting something is that your self confidence grows the more you practice and produce. In addition to her online store, Alice also sells her work in shops like Plaisir, where I originally learned about Alice.
Aren’t these bird stamps wonderful? I want to order some to stick on journals and cards.
“Her first book An A to Z Treasure Hunt was published by Tate in 2007 and was an interactive alphabet book for children. Since then she has worked with the Tate on a second children’s title, Counting Birds, and two children’s merchandise ranges. Alice continues working with a range of clients as well as developing her own products and prints. Her hand printed artists’ books are held in private and public collections including: British Library, Tate, and Centre for Fine Print Research at University West of England Bristol.”
I hope you have enjoyed examining Alice’s portfolio with me for a moment — you can see lots more on her gorgeous website.
(images: alice melvin)
I’m so impressed and feeling quite creative after reviewing my mile long list of “people to blog” because I have collected many amazing creatives out there that I can’t wait to share with you over the next few weeks! I have to show you the work of Swedish photographer Pia Ulin today. And while I’m at it, I’m going to share some ideas from each collection I’ve pulled below with some of my own tips on decorating, styling and even some notes on relaxation. I think this is a nice Friday post… :)
Try this at home: Paint your heat registers jet black, collect glass vessels on your windowsill, try mixing gold with indigo blue, craft a big flower-like piece of art for your wall.
Pia is based in Stockholm and is represented both in Sweden by Agent Bauer and in New York by Thomas/Treuhaft. I’ve had several editors contact the photographers that I’ve featured on decor8, so if you are from a magazine (or anyone else out there sourcing for a great photographer) Pia is a great one to consider. She has some gorgeous work on her website — my favorites shown come mostly from her interiors portfolio though I managed to slide a few lifestyle shots in the mix to create a little more visual interest.
Try this at home: Pair two coffee tables from the same collection in two different sizes, collect lace doilies and with a little starch craft them into pretty bowls, place framed art on your kitchen counter, stack some magazines and top with a candle placed a little to the left (or right, just not dead center).
Try this at home: White dinnerware always works and as you can see above, you can change the palette of your dinner table quite easily since you don’t need to work off of the patterns and colors of your china to create a theme. Why not have a few sets of dinnerware, one patterned or with color and another in fresh white? Why not? Also, add green to your home to give it some life – there are some beautiful plants out there that don’t require a green thumb to maintain and look lovely placed in the right vessel.
Try this at home: Don’t be afraid to display some of your prettiest dresses and smartest shirts in your bedroom. I always air dry my silk blouses by hanging them on the rod above my window and love how the patterns look in the room through the filtered light. If you have a few favorite pieces, photograph them in your bedroom and see if you can create some pretty photos for either your blog or personal collection of images. Lay a dress casually on a bed. Take a few dresses on hangers that look nicely together and layer them against a door. Hang a gorgeous dress in the window from the rod. This exercise can also help you to see what certain colors and patterns can do to a room, often a dress hanging on your closet door can wake you up to a stunning new palette for the bedroom. Oh and try to use linen, whenever possible, in your home. It breaths so well and drapes beautifully. On tables, as tea towels, on beds, curtains, shower curtains… and it’s such a forgiving, durable fabric.
Try this at home: Remember when you were little and still in grade school and the teacher called a “time out”? That usually meant you were to put your head down on your desk and take about 10 minutes to nap, day dream… as long as the pencils were down and you were not talking. Sometimes, as adults, we need to take a time out during our work day. If you are at home working from your office there, get up and stretch, pour yourself some hot tea, sit on your porch, or simply put your head on your desk for 10 minutes and just chill out. Relaxation promotes creativity. If you want better, more authentic ideas you must take some time out moments each day. Why do you think the French are so creative? It’s those lingering lunch breaks! Another tip, if you are showing a photo of your bathroom on your blog or in a magazine, fill it with bubbles and a plop a big sponge on the rim — nothing more inviting that that!
Lots of these shots where stylist by Stella Nicolaisen, whom I’ve talked about before on decor8. I hope that you enjoy my picks today from Pia’s magical portfolio and I hope that you’ll visit her website to view many more gorgeous photos that are not shown here.
(images: pia ulin)
Are you familiar with the work of American pro photographer Philip Ficks? I first discovered him back when I was writing for Cookie magazine, but he has also appeared in other publications like Real Simple and has shot for clients that I love like Hable Construction as well. His still life work is my favorite, you can see some of what I like below but you’ll need to visit his portfolio online to access all of his beautiful photographs for your viewing pleasure today. :)
Philip Ficks was raised in Cincinnati and studied painting and then went on to study graphic design at Parsons. In New York, he worked as an art director for 10 years, most recently at Real Simple. While working with so many photographers over the years, he felt drawn to their work and realized his own unique ability to express his vision and creativity through this medium so he transitioned from art director to photographer. Great story, isn’t it? He currently lives and works in Brooklyn and works with a diverse group of clients ranging from editorial to advertising and commercial.
I love stories like these… people changing directions and trying new careers and finding success. It’s lovely and definitely flattens the old school way of thinking — studying something and sticking to it for life no matter how much you’d prefer to be doing something else! Why bother? Transition and move forward! Those of us who have done this are happier for it, this is a fact!
(images: philip ficks)