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Elle Decoration South Africa

I’m on a magazine kick today, right? I can’t help it. Once I get on these topic rollercoasters I have a hard time breaking free. My current fascination is with Elle Decoration South Africa because Heather Moore, an editor on their blog (thanks, Heather!), sent me an issue. I love it, especially this particular one shown on my table below with the cherry blossoms in all their glory on the cover. Flowering branches in the home, outside of rosemary and olive topiary trees and peonies, are my favorite things to put on display — though very hard to always find since they are seasonal and not all flower shops carry them even when they are in season. So when I cannot have real cherry blossoms, I will casually lay my pretty magazine on the coffee table to bring in these beautiful blooms.

Elle Decoration South Africa

This magazine is not only gorgeous on the outside but the guts of it are ever so tasty! It’s too good to pass up. Elle Decoration whether in SA or other countries, are all quite amazing publications. Nothing at all like Elle Decor (US) which is beautiful as well but on a very different level, much more high society I think. Elle Decoration, on the other hand, feels more creative and approachable to all income levels in my opinion, like a lot of the things you see you could almost reproduce yourself if you had the right color of paint or the patience to hand create something that inspired you.

Here’s a peek of ED South Africa Spring 2009 (current issue) below, these are my low res scanned copies but hey it’s some bait to entice you. To enjoy the full high res beauty and perfect photography on every page you’ll need to purchase a hard copy or visit their website. I particularly LOVED the home of stylist Tracy Lynch, the dresser below is her magical creation. Of course I love the use of doilies over the bed and all of the butterflies. It reminds me of the decor8 blog logo/template if interpreted into decor. :)

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Elle Decoration South Africa

Now let’s talk about magazines in general for a moment because like you, I’m addicted to them and I want to talk about why and what we can all do to keep magazines in circulation. First of course, to really help magazines we need to be careful about how much of their content we show on our blogs. If we scan in every page then no one will buy a hard copy, right? Though, I know this won’t sit well with some of you, but I had to say it. Think about it when you blog though. It matters.

And next, I must confess that when it comes to magazines I prefer print over digital sometimes because I think there is nothing better than holding a book and reading it or sitting on the sofa listening to your favorite music with a mag in hand that you’d saved for that exact moment.

Online, I have blogs and online mags that I go to for inspiration — but it’s a different medium and a different feeling altogether. Not better or worse, different. It’s like saying Italian food is better than Thai food. How can you say this if you love both equally. And that feeling of blog/online mag love is often centered around the fact that what I find online is often of-the-moment and so this often fuels my need to know about the best and latest. As a writer, I need to know these things to stay on top of what’s what in order to produce interesting content. Print publications, due to schedules and such, cannot generate content as quickly which is why most of your popular magazines have blogs with experienced editors writing about those must-have items that didn’t make it into the magazine.

But a print magazine is a bit of history in your hand, you can reference it at anytime in the future as long as you keep your copy in good shape. And the smell of paper, yum. Same goes for books. I could never get into reading books online or even on handheld devices kindle (sorry, kindlers out there) because I love the paper smell so much, holding something vs. scrolling through, and of course you cannot read everything online because not all you find it fact-checked, verified, or even true. Plus, it’s not always good for your vision to only read from your computer. Plus there is something long lasting about a book. You cannot (oops!) delete a book but you can delete a blog post by accident as I’ve done many times in the past – then that content is gone for good. You cannot fry a magazine but you can fry your harddrive. Things like that make me cherish print stuff in addition to the digital goodies.

I think blogs and books and magazines call all live happily together in the same universe though. I don’t think one needs to push out the other. Currently publishers are battling over this topic and some are really upset that blogs exist, others still don’t understand the fascination with blogs, and still others just want nothing to do but work with bloggers because they know that we have a powerful position here on the web with all of us pulling together to form this great big community of friends and colleagues. But I say both magazine and blog and digital mag can live in harmony.

To illustrate: People still go to the movie theater despite that they know in a few months the same film will release on DVD, which they can show in their home with their pimped out audio/visual system for a lot less money than a movie night out. But they still go see movies just the same. It’s a different experience — the crowds, the smell of popcorn, the sounds of others reacting to the picture before you. I love that moment when you enter your favorite newsstand and spot the latest issue of the magazine you anticipate each month. It’s a fleeting moment, but a moment just the same that matters and brings a burst of joy. I’m all about these mini bursts and love to feel excited over something now and then. That’s why I still love to see a movie on opening weekend vs. a month later. Of course, we’re all so different in this respect but this is how I see it.

Free Wallpaper

(download this as wallpaper here.)

But I’ll say it again and again on this blog, print magazines will always remain one of my favorite purchases to make and I’m very brand loyal to several ones out there. Which is why when Domino crashed and Blueprint fell apart, then all the others afterwards, I almost felt like there was something lost in the design community in the states that once drew us all together. There was, and still is I think, a HUGE hole that nothing else is filling with some of our favorite magazines gone. Whether that will change or not still remains to be seen. But certain movements or feelings or things, I believe, cannot be replaced and one just has to move on. Perhaps that whole Domino/Blueprint era was only a stepping stone. But it’s still sad. Often when my friends here ask me what magazines I miss the most from the states I cannot point to very many because most of my favorites folded. I want to encourage you to continue buying and supporting magazines you love even though you read tons of blogs. Print is really good, print is your friend. :) Sure, you can flip through them at the library or magazine stand, but if you really love and want to see your favorites stay around, buy them and encourage your friends to buy them too. A world without magazines would be a world that I hope I never have to live in! We have to work to make sure that this never happens.

Okay, I’m off for the day… I’ll spiral no more down into my rabbit hole of thoughts and dreams of what ifs and how cans. I’ll simply go out and buy a coffee and then, a magazine. :)

(images: holly becker scanned images from elle decoration south africa for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on September 16, 2009

Jana Orsolic: Eye Candy

Ivana is a reader from the UK who wrote to me about Jana Orsolic, a designer/art director from Serbia because she thought I’d love her blog. Well, thank you Ivana for the suggestion and you are right – it’s a great site with plenty of unique finds. It is written primarily in Serbian but also some English, but with links highlighted and lots of interesting photos, I found my way around just fine. First, I found her own gorgeous online portfolio

Jana Orsolic

Jana Orsolic

Jana Orsolic

Wow Jana! She does these amazing wish lists for a Serbian magazine called Sensa that covers topics related to women’s beauty and health and the importance of having a healthy, happy life. I found it interesting that it’s actually under the umbrella of G&J here in Germany, a huge international magazine company. Wow! I have to get my hands on a copy of the September issue (can anyone help me? I will return the favor with a beautiful German magazine)… what a gorgeously designed mag! Can you get enough of this, wow? Again, blowing me away…

fruit notes

On Jana’s blog she highlights numerous products and movies that catch her eye as an art director. That’s how I found out about these Fruit Notes from Japanese company D-Bros. Sorry, I have no clue where you can buy them online but wow, they are definitely fresh & juicy. I would love an apple or pear near my phone.

Jana if you’re reading this you’ve inspired me so much! I feel a connection to your work despite never have met you. I’m sure those reading this do too. Just seeing these layouts makes me feel so refreshed because I often imagine things like this in my head but fail to see them in the magazines I read. You make the connection that I long for… warmth, spirituality and organic beauty combined. Lovely!

(images: jana orsolic/sensa magazine, d-bros and sensa photos by Mihajlo Savic)


Posted in blogs, inspiration on September 15, 2009

Stylist Stella Nicolaisen

I came across the portfolio of stylist Stella Nicolaisen today thanks to a comment left by reader Anna Sterntaler (thanks, Anna!) and enjoyed viewing all the details in each creative scene. I think the teacups on gifts is my favorite idea and image, though this has a lot to do with all the tea that I buy (and consume!) and how pretty I think a dainty vintage teacup is both as a vessel and as somewhat of an art object. I also love the display set up in the white ceramic sink, so usual yet there’s a story there if you look close enough and allow your imagination to wander. I’m sure you’ll enjoy visiting Stella’s website today… Here is but a glimpse of all the beauty to be explored on her site.

Stella Nicolaisen

Stella Nicolaisen

Stella Nicolaisen

Beautiful and most certainly a stimulating collage of images for the senses… Makes the hands want to craft and create, the mind to explore, the heart to carry one away… wouldn’t you agree? When I see the work of a talented stylist, I immediately want to repurpose objects in my home, restyle something on a shelf, or run to a flea market to source some magical find for a corner in my home. I guess that is the point of viewing all of this talent each day — to stimulate imagination and creativity. :)

(images: stella nicolaisen)

Posted in inspiration on September 11, 2009

Ulrika Ekblom Photography

Ready for a hearty dose of visual inspiration? I was reading through one of my favorite design blogs this morning, Emmas designblogg (based in Stockholm), and came across a photographer that looked really interesting, Magnus Anesund. So I clicked over to the site and then clicked around some more and came across another photographer that I instantly fell head-over-heels for. Her name is Ulrika Ekblom and she is a food/lifestyle photographer and her photos completely touch me — some in an emotional way — like I feel like I’m in the scene or enjoying the weather in some of her outdoor photographs. Others simply make me hungry for the food that she is presenting so beautifully!

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Ulrika Ekblom

Her sense of color is astounding and her ability to capture natural light makes one feel present alongside her as she shoots. What a special talent she is and so inspirational. I hope that you’ll take time to look at her work here but also on the website where much more is featured, VOL, which happens to be her agent as well.

Do you have a favorite image above? Which one? Why? I am keen on the gingham tablecloth in aqua/white with the crumbled recipe and coffee stain… I keep going back to it for some reason that I’m finding a difficult time explaining. Perhaps it is the imperfect perfection. The casual beauty. I also love the first image, the lady presenting the delicious drinks upon a serving tray with the carnations. I think carnations get a bad rap but to me, especially when I find them in white, violet and pale pink, I see beauty and delicacy there — and all the folds are so feminine, like the bottom of a ruffled ballgown.

(images: ulrika ekblom for VOL)

Posted in inspiration, kitchen on September 10, 2009

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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