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Bonnie Tsang Photography

A found out about Los Angeles-based photographer Bonnie Tsang a few moments ago from Utterly Engaged and I fell for her blog instantly. You’ll really love it. What an amazing lady with an eye for beauty and of course, exceptionally talented — you can tell when a seasoned photographer is behind the lens. Here’s but a glimpse of her work… to see more please refer to her site.

Bonnie Tsang Photography

Bonnie Tsang Photography

Bonnie is so creative, which explains her popularity — I love her angles and what she picks to zoom in, it’s fascinating to me to study her images and see what she seems to be highlighting or what mood she’s trying to capture. Lovely!

(images: bonnie tsang photography)

Posted in inspiration on September 29, 2009

All In The Details…

I have a few lovely pages to share with you sent in by Melinda, designer/owner of Dandi in Australia, who recently assisted Wedding Style Guide (leading Australian bridal magazine that looks divine) with some gorgeous products and ideas for a wedding theme. People generally don’t think of a wedding magazine as anything they’d pick up unless they are getting married or helping to plan one, but I refer to them constantly as a source of decorating ideas and for color palette and pattern inspiration in addition to styling ideas for parties. I find some of the most exquisite color medleys in bridal magazine spreads so I insist on finding a good bridal magazine and subscribing to it because it can really help train your eye and develop your own personal style and creativity. I believe the more you look at beautiful, well edited and carefully styled things, the more you are training your eye for good design and you may even start to see your own wardrobe, home and even food preferences improve. I notice that after several years in this profession, my taste (which was a bit all over the place when I started), finally developed into a coherent style that fits me and my personality and lifestyle perfectly.

Wedding Style Guide

I always had good taste in things like most of you, but I needed to refine and trim and work out exactly what my own personal style statement really was so that when I shop or flea market or anything else, I’m not carrying home things that I liked in-store but that do not work in my home. Some people are always very surprised at how I am able to do this but it comes from years of training in addition to being born with a certain fascination for decorating that became evident to my family when I was a very young girl who was obsessed with decorating and constantly flea marketing and shopping at my mother’s side — trading in trips to amusement parks and waterslides to accompany her instead or sitting by her side watching her patiently sew for hours — everything from shower curtains to drapes to the clothes that I wore. My mother was a domestic goddess and I was happy to be in-training by her side. She also loved to landscape and was known in our neighborhood for having the best yard ever. When I’d go outside to look for her, it wasn’t uncommon to find her chatting up the neighbors, giving them planting tips on on her knees in their yard showing them how to arrange and plant things. She was also trained in her twenties as a floral designer, so we had flowers in our home at all times. I was also very keen on the neighborhood paper goods shop and would blow my entire allowance every Friday on Japanese “Sanrio” products from pencils to smelly erasers and diaries. Then I’d head to the bookshop to buy books and magazines. Hey, it was the 80s.

In fact, all I ever wanted when I was really young was to have my own home one day – I didn’t think about having babies, playing mommy and I gave little thought back then to having a husband or even a career as much as I thought about how fun it would be to have an entire house to decorate and “play” in. I’m sure many of you can recall your own memories of when you were very young, before you had external influences to tell you to be “this or that” profession, when all you loved to do was play “house” or be a mommy. It’s fun to think about how those days influence who you are now and what you like. As I grew older, my preferences remained strong on decorating and moving the furniture all over the house, but then I learned how to read and write and would spend hours (after decorating and cleaning and perfectly arranging everything in my room) writing in my journals or making my own little books with my horrible illustrations. I learned early on that I would not be an illustrator, but I still loved to try. And because I hated doing homework, the only way I could do it was to “teach” it before my class of stuffed animals lined up on my bed with name tags. It’s no surprise that I still love all of these things. Blogging, in particular, has helped me immensely when it comes to getting in touch with what I loved to do as a child. In school, particularly high school and college, I lost touch with who I really was deep inside because I just needed to get a job, pay the bills, and work. And I did this for many years until I decided to get back in touch with my first loves, I guess you could say. And from there, things have gone so well. I find that once you do what you were sorta created to do in life, things just flow… And you start to really figure stuff out. Like personal style. You wouldn’t believe how greatly personal joy and happiness affects your ability to get in touch with your personal style and to know yourself. Now what does all this have to do with an Australian wedding magazine? I’m getting there…. :)

Decorators, designers, stylists and people with good taste in general train this by carefully choosing, knowing their style, and often carrying with them swatches from things in their home so that when they shop there isn’t a bad decision made that one pays for later. There is not much more of a secret to shopping than that – honestly. To know thyself… this is the way to avoid picking up things that you don’t like when you get home. So! This is why I always encourage people to surround themselves with things and places and even people that inspire their own creativity, happiness and help them to train their eye so that there is a greater sense of peace when at home amongst all these “things” collected out in ones journey. And having a good solid collection of books and magazines that reflect YOUR vision is vital to all this as well. So next time you see a beautiful bridal magazine with a focus on tabletop decorating, floral arrangements, favors, etc. don’t pass it by discarding it as not applicable. It is! It is! If you’re not convinced, head to a magazine rack and see if you can be swayed… Check out wedding blogs too (they’re magnificent resources with often über creative authors) Or simply view these shots within this post. I particularly love the styling but also the colors (yellow and aqua, which has to be one of my favorite color combos) and ideas in general. Have a look, I think that Melinda did a beautiful job.

Wedding Style Guide

You can visit the Wedding Style Guide website for more goodies and thank you Melinda for sending me these gorgeous images to share here today!

(images: wedding style guide)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on September 25, 2009

Hotze Eisma: Photographer

Hotze Eisma is an amazing photographer in the Netherlands who has worked with some very special clients in some of the most beautiful interiors in the world. The spaces shown in Hotze’s portfolio are stunning, unique and have been spotted in some of the world’s best publications. You may even recognize a few.

Hotze Eisma

Hotze Eisma

Hotze Eisma

You can purchase some of these photographs if you are a company or publication interested in interior and travel photos… You simply go to the production that interests you and then click on the PDF download to view all the images from that particular shoot and then contact Hotze directly for the details. I personally love the lighting and mood in each of these photographs, there is a real feeling here that makes you want to know these people, dine with them… A cozy feeling that I love so much. You can view more from this stunning portfolio here.

(images: hotze eisma)

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Posted in inspiration on September 23, 2009

Color Me Pretty

Hello Friends! It’s me, Leslie again with Color Me Pretty. Today I am inspired by Japanese stationery supplies and colors like peacock blue, chartreuse, golden yellow, creamy white and a little dark brown. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a brief trip to Japan a couple weeks ago and I wanted to share my inspirations with you. I spent hours, yes hours, in stationery stores all over Tokyo. I just could not get enough of the pens, papers, tapes and stamps. We all have our weaknesses and one of my big ones is Japanese stationery and craft supplies!

Color Me Pretty

Peacock blue (a really dark turquoise) looks stunning in home decor, especially when paired with a lighter shade of turquoise. Add a little chartreuse or avocado to the mix and you have one of my favorite color combinations!

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

This time I also brought in a little golden yellow and some dark brown as Fall is settling in here. If it is Spring where you are, a lighter shade of yellow works well too. In grad school, I upholstered an old Scandinavian sofa that was given to me in a fabulous peacock blue velvet. It sounds kind of scandalous as I write this but it actually looked amazing against the white washed walls of my apartment! Today, my dear sofa is in storage but I still love turquoise accents around my home!

Color Me Pretty

Color Me Pretty

I can only hope that one or some of these photos may inspire you to start a creative project for yourself. I love the month of September because to me it feels like the time for a fresh start. Time to do something new or to get back to things that have been on hold. It is nice to decide to stay home in the evenings and focus on what we want to create. Maybe it could be a journal that incorporates collage. How about an album of just inspiring photographs or of you at your happiest and most fulfilled moments instead of just the usual chronological one? Design files and small home improvement projects can be fun to tackle too. Whatever gets you moving and creating.

Thank you for your support of my column and I can’t wait to see you back here again soon! -Leslie Shewring

(images: leslie shewring)


Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty, inspiration on September 21, 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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