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Project Runway {and the winner is…}

I can’t close up shop today without quickly mentioning tonight’s fierce finale of Project Runway. Though most complained that contestants were far too nice, this season showed us the best talent and that maintaining professionalism (for the most part) and showing personal interest in others, some designers even helping their competitors, shows strength not weakness. This batch of designers proved themselves to be quite secure in their craft, though a few doubted themselves and allowed the “production” of it all to cloud their better judgment. I felt an authentic group of designers this season who successfully translated their personal style into their projects despite the many curve balls thrown.

The moment Christian, Rami, Chris, and Jillian met up after months of being apart, I felt a positive energy that was motivating and inspiring. Let’s hear it for more fashion, less trashin’, and a dose of positivity and professionalism. I’m tired of seeing all this hate flying around on reality shows because bad behavior rarely produces anything good.

And how entertaining and crazy talented is Christian? Or what about the gifted detail-oriented Jillian? What about Rami and his gorgeous dresses? No matter who wins tonight, I hope that they’ve set a new bar for seasons to come — that “reality” doesn’t mean cold-hearted and rude in any industry. Here on the web amongst my blogger friends and fellow decorators, designers, and other creative types, this isn’t our reality. We each make progress by lending our support. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What about the final three? Any predictions? When it comes to manners, skill, detail, listening to clients, personal style, professionalism, and actual work experience (okay, everything) Jillian is a complete package and can win this. Then you have the unforgettable Christian, he’s one hot designer and a real crowd-pleaser so there’s an equally good chance he’ll take it. And the boy can out sew even the best of them. Rami is another strong talent. Either way, I see all three walking away with a bright career ahead of them, so at this point all three have won this one.

Anyone have any comments to leave about PR Season 4? Who do you think will win? Jillian, Christian, or Rami?

(image from bravo television)

Posted in inspiration, small business on March 05, 2008

Podcast with Matte Stephens

We all love Matte, but do we really know him? Well you’re about to. If you’re a fan of his colorful work filled with whimsical creatures then you’ll enjoy this podcast with him hosted by Creative Thursday that just went live last night. It’s just over an hour but well worth the time since Matte talks all about how artists make a living, a great topic for the times! With all the creative types out there looking to get started doing their own thing or for established artists in need of some encouragement (and tips) to keep going, it’s a terrific podcast to listen in on!


Great job Marisa and Matte! And for those of you interested, Matte also has an etsy store with nearly 1,500 items sold since it launched just one year ago this month. He is a bright shooting star with fans worldwide — one to watch!

(images from matte stephens)

Posted in inspiration, small business on February 28, 2008

DaWanda Pinboard

Dawanda invited me a few months ago to pull together a pinboard of 20 of decor8’s favorite finds on their site, but I got a little carried away and pulled together 70.


Of course, I needed to shrink the list so here are my 20 favorite finds that are currently being sold by DaWanda artists. :) I hope that you enjoy it and that you take some time today to browse their website.

(images from dawanda)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, small business on February 22, 2008

DaWanda Anyone?

I’ve blogged about Berlin-based indie super store DaWanda before, but a quick show of hands… Do you shop DaWanda? If not then I’ll try to entice you with a quick snapshot of a few of my favorite DaWanda shop owners. I love Etsy so I’m always talking about them, but with so many other great indie shops online I don’t want to ignore anyone. What I think sets DaWanda apart is that they’re based in Berlin so they attract more small business owners based in Europe. Plus, their site is in German, French, and English — a very attractive perk as well. And when it comes to payment, many offer Paypal but most accept bank transfers which is the most common payment method in Europe. The overall aesthetic feels slightly different, too. Here are some of my favorites, see what you think… :)

Prints and cards from Ted + Rose Design with terrific graphics and bright happy colors. Yellow, pink, and animal motifs – how can we not like ‘em?

Andrea from Pequenio Craft in Argentina simply loves paper (especially Japanese papers) and with this paper passion she creates everything from stickers to brooches and prints. The colors she uses are beautiful, they really lure me in. I love her sweet little handcrafted girls, so sweet!

These are concept bags are new and sold in Thailand by a group of independent designers and they’re now available in their Made In Spire DaWanda store. The bags are only 15- Euro, free shipping, and come with free pins to coordinate with the pattern on the bag so that the bag has some dimension to it and stands out as unique.

Falling down a rabbit hole I landed in the imaginative world of Isabella’s Art, a Dutch artist inspired by fairy tales and silhouette art. There are so many prints to choose from, all very affordable and each telling a unique story.

In addition to all sorts of crafty things, Lady Dilema from Spain makes these great shirts with ties — super cute!

Anything made by Enna in Hannover, Germany makes me happy. I met her last year and toured her retail store (so sweet, click here to view it), and she even taught me how to make my own stamps for designing fabric (our project here, don’t laugh). I can’t wait to get back over to Germany to see her again this year!

DaWanda asked me last year if I’d pull together a pinboard for their site and since I only recently had time to do that, it will go live on their homepage soon. Yay! When that occurs, I’ll be sure to post a link here on decor8. It will link you to over 50 of my favorite DaWanda sellers which just may become yours as well. :)

(images linked above to sellers)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, small business on February 21, 2008

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.

eCourses:

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