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Small Business

Home Tours, Inspiration, Small Business

Crafty Home Studio Space

February 9, 2009

Speaking of spaces where women create, Tamar from Nest Pretty Things in Vermont contacted me over the weekend with photos of her newly designed arts and crafts studio – it’s full of positivity and warmth! I’ve been thinking about having my own room again dedicated to creative pursuits, an idea that I plan to put into motion in the months ahead. It also means I will have to move but I’m okay with that because I’ve realized that I can no longer accept my current space as being sufficient enough. It’s not, I need the space. I work from home, it’s important to have plenty of room for the many projects I have my hands in right now. I fantasize about how I want my dream room to look, I can see it so clearly… but until I can touch this dream I’m living through others, planning, thinking, and saving money!

Do you currently have a “you” room in your home? If so, would you like to link to it below in the comments section? If you do not, tell me about your dream room or point me to a photo of it online. I’d love to see and exchange some inspiration today! You can see more images and read about her studio space here.

Thank you Tamar for sharing!

(images from tamar at nest decorating)






Small Business

iPod Touch: Your Thoughts?

December 22, 2008

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but when it comes to gadgets I’m in the stone age. My phone is not very exciting, it’s old and lots of the keys do not work. And while my desktop computer is swanky, my laptop is far from cool. What made me wake up to the fact that my gadgets aren’t very current has to do with a young girl seated nearby on my flight home. You can learn a lot from a college student. She was sitting there enjoying videos and TV shows on her iPod and there I was with my prehistoric iPod Classic, well perhaps it is called the super classic or something because it has no color and can only play music and podcasts. I’ve used it for several years now and felt quite content with the way things were up until my flight home. I felt so out of touch, like I should be wearing mom jeans and a scrunchie, but more than that, kind of ticked because I wanted to watch sitcoms and music videos like college girl.

When I got home, I contacted my Mac geek friend in Luxembourg and he suggested the iPod Touch 30 Gig so I  ordered it. It will arrive on Wednesday, the day I will officially rank a few points higher on the hip-o-meter. I rarely let others influence my purchases but I’m glad I did this time because I think this little gadget will be helpful for me and I love the fact that I can access the web on it and Facebook because I’m ADDICTED to it.

I know this isn’t a gadget blog, but I have to ask… Does anyone have the iPod Touch and if so, would you like to leave a review? I’m always interested in what my friends have to say about products so I’d appreciate your feedback. I’m especially interested in small business tips and ways that it may be able to help me in that respect.

(image from mac)






Arts + Crafts, Small Business

New: Project Announcement – Kindred

November 17, 2008

The best things in life are often FREE… :) I’m very excited to share a new project under the name Kindred. I’ve teamed up with Heather “Ez” Pudewa from Creature Comforts because we share many of the same dreams and passions and feel as though we are kindred spirits, though we’ve never met in person we have a strong online (and telephone) friendship that really means a lot to us. We thought it would be fun to work on mini projects together, collaborating with artists in the process, and sharing the results with all of you. That’s what Kindred is all about…

The first and current project under Kindred is called, “Wallpapered Together.? Through this project we hope to:

  • Bring a seasonally curated selection of art and photography to your desktop on a quarterly basis.
  • Show our ongoing support of the independent online community by sharing the work of 5-8 accomplished and budding talents per quarter (at no charge to the artists or to you).
  • Share some of our favorite talents with the many friends we’ve made online over the years – a little way of saying thanks to you, our blog readers.

The artists participating in this season?s lineup of wallpapers were asked to create around the theme, “Winter: Dreams.” We see winter as a joyous time but also a resting period, when nature takes a much needed break, people slow down, much hot chocolate is enjoyed by warm fires, and time is spent considering plans for the new year…dreaming of what will come. The artists who have joined us for the launch of this exciting project are listed below. You can find their individual desktop wallpapers along with more information about them, their inspiration for the image, a few dreams of their own, and of course download instructions here.

Many of you, like us, may have your own kindred spirits online, those who encourage, share, motivate, comfort… Kindred is a mini celebration of such friendships formed inside the delicate and vast online web, showing the power of friendship and how kindred spirits can pull together to do creative and fun things all in out of love for art and design. Happiness truly comes from giving and receiving, Kindred is our gift to share with all of you. Enjoy!

A special thanks to Jen, Samantha, Tara, Kerry, Marie-Klara for helping us with the launch — we love your wallpapers and couldn’t have done it without your participation!

See the wallpaper gallery and download your favorites right here.

Psst: You can expect additional desktop wallpapers in a few months, our Spring release of Wallpapered Together will be sometime mid March. Summer will release in June and Autumn in September. Stay tuned!

(images from kindred)






Objects, Small Business

Bed Crumb {New!}

October 31, 2008

I recently heard from Heidi from Bed Crumb (cutest name!) in the UK and so I have to spread the good word in case you do not know about it already… so sweet! Heidi just launched Bed Crumb, an online shop where she sells exclusive range of home accessories and gifts, her specialty is a cozy range of cushions combining original illustrations and contemporary textile design.

It was her experience in commercial fashion and textile design which sparked her interest in following a dream — to combine her background in the industry with a desire to own a small business where she could exercise her creativity freely, without restraint. This is how Bed Crumb was born. Heidi digitally prints her illustrations onto silk and then adds both vintage and new textiles, trims and other accessories to adorn them, each one-of-a-kind, handmade in her small studio.

I absolutely love hearing stories like this because it takes a lot of guts to change the direction in which you’ve been sailing along, comfortably, for many years. I applaud anyone who does this, I did it and trust me coming from experience, it IS HARD WORK. You think you work hard when you work ‘for the man’. Running your own business isn’t 40, 50, or even a 60 hour per week dedication, it’s a 24/7 dedication because even when you are not working your business and keeping it fresh and afloat is constantly occupying your mind. That is why I say it takes guts because it’s not always easy to pursue your passions on paper as it is in your mind, you know how you imagine it to be. When I see people like Heidi who are new in the indie community working hard to promote their business, I cannot feel but a special affection (and admiration) for them.

Congratulations Heidi on following your dreams and all the best on your new business. Three words for you Heidi: YOU GO GIRL.

And readers, Heidi ships worldwide and she is currently looking to do wholesale so if you are a small shop owner please contact her if you like what you see here. :)

(images from bed crumb)






Arts + Crafts, Inspiration, Small Business

New: Violet

October 22, 2008

I’m so excited to write this as two of my favorite artists, Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker in G?teborg, Sweden recently moved into a working studio together that they’ve called Studio Violet. Studio Violet has a blog, web store (they ship worldwide) and a website. I have to admit, when I stumbled upon this news today while reading Camilla’s blog I felt butterflies inside because I really LOVE their studio space and the current products they have for sale in their shop. Have you ever looked at something and said, “That is just SO me”? Okay good so you know how I feel about Violet.

New: Violet

So far, Camilla and Elisabeth have collaborated on a few products together and no doubt more will follow, but for now I’m especially enjoying the Friends of Violet poster (which I’ve already ordered for my apartment because the color palette totally fits my place). Isn’t it sweet?

As you know because I’ve mentioned it a gadzillion times here already but in the future I have big dreams of opening a shop/arts & crafts gallery & workshop center with a friend so I imagine that for these ladies this is a very exciting goal to have reached… together. I’m sure they dreamt of this moment too. I love seeing talented women find one another and work together in such a beautiful productive way.

New: VioletNew: VioletNew: VioletNew: Violet

Congratulations to them and to all ladies (and gents) reading who are collaborating on projects. This seems to be a growing trend in the independent arts and crafts world right now, though I hate calling it a trend as they come and go… hopefully collaborating sticks around for a very long time because it’s really taking off and so far I’m hearing nothing but positive reports. I hope to see more and more talented people pulling together to make their dreams come true.

(images from elisabeth dunker)






Etsy Faves, Objects, Small Business, Stationery

Avie Paper Products

October 10, 2008

I meet a lot of people who have websites or shops on sites like Etsy and DaWanda but they do not have a business card. Let’s all work together to change this okay? Maybe indie artists and designers feel uncomfortable passing them around but really it’s how we can maintain contact with those we meet on the street. Don’t be shy! It’s okay to be proud of your business and to share what you’re doing that makes your little heart sing and beat extra hard!

Avie Paper Products

I think women tend to hold back a little sometimes, don’t you? Maybe the idea is that? offering a business card comes across as desperate or aggressive perhaps? Do you think that this is the case? I don’t believe so. I think people want to know who we are and how they can reach us after the conversation if they need to. Most of us are so forgetful and busy that cards actually help us to remember prior conversations. Many times I’ve had great conversations with people and days later wished I could remember their name but because they didn’t give me a business card and my memory failed me, I was unable to get in contact with them.

Avie Paper Products

When I spoke at the DaWanda blogging event a few weeks back in Berlin, lots of people asked me how to offer a business card in conversation without coming across a bit arrogant or pushy. I advised that you can simply hand someone your card after an introduction is made and say, “If you’d like to stay in touch or reach me online, here’s my card”, and that’s pretty much it. I find only about 40% of those I’m meeting in Germany who run a small business online have an actual business card. Many at the DaWanda event did not have a card and I wish they had because I met so many that I would have loved to have looked up online now.

Don’t have business cards… Now to get to the real meat of this post. How to change that for $15 or less! :)

Avie Paper Products

Meet Avis Wampler who runs Avie, a small paper goods company. Avis wrote to me last week to introduce her paper shop but I noticed that she contacted all the blogs so everyone wrote about her at once. I thought since she must have gotten hit with a lot of orders and traffic that I’d wait a week and blog about her today. Time to share her with the decor8 audience. :)

What I like about Avie’s shop is that she creates quick and easy calling cards that you can hand out to those who ask you where they can find you or the things that you make online.

Avie Paper Products

No name, no mailing address, no phone number, no problem… Just your website. Once there, people can find all the rest of that information anyway. If you don’t have a business card this is your chance for only $15. Remember if you don’t talk about (and share) what you do no one else will, right?

Avie Paper Products

She also stocks cards that have more information on them like the Bright Type Calling Cards and the Birdie Cards. I like how crisp and clean they are.

Avie Paper Products

There are also pretty 2009 calendars if you aren’t currently looking for business cards and graphic notepads… Too cute. Avie we love your shop!

(images from avie)






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