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Inspired By: A Fine Frenzy

I rarely devote an entire post to music but last night I went to one of the best alternative/indie concerts here in Hannover that I’ve seen in a while, A Fine Frenzy aka Alison Sudol a talented singer/songwriter/pianist from America. My husband wrote a really sweet review of it this morning on his blog (and he wrote about the pursuit of perfection in his post, you may really enjoy reading it).

I cannot possibly top his words I’ll just keep it simple and say that I really, really enjoyed Alison’s performance and encourage you to check out A Fine Frenzy, buy her CD “One Cell in the Sea”, and support this girl because she is brilliant. She’s touring Europe right now, you may be able to catch her live if you’re on this side of the pond. Tour dates here.

Her lyrics are magical, her voice is like silk, and her energy and enthusiasm for music is completely inspiring. She’s charming and gracious and seems to really enjoy speaking to her audience, another highlight for me since attending shows where the band barely speaks except to announce the title of their next song can make me feel like I’m sitting behind a wall of glass. Them. Me. Alison is welcoming and also very modest, she acts and dresses like a lady — I respect that about her style. Last night I felt like I was in Alison’s living room hanging out watching her play her piano despite the fact that I was in the 16th row in a very packed theater. She called Hannover a, “beautiful city” and thanked the audience for making someone very far from home (west coast) feel quite “at home”. That pleased me immensely.

If you love twinkle lights, warm cozy evenings at home, a fire… A bit of magic and whimsy, you will adore Alison’s music. Here is the song she opened with last night, Come On Come Out. Turn up your speakers and enjoy.

Psst: Alison designed the sweetest t-shirts for her tour, get yours here.

(images from a fine frenzy)

Posted in inspiration, textiles on November 19, 2008

Etoile Home

So the hunt for the crochet blanket ends… I featured Etoile Home in London awhile back but when owner Shani wrote in recently to announce new products and a special sale page, I just HAD to share. Okay there’s another reason… a bit of a selfish motive. See this blankie?

…. This bedroom was featured once in Living Etc magazine and I’ve saved in in my inspiration file for like, ever. I tried desperately to locate this blanket and I tracked down Designers Guild UK as the source. BUT they no longer carry it. Poo, just my luck. Today things changed. Etoile Home not only has it, well pretty much a carbon copy at least, but it’s on sale. Score! Now I’m wondering if I should just go for it or not. The dollar is getting stronger up against the pound… And that sure does look purrty there on that bed, now doesn’t it?

You know maybe I should just go for it, it’s the perfect size and it’s on sale… I just hope that Etoile Home ships to Germany!

Did you notice? Not only do they carry my beloved blanket but you can find fabulously eclectic pillows, bedding, kitchen linens, fabric off the bolt, etc. As I looked over the photos I thought of how lovely they were styled and you know what, Shani Beadle (owner) is a well known fashion and interiors photographer and stylist in London (by way of Canada) which explains everything, now doesn’t it?

(top image from livingetc all others from etoile home)

Posted in bedroom, shopping, textiles on November 06, 2008

Bed Crumb {New!}

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)

Posted in small business, textiles on October 31, 2008

Helena Carrington

Helena Carrington is a textile designer and illustrator based in Norwich, England. Inspired by travel and culture, especially Italian; the architecture, streets, colors, and textures, she designs illustrative and photographic digitally printed interior textiles, accessories (such as pillows), photography and art/illustration pieces.

Helena uses both digital and screen printing to produce unique designs with a sense of place, whether it’s through illustrative buildings or an Italian car on a pillow for example. I just love her aesthetic, it’s quirky and fun, bright, unique. I can get a feeling for her personality through her work and I think she would be a really fun travel companion!

You can find Helena’s work online at the new Folksy or in her Etsy shop. I really like her inspiration – her trips to Paris, Italy… How nice!

(images from helena carrington)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, textiles on October 30, 2008

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