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Absoluut Pillows

Say hello to my new pillows straight from Amsterdam. Thanks to Danielle over at the Style Files who blogged recently about Absoluut (that’s with two u’s and no vodka is involved), these retro babies belong to me. And no, I haven’t a clue where I’ll put them, but like most of my spontaneous web purchases, I’ll make it work. Don’t you love the texture of this fabric and the bold, bright graphics? Absoluut has many to select from, and for $25 each, you can’t afford not to find a few to perk up your space.


(images from absoluut)

Posted in textiles on March 30, 2007

Pippa Caley + Not on the High Street

Pippa Caley is a lady whom I’d love to meet. Pippa is interesting and stylish, her embroidered and screen-printed cushions and wall papels speak volumes about just how cool she is. Outside of her work, I found her inspiration board imaginative and colorful, a glimpse into her world.

Pippa’s inspiration board

You can learn a lot about a person when you ‘see’ what they’re thinking. People that are highly visual give you an immediate glimpse into their soul. Just a glimpse though, not much more. :) Knowing a creative type is such a pleasure, so satisfying, instant gratification in a sense, don’t you think? You need not spend hours in conversation, you may never even meet them in person. Just looking at their photography, their inspiration board, their work – you can learn so much about what makes them tick. My husband calls this ‘Alternate Words’, it’s a way of hearing a story, learning about someone, through an alternate means. Often through the eyes, but also through smell, touch, or sound (music, not the spoken word). Telling a story without using words (spoken or written), can impact the soul and spark the imagination. Unlike a novel or movie where most of the details are laid before you, photography, art, and other highly visual forms of expression gives the viewer a lot of creative freedom – you can tap into your imagination, pull new ideas, and as a result, walk away inspired. Whatever the case, Pippa and her body of work, certainly accomplishes this.

As a graduate of the Royal College of Art, her collection of textiles for the home really speak to me. I love that she’ll take your vintage photographs and create a bespoke product exclusively for you to enjoy. This actually reminds me a lot of Michelle Caplan and her mixed media artwork, someone I’ve been purchasing art from since ’05. I love seeing vintage photography used so creatively, especially since surrounding yourself with photos of those that have been a guiding force in your life is such a positive addition to your home, and certainly is a less traditional approach to showcasing your favorite photos. It’s almost visual storytelling… A glimpse of your past.

You can also shop the Pippa Caley collection online at Not on the High Street, an amazing treasure chest of a store with goods from so many talented artists, mostly based in the UK.

Psst: Ms. Caley even has some really cute tea towels too. :)

(images from pippa caley)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, textiles on March 19, 2007

Living with Panache

Have you heard of eBay seller, Living with Panache? They offer bold, graphic wall hangings, shades, and pillows using fabrics from the great Florence Broadhurst, Marimekko, Ljungbergs, Sanden and Alexander Henry. Just think, with a $10 lighting kit, you can transform a shade into a pendant in a snap! Items can be purchased from either their current listings or made to order according to your specifications.

Great selection, they ship worldwide, and I think their prices are reasonable. Of course, they use some of my favorite patterns, so they were an insta-fave from the start for me. I’m totally bookmarking them for future projects.

Psst: Living with Panache also has a gallery located at 1 Kenrick Street inn Newcastle, Australia. Another example of an independent shop owner stretching their wings and expanding to the online space. Fantastic!

(images from living with panache)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, textiles, vintage on March 16, 2007

Ljungbergs Textiles (Sweden)

I love to learn the history behind some of my favorite companies because their beginnings are often based on real experiences that I can relate to as a freelancer; passion, struggle, determination, a genuine love for the trade, and a willingness to reach ones personal best, no matter how hard or how uphill it may seem at times.

It’s one thing to be a writer or a design consultant. Quite another to own your own printery like one of my favorite textile manufacturers, Ljungbergs. I imagine the process of perfecting the prints, fine tuning the colors, hiring trained staff, operating large machinery, all of it must take a great deal of patience and much time to ‘get right’. Especially since being the best printer means being an absolute perfectionist.

Ljungbergs is a printery founded by Erik Ljungberg in 1949, one of the most skilled textile printers in Sweden in his time. Ljungberg was hired by Svenskt Tenn to produce Josef Frank fabrics, which are still in production today, all hand printed and gorgeous. Long after Ljungberg passed in 1983, his dream lives on and the printing continues.

One bit I didn’t know about Ljungbergs is that they not only take on large commissions, but will gladly work with anyone on a small project, printing patterns on cotton or linen. Another interesting fact is that they have a showroom in Stockholm, Area, and an outlet store in Floda, not far from G?teborg. If you ever hear I’m visiting Sweden, you know where to find me.

Ljungbergs shares a brief history behind their signature fabric, which I found completely fascinating. “Signed Textiles took its start in 1954 when the Swedish department store NK launched a new collection of fabrics for the expanding public sector in Sweden. The idea was to improve the status of textile design as an art form by letting the artists sign their work. The copyright regulations regarding art work at this time was still neglected.”
Learn more about their signature fabric here.

Like most of you, my best ideas flow freely when I see something I connect with on some level, no matter how small or insignificant the same item may be to someone else, it doesn’t matter because it’s my experience and what I take away from it that gives me the inspiration I need. I’m certain you process things much the same. I’m a very tactile and expressive person, so I love fabric because I can not only touch it for instant pleasure, but also shape and sew it into many different forms so it can serve as something pleasing to the eye, functional, or both – allowing me to express myself. When I see a pattern that stimulates my mind, ideas flow so freely that I have to write them all down to keep up. The textiles that Ljungbergs prints sends my brain into absolute overdrive.


How do you respond to prints and patterns?

(images from ljungbergs)

Posted in shopping, textiles, travel on March 15, 2007

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:

Next dates

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