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Blog of the Week: Meet Marilyn Patrizio

July 24, 2006

Blog of the Week: Meet Marilyn Patrizio
Cruising the various flickr albums, as I always do when I’m looking for interesting new bloggers and crafters to feature here on decor8, I came across the quirky cute crochet Timmie, created by Brooklynite, Marilyn Patrizio. Timmie, who looks a bit like a muscle relaxer, is one of many darlings that Marilyn breathes to life, but her crochet creations are only one part of her world. She’s a fine artist, illustrator, animator, graphic design geek, blogger, photographer… There’s no much that Marilyn doesn’t dabble in. You’ve just got to meet her, so without further gushing, meet Marilyn Patrizio.

decor8: With your many interests, I’m trying to pin down exactly what you do for a living. What’s Marilyn all about anyway?
marilyn: Hi, My name is Marilyn Patrizio. I’m a freelance illustrator and fine artist. I graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration in 2000. When I’m not stressing out about money or lack of vacation I like to eat pizza and cotton candy, collect Japanese stationery and wood products, paint portraits, and crochet myself some pals.

decor8: What’s your day job – the job that pays the bills?
marilyn: I illustrate and animate (usually in my p.j.’s) interactive stories and games for children’s educational websites and publishing companies.

decor8: I notice you’re in Brooklyn, what part and what do you like about it there?
marilyn: I live in Bensonhurst. I like the cheap(ish) rent and closeness to my family (a.k.a. free food and washing machine). Everyone in my immediate family lives within a 15 block radius of my apartment.

decor8: what are your favorite Brooklyn/NYC stores?
marilyn: I love Matter (who carry my softies) and Nest for their great mix of modern and handmade goods. I am also fond of Fred Flare, which is an online shop whose warehouse is based in Brooklyn (can that count?).

decor8: Now let’s talk about your blog, the decor8 blog of the week. Can you please tell us what you blog about?
marilyn: I usually post about cute things that I’ve found on the internet or purchased, photographs of my crochet creatures doing silly things and the occasional illustration or painting. I originally started blogging because of Illustration Friday. I needed a place where my weekly illustrations could be archived.

decor8: What do you love about having your own blog?
marilyn: The connection and interactivity with people from all over the world. I’m addicted to comments!

decor8: Oh, same here. What are you trying to accomplish through your blog?
marilyn: To keep a visual diary of illustrations, craft experiments, paintings and perhaps indirectly to make people who view it happy and inspired in the process.

decor8: Any creative websites that you suggest visiting for a daily shot of inspiration?
marilyn: Illustration Friday for those who like to make pictures and Flickr for everyone/everything else, I am constantly mesmerized and inspired by the images I find in people’s photostreams!

decor8: I’m a flickr addict, too. I have a decor8 photo stream there, but recently launched a little group for stationery lovers called We *Heart* Stationery. Speaking of paper goods, I love your stationery and of course, you crochet softie toys. So many people would love to start their own business like you have. Any advice for them?
marilyn: Instead of spending your money on drugs, booze, and maintaining some semblance of a social life- save your pennies, quit your job, and just go for it! You can always go work at the supermarket if it doesn’t work out. ;)

decor8: what are you listening to on your iPod?
marilyn: I don’t own an iPod and barely have a functional clock radio.

decor8: How would you describe your design style?
marilyn: Clean, cute, and straight to the point.

Blog of the Week: Meet Marilyn Patrizio
decor8: Where did you grow up and do you think where you grew up influenced your design style, and if so, how?
marilyn: Bensonhurst, Brooklyn – “The least creative place on earth!” The only good thing about this place is the proximity to the subway station, so you can get the hell outta here quick! With that said, I don’t think it influenced my design style at all, but it was and is a great base to explore the rest of NYC from.

decor8: Do you have any favorite designers or artists that inspire you and why?
marilyn: Tons! I get inspiration from everywhere, from Impressionist painters to graffiti artists. My paintings are influenced by the artists from the late 19th century, John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, Anders Zorn, All the Russian Impressionists especially Ilya Repin, the American impressionists Robert Henri, Cecilia Beaux, Frank Duveneck and William Meritt Chase to name a few. All the painters above showed me how to tell a visual story in as little words/paint strokes as possible. J.W. Waterhouse for showing me what beauty really is. The American Illustrators Norman Rockwell, Dean Cornwell and N.C. Wyeth for their compositions and visual storytelling abilities. Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Muchas use of the figure as a design element. The expressive drawings of Egon Shiele. Rembrandt for his use of light. Contemporaries such as Jenny Saville and Lucien Freud for their fearless use of brush strokes. Designer Alexander Girard for his timeless patterns. Yoshitomo Nara for showing me that ‘cute’ can also be sophisticated and heartfelt. Graffiti artist Barry McGee for the ability of making a wall from an abandoned building, a scrap piece of wood or even a bottle into an object of art. Craft queen Camilla Engman for showing me that it is okay to experiment in multiple mediums at the same time. It is an inspiration to see how she can flawlessly maneuver between painting, illustration, and fiber arts. I’ve been constantly struggling internally for years about the external pressures to have a specific style or identity as an artist. And lastly, my art school classmates for the healthy competition.

decor8: Let’s say your feeling really down. What do you do to lift your spirits?
marilyn: Purchase Cram Cream adhesive tape off of E-bay. Works like a charm!

decor8: What are five subjects you’d like to learn more about and why?
marilyn: Sewing- I would love to make myself clothes one day, Yoga- because the pizza and ice cream diet is working wonders on my physique. Dust- why do we need it? Go away. Swimming- I’d like to go snorkeling or white water rafting. Driving- so I can drive myself to Ikea.

decor8: What is the best place that you’ve visited on vacation and why?
marilyn: Italy- good food, fun conversations with the locals, and the connection to my roots. Oh, and most importantly the shoe shopping!

decor8: What are your top ten indulgences?
marilyn: In no particular order of importance: 1. Nutella, on everything.
2. Japanese craft books 3. Stationery 4. Sleeping late 5. Striped Socks 6. Anything with polka dots 7. Brick Oven Pizza (at least twice a week or more!) 8. Carbs all day and all night (see #’s 1, and 7) 9. Buying art and craft supplies when I am already stocked for a lifetime and 10. Long, hot showers.

Thank you Marilyn for telling us about your life, we’re so happy to get to know you better. decor8 readers, here’s how to find Marilyn online:

If you’d like to say hello to Marilyn or ask her any additional questions about her work or blog, please comment below. :)
Blog of the Week: Meet Marilyn Patrizio

(images from marilyn patrizio)


coffee + cre8tive {july 24 ’06}

July 24, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {july 24 '06}
This time last week, I was lounging in NYC’s Bryant Park enjoying a glass of Reisling at the Le Bryant Park Cafe (476 5th Ave). I strongly suggest dining al fresco there, especially in the evening. Not only is it remarkably inexpensive for Manhattan, but the vibe is relaxed and simple. We had the British to our right, the French behind us, and the Germans on the other side. Seems each group was being entertained by a local, which made me think that if the locals were dining their visitors here, the restaurant must be decent. The menu is light, mostly appetizers, summer salads, and delicious sandwiches. Loud music, screaming kids, and expensive fare wasn’t to be found here, instead we were greeted by a friendly hostess, our waiter was superb, sandwiches under $10, and with the summer breeze dancing through the trees, we enjoyed our patio oasis for under $60. We lingered for hours, discussing everything from politics to religion and back again, chatted about our dreams, and held hands remembering each of the joys we’ve experienced since taking our vows 5 years ago. No one pressured us to leave. For once, New York felt very small and somewhat charming even, nestled beneath the canopy of green, it was hard to remember that just a few blocks south, you’d be blinded by the light show that is Times Square.

Ah New York. So many nice surprises.

By the way, don’t you just dream of owning a petite flower shop like this one?

(photo copyright decor8 2006)


Design Star Tonight – Tuning In?

July 23, 2006

Design Star Tonight - Tuning In?

Not like I need another reality show in my life, but since this is an interior design challenge, I’m there. I checked out the line up on the HGTV website and I’ll tell ya, I can’t wait to see what these peeps are like on the show tonight.

Twin brothers from Brooklyn, Teran and Teman, look quite promising. Both hold a Master’s degree in architecture from Harvard, which I’m thinking may work either for them or against them. I’m surprised they’re competing against eachother on the show, but excited to see if they can throw down. Teran says that he and his brother can have entire conversations by looking at eachother. He said he is the quiet twin whereas Teman is the talkative one. They are big guys with even bigger personalities. I like that.

Then there is Temple. She’s super pretty. I read Temple’s bio, she thinks she should be the next design star because, “I have the look, the body, the class, the style, the personality, the heart, the stage presence and the desire to make it a great show.” Then she continues, “I work from home as a personal fitness trainer. I deal with female clients who have struggled with weight and confidence… I hate the fact that society judges someone based on looks rather than heart.” Uh. Okay. You tell us you should win because you have a great body, but you’re also telling us that you hate how society judges someone based on looks rather than heart. Why would someone be on a show seeking design stardom but they’re not in any way shape or form involved in anything even remotely tied into design in real life? I don’t get it. The first part of her audition tape, well I’ll reserve my comments, just watch it online. She is pretty much nude lounging with a throw on her sofa. I don’t know how the HGTV crowd will respond to her, she would appeal more to the Maxim/Playboy crowd in my opinion. I can’t wait to see what she can bring to the table. I hope she surprises me.

Alice is a designer with a degree in psychology. She cries daily, hates to be the leader, and claims she was fired from a design job for moving too slow. Ooookay… She’s absolutely darling in her audition and has a huge heart, so let’s see where being ‘nice’ gets her. It doesn’t seem to go that far in the world of reality tv. I’m guessing she’ll get steamrolled pretty quickly, all the others seem to be in it to win it.

David from Miami rambles on and on about his cute looks during his audition, so I’m hoping he can bring it when it comes to design. I love the fact that he’s a builder. Seems he is going to run around topless a lot. Hey, I’m all for eye candy. :)

Ramona is quirky. She’s 50 from PA. A total dumpster diver who loves restoring the lowliness of trash, she totes around a stuffed animal claiming it to be her toy dog pet. Uh, yeah. She doesn’t think anyone will relate to her, but feels that they will be interested in watching what she will do next, say, wear, etc. Heck, I know I’m interested.

Vanessa is super cute, she’s 26 from Jersey, has her own design practice, and seems to have a very big personality. I’m thinking she’s a major diva though, so if this contest involves getting dirty, building, or anything that would chip a nail, I’m thinking she’ll be wearing a really long face. I’m guessing she’ll tick off a lot of people and be a tough competitor since she appears to be very confident – others could be intimidated by her. But, it’s hard to judge by a single 30 second audition taple, so I’ll be watching her, too.

Joseph is a 41 year old architect from Boston. Woot! Woot! I’m so happy Boston is being represented here. He confesses to being a total control freak and stresses out those who work with him. He’s a leader who likes to rally the troops. Did I mention he’s from Bahstun? I’m wicked ‘cited.

Tym looks like a cool family guy from the midwest, and I love that he can build from the ground up. He can weld, cut glass, hang drywall, paint, draw, and design. I think that’s quite a threat, he brings a lot to the table. I think this guy attended the school of life and hard knocks, which may appeal to the HGTV’ers out there because we all know how much they soaked up Ty Pennington. If Tym runs around tan and shirtless, he may have a career at this.

Donna, flight attendant and interior design business owner for 20+ years seems to have it together. I look forward to seeing her in action, she’s a total trip. Did you watch her audition video on the HGTV website? She has an amazing palace of a home and her personal style is very over the top. She walks her toy dog by driving her hot rod around the block, leash out of the window, dog running quickly alongside. She’s like the Kathy Hilton of design or something.

In addition to the starlettes, I’m pretty excited over the judges – Clive Pearse (from HGTV’s Designed to Sell), Cynthia Rowley (designer), Vern Yip (Atlanta designer, Trading Spaces designer, uber cutie!), and Martha McCully (Executive Editor, In Style magazine).

Anyone tuning in tonight at 9pm? Let’s meet up here tomorrow and I’ll open a thread so we can chat about it.

(image from hgtv)


Rosanna – New Collections Arriving in September!

July 22, 2006

Rosanna - New Collections Arriving in September!
Rosanna will soon intoduce 10 new holiday collections, scheduled to make their sweet little appearance on their website in September. One is the Kings Road collection (British chic!), isn’t it just superb with it’s regal high street charm? Imagine taking tea with these lovelies – brilliant! I can’t wait to see all 10 collections, but for now, we have Kings Road to whet our appetite for the things to come.

Psst: If you’re visiting Seattle, stop by the Rosanna retail store located in University Village. Here are some directions, go nuts!

Related: Rosanna 1.18.06 (check out my design tip!)

Rosanna - New Collections Arriving in September!
(images from rosanna)


Copenhagen Bound – Tips?

July 21, 2006

Copenhagen Bound - Tips?
I was over the moon when Alexa from Lille Haus posted “What to do in Copenhagen” on her blog. If you’re planning a visit to Copenhagen in the near future like I am, you should read what she has to say. Afterall, she once lived there.

I’m not sure how many decor8 readers have been to Copenhagen, but I need some help. I’ll be there for a few days in early October to just hang out and see the sights. I’ve never been, so I’m looking for some suggestions – places to grab authentic Danish food, museums, historic landmarks, design-y type stores, etc. Also, I’m not sure if I should take a train from Hannover, Germany (where I’ll be based) or if I should hop on a cheap flight.

If you could comment below with your suggestions, I’d really appreciate it. :) I’d ask you to email me, but I think it’s better if you comment below so that decor8 readers planning their Danish adventure can also benefit from your fabulous tips.

Any globetrotters out there with some good Copenhagen must-sees?

Thank you so much!

(images from lille haus)


Perky Bowls from Bisou

July 21, 2006

Perky Bowls from Bisou
I found these color-fabulous bowls at Bisou and after falling in love with them, I read that they were in the May issue of Domino magazine. I scour every single issue like it’s the last, so I’m not sure how I missed them, but whatever – they’re 100% cuteness. I’d love to whip up some yummy dip and use these bowls for happy hour at my house with a few cocktails. Crafted from ceramic, glazed in vibrant colors like honeydew, sky, terra and yellow, you can pick up a a set of 4 for $20 – perfect for your next informal gathering at home.

(image from bisou)

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