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coffee + cre8tive {july 18 ’06}

July 18, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {july 18 '06}We just returned from our anniversary mini break in NYC – it was excellent and now we’re back home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next eight weeks before we head off to Germany for a few months.

I snapped the above photo at the MoMA on Sunday, a great break from the heat and most importantly, a terrific way to refresh myself in a creative sense… The Dada exhibit was excellent – I was excited to see the hometown of my husband (Hannover) represented (you can visit part of the exhibit here) and enjoyed how the exhibition was organized by city and the works arranged salon style. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take photos in this exhibit or else I’d show you some of my favorites, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself if you’re in the city this summer – in my opinion, it’s a must see. Also, if you love books, add the Dada book to your collection.

Our anniversary was lovely… I felt like I’ve been away for a few weeks vs. a few days. I have to get caught up on some client work today, but I’ll be back shortly to post, so stay tuned! :)

coffee + cre8tive {july 18 '06}
(images: top – copyright decor8 2006. bottom – via


Out of the Office… Celebrating!

July 14, 2006

Out of the Office... Celebrating!
Today is our 5th Wedding Anniversary – cupcakes and champagne for all! By the time you read this, we’ll already be in NYC celebrating with close friends for 4 days – and not a laptop in sight (now that’s a romantic mini getaway)!

The comments will be left unmoderated until I’m back, so feel free to post and have fun while I’m away…

I’ll meet you back here again on Tuesday, July 18th. Until then, have a wonderful weekend!


(images from the lovely brides website, a must-visit for brides to be!)


Blog of the Week: Meet Cake + Pie Creative

July 13, 2006

Blog of the Week: Meet Cake + Pie CreativeMeet Cake + Pie Creative, the decor8 blog of the week! Kathleen and I had a chat about her blog, so if you’d like to join us, continue reading below. If you have questions for Kathleen about letterpress, graphic design, etc. please post them in the comments section and Kathleen will answer them for you. Okay, here we go peeps…. Introducing (drum roll please), Cake + Pie Creative!

decor8: As blog of the week, decor8 readers would love to get to know the girl behind the blog. So Kathleen, can you give us a mini bio?

kathleen: Sure, my name is Kathleen Losche, and I am a 26-year-old freelance graphic designer (mostly corporate work recently). I studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and graduated in 2002. I live in Franklin, TN, (south of Nashville,) with my boyfriend of 7 years, Aaron Durnin, and I work out of my home studio in Franklin. Aaron and I met while we were at RISD, where he studied furniture design.

decor8: Woo-hoo, a fellow southern girl (I grew up in South Carolina)! Are you a true southerner though, or a transplant?

kathleen: Total transplant! I moved here at the end of January, but Franklin is Aaron?s hometown. I’m originally from North Bellmore, Long Island. I loved growing up there — good shopping, close to the beach, and just a train ride to Manhattan. When I graduated from RISD I moved back thinking ‘who wouldn?t want to be in New York?!’ But as it turns out, I didn’t want to be there anymore. I really like where I’m at now – I’m minutes from a drive through the country and near to many fabulous little antique stores. I?ve found that being down south gives me more time to breathe and take things in, so here I am.

Do you think where you grew up influenced your design style, and if so, how?

kathleen: There was always a lot to see growing up near NYC, many times something unexpected. I love architecture and color and looking at things up close so I can see layers and texture. How I grew up also influenced how I design. I have very supportive and encouraging parents, and in high school I had two really amazing art teachers who became great friends and mentors. They really shaped how I approach everything I make, probably more so than any professor I had in college.

decor8: Let’s talk about your blog, Cake + Pie Creative. How did you come up with that cute name?

kathleen: Well, cake + pie creative is the name of my design business. Choosing a name was an arduous process. I spent about three months brainstorming and going through lists of words, but nothing sounded right. I had a bit of downtime over the holidays, and my Aunt had given me all the old family cookie recipes, so when I wasn?t trying to think of a business name I was baking. Prior to that my idea of cooking and baking was anything microwaveable, but soon I was trying out pies, cakes, rugglech… I showed up with dessert everywhere I went. The name cake + pie came to fruition after I baked a pear pie for New Years. I was jotting down yet another list of possible business names, and after all that baking, cake + pie ended up on the list. I ran it by my family and friends, and a few liked it, but most thought it sounded more like a bakery than a design studio.

decor8: Why did you start blogging and what do you like about it?

kathleen: My blog launched on June 23, 2006. I had been thinking about starting one for about a year, but when the blog finally happened it was sort of spur of the moment. I’m very glad I finally decided to do a blog because now I feel like I have a forum to talk about things that I find interesting, and the goings on at my fledgling design studio. Having a blog really motivates me to work and find inspiration in things. I find myself looking for things that are ?blog-worthy? to post and it makes me pay attention to things more.

decor8: What are you trying to accomplish through your blog?

kathleen: I love that there is such a community of artists, designers, and people who love design in the blog world. For now I just hope that I am contributing something worthwhile to that community. If something I post sparks an idea for someone else, or they just get a giggle from something I’ve posted, I?m happy. I hope that my blog will help get the word out about my work and the launch of my Etsy store, and that it will be a place I can post new work and obtain feedback.

decor8: With a bevy of design, art, and crafting blogs out there now, what do you think sets your blog out apart from the others?

kathleen: It does seem like there are a lot of people blogging about design and crafts, but what we?re all really talking about is art, and art is a very subjective thing, so I enjoy reading other people?s perspectives. I feel like I learn from other people and hopefully they get something from me too. I think that I have a unique point of view. I don?t consistently blog about just one area of design. I talk about letterpress, sewing, art, design, books I find useful, and things I find or buy that I really love. I also don?t do reviews unless they are of things I own or have experienced… If I say something is good or worthwhile it is because I really believe it is.

decor8: How often do you blog?

kathleen: I usually spend about an hour at night working on the blog, after I am finished with my freelance work for the day and taken a little break. I always have my most creative moments at night. I am not a morning person.

decor8: I noticed that you have an etsy store scheduled to open soon. Can you tell us about what you create and do you do this for a living?

kathleen: I recently purchased a letterpress and a vintage sewing machine, part of a desire to create AWAY from the computer. I did a bit of letterpress in college, so it has been fun getting back into it. The Etsy store will hopefully open by the end of the summer. I plan on selling some of the letterpress cards and prints I?m working on, as well as some sewn accessories. I don?t plan on making my living from it just yet, but if it turned into that I would love it.

Kathleen’s letterpress

Blog of the Week: Meet Cake + Pie Creative
decor8: How would you describe your design style?

Hmm? I like things that are clever and that have some sort of subtle twist to them, something unexpected, and always colorful. I love my Pantone books.

decor8: Funny you say that, my art teacher in school was my mentor, too. My parents had her come to my house in the evenings 1-2x per week to study art with me. I loved learning how to draw in 2 and 3 point perspective and I loved drawing furniture, especially chairs. Now, back to you Miss Kathleen, tell us, are you living your dream (career wise)?

kathleen: I love working for myself but if I had my choice I?d be doing more making stuff and less corporate work. I would also really like get back into painting and ceramics, both of which I?ve always loved, but they seem to have fallen off my radar in the past few years.

decor8: Looking ahead, let’s say 5 years from now, where do you see yourself?

kathleen: Well, Aaron and I celebrated our 7th anniversary in May, so I?d expect sometime in the next five years we?ll get around to walking down the aisle. As far as kids, job, home? I have always been a super planner, but lately I have been trying to resist the urge to have a 5 and 10 year plan, so I think I?d like five years from now to be a surprise.

decor8: I already know who will create your wedding invites. :) When you need inspiration, who do you turn to?

kathleen: I am inspired by a lot of different artists and designers. Malcolm Grear is one, I had the privilege of interning for him in college. His studio always does consistent strong design that I have learned a lot from. I love looking at work from different letterpress printers from Hatch Show Print (one of the South’s oldest letterpress shops) here in Nashville, and Yee Haw Industries in Knoxville, to port2port press, and elum designs. I find inspiration in some of my favorite artists, like Louise Nevelson, Toshiko Takaezu, and Alberto Giacometti. I really like Eleanor Grosch?s work at pushmepullyou design. I first read about her on A Bird in the Hand and I think everything she does is amazing. I also find a lot of inspiration in some of my friends… My college roommate, Caitlin Keegan, is an illustrator, and my friend Yvonne Boogaerts is an artist, designer, and sculptor who is getting into making these great mirrors. Hearing and seeing their work really motivates me.

decor8: What are five subjects you’d like to learn more about?

kathleen: 1) Dog training. I am getting a west highland white terrier puppy at the end of August. 2) Textile design. I would love to design my own fabrics and have them manufactured. 3) Sewing. I am a beginner, so I have a lot to learn, and I would really like to learn garment construction. 4) Letterpress. I am just starting to print again I can never have too much information. And lastly, 5) Web design. Although it bores me to tears, I need a class that will hold my eyes open with toothpicks if need be, because for now and the foreseeable future my website is just a dream waiting to happen…

Blog of the Week: Meet Cake + Pie Creative
decor8: Great picks, Kathleen. Textile design interests me and I know lots of other decor8 readers, too. Now, to wrap up… What are you top ten indulgences?

kathleen: Starbucks white mocha lattes, Claus Porto soaps, Bumble & Bumble and Davines/For Wizards hair products, clutch bags, shoes, iTunes, mint chocolate chip ice cream, new art for our apartment, TV, and celebrity gossip.

Super! Thank you Kathleen for stopping by to say hello.

If you would like to be considered for blog of the week on decor8, please email me at decor8blog [at] yahoo [dot] com. All emails will be answered within 1-3 business days!

If there’s a question for Kathleen that you have, please ask her by posting the question in the comments box below. Kathleen will answer you herself!

(images from kathleen)


Sorta Open Thread: Project Runway, etc.

July 13, 2006

Sorta Open Thread: Project Runway, etc.
This is somewhat of an open thread. You are free to talk about anything you want, but I’d love it if you guys would open up on your thoughts about Project Runway last night. Do you think season 3 will bring it like season 2 did? Did you like Vincent’s hat? Who is your favorite so far? Who do you think totally stepped up last night and pulled off the best design for the runway?

[My PR notebook: I loved Uli and Alison. Uli because I like her personal style and use of color, plus she’s German so I dig the accent and I’m thoroughly interested in seeing how she brings her German upbringing into her design approach as the weeks roll by. I adore Alison, her personal style is just great. I love love love her clothes and so far, she is my favorite based on her designs alone. Malan was a tad unique to put it nicely. Do you think his accent was real? I loved how he plucked the flowers in the room stating that it was bad feng shui and how he hated using the fabric from the room because he only works with quality textiles. Pahleese dude. Laura (the architect) was totally cool, I liked her comment about how having 5 kids and being 42 is a slippery slope towards owning a mini van – or something like that. It was just cute. She was totally cool though and I thought her coat was totally her. When I saw that Kate Spade was one of the guest judges, I knew that Laura’s coat and Keith’s dress would score huge with her. I think it was good that Stacy ended her PR days early, if she had to go through the entire season hand sewing everything, I think she’d always be behind on her projects and end up having to sacrifice style to save time. I like Jeffrey, but I’m willing to take a risk and say he’s not going to win this season. Keith deserved to win, he stuck to his vision despite what Tim had to say. I respect that. But, I do have a question… Do you REALLY think that was the first dress he’s ever made? I would think all of them prepped for the show at home…]

(image from repro depot, sewing supplies in white.)


coffee + cre8tive {july 13 ’06}

July 13, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {july 13 '06}
Today was another beyond busy day. Again, the project I’m working on kept me overtime; I just walked in the door. I hope everyone is doing well. I was thinking about something on my way home today, does anyone have any design questions to ask me or would you be willing to send me photos of your space so I can post it here on the blog and, before the masses, critique it and offer some advice? Readers can offer their input as well… I think it would be a lot of fun for everyone and give me a real chance to use my design skills a little, plus I’m always learning so it will help me to expand my horizons, too. If you’re interested, please let me know. I can include it as an ‘ask decor8’ entry.

I’ll be back in a moment with fresh finds, an interview with our blog of the week (to be revealed soon), a book of the week, a few ‘ask decor8’ entries, some fresh finds, and Anh-Minh’s been shopping San Francisco again so that post to follow today, too!

AND of course, we must dish about PROJECT RUNWAY! See you in moments!

(image from reprot depot, dress forms in white.)


Pretty Things from Ballard Designs

July 13, 2006

Pretty Things from Ballard Designs
I’ve written about Ballard Designs a few times before, but I had to post about them again since they’ve just added a white coral chandelier that I’m crazy about! It manages to remain understated, yet when you do notice it, it makes quite a bold statement. I like that it’s actually in white vs. red because it allows one to change the color scheme of the room without having to replace the lighting – white goes with nearly everything! The white is very au naturale – it reminds me of the sun bleached coral that you can pick up at beach stores on the Cape on in the Carolinas.

Also on my wish list from Ballards… Mirrors! If the recent issue of Domino magazine left you yearning for decorative reflectives, further feed your mirror addiction at Ballards. I’ve purchased several mirrors from them for clients, so I have first hand experience – the mirrors are stunning and packaged extremely well.

Did you see the new Bellesol mirror with sixteen mirror panels arranged in a circle with an antique gold stain? For $149, it’s a super find.

The bullseye convex mirrors are another favorite of mine. They’d look great in a room with black and white silhouette pictures and perhaps a wall decal of black branches creeping out from the corner of the room against a lovely light gray wall. What do you think for $128/set of 3?

And, totally unrelated to mirrors and lighting, aren’t these cheerful hooksfor $15 a stylish and practical way to spruce up your laundry room or closet? Their vintage style ceramic knobs remind me of the hooks my great grandmother had in her farmhouse in Rhode Island. I love seeing reproductions that to our generation, are ‘stylish’, yet to my great grandmother, it was just a common hook – it was all that was available in the town hardware store half a century ago for a nickel. Funny to think about, isn’t it?

(images from ballard designs)

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