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Kindergallery

I found such a lovely website via decor8 reader Fiona Lang called Kindergallery and you know with my love of all things artsy and craftsy, of course I cannot resist talking about this lovely find! Kindergallery is a gallery-style website that focuses primarily on art for the little ones but adults can shop for their homes regardless of whether kids live there or not – I know I certainly would (and do!). I think an adult can add softies or ‘youthful’ art to their home – why not?

Lots of lovely soft creations by Tamar Mogendorff.

Of course, if you do happen to be a parent Kindergallery is perfect for you because the curator of this online shop, Angela Westerman, does the most beautiful job of scouring the globe for her favorite artists and adding their things to her collection. I love that she does all the work for parents, her eye is great!

The work of Yung Ok Yoo is perfection…

I love this watercolor (original work) by Meredith Gaston.

And for the young at heart, Kate George.

Based in Sydney with a second home in Berlin (oh the life!) Kindergallery is a treasure trove of beautiful finds that you’ll notice the moment you visit the site. The work of Binth, Isak, Lorena Siminovich, Ida Pearle, and Binth can also be found there. Beautiful shop, Angela!

(images from kindergallery)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Decorating Tips, kids, walls on October 06, 2008

Decorating Updates

I had a really successful Sunday on eBay Germany, look what I found for my living room and kitchen! I’m over the moon happy and just had to share these finds with you today. First up, this retro light.

This light is an original from the 1950s in pastel green and gold and I won the auction at $281.00. It was quite a battle to win it as I was up against 19 aggressive bidders. It was a little over my budget but since my pendant light in the same room is from IKEA and I paid under $5 for it, I was able to justify the expense of the floor lamp. And hey, it’s vintage, it’s cute, and I’ve been combing the internet for something just like this for several months so it is money well spent.

The next item that I won is a Max Bill Bauhaus Design clock and kitchen timer all-in-one. It’s white and I really like the design. It was $50.00 so definitely a good buy. I think it will look perfect in my kitchen.

I was also able to put some art up over the weekend, here are some prints I’ve placed above my television. They all came with me on the plane from New Hampshire, they look nice here in Germany I think. Everyone that visits me is amazed by this art as it’s rare to find anything like this here where I live. It’s fun to see the reactions of my friends and family who are all wanting their own prints and paintings now from independent artists. I added my vintage 1930’s gold swallows to the wall as well. The idea was to make the art look at though it was flying and floating away. The birds also came with me in my luggage, I picked them up 4 years ago at a New Hampshire flea market for $1 or something like that – el cheapo! You can find them all over sites like eBay in case this arrangement inspires you to do something like it in your own home (here’s a cute pair of pink ones or some love birds). I’m considering adding one more small print to the top left closer to the ceiling but have yet to decide which one.

Now I’m on the prowl for another item I badly need for my living/dining room – a vintage Kilim rug. I’m dying for something along these lines… Also for the bedroom.


Have you had any successful eBay wins lately? Care to share? You can link to photos of your eBay wins in the comments section below if you’d like. We’d all love to see. :)

(images from eBay and holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Decorating Tips, vintage, walls on October 06, 2008

decor8/DaWanda Berlin Event Highlights

This past weekend I teamed up with DaWanda to create Make It! Shop It! Blog It!, an event to celebrate blogging and small business! (You can click here to get a taste for what we did and I will show you a bag that I made in the video or watch the video over on YouTube here).

Before the guests arrived. This room was full by the time the event started — so exciting!

We had around 130 attend from Berlin and other parts of Germany and the weather was perfect for what we had planned: Two speakers indoors (Nicole and I) and a screenprinting workshop outside given by Nadja of Smil and Britta from Bloody Bunny (they are hosting another workshop next week for a fee if you’d like to attend, more info here in German.)

Screenprinting workshop outside of the building.

After we spent the afternoon indoors mingling, eating, listening to Nic and I, everyone then had a chance to step outside for a screenprinting workshop. All could select between three motifs: bees, clouds, or a sailor bear and each were given a cotton tote to screenprint on and to keep at no extra charge. I selected the bear, you can see my finished bag in this video. It’s really cute, thank you Britta and Nadja for the great workshop. Everyone loved it.

Nadja (left), me (screenprinting), and Britta (right).

Me with DaWanda co-founder Michael (photo taken by Dawanda).

I was scheduled to speak first and was given a two hour time slot and I was a bit scared because I had no idea how I would speak for 2 hours straight from a podium before a sea of strangers. I was a bit scared but I didn’t want to appear nervous because that would only make the DaWanda team feel stressed and I saw no need to do that. I didn’t even write a speech, I only had a few notes that I had scribbled down on the train ride there. I guess I didn’t expect a stage, a microphone, so many people to REALLY show up. When I arrived and saw the huge room full of chairs I became a bit tense! Lucky for me, I have a technique for calming my nerves which I used many times before going up on stage and they worked because the moment that I started speaking I was completely myself and felt like I was before friends. I couldn’t believe all of the smiling faces as I looked out at so many, men and women together, all there to learn more about blogging and how they can use a blog to expand their business. Yay!

Nicole from Luzia Pimpinella during her lecture on blogging and how she uses her blog to connect with customers and grow a small business as an independent designer.

I observed many taking notes which made me want to keep talking because everyone was really focused on what I had to say. I was so impressed by that, it gave me the courage to continue. Funny thing is, I wasn’t alone because I asked the audience a lot of questions so it became more like the way I operate this blog — a discussion — I throw ideas out here and then all of you jump in and comment. My talk was structured in a similar format. This is how I love to approach public speaking — getting as many in the audience included as possible because it helps steer the topic in the right direction so that I was able to spend time on points that the audience truly wanted to hear. I once gave workshops and lectures when I worked in the corporate setting but that was several years ago so I wasn’t sure if I could still draw from past experience and count on it to see me through… but public speaking must be like bike riding because if you have done it before and stop for awhile it seems like doing it again isn’t such a problem. Funny how my background helps me out now as a small business person. That’s why I never doubt the path I’ve followed in my life because all roads brought me to the point where I am today just like so many of you and so one cannot regret past career decisions. It seems a skill from an old job, no matter how much you thought you’d never use it again, can be a valued and needed skill a long way down the road.

Cupcakes for all, yum!

What did I talk about? Well for one, I gave tips on blogging and promoting products through a blog, from writing on a regular basis, keeping your content fresh and positive, putting your store widget on your blog, the importance of responding to comments left on your blog, sharing your inspirations with readers, how to handle days when you have nothing to blog about, visiting other blogs to leave sincere comments, not letting the copycats (people who copy your products) get you down, being patient and not sticking too closely to your stat counter, approaching larger blogs to see if they’ll talk about your work, sticking to a theme (don’t veer off of your blog topic too much), carry business cards to promote your business and your blog, and the importance of taking crisp clear photos of your products that are true to color to post on your blog. You have to know that these tips are truly new and exciting to many in attendance because blogging in Germany within the craft community is still new and maybe it’s at the stage where American craft blogging was back in 2004ish. It felt exciting to speak to a crowd that was so enthusiastic and excited about breaking into the world of blogging.

We also discussed a bit about photo copyrights, and I was so pleased when my husband Thorsten raised his hand to share the research he has done on the topic being a photographer himself. Thanks, Tee!

Enna (who created our event postcards) with Saskia from Retro Kinder and her adorable son Cyrian.

Note: For all those who are interested in learning more about blog photography and copyright law in both the U.S. and Germany, Thorsten pulled together his research for you in a PDF file that you may download here. It contains plenty of links and should answer your questions on this topic.

I also mentioned to everyone that I would provide a list of some of the larger blogs that you may want to contact to see if they’d be interested in writing about you and your business. I have so many in mind that I do not know where to start, but since I mentioned Apartment Therapy in my lecture I’ll begin with them. A few others that I personally have had write about me in the past that I also read and respect are: Creature Comforts, Oh Joy!, Bloesem, Style Files, Emmas Designblogg, oh and perhaps this may be a great resource: Check out the international design blog slideshow that I pulled together for Domino magazine online. You can contact those lovely bloggers, too!

I want to thank DaWanda for teaming up with me, accepting my offer to do an event like this in Germany in the first place, and for giving me an opportunity to meet many creative and lovely new people. I have had this dream of pulling together a function like this in Berlin for over two years now so to see it come to life for me was a huge dream come true and meant SO MUCH on a deeply personal level. I also must thank and recommend the Gotischer Saal for events if anyone is looking for a place to rent in Berlin for a function. The building is beautiful and the couple who run it couldn’t be sweeter.

For those not in attendence, DaWanda taped both of the talks and will turn them into a podcast so when those are finished I will blog it with a link so you can listen in.

(photography by thorsten becker)

Posted in blogs, events + markets, travel, walls on September 22, 2008

Living & More = Magazine Heaven

I thought I’d introduce you to my favorite magazine in Germany, Living & More. Their website is pretty bad, but the magazine is above and beyond the website (thankfully) so don’t let their online look spoil your fun! German magazines are still working to get their act together when it comes to web presence but they are making progress slowly but surely. Anyway, this magazine is just great. Many of you who read decor8 do not have access to decorating magazines here so this little post is dedicated to you!

I must say that I know nothing about the publisher behind the magazine except they are called Living & More Verlag GmbH and are based in Offenburg, Germany, so I can’t give them a very good introduction. I do hope though that the images give you a nice preview of what you can except from this publication. Color, style, and lots of inspiration. I find that in most Dutch and German magazines though that many of the homes featured are from Australia and Scandinavia. I find this strange because there are PLENTY of stylish people living in Holland and Germany and I’m certain they live in magazine-worthy homes. I wonder why this is? I have several friends here in Hannover that live in magazine-ish homes but they’ve never been published. So very odd. Anyone know why this is so often the way it is? American design magazines are much different, the focus is always on American homes.

A gorgeous desk organizer DIY project from the current issue of Living & More (Oktober 2008, Nr.7, page 34. Photo by Linnea Press.)

The city apartment of Parisian designer Vanessa Bruno. (Living & More, Aug/Sept 08, Nr. 6, pages 24-33.) Photos by Brigetta Wolfgang Drejer/Sisters Agency.

Living & More not only produces 8 issues per year under the same name, but they also run these ‘specials’ like Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen and Living & More Premium – the edition that just hit newsstands here is called Country Tr?ume Wohnen and it’s amazing.

The living room of homeowner Pia Aardestrup based in Copenhagen. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

More images of Pia’s very blue and beautiful home. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photos by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

I can’t take my eyes off of Pia’s gorgeous cabinet, I love this washed look. (Living & More, Oktober 2008, Nr.7, pages 6-15.) Photo by: Anita Behrendt/Linnea Press.

This is a great spread, it features several fun DIY projects involving painted flowers on walls and furniture, complete with stencils. (Living & More “Wohnen & Wohlf?hlen” issue, LI039, pages 37-39, 60-61) Photos: Linnea Press.

The home of Australian shop owner of Empire Vintage and stylist Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

More of Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

Lyn Gardner. (Living & More Premium “Country Tr?ume Wohnen” issue, LP003, pages 52-67.) Photos by: Mikkel Vang/Taverne Agency.

I think that you can purchase all of these issues shown here in this post on this website, though I’m not sure if they ship outside of Germany. Give it a try though. I know you can also email them to order magazines: email: abo [dot] livingandmore [at] guell [dot] de

I hope you had fun peeking inside of the pages of my favorite German decorating magazine today!

(images photographed by holly becker for decor8)

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