Hi everyone! I love a good book, don’t you? That is why I have to share this sweet crafting title from blogger Abbey Hendrickson of Aesthetic Outburst today. In addition to her life as a blogger, she’s a freelance artist and craft stylist living with her family on a farm in rural New York. I’m guessing that living away from the big city is what makes Abbey so super creative when it comes to crafting — often when you have less to work with you are forced to think and create and DO stuff. Of course, everyone is different, but personally I find that the less I have the more I find creative ways to get what I need.
In her new book, You Are Awesome – 21 Crafts To Make You Happy, published by Cicada Books, Abbey will show you how to get crafty with basic things you can find either already in your crafting closet or that you can pick up anywhere – and each project is really cute, too!
About You Are Awesome, “In between DIY disasters, childcare catastrophes, book obsessions and cultural consumption, Abbey makes some fantastic and funky craft projects, which she sells through her Etsy shop. You Are Awesome collects together 21 of her craft ideas from her blog and her “20 in 20″ challenge (for which she made 20 crafts in 20 days), each one presented in color and clearly explained step by step. They range from an embroidery sampler to a bookshelf to a laptop toy made from a cardboard box. The projects are fairly simple, but all distinctive and quirky, and will appeal to novices and crafting professionals alike. Each one captures the warmth and humor that Abbey herself radiates and which has made her and her blog so popular.” Sounds about right to me! Here are some spreads and more pics from it to whet your appetite!
What I loved about this book: First, the gorgeous neon orange spine and the lovely cover – from the project featured to the font chosen, it looks really fresh and clean. I also love that the end papers are the most gorgeous pastel blue, so serene and such a nice complement to the neon orange accents throughout the book. The entire book feels very fresh as you flip through it, too – the layouts are simple yet striking and the font choices throughout are quite lovely. Another favorite is that it’s small enough to fit into your handbag yet it still feels special because it’s hardbound in some cool cardboard, I’ve not seen this often and totally like it because it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
I also really appreciate the title, even though I’m sure being a bit vague (it’s hard to tell it’s a craft book when you first see it) may make it hard to find for those who don’t know Abbey. Despite that though, I still love the title for one reason: it makes you feel good. I think that lots of people feel intimated by all of the perfection out there from what we are seeing on Pinterest to the pages of gorgeous magazines – it’s very easy to feel like you sorta suck in comparison. That’s why YOU ARE AWESOME is such a nice, “There, there, you can do it!” pat on the back kind of message. I like that.
In addition to the design of the book and title, the photography shot by Garry Maclennan is beautifully done and the illustrations throughout by Fiona Biddington from Pink Paper Circus are equally charming – what a great team Abbey had assigned to her book!
Some of my favorite projects include the Awesome pegs on p. 16/17, rainbow necklace on p. 18-21, Faceted necklace p. 34-37, Geometric ornaments p. 22/23 and the Valentine medals p. 64/65. The book also comes with handy templates in the back.
All in all, this is lovely little craft book – nice job Abbey!
(images: holly becker and pages from You Are Awesome)
I do lots of crazy stuff around my studio that I don’t always is that DIY story worthy if you know what I mean. Most bloggers put so much effort and hours into their DIY posts but me… Oh gosh, I wing it and hope it doesn’t flop! I know you guys must be thinking I’m nuts for posting this extra simple DIY stuff but I have to write about things that matter to me first, you know? I like it, it makes me happy. And then I just sorta hope they matter to you and give you some creative ideas, too.
Today’s DIY is the perfect example. It’s not elaborate at ALL but maybe you’ve never thought of it or tried it so it may be a fun new idea to you. This idea came when I was looking at some artwork in neon lucite frames and thought that I would love to have neon frames in my studio… So I went out and bought some paint and was seriously all geared up to paint wooden frames when I thought – what if I paint the frames made for my original pieces of art (I collect lots from Jennifer Davis) and then, in 6 months, I hate the frames? It’s not easy to custom frame all over again or even affordably.
Then I wondered if certain colors would even look good. Gosh, why was I so scared to paint a stupid frame? Again, I think it had to do with how these were custom made for my artwork by Jennifer herself and I really cherish the originals and don’t want to ruin them. Then I though, “Oh whatever, loosen up” and pulled out my paint. Suddenly I thought WAIT. I walked over to my stacks and stacks of washi tape, grabbed a roll in the same color as my paint pot and taped up only the sides of my frame to see how the color looked before I committed to painting. BUT a cool thing happened. The tape works just fine. In fact, if you lay the tape on perfectly straight, cut it with scissors perfectly straight on each end and do two layers without any overlap AT ALL it actually looks like paint – even when you stand pretty close. A bit relieved, I put the paint away, hung the first piece and feel that sudden DIY glow – you know, when you do something that wasn’t an epic fail. Ha!
I sometimes think my random little ideas don’t matter, that everyone else must be doing this stuff too, but then it dawned on me that often it’s the little easy things that we overlook and miss out on trying. This makes me want to keep sharing my mini projects. I hope that you enjoy them!
Have you taped up the sides of frames before? Here are some I worked on and wrote about a million years ago (ok in 2009) on IKEA frames – check it out, you may like that easy idea too!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Welcome to this week’s edition of Etsy Take Five Tuesday, yay! Okay so this week I’ll some of my favorite things from 5 shops that I love right now from handmade tables to pastel porcelain so let’s check them out together, shall we?
First up is Hedge House furniture. I love their tables!!! Oh my! Yes, quality handmade in the USA furniture on ETSY. Gorgeous!
Now let’s look at some rubber stamps by Hunter’s Hideaway — Always a hit when you want to do some DIY crafting! Cute stuff here.
Want to see some of grandma’s teapots and cups given a fresh, new life? Dutch design studio Robin Pieterse has her own small collection of illustrated pieces that you may want to check out.
This is a nice shop with prints by artist Francesca Lancisi. The reds and pinks are so pretty and I really like her series of stones with patterns.
Finally, check out the pastel dream that is Urban Cartel – gorgeous handmade porcelain – I like seeing them paired with charcoal and can imagine entertaining with some of these pieces.
I hope that you’ve enjoy my picks this week! As always, please comment with YOUR favorite Etsy sellers so I can check them out for future columns – thanks so much! xo
(images linked to their source above.)
What a great afternoon I had! Let me tell you what I did. First, I stressed out a little because I realized I have a few looming deadlines I’d forgotten (oops!) and, instead of working on them, I had to stick with my appointment this afternoon because there was no way I was going to cancel it… Then (the fun part), I spent 5 hours with my film instructor, Christopher, shooting and working on editing a short film we made in my work studio about the simple pleasures of reading a good book and enjoying a cup of tea. I’m not going to show it all (sorry, we didn’t finish it) but it came out really good and if you’d like, you can watch some of it on Vine if you follow me there (@decor8).
Sounds simple, but there is so much that goes in to making a really good film – it’s absolutely the coolest thing to really LEARN. If you want to convey emotion and lots of love (at least if that’s what you’re going for) without having it look boring or too corporate-y, you really have to shoot with your heart. Thankfully, he is exceptionally patient and talented because I didn’t feel for a second like I was going to fall asleep – just the opposite – when it was time for him to wrap up I felt like I could have gone on learning for many hours more. It felt good to just give myself 5 hours “off” (no guilt!) from the normal routine to absorb all he had to teach me.
Later this week, we’ll go on a field trip to a film studio to work some more — I feel like I’m learning so much. I have no clue what I will do in the end with this education but I’m not learning with any “goal”, no big picture in mind, no end result. I’m simply learning because I’ve always wanted to learn about video production and editing and finally found the time to do it but also the person to teach me. I’ve been thinking more and more about doing a little video here and there for decor8 and my e-classes, so this is also inspiring me in that direction. But again, no big planning or new career direction. Just having some fun. It’s vital to do things that we love, just because we love them.
Speaking of LOVE, this lovely e-mag that Jen Ramos from Made By Girl just released is LOVELY. It’s called, Cartas De Amor, or Love Letters in English. It’s a collection of personal handwritten love letters from the heart from Jennifer and 17 of her closest blogging pals. It’s really sweet and personal and I think Jen did a really nice job on it and hope she does more e-mags it’s nice to see her eye directing a magazine! To view the entire mag, click here.
Which reminds me… February 14th is just around the corner – I’m cooking for my family and friends and then we’re all going out to see a concert so it will be a very nice day. What will you do on V day?
(images: jen ramos)
I was so excited when my friends, Gudy and her boyfriend Christopher, told me all about their love for fashion blogger and illustrator Garance Doré last month! I’m a bit slow… To think that I started decor8 a million years ago (so embarrassed, sorry guys!) yet know so little about fashion bloggers, well all I can say is that I definitely need to work a little less and read more fashion blogs!
Honestly (why do I say honestly, it’s not like I’m about to lie about this!), but anyway… Honestly, outside of The Sartorialist and his two lovely books, I don’t know much about fashion bloggers… I think it’s because that world (fashion in general, not blogging) always felt so elitist and off limits to me. I think films like The September Issue made me feel even more frightened, not to mention what a head job shows like The City do to my view of the fashion world – s c a r y. In a way, it’s almost how interior design felt ten years ago, well before we design bloggers came along and started to rip down the massive walls and say, “Hey guys, stop being so arrogant – it’s just a sofa!”. Now we have Garance saying, “It’s JUST Chanel you guys!”, in her very cute accent, and suddenly I’m less intimidated by it all.
From her gorgeous blog to her stunning photos, warm and enthusiastic writing style, fun videos and yummy fashion illos (I!know!lots!of!adjectives!and!excitement!over!Garance!) I feel I’ve been swept away from sofas and floor plans for a moment to mingle in this very chic world that I knew little about outside of the pages of Vogue. Through her web show, Pardon My French, Garance takes you behind-the-scenes into her life as a blogger/fashion photographer so you get to check out fab places, meet cool people (Jenna Lyons! Eep!) and sit in the front row as Garance reports from catwalks around the world in her videos. (The closest I ever got to Jenna Lyons was when her assistant told me that she would have loved to have been in my book but her home wasn’t finished yet and that she knew and loved my blog, I nearly died. In fact, had I died I would have died very happy!) I digress…
What I love about Garance is that she comes across super likeable and normal – like she could be my best friend – there isn’t this pretentiousness hovering around that the fashion world (haute couture at least) is known for. Her consistent point-of-view shines through both in her writing and when she’s chatting away in the back seat of her car interviewing friends between shows. She is definitely very inspirational. I’m going to have to turn her into a case study for my next blogging workshop and who knows, maybe when I’m in New York for my next book tour, I’ll see if I can arrange to interview her for decor8 – a girl can dream!
Through her blog, I also found out about another amazing woman, Amanda de Cadenet, who is a photographer from London living in LA who is host to the most lovely web show called The Conversation. (I love this photo that she took of Rumer Willis.) I watched every single Conversation epi over the past few weeks and I’m hooked – Amanda is my new girl crush along with Garance. Swoon!
Oh and did you see the above prints and posters? Aren’t they just soooo nice? These are available for purchase online in the Garance Doré Boutique. My friend, Samantha Hahn, is one of my favorite fashion illustrators in the world (she does work for Daily Candy and even for humble little me) but Garance is definitely up there now in my top 5. I may not know fashion (as in catwalks and big labels and fashion bloggers) but I consider myself pretty with it when it comes to fashion illustrators as I’ve written about a ton of them throughout the years. There I feel a little better (peacock feathers spreading) because I’m not a total fashion loser.
And look you guys – I am even cooler now – I just purchased Belle De Jour for my home – lovely pony and such a sweet portrait! Woot!
SO! There you have it – you have been officially introduced to Garance Doré if you’ve never heard of her before and have been living under a rock for years. Enjoy! I’m off now for the day to finish up some interviews and for my 4 hour film theory class so wish me luck because I need lots of it. It’s hard but I like a good challenge…
Tell me, are you a Garance fan?
(images: Garance Doré Boutique)