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Wool On Canvas: Artwork by Jane Denton

I love unique artwork that isn’t on everyone else’s walls, don’t you? That’s why I’m so drawn to original works from artists and also those random vintage paintings found at flea markets – they really become your own. When I heard from Jane Denton recently, a textile artist and designer from New Zealand, I fell in love with her contemporary, colorful artwork which predominantly uses wool on canvas. It’s so happy!

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cropblog Circles up close

If you are interested in inquiring about her work, you can contact Jane directly or work with either Allium Interiors or Small Acorns. If you worry about shipping expenses, I’m sure she can send pieces unframed and flat packed for international post so then you simply need to have your lovely piece framed locally. Easy!

To learn more about Jane, you can read a fab interview on The Design Chaser here.

Such lovely and unique work! I particularly love seeing a grouping above a sofa – don’t you?

(Photos: Kirsty Gibson Photography)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on November 27, 2013

Rugs I Met And Liked

Hey gang! How are ya? I’m doing well – just insanely busy with our renovations on the new apartment and now, of all things, I’m shopping for rugs when I should be packing my entire house. So let’s talk about rugs. I’m all into the fuzzy plush throws at the moment because it’s freaking freezing over here. With hardwood beneath my toes, I decided to buy three rugs to cozy things up so that I could enjoy being at home this winter just a wee bit more. The first of three is a Flokati rug in cream for our baby’s nursery. Allow me to introduce you…

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I’ve been wanting one of these since I started blogging in 2006 (yes, really!) because I saw it way back then in Domino magazine and thought it was the best looking rug in the world. I really have no clue what took me so long… Here is the rug above (shown in someone else’s home that I swiped from the seller’s store). It will look super cozy against the new hardwood flooring that will be installed first week of December. I bought it from a seller on eBay Germany called easy carpet, 140 x 200, for $235 with shipping and tax included. Cha-ching. Affordable and the right size. The seller may or may not be a total jerk and the rug may or may not show up looking great or awful, so this is by no means a review of the product or seller. But with a 100% rating and a swanky rug photo (above), I’m thinking it will be just what I was looking for. Plus, if I were a baby, I’d vomit on this in a hot second so it will be perfect for my wee one to laze around on while mama blogs. The beauty of this beast is that it’s neutral so If I don’t end up liking it in the baby’s room, because I’m like that a lot lately (ask my husband), it may end up in my bedroom or someplace else. But for now, it’s destination baby room.

Okay, moving on to my second rug. This one may make you a little jealous. My apologizes in advance.

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In 2010 I was introduced to vintage Beni Ouarain carpets while in Marrakesh on a retreat where I was teaching students about how to find their style and inspiration which ended up being a big 10 day slumber party with lots of booze and food with a bunch of amazing women. We ate, shopped and gossiped our way to insta-friendship and we’re all still friends today… We stayed at the fab Peacock Pavilions owned by the author of Marrakesh by Design and blog goddess, Maryam Montague (who was one of my first blog readers from wayyyy back in 2006!). It was Maryam who turned me onto these Beni O’s. Before that, I’d seen them around but never knew what they were called.

A few years prior, in 2007, I bought a gorgeous Moroccan wedding blanket off of Maryam and cherished it so much that when the trip of a lifetime came for me to lead a class in Marrakesh for Ace Camps, I raced for the nearest airport because I wanted more of where that blanket came from. And wow, when I arrived, I was in Moroccan bliss. Souk after souk, rug after rug, pouf after pouf and spice after spice, I was seduced by Marrakesh and it’s loot and three years later, I still wished I had listened to my gut when I was drooling over Beni Ouarain rugs with Maryam one afternoon. I nearly settled on one in particular but I walked. And I’ve been wanting it ever since.

I remembered what it looked like thanks to my photographic memory and my amazing skill of never forgetting when I do stupid things… But I’d not found anything even remotely like it since, until a few days ago when I spotted it on Etsy (of all places). I instantly realized that this was my big chance to reclaim my lost purchase in time. I could, after three long years, own the rug that got away. So I contacted the seller, Pink Rug Co., frantically  measured my space, and clicked PURCHASE.

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Ah yeah. I am the proud owner of this rug shown above. This sexy lady will lay perfectly beneath my dining table but she may end up getting laid elsewhere as the mood hits. I always buy rugs and most everything else that can be used in any room to suit my decorating ADD.

Another carpet I bought recently, for the baby’s room (I know, baby, baby, baby! martha! martha! martha!), is this Olli Ella round felted gum ball rug. With one catch… I had it custom made because neither one shown below fit my scheme 100% and they were nice enough to create one for me (aka put up with my crap)- which, honestly, was the nicest thing in the world because I didn’t expect it at all. Most companies tell me to bite it. But listen up (this next bit requires a cup of coffee to understand), the color palette is a combo of both rugs so imagine balls (!) in gray, mint, yellow, pale beige and I think a darker yellow (I can’t recall what I ordered anymore). Can you envision this? It’s a bit of both of these rugs below minus the pink? I don’t know. It’s just going to be pretty and that’s all I care about.

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Yeah, so there are some of my new rugs. When I get ‘em in place in the brand new space, I’ll show you the pics and give ya some tips. Word. Stay tuned.

Any rug crushes you’ve had lately? Any rug purchases made that you’d like to share? With cooler temps, rugs are all the rage in my world at the moment. I have all of my sheepskins out and on chairs and floors and I’m doing the whole rustic thing at the moment. You too?

(images: linked to their sources above.)

Posted in inspiration on November 26, 2013

Food In Motion: Healthy Vegetarian Side Dish For Thanksgiving

Hello everyone, are you ready to learn how to make a lovely, healthy side vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving this year? This is Jewels (Liz and I alternate months on decor8) with another episode of Food in Motion! So tell me, are you guys already thinking about what to make for Turkey day? I grew up in Germany and Thanksgiving had no meaning in my family’s life. My German family is looking forward to Christmas and can’t wait to have me and my new little family including my tiny daughter Clementine come visit. Over here in the US though, Thanksgiving is so important that I almost feel like it’s a trial run for Christmas! My husband’s mom has been browsing through food magazines for weeks to find inspiration. I am a vegetarian, so a shiny bird is not going to float my boat. I need some tasty alternatives that are a little more exciting than just mashed potatoes and sautéed carrots. I want to contribute something to this meal and of course also impress my American family with something that is healthy and super delicious at the same time.

As I learned Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest. Good thing I am blessed with a beautiful farmers market that conveniently offers me their harvest every Wednesday. So I chose some winter veggies that I usually eat cooked but that are also edible raw. When I know that I will photograph something later, I always think of color, too. So I picked only white vegetables and then some green micro radishes for contrast. They are full of flavor and vitamins! For some excitement I decided to make a vinaigrette with sparkling wine. I have never made that before but I had heard of it and it always sounded like a great idea to have some bubbly in a vinaigrette. Mmmh.. and it turned out to be true. But try for yourself!

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Here is the recipe for 2 portions:

1/4 of a small cauliflower
1/2 fennel
1/4 of a small white cabbage
1/2 shallot
1/2 small apple
juice of half a lime
1 small handful of micro radishes

Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoons of sparkling wine
3 table spoons of olive oil
3 table spoons of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of agave
juice of the other half of lime
salt
pepper

How To: Shave all the veggies and the apple into thin slices. Pour the lime juice onto the apple to keep it from browning. For the vinaigrette put all liquids and the spices in a small jar and shake well. Pour the vinaigrette of the salad and enjoy!

Next month, see what Liz will make for a Christmas sweet treat! Bye for now – Jewels.

(text/copy/video: julia “jewels” cawley)

Posted in Food In Motion on November 25, 2013

Decorating Our Baby’s Room: Part One

Hello everyone! I thought you may enjoy to see the mood board to our baby’s room that I’ve been working off of for a few months now and to learn a little about the process of putting it all together. I didn’t imagine a “blue” room and wasn’t interested in mixing in pop culture references or anything too theme-y, so I kept it light, friendly, creative and happy and also in colors that work with the rest of our home. Here is my mood board and the 12 steps that I took to pull the look together.

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CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE EVERYTHING CLEARLY AND TO READ MY COMMENTS

1. Inspiration + Mood. First, I selected a “jumping off point”, a place to begin. For me, it was a patterned wallpaper. I had wanted wallpaper in the space since I first began thinking about a nursery so this was a natural starting point for me. I also started a private pinboard and a file on my desktop where I have been saving all of ideas from lighting to furnishings.
2. Measurements. Next, I measured the room.
3. Wallpaper + Colors. I decided if I wanted all walls patterned or just one. Decided on just one. Then I thought about the mood that I wanted to create. The color palette came naturally when I found the wallpaper that I loved. I pulled the palette directly from the pattern. Easy!
4. Paint. I picked a paint color for the other 3 walls to coordinate with the wallpaper, choose all white paint for the ceiling.
5. Flooring. The floor in the new apartment, at least in the back part of the house where the bedrooms are, was originally faux wood linoleum. It was a mess with tons of scratches. We decided on an Acorn hardwood floor with a matte finish and it is currently being installed. Yay!
6. Furnishings. I had nothing to put into the room, so I had to start from scratch so I chose the eco-baby bed first, then moved on from there. I’m still looking for a free-standing wooden closet. After the crib and storage, including wall boxes, a small bookcase and stackable wooden storage boxes for the floor with cut out faces, I thought about a comfortable rocker but I wanted something very well made, cozy and more of a glider but nothing that screamed out, “Baby Rocker!”. That’s not a bad thing, I simply want to be able to have my son use this chair in his room for many years.
7. Rugs. I choose two. A round felted rug that I’ve custom-ordered with hundreds of tiny balls to form a circular rug. The second will be a larger, rectangular (5×7) flokati rug because I love how soft and cozy they are and I know it will look great against the wood flooring.
8. Lighting. I ordered a sweet porcelain owl lamp and my friend gave me a darling hedgehog night light, so I’m now trying to find the perfect pendant for the room and a reading light for next to the chair…
9. Bedding. I started to buy bedding and finished the quilt I had begun making before I got pregnant for my “someday” baby. I’ve also been gifted with bedding so I’ll work that into the room after everything is in place – so far, all of it works color-wise so it will be pretty.
10. Windows. Soon I’ll have a custom roman shade made for the window. Thinking to do white with a yellow border so it looks very neat and I can bring out more of the golden yellow in the room. The yellow is the exact color of billy buttons (craspedia) so I’d like to work more of it into the room. Or I may go with a very nice patterned shade. Still thinking about that one…
11. Art. I’ll pick out art for the walls, make my own artwork (I have a nice idea for this), create a bunting, and add a few more accessories to warm up the space. I would rather wait though until I have everything in place and then think about artwork, especially since I have some pieces in storage that may work that are also meaningful to me.
12. Accessories. With the basics in place, I’ve already begun to slowly buy a few accessories, children’s books and of course, sweet tiny baby clothes. I would rather let this part grow organically since I know my friends and family will enjoy giving us sweet things. I’d rather have the accessories be very memory rich for us all vs. stuff I just loaded up on pre-birth from a store.

I’ll soon show you before and during photos, link to all of the products that I end up using in the design, and then… the big AFTER reveal! I should have the part two post up by mid December and the “After” photos during the first week of January… So stay tuned!

What do you guys think??? 

Posted in Decorating Tips on November 23, 2013

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