Arts + Crafts, Inspiration

A few of my favorite things…

September 18, 2007

I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite things this week. The first shot is of Boston Home magazine flaunting it’s sparkling new image. With the arrival of editor Rachel Levitt along with a new art director, the renamed Boston Home magazine feels fresh, hip, and for me, way more exciting that previous issues that still felt a bit trapped in the Ye Ole New England that most of us like for it’s charm, but certainly don’t mind merging a bit of the old with latest trends and ideas. This magazine is great news for Boston because the city is rapidly growing and with transplants making a home for themselves in brownstones and loft spaces throughout the city, they really need a great local magazine to turn to for inspiration and resources.

A few of my favorite things...
If you look carefully at the cover (top right), you’ll see my friend Fernanda of Simplemente Blanco, an interior designer, amazing stylist, product designer, seamstress (the list goes on forever, she’s such an inspiration to me!) from Argentina who now lives in Boston with her husband. They have an artist’s loft, office, and showroom in the South End, a home in Brookline, and they’ve recently opened a new retail storefront called On The Side, collaborating with the extremely talented guys from Boxx Furniture. The store flaunts the more industrial, contemporary furniture from Boxx, and the soft touches, clean lines, and multiple layers and textures of Simplemente Blanco. Together, the unexpected combinations of warmth and beauty mingled with modern and industrial, really work. And that’s the beauty of an amazing designer – they can merge several different styles and somehow make them work in ways the average person may never have thought of. Gorgeous. Here’s a shot of their new storefront, located at 46 Waltham Street in Boston.

A few of my favorite things...
If you’re local, you have to go visit them, they’re all very nice people and the space is exquisite – a breathe of fresh air for Boston. Also be sure to pick up Boston Home magazine and look for the article and beautiful interior photos of the Simplemente Blanco home in Brookline. Congratulations, Fernanda!

Another favorite thing of the moment, Martha Stewart’s Good Things (just hit newsstands, top left) showing all these affordable and easy DIY projects for the home. For $4, it’s compact, loaded with ideas, what every DIY enthusiast should own. I have to try out the stenciled doormat next Spring, it looks so easy and I love the idea of personalizing one using paint and stencils. FUN.

A few of my favorite things...
The next little thing I’ve found quite useful lately is the Perry Street clock at Kate Spade. It’s available in yellow, blue, black, green, and pink (in stores, online just yellow) and so very cute and sturdy. It even has a little screw in kick stand that holds it up, and the alarm is loud enough to wake you from even the deepest sweet dreams. Because it’s so compact, it makes for the perfect travel companion, this little guy is going with me to Germany. It’s also affordable at $40, a mini splurge that you’re sure to love for years, plus it would make the sweetest gift.

A few of my favorite things...
While browsing the South End Open Market this past Sunday, I met Mimi Kirchner and viewed her textile artwork and dolls, which are so intricately made that I walked away thinking she must have more patience that 10 people combined. I purchased this 4 x 6 artwork, and although you can’t see the details, the girl is painted, sewn, and it appears as though she used ink to draw in all the details on her face.

A few of my favorite things...
For $22, this is such a special piece of work. I framed it in a $3 IKEA frame and think it looks really pretty, maybe I’ll give it to a friend or something. I was glad to meet Mimi as I only first heard about her about a month ago from the girls that run the Boston Handmade blog.

A few of my favorite things...
If you love cooking and gorgeous imagery in cookbooks, you have to get your hands on Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. It’s flat out AMAZING. Trust me on this. The recipes are wonderful and you can spend an entire afternoon just looking at the pictures in this inspiring book. I saw it at Anthropologie last night and still feel bad that I left it behind. I’m going to order it right now… If you’d like to learn more about Tessa Kiros, visit blogger Who Wants Seconds and read her interview with Tessa.

A few of my favorite things...
And I can’t talk about favorite things without showing you some Amy Butler fabric that I picked up last night. A decor8 reader commented once that Fabric Place in Woburn wasn’t as nice as the one in Framingham, so I headed over there on my way to meet my friend Paris for dinner and shopping at the new Natick Collection, I had to swing by Fabric Place to explore – and score! Lots of Amy Butler fabric in my favorite colorways – blues, blues, and more blue tones!

A few of my favorite things...
This one will become a roman shade or curtain of some sort for my kitchen where the walls are yellow – I think it will really highlight them. This is one of the projects I plan to work on while in Germany with my seamstress friend Susanna. Some of the others will be used to make a large gumdrop pillow, another project for Susanna and I to keep me busy on rainy days. When these projects are complete, I’ll share them with you.

A few of my favorite things...

And of course I’ll bring along my new Amy Butler Sew-It Kit, it includes a booklet, tons of patterns, instructions, thread, 2 pieces of fabric, and more!

What are some of your favorite things of the moment?

(images by holly becker for decor8)






Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves

Selflesh

September 18, 2007

I think the work of Selflesh is fascinating, I love enlarging the images and looking at the details on the maps. Shannon Rankin is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Maine, with a blog and an etsy store where you can find these prints for around $20.

Selflesh
Shannon uses her art to discover the many connections that exist between geography, anatomy, and botany, combining “the visual elements of maps, anatomical illustrations, and natural forms to explore themes of travel, healing, and time.”

Psst: Would you like to see her workspace? Click here to visit her shed, it’s pretty cool!

(images from selflesh)






Arts + Crafts

Stephanie Levy

September 18, 2007

If you crave color, you’ll love Stephanie Levy. This talented lady recently wrote to me about her mixed media collages and paintings that depict fictional interiors of colorful, retro spaces. An American artist from Tennessee now living in Germany, Stephanie is quite a shooting star on the web, as her work is jumping around from blog to blog, and now from gallery to gallery. Currently, she’s showing some collages at SQFT Gallery in Nashville, and they’re available in their online shop until September 28th.

Stephanie LevyI’m quite drawn to mixed media collage art, my fascination started as a child because my mother and aunt created art for our family home, including my nursery, I feel warm and at home when I’m around it. Stephanie’s work is exciting because she infuses gorgeous patterns and bright, mostly primary colors that aren’t a bit childish or harsh, but joyous and invigorating.

Stephanie Levy
Seeing this work motivates me to create, don’t you feel the same way?

Nice work, Stephanie, you not only create beautiful things, but also ignite a creative spark in others. :) Thank you for writing in and congratulations on your new baby girl!

(images from stephanie levy)






Stationery

Blue Ribbon Design

September 18, 2007

Letterpress hang tags from Blue Ribbon Design add such a special touch to a wine bottle or on a pretty gift, but I’d love to see them hanging from storage boxes or baskets to identify what’s inside, perhaps in a craft room or in the closet? So pretty…

Blue Ribbon Design

(image from blue ribbon design)






DIY

Daub and Bauble

September 18, 2007

When it comes to selecting products for the home, I’m a detail-oriented person, giving attention to the little things that are often overlooked by others – are you this way too? I bet most of us are, we all love to discover pretty things. When I’m out shopping for the very basics (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap), in addition to scanning ingredients, I look for packaging that is simple, pretty, and matches the room I plan to use/display the product in. Even a shampoo bottle can look pretty, and sure that sounds a bit dorky, but why not enjoy beautiful ‘mundane’ things?

Daub and Bauble
Take Daub and Bauble, a brand new company based in Minnesota with packaging that is not only modern, but 100% recyclable. And (big bonus points here), their hand wash, detergent, and hand lotion is available in delicious fragrances like Fig + Thyme, Lemon + Ginger, and Orange + Clove. You can purchase some for your home at online apothecary, Home 101 based right here in New Hampshire.

TIP: If you’re on a budget, why not buy a few empty bottles at The Container Store, fill them with your soap, detergent, or lotion of choice, and apply a single band of vintage wallpaper, fabric, or wallpaper or gift wrap leftovers from a recent project you’ve worked on? If you’d like to seal it, brush over matte gel medium or clear glue that you’d use for decoupage projects.

(images from daub and bauble)






Stationery

Designs by Val

September 18, 2007

Valerie Lau wrote in about her stationery line, Designs by Val, and was nice enough to send along a little sample pack, thank you so much Valerie!

Designs by Val
I really like the linen finish on her cards, and that some are hand-embellished with dainty ribbons, tiny jewels, and vintage buttons – such a sweet touch! With a background in business, marketing and publishing, this Vancouver designer is inspired by trends in the design world — from fashion to interiors, and translates that into cards that are modern and playful with great attention to detail.

Designs by ValDesigns by ValDesigns by Val
If you’d like to see more of her card designs or shop her new online store, I can assure you that iyou will adore them just like I do. Thanks Val for writing in!

(images by holly becker for decor8)






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