Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shop: Dwell Studio Sale

I'm taking a little break for the long weekend and will be back with posts Tuesday. In the meantime...there is a BIG whopper of a sale going on at Dwell Studio. Goodluck with your wallet because it's 20% off EVERYTHING and free shipping too! It ends Monday so check it out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Fotos: Washed, Folded...

This cutie is none other than Designing Mom Jenn's daughter, Hazel. She just had a birthday, or in the words of her father is now, "washed, folded and four months old..."
Have a happy Friday and weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Make: I Love You Jar

by Designing Mom Guissell of Earthy Beginnings

This here was a gift my son made me at school... Seriously though, how C-U-T-E is this?! The little jar reads "Whenever you are feeling lonely or blue, just take out a "I Love You"... Pure genius, we all know we have those days and this little magical bottle is just bound to pick you up when much needed. LOVE IT!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Creative Life: Mazie Kane

by Designing Mom Liberty of Libby Dibby

On Amy at Mazie Kane (photos taken by our friend Sonja)...

What is a day in your life like?
A typical day for me begins around 6:30am when I am thrust into the craziness of getting 2 of my 3 kids off to school. The rest of the day varies with errands, a trip to the gym or a quick jog hopefully, and time spent with my youngest son. If I am working on orders or creating new pieces, I usually begin them sometime in the middle of my day before it's time to pick up my kids, begin homework or take them to classes or practices. And then of course there's dinner, bedtime and me collapsing on the couch for a new episode of Lost or SYTYCD!

How do you juggle motherhood and art?
It is sometimes difficult for me to juggle motherhood and art. I try and fit it in throughout the day if I can, since I'm just about useless at night. As a previous dancer, I still love taking dance classes and that is the most challenging. I do try and squeeze in a class here or there, but not as often as I would like.

Where do you draw on for inspiration?
I am inspired by vintage findings, especially if they are wood or some sort of metal. I also love discovering new, pretty papers. And I am always inspired and in awe of other etsy artists as well as the displays at Anthropologie!

How do you recharge your creative batteries?
If I want to recharge my creative batteries, I will check out the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market or take a dance class. Both can really feed my soul.

What's one thing on your creative to do list?
One thing on my creative "to do" list is to become more proficient at sewing.

If you could do one thing this year that was totally frivolous - what would it be?
If I could do one thing this year that was totally frivolous, it would include a spa somewhere with wonderful girlfriends and some great food and wine.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shop: John W. Golden

by Designing Mom Tori of Tori Higa

I am getting ready to decorate a kid's bathroom and I stumbled upon some pretty great artwork via the John W. Golden etsy shop that I thought I would share. Wouldn't a grouping of these be adorable in a child's bathroom? He has tons of great work in his etsy shop that would make perfect accents in just about any room.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shop: Heath for Life

I remember getting all sorts of advice on registry shopping when I was getting married...especially about dinnerware. I'm thankful I didn't listen to the bit about fine china because it's something that just never fit our style and needs. But where was the advice about everyday ware and finding a timeless manufacturer especially when you become a mom?

This leads me to the infamous Heath Ceramics in Sausalito. It was started by Edith Heath in the 40's and operates to the same standards that it began with which is just wonderful. I get fifty lashes for never having visited the studio in all the years I have been in the bay area. Horrible! But what finally brought me there was breaking yet another of my everyday stoneware plates. Nobody ever prepared me to lose half my dishes and mugs from becoming a mom because of having to one-arm my way through the kitchen! The style of my stoneware dinnerware had been discontinued for quite some time and I kept waiting it out...telling myself when I was down to the very last of it all, I'd go to Heath...for life.

above: I loved their tile and tea towel did the munchkin.

above: the woman who helped me was so patient. the great thing is you are able to mix and match and while I narrowed it down to the Coupe collection, I ended up standing there for eons replaying the endless combinations.

above: in the end, I chose core linen and french grey plates with black bowls to keep it neutral, and replaceable...but mixed in some verde and persimmon bowls for fun. Thank you Heath--you've gained another fan and lifer over here!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Fotos: E is for Einstein

above: Designing Mom Guissell's adorable son "E"
doing his best impersonation of Einstein.

Have a Happy Friday and weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shop: Silhouette Art

Earlier this week I posted up some silhouette pillows by Vana Chupp that I loved. And no surprise that talented Aya helped to design Vana's first book, Silhouette Art: Papers, Instructions, and Patterns for Making Modern Heirlooms. It publishes in Aug but here's a little preview. I can't wait to see the patterns and templates!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NSS Highlights...

I've been in NY the past few days at the National Stationery Show to debut new products from our line. The funny thing about shows like that is that you are so entrenched in the biosphere of your own little space that it's hard to get out and roam and visit with all of the other amazing lines as much as one would like. Grace at Design Sponge has always had amazing coverage of it and I must confes that I glean more from her than my own explorations!

We were lucky enough for Grace to include our new baby milestones calendar (below) in the coverage. And I absolutely loved the baby themed products put out by Enormous Champion and Ink and Wit (photos 2 and three below). Click here to see the full D*Sponge post!

Our Lists: Tea Towels

by Designing Mom Guissell of Earthy Beginnings

I've been longing for a dinner table since the day my son graduated from a high chair. I envision all the pretty things I would place on it, besides food of course! In the meantime, I have noticed this surge of linen and cotton tea towels as of late which I find pretty cool. Below are just a small collection of tea towels I've been admiring from afar... until I get that dinner table that is!

1. Falling Leaves Tea Towel by Madder Root

2. Ray of Light by Inklore

3. Queen Anne's lace towel by Inleaf

4. Suppertime tea towel by MrPS

5. Red-backed Wren and Wattle by Formosa Design

6. Assorted Tea Towels by Hammocks & High Tea

7. Squid Linens by Squid Ink Kollective

8. Creat A Set (Owl) by The Heated

I'd like to add that I have seen the Hammocks & High Tea and Inleaf ones in person and these are high quality towels worth every penny!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome new Designing Mom: Sara

I always know it's going to be a great Monday when I get to introduce a new Designing Mom. Our newest "Make" contributor has projects that will make you dizzy with creative inspiration. Sara of Creative Jewish Mom lives in Israel with her family and it's evident their beautiful surroundings and family life inspire the innumerable crafts and projects she carefully creates and documents. In fact, her cake for her four year old looked so fun it inspired me to try one for my own little one's recent birthday (even though it turned into a misshapen macaroon tower). I hope you are inspired by her projects as well! Read on about her and please help me welcome Sara to Designing Moms!

Hi, I'm Sara of, and I'm so happy to be here joining this amazing group of designing moms! I'm originally from Northern California, studied design in graduate school in New York, and worked in both advertising and the garment industry in Manhattan before choosing a totally different lifestyle and cultural experience here in Israel. I now live with my husband and five children in the gorgeous rolling hills of Northern Israel, where we have chosen to raise our family in a quiet and relatively non-materialistic environment. I work from home as a freelance graphic designer and crafts writer, and have started my blog as a first step in a larger plan to hopefully develop a product line and publish my work.

I'm what you'd call an all around designer and crafter, and I love the challenge of using both my knowledge and creativity to come up with design solutions for clients as well as for my own personal projects. I truly believe that having the opportunity to raise children stretches us in ways that also make us even better designers! And for myself, having chosen to live in a place with no shopping malls or large stores nearby (and in any case certainly nothing even close to a JoAnnes!) I have been forced to be even more creative with decorating and design solutions for my home as well as creative outlets for myself and my children.

Though I dabbled in crafts as a teenager, I spent many more hours playing sports and even studied science in college! I developed my true love for design while studying and later working in Manhattan, and my love for crafting was born here in Israel, a result of my need for some creative stimulation. My best ideas are the ones that quite simply pop into my head, but I'm certainly influenced by everything I see, and I've been very inspired and learned many valuable crafting techniques from the vast array of craft blogs and websites now rapidly multiplying on the internet. My day is a fairly typical of any work at home, stay at home mom! We are all master jugglers and if a ball gets dropped here and there hopefully it's something that isn't breakable! All of my children are now in school, so I theoretically have mornings until 1:15 free for my own projects, and I usually return to the computer after the children are in bed. Late afternoons and evenings are family time and I try to do craft projects with my kids as well as getting outside for some fresh air when the weather permits. I've put together a little photo essay to give you an idea of what my life looks like, at it's most photogenic moments that is!

Designing moms Roses

I love plants! As it turns out, because we live in a complex of homes built on a hill, I don't have any actual land! Fortunately I'm a designer and came up with a solution: I built a large rose bed next to the entrance to our home, and have created a garden like feeling with pots containing many beautiful and flourishing plant species. In any case, my plate is more than full, I wouldn't know where to find the time for an actual garden!

Designing Mom Climbing rose

I've always loved climbing roses and found a spot for them too! I just love this photo with our mountain view in the background. Flowering vines are particularly exciting, especially this fragrant stephanotis.

Designing Moms stencils

I call the style of our home "Moroccan meets the sixties in Upstate New York" if that makes any sense to you! I try to keep the house spare looking as it's much easier to clean and quickly organize when there's not too much around. (You know like when an unexpected visitor calls and says they are in the neighborhood and the house is upside down! ) I have added details with stenciling and combined some of my flea market finds with touches of Moroccan iron work and lanterns.

Designing mom Paper Decorations

The neutral palette I've created is a great backdrop for splashes of color, and I love to decorate for holidays and special occasions with artwork I've done together with my children. Recently I've been bitten by a little crochet bug, resulting in some fun handcrafted items hanging around the house here and there!

Designing Mom kids art

Since creativity is such a large and joyful part of my life, I make a serious effort to sit down with my children for some art time, and I encourage them to work on projects themselves, to build confidence and foster a love for crafts!

Designing Moms Picnic details

Of course appreciating the world around us is an important part of life too, which means taking the time to get out of the house and explore! We like to take walks through the antique cobblestone alleys of the old section of our town and discover artful details. At the top of the hill on which our city is built is a nice park with stunning views, lots of open sky, and a great spot for a picnic. This time it's whole wheat pizza roll-ups that mom baked for the occasion!

Designing Mom Walk In Nature

Another favorite destination is the nature preserve just below our home. We love the stunning views of the country side, the wild flowers in the spring, the occasional grazing cow, and the opportunity to do some nature collecting! Whoops, the sun is setting already? Where has the day gone?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Fotos: Sunny Days

This Friday Foto comes from Designing Mom Erika of Delphine Press. What a beautiful walk in the marsh!
Hope all of you have a happy Friday and weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Make: Happy Hands

These were wonderful Mother's Day projects that Designing Mom Jackie of Avocado and Papaya created (with some help from her sons) for her own mom. They definitely make great year-round gifts...just think how cute to give this to a favorite teacher? Click here to see the full tutorial.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shop: Le Papier Studio

Silhouettes are so utterly charming and timeless. These versions did me in with their adorable "+" and "=" signs. These customizable "family portrait" pillows and lockets by Vana at Le Papier Studio are not only perfect personal decor for the home but make great gifts as well. Click here to visit!

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