December 21st, 2010

Decoration Inspiration

So, it’s just a few days before Christmas and the extent of my holiday decorating so far has been to buy 3 poinsettia plants and string lights (just lights, mind you) on the tree. In trying to get myself more in the holiday decorating  mood (before New Years, at least), I decided to do some design blog surfing. Stopping for a bit at Bloesem I came across this series of posts that feature reader’s own homes, and there is some very sweet stuff scattered throughout including a


black and white take on the holiday


a vintage ornament chandelier (Love this!)


some fluffy felt pom poms (A-dorable)


and handmade felt ornaments. The decoration styles reflected throughout represent a very international and eclectic vibe and there is some very nice photo styling to enjoy. Hmmm, I think that if I “spin” this whole Xmas decorating idea to myself as “styling cool things for my house” rather than “dusting off the old nutcrackers” I might just get this done today! (and on a different front, I DO have my shopping done, at least!)

December 17th, 2010

Three Faiths

In the spirit of the season I have a tip to share: On a November trip to New York City, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a uniquely beautiful and educational exhibit at the New York Public Library called Three Faiths. It is running through February 27th and I highly recommend it if you are in the neighborhood. That neighborhood would be midtown Manhattan-5th Ave.



From a review in the New York Times.

Out of many, one. That could well be the motto of this ambitious exhibition. It focuses on “the three Abrahamic religions” — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — each of which takes as a forebear an “itinerant herdsman” of the Middle East, Abraham, who affirmed belief in a single God. As the show puts it, Abraham rejected “the religions of antiquity with their plethora of gods, each imbued with a particular attribute, purpose and power,” replacing the many with the one.

The Abrahamic religions share other characteristics as well. Each believes that God has made himself known to his prophets through acts of revelation. And such revelations shape groups of believers by being incorporated in canonical written texts: the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Gospels, the Islamic Koran.



Personally, I found it very moving and enlightening, and the level of artistic skill and craftsmanship in the creation of the ancient religious texts is incomparable. The NYC Library itself is an architectural gem with its elaborately carved coffer ceilings, marble walls,  and ceiling murals in the reading rooms. It’s worth a visit just to wander the halls, but if you can catch this free exhibit, even better!

December 10th, 2010

Petra Voegtle

When someone shines a nice, bright light on your business in a blog post, such as Petra Voegtle did for me here, it is good form to return the favor. Now, this is neither a chore or a difficult obligation considering the scope and artistic skills represented in her beautiful work.

Petra Voegtle art 5

Petra began her artistic journey with wood carving, which led to explorations in painting and art photography. Her current medium of focus in painting on fabric, mostly silk, and going back to her “roots” her recent work features highly textural treatments with the fabric which she calls “silk carving”.

Petra Voegtle art 4

She is particularly inspired by the overwhelming ornament found in temples and other places of workshiop in Southeast Asia.

Petra Voegtle art 3

You can find the portal to Petra’s work through here main art website, Vyala Arts.

Petra Voegtle art 1

I especially love this portion of her artist’s statement.

Our whole life is surrounded by magic and this is what I want to make the viewer see. Ancient cultures inherit magic. Sometimes we fail to interpret ancient pictograms and images but we feel a certain affinity and similarity in modern symbols. This is pure emotion that speaks to our secret wishes and hopes. There is magic in all living creatures but seldom enough we care to see it. And there is magic in each and every landscape on this planet – sometimes quite obvious and sometimes only after a second look.

Petra Voegtle art 2

The two paintings above feature imagery created with stencils and wood block printing. Besides her art website, Petra has multiple blogs including Art and Interior and a fabulous photography and color blog,  but I think that the best way to view her original and beautiful artworks (the silk painting are to die for!) is on her Etsy site.

December 9th, 2010

Yolo Colorhouse

I can’t keep from going back to the webstie of Yolo Colorhouse lately. I love their paint colors, their vibe, the design of their website-as well as their environmental approach to paint.


I always appreciate seeing new color trends, and am particularly attracted to Yolo Boho above.


And I love their section on “people in their spaces“. How often do you see interior shots with actual beings in them? It makes it so much more personal, I think.

They also have a super inspirational blog that shows their paint colors matched up to beautiful photography of things like— The Color of Figs. How yummy is that?!

December 8th, 2010

Holiday Specials


With the holidays fast approaching, I can only guess what is on everyone’s mind. Stencils! Painting projects! OK, probably shopping and tree trimming. But just in case you WERE thinking about stencils and projects, I should let you know about our December specials and gifties.

At Royal Design Studio we are including  a set of 3 adorable little snowflake stencils (with min. purchase), so you can add a personal touch to your holiday decorating.


Over at Modello Designs, we have a sparkly little Tamise sale, with up to 50% off on selected colors. I suggest that you buy several dozen jars and toss it around like snow!

Modello Designs/Royal Design Studio Gift-Certificates
If you are in a quandry about what to give your Facebook BFFs, or what to tell Santa to leave in YOUR stocking, might I suggest the ever popular and appropriate Gift Certificate, avalable here, and here….because you are going to need SOMEthing to do in January after all those decorations are put away!

Wishing you and yours a most loving and joyous holiday!

December 7th, 2010

Pattern Calendar

I came across this patterned calendar this morning and thought it was quite an ingenious idea.


There is a different pattern for each month of the year, so you can enjoy a fresh new design monthly. As the month passes, you can use the patterned paper as gift wrapping or ??


This would be a great DIY project to give as a gift (or keep for yourself). Of course, Ithink it would be even better if you used stencil patterns-say from Royal Design Studio (wink). You could use nice large sheets of paper from the art store and stitch on simple calendar pages from the office supply store. If you fancy this particular one, it’s available here.

December 1st, 2010

A Pretty Pair

Perhaps you are in a dark and gloomy place, or WORSE, a dark and gloomy “space”. Here’s a double dose of ”happy” from two very colorful ladies….

Amy Butler
Amy Butler 2

Amy Butler-whose little design empire seems to be deservedly growing by leaps and bounds.

Heather Bailey 1

Heather Baily 2

Heather Bailey-a stay-at-home Mom made good.