Oh JoyOh Joy

Happy Friday!

It's been a chock-full week of posting for me, so I'm going to say 'Bon Weekend' early today. I wanted to take a tiny break from design for a bit of oooh-and-awww cuteness. Here's a photo of (one of our cats) Lucy when she was a wee mini cat. Sometimes I feel this shocked and overwhelmed too, Lucy....have a great weekend, everyone...!


Amazing Swedish finds at Svenskt Tenn

Svenskt Tenn is an interior design and lifestyle company in Sweden that has strong ties with its roots; in particular the legacy inherited from the founders, Estrid Ericson and designer Josef Frank. Those of your textile gurus out there may be very familiar with Frank's amazing body of work. The colors, shapes, and patterns are amazing and timeless...


Designer Interview 04: Variegated


Designer Interview 04
Who: Jim & Corbett of Variegated

I've been a big fan of Variegated's bedding and home accessories since I came across their work last year. As a home accessories designer, it was so nice to see these goods made with such great quality, colors, concepts....and they print all of their designs in their very own studio, which is a rare find for such large pieces. So, here's an interview with the guys behind this wonderful line!

1 ~ What is your role in the company?
Owners, designers, manufacturers, shippers, garbage taker outers, anything and everything that has to be done.

2 ~ What inspired you to start your line?
Garden design, plant textures, how land forms fit in with one another creating a mapping of color and texture. Putting these ideas into something more tangible for people to experience everyday. Making people aware of interesting color combinations that surround us all the time, but we may never notice them.

3 ~ Where does the name of your company come from?
Variegated means patchwork, variety, streaked or marked with color. Variegated plants are mixed with streaks.

4 ~ Did you find it hard to get started? Did you start the business cold turkey full-time or did it start as a side project while at another job?
It started at the suggestion of some friends who were opening a store. Jim was currently only making textiles as gifts, as a hobby. The first line of products was one pattern of a throw and a pillow in six color ways. We have always had another job while running the business. At first Jim was working full time for the first two years of the business, and going to the studio at night and on the weekends. After two years, he was able to go part time doing different things. Corbett joined the company after that time. Jim and Corbett have been working together for three years now.

5 ~ How you find time to manage both your other work & your own line?
It is all about scheduling. Making sure that you spend a little bit of time with each project everyday. Making the most of your studio time, and trying to find some time off as well to keep your sanity.

6 ~ What is your favorite product or series of products in your collection?
Corbett - Licorice Allsorts pillows
Jim - Wool and Velvet throws

7 ~ Where are your items made? Are they made in factories/mills or in your own studio?
All of our items are currently made in our studio. We have worked with some domestic production houses before, but now it is all back in our hands in the studio. We like to have the control of quality and quantity at our fingertips.

8 ~ How did you go about finding a manufacturer?
Asking through fellow designers to find smaller houses that have good quality and are not looking for us to produce tens of thousands of items.

9 ~ What inspires you in general?
It sounds so stereotypical, but nature is our greatest inspiration. Not just pretty flowers and blue skies, but actually the details that are there. The intricacies of the inside of a flower, or on a piece of moss, or tree bark, etc... The geometry and color sense of nature is amazing and a bit overwhelming when you start to really notice the fine lines. We mix these ideas through various fibers and textures of fabrics, putting together unexpected combinations of materials.

10 ~ What is one piece of advice to other designers and creative types who are looking to start their own business?
Be flexible. Just when you think you have something figured out, it will change and send you in another direction. Keep making all the time. Try different things because you like them, not because you think someone else will.

11 ~ What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon?
Sleep late, enjoy an extra cup of coffee, take a longer walk with our dog, then take a nap.

12 ~ What is your favorite flower, pet/animal, and magazine?
Jim - foxglove
Corbett - Camelia

Both - Jordan, Gertrude, George, Myrna and Lulu

World of Interiors
Garden's Illustrated (it's like plant porn)

Thanks Jim & Corbett for their insight and sharing their process! See more of Variegated here and purchase their products at Design Public and Pique.


{To read past interviews, check out the Business (Mixed with Pleasure) section!}

may launch madness!

So, it's not quite May...but with all the talk earlier today about the new Blueprint, I wanted to share an update as well as another new May launch.

Blueprint hits stands any day now. Lucky girl, Mia, already received her premiere issue in the mail the other day! {I told her she must live near the distributor. Where the heck is mine, Martha?} Below left is an image from the premiere issue. {Thanks to Jordan for the tip!}


Also, new for May is the Daily's monthly magazine. Those of you who have been lucky enough to go to fashion week remember the Daily...the oversized magazine put together for every day of fashion week in a super fun tabloid style. You could only get it at the shows and it was completely up to date as of the night before. I remember in the early days when there were only a handful of people on staff at the Daily. What started as a simple take on the fashion tabloids in 2002/2003 has become a huge hit with a great website spewing daily doses of fashion insider news. The Daily Mini is the monthly version of this and hits newstands today....

{PS. To those publishers out there of such coveted magazines, shouldn't subscribers get the issues before it hits newstands? I subscribe to save money, but continually get my mags many days after seeing it in bookstores...Condé Nast, you know you're guilty...}

april showers bring...

...super cute umbrellas! I spotted these umbrellas from Pare over at 16 Sparrows and had to share. Pare is located in Seattle - one of the rainiest areas of the United States. The soggy and grey skies inspired them to start an umbrella line to cheer up those really wet days. In addition to the fun patterns, they've added extra lovely details like rattan handles, mini lace trim, and designs on the interior of the umbrellas! {Thanks to Kathy for the link!}


it's one of those issues...

...my heart beats faster and faster, I flip the next page even quicker than I did before only to find more things that i love...I feel dehydrated, but I keep going...hoping for more things to satisfy me because every page previously did just that. Yes, folks...I am talking about the May 2006 issue of Domino. I don't know what it is...I've always loved Domino, but this month it is especially wonderful. Maybe because it's their one year anniversary...maybe because it's the month of my birthday? Anyhow, I don't normally recap full issues of magazine, but I had to share a few snippets of this one...and, too boot, Domino is beginning a registry in May....

...I am slowly regaining a normal heartbeat...


pale yellows & creams for summer


{from Development Summer 06}

shop interiors...


TOP ROW: Matthew Williamson's shop in London
BOTTOM ROW: Kate Spade Baby in SoHo, New York.

Cool Blog: Sooishi

I recently came across Sooishi, a food blog from Switzerland. Ooishigal posts recipes and gorgeous photos of her creations...all explained in French. Too bad my French is really rusty, otherwise I'd try out some of these amazing recipes. And, her photos are all framed in cool angled-edge polaroids!


vintage jewelry made new

Lisa Salzer of Lulu Frost creates one-of-a-kind pieces from found period antiques, including long-lost room numbers from the legendary Plaza Hotel, cut steel shoe buckles from the 1890's, forgotten keys, and more. And, her website is really cool...