Friday, April 30, 2010

Super Cute & Eco-Friendly - Get in the "Loop"

There are those who tear into gifts quickly with little regard for the wrapping and others who savor the experience; carefully undoing the bow, gently peeling off the tape and unfolding the paper as if it's part of the present as well. It's pretty safe to say that anything that arrives within a sheet of Loop designer Elissa Brown Barbieri's thoughtful, hand-drawn prints, will be considered extra special, and the opening process will no doubt be slowed to a slow, reverent pace. The organic motifs are sustainably produced, and really lovely. In addition to their wrap they also prodcuce notecards, notebooks/journals, prints and a new organic textile line, too.

Loop based in Philadelphia is a comapny that develops organic, sustainable lifestyle goods for design-savvy individuals. Loop products satisfy a craving for unique, well-made, modern desk and home accessories that support a green(er) lifestyle. Loop celebrates modern design and encourages environmental stewardship.

Influenced by nature and her study of Architecture owner / designer Elissa Brown Barbieri creates intricate, hand-drawn patterns + paintings  with a subtle palette and lush sensibility. Loop’s eco standards go beyond product trends;they celebrate beauty,promote healthy living, give back to the community and support industry innovation. Inspired by the natural world they strive to sustain its resources. In their words, " it's our  "loop", our responsibility, our pleasure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lollipop Lollipop, Oh Lolli Lollipop! Love the new take on these classic chairs

The Lollipop Shoppe is a UK company that provides a carefully chosen range of outstandingly conceived and crafted furniture and accessories. Representing a select group of major international manufacturers, it offers a range of both classic and contemporary pieces by established designers as well as new & exciting, up-and-coming design talent.

With a discerning outlook and a keen eye for aesthetics, The Lollipop Shoppe takes pride in its enthusiasm, knowledge and attention to detail. The brand’s eclectic portfolio has been expertly planned and developed to be lifestyle friendly, furnishing  where clients walk away with a winning combination of choice, quality and character. The Lollipop Shoppe was established in 2007 to showcase a shared vision of contemporary design. Though its founding partners hail from different backgrounds, their inclinations and influences are complementary, resulting in an intriguing mix of styles and pieces. The product mix and display is based on the principle of perpetual renewal, showcasing modern, accessible design, appealing to a broad-yet-discriminating clientele.  From the start, the guiding principle of The Lollipop Shoppe was to create a relaxed, informal environment where clients could feel welcome and inspired. It’s a place where you can dig a little deeper to appreciate the processes, materials and design details that go into creating a worthwhile piece of contemporary design. Driven by a curiosity and a desire to stand apart, The Lollipop Shoppe is a place to feel surprised, stimulated and uplifted.  

The chair featured here, that I love is called the  "Y-Chair" or "Wishbone Chair" as it is often called due to the shape of the back, is a light chair and even being an armchair a relatively small piece of furniture. It was designed by Hans J. Wegner and is a contemporary classic, that has graced dining tables around the world.  CH24 was designed as far back as 1949 and is therefore the first of Wegner's chairs for Carl Hansen & Sons. The curved hind legs and the semicircular top rail together with the elegant "Y" back endows the chairs with a welcoming air. The chair sits well and its spaciousness allows its user to change position. The back offers good support. Here, in it's present form, the Wishbone Chair continues to appeal to design aficionados of all ages. Carl Hansen & Son are celebrating the chair's 60th with a palette of new colour possibilities including four kinds of Citrus and an all new white paper cord seat.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time to snuggle down with Deona Fish’s “Sleepy Little Dreams”

Deona's paintings open a doorway into a nostalgic world where whim and simplicity guide you into feelings and memories still lingering from your childhood. Her characters are expressions of the innocence inherent in all beings and the common thread we share with all life. Deona's source of inspiration (the preschool and kindergarten children she taught, along with her one year old son) is wonderfully obvious. Her paintings embody their innate sense of creativity, but with a calm tone and muted color cultivated by her time with nature and in her little cabin on the side of a hill in Leicester, North Carolina.  

Over the past two years, Deona has been traveling the southeast attending art and folk art festivals. The exposure to other amazing artists and kind people has spurred a growth in her work. She is currently displaying her work at Atelier 24 Lexington and Woolworth Walk in Asheville, NC, the Winder Binder Gallery of Folk Art in Chattanooga,Tn and the Blue Magnolia in Augusta, Ga.
Deona shares that all of her life, she has kept a shoe box of paints, scrap wood, canvas and a sketchbook nearby. Trying to be resourceful, she collects used canvases and old frames from rummage sales. She jokes that she often "hit up old barn wood piles and find objects walking down the street".  Along with acrylics, she sometimes uses wood putty and wax, all together to become her medium to create art.
Creating art gives Deona both peace of mind and a great release, through "the sensation of the way a line curves just right or how two colors compliment each other". Inspired by nature, the countryside and a  child-like spirit her work has a simple and whimsical feel.

As an owner of her artwork, I can tell you that it brings a smile to my face
everytime I look at it. It brightens my day and invites me into a world of wonder.

you can view Deona's work at the galleries mentioned or on
you can also keep up with her latest happenings on facebook and myspace

Monday, April 26, 2010

All in the Family - The Hable Sisters adding color & excitement to our day!

The Texan sisters and design experts, Susan and Katharine Hable, founded the NYC-based textiles company Hable Construction in 1999 - named after their great grandfather’s twentieth century road construction business. Paving roads of a different sort, the new generation of the family business merged their skills and talents with an updated sensibility, aiming to create artfully distinctive and utilitarian products for everyday living. The Hable sisters apply practicality, sophistication, and timelessness into their line of home and personal accessories. Bold, graphic patterns comprised of abstracted motifs dubbed with colorful, hand-drawn patterns are the hallmarks of the Hable aesthetic. The company’s products are made by skilled artisans who treat their work as a careful craft, employing traditional screen-printing procedures in an old New England factory. Furthering this principle, the company partnered with a Hungarian women’s cooperative in 2001 to produce a line of wool felt products utilizing a traditional hammer and chisel appliqué technique. Outside of the wool felt production, all Hable products are made in the U.S. Nearly a decade after the business' inception, Hable Construction continues to grow. Today, the company produces five fabric lines, is represented in twelve interior design showrooms worldwide, has international product distribution in over 150 retail outlets, and operates an online shop. Overall success and recognition have also been made possibly by recent licensing opportunities with industry notables: Garnet Hill, Barney's, Proctor & Gamble, and Neiman Marcus and Pottery Barn.

SUSAN HABLE SMITH  was born and raised in Corsicana, TX, Susan currently resides in NYC and is the designer behind the strikingly colored and lofty-scaled patterns cast on Hable Construction products. Susan's fine art background in collaging, sculpture, welding, and painting, bound by an intuitive color sense, has lent an aesthetic that's timeless and universally sophisticated. Travels to Italy, Asia, and South America also serve as a backdrop to Hable’s inspiration. After a 6-year residence in San Francisco working in the design field, she moved to New York City to capitalize on her strength of fine art and design, fusing her love of art’s industrial facets and applying that to textiles. In her world, whimsical forms are combined with a unique color palette inspired by nature, motherhood, and beauty, rather than trends. Susan's design process begins with the most mundane of moments: "I get inspiration from the simplest things like the flower market, my aunt's photos from the Big Thicket, my hometown, fabric swatches, or a knitted sweater. Happiness brings inspiration."

KATHARINE HABLE SWEENEY was born and raised in Corsicana, TX, Katharine currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and is the entrepreneurial force behind Hable Construction. Her academic background in journalism, marketing, and sales management at Polo Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade refined her skills in co-owning the company with her sister, Susan. Smart, determined, and seasoned in the business field, it only seemed natural to merge her talents with her sibling. “Let’s do something,” said Susan as she was seeking the next step in her career. Katharine responded by saying, “Well, give me something to sell.”  Influenced by the surrounding independent and hardworking women around her, and inspired by her sister's artistry, Katharine also realized the benefits of starting her own company which afforded her the freedom to be a mom, wife, and her own boss. Katharine, a born saleswoman with professional experience working at Kate Spade and Polo Ralph Lauren; and Susan, an artist inspired by nature and the handmade aesthetic, decided a business partnership would be a harmonious marriage of the siblings' talents.

Hable Construction offers everything from fabric (bty), pillows, make-up bags, hampers, garden gloves, hats, pin cushions, notebooks/journals, paper weights, and amazing totes, diaper and travel bags.  They also do wonderful felt stockings, tree skirts and ornaments during the holidays. Great gifts for yourself or that special someome and remember, Mother's Day is right around the corner!

check out their line of goodies at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Keep Earth Day alive all year long with Stark Paint by David Oliver

Stark is a family owned and operated company for over 60 years. Stark specializes in high-end custom designed carpet, fabric, furniture and wallcovering for both the residential and contract markets. This to-the-trade company is represented in 25 showrooms throughout the United States, including the main showroom in New York City as well as Canada, London and Paris. Stark, recently announced a new division — Stark Paint, colours by David Oliver. This long-awaited four year collaboration with London based color specialist and designer David Oliver has resulted in an extensive and contemporary designer palette that spans the color spectrum with 240 new, rich, and sophisticated paint options. Stark’s new paint line is not only environmentally minded, but also chic and tastefully elegant.

David Oliver is Design Director of Paint & Paper Library based in Chelsea, London. He studied Fine Art, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography and life drawing at the National Art School in Sydney where he developed an authoritative knowledge of twentieth century art and visual cultures. His work has been exhibited in Dublin, Madrid, New York, Sydney, Stockholm and London. Collections include the V&A Museum and the British Craft Council. In 2007 he completed his first book PAINT & PAPER A Masterclass in Colour and Light, published by Conran Octopus UK and Rizzoli USA. His much anticipated 2nd book is due for release in September 2011, and will explore the notions of colour and colour application in interior design practice. David unique sense of colour, demonstrated by his innovate architectural colours shades, is the quality that has become the trademark of his collections and has earned him the nickname the "Rock Star of Colour" (New York Times, Dec 20th 2007)* and the "Prince of Paint" (London Evening Standard October 2007).
Stark Paint, colours by David Oliver, represents Stark’s long standing commitment to offering highly-styled designer products that meet the market’s environmental demands. Stark Paint is ECO friendly, water-based with ZERO VOCs in the paint and in the colorants. Stark Paint guarantees premium coverage. Meeting LEEDS standards, and made in the USA, they possess first-rate performance. All colors are available in three paint finishes: Velvet Emulsion, Porcelain Shell, and Lacquer Gloss.  What David Oliver brings  is an artistic, aesthetic expertise to designers, through his knowledge of historic colors and their applications within modern interiors. It is a wonderful bonus that Mr. Oliver is also well versed in his knowledge and experience in creating environmentally sound products that meet stringent American standards. David Oliver and Stark worked hand-in-hand to develop a two – booklet system of paint charts that not only highlight the entire collection but are user friendly.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ECO ART: Reclaimed Garbage Transformed Into Amazing Sculptures & Trashed Beer Cans Become Butterflies in Flight

Face it, we as Americans have a lot of stuff.  A lot of stuff, means a lot of garbage! Most discarded objects such as plastic toys, utensils and metal objects will fall fate to an eternity in a landfill, but artist Sayaka Ganz sees a second life in them. In a move for both the planet and art, Ganz recovers all of this junk and upcycles it into animal shaped sculptures. Meant to depict animals caught in motion, at a distance the sculptural effect is certainly striking – one look and you can’t help but think you’ve just caught a real life leap or swoop frozen in time. Sayaka has already created a number of such sculptures for her collection, all which draw inspiration from her time abroad in various countries. As an artist creating these pieces, she attempts to unravel and understand the mysteries of the world. She believes that by taking arbitrary pieces of discarded materials and fitting them together in a sculpture, sense can be made. It's really man's trash is another man's (in this case woman's) treasure. Enjoy!


Ok, so the next time your drinking a beer...take a close look at a beer can. You may (or may not) notice that they have a really nice arc to them. Well, artist Paul Villinski did and has taken that same arc and turned it into butterflies in flight. Rescuing crushed beer cans from the streets of New York City, Villinski carefully cuts each can and creates a marvelous fluttering array. He states that similar to the life of a butterfly, his process is representative of a cultural conversion all its own exploring “themes of transformation and recovery through metamorphosis.” So the next time you see a beer can, drink up or pick up, as it might be the next masterpiece!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Powerful Woman - Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid was born in 1950 in Baghdad, Iraq. She received a degree in mathematics from the American University of Beirut before moving to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.  She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in its 26 year history and has defined a radically new approach to architecture by creating buildings, such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, with multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life.

The opening words of the citation when Zaha Hadid was named as the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2004 were: “Her architectural career has not been traditional or easy.” An understatement. All architects have to struggle, but Hadid seems to have struggled rather more than most. Her single-mindedness, her singular lack of compromise is the stuff of legend although, as one writer commented, like a hurricane, “the storms are all on the outside”. In part, it is simple artistic temperament, necessary, perhaps, to create forceful architecture like Hadid’s. And in part it is the survival mechanism required to create such architecture in what remains a distinctly macho profession. "Diva", the critics call her, although as the T-shirts worn by Hadid staff replied at the opening of her first major public building, the Cincinnati Art Center, in 2003: “Would they call me a diva if I were a guy?”

Hadid’s architecture denies its own solidity. Short of creating actual forms that morph and change shape – still the stuff of science fiction. Hadid creates the solid apparatus to make us perceive space as if it morphs and changes as we pass through. Noticeably and uncharacteristically diplomatically, she has declined to comment on the situation in Iraq. Instead Hadid lets her spaces speak for themselves. This does not mean that they are merely exercises in architectural form. Her obsession with shadow and ambiguity is deeply rooted in Islamic architectural tradition, while its fluid, open nature is a politically charged riposte to increasingly fortified and undemocratic modern urban landscapes.

Her non-architectural work includes painting and some high-profile interior work, including the Mind Zone and Feet zone at the Millennium Dome in London and the Z.CAR hydrogen-powered, three-wheeled automobile. In 2009, she worked with the clothing brand Lacoste, to create a new, high fashion, and advanced boot. She has also designed the Moon System Sofa for leading Italian furniture manufacturer B&B Italia. Her first retrospective was held at the Guggenheim in New York City.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earthly Delights for men of the cloth...Architecture!

For men of the cloth, architecture has always been one earthly delight they've been encouraged to indulge. In Arizona, DeBartolo Architects continues the tradition in a rather unorthodox manner.

The DeBartolos wanted to keep the desert tradition of incorporating water near the entrance of the house as a sort of welcome mat, but they skipped the faux hacienda fountain found throughout Arizona in favor of twin sheets of four-by-eight-foot steel plates that water pours over. Making the unusual fountain from standard-sized mate¬rials, which will weather naturally over the years, kept the cost down, too. To pave the way for their modernist intentions, DeBartolo Architects gave their clients (a community of Jesuits) copies of Tadao Ando’s The Colours of Light and John Pawson’s Minimum as Christmas gifts. The architects were surprised when the priests started quoting the books back to them, and copies of both still sit out on a coffee table!  Here they have done walls of channel glass, an industrial material that comes in long strips shaped in a shallow "U", help preserve the residents’ privacy, while allowing only soft, filtered light inside. In the chapel, the DeBartolos paired and staggered the narrow panels so that only the most opaque light comes through. Obscure views and the most basic shapes and colors from outside create a glowing, ethereal quality indoors. Holy water is held in an elegant blue glass cylinder. The architects also felt that it was important to keep the furniture simple, light, and off the floor. “We really saw this as an opportunity to soften some of the edges of the house,” Jack 3 says. The result is a space filled with both mid-century classics and newer selections in the same vein. Amen!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Beautiful World of Daniaelle Simonsen

Daniaelle is a girl who loves to draw, sew and make pretty things. She recieved her BFA from the Art Center College of Design in December 2009 and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Trevor. Her pieces are beautiful works of art, made by sewing magazine paper onto fabric. I particularly love her “fighting bears” and "fighting elk", but the details in every piece she makes, are really special. Check out her shop on Etsy as well as her own blog.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wonderful Wall Covering from Nama Rococo!

Nama Rococo is a wonderful line of wall covering from North Adams Massachuetts. These handpainted and handscreened wallpaper designs are so unique and fun!  Their designs and color combinations are just so unlike anything else out there. Add to that, the kind of work that goes into each sheet of paper, making each one a piece of art! The company is all about family and they work in great unison, creating lovely objet d'art! Check out their whole collection at