Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday everyone!  What are your plans for the weekend?  It's going to be cold and rainy here, the perfect kind of weekend for crafting, tea drinking, catching up on my magazine reading, and working on our house.  Oh, and I am one of the luckies who bought a Toyota two weeks before the recall so I will be getting that fixed this weekend as well!

Here are some finds from around the web to get you through your weekend.  Enjoy!  See you back here on Monday with a Behind the Design featuring the talented Sara Smedley.

I love the real thing, but the ceramic version is pretty darn cute too. 
Found via Lushlee.

Such a fun and whimsical print, perfect for a craft room, or any other room for that matter!
Found via A Beautiful Mess.

I spent almost an entire day perusing through the archives of this blog.  Such beautiful inspiration. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gotta get me a pouf!

I know they aren't for everyone, but lately I am really loving really loving them.  I know they are nothing more than a sophisticated bean bag but there's something about them I am drawn to.  I like that they can bring texture and pops of color into a space.  They provide seating or a table in an instant and can easily be put away if necessary.  When you think about it, they are one of the most functional design accessories out there!  They work anywhere, inside, outside, in a bedroom, in a living room, as a foot stool, as a night stand.  They are genius!  If you aren't convinced maybe one of these photos will change your mind....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Living Simply

A few months ago, I was reading Coastal Living's Editor's Note (am I one of the only people who reads those things?) and it really stood out to me, so much so, that I clipped it and just recently came across it again while organizing my tear sheets.

The message was about living simply in these difficult economic times.  Enjoy every inch of space in your house.  Do more with what you have and make the best of what you have.  I live in a modest house by most people's standards.  Our home is 1200 square feet, two bedrooms and 2 baths.  Coming from a 400 square foot apartment in New York, this is practically a mansion and in fact there are rooms we hardly use (yet!).  But the thing I love most about our house is, it's cozy.  It doesn't have vaulted ceilings and 400 square foot bedrooms, but every room is just big enough and we have learned to maximize storage and closet space and we are making it our home.

I'm always drawn to small spaces. I love seeing what designers and architects can do with a tiny studio apartment or a cottage home.  The spaces below are a true testament to the fact that smaller spaces do not have to compromise on style.

Do you live in a small space?  If so, what design tricks do you use to make the most of your space?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Behind the Design - Inklore

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  We got a lot of things done around the house, including sanding down a dresser to re-finish (more on that later!)  Today's Behind the Design features Samantha, designer and creator of the beautiful textiles for Inklore (and fellow BYW classmate!)

Where does your inspiration come from?
Most of my ideas come from my own backyard. Many of my prints are from plants in my own yard or things I use every day in my home. I really try to create items that are functional and practical, so many times an idea comes from a need for something in my own home.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
So much of my work is inspired by real life, working with my hands, going for a walk, spending time with my family, and it's the quick notes I jot down when I'm out there living that turn into new prints or products. If I'm needing to find my creative mind, I usually look for a quiet spot with a good view of the outdoors and just sit for a while.

Where do you do most of your work?
I do most of my work in my home studio. I'm so fortunate in the home we're in now, to have a room dedicated to my work. The only work that travels throughout my house is my carving. I keep new prints that I'm carving on a cookie sheet and I often work on those at the dining room table or even on the sofa in the evenings.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
My husband and I were brainstorming all the words we could think of that had to do with printmaking and came up with ink (almost everything I make has a bit of ink on it) and lore (I still think we came up with this to represent the "traditional" technique I use, but he says it was for the "story" behind the items). ink+lore = inklore.

Your favorite thing to make?
I love making sachets. There is a bit of hand-sewing that needs to be done after they are printed, sewn, and filled with lavender. The hand-sewing forces me to sit down and the lavender makes me relax. I often save this bit of work for the end of the day and it helps me unwind.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
This changes all the time; it often depends on the mood I'm in or whether I've recently done something new. Right at this moment, my favorite design is my new succulent print, which I've printed on napkins and coasters.

You couldn't run your business without _______?
 What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Keep all of your receipts tidy and sorted by type of expense, rather than by month. I spent a lot of time after my first few months in business going back and re-tracing my steps. It's so much easier to start out organized than to organize later on.

Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I am trying to switch to tea in the afternoon. Trying!

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
I really love the Body and Soul magazine each month. It's always full of simple ideas. I've been loving Ill Seen, Ill Said lately, though I read loads of blogs and my favorite is always changing.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Lotta Jansdotter

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
I love to garden and cook!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Iceland. My dad was stationed in the Navy in Iceland when I was born so I've seen lots of gorgeous photos and my parents have always talked about what a lovely place it is, so I would really love to visit.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
Coffee, chocolate, a really long book with a happy ending, a notebook, and a Sharpie.

Thank you Samantha for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Samantha can be found at:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Link Love

Can you believe Friday is upon us already!  I am looking forward to a quiet weekend with my hubby and (so far) a very short to-do list.  Hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend. 

Here are some finds from around the web to hold you over until Monday.  Enjoy!

Cool couple, equally cool house.
found via Lost and Found.

A little DIY project to spruce up a vintage handbag.

Ooh, what a great find...I am so in love with these vintage bird napkins.  Lena is one lucky girl!
Found via Bloesem.

 I am so obsessed with these gorgeous boxes.  I want them all!

How sweet is this little guy.  If the Impossible Project can pull it off, this camera is going on my wishlist...for now I will stick with my thrifted polariod cameras.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Where do you store your inspiration?

When I was deciding on names for this blog, one that instantly came to mind was "The Inspiration Binders."  It didn't exactly roll off the tongue and it was surprisingly already taken, but the reason the name even came to mind was because binders are where I store all my inspiration.

That's right I said binders...I have several!  One stores interior design inspiration (my "style bible" - hey, that would have been a good name for this blog - I digress...), two are dedicated to recipes and cooking, one to entertaining, another to health and beauty...the list goes on and on.  It's the best way I could find to keep track of all the sheets I was tearing out of magazines.  Initially I attempted to keep the magazines, but if you've been reading for a while you know that my magazine addiction includes over 16 subscriptions a month which would quickly take over entire rooms of my house and it was very difficult to go back and reference something because you had to remember what magazine it had been in, what issue, etc.  so the binders came into play and since using them, I've never looked back!

Recently, since we moved into our new house, I have started to organize a folder (I ran out of binders) specifically for house-reno inspiration.  If I see something I like for this house, it goes into the folder for me to reference later.  It's made life much easier when I want to show Mike some idea I had for the kitchen, I go right to the folder and pull it out, voila, he knows exactly what I want.

I am a very tactile person, I need things to be real and concrete.  For me the binders serve that purpose.  I can easily reference them when I need them and it's a nice change from staring at a computer screen searching the internet for inspiration.  In fact, when I am needing a little design boost, I sometimes flip through my "style bible" for a pick me up, almost like re-visiting a favorite design book.   Where do you store your inspiration?  Do you have a hard file on your computer?  Do you keep style files or binders?  I'd love to know how other people catalog their inspirations...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Photo Love - Pink Spring

I spotted tulips in the grocery store the other day, which can only mean one thing, spring is right around the corner!  Browsing through Flickr to find some great spring inspired photos, I came across lots of pink which I think is such a great depiction of the essence of spring...maybe it's because of the cherry blossoms, or the pastel I associate with Easter but for whatever reason pink and spring just seem to go hand in hand...don't ya think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blog Love

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  Mine was great and included a very special V-day dinner with my favorite group of people, we pulled the Polaroid camera out and snapped a few fun photos...I am so in love with my polaroid...I love how every photo looks like it was taken in the 80's in someone's rec room.

So, as another homework assignment from Holly and Leslie's BYW class, this week, I am introducing you to 5 blogs that I have recently started reading and why.  Hopefully some of these will be new to you too and you'll find some great new reads!

Blog 1: Darling Dexter
Many of you who follow the wedding blogs, may already know the husband and wife team behind Oh, Darling!  Whitney, the wife in that husband and wife team, authors Darling Dexter which is quickly becoming one of my daily must-read blogs.  Whitney and her husband recently relocated to New York City (she even lives in my old neighborhood!) so that Whitney can pursue her dream of attending fashion school at Parsons.  Yes, not only is she a wonderful photographer, she is also a wonderful seamstress!  Her blog catalogs design, photography and her adventures in NYC as a fashion student.

Blog 2: The Rockstar Diaries
Seriously, cannot get enough of Taza's blog.  This is one of those blogs that you start reading and then keep going back through the archives to read each and every post ever published!  Taza and her husband live in DC with their adorable pup, Kingsley (seriously cute, like, maybe even cuter than my dog!)  Taza's blog is real and warm and inviting and she makes some seriously awesome headbands that I am no doubt adding to my wishlist!

Blog 3: Nestled In
I actually found this blog through Darling Dexter (I love it when that happens!)  This is just a really great source of real interior design inspiration.  Katja and Minna live in Finland and started this blog when they moved in together.  They share beautiful photos of their home, and they might be the best thrifters ever (or people in Finland only throw away beautiful things!)

Blog 4: Wit and Whistle
Wit and Whistle is chock full of great inspiration like fashion vignettes, crafting tutorials, yummy recipes, weekly sketches, and she often showcases items from her beautiful stationary line.   

 Blog 5: Busy Bee
I found Busy Bee through her beautiful Flickr images.  The Busy Bee blog is full of great photography, styling ideas, beautiful interior inspirations, and craft projects.  If you are looking for a little interior inspiration, this is the place to visit!

All photos courtesy of their respective blogs.

So, now that I've shared with you...what blogs are you lovin' right now?  I am always looking for more blogs to add to my google reader so if you have a secret gem you've been hiding, please share!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday everyone!  I am so looking forward to a nice long weekend, do any of you have Monday off?  What are your plans for V-day?  I hope you all have something wonderful planned!

Here are some finds  from around the web to get you through your weekend.  Enjoy!  

I will be back on Tuesday with lots of great things planned for the week.

Joel might just be the coolest dad, ever.  Check out all the neat things he makes for his kids, including this ultra-modern doll house, complete with a mid century modern wire chair...

Ok, so by now you all know how obsessed I am with polaroid art so here is yet another awesome way to display polaroid photos (for all you fellow camera geeks who are as in to polaroid photography as I am!)

Becky and Michelle's commentary on Bravo's new tv show Kell on Earth is anyone else slightly more addicted to this show than they would like to admit?

Days of the Week washi tape...genius.
found via lolalina

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do all-white interiors translate?

I LOVE the look of all-white interiors.  When pulling inspiration for my binders, I am always so drawn to photos of white interiors.  I love the bright, light, and airy feeling they emit.  I love the pops of color that come from the accessories in the room.  I love knowing that if you bore easily (a problem I have been known to have) that you can easily freshen up the room by changing out the art on the walls or the throw pillows and rugs.  I like options and I feel that having an all white interior gives you that.  BUT, does it transalte? 

What I mean by that is, do these beautiful rooms that spill out of the pages of magazines and jump out at you on your computer screen, really make for warm and inviting spaces in reality?!  Or do they just end up feeling cold and sterile? 

If you have one of these rooms are you constantly walking around on eggshells afraid you are going to spill something on your perfect white couch or are you vacumming all the time because the reality is your dog sheds everywhere and your husband insists on having his Saturday morning coffee on your all-white chaise (the nerve!).  Is there a right and a wrong way to do an all-white interior so it doesn't end up feeling cold and sterile?  What are your thoughts on this?  Does anyone out there have an all-white interior that could shed some light on how to do it right?

With all these concerns, I still can't help but look at these all-white interiors and think how pretty they are - not kid, or pet, or husband friendly but pretty nonetheless...

Source Unknown