Friday, July 30, 2010

Link Love via Pinterest

I know, I know, you are probably all sick of hearing about Pinterest but seriously, it may be the best source of inspiration, ever! I could literally spend hours sorting through all the amazing pics. I thought this Friday instead of giving you the traditional link love, I'd share some of the fabulous things I found via Pinterest this week...

Fashion Files - The Boyfriend Cardigan

While I know most of us are still relishing in the heat of the summer, autumn is right around the corner and cardigans are the perfect cool weather accessory to bring a look together. Right now I am totally in love with the boyfriend cardigan (or library cardigan as they are also called). A great source for these are thrift and vintage stores (we'll even be listing a few in our Fall Preview, coming soon). Here are a few of my favorite boyfriend/library cardigan looks.

source unknown

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vintage Love - Bellalulu

This week's Vintage Love features Jill of Bellalulu.  Her shop is full of amazing industrial and primitive vintage finds. 

 What do you love about vintage?
I love that I never know what I am going to find when I start looking. I love finding things that are truly one of a kind.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
Oh, wow. I don't even know; I guess I've had many favorites.

Do you have a style or method you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I love to go to estate sales and antique malls. I try to get to estate sales when they first open. That can be a little nerve wracking because there are handful of others- usually the same old crowd in my city- that do the same. Here's a helpful hint for an estate sale: always check the garage. It's a great place to find a bargain because it's usually where they put the stuff that they don't see as very valuable (but you just might!). On the other hand, antique malls are fun because you don't have that hurry and pressure to grab something before the next person does. I never seem to have luck at thrift stores, but maybe I just don't have the patience required to check back all of the time.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
First, just look for things you LOVE whether you plan to keep or resell it. I have a hard time getting excited about selling things that I don't just love. It's also handy to have an internet enabled phone with you so you can make sure that thing you love isn't going even cheaper on Ebay!

Thank you Jill for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Jill, Bellalulu.

Jill can be found at:
Etsy shop

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blog Lovin

I've been finding some amazing blogs lately and while I am hard at work on a blog roll I can't wait to share these "new-to-me" blogs with you.  

Manhattan Nest is authored by Daniel Kanter, a guy after my very own heart...he lives in NYC, he loves Eames and Bertoia, a good diy project, 50's and 60's kitsch...the list could go on and on, we may be long lost siblings.  His blog is full of hilarious stories and great diy projects about making his first NY apartment into a home.  Daniel's blog is full of wit, creativity and inspiration.....would you expect anything less from any NYU student?

Photos: Manhattan Nest

Sally Jane Vintage is a great source of inspiration for those of you who love vintage clothing....this girl takes vintage to a whole other level.  I love all of her looks and her mini photo shoots of her daily outfits are fabulous!  She also has an amazing Etsy shop, full of gorgeous vintage frocks! 

Photos: Sally Jane Vintage

Monday, July 26, 2010

Behind the Design - A Common Thread

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was very relaxing and productive but I am definitely in need of a little inspiration this morning and this week's designer Behind the Design definitely provides that..

This week's Behind the Design features Stefanie from A Common Thread.  Stefanie designs amazing crochet and knit jewlery and uses vintage items in some of her work, creating truly unique pieces. 

Where does your inspiration come from?  
I've been sewing, knitting and crocheting since I was just a wee little thing, and in the past few years wanted to see what would happen when these crafts were mixed with jewelry.  I love when one craft intersects with another to give you a new, truly unique object.  Also, in the past few years, many glamorous (but d.i.y-able) items have been popping up on fashion runways, and gives you infinite possibilities of where jewelry could be headed.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
I like sitting in my studio with all of my materials spread around me, where I can visually see what pieces mesh well, or complement each other.

Where do you do most of your work?
My work travels with me everywhere!  Since many of my necklaces are hand knit, or hand crocheted, they come to life during my NYC subway rides, taking a break in a park, or standing in line at the post office (and generally they get many questions and spark many conversations).  However, when I'm not traveling around the rest of my work gets done in my work studio in my apartment.  It's a very tiny space, where everything in the room is just an arm's reach away.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
When I first started, I chose A Common Thread since many of my items were hand-sewn items and a 'thread' ran through all of them.  Lucky for me, as my interests have grown and expanded, first into knit and crochet items, then into jewelry, the name still works.

Your favorite thing to make? 
I absolutely LOVE making the 3 layered crochet necklace.  I've done it so much at this point I can do it in the dark, or with my eyes closed.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections? 
There are certain pieces that I make that will always hold a special place.  I adore pyrite (since I was a child) and think it's so much fun to create pieces with it.  I also adore the bronze multi-chain bib necklace, which I wear literally every other day.

You couldn't run your business without ____?
The internet

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Love what you do.  With my shop, I couldn't be happier than sitting in my studio creating up new jewelry designs, or knitting a pair of gloves, or sewing a new dress.  I would be doing these exact same things, even if I wasn't selling it.  I'm just lucky enough that my hobby happens to be one that other people like too.

Coffee or tea? 

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
My shop IS my creative outlet.  The other 70% of my life is working as a user interface designer, designing conversational software and other very technical things.  Creating jewelry and knitting and crocheting is my outlet.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why? 
Thailand.  It seems like such an intriguing place to visit.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
Blackberry, sunscreen, my current favorite book of the moment (The Secret History), a knife (to make knitting needles, among other things), and toothpaste.

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

Photos courtesy of Stefanie, A Common Thread.

Stefanie can be found at:
Etsy shop

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Link Love

So glad the weekend is finally here.  I plan to do some much needed house cleaning, thrifting, and hopefully get in some shop photos as we have so many great items for the shop that need to be photographed and listed.  What are your plans?

1. I'm such a sucker for tea towels, especially these.  I definitely plan on adding them to my collection.

2. Another great project from the Purl Bee - I would love to try and make this before my trip to Germany in a few weeks.

3. Sometimes I get sad that my wedding is over, even though I stressed out over it the whole time I was planning it, it was still a lot of fun.  This wedding is absolutely beautiful and full of personal and diy touches that I just love.

4. This girl has amazing style, isn't that dress incredible!

Fashion Files - Inspired by Mad Men

I cannot express to you how excited I am for this Sunday and the season 4 premiere of Mad Men.  Mike and I just watched all of the previous seasons about a month ago.  We had been hearing how good the show was for ever and then finally sat down and watched all the episodes and we are hooked.

Aside from all the amazing sets and mid century furniture, I love the fashion, Joan's pen necklace was so great I had to get one for myself and I love it, I wear it all the time.  This week's Fashion File is inspired by the women of Mad Men, I put together this look inspired a little by each of the female characters on the show.  I hope you enjoy!

Sunglasses - Love Worn

Look created using Polyvore

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vintage Love - Fine and Dandy Vintage

This week's Vintage Love features Mandi of Fine and Dandy Vintage.  Mandi has an amazing collection of men and women's vintage clothing as well as some great finds for the home.  Mandi is also the author behind one of my favorite blogs, Here's looking at me kid.

What do you love about vintage?
In highschool, I hated showing up to school and seeing somebody else wearing the same shirt as me. I started thrifting back in those days, actually taking my lunch break (in high school!) to head to the thrift store and look for fun clothes. I suppose I've always loved individuality, and vintage really lends itself to that.

What is the best item you have ever come across when you have been vintage/thrift shopping?
I definitely can't play favorites, but I certainly did enjoy winning the ebay auction on the 1960s globe light floor lamp that is currently sitting in my living room. I know it wasn't exactly a vintage shop or thrift store find, but it was quite exhilerating and is probably my favorite decor item that I own.

Do you have a style or method you use when vintage/thrift shopping?
I try to go to the Salvation Army every Wednesday morning when they open. It's a big day for them, as they offer 50% off all clothing items. I often leave with my arms loaded with bags of goodies! Sometimes, though, if I show up even ten minutes after the doors open, I spy women with carts full of the vintage clothes that I wasn't there in time to snatch. Then, I plot how I can steal it out of their carts, because, after all, they won't love them as much as I would! Of course, I never steal anything from other shoppers' carts. But I definitely contemplate it each time that happens! Woah is me.

Is there one tip you could share that might help someone who is new to thrifting and vintage shopping?
Don't be afraid of not being able to "pull it off." If you like something- get it! Wear with confidence. When I first started wearing vintage, I would usually only incorporate one vintage item into a modern outfit. And then, as I grew to love having a unique style, it turned into the modern items accenting entire outfits of vintage clothes. Back in the day, I was just a normal girl who wore Abercrombie and Fitch, just like all of my peers. Sure, I was a little hesitant to change my style. But looking back, I don't know why I was. Just wear what makes you happy! (And as a side note, being able to afford more clothes was added incentive to shop at the thrift store instead of Abercrombie!)

Thank you Mandi for participating in this week's Vintage Love.

Photos courtesy of Mandi, Fine and Dandy Vintage.

Mandi can be found at:
Etsy shop

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Retail Therapy - Neëst

I have been drooling over all the beautiful home goods the online French shop Neëst has to offer. Beautiful, simple and utilitarian - the shop and the blog provide a wonderful source of inspiration. I'm adding several things from here to my wish list...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thins that make me smile...

Our original plan, before we booked our trip to Germany, was to head up to my parent's cabin in North Carolina.  That cabin is my true escape in the world - it is a place where I relax, reconnect with family, and feel wonderfully at peace.  Even though I won't be making a summer visit to the cabin, these pictures give me the same feelings of peace, warmth, and comfort...

Mid Century Moment

Monday, July 19, 2010

Germany bound in less than 3 weeks...

We almost have all of our plans for Germany finalized.  I'm getting so excited!  I can't believe we put together a trip to Europe in less than 4 weeks.  It's such a short trip (only one week) but we have so much planned.  We arrive in Berlin where we will tour the city and stay for one night, we are kayaking in Potsdam, taking the train to Munich, staying in a guest house in Bavaria, then heading to Frankfurt and Mike's family's house for a couple of days where we hope to do some biking and hiking through the forest and villages nearby.

I plan to hit up a couple of flea markets I found online, any thrift, vintage, or antique stores I come across and of course, the farmer's markets.  I really want to start collecting things from our travels for our house so I hope to find something old and vintage and German to bring back!  I also want to start a tradition of bringing home an ornament from every place we visit to hang on our tree at Christmas.  Hopefully this won't be a challenging task in August!  I am also going to be searching for art for the house.  Mike's mom has these wonderful little pencil and ink drawings of scenes and villages in Germany so I hope to find something like that to bring home.  I will be a girl on a mission! 

Behind the Design - Super Duper Things

Happy Monday everyone! Did your weekend feel as short as mine did?! I can't believe Monday is here already. At least we have some beautiful inspiration to start the week out with Louise of Super Duper Things and her beautiful collection of jewelry and art work.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Lots of places: my friends, things I see out and about, the materials themselves. Often when I find a certain vintage component the whole piece will just spring up fully-formed in my head.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Not really, but I do love my messy old desk.  It's piled high with all my stockpiled supplies, and often a new idea will come out of two materials accidentally coming together and my eyes just liking how they mix! The desk I'm very fond of too - my parents, erm, 'salvaged' it from the workplace that they met in, and it's been there all through my childhood. It has a inch-deep draw in the back with lots of little dividers which is perfect for sorting supplies.

Where do you do most of your work?
Oh, I've sort of answered this above! As well as working at the desk I take all my photos on a piece of white card on top of the coffee table. It's in a big bay window and has the best light. It's not very high-tech around here! I'd love a dedicated studio space though.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I'm not really sure - it just sort of came into my head, perhaps because I couldn't take the trouble to think of a real name! It's a bit of a joke but it seems to work, it makes people smile.

Your favorite thing to make?
Oooh, tricky. All things, I don't have a favourite!

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
The hand-cut paper silhouettes collection is a bit of a favourite. It's very versatile which is good as I can get bored making the same thing over and over again. One-offs and small editions are what I prefer.

You couldn't run your business without _____________?
I couldn't run my business without .... car boot sales, the post office, paypal.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Not to undersell yourself. In fact, a lot of people did give me this advice but it still took a while before I found it comfortable to ask a more reasonable price for my items.

Coffee or tea?
Tea! Everytime. I can't even get dressed without two cups of tea.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
Fine Little Day, Kingdom of style.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
The Queen. Just to see what she really gets up to! And maybe to try and purloin some of the china...

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
This sort of is my creative outlet, as I was doing a full-time degree and am now interning. You could call it a hobby that got out of hand!  All hobbies find their way into my work eventually as my jewellery attention-span is so short.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Ooooh, Late-twenties Berlin? Or perhaps I'd like to go all the way back to when Stonehenge was being built, just to see exactly how they did it.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
Ummmm... ipod and solar charger, one of those swiss army knives with ALL the attachments, a satellite phone (is that allowed?!) and the complete works of Shakespeare. That should keep me going.

Thanks Louise for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Louise, Super Duper Things

Louise can be found at:
Etsy shop

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Link Love

I've been so busy lately I haven't had much time to browse my usual favorite sites but here are a few things I have found around the web.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Elsie has some great tips for bloggers, my favorite piece of advice is: if it's not fun to write, it probably isn't fun to read!  So true!

Umm, how delicious do these look....I am so making these this weekend!

 Looking for a great source inspiration to get you through the weekend?  This is a great blog!!

Fashion Files

On our last visit to New York we hit up the street vendors in Soho as we usually do and I spotted the sweetest, tiny gold necklace.  For whatever reason I didn't stop and get it and I have been thinking about it ever since and kicking myself for not picking it up.

I love the idea of a simple, delicate gold necklace for every day wear - a signature piece that defines you and your style.  Ever since I spotted that necklace on the street in Soho, I've been searching for a similar piece (though I am determined to find that vendor again on our next trip to the city!).  Here are some of my favorites...