Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Keep Calm Craze

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic


Happy Loves Rosie


revolutionarygirl / saidos da concha

Rachel Ashwell's own dinning room

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic

My friend Aina's living room in Oslo

I want to dedicate this post to the infamous Keep Calm and Carry on Poster. We have seen it everywhere and in every possible color. In the words of Holly Becker from decor8 "you know that if someone has a Keep Calm and Carry On poster that they must have read about them on the myriads of blogs out there. When I look back on this period I’ll forever remember the KC&CO poster".
The poster was made in 1939 in Britain, it was third in a series propaganda posters intended to comfort and inspire the people should, heaven forbid, the massed armies of Nazi Germany ever cross the Channel. Most of them never got to be seen by the British public.
For 60 years, the poster had been forgotten. Then, one day in 2000, Stuart Manley, from Barter Books in the UK, was sifting through a box of books he had bought at auction when he saw one of these at the bottom, they framed it and put it up on the bookshop wall. And that's where it all started.
Victoria smith from sfgirlbybay, an interior design blog from San Francisco, blogged about it in 2006. Since then, it has become a staple for bloggers all over the world. Rachel Ashwell from Shabby chic sells them at her stores and website, now you can buy it too at Neenä in Mexico City.
The words are particularly so positive and reassuring, that in a period of uncertainty and anxiety, they seem to speak to everyone of us.
The rights for the design expired 50 years after it was made so now everyone can reproduce it, and this is why one can find it for sale everywhere from Etsy shops to little indie shops.
If you haven't got one yet and are planning to buy one, be aware thatsome of them aren't made with the right font. The original typeface was hand drawn, but the type that comes closest and adds to the British memorabilia value of it is the P22 Undergrownd, designed by Edward Johnston in 1916 for the London Underground.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vintage and Retro Wallpaper

Wallpaper has been the decorating item of the year, we've seen it everywhere from living room and kitchen to even bathrooms, but I think the best use for it is children decor.
This is a selection of lovely rooms where they have used wallpaper as a way to add color and graphical interest to a child's room.
The first picture is from the house of
Allison Jones, founder of Lark, who now lives in Australia, I found it via papier mache, very cute children online magazine. I love the way they used mismatched prints and colors.
Picture 2 and 3 are belong to a creative woman from Denmark who makes super cute retro dresses. Check out her creations at smilerynker
Pictures 4, 5 and 6 are from Stine Holm's house , the owner of Lutterlagkage, an amazing store in Sweden. You can see pictures of her store and learn more about her designs here.
The owl wallpaper is not vintage, though it looks like it. It's designed by Andrea Larson from Denmark.
Aimee Wilder, a talented designer from Brooklyn, who has worked for the likes of Martha Stewart and Dwell makes the gorgeous retro looking wallpaper with the squirrels and the robots.
All of this rooms remind me of my childhood back in the seventies, when I had yellow fabric with blue flowers for my curtains and bedspread. For a fun and authentic retro look , mix big prints, colorful wallpaper with bold colored furniture, white wooden floors and crochet cushions or blankets.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cupcake Wrappers

It is no secret how much I love cupcakes. I have posted before about cupcake sets from Wu&Wu and Meri Meri which are sold in my shop. This time I found lovely cupcake wrappers from The Cupcake Wrapper Co.
Kat and Nat, two Mums from Melbourne, Australia who, like many of us where looking for that job to excite and challenge us but still give us time with for our families, started the company last September. Their wrappers, Australian designed and made, stylish and eco-packaged can make any cupcake look fabulous. They are made from a thick & sturdy paper card stock and are laminated on both sides to prevent discoloration from cupcakes and icing.

I love their designs, the line they just lounged for Christmas is fun and retro, I'd use them for tea parties and birthdays too ( I am huge fan of polka dots).
What I like the most is the styling of their photographs. They seem to have the loveliest collection of antique floral plates and teacups, glass accessories and vintage kitsch porcelain figures.

You can buy their wrappers from their Etsy shop and visit their Blog to learn about new products.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Crown and Crumpet

Crown and Crumpet, a darling English-style tea room in San Francisco opened at the revamped Ghirardelli square exactly a year ago. Oh, how I'd love to go to San Francisco just to spend an afternoon there with a warm pot of tea and endless warm scones with clotted cream.
I am so delighted by the style that I can't even begin to say what I like best. The colors and mix of patterns, the Cath Kidston tablecloths and vintage chairs, the art on the walls, the sofa upholstered in two colorful stripes and flowers prints, and specially the British flag cushions.
In their menu they offer Mimosas for breakfast, Welsh rarebit for lunch (a typically English sauce made from melted cheese served hot over toasted bread), and a selection of tea sandwiches such as egg salad, asparagus, cucumber and cream cheese or salmon, with your afternoon cup.
Not only do they have amazing decor but one can also buy beautiful things like pastel colored Parisian glass and delicate porcelain gold rimmed tea sets. Totally my kind of place.

Please look at this lovely felt tea cosy from Cath Kidston that I think matches perfectly Crown and Crumpet's style.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Food Styling

I have a new goal in life since I discovered Aran Goyoaga, an amazing food stylist and photographer who lives in South Florida and is originaly from the Basque Country. On her blog Cannelle et Vanille she showcases the most beautiful food pictures I've seen.
With every amazing picture, she includes the recipe, she uses fresh seasonal produce and lots of spices, and I like how she pairs ingredients like rosemary and honey, caramel and fleur de sel, or the sweet and delicate spiciness of pink peppercorns with raspberries! hers is a very contemporary style of cooking.
I wish one day I can learn to photograph like she does. It gave me hope to know that she started as a photographer a little more than a year ago and she is completely self taught. You can tell she has improved a lot if you take a look at older posts in her blog.
I like her white on white pictures the most, she is able o capture every little detail in them, and I also like the softness she creates by having some parts out of focus. I decided to give it a try. I began following Aran's tips: "Natural lighting, no lamps, shoot with a high aperture, make sure the white balance in your camera is set to the right category and try to over-expose the photo a bit. Not too much, just a little".
After 100's of pictures, this is the best I could come up with. I needed a photograph of this glass that I sell on my shop. It is made from recycled beer containers and is hand painted in a small village in Mexico. They are traditionally used at weddings. I think they're really pretty. I will use the picture on my website, even if is not that great, and just hope some day I manage to create beautiful images, like she does.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Event Styling

After six years of planning birthday parties for my kids, I have grown a passion for birthday party styling, decorations and specially cupcakes. In my search for nicely styled parties I came across Amy Atlas, a sought-after event planner in New York City, and her signature dessert tables.
Don't you love her work? I think her decorations are stunning, the color palettes of every one of her creations are just perfect, each event is uniquely planned and styled with vintage jars, natural flowers, beautifully crafted labels, perfectly thought backgrounds and patterns and whatever it takes to complete the theme, no detail is overlooked. She works with great bakers and candy purveyors. I haven't been in an event planned by her, but from the pictures you can tell the food must be great too.
The pictures were taken by Gemma Comas and Karen Mordechai.
Amy has a nice blog where she talks about her work and recommends suppliers and vendors.

Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

I got this super cute book last christmas, Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth (2007) by Jill O'Connor and photographed by Leigh Beisch. I got it mostly for the pictures and the graphic design. Every page is adorably designed, with lovely colors and typography. The photography is great and nicely styled, I love the dots and gingham backgrounds and the plates, cups and dishes they used. I haven't cooked anything from it yet but I just love to look at it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whimsical Room


I had to add this room, just because I like it so much. The art deco armoire is beautiful, the collection of vintage cages, which I am so crazy about lately, and the mobile create a whimsical setting. The antique toy stroller is also very cute.

My Son's Room

This is my son's room. I don't really like the color of the wall, so I am thinking of painting it midnight blue. I am pretty happy with the rest of the elements and how they work together. The bookcase is from the years I lived in Costa Rica, it belonged to a public school. It has been painted several times and you can tell by the many colors that show through its scratches. The minute I saw it on the street, waiting for the garbage truck to pick it up, I knew it would be perfect storage for Alain's toys and books.
The garland is Neena's own. I ordered the map online from National Geographic's website, the antique trunk is a find from a flea market trip and I found the paddle in Key West many years ago.