Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 28

Sleeping Around…Again!

Posted In Art, Decorating, Travel, Uncategorized

So, the MM and I have slept/camped in some pretty exotic places.  Not fancy, mind you, but SO interesting.  But…sleep does not always happen in these locations, where rocks, slanted ground, wild animals, cold, heat, flapping tents, rain, snow, and many other natural occurrences can make it extremely uncomfortable.  Not to mention those darn mummy bags!  Even zipped together, there is just nothing less conducive to a good night’s sleep.

We recently compromised on our accommodations.  Not a mountaintop luxury resort….and not camping on the ground amongst rattlesnakes and rats.  We did go rustic and exotic, choosing to camp in Tanzania, BUT…. this version was amazing AND comfortable.  Those Africans really know how to do it right!

Check out our tent:

Complete with a furnished front porch

Our “room” came with a king sized bed, luxurious linens, chairs, reading lights, storage trunks and was even decorated with African textiles.

"Camp bed"

Our bathroom had a separate dressing area and large shower.

I'll take door #1

After a long, dusty day chasing game, we’d come back for a hot shower.  5 Gallons of water, heated over a campfire, would be delivered and hung above our tent.

Plenty of hot water for a steamy shower

Refreshed, we’d then enjoy some wine on our front porch.

Here's to a perfect day

And head to the dining tent for our delicious homemade dinner.

Complete with linens, crystal, silver!

After dinner, a campfire, tall tales and lots more wine!

Perfect moment

The path to our tent was always lit, thanks to Solomon.

Camp lighting

Tucked into bed, we slept like babies, except when awakened by herds of these passing between our tents.

Imagine....just inches away from our bed!

Sweet dreams!

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Jun 10

Beautiful Textiles

Posted In Art, Clothing, Decorating, Styling, Travel, Uncategorized

Many clients ask how to display their special textiles, such as vintage fabrics, homemade quilts, ancient tapestries, or foreign ikats, batiks, suzanis and exotic embroidered and woven pieces.  Some of these are extremely valuable and sensitive to sunlight, dust, even air, so must be protectively framed behind reflective glass.  But…if these pieces are not too “dear,” I always, always favor getting them out where they can be touched and their warm, colorful and rustic beauty enjoyed.  Here are some ideas for your special fabrics:

Hang textiles from furniture:

Drape over the end of an amoire

Toss across a coffee table

Tuck into the back side of your sofa

Use as a table cloth or table runner

Or from a rod or decorative rack:

Eclectic hallway display

Folded over a quilt rack

Tapestry with tabs attached to slide over a rod. (John Saladino's Montecito home)

Another tabbed tapestry (John Saladino's Montecito home)

Vintage pieced fabric folded over a rod

Hung from an antique clothes drying rack

Make pillows:

Made from a variety of rustic textiles

Stretch large pieces on a frame, without glass.

Stacked high up the wall

Or, maybe easiest of all….toss some fabric around your body for a one of a kind outfit:

It's a wrap!

These gals wear their exotic fabrics every single day!

Happily enrobed

Maybe you should too!

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