Frances Lab

This year I had to share some of my yearly trade show responsibilities with Max and Amy because I was home watching Hope. She’s got some minor separation anxiety issues so I’m slowly getting her used to being alone for smaller chunks of time. As much as I enjoyed ICFF, I really missed not getting to see the National Stationery Show. It’s usually my favorite show and I always come home with cards I can’t wait to send to friends and family. One of the card companies I’m really into right now is Frances Lab. Run by artist Johnna West, Frances Lab is a Brooklyn-based stationery studio that makes collaged cards, prints and other screen-printed stationery goods. I love the geometric cards, but the simple sayings cards like ‘Howdy’ and ‘Oh, hello’ are super cute, too. Click here to check out Johnna’s debut line and shop online. Prices range from $6- $24 for cards and prints. xo, grace


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Hollywood Star Charts

A few summers ago I found myself on a hillside in Portland, Oregon having my star chart mapped. If you’d told me I’d be doing that a few years ago, I would have laughed myself silly. But over the last few years, my willingness to try new things and open my mind a bit more has drastically changed. So when I saw this series of prints inspired by both star charts and stars of the silver screen, I was hooked. Designed by Dorothy, these Hollywood Star Chart litho prints feature constellations named after some of the most culturally significant films of our time. Right now Dorothy is offering two chart styles, Golden Age (based on the night sky over Los Angeles on October 6th, 1927- when ‘The Jazz Singer’ was released) and Modern Day (based on the night sky over New York on June 16th, 1960 – the date of the first showing of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ at the DeMille Theater in New York). I love seeing Pulp Fiction charted next to Easy Rider and Chinatown. It’s a great spin on a popular theme and a perfect gift for the film-lover in your life. Click here to check out the charts and place an order online. xo, grace


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New from MakeLike

I always get excited to see an email from Portland’s MakeLike in my inbox. They’ve already nailed an awesome collection of nature-inspired wallpapers (Succulents, Cacti, Trees and Mushrooms), so now they’re moving on to something a bit more geometric. ’100 Things’ is a new hand-illustrated product line that is part of their Shapes Collection and it will include tea-towels, pillow cases and, to start, wallpaper. Hand-silkscreened using water-based inks, their latest wallpaper comes in blue, red, grey and paintable white. I love the idea of a wallpaper that’s designed to be colored-in. We saw a few of those pop up a few years back, but there haven’t been many new designs since. So this shape-filled canvas is a great idea for anyone who wants to get a little DIY with their wall designs. Stay tuned for the rest of the Shapes collection products, but in the meantime you can check out the wallpaper and order online right here. xo, grace


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DIY Cat Magnets

When I stumbled upon a package of 12 mini cats on Amazon, they were in my cart before you could say, “Who would order a bunch of miniature plastic cats?” I figured that when it came to mini cats, one should buy first and think later. It only took a minute of having these beauties in my possession to come up with a project. After years of keeping all my photos online only, I’ve been on a kick of printing out photos and sticking them to my refrigerator. I decided that these mini cats would make the perfect magnets. It’s my favorite kind of project — super simple and cat inspired. (Oh and if you’d like to do this with dogs, I’ve got you covered right here.) — Amy Azzarito

Photographs by Maxwell Tielman

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See the full how-to after the jump . . .


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Paris, Line by Line

We’re ending the day with a grand Paris-themed dinner party, so it seemed only fitting to start off with something Parisian, as well. Some of you may be familiar with the illustrator Robinson’s work. Born Werner Kruse, Robinson became well known for his beautifully detailed line drawings of cities and his X-ray-like manner of drawing building interiors. Although today’s illustrators owe a great debt to this line-drawing trailblazer, Robinson’s numerous illustrated city guides have been out of print for some time. With the re-release of his 1967 book New York, Line by Line (Universe, 2009), an entirely new generation was able to experience this illustrator’s magical work.

Following the success of New York, Line by Line, Universe will reissue another fabulous volume of Robinson’s work: Paris, Line by Line. Following the style of its predecessor, Paris, Line by Line is filled, not with words, but with wildly intricate drawings of Paris from practically every angle. Within its large-scale pages are images of modern flâneurs taking in the Rue de Rivoli, artists replicating Cézannes at the Louvre and tourists dining atop the Eiffel Tower. Through Robinson’s dazzling line work, The City of Light comes to life.

Paris, Line by Line will be released on March 19, 2013. Continue reading after the jump to see more photos! — Max

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Daruma Dolls

One of the interesting aspects of being a blogger is finding ways to push through tedious computer tasks. As much as I love the helpfulness of a long product roundup, they can take hours and hours (and hours) of research and photo editing to put together. So Amy and I found a method that works for us: Hulu. We both like to sit on our respective couches and slog through a full day of internet research while binging on entire seasons of a TV show. While I prefer horror movies, Amy has a soft spot for TV sitcoms and has turned all of us at the office onto Matthew Perry’s new show, Go On. His character suffered a difficult loss and attends regular group therapy sessions, during which he learns lessons or tools for dealing with grief. During one episode, the characters in the group are introduced to Daruma dolls, also known as wishing dolls and Dharma dolls. These traditional Japanese dolls are modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, and are meant to aid in goal-setting or act as a general encouragement toward achievements.

Rich in symbolism, these dolls can be used in several different ways, but the most common use involves assigning a goal to (or writing it on the bottom of) each doll. At the beginning of the process, you draw only one eye on the doll. When you’ve finished or achieved that goal, you can draw in the second eye. The idea is that the little one-eyed doll will be watching you and serving as a reminder to persevere and finish your goal. Seeing that today is the last day of January and the time of year when it’s easy to lose track of New Year’s resolutions, I thought it seemed fitting to share these as little reminders to stay the course and push toward the goals we’ve all set for ourselves. Each of us on the team now has a doll to remind us of our toughest tasks, and I hope they’ll keep us moving in the right direction. If you’re interested in learning more about Daruma dolls, you can click here for more on their history or here to see the models we purchased for our encouragement. Here’s wishing everyone good luck with their goals for the rest of the year! xo, grace

*You can watch a video of Daruma dolls being made in Takasaki (where 80% of all Daruma dolls are made in Japan) right here on YouTube. Just be sure to turn your volume off if you’re at work; this video has some music in the background.

Photos by Max Tielman

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Mario Kolaric

There was a lot of diary talk here at D*S yesterday, so it only seemed right to start this morning with some beautiful artwork from Mario Kolaric’s Diary Fragments series. Mario had been working in notebooks, jotting down small ideas and concepts, for years, but decided in 2010 that he would display these smaller fragments from his journal as an ongoing series. For the past two years, Mario has displayed beautiful line drawings that demonstrate a love of rich, saturated color and a mastery of color contrasting. I’m partial to these pieces above and below, but you can view Mario’s full and continuing collection online right here. Mario also did an interview with Open Lab Magazine right here that gives some additional insight into the series and its overall inspiration. xo, grace

*P.S.: I hope you’re all staying warm out there. It’s 11 degrees here in Brooklyn today. Brrr!

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More images from Mario Kolaric’s diary series after the jump . . .


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Jon Duenas Photography

There are times when I think I’d love to dissolve into nature. Particularly relaxing beach days or the rare morning spent on a dock somewhere away from the city — those are the moments when I feel most at one with the natural world. When I saw these photographs by Jon Duenas, they reminded me of that feeling. The sense of peacefulness that comes from being out in the wilderness is so hard to re-create, but these photographs come pretty close. I can’t wait to get back outside when winter passes (although it’s been pretty warm here in New York lately), but until then, I’ll be keeping my eyes on these photos, living vicariously through their breeziness. xo, grace

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Sneak Peek: Melanie, Ryan & Beck Blodgett

Melanie Blodgett, her husband, Ryan, and son, Beck, purchased their first home in Denver, Colorado, 11 months ago (a big step up from their old, dark and cramped apartment with popcorn ceiling). Melanie has about five different jobs related to blogging and social media but can frequently be found at You Are My Fave. She’s also fortunate to have a job where she can work from home, spend time with her son and take advantage of the great natural light in their place for shooting tutorials for her blog. (Did you know that Denver boasts 300 days of sun a year?) When it came to decorating, Melanie started with pieces she loved — namely the couch — and mixed and matched from there, using furniture to add color rather than putting it on the walls. Many thanks to Melanie and Jennifer Little of Sugar Photography for the photos! — Anne

Image above: I wanted to go with a neutral, calming palette for the bedroom, so I stuck with Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray on the walls and white linen bedding from Restoration Hardware. I added a bit of color with the painting from Michelle Armas and the green chair-turned-nightstand from Crate and Barrel. The platform bed is CB2.

Image above: I originally wanted to go with gray for the living/dining/kitchen space but was afraid it would be too monotone with the counters and metal table. So I went with Sherwin Williams Blue Horizon, which, it turns out, matches everything. The couch is the popular Petrie sofa from Crate and Barrel, the coffee table is from CB2 and the side chairs, mirror and rug are from West Elm. I went to West Elm so often that all the workers still recognize me.

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See more inside the Blodgetts’ Denver home after the jump . . .


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