September 25, 2008

and now... the end is near...

Ahh, here we are at the end of Alphabet 2, can you believe it?? I really do you hope you enjoyed this second set.. let's round out this alphabet set with Y and Z... I've gone a bit overboard on the images of this one so I am posting one Y and one Z... both are fantastic so I hope you enjoy them - they really make me smile! Anyway, let's start with Y...

Yee-Haw Industries

mmm letterpress... you know I like it don't you??
Yee-Haw Industries specialises in all sorts of printed goodness from letterpress to handmade, woodcut and fine art prints... all pressed by hand.. take a look:

(images from Yee-Haw)

visit the YeeHaw store
visit the YeeHaw website
read the YeeHaw featured seller interview on Etsy

read the YeeHaw blog


Sandra Monet is the amazing creative mind behind Herzensart. Living in a small village near Cologne and sharing a studio with a sheep(!) called Friederike, Sandra created this fantastic collection of Textile and mixed media art objects.

"These creations are made for the child in all of us".

I really do suggest you hop over to the Herzensart website and have a really good look through.. here's a snippet:

(images and quote from Herzensart)

visit the Herzensart website
visit the Herzensart store
read Sandra's blog

And here we are, at the end. Wow! I can't believe we have finished our second set! The third set is shaping up nicely. If you know of or make anything you think should be included, just drop me a line to thedesignalphabet{at}yahoo{dot}com...I would love to hear fom you!

I'm not sure if I will get to post anything next week.. I do have things I want to post about, it's just that we are spending the week at my parents house and I'm not sure if their slow internet connection will allow me to put any images up.. but I will see what I can do! If you want us to let you know when a post is up just subscribe (see button at the bottom of the menu on the left).

Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by, knowing you visit warms my heart : ) For those of you in NZ and have school children in your life - have a great school holiday break...I hope you get to spend some memorable time with your children... everyone else - thank you!

Oh, and it is the weekend! Have a fabulous weekend everyone..

see you soon! xx

September 24, 2008

Inspired by Max...

OK, I have to be honest... I have been struggling with X - I mean REALLY struggling! - I will so need help for the next one!! - help?

I had figured that I would write about Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (the founder of Apartment Therapy) who emails me everyday with amazing finds, incredible house tours, fab decorating tips and some DIY goodness... well, actually I subscribe to Maxwell's daily Apartment Therapy Blog so I get sent it every day : ) But you know, when you have someone in your life that often, you start to feel like it's a bit personal - don't you??!

above: Maxwell and daughter Ursula - image from Cookie Magazine

So, yep, all set for a post about Max, and a couple of days ago Victoria at sfgirlbybay did a post about Max - he was actually in her apartment, in the flesh, and they appeared on TV together!! So, yeah, I can't really compete with that!! But, I can give you a gander at my pick of inspiring stuff that Max has sent my way... have a look:

Inspired by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan

I LOVE the top picture - that swinging bed is just divine! The room just looks so airy and light - and so stress free! And the bottom pic: what I love about this house is that it actually looks like people live there - real people!

Above images from the home of AB Chao, courtesy of Apartment Therapy
See more HERE

Top Pic: This artwork is absolutely stunning and I would LOVE it above my bed... and the bottom pic is also great! Can you imagine being bold enough to use that wallpaper - It's fabulous, I just don't know whether I'd have the guts to use it!

'Forever' by Tim and Sue Webster
Above images from the home of Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann courtesy of NY
See more HERE

Max had a whole post dedicated to Chalkboard Paint - and this is my fave.. The whole Karkula store is painted in Chalkboard Paint and the signage / price tags are just written on the walls - inspiring!

Above image is of the Karkula Store courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Read the whole post HERE

And.. well, this place is just to die for! - check out that pool!! The whole house is incredible and definitely worth an online visit! - have a look!

Above images of Olle Lundberg's Cabin courtesy of Apartment Therapy
see more HERE

Of course clicking through to the links above takes you through to a whole world of Apartment Therapy - be warned! if you haven't ventured here before give yourself some time to enjoy the feast of resources.

If being online for that long drives you a bit nuts then there is good news! Maxwell has two books out -"Apartment Therapy Presents: Real H People, Hundreds of Design Solutions" and "Apartment Therapy - The Eight Step Home Cure"... you can buy them at the Design Alphabet Book Store HERE.

And to see more - visit Victoria at sfgirlbybay and click the link through to her television slot with Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan - enjoy!

It's our last day tomorrow before our week long break... we are going away for the week so I am not sure if I will be able to post anything or not - if you don't want to keep checking back through the week, feel free to subscribe and we'll let you know when new posts are up...

see you tomorrow for y and z! xx

September 23, 2008


I had this wee collection of W's to post and then remembered about Wren Handmade... So, I skipped on over to Etsy to see if anything caught my eye...well! it is now about half and hour later and I have finished my journey through the work of Laura Normandin, the creative wonder behind Wren Handmade... Have you ever looked through all of her work??? Oh my, this lady is sooooooo talented! So.... I am saving all my other W's, and this entire post is dedicated to Wren Handmade and the work of Laura Normandin - enjoy!!

Wren Handmade & Laura Normandin

above: Laura in her studio

Wren Handmade is a fab wee etsy store chock full of the handmade wares of Laura Normandin. Named after an old doberman, Wren Handmade is a collection of stuffed elephants and giraffes, a gorgeous family of dolls and perfectly made miniature clothes for them to wear... and an intricate range of crocheted bracelets and hair clips. Here's a peek at Wren Handmade:

Laura is also an amazing artist and illustrator. Her portfolio is filled to the brim with beautiful and inspiring work. A Craft Editor at Martha Stewart for 10 years and a lifetime full of creative handmade pursuits, it is no wonder that Laura's work is so intricate and beautiful...

"My work consists of a catalogue of about 89 symbols which I explore in varying combinations and contexts. The objects I choose are generally humble, domestic and ordinary. They reside in a world where consumption by moth, rust and thief is imminent. Despite their venerability to decay and distress, I seek to unearth the masked strength I sense there. The idea that the lowly are strong, not despite their brokenness but because of it, is the theme to which I constantly return. To this end, I make books, paintings and artifacts and whatever else takes my fancy."

Have a look at the work of Laura Normandin:

above: An Anthology of Internal Exploits and Internal Joys, Hand-bound Book of treated Japanese Paper

above: Trivet 1. Human Hair, Linen

above: Michigan CD Art, Gouache and Cut Paper

above: Trivet 2. Human Hair, Linen.

above: The Mercy Seat. Cutouts with found Materials

above: The Mercy Seat. Cutouts with found Materials

above: An Anthology of Internal Exploits and Internal Joys, Hand-bound Book of treated Japanese Paper

(images and quote from Laura Normandin and Wren Handmade)

visit the Wren Handmade shop

visit Laura's website

read Laura's blog

Isn't Laura's work amazing?? I hope you found it inspiring... you should jump on over to her website and shop and fully immerse yourself in her work : )

Only two days in this Alphabet left!! I can't believe it! so... I'm pretty sure you will know what is on its way tomorrow - X!

See you then, have a great day! x

September 22, 2008

V is for ...........

You know, sometimes the letters that you think may be a bit tricky are the ones that come up trumps.. I really like all of the things featured today in 'V'... I hope you do too...

First up -

Ana Ventura

I love Ana Ventura's work! Her Cut and Paste series in particular is wonderful - and her website has such a fantastic look into the process of making each really is worth a look! I often fantasize about creating my own little range of goodies and I think I want to be as clever as Ana Ventura when I grow up!! - here's a glimpse:

(images from Ana Ventura)

visit Ana's website
see Ana's Cut and Paste series in progress
visit Ana's shop

Valentine's Attic

Ooh! Have you seen Valentine's Attic?? This type of montaging is one of my favourites - made using a mixture of photography, vintage photographs, photoshop, illustration and paint... what do you think??

"I collect and reclaim "unwanted" photographs and ephemera, mainly vintage, with the occasional contemporary find. With these images, I dissect and then reassemble them, weaving them with my own personal iconography to give them a new purpose."

Have a look:

(images from Valentine's Attic)


visit Valentine's Attic shop
read Valentine's Attic blog

Vessels and Wares

I first came across the work of Jeanette Zeis whilst browsing on Etsy... I have since immersed myself into her website and discovered just how clever this gal is. Jeanette's work immediately caught my eye and I think it was the patterns imprinted into the clay that appealed...

"I love to push the clay to it's limits, stopping just short of collapse (or not). Using this style of throwing is exciting. I am never quite sure if my next push will ruin the piece or make it great."

(images from Jeanette Zeis)

visit Jeanette's website
visit the Vessels and Wares shop

And that is V.. I hope you liked it : ) There is plenty on the way for W... see you back here tomorrow - Have a great day! x