Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite photographers! Some of you may already be familiar with her work – though I still wanted to celebrate it and write about it here today. I think that’s because after a tough couple of days creating, I am ready to take it easy for a couple days. I’m not really known for my patience, so when I’m learning something totally new – either as I design websites or creating for my Etsy store, I do get a tad bit frustrated at times. Particularly if things aren’t going well. Something to work on for sure, but it also made me think about how we recover from these moments. Taking a break from the situation is always good, but I also like having a few nice things right around my desk to look at to take my mind off things.
So that brings me to the work of Irene Suchocki, whose photos I have posted next to my desk. Her use of color and the vibrant details of life she chooses to feature in her work are wonderfully soothing and oh so beautiful. From her own profile Irene explains: “I like to explore the ethereal, the surreal, the whimsical, the mysterious, and the beautiful. I enjoy creating little poems for the eyes.” And for me her work certainly is poetry for the eyes!
Her work has been featured in numerous magazines and tv shows including Extreme Makeover, Country Living, Canadian Geographic, and many many more.
I’d love to hear from you – when things aren’t going your way – what’s your favorite way to get back on track?
It’s interesting how things “get to you” in an unexpected way. I, like many others have been hearing reports about the story of the oil spill in the gulf. I try to keep up with the news – partly because I find it interesting, and also because I think it’s important to stay informed. With the advent of blogs and social media – what I’ve noticed over the years is how events become more real and more personal – as you hear so many more of the stories from people who are affected.
I went to New Orleans for the first time this fall, for a wedding, and like so many others before me I fell in love with the city. I’d love to go back some day, not just to New Orleans but also to visit some of the surrounding areas. It is a city rich in history, with an energy unlike any I’ve experienced elsewhere. But after Katrina, there is still a slight pall hanging over the city – the cities residents freely engage with visitors, and after learning that we were visiting, more than one local told us how the city has changed, and how it has affected their families.
Today while doing some research for my post – which with the sunny weather and our upcoming trip to California (see my last post for all the details on that) I thought would have some kind of of a beach or summer theme – as that’s my frame of mind these days! I came across the lovely shop of L. Young Studio – and was immediately reminded of Louisiana by items like the one pictured above. And then it reminded me of fellow blogger, Mallory, at Miss Malaprop who finds herself in the midst of the mess in the Gulf… And the beauty of the items in L. Young’s studio put it all together for me – it reminded me what a shame it is that they have to deal with more heartbreak.
So while it is almost summer here, and things are rosy for me – I take this as a reminder to consider what’s going on elsewhere and to see if there is at least a small way I can help in the links that Mallory has provided here.
My son remarked to me the other day that he felt that he had been born about 25 years too late, and should have grown up in the 80s. I laughed and told him that I thought the same thing about myself; I would’ve been right at home growing up in the mid-50s/early-60s. I have always been drawn to the architecture and design of the era and I can’t honestly remember a time that a good Formica counter top, a sunburst clock or an Eames chair didn’t make my heart beat a little faster. Eco-friendly tote, featuring an Eames chair silhouette (below), by Modist.
I don’t know if Atomic Age design ever really went away (not in my books, anyway), but it has really made quite a comeback over the past few years. I’m sure a big factor in that has been the popularity of the program Mad Men, but I like to think that it was just the world coming to its senses. After a couple of really questionable decades of design, we are once again appreciating the clean lines, bright colours and clever shapes of mid-century modernism.
Some creative craftspeople, like Mark and Jeff of Ypsilanti, MI are taking this appreciation one step further and incorporating the everyday items of this time into fresh, new objects of desire. Take this piece, for example – a simple container intended to store your leftovers has been taken off kitchen duty and transformed into an awesome table lamp (above). Check out the Boots n Gus shop for even more lamps in all sorts of shapes and sizes, like the pendant light at the top of this article; you’ll be seeing Tupperware in a whole new light!
Another ingenious example of retro kitchenware finding a home in the living room is this eggbeater clock, pictured above, by Kim aka The Sassy Crafter. Made from 12 recycled electric beaters (and a whole lotta cheek), these clocks are a brilliant reinterpretation of the classic mid-century sunburst design and can be purchased as-is from Kim’s shop, or custom ordered to match your decor.
When we’re talking about mid-century design, I can’t go without mentioning the advertising of the age. It was a time of rampant consumerism and the ads were a perfect reflection of that; shoppers scrambled to fill their homes with the optimistic, modern goods that would separate them from the stodgy belongings previous generations. To that end, ad agencies seized the opportunity and pushed the idea that new was best and the future was now, such as in this advertisement for Scripto Satellite pens, cleverly made into a durable coaster (below) by Jenn and Jenny of Robot Candy. Maybe it’s just me, but 50 years later it still makes me want to buy a pen (and a coaster, for that matter)!
Ironically, our nostalgia for this time has us channeling the Drapers and filling our homes with the relics of the atomic age. Even with the advances in science and technology since then, the many of the designs and fabrications still seem modern and relevant…perhaps the future is (still) now.
“Mad Men”-inspired print, above, by Yumalum.
Please welcome Amy to Try Handmade! She blogs at Handmade Evolution and she also has an Etsy shop called Field Trip. Amy is our new Design & Style columnist, and I think you’re going to just love her posts.
Here’s a little something to distract you from the less than stellar weather outside your door! Or if you’re in the Pacific Northwest – perhaps the warmer temperatures have you feeling like it’s time to look ahead to updating your wardrobe and decor for spring? It’s a month or so until spring will arrive officially – but there’s no harm in planning ahead!
These brightly colored finds remind me that as practical as my wardrobe and home are, perhaps it’s time to spice it up a bit – and what better way to do it than with primary colors like these.
The marigold yellow print from Tessyla featured at the top of this post sets just the right tone, don’t you think? Spring is all about letting go just a bit and living life more freely outdoors, happily anticipating that summer is just around the corner!
I am particularly impressed with the clothing from ThimbleandAcorn – Eve works to include both recycled and upcycled fabrics into her line. She’s got a wide range of items in her shop with everything from modern takes on classic looks to highly unique items with truly innovative details.
Not only does Upstyle have lots of fun fabric clutches to choose from – she will also create a custom purse for you or your bridal party!
Having grown up in Portland I love finding shops from fellow Oregonians – first drawn to all of the cute headbands in her shop I enjoyed reading that the line was inspired by a spring painting of poppies by Susan Hazard.
It’s going to be hard for me to pick just one piece of jewelry from the Round Rabbit shop – so many beautiful choices!
I’d love to hear what’s on your shopping list for Spring, and the handmade finds you’re planning to buy to freshen things up just a bit! Anything in particular caught your eye? I think I’ll need to set a budget because there are just too many things I’d happily scoop up!