31 August 2006

Domestic Details

Today I love my coffee cup and ironing board. This morning the linear floral-esque pattern of the cup caught my eye as it gracefully sat upon my notebook and lovely bill to be paid. I bought two identical mugs with a glamorous inscription on the bottom that reads Vera Lezetti from the Bavaria Collection (complete with twin tigers and a crown crest) at Real, a not very glamorous department store/supermarket found all over Turkey, for approximately 2.36 ytl.

This image also gives you a glimpse of a non-traditional Turkish home (reminder that I must post images of average suburban Turkish apartments). I have become much more minimal in my color choices and furniture selection since moving to Turkey. I am now drawn towards simple, solid things that illuminate pattern, rather than get drowned by it.

And I couldn't resist posting a detail from our Lady (note the registered trademark) ironing board with mod diamond pattern. Every time I iron I am happy to see the juxtaposition of geometry and calligraphy-like product name. I admit that when scouring small home supply stores called Tuhafiyes *my pocket dictionary lists sundries, notions, and haberdashery as items that can be found there* (haberdashery...! how perfect, as I am reading a lot of Jane Austen these days), I was very excited to find that this ironing board was not only durable but attractive. Next time I may give in and buy the evil-eye patterned ironing board pad that everyone uses here.

John Derian & Jane Hammond

Vintage glass candle ornaments imported from Turkey by John Derian. At $80 each, the price is comprable to similar ones I've seen at the Grand Bazaar and the streets lining the bazaar district. But while you can bargain with shopkeepers in gorgeously lit shops in Istanbul, this price is fixed. Yet still, you can surround yourself with these sumptuosly votive globes without having to hassle on a price or drink endless cups of black or apple tea. Unless you like that sort of thing, which I do when my Turkish is passable.

I can't mention John Derian without remarking on his beautiful Decoupage. Perhaps most people's first experimentation with Decoupage included some sort of small discarded cigar box with glued on victorian greeting cards or, if I can admit this, hormonally induced clippings from teen magazines glued to a tabletop... either way, John Derian transforms the medium into singular moments of museum-worthy imagery that at times remind me, like this Libra/Scorpio zodiac tray, of Jane Hammond, whose work can be seen at Lemberg Gallery in Ferndale, MI.

John Derian, above

Jane Hammond, From the Goose to the Girl, iris print, relief work, handcoloring

29 August 2006

k8: kate love

Today, the postaci gave me a most wonderful unexpected surprise! A soft, sweet jersey wrap made by my dear friend Kate Love. Kate, a painter and textile enthusiast, has long been a friend of mine ever since I dumped my coffee on her drawings in a Drawing Fundamentals class in undergrad. She even flew to Turkey to be a bridesmaid in my wedding and started working with fabric and textile design right about the same time as I did. She has occasionally threatened to return the favor and pour coffee on my work, too, for she told me it was a turning point in her artistic career when I was inconsolable over my clumsiness. Kate is now a Brooklyn-based artist, whose reused and preloved clothing has been worked and embellished with beads, ribbon and painterly details.

To view her other amazing creations, visit K8 Love on Lesbionic.com, also based in Brooklyn. Expect many more beautiful things to come from Kate's clothing collection in the months to come. My apologies for the color differentiation... taken under different light, the photo of me wearing the wrap is less saturated than in real life.

Secondhand Rose

It is always gratifying to find one's name used thoughtfully... and Secondhand Rose conjurs the most romantic possibilities. Thanks to design*sponge, a lovely blog discovery of the day that I am now infatuated with, I was led to Secondhand Rose's Ottoman Empire collection of furniture. This piece is a mid-19th century bone and ivory inlaid pedestal. Its place of origin is not listed on the site, but several others claim heritage in Egypt, Persia, and French Morocco. Secondhand Rose has an incredible wallpaper selection, which is how it caught my eye on design*sponge.

This is one of those days where every site I come across seems filled with beautiful things... my previous list of favorite sites and blogs seems very incomplete even a couple days later.

So here are a couple more that I have come to cherish, sans pictures or description...

claire coles
brocante home

25 August 2006

Lovely lists

The impulse to organize everything has taken over, so I feel compelled to give a tidy list of my most recently discovered favorite blogs and sites.

print & pattern, with jen lewis illustration shown here.

craving anthropologie, an unapologetic homage to the store
bearing the same name, and my own declaration of longing for a sanctuary not found in Turkey.

oh joy, who also posts favorite home accessories, design finds and textiles, but from philadelphia. Thanks to this blog, I was introdroduced to Brocade Home, who has produced a catalog of amazing home decor that I am very eager to receive. Only downside is Brocade Home doesn't ship catalogs internationally, so I finagled a copy by having it sent to my parents' house. (oh joy gives a nod to craving anthropologie for the Brocade Home tip, I credit oh joy and so continues the links and discoveries one can only find from a blog.)

decor 8, which gives a thorough review of Amy Butler's In Stitches, a book I pre-ordered this morning and will have someone I love from the US send or bring to me in Turkey. I also pre-ordered Built by Wendy's Sew U... it may be months before I get either book, and the wait will be filled with longing.

I must say that I spent an enormous amount of time on Amy Butler's website, too... I love her detailed photographs, views of her studio, various inspiration and her Sunbloom fabric print.

tarsian & blinkley, who design and produce with talented Afghan women, socially conscious organic clothing. They have a wealth of information on their site, including photographs and biographies on the women they work with.

Last, but not least, the wish jar journal, companion to keri smith's illustrations and musings. Be sure to look at her list of ideas... perfect for both artist, writer, or designer's block or an motivated, inspired day.

.... There are many, many more blogs and sites that I love, but they will have to wait for another afternoon, another cup of coffee.

24 August 2006

Yellow Gingham Infatuation

I bought four yards of yellow gingham to make curtains and so far, instead of applying myself to the task, have made a pillow, baby bib, and drapery for a vintage cabinet. Here is some evidence of my most recent infatuation with the color yellow. red-orange nails on yellow by light of sewing lamp. dramatic and perfect.

detail of pillow... yellow machine embroidery stitch on pale aqua

the finished pillow/// now I only need to redecorate our entire apartment to match! I first spyed this deep yellow when wandering around Tekzen, the Turkish equivalent of Home Depot and found a paint color called Sultan's yellow. How amazing.

01 August 2006

Build your Nest

Rose Deniz Handbags is excited to announce a forthcoming collaboration with Nest, a nonprofit agency that works with individual designers to produce an exclusive item for Nest, the proceeds from which benefit women in developing countries as they create their own art-based businesses. We are incredibly pleased to be the first recipients of the micro-loan from Nest, as the loan will go towards supporting materials for the seamstresses and jewelry designer we work with. It has long been my vision to see these incredibly talented women further their own work and build sustainable incomes for themselves and their families.

In the words of Founder Rebecca Kousky,
"Women have been artists through the centuries, whether they are creating utilitarian household objects, clothes for the family or decorative objects for themselves, the female artistic tradition is a way of defining and maintaining the community. By providing entrepreneurial loans to craftswomen and artisans, their life can become their livelihood and the decorative objects that are the fruits of their labor can be enjoyed by discerning patrons throughout the world." The catalog and online store will be debuting the end of this summer, as will our clutch wristlette designed for Nest. Please visit the Nest website for more information on their global vision and the other designers working with Nest to create change for women in developing nations.