Yes, it’s a shirt. And yes, this is a subject I’ve delved into a few times on the blog in the past in the context of my approach to home renovation and my own self-image (side note: I need to re-read that post today), but James Victore—designer, artist, teacher, truth-speaker, all-around hero—nails it on a regular basis:
“Designers are too concerned with the idea of ‘perfection.’
“Perfection is the death of creativity. Perfection lacks spontaneity and surprise, instead it assumes ‘knowing’ and certainty. Creativity is about being OPEN and curious but perfection is closed tight in its search for an answer. ONE ‘right’ answer—but creativity is not math. Perfection also assumes that you are smarter than your audience because you know the ‘right way’ and the ‘rules.’ But this attitude leaves no room for your audience to be involved in your process. Creativity, like a good joke, slowly pieces together in your audience’s brain until it explodes with ‘A-HA!.’
“Perfection stops you from starting projects or even relationships because you are not ready or perfect. And it stops you from finishing or shipping projects because they are not ready or perfect. The weather, the economy, the atmosphere will never be perfect, your timing will never be right, you will never be perfect. But you know what’s better than perfect? Done. Done is better than prefect.”
I’m currently taking James Victore’s Bold & Fearless Poster Design course at CreativeLive, and it’s FANTASTIC. I don’t care what you do for a living, what you wish you did for a living, or how much experience you have in whatever it is that you do: This course is for everyone. Highly, highly recommended!
UPDATE: I just got an email alert letting me know that Bold & Fearless Poster Design is now 25% off! Use the code Victore2015 before 2/1/16 to get the discount. Nice!!
I took his Radical Typography course on Skillshare last year, too—also incredible. Sometimes you just need that push toward fearless imperfuction!
This sweet medicine cabinet reminds me of the one I painted for my own bathroom years ago—only much nicer. The size is perfect, and I love that the cross is a cutout. Perfect for small bathrooms! (Madrid-based Habitables makes all kinds of other great stuff, too.)
Oh Cotton & Flax, how I love thee. I received this lovely tea towel in gray as part of a limited edition collaboration Erin Dollar did with AHeirloom last fall. Both the tea towel and the cutting board are very gorgeous.
I have a zippered pouch obsession, and this guy is next on my list. How perfect would this be for stashing bandages, hand wipes, and a little sewing kit in your bag? So perfect.
I have no idea what I would do with these, but I want them anyway. I keep picturing them turned into some kind of mobile. I really like the soft pink paint, but they’re also available unpainted or dipped in black if that’s more your thing.
I couldn’t wear these earrings because my ears are lame and I can only wear gold-filled jewelry these days, but I really wish I could. I have a whole bunch of ear-holes, and I love the idea of a whole line of these in black or brass running up my lobes.
Fritz and Bruno aren’t really into being swaddled, but this sucker is huge (47″ square!), and in my estimation, it would make an awesome scarf. If course, if you have babies or swaddle-loving pets, I’m sure it’s great for that, too…
EDIT: Sometime between last night and now, this item disappeared from Modern Burlap’s Etsy shop. Weird! It’s still available directly from their website, though.
I’m not a chunky bracelet person. I’ve tried to be, but as much as I love how they look, they get in my way any time I try to use my hands for anything—which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is not an infrequent occurrence. That said, if I were a chunky bracelet person, these would be first on my list!
Ooooooh. I don’t know anything about quilting other than that it looks like a lot of work. This pretty quilt is available in six sizes, from lap all the way up to king. Something for the Chihuahuas, something for the Great Danes.
What’s on your Etsy wishlist right now?
Yesterday I took a peek at all of the new things coming to IKEA next month (some of these things have been available in Europe for a while, but we’re slow to get new stuff here in the US sometimes), and I am so blown away that I almost don’t even know where to start. I’m sure lots of other blogs will, of course, be showcasing the new lines in their entirety, so I’m just pulling a bunch of my favorites. There’s so much good stuff. Sometimes IKEA just really nails it, you know?
✚ DALSHULT/SLÄHULT table, $189 Solid birch with white laminate top
✚ KRUSNING lamp shade, $9.99 Paper / design by Sigga Heimis
I adore this dining table. The trestle base is so quintessentially Scandinavian, and immediately brings to mind Hans Wegner’s classic X-leg design. The shape of the top makes me think of Piet Hein’s Superelipse tables. It’s a gorgeous combination. I really wish I had somewhere to put this table to use.
The lamp is the work of Malmö-based designer Sigga Heimis, and it’s made of paper. It can be shaped however you like!
Because I know it will come up, let’s talk about the much-beloved FROSTA stools pictured here. They’re clearly heavily inspired by Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 (years ago, I modified a pair to make them even more Aalto-esque), but they’ve also managed to become an IKEA classic over the years. Sadly (some might say traumatically), IKEA discontinued FROSTA in the North American market a couple of years ago. They made a comeback of sorts in 2014, but only with tops painted yellow and red. It’s really a shame, because the banded-ply edge of the unpainted version is really what made it so nice! It’s still available in the European market, though, so if you had to cram a couple in a suitcase…
IKEA, if you’re listening, bring the original FROSTA stools back to North America!
✚ REBBESTAD/RYGGESTAD table, $179 Black-stained solid pine
✚ RISATORP kitchen cart, $59.99 Steel & solid birch handle / design by Wiebke Braasch
✚ RISATORP basket, $12.99 Steel & bent birch veneer / design by Wiebke Braasch
Another great dining table with nice legs! I’m really happy to see IKEA incorporating more true black-stained pieces like this and the OLOFSTORP cabinet I hung in my dining room. It’s a very nice change from that weird brown-black color that’s been prevalent on their darker furniture for so long.
I’m really digging the whole RISATORP line. That combination of birch and powder-coated white steel gets an A+ from me. I can see using that cart in any number of rooms, from kitchens to bathrooms to art studios to entryways.
Another look at the RISATORP kitchen cart. Those wheels are beautiful!
Side note: Mmmmm, Brussels sprouts. I’m going to have to make my mapled Brussels sprouts recipe this weekend!
✚ NORNÄS queen bed frame, $299 Lacquered solid pine
✚ NORNÄS nightstand, $89 Untreated solid pine
First of all, hats off to the stylists who put this room together. The combination of bare plywood walls and a painted floor (that blue!) is perfection.
The solid pine pieces in the NORNÄS collection (seen here and and the next two photos) are the work of brother and sister design team Marianne Hagberg and Knut Hagberg. All of the wood used to manufacture this line is sourced in the far north of Sweden, cut in a waste-minimizing manner from well-managed forests. IKEA has received a lot of criticism in the past for deforestation practices, and I am glad to see them taking some steps in the right direction. It may not be everything, but it’s something. (I’m also pleased to see even more solid wood in IKEA’s collection, since those are the pieces that can absolutely last for generations!)
✚ TNORNÄS table, $199 Untreated solid pine
✚ NORNÄS bench, $89 Untreated solid pine
Like many of the pieces in the NORNÄS line, both the bench and table seen here arrive unpainted, made of untreated wood—the legs of the bench have been painted black for this shoot. Yes, that means you’d have to treat the top of the table with something (wax, poly, whatever works best for your purposes), but it’s so nice to have the option to easily paint or stain this type of furniture. I personally love the look of pine, but imagine that table with the legs painted white, or the bench painted entirely yellow. They’d take on a whole new feel.
✚ NORNÄS wall cabinet, $79 Untreated solid pine & tempered glass
Man, how I love a good wall cabinet. There are several good glass-front pieces in the NORNÄS line, three of them wall-mounted and one with legs. All have really nice beveled, mitered corners, and again, the untreated wood allows you to paint them however you wish.
✚ SPRUTT cabinet, $89.99 Powder-coated steel / Design by Marcus Arvonen
✚ SPRUTT knob rack, $24.99 Powder-coated steel
✚ SPRUTT cart, $39.99 Powder-coated steel & plastic
The SPRUTT collection is so much fun, and fits right in with other great powder-coated steel IKEA stuff like their ubiquitous PS locker and the cork-topped KVISSLE office storage series, a personal favorite of mine.
The SPRUTT cabinet is particularly cool. What is it about things that resemble card files?? I guess it’s the promise of being SO organized that you require not just one or two separate drawers, but nine. And labels. To be honest, labels kind of stress me out, so I like that they’ve just used colors and shapes in this styling shot. I can get behind that. Where do you think you could use a cabinet like this? It’s pretty substantial at 12″ deep, so it could even work in the kitchen for storing extra flatware, napkins, jars of spices…it’s a great piece. So many possibilities!
And finally, the SPRUTT knob rack. How can you not love this?! Ahhhh, that bright yellow. So good!! Keys, necklaces, dog leashes, scarves…this thing would be great in an entryway where you don’t have much clearance since it’s less than 3″ deep—but at 63″ wide, it’ll still add visual interest. I could even see just mounting it on the wall as a decorative object, honestly.
Also, I now need white Swedish headphones.
Just a quick note to let you know that EVERYTHING (prints, shirts, iPhone cases, mugs, pillows…everything) in the K IS FOR BLACK shop is $5 OFF this weekend! There’s also FREE shipping (yes, worldwide!) on almost everything.
For the 8th year running, I have made a personal commitment to buy gifts for my friends and family from local and independent artists, designers and crafters this holiday season. As I have done in previous years, I’d like to invite independent hand-makers to post links to their shops in the comments. Please refer to the guidelines below before sharing your link. Thank you!
Share your shop link:
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I recently discovered Australian ceramist Jane Kelsey and her line, Dot & co., thanks to a friend who tagged me in one of her Instagram photos. I am smitten. I had planned to include a couple of pieces in an upcoming post I’m working on about my favorite new ceramics, but I knew it would impossible to narrow it down! Dot & co. deserves a whole post.
All of Jane’s work is made by hand in her Melbourne studio, and the ceramic range includes planters, dishes, salt cellars (I especially love the Black Flag set, pictured above), vases, and the prettiest, most delicate spoons imaginable. She makes gorgeous woodblock prints, too.
(I would like one of each, please!)
I’ve been supporting Small Business Saturday (that’s the day after Black Friday, of course—this year it’ll fall on November 29th) for as long as I’ve known it’s a thing, and for many years now I’ve chosen to do all of my holiday shopping with independent artists, crafters and designers, both locally and online. One of my favorite parts of having a blog is opening up the comments to those independent sellers in my annual D16 handmade posts, and I love promoting my favorite sellers here and on my Etsy page.
It goes without saying, then, that I love what Etsy is doing this year in conjunction with Small Business Saturday: They’re connecting small shop owners with local Etsy sellers to host trunk shows, bringing products from the online realm into the brick & mortar world! This is such a great way for boutiques to draw in people who are curious about discovering things they can’t see anywhere else, and of course it’s wonderful for bringing local retail visibility to Etsy sellers. Very, very cool. The list of small businesses who have already signed up to host Etsy trunk shows in their shops this year is impressive, and includes a bunch of my favorite folks—including the ones I’ve pictured here.
I’ve been asked to help support this movement by promoting the event and encouraging other small business owners to participate in the Etsy trunk shows, and I am more than happy to oblige!
Are you a small business owner?
Would you like to host an Etsy trunk show in your shop on Small Business Saturday? Yes? I thought you might! Participating shops will receive a trunk show kit* that includes bags, promotional materials, presence on Etsy’s Small Business Saturday event page, and more.
Here’s how to participate:
1. If you haven’t already, apply as a member to Etsy Wholesale
2. Connect with a local Etsy seller to showcase their products and host them in your store for a trunk show
3. Complete the trunk show enrollment form, here
4. Start planning your November 29 trunk show
You can learn more about Small Business Saturday and Etsy trunk shows on the Etsy blog! And if you do participate, either as a shop owner or as an Etsy seller, be sure to let me know—I’m looking forward to attending the trunk shows local to me.
There are a million different monthly subscription boxes out there—ones for dogs, for people with curly hair, for cosmetics junkies, for craft project lovers, and so on. I have never subscribed to one, though. I tend to be slightly (not slightly) picky about what I buy, and surprises (even gifts—I’m horrible) make me nervous. A box full of carefully-chosen Scandinavian stuff, though? Well, it’s tough to go wrong when that task is put in the right hands. Enter Skandicrush, the Scandinavian subscription box!
Ana Denmark (her real name, I swear—and yes, that was the first question I asked her), the founder of Skandicrush, contacted me a while back asking if I’d be interested in reviewing the debut box for the blog. It took me all of 2 minutes spent checking out the sample boxes before replying to Ana with a resounding YES! How could I say no?!
And then I waited. Oh, the anticipation! I was so excited when the October box arrived at my office last week—I totally get the whole subscription box thing now. It felt like my birthday! I had to force myself to wait until I got home to open it up so I’d be able to take photos in a setting that didn’t involve fluorescent lights and industrial carpeting.
So, what was inside this magical box of fika-themed Scandinavian goodness? All sorts of good things!
Wheee!!! SO MUCH PRETTY. The total retail value of everything together is about $90, so the Skandicrush box price—$50/month with an ongoing subscription, $60/month for individual orders*—is quite a good deal. Yes, you’re putting faith in Ana’s ability to assemble a collection of items every month that you’ll love, but judging by this first box and the samples on the site, she really knows what she’s doing. I’ve already signed up for an ongoing subscription, and I’m really excited for my next box!
Ana kindly created a discount code for Door Sixteen readers, if you’re interested in subscribing or ordering a box. Between now and October 31, you’ll get $15 off your first box when you enter the code D16-OCT at checkout.
NOTE: Apparently some folks are getting a DNS or “server not found” error when they try to place an order on the Skandicrush website. If this is happening to you, please contact Skandicrush directly at email@example.com so that Ana and her team can get your order taken care of. Sorry for the trouble!
*By the way, Ana just let me know that she’s added an option to order just 2 or 3 boxes at a time, a perfect gift option for a lucky Scandinavian design lover in your life.
I haven’t decided what I’ll use the wood-lidded airtight Sagaform storage container for yet, but it’s definitely going in the kitchen. I’m thinking it might be perfect for teabags. The oak tongs look so nice with the container, and they’re just right for yanking bread out of the toaster without burning your fingers or electrocuting yourself. Safety first!
Eek! So cute. I love love love this little Diamond Box from Areaware. The lid is held in place with two strong magnets, making it a perfect place to hide real diamonds (not that I have any of those—but I have a good imagination) or favorite cookie fortunes.
You already know I love these Geometry cups from Ferm Living…obviously. I’ve written about Ferm’s Geometry collection several times, and I’m excited to finally own a couple of pieces! I’m in a bit of a state of mug overload right now, so one of these sweet cups will be used for holding makeup brushes in the bathroom, and the other will probably get to just sit around looking pretty.
Thanks so much for giving me the chance to review the first Skandicrush box, Ana! I couldn’t be happier, and I am really looking forward to seeing what’s in the November box. I’m sure it will be beautiful!
Back when I started my little K IS FOR BLACK shop on Society6, I didn’t know if I’d stick with it. I was feeling very unsure about designing stuff without a client (other than myself!) in mind, and it was really a personal challenge more than anything.
Happily, I did stick with it, and I’ve added lots of new designs to the shop since that initial launch. It’s been SO fun.
That said, I think it’s a little boring to have the same things in the shop forever, and it’s time for me to do a big overhaul. On the first day of fall, September 23rd, I’ll be discontinuing ALL of the current designs so I can start introducing new work. Between now and then, all of the prints in the shop are discounted 20% (the discount is reflected in the listed prices). Society6 doesn’t allow members to set pricing for anything other than prints, otherwise I’d make the discount shop-wide.
ALSO: Between now and September 14th, Society6 is offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on most items (framed prints, stretched canvases and rugs are excluded), and all phone cases (including ones for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) are $5 off.
That’s a lot of discounts, so if there is anything at all that you’ve had your eye on in the K IS FOR BLACK shop, now is the time to get it. After September 23rd, none of the current designs will be available. (You must use this link to get the free shipping and phone case discounts.)