Category Archives: paper arts

Love-ly Notes

I have to say, this year I’m actually pretty excited about Valentine’s Day. In case you are wondering, I’m still a single girl, but this year I feel like I need to celebrate.

So does my friend Tina, known around these parts as our resident Petal Pusher. Well, she just launched an Etsy shop, Tina Hu Designs,  to sell her handmade cards. Here’s a sneak peak:

The launch is just in time for Valentine’s Day, but the cards can be given out anytime you want to send a loved one a note. Check out Tina’s inspirations on her Tumblr, Twigs & T.

Pretty Wings

Clearly, I haven’t stopped listening to the latest Maxwell album since I downloaded it, but this post is actually about the beautiful wallcoverings by Pip Studio.

I love that  the wallcoverings above, are a modern take on antique Chinese hand-painted wallpapers but I’m really partial to the vintage postcard print shown below. I love that it celebrates the ephemeral nature of things.

I was introduced to these pretty papers in the June issue of Living etc and have been on the hunt to see if they are available from a US distributor but so far the closest I’ve found was Brian Yates in the UK. But I don’t give up easily and the hunt continues…

And just FYI: Pip Studio also makes fun folk art inspired notebooks and stationary. Check them out here.

Sweet Tea Party

One day, I would love to design a tea house, room or shop. Therefore, I’m always looking for images that inspire me. When I saw the Paper Tea House by architect Shigeru Ban, I was completely overtaken with joy.

{images via dezeen}

Constructed entirely of cardboard, Ban’s beautiful structure was sold last year as a part of a Japanese art auctuion in London.  As a tea lover, how glorious would it be to own this work of art?

A Sip from the Cup of Joy

And since I’m on a tea kick today, Can we talk about the loveliness of these porcelain tea cups?

{images via claire coles}

Artist Claire Coles either hand-embroiderers these beauties or inlays each cup and saucer with lace doilies or flocked wallpapers. They seem so temporal and delicate. It is Cole’s artistic comment to our lost social arts in our modern world, notably the art of afternoon tea.

Hmm… now i’m thinking…when was the last time I took a minute to treat myself to an afternoon cup of tea? I must fix that today!

Stationary Love

Happy Monday! I hope you had wonderful weekend!

I’ve told you before about my love for beautiful stationary. Well, I still haven’t written very many letters or notes, but the year is not up yet. I’m not sure how I found this, but I love this stationary from Pink.Sugar.Dots’ Fashionista Collection.

Don’t you think every fashionista should have lovely, fun personal stationary? I do. Pink Sugar Dots has a lot of collections to choose from and something to fit every occasion.The retro and bridal collections are just as sassy as the fashionista one above. Want something customized? Pink Sugar Dots can help with that too. Whichever collection you choose, its nice to think that mail can be fun again.

{Colorful}Weekend Wishes: Brazil Edition

It has been a great week in design wonderland, I’ve met new friends and have new readers! With that in mind I’d like to  extend a big thank you and welcome to everyone who’s been reading. I’m happy you’ve joined me on my design adventures.

Today, we are off to Brazil by way of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid show, Brazilian Modern. Clearly I’m overdue for an NYC trip (leave it to the New York Times to remind me) and can’t wait to see the show in person.

a rendering of the show at the new york botanical garden

Designed by landscape architect Raymond Jungles, the show is inspired by his former mentor, the late Roberto Burle Marx a Brazilian artist and landscape designer. And like Burle Marx’s hanging gardens in Brasilia,  orchids will be hung architecturally in the show transforming the plants into works of art.

the show promises to highlight the orchids lush colors in a tropical setting.

the show promises to highlight the orchids lush colors in a tropical setting.

I decided to to look up Roberto Burle Marx and found his work, ranging from tapestries and landscape design, to be quite inspiring. A champion of the use of native plants in his work, Burle Marx’s designs were inspired by cubist and abstract art.

a garden design by burle marx in rio de janeiro.

a garden design by roberto burle marx in rio de janeiro.

a sidewalk at copacabana, a beach in rio, also designed by burle marx

a sidewalk at copacabana, a beach in rio, also designed by burle marx

a tapestry by roberto burle marx, who was also a painter.

a tapestry by roberto burle marx, who was also a painter.

The Orchid Show will be on view at the New York Botanical Garden from February 28th through April 12. By the way if you go opening weekend, you can see live Brazilian musical performances. I hope to head up in March to find colorful inspiration in this beautiful fantasy world. If you decide to check it out let me know!

(all images from the New York Times)

Happy Weekend!



Cutting up with Stina

As I sit here, waiting for winter to turn to spring, I’m feeling really inspired by artist Stina Perrson’s work. She works largely in watercolor, but in these drawings she layers paper within the composition to create the amazing collages.

These “cut paper drawings” were commissioned for a German magazine but were inspired by Sicily and the names of Italian women. And as you can see, each drawing  takes on her own wonderful personality.

As a designer I think a lot about form and space, how to manipulate it, or better yet, how to play with it. There is something about her use of color and how it plays with negative and positive to create a graphic quality to each piece. Her work just hints that there is something more there, keeping the viewer visually interested and emtionally invested. That’s something the best art always does.

{Colorful) Weekend Wishes: Absolutely Bejeweled

Whew…Friday is finally here. I’m so glad the weekend is here I can barely type. But I’ll try…

Next week I’m thrilled to be going to a lecture given by jewelry designer Alexis Bittar. I actually decided to see him speak before I knew what his designs looked like but was fairly confident that the Corcoran Gallery of Art would not steer me wrong. Usually, I leave jewelry to my friend at the The Art of Accessories, but I love hearing other designers talk about their process and inspirations so I signed up. After viewing Bittar’s designs, I fell in love. And right before Valentines Day, no less. I’m a lucky girl!!!

images from alexis bittar

a jewelry collage (images from alexis bittar)

images from

bittar's beautiful brooches (images from

Bittar handcrafts his jewelry from a variety of materials including, Lucite, semi-precious stones, sterling silver and vermeil, resulting in divinely bejeweled and colored baubles (that would look fantastic in my jewelry box when I’m not wearing them). With that in mind, today’s rooms are inspired by the colors in Alexis Bittar’s Jewelry, turning his statement pieces into statement rooms.

(image from marie claire maison)

(image from marie claire maison)

(image from

(image from

(image from marie claire maison)

(image from living etc)

I wanted to show rooms, that like Bittar’s Jewelry, are an ode to both modern and vintage sensibilities but are not shy about using bold colors. In these spaces, its the jewel-toned hues of the furniture and accessories provide the panache to simple backdrops. But though they are simple the rooms all offer lots of light, a very important factor when deciding go for bold color (and don’t forget a bit of metallic shine to reflect light). One doesn’t want to live in a dark cave in the name of being daring .  These living spaces are full of life, and not for the faint of heart, similar to the woman I imagine is wearing Alexis Bittar’s designs.

bittar's own living room (from the new york social diary)

a view of bittar's living room

For fun I included a pic of Alexis Bittar’s own room. The art piece above the sofa reminds me of his designs as well.  If you would like to read more about Bittar and see more images of his designs, studio, and Brooklyn home, check out this interview from the New York Social Diary. I am absolutely delighted to see Alexis Bittar next Wednesday. Maybe I’ll see you there…

Happy Weekend,

xoxo, Jessica

Thinking of You

Happy Monday! Welcome back to Design Wonderland!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to write more letters to my friends. Yes, sometimes its easier to just send a text message or email, but I enjoy taking the time to write lovely notes on beautiful papers and sending them to my loved ones. I don’t do it enough but it is nice knowing that someone may get an unexpected friendly note in the mail rather than another bill. A hand written note is a lovely gesture and way more fun and personal than an email, im or text message.

After reciting my ode to all things paper last year, over the holidays, my fantastic friend, The Cre8tive Rookie, gave me me a lovely set of stationary from Avie Designs. Loving what I saw, I found her etsy shop and instantly fell in love (yes, I do that a lot).  Designer Avis Wampler designs a wonderful, graphic collection of stationary, calling cards, notebooks and other goodies for your writing and communication pleasure.

stationary lovlies from avie designs

stationary lovlies from avie designs

Because its so hard to choose which one to buy, the stationary sets are currently buy one get one free  making the decision between the Hexagon pattern and the Peacock Circle print that much easier (of course, this makes me a tad giddy because I love a sale).  So, I’m off to write a note on my wonderful Avie stationary; make sure you check your mailbox!

Side Note, With Love

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, your handwritten letters and notes may take on a more romantic tone. If you find you need a bit of inspiration in that department, check out the book, With Love: Artists Letter’s and Illustrated Notes by Liza Kirwin. Last year, I stumbled across the exhibit, A Thousand Kisses at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and many of the letters are also found in this book.

And just a bit of FYI: the exhibit is now on view in NYC at The Archives of American Art, New York Research Center through March 27th, 2009.  Truly, It was a touching, intimate show featuring the amorous  and sometimes quirky (in a good way), letters and notes from some of America’s most fascinating artists. So, If you are in the area go, be inspired and get creative.

xoxo, Jessica

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