Saturday, 29 March 2014

Talk about inspiring....

One of the questions people most frequently ask me, is where do I get my inspiration for all my projects from?
I can honestly say, that sometimes I don't even know!!
I'll wake up in the night with an idea...sometimes that idea will mature in the back of my mind for a while and other times I will get up the next day, and "just do it"!!
But I do always keep an eye out for things that inspire me:
Whether that be on a walk in the woods, out and about in shops or looking through magazines and books!
But today I want to share with you all some of my favourite online sources of inspiration:
The internet is a wonderful place, and probably my top source of inspiration!! There are so many beautiful and creative people and projects out there!
Like these Geoballs from the French blog zugalerie ...head over there for the free printable...then all you have to do, is fold them up!!


I have recently updated my reading list (You can find it in my sidebar), so that you can check out some of my favourite creative blogs:
There is of course the BIG ones, like Apartment therapy and Design Sponge where I can keep up on design trends and find endless inspiration for my home as well as projects..
Since Christmas I have become more and more drawn to Scandinavian interior design blogs, like My Scandinavian home and Emma's design blog ,that is full of beautiful images of Scandinavian style homes and décor...with professional guides to the latest in design and home ware! I also like designer and stylist Emily Henderson's blog for the same reason, but she also posts some awesome DIY projects that are worth noting!!
But also blogs like Deuce cities henhouse , that are more about the personal journey of creating a home, a bit like mine, and is a perfect example of what I aspire to do with Nostalgiecat!
Stained glass artist Flora Jamieson from Through the round window inspires me with her funny little post about her idyllic coastal life and her gorgeous work in progress shots from her workshop...and I just love her little "doodles"!
I recently started following Persia Lou for all her little and large DIY projects and her fantastic sense of style ...and last but not least I want to mention Ben Uyeda's creative blog Home made modern, that posts "smart and affordable DIY ideas for cool people that like modern furnishings"...Ben is solely responsible for my Concrete obsession!!
This easy, but gorgeous Tangram bunny art from Persia Lou  would be a great little project for easter!
There are loads more blogs that I would love for you all to discover, but I'll leave it at that for time being!!



A wonderful place to get inspired, and to find new blogs to follow, is of course Pinterest :
I am assuming you have all discovered this treasure-trove of inspirational images, links and possible projects already, but if you haven't, then you really should check it out!!
You can curate your own inspirational boards, in any category imaginable, from home décor to pets or travel to food, hair and fashion to art....anything: Just check out my board Projects, to see probably the biggest pool of my inspiration!!

 The other place in web-world where I get totally inspired by beautiful images is Instagram!
I follow tons of beautiful instagram accounts, but I want to share 6  (I was going to do a top5 , but couldn't quite whittle it down to 5....)of my favourites with you here today:
 LA based Bri Emery, founder of Design love fest, a lifestyleblog, has an eye for design and style, and her instagram gallery is bursting with colourful snapshots from her creative life.
 Diana's istagram account is the epitome of Scandinavian style: Beautiful shots of her bright and airy home...She has an eye for details and showcases her little and large DIY projects with a definite personal style. You can also visit her blog here.
 Jacqui Fink is a Sydney based maker of hand knitted luscious textiles from wool, linen and cotton rope. There is a wonderful aesthetic beauty in her instagram shots of the textures of her makes that inspires me..
American painter and all round artist, Alisa Burke is inspired by street art and graffiti, and has become her own brand with her distinct style, collaborating with Demdaco to create a range of fashion accessories...Her instagram gallery is chuck-a-block with lovely snaps of her laid back , creative family life and inspiring in-process shots of her work!
I particular love her colourful "doodles".
 Australian based ,Kim Wallace makes gorgeous ,handmade, functional and decorative ceramics for her boutique shop . Her instagram account consists of behind the scenes shots from her workshop, showcasing her beautiful ceramics collections.
Charlotte Wangstedt is a Swedish photographer with a keen interest in interior design and Styling.
She shares her beautiful photos of her Scandinavian style home (he has a penchant for the monochrome look) as well as her DIY projects on her instagram account.
That is it ...for now!
My inspirations are ever changing and evolving, but rubbernecking with other creative in blog-sphere is truly what keeps those creative juices flowing! 
The internet is a maze of inspiration for all kinds of just need to know where to look!
I hope these suggestions will help set you off on the right track....because once you start looking around, you will probably find that Inspiration is everywhere!!
I've just realised that my 1 year anniversary as a blogger quietly passed me by in the week, I have been so busy with my Concrete collection, and various other commissions...
And last night my mum and Dad came over from Norway to spend a week with us...
So I am going to take a little blogging break next week, and leave you with this reminder of my
I hope you will all feel inspired to come up with some fabulous project suggestions!!
You can tell me about your ideas on my Facebook page...maybe post a picture or a link to something you'd like me to make for you!!
I will be back in about a weeks time with a fantastic new project tutorial!!
Ta ta for now!!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The day I became an "artist"...

This is the story of how I became an "artist"...

It all started on Valentines day!
Mr had been shopping for a romantic gift for me, in a local art shop, Art at 88..
He had chosen a beautiful fused glass red!

How sweet, I hear you all say!
After 8 years of marriage , you'd think he knew??

Normally I would've probably smiled sweetly, thanked him and shoved it in a drawer, and reminded my self that it's the thought that counts!
How-ever....having just spent best part of January de-cluttering and purging the house of un-wantables , whilst doing The January cure...I was determined not to start filling it with more stuff I didn't really want....
So here's the bit where you are all going to think that I am a wicked cow:
I took it back to the shop and exchanged it for something not red!!

The lady in the shop was shocked: How could I?? "He spent ages choosing that!"
I felt a twinge of guilt!...But it soon passed as I chatted away to the owner of the shop, Jenni...

I tentatively asked where they got all their marvellous art from, and Jenni told me that people would send them an e-mail with pictures of their makes, and that they would contact them if interested....

Courage failed me at the time, but I took their card and later that evening I sent them an e-mail with loads of pictures of my makes....

So that's how it all started....

...turns out they were interested in my concrete work....

Those of you who are "regulars" here at Nostalgiecat will know by now that Concrete is one of my favourite materials to work with...I just love it! (See my other concrete projects, such as my concrete stool , concrete and gold planters and tealight votives and concrete lampshade )
And I had just recently started experimenting with folding origami shapes to use as moulds to cast up in that really suited me fine!

You may even say: It was meant to be!!


I'd also been playing around with the idea of making bowls out of concrete, and trying to push the material to its limits with regards to the thickness....and then gold-leafing the insides of the bowl....

I made some samples and took them in to the shop the following week, and met the other half of Art at 88, Malcolm.  He really liked the bowls, and thought that my origami shaped candlesticks had a masculine appeal...Whilst I was there the telephone rang, and Malcolm politely told the person on the other end of the phone that he would call back, as he was currently "with an artist"...AN ARTIST?? ...ME?? I can honestly say: That made my day!! 
So off I went with an order for more stuff to make....practically skipping down the road with excitement!!

Just over 2 weeks , and a garden full of concrete mess, later, I finally brought my finished collection into the shop last Sunday!

Malcolm and Jenni started Art at 88 in 2011 to showcase work by local artists as well as their own art: Malcolm Gorrie is a fused glass artist (I think he probably made my original valentines gift....ahem!!) and Jenni Cator works in pastels.. They've created a thriving art-space selling affordable and original art.
I am very excited to now have my collection of concrete home accessories for sale in their shop!

So this is the new venture I've been hinting at in the last few weeks, and I can now reveal my collection of concrete home accessories, exclusively for sale at Art at 88 in Berkhamstead:

This morning I visited the shop to take some pictures of my stuff in there...

...and was delighted to see my concrete bowls, with gold or copper leaves , along with other local artists work, on display as soon as I walked in!

And my origami concrete candlesticks , although not in such a prominent position in the shop, stood out for being so different from the rest of the shops handmade merchandise...

I hope "the ladies who lunch" of Berkhamstead are ready for my concrete home accessories, and that Malcolm and Jenni has luck in selling my collection!

In the mean time, I will bask in the glory of now being an "artist"!
(Still makes me smile....)

Just goes to show: You never know what life's got in store for you!
(And if you don't don't get!)