Spring Giveaway From Swedish Jewelry Designer

Hello friends! It’s time again for another Splendid Willow Giveaway. The person behind this fabulous giveaway is the very talented jewelry designer Åsa (Aasa) Daxberg.

First you might want to know a little bit about her because her business is thriving and she is starting to make major inroads in many leading department stores and fashion boutiques worldwide.

(Asa outside her studio on her horse farm in Texas).

I know of Asa because we are both close friends of Ingrid’s (The Edgewater Hotel gal, remember?). And whenever Ingrid is wearing something new by Asa, we all drool.

Asa, a Swede based in Texas, has always been interested in fashion and design. After getting educated in fine silver jewelry making she started her jewelry business in 2005.

“It started more as a hobby and I had no idea that five years later my designs would be featured in magazines and worn by people in different parts of the world. I am incredibly thankful and frankly somewhat in shock that my style appeals to so many people. I pinch myself every day”.

Asa’s jewelry is all made by her own hand in sterling silver, brass and different precious stones and beads.

“I always go back to my Swedish roots. I like my designs to be simple, beautiful and meaningful”. (Asa will engrave personal messages on many of her pieces).

Asa is so busy with her designs and shipments that her website has been suffering for quite a while (and most of her customers buy from her directly). But in a month or so, her site will be updated and all her latest collections will be featured.

Now, back to the actual Giveway.

Asa is now generously offering a beautiful necklace from her 2010 Summer collection. This beautiful necklace, which Ingrid gets to show off, is called “Recycled Glass Joy”. Folks, I absolutely love this chunky statement piece and think that it is the perfect accessory for the Summer!

Valued at $130 this necklace is made by recycled Petrol colored glass beads from Africa. The beads are hanging on a hand dyed leather band together with a hand hammered silver medallion.

But wait – it gets even more interesting! If you see anything else on her website that you would rather have to a value of $130 or less, then tell us about it in your comment and you might be the lucky winner of that instead!

How to win:

1) Leave a comment (one entry/person) on this post (the necklace or what else you chose for $130 or less).

2) To increase your chances of winning, you can Tweet about the giveaway or mention it on your blog. Just let me know – and I will bump up your entries accordingly.

(Tweet = 1 extra entry, new follower = 1 extra entry, write-up/link = 2 extra entries)

I hope that you already are a subscriber of my news feeds. No pressure, though. It is just a good way to get my news posts straight to your e-mail so you don’t have to look up my blog every time. (It does not cost anything and I do not share the information with anybody).

The giveaway ends on Wednesday May 12th at midnight PST and is open to anybody. I will ship worldwide.

I hope you enjoy this giveaway as much as I do! Good luck to you all!

And don’t forget to visit Asa’s website here – Asa Jewelry.

I am super busy this week (and I apologize for not being very blog alert) but one of the many, many reasons is a meeting x 2 with Swedish Royalty! I will tell you all about it next week! Cyber hugs to you all!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,Giveaways |


Meet Swedish Top Designer – Hanna Werning

Happy new week to you, all! If you are even a little bit interested in Swedish design, then you need to say hi to Hanna Werning – one of Sweden’s absolute top graphic designers. Her patterns have been seen on everything from wall papers and china for leading International brands to fashion prints and graphic identity tools. She is famous for thinking ahead and for bringing meaningful design and some color (imagine that!) to Swedish design.


I had the opportunity to work with Hanna years ago, when she was still in design school in London. She helped me develop a corporate image package for the company I was running marketing for. I have worked with many designers in my days and I can honestly say that I have never worked with a designer where there were not a least a few revisions going back and forth before the final product. Whenever I got something from Hanna, I always took it right off the bat. There was never a need to change, edit or add anything. Whatever she comes up with is always brilliant.

It is an honor for me to present Hanna Werning to you.

1. Describe your design style for us.

I would rather let someone else describe my style :).  But I think that it is easy to see that I spring from a graphic background. I grew up close to the woods and nature in Sweden so that is always a great inspiration for me.

It is easier for me to describe my work method. I can define it in two categories; one where the design is driven by ideas and another that’s more visually driven by intuition of colors and rhythm. They can weave into each other. (Pay attention to the details in her work).

2. Where do you get your inspiration from?

From people watching, walking in cities, visiting the woods, from my mother’s things… Lots of inspiration comes from my childhood and the nature. I grew up in the southern middle of Sweden, which has a lot of dark woods. There was a local Swedish artist, John Bauer, that has inspired me a lot. I am also fond of Elsa Beskow’s stories. I also like folk art. My time in London has also inspired me, being able to get so much from all parts of the world at the same time.

(The kurbits wall sticker is Hanna’s design).

3. Do you have any design heroes?

The list is long! There are so many designers, artist, musicians, people that I admire. But I always enjoy seeing work by Charles & Ray Eames and listening to Otis Redding, Jackie Mitto and  Patti Smith on my Iphone.

4. When did you realize that design was going to be your destiny?

I kind of knew it at an early stage of my life but I didn’t believe it was a profession I could live on. I used to go to pottery classes every Friday for ten years as a kid. After many years working as a trainee, working within different media and after finishing St. Martins College there was no more question about it. This is what I want to do.

5. You are described today as somewhat of a graphic trendsetter. How were you in school?

I was anything but a trend setter! I was shy and didn’t want any special attention. I liked arts and crafts the most and that was one of my best subjects and I guess the classmates of mine would agree.

6. Which design accomplishment are you most proud of so far?

I think I haven’t made that piece yet! I’m still striving…

But of course my first wallpaper collection, called Hanna, for Boråstapeter is special to me.

And I really enjoyed working with my husband on a specific project – a machine that makes random drawings on plain, white wall paper. We call it Aparatus No. 1  ”Suddenly my wall was a mess – and I like it.”

7. Any particular design element(s) that you want to do more of?

I always have an urge to develop my skills and work process. Thinking environmentally – I probably should be doing less work?!

As a designer I always feel that it is a my responsibility to ask myself if my project is going to add something to the world or if it is going to ruin it. I am becoming more and more interested in ”public spaces” and making design worth while. Create meaningful art (at least to me and hopefully to others as well). There are so many existing places that need to be enhanced and visually beautified. Places that children and adults  pass everyday – where its presence will influence people in the future – whether they are aware of it or not.

8. What is your take on Swedish design in general?

I think that I paid more attention to it when I lived in London than now when I am right in the middle of it. But when I think of Swedish design of today and when I visit design schools, I see a lot creativity and new ways of thinking. Swedes have always been keen on sustainable design. I think that Swedish design tends to be honest to the material, distinct and often a bit humorous.

When people in general hear Scandinavian design they most likely think of simple, clean, classic lines. And I might not fit in that category! But things change quickly nowadays and with the Internet people get influences from all over the world. I think that design becomes more multi faceted and less homogeneous.

9. Anything new and interesting you are working on at the moment?

Earlier this year I finished an interior/public decoration for a small movie theater in a local school. The theater a is called the “Owl”. (See the owl eyes in the dark!)

Currently I am working on decorating the walls of the corridors of the same school. It is a very positive project in the sense that it is a space with lots of kids from different parts of the world with different cultures. The surroundings really affects kids growing up and if I could make a positive impact on these kids’ daily life I really think I have succeeded in a worthwhile design.

Other fun and interesting things I am currently working on are: Design work for a Spanish bathroom company. Making a Christmas illustration, thinking of a new wallpaper collection for Boråstapeter. And designing a new Summer picnic set for Sagaform.

10. Has motherhood changed you as an artist?

So far, it has only changed how I work practically (less time in my studio and more time working from home).

But becoming a parent is a truly an incredible experience and I starting to see the world with new eyes. For sure motherhood that will change my design process in the future.

11. Of all your skills and talent which one do you hope that your own daughter inherits?

Hard to answer… I hope she will be curious, confident in herself and not become a mini-me.

12. If your husband said (horror!) that you could only bring one design item to your next home. What would it be?

I hate to say it, but I guess it would be my Apple laptop! Not really an interior object but defiantly an object of design and usage.

13. Lastly, if we all got to spend an afternoon in Stockholm with you – where would you take us?

Summer in Stockholm is so beautiful! How about some Boule, Beer and BBQ in a beautiful park setting by the seaside? I would bring you to “Boule och Berså”.

Thank you Hanna! It has been a pleasure getting to know you (even) better! Best wishes for continued success. We will all be watching you!

Images: 1. Hanna Werning via Gustav Karlsson Frost, 2 + 3. Boråstapeter, 4. House of Dagmar, 5. Rörstrand, 6 + 7. Hanna Werning, 8. Elsa Beskow, 9. John Bauer, 10. Hanna Werning,  11-13. Pulled from the internet – can’t remember the source – sorry!, 14. Boråstapeter, 15-20. Hanna Werning. 21. Sagaform, 22. Apple, 23+ 24. Flickr.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,In The Spotlight | Tags:


Ms. Gray, Ms. Turquoise, Ms. Sizzle & Ms. Happy

I have introduced you to all kinds of blogs of different styles, focuses and origins, but did you know that there are also several color specialized blogs? (This is not new to my blog friends – but maybe it is to the majority of my wonderful readers). And if there are more color focused blogs for me to discover – please step forward!

First up is A Perfect Gray. You might recall my post about her sunburst mirror project. Well, I  have since gotten to know wonderful Donna even more and she is totally obsessed with the color gray (my kind of girl!).  She constantly introduces us to the most gorgeous images and there is so much inspiration here with mostly the color gray in mind.  Like myself she also used to collect antiques and she showcases a good mix of old and new. Look and drool! Donna just recently presented me with a blog award (thank you dear friend) – more about the award at the end.

Next in line is The House of Turquoise. A must read blog for everyone who needs splashes of “The color of the year” in their home. Ms. Erin finds the most amazing images that can easily convert the must have “white colors everywhere” purist to a strong believer in ocean colors. I absolutely adore her fresh blog and her design eye.

Ms. Kelly over at Color Sizzle has a very special place in my heart. She was the very first in the blog world to say “I am adding your blog to my blog roll”, when I barely knew what a blog roll was! This wonderful lady knows and likes color and her blog is the first I go to if I want a color specific answer. Kelly is also a very creative designer and puts together the most terrific table top decorations.

And finally Ms. Maria over at Colour Me Happy. This talented lady has more energy than almost anyone I know. I seriously doubt that she gets any sleep at all! Talk about color galore here! And her posts are always so informative and inspirational. (Be prepared to have your printer work overtime). She and her blog rock!

In my opinion, you do not need any design magazines anymore! Just go to any – or all – of these blogs and your color specific questions will be answered!

And with regards to the blog award given to me by lovely Donna, I would like to pass it on to 15 other fabulous & creative design blogs that so inspire & charm me (and that I have not recognized before with awards or write-ups)! No obligation (just feel loved!), but if you are up for it, you are supposed to tell your readers 7 things about yourselves that they don’t already know, and pass the blog baton to 15 other blogs. If you don’t mind, I am going to link back to things about myself here and here.

In no particular order:

1) Hello Gorgeous

2) Belle Vivir

3) Solid Frog

4) The Zhush

5) Laura Casey Interiors

6) A Life More Fabulous

7) Lovely Velo

8. Hemmariket

9) La Dolfina

10)  L Kae Interiors

11) Postcards from Colorado

12) KMD Atelier

13) Green & Pretty

14) Vintage House Sweden

15) The Lighthouse


But as always – all my blog friends mean the world to me! I must say that there are some creative, fun, warm, talented and good hearted people (and blog friends turned blog sisters) that I follow in the US,  Sweden, Canada, Italy, UK, Belgium and all the way to Australia. You are all over the top good. Simply the best!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists,Thank you! |


A Dose of Swedish

Happy new week, friends! It is pouring in Seattle right now. It is gray, gray, gray and I lust for airy, light & uncomplicated Swedish rooms. Who better to capture that then the very talented Stockholm-based photographer Martin Cederblad.

I have a pair of similar Swedish baroque chairs (ca 1750) as the gray ones around the table. And hundreds of years later they – with their heads high – work so beautifully hand in hand with contemporary pieces  (in my opinion one of the few antique styles that can). That is why Swedish antiques never will go out style (especially the old, gray painted furniture). They are beautiful, simple and fit in just about anywhere.

Also don’t be afraid to mix different time periods and build your own cluster of objects for the eye (and soul & heart), like these silver candle holders.

Lovely cottage living.  Nothing matchy-matchy. Nothing contrived. Just relaxed.

White in different textures.

Imagine starting your day with a cup of tea in this setting!  Look how much a simple linen table cloth adds to the atmosphere. Now envision the image without it!

Happy eating in this lovely & cheery setting where vintage china adds color to the table.

Sigh. Simple and so beautiful.

Can’t wait for the sun! Can’t wait to get my hands dirty and put a whole row of lovely white blooming plants on my own stone steps! Spring can’t come quick enough for me.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists | Tags:


Robert and Cortney Novogratz

I have for some time been drooling over the creative projects coming from the husband and wife and designer couple Robert and Cortney Novogratz who The New York Observer once called the “disturbingly handsome couple”. With their interior design company Sixx Design, their interiors have been featured in numerous of magazines and blogs and yesterday the lovely & creative Cristin at Simplified Bee reminded me once again of them and their new book (which BTW is her latest fab giveaway, so hurry over!).

For over 10 years they have been designing and developing hip and stylish spaces, turning not so loved properties into incredible homes. (They also work with commercial projects including hotels).Not only are Robert and Cortney immensly talented and creative they are also proud parents of 7 (yes, 7!) beautiful children. And their interiors reflect that. Nothing is stuffy and contrived. Their lovely rooms are always beautiful and interesting – and fun & playful. And peope, that is where I feel I am heading myself.

I often hear that I have a good eye for design and that I mix old with new well and add personal and unexpected twists to my interiors. I would like to beleive that. But for the last couple of years I have started to change my attitude and style a little bit. I so crave more humor and playfulness. The more I work with design the less I become interested in the look and much more interested in the heart.

The Novogratz ‘ are such a good reminder of that. Talk about personality and heart! Their homes are havens for all people – tall and small – and animals. They are so good at mixing vintage and flea market bargains with really highend objects. And they always make sure to incorporate lovely art. Take notes, people!

Love those vintage light fixture, the great mix of chairs and the garage doors facing the fountain!

Images via Sixx Design Simplified Bee , Emma’s Blogg and The NY Times.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, Stylists | Tags:

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