Silhouettes Are Stronger Than Ever

Happy new week everyone & Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to my US friends. The trend with silhouettes displayed as wall art seem to be stronger than ever. And it is far more than the classic black on white color schemes. Silhouettes today come in all different colors and are often mixed with pieces from different eras together with DIY paper cut outs.

The wonderful Canadian born artist Carter Kustera gets a lot of recognition for his more modern and colorful silhouettes. (His art titles are always so witty). Pricey perhaps but oh so lovely.The term “silhouette” originated in the 18th century and is applied to portraits or other pictorial representations cut from thin black cards. You can see the outline and a featureless interior.

Image via Peggy McClard Antiques.

In America, silhouettes were highly popular from about 1790 to 1840. The invention of the camera signaled the end of the silhouette as a widespread form of portraiture. But the popularity of the silhouette portrait is being reborn in a new generation of people who appreciate the silhouette as a nostalgic way of capturing a significant occasion. I am one of them!

When I put up a piece of lovely retro Hick’s (Hexagon) wallpaper in my foyer, I quickly decided to extend some of that wall paper to the other side of our stair case and use it as backing for the hand cut silhouettes of my three children. If we ever move I will carry both the artwork itself and some of that lovely wall paper with me!

Before I let you go today, I would like to aknowledge these lovely blog friends. Last week they all individually awarded me with the “Stylish Blog Award”. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You are all very talented and I love following your blogs. (They are all on my blog roll). I hope you don’t mind if I refer to my earlier posts about myself. (Here and here).

Dear Designer’s Blog

Live Love Small

Live Like You


Love to you all!

Images: No.1 via Say Yes to Hoboken, No. 2-4 via Apartment Therapy , No. 5 via Apartment Therapy

Written by Splendid Willow in: Art & Antiques,Thank you! |


I Need Cognac


Cognac has been on my mind a lot lately. Pantone just announced “Honeysuckle” as the color of 2011. I personally would have voted for cognac. I find it so handsome together with white and black. Just a touch of cognac here and there.

I could also use some real cognac (yes the one you carefully sip!) after my whirlwind week! I launched my store Splendid Willow Avenue last Thursday and I have been so busy that I literally had to hold on to my hat. I am so proud to be representing such a design icon brand as Ilse Jacobsen. I love the products and I have a close and fun relationship with the local Ilse Jacobsen team. This is so me! And I am so glad I went for it!

Some serious Thank You’s are in order.I had no real launch strategy in place for my store. (Everything happened very quickly). I did not do any pre-briefings or blog alerts. I just decided to launch it without bells and whistles. I trust myself and the brand and I trust my readers. Something good would come out of this.

Several of my wonderful close blog friends did not agree with my low-key launch. They started to tweet, e-mail and post about my store right away and I have been swamped with e-mails and phone calls! 

I am surrounded by some really wonderful, smart, generous, loyal and interesting people in blog land (women and men!). l love my group of blog friends and many have become friends outside of cyberland. 

It was very heartwarming and not expected at all that so many of you, during this this busy season, decided to give my store a shout-out. Thank You. You are amazing!

In no particular order.

Thank you Willow Decor! Read here.

Thank you Haute Design! Read here.

Thank you Bijou and Boheme! Read here.

Thank you Belle Vivir! Read here.

Thank you Space For Inspiration! Read here.

Thank you Mochatini! Read here.

Thank you Belgian Pearls! Read here.

Thank you Providence Design! Read here.

Thank you Komma Hem! Read here.

Thank you Designer’s Block. Read here.

Thank you Delishh for being my No. 1 store mentor!

Thank you One Sydney Road! Read here.

Thank you to my brilliant and close friend Manvi with Mochatini for including me in her Holiday Inspiration Issue. She mentioned that she was working on a little “Holiday Inspiration Post”. That little post turned out to be a beautiful and inspiring Holiday MAGAZINE (yes an entire magazine whipped up in a couple of days!) featuring Manvi’s own lovely holiday table top decor and tips for entertaining. VERY inspirational. You will find ideas for your own home. Make sure to visit here

And Thank You to the friendly and generous Julie with with the unique and inspirational blog Inspired, Live Simply. I won her blog giveaway! A vase from one of my favorite stores — Anthropologie! Thank you, Julie. I love it!

And lastly a big thank you to my wonderful friend Lana with Lanalou Style. She included me (and Charlotta!) in her Wish list for the Holidays. Yet another creative and wonderful blog to pay attention to.

A lot of appreciation in this post: For cognac, Ilse Jacobsen, fantastic friends and loyal readers. Love to you all.

Today is the last day to order from Splendid Willow Avenue if you want your Ilse Jacobsen items before Christmas and with FREE shipping.

My giveaway ends tonight (Thursday night Dec. 16th). Go here to enter.

Images: No. 1 via Enterase, no. 3 via Design Elements, no. 4 via the Design Traveller, no. 5 via Skona Hem.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Store News,Thank you! | Tags:


Eye Catching “Hotel Inntel” + Thank You

Hello friends. My week went so fast, I had to hold on to my hat. And getting used to new school routines has been somewhat of a shock to the system. But we are still alive and smiling!

I just had to share this hotel with you. I read about it on my way home from Sweden (via Amsterdam). I have never seen anything like it. Something to talk about at the next  social gathering.

Hotell Inntel in Zaandam, Holland, opened its doors this Spring and is designed by architect Wilfried van Winden. The 12 story designer mashup incorporates everything from traditional workers cottages to a replica of a blue house that Claude Monet painted in Holland in 1871. The architect refers to his style as “fusion architecture”.

Here is an image from the  Tsar Peter Suite. This royal suite is modern, but fully recreated in the style of the Tsar Peter house, the oldest house in Zaandam, with a comfortable box bed.

From new hotels to new thank yous’ — and hopefully some useful information.

First a big thank you to two blog awards for Splendid Willow.

The first one comes from Tina over at Komma Hem. This lovely lady, based  in Sweden, is a super friendly blog friend. You will find lots of information and inspiration as she, with great honesty, takes her readers on a journey to discover what her true style is. Can’t we all relate to that!

Award no. 2 came a while ago from my dear Seattle friend in real life, Ewa, who is a food blogger and relatively new in blog land but who already has generated a lot of traffic. Delishhh  is my “secret” food blog.  And in my opinion THE blog to visit when looking for translated (so you don’t have to figure out grams vs. ounces!), tried and proven dishes from Sweden among other countries. (Like the FABULOUS Swedish Oatmeal cookies with Nutella below. Try them!). I also go here for great restaurant reviews in Seattle. I know this lovely lady well. She has excellent taste.

And from awards to a splendid giveaway. It came my way via my close friend Charlotta and her lovely blog Space For Inspiration. It was a day for major sumersaults!  The giveaway was a gift certificate to the on-line mega store CSN. I was fairly conviced that I was going to order a Creuset tea kettle but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to order a pair of wall sconces instead. I desperately need some in my foyer, but there are many limitations at my house as far as width and style,  etc.

After literally browsing through thousands of sconces at CSN (I seem to remember that they have over 10,000!) I settled for these. Both classic and modern. And I think they look a lot more costly than the $59  each (on) sale that they cost. Don’t you agree?

I absolutely love them! And I can’t wait to show you what they look like installed!

And finally, out of the blue, came a package from my old and dear blog friend Manvi over at Mochatini. She sent me a box of loveliness from the NY based company Sabon that offers luxury bath products. “You need to pamper yourself after your vacation”, read the lovely note. People, I don’t even dare to open the beautifully wrapped soaps! They are way too elegant! What an unexpected treat that made me smile for days.

Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart! You are all wonderful friends and give so much to me personally and to the rest of blogland.

Happy weekend to all my readers! See you on Monday!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway here!  You can win a key cabinet or lovely crayfish towels, hand picked by me in Stockholm. The giveaway ends on Tuesday.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Thank you! |


I Joined The Alphabet Walk

I am most definitely blog lazy this summer but when my lovely friend Piper from One Sydney Road asked her readers to join in for some Alphabet blog jumping, with fresh pictures to go with your letter chosen, I perked up. Something fun and different and Piper and her friends are so creative!

Why not! I can do that, right? I chose the letter…..

Why I chose U is a mystery to me. Perhaps because of all of the Unicorns you will find in our house or all the Universal tools my husband seem to collect (but never seems to use). I scratched my head for a little bit and put the whole project on ice. But Wednesday evening I came up with an idea. My husband’s birthday is coming up. I will be in Sweden then – poor me! (:  But the kids will be there to celebrate with him royally – so the letter U is for U dad!

Turns out that this little task was harder than anticipated. No. 1, I am clearly not a good photographer. Haha! (But it is fine with me because I like imperfections!). 2. The camera needs to be updated. 3. I have a 2-year old!

“Let’s try some individual ones, kids”!

“William, look over here! We lost U! Look at Mama. Pleeeease!!!”

Finally. 15 attempts later…

Done. No more. We are heading to the icecream shop!

Happy Early Birthday Pappa! We picked the best dad on the planet. We love you so very, very much.

Thank you Piper dear for inviting me! This was different and I had fun with the kids doing it!

Written by Splendid Willow in: Thank you! |


Art – From These Creative & Generous People

Happy new week to you all! We are enjoying our summer to the fullest here in Seattle and I am happy as a clam! My life is good. And how easy to be happy when I am constantly meeting new wonderful & interesting people in addition to the many beautiful people I already have in my life. When it comes to close friends & family, I consider myself one really, really lucky girl.

Most of you know that I am very passionate about art. I don’t know what is going on with Universe, but just in the last few weeks I have been given so many unexpected art related gifts. Frankly, I am a little bit overwhelmed but so grateful. A big thank you is in order to all these creative and generous friends!

First up is the lovely and so inspirational Julie from Being Ruby. I won her photo art giveaway! (My first blog win ever!). She took these stunning photographs in Venice, Italy.

This Australia based girl is so talented with her camera (and her words) and I keep pushing and pushing for her to take her talent to the next level. I have asked her (two times but she keeps ignoring me!) if I could buy the piece below from her. Isn’t it gorgeous? (Note: the texts on the photos are only for virtual trademark).

No, I am not looking for another gift, I want to be the first customer! (I have had my own business and I know that wonderful feeling when your sell your very first item). I will keep pushing & supporting you, my friend! (And put a price tag on that photograph, will you!)

The second is from my dear friend Sarah with Haute Design.

I could not believe my luck when I found out that I had also won her giveaway this fantastic art glass vase by 18K (the off-white model between the to vases with flowers). Sarah personally bought it at her favorite store in Vancouver, Montage, which makes it so much more special! I can’t wait for it to arrive. It will be the most gorgeous vase in my house!

Sarah’s blog is simply a stunning and I find so much inspiration there that it makes my head spin. If your style and taste are all about quality and high-end and only the best will do when it comes to elegant design & living then Haute Design is an absolute must read! I adore Sarah and her blog. And I consider her a close friend.

Then we have Elena with EMD Design Journal.

Elena says that she has hardly any time to dedicate to her blog and that she is not sure that blogging is her way of communication (she works as a style consultant and freelance writer for shelter and lifestyle magazines).

I find EMD Design Journal to be a very sophisticated blog. Elena is very knowledgeable in art, architecture and design and she is an accomplished writer. And on top of that she is a genuine and kind person. I find her posts so interesting and meaningful (it is like reading a good article in the New Yorker). A few weeks ago I found the newly released magazine “Connecticut” in my mail box. Elena had sent me the magazine with a terrific article written by her about the sculptur Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh.

That gesture made my day! Elena, I will try very hard to keep you in the blog word! (Your last post was in April, time for the next post I think!)

Another surprise in my mailbox! Beautiful Lori (Who I met through my very dear friend Ingrid), who I have not seen for months, out of the blue, sent me this wonderful art piece that she made herself! She took a picture of an old city water main cover when walking the streets in good, old Stockholm. She later mounted it on a piece of wood and prepared the surface in a way so it almost looks and feels like concrete. I absolutely love it! And I love you & your family!

This past weekend we actually went to visit with Lori and her family at their vacation spot on Whidbey island outside of Seattle. Lori took me to to see her very talented artist friend Anne, and the two of them would not let me leave Anne’s house before I had taken a little something of her so called art “rejects”. Rejects?!! I could not believe it! All her pieces are beautiful! I did not dare to point at anything but Lori pushed me into a corner hard and insisted that “I must”, and I walked away with this darling art piece in wax (in gray of course) that is now hanging in my bed room! Thank you Lori and Anne for a very fun afternoon!

And isn’t the title appropriate! “A circle of friends”!

Also a big thank you to the very friendly, generous and creative ladies, Kristi with Lovely Velo and Reese with Rambles with Reese.

Both of them asked me to help me with guest posts when they were/are globe trotting! (And Reese I still hope to meet, since she is right now hanging out in Vancouver, only 2.5 hours away from Seattle. Come on, Reese!). You can read the posts by clicking here and here. Hop over and say hi – and make some new friends!

As I said, (two times now!), there are so many creative and generous people out there. And I am one lucky girl to keep meeting the best.

Each and every one of you in my real and in my virtual life makes my corner of the world so much richer.

Thank you. And thank you again.

Images: 1. via Flickr, 2. via weheartit, all other images via respective blogger mentioned.

Written by Splendid Willow in: Thank you! |

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