I used to be that person who hardly ever got sick. Neither did anyone in my family. On the rare times that we did, we would just power through it. So I’d look at people who had to take time off for a cold and secretly think they were being a wimp. That sounds insensitive, I know, but it’s true. I honestly didn’t realize that the common cold could make people feel so terrible.
I’m so excited to share our new collection of printable posters, Ölgemälde. It includes 8 antique paintings curated by Meta Coleman. She’s a prop stylist, an interior designer, a production designer, a travel/magazine/vintage/design addict (like me), a mother, and a thoughtful friend. I’m so grateful to know her!
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Sarah K. Benning, an American fiber artist currently living in Menorca, Spain.
Tell us a little about how you got starting doing botanical fiber art.
My stitched plant series (can it still be called a single series when it is actually now 98% of what I make?) started about 2 years ago when I was living and working from a small apartment in Albany, NY. If you’ve never been to Albany, it’s freezing cold and dark for what feels like 10 months out of the year. Definitely not super conditions for a thriving plant family, but those conditions didn’t stop me from amassing a large collection of potted houseplants and cacti. Unfortunately, only a few of them feebly held on until spring. Their stitched counterparts became a lasting memorials to the lost greenery and served as a kind of wish-list for future plants.
Now, living and working from a sunny apartment in Menorca, Spain, the abundance of greenery, foliage and cacti alike, has only fed my passion for plants. Botanical subject matter continues to be a source of inspiration and a major character in my compositions.
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Erin Boyle, author of the book Simple Matters and Reading My Tea Leaves, a lifestyle blog celebrating a practical and purposeful approach to a simple, sustainable life.
Tell us a little about how you got started doing your blog.
I started my blog in the very beginning of 2009; so this January marks seven years that I’ve been at it!
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Janneke Luursema, a Dutch photographer based in Amsterdam.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started doing photography.
Hi, my name is Janneke Luursema, I’m an Amsterdam based photographer, mother of three, and plant enthusiast. You can see my work on www.botanicstilllife.com.
I started photography after working a few years as an editor at a publishing house after getting my master’s degree in psychology. After which I realized studying psychology is one thing, but working as a psychologist requires totally different capabilities. Which I had not. So. At one point, I asked myself what I really wanted to do with my life (I did not have kids back then). What was my passion? I love to explore, I love to learn new things, and I decided to go back to school again. Photography. Turned out it was a good choice, I really love to take pictures, everyday since then. It helps me relax and fuels my battery. It keeps me sane.
The Ramblin’ Rose sisters never fail to create delicious, seasonal recipes, and this one is no exception. We love this salad; for its simplicity, the striking colors and contrast of bitter and sweet. Perfect for a fall day.
1 head of radicchio, torn into pieces
2 handfuls of grapes, cut in half
handful of walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses*
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
flaky sea salt, for garnishing
*Pomegranate molasses can be found in health food stores or you can substitute honey.
In a bowl; whisk balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, sea salt and cracked pepper together. While whisking, slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil. Give it a taste and adjust sea salt and cracked pepper to your liking.
On a platter; arrange radicchio, cut grapes, toasted walnuts and top with pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. Finish with flaky sea salt and cracked pepper. You can also add a cheese if you’d like, a goat cheese such as Humboldt Fog would pair nicely.
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Kaity Farrell, founder of Fare Isle, a sustainable small business that focuses on farm to table pantry items, botanical skin care and wellness products all made by hand on her organic gardens 30 miles out at sea on the island of Nantucket.
Tell us a little about how you started Fare Isle.
I planted this little seed of an idea I had for many years after I gave birth to my son, Iley, four years ago. I knew I wanted to spend most of my time with him, and be happy doing things I truly loved to do. I wanted to make and sell wholesome foods, and did so at our local farmers market. Along the way, I started to include our handmade botanical bath and skincare products in our offerings. Before I started selling my products, my husband and I had been cooking private dinners for years for vacationers on the island in the summer, which we still continue to do and have moved our focus to creating farm-to-table small gatherings for clients. Added to all of that now are my Nantucket landscape/nature photography and flower art prints. I am now wholesaling our products across the country and am so grateful to see people enjoying them in their daily lives. Beyond the business side of things, my other passion is sharing my plant-based recipes on the Fare Isle Blog, and my next (still far off) goal is to write a cookbook of wholesome seasonal recipes.
My kids are getting to the age where they LOVE Halloween. I can remember as a kid, it was my favorite holiday. Dressing up + candy?! The best. We scoured the web for some of the most adorable DIY Halloween costumes out there. Take a look…
Everything we do at Sycamore Street Press is with the goal of living a simple, beautiful & creative life, and in helping others do the same. There are so many people who have inspired us on this path, and we’d love to learn more from them! So we decided to start an interview series on the topic. Today we’ll hear from Tanika Reed, an Australian fibre artist based in her small home studio on the South Coast, New South Wales.
Tell us a little about how you got started doing fibre art.
I fell in love with knotting early last year when my nan handed me her much-loved vintage macramé books. I have had an inherent desire to make and create from a young age, my creative family has influenced me a lot. I began to knot plant hangers and simple designs because for some reason I believed that’s all you could do with knotting rope and string. I felt unchallenged and grew bored of it pretty quickly, so I began experimenting with other mediums. (I thank God for my husband Ash’s strong support and encouragement as I trialled clay, weaving and abstract painting — spending A LOT of hard earned money on craft supplies…whoops!) Feeling unsatisfied and doubting my crafting ability, I decided to turn back to rope and string on Ash’s advice as he noticed I had picked it up so quickly (and it was also a “cleaner” hobby to have with little kids around!). As I lay in bed one night, I began thinking about my daughter’s love for colouring in between the lines in her colouring books and for some reason I could then imagine transferring the concept into knotting between the lines of rope. The next day I was eager to test out this weird idea and that is where my technique has evolved from. I knot large fibres and then use smaller fibres to knot in between the spaces, adding layers to create texture and a three-dimensional effect as the piece unfolds. Read More…
This past January, I went in for a routine yearly exam and walked out with an autoimmune disease.
Not really, but that’s what it felt like. I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with me when I went in. I’ve always been a really healthy person — I rarely get sick. But as I chatted with my midwife during the visit, I mentioned how I was still tired all the time despite making an effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I didn’t feel back to my old self even though my baby was almost two years old. It was also a lot harder to lose the baby weight this time around, even though I was trying twice as hard. I was forgetful, and more… But I figured these could all be attributed to the fact that I’m getting older, I have two young children and two businesses. “I’d like to run a little blood work just to see…” she told me.
Now, I’d heard people say that auto-immune diseases are “the new ADD”. So many more people are getting diagnosed with them, and it’s a bit controversial. Is there really a huge epidemic of these kinds of illnesses? Or is it just a new fad? People who believe that the epidemic is real blame a lot of it to the way food started changing in the 1950’s. Pesticides, GMO’s, fast food, processed food, etc… It’s true that our diets changed drastically at this point in history, and personally, it does make sense to me that it would start affecting our health in unforeseen ways. But I don’t claim to be a scientist, a dietician, or any kind of expert. I can only share what my experience is… Read More…
My grandma used to grow tomatoes in her garden. In the summer, we’d pick fresh tomatoes and eat them like apples. It’s also where I tried my first yellow tomato (which to a little girl is mind boggling). Here are six garden fresh summer tomato recipes, to be enjoyed with friends and family…
Not in a no-consequences-juvenile-delinquent kind of way, of course. But in the way where you figure out what you want from life and you go for it.
Of course, I know it’s not always as easy as that. It might mean sacrifices. It might mean uncertainty. It might mean spending years figuring out exactly what you are really good at and really passionate about and then just when things are starting to fall into place, those things change and evolve and you start the process all over again.
For me, it meant starting a letterpress company straight out of college and then re-building that same company 5 years later and then once things were falling into place with that, starting a side business making films. (I know, what?! More on that later…)
For Alison, it means lounging on tables and making the most adorable sugar cookies and dancing like crazy and making women laugh and feel good about themselves.
For Elle, it means making the softest baby wraps that magically lull newborns to sleep and traveling the world with her family and being great at connecting with other mothers.
For Alma, it means being super organized and knowing how to say no and being a fantastic graphic designer and knowing how to break that down and teach it to others.
These are just a few examples. What does it mean to you?
Another thing to keep in mind. Elle noted in her panel that success looks different to different people. It does no good to compare. I love that.
So yes, I learned some great little tips on blogging and social media and running a business while at the Alt Summit last week. But as always, my favorite part was just being surrounded by so many inspiring people.
I’m dying to renovate my bathroom. (And now that we have 2 kids, I wouldn’t mind adding on a second one for that matter!) But it’s not in the budget for now, and that’s okay. Instead I’ll get my fill with all these beautiful bathrooms from around the web. – Eva
Have you ever wondered how you might like having a family-run business? Well, Kirk and I have been married for 10 years now and running Sycamore Street Press for 7. And we’ve survived, ha! Actually, we love what we do, and feel grateful to be able to do so. We don’t have everything figured out (of course) but we’ve learned quite a bit along the way that I’d love to share.
Keep reading to see my top 5 considerations before starting a family business…
Here are some bedrooms that I am LOVING right now. Such great eye candy.
Our bedroom is getting kinda close to being where I want it… but it’s not quite there. That’s how a lot of the rooms in our home are right now, actually. Awhile back, I ran out of the time and budget to continue my decorating efforts, and things just came to a halt. Then we got used to how things looked, I got out of decorating mode, and voila, we’ve been in a holding pattern for about 2 years now. My friend Meta is determined to help me break that pattern. And I say….
… BRING IT ON.
8 more perfectly imperfect bedrooms after the jump…
Do you love paper? Have you ever wondered how to start your own stationery / paper goods company? If so, my online class might be just the thing for you!
I know when I started Sycamore Street Press about 7 years ago, I looked around for a class or book that could give me specific advice to starting a stationery business. I found nothing.
Instead, I learned the hard way.
Through trial and error, I learned how to stand out from the competition, how to plan a product line, how to find and work with manufacturers, where the best supplies were, what shipping software to use, and many many more factors (large and small) that go into running a successful paper goods company.
I’ll admit, I’ve made some big mistakes that I could just kick myself over! But those have been some of the best learning experiences which led to growth and eventually to selling our products all over the globe — in hundreds of fine independent boutiques as well as major retailers such as Anthropologie, West Elm, Paper Source, and BHLDN. Our award winning goods have been featured in the Huffington Post, Daily Candy, Design*Sponge, Cup of Jo, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living Magazine, Martha Stewart, and other fine publications…
Most importantly (to me), my husband and I have been able to support our children while working together and doing something we love. I’m so grateful for that.
I’ve neglected Lars and Ingrid’s room for far too long! Time to gather inspiration and get to work.
For years, my favorite kind of kind of bedrooms for kids have been the ones that are playful, not too matchy-matchy, and have some grown up elements mixed in. All the better if it’s done in a California modern style like these.
What kind of children’s bedroom do you love best? – Eva
7 more California modern kid bedrooms after the jump…
One thing I love about being a mother is how it forces me to slow down and appreciate the simple things.
Having a little hike and picnic on this mountain pass near our home, for example. I have wanted to do this for years! But I didn’t make it happen until now, because I knew my kids would love it. We all loved it, and decided to make it a new family tradition.