Archives for posts with tag: art

Last week I walked into the Green and Stone art shop in King’s Road and proceeded to blow my budget on art materials.  Looking at everything all together made me nearly hyperventilate.  I wanted it all!  What I actually bought, besides some collage glue and various other sticky items, was an art journal.  I just felt like it, and I’d been reading Danny Gregory and I remembered how I used to randomly draw stuff and how I never did that any more.  It’s quite a small and unintimidating size.  I’ve done a few pages in it so far with some coloured pens I had, and I feel like I just remembered my love for hand-lettering.  Pictures to follow, once I feel like I’ve done something I want to share.


I’ve always been a fan of Jugendstil, the Austrian/German counterpart to art nouveau.  Today at the Vienna Cafe Exhibition at the RCA, I got a good dose of it in a fascinating exhibition curated by our friend Dr. Charlotte Ashby.

Typical Jugendstil was exemplified by the Cafe Heinrichshof, with an interior designed by Otto Prutscher in 1911.  Prutscher was one of the prominent members of the Wiener Werkstatte.  Photos of other Viennese cafes around the turn of the century showed similar art nouveau style design.  Other images charted the progression of the cafes from the 17th century to the 20th, and the role they played in Viennese cultural and social life.

One of the most interesting parts of the exhibition, though, moved away from the heyday of the Viennese cafes and into contemporary art and design, reimagining everyday objects influenced by cafe culture.  A silver spoon that melted and left traces in a teacup gave a new outlook on the everyday action of stirring sugar and milk into a hot drink.

The exhibition included an actual cafe (with cakes imported from Austria), serving some of the same items as were listed on a cafe menu from a century or two before.  The old menu, though, also listed prices for games or game pieces, such as dominoes, chess, and billiards, which patrons could play all day for the price of a cup of coffee.

The exhibition didn’t have a billiard table, but by all accounts the deliciousness of the strudel made up for it.

Welcome to my new blog, SmaBoutique – Inspired by Design.  SmaBoutique is the name of my new business.  It’s technically not a business yet, but it will be soon – and I’m planning this blog to go along with it.

My new SmaBoutique will be on Etsy, and on it I’ll be selling handcrafted items – mostly jewellery and small sewn items, but there are many other possibilities that may eventually find their way into my shop.  I’ve been selling jewellery on Etsy as Nadia Design Studio, but that business was registered in Canada and now I’m in the UK, so I’ll need to open a new one over here.

I chose the name SmaBoutique because I make small things, but also because SMA stands for Saturday Morning Activities.  That’s usually the time I’m most likely to be crafting, creating, or planning.

I’m inspired by many other blogs about design and craft that deserve recognition, so I’ll be listing them soon.  Here’s to more art, craft, and design in the world!