Design

Design news from INHABITAT, Dornob, Core77, OMG Posters!, The Etsy Blog, WebUrbanist, DeMilked, Dezeen

Nathalie Du Pasquier creates brightly coloured brick sculptures for Mutina

6 Dec 2019, 7:00 am | Dezeen

Bric Nathalie Du Pasquier MutinaBric Nathalie Du Pasquier MutinaBric Nathalie Du Pasquier MutinaBric Nathalie Du Pasquier Mutina

Artist and designer Nathalie Du Pasquier has translated her fascination with bricks into a site-specific exhibition comprising seven totem-like sculptures made from stacked bricks glazed in bright colours. Read more

Competition: win an architectural stadium model-building kit by Arckit

6 Dec 2019, 6:30 am | Dezeen

Architectural model-building kit of sports stadiums by ArckitArchitectural model-building kit of sports stadiums by ArckitArchitectural model-building kit of sports stadiums by ArckitArchitectural model-building kit of sports stadiums by Arckit

Dezeen promotion: in our latest competition, Dezeen is partnering with Arckit to give away five model-building kits for sports stadiums and arenas. Read more

Prison clad in perforated weathering steel has pastel-coloured sports court

6 Dec 2019, 2:00 am | Dezeen

Minimum security prison in Nanterre by Local Architecture Network LANMinimum security prison in Nanterre by Local Architecture Network LANMinimum security prison in Nanterre by Local Architecture Network LANMinimum security prison in Nanterre by Local Architecture Network LAN

Local Architecture Network has built a minimum security prison with a perforated metal facade of weathering steel in Nanterre that has a sports court in pastel hues. Read more

Daniel Arsham turns his Design Miami booth into a cabinet of curiosities

5 Dec 2019, 9:00 pm | Dezeen

Daniel Arsham and Friedman Benda at Design MiamiDaniel Arsham and Friedman Benda at Design MiamiDaniel Arsham and Friedman Benda at Design MiamiDaniel Arsham and Friedman Benda at Design Miami

New York designer Daniel Arsham and design gallery Friedman Benda have installed a translucent green box to launch futuristic furnishings at this year's Design MiamiRead more

Currently Crowdfunding: Stay Fresh With an Eco-Conscious Cooler, Turn Your Smartphone into a Microscope, and More

5 Dec 2019, 8:40 pm | Core77

Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America's leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free here.

Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where's the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

Smart material choices (like swapping conventional polyurethane foam insulation for natural wool) make this cooler completely recyclable. Couple that with its sleek design and convenient features (there's a built-in cutting board!) and the Wooly Mammoth Cooler looks like a perfect companion for your outdoor dining adventures.

Already near its funding goal with just under a month to go, the Altered Shower employs a patented "dome technology" to rotate water at a high speed so you can enjoy a normal shower while using 75% less water.

A modular lunch box/food storage solution that checks off all the right boxes: it's leak-proof, shatter-proof, easy to open, keeps food hot or cold, and made of PBA-free recyclable plastic.

We all have a camera in our pocket, but what if you could use it to explore the world around you in microscopic detail? DIPLE is an add-on kit that will kick your smartphone camera up quite a few notches with its 1000x magnification capability.

Made of bamboo and aluminum, Ice Mouse is designed to stay cool to the touch no matter how many hours you work with it.

Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.



Impress loved ones with these homemade foods for holiday gifts

5 Dec 2019, 7:30 pm | INHABITAT

Many eco-conscious people face a quandary over the holidays. In a consumer-driven society with too much waste and houses overcrowded with stuff, shouldn’t we axe the gift-giving tradition? Then again, our inner Santa-loving child may feel neglected, unloved or just ripped off by a giftless December. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: the gift of food. Everybody has to eat, and a food gift doesn’t hang around forever, taking up space. To make food gifts more special — and to save lots of money — consider making your own. Here’s a roundup of some ideas for handmade food gifts.[...]

UK Police Emergency Tow Vehicle Can Arrive Quickly--Because It's a Modified Motorcycle

5 Dec 2019, 7:06 pm | Core77

I was once stuck in NYC's Holland Tunnel in a traffic jam behind a mid-tunnel car accident. With both lanes of cars backed up, there was no way to get a tow truck through in the direction of travel; they eventually sent one in from the other end, driving backwards, to clear the mess.

In the UK, they've got at least one solution for rapidly getting a tow vehicle on-site--and it's a motorcycle. Since the cars driven in the UK are generally smaller than what Americans drive, it's a viable option. Check out their modified Honda Goldwing "Retriever" model:

Incredibly, Autoblog reports that the thing can tow 5,500 pounds!


Study shows how plant-based catering can greatly reduce events' carbon footprints

5 Dec 2019, 6:30 pm | INHABITAT

A recent analysis published by the Center for Biological Diversity’s Catering to the Climate report finds that replacing meat with plant-based menu offerings at conferences, corporate gatherings and holiday parties can greatly reduce the impact of these events. Production of meat and dairy contributes to nearly 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which play a drastic role in the planet’s current climate crisis.[...]

Good Design: Airline Seatback Designed for Smartphone and Tablet Viewing

5 Dec 2019, 6:16 pm | Core77

(This new "Quick Hits" series of posts will be short 'n sweet examples of good design. Debates welcome.)

The airline carriers have to be thrilled that people now travel with their own screens. It's got to be cheaper for them to install this folding smartphone/tablet viewing shelf in a seatback than an actual monitor:

Image credit: Chesires Shadow, on a Hawaiian Airlines flight

I also love how the charging point is right next to it. It's better than fumbling for that plug beneath the seat.

Good Design: Cup Shelf Next to Office Entry Keypad

5 Dec 2019, 6:15 pm | Core77

(This new "Quick Hits" series of posts will be short 'n sweet examples of good design. Debates welcome.)

Back when I worked corporate, all departments were silo'd off with tap- -to-enter badge reader pads. Other companies use keypads, like this Swedish office--where someone has thoughtfully anticipated that you may have a coffee cup in one hand and something occupying the other. Hence:

Image credit: "Ryder"

At my company, the badge readers were all mounted at a particular height. The "hack" everyone came up with was: You clipped your badge on your clothing at the right height, and performed a weird motion at the badge reader. Depending on your height, this resembled everything from a sideways hip-hump to a chest bump or shoulder-check. If you combined them all you could come up with an office dance routine.

Pablo Escobar's Brother Now Producing and Selling a Foldable Smartphone

5 Dec 2019, 6:06 pm | Core77

I'm not sure how this isn't April 1st, but apparently Roberto Escobar--Pablo Escobar's brother and former accountant--has produced a foldable smartphone. Called the Escobar Fold 1, it runs on Android and retails for $349.

Looking at the company's video of it, it's hard to believe this is a real commercial for a real product:

I mean, what is with the voiceover and monologue contents? "Apple boy Steve once looked into space. He saw Pablo Escobar with a phone beyond anyone's imagination." Uh--what?

Okay, that's about as far as I'm comfortable with, in terms of questioning or possibly insulting the brother of the formerly most powerful drug lord on Earth.

Here's the phone in use:

But as I watch yet another promotional video…

…I can't help but feel I'm being punked by 1990s Maxim magazine.

Anyways I should point out two things:

1) The phone can apparently be ordered here, and

2) Design bloggers are trifling individuals that really aren't worth sending hitmen after.


"We must recognise the workers who make museum-going a smooth architectural experience"

5 Dec 2019, 6:00 pm | Dezeen

Marciano Art Foundation by wHY ArchitectureMarciano Art Foundation by wHY ArchitectureMarciano Art Foundation by wHY ArchitectureMarciano Art Foundation by wHY Architecture

Following protests about working conditions at well-known museums – like the Marciano Art Foundation and MoMA – Mimi Zeiger says it's time to address architecture's relationship to unfair labour practices. Read more

Solar-powered Dutch home produces all of its own energy with surplus to spare

5 Dec 2019, 5:30 pm | INHABITAT

When Marjo Dashorst and Han Roebers set their sights on designing a sustainable home in Zutphen, a municipality on the east side of the Netherlands, the couple turned to Amsterdam-based practice Attika Architekten to realize their dream. The goal was to develop an energy-efficient home that would not only meet all of its own energy needs through renewable systems but also be capable of producing enough surplus energy to charge an electric car. The resulting project, aptly titled the Energy Plant House, combines solar panels, passive solar strategies and a highly insulating envelope to achieve its energy-plus goals.[...]

Dezeen Weekly features a Foster + Partners skyscraper and a timeless clock by Nendo

5 Dec 2019, 5:00 pm | Dezeen

Principal Tower by Foster + Partners in Principal Place, London, UKPrincipal Tower by Foster + Partners in Principal Place, London, UKPrincipal Tower by Foster + Partners in Principal Place, London, UKPrincipal Tower by Foster + Partners in Principal Place, London, UK

The latest edition of Dezeen Weekly includes Foster + Partners' first residential skyscraper and a timeless clock by Nendo that becomes a perfect cube twice a day. Subscribe to Dezeen Weekly ›

This Cool Programming Tool Idea Helps Designers Incorporate Coding Into Prototyping

5 Dec 2019, 5:00 pm | Core77

"blokdots" is a Student Winner in the Tools & Work Award category of the 2019 Core77 Design Awards. The 2020 Core77 Design Awards will be launching in just over a month on January 7th! Stay tuned for more details.

Olivier Brückner was studying industrial design when a fellow student asked him for help. It was crunch time, and she needed an LED to flash in response to a button being pressed. Her idea was great and formally, the product was very interesting—but she lacked the programming knowledge to make it actually function.

Brückner had an epiphany. For designers of all disciplines—interaction, industrial, the like—their prototyping efficiency was suffering because they didn't always know how to connect the dots between designing a product, and the electronic engineering and programming that so often makes it work.

The solution, for Brückner, became blokdots.

blokdots is a professional tool that provides simple programming for prototyping design products that incorporate electronic elements. Easy to use, its main blok – the brain – incorporates pre-soldered components and outlets that accept all types of cables (familiar to even non-designers through headphone and cell phone plug-ins). Small printed circuit boards are already set up, to where the whole preparation process is done within minutes, even without any knowledge of electrical engineering.

The second, smaller blok – the interface – contains a minimal knob that allows for testing, even without a computer. With the help of an application, components are selected and connected and then can be tested in the highly familiar "if this, then that" manner.

Brückner developed blokdots even further for those who are more engineering-inclined to take their prototyping to the next level. There's a "Live View" available that dictates connectivity so that factors can be manipulated and results easily and immediately monitored, allowing for adjustable tests for effectiveness.

blokdots isn't meant to teach people how to code; rather, it facilitates ideas being brought to life. It's accessible, easy-to-command, and a succinct method for people to realize fallacies or misdirection early on in the development process, and from there to continue prototyping with more intention.

Ultimately, blokdots grants designers autonomy over their processes so they can make their visions a reality. So next crunch time, when you're down to the wire, dream of plugging into blokdots – and outputting your perfect prototype.

Read more about blokdots on our Core77 Design Awards site of 2019 honorees

The 2020 Core77 Design Awards will be launching in just over a month on January 7th! Sign up for our newsletter on the Core77 homepage to stay up to date on awards deadlines.


This durable, recyclable cooler is made from bamboo, wool, steel and aluminum

5 Dec 2019, 4:30 pm | INHABITAT

Coolers are a part of every camping trip and fishing excursion, because they are a convenient and necessary tool for keeping freshly caught fish cold or frosty beverages close at hand. The problem is that modern coolers are mostly made from plastic and polyurethane foam, materials that are costly for the planet from production to post-consumer waste. Now, husband and wife duo David Nomura and Brook McLeod at Wool Street, LLC have designed a completely recyclable cooler with practicality and sustainability in mind. Called the Wooly Mammoth, this cooler strives to solve the problem of trashed coolers filling landfills, where[...]

Design Job: Start Your Career as a Junior Graphic Designer at Snow Joe in Carlstadt, NJ

5 Dec 2019, 4:12 pm | Core77

Are you ready to GO WITH JOE? Snow Joe + Sun Joe has an immediate opening for Junior Graphic Designer at our Carlstadt, NJ corporate headquarters. We are looking for a dynamic Junior Graphic Designer who is self-motivated, performs at a high level and capable of juggling multiple assignments. The Junior Graphic Designer would work and report directly to the Creative Director to grow and develop the Snow Joe + Sun Joe brands.

View the full design job here

Luca Curci Architects proposes a self-sustainable Vertical City of the future

5 Dec 2019, 3:30 pm | INHABITAT

Italian architecture firm Luca Curci Architects has unveiled the Vertical City, a futuristic proposal for urban development comprising a series of modular, zero-energy skyscrapers anchored into the ocean floor. Envisioned as a completely self-sufficient settlement, the utopian city promises “healthier lifestyles” for the vertical city-building’s residents. The thought experiment was recently presented for the first time at the Knowledge Summit 2019 in Dubai last month.[...]

Wittman Estes brightens up 1960s home in the Pacific Northwest

5 Dec 2019, 3:00 pm | Dezeen

Mercer Modern by Wittman EstesMercer Modern by Wittman EstesMercer Modern by Wittman EstesMercer Modern by Wittman Estes

A rooftop deck, an overhauled kitchen and ample glazing are among the notable features in a 50-year-old dwelling in Washington that has been renovated by US firm Wittman Estes Architecture + Landscape. Read more

We’ve Been Waiting All Year for This Beautiful Birthstone

5 Dec 2019, 2:00 pm | Etsy Journal

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Maejean Vintage

The year might be coming to a close, but we’re not ready to say goodbye to one of the biggest trends of 2019 just yet: Southwestern styles. If you’ve also been riding the desert-inspired wave that’s swept over Etsy and beyond, you’re likely already a fan of turquoise, the famous blue-green gemstone beloved for its earthy, boho-chic aesthetic. With its striking ability to anchor jewelry and accessible range of price points, December’s birthstone makes a terrific choice for holiday gifting—and as you make your festive party rounds, consider pops of turquoise for an unexpected but totally captivating take on seasonal accessorizing. Read on for five of our favorite pieces.

Raw turquoise stud earrings from Alicia Arkwright
SHOP: Raw turquoise stud earrings from Alicia Arkwright, $69

Looking to step up your everyday jewelry game? Thanks to their organic silver settings and intense blue hue, these dainty raw turquoise stud earrings deliver major style in a tiny package, making them understated enough to wear on the daily, but eye-catching enough to show off your naturally cool and creative side.

Vintage turquoise bug necklace from Maejean Vintage
SHOP: Vintage turquoise bug necklace from Maejean Vintage, $450

The allure of insect-inspired jewelry dates back as far as ancient Egypt, where soldiers donned scarab beetles for extra protection on the battlefield, but this gorgeous gold vintage pendant first buzzed to life in the swinging ‘60s when it was designed and worn as a brooch. Over half a century later, the delicately winged turquoise-and-pearl treasure has been given second life as a one-of-a-kind, statement-making necklace well worth a splurge. 

Turquoise stacking rings from Aquarian Thoughts
SHOP: Turquoise stacking rings from Aquarian Thoughts, from $32

With their distinctive hand-hammered bands (available in gold, rose gold, or silver) offset by polished solitaire stones, these slender turquoise rings look just as pretty on their own as they do piled three or four high, or mixed and matched with your other favorite gemstones. For a delightful ombré effect, try building a blended stack with sapphire and emerald pieces. 

Turquoise chime pendant from Sarah Safavi
SHOP: Turquoise fringe pendant from Sarah Safavi, from $120

Hand-carved and cast in solid sterling silver or bronze, this sculptural pendant necklace features three Nevada-mined turquoise stones in a smooth robin’s egg blue—but our favorite detail may just be the movement of this Southwestern stunner. As the four fringe–like drop bars shift and sway, you’ll feel like a modern-day cowgirl in the best possible way—even if your afternoon involves wrangling kids rather than horses. 

Turquoise bangle from Embers Gemstone Jewellery
SHOP: Turquoise bangle from Embers Gemstone Jewellery, from $128

If a little turquoise goes a long way, then the substantial oblong chunk outfitting this 60mm-wide adjustable bangle goes a really long way. For a stylish take on the mixed metals trend, pick up one each in silver and plated gold, or layer the streamlined beauty with bulkier arm candy like watches and cuffs for an of-the-moment accessories melange.

Turquoise at home

Add a soothing splash of turquoise to any space with playful ceramics, bold lighting, and unexpected wall art. 

Collage of four turquoise-colored home decor items from Etsy: an embroidery hoop, a planter, a lighting fixture, and a print
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Agate sliver embroidery hoop from Wild & Bright Co., from $50; hand-sculpted dachshund planter from Samantha Booth, $78; paper maché lighting pendant from Crea-Re Design, $262; beach photography print from Ingrid Beddoes Photography, from $52

Shop birthstone jewelry

Rachel Mosely is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

The post We’ve Been Waiting All Year for This Beautiful Birthstone appeared first on Etsy Journal.

Hopkins' Portcullis House demonstrated that high-tech could be adapted to historic settings

5 Dec 2019, 12:00 pm | Dezeen

High-tech architecture guide: Portcullis House by Michael HopkinsHigh-tech architecture guide: Portcullis House by Michael HopkinsHigh-tech architecture guide: Portcullis House by Michael HopkinsHigh-tech architecture guide: Portcullis House by Michael Hopkins

Next up in our high-tech architecture guide, we look at Portcullis House in London, which demonstrated how the style could be used in historically sensitive locations. Read more

Dezeen's top 10 museums and galleries of 2019

5 Dec 2019, 11:30 am | Dezeen

National Museum of Qatar by Atelier Jean NouvelNational Museum of Qatar by Atelier Jean NouvelNational Museum of Qatar by Atelier Jean NouvelNational Museum of Qatar by Atelier Jean Nouvel

Continuing our review of the yearSemi Han picks out the top 10 museums and galleries that welcomed their first visitors in 2019. Read more

Larry Achiampong overhauls London's tube roundel with pan-African designs

5 Dec 2019, 11:14 am | Dezeen

Larry Achiampong overhauls London's tube roundel with pan-African designsLarry Achiampong overhauls London's tube roundel with pan-African designsLarry Achiampong overhauls London's tube roundel with pan-African designsLarry Achiampong overhauls London's tube roundel with pan-African designs

British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong has replaced the well-known blue, red and white design of London Underground's roundel with colours and patterns from the pan-African flag. Read more

These DIY backyard saunas are just what you need to stay warm and toasty this winter

4 Dec 2019, 7:30 pm | INHABITAT

Are you dreading the dark, frigid months of winter? Thankfully, you can set up a steamy sauna right in your own backyard to stay warm. New Jersey company BZB Cabins and Outdoors has unveiled a collection of ready-to-assemble outdoor sauna kits that can be set up by two people in just a few days.[...]

This Rain-Catching Panel Could be a Solution for Drought-Stricken Urban Areas

4 Dec 2019, 7:30 pm | Core77

With a shifting climate, it's going to become increasingly important for architecture to evolve to have a more symbiotic relationship with nature (some have started referring to this as the forthcoming Symbiocene era). Designer, researcher, and recent Design Academy Eindhoven grad Shaakira Jassat has been exploring how urban design can create opportunities to harvest water sustainably. As part of her graduate project exhibited earlier this year, Jassat developed a rain-catching panel designed to integrate with architecture in dense urban populations.

Made of stainless steel in order to resist rust, the panels that make up Jassat's Aquatecture project feature a pattern of funnel-shaped perforations that catch rainwater and condensation and divert it to a building's grey-water system. Jassat tested various forms and designs before she settled on this one for its efficiency. The next step for the young designer, who recently founded Studio Sway, will be to test the design on a building facade.

The project is driven by aesthetics as much as functionality. "Aquatecture makes water conservation both visible and engaging," she says.



More Package Design Deception: Signal Snowboards Ships Theirs Disguised as Fluorescent Light Bulbs

4 Dec 2019, 7:03 pm | Core77

First we saw Dutch bicycle manfacturer VanMoof printing flatscreen TVs on their shipping boxes, in hopes handlers would treat them more gently. Now we've learned that California-based Signal Snowboards is pulling a similar shipping-damage-avoiding trick with their snowboard packaging:


My only fear is that, as more people cotton to this trick and shippers eventually catch on, it'll just be a matter of time before they're tossing real TVs and lightbulbs out of the truck and onto the concrete. Boy who cried fake package design?

Historic schoolhouse is reborn into a contemporary hotel in the Columbia River Gorge

4 Dec 2019, 6:30 pm | INHABITAT

Historic preservation meets modern hospitality design in The Society Hotel in the Columbia River Gorge, a new 20,000-square-foot lodging and recreation destination in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Following in the footsteps of the first Society Hotel, the boutique hotel is an adaptive reuse project with a minimalist aesthetic and one-of-a-kind amenities. Portland-based architectural firm Waechter Architecture led the design of the hotel, which includes a retrofitted former schoolhouse, 20 individual hotel cabins, a covered pathway, a spa and bathhouse building and a subterranean sanctuary.[...]

The Car, Gadgets, and Tricks Used to Drive From NYC to LA in 27.5 Hours Without Getting Caught by Police

4 Dec 2019, 6:12 pm | Core77

Taking turns driving, two men have broken the speed record for driving from NYC to LA, the so-called Cannonball Run. As Road & Track reports, Arne Toman and Doug Tabbutt made the 2,825-mile trip in a blistering 27 hours, 25 minutes. (Previous record: 28 hours and 50 minutes, set by Ed Bolian and Dave Black in 2013.) Their average speed was 103 MPH. Their top speed was 193 MPH. And yes, all of it was highly illegal.

I had some questions, all of which were answered by the R&T article and a video I came across, which I'll embed below. My first was:

What the heck kind of car did they drive? What kind of vehicle has LeMans-like endurance at that speed, and is unflashy enough not to draw police attention?

The answer: Toman's silver 2015 Mercedes E63 AMG with upgraded turbos and intercoolers. To help disguise it, he removed the emblems; painted the red brake calipers grey; and most cleverly, used dowdy silver vinyl to cover the carbon-fiber trim and disguise the shape of the taillights, making the car's rear end resemble an older Honda Accord. He also added kill switches to the brake lights and taillights.

Left: Honda Accord. Right: Toman's AMG sleeper.


At speeds of up to 193 hours in the middle of hunting season, how did they not hit a deer?

In the video, the team reports that during the drive they saw "probably 50 deer, dead on the highway." One reason why it wasn't 51: In the back seat of the car was a third person, spotter Berkeley Chadwick, operating a roof-mounted thermal scope on a gimbal. This was "great for seeing deer" at night; during the day they removed the scope because it was too conspicuous. (You can see it in the photo below.)

How did they avoid cops?

A combination of technological and human help.

For starters, two radar detectors, a laser jammer and a police scanner. And Chadwick, in the back seat, used gyro-stabilized binoculars to scan for cops ahead.

As for the additional human help, the team managed to recruit some 18 spotters all across the country, who scouted out their route ahead of them to warn of police. During the last leg of their trip, they were led by a spotter on a BMW motorcycle kitted out with super powerful headlights: This driver flew ahead of them, flashing motorists out of the fast lane to clear the way.

For those of you with more questions, the mini-doc below tells the whole tale.



Covert Photo Ops: Uncanny Disguises Blend Humans into Built Environments

4 Dec 2019, 6:00 pm | WebUrbanist

In bustling cities packed with other people, it can be nice to stand out at times, but it can also be a relief to fade quietly into the background for a bit. Creative wallflowers looking for a bit of both draw on all sorts of inspiration to create urban camouflage that ranges from virtually invisible

Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless

4 Dec 2019, 5:30 pm | INHABITAT

In response to the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio has proposed DOME, a stackable, modular furniture system that would provide affordable and flexible interim housing for the homeless. The patent-pending design was created after months of research — including visits with community members, fabricators and operators — in the studio’s Innovation Incubator, which provides micro-grants and support to employee projects.[...]

Chic B&B in New South Wales is inside a shed made of upcycled materials

4 Dec 2019, 4:30 pm | INHABITAT

Australia was recently voted the destination of the year for 2020. If you are thinking about going down under for a vacation, make sure to check out this beautiful B&B located in a shed in New South Wales. Made almost entirely from upcycled materials, The Shed is an old machinery shed that has been converted into a unique, eco-friendly accommodation.[...]

Sustainable holiday gift ideas for your friends

4 Dec 2019, 3:30 pm | INHABITAT

Help your friends start 2020 on the right foot with new ideas for ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Check out our guide below to give every friend on your list the gift of sustainability this holiday season.[...]

6 Shops for Holiday Cards to Brighten Up Their Mailboxes

4 Dec 2019, 3:15 am | Etsy Journal

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Yeppie Paper

Are you as head-over-heels for the new season of Making It as we are? (If you missed the first two episodes, fear not: You can still stream them on Hulu with plenty of time to follow along through the rest of the season as it airs on NBC over the next two weeks.) At the heart of the latest episode was a “Master Craft” challenge dedicated to making mailboxes. The contestants’ creations truly pushed the envelope—in unexpected and deeply personal ways. “These makers, their skills are just beyond,” gushes returning Making It judge and Etsy Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson. ”They really let their creativity explode and take you to places you never would’ve thought a mailbox would go.”

The contestants' creations from tonight's Master Craft challenge
The contestants’ creations from tonight’s Master Craft challenge

As lifelong lovers of snail mail who get downright misty-eyed at the sight of a crisp envelope with our name inked across it amid a sea of catalogs and credit card bills, the episode really spoke to us. And with the holiday season in full swing, we’re eager to create some extra-special mailbox moments for our family and friends by hand-writing thoughtful messages inside delightful, artist-designed cards. To help you do the same, we’ve rounded up six Etsy shops that stock festive, funny, and beautiful holiday cards—because there’s nothing better than a letter to say hello-ho-ho.

Shirley Bell

"Merry Christmas" owl card from Shirley Bell
SHOP: Owl card from Shirley Bell, from $5

A lobster sledding down a snowy slope. A holiday party of great white sharks raising a toast. A blue crab clutching a holly sprig. “The natural world is my subject matter,” writes Shirley Bell, a watercolor painter who pulls inspiration from the animal kingdom and the nautical scenery that surrounds her New England studio for her cards, prints, and printed-porcelain ornaments.

cynla

New Years card from cynla
SHOP: New Year card from cynla, $4.75

For Cindy LaColla of cynla, drawing is a method of releasing stress and focusing on what matters in life—something we could all stand to do more of come December. The results are inviting, warm, and bright, conveying messages of encouragement and cheer in her distinctive, hand-lettered style.

Yeppie Paper

"season's greetings" holiday card from Yeppie Paper
SHOP: Skiers card from Yeppie Paper, $4.50

There’s no better holiday-card origin story than the one behind Jennifer Lee Gregoire and Jim Lee’s shop Yeppie Paper. The brother-sister duo dreamed up their line six years ago, while digesting Thanksgiving dinner; by evening’s end, they’d mapped out a rough business plan with Jennifer’s original illustrations at its center. The aesthetic is pure fun: all wintery scenes and charming critters, including a mouse reminding you to have yourself a cozy little Christmas and a trio of hound dogs crowing, “Happy howlidays!

Say Something Cards

"Happy Hanukkah" dove card from Say Something Cards
SHOP: Hanukkah dove card from Say Something Cards, $4.50

With their minimal shapes and clean white backgrounds, Chien-Yu Chen’s designs for Say Something Cards have an innocent vibe that recalls the simple pleasures of childhood holidays. Choose whichever seasonal symbol—a peace dove bearing Happy Hanukkah greetings, a kitschy Christmas sweater, or a sweet snow globe—speaks to you.

Kayleigh Radcliffe

Polar bear holiday card from Kayleigh Radcliffe
SHOP: Polar bear card from Kayleigh Radcliffe, $4

Kayleigh Radcliffe makes Christmas cards for animal lovers. Illustrated in muted hues, a merry band of anthropomorphic characters adorn each card, twinkling with good cheer. On the back of each festive design (all blank inside), a surprise tidbit about the animal awaits. A dapper candy cane–toting polar bear is described this way: “Teddy likes the falling snow, it makes him positively aglow.”

Sarah Angst Art

Wreath holiday card from Sarah Angst Art
SHOP: Wreath card from Sarah Angst Art, $4

In a nostalgic style reminiscent of stained-glass, Sarah Angst Art’s cards pop with saturated, bold colors and timeless motifs that include a wreath nestled with cardinals, a tangle of string lights, and a striking pair of pinecones. Available in sets or individually, each card features a reproduction of the artist’s original linoleum block prints.

Shop more holiday cards

When Julie Schneider isn’t writing and editing, she’s carrying on her family’s pun tradition, making custom GIFs, or scheming in her cozy art studio. Keep up with her latest projects on Instagram.

The post 6 Shops for Holiday Cards to Brighten Up Their Mailboxes appeared first on Etsy Journal.