Thank you Paris

Don't you agree that it was nice and inspiring to have Paris Gerrard guest blog last week? Her work is spectacular and she is bursting at the seems with creative energy and ideas. Thank you very much Paris for all of your enlightening posts, and also for being so generous in giving a lucky reader one of your paintings! Be sure to peek in on Paris' work, and check back... who knows what great work she'll be painting next.

The winner of the above painting entitled, "It's All Make Believe III" was randomly selected by Paris. And the winner is.... Erin. Erin email me your address and I'll pass on the information along to Paris.

Orla Kiely

I am a big fan of Orla Kiely and as I mentioned on Friday, I am happy they are expanding into one of my favorite categories of paperie. I still can't believe I won this loot over at Decor 8. Thanks Holly!


The Swedish label Dagmar has such a smart logo and I think this dress is quite pretty. via Designer's Library.


The film Persepolis looks quite intriguing, and the reviews I've read are thumbs up. Anyone seen it?

Enjoying this week...

(Image above via Ali by Inkyblack)

Ali's week long posts all inspired from Amelie.
Decor 8 giving a sneak peek of the Orla Kiely paper line.
As always, inspiring Jordan knows how to throw a good party.
Chelsea guesting over at A Cup of Jo reminded me to read the Maira Kalman Interview that I have been anticipating.
This video of Kami's daughter singing "The Distance" cracked me up.
Bo's beautiful snowy Easter photos.
Enjoying this post and these notebooks from Oh Joy.
This monster hunter left his job and girlfriend years ago to live in a van on the lake in search of Nessy.(heard on NPR.)

Have a great weekend everyone!

*Remember to sign up for Paris' surprise painting giveaway before MONDAY!!! Read about how to enter on the previous post.


I want to say what a wonderful time I have had being a Guest Blogger for Black Eiffel. Thank you all, for letting me slip into your busy lives and share with you. I always love reading Black Eiffel, and I hope that you all enjoyed my posts. Blogging has been a really enjoyable process. I especially want to thank the Lovely Rachel -- It's been a lot of fun. Keep up the good work!

Since this is my final post, I would like to announce a little surprise. I am giving away the painting "It's All Make Believe III" to one lucky winner. If you want a chance to win this painting, just go to my website, and send me an e-mail before Monday, March 31 with the subject line "Black Eiffel Painting Giveaway". The winner will be selected randomly and announced next week on Black Eiffel.

To wrap it all up, I would just like to express again how very grateful I am that art has found me. May I close with a quote by one of my hero's, Joesph Campbell. In one of their now famous interviews, Bill Moyers asked Joseph Campbell , "Do you ever have the sense of... being helped by hidden hands?" Campbell replied, "All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time — namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be."

So, dear readers . . . find your passion . . . follow your bliss . . . go for it!


Posters with words of wisdom

I echo Grace's sentiments of not loving most motivational posters but the ones she talked about from here (hopefully the link will work soon) are pretty cool. I am also usually a fan of the ones from here.

June Taylor Organics

Katrina shared this video, and I think it is super clever. June Taylor Jams is a line of delicious looking organic marmalades, jams and other fine food products.


I can't resist taking this opportunity to share my mom's latest painting. Jill Barton is well known for her amazing Buddha paintings, and I think this one is really special. The painting is on a cherry wood panel and gracefully incorporates the image into the grain of the wood. The colors are subtle, but rich. I love the addition of "Jizo Bosatsu's" silver leaf halo.


Currently, I share an art studio with my artist mother, Jill Barton. Our studio is housed in an old brick building erected in the 1920’s by Nathaniel Baldwin -- a colorful inventor and local polygamist. The building, now called Flynn Artipelago, has been renovated and turned into 26 artist studios under the direction of proprietor, Kevin Flynn. The building has a rich heritage, and it is even rumored that Philo T. Farnsworth fabricated the world’s first television here. (Talk about a flash of creative inspiration!)

When we first moved into this space it was in pretty bad shape. We went to work and began repairing the ceiling , rewiring the electricity and running new heating ducts. We scubbed, patched and painted for weeks. It was worth the effort. We love the beautiful old exposed brick walls, high ceilings and ample north light. We have enjoyed this studio space for about two years. My mother and I, definitely inspire and influence one another. Working together in the same space ignites high creative energy.

Ideally, I love creating art for arts sake — bringing into form, something in me that wants to be born. I agree with Gustave Klimt when he said, "Paint to please yourself, not the masses". If you try to please everybody . . . well, you can imagine how quickly that would dampen the magic. The precious thing about art is that it is a personal vision and statement.


Have you ever found a line of clothing that you literally loved almost every piece in their collection? Well I just found the collection for me called InWear, I would pretty much wear it all. Now to get it in the U.S., and convert those kr to dollars may be another story. Also sometimes catalogs or online shopping can let me down after seeing the clothes in person. Anyone seen or heard of this brand? Does anyone know what style this is considered? I'd love to have someone help me sum up this genre. (discovered inwear from here)

Angela Adams

I just got an email that showcased this ocean/seaglass Angela Adams rug. Isn't it gorgeous?

Little Miss

Has anyone figured out how to put a pause button on kids growing up so fast? 17 months later, I still feel like we're on fast forward.

Pretty Flowers

Going through some shots from my SF trip, I came across this one. I can never ever get enough peonies or ranunculus.

Random just got beautiful–By Paris Gerrard

Random Got Beautiful is a creative site developed by the talented Niki Farquharson. Its purpose is to provide a collection of random photographs taken by different people from around the world. Niki’s motto, ‘Random is Good’ was the inspiration for the website. The site boasts itself as "an open and public celebration of bold color". The cool thing about this site it that it is open to anyone who wants to participate. It's also a great way to self publicize, because each photo links to the site of its photographer. So far, over 419 photos have been submitted. The photos are grouped and displayed by their dominant color. What happens is amazing. The resulting collage of random photos unite to form a colorful display that becomes art itself. I love the new images that my mother, Jill Barton, recently submitted. See if you can spot mine and hers below. So, what are you waiting for? Go join the fun.

I'm dreaming of ...

I'm dreaming of a beautiful place like this to sit and read a good book in the sunshine. via NIBS photo from House & Garden.

Shade with style

Maybe this super cool shade designed by Elina Aalto could replace our temporary makeshift one. (via What A Girl Needs)

Hillery Rebeka Sproatt

I came across these amazing Artist's books by Hillery Rebeka Sproatt, (via Armas Design) and also found out she also has a unique and creative clothing line called Rebe. I love the playful detailed theme throughout all of her work, she has oodles and oodles of talent.


I am drawn into this space from Living Etc.

Dreaming in Black and White— By Paris Gerrard

For me, black and white photography has always been alluring. It’s about the pure pleasure of seeing, experiencing, and contemplating the world through expressive images. Great photography evokes a sense of heightened awareness and emotion. It’s about being surprised and delighted by the of the natural curiosities of the universe. It allows us to view the world from a surprising new perspective and expands our awareness Most importantly, I feel that more than any other art form, black and white photography offers the purest essence of form, shape, line, light and shadow.

Black and white photography, at its best, produces photos that seem to have a soul of their own. Sally Mann, Candace Meyer, Linda McCartney, Mona Kuhn and Jed Divine are some of the best. Their beautifully crafted images resonate inside of me – they’re magical. In my dream home, I imagine a wall filled with an assortment of random shots of my favorite black and white photography.

If you can, spend some time dreaming in black and white . . .

Bring your own bag -- by Paris Gerrard

One of my goals this year is to go totally green. For the last few months, I have been refraining from taking plastic bags from all retailers. Thankfully, a lot of people are becoming aware of the dreadful effects that plastic is having in our environment. I recently read a disturbing article by Susan Casey. She reports that, "A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say that the toxins are causing obesity, infertility . . . and worse". To read more go here. On, I learned that "when researchers tested the water of the Pacific Ocean, they found it contained six times as much plastic as plankton, by weight!"

It's great that--finally, retailers in the US, like Whole Foods, are no longer offering plastic shopping bags. On my last trip to Italy, the grocery stores were charging if you wanted plastic bags for your purchases. According to the BBC News, "a tax on plastic shopping bags in the Republic of Ireland has cut their use by more than 90%. That's good news.

I've scoured the internet to help find some reusable shopping bags that, I think, are stylish and functional. I hope that this will information will encourage everyone to start bringing their own bag! Together, we can make a difference.

1. Leaf Bag -- by jenny Bowers $20
2. Flip and Tumble -- $12
3. Free People -Sugar bag-- $68
4. Free People -- Emporium Patchwork Tote -- $168.00
5. Baggu -- $8
6. EnviroSax -- $ 8.50 or $37.95 for five bags.

Haute chocolate

I've been seeing some haute chocolate packaging around, and after doing a little clicking all my recent favs. seem to source back to the great site Cool Hunting.

1: I first saw Brooklyn based Mast Brothers chocolate at the lovely blog by Lena Corwin, the unique Italian papers look so beautiful. 2: Along with the impeccable swiss design, my great grandmother's name was Alice LaRue, perhaps that is why I am drawn to Alice Chocolates. How cool is that box? 3:Check out those chocolate pencils by Japanese patissier Tsujiguchi Hironobu and designer Oki Sato what a creative and original delight. Thanks for inspiring Cool Hunting - see more of their chocolate picks here.

Homasote and Inspiration Boards

A few weeks ago I covered and hung two 4' x 8' homasote boards in my office, it has been something I've been wanting to do for a long time and I finally got around to doing it. Like a brand new sketch book or blank canvas my two empty boards hang awaiting my pins to pushed. Lately, I've been looking for inspiring creative boards to get my juices flowing of how I am going to first start hanging things. Here are a few I am currently digging.

1: Drew Barrymore's Board from Domino.

2: Design for Mankind did an amazing downloadable e-zine about inspiration boards last month, where I saw Erika's board.

3: From the great blog Inspiration Boards the creative walls of Meg Warner.

Homasote is an awesome and inexpensive material to use for inspiration/creative boards. It is soundproofing material composed of recycled newsprint that is excellent for push pins etc. If you are interested on where to find it go here, from my experience of asking multiple Home Depot and Lowe's employees about this stuff... they had no idea what I was talking about, "homa-what? was usually the response." (Perhaps that is why it took me so long to complete.) If you want to see a great 'DIY' tutorial check out this post from Shiso Mama. Apartment Therapy, and Martha, have also talked about it.

No, I am not a secret agent. -- By Paris Gerrard

I know it may look like I am an international spy, but don't worry. And I'm not one of those fickle girls that constantly changes her hair color. But, with spring finally here, I feel the desire to create a new look for myself. I have had long blonde hair for most of my life, and for some reason, I have been itching to cut it off. It's like a tennis match in my head -- cut your hair --- no, don't cut your hair. Fortunately, I found this fun section on Instyle's website. It is a free hair makeover program. All you have to do is upload a photo of yourself and start cutting and coloring your hair without the commitment. It's funny to see yourself with hair like Katie Holmes or Keira Knightley. If you, too, are in the mood for a new do, try it out for yourself! Here is the link to the website.

My sister Alex is a hair stylist at LUNATIC FRINGE on Parleys Way in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an extension specialist, and also does a fantastic job with cuts and coloring. Coming out of a totally artistic family, she innately understands the complexities of color--what works and what doesn't. I didn't have the guts to whack it all off, but we did take off a good five inches. She highlights my ash blonde hair to a beautiful golden, honey color. Thanks, Sis!

Trever Hoehne Photography

I first saw the photographs of Trever Hoehne over at Style Me Pretty, where he took the above luscious 'real wedding' shots. What a beautiful wedding! (layout by Style Me Pretty) Next, I saw the photo shoot (first two images) for Cotton Idea Studio on his blog. I think I have a new favorite.

"Everything Old is New Again" By Paris Gerrard

I’m very excited that Rachel invited me to be a “guest blogger” for Black Eiffel. In following Black Eiffel’s theme of “eyes full of my favorite people + places + things + ideas,” I want to share some images that I feel express what I call a MODERN OLD-- FASHIONED STYLE.

I recently returned from an exciting trip to NYC. My tall, beautiful, blue-eyed sister will be moving there to model in a few weeks. We visited numerous modeling agencies and she had a couple of photo shoots. Her photos are gorgeous! The image that I am sharing today sparked me to pick this title for my post. I feel this photo embodies what I call modern/vintage. I love the monotone colors in this image. It has a strong, old-fashioned feel, but at the same time a contemporary twist. I am really excited about ZoĆ«’s new career. Here is a link to a few of her photos. She has been my muse in the past, and I now have lots of inspiring ideas for new paintings.

I’ve always been a lover of old wallpapers. I love the details, patterns, and how they represent a unique portal into the past. Often, they are hand painted which I think adds a lot of charm. Here is a great pattern that I found from the cool wallpaper company, Nama Rococo. They create hand painted modern wallpapers that convey “Old Fashioned Beauty”. Anything hand painted these days is an unexpected delight.

In the past, I’ve traveled to the LA gift Mart as a buyer for my aunt’s furniture store. I would help her select cool items to sell. On the last trip, I discovered a really cool stump of petrified wood, which I thought was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. My aunt loved it as well, and bought it for her shop, but ended up keeping it for her self instead. I have always loved crystals and have collected them through the years. While in NYC, I ventured into one of my favorite stores, ABC Carpet and Home. They had a huge selection of petrified wood and crystals, and it made me remember what a beautiful addition they can be to accessorize your home. They are both earthy and divine.


I know it came out a while ago, perhaps I am one of the last few to try it. But today as I used it for the first time this cool little Nike+ gizmo, rocked my world. I used to run quite a bit, but unfortunately have gotten out of the habit. This is exactly what I needed to get back into the groove. If you don't know how it works or want to see some motivating ads watch this, this, or this. I cannot believe I waited this long to try it, can't beat 29 bucks for a personal trainer + motivator in your ears.


This afternoon, Vienna (my kiddo) shared with me this opening sequence for Monsters Inc. It is pretty darn clever.

Handmade Cabinet of Curiosity

Last night as I was quickly checking a few things on etsy, I came across these goodies in jpolka's shop. I also found out that she has a blog where she shared the photos below. Isn't she talented? She had an embroidery show in the Curiosity Shoppe a place that I am bummed I missed out on while in SF. Next time...

Guest Blogger: Paris Gerrard

I am pleased to introduce a wonderful guest blogger this week, Paris Gerrard. I was dazzled by Paris' paintings when she emailed me about her and her mother's beautiful art. (I talked about them here) Although we've never met in person, through our correspondence and as I'm sure you can read below, she seems like a very fascinating person that I am happy to learn more about. Welcome Paris!

Hello everyone! My name is Paris Gerrard. Last month, I was delighted when Rachel did a post on my mother and I, featuring our artwork. We are artists, living in Salt Lake City, Utah, where we share an incredible studio which I will tell you more about in a future post. I am really excited that Rachel has invited me to be a guest blogger for Black Eiffel. I must admit that in the last few months I have really turned into an absolute "blog junkie". I love browsing all of the uplifting and inspiring things bloggers have to share. It is incredible how many talented people there are. I feel that part of being human seems to include an innate desire to create and express. I wish for everyone an opportunity to convey and explore their uniqueness. It is amazing how the internet/blogging has opened a doorway that allows so many a vehicle for creativity and expression. We can delight in artistry around the world in areas of design, style, and culture. Portals abound for viewing everything imaginable. Black Eiffel represents a unique and exciting collection of "people + place + things + ideas".

Who is Paris Gerrard?
I am an artist in my early 20’s. To view my work visit my website, . Most of my time, I am either painting or thinking about ideas to paint. I suppose you could call me somewhat of an art nerd. I also love fashion, cooking, and spending time in nature. This is how I would describe myself and my style.

It's what moves me . . . bohemian, city, fresh wet paint and a newly primed canvas, Sally Mann photography, the color of rain, Pablo Neruda, Prussian blue, organic green olives, long afternoon shadows, used book stores, starting a new book, savoring a last page, simplicity, Lumihai beach, ripe figs picked this morning, sun warmed lilikoi--picked in the afternoon, negative shapes, vintage wallpaper, music, losing myself in a painting, a sunny day in February, enjoying the moment . . .

Background info---
I grew up in a family of artists. I have always been surrounded by and absorbed in art. My earliest art memories are from around four years old; my mother provided my sisters and me with a very large, turquoise tooled leather book in which we were allowed to draw. It was a reflection of our feelings. My family moved to the island of Kauai when I was nine years old. There, I was enrolled in a private school that had a strong emphasis in art. During my teen years, I was gifted with an amazing teacher who helped me see with a new set of eyes. She taught me to relish the beauty of everyday objects. Being immersed in art at such a young age has altered the way I perceive the world. I believe that I experience a kind of artist's intuition. My mind explores visual surroundings, noticing planes and patterns, values and edges. I have taken numerous painting workshops and college art classes to further develop my skills. I feel that art, like life, is a never ending process of discovery.

Art has given me the privilege of expressing, creating, and experimenting. I never really planned on being an artist in the sense of having it as a career. I painted because it was a passion for me. I remember I sold my first painting when I was just 12 years old. I can't recall exactly what it looked like, but I remember how thrilling and enjoyable the process of creating it was. It's great for me to realize that I am able to “follow my bliss”! I feel so fortunate, to be able to call this my job.

Polaroid heart

The De Andreis family shares in April's Cookie magazine a simple and beautiful way to display family photographs. Love et.

Are you reaching your potential?

My bro. shared with me this Monster Ad clip. It is quite thought-provoking when you ponder the bigger message.