coffee + cre8tive {aug 21 '06} + Blueprint Review (Fall Issue)

Happy Monday! For those of you anxiously awaiting the next issue of Blueprint, my friend (huge thanks to her!) at Omnimedia sent me an advanced copy (it arrived on Saturday) and in my opinion, it is far better than the premiere issue. Why?
I liked most of the features this time, I could see myself using some of the ideas vs. just looking at them and saying, "maybe" or "not" as I did with the last issue. I'll take a moment to highlight my favorites.

Before I get started, I love that they featured two pages of The 100+ Best Websites - I was soooo happy to see home blogs being mentioned, as well as shopping sites like 2Modern. Of course, publishing giants tend to focus on blogs with the largest audiences, but the ones they gave props to deserved it as well (it wasn't just about the numbers). Maybe they'll think of us little guys someday (sigh). I can see blogs like Oh Joy!, Print + Pattern, Happy Mundane (along with many other great blogs), earning a spot in there, too. What blogs DID they mention? Well, I don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll have to pick up the issue and flip to pages 148-149.

Blueprint highlights (at least for me):

P. 34 They featured a GREAT sewing machine, a new model from Husqvarna that is UNDER $150! If you are new to sewing, BUY THIS MACHINE. Husqvarna is a heavyweight in the world of sewing. Pick up the issue for puchasing details.

P.35 Beyond Diapers. I merely loved the various safety pins, such mundane little objects, but I could really see using some of these for sewing projects, or even art in a shadowbox frame.

P. 36-39 Off With Their Shoes! A very sensitive topic, I'm aware, is that of asking your guests to remove their shoes upon entering your home. Fortunately, my pals immediately step out of their shoes when they visit, they require this when visiting their home, too. I imagine if I were to throw a cocktail party or have strangers over to work on something in my home (like the construction crew that was in here most of this past winter/spring), it would take much effort and tact on my part to ask. This article gave some helpful little tips for socks and slippers, and included templates that you can use to make cute pictures for the wall that ask your guests, nicely, to remove their shoes. I love the photo on P.36, the mustard yellow, chocolate and white entryway is quite striking!

P. 40-45 Plants in Glass Houses. This article was quite helpful and the photos provided unique ideas that I've not seen before. I love how they teach you to use plants in glass containers, creating lush landscapes using succulents and silver sand.

P. 52-53 DIY: From Buttons to Bling. Fantastic simple layout, easy instructions, how to transform buttons into rings. My only question is, where did they get the actual "ring" piece? When you see the issue, please let me know if I missed something here or where I can find the actual ring, I haven't a clue where to purchase something like that. Michael's, perhaps?

Center: Handbook - Buy Better Luggage. Last issue, the insert helped those looking to purchase a sofa. This time around, luggage, packing tips, and additional luggage features that you should look for. I read the entire insert, especially since I'm flying to Germany next month. I plan to apply lots of these suggestions. One suggestion that I wasn't aware of: TSA recongnized locks. They have them at Target, so if you're looking, now you have a resource. They go for around $8 each and come in snappy colors like silver, black, lime, pink, blue and red. Chic and secure!

P. 98-105 Ye Bolde Colonial. This was my favorite article because it's about a 1852 Charleston home (South Carolina, where I grew up), and I just loved the architecture of it, along with the colors used in the decor. It wasn't exactly a style I would use, but it was so welcoming and cozy, and I just loved the owners and how sweet they came across in the article. It wasn't some mid century modern home (again) in CA and it wasn't another Brooklyn/NYC post war apartment or loft. Finally, an actual home in a town that deserves some press. Coastal South Carolina is gorgeous!

P. 116-125: A Tale of Two Pretties. With two home offices on display, the article not only lists resources on where to buy everything you see, but everything is organized in that lovely Martha Stewart way. I love the downtown home office, the second office featured. The yellow, grey and white is very clean and appealing. Cool storage tips and the screen divider project looks fun and functional.

P. 140-147 They'll Drink to That. This was a true education for me because I've not visited a wine store before that offered samples and treats, and I've never thrown a wine tasting party, nor have I ever attended one. I wasn't into wine until 2001 (I'm not a big drinker), so I'm guessing that's the reason. Had I liked it in my early 20's, I may have had the exposure to this swank swirling and sipping experience. Taking the reader on a tour of a wine store in Manhattan's historic South Street Seaport, you can visit with the owners, view the space, pick up how to tips, learn about a proper wine tasting table setting, grab several bruschetta recipes, and they've even included checklists and scorecards! Fun!

P. 156 - Book Review page, spotted a few that I need to pick up, was reminded of one that I've always loved called, "The World of Ornament" by Taschen (amazon seems to have crashed this afternoon, so the link may not work right now). I decided to make it the decor8 book of the week so that you could consider picking a copy up for your coffee table. It features over 5,000 images and patterns from ancient Egypt all the way through to 19th-century Europe in 528 oversized pages. Because they are all copyright free images, you can use a color printer and go crazy - create frames, gift wrap, wallpaper, candle wrappers, you name it. It also comes with a DVD. GREAT BUY.

Of course, not mentioned above, Blueprint articles on shoes, fashion, skin care, natural makeup tips, etc... But honestly, those don't interest me (and I am a total fashion addict). I'm just not into $800 shoes and with all the books on the market (and magazines) that specialize in beauty and fashion, I really don't see the need for these things to be covered in Blueprint, especially since the items they feature aren't SO fresh and amazing that you break your neck to look at them.

I would love to see Blueprint add more home tours, decor suggestions, home organizing help, shop tours, reviews, and even take a movie and rip it apart - show us how to create the same room at home (for instance, the office in The Devil Wears Prada or the apartment in the Break Up) to replace the beauty and fashion bits. But, that's just my opinion.

With all this said, I found a lot of good in the Fall issue, which I've already highlighted above, so with the fashion/beauty bits aside, this is a strong issue. I like it. I give it 3 stars.

Hope you enjoyed the highlights. As soon as it hits newsstands, please let me know your opinions, as well.