about a three hour drive through the desert to the west of marrakech will bring you to the seaside town of essaouira in morocco. from the pictures you can feel the laid back vibe of a quaint fishing town, but essaouira also has an artistic culture that is very much alive- its medina houses several arts and crafts businesses, the beach is an ideal location for kite and windsurfing, and for the past 12 years the town has hosted the gnaoua festival of world music. often referred to as the “moroccan woodstock,” the festival lasts four days and attracts close to a half million spectators. one of the city’s most famous landmarks is the castle made of sand- said to be the inspiration for the jimi hendrix song, although he hadn’t yet visited essaouira when he wrote it. several images from our april catalog were shot in essaouira, and in looking through these photos i can certainly see why our team was drawn there.
our topanga, california, store is turning two! to celebrate they are having a tea party tomorrow and if you show up in your favorite free people dress you have a chance to be featured right here on the blog! there will also be a professional model in-store to give styling advice. sounds like fun! if you’re in the area stop by and say hello!
“you see things. you keep quiet about them. and you understand.”
“so, i guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. and maybe we’ll never know most of them. but even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. we can still do things. and we can try to feel okay about them.”
“and then patrick started running after the sunset. and sam immediately followed him. and i saw them in silhouette. running after the sun. then, i started running. and everything was as good as it could be.”
one of our visual display team members is heading to california (where she’ll be working on displays for our west-coast stores) and to send her off they took advantage of the nice weather to have a festive outdoor gathering. check out more great pics from the party below!
the morocco catalog was shot by photographer dan martensen – he also shot our february catalog – we love him. the team also worked with morocco-based producer fred fantun, who has worked on numerous fashion editorials, and his familiarity with the area saved our team on multiple occasions. one obstacle? the lack of cars- our team had to use three carts to carry all of their shooting equipment, but luckily their porter was awesome and had a huge smile on his face the entire time as he helped them maneuver the narrow streets and alleyways. our team shot the catalog in several locations, including marrakech, essaouira, the house where they stayed and on the balcony of the villa maroc hotel. they did an amazing job and found some truly beautiful locations for this shoot…next time bring me along, please!?!
i first heard about these adorable custom-made stools on decor8, and i fell in love! the contrast of the recycled distressed wood and brightly colored crochet definitely reminds me of something i’d see in my grandparent’s house. the best part is, you get to pick your colors and creator ingrid jansen will custom make your stool – so it is unique, personal and special. in going through her flickr stream i found myself saving photo after photo as the inspiration was endless…
i’ve seen a lot of different DIY bookmark projects but this one really stuck out – i love the “X marks the spot” and although it appears to just be fabric it’s actually a pretty sturdy little bookmark so you’d be able to use it for a long time. kootoyoo has a full tutorial for how to make one – don’t be scared by the math in step 1, it’s not too bad!
what you need:
embroidery floss, scrap cardboard, calico, scissors, craft knife, needle, fadeout marker, adhesive backed magnetic tape.
step 1: cut a 13 cm (about 5 inches) square from scrap cardboard. cut a right angle triangle measuring 7.5cm x 7.5cm with a hypotenuse of 10.5cm.
step 2: cut your magnetic tape to fit and stick it to the triangles so that they come together neatly. set aside for later.
step 3: use the square template as a guide and cut out your calico. leave a seam allowance outside the template of approximately 1.5 cm (3/4 inch).
step 4: press your calico square around your cardboard template:
iron the corners as pictured above.
iron each of the sides as pictured – this removes the bulk in the corners and will keep the folds nice and neat.
step 5: remove the cardboard template and fold the square in half to form a triangle:
iron, fold in half again and iron.
step 6: print this template and trace it or draw your own X – you can be creative and make your own symbol or even a quote!
unfold the pressed triangle and position it right side up. with your fade out marker, check your folds carefully and mark the “X” where you’d like it positioned on the face of the bookmark. make sure you mark your X in the left hand triangle of your square. keep in mind that the center seam will run parallel to the spine of the book.
step 7: stitch your X or whatever you’ve chosen!
step 8: once you’re finished stitching, place your work face down on the ironing board as shown above and repress the folds.
step 9: position your triangle shapes (magnet side down) inside the seams and fold in half.
step 10: pin to secure.
step 11: stitch along each of the short sides of your triangle.
step 12: make the final fold and remove your pin. now stitch the short side closed to form your “cuff.”
voila! you’re done – now you can use this as you read the perks of being a wallflower for our book club :)
“sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. and i just sat between them. after the song finished, i said something. “i feel infinite.”
“i walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. there were a lot of little kids there. i watched them flying. doing jumps and having races. and i thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. and all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. and they will all kiss someone someday. but for now, sledding is enough. i think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t.”
“things change. and friends leave. and life doesn’t stop for anybody.”