ahhhh time for a break back on the 4th...

big sky

Taking a break to enjoy the holidays and ramp up for the new year.  Back at you on Jan 4th, with more inspiration, great artists interviews, and new art.  I am seeing lots of exciting news in the future for parapluies et soleil so keep on coming back!  If you have not bookmarked our subscribed to our new home be sure to check that of your list!  Thanks for all the wonderful support, feedback and love during this first year of p & s, and here's to many more to come.  Cheers!

and the winner is...

We have a winner for the giveaway (winner generated by random.org)!  The winner has been notified via email.  Thanks for everyone who participated and for your lovely feedback.  You will be able to find some of these images in my shop coming early next year!  Thanks again and happy holidays!


giveaway - allmodern.com...

Happy Friday everyone!  The folks over at allmodern.com have been kind enough to celebrate the new look of parapluies et soleil with a great giveaway!  Win one of these great pieces of wall art by Inhabit entitled Plankton.  Pick from either of these fantastic colorways.  Also, be sure to stop by thier sister site for great living room furniture and other wonderful decor finds.  Scroll down for how to enter!

parapluies et soleil giveaway

Big thanks to allmodern.com for celebrating with us!  Here's how to enter!

parapluie et soleil giveaway rules

1/  Check out the new khristianahowell.com!  Leave a comment here letting me know which print or photo you would love to see as wall art (or if you have a great idea for another application, please let it out!)  Maybe you will see it in my new shop coming early next year!

2/  Not required, but it would be nice if you would follow @surfacedivine on twitter and tweet the following.

Great Parapluies et soleil giveaway! Follow @SurfaceDivine and go here http://bit.ly/59IxF4 to enter by monday 3pm EST! #khristianahowell

Bon chance!  Winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday!
One entry each please.

Entries accepted until Monday 12.21.2009 3pm E.S.T

Winner will be announced on Tuesday 12.22.2009

Please note I have no affiliation with allmodern.com or livingroomsdirect.com and have not received payment for this post.  We just thought it would be nice to collaborate and giveaway something fun!  After all tis' the season!!


artist interview - Malene of iram-inal designs...

Taking some time to chat today with one half of the design duo from iram-inal designs.  They create a wonderful range of jewelry including many eco friendly designs.  Their work is fresh, innovative, and just fun to wear!  Enjoy!

eco- friendly jewerly

what three to five words would you use to describe your work?

stylish, chic, unique

what inspires you?

Avant-garde fashion and originality really inspire us to push the boundaries (at least a little) and create large, voluminous, inventive pieces that women can’t find in the mainstream.  Originally, we only used semiprecious stones in our work, and at that time, the inspiration was directly derived from the material, itself…. Now that we have an established customer base, we allow our customers – from the stylish, trendy “it” girl, to the older, stylish sophisticate - be the main influence in our work.

what was your first job?  when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?

My sister and I both have advanced educations.  I (Malene, the “inal” in iram-inal designs) obtained a Juris Doctorate (law degree) in 2003, while Mari (the “iram” in iram-inal) has a biology degree, and is very close to completing her requirements to earn a Doctorate of Chiropractic.  We both worked in various positions throughout the past five years, all in offices, and all requiring the traditional “office wear” of a suit.

Our want to start a career as jewelry designers happened organically.  While I was attending law school in upstate New York, I began to make jewelry as a way to stay connected to the creative side. Making jewelry was a quick, easy way to be creative and to immediately show off the fruits of my labor.  While working in Providence, RI after earning my degree, my mother started demanding large, voluminous semiprecious stone pieces from me and my sister.  Once her friends began to ask for custom pieces, a budding business was born.

eco friendly designers

your work is so modern and fresh - describe your design process?  Tell us about how you were inspired to use recycled materials.

Thank you for the compliment.  Throughout the past two years, we’ve gone more from an “artistic” line to a “fashion” line, and thereby follow the flow of the fashion season, creating two main collections a year.  Each collection has 5-6 different lines on which we focus.

I (Malene) have always been an avid recycler, freecycler and upcycler, and Mari has directly followed the path of our parents and lives her life in an organic, natural way, to the extent of growing her own food (a feat to which I aspire).  When we first started the business, we used semiprecious stones because that’s what we saw being sold in the market.

We realized that our solitary use of stones was in direct contravention of the way we were choosing to live our lives; we also simultaneously recognized that we could tap into an entirely new, fresh market of customers who choose to live their lives in a similar, “green” way.

We began to incorporate used, upcycled and “found” materials into our work, and some of these lines have become our most popular to date.  Our “green” line is made from recycled palm tree and Korean boxwood woods, which are turned into beads from remnants after furniture making.  Also, all of the woods come from FSC (Forest Steward Certified) forests, and the palm wood is only harvested from a certain part of the tree during specific portions of the year; this cutting schedule is to ensure that no tree is ever fully cut down, and the trees are allowed to regenerate.

We also now have a fabric line of necklaces made from upcyclced jersey cotton tee-shirts, and several lines that use old hardware materials as the base for the earringsrings and pendants.  Although we still use some semiprecious stones to satisfy a portion of our client base, we will continue to strive to use more and more recycled materials in our lines for as long as we’re designing jewelry.
eco-friendly jewerlyeco-friendly jewerly

design books/blogs you can't live without

I love modishCorridor 40 (for great Midwest fashion, where Mari and I are from), Refinery 29décor8, and Making It Lovely.

what do you do when you are not doing art?

Honestly, our business is so new that I don’t have time to do anything but work on the business!  However, if my entrepreneur husband mandates (he also owns his own business), we’ll go to the movies or get a nice meal at a new restaurant in Atlanta, if time allows.

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.

We love fashion, but both my sister and I are sci-fi geeks to the hilt!  Give us Star Trek (next gen), Battlestar Galatica (best show on tv, ever), Lost, V (watched the original mini-series, too), and anything that has a modern-take and commentary on today’s social constructs.

what city in the world best describes you?

Chicago.  It’s Midwestern (we were raised in St. Louis, MO), chic, sophisticated, large, and fashion-forward with nice people.  To us, it’s the best of all things a big city can provide (and there’s grass and trees! J).

eco-friendly fashioneco-friendly jewerly
what's next?

Gaining market share in stores West of the Mississippi (right now, we sell in boutiques in GA, TN, MO, IL, NY, FL, Washington D.C., and MI), and preparing our line to enter into the wholesale market.   Once we enter the “marketplace,” we expect large, rapid growth.  The hope is to one day see iram-inal jewelry in larger retailers, like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Henri Bendel.  We’ll continue to create great, large, voluminous, chic wear for bold women, and hope to see our designs on our customer base all over America and Internationally!



[caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="sunshine hellow copyright khristian a. howell"]sunshine hellow copyright khristian a. howell[/caption]

Well hi!  Welcome to the new look of parapluies et soleil!  I know for lots of us it's cold out, but the sun is definitely with us today in this space.  I am very excited to have a new look as I move into a new year full of promise.  Hope you love the new digs!  Be sure to bookmark our new space and get ready for a fantastic giveaway on Friday!  à bientôt!

busy, busy, busy

Taking the day to finish up the new site!!! Should be up tomorrow along with many surprises and goodies this week! Back with a bang tomorrow! until then...


Christmas design - birds

Trend Alert! This Christmas our fine feathered friends seem to be everywhere! Birds provide instant elegance to any tree, gift or tabletop design. Here are a few items from our favorite stores and sites.

by parapluies et soleil contributor Lourdes Rauvae


jet stream - hiatus...

Jet stream is on a mini hiatus and will return with new adventures and inspiration next week. In the interim, I invite you to travel to the place within...

image is copyright khristian a. howell and cannot be used or reproduced without permission from the artist.


artist i love - jesse breytenbach...

This week's feature artist comes to us (virtually of course) all the way from Cape Town. Jesse Breytenbach has a host of goodies in her etsy shop including wonderful fabrics, tea towels and lovely ornaments just in time for the holidays. She has been kind enough to share a bit of herself with us today. Enjoy!what three to five words would you use to describe your work?
graphic, detailed, precise

what inspires you?
It's hard to say exactly; sometimes it's just the light in a room, sometimes it's a scrap of fabric. Sometimes it's a need to know how something is put together that makes me want to draw it. Knitting inspires me to draw as well - the textures and patterns just make me want to make something, urgently.

what was your first job? when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?
My first job was with a new publisher, illustrating educational books. The authors were new to the whole thing as well, so we all just learned as we went along. I remember looking at illustrations in magazines when I was little, and realising that someone had drawn those. That was the first time it occurred to me that it might be possible to draw for a living!

what media do you work with?
Pen and ink, and linocut prints.

design books/blogs you can't live without
I love
http://printsy.blogspot.com/ for the variety of work that gets shown there. And I pretty much can't live without knitting sites;http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/ is one of my favourites.

what do you do when you are not doing art?
I knit and read. I've been trying to garden, but mostly that just involves throwing water over anything that sprouts and seeing what survives.

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.
Often, far too often, I get back into bed after my morning coffee. Twenty minutes later, I'm ready to start the day again properly.

what city in the world best describes you?
It would probably be a small city, one that only technically qualifies as a city. A place where you could walk anywhere you needed to get to, where strange and sometimes scary things lurk around most corners, a place that looks peaceful and quaint until you've lived there for a while, and discovered that everything is exactly what it seems and that that's constantly slightly unsettling.... oh, wait! I've just described the town where I grew up!

what's next?
I'm hoping to find enough time in the next few months to work on a comic I've written; new prints in various stages that need to be finished; prints on clothing, that I'm really excited about; and possibly, if I can get it to work, a drawing project that will involve as many other bloggers as I can convince to take part.


lifestyle brand - chilewich...

Talk about an amazing stocking stuffer. I loooove these iphone covers by Chilewich! They also offer amazing rugs, window shades, table top items and more. yum!

home - CB2

Publish Post
How fab is this mirror! Check out this and other great holiday ideas from CB2.


illustration... brianna mccarthy

Wow! What a big talent out of Trinidad! I just can't get enough of Brianna McCarthy's ethnic girls. Stunning! For more on Brianna, stop by her blog Passion Fruit and website.

all images are copyright brianna mccarthy and cannot be used without the artist's permission.


fashion - holiday cocktail...

ports 1961
both french connection
Holiday party season is officially in full swing! Here are a few hot numbers to go with those hot toddies. Cheers!


artist i love - mamie ruth...

Emily Bargeron in her new vintage inspired tunic.
Emily Bargeron is the brain behind clothing and jewelry line Mamie Ruth. Inspired by and named after her grandmother, Emily uses vintage pieces and fabrics in her designs. There is just a real charm to her work. You can really feel that each piece is crafted with love - just as a grandma would! Check her out on line here. If you are in the Atlanta area, she will be showing her new line of clothing made from eco-friendly and vintage fabrics at the Whitespace gallery Friday Dec. 4th.


new print - a bit of holiday...

I've been really inspired by all the fabulous cut paper artists latley. One new little lovely to get you (and me) into the holiday spirit. Enjoy!


green day...

As we enter this season of joy and bliss. Let's not forget about the consumption that goes along with it. Here's a look at a few sites that are finding creative ways to make you more creative about what you use, reuse, and use til the end.

green day - do the green thing...

Do the green thing is a non-profit public service site designed to inspire us to think about how we live and how it impacts the environment. They focus on seven simple ways that we can make a difference. Topics include "walk the walk", "all consuming", and plug out" Interesting videos and great story telling is used to convey the message. Small changes can make a big impact!

To The End Of The Pencil And The Edge Of The Page from Green Thing on Vimeo.

green day - nimli...

recycled paper and biodegradable journal from house and wear kantele
mad imports handwoven raffia purse - swoon!
wool felt and natural fiber pillows from balance design
Nimli is a wonderful website marketplace offering a great range of natural, organic, and sustainable lifestyle products. They support designers and all efforts to make their business and products carbon neutral.


artist interview - ashley a. dailey of pop + shorty...

Ashley A. Dailey is the lead designer behind Pop + Shorty (so named after her grandparents - Pop and Shorty were their nicknames). They create a wonderful range of fun cards, prints, and poster all with a wonderful quirky edge. Visit their shop here, and don't forget to check out their blog for new work and upcoming events. Commissioned work is available on the their site.
what three to five words would you use to describe your work?
Pop + Shorty creates bold, witty, and unexpected design. In other words, design that pops!

what inspires you?
I try to immerse myself in design by visiting art galleries, reading books, blogs. and magazines, and teaching myself new techniques. My husband, Matthew, is also a huge inspiration for me. He pushed me to start Pop + Shorty from the very beginning and is one of the most creative and clever people I know.

what was your first job? when/how did you know you wanted a career in art?
My first job out of college was at an advertising agency in Indianapolis. I started in Account Management, then worked my way over to copy writing. I would watch the graphic designer place my text into a project, I would dream about what typeface, what color, and what placement I would use instead. I knew then I needed to try my hand in graphic design, so I went back to school to study advertising design.

your work is so fun and unexpected - describe your design process?
My ideas usually come at the most unexpected times, so I always carry a small sketchbook to scribble down my ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I will flip through old sketchbooks and find an idea that had some potential and work from there. I have family and friends all over the country, so I fly quite frequently. Being 30,000 feet in air is my favorite time to sketch because I can't get distracted!

design books/blogs you can't live without
This answer could easily be ten paragraphs! I love the blog Grain Edit. I drool every time I receive an email with a new blog post. I am a huge fan of Communication Arts, HOW magazine, and Computer Arts in the UK. As for books, I think anyone wanting to dive into the crafting world should read the book Craft Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco. It is not a design book; however, my favorite book of all time is called the Darkside Zodiac by Stella Hyde. It flips astrology on its head by telling you the darkside of your horoscope (and it is scarily accurate). I sometimes call my sassier cards the "Darkside" of Pop + Shorty!

what do you do when you are not doing art?
Ha ha, when I asked my husband "What do I do when I am not working on Pop + Shorty?" he said, "Work on Pop + Shorty more?" He is about right! I also love listening to music and going to shows, hosting parties for friends, and dreaming about adopting a dog. I am hoping this Christmas my husband and I can add a new addition to the family.

name one thing about you that would shock the outside world.
I collect chopsticks. I have over 150 pairs, yet I never use them because I am not a very skilled chopstick user! I also still sleep with a teddy bear that I've had since I was one year old. Her name is Tedra, and she wears a small little jacket my great-grandmother, Shorty, sewed. Yes, the same Shorty from Pop + Shorty!

what city in the world best describes you?
Seville, Spain. I lived there for six months and felt right at home. During the day, the city is so calm. Then at night, the entire city just lights up and goes wild! If you get to know the city well enough, you'll find hidden flamenco bars in the streets that showcase the real Seville.

what's next?
Pop + Shorty just had its six-month anniversary, so we are still newbies. Our next step to to spread our cards and products around the country by selling in retail shops. Also, I am teaching myself how to gocco print, so I would love to incorporate more hand-pressed gocco designs into the mix. Lastly, we are hoping to launch some new geeky tee shirts since our CSS to HTML tee has been a huge success.


what if...

Taking a moment to be grateful today, as we should each day. What are you thankful for? What if we took a moment to practice gratitude each day? Have a good holiday! We will be back on Monday. Email me for info on photos.
images from Croatia/Budapest/Paris Aug 2009 copyright khristian howell and may not be used without the artist's permission.
what if we never forgot where we've been, and thus never went there again...

what if we allowed ourselves to nurture our souls daily...

what if we treated everything like a fragile gift...

what if we took a moment to discover the wonders just outside our door...

all images are copyright khristian howell and may not be used without the artist's permission.