Thursday, January 31, 2008

Envelope Accordion

I came across a wonderful craft project which can be used to organise all your small odds and ends such as stamps, tickets, coupons, and business cards. The project is simple enough to do and will made a wonderful personalised gift or even a special wedding keepsake to store up little memories you have of the day.

For step-by-step instructions, click here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Coffee in a box

Next time you pass by one of these ocean containers, make sure you are not passing on something special! via

Crafty rooms

I saw these pretty and super organised craft rooms on HGTV. Hope these will inspire you to set aside a little neat corner of your own at home and get those crafty hands moving!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


How cool is this Nooka watch? It challenges how time is being read by representing it in a linear/graphical fashion. (via)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Marie-Chantale Turgeon

Marie-Chantale emailed me recently to let me know about her work. Marie-C lives and work in Montreal, Canada, and is an art director, web designer, illustrator and painter all rolled in one! She has done web design for many clients within the music industry (Universal Records, Deutsche Grammophon) and has illustrated for clients such as Skirt! Magazine (USA), Figurati magazine (Brasil) and the Fox 2003 day planner. She is now into building meïdia, a creative studio where she teams up with collaborators to offer different services relating to new web technologies such as blogging and podcasting.

Whew! Wonder where she finds all the time and energy to do all that! And if this is not enough, she also recently self published her first book, First Thoughts on life, blogging and the creative process. I was so blown away and inspired by Marie that I could not resist finding out more about her through an email interview and sharing it on laissezfaire.

1. What made you start as an illustrator? How long have you been drawing?
My dad was a graphic designer for the local newspaper, he had his creative corner in our house's basement, and my mom loved fashion - she had fashion magazines hanging around the house, and since i could not read, looking at pictures is what i loved most.

As far as i can remember, that's how it all started at around age 7, by playing around with a pencil and creating my own magazines, cutting in my mom's fashion magazines on my dad's drawing table!

2. Can you describe your design process?
With time i learned (and i'm still experimenting!) to follow my feelings and intuitions. I work when i feel like, and if i dont, i allow myself to nap, go out for a walk, read and so on until inspiration is there. Usually ideas come when i write in the morning, when i relax or play around, when i'm out for a coffee alone or a walk.

I've been working for design agencies for quite a while, and i've quit this 9 to 5 world 4 years ago to be able to live at my own rhythm. To find and live with your own rules is something quite scary, but how much exciting and rewarding, i love it!

3. What is your typical day like?
It depends a bit on the season, here in Quebec we have a short but intense summer, and a long and cold winter, but i usually get up around 8h. This time is for me the most precious thing in the world - my phone is off, and i try not to rush to my computer to read emails (this is the hardest!!). So from 8h to 10h i'll often take time for myself to write. I write a lot, i have a 'private' diary and another journal from which come my books and blog entries. These 2 hours are the most important ones since i get many ideas from this quiet time.

Then from 11h to 15h i do all the stuff that has to be done, like reading blogs (!), emails, stuff to send out, bills, client work and so on.

Most of the time i stop around 15h, because my energy is getting low around that time, and its not worth to try to work. I take this time to go either for a coffee, for a long walk, or at the gym (this makes me really proud of myself and gives me energy - even if i dont like it that much!).

Evenings are often spent finishing stuff i want to finish for this day, or working on fun stuff, or reading. I do not watch tv, i think it's one of the worse invention - it drive all humans afraid, crazy and lazy instead of giving them the guts they need to realize their potential. But i like to cuddle in bed with my boyfriend, our 2 cats, and a good dvd :)

4. Can you tell me a little more about your book? What made you start on it, what is it all about etc...?
My last book just happened, i dont know exactly how. I just realized that i had too much that i wished to share, and that my blog could not be the right medium to hold all of that stuff. And since i write and love to draw, sheets of paper just started to pile over each other until i decided to make a book out of them.

The other reason, as the book is about blogging and the creative process, is that working in the web industry since years, and doing a lot of work with blogs, i got really sick of seeing people taking over blogs and categorizing them as 'marketing tools' only.

I felt like 'hey woooohey! blogs are much more!' - i think blogs are wonderful tools to expand our creativity and grow together as a whole. I am preparing a second book on this topic, but i wanted my first book, First thoughts on life, blogging and the creative process, to inspire people, to motivate them so that they take back the tools and use them in their own way - that is really important.
Creativity happens spontaneously, so does blogging.

5. Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists/illustrators?
Play around a lot. Make mistakes - no one can juge your art good or bad. I have this quote by Martha Graham which i always hang on to. It says it all:

“..There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to deternine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions…”

Thanks, Marie-C, for sharing your work and thoughts on Laissezfaire! Keep up the inspiring work!

(above) First Thoughts is available for purchase here (if you wish to have a signed copy) or here at US$28.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Valentine's Cards

It is that time of the year again! Thought I would also post some lovely Valentine's Day Cards I found recently. Hope they get you inspired to start making something special this Valentines!

(above) Beautiful 'I love you' cards by Debi Van Zyl. (Available at her etsy store)

(above) Printed by hand using antique wood press on eco-friendly sustainably harvested wood veneer by Papermonkeypress.

(above) Downloadable gorgeous V Day cards from Samantha of Maquette. You can download any of the images at full resolution and email them to your sweetheart, print the white-background versions on your home printer, or go to Zazzle and make 5×7 cards out of the color versions (in flickr click on all sizes and download at original size). If you’re feeling green this Valentine’s day, Sam has even suggested printing these on recycled paper or the backs of old cards! Here’s the link to the flickr Valentine’s Day cards set. Thanks Sam!

And again for those earth-friendly folks out there, thought you may be excited to take part in an exciting new contest on craftzine for Valentine's Day called "Recycle Your Heart". This Valentine's Day Card Contest is an opportunity for you to express your true love by creating a card made from recycled materials. You can use and mix any type of material you find and don't need to limit yourself to paper crafts. Just let your imagination run wild. Click here for more details.

Last but not least, click here if you wish to download a giftbag template to hold your pretty presents! Also, don't miss more lovely gift and craft ideas from

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alphabet of Design by Blueantstudio

Check out these cool posters from Blueantstudio! They have lots of other cool designs on their website and are currently offering a buy-1-get-1-free deal to kick-start the new year. This is just too good to miss!

The posters are printed on a real 1200dpi digital paper in matte finish and then hand glued to very heavy stock black mat cardboard. Each lovingly hand signed and numbered.

Size print: 11"x17"

Price is $35 shipped in the US or Canada, $50 shipped anywhere else, including Europe and Australia.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another cool wall decal!

This world map wall sticker from Ferm Living is such a cool idea! Will be great to paste coloured dots on them to indicate which countries you have visited or would like to visit one day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

STUDIO LO CD storage wall art

Created by STUDIO LO from France, these CD paper cases will make a beautiful piece of wall art. You can even download these gorgeous cases for free here! Just click on the image to download the pdf file. (via The Style Files)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wallpaper* Design Awards

The winners of the Wallpaper* Design Awards was unveiled in London last night. This event is held annually to honour the year’s highest design talents, whether it’s in the field of architecture, product design, media or fashion.

Rather than simply opening an envelope to reveal the winners, Wallpaper actually teamed-up with digital animators, Mainframe, to produce some really cool animations for each winner of the Judges’ Awards. Click here to check out the winners of each design category.

Here are some of my favourites in the field of architecture!
(above) Best new public building: New Museum, New York by Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA,

(above) Best new private house: The Ring House, by Takei-Nabeshima-Architects (TNA) architects. The height of each ring was decided by the function concealed behind it. The glass between the rings allow you to look straight into the forest, so the whole house appears to dissolve into the forest.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Samantha Hahn

The very talented Samantha Hahn emailed me to let me know about her newly launched illustration site. I had blogged about her beautiful fabric collages in a previous post.

Based in NYC, Samantha Hahn teaches art and is also a freelance illustrator. Besides doing illustration, figurative oil painting and crafts, she also writes about art, design, and inspiration on her wonderful blog, Maquette.

Samantha was also recently interviewed at over at Trust Your Style Blog and I am so flattered that she actually listed Laissezfaire as one of her favourite blogs together with Oh Joy! Sam has been working with Mary Jo Matsumoto of Trust Your Style blog for months on some incredibly beautiful illustrations (see above) for her lookbook and promotional packages.

Congrats Samantha and thanks for letting me know about your new website. Do keep up the gorgeous work!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!!! I'mmmm BACK! It feels great to have taken a short break from blogging and to return all inspired and excited! Thank you for those who continued to visit while I was away! As you can see, I have given this little blog a small facelift with a brand new banner!

I will kick start the new year with some cool wallpaper I found via sub-studio.
Believe it or not, these wallpaper actually reacts with heat from the radiator and blooms! How clever!
Equally fun and dynamic are these interactive wallpaper from 5.5 Designers.

(image via sub-studio)