Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Surroundings

Last week the rainy weather had me in a bit of a funk. The gorgeous blue skies and smiling sun were nowhere to be scene... just gray, gray and more gray. The bad weather had put me into an off mood; I had to get out of it in order to feel productive and creative in my last days of summer. I went into my room and everything seemed a little bit better, as there is nothing sad dull or dreary about it. I have mentioned the mood altering power of color in 'Color is Key'... so surround
yourself by uplifting hues, small touches can make a big difference!
In my room I have done easy and fun things to add interest. As you enter into my haven the door sets an exciting tone, covered in a fun wrapping paper. Simply cut your inspiring paper down to the size of the inlay on your door and tape it up. I've done the same to my closet door and the inside of my medicine cabinet, people are always happy to find the pop of color when they open up the cabinet looking for the toothpaste!
My walls are filled with my art work, each done in different mediums, but all with a similar spirit. Whether it is my 'Eyes, Noes and Mouth' collage, a painted Buddha, or the clay faces that I made; they all have a sense of purpose... each evokes a different emotion in those who view it; they also work harmoniously together.
If you are not an artist then find images that speak to you. After the year was up I pulled apart my calendar and put the images into inexpensive black frames. The women in the illustrations are decked out in gorgeous outfits posing and full of life. A great poster, record cover, calender or textile can create great wall art and keep you inspired.
Find inexpensive, interesting elements to enhance your space that will elevate you mood. Above my closet are hot pink rubber place mats; you never know where you will find a good addition to your space, so keep you eyes open so that you Don't MIS It!

Wrapping Papered Front Door

Wrapping Papered Medicine Cabinet

Eyes Noes and Mouth
collage by Margo Isadora

Self Portrait
collaged paper by Margo Isadora

Crazy Hair Day
collage by Margo Isadora

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An Inspiring Couple: Isabel and Ruben Toledo

Ruben Toledo is a painter, illustrator, sculptor and surrealist, and Isabel Toledo is an amazing fashion designer. This creative couple has always wowed me by their collaborative and breathtaking design. Just a peek into their NYC loft and you know that they are an artistic team. My favorite elements of their quirky loft were the hula-hoops hanging from the ceiling, the beautiful painted headboard and partitions that he painted in their bedroom.
I love Ruben Toledo's illustrations, as each drawing exudes a great personality and spirit. Last summer I went to the Toledos' exhibit at the FIT museum in NYC. It was a fantastic exhibit, filled with incredible skill and passion. It was clear that they are a true team as Ruben Toledo makes all of the sketches for Mrs. Toledo's garments. Mrs. Toledo's incredible line of high-end clothing, which included Michelle Obama's outfit for the Inauguration, was highlighted at the exhibit along with Mr. Toledo's sketches of the looks!
Just a few weeks ago Target opened a store in Harlem and the Toledos designed a small line for them. I fell in love with the illustrated yellow towel and graphic tee. Isabel Toledo has also designed a fun line of shoes for Payless that have just gone online and will hit stores soon. The ‘High Ghillie’ shoe makes quite a statement, hope to find a pair in my size!
This creative couple inspires me with their wide range of projects an innovative design; I cannot wait to see what they do next!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Links I Love!

Check out the new 'Links I Love' page on the right hand side... Some of my favorites!
Enjoy surfing the web
Margo Isadora

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bamboo Heaven

Last week I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was headed to see the 'American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity' exhibit, the Picasso Exhibit and Doug and Mike Starn on the roof: Big BambĂș. The fashion exhibit was beautiful and Picasso's work is always inspiring but the bamboo instillation on the roof struck a new chord with me. To be on the roof of the Met in a serene bamboo forest overlooking the city was incredible. Initially walking into the crowded museum I felt a bit overwhelmed. As I wound through the massive bamboo structure I felt relaxed and content peering up at the intricate masterpiece. I highly recommend visiting this growing instillation, as it will continue to expand and inspire those who experience it! Check it out on this link,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hot Design Never Dies!

While trends come and go a gorgeous print or design lasts forever and will always be a great staple in your wardrobe or in your home.
One day last summer I happily wore my new flea market find to lunch with my grandma. She immediately recognized the Marimekko material. She loved the fun, short, parachute like silhouette of my Marimekko dress and told me that she used to have curtains with a similar color scheme and print in her kitchen. Grandma had bought the Marimekko textile in the city in 1964 to make the curtains. It was a bold wave print with vibrant red, orange and yellow that reminded her of my dress. She had saved the curtains after all these years and gave me them so I could reuse the beautiful fabric. A good friend came over and we made a fun top with part of the fabric.
Earlier this month I was paging through the Crate and Barrel catalogue and could not believe my eyes! The print that is on my grandma's curtains was being brought back in bedding. It was produced circa 1964 by Maija Isola for Marimekko of Finland. I was inspired recently by a fun beach bag a friend made and decided to use the rest of the fabric for a reversible bag.
The textile looks beautiful whether it is used for a top, bedding or bag. ( I can only imagine that it looked great as curtains!) It is a print that is everlasting like many of the Marimekko classics... no matter the time or place its beauty will never be ignored. Great design is truly timeless!

Back of My Top

Front of my Top

Crate and Barrel Bedding

Monday, August 9, 2010

Color is Key

Color makes me happy. I have always surrounded myself with vibrant hues and have drawn inspiration from them... My room is my haven filled with colors, the walls, bed spread, doors, chairs, and art create a symphony 0f color. It is a palate of color that is uniquely me... The colors play off one another and infuse me with creativity. My mood is instantly elevated when I am in a colorful environment. My eyes love to play with the striking combinations that colors can create.
A favorite book of mine by Jonathan Adler's, My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living. From the poodle eating froot loops to the gorgeous contemporary design and witty commentary it is a book that you can look through over and over again. I feel the same as Adler does about color. In the book he says, "It is nearly impossible to be gloomy in a persimmon bathroom or to be stressed out in a sage breakfast room. Color is the most accessible, over-the-counter, mood-altering substance that I can think of. Overdose on color." This is the perfect summation of the power of color - don't be afraid to use it!
I find Sarajo Frieden's Color Never Sleeps art very appealing. It illustrates her reliance and love for color in a beautiful way. (Picture Above) I found this link on her attitude towards color resonated closely with me.

A Color Wheel that I Collaged

Medallion of Hue (painted by Margo Isadora)

2 Point Perspective that Pops (painted by Margo Isadora)

Eye Catching Colors in a Flower Arrangement

Rainbow Toes Perfectly Compliment these Prada Chandelier Shoes
(Jane from

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Endless Possibilities of Paper

My Newspaper Dress!
Paper is an incredible medium that holds limitless creative options. From a young age my grandma amazed me with what she could do with paper; she always has created intricate cut paper art and beautiful folded creations. When I was in third grade she decided that we needed to make a 1,000 origami cranes to send to my Aunt for her birthday. She patiently taught me how to fold the origami cranes and I was off and running. Of course she made most of the cranes, but I was obsessed and always came back with some for her to add to the collection. In the end she strung all 1,000 cranes together and created a gorgeous, colorful, art piece for my aunt to send her well wishes. The next year I was still hooked and often made cranes when I was at school, my peers thought it was cool, so I taught them. It became a bit of a craze and most people in my class had a crane if not a few.
A few months ago MAD (The Museum of Art and Design in NYC) featured an exhibit called 'Slash: Paper Under the Knife'... I had visited this wonderful exhibit weeks earlier with a friend and had left inspired. I immediately knew that I had to bring my grandmother to see it. Of course she was enthralled with the innovative paper creations, but we also were fortunate enough to have run into an added bonus to the exhibit. An older man was sitting on a bench in the exhibit entertaining some little children and their families. So of course we went over and to our amazement he was making beautiful little paper cut animals with a pair of scissors and the paper in his pocket. His work captivated everyone, young and old alike. It is an experience we will never forget!
Shortly after I visited MAD I decided that I needed to create the newspaper dress that I had been envisioning. As you all know, I am a huge Project Runway fan; and last season they had a newspaper challenge. The designers each created unique innovative outfits with newspaper. Above is the dress that I made out of WWDs (Women's Wear Daily Newspapers). These paper creations below caught my eye ... the intricacy, boldness and innovation truly inspired me. Don't be afraid to play with paper and make sure to share your creations with me!

Margo Isadora

Gorgeous Cut Paper Dress by Rob Ryan for English Vogue

Graphic 60's Eye Paper Shift Dress

Toilet Paper Wedding Dress for Cashmere Toilet Paper Ad Campaign

Bold Folded Paper Wedding Dresses

Intricate Paper Creations

30 Issues of the Financial Times that Make a Statement, by Gary Harvey