Inovativ, Spectacular, Exclusive

Small Designs Magazine

Small Designs Magazine

Monday, March 31, 2014

Passion, dedication and love – Gurrado Home Design

Simple, light and clean worked. This is how I would describe the Gurrado furniture and home décor. The products are carefuly made with attention to detail from high quality materials. The goal of the manufacturers are to make furniture that would defide time. Attention to detail and careful selection of timber and veneers are the essential ingredients for all Gurrado furniture and home décor.

The products are a mix of traditional techniques of craftsmanship with the most advanced manufacturing technology. The company made a commitment to the envinronment and has guided them to employ only natural oils and natural varnishes for finishing. This guarantees a product exclusively Made in Italy with high quality materials.

"Passion, dedication and love transform our wood. Attention to detail makes it unique” – Gurrado Home Design
The story behind the Gurrado furniture started in 1990. The project was made by the inventiveness of two designers:  Imma and Annarita Gurrado.
 “Getting the passion for woodworking from my father has been a great  value. Love, passion and handicraft, though important elements, they are not sufficient for the market. For this reason it has been necessary  to combine all these values whith innovative manufacturing techniques. This mixture has allowed us to grow up and face the toughest challenges” – Vito Gurrado, product manager and inventor of the prototypes.

The leadindg Gurrado products are the planters with integrated lamp - "Fiji " and " Luxor" series. However, you can choose from a variety of products, from chairs and tables to lamps. You can also make custom orders.

Gurrado Home Design has also plans for the future. The handicrafters  are developing new
materials such as wood with tissues from the fashion industry.

Gurrado Home Design items are sold on local markets in Italy, but also online:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Darabil – old school techniques for new fashion accessories

Darabil is all about milinary, fascinators and beautiful hats for women. The mission of Darabil is to maintain alive the old techniques these item were made of, using them to create contemporary objects.  The person behind this interesting craft is Amaia, a basque creator based in Barcelona. Amaia not only creates milinary items, but also, tries to expand the knowledge she learned in the form of workshops.

Her first experience was in her home-town, in Basque Country, where she start attending a tailor's studio to learn pattern making. Amaia also has a degree in Fine Art and spend a year in Norway, where she discovered a new material, felt.

„Wet felting, dry felting, nuno felting…you can use it anyway you like; it’s moldable, lightweight, beautiful and really warm material. Few years ago, I moved to Barcelona and meet three fabulous women from whom I’ve learned a lot; Nina, a great millinery artist, Pilar, best textile artists ever and Anna really sensitive jeweler” – Amaia says.
„I’ve always been curious about how things are built. This curiosity of mine has brought me to visit different countries and meet great people on the journey. In the Basque Country, where I’m from, I’ve learned to appraise craftsman and manual processes. In Norway I discovered the felt, then I moved to China where I found out a new aesthetics concept and I finally arrived to Barcelona where I’ve learned everything I know about millinery and metal work” - Amaia.

How did you come up with your brand name?

The name Darabil comes from the Basque verb "to use".
When something stops using, it disappears, it dies and my project is an attempt to keep alive certain techniques that currently are not as popular as they were in the past. The mission of Darabil is to maintain alive these techniques; using them to create contemporary objects on one hand and expanding the knowledge in the form of workshops on the other hand.

What does it take to make one item?

My main area is the millinery; felt hats, fascinators, tiaras, combs, straw hats... I make all my creations by hand, one by one, taking care of every step.
With the fascinators, I start sculpting the mold to build the skeleton of the fascinator. When it dries, I cut the excess and sew the wire all around it. Then I line it, decorate it and finally I sew the sujeccion and the brand (that previously I silk printed on fabric). It’s a process that takes about three days and I enjoy every step of it.

Which one is your best seller?
This winter the pompom combs came strong and It’s only a guess but I think that the new turbans that I’m preparing for this summer will be a hit!

How do people get in touch with you?

My workshop is based in Barcelona, it’s called OSLO Barcelona. That’s the place where I create, where I teach and where you can buy my jewels and fascinators among other beautiful things, all handmade in Barcelona.
If you live far away I’m also available by e-mail and in my online shop of Etsy

I’m active in different social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest with the name Darabil and I also have a Blog where I share some tips, pictures of the working process and my latest creations (

I love to receive the feedback from people and I'm always up to participate in new projects with editorials, fashion designers or artists of other disciplines so if you have something in mind or just want to say hi I'll be happy to know from you.

Do you run your business full-time?

Yes. I’m a full-time crafter. Beside Darabil I’m also a community manager of the association OSLO Barcelona ( and I’m one of the 4 women who runs this association. OSLO Barcelona is a space where we show and sell our art directly, without intermediaries, supporting the artist against the big brands and thereby acquiring quality products at affordable and fair prices.

I see a lot of people starting their business online. What do you think makes you stand out from the crowd?

I offer quality and unique products made with love, with the techniques that were used in the past. I like to share the working process of my creations because it is one of the notable aspects of my work; and also, when you see how an object has been made, the history behind it, you appreciate it more.
One of my goals are the custom orders for weddings or special occasions. Designing a project hand by hand with the customer’s needs and tastes it’s a great experience, especially because somehow you are letting the customer be part of the process.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

20 Weirdest Houses in the World

Architects with an incredible imagination have created buildings that seem to be from another planet. Althow from outside they seem extremely weird, in the inside they are pretty normal.

1. Espana Library, Santo Domingo, Columbia

2. Cube Houses in Rotterdam, Holland

3. Vortex House, Montrose, Houston,USA

4. Dalat House, Vietnam

5. Krzywy Domek, Sopot, Poland

6. Twisted House, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

7. Upside down House, Trassenheide, Germany

8. Marques de Riscal Holets, Spain

9. Viena Modern Art Museum, Austria

10. "Doughnut" Hotel, Guangzhou, China

11. Prague Dancing House

12. Bubble Houses in south of France

13. Atomium, Bruxelles

14. Batlo House, Barcelona, Spania

15. Lotus Temple, New Delhi, India

16. Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile

17. Nautilus House

18. Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island

19. Waldspirale, Germania

20. Motisons Tower, Jaipur, India

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One-of-a-kind Gems plus Leather

Anna Master brings you great designed jewels made out of leather and gems. The artist seems to be inspired by the ancient designs. See how she made a business through her hobby and passion for jewels.

Who is the person behind Gems plus Leather?
I'm known as Anna Master and you are welcome to visit me at
I was born in Estonia but now I live in Prague. Before moving here I spent several years in Cyprus, and just here in Prague I've realized how much I’ve missed the seasonal changes. Autumn with its' golden, red and orange colors, black-n-white winter with snow and now I'm waiting for spring with its' fresh green, yellow and blue sky! There were only 2 seasons in Cyprus: green-winter and grey-summer. Autumn and spring were so short that they were passing by unnoticed...

Where did you get the idea for your business and when did you get started?
Pretty soon upon arrival to Cyprus in 2007 I've discovered that it's a boring place and I need to entertain myself. Browsing the internet I've found some beautiful pictures of the beaded artworks. I've asked myself if I could become as good as those artists and decided to give it a try. Well, I can't stop ever since! In 2012 internet brought me another idea and I started tooling leather. These two directions became my favorites, I even combine them sometimes. Leather, beads and gemstones look so great together!

How did you come up with your brand name?
Actually my brand name is Gemsforall. It was created in 2008 when my website was born. I was in love with gems and wanted to share my passion with everyone. I've opened my shop on Etsy much later, in November 2012 and by that time I already had 2 passions, both gems and leather. So I couldn't keep the old name for my shop and many people already knew the name Gemsforall. That's why the shop's got the different name.

How did you start this passion?
I began with trees. Visiting my friend I've seen her making something pretty strange and ugly. I've asked her what it was and she told me it's gonna be a tree. She had explained me how she makes it and I've decided to try it myself because I wanted to understand if I can do it at all. Maybe I've got no talent (just like her), maybe it's too difficult and I should try something else instead... I've created several trees and understood that it's too easy and not as interesting as inventing something myself. At least I understood I can make stuff and should try making something "of my own". So, I've started my experiments and "invented my own techniques". I didn't bother to look for tutorials any more, I was "creating"... It felt great! I remember I was very proud once I've "invented" the peyote stitch... It sounds quite funny now, but back then it was serious to me.

What does it take to make one product?
Well, it depends on a product. If we're talking about some primitive thread with gemstones - it takes about 10 minutes. I know I could make much more money creating tons of this stuff within the time I spend on one of my creations but it's too boring for me. I prefer making one of a kind "wow!" things, it's not so profitable, but at least I make what I enjoy. I spend 1-2 weeks on most of my creations and each item I create is my favorite one until I finish it and start making something new.

Usually, I don't prepare any patterns/designs - my hands know what to do, they work simultaneously with my mind, that's why I can never copy-paste my own creation. Also I'm never sure what the result is going to be, unless it's a custom order. Sometimes I see my new ideas in a dream. Then, I need to wake up and draw a quick sketch, otherwise the idea will be lost. I've been through it several times waking up in the morning with the sad thought "I had such a good idea last night but what was it?!"

Which one is your best seller?
My best seller is the pattern for the rose I've created while I was making the rose for one of my projects. I didn't expect it to be that successful, however it forced me to create more tutorials (which I never made before).

How do people get in touch with you? Where do you sell? Do you have a site or blog?
My main online shop is on Etsy:

Also I've got my pages and

Recently I've opened one more online shop at Storenvy: - can't say anything about it yet, since it's too new and I didn't have time to list all my stuff yet.

My Craftsy shop is for the beading tutorials and patterns only:

I love working with beads, gemstones, fur, leather, wire, cabochons but I'm also open to anything new. If I see something interesting I'd like to try - 99,9% I'm gonna give it a try. So, I always learn something new and improve existing skills. My art will tell you much more than any words could...

My art is for the people who appreciate handmade designs and like "out of the box" solutions. Everyone who is interested to step out the crowd and be visible. My designs have got personality, so if you feel item's personality matches yours - come and get it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You won't get bored with this Squaring Movable Bookshelf

 Those of you who constantly want to change your home décor, you have an alternative to the classic bookshelves. Created by Korean designer Sehoon Lee, this set of wall boxes does the unexpected. The boxes are hinged together so that they can flex and move around to form different shapes. 

            Here is how it works.

See the video:

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to....Have fun by personalizing your T-shirt

You have a great T-shirt at home, but it’s not that great to wear it again? Don’t let the dust set on it. Change it, make it a totally new T-shirt. I promise people will envy you.
Vicci from First WordBird gives us some great advise about how to personalize your T-shirt.

You will need:
100% cotton colour T-shirt bleach
plastic stencil of your design
rubber gloves
spray bottle

1. Put 50% water & 50% bleach into spray bottle
Wet  the T-shirt trough, wring out the  excess water and find a well ventilated area to work.

2. Place the stencil onto the T-shirt and scrunch fabric around outside of stencil.

3. Spray the bleach mix over the design and all over the T-shirt. The colour will start to change quickly.

When you’re happy with the effect remove the stencil and place it into a bucket with fresh water and agitate. Then fill the bucket again, this time with a half of a cup of vinegar and leave it for about 2 hours.

4. Launder as usual and enjoy your cool new T.

See more cool hand painted T-shirts at First Word Bird