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Small Designs Magazine

Small Designs Magazine

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to make your own lotion - by Crafty Crave Store

Making lotion is a great way to save money and avoid chemicals that are bad for your skin. It is not very time-consuming and can be a fun way to release your creativity - by Crafty Crave Store

To start making lotion, you need a few basic ingredients. Cocoa butter and Shea butter are both moisturizers used in lotion. Cocoa butter has a strong chocolate scent. If you do not want this scent in lotion, buy deodorized cocoa butter.

You will also need an oil. Mineral oil is an inexpensive option for a light moisturizer. It can usually be found at pharmacies. Be sure to use plain mineral oil without other ingredients except preservatives. If you want a better moisturizer, use coconut oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, or other high quality oil. They can be found online or in health or vitamin stores.

In addition, you will need a liquid. Without this, the lotion would be too thick and greasy to use. For a simple lotion, use water. Otherwise, you can try other liquids in lotion. Make sure that you use liquids that will not rot in the lotion. If you have irritated skin, use green tea or white tea. For a calming scent, put one teaspoon of dried lavender in a tea infuser. Add one bag of chamomile tea and let both of these steep in hot water.
Finally, use scents and essential oils. These will give your lotion the scent you want. Try combining essential oils for a scent you like. You could try lavender and rose, peppermint and lime, or any other combination you like.

To make the lotion, you must measure ingredients exactly. For instance, if you add too much oil, the lotion will be thin and greasy. It is best to use a food scale. If you do not own one, you can also use a postage scale.

Measure two ounces of cocoa butter, one and a half ounces of shea butter, and 8 ounces of the oil of your choice. Put all of these in a medium saucepan. If you do not want to use a pot that you will cook in later, you can buy an inexpensive pot for lotion. Cook the ingredients on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butters are melted. Pour the liquid into a heat proof bowl. Place it in the refrigerator, stirring every thirty minutes, until it is the consistency of a thick paste. The reason for doing this is so that the cocoa butter and shea butter re-harden without separating from the oil.

Once the first mixture is ready, put it in the blender or food processor with one and a half cups of the liquid of your choice and the scents and oils. Blend them together, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. When the ingredients are combined, put the lotion in a jar or bottle.

Homemade Lotion Recipe
1.5 ounces shea butter
2 ounces cocoa butter
8 ounces oil
1.5 cups liquid

1. Cook the shea butter, cocoa butter, and oil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
2. Pour the mixture into a heat proof container and place in the refrigerator, stirring every thirty minutes until it is a thick paste.
3. Put the mixture in the blender or food processor with the liquid, scents, and oils. Blend, occasionally scraping the sides down, until it is combined. Put the lotion in jars.

For more handmade bath soaps and lotions visit Crafty Crave Store

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Unique handbags from Noa's Collection

Most women buy fashion items just because they are beautiful. But if you get quality, too, you will be twice as happy. Noa’s Collection brings you great quality leather handbags and beautiful items. The colors are vibrant and fun. The purses are a mix of Argentinian leather and Italian drawings. We put all this together and we have fashionable genuine leather handbags. I talked to Noa to find out how did she came up with these beautiful items.
Growing up in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina – Noa was charmed since a young age with her family’s passion for hand crafted leather designs. Now an adult, Noa embarks on a journey around to World to share that passion with you.

Noa’s Leather Collection brings to you unique designs featuring authentic World famous Argentinean leather, hand crafted locally with pride.
Noa’s family uses unrivaled techniques passed from generation to generation to hand craft your hand bags, wallets and accessories with great attention to details and style. Each becomes an individual work of art bringing to you a view into our lives, traditions and cultures: full of colors, joy, life and charms.

The cattle are naturally fed in the majestic open spaces of Argentina leading to the highest quality raw material with a distinct texture and scent. Noa's family  doesn't own cattle, but they buy leather from what in Argentina call Talabarterias.
"We choose soft and light color leathers for the prints to come out bright. Our leathers are very durable but light weighted.

A lot of people may not be aware that leather is a residual material that if we wouldn't use, it would go to waste, since the world consumes meat whether we like it or not.
Another hidden secret that modern life stylist may not know is, that a leather purse will last you a lifetime; unlike other purses made of synthetic leather or other non-natural materials may tear apart after a year and you need to replace it creating more trash and more waste. Noa's Collection is all about minimizing waste and preserving our planet." - Noa

Are the handbags printed or hand painted?
Having my family and grandparents come from Europe to Argentina escaping World War II they brought with them a ton of experience. My grandfather was a shoemaker, my father refined the work creating beautiful and unique design purses and companions. 
The leather goes through a process of printing before the hide is cut and the pieces are made. Since it is printed and not painted on the leather our customers enjoy the pattern and colors for years to come. The leather wears and becomes richer as we use the pieces but the colors remain the same. The colors do not chip, come off, smear or dry out. The coating that is used is very thin, like an onionskin, protecting the colors and the suppleness of the leather. These pieces do not need any treatment of any kind. Believe it or not you can wipe away small drops of water without creating marks or dark spots on the leather. It is a great product and because of the process it goes through the pieces became one of a kind; each piece is accented with flowers and many beautiful of colors.

Another unique highlight about our pieces, they are incredibly light. We have all had a leather purse that was from soft and rich leather but, was heavy and wore out our shoulders before adding any of our personal items. Well, Noa's Collection came to rectify that concept about the well-made high quality leather purse.
Our signature design pattern includes Dahlias, Forget me Nots, Morning Glories, Carnations, Hibiscus and many more beautiful flowers. From time to time we have limited edition pattern, such as our Victorian Flower, that is a pattern made only of roses and our Vintage Map, which is available in two colors, bone and caramel color. These maps were used in the past in Europe showing places from all around the globe. 

What type of items does the collection include?
Handcrafted and one of a kind handbags, wallets and accessories. All our pieces have the benefit of being long lasting, versatile, and durable, and compliment every color, from black and white to blues to reds to yellow and every color in between. Our products instantly dress up a simple outfit and are practical and lightweight to wear every day
Which one is your best seller?
Our bestselling items are our 3 zippered adjustable strap cross bodies. They have been our best seller since 2009 when Noa's Collection was first launch in Maui, Hawaii.

How do people get in touch with you? Where do you sell, online and offline?
You can find us on line at our official website, at our Etsy store: and now on Amazon.
Offline you can find us at selected boutiques around the US. Please visit:
Offline you can find us in the Little Italy Mercato in San Diego, California (best market of South California) where I myself receive and welcome our visitors and customers; and also in our many locations. Please visit:
Are you participating or managing any other project you would like to talk about?
We are preparing to launch our new website by the end of 2014.

Our mission is all about spreading the beauty of nature and its colors. Bringing that second of happiness and joy to women's everyday life. One of the things that I enjoy most while being the owner of Noa's Collection are the stories of our customers.
What I enjoy most of being part of Noa's Collection are the stories of our customers and meeting them.
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friends, but we can assure you that purses are a woman best friends.
My customers send me emails from far and away sharing their stories. We have a customer that would wear her Noa's purse on a snowy day in Alberta Canada. Another customer who said they had enjoyed Europe with Noa's cross body it was so practical for traveling. Another customer said she purchased her purse in Hawaii while on her honeymoon and every time she wears it, she is brought back to that happy and relaxing moment. [visit our Testimonials section:]

Owning a Noa's pieces is more than carrying a purse is a statement of who you are. All our customers are women that don't care about labels and brands. They care of authenticity and have that special item that they'll know its personal to them because no one else can have it. They are women who value Life for its uniqueness and enjoy every moment, women that appreciate color and understand the beauty of colors and Nature, such abstract concepts but yet so powerful and driven of happiness and joy in our lives. Not by chance all our customers are beautiful women, lovely ladies, fresh personalities, kind, genuine, beautiful souls, free spirited .. it is because this is who we are..
I would like to thank to all of the women, husbands, owners of boutiques, blog writers, Facebook visitors who continually support our work and our mission in life.

If you want to stay in touch with Noa and to see more of her handbags visit her Facebook page

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recycled materials turned into a work of art – Lula Dot

Have you ever though that a book could light up your room, and only your mind? Lucy Norman got the idea of creating a chandelier made completely out of books. But this is not her only invention. Lucy loves recycling and tries to create sustainable lights, furniture and jewellery from used materials. Many of her projects have dealt with the problem of waste. She has tackled this by reusing waste to create beautiful objects. This is how Lula Dot, Lucy’s company, was born. Lucy also works as freelance designer in London.
But who is Lucy Norman?

Lucy's designs explore the science and mechanics of the world. Her recent work has a focus on light and objects that explore its health benefits and beauty. Many of Lucy's projects centre on health, human awareness, and sustainability. Her company Lula Dot, started in 2009, is based in Hackney, London.
As I learnd from most of my interviews, passion for art of any kind runs usualy in the family. It’s Lucy’s case, too. Her mother is a photographer and her grandfather was an engineer. Lucy went futher and  graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2013 in Design Products MA. Her work was nominated for the Helen Hamlyn prize, the Eddie Mundy Brilliant Award and an NEWH Scholarship. In 2007 she graduated from the University of Brighton with a 1st Class Honours degree in Product Design BSc, winning the Engineering prize for best overall performance.

Lucy is also a genuine artist, not only by taking the best schools in the field, but also by the fact that she ofter dreams her ideas and she gets inspired by the world around her.

What does it take to make one product?

It's very diddicult creating new projects as I seem always to be held bac
by money.It takes a lot of ionvestment to create new 3Dimensional things. It costs to experiment . its always a big investment and a gamble.

Every project is different. It depends how the idea starts but there is a lot of experimentation, with processes, materials, finishes, shapes. etc

Please tell me the story behind the light reading chandelier. How did you come up with the idea?

 More books are printed every year, read and discarded. Even though many are taken to charity shops, they mostly go unsold and the charities have to pay for the books to be sent to landfill. For example 10,000 books a week from one charity will go to waste. There is currently no infrastructure set up to recycle the paper from books because the paper is low grade and the glue on the spine must be removed.

These wasted books are used to create an attractive chandelier. Every page is folded in half, producing a circular arrangement which hangs around a ceiling light.

With this project i started from the material. I did a lot of experimenting, playing and folding. The book ligt was actually just an off shoot from the main project which was book wall partitions:

Is there a piece that attracts people more?

People love Light Reading the most but my new project Sunsill gets a lot of interest:

What other projects do you have for the future?
I am also working on a new project with Lauren Davies (Designs of the year) which we plan to show in Milan Salone in April. The Magpie Collection, is a series of beautifully crafted glass bottles and containers for storing homemade cosmetics. Gold-mirrored designs on the glass surfaces reflect the light on one side, and cast shadows on the other, creating beautiful overlapping patterns.The Magpie Collection is completed with an elegant set of handheld tools for use with the containers including a spoon, spatula, sieve, funnel and bottle brush.

Lucy has exhibited her work at Marsden Woo Gallery, 100% Design in London, [Re]Design in Newcastle and London, Ditchling Museum in East Sussex, Colette in Paris, the Geffery Museum in London and with the RCA in Milan. Her work is currently on show at the Science Museum in London, The Wat Tyler Country Park in Essex and the Museum of Design in Plastics in Bournemouth.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

More than furniture - Resource Furniture

Your furniture - now you see it, now you don't.

It changes its shape for you to maximize your space. One object has two or more utility. A home furniture has never been used so smart before. 

Modern, modular and customizable, Resource Furniture has more than 40 models of wall beds, bunk beds, freestanding sofa/wall-bed systems, closet and storage systems, and work space solutions – all for kids, teens and adults.

See it for yourself :)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

How to decorate your house for Easter

Decorate your house with your own creative ideas.
All you need is a colored paper, scissors, a pen, time and patience. The result will be great.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Francoise Nielly – The art in all its color

Emotion, burst of colors, inspiration. Francoise Nielly plays with colours as in making a puzzle of vibrant closeup portraits. The French artist uses knives to paint her artwork as she seems to prefer the thick, clean brushstrokes created by them. Painting portraits is her speciality, although at the begining of her career she used to paint a whole body.

 I realized many male nude, and as one goes along I evolved. To choose between buildings, cars and the road, I chose people because they are alive.” – Francoise Nielly

She describes herself as being a silly person and serious at the same time. She is a passionate woman who loves life, wide open spaces, sushi, blue lagoons, the Internet, humor, books, Paris, New-york and Vancouver. Resolutely inscribed in her epoch, she is an accomplished artist ; 20 years of artistic expression explain the maturity of her work and the perfect mastery of her art.

As she grew up, Francoise had an artistic education. Her father influenced her whole life, being an architect. He taught her about architecture and the function of volumes. This is coupled with her studies at the Beaux arts and Decorative Arts, but the street art is what influenced her most in her career.

“I do not really like defining my art, I am not situated in a particular artistic movement. But if I have to give you an answer that would be Street art”.

“I was inspired by popular culture as my atelier is at Saint-Ouen, which is a neighbourhood in Paris with many graffiti artists. So, little by little I was attached by street art. I meet a lot of great painters, who have definitely influenced me subconsciously, but I have never attempted to copy anyone”.

The way she paints is very energetic, since painting keeps her alive, Francoise Nielly says.
“There is something too hard and sad about life for me, so I indulge on colors and put all my energy into the art of painting. It is interesting for me to play with fluorescent colours as they are really strong whilst constructing in an almost architectural sense, portraits that hit the spot without distorting the image too much”.

Although Paris is the city of artists, Francois says she isn’t really inspired by it. For her is a just romantic city, where she can sit on a terrace and meet friends.

Francoise also painted several celebrities. However her wish is to paint normal people, rather than celebrities, except for when it is commissioned work. She also makes customed artwork. If anyone would like to be painted by her, should go to her atelier and meet the artst.

A painting is born when Francoise finds a model. She takes him or her in her studio, takes a photo and the paining begins.
“I paint in the oil. Coats overlaps. Then cuttings by moment. It takes 2 to 3 days for a painting”.

Is there a piece that attracts people more?
People follow pleasantly my evolution. There is interest for all the paintings, but my public likes more the color than the black and the white.

 “Art does not know any boundaries”

Francoise Nielly collaborated with various fashion designers and companies to bring them her colored touch.
The multicolored car from Citroen - A representation of the energy of the technology Full electric.

Francoise Nielly also collaborated with Snowboard Giants Burton in the launch of a new collection Lipstick Limited kind in autumn, 2010. This collection was the most surprising and the most explosive at the level of colors.

Fran├žoise Nielly was chosen by Orly, the brand of nail polish, to create a painting in honor of Jeff Pink.

IRM Design and Fracoise Nielly made their first collection ready-to-wear clothing spring summer 2012.
Francoise Nielly realized Nicolas Degennes's portrait on the occasion of the launch of the make-up collection Givenchy „Arty Color”.

You can admire and buy Francoise Nielly’s paintings on and

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Make Bath Salts

A great "How to" tutorial from Crafty Crave shop.

Bath salts are easy and affordable to make. They take few ingredients and are perfect for relieving sore muscles and softening skin.

The ingredients you will need for bath salts are Epsom salts, baking soda, salt, and fragrances or essential oils. You can try adding special salts, such as pink Himalayan salts, to make the bath salts better.
Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, can usually be found in health stores or pharmacies. This ingredient soothes sore muscles and cleans your skin. Baking soda softens skin. It can also help to It is widely available. It is used in small amounts in bath salts. Salt is an excellent skin cleaner. It is very inexpensive and is only used in small amounts in bath salts. It is usually best to use soothing scents in bath salts.

To make the bath salts, first get an 8 oz. jar. Add two tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of salt. Add your fragrance. Four to six drops should be enough. Stir well, making sure that the fragrance is well incorporated. Next, add ¾ cup of Epsom salts and shake well. If you are adding any special salts, substitute some of the Epsom salts for these.

Store the bath salts in a cool, dry place. Use 1/3 of a jar per bath.

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp salt
3/4 cup Epsom salts
4-6 drops fragrance or essential oil
1. Mix the salt, baking soda, and fragrance together well.
2. Add the Epsom salts and shake well.
3. Store in a cool, dry place and use 1/3 jar per bath.