FAVE: Sweet Paul Magazine

29 11 2011

Last year ago I wrote about discovering http://www.magcloud.com, a self-publishing site. I was recently browsing the lifestyle magazine offerings and stumbled onto Sweet Paul Magazine, a publication based on Paul Lowe’s very successful blog of the same name. His blog was ranked 22nd in the London Times Top 50 Best Design Blogs. Lowe started as a florist and eventually became a food and prop stylist. Originally from Oslo, he now lives and works in New York City.

There are seven issues, beginning with the spring 2010 issue, available for online viewing free or you can purchase a printed version from magcloud.com here. You can also download the pdf version free from magcloud.com. The digital version includes both the pdf and iPad formats. Open a free account with magcloud.com to view or purchase publications.

MagCloud is not just for professional publishers! It is a great way to publish personal publications such as calendars, recipe books, a family reunion recap, art or photography portfolios, or a vacation travelogue, for example. It’s also less expensive than publishing a hard cover book. At just .20 cents a page for the standard size, a 48-page full-color magazine would cost you $9.60 (plus shipping charges) for each issue (compared to $28.95 for a softcover book at blurb.com—for a page count from 41-80 total). No, it’s not a book you’ll get from magcloud.com, but I can attest to the quality of the paper and the printing. As long as your layout program allows you to output to a high resolution pdf file, you’re golden! And remember, the total number of pages in your file, including the covers, must be evenly divisible by 4 (graphic design speak here). The standard size publication is 8.5 x 11 (and bleeds are allowed), but they just introduced a half size “digest” that measures 5.5 x 8.5.

I’m working on a magazine publication for my photography exhibit in spring 2012 and will be trying my hand at publishing on this site. I’ve purchased sample magazines from the site before and the quality is stellar and very reasonably priced. The best part? You can order as little as one copy of your publication! I wrote in detail about this print-on-demand site on this blog in July 2010 here and in January 2010 here. Oh, and another plus—you can actually sell your publication from the site. When you finish that reunion recap, send your relatives to the link and make them pay for their copy (bonus: you can make it available “at cost” plus shipping or mark up the price and pocket the rest for your efforts).

View the winter 2011 issue on his site here:


On the left side of the site, you can click on “back issues” to view the other six publications. It’s well worth the browsing time. His first publication was 74 pages long; subsequent issues run up to nearly 200 pages long! It is full of beautiful photography and page layout, fun crafts, entertaining tips, recipes, and decorating ideas. I think he’s giving Martha Stewart a run for her money (at least attempting to!).

Sharing a little link love…

1 08 2011

Sculptor/lighting artist David Wiseman creates some of the most beautiful home accessories I’ve ever seen. Look at his ceiling art here, a beautiful copper fireplace screen here and lovely branch-inspired lighting here. I’m even partial to his whimsical “collage chandelier” with its chain-woven spider web here.

Johnny Swing creates the most amazing furniture out of unexpected materials—glass jars, windshields and my favorite—coins. I love the “Quarter Chair,” made of 1,200 quarters! I would imagine you would want to keep this piece indoors—can’t you just imagine how hot it would get on a scorching summer day? Take a look at the “Nickel Couch,” made of approximately 7,000 nickels!

Corey Frye‘s blog, A French Frye in Paris, will take you on the journey of a 33-year-old New Yorker who married a Parisian girl, then headed for France in early 2010. He prose is witty and lively and the accompanying photos are wonderful. He takes you along on field trips all around the city, sharing history, romance, little-known facts, and funny stories about learning how to speak French with his in-laws and other extended family. I subscribe to his blog and every time he writes, I long to be in Paris!

On the arts & craft front: When I’m on a sewing binge, I frequently check out the new projects on www.sew4home.com. The projects are all relatively easy—a plus when you have multiple hobbies and never enough time to encompass them all. And on the subject of sewing, check out fiber artist Miyuki Sakai‘s amazing work here. She’s not your average illustrator—her drawing medium is thread! Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Country Home, Vogue, Seventeen and other magazines. She shares her secret: a portable straight stitch sewing machine, ordinary cotton blend fabric, extra ordinary sewing thread and magic hands. I’ll say!

And finally, I’d like to build one of these on a tiny bit of land (preferably with a view, or on a lake, or near the water) in each of the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, Washington state and Texas. I would then fly between each of those states, visiting to photograph each area in the best weather conditions and peak blooming times. I realize that I can’t store thousands of books in one of these (hmmm….but I could build a separate one just to house a library (and gardening tools…and photography equipment…and craft supplies…and…)! Designer Jay Schafer sells plans for houses ranging from 65 square feet (!) to 837 square feet (and some are even portable).

My GardenMuse blog has been Freshly Pressed today!

27 01 2011

Each weekday WordPress selects about ten new blog posts for the “Freshly Pressed” section of the WordPress.com homepage. According to WordPress: These posts represent how WordPress can be used to entertain, enlighten, or inspire. Getting promoted to Freshly Pressed is a major traffic win because WordPress.com receives a high volume of page views. And, we have a feed set up so people can subscribe to Freshly Pressed. Why do we do all this? It’s our way of saying we like you. We really like you.

I awoke this morning to more than a dozen comments on my garden blog, http://www.gardenmuse.wordpress.com. Several of the lovely visitor comments ended with either, “congrats on the feature” or “congrats on being FP.” FP? What is an FP? Then I realized they were congratulating me on being “Freshly Pressed.” I went directly to the main WordPress.com homepage and voila! I had been Freshly Pressed. Thanks for making my day, WordPress!

Check out my first paid blogging assignment!

1 07 2009

A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled, “Got the Blues?” for Bloomin’ Blog, an online florist’s newsletter. All the photos, excluding the poppy image, are mine as well. The link to my newsletter contribution is below:


Special thanks to Jamie, editor and webmaster of the Bloomin’ Blog, for contacting me and being such a pleasure to work with. I’m planning on submitting articles on event photography for their sister company, Wedding and Party Network.