My obsession du jour is “The Himmeli!” This organic, geometric sculpture is named from the Swedish word ‘himmel’ meaning sky or heaven. Ever since I saw the artistic mobiles hanging in a J.Crew in SoHo, I find myself dreaming of simple and minimalist metals.  Originally built with stalks of straw grown from the prior years harvest, the designs would be prominently displayed in the main room of a cottage. It was thought that “the larger the himmeli crafted, the more prosperous the following season’s crop.”

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor

One purveyor of these unique Scandinavian designs particularly stands out. Meet Melissa from Gran Rapids, Michigan of HRUSKAA (pronounced Her-oo-shh-ka). Her favorite materials include straw, string, linen, leather and wood. Each of Melissa’s original designs are influenced by the pure simplicity of Scandinavian styling and are made for medium to small scaled spaces. 

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Copper Himmeli Wreath / Modern Geometric Wall Sculpture

Above, the perfectly faceted 22″ wreath inspired from the himmeli changes visual perspective from every angle, playing off its clever lines. It casts a beautiful geometric pattern on the wall when the light is just right, truly a sculptural piece of art to admire.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupBrass Himmeli Wall Prism no. 1 / Modern Geometric Ornament / Air Plant Hanger 

An unconventional air plant vase hangs out casually and seamlessly with frames, antlers, and other forest creatures. It is perfectly sized to hold a Tillandsia, [aka. air plant] for display.  Hand sewn from solid brass straw and nylon cord, the metal is ‘bright’ but will naturally oxidize and darken over time.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor
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The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The Walkup
Does it get any more white and clean than the Himmeli no. 6?
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There is no better way to celebrate the Winter Solstice and to pay homage to the seasons!

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Meet & Greet – Elisheva

Hook n’ Loop Design is a studio for modern and minimalist home-ware with just a dash of whimsy and a high-dose of functionality, making the items perfect for uncompromising trendsetters.  Elisheva Manekin, the founder and product designer for the studio, is inspired by living in a small space (her family caravan).

Hook N LoopDesign - Meet Elisheva Manekin

Her studio arose from the need for versatile design that does the job well and can then be stored flatly, easily and space-efficiently. Even though that “modern and minimal” usually means a lot of black and white, the studio appreciates pops of color.

Her designs are effortless, and can be mix and matched!

  • Name: Elisheva Manekin
  • Location: A small (70 families) community in a very rural part of Israel, in the south, called Shekef, about an hour from Tel Aviv.
  • Job: Industrial designer and owner of Hook n’ Loop Design
  • Age: 32

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Elisheva of Hook N Loop Design

EAT: There are no local restaurants nearby (although we do have a pizzeria) BUT because this is an agricultural area of mostly vineyards, there is a sort of truck stop. It belongs to my neighbor. Basically every morning he sets out to a nice opening in one of the fields by the main road with a small house shaped trailer attached to his truck. He makes the best Hummus ever! He also sells Shakshuka (an Israeli dish with eggs and tomato sauce that you scoop up with Pita) and Sabich (hardboiled eggs and eggplant with hummus in a Pita). Everything he makes is very fresh, often spicy and always delicious.

Elisheva of Hook N Loop Design

SEE: Because we live in a remote area, we do a lot of driving. My husband and I are originally from Jerusalem, so we visit our parents there a lot. The city recently renovated the train tracks that used to go through the city into a park (similar to The High Line in Chelsea, NY). We love to go there with our two children (5 year old boy /3 year old girl) and ride our bikes. At the end of the park they renovated the old station with cafes and a small organic market. They often have outdoor shows – it’s really lovely.

Elisheva of Hook N Loop Design

SHOP: I absolutely love bakeries! My favorite bakery would be one called Lechamim (לחמים means breads in Hebrew) – they make the best everything! I think they recently opened a branch in NYC – so you should definitely check it out.

Elisheva of Hook N Loop Design

DO: I have to say, what I honestly enjoy the most is watching TV. I catch all the shows from the USA online, and Project Runway is definitely a favorite. Magazines come next – anything design related – from Elle Décor UK to Domino to Marie Claire Maison.

Elisheva of Hook N Loop Design
INSPIRE: I love solving problems with design. Most of my ideas come from problems I have in my own life at home – mainly lack of space. I think about new products all of the time, and literally can’t sleep until I figure it out.
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Elisheva knows the feeling of finding something you love, and getting excited about having people over to show them your new purchase. She hopes you’ll find something to obsess over at Hook n’ Loop Design! Drop her line. 
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Bears Eat Berries

Prepare yourself to be swept away in a cloud of Washi tape, gentle, dusty color palettes, Kraft paper, and minimalist silhouettes…say hello to Laura Wentzel of Bears Eat Berries – Design & Letterpress Studio. My first inclination when I came across Laura’s whimsical and simple design via Etsy was to swoon, and immediately after that I giggled. Then, I was envious of her hair…she has that perfect, tousled, highlighted-by-nature-the-sun-and-lemons sort of vibe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

A graphic designer by trade, Laura’s work is recognized by its clean typography, graphic illustrations, nature-inspired patterns, and folk motifs. She also works on an honest-to-god-half-ton printing press from 1911. In case you weren’t around for that great year, it was a big year in mechanics – in fact, Henry Ginaca invented the “Ginaca Machine” that automated the peeling and coring of pineapples. Huge.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Also, as a happy coincidence (or maybe kismet), in that same year, Arizona was admitted as the 48th State in the Union called the USA. Bears Eat Berries happens to be located in southwest Arizona, therefore this was all meant to be! Circuitous logic? Maybe.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Name: Laura Wentzel
Location: Phoenix Valley of Arizona
Job: Owner & Designer of Bears Eat Berries
Age: 29

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

EAT: Gallo Blanco in downtown Phoenix. It’s set in the ground floor of a funky midcentury era hotel and is furnished with eclectic furniture and decor. Overall it has a very funky vibe. It’s also the first restaurant my husband and I tried when moving to the southwest! Gallo Blanco tries to source locally and places a lot of emphasis on simple Mexican-inspired dishes. Before dinner you can bring your drinks to the poolside or climb to the rooftop for an amazing Phoenix skyline view.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SEE: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West School. It was his architectural school (still in operation) and winter home which sits at the brow of a mountain in North Scottsdale. Wright designed the nature-inspired complex in tune with its desert surroundings. It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the valley, especially at sunset.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

SHOP: I love perusing Ultimate Consignment in Phoenix. It’s a huge warehouse filled with consigned and vintage items where you can find absolutely anything from a hammer to a handbag. I just recently scored two vintage tweed green office chairs there!

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

DO: Hiking and exploring the southwest. My husband and I just moved here about a year ago and we love driving out in the desert to discover new towns, mountains and the ever-changing landscape. I love spotting a line of quails cross the street and the occasional roadrunner.

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

INSPIRE: I’m inspired by children’s picture books, Japanese design, traditional folk motifs from around the world, and any great use of white/negative space. Throughout my life I have been drawn outdoors, so nature-themes play a role in many of my design.

Laura Wentzel featured by The WalkupFrom a business perspective, Laura set up Bears Eat Berries studio to offer various price points so that a wide range of customers can enjoy them. Isn’t that nice of her? She offers single cards which are priced to compete with normal retail stores (why go to CVS, Walgreens, or Duane Reade, when you can support a local artist?) and she offers custom and personalized products for those who want something extra special – like for a wedding, or business card, ahem?

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I came across Bears Eat Berries while looking for letterpress (I’m a sucker for texture and hand-mixed inks) Thank You cards for my bridal shower. Immediately her craftsmanship was obvious – the cotton paper, the simple yet, bold design, the odes to nature – oh to be a symbol pressed into one of Laura’s clever cards! Think of all the joy you’d bring to your [                    ]. 

Want to send someone you love (father, mother, sister, cousin, BFF, long lost twin, pen-pal, mistress, step-son, pirate, actor) a clever, old-fashioned note? Now you CAN. Enter to win these woodland animals saying hello! Perfect to send a friendly hello. 

Laura Wentzel featured by The Walkup

Each set of twelve letterpress woodland animal hello cards includes coordinating kraft brown envelopes with two of each animal (fox, bear, hedgehog, rabbit, deer, squirrel). Original illustration and printed by hand on an antique printing press on thick, luxurious 100% cotton paper.

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