OK, let's talk fabric. Yay! I'm so glad you asked. There are two fabric designers I love so much that I regularly check for their newest releases, because their work is often released in short runs and then is so hard to find, grr.
Heather Ross creates whimsical, sweet patterns with waifish mermaids, tiny snails, and--best of all--fairy tale characters. Her Far Far Away collections are so special. Here is a taste of her work...
Look closely, and you'll notice that these prints feature the owl and the pussycat, Rapunzel in her tower, and a very cranky princess atop a stack of mattresses (with no pea in sight!). So cute... but not cloying or cartoonish. And not even too juvenile, since you have to look closely to notice that these are fairytale prints. She usually uses very soft muted colors, which I find easy to work into my decor or wear. Her designs are printed in Japan by KOKKA. They often use fabric with a nubby, linen-like texture that makes her fabrics even more interesting. I adore her work!
Next, Anna Maria Horner (who designed the fabric on my headboard) designs a bright, bold mix of floral and geometric prints. Often she seems inspired by the art deco era, mixing geometric lines with swirling flourishes. Of all her designs, these are my favorite. Most of her prints are on a large scale, and they make a BIG statement. If you're using an Anna Maria Horner design for home decor, you might only want to use one of her prints in a room. But for quilts and clothing, her fabrics mix beautifully. Also, I should mention that she lives in Nashville (I am biased; I love EVERYONE from Nashville!), and she writes an adorable blog.
You can find their fabrics in Nashville at Textile Fabrics. Otherwise, I like perusing fabrics at Hawthorne Threads. They have a shop by color feature that helps me pull together creative combinations I might never have considered.
Next, the OTHER question... Stay tuned!