Monthly Archives

February 2009


Craving Spring

February 23, 2009

I have crazy Spring fever! New Hampshire takes forever to thaw out so I’m not inspired by the weather lately, it’s been a real downer. Perhaps in your part of the world you are already seeing signs of Spring but not here. Poor me. It has everything to do with my childhood because I grew up in low country South Carolina and find winters in New England particularly hard to deal with. I thought it would get better the longer I lived here but sadly it seems to get worse. Winters in New Hampshire begin beautifully, almost poetic… the first snow, fantastic snow angels are made, photos are taken of red barns with fresh glistening powder on rooftops. Then the snow turns to ice followed by (or along with) dark gray slush. Daily vacuuming and mopping is the norm. Hours or even days when the power is out or we cannot leave due to the ice rink that is our driveway. The farms that I love to shop, the ones with the finches and peonies and fresh produce, are closed for the season. Life takes a much needed pause at first, which is wonderful post holidays, but then the pause slips into a deep sleep, then a coma. I love New England but what’s a girl to do?

To lift the mood I have all sorts of tricks I play on myself in order to “deal” (yes, I just used air quotes), things that I have to practice regularly in order to avoid turning into a bitter lump of depression. I buy flowers weekly, mostly from stores like Trader Joe’s but occasionally I’ll order them from my florist friend who frequents the Boston flower markets and brings me the most delightful bunches at wholesale. Over the weekend I ordered flowers from Martha Stewart online because I had a coupon and felt like celebrating my new writing assignment. They’ll be delivered tomorrow so expect a few review of Martha’s flowers to follow on Wednesday!

To further inspire me, I sometimes hit local shops that energize like privately owned stores and of course J Crew and Anthropologie, which I hit this weekend because it just feels good to see Spring merchandise and displays. I hung out for an hour at Winston’s this weekend to enjoy the plants and flowers, though I cannot imagine paying $60 for a tiny bouquet of roses I still appreciate such a beautiful store and the gorgeous colors and fragrances there. It’s such an escape! A new CD also always helps, or I pull out some old tunes and make a new playlist on iTunes that energizes me. Hitting the gym also helps, something I’ve become more regular at thanks to the Creative Series I’m writing on Thursdays. I’ve been doing a lot writing, researching, and checking off tasks from my must do list so I do feel like this Winter has been very productive but goodness do I ever need a little sunshine, a walk on the beach, a few chirping birds! Until I can hop in the car with my camera and head to the shore, I’m enjoying a virtual Spring from pretty photos online that give me a little brain boost, from the blogs that I read to the websites that I find of professional photographers who work for some of my favorite magazines.

Speaking of, and in case you missed her link in my previous post, I thought I’d quickly highlight the work of photographer Debi Treloar. She gives me my virtual Spring today. I’ve mentioned her before but you really should visit her online portfolio for beautiful afternoon eye candy! Eye candy isn’t all about looking at something with desire or to simply feed the senses, it’s also a great way to escape and create an alternate reality for yourself that you can for just a moment pretend that exists in your own world like a warm sunny day, an outdoor party with friends, a fresh picked bouquet from the backyard.

When winter starts to weigh you down, what do you do to cope?

(photography by debi treloar)

Books + Magazines

Recycled Home {Book of the Week}

February 23, 2009

After several days of research with my head buried in books I thought today would be a great time for a book review since one in particular comes to mind that I know you’ll love. With 250 photographs and 160 pages of inspiration, Recycled Home written by Mark & Sally Bailey and photographed by Debi Treloar is honest and surprisingly fresh given that so many books have been dedicated to recycling in the past that I wasn’t sure what to expect. Mark & Sally share their unique eye for the abandoned and unloved, their passion for the simple and well made along with their love of home restoration, architecture, and stripped-back simplicity is evident page after page. This talented couple encourages us to abandon preconceived ideas about the purpose of things and to think of the home as a place to experiment with new ideas. Would you like a glimpse of what you can expect?

Recycled Home features rooms from around Europe including Mark & Sally’s restored home in England. Chapters cover storage, walls & floors, display, textiles, lighting, tones & textures and elements and then continue by breaking down sections by room from kitchens to bathrooms, bedrooms and work spaces.

This book is practical in this economy, thinking about what we own already and how we can use it differently is a fun, creative exercise but also very good for the wallet. After reading about their many finds I felt encouraged to return to my roots and spend days at junk shops and outdoor sales searching for an inexpensive treasure that simply needs a little love. I jumped in my car this past weekend and found myself in a delightful little antique store in Concord, MA this weekend digging through gorgeous Victorian wedding cards, vintage illustrations from French children’s books, and antique letter holders from England alongside of my husband who found Longfellow’s complete poems published in 1877, Poems of Goethe from 1874, translated to English by Edgar Alfred Bowring and Heinrich Heine’s complete works, 7 volumes, in German, published in 1898.

Recycled Home is $29.95 at Anthropologie and in your local book store but you can buy it on Amazon for only $19.

(images from holly becker for decor8, all links are affiliate links since I have an Amazon store.)


New Contributor at Cookie Magazine

February 23, 2009

I have some exciting news to share today! I’m pleased to announce that I’m now a contributor at Cookie magazine (online). I’m quite excited because I wasn’t sure what to do when Domino folded so the timing is perfect. It’s funny to think that the same girl who wrote a Cookie mag review 3 years ago is now writing for them. I’ve been a fan of their publication from the start so I’m happy to be part of their crew.

I’ll be contributing to Nesting and producing a monthly Home Tour in their Home Decorating section. I feel that now I can give in fully to my obsession with all things cute and share kid’s rooms and products on a regular basis. Yay!

I guess this means only one thing for you… If you have children and you’d love to show parts of your home at Cookie please contact me for a possible feature: holly AT To get a feel for what their home tours look like please visit this link.

(image from Bodie & Fou – Wallpaper Tick Tock, perfect for the kid’s room!)

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