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Color Me Pretty

Hello it’s Leslie again with one last holiday series for you to share. This time around I wanted to work with white, varying shades of turquoise and a touch of silver. I find this simple holiday palette very calm, soothing and easy to do because I already use these colors in my home decor. It is nice to incorporate a holiday theme into the colors you already use, creating a much simpler approach to holiday decorating.

Color Me Pretty

I couldn’t help but use a little Martha Stewart glitter this year on some of my gift tags! I made black and white copies of some post cards and then painted glue on with a brush and glittered away in small sections. I let each section dry before applying the next. It made it quite quick by working on a few tags at a time. I cut out the tags using a plain tag as a tracing outline.

Color Me Pretty

Scanning in some of my turquoise fabrics to create patterned paper for wrapping was simple and fun. As well, instead of buying white wrapping paper I used the back (white) side of some colored wrapping paper for my gifts and I found some left over graph paper that worked well with the palette.

Color Me Pretty

I want to thank you for being such warm and welcoming readers. I started out here very, very nervous six months ago and you really have helped keep me inspired. I am truly grateful, thank you. I will be taking a short break from this column in the new year to help Holly teach her Blogging Your Way e-class. I will be back in March though, to resume Color Me Pretty on a once a month schedule.

Color Me Pretty

Until March, Happy Holidays and all my very best to you in 2010. – xo, Leslie

(images: leslie shewring)


Posted in Color Inspiration, Color Me Pretty on December 21, 2009

Farewell For Now…

At last the December vacation period has arrived and all I feel is this hush over the land… and then, a whisper… and it is teasing me to go and visit the world of the living breathing humans that exist offline, beckoning me to enjoy the sensory pleasures of freshly fallen snow and visual wonders of the beautiful outdoor festivals and how magical the forest looks and feels this time of the year. Branches snapping underfoot, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, the tickle of snowflakes on my face… physical pleasures that are only experienced fully when one has time to be still and live in the moment knowing that emails, voice mails and text messages do not need to be answered, at least for two whole weeks.


A free pass to absolute freedom, to be careless and carefree. These are the final two weeks of the year that I start to look forward to in mid October as everything begins to slowly feel so noisy and saturated… and by this time, fully saturated and all-in-caps loud. It’s time to turn down, tune out, dig in. To have two weeks off feels grand, like someone just handed me a winning lottery ticket.

I’m only taking off for two weeks, but in case you do not have the luxury, I’ve prepared a little something for you each day until I am back full-time. Here is how the schedule will look: On Monday the lovely Leslie returns with Color Me Pretty. Then Tuesday-Friday I’ll post a link to something or someone nice online that may inspire you. The following week, the last week of December, you can visit again for one post a day featuring something pretty and inspirational to enjoy. Mostly visuals with links, nothing fancy or time consuming for you because honestly, I want to set an example and encourage you to take a bit of a break from the web too. If you can. It’s so refreshing once you return to it all in January… you will be better for it.

And how about you, will you take off? What are your plans? I cannot wait for these few weeks to relax and refresh as I unplug and spend moments with those I love in my new country and culture. And as a result from this special time away, I can charge my creative batteries for the wonderful year ahead, which is suddenly a blank slate before me, soon to be filled with much hope and opportunity. You must be feeling the same.

And of course I cannot sign off until January 4th without saying thank you for a lovely 2009, all of you, for every kindness, comment, email, tweet, blog post, newspaper article, magazine mention, cards, gifts, and all the other reminders that I am not alone, that what I am doing matters to you as much as it does to me, and that you truly care from your heart about me as a person and aren’t here merely to eat and run (grab content and move on) but you take time to stay awhile, comment, interact with others who comment, this is all so touching. This kindness and encouragement matters to me deeply, on some days when I felt like writing nothing at all, a card would arrive or an email expressing heartfelt sentiments and I would feel inspired to sit before my computer and write. I even appreciate the not-so-lovely comments and emails, the ones where you remind me to remain humble, to keep it real, and to polish some of the not-so-shiny parts of my personality because well, a good friend should be there to remind us of these things too. So thank you for all of it. Thank you for a truly meaningful year.

See you on Monday, well… Leslie will see you anyway with another installment of Color Me Pretty and a special announcement from her to all of you.

xo, Holly

Posted in uncategorized on December 18, 2009

Shop Tour: Furbish in Raleigh

I thought today you may like to hear a little tale of a blogger with a vision. This is an inspirational journey that a small business owner embarked on based solely on her passion for decorating and determination to help others create beautiful spaces, the same spaces that she creates and is inspired by when she reads her favorite magazines and peruses the blogs of her fellow writers. Meet Jamie Meares, a blogger, decorator and new shop owner of Furbish in Raleigh, North Carolina. And when I say new, I mean it — she opened on November 21st!


I heard about Jamie’s work through Michelle Smith who took the time to write to me recently singing the praises of Furbish and this creative shop owner. Jamie authors the blog, I Suwannee, where she has been writing since January 2007. Through I Suwannee, she started working on e-decorating projects for her readers who were looking for help purchasing and arranging things in their homes. Jamie then did what few have the courage to, she left her full-time “stable” day job to take the ride of a lifetime – and threw herself straight into decorating full-time. Now think for a moment, you are Jamie, could you imagine yourself taking such a risk? It takes a lot to jump into a new career but when one feels the heart strings pulling, and you suddenly find yourself surrounded by clients asking you to jump ship to work with them instead, well I assume the answer is obvious. This is what I find so encouraging, though it is risky and not for everyone, but if an opportunity presents itself in a field of work that you’ve dreamed of entering, then why not?


And her success story continues – she decided Raleigh needed a little more of her design sensibility in their city since her clients requested furniture and accessories that were not of the mainstream variety, rather those that came from the larger, more affluent design hubs like New York and Atlanta. And this is where we will begin my interview with Jamie, she’ll be telling you more about her shop and decorating practice…

Holly: So Jamie, tell everyone what your store is called and what ultimately made you open it?

Jamie: My shop is called Furbish and I decided to open it to fill a niche in Raleigh for the younger set who wants one-of-a-kind painted furniture that’s a little more sexy and edgy that what was currently being offered here (think cottage, shabby chic, distressed white beach house pieces — that’s about all there was).

Holly: Many shop owners I’ve met can trace their shop ownership dreams all the way back to their front year lemonade stands… have you always wanted to have a store too?

Jamie: Yes! I’d always had a dream to open a little store, so the time was right – I found the perfect building with a great, sunny, window-lined upstairs for retail, and a huge basement for a workshop/storage for my furniture.


Holly: When someone visits Furbish, what can they expect to find?

Jamie: I’ve filled the store with my favorite vintage pieces of furniture, new accessories and lighting, artwork from a local painter, my collection of ‘treasures’ accumulated from years of thrifting, ebaying, etc. For example, lots of vintage decanters, kilim rugs, floral dishes, retro glassware, pillows made from vintage fabric. Rowdy, my schnauzer, works with me and he has a select offering of locally made dog collars he oversees.

Holly: And you are a decorator, can you explain how this works?

Jamie: I also offering decorating services out of the store, and that’s done really well.  I have my desk right out in the middle of the retail space, with big inspiration boards hanging behind it – and I think it makes approaching an interior decorator, something a lot of my customers would never consider, to be a much more attainable, approachable thing… They’ll sit down at my desk and we’ll talk through an issue they’re having and bam! they’re working with a decorator.


Holly: That is a very clever marketing strategy! I like it! What do you charge for your services?

Jamie: My rates are very affordable – $75 per hour, and I’ll come over and do in-home consultations for just 1 hour. I’ve had lots of boyfriends and husbands buying gift certificates for this service for Christmas. Sometimes ladies just like to have a second pair of eyes to help size a room up, offer suggestions, move stuff around – and it’s pretty amazing what we can accomplish in as little as one hour together in their home.


Holly: I also heard about your plans to teach classes in-store, can you tell us more about this?

Jamie: Yes, that’s right — I also plan to teach a class once a month in the store. We started last week with Tablescapes a la David Hicks style, and that was lots of fun. It got ladies in the store shopping, and I got a few new decorating clients.


Holly: Congratulations on transforming a dream into your reality — your story is an inspiration to many and I wish you a happy and successful 2010, and thank you so much for visiting all of us today on decor8. :)

(images: jamie meares)

Posted in Shop Tours on December 18, 2009

Thank You London Times

Thanks London Times for the mention!

Posted in uncategorized on December 18, 2009


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