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Present & Correct

Present & Correct always has something to love with all their retro fabulousness. I love the idea of using vintage lunch trays as desk organizers — I remember those things so clearly and how we had pink ones at our school. What color were your school lunch trays?

Present & Correct

I also remember how insane my classmates were about pizza day. And it’s funny because years later I had this déjà vu moment at work when a colleague came over to my desk and said, “Hey Hols, it’s buffalo chicken wrap day, we’ve gotta get over to the caf before they sell out”. I remember feeling like I was 10 years old again on pizza day. Funny how the more things change the more they stay the same, isn’t it?

(photos: present & correct)

Posted in Shopping + Products on March 15, 2010

Good Morning Monday!

Good morning and happy Monday to you! It’s a new week and with that we have the possibility of new beginnings. My week will be crazy, as I will be on the radio (FFN) and in the April issue of Myself magazine that will hit newsstands on Wednesday (3/17) and I’m excited (and a bit anxious!) about both! I also have several meetings concerning two projects I’m working on that I can’t wait to share with you — I think I’ll be able to announce one later this week and the other possibly next week. The news is quite big so I’m eager to share it.


By the way, these are the forsythia branches from last week (remember this post?). I decided to place them in a vintage ceramic vase and hang ceramic acorns from them. Here it’s common to have these branches in the home this time of the year with eggs hanging from them. I decided to do my own thing and change it up a bit.

Also, in case you’ve been wondering, we’ve not found a place to live yet but I’m hoping to have good news in the months ahead because living full-time in a vacation apartment in two rooms is a challenge with both my husband and I working from home. Thankfully we get along well – but space is really an issue! I also feel ready now to start replacing all of my furniture that I sold to move over from the states. I had some nice mid century pieces and a beautiful sofa and well — lots of things that I miss! And while IKEA is great, my current apartment was only meant to be for our vacations here so I filled it with rather inexpensive finds at first but now that I’m here full-time I want some vintage pieces again, and a really comfy deep sofa…. and wallpaper and drapes! I’m ready to plan and decorate a space as I feel as though we’re still in limbo. I have 50% of my belongings still in the cellar which is also a problem — I don’t want my art and books and everything else to get musty so we’re eager to move. The excitement of finding a nice flat though is thrilling — you know, the thrill of the hunt!

Right. So that’s how things are for me. What about you? How is everything going?

(image: holly becker)

Posted in uncategorized on March 15, 2010

Happy Weekend!

This weekend I plan to chill… relax, restore, refresh because I have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks and so I plan to enjoy this down time as much as possible. What about you — what do you have going on and what will you do this weekend?

Good Mail Day

In addition to errands and the usual stuff, I will devote an evening to magazine and book reading along with journaling as this is a great thing to do for those of us who are online a lot. It helps to put thoughts into writing and pictures on paper. Do you journal? I highly suggest it. I’ve been keeping one since I was a little girl and though I’m not nearly as regular since I started writing a blog, I still see the need to maintain something on paper because I believe that it is equally important to document things by hand. Picking up a pencil, rolling it between your fingers, the smell of fresh paper as you crack open a new journal, the way your watercolors bleed into water creating such a lovely pattern and then a soft solid color… it’s an experience that computers and internet technology, no matter how advanced they become, cannot offer and why should they when physical pleasures are so intense and warming to the heart?

Weekend reading

Shown above are some of the magazines that I plan to read. Marie Claire Idees (French) – crafting and interiors, Luna (German) – for parents and children with beautiful images and travel ideas (similar to MILK), Living At Home (German) – Features decorating and styling ideas, entertaining, recipes with breathtakingly beautiful fresh images. This magazine gets stronger and stronger with every issue. You can view it online here. Living At Home Spezial (German) is produced by the magazine but is 3x thicker and seasonal so you have recipes, styling and decorating tips, the “best of” all rolled into one edition. And finally a Living & More Premium issue called Country Träume Wohnen which is more country style but has many lovely homes and images inside. All except for the French magazine help me to learn German better so there is a bonus to all of this eye candy since I’m also able to improve my language skills.

The tippy top image was taken this morning, I had a very nice mail day with some cards and letters to read from friends and a very nice surprise – my new subscription to VTWonen (Dutch) just arrived and included a very nice styling insert! More to read! Yay!

What are your plans for Saturday and Sunday?

(image: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in uncategorized on March 13, 2010

DIY is not Duplicate It Yourself!

Hello friends! I think that today I’ll go light on the blogging because I’m ready for the weekend and feel more like relaxing vs. writing! But first, I thought I’d kick off my Real Talk column, which also was called Talk It Out, and well regardless of the column name it will be called Real Talk going forward and the column will appear once weekly on any given day — it really depends on the community and what issues you email me that you’d like to talk about here. I have always supported the online community but this afternoon I was shown that support in return in a business matter — and it made me think how it feels to be on the receiving end — when I felt helpless and someone came in to help. It was wonderful and that is one of many reasons why I’ve decided to get the Real Talk column up and running again on a weekly basis.

Heather Vallentyne Photography

The purpose of this column is for all of us to share our personal opinions on the chosen topic to offer advice, ideas, constructive feedback and anything else that we can do collectively to show support and friendship. Truth is, we all need each other — we are part of a circle. So to celebrate this spirit of independence but also interdependence, Real Talk is back!

Today my guest is Erika Firm who is the president and designer of Delphine fine stationery and design. Erika wants to talk about unethical requests that would lead to possible violation of copyright (copying hurts real people out there), requests that many of us experience regularly as small business owners — especially designers. Here is what Erika has to say on the topic, I hope you’ll chime in because together our voices can possibly get others thinking… and the intended goal here is to educate and offer support and even a possible solution or several.

Erika — take it away!

“Lately I’ve noticed more and more clients asking me to copy other people’s work (they see an invitation in a magazine and want me to duplicate it one to one, and I won’t). It’s my policy to refuse, and to explain copyright infringement. Friends and colleagues of mine in the wedding industry (not just other stationers) have also told me that they’re experiencing an increase in these sorts of unethical inquiries. I think part of the reason I’m seeing more of these unethical requests is that my business has grown and the studio gets more inquiries overall than ever before, so the number of “icky” inquiries is also growing. But perhaps it also has to do with the proliferation of DIY (which, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do love and support), and the proliferation of things like “inspiration boards” on blogs (which I also love, and post myself on my own blog). The DIY movement and things like inspiration boards are meant to foster creativity.”

“Because of my personal experiences (and thanks to many similar stories heard from friends and colleagues) I feel like there exists a disconnect between the artist/blogger/designer’s intent (to inspire) and some people’s inference that this inspirational content is free to simply be copied.”

“Perhaps some people feel like their homemade invitation (or cake or dress or bouquet or centerpiece or curtains or pillow…) that looks exactly like the original couldn’t possibly change anything in the world or hurt someone else. While I think that the vast majority of bloggers understand the difference between inspiration and copying, and act professionally and ethically, I’m not sure that many are doing an excellent job of pointing out the difference—and the real effect that copying has on the people behind the businesses that supply creative content and products—to readers. The simple fact is that when somebody decides to “duplicate it yourself” (instead of getting inspired to “do it yourself”) it hurts a real person.

What do you think we as a creative community can do to address this issue? I feel the frustration rising. I know there are hundreds and hundreds of examples of how copying has affected someone’s business, and there are lots of ways of addressing the issue after it’s already happened. How do we spread the word that there is a huge difference between being inspired by something and copying? Any ideas on how to do this?

– Erika Firm

(Images: Delphine product shot styled by Erica Firm, taken by Heather Vallentyne)

Posted in Ramblings on March 12, 2010


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