Monthly Archives

April 2010

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Happy Monday!

April 19, 2010

I’m excited to begin a new week and hope that you are too! I don’t believe that only Fridays are meant to be happy days, but a Monday can be a great one too simply because a new week has promise! We have many opportunities laid out before us so it’s our chance to accomplish something new. A clean slate. A fresh start. I once hated Mondays but this positive perspective has helped me to change my Debbie Downer views and so perhaps it will for you too. What do you have planned this week? And how was your weekend?

Happy Monday!

My weekend was filled with activity mostly outdoors which was both refreshing and fun. I walked for miles through forests, parks, around a big lake… and it felt so good to be outside without a jacket on. I even dined outdoors which was a treat – the weather has been so nice. Everything is green now… flowers are out, birds are singing, I’m really looking forward to the things that springtime brings with my job and also potentially more as I have many goals that I’d like to accomplish within the next few months. For this week, one goal is that we secure a photographer for the book and to work on the visuals for the flat plan which is due asap.

How about you? Did you enjoy your weekend?

Later today I will announce the decor8/Pottery Barn contest winners — if you have not entered yet please read the rules and enter here before the deadline which is at 5:00 p.m. EST today! So hurry! (I’ve had over 1,500 entires so far which means that the page may take a few moments to load.) I’d like to thank everyone for their entry, it’s great to see so many entries. Oh and for those who commented on my sad news post on Friday, thank you very much. It meant A LOT to me to hear from you, I read your heartfelt expressions and it really made me feel loved and supported which was exactly what I needed and what made my weekend so nice as a result. Thank you for what you give to me – your friendship, kindness, support… it all means a great deal.

(image: holly becker for decor8)






uncategorized

Happy Weekend (+ some sad news)

April 16, 2010

Thank you for spending some moments here on decor8 with me this week… it was certainly nice to have you and for those who took the time to comment, thank you very much! I read and approve all comments (yes, even the 1,500 that came in this week for the Pottery Barn contest) so I can assure you that I enjoy hearing your many expressions. I don’t know about you but I’m so glad it is time for the weekend, I am ready to relax tomorrow after I finish my errands because rest & relaxation is so good for the soul — especially for the creative juices which flow freely when one is not stressed out and running like a crazy person! My week has been a lot of everything all at once ranging from absolute joy to crushing pain…

Happy Weekend (+ some sad news)

I’m busy now as you know, I’m currently working with the publisher to find a talented interiors photographer who is not booked this summer — but also who can really nail this project because a decorating book is so reliant on outstanding photographs. Sadly most of my personal favorites are booked, and one that I really wanted is pregnant and not traveling at the moment, so the search will continue into next week. I must have looked at 300 portfolios this week alone. Next week will be very busy as I will work on the flat plan that Joanna has put together (and it looks great, I’m so excited to “see” it coming together) and so  my ‘job’ is to now give some idea as to where the homes that I know we want to shoot will fit and where. It’s exciting to work on this project — and I assume it will become more real to me once we have our photo meeting in London next month. But for now, it’s all a bit of a blur, a “is this really happening”, and of course, even like a big bubble as so much is being conducted online at the moment. I can’t wait to meet with people face-to-face and really dig into this project offline as well.

Happy Weekend (+ some sad news)

In spite of the wonderful book, I’ve been a bit blue this week for a few reasons — and all I can say is thank goodness for this book right now because it’s a giant lifesaver for me to cling too — it gets me out of my own head. But yes, the first blue moment is one most of you know about as I mention it from time to time but yes… it’s from living in such tight, small quarters and living in limbo. We cannot find a larger space to live in and this tiny apartment is making me feel a bit closed in plus all of my things (80 boxes, recall?) are still boxed in the cellar and I want to get into my things and use them – like my clothes, sewing machine, books, kitchen gadgets and more. I have been living like this since August and so naturally I’m starting to feel a bit frustrated.

But the next blue feeling is absolutely painful and tragic news, something out of my control completely, and I wasn’t even sure if I should tell you… I found out this week that my father has cancer — it was heart-breaking naturally because I love him and maybe you didn’t know this, but I’ve not seen him since I was 18 when my parents divorced. He left and decided to begin a new life – with a new family – and that was the end of our relationship even though I wanted him in my life. I don’t judge him for this as we all have decisions to make and perhaps he had reasons for what he did, and he did tell me at that time that his decision had nothing to do with me because I was always a good daughter… but it took me years to get over his absence — nearly ten years in fact. By the time I was in my late twenties I had learned to manage the often hard emotions which came with all that. When I called and asked him to walk me down the aisle and he declined, I remember the feeling of knowing that the relationship between us must really be over. And it was hard to accept this! When I walked alone towards my husband on my wedding day, I felt amazingly peaceful and not at all sad — I knew at that moment that I had moved forward and have felt at peace ever since. But now I must admit that hearing of his cancer made me feel sad for him and so while working on my book provides a great “high” for me, knowledge of his cancer is still difficult though I will firmly press forward — he knows I love him and that I am always here so I simply need to keep calm and carry on for lack of better words.

I am so thankful for my job, family and friends as all are my safety net and catch me during times when I feel unsure — and this is such a blessing to have — these networks and resting places. And I include all of you when I say my friends. And so, with the good, there is the bad, but in the end growth will occur and such experiences make us stronger and bring life into clearer focus and so, rather than feel heavy at heart I am going to approach these things with confidence that situations can and will improve and if not, then the experience will provide for an opportunity to grow and hopefully become a better person, some way, somehow. But isn’t it hard to realize these positive things when we’re in the midst of hard times? But I guess strength of character isn’t measured by our being able to endure good times but in our ability to navigate the difficult challenges.

But enough about me… how was your week? Are you doing well?

(Images: Jackie Rueda whom I wrote about this morning over at Real Simple.)






Objects

Happy Video via Amy Butler Design

April 16, 2010

Watching this Amy Butler video today makes me happy. Very happy. It’s fun to watch stylists and photographers work their magic behind the scenes…

Happy Video via Amy Butler Design

Happy Video via Amy Butler Design

Pretty colors – so bright and happy! I have a chair in my home covered with Amy Butler fabric… it was made by Spruce in Austin and shipped to me on a bus!!! This is what it looked like in my former home in New Hampshire, taken after we painted the house white again before we moved… It’s still in storage here in Germany, but as soon as I can unpack the 80 boxes in my cellar that await me for when we find a bigger place to live — I will set up my pretty Amy Butler chair and enjoy it all over again…

(images: david butler)






Decorating Tips

Toast + Vintage Tiles

April 16, 2010

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for vintage tiles — especially blue and white ones but I’m open to other colors as well. Remember the home of Myrte de Zeeuw in Belgium that I shared with you last year? I’d even like to have tile like hers in my home, too. I think it’s quite sad that in many of the apartments and homes that I look at vintage flooring is often removed and replaced with standard white or gray tiles lacking in both charm and personality but also history – such a shame!

Toast + Vintage Tiles

To me, there is nothing better than vintage tile floors (or even repros) in the wet areas of a home — even the entryway or balcony looks beautiful with them. And so seeing this image above in the Toast catalog I was reminded once again of my love of old tiles, particularly those from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Europe in general and Turkey — though Germany has some beautiful ones too. And speaking of Toast, you must check out their linens, rubbish bins, towels and their lovely pillows.

Toast + Vintage Tiles

We all have dreams of the perfect interiors… My dream is to someday live in a pretty apartment with lots of sunlight and blue and white tiles on the wall in the kitchen — vintage ones… And old windows, and tons of transom windows… and a built in bookcase, a fireplace with a mantle, high ceilings, wood floors (herringbone would be ideal)… And a bathroom with a large clawfoot soaking tub with a huge window. And a balcony overlooking something very pretty — like a courtyard or garden. I know… realistic, right!? :)

Toast + Vintage Tiles

I have been thinking about this and seeing it in my mind for so many years but never can I find it. Ha! I wonder why!? But oh yes, I must say that I need not have all of those features — even just a few would be grand. But of course, a place with vintage blue and white tiles in the kitchen would be a dream come true for me. I’m thinking that perhaps I can put them up someday if I buy a home of my own. What a happy thought this is!

What is your dream when it comes to something you imagine having in your home that you do not currently?

Psst: Looking for some travel and interiors inspiration? You simply must visit Toast Travels. (images: toast)






Bloggers

Life Without The Web

April 15, 2010

Could you live without the web? How long could you totally unplug? Do you want to? Do you long for the days before email and social networking? Recently on Facebook a friend (thanks, Alex!) shared an article that she read over at Slate written by By James Sturm called Life Without The Web. It’s about the resolve of one man to sign off for four months to see how it changes his life — work, family, etc.

Life Without The Web

I think most of us can relate to James when he confessed, “The question I’ve been wrestling with lately is whether it’s all going by so fast because…of the way I’ve been living my life. Specifically, I’ve started to wonder whether that feeling might be connected to all the time I spend online. Too often I sit down to dash off a quick e-mail and before I know it an hour or more has gone by.” I found his perspective interesting, you may too — you can hop over here to read it and then pop back to leave your impressions below because I think as a community we could have a pretty neat discussion about it today if you’d like. I wonder if you can relate to any of his “issues” with being online a lot.

Perhaps you can relate to James on this point, “Over the last several years, the Internet has evolved from being a distraction to something that feels more sinister. Even when I am away from the computer I am aware that I AM AWAY FROM MY COMPUTER and am scheming about how to GET BACK ON THE COMPUTER.”

After reading the article and his resolve to completely sign offline for four months I came to this conclusion: Part of me understands James’ decision to go offline. I totally get it. But another part says it’s like anything else — it’s a self control thing, not an internet thing. If someone has an addiction to the internet they need to figure out why and how to change and then take the necessary steps. I don’t think that cold turkey will help long term because eventually he’ll be back online and then the pattern will most likely emerge all over again. I think it’s more important to learn balance and practice self control in everything we do — even healthy things can be bad for us if we over-indulge. If you remove a vice without first learning self control you will only replace the vice with something else like television and book reading. And what really is the difference – watching television and reading books can be done online so doing them offline doesn’t accomplish much.

So my questions are this: could you totally unplug for four months like James? Would you want to? Do you wish you could unplug completely long-term? Do you think self control plays a part in all of this and that the web can become an addiction turning an otherwise healthy activity into something unhealthy? How do you balance your life online with your life offline — any tips for other readers who may also be a bit frustrated by all of the time they spend plugged in?

(image: holly becker for decor8)

What are your thoughts?






Travel

London Bound: Any Tips?

April 15, 2010

I have so many things to share with you today. But first I must apologize as sadly I missed Etsy Take Five Tuesday this week but don’t worry, I’ll get back on track next week. :) I’m quite busy at the moment and this will continue no doubt until the Autumn as the decorating book I’m co-authoring is completely underway – as of this week! My job, outside of writing a portion of it, is to scout locations in the US and Europe, find a fab interiors photographer in both the US and Europe, and pull together all the homes that I have currently to see where they’ll fit in the flat plan that I’m working off of. There is a lot involved but I’m ready for it — it will be published by Chronicle Books. And you, dear readers, will have to listen to me talk about it as I go along but I promise — because it’s a decorating book, at least what I speak of will be related to this blog so you can go on this little book ride with me. Okay?

London Bound: Any Tips?

In fact, I have a lot of traveling to do as I will have meetings relating to this book (the first is in London next month) and I’ll be accompanying the photographer on shoots and styling homes so I plan to bring you with me as I hop around — my hope is that you will enjoy watching this project evolve before your eyes so that once the book is out you can then see the finished project and tell me what you think about it. I’ll ask my publisher as I go along to see what I can share and what I can’t as some things I am under contract to not disclose — but what I can share I will. For sure.

London Bound: Any Tips?

I’ve not been assigned to such a large freelance project before but now as I embark on this journey I’m feeling quite good about it — like this will be a great start for me as I enter this new world with hopes that this book will lead to another and another… I’ve always wanted decor8 to live off of the web as well as online – to be web-based and coffee table-based. :) And just so you know, because there are so many show offs in this world who annoy me with their “look at me!” attitudes, I promise not to become an egotistical bore. In fact, I want to always remember my roots — where I came from as a girl who started from zero and your support and friendship is partly responsible for my book deal so if anyone out there is sitting around feeling a bit depressed about life — like what is next for you, will you find your magic carpet and if you do, will you have the courage to jump on and ride — I can tell you YES, yes, yes! I hate sounding like some self-help cheerleader but seriously, I once sat in a cubicle (not that this is bad, I liked my cubicle thank you!) and thought that perhaps I could someday do something creative and I thought about my life — the direction it was taking — and here I am today doing things that I enjoy. And look at how setting some goals and sticking to them can change a life, right?! Determination, talent and passion really are the keys to getting from step A to B and so on… so if you are good at something and sit in your chair thinking, “Yeah, some people have all the luck!” then maybe you should start thinking, “Yeah, some people have all the luck so why not me too, I’m talented!?”. Seriously. Why should I or anyone else have the things that you want — we all deserve to reach our goals.

London Bound: Any Tips?

Next month I will travel to London for my first picture meeting where I will review photos for the book and then this summer I’ll be on the road with the photographer in both the US and parts of Europe. It will be nice to have a change of pace as I spend so much of my days online — but I’ll have plenty of time to blog still and I’m not going to neglect you — I promise! If  anything, I’ll have some fun stories to share, some shops and travel notes to write, and all of the usual fare on decor8 that you can expect — I’ll keep it up not just now but for years to come.

London Bound: Any Tips?

This is the part where I could use some advice. I will be in London in May and want to mix a little pleasure with business because I’ve lived in Europe nearly 9 months and haven’t done much traveling so now that the weather is nice I feel that it’s time to go out and get some inspiration and enjoy some time shopping, eating and seeing some interesting exhibitions and shows. I’ll be in London for a week starting on May 13 so if you know of anything that I should definitely see/do, I’d love to know. From hotels to exhibitions, craft shows to flea markets, all of it — I’d love some advice. I’ve not been to London since 1999 so I’m a bit crusty and rusty when it comes to ideas on what to do there. And since I’m writing this book with another writer, Joanna and I will be hopping around on a shopping trip for the day and so if she doesn’t get too annoyed by my camera then I’ll be sure to share some of my favorite things with you upon my return.

Any London tips? What’s absolutely, positively not-to-miss?

(images: caravan – a shop I am definitely hitting!!!)






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