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Artist Thomas Campbell

I’ve had some computer issues with my Mac for the past 24 hours that prevented me from blogging but now it all seems to be fine for the moment so I’m racing to get some posts in because I have so much to say! All of these things are bottled up and I have to blog or else I’ll burst. The signs of a true blogging addiction, I know…

Artist Thomas Campbell

First of all, I have to thank those of you who have registered for the upcoming Blogging Your Way e-class, I am super excited and can’t wait to meet all of my new students in less than two weeks online. It will be a great class and I’m ready to go because I have so much to share and I want to do the class before my book launches as I know after that, I’ll be busy for awhile. How are you doing? Are you well?

Artist Thomas Campbell

Now let’s talk about all of this beautiful art that you’re seeing around my words… How fabulous is this stuff?  I’d like to introduce you to the wonderful work of an artist that I found through a painting class I’m currently in called Get Your Paint On, his name is Thomas Campbell and his paintings are beyond inspiring… they are awe-inspiring works that takes you to your happy place and invites you to stay awhile.

Artist Thomas Campbell

I like how he uses paper, thread, paint, his sewing machine… and creates these most dazzling abstract works that really pop (sorry, I know some of you hate the word “pop” thanks to television design shows, but it’s the best word for this I swear!) in some of the most beautiful colorways. In fact, his use of color is what drew me in at first, but as I looked a bit deeper I enjoyed seeing how he uses color — bright pure hues to catch the eye and muted ones that give his work more depth.

Artist Thomas Campbell

To learn more about Thomas, please check out an interview that SLAP skateboard magazine had with him — it’s very thorough and you can even find some videos on the site about him.

Oh…in case you’re wondering about this painting class that I mentioned above…  Well I’m learning so much about art in general through Mati & Lisa’s class, if you have a chance to take it when they do another one you totally should, it’s fun. I’m definitely registering for their next one. I’m determined to get back into painting because it is so relaxing plus I want to learn more about layering in collage work and needed the general push that this class gives me. Anyway, Mati and Lisa if you are reading this, thanks for the intro to Thomas!

(images: thomas campbell)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on February 16, 2011

Handmade Home: Lovely Table Setting

Hello everyone! This is Anna-Malin Lindgren from Helt Enkelt visiting decor8 today for my once monthly column, Handmade Home! Thank you for all your wonderful comments on my first post! You made me really glad to be here and I feel so welcome. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day so I thought I’ll share a romantic project for the dinner table that you can try for any celebration in your life really – maybe an upcoming anniversary? My inspiration began with a photo I took a couple of weeks ago of a flower and I liked it so much that I used that as my base to inspire a table setting.

Handmade Home Column

After taking the photo, I uploaded it to my computer and made some edits to it, then I decided to trim the photo and use it as part of the place setting. I made a few cards by hand and used the photo on the front of them. For this occasion I worked with soft romantic colors. I set the table nicely, always use your best plates and fabric napkins on Valentine’s Day! I made some fabric hearts and applied my flower photo to each heart using t-shirt transfer paper and a color printer. This was a very easy project and a nice way to personalize my table decor. I bought cherry blossom branches to hang the hearts on and that was the centerpiece on the table.

Handmade Home Column

Handmade Home Column

Handmade Home Column

Handmade Home Column

Handmade Home Column

Handmade Home Column

I also made a box using paper and filled it with chocolate hearts, placing them on the table. Again, very simple ideas but your family and friends appreciate such kind gestures — your thoughtfulness is always appreciated!

As you can see, I used things that I already had around the house to pull together something nice. Antique linens found at flea markets, a photograph that I took, t-shirt transfer paper, pretty papers, heart-shaped chocolates, wooden clips, rubber stamps and other crafty things created a special table setting.

Handmade Home Column

Remember: Have fun and use your imagination. You can’t go wrong. Maybe you can use this idea for a wedding? An anniversary party? Next Valentine’s day? Or  you can work with brighter colors and use it for a children’s party!

(images: anna-malin lindgren)

Posted in guest bloggers on February 15, 2011

Blogging Your Way e-Course: Registration Open!

I have to shout it to the world — Leslie and I will soon teach the Blogging Your Way e-Course and registration JUST started today! I can’t wait to dig in again and hang out with students in an intimate, private space online where we can connect! Leslie and I can’t wait to run this course because we won’t be running this particular one again until next year — so if you want to take Blogging Your Way, this is THE opportunity to do it! We have lots to share in this class, including a video from Leslie who will tell you about herself a bit more in detail and I’ll do a video as well (along with 4 podcasts so you can download them) and much more so you are guaranteed a good time!

REGISTER HERE – Class space is limited!

Blogging Your Way: Outline

Friday, February 25th – You will receive your login by email so that you can get set up before class kicks off the following Monday. On this day, you’ll listen to two introductory podcasts from Leslie and I, watch a webcast explaining how to use the site and forum, and you’ll receive a course outline that you can download and print out along with a printable download for taking notes week by week.

Monday, February 28th – Class officially begins. Ideally, it’s great if you can log in once daily during the week but if you can only log in a few times a week that is also fine. You will need to dedicate 2-3 hours per week to this class if you want to get the most out of it. Some really dig in, network, and spend more time and some only hop on 30 minutes 3x a week. However, I suggest logging in 3-5x per week and spending quality time reading the materials and completing the fun and easy weekly homework assignment for best results.

Monday, March 28th – Class officially ends. You will, however, have access to the class materials and forum until April 11th. At that time, the site will be taken offline.

To learn more about Blogging Your Way and to register, click here.

Hope to see you in class!

Posted in My Classes on February 14, 2011

20 Inspiring Corners of Home

Hello everyone, how are you today? First of all, Happy Friday to you! Do you have plans for the weekend? I have a few project deadlines so I’ll be working straight through until Monday but I enjoy what I’m up to so it’s all good. Work doesn’t feel like work to me, it’s part of my life, so I “work” most weekends but it is more like living and breathing, not hard labor. I feel fortunate because my life wasn’t always like this, work once felt VERY MUCH like work to me – and it went on like that for nearly 10 years but fortunately I pulled the plug and said, “Enough!”. You must relate on some level to being fed up with something, you have to walk away and do something else. So! Onto the first post for today. I thought that to inspire and motivate you to work on some projects of your own this weekend that I’d share 20 beautiful photos that show corners of various homes that you may be able to use as a jumping off point to begin a project of your own. Please click on all of the links below to visit the various sources and to enjoy even more inspiration.

20 Inspiring Corners

1| Martha Stewart Weddings – I never tire of plates on walls and MS Weddings always has the best way to show the latest china patterns | 2 Design Shimmer – Skulls as jewelry hooks, oh yes! This is one of many beautiful photos found on this delightful blog.| 3 yvetteinufio – Her photos are always so pretty, I like the angle in which she photographed this chair but even more, how pretty to simply stack some throws and call that “decorating” — even if for a few days, this is a pretty look that you could do in a bedroom or kid’s room. | 4 Debee Campos – This lady is a freelance graphic designer and artist and her photos never fail to inspire me.

Remember, you don’t have to decorate an entire room, you can update a corner, bake some cupcakes and set your table extra special, style a bunch of fresh flowers and photograph them for your blog… You can turn what inspires you into a project of any size really — it comes down to how much energy, time and money you have in the end, doesn’t it?

I find that you can re-purpose so much in the home by moving things from one room to another, searching your attic or basement for what you may have packed away for future use, even ask your children to get involved by making something for you to display in another part of the home. Just have fun and let yourself go – it’s your home, do what makes YOU happy. I’ve been collecting these images below for a few weeks, I hope that you like them.

20 Inspiring Corners

5 Martha Stewart Weddings – A wedding magazine in the states that most of us are addicted to, but not just for the newly engaged because it it is packed with inspiration that you can apply to home decorating projects, too. | 6 Martha Stewart Weddings – I like the colors in this photo of wedding rings + bands, I find it a gorgeous palette but also a pretty way to arrange things and shoot them from above. Could be a nice idea for a product shot you’re working on, perhaps? | 7 This Neck of the Woods, a lovely etsy shop based in Germany. | 8 Hollister Hovey – A very cool blog with lots of moody, dark colors and vintage finds. Lovely.

I love the idea of painting a wall with chalkboard paint and then installing a floating shelf, or two, on the wall as shown above with those gorgeous old cameras. Tracing the outline of the objects on the shelf, you can make a fun + quirky display that would be a real conversation piece in your home. Tea tins as flower holders are always a hit, just make sure you place a small glass inside and put the water and flowers in the glass, then inside of the tea tin as tins do not hold water and your tablecloth will be soaked within minutes!

20 Inspiring Corners

9 Brigitte magazine – A German fashion magazine that has lovely interiors featured too. Oh and decor8 is mentioned in their current issue, yay! | 10 Remodelaholic – A fantastic blog with plenty of interiors eye candy | 11 Andreas Krufczik – A Berlin-based photographer who shoots interiors | 12 Remodelaholic – Again, a fab blog you’ll want to check out, especially if you love French Country charm.

I love the idea of using felted flowers, silk flowers, flowers made out of fabric… And pinning them to a lampshade for a bit of a zing. It’s simple and very pretty. I also think that putting an empty frame on your wall with images (perhaps old photos or art) in and around it can make a real statement. It’s a fabulous decorating idea and would be a lot of fun to do.

20 Inspiring Corners

13 Emma Cassi – A stylist and jewelry designer that I have a mild obsession with. | 14 Stella Nicolaisen A stylist whom I adore. | 15 Holly Becker – Well, that’s me and this photo shows the top of a cabinet in my living room with some of my favorite things. | 16 Holly Becker – Yes me again, this time showing the top of my dresser and the quirky way I arrange my jewelry because if it’s not out on display, I forget what I own and don’t wear it!

I’m a very casual decorator. I’m a bit quirky, eclectic, romantic, and I mix old and new and have done so since I was a kid. I think many of us love to collect things and eventually, these collections pile up and then one is faced with the challenge of displaying collections in interesting ways so that a room doesn’t look like a junk shop. In these photos, the bottom two are in my own home, you can see how casual decorating isn’t fussy or perfect but it does appear as though some thought went into it. It’s a careful balance to get this right but I find that practice and allowing your sense to guide you, you can create a lovely nook in your home that is authentically you.

20 Inspiring Corners

17 Tartelette A truly beautiful cooking blog you must see. | 18 Skona Hem – A Swedish interiors magazine that you can also enjoy online. |19 Unknown source (if you know who took this photo and or styled it please tell me so I may update with a link) | 20 Tartelette

I think everyone secretly wants to do wild things to their staircase, though we often don’t because it’s a terrifying thought to spend the time and money on a staircase reno only to find that you hate it once it’s finished! What to do? I suggest photographing your staircase in natural light and then use Photoshop or ask a graphic designer friend, to draft up some “samples” of your ideas in action. Another decorating idea that is fun to do is to simply style the top of a cabinet. Stand back and access your work. Photograph it and look at your cabinet on the computer, often photos reveal things that we need to edit about our work. Go back and rework the cabinet again until it feels right.

I also believe, strongly in fact, that simple pleasures — like baking or even if you don’t bake, hitting a bakery and bringing lovely things home to enjoy with your family creates a good mood in the home. Everyone loves to eat! And if you take the time to set the table and use your best plates and napkins, you may even want to photograph your treats and put the photos on your blog so you can save your inspiring moments and share them with your readers to motivate them to share time around the table with their family, too.

Do you spot anything that you are instantly connecting to? Why? What about it speaks to you? What can you try at home?

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in Decorating Tips on February 11, 2011


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