Hello friends, it’s Leslie here with Color Me Pretty for March. With all the heartache over the last ten days I wanted to focus on spring with the sense of hope, creativity and new life it brings. I thought I would revisit one of my favorite palettes, which includes pale blue, watery aqua, minty green, and splashes of dark coral. To change it slightly I added some chalky looking lavender. I have been seeing this palette in various forms lately and thought you may enjoy it.
Cheerful poppies have been blooming in my garden and I decided to place these ones in a spray painted mason jar. I further decorated the jar with ribbon and a few strips of Japanese washi tape. Decorating some white floral containers with tape is simple, quick and adds a sweet handmade quality don’t you think?
I was really inspired by the work of Thomas Campbell who Holly introduced me to in her post a few weeks ago. I couldn’t help but get back to my sewing machine to sew more paper together. I made some interesting wrapping paper quickly as well as some larger pieces I may frame and use as wall hangings for my home. When I did not have the right color of paper I used watercolors to create the tones I needed.
I filled my journal pages with pieces of freshly colored paper and photographs. I love having this record to go back and look at when I want to create something down the road and am lacking inspiration. My journals have always helped keep my visual ideas organized. They act as mini mood boards that are portable, easy to keep and refer to. Long after my tack boards have been cleaned off I still have my journals waiting neatly on the shelf.
I hope I may have sparked an idea or two for you to carry out in some of your creative projects. Please take a moment this week to stop and notice the flowers of the season. Even if they are just the ones on display at the market! I will see you back here next month, until then take good care and thank you. – Leslie.
(images: leslie shewring)
Wishing you a happy Friday sounds so out of place right now, doesn’t it? So I’ve decided to wish you a peaceful weekend. I’ve been working a lot offline lately so excuse me for being a bit distracted from my blog this week but I’m happy to be here today, just briefly at least, before the weekend begins. How are you doing? Are you well? I’ve been counting my blessings a lot this week, particularly when I watch the news because my heart aches for Japan but also for those affected globally by this tragedy – particularly ones with family in Japan like dear Leslie — my friend and Color Me Pretty columnist.
Leslie is half Japanese, her mother is from Japan, so they have family living there and visit frequently. In fact, Leslie travels over at least once a year so her connections there are strong. If you have time today, please visit Leslie’s blog and leave her a message of hope + peace if you can. She’s had a tough week absorbing all of this as you can imagine and what a sweetheart… she still found time to push through her feelings and work on a gorgeous color story for you that I’ll run on Monday morning that will be so uplifting to see. I’ve had a glimpse and it’s gorgeous.
And are you holding up okay? I’ve felt a little uncomfortable writing on decor8 this week — it’s hard to get excited about furniture and decorating when people are suffering and that won’t end soon because then, a massive rebuilding will have to occur in certain places and that can take years to complete. This will be a long journey for Japan and my heart breaks for such a dear culture. It’s hard to rah rah about products and pretty things and “home” in general when for some, their home has been carried out to sea or is abandoned with belongings spread for blocks – belongings that may not be reunited with their owners ever again.
I put together some gorgeous photographs taken of cherry blossoms for you today, most are from various etsy sellers and they made me feel very peaceful to look upon them. Cherry blossoms (Sakura) are indigenous to Japan with over 200 cultivars found there. Whenever I see them, I think of Japan. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms can symbolize clouds but are also a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life and the concept of mono no aware. Do you know much about mono no aware? If not, this is quite a fascinating read if you have a moment, click here. It is the belief that, “Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing.” Cherry blossoms also symbolize affection, love, and represent spring. The images above can be found and most of them purchased here in the shops of some of my favorite etsy sellers: shaded memories, fly with me, thorsten becker, green zinnia studio, amanda raek, shaded memories, becca c fowler, born barefoot and humboldt street. I love each of their photos, they give me a feeling of peace and joy just to behold them.
I’ll be back with some positive thoughts and posts next week but for now I’d like to encourage you to stay positive, donate to a reputable charity or help where you can, and spread love, peace, be supportive of one another and care about those around you. Do what you can to go out of your way to show love. I’m learning more and more from my dear friend Laurie, an American living nearby, about “mindfulness” or being present — really “in” the moment… Just recently we were at a cafe and she explained that being mindful means to hug your friend and really smell her perfume, taste the coffee as you sip it, enjoy the texture as you chew a freshly baked brownie, to notice the sights and sounds around you and to be present and to allow this presence to give you energy, peace, balance, joy and to help you to appreciate life’s details. It’s a gift to learn this and we can practice it more and more until it becomes second nature. Being mindful can do so much to make us appreciate every little thing in our life and to drink in every moment — and this can help us through some very hard times. The Japanese people are very mindful as a culture, and at ease, and they strive for balance and I think that this is why they still remain so calm despite this tragedy. There is so much to learn from others who are often much stronger than we are.
To wrap up the week, perhaps we can approach spring (which falls on March 20th this year) with a fresh outlook — to practice being more aware, to be mindful and to enjoy what we have. Really enjoy the magazine that you plan to look through for inspiration. Feel the warmth of your kitty at your feet, purring loudly. Hear the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. Take in the sights and sounds around you as you commute home on the train. Connect. Be aware. We are alive, so many of us have peace, and abundance in our life — let us be mindful of that fact and appreciate it and to then take what we have and share it with others.
I wish you a peaceful, mindful weekend – be grateful for everything… And I’ll see you dear friends again on Monday for a fresh beginning as we welcome the good things that Spring can bring, together.
(images linked to their sources above.)
I’m so excited to share this wonderful news with you today! The official launch party for my book Decorate will be at Liberty in London on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. I am thrilled to have such a gorgeous store so generously supporting me and my first book but equally happy to be able to invite you to this special event so we can meet and share a fun evening together. I do hope that you can attend! It will also be a great networking event as I have some lovely friends who will be there, including book photographer Debi Treloar, fellow bloggers, stylists, designers… even a few of the homeowners who are in Decorate will be celebrating with us. There will be a fun styling demo as well that I’ll be doing with my two dear friends, Sania Pell and Leslie Shewring.
Liberty will have copies of the book available for sale that I will sign and they’ll be a few special things happening that evening. First, from 4-4:30 p.m. I’ll be speaking about the book and answering questions at an exclusive press event. Space for that is limited and you need to be a member of the press or a blogger to attend.
Next, at 6 p.m., I’ll be speaking again to Liberty customers and those interested in learning more about the inspiration behind Decorate.
At 7 p.m. I’ve invited two book contributors to do a styling demonstration along with me in the brand new Liberty Dining Room, stylist Sania Pell (whose home is inside of the book) and stylist, photographer and decor8 columnist, Leslie Shewring (her daughter’s bedroom is in the book too). Together we’ll show you how to lay a lovely table with a personal touch using beautiful things that we’ve collected from the inspiring Liberty store. I’ll also do a book signing so you may purchase your book there. I can’t wait to mingle but please do arrive on time as these events can fly by and I want to be able to meet each of you and have enough time to chat. Come prepared to be inspired and have fun!
4-4:30 p.m. Meeting with the press. Please RSVP to: liz [dot] somers [at] jacquismallpub [dot] com with Decorate Press Event in the subject line and in the body of the email please indicate the magazine, newspaper, blog, etc.
6 p.m. I’ll be speaking in the Heritage room. Please RSVP to libertyevents [at] liberty [dot] co [dot] uk with Decorate Talk in the subject line. Only a limited number can attend so please confirm your attendance as soon as possible.
7 p.m. Reception and book signing along with a styling demonstration in the new Liberty Dining Room, please RSVP to libertyevents [at] liberty [dot] co [dot] uk with Decorate Demo/Signing in the subject line.
If you want to attend some or all of the above events, please put the event name in the subject line so we have an accurate headcount and RSVP separately to each event that interests you.
I can’t wait to see everyone there, I’m so excited to meet you! Yay!
See you soon! – Holly
It’s time to shop handmade with me today at Etsy! Here are my top five shops for the week, I hope that you find some new and lovely things to pad your nest or give to your friends.
Diem Design Photography is so lovely with a vintage modern touch. Relaxing… I can see these framed in a bedroom.
Martha and Ash in South Carolina makes custom pillows, drapes, dog beds and even some sweet little heart coasters that I think are absolutely darling.
Tilt shift photography is a favorite photo trend of mine right now so I naturally love Etsy seller Petit Paris who miniaturizes such a lovely city into the sweetest bites.
Be Happy Now in Israel makes me feel happy now… I find her work really intriguing. I love this photo and this tiny video to go along with it. It made me feel good inside. I want to see more animated photographs like this with hand drawn illustrations on them. Imagine seeing them in digital magazines on the iPad? Oh my. That would definitely inspire me…
Lamp Shade Designs makes custom shades in modern graphic prints. One would look great over a white Saarinen tulip table in an eating nook.
(images linked to their sources above.)
Today is a very happy day! I just found out that Anthropologie has an exclusive on my book, Decorate, which means that only they can sell it before it officially launches in the states on April 20th so starting today, you can order it on their website and find it in stores nationwide. I nearly died when I found out this exciting news and of course, did a happy dance when I saw it online.
I can’t put into words the enormously gratitude that I feel for their support as well as the many small, independent boutiques and even large book sellers who will stock it. I’ve been feeling emotional about this all day really… as people are receiving their review copies from around the world and emailing me with notes of thanks and joy — I don’t really know what to say except how grateful I am that I registered my blog years ago and started writing online after quitting my corporate job in search of living a more creative life doing work that I love that also happens to make other people happy and feel more creative, too. Well, it happened but the funny part of this whole journey is that it took a village to make this possible — and I have all of you to thank and I did so in the dedication that I wrote in the book to each and every one of you.
On another note, I was recently notified by a buyer at Selfridges department store in London that they’ll also start stocking the book this month on March 25 (a few days after my birthday) and during the first week of April my book will be on a special “premiere” shelf in-store. How exciting this all is… I can’t believe all of this is happening.
I must pause for a moment though to say that I know that I’m going to sound a little self absorbed over the next few months but I’m not at all trying to be. I’m excited and happy and so, so appreciative that you just may have to listen to me talk about this book a lot. I want to have a giveaway too and I was thinking that maybe some of you would like a book plate for your book that I can sign and dedicate to you and then you can have it for your copy. Would you like that? I have to figure out how to do this, but once I do I’ll let you know because so many have asked for signed copies and I honestly gave this part little thought because I only thought the Kelly Wearstler’s and the JK Rowlings of the world sign books – but I love the idea of dedicating a book to you personally so if I cannot sign your copy in person then perhaps a book plate will make you happy. Let me look into this and I’ll let you know more soon…
By the way… if you live in India you can order the book from Infibeam.
Also The Book Depository in the UK who will ship worldwide for FREE! Yes, really! But they won’t ship it until after March 25 and it’s the UK version written in British English.
I have more news to share with you soon concerning the UK book launch party on April 13 in London — I’ll talk about that later this week!
P.S. Decorate has a fan page on Facebook if you want to “like” it or “friend” it or whatever. I know, I know! ha ha! Too funny, right?!