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Quick + Cheap Mood Board Idea

I’ve been a busy bee this week! In addition to planning for the Liberty event in London on Wednesday night (we’re making lots of pretty things for the tabletop and a special installation to go above the table), I was asked if Where Women Create magazine could shoot my work studio this week and of course, since I’m a keynote speaker at their special upcoming Creative Connection event (alongside Oprah’s own Cristina Ferrare) in September, I said yes! It worked out really well because I was able to work with my husband, who shot the story, and I styled the shots which was fun — it definitely made me miss working on the road last year styling my book Decorate! Here is an outtake from the shoot of my desk area. You can see the entire room in their next issue!

My desk

Above my desk I have this very quick and easy DIY mood board/art display. I made it up myself – hey, decorating isn’t rocket science! What I did was cut a piece of linen and secured it to the wall with 5 nails. I then disguised the nails by looping some simple ribbon around each one. I let the linen drape because it looks more natural than if I had pulled it extra tight across the wall. It looks more casual and soft this way. I have tons of prints that I’ve purchased over the years from Etsy and I can’t properly frame all of them so, using Japanese craft tape which sticks so well yet can be easily removed without tearing paper, I “tacked” everything to my mood board/art wall. I can swap imagery whenever the spirit moves me. I like that because the spirit moves me quite often! In fact, changing a mood board regularly is a trick that helps me to stay out of creative ruts. The moment I feel one coming on, I edit my mood board and the fresh perspective helps energize me. With the “Holly” mood board, you only need a little less than a meter of linen, 5 nails, and some ribbon and of course Japanese crafting tape and some art, tears from magazines, etc. and boom! you are in your creative zone in minutes.

I had some major déjà vu moments working on this story for Where Women Create and definitely feel like I need to do more of this in the future along with books and anything else that I can continue to do to combine imagery and words to communicate what’s inside of me to all of you. I love decor8, so the blog will always be front and center, but side projects are so meaningful and rewarding and it’s good fuel for me to have them as they also feed my creativity so that I can blog with more passion. I have come to realize over the past five years that blogging with intention, with heart, with passion is always my goal — it is so much more rewarding over simply tossing up posts for the sake of writing something. For me, a blog is a place to communicate feelings, a vision, talk about inspirations, ideas, goals, dreams… I think that is what makes a great blog, well, great. What do you think?

(photo: thorsten becker)

Posted in diy on April 09, 2011

Matthew Mead Summer Issue

I have a special preview that you’ll love but first, this week slipped by so quickly and truth is, I don’t like it! I feel sad when I’m away from my blog and apologize for not writing since Tuesday. Thing is, I’ve been a bit busier than usual and haven’t had much time to compose a post and I hate throwing something up just for the sake of having a blog post. I miss you all! I’m having blog withdrawal though it’s only been three days — it’s funny how much a blog becomes a part of life just as much as anything else you grow to cherish. How are you doing? Are you well? I thought I’d tell you some exciting news – I worked with Leslie Shewring to produce a story on creativity that will run in the summer issue of Matthew Mead Holiday magazine! We are both very excited and so I thought I’d share some glimpses of the magazine with you today to whet your appetite for the other features that you can find in the same issue as well.

Matthew Mead Spring

Matthew Mead Spring

Matthew Mead Spring

Matthew Mead Spring

Matthew Mead Spring

Isn’t this all so inviting and pretty? Matthew Mead does such a nice job on each carefully thought out issue. He really does produce lovely things and I enjoy seeing his touch on an entire magazine – he certainly has the eye for it.

The issue is filled with beautiful color, simple ideas and decorating tips along with recipes and a trip to Trish Foley’s house near the Hamptons along with an article about tapping in to your creativity by Leslie and I. You can order online here and issues will be in the mail during the first week of May. I can’t wait to see it!!!

(images: matthew mead holiday)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 09, 2011

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Ah handmade… doesn’t it just tickle you pink? There are so many delightful things to fall head over heels for over at Etsy. To think that when I launched this column years ago I wondered if enough talented crafters would rise up so that I could keep this column going for awhile – Ha! Guess so because here I am still finding plenty of precious handmade treasures to love. Here are my top five picks for this week, they range from artsy to whimsical, so there is a little something for everything. Enjoy!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Jeremy Miranda is an artist in Salem, Massachusetts with a shop under the same name, Jeremy Miranda, where he sells original paintings and limited run prints. I love his murky, moody palette with almost splashes of pure color being flecks of hope — and that his inspiration is both nature and architecture. Lately he has been painting icebergs and greenhouses because, “They both seem to blur the line between landscape and architecture,” he says. Nice work!

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Emily Zych in Maryland who runs Which Goose, a shop specializing in mostly vintage-inspired clips and combs for decking your locks with flowers and bows. Such a sweet shop, and she has lovely product photography and a great eye for texture and color to be so young.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Cori Dantini is such a gem, I love her work and find myself doing frequent “drive bys” to see what’s new in her shop. Recently, she started to group her paintings and prints by colorway which I find extremely helpful. I like when sellers put themselves into the shoes of their customers to make shopping more fun (and easier!). My dream is that she will someday surprise us with an illustrated book for kids. I’ll write it Cori! I can imagine her characters delighting children (and parents) alike.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

I love seeing what others make using vintage and vintage-inspired fabrics combined with stitch work, like these pretty bracelets by Amy at Ponder and Stitch. I especially love seeing them displayed in this pretty wooden box.

Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Maison Paulette is owned by artist and collector Iris Schwarz in Zurich. She seems to gather the most curious objects from flea markets that she offers in her shop and ships worldwide. My favorites are her original pieces of art though, I find them just brilliant! I also love the glass domes that she finds in beautiful shapes and sizes, gently aged as vintage pieces are give them that not too precious “from the shelf” look if you know what I mean.
(images are linked to their sources above.)

Posted in etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on April 05, 2011

Mood Board To Go!

Hello friends! How are you today? Did you have a nice weekend? I got home from London and immediately went to a flea market here in my city and found some great loot (you can see it here). We had beautiful weather so I got a lot done and feel really refreshed as a result. What about you? Are you well?

I’m not sure if I ever shared with you how I shop when I’m on a mission to find the things that I need to work on a project. Some of you may find this approach helpful, especially if you’ve not tried it before. I’m currently planning a “look” along with Sania and Leslie for the Dining Room demo that we’re doing at Liberty London on April 13th at 6:30 p.m. for my book launch (come if you can!) and so I have a somewhat long punch list of things that I need to buy/work on this week. I can’t believe I only have this week left, but let’s not talk about that?! ha ha! Anyway, in addition to my punch list, I also have a mini mood board that is in my bag at all times — it’s in a spiral bound “to do” notebook that I picked up at HEMA. It’s nothing fancy AT ALL – in fact, it’s extremely easy to pull together, here’s a photo of it below.

Mood board for Liberty demo

As you can see, these are the fabrics, ribbons and such that we’re using as part of our table design. The shots of pink throughout provide a little healthy tension to give this palette a jolt of color which is refreshing because without the pink, it can almost go a bit too far into the neutral zone (and I love neutrals so it’s easy for me to do!). The green takes it up a notch as well. There is also some charcoal and deep gray (you can see that below in the next image). Thing is, pink is a funny color and it comes in a million shades like any other color — some with blue undertones, others with beige, and what your eye thinks is the correct pink is often not the correct pink when you come home and view what you bought alongside with what you thought it would match. A way to avoid returns or worse, buying things that don’t work and forgetting to return them so you amass clutter, is to simply bring a travel mood board with you – a mood board to go.

I cut tiny snippets of the key pieces that we’ll use and attached everything with small bits of tape and this serves as my reference as I’m out and about. Funny enough, when you go into a store and pull out something like this, you’ll not only invite conversation (people are so curious!) but you’ll get the help that you need most of the time from the sales people because they’ll almost treat you with a bit more respect because you appear to know what you’re doing (whether you or not is debatable I guess ha ha) and you can often get a lot farther with them when you’re asking for a particular color or style and you can SHOW them what you mean vs. trying to describe it as everyone sees color much differently. Have you ever tried explaining a color anyway? It’s quite a task. A mood board to go saves time and money and is exactly why I’ve been using them for over 10 years as a guide when I shop.

As you can see below, this is a shot I took using Sania’s camera of everything piled together in her inspiring craft loft when we were together in London — so I photographed it as well so I could keep this photo on my iPhone to serve as an additional reference for me as I’m out shopping.

Mood board for Liberty demo

And a big P.S. — London was amazing! I had such a great time there and spent 6 hours at Liberty on Thursday sorting out and photographing what we want to do with the table, choosing everything from chairs to linens to a proper table… And then we lunched at Flat Planet next door (I highly recommend) and then visited Muji, John Lewis and VV Rouleaux for some supplies, and then I was off to Chiswick where I stayed at the posh High Road House designed by the one and only Ilse Crawford and we ate at the private “members only” club there — it was so pretty. The next day, I walked to Sania’s beautiful brick Victorian home and spent the entire day with her — we had so much fun crafting and sorting out ideas for the demo and did what girls do best – chat and play with pretty bits and bobs. I could live in Chiswick in a second, I really felt at home there.

I can’t wait until next week when I can take photos of the tabletop and show you how we’ve translated what you see above into a pretty table for Spring. Stay tuned!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Decorating Tips on April 04, 2011

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