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Monday, Monday!

Ah yes, it’s Monday. Welcome, Monday! Somehow that happened and last week was a bit of a blur for me while Boom! a new week is front and center. I blogged quite lightly last week but I’ve been running around a lot and this week it will be very light on decor8 as well since I have a big week ahead of me in Amsterdam (for this) so I won’t be home again until June 27th but you can count on June 27-August 18th (the date I fly to the states) to be hoppin’ on decor8! I have so much trapped inside of my head waiting to burst out to share from things I’ve found to people I’ve met and it’s just a matter of me getting through this week first so that then my calendar opens and I’m all yours again. Just how I like it.


A glimpse into my weekend above.

This past weekend was very nice and inspiring. I did so much that I still cannot believe all of that took place between Friday and Sunday! I went to a few music festivals, a huge outdoor fabrics and notions market (photos can be seen here if you want to know what it’s like), shopping in the city, and I attended a lovely party on Saturday night to send off two friends as they move to America. I also did lots of errand running and chores around the house, answered a ton of email and then spent yesterday with a good friend at an outdoor crafts market (high end stuff, gorgeous!) and we went to dinner at a cute cafe in the old part of our city overlooking a church from the 11th century, which always fascinates me as I come from a relatively young country so the sheer history that I now live around. I also watched a few films, I guess you could call them “fluff” films but they gave my head some room to chillax so I guess we all need the fluff sometimes, right?

What about you, how was your weekend? What did you do? I’m happy to see you again and to get back to blogging!

I’ll be around all day today and tomorrow and I’ll post on Wednesday as well from the train but I won’t be posting on Thursday or Friday so just remember that in case you wonder where I’ve roamed. See you back in a moment or two.

(images: holly becker taken via iPhone app Instagram. Do you have it? If not, it rules!)

Posted in uncategorized on June 20, 2011

Creating My Dream Patio

Today decor8 columnist Anna-Malin is back to visit us from Sweden sharing her recently redecorated patio. I love seeing how people treat a patio space – some fancy tables and chairs with a big umbrella, others add a water feature or fire pit and still others incorporate hammocks or even build a koi pond. It’s amazing to see the difference from patio-to-patio as you browse magazines and books for outdoor spaces, isn’t it? I think you’ll love Anna-Malin’s patio because it’s more of a second living room and lounge space for relaxing, reading and entertaining during the warmer months and can take her straight into the Autumn. I’ll let her take it from here…

Patio Inspiration

Hello everyone it’s Anna-Malin! For my June column I wanted to share my newly decorated outdoor patio because I am very proud of it and feel that it could be an inspiration to many of you who are unsure as to how to decorate your outdoor space. Last summer my husband and I built a wooden frame in the backyard to create a room in our garden area (below). Since we have full sun in our yard all day long we needed a place with some shade for relief! On top of the wooden frame we put branches and twigs to create a rustic, natural ceiling. On the concrete wall to soften it a bit visually, we added a shelf and some wood for vines.

Patio Inspiration

This year I bought new furniture — a sofa, a big round table and a chair — all in bamboo. I wanted the feeling to be calm and relaxed
so I added a lot of pillows in a mix of patterns, shapes and colors and I store them when I’m not using the patio to protect from fading and water damage since they are not waterproof. I also bring in the sheep skin when I’m not using my patio. A sheer panel (below – you can’t see it in the photo above) not only looks pretty swaying in the breeze but filters the light as well.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

By mixing the bamboo furniture with my old white rattan armchairs and a really old bench from the flea market, I achieved the feeling that I was looking for – rustic, modern, clean and very “me”. I like to have a space that feels very personal, even outdoors. The string of lights were added to the fence to give a warm glow at night and lanterns create a romantic ethnic bohemian vibe in the evening along with some good tunes from my iPod.

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

Patio Inspiration

With beautiful weather finally here, this my favorite place right now, especially in the evenings with lots of candles, a cup of tea and a good book. I hope my outdoor space inspired you – do you have a place in your backyard to create something similar? Do you already have a patio that you’ve recently redecorated? You can link it in your comment if you would like to show and tell!

I’ll be back in July with another Handmade Home story from you, until then, goodbye! Anna-Malin Lindgren.

Posted in Decorating Tips on June 14, 2011

A Collection a Day: Book by Lisa Congdon

I’ve known artist Lisa Congdon for a million years, well not really but because internet years are like dog years, my knowing her since 2005 feels like forever. I first met her when she was still working as a Director of Program Development at a San Francisco non-profit education consulting organization and not yet a full-time artist as she is now. Back then, she was blogging under the name A Bird in the Hand to share her creative process and thoughts about everyday life, the work she created after work and on the weekends (pillows, collages, paintings, etc.) and to connect with other creative women (read an interview that I had with Lisa in 2006 here). Like most of us who took a leap of faith to leave our comfortable careers behind, I was cheering on Lisa as I watched her make that big leap and I’ve been cheering ever since.

Book by Lisa Congdon

I’ve always liked Lisa and have enjoyed watching her career blossom and grow throughout the years. She became a full-time artist and is involved in so many projects these days that I can’t keep up with her and I love seeing her talent being appreciated and well, seen everywhere. I’m so happy that she now has a book that has been published my Canadian independent publisher Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE called A Collection a Day. I was wondering when someone was going to be smart enough to approach her to do a book!

A Collection a Day


Why collections? For those of you unfamiliar with Lisa’s obsession with collections, she has been crazy for collecting random objects for years now – since childhood really, and she even started a blog dedicated to them with photos that span one full year where she shared her collections one by one in many interesting compositions. Her goal was to give herself a creative challenge by photographing all of them for the 2010 calendar year and her passion resulted in many online fans who grew to love her bloggy project. Very cool, right? I think so… Each page in her book shows the collections that she shared on this 12 month long blog project and I love seeing it as a book because her collections really shine so much more in print, plus I can flip through it over and over again for inspiration and well, the sheer pleasure that book flipping brings. :)

A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day

I love seeing talented people like Lisa who are online connecting with their readers, forming a tribe, and then being recognized by others including publishers who then take their work and publish it in print. So much of what we blog gets lost in the archives — I’m so happy that Lisa’s project didn’t.

I’m proud of you Lisa and congratulations on the new lovely book! xo

You can purchase Lisa’s book here.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on June 14, 2011

Gemma Milly Illustration

Oh oh oh oh everybody! Red alert! Gemma Milly, an artist and illustrator in southeast England, has taken my heart captive today. Her work is such a delight and I’m certain it will tickle you too. I’m so happy that I found her today via lovely Mary Beth on Pinterest. I adore her painterly style and colorways and well her drawing of William and Katherine kissing on the balcony and Buckingham Palace is just so charming (you can buy it here). I hope they somehow see it — I’m sure they’d love it to pieces that cute Will and Katherine.

Gemma Milly

Gemma draws her images first by hand using  pen or pencil, then adds ink and watercolor, and finally she digitally enhances them to give them that final “just so” touch. I love how she uses her color outside of the lines at times. This is gorgeous. Her inspiration comes from, “The ethereal, the sensual, the female form, the exquisite and the beautiful. Her aim is to create strikingly beautiful images that please the eye and delight the senses.” I’d say she accomplishes her goal!

But she hasn’t always been an illustrator… Gemma once worked in advertising and design for six years at a traditional desk job, but like so many creative types who dream of “what if”, the atmosphere wasn’t for her and she started to wonder about her future… So she jumped ship, returned to university where she earned her Master’s in Illustration and Animation and now she is a happy freelancer.

Gemma produces prints, greetings cards, portraits and fashion illustration for her big cartel shop and for her clients and well… we’re all happier for it – but most importantly, Gemma found her calling and we all love those kinds of stories, don’t we?

Isn’t Gemma divine?

(images: gemma milly)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on June 13, 2011


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