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Weekend Report: Final Days of Summer

Hello and happy new week to you! I thought it may be nice to do a mini weekend report and though I may not do this every Monday, I think sharing my more personal life is a nice thing to do from time to time. Plus, I’m always keen on seeing what my blogger pals are up to when they’re not blogging – it’s fun to go behind the scenes and hear about their everyday adventures whether it is things they did, found, saw, what inspired them – all of it… So here is a recap of what I did this weekend in mostly photos that I took with my iPhone. I hope that you see something that makes you smile.

My flower market loot

Flowers from the farmers’ market put me in the weekend mood…

Having fun at the outdoor fabric market in Hannover

Then I visited an outdoor traveling fabric and notions market here from the Netherlands on Saturday. So much inspiration. I can’t wait until it returns again in November!

Cute prints by Westfalen

So many fun patterns and colors. Most of these are from Westfalen, a German fabric company that specializes in these cutesy country prints.

More fabrics I brought home from the fabric market

I couldn’t resist bringing some home with me…

Field flowers in my sitting area

I decided to put some of the flowers I picked up the day before in my sitting room…

English roses on my table

And some more in my dining room… These English roses are so romantic and I adore all of the intricate folds because they look like tissue paper yet feel like silk.

Preparing dinner

In addition to flowers, I picked up something else fresh this weekend – sweet corn brought in from the country! I prepared it as a simple meal for dinner and it was delish!

3 years since I moved here and I still haven't lost that first time feeling when I walk home admiring my neighborhood.

I walk everyday, but not always taking photos! This weekend, I took a walk around my neighborhood and snapped some photos for you because the architecture here inspires me so much. I have lived here for three years now and it still feels as exciting and new as it did the day I arrived. I really love living here.

I love my neighborhood

How could a neighborhood like this NOT inspire me?

Racing home to the one he loves?

The red phone booth is an British import and is not used, just left on display – I really don’t know where it came from, who brought it here or what the story really is behind it but it’s cute and makes me smile whenever I pass.

Sunset in my hood

I felt lucky to catch the sunset. It’s a magical time of night, don’t you think? I really enjoy strolling around, it helps me to collect and sort my thoughts.

A mini break in my neighborhood cafe

On Sunday, I went to this cafe nearby for lemonade. It was very quiet inside because everyone was out at the neighborhood street festival and flea market. This particular cafe is for parents and children so there is a play space and little tables dotted around for the kids. All of the shops were open yesterday, which is rare because Germans do not shop on Sundays. All of the stores are closed, only some bakeries are open, flower shops and cafes. But yesterday was a very special “Open Sunday” that is a pretty big deal. Stores put balloons outside and have prosecco, pastries, wine and other treats for their customers because it’s a special treat to be open.

Loved that this 14 year old boy was singing at the street fest today. Killer talent.

Here is a 14-year-old boy who was playing acoustic guitar in front of this shop that is new in our neighborhood and specializes in selling cork products handmade (and grown) in Portugal. His voice was amazing and he played so well. I liked some of his John Mayer tunes.

great stuff in Thomas' kitchen (my German friend)

I went to visit my friend, Thomas, and took a quick shot of his kitchen where he has the best display of wonderful things. He is a chef but could easily be a stylist. Such a talented man. He had a flea market on the street during the festival so I picked up a cute vintage board game circa 1971 shown below.

Brand new board game from 1971 - never used! Wooden pieces. Sooo cute! €2

This cute board game, complete with wooden play pieces, was a must have. It’s in German and still had the original letter from the manufacturer in it dated 1971. I love stuff like this…

Street flohmarkt in Hannover Germany (where I live).

I really enjoyed the festive atmosphere with open shops, tables in the streets where people were selling things, eating, drinking… And in general the vibe was so positive and laid back. Germans are so laid back in general.

Old typical German tiles where my friend lives

During the flea market, a friend invited me back to her apartment and I had to photograph the old German tile work in her hallway. So typical here in older buildings yet I never tire of it!

Field flowers

I popped into my friend Danielle’s shop, Sommerfugl, and then went to my other friends store called Sandras Kleinod. I picked up this pretty needlepoint pinboard that she made. I have to find wall space for it but had to show you — I really like it.

My weekend ended with wine and snacks on the outdoor patio with my friends by candlelight. What a gorgeous, happy ending.

What did you do this weekend?

(images: holly becker on my iphone)

Posted in inspiration on September 10, 2012

DIY: Art Border

Hello and happy Friday! This idea is in my upcoming book in the home of a British photographer, but I came across something like it in the September issue of Couch magazine, a super fab German mag dedicated to fashion and home, and simply had to share it! The idea is very simple so you may see it and wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that!?”, because it’s truly a very easy trick for displaying art yet it feels quite fresh and interesting to look upon. See for yourself…

Great art display idea

This is art displayed in a single row to create almost a “border” above a table, sofa, bed… Anything and everything. I haven’t seen this trick used that much but I think it has the potential of really catching on and sticking around. You select your favorite works and simple line them up and secure to the wall. But of course, you do have to have some type of game plan to make it work because rarely can these decorating ideas be thrown together without some thought.

To make an Art Border work, try some of my styling tips below:

  • Choose work according to a theme – nature, geometric, color, travel destinations, black and white only, sephia only, etc.
  • Hang art so that the centers line up – not the bottoms or tops (though you can experiment) but I like the centers in line as it feels less chaotic.
  • Place work side by side, touching, without space. If you are using objects, you can give them some breathing room but space them closely and evenly apart. Again, you want consistency not chaos.
  • If using only art, opt for either framed or without frames so that there is some consistency.
  • If you decide to use objects and art make sure you have some kind of them going on to link them together.
  • If you go with frames, try to make them all the same or have them be the same shape (I’d avoid circles/ovals) and then paint them in favorite colors that work with the art.

What a fun idea!

Would you try this at home? I totally will!

(image: photo taken by me of couch magazine.)

Posted in Rooms on September 07, 2012

New at Le Souk

Hello lovely friends. How are you today? I am doing good. I just returned from the flower market which left me feeling very inspired. If you are on Instagram, you can see some of my photos if you look me up and follow me there – I’m @decor8. Flowers are such a lovely and affordable way to boost the spirit, aren’t they? I’m going to spend some time now putting together some arrangements to dot around my home and office. The punchy colors will look nice!

Today I heard from my friend Danielle de Lange, a Dutch blogger, stylist and online shop owner that I’ve been friends with since I began blogging many years ago. Danielle is an amazing woman, we’d traveled together and still keep in touch and try to see each other every year or so. I’m so grateful for her friendship as she has been a lovely support and fellow blogger and friend throughout the years. I thought I’d show some support in return and blog about some of the new products that she has added to her shop, Le Souk. I really love all of these items and I think that you will to. Danielle has a real knack for, “Mixing modern, traditional and handmade, — every product at Le Souk is selected with a lot of care and love.” So true. See for yourself!

New at Le Souk

New at Le Souk

New at Le Souk

New at Le Souk

New at Le Souk

About Le Souk: Le Souk is the very best place to discover beautiful and unique products for you and your home. Our collection offers a wide – and still growing- range of home accessories for modern living, as well as personal accessories for you and your kids. Mixing modern, traditional and handmade, every single product at Le Souk is selected with a lot of care and love. Our goal is to make our customer’ life -and home- just a bit more beautiful. Le Souk donates at least 5% of its profits to Women for Women. This nongovernmental organisation helps women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives by providing them with job skills training, rights education, access to capital, assistance in small business development and financial and emotional support.

New at Le Souk

1. & 6. Handmade throw: These one-of-a-kind plaids are hand made in a small workshop in Northern Africa by skilled craftsmen. The throws are made according to traditional techniques but have a modern color scheme. No two plaids are identical! Gorgeous bold colors! Available in sizes: 150x200cm and 215x240cm.

2. Handmade wooden bench: this lovely bench is made from wood and rope. Perfect for a natural style interior! Also available in a smaller stool.

3. Handmade kilim runner in black & white: This unique kilim runner rug is handwoven by three skilled weavers in Tunisia using a traditional wooden weaving loom. The rug is made according to traditional techniques but the design is modern which give the rug a very unique character.

4. Wooden beads chandelier: This large white chandelier is absolutely stunning. It is made of hundreds of chunky wooden beads. The ethnic shape and the use of natural materials make this a true eye-catcher.

5. Handmade kilim runner in bold colors: this unique kilim runner rug is handwoven by three skilled weavers in Tunisia using a traditional wooden weaving loom. The rug is made according to traditional techniques but the design is modern which give the rug a very unique character. Very beautiful color combination!

7. Handwoven tablecloth/bedspread: This beautiful handwoven cloth can be used as a tablecloth, throw or as a bed cover. The stunning colors will brighten up any corner! Made from wool and woven by skilled craftsmen in a small weaving workshop in North Africa.

8. Bamboo pendant lamp: The organic shape and the use of bamboo give this pendant lamp a beautiful natural and unique look.

9. Handmade kilim cushion: This colorful striped cushion is handwoven by skilled weavers in a small workshop in Tunisia using a traditional wooden weaving loom. The cushions are made according to traditional techniques but have a modern color scheme.

Beautiful, I’ll have one of everything please! Especially the chandelier. Do you remember when I blogged about my obsession for the Mud Studio chandy awhile back? If not, you can see them here and now you can buy one like it at Danielle’s shop. Weeee!

(images: le souk)

Posted in round-ups on September 06, 2012

Blogging Thoughts & Kantha Quilt Love

Hi friends! How are you today? I’m back to blogging regularly after taking August off and I’m glad to be back because I love connecting with all of you as we share inspiring things that fuel us. It really keeps me going and that is why I blog, it’s an affordable therapist. :) Whether it’s pretty homewares, inspiring colors or how we feel about our life and career – it’s so wonderful to have you to connect to daily via decor8 and I’m happy to be back despite how I’m still trying to navigate a few things in my personal life – but who isn’t?

Kantha Quilts

I definitely learned during my month off that my blog FUELS my creative spirit. When I’m not writing regularly, I go inward a bit and over-think things. Analysis paralysis is a term I often refer to when I’m lecturing or teaching a class because it’s exactly what happens to me when I think too much. I think myself almost into a hole or a corner and become paralyzed.

Writing gets me back out again and for me, is such a huge creative release and exercise – it’s like working out – when you stop doing regular exercise you feel a huge dip in your overall feeling of well being. Same for me and my personal creativity – primarily tapped into through writing and photography. I never realized until I took a month away from blogging just how vital is was for my well being and how healing to my soul.

No matter what I go through in my personal life, blogging about design, creative things, art, our community, blog topics, crafts, travel… All of this sharing and processing of ideas helps me to concentrate on positive things that make me happy. This act of giving and receiving makes a difference in my life. In fact, taking a month off made me realize all of this – I have been thinking all weekend about why August was a hard month for me and it really came down to that – blogging is more than just posting “pretty things” or tossing up some pictures with a few sentences. It is my version of painting – and it digs me out of holes and keeps me feeling energized and refreshed.

Kantha Quilts

Now, onto the subject of inspiring objects and beautiful things because when I did research on these quilts today I actually began to feel better because the research gave me the feeling like I had traveled – and now I know more about these quilts and want to share them with you if you’re not too familiar with these beauties.

First, they originate from India and Bangladesh. I like them because they’re reversible and lightweight but more than that, these cotton quilts are usually quite colorful with gorgeous patterns and patches. They are constructed by hand by sewing layers of cloth and often vintage saris together and then stitched using a traditional, delicate “Kantha” stitch. They have become more and more popular over the past several years in western interiors and you can find them online in these shops listed below in case you fancy owning one (or ten).

I want to own several and stack them on top of my white wooden cabinet in my sitting room – then they are available for warmth when snuggling on the sofa at night and by day, add color to the room and a jolt of personality.

Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilts

Sources for Kantha quilts, both new and vintage, online include:

The Family Love Tree
Connected Goods
Rajasthan Royals
Niki Jones

Are you a fan of Kantha quilts from India, too? Now I really want to go to India! :)

(images: from shops above.)

Posted in Rooms on September 03, 2012


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