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Thank You Poppy Talk!

Hello everyone! I’m back from London and will blog about my shopping adventures on Columbia Road later today, but first I simply MUST thank Jan at Poppy Talk for kicking off the bloggy book tour yesterday for Decorate Workshop AND for offering her readers a chance at winning a signed copy – her drawing will be on Wednesday, November 28th so enter Poppy Talk yesterday, here is her post with a review about the book AND a chance for you to win a signed copy! Click here to check it out. Also, she’ll be posting an interview that she had with me tomorrow when she announces the winner.

Photo from book, Decorate Workshop

Here is a photo from the book from Emma Cassi’s home photographed by Debi Treloar. Isn’t this an inspiring nook in her office space? She is a jewelry designer in London and frequently has buyers stop by to see her latest collections, which are stored in this magical cabinet. She changes the wall frequently to fit her collection as well. I was so inspired by Emma and her home, I met her through Sania Pell, so I had to have it in my book.

Thank you again Jan for launching my blog book tour! Readers, you can see her post and book review here. Today, the book tour continues with Sacramento Street and A Creative Mint – You’ll LOVE to see what those ladies have in store for you!

(photo: decorate workshop by holly becker for chronicle books, photographer: debi treloar)

Posted in Books + Magazines on November 27, 2012

Washi Tape Gift Tags DIY

Hello again friends! I have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow morning (I’m SO not a morning person) to catch a flight to London so this will be quick but I had to get this post up before I go… It’s to inspire you as you wrap your pretty presents this season! I made a bunch of these the other day for my students and thought you’d like to check them out because they are SUPER EASY to make using simple tags, fabrics and washi tape.

Gift Tag DIY

The first thing you do is consider your recipient/s and what message you are trying to convey. Once you know what you will put your gift in and which wrapping paper you’ll use, it’s time to get started on some tag making so raid your craft cabinets and drawers. It’s best to work with your scraps before cutting into yardage because for a simple and small project like this you can really use up those scraps! After you find the fabrics you love, you tear them into strips (or cut neatly if neat is your thing) and then lay out your washi tapes and see which colors work with your fabrics.

Gift Tag DIY

Once you have your tags (you can make tags by hand using card stock and a hole punch, buy a tag punch from a craft store, OR buy tags that are already made), start tearing your washi tape by hand into strips, in all lengths and widths. Raw torn edges look best. Layer them, create patterns, do whatever works and stick washi tape on ONE side of the tag, trimming the edges so that you aren’t folding the tape over the tag to the other side – you want the other side to be washi-free so you can write your message there and so your project doesn’t look sloppy. Loop the fabric through and tie it. You can also use ribbon instead of fabric, of course, but this is more unique.

Gift Tag DIY

Aren’t these pretty! Try to make lots of them in a single craft session so you have some on hand for future gift giving.

Gift Tag DIY

I love how my tags turned out, I’m really pleased with them. I made 18 in about 40 minutes. Not bad!

Gift Tag DIY

Will you try this project too?

I’m going to pack now but I’ll be back again on Tuesday! Bye for now!

(photos: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in DIY on November 22, 2012

Decorate Workshop Tours: Big News!

Hello friends! I am so pleased to announce two very wonderful events that Chronicle Books is sponsoring for me. The first is something everyone reading can get involved in, it’s the official Decorate Workshop Blog Book Tour and the schedule is listed below. It kicks off Monday, November 26th on the Poppytalk blog (Thank you Jan!) and continues daily during the week until Friday, December 7th. You will get to see special photos of and from the book, read reviews, catch a few interviews that some of these lovely bloggers had with me and more!

Book Tour News

Decorate Workshop Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 26Poppytalk
Tuesday, November 27Sacramento Street & A Creative Mint
Wednesday, November 28Hooray & Design For Mankind
Thursday, November 29Decorology & Bloesem
Friday, November 30The Curated House & Design Muse

Monday, December 3Simply Grove & In Honor of Design
Tuesday, December 4In My Own Style & This is Love Forever
Wednesday, December 5Mom Inc. Daily & Knack Studios & This is Glamorous
Thursday, December 6Justina Blakeney & Mint
Friday, December 7The TomKat Studio & Down and Out Chic

I must thank all 20 of these wonderful ladies, my blog peers, for their support in advance and I cannot wait to read and pin all of your reviews to my Decorate Workshop Pinterest board. I am very excited to see what each of you have to say and how you present the book – it’s such an honor for me so thank you again. I’ll be tuning in from Monday while I’m in London to see Jan’s review on Poppytalk – so excited!

The next big news is that I’ll be going on a REAL LIVE book tour next year in May 2013, Chronicle Books is bringing me on a North American book tour and I can’t wait to tell you who we’re working with and what fun events we have in store for you! We haven’t finalized dates or cities yet, but if you have suggestions PLEASE let me know where you’d like to see me because I’m open to suggestions and I want to see as many of you as I possibly can. I’ll be on the road for 2-3 weeks so I can hit 8-10 cities at least.

In 2011 I went to 20 cities in the US and Europe and honestly, I never imagined I’d be invited to do it a second time around so I’m going to make this tour the best that I can for all of us – especially my guests – so we can have really great events that are inspiring, productive and educational – not just about me signing books because I love to teach and the idea of doing live workshops at no cost to you makes me so, so happy – so workshops will be part of the book signing parties for sure. After this tour I honestly want to make babies, buy a home and stick around locally for a few years so this may be it when it comes to touring around for awhile so I hope to meet as many of you as possible! :)

Details to follow! But first, it’s bloggy book tour time starting on Monday – please follow along by visiting the blogs highlighted above.

Speaking of books, tomorrow (November 23), I will be in LONDON at the book department at Selfridges on Oxford Street from 3:00-3:30 doing a really informal signing – no seats, no presentations, no frills – just me standing around signing a bunch of books for their inventory. If you’re in the ‘hood and want to swing by to buy a book and would like it personalized then that’s a great time to do it. You cannot bring in any books with you but if you buy it tomorrow at Selfridges I will definitely sign it for you. Here’s a coupon you can use for 20% OFF, too!

Now back to the regularly scheduled program – blogging about something other than my book, ha ha!!!!


Posted in events on November 22, 2012

DIY: No Sew Bow Tie Pins To Wear & Decorate With!

Ready for a fun no sew DIY? I thought I’d share a project with you that I recently worked on for the first time in my hotel room earlier this month in preparation for my book launch party at Anthropologie. I mentioned to my husband, Thorsten, that I wanted to give those who were helping me and speaking at my party a special tag to wear but a sticky name tag felt too generic and boring so I wondered if I should just skip the typical name badges and give them something pretty to wear on their lapels and shirts that would set them apart from the crowd AND that they can use and wear again & again. He suggested using fabric, in keeping with my obsession for textiles, and to create simple bows. Of course, it’s impossible for me to be inspired and then just do as I’m told – I have to spin it a million time around and around so that I can come up with my very own idea and so that is exactly what I did. I decided to make bow TIES with fabric button centers and pretty ribbons hanging from them. Easy!

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP ONE |||  My first stop was Liberty where I found lots of ribbons and fabrics. You can approach this project two ways, using: 1) Neat fabric strips, ribbon or bias tape OR 2) Torn strips of fabric with frayed edges. I opted for the “neat” look but in the future, I want to try out the frayed torn fabric strips because I think those could be amazing too! At Liberty, I picked up several packs for their bias tape in, of course, iconic Liberty prints. So YOUR first step for this project would be to pick the fabric, ribbon and/or bias tape that you want to use.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP TWO |||  My next idea was, because I was in a hurry, to find already-covered fabric buttons. Liberty had loads in their haberdashery department so I bought a jar of them. You can also make your own with button kits (like the kit from Cath Kidston for Chronicle Books), or buy packages of button kits at your everyday craft and sewing store (the most affordable option). I made them for the first time in the beginning of 2011 at Sania Pell’s house when we were crafting together and have been hooked ever since – they are super easy to do, so don’t feel intimidated! After finding the buttons, I started shopping at Liberty for ribbons.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP THREE |||  The next step is to lay all of your tools out before you and start to think of the colors and patterns you wish to use and determine how many bow tie pins that you’d like to make. This past Saturday, I made 17 of them for students who will be attending the Blogging Your Way: Studio class in my home studio space.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP FOUR |||  Loop your bias tape (or whatever you decided to use) around your hand, with your fingers closed, 3 times and pinch in the middle to form a bow. You may want to use a pin to hold it in place for now. If you want your bow to be stiffer, you can use horsehair from a millinery supply shop.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP FIVE |||  Next, grab a covered button and put a ribbon or string through the center of your button.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP SIX |||  You will now tie the button to the bow by flipping it face down on your work surface. But first, before tying, lay two ribbons down to form an “X” over the ribbon that your button is on.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP SEVEN ||| Now tie everything together good and tight. I suggest making a knot.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP EIGHT |||  Now add a safety pin. I used gorgeous French Pins by Merchant & Mills that I bought at Liberty – but they are available online too. I am addicted to them now and will never use standard silver ones again – these are softer and more flexible but also elevate the craft a bit making it look more fancy.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP NINE |||  Flip over your bow and admire it, along the lines of, “ohlala”, and then do a little happy dance. Make some friends for your bow so there are more pretty ones to enjoy and giveaway. You can make big floppy bows for curtain tie backs, for jackets, for presents and everything else you can imagine topping with a pretty handmade touch. You can also add tags to them with the names of your guests for a party.

DIY: Pretty Bows To Wear & Decorate With!

STEP TEN |||  Finally, wear your bow with pride – you made it! No one has to know that it took you minutes to pull together. Doesn’t that feel good?

Note: If you share this project on Pinterest and your blogs, please add the link back to this blog post so your followers have the complete instructions and because, well, it’s just the nice thing to do.

(images: styling/project & photography: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in DIY on November 19, 2012


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