Hello my dear friends! I hope that you are enjoying the season and all of the good feelings that it can bring, despite some of sad news we’ve been hearing lately from countries all over the world having their own trials and tribulations. Despite the bad times though, we have to each try during such moments to pause and reflect on all that is good in our life, in our community and in the world. It’s not about being Pollyanna, it’s about recognizing how precious life really is and that we have to value the time we’ve been given on this planet and live each day mindfully, with intention. For me, this also means taking time out.
While I admire bloggers who write 365 days a year (woot woot!), I simply don’t want to because I truly need and want time to dedicate to myself and my family – to be in a bubble all of our own – together, with friends, strolling the Christmas markets here and being in the moment without any sense of obligation or “I really need to blog this or that” because the truth it, taking time off is healing and the chance to recharge my batteries after a long year is, for me, a necessity.
I encourage all of you to take a little holiday pause this year – even an internet pause – and make some things with your hands, play on the floor with your children, pay attention to those in your home who are there because they belong to you and are yours to love and most importantly, refresh and refuel. I was going to have guest bloggers post for me while I’m away, but I decided that I want them to take time out too and I don’t want to encourage people to constantly surf blogs from now until January 1st because frankly, we all really need to enjoy other things offline to maintain joy and balance and to find more inspiration to put into our blogs again once the pause is over. Take it from me, the social media blog queen, it’s vital. :)
I took some photos today after I pulled together this little wall in my work room – it took about 30 minutes and I like it so much. I did this after cruising Pinterest all morning. I saw so many projects and ideas and felt inspired but wanted to make my own “project” so I stepped away from my iPad and got busy with my hands, scissors and washi tape. These photos are the result.
The beautiful cards came in the post by dear friends and some were given to me recently in person. They mean the world to me, especially when no one really sends paper cards anymore (heartbreakingly so) – I always make room on my walls each Winter to post the cards that did come in.
I will be on a holiday pause until January 9th, so I’ll see you on Wednesday January 9th. I may be posting a surprise edition of Color Me Pretty with wonderful Leslie Shewring between now and then though, so watch my blog for that special post.
Before I sign off for the year though, I have some thanks to give. First, to all of you who read decor8 and support this blog – Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful, year. Thank you to everyone who is leaving feedback on my books over at Amazon. Thank you to all who bought my books this year. Thank you to those of you who follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to all who I’ve taught via Blogging Your Way (the next e-class is in March!). Thank you to my publishers: Jacqui Small (and team!) Chronicle Books, Murdoch, Callwey and the other 8 publishing houses who have translated and sold my books. Thank you to Debi Treloar for working with me this year on so many lovely photos for my books.
Thank you to everyone who came to my book launch party at Anthropologie in London this past Autumn, including Will and James and to Anthropologie for sponsoring it in the first place. Thank you to my columnists, Leslie, Emilie and Jillian for your beautiful contributions to decor8 each month. Thank you to the many bloggers who participated in the Decorate Workshop book tour for Chronicle Books, too!
And most importantly, a huge heartfelt thank you to my husband Thorsten for supporting me and loving me and putting up with living with a blogger but more than that, for working so hard to manage my business, handle my advertisements, work with my clients, support and maintain Blogging Your Way and for the beautiful, “Holly Song” that he composed for my new video shown below for a class I taught with Leslie Shewring in NYC earlier this year. So many assume I’m running my business alone but I’m not, my husband does a huge amount of work for what has become our company and he was the one person who encouraged me to write in the first place when I was so unhappy at my corporate job. Thorsten, thank you so much for being there for me!
There are so many more to thank, including those who advertise on my blog (see the column to your right for a complete view), but I think this post is already long enough. But seriously everyone, you all are a wonderful bunch of friends, thanks for being such a big extension of my family.
I wish you a beautiful and happy season and a wonderful 2013. I’ll see you on Wednesday, January 9th!
Hello everyone this is Jillian posting from Australia today! How are you? If you love a natural approach to living then you’ll love this month’s edition of shopgirl where Brook Farm General Store in Brooklyn is given a friendly visit and photo shoot.
This inspiring shop (also with an online store) is a modern interpretation of the traditional general stores of New York City. Over the years I’ve seen the store featured on decor8 and in a few other blogs and magazines, so when it was my turn to visit New York, Brook Farm General Store was on my list. The store stocks well designed practical goods, the kind of items I like to use in my own home.
Brook Farm General Store is located in Williamsburg nestled in a small street just under the Williamsburg Bridge. Philippa, one of the owners, welcomed me to the store and let me wander around the shop snapping away to my heart’s content. The shop is neat, bright clean and light, the perfect palette to highlight the wares on display.
So what did I find in the store? A little bit of everything! There were goods for the kitchen and items for pets. There were things for the office and for the home like lights, brushes, enamelware, rugs and throws. This store stocks iconic brands such as Falcon enamelware and Opinel in addition to items from their own in house brand, Tourne. Of course I had to go home with something, but with so many lovely things all around me, it was hard to make a decision. As I love to cook, a box of Opinel French knives came home with me tucked carefully into my luggage.
What would you have packed away in your suitcase?
Next time you’re in Brooklyn, you can find Brook Farm General Store at 75 South 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, (718) 388-8642. If you’re not in town, they have a great online shopping site that you can find here.
Wishing you all the best for the holidays! – Jillian.
(images & text: jillian lieboff)
Have you laid eyes upon the book, Mes petites Kokeshi by talented Parisian shop owner Adeline Klam? I first saw it at the Frankfurter Buch Messe in 2011 and fell in total love, I had to buy a copy despite how little French I know (though now it’s been translated into German, available here). In this book, photos truly do speak a thousand words whether you speak French or German (or not). Adeline’s projects are so cute and are all themed around the Japanese Kokeshi wooden dolls. Here is a glimpse from the book taken by my friend Emilie Guelpa from Griottes who worked on the project with her as the photographer.
Recently, Emilie felt very inspired from working on this book for Adeline and decided to make her own version of kokeshi dolls at home. She wrote about how she did it on her blog (click here) but here are the items she transformed into little people laid out below. This is such a beautiful and inspiring craft project to work on, especially this time of year with your children. All you need are some wooden shapes, paint, fine tip brushes and maybe some glue if you want to accessorize your little people. You can add angel wings, glitter, feet, hats – whatever you’d like!
I feel so inspired by this project that I’m going to look around in the local craft store for wood pieces while I’m on vacation (I’m taking off December 15 – Jan 7) to see if I can make a few kokeshi of my own. You can even glue ribbon to them and create ornaments!
(images: emilie guelpa)
Are you familiar with Weekday Carnival, a Finnish blog authored by Riikka Kantinkoski, a talented photographer, designer and mother? She has an amazing knack for decorating her home in fact, I blogged about her over a year ago here but since she’s done so much decorating over the past 14 months I have to share some updates from her gorgeous abode today.
I just love seeing how she lives, I find her color palette (pastels with a shot of black) so mesmerizing and I love how tidy she appears. It’s something to aspire to, for sure!
Riikka has a real eye for color and form but also a great ability to edit. Editing is the hardest job of any decorator – knowing when ENOUGH is truly ENOUGH. I think it’s the toughest for any creative actually – knowing when to quit.
I see examples of poor editing all around me when I travel often in shops because they tend to overload the counters and shelves with product – items exploding all around – and shop owners wonder why no one buys anything and customers treats the store as a museum. That’s most likely why. The Conran Shop in London does a terrific job stocking their shelves. They have a few of each item and that’s it. Same with Anthropologie – there is A LOT of product but often they don’t have 500 of the same thing. I walk into stores that often DO have 100 of the same cup on a shelf and I think WHY? This makes me feel like I have all the time in the world to buy that cup, I can come back for it in a month because they have plenty of them in stock! If they do (and some stores are more loaded than others) I often feel overwhelmed and leave empty-handed. Too many choices (think: Pinterest!) often leaves us stressed and worried that we won’t make the right choice. With limitations, we have room to think and consider and decide. Space also allows for us to be creative.
Having the eye of an editor can help a shopowner as much as it can a homeowner. Knowing when to pause and say, “You know, this wall has ENOUGH art on it” or “This sofa has ENOUGH throw pillows” is a great skill. It also allows objects in your home to breath and stand out more – you can highlight your precious possessions this way as Riikka has in her Finnish home. Riikka’s stunning home doesn’t feel overwhelming, overloaded or crammed with stuff. It feels like there is movement and flow – so it’s impossible for your decorating waters to stagnant with such movement. When a room is packed wall-to-wall it can quickly feel dated because there is no movement. You literally cannot move anything else into the space and you can barely fit in it yourself! This makes me think of shops that are so packed that you can barely move around. Stores like that make me want to leave as quickly as I’ve entered!
Please visit Weekday Carnival for inspiration, decorating ideas and loads of beautiful photos taken by mostly Riikka herself. Let the pages of her blog whisk you away but also inspire you to try a fresh approach to your own home. Maybe for 2013 we can “slim down” our spaces a wee bit so there is more movement in them, more flow, more space to breath so the creativity can flow? Hmmm. Something to consider for our resolution list, isn’t it?
(images: Riikka Kantinkoski)