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Artist Masanobu Hiraoka

When I spotted these videos from Japanese artist Masanobu Hiraoka I was completely and utterly taken. What a beautiful display of art and music, so sensitive and colorful, deep yet light… What talent! Take a look at them please and see what you think..

What I find so inspiring about Masanobu is that this all comes completely natural and he learns on his own… He hasn’t attended college showing that oftentimes our passion and talent needs no formal education but simply a will to follow through with our heart’s desires.Sometimes we get stuck thinking we have to go back to school to pursue what we want so there is something on “paper” but not always…

A little more about his background can be found at Je Regarde, a French studio who reps his work, “Masanobu graduated from Momoyama high school (general education) in 2006. He then started to work but could not give up his dream : being an animator. He started to learn animation by himself and is a completely self-educated artist. He now lives and works in Tokyo as a free-lance animator in advertising or music video for clients such as UNIQLO. Next to this, he creates his own animations based on metamorphosis and strange or impossible motions he sets up in an unlikely reality.”

How do these videos make you feel? What do they mean to you? 

 

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 21, 2012

Shopgirl Visits Koskela in Sydney

Welcome to the first Shopgirl Visits column. My name is Jillian Leiboff, and I’m a photographer based in Sydney Australia. For the past 8 years I’ve been working part time as a photographer and whilst I started out shooting weddings, 3 years ago I started shooting shops and food for my blog.

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

I thought Holly’s readers might be interested in seeing some of the shops I shot, so in June 2009 I reached out to her and she liked what she saw. After that, I started randomly submitting my images to decor8 with my first recap being of the delightful Donna Hay store in Sydney. Holly has held a longtime love affair and fascination with Australian art & design but like most of you, isn’t able to hop on a plane whenever she wants to go see it for herself. Showing it on decor8 is the next best thing and that’s what I can do since I’m based down here though like love to travel so you may see the random post pop up from my travels abroad. You may remember seeing some of my images of the iconic Parisian store Merci on decor8, for instance. If not, I’ll list at the end of this post all of the stores that I’ve photographed which have appeared on decor8 in the past so you can catch up! Please take a look!

A few months ago I was delighted when Holly asked if I’d like to write a monthly column for decor8 called Shopgirl Visits. I was so excited I immediately began making a list of all the places I wanted to share with you. Each month I’ll be showing you shops (and the occasional artist studio, market and cafe where things can be purchased) that appeal to me and I hope to you. I’m always happy to get feedback so your suggestions are welcome.

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

For the first Shopgirl Visits column I’ve chosen the Sydney store, Koskela. Koskela is owned by Russel Koskela and Sasha Titchkosky and their company designs and produces some of the beautiful furniture you see here. Koskela’s motto is, “Follow your heart, trust your judgment, do it with joy”. It governs how they run their business and the types of people they work with and represent.

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

Koskela is one of the few stores in Australia that focuses on Australian designed and made products with a hand crafted element. Koskela stocks a collection of Australian made furniture, home wares, books and artwork for both adults and children. They recently moved from their premises in Surry Hills into a brand new showroom in Rosebery. As well as the showroom, the building is home to Kitchen by Mike, probably the most popular eatery in Sydney – you can see and learn more about Kitchen By Mike in the video below…

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

Shopgirl Visits: Koskela

The shop is housed in a former canning factory and it’s a huge light-filled space where many of the original warehouse features have been left intact. Koskela also has a gallery space and a workshop where people can learn new skills or crafts. Some of the best of Australian design is represented here and I particularly loved the children’s area. I was sorely tempted by some of the cute lights on display and was trying to think of a compelling reason to take one home with me.

“Follow your heart, trust your judgment, do it with joy”

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning than having breakfast at Kitchen by Mike followed by a browse through Koskela. You can find Koskela at 1/85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery, Sydney. See you all again next month and don’t forget to check out all of my shop posts on decor8 listed below! – Jillian

Donna Hay General Store, Black & Spiro, Bison, ici et la, Empire Vintage, Studio of Ceramicist Samantha Robinson, Anthropologie (London), Merci (Paris), Albion (London), Miljo, The Finders Keepers Market, Cotton Love Home, davidmetnicole, Mud Australia and Astier de Villatte (Paris).

(photos: jillian leiboff with store permission)

Posted in Shopgirl Visits, shopping, travel on May 21, 2012

DIY Drawer Art

Hello friends! How are you doing and how is your day? I got very good news that a new friend of mine will soon relocate from Paris to Berlin and so I’m very happy as I hope his move will result in us getting to see one another regularly! He is American like me so I am also curious to see how he settles in with learning all about German life & culture. Germany is the place to be more and more, so much is going on over here and the creative energy is amazing, contagious even… I’m so glad I moved here nearly 3 years ago because I really love it. It also makes me feel good when others move here to, it’s validating somehow. Do you feel that way about certain things, like your faith in something was worth it? That you felt something and followed your heart? I don’t want to rattle on and on so let me show you this DIY project that I made for you. I’ve been busy working but decided recently to create something for my wall since I wanted to add a little vignette of art to a lonely wall in my work studio. I thought I’d give you a step-by-step explanation as to how I did it because you may want to try something like it at home. I’m calling this Drawer Art. You’ll soon see why! :)

DIY Drawer Art on decor8

If you try this, please let me know – I’d love to see your project. It’s nice knowing when things inspire others and also encouraging because then I can show you more little ideas from my workshop. :)

(images: holly becker)

Posted in diy on May 15, 2012

Author Confessions, Oreos & e-Courses

Hello everyone and happy Friday! This post is about author confessions, oreos and e-courses but first, I am nearly finished writing my next book so very soon I’ll be back full-time again to bring you your daily dose of inspiration. I really miss blogging! It’s so hard being away but sacrifice is sometimes needed when dreams are involved so I’m trying to look at my absence in a positive way. I must admit though, some days I’d much rather be right here with all of you dishing about the latest pretty finds than writing copy, but then I just keep saying to myself, ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” and it helps me head up the mountain. That and a little red wine.

My Guest Teacher! Announced today on decor8

Now it’s time for some confessions and a few oreos. I read on someone’s blog recently that she gets frustrated by bloggers who seem to be handed book deals. It made me sad to read that. I felt attacked in many ways. I almost wanted to comment on her blog that she had nothing to be envious of or worried about because behind the glam facade, it’s really hard work – especially to go from blogger to author, because writing a blog and writing a book are so completely different that the sheer shift alone in going from writing so spontaneously to realizing that what you are writing for a book will forever be carved into stone, well, that’s a lot of pressure. I think any author can tell you that. It’s so much more than just typing text… and no one is handed a book deal unless they are totally famous or have insane connections or sleep with someone at the top. Being an author requires a great deal of inner strength and courage. I don’t always have that though on the outside, you may think I do. Another thing about writing a book… Some think fitting your thoughts into 180 characters (wait, 140!? 140!? No wonder I have such a hard time!) to form a coherent tweet is a nightmare. Sometimes it is! Emptying your entire brain onto paper, having to edit all of that – your entire passion on a single topic – into chapters and sections and WORDS, words that are supposed to make as much sense on paper as they did in your wee head, THAT is completely, amazingly, never-imagined-it-be the hardest part of writing a book. It’s like writing one massive tweet that will appear on a billboard along the freeway with your name in the biggest boldest text ever.

Aside from dealing with the stress of what others assume and feeling a bit drained from that – I started crying last night because I was so completely consumed by the whole process of writing so much lately and feeling really, really stressed. Then I sort of cried myself to sleep (thankfully my husband can sleep through the end of the world so it’s all good for him) only to wake several hours later, in the middle of the night, eating Oreos in my underwear in kitchen thinking about…. What do you know? My book introduction.

Then I got up at 4:00 a.m. in a cold sweat feeling pain in my chest because my deadlines are looming and decided that I should really go make a tea. By the time I went into the kitchen I forgot what I was in there for and just went back to bed. This morning I woke up wondering how it was that I went to bed in my nightgown but instead had only underwear on, and why I had mascara stains on my face – then I remembered my very long slightly stupid night. I decided to kick my own butt by giving myself a pep talk, took a shower and went for a walk in the rain on this very overcast day. Into the forest I went. Muddy boots, hair pinned up, mind filled with words — Words, words, words. An occasional sentence. Mostly words. I found myself speaking blocks of text out loud – like a mad person – reciting color theory and the difference of tints, tones, shades and what a hue was or shall I say, is. I wondered if people would really CARE to read that in my book. I wondered some more. Then I went home and started writing again. I felt better but I still feel a little stressed out and overwhelmed. I’m human.

Everything worth having requires a fight, some blood, a little sweat and a bunch of tears. But you keep going forward, don’t you? You roll forward, sometimes you drag yourself forward, but the important point is that whether you are crawling, being dragged by someone stronger than you, limping… that the word FORWARD is always part of the scenario. As long as you are moving forward you are making progress. My grandmother once said that she doesn’t care if she gets to heaven in a wheelbarrow, she’s getting there. Good for you, grandma.

My Guest Teacher! Announced today on decor8

Enough about that though. I thought today that I’d share what I’m working on OTHER than my book because I’m working on a bunch of equally rewarding projects – albeit stuff that won’t keep me up at night or talking to myself in the forest (let’s hope!).

First, I’ll be teaching Blogging Your Way again in June only this time, the anticipated 2.0 version! I’m excited because even though my dear friend Leslie needs to take some time out for her kids on their school vacation (sad frown), lovely Jeanette Lunde from Fryd + Design will be co-teaching with me for 2 weeks during the 4 week class (big smile). If you don’t know who she is, we have a very similar aesthetic so I thought for this class working with her – a skilled graphic designer, photographer and stylist from Norway, would be really nice for us all. I’m SO HAPPY to have Jeanette because she will teach you all about styling, talk about photography and get into the lovely world of e-magazines and how it works to publish them. Of course, that is in addition to all of the content I am bringing to the table that you can find outlined here. This self-paced online class will start June 1 and end June 29 but you will have the entire month of July to catch up on materials so there is lots of time to enjoy what Jeanette, Thorsten and I have in the works. I’ll miss Leslie but we are about to embark on another project soon so we’ll still have nice things to share with those who enjoy our work in the very near future!

As for BYW 2.0, I’m teaching all new lessons and so for those who already took BYW (the one I’ve been teaching for over three years as an e-course) should consider BYW 2.0 because it’s going to be a really fun class! I’ve also hired an amazing designer, Mark Wilson from MWA in London, to design and build an all new class site, so students will learn in a new environment. I can’t wait! Learn more about BYW 2.0 here and sign up here. He is also designing the all new decor8 blog scheduled to roll out within the next month, too. We’ve been doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make your visits to decor8 more enjoyable and I look forward to rolling that out. The anticipation is sorta killing me at the moment!

My Guest Teacher! Announced today on decor8

In addition to the e-course in June, I’ll be giving a two hour class/lecture in a castle located in Germany for this amazing food styling & photography workshop. That’s another project on my plate for summer that I’m really, really looking forward to taking part in. For those who are not attending, I’ll blog about it upon my return so you can see what we did — I’ll be there for the entire weekend workshop so I’ll come home with lots to tell you about!

In July, I will open my home studio space to those who want to come to my house in Hannover, Germany to learn more about blogging and social networking with me in an intimate, supportive and creative environment. The class will be a day class on Saturday, July 28th and last from 9-6 with snacks, lunch and afternoon treats. I’ll only be able to welcome 15 of you, but I’d love to have you! For those who may want to fly in from another part of the world, I will add a second class for July 29th if you’d like – just ask me. It will be loads of fun and more information will follow within the next few weeks. Please drop me an email: holly @ decor8blog.com if you would like to attend on July 28 or if you want to attend July 28 & 29.

SO! That’s what I have on my work calendar at the moment. What are you up to these days? Busy? Bored to death? On the verge of something new? Let me know, I always like hearing the latest!!!

Now where are those oreos?

xo, Holly

(images: Jeanette Lunde)

Posted in uncategorized on May 11, 2012

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

eCourses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way: Blog Boss
e-course, October 10 - November 10, 2014
Find out more about this exciting class by bloggers, for bloggers, teaching you how to blog like a boss!