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!
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)
One of my dear students, Geraldine Tan, visited this past weekend from London and gave me the most beautiful assortment of presents wrapped beautifully in Liberty paper. There was one very special gift that I instantly fell in love with – a print by English artist Kerry Layton who lives in North London. Geraldine picked it up for me while attending a recent exhibition by Kerry. For now it will sit on my gray cabinet in my work room to give me wonderful thoughts of Geraldine each time I pass by…
Later, I hope to have it framed because a print so lovely deserves a special spot on my wall. Thank you Geraldine for such a thoughtful and spot-on present!
By the way, Kerry has a beautiful Etsy shop called Seventy Tree in case you’d like to take a peek…
(image: holly becker for decor8)
Ohhhh I love shopping this time of the year, don’t you? Okay, so every store is packed but it’s still so nice to be out – especially in the larger cities where the store windows are decorated so fancifully and the whimsical store decor can’t help by infect you with a happy virus plus, most people are in a good mood. Of course, by mid December I’m completely over it and begging, “Make it go awayyyy!” (LOL) but for now, I’m enjoying the sights and sounds and the mulled spice wine!
One thing I see EVERYWHERE are shiny things on strings – ornaments! Especially here in the Christmas markets that just popped up all over my city. Yet, with the exception of the Santa and Reindeer variety, I don’t see most ornaments as being so Christmas-y these days despite the fact that they show up mostly during this time of the year. I see ornaments as great decor any time of the year, in fact I like hanging them from the handles on my windows, from a nail to mix in with art on a salon style wall or to hang from a cabinet lock. I love going to Anthropologie after Christmas to take advantage of their ornament sales because they’re usually 50% off or more.
Of course, most associate ornaments with Christmas for good reason and if done with a measure of good taste (not overloading a tree so much that it bends like my dear grandmother once did, ha ha!), they can be a real thing of beauty if you choose to celebrate. I came across some ornaments today in my inbox that I thought I’d share, these DIY geometric paper ornaments are gorgeous – you can go with the bold brights or the softer pastels or do what I would do – mix them up! I can see these as being fun for Spring, especially the pastel tones.
These beauties are from Field Guide Design. So pretty, right? I love geometric shapes, especially mixing pastels with black and some brights – fun!
(images: field guide design)