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I Heart Blogging Workshops!

Hello friends! I thought before posting Etsy Take Five Tuesday today that I’d introduce you to our students from our blogging workshop this weekend. Each of these wonderful ladies came to my home in Hannover, Germany to learn from Steffi Luxat and I about blogging and how to take a more creative, journalistic approach to your blog.

#bywstudio

We had such a wonderful time, we shopped together, ate together, took photos, learned, enjoyed the Christmas market… It was so lovely that I want to host another in the Spring! Those are our 16 Blogging Your Way Studio students above and of course, you can see how seriously they took their studies!!!!

We had fun doing this shoot… I took out my collection of vintage hats passed down to me by my grandmother (she was a dancer in Chicago in the late 30s) and let the students play with them for a photo session, which wasn’t my idea by the way. It was a rather thrown together photo shoot because we didn’t plan to do one but Rincy, a darling student visiting from Ireland, really wanted to do one and so we did and ended up having a blast!

#bywstudio

This is Gudy and her class partner, Louisa holding a bag from one of our sponsors, Alphabet Bags. This was not a class about blogging by the rules, it was a class about blogging from the heart!

#bywstudio

This is Susanne getting a haircut by Nic. These ladies were so sweet and I especially love how Nic always had the best advice when we were having our open conversion sessions in class.

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This is Inga and her class partner, Holly. Inga has the cutest blog, you have to check it out – I love the clean layout. Holly is a columnist for Houzz and has her own blog that she’s currently revamping for a big shiny new roll out.

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This is Louise and her “blog team” for the weekend, Brigitte and Sabrina. They raided my china cabinet for cups to pretend they are classy bloggers taking tea. I think though that they had vodka in their cups! :)

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This is Orit, who came all the way from Tel Aviv as a birthday present for herself and had on the best bright clothes each time I saw her – so cool! Her blog partner in crime was Dani who was just the sweetest lady – she gave me a gorgeous bag when she left filled with American baking things which was extremely thoughtful. I loved how Dani added washi tape to her hat, cute, right?

#bywstudio

This is Jana with her blog partner Rincy. Rincy just sparkles and glows and transmits so much positive energy and light, as a pediatrician her “kids” must love her. Jana is a comedian – she’s so full of life – these two were the perfect blog partners.

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This is Magda and her partner for the weekend, Elisa. They are pretending to be very dainty and quiet but both ladies have loads of ideas and opinions and are filled with fire when it comes to turning their blogs into pro blogs. Go, girls, go!

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Sabine was so cute and her blog partner, Geraldine from London, was equally darling. They grabbed the trees from my windows and decided to be a very wacky Dutch portrait. Geraldine is also a medical doctor – having two doctors in my blogging class made me feel very good all weekend in case anyone passed out from inspiration overload!

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Please visit all of the blogs linked in this post to visit our students because these ladies were just fantastic. And you know what? There wasn’t a single “drama queen” in the group – everyone got along so well and were just so thoughtful, generous and sweet. I find this in most blogger classes and meet ups though, bloggers are the best people in the world to gather together – at least the design, craft, wedding, lifestyle, food and mommy blogs – not sure what the dynamics are at blog events for other groups like gossip bloggers and fashion blogs, but I always love going to and hosting events for bloggers because I know that everyone will get along and bond.

#bywstudio students

Here we are as a group freezing outside in Hannover at the Christmas Market. :)

I will forever hold these ladies dear to my heart and look back at this weekend as one big beautiful highlight of my career. Thank you SO much to my dear partner-in-crime, Steffi Luxat, too. We had so much fun together and put a lot of thought and planning into this weekend so for us, we’re just thrilled it all worked out so beautifully! Steffi, you’re the best. xo

(photos: @thorstenbecker)

Posted in blogs on December 11, 2012

Blog Tip: Tout 15 Second Videos

Happy Monday everyone! I’ve decided that once weekly in 2013, I’ll write a post called Blog Tip with one great tip weekly to inspire all of you lovely blogger friends out there! I’m not going to tell you which day though because often a tip lands in my lap and it’s so good that I don’t want to wait until a set weekday to share it. BUT you can expect my Blog Tip column to run once weekly going forward starting with today. But first…. Good morning everyone! How are you?

Blog Tips

I had an exciting weekend with 16 Blogging Your Way Studio students who came to my home to spend the weekend with fellow teacher, Steffi Luxat and I – and needless to say… I’m so pumped up about blogging! It’s amazing how we “pro” bloggers need the budding pro bloggers to fuel us as much as they rely on us to teach them new tricks and fresh ideas about blogging. The relationship is just one big giving circle and I really love that about teaching. I cannot believe that next year will be the fourth year that I’ve been teaching workshops on blogging and creativity and each time I wrap one up I can’t wait to get started on the next online class or in-person event. I’m already gearing up for our March Blogging Your Way e-class AND thinking to do another workshop here at home in the Spring before I go on my book tour. This is truly what I was meant to do and the more I do it, the more I realize I’m right where I need to be.

Okay now for my super cool blog tip. There’s this cool new website that I found today called Tout. It’s really going to take off, I can feel it, and I’ve just uploaded two videos to show you how it works. Tout gives you 15 seconds of video run time to film pieces of your life and share them online. I think this is in incredible way to reach your readers if you are a blogger. You simply download the app, shoot a 15 second video and it uploads in about 60 seconds or less, then you save it to your Tout account. I’ve enabled my account to push my videos to my Facebook and Twitter accounts upon publishing, so I can easily connect with everyone online simply and quickly. I’m sure this could be a bit addictive for some, but I’m going to try to share only valuable and inspirational content using Tout because there is already so much rubbish floating around out there and I don’t want to contribute to more “noise”.

I think if we use Tout with that intention, it could be a really fab way to connect with your friends, family and blog readers. I’m already thinking about some creative ways to begin using it, what do you think, do you like the idea of sharing 15 second videos and if so, how do you imagine using it or what would you show?

Loads of love to you all today – I’ll be back later on to share some views from our workshop this weekend, I just need to sort through my photos!

 

Posted in blogs on December 10, 2012

Blog Tip: Book Review Idea

Isn’t this a gorgeous idea for a book review that Canadian photographer/stylist Leslie Shewring came up with? In reviewing my new book, she laid it out to show spreads that she liked but she took it a step further to really create something to interest her readers…  Pulling from her craft supply cabinets, she interpreted the inspirational spread into something she may be able to use later on for a project by laying out things that felt similar. These are only a sampling of examples below of what she’s shown on her gorgeous blog, A Creative Mint. You may want to pay her a visit to check out the rest.

Gorgeous book review idea

Gorgeous book review idea

Gorgeous book review idea

Gorgeous book review idea

While I create mood boards and folders using a room from a magazine or book as my point of inspiration, I never thought to do this as a blogger when reviewing a book – to show readers how the book made an impact on you in such a visual way. There are so many interesting spins you can give your content, particularly when it comes to reviewing books and other products, and I love seeing how our blogging community continuously colors outside of the lines when it comes to being clever and doing cool new things. You are ALL such an inspiration and beacon of light to me!

Leslie, thank you for your gorgeous review and for your amazing idea for book reviews – you are one incredible lady!

(images: leslie shewring)

Posted in blogs on December 01, 2012

Try This: Blog Mood Boards

Hello everyone! I’ve been offline for several days as I was away in London but I’m back home now and ready to blog! I hope that you are doing well. Between the stress of the weather on the east coast (a hurricane first, now snow in the northeast) and the election, I think my American pals are in need of some inspiration because it’s been a bit draining to say the least. It’s time for a little cheer so lets look at pretty things today!

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She Makes a Home

I’m not sure if most of you are aware of this, but in addition to decor8, I run an e-course focused on blogging and creativity called Blogging Your Way and I also teach in-person workshops on everything from paper crafts to blogging, styling and creativity. I’ve made a business out of blogging and like anyone who has a small business, I’m always thinking of ways to improve it and make my clients even happier. It’s not easy, as everyone has a different learning style, but the one thing that I teach time and time again that students really click with is the exercise of translating your ideas into something visual and I do this via inspiration boards, mood boards, story boards or whatever else you feel like calling them. For this post, I’m going with mood board.

http://blog.haikje.nl

Studio Haijke

A mood board is one of the best ways to filter your ideas and give a voice to what feels very muddy or trapped inside of your head. It’s easy, fun, can be done with your hands or on a computer, and oftentimes doesn’t cost a penny. In my most recent Blogging Your Way class, which just wrapped up last Friday, we worked on blog mood boards. A blog mood board is a way for new and even seasoned bloggers to hone in on what they want their blog to be about and what they what it to look like whether it’s for a redesign or for their very first blog. In this post, I’m showing you some from my students that I found inspirational – please visit their blog links below each image to visit them AND you can see all of the student mood boards on the Blogging Your Way Boot Camp Pinterest page.

http://www.onthesurfaceblog.com

On The Surface

Lots of times we think we know what we like or want to talk about on our blog but have a hard time focusing or narrowing down our concepts. This is where blog mood boards help. You can take all of your ideas and start moving them around before you on a board, on a table, on the floor, and see how everything works together and then, see if everything really “fits”. Magazines and book publishers work like this and so do designers and many other creatives when it comes to figuring out next steps in their creative process. When I was working on both of my books, I pinned spreads to my wall and even scatted them about on my massive table to see how they “laid” together and to imagine the flow. It’s not that different when you are trying to pull a concept together for a blog.

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Project Heart

http://www.emeraldgreeninteriors.com

Emerald Green Interiors

http://www.bonnemee.blogspot.nl

Bonnemee Blogt

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Made At Casa

http://foxtrotpress.com/

Foxtrot Press

http://ourhaus.blogspot.de/

Our Haus

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The Curiosity Project

http://www.food-vegetarisch.de/

Food Vegetarisch

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Fluxi On Tour

http://tedandmariahs.blogspot.de/

Ted & Mariah’s Place

http://www.lacquerandlinen.com/

Lacquer & Linen

http://www.f4fabulousblog.com/

F For Fabulous

http://expressivehart.wordpress.com/

Silky Hart

http://wakemetoseethesunrise.wordpress.com/

Wake Me To See The Sunrise

http://creativemischiefandme.blogspot.co.uk/

Mischief, Flapjacks, Pantone & Me

http://www.designlotus.com/

Design Lotus

http://www.annettabosakova.com/apps/blog

Inspired by Annetta Bosakova

http://www.serendipitousthings.com/

Serendipitous Things

http://charlotterivers.blogspot.de/

Lottie Loves

http://www.confiture-de-vivre.de/

Confiture de Vivre

http://www.cozy-and-cuddly.de/

Cozy & Cuddly

Aren’t these inspiring views of how one wants their blog to be? Have you ever tried mood boards for design concepts – either for your brand, blog, website or something else? Did it help you? Did it help your designer?

(images: the talented ladies who made these moodboards are credited below each image with a link.)

Posted in blogs on November 08, 2012

Books:

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Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
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Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)