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Lobster & Swan Swoon

It’s images like these that keep me coming back to the lovely Lobster & Swan blog again and again and again. Jeska Hearne has such a girly, romantic, cozy home… Her arrangements of things are so beautiful and it really is a photo of a living room like this that makes me want a fireplace so badly… Her mantle just melts my heart! But we can’t have it all which is why we visit the blogs of various virtual friends to find inspiration through the things that they have that we wish we did! :) ha!

I especially LOVE the prints she pointed out over at the V&A museum shop online… Jeska if you are reading this you make me happy always. :)

(images: Jeska Hearne)

Posted in blogs on September 30, 2010

Last Call For Blogging Your Way Students!

This is your last call to enroll in the Blogging Your Way e-course that will begin in September with co-teacher Leslie Shewring and I as your teachers. We may bring this class back again in February 2011 but cannot promise it as I have a lot of commitments in the early part of next year. This class sold out a few weeks ago but I decided to add more seats and open it to beginners who do not currently have blogs in addition to seasoned blog authors since we won’t be running another for quite some time….

BYW: Open Registration!

We’ll have a lot to cover in 4 weeks but I’ll leave the class open at the end for an additional 4 weeks so that you can catch up if you need to. The forum will remain open during those additional 4 weeks so that you can network with fellow students. I will post a podcast weekly for 8 weeks, the final 4 weeks you will be invited to a special section in the forum where you can discuss the topic with other students.

This is a self-paced, password only e-course so only students can access all course materials, website and forum. We will not have group homework assignments in this class but will have weekly homework that you can do if you’d like — these exercises are meant to help you get the most out of this class but they are not difficult assignments — they are fun!

Class dates: September 3 (on the 3rd you will only receive materials to get you started, class officially kicks off after Labor Day weekend on Tuesday, September 7) and runs until October 4, 2010 with class/forum time extending until November 1, 2010.

Requirements: Either 1. You do not have a blog but want to get one started soon OR 2. You are already blogging and want to learn some new tricks and connect with us and make new friends… You also need a digital camera (point and shoot or DSLR, your choice) and it would be helpful if you started your blog during class so that you can directly apply what you’re learning as you go.

Complete course outline here.

Leslie and I cannot wait to welcome you to our next class – you can SIGN UP HERE until the class is full and then registration will close. If you do not have a blog, enter decor8blog.com in the URL field on the sign up page.

Enrollment ends on September 1st! We only have a limited number of seats left!

(images: Leslie Shewring)

Posted in blogs on August 25, 2010

Register For Blogging Your Way!

It’s time to enroll in the Blogging Your Way e-course that will return next month for a 4 week session with me and a lovely co-teacher Leslie Shewring! This is the first blogging e-course ever launched online (I rolled it out in March 2009) so I’m proud of the connections I’ve made and the wonderful information that I share with all of you along with the helpful tools and ideas that Leslie will provide.

BYW: Open Registration!

This course will teach you how to write from the heart, style interiors (I’ll share some ideas I learned on the road while working on my book) and Leslie will show you some favorite things to arrange and photograph for your blog to give it more personality. It will also cover photography and share tips and tricks, teach you how to set up an inexpensive home photo studio, flower arranging ideas, organizing your work area so you can be more creative, and so much more — like how to connect with your blog readers, using social media to network, how to earn extra income through blogging and how to edit images and add text and borders to them to make your blog more beautiful and interesting. When it comes to blogging, presentation is key to creating a blog that reflects your style so why not present your home and the things in it in the most authentic and personal way to your readers? This course will help you to learn how to do that. And so much more! Other topics include: Handling negativity online, how to overcome writer’s block, dealing with fear, taking risks…. lots of topics to use and enjoy.

We’ll have a lot to cover in 4 weeks but I’ll leave the class open at the end for an additional 4 weeks so that you can catch up if you need to. The forum will remain open during those additional 4 weeks so that you can network with fellow students. I will post a podcast weekly for 8 weeks, the final 4 weeks you will be invited to a special section in the forum where you can discuss the topic with other students.

This is a self-paced, password only e-course so only students can access all course materials, website and forum. We will not have group homework assignments in this class but will have weekly homework that you can do if you’d like — these exercises are meant to help you get the most out of this class but they are not difficult assignments — they are fun! Promise!

After class, you will be invited to join a private BYW email group that currently has students from past BYW courses so you can continue to connect there with fellow classmates from this course and also to meet and greet others who have taken BYW before you. The group is very active and fun to be a part of, so I’m sure that you will enjoy it!

Enrollment begins today and the course will cost $119 USD which gives you access to me daily, Leslie on Friday, a dedicated tech support person, all materials, weekly podcasts (over 10 total), a private forum for students only, and extra forum time to discuss additional podcasts, oh yes… and enrollment on the alum email list. If you have taken this class before you are welcome to enroll as we have lots of fresh material to share.

Date: September 3 (on the 3rd you will only receive materials to get you started, class officially kicks off after Labor Day weekend on Tuesday, September 7) and runs until October 4, 2010 with class/forum time extending until November 1, 2010.

Complete course outline here.

Leslie and I cannot wait to welcome you to our next class – you can SIGN UP HERE until the class is full and then registration will close.

(images: Leslie Shewring)

Posted in blogs on August 09, 2010

Decorating Ideas By Me And Alice

The Me And Alice blog is so charming with a lovely country home as the focus, located in Dalarna, Sweden. The homeowner is Susanne, a talented stylist and writer who infuses her home with many clever ideas that, whether Swedish Country is your style or not, you can still find some great ideas from some of these photos below because many of them can cross over and be applied in a home that looks very different – be it mid century or a modern ranch. If you don’t believe me, I think you’ll be convinced once you’ve had time to see for yourself…

The casual beauty of this scene makes me smile. It’s my favorite of the bunch because it feels so inviting and reminds me of the naps I once took (when I had time!) on Sundays after spending the morning on the beach, coming home for a cool shower, and smelling like coconut and salt as I climbed into my bed for a cat nap. I particularly love the stripey pillows, without them it wouldn’t be the same photo! I also like the black letters on the wall.

This is a vintage mirror from a car that has been repurposed into a makeup mirror. What a smart great idea for something that would otherwise not be used and abandoned in a junk lot!

Just look at these floors! I know they are your standard hardwood but look at that color and texture, it really warms up the all white space and how many of us would love to have them!

Using baskets to store vintage cutlery is a nice idea. You could do the same with your modern tableware too, especially if you have decided to serve a very casual buffet-style meal at home whether indoors or out.

Lovely storage ideas on this kitchen shelf but mostly I am impressed by the styling – very casual yet there was obviously some thought behind it. This is how I style things and decorate my home, casually but at the same time, you know that I put a little effort into the arrangement. :) I also like how there is a chair that tiptoed its way into the table arrangement, hoping no one would notice he has made himself a guest at the family table. Well, we notice him and I think he looks quite smart there, don’t you? I like a little tension in mostly white space, you really need it!

I like the floor plans and various papers that she has framed for this quiet corner. There are many things in this space, but it doesn’t feel cluttered because the tones used are mostly white so the eye perceives this as less busy than say, if there were many colors and patterns used.

So many goodies here, I spot several nice jugs and jars. I think the mostly white palette is a hard one to stick by, but if you love white and really enjoy living in a space with lots of it, then go for it!


Susanne’s writing desk is such an inspirational spot! Storage in glass containers, while nothing new, always looks fresh to me depending on what has been chosen to be on display. From candy to shells, spools of twine to buttons, crayons, and bath soaps… there is no end to what you can collect, store and display! Her yarn basket is lovely on the floor, too.

While in Cyprus, Susanne gathered these beautiful stones and has now arranged them in a few glass jars – a simple, inexpensive yet special decoration because no doubt memories of her trip wash over her whenever she sees them. Much nicer than memories of buying stones at some department store and filling jars, right? I think it’s important to put some extra thought in the way you decorate your home so that objects tell a more personal story. A jar like this also creates lovely conversation opportunities for when guests have stopped by because when they ask you where you found something that you have on display, you can tell them about your little (and big) adventures.

Any ideas above that you’d like to take away and use in your own space? Which ones? Could you live in a white space? If not, why? If so, do you currently?

(images: me and alice)

Posted in blogs, Decorating Tips on July 28, 2010

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