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Lovely Links from Visual Notes

I met a very nice Finnish lady, Maaret, in Berlin last Autumn at a small business and blogging event that I helped pull together with the goal of encouraging those living in Germany to start blogging and share design from their part of the world because there is a really strong art and design scene over there –  Berlin is like an extra large Brooklyn. That’s why today I was so happy to hear from Maaret and learn that she launched a blog just before the holidays called Visual Notes.

This print is the work of from Sonnenzimmer in Chicago. Love his screen prints, this one is still available ($48) and looks really nice in Maaret’s Berlin apartment.

I like Visual Notes for many reasons, one being that it’s in English so more have an opportunity to read it and next, I like that she shows lots of finds from Europe which definitely makes it more interesting. There are so many design blogs out there now that I’m really hoping to see more localized content so I personally can learn more about the part of the world where the blogger lives and what is going on there when it comes to design. I think it’s a way we can all make our blogs stand out as a bit more unique if we add in some local stuff. When I’m in New Hampshire I sometimes talk about events and things in my local area (and Boston) and when I’m in my apartment in Germany you’ll find me talking about stuff I do and events I’m attending over there. I think it makes blogging more exciting when you can share what makes you proud about your city or country in addition to all of the international finds you may feature because certainly inspiration is never confined to one area. I digress…

In looking over Visual Notes today I came across a few favorites that I’m sharing below so you can get a sneak peek of what Maaret likes to blog about.

Maaret shared with her readers Castle in Australia, a bedding company that also happens to carry a darling collection of hand stitched one-of-a-kind pieces on vintage French linen.


She also wrote about schubLaden, a company in Berlin who fits new furniture with vintage drawers. They do bespoke work, too. Love this!


I found out about Nadja Müller who is a designer in Berlin who makes some very unique things for the home – blankets, bedding, curtains, lighting, . More here. Everything is handmade!

And finally Hanna Konala and her gorgeous illustrative work. She has a most inspiring blog, too.

Be sure to visit Visual Notes for more beautiful finds and congrats on your new blog, Maaret!

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in blogs on January 20, 2009

Enhanced Blog Feature: Share and Save!

Just a quick post to let you know that I’ve beefed up a feature to this blog… the Share or Save button below each post. I had only a little heart there before but no one ever clicked it and if by chance you did it brought you to this really confusing page where you could share the post but it was so tricky to figure out. Now when you find a post on decor8 that you want to share (i.e. your product was featured here, etc.) you can click on Share or Save and select where you would like to share or save the post whether that be on wists, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. Yay!

Once you click on it, a window pops up with 12 sharing options but if you click on the arrow bar beneath them the window will expand to include a full list of choices. The pop up has tabs that enable you to directly email the post to a friend or to bookmark the post on your computer. I use features like this constantly on other sites so I thought adding it to decor8 would be helpful to readers here.

In addition to share and save, I realized that I’m not using the space in my posts as well as I could so I’m enlarging all photos on the site going forward. Bigger is better! :)

I also did a little cleaning up… Today I asked my husband to temporarily remove the “Previously” plug-in from the center column (directly to your right —->), it showed you a snippet of an image and if you clicked on it you were taken to the post it was from. Did you find that helpful at all? I personally did not because I realized that many of the pictures shown were still on the main page anyway so you could just scroll down to see the content so what was the point? It would only help if I posted more than 10 posts a day (posts 11+ go to the next page). Thorsten is working to add a different plug-in to replace it that will enable me to show you the top posts instead, but it will most likely be text based and will feature a short list of posts that are popular based on number of comments. Would you find something like this helpful or should we not bother? These things are meant to make the time you spend on this blog more fun so your feedback (or alternate ideas – what you would like to see in the center column) would be great.

Happy Friday everyone! I’ll be back in a moment with some eye candy so we can get back on topic!

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in blogs on January 16, 2009

Favorite Posts of ’08

Until I collect my thoughts and figure out what I’d like to talk about today, because I have no clue, I’ve pulled together a bunch of my favorite posts from 2008 to keep you occupied (I got the idea from Dooce to do this). I wrote 994 posts on decor8 in 2008 so I had a hard time pulling together my favorites but I managed to find some and have listed them below. I found the ones with the most comments that made me smile as your input here is really what makes this blog. I just show up and you guys do the rest. I invite you to click around and enjoy. There’s lots of reading to catch up on in case you’ve missed some of them.

I’ll kick off this massive list of bloggy highlights with a little love to the Aussie crowd since I have a lot of new readers from Australia so if you’re from the land down under you’ll want to learn about all of the lovely bloggers in your part of the world.

Australian Design Blogs, May 8, 2008
“Prepare for a lot of reading and clicking because this post offers a boatload of resources when it comes to Aussie bloggers. I like to talk about things that inspire me, and right now I am feeling some major inspiration coming in from Australian magazines, designers, and blogs…” continue reading here. Psst: Here’s another post about Aussie design mags.

D E C E M B E R

Hopeful Things, December 15, 2008
“Let’s talk about HOPE for a moment, okay? I know, not a topic frequently discussed on design and decorating blogs but it is on a lot of people’s minds, agree? I noticed a ‘hope’ theme on lots of products lately… what do you think…” continue here.

Decorating Outside of the Lines, December 10, 2008
“Let’s talk a little about decorating outside of the lines, shall we? I’m not sure where I’m going with this thought so I invite you to just roll with it and let’s see where we end up. I am…”continue here.

Round Up: Online Markets and Galleries, December 5, 2008
“Looking to sell your wares online? Or simply to shop for handmade gifts? After writing about DaWanda today, I thought it would be helpful to pull together some of the current online marketplaces and some online galleries…”continue here.

Inspired by Mandalas (and fellow bloggers!), December 4, 2008
“I mentioned earlier today that I’ve had mandala patterns on the brain again. When I say again it’s because I was very…”continue here.

N O V E M B E R

Giveaway: Win This Book – The Creative Entrepreneur, November 24, 2008
This contest has some of the best comments ever! Read them here.

Delicate Doilies from Martha Stewart Living, November 20, 2008
“I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to…”continue here.

New Project Announcement: Kindred, November 17, 2008
“The best things in life are often free… I’m very excited to share a new project under the name Kindred that I’ve teamed up with Heather “Ez” Pudewa from Creature Comforts on…” continue here.

Are Assumptions Cluttering Your Life?, November 12, 2008
“One of my blogger-colleagues over at Real Simple, Erin Doland, wrote a fine post today called, Keep Assumptions from Cluttering Up Your Life…”continue here.

O C T O B E R

Folksy – New!, October 30, 2008
“I have a question for everyone and I’d love your input but first I have to tell you about…” continue here.

Decorating on a Budget, October 23, 2008
“I’ve received so many nice comments and emails in response to my living room that was featured in the…”continue here.

2009 Calendar Round Up, October 17, 2008
“It’s that time again… Time for the annual decor8 Calendar round up. It’s funny, when I started writing this back in 2006…”continue here.

How Do You Handle Inspiration Overload?, October 6, 2008
“I’m still feeling the warm glow from yesterday’s inspiration that came from Living & More magazine and Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer. I wish so badly that I…”continue here.

Anthropologie Videos: Creepy or Cute?, October 10, 2008
“I was just checking out the Anthropologie stuff for Autumn ‘08 and came across these videos… I have to say, while they creep me out I…” continue here.

Wallpaper Borders – Your Thoughts?, October 9, 2008
“One designer there asked me what my thoughts are on wallpaper border as she was thinking about making and selling some borders…”continue here.

S E P T E M B E R

What’s Your Obsession?, September 25, 2008
“I’m absolutely obsessed with Moroccan teapots right…”continue here.

Flea Market and Thrift Finds, September 16, 2008
“I usually save the more ‘personal’ posts like this one for my Haus Maus blog, but I am way too excited about my recent flea market…” continue here.

A U G U S T

Your Office: Make it Pretty & Functional, August 29, 2008
“Let’s talk about your home workspace for a moment, shall we? What does it look like? Is it accomplishing…”continue here.

J U L Y

Magic Markers on the Sofa: Your Thoughts?, July 23, 2008
“I had huge reservations on posting this, I feared the home owner would contact me and tell me to either bite it or she’d do a drive by and take out all…”continue here.

Where Did You Shop (as a kid)?, July 10, 2008
“We sometimes like to think we are wayyy cooler than we actually are. It’s good to pause for a second and recall our roots…” continue here.

J U N E

Career Advice for Creatives, June 16, 2008
“I thought it may be fun to open this up as a topic today on decor8, Career Advice for Creatives. Warning: This post…”continue here.

Print Your Own Fabric at Spoonflower, June 10, 2008
“This is sure to appear on every design blog known to mankind, and I hope it does because we have to…”continue here.

M A Y

Design Motifs, May 29, 2008
“Zig zags are hot, silhouettes remain strong, birds are big, what would you like to see become a more common design motif? An oct…”continue here.

Homegrown and the Bug, May 9, 2008
“Do you get stink eye when you try to use a tote at your local store? Where do you…”continue here.

What Would a Perfect Magazine Look Like?, May 8, 2008
“I really miss Blueprint magazine. I know lots of you weren’t big fans, but looking back I think you’ll agree that it was becoming…”continue here.

A P R I L

Flea Marketing: Plan Your Attack, April 25, 2008
“With the weekend ahead I’m certain that some of you are planning to hit a few flea markets. Time to plan your…” continue here.

Am I Crazy?, April 9, 2008
“Here’s a thought to consider and if you can, please share your views. I can decorate and even style a bookcase better when I photograph it…” continue here.

Too Much Inspiration?, April 7, 2008
“Is there such a thing as having too much inspiration? I was reading a fashion design book over…”continue here.

M A R C H

Turning Patterns into Product, March 19, 2008
“How do you take your patterns to the next level — from the drawing board to an actual product…” continue here.

A Grand Welcome: Entryway Tips, March 6, 2008
“First impressions are important, the way you’ve decorated and organized your entryway will either welcome guests with…” continue here.

J A N U A R Y

Boho Modern, January 4, 2008
“I’m thrilled by the response to this post about London stylist Liza Giles and cannot believe the amount of emails…” continue here.

{More}

Back later with more goodies!

(image from twitter)

Posted in blogs, inspiration on January 07, 2009

Hello 2009!

Hello friends! I had a great time off but I’m so glad to be back in the saddle because I’m not one for taking lots of time away from work… the longer I stay away the harder it is to return and get back into the groove. Truth is, I love blogging and this whole crazy web world and though I thought staying away would inspire me in crazy new ways it sort of didn’t because I missed my favorite blogs, connecting through emails, and writing in general. Have I turned into a total computer geek? A hermit? What’s next? Taking in stray cats, wearing my pj’s all day, living on take out food?

Many of my friends encouraged me to take a break, step away from the computer, avoid blog reading for a few weeks and I listened… but I do not feel as super inspired as they claimed. I do have tons of ideas for the blog this year so in that sense stepping away was productive. I think we all need one another more than we care to admit. Isn’t that why blogs sprung up in the first place, as places to share our thoughts with others and for gaining insight, entertainment, and/or friendship in return? Stepping away from blogs and spending time only with family and friends was certainly nice as I was able to connect with some that I’ve not seen in awhile but overall, after two weeks, I felt the same way towards the end of my vacation that I recall feeling back in 2005 when I decided to start this blog: kinda alone with my ideas, like no one in my immediate circle “got me”. Not much has changed is what I learned recently. Most of my dear friends still do not know what a blog, blehg, blag, “a what?”, is and most aren’t too interested in learning as being a blogger and freelance writer certainly isn’t nearly as amazing as being a {insert real job title here} as most of them are.

With that being said, I’d like to kick off the new year on a positive note by saying thank you for reading my blog and for supporting my work throughout 2008. Every blogger posts this kind of thing, thanking their readers and getting all mushy about it so I’m no different I guess. And while I love my family, it’s great to have an online posse who does know what a blog is, is equally obsessed with Facebook, and who is quite familiar with blogs like Dooce and why they make me laugh so hard that whatever I’m eating usually ends up on my computer screen.

To thank you even more, and to bid adieu to 2008, I’ve decided to round up my favorite posts from this past year in a post that will follow this one. There’s lots of reading, so stay tuned!

P.S. A special thanks to Australian interiors magazine Real Living for the decor8 love in their January/February 2009 issue. What a way to kick off the new year! I don’t know what their readership is but Aussies must be a loyal group smitten by this mag because I cannot begin to tell you how my traffic spiked. Good grief. Watching the traffic flow in from Australia and New Zealand, there is no doubt it’s coming from this single press mention, so thank you Real Living.

(images from Real Living magazine. A special thanks to Catherine Bain for scanning this article for me!)

Posted in blogs, inspiration, press, round-up on January 07, 2009

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