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Blog Tip: Make Your Own Font

I’m always on the look out for new ways to take a more personal approach to blogging so when I came across a font making app called iFontMaker, I had to give it a whirl. I’m sure the many graphic designers reading this will roll their eyes at my amateur first try, but I am so proud of my new font that I’m going to show you anyway.

Make Your Own Font

I put together my own font in about an hour and called it Happy Holly. Making it inspired me to try doing a few more in the future. It’s a great way to pretty up a blog post, don’t you think? Especially if you create your own font and you don’t distribute it publicly – then only your blog posts will have your font. How cool!

Make Your Own Font

When it comes to Happy Holly though, I’m not keeping it to myself because you may like to have it to play around with on cards, gift tags or anything else –  maybe your blog post collages? You are welcome to use it but only for non-commercial use only please though I seriously doubt anyone out there would get rich using my font. But I had to say that anyway.

Make Your Own Font

What do you think, care to try this at home? It’s simple! If you want to make your own font, you’ll need to download the iFontMaker app from iTunes on your iPad. You can use a pen (I suggest the Bamboo CS100W Stylus for iPad in White) made for tablets or simply, your finger – I used both for this font. Creating something very personal like this is a nice way to pretty up your blog posts with your own touch… 

DOWNLOAD HAPPY HOLLY.

Note: In the “Be So Happy” graphic I combined Happy Holly with a free font called Sail.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in blogs on January 31, 2013
decor8 great.ly shop

Blog Tip: Got Vine?

I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Vine all of a sudden so of course, I joined, and of course, I gave it a try. It’s a bit like the Tout app (I told you about Tout already here) but you can stop and start your video several times during recordings which gives you the added bonus to experiment with your very own stop motion video creation – which I think is fun!

Vine

I also like that the Vine format is nearly one-to-one with Instagram and though I do not like seeing sameness on one hand, yet on the other it works because now I don’t have to learn how to navigate yet another app that I use. Here is an example of what you can do on Vine below if you’re a blogger, for instance. You can share things that you love quickly and easily…

I uploaded the little clip above of some of my current favorite books (your Vine videos are saved in your camera roll) to Vimeo but you can also look at the source code of your Vine video in a browser if you don’t feel like doing it that way and simply copy the Mp4 file, paste the link of the file into a new browser window and download it, then upload to Vimeo or YouTube or where you personally like to host your video files. Easy!

Bright Side: You can use Vine to give your fans a glimpse into your day, show a very quick DIY project, share a quick book review, try stop motion animation and share other things that your readers may enjoy. It’s very easy to use which is both good and bad – as a blogger, you really need to consider that your image can be impacted in a positive or negative way by the content you are pushing out there. My advice is to avoid using it for just anything – put a little thought into it – allow it to push you in a creative sense – what could you do with it that would be fun and exciting for you and to your fans?

Dark Side: This could potentially become a playground for amateur p*rn vids or ones featuring violence, drug use, etc. The volume of obscene videos are on the rise so I’m concerned especially since some of it involves minors. Just be careful because there is no adult content filter – most of us are used to being able to have a choice as to whether or not we come across nudity (or other) on photo sharing sites – not on Vine. You most likely won’t find this stuff though unless you search for it.

Note: Vine only gives you 6 seconds of video making time and Tout gives you 15 seconds only Tout doesn’t (yet) give you the ability to stop and start video during recording, so you can get as much done in 6 seconds on Vine as you can on Tout if you record your video with a little thought. Also, Vine was purchased by Twitter so that is why you can easily tweet your videos using Vine.

Will you use Vine? How will you use it for blogging? Any ideas as to how you see it being used by bloggers? Would love your feedback. More and more I think video will blow up online but in ways we may not expect… And with the rise of these micro-video apps I think my predictions are slowly coming true.

(video: holly becker for vine)

Posted in blogs on January 28, 2013

Inspired By Weekday Carnival

Are you familiar with Weekday Carnival, a Finnish blog authored by Riikka Kantinkoski, a talented photographer, designer and mother? She has an amazing knack for decorating her home in fact, I blogged about her over a year ago here but since she’s done so much decorating over the past 14 months I have to share some updates from her gorgeous abode today.

WeekdayCarnival

I just love seeing how she lives, I find her color palette (pastels with a shot of black) so mesmerizing and I love how tidy she appears. It’s something to aspire to, for sure!

WeekdayCarnival

Riikka has a real eye for color and form but also a great ability to edit. Editing is the hardest job of any decorator – knowing when ENOUGH is truly ENOUGH. I think it’s the toughest for any creative actually – knowing when to quit.

WeekdayCarnival

I see examples of poor editing all around me when I travel often in shops because they tend to overload the counters and shelves with product – items exploding all around – and shop owners wonder why no one buys anything and customers treats the store as a museum. That’s most likely why. The Conran Shop in London does a terrific job stocking their shelves. They have a few of each item and that’s it. Same with Anthropologie – there is A LOT of product but often they don’t have 500 of the same thing. I walk into stores that often DO have 100 of the same cup on a shelf and I think WHY? This makes me feel like I have all the time in the world to buy that cup, I can come back for it in a month because they have plenty of them in stock! If they do (and some stores are more loaded than others) I often feel overwhelmed and leave empty-handed. Too many choices (think: Pinterest!) often leaves us stressed and worried that we won’t make the right choice. With limitations, we have room to think and consider and decide. Space also allows for us to be creative.

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

Having the eye of an editor can help a shopowner as much as it can a homeowner. Knowing when to pause and say, “You know, this wall has ENOUGH art on it” or “This sofa has ENOUGH throw pillows” is a great skill. It also allows objects in your home to breath and stand out more – you can highlight your precious possessions this way as Riikka has in her Finnish home. Riikka’s stunning home doesn’t feel overwhelming, overloaded or crammed with stuff. It feels like there is movement and flow – so it’s impossible for your decorating waters to stagnant with such movement. When a room is packed wall-to-wall it can quickly feel dated because there is no movement. You literally cannot move anything else into the space and you can barely fit in it yourself! This makes me think of shops that are so packed that you can barely move around. Stores like that make me want to leave as quickly as I’ve entered!

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

WeekdayCarnival

Please visit Weekday Carnival for inspiration, decorating ideas and loads of beautiful photos taken by mostly Riikka herself. Let the pages of her blog whisk you away but also inspire you to try a fresh approach to your own home. Maybe for 2013 we can “slim down” our spaces a wee bit so there is more movement in them, more flow, more space to breath so the creativity can flow? Hmmm. Something to consider for our resolution list, isn’t it?

(images: Riikka Kantinkoski)

Posted in blogs on December 14, 2012

A Bloggers’ Christmas

I was reading a favorite blog of mine that belongs to my friend Yvonne called Yvestown. Do you know this blog? If you’ve been hiding under a rock and haven’t, it’s time to know about Yvestown. This blog is such a pretty one and the blogger, Yvonne, is a very talented lady who loves to decorate and photograph her home for all to see on the “pages” of her fabulous site. Look at her gorgeous home…

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I really love looking at what she’s photographed from day-to-day, her photos are captivating and since I’ve been in her home I can tell you first hand that it’s as beautiful as her photos show it to be.

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I thought that since Yvonne is really into the holidays that you may like to see corners of her home as she did a lovely job decorating it for Christmas this year. I also spent some time having a chat with her this morning and asked some questions about her approach to the holidays AND what goals she has for the new year so below find an excerpt from our tea and chat. She has even included a free download so you can make the white houses shown below for your tea lights. I do hope that you enjoy it!

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Houses download
Roofs download

“Download the templates and print them on 220-250 grams A4 sized paper. Cut out the templates and fold and glue where needs folding and gluing (instructions can be found on the template). Place a tea light in them and ta-da. Please be careful with paper and fire, I can not be held responsible for when your paper house burns down or your own house.” – Yvonne.

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decor8: What does Christmas mean to you, Yvonne?
Yvestown: That I can do all that I love all year round, like cooking, decorating and entertaining, completely over the top with glitter, twinkle lights and red nose reindeers included.

decor8: What doesn’t Christmas mean to you?

Yvestown: I’m an atheist so Christmas doesn’t mean the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to me. It’s an arbitrary day when all the people I love are off work and we get together to be together.

decor8: What three dream items would you love to be gifted with this year?
Yvonne: A Ferm Living wire basket medium in yellow, a Diptyque rose candle because they smell amazing, and the cookery book What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits and Pieces.

decor8: What are some special things that you do with your family and friends this time of year?
Yvonne: Where I come from we celebrate Christmas on the 25th and 26th. Traditionally we go to my parents in law on the first day of Christmas and on the second we spend time with my part of the family. That varies as my sister runs a restaurant and my mother lives miles away. This year we might end up having dinner with friends instead.

decor8: What will you do on Christmas?
Yvonne: We eat, exchange presents and we play a massive amount of board games.

decor8: What is your favorite food to eat this time of year and why?
Yvonne: It’s turkey with cranberry sauce and yorkshire puddings with Christmas gravy as it’s so traditional.

decor8: What memory do you associate with Christmas the most?
Yvonne: I’ve inherited the Christmas gene from my mother. One year she insisted on having real candles in a real tree. My father was in agony and had a bucket of sand and water installed next to the tree. It was just so hilarious as they were arguing about something so silly as candles in a tree. They brought such a warmth to me and my siblings during Christmas and I’m so thankful for that.

decor8: New Year’s Resolutions! What are your goals for 2013 as a blogger and with your business?
Yvonne: I want to be more serious as a blogger, not something I do as an eight hours a day side job. I want to start acknowledging that I’m now a full-time blogger and that I should take myself serious.

So bloggers, what does Christmas mean to you? Would you like to answer any of the questions above and tell us?

(images: yvonne from yvestown)

Posted in blogs on December 13, 2012

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