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ONE by Victoria Alexander

As I sit here cross-legged on my sofa with a cup of lavender earl grey tea and Jo Malone’s Grapefruit candle providing the perfect ambiance, I’m reminded of one simple truth:  Moments of solitude can be the most soul-stirring and magical touch points in life.

ONE book review

I love my living room where I am writing this because it’s the one place in my home where I can truly live and do all of the things that I take pleasure in – entertaining, writing, reading, watching films, even taking an occasional cat nap, exercising, dancing or enjoying nothing more than tea and Amy Winehouse on my stereo. Just a few moments ago I was engrossed in answering a reporter’s email when the bell rang and I accepted a package of books I had ordered — All 11 V&A Pattern Books that I’ve been dying to own arrived along with a jaw-droppingly tactile new book I mistakenly spotted (and so glad I did!) called “One” by Victoria Alexander published by Murdoch Books. One? What’s that? Here is a show following by a tell.

ONE book review

ONE book review

ONE book review

Pages with ruffled edging (oh my!), a few lovely inserts like an envelope here, a small card there… Gorgeous matte paper with a lovely weight to it, lots of snappy travel photos, quotes throughout, layered elements of papers, maps, fabrics… It’s stunning from a visual perspective and though I’ve just begun to read it, I am certain I’ll finish this book because it’s the perfect combination of self-help and visuals.

I must admit, I barely read self help books, not because I don’t need to (ha ha!) but because I don’t like to read them. Too much text, too much blah blah. Often a writer can take an entire chapter and edit it down to two pages because we don’t always need the full scoop. I’m happy to get half a scoop with photos allowing me to explore the missing half, the half that I can search and find on my own. I like books that allow me to come to my own conclusion in the end. If a book that talks about the journey of someone’s life — what they’ve learned, where they’ve been and how they approached then solved their many issues allow the way — and combines those words with photography throughout I am absolutely going to pick it up and give it a good solid flip through. If I read a few sentences and the word “I” is used ad naseum, the book returns to the shelf but on the other hand, if it captures my heart through text and imagery from the very first page then its love at first sight and it will be on its merry little way to the cashier’s desk clutched tightly to my chest. I know a gem when I spot it.

One – Living As One and Loving It is such a gem.

About this book the publisher says, “One is a celebration of individuality and life. Author Victoria Alexander writes with humour and wisdom about the importance of believing in and valuing ourselves. She reminds us to trust in ourselves, try things on for size, take risks and ask for what we want – after all, we might just get it. At its heart, this beautifully layered collection of stories, quotes, reflections and evocative images is about the power of choice and about enjoying life, with all its shifts and changes. Its message is universal: accept who you are and who you can be, whether you live alone, or whether you are one of many. ” I can’t wait to explore more about this book, to dig more deeply and to find out more about a book that is meant for everyone – from those living alone to those in relationships, as I think we all can feel very alone at times whether in a huge family or simply as a party of one in our little cottage by the sea.

Do you have a copy of One? What do you think of it? Isn’t it sumptuous?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 19, 2012

The Styled Project

I recently heard from Victoria Hudgins who wrote in to tell me about a bi-weekly project that she has initiated in order to combine her passion for blogging and her love for magazines into one abbreviated, curated place called Styled.

Styled

Styled

Styled is an e-mag delivered every two weeks and each article in the magazine can also be found as a blog post by following the link in the magazine so it can be easily shared with others in blog form, too. She even produced a sweet little video conveying how both magazines and blogs can work together.

Styled magazine will feature new product guides, blogger interviews, party tips and more. All the best, Victoria!

(images: styled)

Posted in blogs, Books + Magazines on January 18, 2012

Gatherings e-mag: White Issue

The latest issue of Gatherings digital magazine from blogger Heather Thompson went live last night, the inaugural White Issue! If you love white, this one’s for you!

Gatherings Magazine

Gatherings Magazine

It was so nice to see Tina’s Copenhagen apartment and her gorgeous Moroccan wedding blanket on her bed that I suspect she got while living in Morocco. Pretty!

(images: heather thompson)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 18, 2012

NEW: 91 Magazine

Hello again! Yes, I know I’m supposed to be on vacation but I heard about 91 Magazine for the first time last week and haven’t seen it much in blogland so I want to give it a huge shout out and encourage everyone to check it out while I’m away…

NEW: 91 Magazine

It’s a pretty and creative online magazine out of the UK that you I’m sure you’ll fancy. Produced quarterly and published by the lovely blogger and shop owner Caroline Taylor behind Patchwork Harmony, the newly launched 91 Magazine is a collection of inspirational people, places and things that share a love of handmade, craft and vintage styles along with independent designers, store owners and artisans. Here is a glimpse into the magazine, the rest you can find here.

NEW: 91 Magazine

How fun is the wallpaper? I love those gray drapes and that wicker suitcase beneath the bed, too.

NEW: 91 Magazine

Ohhhh a gray wooden cabinet, natural wood table and white chairs… a girl after my own heart. This is the theme I’m using currently in my home – gray/white/natural. I’m a BIG fan of this look.

NEW: 91 Magazine

Fun student style using vintage fabrics and IKEA bedding. So pretty!!!

NEW: 91 Magazine

Such a great arrangement but even more, that wallpaper from Anthropologie is unstated elegance all the way, isn’t it? It’s there but it’s also sort of not. Do you know what I mean? I love wallpaper like that.

NEW: 91 Magazine

Great workspace, especially the smart storage solution utilizing a closet. This photo above is from the gorgeous new book from fab design author Caroline Clifton-Mogg called A Space Of My Own published by Ryland, Peters & Small. It’s a lovely book with an excerpt included in 91 Magazine so you can see more of it there.

In addition to the magazine, Patchwork Harmony also has an online shop AND I spotted some links that I have to show you from the mag as well – you can’t miss them!

Enjoy! See you again with a few more blog posts for this week then I’m off until Monday. Hugs, xo Holly

(images: 91 magazine)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 02, 2012

Books:

Available now on Amazon

Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)