Hello everyone! I’m taking some time off for a bit of a summer break but also to give myself some time before I begin traveling for the official Decorate book tour in the USA and London in August and September. Anthropologie is so generously hosting me in their stores across the country in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and then in September, in their beautiful Kings Road location in London and all of this is made possible by Chronicle Books who have been an absolute dream publisher to work with.
I’m quite excited about these in-store events because I’ve been working with them on a project idea to get all who visit involved — I’ve been working on this for many months and so next week I’ll give you the full details about the tour, the project and all of the fun we’re going to have together. I can’t wait to meet all of you.The tour will kick off on August 20th so less than 4 weeks from now which is why I need a bit of a break this week to relax and get ready for all of this.
So yes, I’m taking a mini break now but I’ll still be posting on decor8 daily to link you to great, inspirational content since I plan to pop in first thing each morning to post and then run off for the day.While text will be extremely light, you can expect these vacation posts daily until I’m back sometime next week. Don’t forget to stop by and visit to see what I have in store for you.
Back with some links for today… See you soon. :)
(Photos: Holly Becker)
I will forever have a place in my heart for Liberty, not only because I’ve loved their fabrics for years and years, but because they threw me a splendid book launch party in their gorgeous store back in April which is one big way to launch your first book! But this post isn’t about that, it’s about another book – their upcoming title, The Liberty Book of Home Sewing, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!
Written and produced by the fabulous Lucinda Ganderton (I own several of her books) and published by Quadrille Publishing — this title has me quite excited!
(UK jacket shown above.)
Sure, Liberty-inspired books have been done before, my most recent favorite being by French author Alice Marceau called En toute Liberty (also available in German under the title Ganz In Liberty – you can see my copy here), but I love seeing a more quirky spin on Liberty prints and this book will feature plenty of them!
“The book is divided into three chapters – Essential, Organisation and Luxury – and contains projects ranging from practical fold-up shopping bags to elegant cushions, through handy display boards and book slipcovers to indulgent kimonos, beanbags and throws. Variations and alternatives are included for many of the projects so that the core collection is in fact an inexhaustible resource of ideas.”
(US jacket shown above.)
And… if you love the idea of sewing + Liberty fabrics, then why not combine the two and take their Frilly Pinny class at Liberty in London on either September 18th or the 25th with sewing instructor Nicole Wilson who will show you how to create your very own apron (frilly pinny) using Liberty fabrics and the design from the upcoming book! Fun!
Just added this one to my wishlist!
(images: quadrille publishing)
It’s no secret that I recently wrote a book with interiors writer Joanna Copestick that, thanks to you and the work of my publishers, is doing so well – it’s thrilling! I started out like most of you, using a blog to communicate my ideas and connect with like-minded people with the ultimate goal of writing for magazines, but I didn’t think I’d have a book, events, signings OR a window devoted to my book — here is a glimpse of it.
For those of you who ask me about how it feels going from blog to book, well it’s quite nice though I’m not leaving my blog anytime soon. In fact, I feel more inspired to blog than ever before. Having a book is a privilege and I feel so honored and part of the design community now more than ever before. I’ve been connecting with readers both near and far, in person, and being part of your “in person” life has been wayyyy more meaningful than even I thought. I’ve gone back to my hotel room after some events and felt so happy-emotional, completely humbled by the things you may have said, your warm hugs, all of the happy smiles, the kind cards and sweet gifts some of you bring to my signings.
I’ve really cherished meeting so many and soon as I embark on my US book tour (I’m excited and scared because I’m traveling alone for 13 days), I look forward to meeting more of you in person. This isn’t about book sales or fame to me, to some it totally is about that, but to me it’s a nice excuse to go out there and meet you guys because now I have something to really share, an extension of my blog in many ways. I think this book tour will, in many ways, change my life because after the few events I’ve had so far I feel an inner shift… there is something very heartwarming about meeting you in person, it’s hard to put into words, but it makes blogging even more personal to me whenever I finish an event and start typing on my laptop. I can see so many of your faces as I write — Iro, Arianna, Will, Danielle, Yvonne, Illaria, Karine, Desiree… I think every writer in the world feels deep joy when they are able to meet those people who follow their work because it’s an absolute honor beyond words.
When I give lectures publicly, I always tell my story but if you’ve not heard it, well… I’ll tell you now. It’s a bit cheesy but hey. Okay so when I was a little girl I would hand make books and write/illustrate about 10-15 copies of each story and then hold a book signing in my bedroom and sign copies for my dolls and bears. This wasn’t a one time childhood occurrence but a frequent one that went on for years. Writing a book has been a dream but signing books, oh my goodness, I never imagined I’d be doing this for actual people. Often when I’m seated at a signing table I’m transported for a few seconds to that little white desk in my bedroom when I was so little holding a signing for my stuffed animals. It’s this glimpse backward that makes me so grateful for the reality of all of this today. It feels awkward to confess that publicly, but you are worth telling it to regardless of how embarrassed I feel as I type… I think the biggest part of all of this, that needs to be said, is that this would have never happened if I didn’t write this blog and if you, especially you, didn’t read it and support me as friends.
I’m grateful to all of you for supporting me with Decorate, for listening to me talk about it from time to time because I’m simply happy about it, and for coming out to the events that I do because it makes this whole process of writing and putting myself REALLY out there (in print) very rewarding, emotional, often a total roller coaster! And to all who are leaving feedback on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as well as on other websites, and to those reviewing it on your blog, thank you a million times over. Especially for the Amazon feedback, I feel so weird asking people to leave it but it really makes a difference.
If you wonder what these photos are in this post, I’ve taken apart a slightly damaged copy of the book and created a store window display in Amsterdam at The American Book Center located in the city center at Spui 12 and it will be there on display until mid July so I hope that you’ll take a moment to walk by and visit it if you’re in Amsterdam. I’m pretty excited about it, it’s my first window display ever and I created it out of my work studio at home using torn fabric, ribbon, book pages, a circle cutter, fabric that I stamped words on like Mood Board and Lamp, bookmarks that I made for each book, paint swatches here and there… I was so excited to install this recently on one of the busiest streets in Amsterdam. They carry the book inside so please pick up a copy if you are there; they have limited availability. (You can see more photos of the window here.)
I hope you like it! Now I want to decorate more shop windows, I have the bug now and I’m thinking to ask local businesses if I can do some shop windows from time to time for their products and things. That would be a fun creative past-time for me. So friends, that’s all for book talk this week… I’ll be back in a moment with more inspiration from my little work desk to yours.
P.S. Thank you Signe for helping me install the display in the window!
(images: Thorsten Becker)
When food stylist, photographer and writer, Mowie Kay, showed up at my book launch at Liberty in London just to give me a hug and wish me well with my new book I knew that this was a guy that I wanted to work with someday. He was charming. And social. And I liked him. I just didn’t know how we’d ever cross paths again because we are in two completely different circles with me in interiors and him being an over-the-top foodie. Well, kismet has its way and after the party Mowie told me about his magazine idea and that he’d like to shoot me cooking in London and have me pull together an article featuring some of my favorite recipes. Gulp. Well…
I was flattered, but I don’t cook a single meal that is so amazing that it deserves to be in print (!) and I’m completely fine with admitting it because I’m not a foodie and tend to admire the whole food craze from afar. I’m perfectly content to press forward with my often fusion style cooking as Julia Childs and Nigella feel simply unreachable to me. I love to eat out, once a week (sometimes more), at foodie types of places though along with those ethnic eateries that are complete hole-in-the-walls but have drop dead amazing meals. Tony Bourdain is my food idol and there is nothing styled up about what he eats. And I have a ton of cookbooks, though I am first to admit that I buy them for mostly their design and photographs though I have most recently experimented with the Ottolenghi cookbook gifted to me by Leslie. I read food blogs, but I don’t really read them, I scan to see the pretty photographs because I can’t imagine making the things that I see.
I often feel like it’s a patience thing. But it’s also a free time thing. I don’t have hours to spend on meal planning, preparation, cooking and clean up each day and some of the meals I see would take an unskilled cook such as myself quite awhile to whip up, never mind to be photo worthy. Long story short, I’m not the perfect candidate to contribute to a beautiful foodie magazine! I don’t fit the profile, my piece of cake on a plate looks like a piece of cake on a plate, not artful or overly styled at all.
My goal with food is to make it with love, from my heart, and then put it in surroundings that make it look so much more enticing. So I thought about Mowie’s offer and was tempted to kindly turn him down… But then I thought, “Hey, I love to style tabletops and I adore entertaining, and I do know how to create a good mood around food… So perhaps there’s my angle for a story in a food magazine”. And so, with shaky knees, I pitched to Mowie an alternate idea and since I know Mowie loves pink, I tried to make it as close to his aesthetic as possible without compromising my own. Ah, a story was born and he accepted my idea! You can find my story on pages 61-73!
I spent a day prop shopping (mostly in my own china cabinet), making things by hand, ironing linens, and then I went to work during day two to pull it all together and photograph it and now it’s in Mowie Kay’s beautiful premiere issue on computers everywhere – click here to view the entire magazine and to read my story beginning on page 61. I also give lots of tips in my story on how to make a tabletop come alive on a budget and I’ve included a luncheon playlist on page 73. I hope that you enjoy it. The tabletop was definitely a spin off from the one Leslie, Sania and I did for Liberty in London – for my table at home, I was able to use stuff I had already and channel some of that Liberty inspiration into it as well.
In the article, I mention my friend Anne Wendlandt (above on page 69), you can see more of her work on her blog since she’s not linked in the article (sorry, Anne).
There’s even a nice page in the magazine where Mowie interviewed me (that was fun!) and he is giving away 3 copies of Decorate, thanks to my London-based publisher, Jacqui Small. If you would like to win a copy of Decorate just comment on his blog HERE and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 copies. :)
Thank you Mowie for including me in your premiere issue and I wish you loads of success with your e-magazine!
(images: holly becker for mowie kay)