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The Handmade Marketplace: Book Review

I was thrilled when author Kari Chapin asked me to be a contributor in her book, The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line and now that it’s sitting here before me on my desk I’m even more honored to have been asked! Thank you Kari! This informative book, which is the decor8 book of the week, is packed with advice from many contributors who have made a successful business from the ground floor up which makes the book so exciting because everyone included grew their business based on passion, determination, talent and in an organic way — which is usually how the most successful businesses are developed — over time.

The Handmade Marketplace

Included in this book, in addition to my own contributions on pages 125-127 (I wrote about how a business can attract attention from their favorite blogs) , you can find words of wisdom from Ashley Goldberg, Elizabeth MacCrellish, Emily Martin (who also did most of the illustrations found throughout the book), Jenny Ryan, Jennifer Judd-McGee, Leah Kramer, Liz Smith, Mati Rose McDonough, Matt Stinchcomb (VP of Community at Etsy), Megan Reardon and Yvonne Eijkenduijn. Kari helps readers who are looking to launch their crafting business in many areas from how to determine cost of goods to market competition, the pros and cons of wholesale versus retail sales, tips on styling and propping crafts for photographs, technical explanations of how the most popular online marketplaces work, how to approach bloggers to get your work featured (the section where I stepped in with my own ideas), how to approach shopkeepers and build strong relationships, record keeping, showing your work at craft fairs and more – 218 pages of current concrete advice from Kari and her 30 contributors.

The Handmade Marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace

I highly suggest picking this book up if any of these topics interest you — there is so much to learn inside of The Handmade Marketplace that you’ll enjoy, it’s one of my favorite new small business/crafty guides because it’s the best $10 you’ll ever spend on your business (and it’s a tax write off!).

Kari did a beautiful job organizing a myriad of topics from so many voices and making it an easy to follow small business book that is not in the least bit boring (most business books can be a real snooze-a-thon) or overly techincal (yawn) – it’s smart, fresh and easy to digest and most of all, gives small business owners the tips and tools that they need to either get started or to keep going strong and forward with their business. Yay, indie crafters!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 27, 2010

Flowers: Chic & Cheap

I just received the most beautiful floral design book called Flowers Chic & Cheap by Carlos Mota who is the Elle Decor editor at large. There are so few “good” floral arranging books and magazines on the market in the US — my friends and I always comment that such a huge hole exists in the bookstores when it comes to floral design books that are modern, fresh and well… not kitschy or packed to the gills with silk flowers. Flowers Chic & Cheap is a beautiful book and it came at the perfect time as I just picked up bunches of ranunculus, freesia and bi-colored carnations today at the flower shop after being so inspired yesterday by my visit to the Herrenhauser Garten. I’ll take some photos of this beautiful book later this week and share a proper review of it then but for now I’ll leave you with some floral inspiration with photos that I took yesterday at the garden.

Flowers Chic & Cheap

More orchids

So pretty...

Herrenhäuser Gärten

Cherry Blossoms

Flowers

All of these colors and patterns really make me feel energized and inspired – and I hope my snapshots inspire you as well. Please note I do not use a digital SLR camera and I have little clue what I’m really doing with camera settings but I think these photos came out nice considering all of that — and so perhaps if you feel up to it maybe you can find a park or garden in your local area, bring your camera and find some memorable shots for yourself too. Nature always has such a perfectly composed palette, doesn’t it? Flower gardens never clash and patterns always look so fresh and lovely together no matter what the scale or shape. And nothing goes out of style – imagine that! There is so much for us all to learn from the examples provided in the natural world around us. And another big thing to consider with flowers is the broad range of color. Of course, I always lean towards the pinks (you know me!), yellows and violet tones but there are also oranges, reds… the colors are endless so the bottom line is really this: don’t be afraid of color!

Next week I’ll give you a full review of Flowers: Chic & Cheap!

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on April 26, 2010

Print & Pattern Book Review

I am so excited to review the new Print & Pattern book today because I love the author, Marie Perkins (aka Bowie Style), and her blog under the same name — Print & Pattern! And what a lucky girl to have her book named after her blog, right? Love it. Okay so let’s get started in seeing and discussing Print & Pattern (the book). First let me tell you a little about Marie.

Print & Pattern

Marie is a surface pattern designer in London who started blogging in March ’06 which seems like ages ago now (I guess web years are a bit like measuring time in dog years?) and I’ve followed her site from day one. I guess I always felt like she and I were partners in crime since we got started blogging during a time when it wasn’t yet hip or cool, and certainly before blogging became the next big thing. Marie and I always supported one another, I had launched decor8 only a few months before she got started, so again — there was this bond between us that made showing up each day to write online a nice experience — I knew she was out there, along with a handful of other new blogs that I enjoyed. This is another reason why I am so proud of her as she has been writing religiously on her site for four years now and that is some dedication — especially since so many blogs come and go. That level of commitment and consistency is quite impressive. Now Print & Pattern is both a blog and a book — the blog is loaded with bazillions of illustrators and products to drool over but the book is equally handy because you can reference it snuggled up on your sofa or carry with you to the balcony during lunch. And of course, a book pulls everything so nicely together and gives the Print & Pattern blog a permanent home that Marie can take pride in for years and years to come… even long after she’s wrapped up her blogging career and moved on to discover other paths.

Print & Pattern

In Marie’s beautiful book you can find 120 designers on over 300 pages with over 750 full-color examples of their work. I like how each designer has their own spot and that each has a mini bio along with contact details so that you can find them on the web. Marie has been working on turning her blog into a book since 2008 — I remember because she had put out a call for entries back then on her site which resulted in hundreds of entries (naturally). I think Print & Pattern may require a second book after I read this one… as I know Marie is scouring the globe daily for designers that I’m sure in a year or two she’ll have more than enough for a possible volume two. Fingers crossed!

Print & Pattern

In this book you can find the best of the best — works by surface pattern designers who have had their designs on products ranging from wallpaper to bed linens and greeting cards. You can expect to find the fabulous Orla Kiely, Caroline Gardner, Lotta Kuhlhorn, Petra Boase, Rock Scissor Paper, Sanna Annukka, Sukie, Nathalie Lete, Julia Rothman, Anne Wendlandt, MOZI, Marilyn Patrizio, Jessica Gonacha, Samantha Hahn, Fifi Mandirac, Heather Moore… and dozens more! It’s a fantastic introduction to surface pattern design that is happy, bright and inspirational. And Marie if you’re reading this, I’m so proud of you — inspired by you, happy for you, and extremely impressed by the beautiful book that you’ve pulled together.

Print & Pattern

Congratulations Marie on this delightful, super informative book! I hope I see it in stores everywhere — this would fit in so nicely at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters because it would help to educate the average consumer who shops there… they could learn about where all the beauty around them comes from — people! Very talented ones — I often think most people don’t even consider this when out shopping, those who aren’t reading blogs and who haven’t made the whole “online connection” yet. In fact, this book would be great in many shops for this very reason — an education — especially in stores selling some of the works from the designers featured therein!

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 20, 2010

Inspired by Bolig Magazine

I was hopping around Facebook today to check in on some of my friends and noticed this terrific link to Bolig that Tiger posted. And then down the rabbit hole I fell into the beautiful Scandinavian interiors featured in Bolig magazine online. Here are some views into some of my favorite rooms which make me all the more excited to move into a new flat and decorate!

Bolig Inspiration

I have so many ideas for my new space that I want to execute soon — my dream is to find a flat soon enough so that I can decorate it and include it in my decorating book that will be out next spring. So the apartment search continues but I am hopeful because hey, I have to find a place sooner or later. Be positive, right?!

Bolig Inspiration

Bolig Inspiration

Aren’t these spaces so clean and lovely? If you’d like to join in on the drool fest and leave some of your thoughts below please do — I’d love to know what room you like the best and why, what elements you see that you’d like to try at home, etc.

I like the bold yellow in the kitchen above, the light wood floors (and the white ones, swoon!), the “ruler” table runner (did you spy that too?), the giraffe art, the shelf over the bed, and the shiny black smeg fridge. :)

(images: bolig magazine)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on April 15, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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