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Books + Magazines

Books + Magazines

Listography {Your Life in Lists}

April 3, 2008

On the whole self help theme, or shall I say, finding your true calling in life, which I love talking about by the way, why not try this fun book/writing exercise… I picked up this new journal tonight since I thought it would be fun to practice what I preach and hey, all of us can learn a thing or two (or 100) about ourselves because the process of growth is never quite complete.

Listography {Your Life in Lists}
Listography – Your Life in Lists is a book authored by Lisa Nola and it’s pretty much self explanatory, pages contain a single sentence meant to push you to fess up like, List Your Guilty Pleasures, List The People You Love The Most, and List Professions You’d Like To Try. It’s a great way for you to open up and write your own autobiography and for $12 it’s a lot cheaper than a therapist.

Listography {Your Life in Lists}My list above is taking shape…

It’s especially helpful for those who have a hard time maintaining a spot where you record your daily life. Some people buy journals with every intention of filling them but then crack it open and ———— draw a blank. Nothing comes to mind, the white pages stay white, and well the book lays in the drawer of your bedside table for months neglected and alone. Poor little journal. This book gets you thinking and writing. How about trying this out for a bit of self discovery? Even for those of you who think you have the world in your hands, it’s still good to take an honest look at yourself because there’s always something new you can learn no matter how far you’ve come. Plus, the more you write lists the more you reveal that deep dark buried under 10,000 layers of clay stuff that otherwise rests untapped in your brain. Dig it out and write about it.

(images from listography)

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Bazaar Style Sneak Peek

March 7, 2008

Yesterday a book arrived in the mail from publisher Ryland Peters & Small in New York that I think you may like to see… It’s called Bazaar Style or as I call it, Bohemian decor gone deliciously wild.

Bazaar Style Sneak Peek
Do you remember Selina Lake? Well she styled the rooms in this book. Photographer Debi Treloar is responsible for the beautiful photos, and FYI her work was featured today by Ez on Creature Comforts (Debi’s portfolio is jaw-dropping, great find Ez as always!). I interviewed Selina recently for decor8 and so to hold her book in my hands today is especially nice since I feel like I know the lady behind the photos making it so much more interesting and special to me.

Click on all images for larger view.

Bazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak PeekBazaar Style Sneak Peek
This book is a visual feast as you can see, not a single of its 144 pages lack a fully-saturated image. Writer Joanna Simmons gives some helpful tips along with Selina on combining different elements to pull together the boho look, so it’s not just pretty but informative. Last year my favorite book was Midwest Modern, this year it may just be Bazaar Style.

You can pre-order it on Amazon for $19 (sponsored link here) or wait until April to pick yours up at the bookstore. Enjoy!

(images taken of personal copy of Bazaar Style by Holly Becker for decor8.)

Books + Magazines

Decorating: Better Homes and Gardens

February 15, 2008

You know how Better Homes and Gardens releases special quarterly Decorating issues? Well I rarely purchase them because they’re a little too traditional and ‘perfect’ for my taste and I can’t deal with matchy-matchy interiors. Okay so yesterday I ended up at Barnes & Noble looking for the March LivingEtc issue and since it wasn’t there I picked up the only new thing I could find that looked new — Decorating from BH&G. Expecting to see the normal taupe, blue, chocolate and striped to death interiors, I took a seat and started flipping through it. You know, in that I’m sooo not interested in this magazine but it’s better than nothing fashion. And surprise! This is the part of the story where I eat my words. A darling small space belonging to an artist decorated solely with flea market finds with lots of gold, pink, and turquoise. Pinch me. It’s in the current Spring ’08 issue in case you’re interested and it’s so perfectly imperfect – a knock-out eclectic mix.

Decorating: Better Homes and Gardens
The article is called Breaking Convention (on pages 76-83) and features the colorful space of children’s book illustrator Rosie Winstead photographed by Alise O’Brien. Her Springfield, Missouri home is extremely charming and somewhat small as it’s only 1,100 square-foot space. I tried to find information about Rosie on the web, as the article doesn’t point to a website, but I had little success finding anything personal about Rosie with the exception of the books that she’s illustrated and this bio. I was disappointed to see that the magazine didn’t spotlight the article in their resource guide as I’m dying to know where she found some of her fabric. My guess is that they excluded her home in the guide because so much of it was pulled together using vintage finds so BH&G didn’t have much to go on.

The second I flipped open to this article I thought of Nicole Balch from Making It Lovely because she has a similar color palette in her Chicago home. I can totally see Nicole drooling over this article.

The magazine highlights a smallish living/dining room combo, an office (that was once the dining room) and a lovely bedroom. What I like about it is that Rosie isn’t a professional decorator, she just has that magic touch – she knows what she likes and she has a certain look that she sticks with so whenever she brings something home she’s confident it will fit in. If you notice her work space below, the arrangement of art above her desk is just great and was collected from flea markets and from family members.

Decorating: Better Homes and GardensDecorating: Better Homes and GardensDecorating: Better Homes and GardensDecorating: Better Homes and Gardens
These are very rough shots of my issue only meant to whet your appetite. To see them in all their full-sized glory you’ll need to pick up the issue or purchase a subscription online. I think you’ll like most of the homes featured inside and there’s a huge 14 page section devoted to flooring that I find extremely helpful when it comes to selecting the right surface according to room. Another nice home tour is Think Pink on pages 30-41.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Books + Magazines

Books I’m Excited About…

February 9, 2008

I’m a major book junkie. What about you? But lately I can’t say that a single title has caught my attention, it’s been awhile since I walked into the local bookstore and felt excited about the interior design or arts ‘n crafts section. Fortunately, that’s about to change starting as soon as later this month – yay! Our fantastic design fix is soon to come and I couldn’t be happier. Here are some books on my pre-order wish list, including one from Lotta Jansdotter, a book from Dooce, and that great Selina Lake book discussed here on decor8 recently during our interview. Here’s a few on my wish list…

Books I'm Excited About...

Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (the pioneer of design blogs over at Apartment Therapy), Lotta Prints: How to Print with Anything, from Potatoes to Linoleum by Lotta Jansdotter, Bazaar Style by author and stylist Selina Lake (you already met the author here), and Crafting a Business from Country Living magazine.

Also shown above; Junk Beautiful (these ladies have a massive cult following, here’s their first book Junk Market Style), New Decorating: With Stylish, Practical Projects for Every Room by Elizabeth Wilhide (the same author that brought us New Decor, she’s really great), Sew & Stow by Betty Oppenheimer, and Things I Learned About My Dad: Humorous and Heartfelt Essays by Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce fame (Go, Heather!)

Feeling crafty? There’s Papercraft by Angelika Wolk-Gerche, Pretty Little Patchwork and Pretty Little Potholders looks fun, then there’s ReMAKE ReSTYLE ReUSE: Easy Ways to Transform Everyday Basics into Inspired Design (I have this in German but it’s soon to be released in English and I couldn’t be happier!), if you love paper products then The Paper Home: Side Tables, Clocks, Bowls, and Other Home Projects Made from Paper may be a good one for you, it looks like a neat DIY book.

Another few titles that hold promise: Debbie Bliss Home: 27 Hand Knits for Living, Pillow Book: Over 25 Simple-to-Sew Patterns for Every Room and Every Mood, or if you’re in the drawing mood there’s Fashion Illustration Techniques. Finally there’s a little something for the faux fans out there called Paint Style: The New Approach to Decorative Paint Finishes from Benjamin Moore which promises to deliver a more modern take on faux designs (thank God) that mimic wallpaper and such and allows you a shot at some creative expression while saving money by doing it yourself.

Whew! Now if that wish list doesn’t satisfy your cravings…

A few of these titles just released but most of them are available on Amazon as pre-orders. I’m an Amazon affiliate which means I earn a whopping 4% on books that sell via the links above, so maybe if a couple hundred books sell I may be able to buy a paperback. That’s not why I post about books, but I wanted to at least disclose the affiliate part.

(images from amazon)

Books + Magazines

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart

January 23, 2008

Have you ever dreamed of owning a book authored by y-o-u? Sharing your voice is important, I believe that each of us has a special gift, something truly unique and beautiful to share with others. A book (or a blog in my case) can be the channel in which to showcase that gift. Perhaps you are a motivator, an anthropologist, or a secretary with some humorous stories to share. Maybe you have an interesting story to tell about your family, a character trapped in your head that you’d love to give life to, a children’s book that’s ‘this’ close to being the next Harry Potter but you just don’t know it yet. How will you know if you don’t take the first step? Do you take amazing photos, have excellent ideas around floral arranging or wedding planning? Perhaps you’re a great cook, you sew really well, or live an eco-friendly lifestyle and have terrific tips to share. Have you opened your own store, lost a loved one, or pushed through fears to accomplish a dream? The reason why this intro is so long and question-filled is to stimulate you. Maybe one of these questions made you pause. Pay attention to the pause, it could mean something great is brewing inside and that you just may need to listen to it. We all have something important to share.

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
Once you have your ideas together on paper, you can go the traditional route and submit your story through various publishing companies. One of my favorites is Chronicle Books because I’ve heard nothing but positive things about them from the many writers I know who they’ve published. Since you spend at least 18 months working on a book with your publisher, you’ll need to like them and most importantly, trust them and their vision for your book. Product packaging and marketing along with earning actual money from your hard work is also of importance and I’ve heard that Chronicle excels in these areas too. (Learn more about submissions here.) Chronicle Books and major publishing houses aside, perhaps you’ve heard of self-publishing. Have you considered the less traditional route as an option?

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
When it comes to self-publishing, where do you turn? How does it work? What’s in it for you? I can’t answer these questions, but I can point you to a decor8 reader that I admire because she just went this route and is already finding success with it over at Blurb. Her name is Kerry Pitt-Hart, you may know her from the etsy store Lush Bella or from these posts on decor8.

Kerry is an accomplished Photographer, Jewelry Designer, and Museum Educator and since January 11th, a new author. She has an Etsy store too. So much for wearing one hat in life, Kerry is involved in many things that she loves because each one brings her joy and satisfies her desire to explore and learn. I’ve included some images of her first book called I Spy, a mostly visual gem that also inspires imagination because alongside her photos of arrangements she includes a short somewhat poetic story or questions that ask the reader to get involved.

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
I recently asked Kerry a few questions about I Spy so I thought I’d share her comments with you today.

decor8: What made you want to author a book?

KPH: Honestly…I get bored easily, though strangely at the same time, I can spend hours stringing and sewing extremely tiny beads onto pieces of lace. I’m kind of an anomaly, I guess. But I also like to write, and the thought of being able to write and design a book on my own was the perfect cure for the boredom I had at the time.

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
decor8: How did you develop the concept?

KPH: It came to me when I received a message from Caitlin, who I met on Flickr. Before this, the book I was working on was a compilation of all the object photographs I’ve made up to the present, but she said something about my work that really struck a chord, and inspired some of the activities in the book. She said that my work reminded her of the grown up version of the i-spy books. So I set to work thinking of activities like the writing activity for “Follow Me II”, which is the arrangement of the scattered paper lithographs of Victorian-era butterflies arranged in a graceful curve fluttering after circles and dots. I also arranged some photographs side-by-side on the same page asking the reader to pick out the differences between them.

decor8: All of your little objects must have a history, do you reference that somewhere in the book?

KPH: Yes, in the back of the book are lists of the objects I used in each arrangement, so the reader can look up an object they may be unfamiliar with. I also tried to include where I found the object, like the spool of red and white thread that I unraveled from a length of polka-dot silk I picked up at a sidewalk sale next door to Momi Toby’s in Hayes Valley (San Francisco) several years ago.

decor8: Overall, how easy was it to use Blurb?

KPH: The software that you download is rather intuitive to use, though on my older Mac it kept crashing. However, realizing that it’s still in beta version I just worked through it and saved often. I was going to self-publish through Apple’s iPhoto, but it proved to be too cost-prohibitive for the number of pages I had. I also went with Blurb because of the fact that they’re out of San Francisco, have an online bookstore where you can sell what you publish, and because you decide what your “royalty” is. Plus, you can announce your book once you’ve published it by sending a message directly from their site where people can download a preview of the first several pages. I feel like a spokesperson for Blurb, but I think everyone should try it if they haven’t already.

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
You can purchase her book here online and if you’d like to learn about self publishing straight from Kerry you can ask her by commenting below or you may visit Blurb online and refer to their FAQ page or visit Blurb forums. But if you’re anything like me, I prefer asking those who have experienced something for themselves so feel free to comment below with your questions.

Self Publishing + I Spy by Kerry Pitt-Hart
After viewing her arrangements, I have a question for Kerry. What do you do with your arrangements after you’ve photographed them? Do you place them inside of a shadowbox and sell them as works of art? You certainly could. I envision Kerry’s work in a gallery or a storefront, her originals alongside her prints along with I Spy. If I had a space for this, I would ask Kerry to do a book signing along with a show – this would be such an interesting and unique exhibit don’t you think? Someone invite Kerry! :)

(images from kerry pitt-hart)

Books + Magazines

The Left Bank Look {book}

January 10, 2008

This week I thought I’d give you a peek inside the pages of my latest favorite book, The Left Bank Look by Anne Hubert. I picked up the German copy Anders Als Die Andern while I was in Germany last year, but didn’t want to show it to you since all the text is in German and it’s largely a how-to book so you’d need to be able to read it to fully enjoy all the great ideas Anne presents. I researched the title back in September and discovered that it would be released this year in English so I pre-ordered it on Amazon (only $11!) and it arrived yesterday. I’m so happy that now I can share it with you. If you’re even slightly on the crafty side, you’re going to love it.

The Left Bank Look {book}
Anne Hubert lives in Paris and works as freelance textile designer and owner of Cherry on the Cake. She loves to customize pre-existing materials giving them her unique personal stamp. The Left Bank Look is a refreshing DIY book because most of the projects can be completed rather quickly with little sewing involved and allow you to get as creative as you wish. Love that part. Go wild!

The Left Bank Look {book}I love how she uses images of shoes, cherries, and
her friends to add life to her striped pillows.

In her book, Anne uses the basic elements, t-shirts, shoes, linens, tea towels, etc. that you already own and shows you how to transform them into something personal with a French twist. Projects that range from dyeing, painting, image transfers (my favorite), each technique is easy and the results are fresh and funky.

I want to try the elbow patches project (love them) with floral fabric against a plan white cotton top and the Polaroid image transfer technique taking photos and bringing plain white curtains new life with a subtle pattern.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Polaroids and doilies transform mundane sheers.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Elbow patches – not just for kids. I want to do this to a few shirts for Spring.

The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}The Left Bank Look {book}Anne suggests using what you already have and
then add some of your personal style with items ranging from
doilies to your favorite fabric scraps.

The Left Bank Look {book} Same book only in German with a different cover.

Doesn’t this book look great? I was waiting and waiting to share it with you, I’m thrilled it’s now in English and I hope you’ll find it as interesting and inspirational as I do.

Would you like to know more about designer/author Anne Hubert? Click here to read an interview that Lisaa had with her recently.

(photographs taken by holly becker for decor8)

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