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Sunset Magazine & Rosenow Floral Design

I think the best way to begin this week is to show some gorgeous flowers from Rosenow because everything in my yard and town is in bloom and all I can think about is going outside to collect wildflowers later today.


But wait. Before I talk about Rosenow let me first tell you how I found out about them. I’ve been reading a lot of Sunset magazine lately which may not make a lot of sense since it’s pretty geared towards California and the Pacific Northwest and well, I live in New Hampshire. Why bother, right? I thought the same thing when I picked up my first copy when Domino folded. I guess I felt desperate for a replacement magazine so I was grabbing at whatever title struck me. Though Sunset can’t replace Domino as both serve a completely different mission, it’s absolutely a must read for anyone looking for an inspiring lifestyle mag (home decor, travel, food, gardening, etc.) and I encourage you, no matter where you live, to give it a whirl. Sure, all those spreads featuring California this and Seattle that will make you feel a bit left out of the healthy, we all bike and live the good life club (ha ha) but Sunset is a bit transporting for a moment so we’re all able to indulge in a little west coast dreamin’. Speaking of dreams, it has a bit of that American dream (remember that?) attached to its pages still, you know the one so many think is dead now? Well it’s not dead, we still have dreams but they’ve changed a bit to fit the times and will continue to evolve as we move forward.


Sunset, at least to me, keeps the new American dream alive and well — I can’t describe how exactly, it’s more of a feeling I have when I read the articles. It feels authentic, it’s not pretentious, what they feature seems within reach and tied in to our dreams and values. The vibe is genuine and down-to-earth and I like that about Sunset. I think that, as a culture, that’s what we’re all getting back to a bit, don’t you? A yearning to make connections with others and to form lasting friendships, a focus on old-fashion values, making things ourselves, raising awareness, speaking our minds just a little bit more, building communities, taking what we have and finding pleasure in it — making it better even — without struggling to replace everything the second we tire of it. Including friendships and our home.


In fact, one such article that I particularly enjoyed, though short, was in their February ‘09 issue where San Francisco shop owner Erin Rosenow from Rosenow Floral Design was featured. She spoke about her passion for quirky and vintage-inspired design and she listed the must-have tools every aspiring floral designer should have in their work area. I felt like jumping on a plane to visit Erin and her shop to see what magic she’s making with flowers in San Francisco, I imagine she’d talk to me for hours about arranging the perfect bouquet. She came across as quite accessible in the article and I liked that, her love came shining through, and that’s a recurring theme I’m finding in the articles over at Sunset. There’s passion behind each issue and it shows.

Any other Sunset readers out there? What do you think of the magazine as a whole? Do you find inspiration there? Like it? Not like it? A little in between?

(images: rosenow florist)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Books + Magazines on May 18, 2009

Magazine Swap

I participated in a fun little magazine swap and my batch of magazines arrived yesterday; I was so excited to see these lovely goodies from Australia as I pulled them out one by one reading all of the thoughtful notes on each left by my swap partner. Thank you Martine from Green Olive Design — so much! Readers, if you’ve never participated in a magazine swap before I highly suggest giving it a go — it’s a lot of fun! Just find someone you can trust (make sure they have an established blog or business so you can track them down) from a country where you’re just dying to receive magazines from and go for it.

Wow! Thank you Martine!

The way Martine and I did it is that we listed the magazines that we wanted and then each of us purchased them – brand new and current. I paid the postage for my mags and she paid the postage for hers but we didn’t charge the other for the actual magazines.

I once hosted magazine swaps on decor8 (remember?) but they became so hugely popular that it was a bit time consuming for me to pair up people so I’m not longer hosting them. BUT, if you want to find a swap partner in another country, I’ve started a thread here at Kindred where you can jump in and talk about the magazines you are looking for and see if anyone has them and wants to do a swap. My personal swap rules are that all magazines must be brand new and from the current month. You can set your own rules though, it’s up to you. Have fun swappers!

(image: holly becker)

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 14, 2009

Cookies & Cupcakes

It’s the weekend! Yay! I love weekends, especially since I’m finally walking around again and feel like I can start to enjoy all of this gorgeous sunshine! How are you doing? Do you have big plans for the weekend? Hey you know what I nearly forgot to show you this week, this…

Cupcakes & Cookies

Cupcakes & Cookies

Cupcakes & Cookies

Cupcakes & Cookies

Cupcakes & Cookies

I picked these gorgeous books up recently at my local Barnes & Noble, Cookies and Cupcakes. They were originally published in Australia (divine!) and now released here in the states and to say they are completely breathtaking is the understatement of the year — they’re above and beyond what I expected when I picked them up from the great big sale table. For one, they don’t have jackets which honestly, I really like this and the the recipes for cupcakes and cookies are yummy and everything is photographed beautifully. An unexpected surprise is that they pair interiors and inspiration boards with food and you all know how much I like that sort of thing… So, if you happen to be over at your local B&N store this weekend pick these two lovelies up for yourself, I think I paid $8 for each of them (steal!). You won’t be sorry. You may even bake something from them and mail your goods to me as a thank you. he he.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 08, 2009

Happy Weekend (& a magical book)

It’s time to say goodbye for the weekend but I’d like to share with you a glimpse into what mine will look like… It involves lots of reading and movies as I need to still recover. Oh poor me, right? I think this weekend I’ll indulge in Marie Antoinette and some James Bond and a few Turner Classic movies. Other than my badly damage ankle, the rest of me is not too pleased having to stay indoors for the past week but oh well… I must, “cherish the down time” friends say. Okay, if I must. Here is another way I plan to spend my down time, with a magical new book that just arrived on my doorstep filled with gorgeous images of Paris.

Paris Made By Hand

Paris Made By Hand

Paris Made By Hand

Paris Made By Hand

Paris Made By Hand is authored by the lovely Pia Jane Bijerk, a stylist and writer from the Netherlands by way of Paris and ultimately, Australia where she was raised. I have been dying to get my hands on a copy of this precious book so I ordered it in advance and here it is, waiting for me to turn each and every dreamy page. Soon I will be relaxing with my special little book to read all of Pia’s lovely writing and to view her 50 must-see shops where stylists and decorators find their goodies in Paris, the subject of this book. Sounds dreamy, oui?

I met Pia last year and thought she was so very nice in person, much like you’d expect her to be from her blog personality, and so I feel really good about recommending this book to you even before reading it. I know it will be special, very very VERY special. So please, support Pia and her new book.

It should come with a warning though: it will give you major Paris fever!

Congrats, Pia!

(images: holly becker)

Posted in Books + Magazines on May 01, 2009


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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