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Inspiration

Inspiration

Dreamy Dyes

March 22, 2012

With Easter on the horizon, these egg dyeing ideas seemed appropriate to post today, especially with Spring in the air and because these are not your typical ways to use dye for Easter. As a side point, I was so thrilled to learn yesterday that I’ll soon be having lunch with the Dietlind Wolf, as arranged behind-the-scenes by a good friend of mine here in Germany so I was taken by surprise and I can’t wait. I’ve been a fan of this German stylist for ages so to meet her soon in person makes my heart leap. We’ve been in contact for awhile now but never met in person so this will be an absolutely lovely moment in time for me. Plus, I hope to convince her to work with me on a project here in Germany so I’ll let you know of my idea very soon!

Dreamy Dyes

In thinking about delightful Dietlind today, I found these gorgeous images from her blog that appear in the April issue of German interiors magazine, Schoener Wohnen. Aren’t these incredibly inspirational? She is responsible for the concept and styling while the photography was done by the great Julia Hoersch.

Dreamy Dyes

Dreamy Dyes

Dreamy Dyes

Dreamy Dyes

I love that Dietlind explored the idea of dyeing Easter eggs and thought to not stop with only the eggs but to dye the dinnerware and tablecloth as well to give the table a more watercolor-y look, almost like a spring dress off of a Parisian runway. This is completely brilliant!

(photographer: Julia Hoersch)






Inspiration

Springtime Desserts

March 22, 2012

Hello everyone! I’m Emilie Guelpa from Paris and I’m one of Holly’s brand new columnists on decor8. I work as a freelance stylist, photographer and cookbook author and maintain a blog called Griottes. I love food so it was only natural that I met up with Holly recently at a cafe in Paris. We became fast friends and it was decided then that I would write once monthly on decor8. Today is my debut and I hope what I’m about to share makes you smile big. But first, a bit about my column…

Springtime Desserts

Once a month, around the third week, I’ll be popping in to share my column: Playing With Food. I won’t be providing recipes or step-by-step instructions on how to make anything because my column isn’t about holding your hand and telling you how to do stuff, rather this column is meant to inspire you, to build your color confidence and to show you alternate ways to look at things and how to think of ways to translate the things you see around you into the kitchen or next dinner party and to have some fun while doing it, careful not to take yourself toooooo seriously. I love to laugh and so I wish to inject some of my more quirky thoughts into the mix, too.

Springtime Desserts

Spring has Sprung! In the streets of Paris all of the cherry trees are in bloom and the days have begun to lengthen. I felt inspired by the color of cherry blossoms so I took that inspiration into the kitchen and thought to pull together a quick trio of desserts meant to invite you to embrace spring’s arrival. With March being the third month, three seemed like a good number to work from.

Springtime Desserts

First, I made a small pink Bavarian torte with a light meringue on top, as fragile as the petals of flowers.

Springtime Desserts

To invite spring to the table I brought in a few Persian buttercups along with ranunculus, pretty pastel ceramic cups, fresh pink, mint green, and a bit of Liberty fabric which is always inspirational to me. Then I decided to add some element of fun to the table, something with a little humor because this comes each and every Spring – rain! But…

Springtime Desserts
These cloud shaped cookies twirl around the table and the rain is much prettier with blossoms and tiny pompoms.

Springtime Desserts

These cookies landed gracefully upon a soft minty green plate…
Springtime Desserts
then chewed and enjoyed. :)

Springtime Desserts

The final dessert in my trio is this grapefruit sherbet which gives a soft and happy ending to this tabletop and adds something refreshing and cool. Cake has a completely different texture than a cookie and sherbet is an entirely different sensation from there.

Springtime Desserts

Springtime Desserts

You can serve sherbet (or sorbet, ice cream, frozen yogurt – whatever makes you happy) in a cone or in a cup topped with pretty sprinkles and mini flower-shaped cookies or serve both ways (in a cone and in a cup) to vary the height of your tabletop arrangement of pretty desserts and to suit the desires of your guests as some prefer being offered a choice.

Springtime Desserts

Have you heard of the poem, Spring has sprung? It is a short English poem that my friend Judikaela sent me. I find it perfectly sums up the return of spring, “Spring has sprung, the grass has ris (risen), I wonder where the birdies is. Some say the bird is on the wing, But that’s absurd, from what I’ve heard…The wing is on the bird.” So cute!

Springtime Desserts

Note: If this is all a bit too pastel for you, don’t be afraid to work in brighter pinks and greens as shown above! Play with color and play with your food, always!

See you next month! – Emilie.

(photos: Emilie Guelpa text: Holly Becker & Emilie Griottes)






Inspiration

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

March 20, 2012

It is no secret that I love the things that springtime brings… From cheery blooms to blades of fresh grass, plants on the balcony, flowering branches in a vase — all of these things inspire me endlessly. I passed by blossoming magnolia in a flower shop yesterday and my heart did flip flops as I was reminded of my childhood in South Carolina and how much I anticipated the bloom of the magnolias each Spring during my birthday (I was born on March 21 – tomorrow!). I enjoy bringing nature into the home and since today is the first day of Spring for this year at least, it’s a nice time to talk about flowers isn’t it?

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

In some parts of the world, a freshly picked daffodil from your garden won’t be a reality for some time. You may (like me) be turning to your favorite flower shop for budding branches and blossoming blooms. There are other options though of the paper kind that perhaps you’ve not given much consideration to. In fact, I encourage you to play with flowers that are fresh and those that are faux – even mix them in your vases, and see what you can come up with that is creative and as fresh as springtime.

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

Granted, you may find the silk variety a bit ‘grandma’ but have you considered faux outside of silk, namely paper flowers? Whether they be crepe, tissue, scrap, wrapping, vintage or even wallpaper leftovers… you can make your own gorgeous flowers using paper quite easily. There are plenty of kits in craft stores for this with pre-cut blooms or you can try your hand at the myriads of tutorials on sites like Martha Stewart, for instance. There’s a great coffee filter flower how-to currently on their crafting blog that could easily be translated into some kind of fun tabletop arrangement if you’d like.

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

Freshly Picked Paper Flowers

Another option, especially if you are pressed for time or lack patience altogether to fuss with flower making, is to buy paper blooms pre-made. This is where Helen Frances, illustrator and paper artist for Frances & Francis in London, can help you. She just launched several new paper bouquets in her Etsy shop made of paper mixed with real twigs and branches for the stems. I think they are beautiful and adore that they can be reused, repurposed and can last for years if you need them too. Sure, they may not provide a fresh fragrance to the air, but that’s what room spray or those wonderful Diptyque candles from Paris come in, right? :)

Gorgeous and so inspiring, right!?

(images: Helen Frances)






Inspiration, Travel

Mood Board Books To Inspire

March 19, 2012

Hello friends! I’m in one of those writing moods today where words just bubble forth like some kind of crazy fountain! It’s a great mood to be in because now I’m home and no longer traveling so I CAN write on decor8 regularly again and it feels wonderful. I always miss blogging and the practice of writing daily when I’m on the road, writing is total freedom for me. Another freedom, or shall I say creative release (sounds weird but it really is), is when I pull together things visually into handmade books. I’ve been doing this for ages, since I was a little curious kid, and it started by pulling pages from teen magazines and Highlights magazine then collecting them into photo albums with those giant clear pages… You know the ones that you peel to stick in your pages on that strange adhesive so when you lay stuff on it the paper sorta sticks, then you press the clear page on top. Yeah, those old school albums, woot!

Mood Board Books To Inspire

I filled those things with inspirations from magazine pages to stickers, letters from penpals and labels from things that I liked. I also used blank journals and diaries or handmade books that I made by stapling together copy paper with a stapler to form a gutter down the middle. I started doing those in the late 1970’s when I was maybe 6 years old and I continued making them my entire life – writing in some, sticking things in others – I had sticker books, inspiration books, books I wrote and illustrated with my own stories, and diaries filled with secrets and wishes and how I imagined my “adult” life to be — which usually involved becoming an author, marrying a cute boy, having a baby and living in another country in a really nice house.

Well… Little me ended up wanting the same goals as I grew older and I often wonder at times if that clarity came through the consistent exercise of capturing my imagination and dreams into something more tangible like the books that I made over the years? I believe that the more you either write down or visually share with yourself and/or others, the more you capture your imagination in a sense and freeze it,  perhaps it helps put you on your way to gaining a bit more clarity as you make your way through life. Interesting to ponder, right?

Mood Board Books To InspireThis spread was inspired by a home we shot in the English countryside recently. I came home and pulled this together using images that felt like the home I had worked in in the same color palette.

I almost want to challenge you to test this theory on your own life and to see if, after a year of consistently maintaining private journals and books, whether or not you start to gain a better sense of self. We’re constantly evolving so there is never an end point to all of this since we’ll be growing as long as we live (or at least lets make that our goal!) but the act of conscious “slow” living vs. hectic “speed” living IS something we really want to do, at least that’s what I find most attractive these days as I see the hectic path is ultimately reallyyyyyyy boring and makes time go by much to quickly.

I’m wondering now if all of this tapping in and recording our inspirations, goals, heartaches, lessons learned, ideas, etc. is what enhances the experience of living in a way. What do you think?

Mood Board Books To InspireThis is a capture of fabrics and ribbons that I collected while in London for a project from various stores like Liberty and VV Rouleaux. I wanted to pull them all together in one place because now I’ll always remember them in case I want to work from this palette in the future on another project.

I thought to go along with my words that I’d share a few images that I took with my iPhone today of these mood board pages that I made in a book over the past six weeks – they show some of the impressions that I’ve had on the road while I’ve been working on my next book. I didn’t feel like writing my impressions from each trip in a diary because I have to write so much as it is INSIDE of the actual book and on this blog that the thought of writing a diary during this time made me a bit tense. I still, however, wanted to keep track of my inspirations along the way so I thought to do it in a visual way instead. Plus, it ended up inspiring me through a bit of a creative challenge. This book gave me a chance to record things with a glue stick and a few minutes of my time. I shared this with our Blogging Your Way Road Trip students recently in New York and they seemed to be very inspired by it. I hope you are too.

Mood Board Books To InspireThis was pulled together based on the same home in the English countryside that had inspired me so, so much. I used found items, washi tape, paint swatches, buttons, clips, etc. to pull together a paper that reflected the mood of that home.

Creating visual records can be very inspiring while you’re doing them but also to look back on them, for me at least, I inspires me all over again. For instance from this book I am able to recall the exact things that struck a chord with me on certain trips — seeing them again gave me some new ideas for the future.

Remember… Mood boards don’t have to be on actual boards on your wall. As I taught last year in the series of Mood Board Workshops in the US and London for Anthropologie, mood boards can be on a wall, in a book, in a manilla folder, in a mini mood board book (aka portable photo album with clear sleeves) or an inspiration wire which is horizontal and hung across a wall, window or above a sofa or bed – anywhere that you want really – where you can tack on what catches your eye at the moment. Visual recordings like this can be enlightening, especially as you begin to see patterns in your thinking, spot a theme or discover new ideas.

Mood Board Books To InspireThis is a spread that I created using tears and bits that I’ve been collecting in my desk drawer for several months. I noticed everything I had collected there fit together in a strange way so I decided to put them in the book so that I could refer to this later. I love seeing how gray, cream, goldenrod, industrial elements, strong graphics (like numbers, silhouettes and maps), polka dots and a bit of olive green can work with a touch of a floral fabric that is a bit country. Again, it’s all about capturing moments and collecting them someplace outside of our own heads (or a desk drawer).

What I love about the books that I’ve been creating at home since I was a kid is that, unlike a board or string or something that’s a bit decorative and public in your home that others potentially see, you don’t have to edit out anything or hold back in your books. It’s also different from a blog or Pinterest because your book can be private and a total immersion into self. Often when you compose mood boards at home or online you tend to hold back for some reason whereas a book that you can store can be less about sharing with others and more about sharing with yourself, personal growth, learning and saving to look back on for years to come. You can include themes that may be too embarrassing to share publicly or explore topics that you may feel are too private to pass around within your online social network. It’s a very nice way to bookmark your life visually and I love it.

Mood Board Books To InspireThis was created when I got back from Paris a few weeks ago. Some visuals that reflected how I saw Paris…

I hope this post today inspired you somehow to be a bit more active when it comes to recording your thoughts in a more visual, organized but still fun and freestyle way. Always take time to absorb your surroundings, then collect them into something tangible so that your inspiration can be tapped in to during those “creative rut” periods…

What do you think of this idea to collect visual notes into small books at home? Do you do make these too? If so, post them on your blog and share the link below if you’d like so we can see them!

(images: holly becker for decor8)






Inspiration

Corbin Gurkin Photography

February 14, 2012

Hello everyone, how are you? I took Monday off from blogging to catch up on administrative tasks (oh so fun! not!) but the good news is that I’m on top of things in the office and feel loads better and more inspired to write again! I find writer’s block strikes when I have mountains of emails to reply to, tax stuff to sort out, expense reports to complete and calls to make – then it’s impossible to write with a mind heavy with tasks. I feel free again with my To Do lists in good form so let’s kick off the week by enjoying some beautiful photography by Corbin Gurkin, a super amazing wedding photographer based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Corbin Gurkin Photography

I thought since weddings are not the focus of this blog that I’d highlight more of her lifestyle shots – particularly those that focus on texture, detail and color because in decorating, all three are key elements in making a space feel cozy and special.

Corbin Gurkin Photography

What I love about Corbin’s work, in addition to her fantastic attention to detail, is how she works with light and her notice and capture of moments that some would have overlooked otherwise. I also appreciate how diverse her portfolio is – it’s a lot of work to be a destination wedding photographer! She is available for hire to shoot all over the world and she definitely has shot everywhere from Tuscany to Paris, London, California and Hawaii.

Corbin Gurkin Photography

Corbin Gurkin Photography

With work regularly praised by top wedding blogs and featured in top publications like Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, and Brides magazine, it’s no wonder why she is a sought-after photographer. To top it off, she was named one of the top twenty destination wedding photographers for 2011 by Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine. You can learn more about this talented lady here. Wonderful work, Corbin! Your work really kick- started a new week for me!

(photos: corbin gurkin)






Inspiration

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

February 7, 2012

I’m so thrilled to introduce you to a new columnist on decor8! French stylist and author Emilie Griottes is such an inspiration to me and now, she’ll bring beauty and great ideas once a month through her new column on decor8 (we don’t have a name for it yet, but when we met in Paris soon I’ll let you know what we’ve come up with!) beginning in March which will share food styling ideas, crafty inspiration and pretty things that will make your spine tingle!

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

Emilie is someone I found accidentally online last year and then was surprised to realize only recently that I owned some of her books! She will post on decor8 once a month beginning March 21 (my birthday!) so you will be in for a once-a-month treat from lovely Emilie from France. Here is a glimpse of her gorgeous work.

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

New decor8 Columnist: Emilie Griottes

You can see more of Emilie’s work on her glorious blog. She is a top notch stylist and my favorite food blogger so I’m thrilled she is joining me on decor8. In fact, I’m just so happy she has joined the decor8 team which is just me and Leslie Shewring right now but I’m looking for a few more amazing people to write here once a month so we’ll see if I have more contributors down the road – only time will tell! But for now, I have Leslie and Emilie and that makes me just so honored, I really appreciate being surrounded by talented people and want to thank Emilie for accepting my offer to work for me here.

Welcome Emilie! xo

(images: emilie griottes)






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