Hi everyone! How is your week going so far? I’m getting ready to go on Martha Stewart Radio – live on the radio and on the web – in a little over 3 hours from now and I’m so nervous but also excited because I don’t know what to expect – I’ve only done radio in Germany so far. (If you want to listen in, read this post for a little how to.) Ha! Okay, so as most of you know, I’m an American living in northern Germany for three years, in fact my 3rd anniversary just passed in August and I’m so impressed by the talent that I see here – there is always something new to stimulate me and I love that. You know how it is when you first relocate though, you ‘think’ something will be amazing, you are scared to do it, but you do it because you know it will be good for you and then it turns out better than you had imagined. That’s my story.
Of course, relocation has it’s ups and downs… Happy turns to frustration for a while (usually after the first year) but finally this unbelievable will to succeed kicks in that just drives you forward. Can you relate? We humans are so adaptable, aren’t we? What we think may be a true test ends up being the best moment of our life. Good for us.
But yes, I feel lucky to live somewhere that has a lot of cool stuff going on in the world of art, design, styling, decorating, food, social media and blogging… My favorite things. I enjoy highlighting the talent that exists in other countries on decor8 simply because I think opening our eyes to outside influences – ones we may not have a chance to interact with on a regularly basis before the great big internet took over – is thrilling, it’s the stuff that sweetens life!
For instance, I found out recently that German stylist, Peter Fehrentz, has a book, Made By Yourself, coming out soon and I can’t wait to buy it. He does stories for lots of the big magazines here and is quite talented. I wonder how it will be – if the cover is any indication then I think we’re in for a treat.
Perhaps he is one to watch… But this is what I mean, I’m always finding something fresh and new in such a small country (compared to the USA) and I’m inspired!
(images: peter fehrentz)
My long time artist friend, Samantha Hahn, is a talented Brooklyn-based illustrator who did the floor plans for my upcoming book and the gorgeous illustrations on my blog (see the birds on the branch in the upper right corner on decor8? That’s wonderful Sam).
Samantha has a ton of interesting work going on in her life from art shows in which she is the star to books and products and even notebooks that sold at Anthropologie and beyond. She is even the lady behind the gorgeous Daily Candy illustrations! To say she is a pretty big rock star is an understatement. She has accomplished so much and I’m very product of her. Her most recent creative accomplishment was to produce watercolor illustrations from NY Fashion Week and she did, and they are beyond gorgeous. Working with The Cut/NY Mag, Sam went backstage and then illustrated her take on beauty and fashion from some of her favorite shows – 85 total in only a single week!
My favorite is the illo she did for J.Crew. They need to hire her to do a line or something, imagine her watercolors on t-shirts, cosmetic cases, fabric belts or scarves? Oh my goodness. Anyway… Check these out…
You may view more of her lovely work here.
When I look at these paintings, I wonder how much of a challenge it was for her to do this work and what it involved because I cannot imagine nailing details like this in such a chaotic environment that goes by at such a startling speed. Well, however you mastered it Ms. Hahn, you rocked it! Great job!
(images: samantha hahn)
I love a good story, especially when told expertly combining both words and imagery. I’m highly visual and seek to place images with words whenever possible because if I cannot see a story I cannot feel it in my heart and then there is nothing about it that I can relate to. If someone cannot write in a way that is very visual, they lose me. If a stylist cannot pull together a story or room in a way that elicits some emotion, I turn the page and their work is easily forgotten. I need to feel a story in that way, to make an emotional connection. I need a certain relatable reality to be introduced – either highly inspirational and uplifting or melancholy and dark (or something beautifully placed in between). Are you following me here?
Let me show you through a series of images that I came across just this past Monday that are from a wonderful Danish production company called VK Stock. I discovered them from my friend, Charlotte Gueniau, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I love that each image tells a story yet all of the stories are not the same… Each vignette, room, piece of fruit is styled from the heart and in some cases, left a bit messy which really appeals to me.
I’m so ‘over’ perfect interiors that look staged but then again, I don’t recall ever being into them, I just saw so many over the course of many years in magazines, books and catalogs that I became a bit bored by matchy matchy this and perfectly perfect that. I do not wish to live in a museum and I certainly do not have the time to polish, curate, dust and organize my home in the way that it would take to live the way that most high-end designers deem the ultimate lifestyle. Give me from the heart, eclectic, rooms built over time, loads of love, a little wonky, a little wrong, something ugly but really loved, a few things that were handed down and well, that’s enough for me.
VK Stock produces editorial lifestyle, interiors, food and DIY stories for magazines and other media worldwide, each story includes text, styling and photography that are produced together as a concept, or story, and sold in to mainly magazines. These images are but a tiny glimpse into their world and are meant to point you to their website and portfolio in case you would like to learn more. It looks as though most of these shoots where created by stylist Nicoline Olsen in Copenhagen, and are simply divine!
(images: vk stock)
I’m so pleased to share some of my favorite images with you from Heart Home magazine, which will go live online for all to see very soon today. This is their Autumn 2012 issue and I’m particularly excited because there is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Decorate Workshop, that releases later this Fall. Before Heart Home hits computer screens everywhere, I thought to share a special sneak peek because this issue is packed with stunning homes and stories that you deserve a special glimpse of because they will inspire you today. Don’t forget to hover over the images with your mouse below, look for the PIN button, and pin them to your Pinterest boards!
I am so happy to see Decorate Workshop in this issue so thank Carole, Daniel and Arianna from Heart Home because it means a lot to have your support and that I am able to share some of my decorating tips for creative spaces with your fans around the world. I haven’t included it in any of the images above but you’ll come across it later today the moment THIS ISSUE goes live. :)
Hello and happy new week to you! I thought it may be nice to do a mini weekend report and though I may not do this every Monday, I think sharing my more personal life is a nice thing to do from time to time. Plus, I’m always keen on seeing what my blogger pals are up to when they’re not blogging – it’s fun to go behind the scenes and hear about their everyday adventures whether it is things they did, found, saw, what inspired them – all of it… So here is a recap of what I did this weekend in mostly photos that I took with my iPhone. I hope that you see something that makes you smile.
Flowers from the farmers’ market put me in the weekend mood…
Then I visited an outdoor traveling fabric and notions market here from the Netherlands on Saturday. So much inspiration. I can’t wait until it returns again in November!
So many fun patterns and colors. Most of these are from Westfalen, a German fabric company that specializes in these cutesy country prints.
I couldn’t resist bringing some home with me…
I decided to put some of the flowers I picked up the day before in my sitting room…
And some more in my dining room… These English roses are so romantic and I adore all of the intricate folds because they look like tissue paper yet feel like silk.
In addition to flowers, I picked up something else fresh this weekend – sweet corn brought in from the country! I prepared it as a simple meal for dinner and it was delish!
I walk everyday, but not always taking photos! This weekend, I took a walk around my neighborhood and snapped some photos for you because the architecture here inspires me so much. I have lived here for three years now and it still feels as exciting and new as it did the day I arrived. I really love living here.
How could a neighborhood like this NOT inspire me?
The red phone booth is an British import and is not used, just left on display – I really don’t know where it came from, who brought it here or what the story really is behind it but it’s cute and makes me smile whenever I pass.
I felt lucky to catch the sunset. It’s a magical time of night, don’t you think? I really enjoy strolling around, it helps me to collect and sort my thoughts.
On Sunday, I went to this cafe nearby for lemonade. It was very quiet inside because everyone was out at the neighborhood street festival and flea market. This particular cafe is for parents and children so there is a play space and little tables dotted around for the kids. All of the shops were open yesterday, which is rare because Germans do not shop on Sundays. All of the stores are closed, only some bakeries are open, flower shops and cafes. But yesterday was a very special “Open Sunday” that is a pretty big deal. Stores put balloons outside and have prosecco, pastries, wine and other treats for their customers because it’s a special treat to be open.
Here is a 14-year-old boy who was playing acoustic guitar in front of this shop that is new in our neighborhood and specializes in selling cork products handmade (and grown) in Portugal. His voice was amazing and he played so well. I liked some of his John Mayer tunes.
I went to visit my friend, Thomas, and took a quick shot of his kitchen where he has the best display of wonderful things. He is a chef but could easily be a stylist. Such a talented man. He had a flea market on the street during the festival so I picked up a cute vintage board game circa 1971 shown below.
This cute board game, complete with wooden play pieces, was a must have. It’s in German and still had the original letter from the manufacturer in it dated 1971. I love stuff like this…
I really enjoyed the festive atmosphere with open shops, tables in the streets where people were selling things, eating, drinking… And in general the vibe was so positive and laid back. Germans are so laid back in general.
During the flea market, a friend invited me back to her apartment and I had to photograph the old German tile work in her hallway. So typical here in older buildings yet I never tire of it!
I popped into my friend Danielle’s shop, Sommerfugl, and then went to my other friends store called Sandras Kleinod. I picked up this pretty needlepoint pinboard that she made. I have to find wall space for it but had to show you — I really like it.
My weekend ended with wine and snacks on the outdoor patio with my friends by candlelight. What a gorgeous, happy ending.
What did you do this weekend?
(images: holly becker on my iphone)