Well hello there! I thought I’d pop in quickly to see how you’re doing. This post is a bit personal but I’m just going to go there because I really miss you guys and want to talk and what better place? I’ve been writing a bit on my personal blog, Haus Maus, in case you feel like checking out some of my more recent posts so we can play catch up. I listed a bunch of things that I’ve been up to over the past few months here because it’s nice to be open and give mini updates so I can connect with you. But today I’m thinking to just spill some feelings here on decor8 to see what comes back. Maybe some of you need to hear this, feel the same, or simply have comments to leave. Encouragement and support would be nice.
Lately I’ve been really stressed because despite taking a month off, I don’t feel much more refreshed or better than I did when I began. This concerns me. I eat well, I exercise regularly, I do things that I love, I have friends and go dancing, shopping, paint my nails neon pink(!)… You know, all of the things that usually perk a girl up. But this summer has been different.
It’s not been a normal summer. It’s not been much of anything really, just time passing. And this concerns me.
I wonder if I need new projects or quite possibly a vacation away from home, as in faraway for several weeks? I keep wanting to go to India or Bali, I think those places would be most restorative for my soul and heart. In the end, I think it’s really my heart and soul that needs a safe place to rest right now. I need new experiences, new sounds, sights, things to capture with my lens, colors, patterns and most of all, I need to feel alive again because this has been a hard and challenging year for me in ways I cannot begin to describe. I don’t feel ‘dead’ or clinically depressed, but I do feel like there has to be something more for me – that I need to identify what it is and somehow capture it, place it into my nearly complete puzzle, and finally feel like that space has been filled.
I didn’t feel like I was missing anything for years but suddenly I do and I’m not sure where this springs from. Or maybe I’ve been missing it for years and used my workaholic/over-achiever-ness to mask it and now that I’ve paused a bit, I have had enough quiet in my life to hear that little hollow space that I had no clue ever existed. I just thought I was all cool and “A” type and that it was something to be proud of. Perhaps in some ways working hard and trying to prove our talent and value is how we avoid thinking about the real stuff. I have many workaholic girlfriends who, the minute they really stop and think, feel like stuff is missing in their life but they quickly wash that feeling down with wine and a ‘girls night out’ thinking that will cure it. For the moment it does. I am ready to face whatever this empty spot is and finally heal it. I’m ready.
But how do I get started? This is what I will explore in the next month of my life. I have a new journal, a sharpened pencil, and a park behind my house where me and my blanket will spend the final days of this beautiful summer to write stuff. Lots of stuff. And to think.
It’s scary to think about those ugly bits, isn’t it? But it’s exhilarating because change is in the wind. I smell it stronger than ever before. This is good.
I am thinking more and more lately about the importance of being happy. How you really have to be happy in your heart and with yourself and in your skin and well, just honestly happy. Maybe age does this to us. We stop trying to fit the form that others want us to be and instead, work at being really, truly, 100% true to self. I often think about, “To Thine Own Self Be True”, which when really considered is quite a strong statement not to be swiftly uttered but to be sifted, felt, the sands of the truth from those words falling gracefully upon the floor leaving traces of glimmering hope on our fingertips.
I don’t always write so openly on decor8 because this is a design blog, a place of pretty things and inspiration. But then I thought that it can be quite inspirational to read about how others feel because we can sometimes relate to those feelings and be somehow inspired that someone else ‘gets’ us. Well if you understand any of what I’ve written above, then hopefully my words have inspired you to consider your feelings too, take them seriously, examine them and evaluate next steps. This is what I’m currently doing.
I wonder what you are thinking about lately? I wonder if you often think about the puzzle of your life and whether there is a piece that needs to be refit elsewhere or perhaps one that is missing altogether? I wonder if you have ever gone through a time when you felt an authentic shifting inside, a need to truly find your ‘happy’ place like never before and then grab it and hold onto it for awhile?
Photos: Holly Becker
Hi dear friends. How are you? I’m going to take a little “Summer Pause” for the month of August but don’t worry because I’ll be popping in to visit you on decor8 from time to time to share my inspirations and favorite finds as I go…
I’m taking a break so that I can relax a bit before I get back to serious business in September because as you know, Summer is too short and the Autumn and Winter is often so, so long!
I’ll see you in a few days or so. xo, Holly
(lovely print from yny, with permission)
Hello my dear friends. How are you? We have summer weather here and it’s been simply lovely! Sunshine and low 80’s weather never ceases to put a spring in my step and after a rather dull few weeks of gray, cold weather this is a most welcome change. Today I heard from Karen, the lady behind Limitless Pictures, a business based out of England that specializes in putting together features for magazines. Limitless Pictures photographs homes and puts together features for magazines like Elle Decoration, Sunday Times, Red, and more and told me that she is currently looking for new properties. I love the first image below – so much character!
I thought to spread the news I’d show you some images from her portfolio online, though I encourage you to check out her site for more views of beautiful, inspiring spaces.
Thank you Karen for writing in!
(images: limitless pictures)
Hello everyone and happy Friday! This post is about author confessions, oreos and e-courses but first, I am nearly finished writing my next book so very soon I’ll be back full-time again to bring you your daily dose of inspiration. I really miss blogging! It’s so hard being away but sacrifice is sometimes needed when dreams are involved so I’m trying to look at my absence in a positive way. I must admit though, some days I’d much rather be right here with all of you dishing about the latest pretty finds than writing copy, but then I just keep saying to myself, ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” and it helps me head up the mountain. That and a little red wine.
Now it’s time for some confessions and a few oreos. I read on someone’s blog recently that she gets frustrated by bloggers who seem to be handed book deals. It made me sad to read that. I felt attacked in many ways. I almost wanted to comment on her blog that she had nothing to be envious of or worried about because behind the glam facade, it’s really hard work – especially to go from blogger to author, because writing a blog and writing a book are so completely different that the sheer shift alone in going from writing so spontaneously to realizing that what you are writing for a book will forever be carved into stone, well, that’s a lot of pressure. I think any author can tell you that. It’s so much more than just typing text… and no one is handed a book deal unless they are totally famous or have insane connections or sleep with someone at the top. Being an author requires a great deal of inner strength and courage. I don’t always have that though on the outside, you may think I do. Another thing about writing a book… Some think fitting your thoughts into 180 characters (wait, 140!? 140!? No wonder I have such a hard time!) to form a coherent tweet is a nightmare. Sometimes it is! Emptying your entire brain onto paper, having to edit all of that – your entire passion on a single topic – into chapters and sections and WORDS, words that are supposed to make as much sense on paper as they did in your wee head, THAT is completely, amazingly, never-imagined-it-be the hardest part of writing a book. It’s like writing one massive tweet that will appear on a billboard along the freeway with your name in the biggest boldest text ever.
Aside from dealing with the stress of what others assume and feeling a bit drained from that – I started crying last night because I was so completely consumed by the whole process of writing so much lately and feeling really, really stressed. Then I sort of cried myself to sleep (thankfully my husband can sleep through the end of the world so it’s all good for him) only to wake several hours later, in the middle of the night, eating Oreos in my underwear in kitchen thinking about…. What do you know? My book introduction.
Then I got up at 4:00 a.m. in a cold sweat feeling pain in my chest because my deadlines are looming and decided that I should really go make a tea. By the time I went into the kitchen I forgot what I was in there for and just went back to bed. This morning I woke up wondering how it was that I went to bed in my nightgown but instead had only underwear on, and why I had mascara stains on my face – then I remembered my very long slightly stupid night. I decided to kick my own butt by giving myself a pep talk, took a shower and went for a walk in the rain on this very overcast day. Into the forest I went. Muddy boots, hair pinned up, mind filled with words — Words, words, words. An occasional sentence. Mostly words. I found myself speaking blocks of text out loud – like a mad person – reciting color theory and the difference of tints, tones, shades and what a hue was or shall I say, is. I wondered if people would really CARE to read that in my book. I wondered some more. Then I went home and started writing again. I felt better but I still feel a little stressed out and overwhelmed. I’m human.
Everything worth having requires a fight, some blood, a little sweat and a bunch of tears. But you keep going forward, don’t you? You roll forward, sometimes you drag yourself forward, but the important point is that whether you are crawling, being dragged by someone stronger than you, limping… that the word FORWARD is always part of the scenario. As long as you are moving forward you are making progress. My grandmother once said that she doesn’t care if she gets to heaven in a wheelbarrow, she’s getting there. Good for you, grandma.
Enough about that though. I thought today that I’d share what I’m working on OTHER than my book because I’m working on a bunch of equally rewarding projects – albeit stuff that won’t keep me up at night or talking to myself in the forest (let’s hope!).
First, I’ll be teaching Blogging Your Way again in June only this time, the anticipated 2.0 version! I’m excited because even though my dear friend Leslie needs to take some time out for her kids on their school vacation (sad frown), lovely Jeanette Lunde from Fryd + Design will be co-teaching with me for 2 weeks during the 4 week class (big smile). If you don’t know who she is, we have a very similar aesthetic so I thought for this class working with her – a skilled graphic designer, photographer and stylist from Norway, would be really nice for us all. I’m SO HAPPY to have Jeanette because she will teach you all about styling, talk about photography and get into the lovely world of e-magazines and how it works to publish them. Of course, that is in addition to all of the content I am bringing to the table that you can find outlined here. This self-paced online class will start June 1 and end June 29 but you will have the entire month of July to catch up on materials so there is lots of time to enjoy what Jeanette, Thorsten and I have in the works. I’ll miss Leslie but we are about to embark on another project soon so we’ll still have nice things to share with those who enjoy our work in the very near future!
As for BYW 2.0, I’m teaching all new lessons and so for those who already took BYW (the one I’ve been teaching for over three years as an e-course) should consider BYW 2.0 because it’s going to be a really fun class! I’ve also hired an amazing designer, Mark Wilson from MWA in London, to design and build an all new class site, so students will learn in a new environment. I can’t wait! Learn more about BYW 2.0 here and sign up here. He is also designing the all new decor8 blog scheduled to roll out within the next month, too. We’ve been doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make your visits to decor8 more enjoyable and I look forward to rolling that out. The anticipation is sorta killing me at the moment!
In addition to the e-course in June, I’ll be giving a two hour class/lecture in a castle located in Germany for this amazing food styling & photography workshop. That’s another project on my plate for summer that I’m really, really looking forward to taking part in. For those who are not attending, I’ll blog about it upon my return so you can see what we did — I’ll be there for the entire weekend workshop so I’ll come home with lots to tell you about!
In July, I will open my home studio space to those who want to come to my house in Hannover, Germany to learn more about blogging and social networking with me in an intimate, supportive and creative environment. The class will be a day class on Saturday, July 28th and last from 9-6 with snacks, lunch and afternoon treats. I’ll only be able to welcome 15 of you, but I’d love to have you! For those who may want to fly in from another part of the world, I will add a second class for July 29th if you’d like – just ask me. It will be loads of fun and more information will follow within the next few weeks. Please drop me an email: holly @ decor8blog.com if you would like to attend on July 28 or if you want to attend July 28 & 29.
SO! That’s what I have on my work calendar at the moment. What are you up to these days? Busy? Bored to death? On the verge of something new? Let me know, I always like hearing the latest!!!
Now where are those oreos?
(images: Jeanette Lunde)