London Design Week was nothing short of dazzling this past week – D A Z Z L I N G! I was able to attend Origin, 100% Design and Decorex but also went over to FOCUS/11 at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour to check out what they had going on too. I missed Tent, but that’s okay because there is always next year for that… I must say though that I was honored to have been invited to speak at 100% Design, Decorex, FOCUS and at Anthropologie, too. It was a very busy week for me but the takeaway was that doing it was not only a great courage builder but I was able to make so many new friends and put names with faces from our big online community – which I view as more valuable than anything else. Additionally, each event had loads of interesting design and decorating products, trends, concepts – you name it, that you can’t walk away without finding something to catch your eye or sweep you completely away. For me, out of all of the events, the one that spoke loudest and grabbed my heart was the beautifully curated and presented Origin show at Old Spitalfields Market.
My loot: An Abigail Brown bird
My loot: Abigail Brown butterfly brooches
My loot: A neon pink teacup print and a print on fabric by Rachel Eardley
My loot: Jo Gordon wool scarf with big pom poms and striped mittens. Yes, I do spot a bright pink theme!
I’ve been wanting to attend for years so to be there for the first time felt like a mini dream come true. I went with my friends Sania and Leslie and we met up with Elisa. Walking around together, each of us making beelines to things that dazzled us, turning over items, holding them up, chatting to the makers… I found it such a “feel good” type of afternoon – the inspired meeting the creators, the makers… I am always interested in what friends are drawn towards. For Leslie it was stripes, wool, hot pink, white ceramics, wool patterned buttons and a hot pink tea cup printed onto a pretty piece of floral cloth. She also loved Abigail Brown’s work.
For Sania it was anything gray, natural and tactile. She also seemed to be interested in shots of mustard though she was quite reserved while browsing, I suspected she was lost in her thoughts since a pro stylist like Sania combs such markets for products to mentally bookmark to buy or call in for future work.
After that show I was convinced that I need to return each year to peruse Origin because it was incredibly inspiring to me – but I wouldn’t want to go alone… Being with my friends made it so much nicer. I took some snaps with my iPhone camera of a few makers who caught my eye and thought I’d quickly share them with you. I hope you’ve liked seeing them. Please click on the links to learn more.
Thank you ladies for a lovely afternoon at Origin. Until next year, cheers!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
I was psyched to finally meet Bri Emery recently in Los Angeles while on my book tour – she came to my workshop and signing at Anthropologie and we got to chat for a bit… And now she’s heading to Germany along with co-teacher and photographer Angela Kohler to bring her Blogshop Photoshop classes to Berlin for ONE weekend only! If you don’t know Bri by name, you must know her work – she is the designer of the beautiful interiors e-mag, Rue!
It’s been Bri’s dream to teach in Berlin and visit Germany in general so she is quite excited about flying over next month. In fact, Bri approached me months ago looking for help getting over to Berlin, for some contacts, etc. and I immediately put her in touch with my friend Matt who heads up Etsy Europe out of Berlin. Pairing them was the perfect way to get Bri over and so now she’s working with Etsy Europe for Blogshop (details here) and I’m so happy for her!
About Blogshop: Blogshop is a Photoshop bootcamp. It is a full weekend spent stuffing your brain with ideas on how to make images on your blog unique and eye catching. Angela and Bri teach the basics in addition to more advanced techniques and then help you to apply your own perspective to layouts to make your work uniquely YOU.People who have no experience with Photoshop will leave the course with confidence to create layouts, prep images for mood boards and collages, retouch skin and color correct images, animate gifs, add textures, borders, type and drawing to their images to make each of their blog posts or other visual materials special. At the end of the first day we will have a portrait session, so on the second day you can work on your own pictures which will be perfect for contributor photos and bio pages.
Where: Etsy Labs in Berlin
When: October 15-16
Price: $750 U.S. dollars for two days, includes lunch and a goody bag!
Class size: We hope to keep the class under 20 people
Sign up email: blogshopla [at] gmail [dot] com
Register today before seats are full!
(images: angela kohler)
I’m back home and wanted to pop in to wish you a very happy and long Labor Day weekend — at least to those living in the US! I’ll be taking off Monday to catch up but I’ll be back on Tuesday for a new week of posts and inspiration for you to enjoy. But first, I want to tell you a little tale about true love.
I’ve been away from my husband for thirteen days and so naturally, a girl doesn’t know what exactly to expect upon arriving home. Will there be groceries? Are things in order? Do I have to immediately pick up the pace and return to my regularly scheduled program of cooking and cleaning and being a, well, wife? It may sound rather old-fashioned/corny of me to even think this way, but I was raised in a very traditional family and I don’t mind being a wife at all. I feel sad when I can’t be around to take care of him as funny as that may sound — it’s true. I enjoy caring for him, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and well-being. I feel better when I know I’m doing my part. I’ve never been away for so long, I think 4 days has been the absolute max, so this trip was a pretty big deal for both of us and so I guess I was curious as to how I’d be received upon my arrival.
My husband gave me a very sweet homecoming. First, he arrived at the airport in a vest and tie. Daper. That’s pretty sweet, right? He also had a little gift bag with goodies and a cute card inside with owls on it – he knows how much I love owls. I thought that was totally thoughtful. Once home, I walked in to be greeted by a flower arrangement in my office, another near my bed, another in the living room and still another on the dining table. I’ve photographed them and put them in this post. Aren’t they varied and pretty? He went out and had 4 made for me, not 1, not 2… and placed them into various vases from our cabinet. He put such thought into selecting the vases, I noticed that right away, and when I asked him if he had thought about it he said, “Oh of course, I took time to think of which one complemented the flowers most.”
The house = spotless. In fact, he even reorganized the kitchen closet and laundry closet, the storage room, the drawers in my office and the drawers in my nightstand. But that’s not all. After I unpacked, he did all of my laundry and made a fresh, healthy salad for dinner. He turned down the bed. I went to bed early but when I awoke, I noticed all of the laundry was neatly folded and placed into stacks at the edge.
When I awoke this morning, a cup of coffee greeted me on my bedside table and the morning mail delivered with a kiss. He prepared breakfast and another delicious salad for lunch, this time with tuna. He is happy that I lost 10 pounds while on my book tour, I worked out at my hotels and ate very light, and so he now calls me “skinny maus” which is really, really cute and supportive. A few moments ago, he brought me a cup of green tea as I typed here on my computer. Now that’s a man who is not only happy to have his wife home, but who is showing his appreciation for all of my hard work as he knows it was no small adventure to go away. It’s nice to have that level of love and support after being away from home for so long.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love, especially unconditional love which I like to call true love. Unconditional love is to love someone regardless of their actions or beliefs. Don’t you wish more would be willing to love this way? We’d have a better world, for certain. I’ve been loved in many ways from many different people, but my husband loves me unconditionally and I am so grateful and honored to have him in my life. I’ve had many say they love me but it’s usually condition-based — the minute I screw up, hurt them, make a mistake, have a different opinion, etc. I’m tossed aside only to be “loved” later once the person decides either to forgive me, realizes leaving was a sore mistake or when they know it’s too late so the unconditional love they attempt to show isn’t believable because I know that they wouldn’t have shown it if they had to truly act on their words.
I’ve learned something about love over the years — that even the slightest misstep shouldn’t lose you the favor of those who truly love you, only to be left in tears until the person decides to forgive. You are then reeled back in again to walk on eggshells until the next misstep on your part. It’s a very sad cycle. My girlfriend is going through a divorce now at thirty years old and I’m truly heartbroken for her. My other friend is in a terrible marriage but since he is a good father, she stays. It’s heart breaking to be on the outside looking in at all of this, I hate to see such suffering in what should be a place of refuge: the home. My home is a place of refuge and I’m so grateful for this. I don’t have to walk on eggshells here, I don’t have to explain my shortcomings ad nauseum or the reasoning behind my missteps, and I don’t have to feel guilty for pursuing my passions even when it sometimes means leaving home for awhile to pursue my goals.
You can’t be the only one in a relationship who loves unselfishly, both must partake in this conscious choice to love fully. Even my own parents love me as long as I’m performing well, otherwise they are dissatisfied and withdraw. I guess that’s why, now more than ever before, I’ve been thinking about unconditional love because so many around me don’t seem to have it. It is very hard to find, but when you do find it – hold on to it, cherish it and don’t let it go because it’s rare. It’s also quite beautiful, it’s pure, it’s fair and it’s the best and only love that you ever need in your life. It holds you together, heals you, restores you and gives you so much more than you thought you needed.
I hope that you have one person in your life who loves you for you. We all need it, that kind of support is pretty special. And so, with that, I welcome a long weekend of time spent with my husband in our city celebrating the completion of a very successful book tour and the joy that comes with being reunited once again. I wish you a happy weekend to with the person who gives you unconditional love from the heart.
Enjoy your weekend, I’ll see you on Tuesday dear friends!
(images: holly becker for decor8)