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Back from London!

April 18, 2011

Hello everyone! It’s me Holly and I’m back from an exciting week in London where there was a beautiful launch party for my book, Decorate, at Liberty on Wednesday and then on Thursday the store asked that I return to give two intimate talks with smaller groups (which I loved!) and the entire event was simply wonderful! I can’t even describe in words how much fun I had. I can’t wait until the next event that will happen in June at the American Book Center in Amsterdam (in-store signing) and a Bloggers meet up and Decorate event at the Hotel V in Amsterdam put on by me and Lise from Urban Style Vibes and it’s called Meet The Blogger. It will be a fun time, a GREAT way to network for bloggers and creatives for sure – so mark your calendars for June 25th! VTWonen magazine is an official sponsor – yay!

Back from London!

(Above: Me signing books at Anthropologie on Regents Street in London – you can find signed copies of Decorate at Liberty (you may purchase them online at Liberty until signed copies are sold out), Selfridges and both Anthropologie locations in London.)

I’ll be back later today to share with you some highlights from the launch (Liberty posted a fantastic video from the event – they interviewed me, you can watch it here), but I wanted to quickly say hello and thank all of you who are purchasing decor8 and writing reviews about it on Amazon, your blogs, etc. because it means so much to me! Oh and Jacqui Small Publishing in London will soon host a giveaway of the UK version of Decorate here on my blog, also signed copies, and they’ll give three away so stay tuned as I’ll post the contest soon!

See you soon!

(image: liz somers)






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Liberty Styling Demo: I’m off to London!

March 30, 2011

Well the time has arrived… I’m going to pack now and start working on the tabletop styling demonstration that I’ll be doing at Liberty on April 13th (it’s at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public so come if you can!) alongside stylist/author Sania Pell and stylist/photographer Leslie Shewring. I’ll be in London for the next few days to work out how this table will look and what exactly we’ll present. Sania and I will be brainstorming and of course prop shopping at super fab Liberty (I know, we’re slummin’ LOL) so that we’re well prepared for the event in two weeks from today. Oh my! Two weeks!

Liberty Styling Demo: I'm off to London!

While in London, I’ll be tweeting and sharing photos so you can be part of the process with Sania and I as we go about our planning if you’d like. I can’t wait to get on that plane and get going because I know that once we have everything organized my nerves will go from frazzled to chillaxin’ and then I can enjoy the next two weeks pre-party without wondering what on earth we’re going to demonstrate! Careful planning in advance is super critical when you’re about to do a styling demo in one of the world’s most extraordinary department stores, right?! Can someone say intimidating? I also want to be well prepared so that Sania and I can work efficiently with Leslie remotely since she’s in L.A. unable to join us until the launch. Gaining her perspective as we go is so important to me.

I can’t wait to work with these two lovely ladies on this — since they both contributed to Decorate I thought asking them to help would be the perfect tie-in for a book launch and plus, I’m so excited that I found an “excuse” to work with them on a fun project like this. If you are unable to attend the Liberty demo + party, don’t worry — my friend and photographer Tiffany Kirchner Dixon will be there shooting the entire event so we’ll have plenty of photos to go around so you can see what it was like and feel included. :)

And so, I’m going to be away until Monday… but tweeting a lot from the road so if you’re on twitter, you can follow me so you can watch the progress as we go. :)

See you soon!

(image: holly becker)






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Artist Jillian Tamaki For Penguin

March 30, 2011

These have been blogged a few times already but I had to throw my opinion into the ring because I was so blown away when I saw a link to these embroidered book jackets by Penguin, as created by illustrator and cartoonist Jillian Tamaki. Freshly Blended shared these in her Flickr stream and my heart started to race.

Artist Jillian Tamaki For Penguin

I am a lady obsessed with detail, and although the copies we purchase will not be embroidered like the original for obvious reasons, the point is that these are very special jackets in that they were created by hand before turning them into a book cover and owning one supports those who are commissioned to do such work for large companies — at least in my opinion. I love seeing these types of collaborations. I also like that Jillian shares her process on her blog right here with some “in progress” photos – something I always love to see.

What do you think of these jackets, are you also dying to order them?

(images: jillian tamaki)






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Happy Spring

March 22, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going well so far. I’m so glad to that it’s officially springtime and feels like it where I live as well — the weather has been beyond gorgeous with lots of sunshine and temps around 60 which is perfect for March. I love the things that springtime brings, like clear blue skies, daffodils and aisles of amazing Easter candy in the stores over here – Germans really get into Easter let me tell ya! Man! I am amazed by the variety, quality and packaging. I also love the way the locals decorate this time of year — hanging branches adorned with ornaments (like eggs or painted rabbits) for instance…. And there is a lot of energy in the air because you can feel that everyone’s spirit has lifted after two months of a very gray blanket and darkness falling by 3:00 p.m. which can really suck the life out of even the most positive person.

Happy Spring

The grass is getting green, the birds are singing, there is magic in the air for sure. Yesterday was my birthday and so today I woke up into a brand new year of my life thinking of all that I will do and want to do. I am very pleased to welcome spring and equally happy to be experiencing my second spring abroad as I feel it is a genuine accomplishment, a milestone, I’m really making it in a foreign country on all new turf and so I have this extra confidence boost from the goals I’m reaching.

Happy Spring

By the way, I’d like to share a random thought I had recently… It’s amazing how the internet has brought so many passionate, talented, and sincere people into my life — your life — all of us really… I know I would not have met most of you without having a blog. It is likely that you are also blogging or using other means to network and so I’m sure you can relate. We’re a lucky bunch, aren’t we?

Back in a moment with a few inspiring posts for today!

(image: holly becker for decor8)






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A Peaceful Weekend To You…

March 18, 2011

Wishing you a happy Friday sounds so out of place right now, doesn’t it? So I’ve decided to wish you a peaceful weekend. I’ve been working a lot offline lately so excuse me for being a bit distracted from my blog this week but I’m happy to be here today, just briefly at least, before the weekend begins. How are you doing? Are you well? I’ve been counting my blessings a lot this week, particularly when I watch the news because my heart aches for Japan but also for those affected globally by this tragedy – particularly ones with family in Japan like dear Leslie — my friend and Color Me Pretty columnist.

A Peaceful Weekend To You...

Leslie is half Japanese, her mother is from Japan, so they have family living there and visit frequently. In fact, Leslie travels over at least once a year so her connections there are strong. If you have time today, please visit Leslie’s blog and leave her a message of hope + peace if you can. She’s had a tough week absorbing all of this as you can imagine and what a sweetheart… she still found time to push through her feelings and work on a gorgeous color story for you that I’ll run on Monday morning that will be so uplifting to see. I’ve had a glimpse and it’s gorgeous.

And are you holding up okay? I’ve felt a little uncomfortable writing on decor8 this week — it’s hard to get excited about furniture and decorating when people are suffering and that won’t end soon because then, a massive rebuilding will have to occur in certain places and that can take years to complete. This will be a long journey for Japan and my heart breaks for such a dear culture. It’s hard to rah rah about products and pretty things and “home” in general when for some, their home has been carried out to sea or is abandoned with belongings spread for blocks – belongings that may not be reunited with their owners ever again.

I put together some gorgeous photographs taken of cherry blossoms for you today, most are from various etsy sellers and they made me feel very peaceful to look upon them. Cherry blossoms (Sakura) are indigenous to Japan with over 200 cultivars found there. Whenever I see them, I think of Japan. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms can symbolize clouds but are also a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life and the concept of mono no aware. Do you know much about mono no aware? If not, this is quite a fascinating read if you have a moment, click here. It is the belief that, “Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing.” Cherry blossoms also symbolize affection, love, and represent spring. The images above can be found and most of them purchased here in the shops of some of my favorite etsy sellers: shaded memories, fly with me, thorsten becker, green zinnia studio, amanda raek, shaded memories, becca c fowler, born barefoot and humboldt street. I love each of their photos, they give me a feeling of peace and joy just to behold them.

I’ll be back with some positive thoughts and posts next week but for now I’d like to encourage you to stay positive, donate to a reputable charity or help where you can, and spread love, peace, be supportive of one another and care about those around you. Do what you can to go out of your way to show love. I’m learning more and more from my dear friend Laurie, an American living nearby, about “mindfulness” or being present  — really “in” the moment… Just recently we were at a cafe and she explained that being mindful means to hug your friend and really smell her perfume, taste the coffee as you sip it, enjoy the texture as you chew a freshly baked brownie, to notice the sights and sounds around you and to be present and to allow this presence to give you energy, peace, balance, joy and to help you to appreciate life’s details. It’s a gift to learn this and we can practice it more and more until it becomes second nature. Being mindful can do so much to make us appreciate every little thing in our life and to drink in every moment — and this can help us through some very hard times. The Japanese people are very mindful as a culture, and at ease, and they strive for balance and I think that this is why they still remain so calm despite this tragedy. There is so much to learn from others who are often much stronger than we are.

To wrap up the week, perhaps we can approach spring (which falls on March 20th this year) with a fresh outlook — to practice being more aware, to be mindful and to enjoy what we have. Really enjoy the magazine that you plan to look through for inspiration. Feel the warmth of your kitty at your feet, purring loudly. Hear the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. Take in the sights and sounds around you as you commute home on the train. Connect. Be aware. We are alive, so many of us have peace, and abundance in our life — let us be mindful of that fact and appreciate it and to then take what we have and share it with others.

I wish you a peaceful, mindful weekend – be grateful for everything… And I’ll see you dear friends again on Monday for a fresh beginning as we welcome the good things that Spring can bring, together.

xo, Holly

(images linked to their sources above.)






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Decorate Book Launch at Liberty in London: April 13th!

March 16, 2011

I’m so excited to share this wonderful news with you today! The official launch party for my book Decorate will be at Liberty in London on Wednesday, April 13, 2011. I am thrilled to have such a gorgeous store so generously supporting me and my first book but equally happy to be able to invite you to this special event so we can meet and share a fun evening together. I do hope that you can attend! It will also be a great networking event as I have some lovely friends who will be there, including book photographer Debi Treloar, fellow bloggers, stylists, designers… even a few of the homeowners who are in Decorate will be celebrating with us. There will be a fun styling demo as well that I’ll be doing with my two dear friends, Sania Pell and Leslie Shewring.

Decorate Book Launch at Liberty in London: April 13th!

Liberty will have copies of the book available for sale that I will sign and they’ll be a few special things happening that evening. First, from 4-4:30 p.m. I’ll be speaking about the book and answering questions at an exclusive press event. Space for that is limited and you need to be a member of the press or a blogger to attend.

Next, at 6 p.m., I’ll be speaking again to Liberty customers and those interested in learning more about the inspiration behind Decorate.

At 7 p.m. I’ve invited two book contributors to do a styling demonstration along with me in the brand new Liberty Dining Room, stylist Sania Pell (whose home is inside of the book) and stylist, photographer and decor8 columnist, Leslie Shewring (her daughter’s bedroom is in the book too). Together we’ll show you how to lay a lovely table with a personal touch using beautiful things that we’ve collected from the inspiring Liberty store. I’ll also do a book signing so you may purchase your book there. I can’t wait to mingle but please do arrive on time as these events can fly by and I want to be able to meet each of you and have enough time to chat. Come prepared to be inspired and have fun!

To recap:

4-4:30 p.m. Meeting with the press. Please RSVP to: liz [dot] somers [at] jacquismallpub [dot] com with Decorate Press Event in the subject line and in the body of the email please indicate the magazine, newspaper, blog, etc.

6 p.m. I’ll be speaking in the Heritage room. Please RSVP to libertyevents [at] liberty [dot] co [dot] uk with Decorate Talk in the subject line. Only a limited number can attend so please confirm your attendance as soon as possible.

7 p.m. Reception and book signing along with a styling demonstration in the new Liberty Dining Room, please RSVP to libertyevents [at] liberty [dot] co [dot] uk with Decorate Demo/Signing in the subject line.

If you want to attend some or all of the above events, please put the event name in the subject line so we have an accurate headcount and RSVP separately to each event that interests you.

I can’t wait to see everyone there, I’m so excited to meet you! Yay!

See you soon! – Holly






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