Inspiration

Unsplash Free Photos

June 3, 2015

Have you heard of Unsplash? It’s such an inspiring concept. You simply go to their site and you’ll find FREE (do whatever you want with them) high-resolution photos, 10 new photos every 10 days, all donated by photographers globally. “All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash”, wow! To give just for the sake of giving.

Unsplash Free Photos

How nice in a world where everything comes with a price. I also like that Unsplash has a gallery showing what creatives have done with some of these images here. I find that I’m really drawn towards the photos with people in them at the moment. In fact, I’m very drawn in by lifestyle photography depicting people doing nothing in Continue Reading…






Blogging

Welcome To The All New decor8!

June 1, 2015

Welcome To The All New decor8!

Hello friends and welcome to the all new decor8! Woo hoo! I am so happy and proud to reveal my new blog because it was time for a major change around here. I just wasn’t feeling the whole blogging thing anymore. I realized that it was because I was doing the same thing expecting different results, I know that’s so cliché, but true. I realized that my blog looked nothing like me. My passion for writing online was on a fast track to bombing out because my zeal was waning big time. I realized that I needed to consider some important questions like… Continue Reading…






Blogging

8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully

May 29, 2015

I have 8 tips from a consumer side of the fence when it comes to how brands market themselves on Instagram, you know, what I like and what I find annoying. But first, ever since my little boy was born, I’ve been shopping Petit Bateau because I just love their clothes for little boys. And aside from their gorgeous clothes (my son has this sweater and this sweatshirt), and how well-made everything is, I find their Instagram account so cohesive, beautiful and helpful for when I want to peek in and see what they’re up to whether it be a new outfit or a photo shoot. That’s why I follow them – I love their product AND I love how they present themselves on IG. In fact, I have found so many brands on IG that really market themselves beautifully, you don’t even feel as though you are being sold to because they present product in artistic and creative ways. For this blog tip, aside from my 8 tips, I want to open up the discussion to all of you because I’d love to know how you are marketing your brand on IG (leave your IG @name too in the comment) and if you have any tips on what is making it work for you OR if you are a consumer/fan of a brand and want to highlight some brands that you think do it right and most importantly, why. I’ll weigh in with my thoughts below.

8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully
8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully

Brand Marketing Thoughts:

1) Cohesive photography – a must!
2) Natural lighting so I can see products as they really are (no fancy filters or altering colors, for instance)
3) Sharing behind-the-scenes in a cool way, not showing big messes and chaos or anything that may make me feel like you are just like me. I actually WANT to believe in the dream when I buy from a big brand. I want to believe they are a fairytale and everything is magical at their cool company.
4) Have some negative space in some photos, or in all. I like the focal point of the image to pop and I don’t like cluttered photos where I don’t know where to look.
5) Don’t be too vague. I get so annoyed when brands sorta kinda reveal something underway but don’t reveal enough to excite, just annoy, you. It’s a balance but a good brand manager can figure out how to do a teaser without ticking people off.
6) Don’t re-gram my photos simply because I’m wearing one of your products without asking me first. I just may not want my infant or my bad hair day to be seen by your 200K followers.
7) Don’t post a lot of sales, giveaways and new products in boring ways. Get creative and make engaging with you fun and memorable.
8) Don’t have too many IG takeovers. I know these takeovers are trending, but some brands pick the wrong people to take over their accounts and so many times I have unfollowed brands because I cannot stand the images that start funneling in from the guest IGer. Make sure your guest grammers are as good as you, or better, and share your aesthetic.

Okay that’s all I can think of, what about you? Care to weigh in? #20blogtrends

(images: petit bateau)






Arts + Crafts

Feathered Collages

May 29, 2015

Hello everyone! Please forgive me for disappearing from the blog but I’ve been tremendously busy between work and family, and wow, it’s all so exciting… Where do I begin?!? I’m currently scheduling locations for book #4 and planning book #5, I’m planning several trips for this Fall, including one that I’ve been wanting to visit for ages for a family vacation… I can’t wait to tell you where later. I also just launched the all new Blogging Your Way website and I’ve been working with my teachers to prep materials for the next e-course which begins on Monday (eep!). I’m putting finishing touches on the all-new decor8 blog to launch this weekend so when you come back here over the weekend you may see a construction page – just stay tuned, the shiny new site will be up by Sunday evening. I’ve been having fun making and photographing things for the next book and I’ve already begun writing it too.

Feathered Collages

Of course, I can’t not mention my little sweet son! Caring for him, who is home with me 24/7, has been a very fun and slightly chaotic reality of working at home and trying to keep him away from daycare for as long as I can because I just want to enjoy all of these firsts with him. But wow, it’s challenging! He is such a great little one, he’s a dream baby and why I have a dream baby I’ll never know because I’m so far from perfect. He sleeps full nights (10 hrs+) since he was 3 months old, was crawling by 6 months, walking at 10 months and now at nearly 16 months he is repeating words, understands German and English, and has begun climbing up the stairs at the park to go down the slide! He is a lovely dynamo – a force, he’s seriously such a cool kid and I love balancing work/life so far though OMG there is never a moment when I can say I’m resting – my day begins at 6am and doesn’t end until midnight since I work 2-3 hours during the day while he naps and I work at night from 7-midnight.

It’s not easy but nothing worthwhile ever is and at the end of the day, I decided to take all of this on and can certainly do less with my business, or get a nanny, or whatever… But I like the busy days right now. It’s definitely intense at times, but I only have one child – when I feel overwhelmed I think of some of these amazing wonder women I follow on Instagram with 5 kids and I feel like I have nothing to whine about.

Feathered Collages

Today I want to share a few inspiring things I discovered recently, the first is this brilliant art by sisters Clare and Joy from Mondocherry in Australia. They started doing feather collages and I love them, really, really nice. I also have more feathered stuff to share in a moment, and more art, so I think we can say today that is what I’m finding inspirational. Clare and Joy spend hours researching, painting and making dozens of feathers for each of their one-of-a-kind creations. The cool part is that they live thousands of miles apart yet collaborate so well that you can’t tell who did which parts of the work. That’s really how you know two people are compatible working partners, isn’t it?

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Isn’t this work just stunning? Learn more on their website here:

Back soon with another post or two before the weekend… xo

(images: styling richard hall & son, photography martina gemmola)






Blogging

Instagram Bootcamp e-course + All New Blogging Your Way

May 18, 2015

I am so super excited to share the rebrand and relaunch of my e-course website, Blogging Your Way and to tell you about our super special TWO WEEK e-course called Instagram Bootcamp. I was even able to buy the url (bloggingyourway.com) and the name became a registered trademark a little over a year ago. I feel good about myself and my business and am very proud of the new site and although we just launched it last night and there are still tweaks, I already love the response we’re getting.

Instagram Bootcamp e-course + All New Blogging Your Way

The slider images on the site were mostly* photographed by Susanne Irmer and feature friends of mine as models. I planned and styled the photography* to fit the rebrand, and everything technical was done by my husband, Thorsten. The hand written logo was created by Corina Nika. And speaking of, she and Leslie Shewring will be teaching a killer Instagram Bootcamp from June 1-15 online along with yours truly. The outline is here. It will take your IG to new levels, trust me. Here is the core outline below. Look at what you are going to learn in just 15 days. Talk about a bootcamp!

Instagram Bootcamp e-course + All New Blogging Your Way

CORE CURRICULUM 
Instagram accounts that are a success and why
Planning your IG photos for more likes
Photography tips and tricks
Photo styling that works
What’s the importance of “the grid”?
How to write the best, short bio ever
Filters, filters, filters!
Using the “Explore” feature to your advantage
The art of the perfect selfie
Team up to build followers
How to effectively use hashtags for your brand
What kind of photos work for you?
Why authenticity and consistency matter
How to attract clients and customers
The importance of tagging
Why you should add a location and how
Manners 101
How to lose followers (yes, you need to know!)
What’s trending on Instagram
What makes the most viral image from color to subject
How to make your Instagram account reflect your style
How to earn money using Instagram that won’t upset your followers
How to team up with companies to gain exposure and earn cash

Register here.

Hope to see you in class!

*the shot of the lady wearing striped at the desk was taken by Kelly Brown. the shot of the lady holding the flowers was taken by my husband.

Now I’m off to work on the all new decor8 because this blog is currently undergoing a major overhaul too! The new decor8 will go live around June 1.

Have a great day, everyone!

xo Holly






Home Tours

Home Tour: Summery Handmade Home

May 15, 2015

Hey guys! It’s Holly Marder with another edition of Homes With Heart on decor8. For May, I’m excited to walk you through the charming, eclectic modern home belonging to blogger and maker Ingrid Janssen and her husband that feels so much like a beautiful summer day to me! I just know you’ll love the happy energy this home exudes and all of the pretty that lies within. If ever there was a Home with Heart, this is it. Let’s go…

Home Tour: Summery Handmade Home

Ingrid is the founder and maker of the wood and crochet line of homewares WOOD & WOOL STOOL. Together with her husband Henk, they were long in search of a classic Dutch style home from the 30s, finally finding it in 2004 when a neighborhood of modern homes with a post-war aesthetic went into development on the outskirts of the city of Dordrecht, the Netherlands.  Continue Reading…






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