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Monday Mood Boards Instagram Challenge
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Hey everyone, I hope you're just peachy and enjoying summer. I'm on my way out the door for the day for some spa time and then, park time with my little boy, but first I simply must share a new creative project that I've launched on that you can participate in called #cattledogsmonday. I recently decided that I needed to use Instagram to connect more with others and to challenge myself more. I miss those days on Flickr when there were so many fun groups to participate in. Nowadays, it can seem like you're pumping out content and getting nothing in return, but with hashtag projects you can gather people together and have a genuine sense of friendship while also challenging each other to be creative each week and share what's inspiring you visually. Social media needs to be a little give and take to keep you inspired, right?  That is why I started a weekly mood board challenge on Instagram called #cattledogsmonday, and it kicks off each Monday because that's the day when most people feel the flattest creatively speaking. cattledogsmondayproject

Mood boards have been part of my life since childhood. I plastered favorite things all over my door or part of my bedroom wall, or inside of albums composed of stickers, posters, Polaroid's and pretty papers that I collected from Japan. Then there was my school locker - I loved to decorate it with favorite papers and things. When I got my own first apartment, my fridge door was different each week with new images and photos that inspired me. One of my first jobs was working at a modeling agency in Boston and in my office, I created a giant floor to ceiling mood board of favorite top models and fashion labels. Later, I worked on many mood boards alongside interior designers and architects during my corporate years. When I went back to school for design, they were some of my favorite things to make in school and later, for my clients. I've made, shown and detailed how mood boards aid in the creative process in each of the three design books I've authored. I even taught mood board workshops at Anthropologie stores across America and in London in 2011. For the past 6 years, I've been using mood boarding as a teaching technique with my students to help them find their personal style and vision for a project.

Mood boards have been a part of my life since childhood. I'm sure many of you can trace back to earlier days when you were also collaging and sharing your favorite things visually on some surface, whether that be a scrapbook, wall, locker door, refrigerator or the back of your door in your college dorm.

I personally love seeing my favorite things collaged together for a quick burst of inspiration. It makes me feel more creative. It allows me to visually explain what's in my head when words don't work. They are my non-painter's art work, I guess. A form of self expression that has always come very naturally for many of us. They keep me inspired and on track, help me to plan and execute projects of all types, from books to decorating my home, and I use them as a sort of mind mapping exercise because I'm highly visual.

They help me to find my way back to intentions and goals during times when I lose steam or veer off course.

Beyond how I've benefited, I've witnessed first hand how mood boards help others. When students make them, their instant reaction is usually, "This was an extremely helpful exercise, I finally feel like I finally found my style!". Mood boards help us to pull together ideas in a more cohesive way in order to make sense of the many ideas floating around in our head. When perusing online seeing a million different visual inspirations, it's easy to forget what you really are connecting to on a personal level. You can easily lose your way and lots of times, not even know what you like anymore because you're so saturated in images. Although that doesn't sound like a terrible problem to have, it can be if you need to decorate a bedroom, plan your wedding or rebrand your website since honing in on what you love is the only way to make good decisions.

Mood boards provide clarity.

If you're on Instagram, I invite you to take part in my weekly mood board challenge. All you need to do is upload a photo that you take on Monday (or any day that week) and hashtag it #cattledogsmonday so everyone can see what you've posted. It's a great way to meet new like-minded friends. Try to make a new one each week and photograph it in natural daylight (no flash). Also, please make it by hand, no digital collages or photo grids, etc. Your mood board should simply show what is inspiring you this week. It can show anything from magazine pages or personal photos, fabric swatches, ribbons, papers, whatever! You can lay everything out on a table and shoot downward or pin or tape to a wall and photograph straight on. You can participate weekly, just once, biweekly, it's up to you! The only rule is that you do not post unrelated photos using our hashtag, so please no spam!

I hope to see you over on IG! I'll be posting my weekly mood board on soon, mine from last week is shown above when I was into green, plants and beachy blues. I can't wait to see what is inspiring you this week.

#cattledogsmonday - spread the word!

(Photo: Holly Becker)

Happy Weekend!
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I'd like to wish all of you a wonderful weekend! I'm taking Monday off but I'll be back on Tuesday with another Blog Trends column and some more goodies throughout the week. Do you have any nice plans this weekend? Whatever you do, I hope you have a good time and enjoy yourself. Here are some links below that I'll leave you with to enjoy and as always, thank you for sharing a little bit of your time to read cattledogs this week, I always appreciate it so much.

 

You may have missed...

  • My friend Timmi from FvonF in Berlin sent me the - in love!
  • A new foil and from made my week a little brighter
  • Ferm Living Spring/Summer 2015 Collection
  • Fitness Focus for 2015 + Deliciously Ella Book
  • Home with Heart: A Classical Modern Belgian Family Home Tour
  • My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm
  • Visit the Oh Joy! Studio
  • Plingsulli Illustrations From Sweden
  • Essay: Leaving Safe Behind To Make Bolder Decorating Choices
  • is now in Dutch! .
  • Press in Germany: Kreativer, schöner, gesünder:
  • My collaboration with Pinterest
  • collection in my shop

(Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

December Greetings + A Big Kiss!

Hello dear friends! It's the holiday season which means that most likely you are home, or at someone else's home, or maybe if you're not in Germany (today is 2nd Christmas), you are shopping the big sales or enjoying some rela down time. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, whether you have family or are alone and whether this time is special to you or simply "meh"... I simply want to send you many warm greetings and lots of love as I sign off until the new year. You have all been such an inspiration to me and next month will begin my 10th year of blogging... I still feel, in many ways, the same as I did when I first started, "Why do people even read my posts!?". I'm so glad that you do and for those of you who take the time to comment and share what you find here, thank you.

It means so much that I can support my family doing what makes me happiest - reaching out, sharing, writing and growing alongside all of you because no matter how "seasoned" or "pro" I may be, we're all in this together and I often feel as overwhelmed and unsteady, inspired and eager, drained and filled with anticipation by this whole blogging thing as you do. I may inspire you by my work but you've inspired much more in return because I simply couldn't keep all of this up without the incentive = YOU. I'm signing off for the next 10 days for some family time, but I'll be back again during the first week of January after New Year's, most likely the 5th. But since I didn't take maternity leave this year or vacation, I may linger a little and return a few days later. I'll have to see. If you'd like to keep busy, here are a bunch of great things for you to enjoy in my absence like...

My personal top 12 posts this year:

  1. Our Birth Story + Newborn Photography by Christin Lange
  2. Can Full-Time Bloggers Live Off Of Rainbows & Hugs?
  3. Our Baby Boy's Nursery Before + After
  4. 22 Hard To Kill Houseplants
  5. The Future Of Blogging – What Do You Think?
  6. Blog Trends: Slow Blogging
  7. 10 Ways To Create Hygge At Home
  8. Our New Book Has a Website

Now for 9 blogs that are really lovely...

15 favorite design finds (or purchases) this year:

  1. (still on my wishlist!)
  2. Anything from
  3. in Finland
  4.  amazing cabinet
  5. Fujifilm INSTAX Instant Smartphone
  6. Copper foil
  7. Matte white 
  8. Band.do
  9. baby mocs
  10. Ali Edwards (I'm nearly finished with mine!)
  11. My amazing pineapple wallpaper

And...

New Year's Eve inspiration for you - a whole lot of it... ----

Thank you, dear readers, for another rewarding year on cattledogs! And a big thanks to those who help me on this blog like , Flora, and  and the teachers who worked with me on this year - , , along with my husband Thorsten. Also, a hug and thanks to because our book launched this past Spring and it's so lovely and super successful thanks to her - it looks like Decorate With Flowers will soon be in 12 languages/editions with Japanese releasing in January. Woo hoo!

Love, Holly xo

(credit: )

Apartment Therapy's Room For Color 2014 Contest

I was so honored to have been asked to be a judge for the Apartment Therapy Room For Color 2014 contest sponsored in part by . There were so many colorful entries. It was also so great when I saw that Janel over at AT put together a post announcing my participation (), it really made me happy. One of the questions that she asked me about color was fun to answer so I thought I'd share that with you now. She basically asked me what my thoughts on color are at the moment - what palette I'm digging. This is the collage I created below followed by my thoughts.

I love these four images and this fun, colorful palette – but the draw to me is that navy has replaced black as a strong accent color. Black and white is such a huge trend at the moment, yet I feel like I’m seeing it too much now and its losing it’s appeal. That’s why a nautical deep navy is a nice replacement and break from black while still keeping things deep and dark and providing a nice contrast amongst all of the light colors and brights that are trending at the moment. Plus navy (not cobalt or any other blue – strictly navy) and crisp white look stunning together, so a deep navy wall with white trim – well, you can’t go wrong!

Here were some of entries in Warm, Cool, Light, Dark, International that I found really interesting. Apartment Therapy readers judged what they liked the most (there were so many entries!) and the judges were sent the 5 most voted for rooms per category and each of us voted for our favorite without knowing what the other judges were voting for. It was done very fair and square which I appreciated. You view all of the homes . And guess what Germany? One of won the International submission!

So much fun!!! And thanks again Apartment Therapy for having me. , but in my eyes everyone won the moment they submitted their entry because that takes major courage.

I think I need to team up with some big company and have a decorating contest for cattledogs readers, right!? Wouldn't that be fun???

(Images in the top collage: , , , . Single image: in Delaware (winner!). Bottom collage: top left: in Montana (winner!), top right: in Ohio (winner!), bottom left: in Germany (winner!), bottom right: in the UK.)