Decorate Workshop Highlights From London Launch Party

Hello everyone and happy Friday to you! I'm so pleased to share some photos from my book launch party for the UK edition of , photographed by London-based photographer . Most of these photos (unless noted otherwise) are from Lucy, thank you Lucy! The lovely party at Anthropologie on Regents Street was a huge success - it was packed with more people than we had expected, which is never a problem and always an honor BUT it was tough to fit so many comfortably so needless to say we had standing room only by the time we began our lectures. Decorate Workshop fans filled the 3rd floor and we had a great night. Want to see for yourself?

I was joined by one of the UK's top bloggers, Will Taylor, from and American stylist James Leland Day, who lives in Berlin (his home is in and his living room shown above) who spoke alongside of me about the book from what inspired it to how one goes from blogger to author, the process of writing an interiors book and how to style your home with tips from James and later, I chimed in with tips on how to pull inspiration from the many images you see and translate them into something that works. I have to thank both of these fab guys for being there and presenting so well - Will is a natural and James has such a strong background in styling - they both were such a nice addition to the party and guests really loved having them, too.

Will showing everyone the inside of the French fold book jacket - all editions have a special jacket that you can unfold, iron and display on your wall. Mine is above my desk in my work studio.

I really love bringing together special guests in all of the events that I do - last year for Decorate some of my special speakers included , , , , , , , (co-founder of Etsy) and many others. In fact, whenever I host events I always try to add a few guests to accompany me because I enjoy the support and friendship - it makes doing events a lot more exciting and a lot less about "me" and more about "we".

Will interviewing me during the launch party - I was trying to focus, I was a bit nervous because we had problems with the sound system - we were able to fix it later on but it kept throwing me off track at first. We did our best - thanks to everyone who endured the first 10 minutes!!!

I love this photo - it looks like this cute lady is embracing my book. It actually made me feel emotional seeing this. The idea of giving a little slice of happy to someone is quite a nice feeling for an author to have.

Will is such a charming and caring soul but also has an excellent business brain behind all those bow ties and polka dots. James was really getting into how he designed his living room - shown on the board to his right. That is an image from my book as well.

A closer shot of the board showing James' living room as seen in Decorate Workshop.

Between all of the beautiful cakes that laid out for us to feast on, the prosecco, the inspiring space and the entire 3rd floor being filled with design lovers and bloggers, it was quite a lovely experience. Anthro even gave everyone who bought my book a 15% coupon for their next purchase and a linen Anthro tote. What a nice touch! Along one wall, I had a bookcase in my honor titled, Holly Becker's Favourite Things" where I had shopped the day before for things that I loved from their home & fashion accessories floors so that my guests could check out a few of my favorite things. Problem was, the event was so packed that it was hard for people to go examine all of the pretty things there!

I had a rough summer, filled with a lot of ups and downs in my life (mostly downs) so to be here with all of my fans and have them so excited to see me and celebrate my new book was nothing less than a fantastic boost for me personally - and of course, it was cool to sign and hold up my book for the camera - I loved celebrating this accomplishment with all who came out.

I love this shot of me talking to Ari from who is also co-founder of Heart Home magazine. Ari is one of those people who is genuinely so sweet and charismatic, there is nothing fake about her. I think she was admiring my hair or necklace in this photo - she always has a way of making you feel at ease and taking you beneath her wing. I really adore this lady!

This photo of James made me smile. He really loved being a part of the festivities and he walked away feeling inspired by everyone, too. The energy was so positive. It was a truly lovely event.

I only wish that I could have spoken to everyone - I know I missed out on meeting so many of you and for that, I'm sorry! It was my intention to meet everyone but the event was too full and once the book signing begun I was there until after the store closed dedicating books to some genuinely lovely guests.

I felt honored and inspired by the event and to think the day before, I ran into a street concert with performing right before my eyes and the same evening after the book party, I ended up in a private bar at a hotel where a friend was staying and who walks in and says hello to us, American rapper/actor Ludacris. Yeah, really. He was so chill and his friends and I chatted about the south (where we are all from) and later, my book and blog! Riot! It was funny to see him and how normal they all were but the best part was when one of them googled me and said, "Hey you're famous too!", that was a riot! with Ludacris who is currently in London filming Fast & Furious 6 - funny right?!

So that was my book launch party. I hope that you liked it. If I missed any of the photographers who took the photos above, PLEASE let me know so I can link you below. A big thank you to (Jacqui, Joanna, Sian, Sarah, Anabel, Jessica and Sam), , , , , and some of the homeowners who attended in addition to James like , , and .

(images: , , and )


Blog Mood Boards

Hello everyone! I've been offline for several days as I was away in London but I'm back home now and ready to blog! I hope that you are doing well. Between the stress of the weather on the east coast (a hurricane first, now snow in the northeast) and the election, I think my American pals are in need of some inspiration because it's been a bit draining to say the least. It's time for a little cheer so lets look at pretty things today! Photobucket

I'm not sure if most of you are aware of this, but in addition to cattledogs, I run an e-course focused on blogging and creativity called and I also teach in-person workshops on everything from paper crafts to blogging, styling and creativity. I've made a business out of blogging and like anyone who has a small business, I'm always thinking of ways to improve it and make my clients even happier. It's not easy, as everyone has a different learning style, but the one thing that I teach time and time again that students really click with is the exercise of translating your ideas into something visual and I do this via inspiration boards, mood boards, story boards or whatever else you feel like calling them. For this post, I'm going with mood board.

A mood board is one of the best ways to filter your ideas and give a voice to what feels very muddy or trapped inside of your head. It's easy, fun, can be done with your hands or on a computer, and oftentimes doesn't cost a penny. In my most recent class, which just wrapped up last Friday, we worked on blog mood boards. A blog mood board is a way for new and even seasoned bloggers to hone in on what they want their blog to be about and what they what it to look like whether it's for a redesign or for their very first blog. In this post, I'm showing you some from my students that I found inspirational - please visit their blog links below each image to visit them AND you can see all of the student mood boards on the page.

Lots of times we think we know what we like or want to talk about on our blog but have a hard time focusing or narrowing down our concepts. This is where blog mood boards help. You can take all of your ideas and start moving them around before you on a board, on a table, on the floor, and see how everything works together and then, see if everything really "fits". Magazines and book publishers work like this and so do designers and many other creatives when it comes to figuring out next steps in their creative process. When I was working on both of my books, I pinned spreads to my wall and even scatted them about on my massive table to see how they "laid" together and to imagine the flow. It's not that different when you are trying to pull a concept together for a blog.




The Curiosity Project


Aren't these inspiring views of how one wants their blog to be? Have you ever tried mood boards for design concepts - either for your brand, blog, website or something else? Did it help you? Did it help your designer?

(images: the talented ladies who made these moodboards are credited below each image with a link.)

Excerpt In Simple Things Magazine

Hello everyone and happy Friday! How are you? I am packing since I fly to London (for the launch party) in a few hours, but I want to thank in the UK for a beautiful 8 page excerpt in their latest issue #3 from my new book, . The book just launched in the UK and will launch TWO WEEKS earlier than expected in the US - it is available ! We just found out yesterday so it's a great surprise. Thank you for the wonderful excerpt, here's a peek below but if you want to read all 8 pages you'll need to pick up a copy of the magazine or buy a digital copy on your mobile device.

Note: All photos shown are from shot by the brilliant . You may preview a digital copy of this book below:

Order Decorate Workshop in the UK and Europe (hardbound, orange/purple jacket) Order Decorate Workshop in the (softcover, blue/yellow jacket)

AND thank you to the homeowners - above shown is the home of Emma Lee, James Leland Day, Iris Rietbergen, Nadia Yaron and Myriah Scruggs.

Thank you Simple Things magazine!

Krafty October

Hello friends! It is Leslie here with my Color Me Pretty column for October. Holly and I decided to try something different this time. She sent me an image that she liked and I created the color story based off of that image. We wanted to show how you can take something that inspires you and turn it into a craft project, a floral arrangement or maybe a little décor item for your home. She thought with so many people pinning stuff on Pinterest, why not try to inspire YOU with how to actually translate something you're pinning into a real project that you can work on at home. Here is the inspiration from Holly - this photo and this palette. This was my mission!

The image of invitations was a fun starting off point for me because I love stationery and I often look at paper for inspiration! The palette of a medium gray, coppery brown, black, and bright melon is a fun one to use for fall. Since it is not a traditional fall palette it could definitely be used year around. Since I did not have much copper paper on hand I shifted the color to a kraft brown. I hope you enjoy this series!

I just love the cute little feather garland included in her invitations and I wanted to try scaling it up to make one for my studio. I had a natural twine on hand and cut the feathers out of scrap paper, including a paper grocery bag (can’t get enough of them!!!). I had seen a post Merrillee on the Mer Mag blog had done on feather crowns and used her tips on how to cut out feathers as a guide. I did not use I stencil but rather just free hand cut the shapes. The feather shape is a nice change from the typical fall leaf shapes.

The black on white stylized owl illustration inspired me to get out some of the stamps I purchased last year from in Seattle. I wanted to try making some stamped wrapping paper with them. I cut open large mailing envelopes because I have a box of them to use up! Then I quickly stamped some strips, cut them out and used them on some parcels. I finished the gifts off with some washi tape, black ribbon and more paper feathers. All this gift-wrapping had me motivated to make some more gift tags using my scraps and my handy gift tag punch! Their punches are awesome and it is a super fast way to use up any scrap paper. I then punch a small hole in them and store them away for future wrapping in a little box.

I continue to create small mood boards in my little notebooks. It is an easy way for me to record a color palette I have worked with. I like using bits of paper to create a tiny color story. It is always inspiring to go through them later and look back on what I was interested in. Do you create visual journals? If you don’t you may want to try, as it is a rela way to get the creativity flowing.

Of course, you can also create the more traditional mood board on the wall, which is what I did above.

I also thought of ways to simply add some dots of the palette around my work studio - you can see the results of that above on my shelves. I even added washi tape around the shelves for some color.

Thinking about all my friends on the east coast who have been dealing with this terrible storm. Take good care. xo Leslie.

(text/styling/photography: )

Dutch Sky Wallpaper by Little Owl

I heard from Little Owl yesterday about some lovely new wallpaper they've produced called . About the inspiration they write, "Choosing the ever changing patterns of the Dutch sky as a starting point, we have merged the art of antique prints and etchings with our own photography, some of which include whimsical details of industrial cranes, wind socks and chimney tops, to create an appealing mix of tradition and 21st Century sensibility and technology into printed wallpaper". The Dutch Sky collection has three different designs, each with a different mood and colorway and is printed in Holland by one of the leading printing companies there.

Little Owl not only sells it on but in the Winter of 2012 you can find it at in Paris and in the Spring of 2013, will stock it as well.

Isn't this cool!? Storm and Summer blues, shown above, are my favorite colorways. What do you think about this paper, would you use it on your walls or at home in some other way? How?

(images: little owl)

Bloggers With Shops

Hello everyone! I'm Holly's friend from Hamburg and my name is Stefanie. Holly reads my blog regularly and recently fell in love with a post I'd written about concerning a trend I've noticed with bloggers over in this part of the world lately. I write on my blog in German and so she proposed that I take a post from my blog, translate it, and write it for you over here on cattledogs in English. Great idea, right? So here I am talking to you today about a trend that I think is pretty cool - Bloggers who become shop owners and sell products that they love. My former boss used to say, "If you have three examples of a movement – you have enough evidence for a new trend!”. Since I found FOUR bloggers who became shop owners I’m proud to present this new trend! Isn’t it a lovely concept? I would love to open my own shop immediately, wouldn’t you too? I would have an office within the shop and a cute kitchen – everything would be in the same style. I would offer the best coffee and cookies and chat with those who come to visit me and would give them more good shopping tips, addresses of fantastic restaurants, etc. During the time when the shop is slow, I would work on my blog and other projects. Ohhh, I could start with it this minute. But let’s see how some great lady bloggers did it first...

Case Study #1: Mary Scherpe is the very successful blogger behind “” and she opened her first pop-up-store for nine days in October in Berlin Mitte on Mulackstraße. She sold a few of her favorite brands like Michael Sonntag, Raphael Hauber and nail polish from Usula Airlines. She also had some great paper bags where she stamped her blog logo. (I would love to have these too!) The shop was such a success that Mary is considering trying another pop-up shop very soon. Keep your fingers crossed!

Case Study #2: and fashion blogger, , opened her permanent concept store, von hey, in Berlin a few weeks ago located at Brunnenstraße 158. She sells her own designs, but also the beautiful clutch collection of fashion designer , the denim pillows of designer , and one of my favorite designers for dresses – , along with other very interesting things. What makes this shop super special is that Alexa is such a lovely lady who is happy to give you tips for other shops, restaurants, etc. so please go and visit her soon! (Images via

Case Study #3: Hanne and Stephanie Gundlach opened their concept store in Copenhagen this March located at Bregade 56. Stephanie is one of the three ladies who blog on - one of the most popular fashion blogs in Denmark. At B56 you will find a very good selection of the upcoming Scandinavian designers.

And Case Study #4 is: The interior stylist and blogger who opens her shop (which includes her office - now you see where I got this idea from) in Stockholm (Radmansgatan 7) only on Thursdays. Again, ONLY ON THURSDAYS. I was there on a Friday and she didn’t let me in. So if you don’t want to be so disappointed like I was, go there on a Thursday. Because as soon as you see all the lovely Scandinavian decor that she has in her shop – you will want it all, I promise!

So, do you wanna open your own shop now too? I would love to hear your ideas how you would do it. First, let me ask Holly because I know she has had a concept now since 2006 when she first started her blog and decided to relocate to Germany. She's wanted to have a shop since she was a child though - her first retail storefront was actually a day spa that she opened along with her mother in Swampscott, Massachusetts when she was only 16-years-old (working only part-time) but spas weren't her thing and she'd often peek around the corner hanging out in the flower and gift shop dreaming of owning her own pretty boutique that she'd like to have someday, too...

Steffi: Holly, what's your blogger-as-shop-owner concept?

Holly: I'd love to move my home studio to a storefront retail space in Hannover where I can keep teaching my workshops, write my books and blog but also open only on two Saturdays per month and when I'm open, I'd offer very special products from America, the UK, Australia, Japan and of course, Europe. I'd also invite some friends to create very special collections just for my shop and what I didn't sell in-store, I'd sell in a small and special online shop curated by me. I'd have a few buckets of fresh flowers but only very special ones. During my two open days per month, I'd offer brownies and cupcakes and other "American" goodies, put on inspiring music that I love or ask a friend to come by and play acoustic guitar, light candles and make everything feel very cozy and charming. When my shop is open, I'd have a reading corner for children and would read for them some of my favorite illustrated books in English to introduce them to books from America, the UK and Australia but also to expose them to English as most toddlers and very young children don't learn English until later on in school so it would be fun to show them "my" world because I find lots of people in my local community are really open to other cultures and parents here are really keen on raising bilingual or trilingual children. I would also do a themed shop window each month to inspire my local community. I'd host once monthly designer/blogger meet ups too on the first Friday of the month to gather together creatives living in Hannover. When the store is closed, I'd still be present in the shop shooting photos for my blog, working on book ideas and writing, blogging, teaching my online classes and of course, continuing my in-person workshops that I love to do so much. That's my concept! I already have a few shops in mind that I'm waiting for (hoping they become vacant) so we'll see what happens in the future. I'm patient!

Now readers, tell me about YOUR blogger shop ideas??? Have you opened a shop yourself? Been involved in a pop-up concept? - Steffi