Amy Butler's New Magazine: Blossom!

My friend launched a beautiful digital magazine today called and I'd love for you to check it out. Here's a sneak peek below of some of my favorite pages. My only wish: that it was in print! Why? It would be so nice to tack these pages up on my walls and mood board. So, so pretty! This lady has such a great eye.

About , straight from Amy, "I am so excited to announce the release of my free, online magazine! This is a new journey for me and I want you to come along! "Blossom" is a visual journal that's all about loving your life and living it fully and authentically. Filled with loads of creative ideas and inspirations, Blossom celebrates our creative expression and passions; our mantra is "Create Love, Be Kind and Express Beauty". The magazine is a spirited voice for creativity, heart and soul. It's my dream to support folks in getting in touch with the beauty in their lives and in themselves...to empower with love, and help people connect with the creative perfection of being who they really are while giving them support and inspiration to get in touch with doing what they love. I want folks to understand that being connected to what they love, it's the greatest gift they can give the world and themselves." So nicely said Amy and congratulations!

Amy and her husband David do such great work on everything that they touch - I'm so proud of them both for launching this inspirational and very . Hooray!

(image: blossom mag)

DIY Geometric Paper Ornaments

Ohhhh I love shopping this time of the year, don't you? Okay, so every store is packed but it's still so nice to be out - especially in the larger cities where the store windows are decorated so fancifully and the whimsical store decor can't help by infect you with a happy virus , most people are in a good mood. Of course, by mid December I'm completely over it and begging, "Make it go awayyyy!" (LOL) but for now, I'm enjoying the sights and sounds and the mulled spice wine!

One thing I see EVERYWHERE are shiny things on strings - ornaments! Especially here in the Christmas markets that just popped up all over my city. Yet, with the exception of the Santa and Reindeer variety, I don't see most ornaments as being so Christmas-y these days despite the fact that they show up mostly during this time of the year. I see ornaments as great decor any time of the year, in fact I like hanging them from the handles on my windows, from a nail to mix in with art on a salon style wall or to hang from a cabinet lock. I love going to Anthropologie after Christmas to take advantage of their ornament sales because they're usually 50% off or more.

Of course, most associate ornaments with Christmas for good reason and if done with a measure of good taste (not overloading a tree so much that it bends like my dear grandmother once did, ha ha!), they can be a real thing of beauty if you choose to celebrate. I came across some ornaments today in my inbox that I thought I'd share, these DIY geometric paper ornaments are gorgeous - you can go with the bold brights or the softer pastels or do what I would do - mix them up! I can see these as being fun for Spring, especially the pastel tones.

These beauties are from . So pretty, right? I love geometric shapes, especially mi pastels with black and some brights - fun!

(images: field guide design)

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

Hello everyone! YES you read my blog post title correctly -- Etsy Take Five Tuesdays is BACK! I've decided that I've really missed writing this column and connecting all of you to some of my favorite Etsy sellers so you can expect my favorites again each and every Tuesday. Who is on my radar this week? Why don't you check out...

1: \\ - paper ephemera shop. I love their educational charts and notebooks!

2: \\ - le petit monde - whimsical illustrations. The is a personal fave.

3: \\ - handprinted, handmade textiles and other pretty things from fabric. Their DIY advent fabric is so cool and you can really apply those numbers to anything during other times of the year, like storage bins!

4: \\ - wooden treasures. Her pendants and wooden desk organizers are my favorites!

5: \\ - lighting from Brooklyn - I want this chandelier, don't you?

(images: linked to their sources above.)

Thank You Poppy Talk!

Hello everyone! I'm back from London and will blog about my shopping adventures on Columbia Road later today, but first I simply MUST thank Jan at Poppy Talk for kicking off the bloggy book tour yesterday for Decorate Workshop AND for offering her readers a chance at winning a signed copy - her drawing will be on Wednesday, November 28th so enter Poppy Talk yesterday, here is her post with a review about the book AND a chance for you to win a signed copy! to check it out. Also, she'll be posting an interview that she had with me tomorrow when she announces the winner.

Here is a photo from the book from home photographed by . Isn't this an inspiring nook in her office space? She is a jewelry designer in London and frequently has buyers stop by to see her latest collections, which are stored in this magical cabinet. She changes the wall frequently to fit her collection as well. I was so inspired by Emma and her home, I met her through , so I had to have it in my book.

Thank you again Jan for launching my blog book tour! Readers, you can see her post and book review here. Today, the book tour continues with and - You'll LOVE to see what those ladies have in store for you!

(photo: decorate workshop by holly becker for chronicle books, photographer: debi treloar)

Washi Tape Gift Tags DIY

Hello again friends! I have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow morning (I'm SO not a morning person) to catch a flight to London so this will be quick but I had to get this post up before I go... It's to inspire you as you wrap your pretty presents this season! I made a bunch of these the other day for my students and thought you'd like to check them out because they are SUPER EASY to make using simple tags, fabrics and washi tape.

The first thing you do is consider your recipient/s and what message you are trying to convey. Once you know what you will put your gift in and which wrapping paper you'll use, it's time to get started on some tag making so raid your craft cabinets and drawers. It's best to work with your scraps before cutting into yardage because for a simple and small project like this you can really use up those scraps! After you find the fabrics you love, you tear them into strips (or cut neatly if neat is your thing) and then lay out your washi tapes and see which colors work with your fabrics.

Once you have your tags (you can make tags by hand using card stock and a hole punch, buy a tag punch from a craft store, OR buy tags that are already made), start tearing your washi tape by hand into strips, in all lengths and widths. Raw torn edges look best. Layer them, create patterns, do whatever works and stick washi tape on ONE side of the tag, trimming the edges so that you aren't folding the tape over the tag to the other side - you want the other side to be washi-free so you can write your message there and so your project doesn't look sloppy. Loop the fabric through and tie it. You can also use ribbon instead of fabric, of course, but this is more unique.

Aren't these pretty! Try to make lots of them in a single craft session so you have some on hand for future gift giving.

I love how my tags turned out, I'm really pleased with them. I made 18 in about 40 minutes. Not bad!

Will you try this project too?

I'm going to pack now but I'll be back again on Tuesday! Bye for now!

(photos: holly becker for cattledogs)

MakeHolly Becker Comments
Decorate Workshop Tours: Big News!

Hello friends! I am so pleased to announce two very wonderful events that is sponsoring for me. The first is something everyone reading can get involved in, it's the official Decorate Workshop Blog Book Tour and the schedule is listed below. It kicks off Monday, November 26th on the (Thank you Jan!) and continues daily during the week until Friday, December 7th. You will get to see special photos of and from the book, read reviews, catch a few interviews that some of these lovely bloggers had with me and more!

Decorate Workshop Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 26Tuesday, November 27 – & Wednesday, November 28 – & Thursday, November 29 – & Friday, November 30 – &

Monday, December 3 – & Tuesday, December 4 – & Wednesday, December 5 – & & Thursday, December 6 – & Friday, December 7 – &

I must thank all 20 of these wonderful ladies, my blog peers, for their support in advance and I cannot wait to read and pin all of your reviews to my Decorate Workshop Pinterest board. I am very excited to see what each of you have to say and how you present the book - it's such an honor for me so thank you again. I'll be tuning in from Monday while I'm in London to see Jan's review on Poppytalk - so excited!

The next big news is that I'll be going on a REAL LIVE book tour next year in May 2013, is bringing me on a North American book tour and I can't wait to tell you who we're working with and what fun events we have in store for you! We haven't finalized dates or cities yet, but if you have suggestions PLEASE let me know where you'd like to see me because I'm open to suggestions and I want to see as many of you as I possibly can. I'll be on the road for 2-3 weeks so I can hit 8-10 cities at least.

In 2011 I went to 20 cities in the US and Europe and honestly, I never imagined I'd be invited to do it a second time around so I'm going to make this tour the best that I can for all of us - especially my guests - so we can have really great events that are inspiring, productive and educational - not just about me signing books because I love to teach and the idea of doing live workshops at no cost to you makes me so, so happy - so workshops will be part of the book signing parties for sure. After this tour I honestly want to make babies, buy a home and stick around locally for a few years so this may be it when it comes to touring around for awhile so I hope to meet as many of you as possible! :)

Details to follow! But first, it's bloggy book tour time starting on Monday - please follow along by visiting the blogs highlighted above.

Speaking of books, tomorrow (November 23), I will be in LONDON at the book department at Selfridges on Oxford Street from 3:00-3:30 doing a really informal signing - no seats, no presentations, no frills - just me standing around signing a bunch of books for their inventory. If you're in the 'hood and want to swing by to buy a book and would like it personalized then that's a great time to do it. You cannot bring in any books with you but if you buy it tomorrow at Selfridges I will definitely sign it for you. you can use for 20% OFF, too!

Now back to the regularly scheduled program - blogging about something other than my book, ha ha!!!!

xo, Holly