Etsy Take Five Tuesday

It's Etsy Take Five Tuesday time and you know what that means, right? You will be introduced to five shops that are currently on my radar that I think you should check out. Ready then? Good, let's get started!

Prints by who are running a sale right now, buy 2 prints and get one free!

Trays, cards, art prints, bags and more at in Paris.

Graphics to pretty up your blog or website from .

Gift giving goody heaven at . I recently bought a ton from them for future workshops to give to students and add to gifts.

Amazing lighting handmade in the USA from . Love them!

Do you have any Etsy favorite shops to add to my comments section? If so, I may blog them in upcoming weeks so leave your links! I'm always looking for reader's choices and to find the best of the best on Etsy. Thank you! xo

(images: linked to their sources above)

Blogging Workshop in Hannover HIghlights

Hello friends! I thought before posting Etsy Take Five Tuesday today that I'd introduce you to our students from our this weekend. Each of these wonderful ladies came to my home in Hannover, Germany to learn from and I about blogging and how to take a more creative, journalistic approach to your blog.

We had such a wonderful time, we shopped together, ate together, took photos, learned, enjoyed the Christmas market... It was so lovely that I want to host another in the Spring! Those are our 16 Blogging Your Way Studio students above and of course, you can see how seriously they took their studies!!!!

We had fun doing this shoot... I took out my collection of vintage hats passed down to me by my grandmother (she was a dancer in Chicago in the late 30s) and let the students play with them for a photo session, which wasn't my idea by the way. It was a rather thrown together photo shoot because we didn't plan to do one but Rincy, a darling student visiting from Ireland, really wanted to do one and so we did and ended up having a blast!

This is and her class partner, holding a bag from one of our sponsors, . This was not a class about blogging by the rules, it was a class about blogging from the heart!

This is getting a haircut by . These ladies were so sweet and I especially love how Nic always had the best advice when we were having our open conversion sessions in class.

This is and her class partner, . Inga has the cutest blog, you have to check it out - I love the clean layout. Holly is a columnist for and has her own blog that she's currently revamping for a big shiny new roll out.

This is and her "blog team" for the weekend, and . They raided my china cabinet for cups to pretend they are classy bloggers taking tea. I think though that they had vodka in their cups! :)

This is , who came all the way from Tel Aviv as a birthday present for herself and had on the best bright clothes each time I saw her - so cool! Her blog partner in crime was who was just the sweetest lady - she gave me a gorgeous bag when she left filled with American baking things which was extremely thoughtful. I loved how Dani added washi tape to her hat, cute, right?

This is with her blog partner . Rincy just sparkles and glows and transmits so much positive energy and light, as a pediatrician her "kids" must love her. Jana is a comedian - she's so full of life - these two were the perfect blog partners.

This is and her partner for the weekend, . They are pretending to be very dainty and quiet but both ladies have loads of ideas and opinions and are filled with fire when it comes to turning their blogs into pro blogs. Go, girls, go!

was so cute and her blog partner, from London, was equally darling. They grabbed the trees from my windows and decided to be a very wacky Dutch portrait. Geraldine is also a medical doctor - having two doctors in my blogging class made me feel very good all weekend in case anyone passed out from inspiration overload!

Please visit all of the blogs linked in this post to visit our students because these ladies were just fantastic. And you know what? There wasn't a single "drama queen" in the group - everyone got along so well and were just so thoughtful, generous and sweet. I find this in most blogger classes and meet ups though, bloggers are the best people in the world to gather together - at least the design, craft, wedding, lifestyle, food and mommy blogs - not sure what the dynamics are at blog events for other groups like gossip bloggers and fashion blogs, but I always love going to and hosting events for bloggers because I know that everyone will get along and bond.

Here we are as a group freezing outside in Hannover at the Christmas Market. :)

I will forever hold these ladies dear to my heart and look back at this weekend as one big beautiful highlight of my career. Thank you SO much to my dear partner-in-crime, , too. We had so much fun together and put a lot of thought and planning into this weekend so for us, we're just thrilled it all worked out so beautifully! Steffi, you're the best. xo

(photos: )

I Heart Kerry Layton

One of my dear students, , visited this past weekend from London and gave me the most beautiful assortment of presents wrapped beautifully in Liberty paper. There was one very special gift that I instantly fell in love with - a print by English artist who lives in North London. Geraldine picked it up for me while attending a recent by Kerry. For now it will sit on my gray cabinet in my work room to give me wonderful thoughts of Geraldine each time I pass by...

Later, I hope to have it framed because a print so lovely deserves a special spot on my wall. Thank you Geraldine for such a thoughtful and spot-on present!

By the way, Kerry has a beautiful Etsy shop called in case you'd like to take a peek...

(image: holly becker for cattledogs)

Blog Tip: Tout 15 Second Videos

Happy Monday everyone! I've decided that once weekly in 2013, I'll write a post called Blog Tip with one great tip weekly to inspire all of you lovely blogger friends out there! I'm not going to tell you which day though because often a tip lands in my lap and it's so good that I don't want to wait until a set weekday to share it. BUT you can expect my Blog Tip column to run once weekly going forward starting with today. But first.... Good morning everyone! How are you?

I had an exciting weekend with 16 Studio students who came to my home to spend the weekend with fellow teacher, Steffi Luxat and I - and needless to say... I'm so pumped up about blogging! It's amazing how we "pro" bloggers need the budding pro bloggers to fuel us as much as they rely on us to teach them new tricks and fresh ideas about blogging. The relationship is just one big giving circle and I really love that about teaching. I cannot believe that next year will be the fourth year that I've been teaching workshops on blogging and creativity and each time I wrap one up I can't wait to get started on the next online class or in-person event. I'm already gearing up for our March e-class AND thinking to do another workshop here at home in the Spring before I go on my book tour. This is truly what I was meant to do and the more I do it, the more I realize I'm right where I need to be.

Okay now for my super cool blog tip. There's this cool new website that I found today called . It's really going to take off, I can feel it, and I've just uploaded two videos to show you how it works. Tout gives you 15 seconds of video run time to film pieces of your life and share them online. I think this is in incredible way to reach your readers if you are a blogger. You simply download the app, shoot a 15 second video and it uploads in about 60 seconds or less, then you save it to your . I've enabled my account to push my videos to my Facebook and Twitter accounts upon publishing, so I can easily connect with everyone online simply and quickly. I'm sure this could be a bit addictive for some, but I'm going to try to share only valuable and inspirational content using Tout because there is already so much rubbish floating around out there and I don't want to contribute to more "noise".

I think if we use with that intention, it could be a really fab way to connect with your friends, family and blog readers. I'm already thinking about some creative ways to begin using it, what do you think, do you like the idea of sharing 15 second videos and if so, how do you imagine using it or what would you show?

Loads of love to you all today - I'll be back later on to share some views from our workshop this weekend, I just need to sort through my photos!


Happy Weekend, I'll Be...

Hello everyone! I'm signing off for the weekend because I will be doing this (see below)....

I can't wait to work with our lovely students who will be in my home for the weekend - there will be so much to tell you on Monday with lots of stories and photos! Until then...

xo, Holly

Inspiration from Bloomingville

I recently ordered some lovely items from my new favorite Hamburg-based online shop and fell in love the moment my package arrived. It was a good day. Why? Because some things from that I ordered were tucked away so nicely inside and were far better than expected. I love that surprise... When something exceeds your expectations, don't you?

I then started flipping through the pages of my catalog and thought to share some of my favorite views with you since you  may not have heard of this brand before in your part of the world. They are based in Denmark and have such a broad range of interiors objects from furniture to wonderful gift wrap and great neon baker's twine (yes really) that it's hard to pick just ONE item... And everything in their collection is so cohesive and works together so well. In Germany this brand is a huge hit - Germans seem to love (and everything interiors/fashion related from Denmark which I have no problem with because so do I!) and I'm a fan too. Here is some inspiration for you this week...

Don't you want to order everything?!?

(images: bloomingville)