Thursday, 20 December 2012

Blogging Your Way Part Four: Style and Shoot

Day two, Hannover, Germany. The snow fell as 17 inspired bloggers set to work on a styling and photography assignment during the Blogging Your Way Studio workshop with Holly Becker and Steffi Luxat at Holly’s home studio. It’s been almost two weeks since this event took place, and I have highlighted various aspects of it in previous posts, but I didn’t want the experience to go by completely without sharing this last batch of images. I really had the best time ever, mostly because I realised I wasn’t the only one who thought it was perfectly normal to take 72 photographs of a snowflake decoration! 

Our main assignment for the day was to style and photograph a vignette. We were allowed (an pretty much ordered!) to take Holly’s home apart as we searched for items we would like to style into a vignette and shoot. You should have seen it. It was like a bunch of kids on an Easter hunt! So I set about pulling together some items that for me told a story. The first thing I grabbed was a beautiful embroidered flower on cardboard, which was given to Holly by the talented Sania Pell, stylist, designer and author of The Handmade Home. I instantly fell in love with the simplicity of the artwork, and knew that it would form the inspiration for this styling assignment. 

Like everybody else in the group, I was in awe of Holly’s huge collection of washi tape, threads and fabrics. Her studio is an absolute dream to the crafter's among us. 

I added various bits and pieces from around Holly’s home to create a soothing vignette of soft grey, blue and ochre, and drawing upon texture as a common theme. I wanted to tie together the colors and textures of the artwork, so included fabrics and trimmings that would add pattern and highlight the soft color palette. Lastly, I threw in a tall wooden spool that I purchased the day prior on a shopping trip. (Actually, we were finished shopping and were enjoying the most delicious sweet treats made by Niner Bakes, when I spotted this little treasure in the homewards part of the cafe.)

This was such a fun exercise to do and has inspired me to put more time into styling and shooting my own vignettes, because the results are so soothing and lovely to see.

Have a wonderful weekend! I am sure you will be busy rushing around for the last of your Christmas presents like me!

Love, Holly

* All photographs by Holly Marder

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Blogging Your Way Part Three: Stars in our Eyes!

There was a ton of creativity, love and energy flying around Holly Becker's home studio in Hannover this past weekend for the first ever Blogging Your Way Studio workshop. For this special event, Holly teamed up with Steffi Luxat of Ohhh Mhhh to bring a very talented bunch of blogging ladies expert tips, advice, ideas and inspiration for our blogging and creative careers. We saw first glimpses of Holly's home in Part One of this series, and in Part Two we hit the streets of Hannover for some shopping and sightseeing. I would now like to share with you a short video made by Steffi herself, which captures the vibe of #bywstudio just perfectly. 

Isn't it gorgeous? I am so honored to have been able to spend the weekend with these lovely ladies.

Be back here later on for Part Four, because we are going into the studio to check out what we got up to on day two.

Love, Holly

Music: In Peace, The Love & Happiness Mix (ft. Snowflake) by J.Lang. Video by Steffi Luxat.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Blogging Your Way Part Two: Out & About in Hannover

In my last post I wrote about the amazing weekend I have just spent with Holly Becker of Decor8 at her home studio in Hannover, along with Steffi Luxat of the blog Ohhh Mhhh and 16 talented bloggers for the Blogging Your Way Studio. I am so excited to share with you part two of this inspiring adventure, which has left me charged, inspired and energized! On day one, we hit the streets of down-town Hannover for an afternoon of shopping, shooting and soaking up the frosty surroundings. Apart from the frosty side of things, this was my idea of a good time!

First stop was a beautiful homewares shop called Coming Home. This tiny little treasure trove had a wonderful collection of goodies, from vintage trinkets to original Christmas decorations, fabulous lighting and so much more. It was a feast for the senses. I was so busy shooting, I forgot that shopping was also on the agenda! 

Weaving in and out of the shops was a treat, but out on the streets there was gorgeous surroundings to soak up, and I was stopping every five minutes to capture something lovely. My poor partner in crime, the sunny Inga from the blog Glomery Lane who accompanied me on this adventure. Even in freezing temperatures she happily allowed me to indulge in the gorgeous sights! 

Along the way, we popped into a florist, which was a great opportunity to bring together two of my great loves, flowers and photography. Inga, who writes about all things botanical, was in heaven, as was I and we happily snapped away. Don't you just adore this delicate wreath? 

I hope you had as much fun as I did exploring the shops and sights of Hannover! Be back here tomorrow for more studio time with Holly and Steffi, and all the amazing blogger ladies!

Love, Holly

* All images are by Holly Marder

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Blogging Your Way Part One: Studio Impressions

This past weekend was spent in absolute heaven, with lovely Holly Becker of Decor8 at her home in Hannover for the Blogging Your Way Studio. Along with Steffi Luxat of Ohhh Mhhh, Holly gave 16 blogger students the weekend of a lifetime, shooting, blog critiquing, shopping, styling and eating amazing food. I met so many talented women, and came back refreshed and energized and ready to tackle an exciting future with my business and blog! I thought I would share with you some impressions of the weekend. I will do a three part series, because I came home with a billion photographs, and I will need a few blog posts to get through all the amazingness of the weekend!

Holly's home was wonderfully styled and set up for our special weekend. As she operates her business from home, Holly has inspiration filling every corner. You can tell the moment you walk in that she is passionate about decorating. 

Holly's passion for books is just as evident as her love for styling and decorating, because there are books everywhere, stacked on shelves, displayed on tables and piled high in corners on the ground. I could have stood in front of this bookcase all weekend browsing her amazing collection. One of the tasks we were set prior to the weekend was to put together a mood board of our blog. Holly and Steffi displayed all of our moodboards so that we could all be inspired by each other. There is mine, right in the middle!

Holly's studio was beautifully set up for her enthusiastic students with goodie bags filled with gifts for us from her sponsors. From books, including Holly's brand new Decorate Workshop, to notebooks, stationary, trinkets and pretty treasures, it was a sight to behold.

Over the weekend, we were assigned a 'partner in crime' who we would work with throughout the workshop. My partner in crime was the delightful Inga from the blog Glomery Lane. On the last day one of the other bloggers, the charming Rincy of A Little Bird,  came up with the idea of doing a photo booth. So Holly brought out a bunch of fun hats for us to wear and we all posed like goddesses in front of Holly's immensely talented photographer husband, Thorsten Becker. As you can see, I was having a little too much fun. It must have been the hat...

As you can see, it was all just a great big bundle of fun, hanging out with these talented and creative ladies! 

Should you fancy having a wander and checking out the work of my fellow BYWStudio bloggers, here they are:

Meet me back here tomorrow for the next installment of #BYWStudio. I'll be taking you out onto the streets of Hannover to discover the sights, tastes and textures I was busy soaking up.

Love, Holly

* All images are by me, Holly Marder, except for the last three, which were taken by Thorsten Becker

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sneak preview: Rustic and Romantic Christmas goodies

Hello! It's been a busy week over here at Love, Thomas! In between preparing for the much anticipated Blogging Your Way Studio next weekend, getting work wrapped up in time for a {much needed} Christmas break and a triple photo shoot scheduled this week, I have been a very busy bee crafting goodies for an upcoming Christmas feature for Houzz.

The task was to create a 'Rustic and Romantic' Christmas tree setting, using hand crafted decorations featuring vintage music sheets and a colour scheme of naturals, gold and and a bit of Christmas sparkle.  The piece is set to feature in the next couple of weeks, but here is a sneak preview of what I came up with.

The feature will include a full step-by-step 'how-to' on making the fabric and paper star ornaments, washi tape goodie bags and paper ornaments yourself, so keep an eye out because there's loads of time to get creative!

This is the first time I have ever done anything like this, so it's all very new to me. What do you think?

Very Martha Stewart, I must say!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Mine was spent hunting down the perfect tree to show off these goodies, and watching my one-year-old be inundated with new toys at a family Sinterklaas (Dutch Christmas celebration for children) party. Looks like a week of sanity ahead while she plays herself silly!

Love, Holly

* UPDATE: Read the full article {here}.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Creative Bloggers Studio: An inspiring weekend in Hannover awaits

I am so, so excited about my little upcoming trip to Germany! I have signed up for the Blogging Your Way Studio with Holly Becker of Decor8 and Steffie Luxat of Ohhh Mhhh

Being around other creative's will be an absolute treat, and I'm so looking forward to meeting the 15 other bloggers and sharing ideas and inspiration. See you all there!

* Poster courtesy of Decor8

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Flowers on my table: Autumn tones

Flowers are so much more beautiful when given by a friend. Yesterday, a good friend came to Delft and we spent a chilly Saturday together sipping moccachinos, wandering in and out of shops and catching up. I arrives home later that day with an armful of market fresh blooms that Nienke had bought for me as a parting gift. They are now happily arranged on my dining room table, looking decidedly autumn!

I love the fresh combination of peach, deep red and white as a pretty autumnal alternative to seasonal flowers.

Also spread out on my table is a bunch of stuff I have been gathering as inspiration for a mood board set as homework by Decor8's Holly Becker and Ohhh Mhhh's Steffi Luxat for an upcoming workshop retreat I have signed up for - Bloggong Your Way Studio in Hannover. I am so excited to share the weekend with other creative bloggers and hope to learn lots of tricks to make my blog a beautiful place for you to visit.

I love the grey, white, peach and red colour combination these flowers have brought to my dining room.

Hope you've had a happy weekend!

Love, Holly

* All images by Holly Marder

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Liebster Blog Award double nomination!

I’m delighted to report that Love, Thomas has received two nominations for the Liebster Blog Award, an award given from bloggers to bloggers who are small, medium or upcoming in the blogosphere. The nominations were given to me by the lovely Samantha of Everything I Heart and Louise of 30s Magazine. Thank you so much, ladies!

Holly Marder

The rules:

* Thank the one who nominated you
* Write eleven things about yourself
* Nominate 11 promising bloggers that have less than 200 followers, and tag them in this post
* Give them eleven questions to answer
* Don't tag back

Here goes. My answers to the questions posed to me by Samantha and Louise. As I received two nominations, I will divide it up and answer some of each of their questions. 

What is your favourite Christmas treat?
I ADORE mince pies. Droooooool...

What colour scheme are you using this Christmas?
I have been asked to put together a feature for Houzz on decorating the Christmas tree, with vintage music sheets the main inspiration for tree decorations. I will be teaming the look with neutural tones, natural twine and touches of gold for a bit of Christmas sparkle. The end result will be in our living room to enjoy this Christmas!

What I love most about blogging is…
Having a platform on which to document ideas, latest projects and unload creative energy to an appreciative audience, in a beautiful and inspiring way. I have lots to learn but I love building on something that brings me so much joy.

Eggnog, gluhwein or hot chocolate?
Gluhwein, for sure! It was the only thing that got me down the mountain after dislocating my knee skiing for the first time in France! It also quite helped to dull the pain somewhat...

The best app I discovered this year is…
Pinterest. I am an addict!

What has been your greatest achievement thus far?
Becoming a mother and doing the best job at that that I know how. 

What is your most prized possession and why
I inherited an antique diamond ring from my grandmother when she passed away. I wasn’t able to spend much time with her growing up as we lived very far apart, but I do have memories of holding her hand and seeing the ring on her finger and imaging myself wearing it one day. It was a perfect fit and hasn’t left my hand ever since. I also have a photograph of my mother aged about three that I used to display in my bedroom growing up. I dug it up a couple of months ago, only to discover that my daughter is the spitting image of her! It was a very surreal moment, because before I found the photograph, I kept thinking that Lola reminded me of somebody I had once seen but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. I vividly remember the first moment I clapped eyes on Dirk for the first time. I knew then in that very moment that he would be someone very special to me. I was drawn to hime in a way I cannot describe, and that can only mean one thing...

If you could be ANY superhero who would you choose?
I was more into Barbies than super heroes as a little girl, but if I had to pick one, I think I’d like to be Wonder Woman for her confidence, strength and beauty.

What would you say is your greatest quality and why?
It’s always difficult to answer questions like this about your own self! I think some of my greatest qualities are also my shortcomings. I am very optimistic, but can sometimes be a little too optimistic! I am also very strong willed, but because of this, I can be extremely stubborn. Perhaps those closest to me find my enthusiasm and zest for life refreshing. 

If you won the lottery what would you do with the cash?
I would like to buy a house for my mother. She suffered some very serious and life-threatening issues to do with her health in the past, and because of this, being able to take out a mortgage is not an option. Everybody deserves to live in their dream house. My mother deserves it the most. She is the most hard-working individual I think I have ever met and has always gone into challenges with determination and dignity. 

My 11 nominees for the Liebster Blog Award go to:

My 11 questions for them are:

How will you be spending Christmas this year?
What is on your Christmas wish list?
How would you describe your personal style?
What do you hope to show others on your blog?
What are your two biggest goals for the coming 5 years?
Which 3 bloggers would you like to share a meal with?
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
If you could jump on a plane right now and go absolutely anywhere, where would it be and why?
What’s your favourite type of pattern? Stripes, florals, geometrics, etc...?
What is your favourite book or reading material and why?
What are you most proud of in your life and why?

Thanks again, ladies, and good luck to the Liebster Blog Award nominees!


Sunday, 11 November 2012

A burst of sunshine on a cloudy day

I had the great pleasure of meeting the vibrant and perpetually optimistic Yvonne from the gorgeous blog Yvestown last week. I was invited to her home to interview her and her husband Bo about their extensive home renovation and shoot some photos for an upcoming feature for the US interior design platform Houzz.

I am so excited to share these first images with you, as a taster for what’s to come on Houzz. Meeting this lovely couple was so much fun. They are truly a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day. They have filled their light and bright Belgian home with items they have scoured from markets, and inject a contemporary touch here and there to strike a sunny balance between the old and the new. Very, very inspiring.

I hope these images have added some warmth and colour to your day.

Keep an eye on Houzz for Bo and Yvonne’s feature! I can't wait to share their story with you.

Love, Holly

* UPDATE: Read Yvonne's story and see more photo's of her home {here}.

* All images by Holly Marder

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dip it!

Add a jolt of colour to your space or breathe new life into a tired piece of furniture by colour dipping it! Dip anything from wooden spoons to stools with this fool proof method of updating and personalising just about anything. Get inspired, dust off your paintbrushes and have a little DIY fun with this easy-peasy project.

Est Magazine via The Style Files

1. Jotun / 2. HGTV

Mobel Pobel

Chairs and stools benefit from a little dipping action, and with just a hint of color, can make an eclectic array of pieces look more cohesive. For a simple tutorial on how to re-create this little dip-dyed stool, {click here}.

Bright Bazaar

This sunny tables cape wouldn't be half as cute without a pastel-hued dip. Once a tired set of vintage chairs, these two beauties are now the life and soul of this room.

1. Wind & Willow Home / 2. House of Earnest
Don't stop at furniture - give your wooden spoons the dipping treatment with your favourite tones, and watch your kitchen bench come alive. I just love these pale pastels against the pale wood.

1. The Sweet Beast / 2. Nina Broberg
An entryway  looks fresh and inviting with this peach side table (Ikea, Svalbo) and slightly dipped legs. Find the tutorial on how it's been done {here}. And these dipped Ikea vases are simple to create. Find out how {here}.

1. Martha Stewart Home / 2. The Marion House Book
Maximise straw baskets with a refreshing dip into crisp white paint, with Martha Stewart's tutorial or get creative and add a few strokes of bold colour to a collection of woven baskets, following this how-to.

Get dipping! I know I will be.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Sweet summer florals

Summertime for me means bundling armfuls of wild flowers into the kitchen and spending a few moments appreciating their gorgeousness before arranging them in vases and scattering them around the house...

Scrolling through the summer edition of the inspiring publication Sweet Paul, I found myself being carted off into flower fairyland with a stunning feature on floral inspiration. The beautiful arrangements were inspired by colourful ribbons and various items found in a Belgian flea market. The talented stylist artfully weaved the aged tones of the trimmings through the bouquets. Make yourself a cup of tea, take a few moments out of your day and enjoy scrolling through the rest of Sweet Paul Magazine’s Summer Issue

I adore the idea behind this feature! My favorite arrangement is the blue and turquoise because blue delphiniums are my favorite flowers.

We are in for a steaming hot day tomorrow, which to me spells the perfect opportunity to jump on my bike and fill my arms with fresh flowers down at the market in town!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Love, Holly