November 6th Part 2. To London to meet the very lovely Holly Becker aka @Decor8 and fellow #bywbootcamp bloggers

Photos by Gabriella Buckingham. Top: Images from the book: right – Holly’s own space. Bottom: article in The Simple Things magazine: book jacket converts to inspiring poster!

Arriving at Anthropologie at 4.50ish I realised that I needn’t have worried about showing my invitation which I’d left unprinted in my email. The shop was open – naturally.

I wandered about enjoying brightly coloured confections everywhere I looked, working my way around the floors. Finally at the top I saw stacks of Holly’s beautifully designed books.

This was the British press launch of Decorate Workshop: A Creative 8 Step Process For Transforming Your Home by Holly Becker with photography by Debi Treloar.

Quickly I bought one only to have the shop assistant take it away and give me a receipt instead to furnish Holly with ( so she would sign a copy later and save my arms). That was a great idea. Only I knew I’d have to leave to catch my train at 7.45.

Later when I introduced myself to Holly I had grabbed another copy and foisted it on her to sign which she very graciously did.

Bottom right: Holly with James Leland Day – a stylist from New York whose home appears in Decorate Workshop

I am so pleased to have made the effort to go. Like many bloggers I’d gone alone but I did know there would be at least a couple of familiar faces  there. I met  Fiona Humberstone for the second time, who runs a fabulous brand styling business and on line course which I highly recommend. There were oodles of blogging boot campers and other professional bloggers, a handful of whom I did manage to chat to or at least say hello to.  Lady in red Tiff, Adri, Yvonne, Kirsty, Geraldine, Rona, Anna and wonderful photographer Ingrid. Let me know if I missed you out , I know I spoke to others!

Champagne and cake were served. I managed to ignore the cake, which was difficult believe me. Holly spoke about her 8 step process to guide people through decorating projects while being interviewed by the very popular  Will from Bright Bazaar 

James Leland Day then spoke about his approach to styling before the book signing. Sadly I then had to dash off to catch my train home to Norfolk.

On the way home I looked through Holly’s wonderful book. I definitely found it inspiring. Daunting in some ways because Holly encourages you to really examine your own taste and why you like what you do. It is suggested that you write on the pages of the book and explore your own loves and translate these for your home or project. Subsequently though I found myself reassured that my own home may be messy but there are certainly many very personal quirks and beautiful things to make more of. I will enjoy working my way through and playing in earnest early next year.

Thank you for a memorable day Holly; I wouldn’t have been in London had it not been for your invitation and Blogging Your Way Bootcamp.


November the 6th – part 1. A visit to the big smoke to encounter @Decor8 and fellow #bywbootcamp ers

I had such a fabulous day last week when I flung myself on the train to travel to London. Ok, flung is a slight exaggeration but it wasn’t far off!! I had left home tottering in my heels knowing I had plenty of time to walk to the station. About a fifth of the way there I realised I didn’t have tissues. Disaster! Quick detour to the local shop.

My purse was not in my bag.


a stationery shot I took at Liberty later that day – seems appropriate

I’ll try to keep this brief.

Tumbled home as fast as possible on heels, tore about trying to remember where purse was, found in other coat, dragged bike out of garage, cycled as fast as possible to station in my semi finery. Arrived panting, locked up bike and train arrived. Had to regale fellow travellers with exploit! SO happy to be on the train.

Once in London I jumped as I was ferreting for my Oyster card when someone touched me on the shoulder – it was my best friend from college Karen ( now a director of interior design company Brinkworth no less) ! We had intended to meet but at the Spanish Tapas bar Brindisa which her husband Howard designed the interior of. So we happily trotted off there. The food was incredible and the Spanish waiters very authentic judging by their accents 🙂 It was so lovely to catch up with Karen – we only manage to see each other about once every 1.5 years.

About 3 hours later we parted and I pushed my way through the double doors of Liberty’s stationery department , where I whiled away half an hour staring, fiddling and trying not to talk to myself before going on to my next adventure. Coming up in part 2!

Serendipity – social media at its best

Social media at its best can be fun and mutually beneficial.

© Angela Browning

I helped a fellow tweeter this week who was asking for advice on Twitter : a simple thing that I thought I’d be able to do, involving Photoshop, so I offered to do it for her if my instructions didn’t help! Even though obviously I had followed her I didn’t twig at the time that this was the same Angie who had blogged about my little bird decoration from my Moobaacluck range that she had just stumbled across and liked several weeks ago. So it was a lovely surprise to find that I was helping her out.

Angie was so pleased that she has thanked me for my help by offering to put my Moobaacluck logo on her beautiful blog Dishes Undressed!

What a great example of Twitter working at it’s best.

I’ve been amazed to find out how much Angie does with her time:

“I’ve always specialised in Allergy friendly food / Gluten free food and I give voluntary talks to schools and community groups locally how they can cook allergy free, healthy food”

and a she is a virtual assistant too

“Sometimes I can be organising expenses, other times I can be researching hotels and suppliers and then other times I help with some small graphic design projects or just basic typing. It’s so varied, but I love the variety.”

If you need her help find her on Twitter as @paperworkgirl . I’ve also discovered that Angela Browning is a talented painter  – her work is full of sun and colour, inspired by her year of living and working near Perth, Australia. This is her Folksy shop that she is adding to as she finds time (rather like me with my Etsy shop!)

© Angela Browning Art and Illustration

I know Angie no longer paints full time, like me she loves to do many different things but I hope she still finds time to pick up her paint brush.

She has youth on her side so I am sure we will see more of her work. Thank you Angie – it’s been lovely to meet you virtually 🙂