dinner at 8

If you are collector, let other people share your pride and joy. Don’t sprinkle your collection out of sight in a meaningless jumble. Notice how groups of small objects, when they are well arranged, become important and effective….Collect what you will, but see to it that you arrange your hobby to its best advantage. – Dorothy Draper, Good Housekeeping

There are many reasons I can give you for picking up Holly Becker’s new book, Decorate. Because she takes the inspiring design she shares on her site and binds it in a beautiful coffee table tome.  Because she created the #stripemania hashtag that resulted in a certain striped sweater-wearing French bulldog getting his fifteen minutes of fame. Or because, as Bonnie Cashin said, “Chic is where you find it.”

And this is where you find it.

Whether you define chic as Hollywood Regency, Danish Modern, Industrial, French Country – it’s inspiration for all. High and low, minimalist to maximalist. It’s all in there.

I planned to meet my friends Jules and Tristan for Holly’s event at The Grove. Then I found out Lindsay was going as well. And thanks to the blog that inspired the book, I found myself at a bistro in Farmer’s Market on Friday evening – a small, somewhat impromptu dinner party of eight, at eight, celebrating decor8 with Holly after her book signing (with Leslie and Andrea, too). Over marinated artichokes and pomme frites, I marveled at the creativity and talent around that sangria-filled table.

If you needed your wardrobe styled, your graphics designed, your PR handled, your home decorated, your copy edited, your photo taken, your legal questions answered, your fragrance blended, your calligraphy penned, your story written – there was someone here to do it. Eight women who, with only a few exceptions, had never met beyond the blogosphere, sitting at the Provençal cloth-clad tables. Beside an older gentleman from Stratford-Upon-Avon who tried to woo with Shakespearean sonnets. Only in LA, right? Maybe not.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – the blogosphere has this uncanny ability to connect us in such fascinating ways, find us making friendships, and even starting businesses, that never would have existed had we not this Shrinky Dink reaction taking place. Through blogs the world grows smaller. And, I believe, for the better.

I’m still not quite sure how I define myself in this blogging community. It’s like when asked what genre I work as a screenwriter. Or what type of photography I do. I tend to write ensemble family dramedies. I tend to photograph candid moments using natural light. And I tend to think of myself a narrative blogger – a writer who seeks to reflect on the ways in which this online community personifies Forster’s words to “Only connect.”

Perhaps, like the mood boards Holly creates to help in designing a room, with each blog post we’re tacking up words and images to create boards all our own. Pinning ideas to inspire others, but mostly we’re each here to find our own inspiration. Instead of filing it all away in Moleskine journals and accordion folders and bound script pages, my bits and pieces are tacked here and posted there, coming together to later form a larger more dynamic story. A work in progress. xo a.

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