Holiday with Matthew Mead: Interview + DIY + Giveaway!

holiday with matthew mead, christmas home decor interview and giveaway

In this online world, there are people you may cross paths with who will inspire you… to create, to dream, to be passionate, to enjoy the simplicity of everyday tasks and to love what you do.

Matthew Mead is one of these people. He is the Founder, Creative Director, and Editor-in-Chief of Holiday with Matthew Mead magazine. He’s also just a really great guy.

I caught up with him last week to chat about his love of handmade, how to approach a magazine editor, product styling tips, and of course his magazine. Enjoy the interview, his words will inspire you, be inspired to create with some wonderful images from his magazine (and a fun holiday D.I.Y.) and enter the giveaway to win something lovely from his new home décor collection.

holiday with matthew mead, holiday paper tree diy

Paper Wall Tree D.I.Y.

 

Add some festive holiday décor to your home with a colorful paper wall tree. Try this fun and simple D.I.Y. from Holiday with Matthew Mead magazine.

To make this wall tree, cut 80 circles out of patterned scrapbook paper using a 2-inch circle punch. Arrange the circles and adhere using temporary glue dots (ZotsTM). Set a cylindrical vase filled with tiny Christmas ornaments below the tree and add a candy wreath as a topper.

You will find loads of festive décor, fun crafts, delicious recipes and handmade goodness in Holiday with Matthew Mead magazine which you can order here.

holiday with matthew mead, christmas home decor interview and giveaway

I’ve been a fan of your work for many years, going back to your early days as an Editor at Country Home magazine. Tell us a little bit about the projects you are working on right now, including your beautiful magazine Holiday with Matthew Mead.

We have so much going on… we started our own magazine a year ago and have worked every aspect of it from conception to unloading the truck of magazines.  It has been fun and exciting for me to be at the helm of all of it and share my ideas and dreams directly with readers.  This year TIME INC. picked up our HOLIDAY issue and so it has mass distribution in the US and Canada… so we have been able to connect with even more people who knew me from my Country Home days.  We are also working on how-to videos for our own YOUTUBE channel and have launched our own product line called matthewmeadcollection.com… oh, and I shoot the food for the Associated Press… so I am really very crazy busy.  We are now working on a special spring issue called FLEA MARKET FINDS with Matthew Mead and it is totally different then what you might expect.

Matthew, your love of handmade is inspiring. Your blog and magazines are always filled with simple and beautiful ideas. How do you come up with so many fresh decorating and entertaining ideas?

My mind is running at 110% power… sometimes too much.  I have such respect and reverence for hand-made items be they contemporary or vintage.  There is real spirit in handmade and what I love is that it endures generations… its like holding a thought process in your hands, the feeling that someone has come before you but that you are so intricately linked to the past through handmade items.  It’s precious, and important and I am a real supporter of all handmade crafts.

holiday with matthew mead, christmas home decor interview and giveaway

Many of our readers are small business owners trying to navigate the world of publicity for their product. Can you share some tips on how to best approach a magazine? How can small makers catch the eye of editors and stylists?

Take some time to tell your story.  Look for the originality in your work and do your best to promote that.  Great images always catch my eye and some way to organize your bio, your style and your craft into a mini booklet is what helps me to pick from so many talented people.  I am visual so someone leading me through their own story is so valuable.

Here are some things that grab me.

  • Send directly to the editor you think would be most interested.
  • Share your passion through pictures and words.
  • Let me know what you hope to do with your talent in the next five years and where you think you are headed.
  • Immerse me in your lifestyle… I am curious so I like to know as much about your craft as I do “what you had for dinner last night.
  • And colors… show me an organized color way and I am eating out of your hands.

 We would love it if you would share some tips on styling product for a photo shoot.

  • Keep it simple… everything has beauty so don’t hide your craft with dominating props.
  • Show me textures and colors in beautiful light… I am drawn to what is familiar to me and my images are a real road map to how to catch my attention.
  • Make it seasonal… I am drawn to the things that define the seasons and if you are trying to market your product for a holiday it is best to give hints to the seasons when it would be front and center.
  • Lifestyle… it is important to have a hint of how an item is going to be used so readers or buyers can imagine it in their lives.

holiday with matthew mead, christmas home decor interview and giveawayMatthew, you live in a small town in beautiful New Hampshire, what do you find inspiring about your surroundings?

The seasons are what I find most inspiring.  That is what leads me in so many of the things that I do.  And NH has all the seasons and that makes my work rich and ever changing.

I wonder if you would tell us about who fostered your creativity growing up? Do you come from a family of makers?

We always did things as children with my grandparents and they certainly had a hand in making their lives… sewing, cooking, farming, etc.  I remember picking potato bugs in the summer and enjoying gigantic potatoes all winter long, and gathering flowers to dry in the fall to weave into beautiful wreaths and arrangements.  We made things with evergreen at holiday time, wrapped and delivered gifts and decorated cookies.  I learned a love for doing things that others could appreciate.  Special dishes for special occasions, traditions, etc. and part of all that was making things by hand.

What advice do you have for those of us who are following our dreams and aspiring to live what we love?

You must always find the time to do the things you love… and you must do them over and over again in every free moment until those moments dominate your time and you are living your dream… it’s about endurance, never giving up and believing in yourself like there is no tomorrow.  And when you have made it there… when you can actually taste that which you have so longed for… help someone else out… help them reach their dreams and you will always find what you have created to be precious and special.

Why do you feel it is important to support emerging designers, bloggers and creators of handmade?

It’s about tradition and hope and keeping the worthwhile things about life in motion.  Art and handcraft is not finite.  It continues to grow and unfurl and bridge our time here to the past and the future… What we create are our cave drawings, our paths and journeys to share what and how we have loved, laughed and lived… it as important as water… we cannot live without it…

holiday with matthew mead, christmas home decor interview and giveaway

GIVEAWAY 

Now that you’ve been inspired by Matthew’s wise words enter to win a set of Matthew’s Favorite Jelly Jars from Matthew’s new home décor collection!

To enter, visit the Matthew Mead Collection , then leave a comment here letting us know how you would use these vintage-inspired jelly jars and please Like Holiday with Matthew Mead on Facebook.  Bonus: You’ll love the great projects, entertaining and décor ideas you will get.

 This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to connie @ daydream in color with comment #7

  • http://www.smilingmama.blogspot.com aimee @ smilingmama

    Lovely! I would use them as our everyday drinking glasses!

  • http://ahousefullofmoxie.com Moxie Lisa

    So beautiful! I would actually use them to display my paper pencils…they would photograph so well!

  • http://www.dessertordiet.blogspot.com terri

    hhhmm. so gorgeous. (i love all of his things….and i love his way of thinking)… i would use them to make yummy holiday drinks in! so fun! happy holidays!

  • http://www.pennellolane.wordpress.com Kate

    I enjoyed this interview! Very inspiring for those of us trying to find the time or resources to pursue our dreams. The jars are lovely, I would use them for votive candles or tealights, or cocktails, or serve layered desserts or appetizers in them…. I think layers of different colours and textures would look wonderful through the glass!

  • Lora W.

    I love those jelly jars. I see them on my mantle with rock salt in them and tea lights surrounded by holiday greens. I just liked Matthew Mead on FB.

  • http://coyoteandmagpie.typepad.com Vickie

    I’m with Terri – I’d use them to make festive holiday drinks – they look like they’d stand up to hot cocoa and liquors… or iced limoncello or some kind of wonderful cranberry concoction. Thanks for the interview!

  • http://www.daydreamincolor.com Connie @ Daydream In Color

    I love those jars! I liked them on FB. I’ve been entertaining with my friend a bunch lately and these would be perfect filled would sprinkles and sugar to prop up all our food labels for our next cookie exchange party.

  • Jane T

    I’ve never tried those pies in jars and this is what I would first do with them. Love Matthew’s site. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • http://www.thepetitcadeau.blogspot.com Alison

    I would fill them with toppings for a hot chocolate bar for entertaining (marshmallows, chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, whipped cream etc)

  • http://daysofbliss365.blogspot.com/ Marian

    Nice giveaway! Thank you also for the interview, it was very inspiring and encouraging.

  • http://ahmelie@skistads.com Ahmelie Skistad

    Love his style! Very modern and simple but stylish. Foo-foo drinks, here I come! 🙂

    Ahmelie

  • http://auntiebswax.com Sara

    So pretty and inspiring! I especially love the quote on achieving the dream and helping others achieve their dream. Gives me goosebumps and makes me motivated!

  • melissa tichy

    I WOULD PUT VINYL BLACK NUMBERS ON AND DISPLAY IN MY CABINET

  • melissa tichy

    I WOULD SERVE SWEET TEA IN THEM TO FRIENDS

  • Brandy

    Homemade marshmallows on a tray of hot chocolate

  • http://www.theconfidentmom.com Susan

    I love those! Small tealights on my simple mantle for the holidays!

  • http://Icingsonthecake.com Megan

    These would be perfect for our traditional yogurt parfait bar on Christmas morning. Or to fill with colored beads for decoration.

  • http://dawnypoo.blogspot.com Not Just A Mommy!

    I love parfaits, so these glasses would show off the layers beautifully! I’m already one of his FB stalkers.

  • http://www.welovecraftytracey.com Tracey

    OMHG, I am a huge fan of Matthew Mead! I already Love (not Like, Love!) him on FB. h those jelly jars, I would be happy to add them to my collection of French jelly jars. I love to use them for parfait and serving sugar and milk for tea.

  • Virginia Mason

    Love these jelly jars! These would be perfect for entertaining, especially in the holiday season. My children would love them with jelly in layers of red and green for Christamas day. My husband and would love to use them for festive drinks. I would love to fill them with candy canes, red/white and green candies on our lolly buffet.

  • http://www.studiolakshmi.com lakshmi

    Wow, what wise words ! Especially the answer to your question about following dreams.
    I would love to use the jars to keep my brushes in them and use it as props for my photo shoots of my artwork.

  • Kelly

    How cute are those jars!! I would serve some ice cream with candy candy cane bits with a touch of whipping creme. Yum…

  • http://www.warfieldninjas.com jessica w.

    They seem great for jams and jellies,but I keep thinking of a chic dinner with lots of condiments and garnishes!

  • Angie

    I’d use them as glasses. I think thats so common, but I would. I like they way they’ve been used as condiment jars as well. I sew and I might use them to store my buttons by color on my desk as well. Lovely!

  • Angie

    I am afan and already “like” him on facebook. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.flowerpotdesigns.ca flora

    how beautiful. great interview. I would use the jars to hold candies and little treats for holiday parties. so festive.

  • http://linsieloo.com Linsie Loo

    Thank you for the lovely interview, great holiday ideas and ultra INSPIRING advice. I try to work more and more time into my life doing what I love, but it is a big challenge sometimes!

    I would just adore these jelly jars! I love entertaining and am always looking for more little containers – for flower buds, condiments, little candles, my homemade jams. I have been wanting to try an individual layered dessert but don’t have the right serving dish to display it! I will even send you some of my homemade peach jam to try it yourself. 🙂