My new favorite fall hostess gift is a charmingly illustrated book written by my long time friend, Mally Skok and illustrated by Sally Murphy. Titled, “Mally’s little Handbook…A Guide To Finding Your Joy Through My Designer Eyes*, it’s a treasure!
I was gifted with a copy of it by Mally, and the minute I opened it, I started reading it and didn’t stop until I was finished – it can be read in an hour and it’s absolutely delightful.
Mally is South African born and a very successful interior designer, tastemaker, textile artist and *noticer* and now.. author. I first met Mally online, approx. 11 years ago, via Twitter, before she was *known* to the world and before she had her textile line. Then we met offline for the first time at the Brimfield Antiques Show in May 2011.
This is an image I took of Mally there. We had such a fun day, do you remember this, Mally?
We were all about “the crown* on that fun day at Brimfield! This is Mally with another friend, Carol of Casual Interiors, who joined in the fun. I came with my very good friend, Gloria Battista Collins, who did the illustration of the Design Happy Living home that opens this blog.
This is a current portrait of Mally, surrounded by a few of the vibrant, hand drawn textiles she designs and now sells all over the world.
I’ve always loved Mally’s use of color and the way she lives life with such an abundance of joy… surrounded by a loving family and lots of friends.
Until the pandemic, she was frequently traveling to South Africa to see her Mom and to entertain all of her friends who would come to visit her, all documented on her Instagram feed [ see the link to that at the end of this post ]. She is a wonderful hostess, always making everyone feel welcomed, comfortable and at home.
Back to the book….
The first thing I loved upon setting my hand upon Mally’s book was the thick, creamy, smooth feeling of the bookcover’s paper. Feeling that paper was akin to swallowing my first delicious cup of hot chocolate each fall – so satisfying to my senses!
But the thing that surprised me when I opened the cover was seeing this remembrance card inserted in the front paper, which Mally had printed after the book had gone to press. How sweet is this? What a blessing to have had a Mom who was your best friend.
You can only imagine how proud Mally’s Mom must have been upon knowing her daughter was about to publish her first book, right?
If you know me, you know I love, love, love illustrations [ and collect them ] and this book is full of delightful ones by Boston based, Sally Murphy, who collaborated with Mally to illustrate her text.
Below are 3 of my favorites, [ which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! ] but there are so many more. Don’t you think this book would make the perfect fall hostess gift just for the sheer JOY it would give any of your friends to see these??
The book’s chapters have names like, “How To Have Overnight Guests”, “How To Be A Good Guest”, “How To Love Your House”, “How To Have A Fun Dinner Party” and more. With chapter titles like that, can you see now why this would be the perfect fall hostess gift?
But there is one chapter I really loved reading above all others, “How To Conquer Junk Stores* – how fun is that? Mally is a big believer in mixing high and low and loves to comb junk stores [ and Brimfield! ] for that perfect find…
Don’t miss this chapter!
Everyone of Sally’s illustrations is more precious than the next, but my very favorite is this one. Who doesn’t love a mantel that tells a story?
There are dozens more illustrations in this book like the ones I’ve shared with you here.
Now, if you’re ready to purchase *Mally’s little Handbook – A Guide To Finding Your Joy Through My Designer Eyes* as a fall hostess gift, holiday gift or just for your own enJOYment, I’d like to ask you to consider buying it through bookshop.org.
This is a site that allows you to search online for the independent bookseller closest to you, and purchase.
Yes, you can buy Mally’s book on Amazon, but please choose bookshop.org, instead.
I have a feeling that many of you, dear readers, value supporting local, independent bookstores as much as I do.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and will help me support the launch of my friend, Mally’s book, and all the good she’s doing in the world through her co-founding of the charity event, Heading Home For Dinner, and ongoing support of, Heading Home – a 501 3c organization that helps the homeless with housing in Boston.
Do good. Be good. Live well.
Mally and Emmie, her Mom.
Illustrations: Sally Murphy.
As always, thank you for reading. I appreciate each of you and I would love to have you as subscriber, if you’re not already. A fun way to subscribe is to take my color quiz, which will help you find your perfect #designhappyliving paint color palette!
Don’t forget to click download at the end, so you get all of the specific paint color brands, names and numbers!
Take it here >>
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Again, thank you!
And Mally & Sally > thank you for penning and illustrating such a joyful little book to read.
It truly is the perfect fall hostess gift…and so perfect for any guest’s bedside table this upcoming holiday season.