Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Homes, Our Legacies

My Dad passed away a few weeks ago.  Since then my Mother has been facing the fact that in the near future she will probably be selling their home and moving somewhere smaller.  In the process, she has told me to "take what you would like to have".  One day recently I was looking through her chest of drawers full of mine and my brother's baby things.  It was like looking through a faded lens into my mother's life, her days as a young mom and making a home for her family.  There I found this set of baby bedding which belonged to me.  A little handmade baby quilt, a sweet pillowcase embroidered in her own hand, a faded pink receiving blanket, and a still crisply pressed crib sheet. I could just feel the love that she felt for me just by holding these old textiles in my hands.  The way she had lovingly stored them all these years and treasured them.
It made me stop and think how our homes and the things we hold onto through the years connect us in such a real way to the people we love. It made me think about what I will leave behind for my children.  What will they see through that faded lens that distills my life down to what I treasured and what meant the most to me? 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fabric Pick!

Just had to share this gorgeous fabric I just got in.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Finding Your True Colors Through Journaling

After I wrote the post the other day on embracing your personal favorite colors, I got to thinking.  How do we get back in touch with ourselves as related to decorating and design?  I mean, it's not like the deafening noise from blogs, catalogs, magazines, our mothers-in-law, and everybody else who feels entitled to opine on our design style has anything to do with our paralysis in choosing colors for our homes, right?

Soooo, I've been thinking on some good ways to help you arrive at colors that reflect your true and authentic self.  In your home, car, office, any place you are.

Like I talked about in my previous post, forget about what EVERYONE says and preaches to you about color. Wipe it right out of your head.  Now, get out a nice new journal, (or grab an old envelope if you're like me), and think back over your whole life.  Think about some of your favorite memories; places to which you have traveled, clothes that you wore, jewelry you owned, anything that you viewed as beautiful and that brought feelings of happiness to you.  Write it down.  In as much detail as possible. Nobody but you has to know it was the color of an old boyfriends eyes or the color of your 1968 Mustang.  (Oh wait. That's me.  But I digress.) 

After you get a pretty good list going, start looking for images to underpin your written ideas.  Look everywhere; not just on Pinterest or design blogs.  Take your phone or camera, get out, and look.  Capture images of the colors you love.  Now, print them out, stick them in your journal, or to an inspiration board.  Like this.

  Then marinate on the whole thing for a while.  This is not an overnight thing.  Color work is just like any other therapy.  It takes a while to get to the bottom but it's worth it. I promise you will enjoy this exercise!  And you will become more confident in your own style and ability to choose color.

If you do choose to consult a designer, (hopefully me!), you will then be prepared to discuss your favorite colors and you will have your wonderful color journal to assist you in communicating about them.

Now, go forth.  Dream, reminisce, wander about, photograph, and find your true colors!

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Tried Being a Normal Design Blogger

I am sure that my handful of faithful readers has noticed that I disappeared from the blog landscape over the last few months.  It wasn't because I didn't think about you guys or my little blog that I do love, it's just that I felt kind of hopeless about blogging.  Life threw me some big curves over the last few months; so big that they rocked my world.  My Dad, my sweet Daddy, became very ill with Alzheimers last fall.  It was aggressive and cruel.  We lost him just a few weeks ago.  I struggled to work while focusing so hard to do everything I could to help him.  But the worst happened anyway. 

During this time, I would feel like writing and I would open up my blog and sit and stare at the screen.  I knew that I should post some pretty pictures of furnishings, lighting, accessories, all the things all of us design enthusiasts love to look at every day.  The problem was, I didn't feel like talking about any of that.  Those things seemed pretty insignificant to me at that point.  So, I didn't write.  I felt very much not like a design blogger.  Normal design bloggers are always happy, have perfect homes and perfect lives, right?  At least that's how it appears on so many of the blogs.  And maybe my readers don't want to hear about serious, real life.  I don't know.  But that is what will be discussed here.  Life.  And yes, how our homes, our workplaces, and our design dreams all fit into our very real lives. 

They say the truth always comes out.  The truth is I guess I not a normal design blogger.  But I am a designer and I love it and I am passionate about it.  So hopefully we can all hang together, be real, and talk about all the beauty the world has to offer those of us living in the real world.

"And I'm glad to say I've enjoyed every day of the full catastrophe of life"
John Mellencamp

Monday, September 3, 2012

Embrace Your Personal Colors

This morning as I was having my morning cup of joe and was surfing around all my favorite haunts, one of which is Etsy, I ran across this beautiful custom necklace.  Several things about it caught my attention; it's unique, it's chunky, it's handmade, and it's purple.  I love purple.  I always have.  When I was in eighth grade, I went through what I call my Purple Period.  I painted my room Lilac, my favorite outfit was a purple crushed-velvet miniskirt with matching vest, and all my cheap costume jewelry had something amethyst on it somewhere.  This got me thinking.  Since I dearly love purple and all the shades and tones it owns, why do I not have a dang speck of it anywhere in my house?  This is really just wrong I think.  Is it because somewhere I was told it was "out", or that I wasn't seeing it displayed in any of my friends homes, or in my favorites blogs and magazines?  It was like a personal awakening.  Why would I forsake a color that I obviously loved freely back in the day before I was initiated into the world of Dictated Taste.  Hmmmm, now I feel like some kind of color sheep; someone who may be thinking too much about taste, or fashion, and not enough about what moves me as far as decoration and design are concerned.  I realize that purple, aubergine, whatever name or shade you like to call it, is somewhat, for some tastemakers, now back in vogue.  So I should jump on the bandwagon, right?  Well, yes and no.  I think I will posthaste get me something beautiful and purple-ish and put it somewhere in my home where it can bring me happiness every day.  But when the Color Police say it should be banished in a few months or a year, I think I will be brave enough now to keep it in my life anyway.  I'm on the hunt now for that beautiful thing which is purple to adopt and love forever.  I'll keep you posted.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
William Morris

(Here is the link to the lovely necklace.)