Sunday, July 29, 2012

Planning for the new studio layout.....

Good evening, I know two in one day... I just checked the stats and the blog is 7 visits away from 500 in ONE month! That is sooo exciting... Of the six of you out there that I know who you are, which of you is visiting over and over and over and over and over to get me all excited! And if it isn't one of you, I would love to meet the rest of you...

This afternoon, I have been listing things for the move. Doing a mental scan of what is in storage and where in this little two bedroom house I am going to fit all of my things and my housemates. (I am moving in with a good friend of mine and we are going to share expenses while preparing for the next endeavor. Renovation of a property of our own.)

I have lists of furniture, artwork, lamps, shelving (lots and lots of shelving) seating and an abundance of little tables... they are great to practice faux finishes on and they fill in a corner nicely.. not too many empty corners in the next place I am afraid.

However, the basement is unfinished and open. There is a new washer and dryer downstairs (which we will not have to share, not that I minded with the last place, but my friend is looking forward to that... as he is coming from an apartment complex where there is shared laundry on each floor) This area will become my studio space... It won't be the orange room, but it WILL be three times as big! The walls will be painted Swiss White. It is a soft grey white, very lovely, not a stark white, so color matching will not be a problem.. The orange room, while it was beautiful.. DRASTICALLY changed the color of whatever I was working on....

And a garage... we will have a NICE two car garage, a bit oversized for CARS to live in and be happy during the snowy winter months... no more of this...
A place for the cars and tools to live.. I have been told I have good tools ... for a girl! 
Take a look at this when the temps hit those 90's this week!
I think I will get back to my space planning.. just sharing the excitement.. Thanks for reading!

Sewing Lessons Resume

The pillows to be recovered, the backing fabric and essential tools for accurate grain line in Home Decorating Sewing
Next friday marks the return of a favorite client and project of mine. I have been working with P. for a little over three years now. She had retained me to assist her in designing and instructing her on the construction of her Master bedroom draperies. She had found a lovely spice colored jacobean floral on cotton. We did an oversized goblet pleat and they turned out beautifully. When it came time for her to take on her Living room and Dining Room, she was overwhelmed with where to start.

As I reminded her of my design background, she agreed to have me go to work and pull a look together for her.. The result is nearing completion now, as she and her husband will be returning from two months abroad, the valance for the dining room is all we have left.

We have had such fun together and have become quite good friends. She is truly an inspiration to me. So, P.D, this post is for you...

Here is a brief snapshot of the highlights of the project.. the living room at least... the Dining room will be unveiled as we complete the valance.

Pillow Fabrics, Top-backing, right, face fabric, back, welt fabric.

Client/Student cutting her own fabric, professional guidance provided by... me.
When I presented 15 different fabrics to her, she loved each and everyone, the next challenge was how to make them all work in the room without becoming to overwhelming. Because she and her husband are well traveled, she wanted a space that was eclectic, put together and expressive... she liked the idea of expressive. The walls are a wonderful creamy, peach based... pink. Originally the sofa was covered in a soft sage/celery green Corragio cotton damask. The two cane backed arm chairs had a deeper pink/cream plaid cushions.

The cushion body and silk bias welt for the cane chairs

The finished chair cushion- all of the fabric motifs speak to the small caning shapes in the furniture, while the stylized quatrefoil shape speaks to a more romantic time, coupled with the fern frond area rug.. it seemed a perfect, exotic marriage of texture, color and shapes.
The draperies were some that she had made herself, by following a Sunset publication. She did quite a good job on them. These are details of the new draperies.
 Notice the repeated 'caning' pattern.  This is another color way of Schumacher's Betwixt fabric. There are two color ways used in the room to create coherence. Changing color ways allows me additional control of 'painting' in color in the perfect promotion for the room.

The pleat detail of the drapery panel. The panels are 1 and 1/2 widths wide flat compared to the single widths that were  made originally by the homeowner. The new draperies are hand drawn with a wand...P.D. laughs and says opening and closing her draperies now is like magic... they have such weight to them as they glide along the rods. She says they are a pleasure to open and close daily. 
 I suggested multi fabrics on the deck and bolsters of the cane backed french provincial style sofa, a second fabric for the cushion and the four pillows in an embroidered silk of bright colors, a soft cotton tweed the same as the wall color was selected for the pillow backs to create a calm effect from the back of the sofa, when seated at the desk. But the front of the sofa, WOW, impact upon arrival into the room.
Before, Pink and green color scheme, all of the wood is dark.
The new Living Room, a more complex color scheme adds interest and keeps the patterns transitioning together. The bookcases were painted a creamy white to showcase the books and open u the corners. The drapery hardware is a silver leaf rod and verde rings and finials. 
 Looking forward to next friday and working on the Dining room.. here is a teaser...

In process photo of the Dining drapery panel..... 

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Little bit of Research

Good Day everyone! Thank you for checking in today. There are so many other things that people can choose to do. This morning as I was in the shower, I had a thought (which is a good thing-they have gone missing lately) I was reminded of a book I picked up back in May/June actually a series of books.

I knew I was ready for a change. (little did I know it was to be in EVERY area of my life, none- the -less, change is change) I also knew that creativity is something that is my angle. It is how I perceive the world, people, products, movies, books, everything I do, is perceived through the filter of creativity. It is my processor, information is broken down into design elements and principles (I know, I talk about them a lot) and then I assess what is working and what is not working and create/add the what is missing. It is a bit more complicated than that and the challenges around it are subject matter for  a whole different post.

So, back to this subject. I started with the Craft, Inc. book. I admit, I didn't get very far and then it got packed into a box, which will emerge and be resumed when stability of home returns.  This morning in the shower, I was reminded of one of the first things talked about in the book.

Myths people have about why a creative business won't work for them... or something of that nature. One of the first ones and memory fails me, as to which one it is at the moment, one of the top three if I recall... was the lack of formal design/fine arts training. The book states that this is not necessary for the success of a creative endeavor/business.

I would like to know what readers think. (I know there are readers out there... last night, the blog reached 2400 views in all time! Thank you!) I would like to start a dialog about this topic and find out what people think. Is this an obstacle for you in taking on a creative project or turning your hobby into a business? I know there are many people who have no formal training in design/fine arts and are doing a myriad of creative things... some VERY successfully!

My opinion and the experiences that I have and am having that I can credit to a formal education will be revealed in a future post. Maybe not the next one, but, once a dialog is started (by some brave soul out there or who is willing to take the time) I will share with you all... I do look forward to hearing different perspectives on this and the information is valuable to something that I am considering let me know, what do you think? What is your experience?

I look forward to further diving into these books, as I have been looking at them for some time and perusing the information. They seem packed with information that will be very helpful in this next life phase.

This is the year that I am opening myself up to new ways of thinking. I am interested in what you have to say...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different!!!!

My Favorite Things- Fashion Designers!

I think my favorite fashion of all time was the 1930's. But, I love to see the evolution of a designer's style as it emerges and how she brands herself becoming synonymous with an era. Coco Chanel was a master at branding... Who doesn't recognize the interlocking c's of her logo... a photo of her early labels is very difficult to find.. I haven't found one yet... I did find a fabulous quote and one that I abide by in my own designs... 
 Another favorite is Elsa Schiaperelli, her bold use of color and avant garde way of detailing her fashion, without detracting from the beautiful line of the female body. Her designs are feminine and shocking.. I also love her for her use of Shocking Pink! A true inspiration to me.... 

My most inspiring designer is Madeleine Vionnet! 

Madeleine making magic!
She, with her innovative use of the fabric, was able to define a style for many decades. And that style evolved over a great many decades and is still as classic today as it was in the days that she designed them. 

 These dresses evoke the image of whipped vanilla, as the bias fabric drapes in soft folds around the feminine figure.

 Shimmering pools of liquid silk (not sure if the wedding gown is silk... my guess is yesss.. very little drapes like a silk!) These are silhouettes from the 30's. Very simple, elegant and somewhat minimalist. The style accentuates the textile and the form...

I use this principle often in my design of a window dressing. In fact, this photo inspired a cornice board that I had made for a trade show several years ago.. unfortunately, I have no idea where the photo of the finished window is. The fabric was iridescent gold/orange duppioni silk with the inside of the 'collar' in a deep orange red silk.  If I can track down a photo of it I will post it later... here is the inspiration photo....
The neckline was adapted and featured on the face of a plain and simple cornice board and draped over the edge, with glass bead  trim in amber.
A few years ago, I was flipping around on Amazon and found a review of a fabulous book of Vionnet. The price tag was $245.00 I was saddened, it looked like such a lovely book. I wished for it. Then I remembered that while in Paris, I had gone to my favorite bookstore and purchases a book about Vionnet. So, I ran to the book shelf and quickly began to peruse its contents... My heart raced as I realized it was the same book I had only moments earlier been coveting.
The coveted Vionnet book-already in my possession!

The book not only shares history of Vionnet, her philosophies and photos of her beautiful creations, but  templates to recreate them yourself.   I have yet to do this... Maybe a good February project... It could happen!

I also have this vintage pattern, which reminds me of the above Vionnet dress... 

Beautiful 'fish scales' that must shimmer with movement as she glides through a dimly lit room.

It has been great fun sharing these images that I found to be most beautiful and significant for the impact that fashion and great fashion designers have had on my career and my work... I must find a photo of that cornice... at least recreate a sketch of it for your viewing pleasure... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Journey in the Wilderness Continues

Just a quick afternoon post. It is funny how this 40 days keeps showing up in odd places. I definitely am on my journey in the wilderness. Yes, I have shelter and places to stay, but my personal belongings have been stripped from me, well, at least inaccessible to me for the next 38 days ( I am counting them down)

Even though I am most likely moving into the new place mid August, it will take me until September 1 to be at full momentum again.

I write this in gratitude to the universe for not literally sending me out into the wilderness (as in some really long camping trip) and that my material belongings that I am apparently learning my attachment to have been rendered inaccessible. Does that mean that my creativity has simply been a distraction from my Self? No, is the response from inside. It is removed from my current reality to remove anything that is in my way of fully accessing my creative expression. The tools and supplies that I have collected will sort themselves out.

As the next 38 days unfold, I will become more clear about what I want to spend my time creating. There may be the emergence of an Etsy shop as I relinquish some of my stash (ooh, that is hard to believe I am even open to that!) There are other creative tools and materials that I may part with. I want to be sure they go to a good home. I have loved them, protected them and possessed them for many years, so it is difficult to just send them out to the curb. (I did send some things out to the curb when I moved out of the other place) That was difficult, however, seeing the joy in the faces of others as they picked through and figured out how to transport their new found treasures made it much easier.
This may not actually be the stuff on Etsy, but it is a sampling of what I have to go through.  There are three  containers of trims alone... 

I may be posting again and again and again... this writing is cathartic and my voice is screaming declarations out into the world.. Thank you for listening world...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Slow Forward Movement

It is tuesday evening and I am back in St Cloud. Last evening I stayed with my parents. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the most beautiful white lilies in the garden behind the 'little cabin'. I remember leaving late on Sunday evening and thinking they were so pretty and I wanted to get a photo of them. So, the first thing I did when I got out of the car was take some photos with my trusty iPhone and snap away. Someday a nice digital camera, but for now.. this will do, it captures a moment and I can play with so many wonderful apps. My favorite is vintage scene. Although I haven't done anything with the lily photos yet.

The most fragrant and large white lilies I have ever seen. 

This morning was the most fabulous light and sound show outside as well. The thunder exploded with such force and cracking and the sky lit up like it was the last day on earth. It seemed that lightening bolts were being dashed to the ground all around me. The woods behind the cabin showed black against a white WHITE sky. It was fabulous. The energy and force of the electricity definitely cleaned the air.

I am thinking it cleansed my own energy field as well, which has been a bit creepy these last days.. and things have shifted... signed a lease today and move in may be as EARLY is mid August!

What a huge relief. Oooh, and the paint palette, lovely, and I believe the property owner liked it as well.     It will be a very sophisticated and relaxing palette with a lot of energy in the kitchen and the back hall. I am so excited. It is close to the river...... and the refrigerator.. oooh, so nice! And, filtered water right out of the tap! Yay! No more trips to the co ops JUST for water! If you could see me, I would be skipping.. hence the skippy topics! La-La-Lal-La-Lah!

Maybe later this week the pistachio dessert... might experiment on Thursday to post on Friday... Thanks for reading.....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Forty Days and Forty journey in the Wilderness

Good evening readers! Thanks for checking in. It is Sunday night and the weekend was spent at my parents house on the lake. This afternoon, I slept... for a really long time! It was a relaxing day, although, it is taking a lot for me to get to relax mode. I have been on high energy consumption for a month now..

 A lot going on in the world... my life is in turmoil, as is many others.. I am grateful for the love and support that I do have... I know to believe in myself is important now more than ever. It is a struggle sometimes to acknowledge the gifts that you do have, especially when they come so easy to you. Receiving is a grace. For generosity to occur, as in a sincere compliment or acknowledgement from another; to be received graciously allows for the generosity of the giver to be truly completed. Every human being wants to make a difference in the world. The common goal- for the highest good of all. This is where people make tragic mistakes.. when the difference is at the expense of others.

My friend and I sign a lease on Tuesday. Move in is scheduled for September 1. So, there is a count down of days.... 40 days.. hmm, reminds me of some famous people who wandered for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness... eating locusts and honey... pretty sure... no locusts for me.. but it sounds like a perfect time frame for a raw foods diet. Considering all of my money is going to go to transportation... there will be no eating out for 40 days.

What do I need to focus on right now? Taking care of me. Doing what ever it takes to take care of my health and well being.

Maybe focus on a raw diet right now. I have my Vita-Mix and my juicer with me. Just focus on eating healthy, relaxing and breathing deep healthy breaths. I find myself holding my breath a lot lately. This is toxic for my system, not to mention the food that I have been eating since getting back. Not what I am used to at all.

This is what I needed, to make a plan, to take control of an area of my life that I can control, or at least be in control of my choices... so. Raw food it is... Juicing, salads and other yummy things....

 Some things that I have made in the past that worked...

French Toast, not on the raw food menu, however, no dairy and no sugar.. nuts and coconut, chocolate and a cashew cream batter... Not raw.. but delicious!

This is a fabulous marinara sauce from sun dried tomato and nuts... I made a batch of it and it kept for a very long time. It is some of the best Marinara I have EVER eaten.. The "pasta" is a zucchini that has been cut on a spiralizer.. very tasty. For the recipe on the Marinara .. Addicted to Veggies... 

Stir fry vegetables. not raw, al dente, crisp and bright.. just the way I like them. Warm to release the flavor without overcooking.

Thai rice noodles... with cilantro... yum! Heavy metals be gone!

All tossed together. A very tasty meal indeed. 
This might be my creative expression for the next 40 days.... I have been inspired by a salad that my mom made..the pistachio salad.. Cottage cheese, marshmallows, cool whip, pistachio flavored pudding, and crushed pineapple. I have an inspiration to do something different with this... involving a Young Thai Coconut, Pistachios, Vanilla Cream (made from the YTC) and chopped pistachio, pineapple and a bit of agave nectar for sweetness... It may show up some time this week.. So, keep checking back for pictures... I will share when I get some made... photos at least... 

Good night and sweet dreams to all of you... go to that place of peace, love and compassion for the world. Be compassionate towards others for the choices that they make, even though you may not agree with them and NONE of us certainly understand them! Do not get sucked into the tragedy of others but send them all love and healing in these difficult times of mystery and unfathomable experiences. Peace to all and good night.