Friday, September 28, 2012

A Busy Week...

Hello and happy friday!

It has been a busy week in the design arena. The summer break  and move has done me good. A new environment, additional training, blogging and a new perspective has helped in ways I had no idea...

This past two weeks, a new project has begun and the design process is going so much more smoothly. Not that anything is different, I have just noticed putting more things into practice that I used to just take for granted. When I slow down and enjoy the process, it is so much more rewarding and a lot less like work. I love what I do after all and I enjoy a challenge.

I would love to share about the design, however, it is currently in process and I feel it would be a confidentiality issue to share too much about it at this point.

Today I present the design concept and the next meeting, put together the design rationale and preliminary budget. There is still a few bits of information that I need to gather to be conclusive on the budget details and how to make it all work.

Well, I am off to the first appointment for the day.. Maybe monday I will have some juicy creative thing to share.. until then have a great weekend everyone....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A great organization tool for Creative thinkers

I have found the greatest tool for the vast amount of information swirling around in my head. Many people may have heard of mind mapping before. But I just discovered it for myself.

Lists work to a certain degree for me, but I find after a period of time goes by, I recreate the same old list over and over again. I find that a list doesn't necessarily help me to put things into perspective, even if I number/prioritize. It is just too linear for me.

Mind mapping is a term that I have been hearing from time to time as other people have mentioned it. Although, I have never taken the time to investigate it.

A psychologist, Tony Buzan, has been the man accredited with coining the phrase in the '70's. Honestly, I have done this in creativity classes at university and it worked for brainstorming ideas and getting a quick idea of relationships. I, however, have confused myself in the use as, I place a bubble in the wrong place or end up with a very visually chaotic view of what is going on in my head. (Which, is the problem in the first place)

My friend P. mentioned it to me the other day and sent me a link to a website she had found a few weeks back. After meeting with her and E. on Saturday, the topic came up again and I realized, now is the time to check this out.. it could help me get organized to determine what I want next for my life.

Wow! I spent the morning researching different software available and there are a great many out there. Tony Buzan also has a website and software available from free to paid versions.

I finally chose Freemind as the download to use. There are a handful of others as well, Xmind, Mindmeister, and websites that compare them all...

I spent the day yesterday, just organizing all the things in my life that are important to me and building branches, getting more and more detailed. The concept is like that of a tree. So, for my first mind map, I am the center. (I am, of course, the center of MY universe, the one that I create for myself- as you are of yours!) We all create our own experiences and choose how we will respond to them. The key is realizing each situation is a DIFFERENT ONE! So responding or reacting as most people do in the same old way... is not a choice... it is auto pilot and this is when life passes you by... you become present to nothing but the same old thing, blah... blah... blah...

So, when I finished what I could yesterday of my personal mind map... I realized it is really the ROOTS of the tree..the things I have listed are all things that nourish and give me the experience of being ME... not someone else!

I feel liberated.. this morning I did a couple of other mind maps.. I mapped out my wardrobe and I mapped out my current sewing projects.. the process is right there for me, easy for me to follow and maximize my creativity, while minimizing overwhelm. When I get to that point, I just need to go and look at my map and VOILA! I see it all in perspective, I see clearly the area that will have the most impact in forwarding my experience of being ME!

I haven't figured out how to get a sample graphic on here to show you but this is the greatest discovery I have made in a while... what a fabulous tool for creatives especially.. and I am just starting...

All of the projects that I want to do can be documented and the information specified. I can see, that looking at my map for a particular area of my life or a specific project will help to re-ignite inspiration for taking action.. the timing is sometimes off and you have to tend to something else first or there are skill sets that need to be learned, perspectives to be acknowledged and paradigms to be shifted!

Check out the mind mapping for yourself... let me know what uses you are planning to get from it?
This is just the beginning!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feng shui and the Little Cottage by the River

I have started three posts that were just not inspiring to me, a recap of the weekend and what I have to do this week.. and I thought, this isn't what I want to share today. I want to share something of substance. So, I am taking a small part of the weekend and expanding upon it, sharing it with all of you.

Saturday was the meeting with the creative ladies group. It was a fabulous day, we finished up with putting together vintage patterns, vintage buttons and lovely pieces of wool for P. to sew into coats for the fall. There are some lovely pieces that we put together and all are excited for the finished results! She is going to start a blog of her own, I will be sure to provide a link...

Another friend, E. is working on a book (several to be more precise) regarding pattern shape, form, fit and their relationships. E. has an impressive history of accomplishment in this area as well as a very unique approach (she holds two patents directly related!) It is very important work! She has a very interesting story and her current situation is relevant and valuable to her relationship to the work that she is so passionate about.

Me, I shared a discovery that I had this week about my little cottage by the river.
Early in my career, I studied a bit of Feng Shui. I read a few books, invested in a weekend workshop with Carole Hyder and looked at how the principles would work with how I practice Interior Design.

After all that, I determined that most of it was just good design sense and I already was doing it subconsciously. So, I did not invest in further certification, etc. I use it more as a way of checking my work along with other systems that I am familiar with.

I realized just this week, how this house reflects the new lifestyle that is emerging and is being created. I see how my environment supports what I want. The biggest revelation has been the importance of the subconscious and how it will become more and more conscious for me and how I can work with it in achieving dreams and desires that I may not even be aware of right now. They are emerging..

This revelation came from the fact that my creative tools, materials, supplies... all of it is in the basement. I had to prepare this basement and lighten it up, get rid of the cobwebs and look at what I have. It isn't about getting rid of it all, it is about putting it all out there and seeing how it relates to each other. Then set it up in the most efficient and effective matrix as possible in this space. In dream interpretation, the basement is symbolic of the subconscious, as is any descent into the 'underground' or going into the earth.

The next thing I realized, is this little cottage/house is a perfect rectangle. Every area of the bagua is represented in its entirety. The house I used to live in, was missing wealth and helping people. The other thing I just realized is there were doors that I could not use because they didn't have keys to them. It was like I didn't have access to my own things (life) from different angles. Here, there is no key to the front door, however, I have my front door open often, as I love the light that it lets in and the color is perfect.

The color of my perfect front door is a midnight navy black. It is high gloss, so it has a reflective quality to it. The cool thing about that is.... are you ready for this? The color associated with the bagua of career (which is where my front door is-very ideal- career opportunities will find me! Hooray!) is Black! The element associated with this bagua.. is ... WATER! Water is reflective and often times blue is the reflected color! That is why my front door had to be the color it is! I knew upon my first visit to this house, the color of the front door was all wrong! I saw the color it is as the color it needed to be and now, I know why. It is like the universe is telling me I am in exactly the right place right now and that a great deal is going to change in the next 10 months. There is a lot to get back into balance.

I just realized, the month and half that I was not in a space of my own and everything was in storage (quarantine) was to not take the old energy with me. I needed space to shake off the energy of the last eleven years and be open to the new that was here, waiting for me.

The other things I have done here, that I haven't noticed until this week, is my bedroom is in the wealth corner of the house. I have my bed in the wealth corner and the door is angled, like a true bagua! My sheets are deep purple- the color most associated with wealth! Hmmm, I am liking this new little cottage by the river... A LOT!
I NEED a headboard.. THAT is one of the BIGGEST Feng Shui no-no's! No support and since I am definitely working on the wealth area of my life.. I need a headboard.. I got rid of my other one.

I have also hung my round mirror with the wide silver leaf frame in the children and creativity area. This is serving two purposes I see. Mirrors are associated with water a career element. Metal is the element associated with children and creativity. Metal contains water, meaning, my creativity is becoming structured into my career. My career has over run my house in the past. I have had no structure around it, no clear direction. My creativity is getting addressed. There will be balance in my personal creative expression and the creativity in my career. They are integrated and will enhance each other.
Still some boxes to get moved... it will happen some day! Auughhh!

The other thing that is happening is the children (my housemate has four boys) are starting to come around a great deal more to visit him than they have in the past. This is extremely good for him and his relationship with them! (this is a HUGE adjustment for me, probably the greatest challenge I will face here in this house) I am not used to others just dropping by and walking in without knocking. I feel vulnerable in my space. I feel I always need to be prepared for house guests. Clean house, hair presentable, showered, completely dressed... (Not that I wander around my house naked at all hours of the day- I have no window treatments and live with a guy remember!) My lovely little ladder from William Sonoma is in the area of children and creativity as well as my copper zodiac mold... more metal..It is ok, it is just an adjustment that I am observing.

I need to get something red or orange into the bathroom. This is the area of fame and reputation, there is a little pyramid shaped texture in the glass block in the window. This is good! The shape for the fame and reputation bagua is a triangle.

Each of intersecting gua's have a color, shape and element attached to them. There are 9 bagua's all together.

Tell me .... would you like a diagram of the bagua? With the basic list of color, shape and element to see how balanced your life is? It is fascinating to see where you are loosing energy based on the environment that you live in. I find this information in my practice to have been most helpful and I create interiors that do not look like they have been FENG SHUI-ed!

E. tells me I need to write a book about all of my systems and understanding of color, design... etc. I am not sure how to format or where to start with such a thing.. it is all so interconnected.. maybe that is why I named the blog vibrant threads.. it is all inter connected and all relative to the whole experience of being me!

Maybe there are others out there who could use something like this to understand themselves better?

I haven't taken any photos yet for today, maybe I will expand on this later in the afternoon... so consider this post a rough draft that you all are welcome to comment on..
Thanks for your input!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hardware Ordered ... Today for Windows!

It is thursday and I just finished placing my hardware order for the living room, front bedroom and kitchen windows.

I am doing brass spring tension rods at 7/16" with cafe rings with eyelet, having a 3/4" Inside Diameter.

These are details important to know when determining finished length and cut lengths of materials.

I went with a pre-made spring tension rod that is adjustable. The finish is brass-a little different than I originally had in mind, however, there is a large difference in cost between doing it this way and the custom cut ones. The custom cut ones would look much better. They would look original to the house and would be more of an antique brass finish. If I were staying here more than 10 months, if it were a house I was renovating and living in permanently, I would have absolutely made the investment. The rings will glide much more smoothly... Now they have to go over the telescoping part of the rod.. but it will be ok.

Just wanted to share... it is exciting forward movement on the project. -Oh, and I am working on a website. I need a business website, it is time to put myself out there and go beyond referrals. All of my business in the past few years has been referral and networking.. With gas prices going up and wanting to expand my lifestyle... it is time to expand my client base...

If anyone has any ideas or suggestion... I am open to them...

Soon, the sewing will start soon... I am getting very excited about this... and sewing for me. As I have learned time and again... I do not sew for a living... the pressure overwhelms the relaxation and meditative process for me.. sew for me... YUP! Sounds good...

Have a happy Thursday.. soon there will be more posts on color as well! It is part of the web-site and re branding of my professional career! I promise to keep you all updated on that as well.

Sending much love out into the readers and the world... enjoy yourselves! This day, once it is done, can not be done over! It takes up a new day..

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Day: Setting up the Sewing Studio & Gathering Projects

It is Wednesday, wow the weeks just fly by. As I mentioned earlier in the week, I found the fabrics for the window treatments. Living Room and Front Bedroom respectively, more on that later in the post.

There has also been some activity downstairs. Two heavy duty shelving units were purchased to hold bins. I have been putting my fabric in clear totes with clip on lids. I found some clearance ones at Target. I still have to sort through what is in each of the bins and consolidate. Some are very organized... some are NOT! OOOOWWWHHH.... WHHHAT A MESSSSS! Chaos to be more precise, as if chaos had any precision at all!

The new shelving area. No more stacking totes and having to move the entire pile to get to one at the bottom!
There was also a large spider casualty downstairs. As I was moving things to make room for the new shelves, a very, VERY LARGE spider down there. Clearly, there was NOT going to be enough room for me, my creative wares, my activity and THAT LARGE SPIDER! So, I had to dispose of it. It was quick.. and I thank him for his message... large amounts of creativity to be experienced in this space! 

On sunday, as I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, undermotivated and downright.. CRABBY, my housemate shared with me that he has noticed how I light up when I create! I haven't been doing any creating all summer, except he said, with the blog! The blog keeps me accountable, it keeps me thinking ahead and I get excited about it. So, thank you readers for sharing in my transitioning from collecting cool stuff to make something with SOMEDAY to actually getting SOMEDAYon the calendar! TODAY is SOMEDAY! and so is TOMORROW...  

But, that is a bit of a tangent. So this morning I spent some time, reorganizing bins, taking my bolts of fabric out of the plastic and putting that on a shelf out of the way, and just moving things around to create a work space. 

In the process of this bin and box opening, I have gathered the fabrics for the draperies. 

The first bit of fabric I found is some scrap of lining with a printed design. I think this will be the hem extension for the Living room drapery. There is also a piece of velvet. The colors are perfect with the vintage fabric and I will use the velvet as some sort of trim. I need to clear an ironing surface to measure what I have and figure out what I can do with it. I also need to figure out what I want to do and determine how much fabric I need. I may need to go back in and find one more.. oh, darn.. It will be good.. 

Hem extension for LR drapery

The velvet for trim, the hem extension 
Then I found the following fabrics for the front bedroom window. The color is great with the wall color and they have a more contemporary feel to them. It also goes with the bedding that my Housemate has in there. 

Fabric combination for front bedroom.

detail of the gingham

detail of  the solid for front bedroom

I think I may find an alternative to the leather shoe lace idea, the color of them may be wrong. I will have to further investigate. Happy creating!

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Vintage Cottage Kitchen and the Farmers Market

Saturday Morning at the Farmers Market
Saturday was a busy day. We started off at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. We hadn't been there much all summer. The reds were abundant this weekend...There were tomatoes and peppers everywhere!
A portion of purchases... Basil, Tomatoes and Red Bell Peppers
A beautiful red pepper and my basil in a mixing bowl

 The basil was a most likely the last of the season, so I purchased a great deal of it and plan to make pesto with it. I have already froze a small batch in a container, I will check to see how that froze up. It may be a great way to have fresh basil for maybe Basil fried rice this fall and winter.

The perfect partnership, basil and heirloom tomato

The heirloom tomatoes were available as well, not as readily as roma and some other varieties, but I LOVE the flavors of an heirloom tomato!

Three tomatoes
 And when we happened upon bunches of concord grapes, I had to have them. They are tricky to find form year to year. Not all get a good harvest. I remember about six or seven years ago, they were everywhere! All of the local co-ops had them.. since then, I have only seen them at the farmers market. I think one year, one of the local co-ops had a small crop in... If you have ever had a fresh concord grape, they taste like NO OTHER! Seeds only slow down consumption so you can revel the taste.
Delicious and Beautiful Concord Grapes... yes there are seeds, but they make you savor the flavor of the grape, smells like grape bubble gum- YUM!

Our Kitchen table... 
After the farmers market, it was on to a local lumber yard showroom to listen to a talk by Sarah Susanka. I had seen her speak before and have several of her books. My House mate, however, has been fascinated by my books and wanted to go as well. I was interested in what her latest was.. so off we went after returning home from the farmers market.
The open pantry door... not much counter top space
 Returning from the showroom event, it was quickly load up the car with items to bring back out to mom and dad's. I haven't the room for it and needed to peel off the attachment. Things to get by with.. and return dad's totes.. he wants to get ready for fall hunting and realized, he had no totes.. he lent them all to me for moving..
The cooking and clean up section of the kitchen
 Sunday was the day to go through final boxes of kitchen items and get things put away. The pesto hasn't been made yet, however, we were able to actually eat dinner at our kitchen table. It is cozy, but nice.
Today I make the pesto and other goodies for stocking my pantry.. I think I am going to dehydrate the peppers with olive oil and smoked sea salt for flavor, they will be great in pita sandwiches... and whatever else I dream up.

Depending on how it goes, I may work on the basement again... at least an hour. I wonder what I can get done in an hour?  I want to get those draperies sewn.. this week.. the cutting mat has been retrieved along with my plants and my boxes of photos... Oddly, we brought out a carload of stuff to mom and dad's and returned with another carload!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Catching up from friday's post

Happy Saturday! The sun is shining and wow, do the squirrels play around here! There is a large tree outside of our front window and I think a family of squirrels live there. The little one was sitting there, fascinated with me as I sat on the sofa. I didn't notice him at first, then his mom or dad.. came by and then they ran back and forth along the branch...
As if I don't have enough to do in a day... I could watch them for hours.. they are busy around here. They climb down the side of the house like little Dracu-squirrels!

Yesterday was a client filled day. So, no unpacking/set-up got done. But oooh, the inspiration!
The morning client-- a detail of the valance for the dining room. This is the swag, the pleats and returns are separate. This will be a stunning design and filled with interesting details, yet not over done... by my standards anyway. Some may look at it... minimalists for example, yet great care was taken in making sure that each of the elements chosen balance and work well together.

Detail of the draperies that the valance goes over, there is box pleating on the lead edge, that  is turned under in this photo.

A portion of the muslin we draped to achieve our pattern. These are TRULY CUSTOM window treatments!  
I will be back with a report on monday, as to what actually got accomplished over the weekend. Let the weekend begin! (well, continue at least... )

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Great Idea for draperies for the Front Bedroom Window

Yesterday, as I was moving things around, I found the fabric I had been looking for. It is a mid-weight brown solid. It will match the wall brown in the front bedroom nicely.

The same hardware treatment needs to be used as it is inexpensive, blends in with the woodwork and requires NO holes in the walls or the wood work.

I will need to order the custom pieces this afternoon and maybe they will be ready for pick up tomorrow afternoon.

This morning I had a great insight of how to use grommets and leather shoe string for making the pleats. The idea is still formulating in my head, but I found my grommet setter yesterday in the mess of boxes.

The boxes are getting unpacked, not necessarily organized. I need to assess inventory of supplies and materials and plan accordingly. I will use my books as a roadmap. What books are on my bookshelves, what tools do I own that are for each of those tasks and set up drawers for each thing. My drawers are all on wheels, so I can move them to wherever I am working on a project. Except I don't have an elevator, so it will have to be contained to downstairs! -UNLESS- I put them in a drawer that is removable! Some things will just go in my rolly-carts from Ikea, for stuff to work on the work table down there. Portable things can go in the smaller drawers and bins that are available.

Good, well, on with the day.. no photos now, there were plenty yesterday... maybe later today as I make progress...

Oh, By the Way- 5 page views away from reaching 3000!!!!!
What do you think of a facebook page for Vibrant Threads? Would it be easier to share with others? There would be a 'Like' button......hmmm?????

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Final update for the day....

Here are a few last minute pics of the basement progress. It doesn't look like by these that I got anything done... but I DID!

the bookcases, which, I have found out DO NOT hold 3 ring binders! The shelves are not deep enough... sigh.. very heavy sigh.. Rethink where binders go... 

The bright pink file cabinets and an old desk top that I covered in black polka dot on white oil cloth.. works for a little admin space... I am thinking... 

The clearest area... I have unpacked maybe 15 boxes today? I will break them down in the morning to be stored in the attic for the commencement of packing in the spring...early summer at the latest. I will not be rushed like the last time!

Documentation of the Basement Project

The final thing I did to get the basement prepared to my standards for working in that space... is paint the steps. It is amazing what a bit of paint can do... Crisp edges, clean risers and treads. I like to paint the treads a different color than the risers, from the lower vantage point, it is a more interesting a ladder. Usually I paint the risers a lighter color, however, I can imagine in some scenarios, a darker riser would be more aesthetic. For my purposes here, bring as much light into the space as possible.

The finished steps, dark purple-gray with the same floor paint on the risers

Before painting the treads. The risers were the same color as the treads. The paint was old and looked very dirty and worn. 

Painting the final wall and the floor. The lighter color on the floor, helps to reflect up any light coming in from the windows and the down bare bulb lighting. (also creatures will be seen very quickly from the corner of the eye to ward off any surprise visitors checking out what I am working on) The deeper wall, is actually a bit brighter than in the picture and is a fairly mid to light gray, with a hint of violet.  This will assist with a neutral background for color matching and the work that I do with color. 
The sewing area from the back... this is where most of the activity will take place, also the most even part of the floor. 
The fabric totes. I counted 30... ok so it is a lot!
As the basement is starting to fill up, immediately after finishing painting the floors.
The back corner of the basement opposite the steps. This is where the floor is the most uneven. 

This back corner is where I think we are going to set up computer stuff, printer etc. as well as, hopefully get a sofa down those narrow stairs. It will be a nice area to sit comfortably while reading a bit of research material, taking a break from the work stations, or a place for visiting creatives to hang out..  now, I have some sorting to do... maybe post progress through the day... or not... we will see how it goes...

The Slow Pace of Homemaking

The Little Cottage by the River, as I am now affectionately calling home, until July1 of next year at least, is becoming HOME.

A whole new routine of life is slowly emerging as boxes get unpacked and repacked, daily routines fall into place. Things that I am more concerned with now that I have a housemate that didn't even come to mind before are starting to take shape in my daily structure and routine. Expectations and boundaries are also coming into play.

The books are unpacked, my room is slowly taking shape. I am seriously considering bringing my antique walnut twin bed here for in my room. Why not? I got rid of the mattress and box spring I had at the other house. I think it smelled of that terrible rancid moldy smell. I got rid of the headboard as well.

Apparently many people that assisted with the moving were of the camp of 'hate it.' I designed it and had it made for a Spring Home and Garden show that I did many years ago. It was a french bedroom of lime and fuchsia. I loved it. The accents were white and black. People either loved it or 'hated it'. Funny thing about Home and Garden shows, people had NO PROBLEM sharing their like or DISLIKE of something directly to you. It was a great experience in not taking one's work too seriously.

So, it seems that chapter of my life has ended. I am to the core of who I am again and purging the rest of the debris. Creativity is everywhere and I am inspired and not so overwhelmed by it all.

While I do have a great deal of fabric, when it is all in one room, it isn't as overwhelming as I had anticipated. OK! I will go and take some before photos of the basement. I haven't really dug into the boxes and setting up the work stations, that is the task for this afternoon... ok... I will go take pictures... be back in a flash.. well... my iPhone flash maybe... 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Making a House a Home-Personalizing Touches

The front door, painted Hocky Puck, Ralph Lauren High gloss paint

Today I have been busy painting the front door and painting the basement steps. (finally!) I have the centers of the alternating steps to finish up as I didn't want to paint myself down there. There are boxes everywhere and things to unpack. So, no photos of the basement today. There are small carcasses strewn about as the creatures try and escape after we painted. There isn't too much activity down there, other than myself for moving things around and unpacking. I think I am going to like it.

The front door color is some old paint I had in my storage. It was still good and the front door painted out quite well. Some of the rusty red was peeling off, so I scraped a bit and put two coats of the dark blue/black on the door. Wow, wet it is very blue! As it dries, it is a lovely deep midnight blue...remember the color crayon? That was one of my favorites. It was such a surprise to get that deep blue with the slightest hint of teal as the light absorbed into the darkest areas of the colored patch. It is a beautiful contrast against the velvety smooth Revere Pewter on the walls. a very elegant combination. Timeless, it is working for me.

The sketch below is the window that I have to make the first drapery for. After doing the measurements, I determined that I would do 2 and half times fullness. This is standard fullness for custom draperies. Two times fullness is typical of ready made draperies, I try never to use less than 2.5 fullness and if the fabric is lightweight I will multiply three to four times fullness. On sheer fabrics, the more fullness equals more privacy. 

Sketch of the Living room window elevation
For this window,  I am using the vintage fabric as the main fabric. Two and half times is plenty. I have two panels, however, I am planning to only use one. I will split it in half and make two panels. This means that I am 9" short. Earlier in thinking about the design, I thought to only make a cafe type curtain, one that didn't go quite all of the way to the top, however, as the seasons change, the sun changes positions and I don't want it peaking in the tops of the windows at mid day. So, I thought to bring it all the way to the top and clear the sill by 3/8".  

As I don't have a long enough panel to do two at full length, I am going to use the main fabric, using what I have available, then add a 9" extended hem that can be hidden up behind the lining for a shorter version. The piece of vintage fabric I have will be a great proportion to the full inside width of the window and the contrast hem extension will add interest. I will also add a contrast header facing of the same fabric. The drapery lining will be ivory so as not to be distracting from the street view of the windows. Different linings on different windows is aesthetically odd, the sunlight also wreaks havoc on the color, fading it quickly. So I prefer not to use contrast linings.

 This week as I unpack and set up the sewing studio, I will be searching through the stash to determine good candidates for the decorative details of the draperies. Details of the design will be shared in a future post this week. Have a happy monday!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Understanding Color and Achieving Desired Results

I have added this post on the color page, as I don't know how to get this to show up both places, repeating it here.  But I couldn't get back to sleep this morning as I am reviewing my color presentation skills. I realize I cannot compromise how I present for the sake of speed, it results in double work, overthinking a rationale, only to realize the first choice was the best choice anyway.  Sometimes the visual speaks more clearly than words. That being written, there are no photos at this time to illustrate what I am writing about this morning. The visual support will come later.

Color has many facets. It is perceived differently under MANY conditions.
When specifying a palette for a room, I prefer to have large samples for my clients to review. I have with long time clients begun to share preliminary ideas on color selection directly from the fan deck, in the name of efficiency. However, I find this is not conducive to their understanding of color. Many people see the gradation of a paint deck and it influences them as to what that particular hue is. A particular brown, may turn gray, or mauve, or green as it becomes lighter on the fan deck. This is NOT how the color will read on the walls.

The color is influenced by its neighboring colors. Therefore, a color viewed with its gradient components and a color viewed with its partners in a palette will occur differently. Natural and artificial lighting will also impact the perception of the color. For this reason it is important to view the entire palette together.

A color professional understands how these variables work together and with experience, know how to achieve the finished results that are desired. It is much like a painter. A painter knows what color to highlight and what color to create shadows. It is rarely black and white. It may be a green or a pink or a cream or a red brown, a green brown, a black brown or even a blue brown.

There are so many colors available to us. To the untrained eye, the distinction is difficult to perceive. Some of us distinguish greens and the subtle difference, however, given the same range in blues, may not be able to distinguish the same number of different hues.

The reason this happens is due to the value (light to darkness scale) and saturation (the purity of a hue) of a particular color and how the color next to it is perceived differently.

We can achieve vibrating boundaries,  where the line between the colors appears to move or flash. The other phenomenon is sometimes called fluting. this is where the hue appears lighter on one side than the other. This is due to the colors adjacent being lighter or darker than the central color. This is one of the best ways to see how neighboring colors affect the focus color.

Saturation, which is the purity of the color, also impacts how color is detected as well. If there is a room and the four walls are painted deep rich tones of one to three colors, a white ceiling is out of the question. The ceiling will appear gray and depending on the size of the room, change the proportion of the color, throwing the balance.

The ceiling color may be a lighter color, however the intensity of that color must be adjusted to the depth of the wall color. The wall color is reflecting in the corners and will give the visual cue that the ceiling is indeed part of the roomscape. That doesn't mean the ceiling color is as dark or as deep as the wall color, it just needs to be deeper than you want it to be perceived. Often times, a novice will be looking at the individual color and think "oh, that is too dark, or too deep, etc." and they will select the color that they want to 'see' on the ceiling. They understand what they want, but without the experience and technical knowledge of color, the ceiling will be too light. (this doesn't only apply to ceilings, it is when pairing any colors together)

An experienced color professional will be able to determine how to compensate for the value, saturation and hue to achieve the desired perception.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Self Expression and Hanging on to OLD STUFF!

I am super excited to make the draperies for the living room window. This weekend I will be drawing up a sketch and planning my design. I will share the results on monday and how I did it.

This afternoon, I am still tackling the clothes... I have gone through the closet- that is all hanging clothes.. now, is the dresser drawers.   It is a challenge, as I have put on weight in the past two years especially. I know when I lost weight before, I was dropping a size every two to three weeks. I went from a size 14 to a size 2. In a year I dropped 60 pounds. It was not a challenge, it was purely walking approximately 3 miles a day, eating mostly fruits and vegetables. Eliminating bread and refined sugar. I also consumed seaweed capsules that I made myself from a blend of 5 different seaweeds and spirulina.

That being said, I know I can do it again. I have now accumulated that size range again.

Making room for the new me to emerge is a challenge. Letting go of the familiar is scary. I had a great deal of personal success and power at my optimum self. I have sabotaged yet again, hiding behind my weight. Now is the time to reveal my true self to the world and live the life I desire and create. Not contingent on anyone or anything.

So, how am I making room? I am sorting through everything first that I know is not an expression of me, not now and not at my optimum self. So... out it goes!  Next, if I have something in a smaller size, I assess how much I wore it then? Was it something I loved wearing? Then I keep it. If it fit funny, was a little tight... I get rid of it.

An image found on Pinterest- the promise and the source of the creative life force

Also found on Pinterest- the illumination of brilliance color and variance soaring above the world in great luminance
I wish I could post the visions that I have of my new self, my new wardrobe and my new life... it would make it less scary and more exciting to take those risks. I am surprised how challenged I am. I feel like I am in junior high again.. always terrified of what other people think, being appropriate. I like being self expressed. It is refreshing and rejuvenating. So, it is time to just be me again. Stripping away the layers of obscurity to reveal the brilliance and inspiration that I know myself to be.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vintage Draperies to be Refashioned into NEW Draperies!

This morning I have rearranged the Living room. The bookcases are almost full. Some of the books will go downstairs in the studio. 

It has been a busy last five days. Painting the basement walls and floor was a great chore. We vacuumed all of the corners, cracks and crevices, filled a concrete hole and washed all of the windows, inside and out. Very grungy work. But it is almost sparkling down there. We then proceeded to bring all of my fabric totes and miscellaneous boxed up studio stuff. The basement is pretty full, hopefully I will be able to purge a great deal of paperwork and other non-desirables and have a neat and open space to work in.

This morning I reviewed my preliminary plan for the living room and there was a chair that I did not place. I had it originally downstairs. It hasn't made it down there and is a very comfortable chair, so I think it is staying in the Living room.

The two channel back barrel chairs from most likely the early 50's maybe late 40's made it in from the garage. My friend dropped them off last week. The fabric is a bit darkened, but in good condition. I think I will have them professionally cleaned and leave them as is. The fabric isn't worn at all, just a bit discolored... I hope it comes out..

There is one large tote left in the garage of my fabric. It is a clear tote from Ikea. On the top of all of my wool plaids were two vintage drapery panels from about the same era as the chairs. I think this fabric will be perfect for the front window drapery.
Vintage drapery panel draped over chair

Detail of floral motif 
This is incentive to get the studio up and running, at least the sewing set up. The hands on stuff. That is what I am missing. I do a lot of creative planning, coordinating and coaching for others. I don't do nearly enough creative activity for myself. These draperies will be great in here.. I will create a special pleat just for the window.

The brown/tan stitched roman shades on the other wall

There are tan/brown colored stitched roman shades on the two windows on the adjacent wall. The acanthus is shadowed with a similar brown on the vintage fabric. There are deep burgundy flowers which match my grandpa's chair (the one staying upstairs) And the peach integrates nicely with the oils of Paris which flank the right side of the window. I have a little blue metal lamp that reminds me of a neoclassical style that I have painted with an iridescent blue to sit on the corner table. The large lamp is in front of the large window, not centered. It looks more interesting that way and is much more functional. The furniture fits this way and the lamp will not be in front of the wands for opening and closing the draperies.

Fabric selection was easy for this window. I have been on the lookout as fabric has been moving downstairs.. I know exactly where my lining is as well. The fabric is a good weight and will drape nicely, holding its pleats well. I do not plan on adding any crinoline or buckram to the header. I want them to have a casual look. Not what would have been there. In reality, I am sure there were traversing draperies on the wall that cleared the glass. I am not putting any hardware up. I am using a custom brass tension rod to mount inside the window casing. The brass will blend into the woodwork better than a standard white which is readily available. Because the rings will traverse, I would not paint the rod.

Well, I better finish that bookcase and start downstairs... I will emerge for another post another day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Progress report

Happy Tuesday to everyone. Labor day weekend came and went.. much like the summer.
Living room and front door

We have made some progress, not nearly as quickly as I and my HM would like. The basement painting is FINALLY completed. A lot of work for 10 months stay. BUT, if I am to be spending my creative time down there.. it needed to be done. It was definitely an upgrade from the basement before, it still had its issues. At least the surfaces (except the treads of the steps for now) are all done.

Since painting and being down there, the spiders and house centipedes have not been out and about.

Many of the bookcases have been placed. HM has unexpectedly gotten the day off due to scheduling goofiness, so that is a good thing. Unpacking and sorting can continue with a friend. I really dread doing all of it myself, I feel guilty that it is mostly my stuff.

I have gotten rid of 2 trash bags of clothes, my headboard (yes, the pink silk one that was featured in a Home and Garden show room) some lamps, tables and dishes. Also a great deal of bathroom products that were never going to see the light of day again.. It is funny when you pack in a hurry, you pack EVERYTHING! I need to just get rid of the things that I know I will never use or bring me joy any more...

I managed to get all of my clothes in the closet. I can purge a bit more and the chest of drawers is still empty with large, heaping, overflowing laundry baskets to be purged and put away.
Hallway-After (bedroom before purging)

Hallway- Before

Baseement before

Basement After-furniture not placed yet

I am ok with spending creative time in the basement. Basement's symbolize the subconscious, perhaps I will tap into my deepest creative ideas and bring them forth into the world. I can already see a pattern emerging of the creativity expressed happening here. I have several classes on my calendar that I am planning to take and new creative friendships are emerging. I hope to fully develop and expand my creative presence in the world, positioning myself in the next 10 months.