Tag Archives: inspiration

Blogging Your Way Farewell

This is a Blogging Your Way assignment:
a blog mood board – though I have to admit, mine is more of a still life.

Friday was the last day of my e-course and I’m feeling very sad. I enjoyed it SO much. And I highly recommend it to anyone who is just starting out…is in need of some inspiration…would like to learn more about styling and photography… The reasons are endless – it’s just that good.

I wish I could have gotten more involved in the forums and taken advantage of the opportunity to ask Holly and Leslie questions. But between having surgery, recovering from surgery, working on the new Style Key West website and store…oh yeah, and that 24/7 motherhood gig… Well I’ve had a hard time stealing moments to read the course material and do the homework, let alone make all of those valuable online connections that are a HUGE part of the class experience.

Ah well – as with anything else in life, I have no regrets when I put in as much as I could. And I really did get so much out of this class. I heard something about a Blogging Your Way Part II and I’m definitely in if it happens.

Thanks for everything Holly and Leslie! It was nothing short of fabulous.

Creative Process

Last week’s homework from my Blogging Your Way e-course (that fantastic one created by Holly Becker from Decor8 and Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint) was to try something new from a list of ten options. I picked: Document parts of your day in a creative way (photos, podcast, video, hand writing, etc.) and post it on your blog.

I have to be honest – I had pretty much no plan for this assignment until the end of the week when I happened to be outside with my kids, trying to keep them entertained with watercolors.

I didn’t stage the “photo shoot” as is evidenced by the crappy Rose Art paint and Target paper supplies. On our ugly cement front steps no less! Oh – and don’t miss that super cute On The Border plastic kid’s cup that I used for the water.

But there was something about the muddy, messy watercolors that appealed to me. So I pulled out my iphone to take some pictures.

Yes – a camera phone even! Only the fanciest of technology for my creative efforts, let me tell you…

At first only Eleanor was interested in painting so I picked up the other brush and began a little watercolor doodle while watching the boys throw dirt at each other.

I used to take art classes when I was a kid (and even a few in college where I lost track of pretty much all creative spirit I once had), but I have to say, watercolors were never my thing. They were so difficult to work with – always bleeding into each other and refusing to conform to my vision. So “doodles” were pretty much all I could manage.

I noticed Eleanor imitating my fish scale design and loved her loose, colorful take on my prim, repetitive one.

Initially I found my own blue, green, yellow arches rather appealing – but after seeing this less studied and more exuberant creation, I shoved my own paper aside.

Just in time for George to show up and do some of his own painting. I actually love George’s watercolors and save many of them. He has a really interesting way of filling the page with sweeping brush strokes, ranging from thick and saturated to thin and feathery. This is not the best example of his usual style, but I did like the shapes he painted. They look so cheerful – like an assortment of tropical fish. And considering that he spent all of two minutes on it, it’s a pleasing little arrangement. Oh yes – and he is wearing blue nail polish…just in case you were wondering.

When George ran off to scooter or something, Oliver took his place.

Oh Oliver…my very, very artistically apathetic almost six year old… What happened to the toddler who would happily paint all day at daycare?

The truth is, Oliver’s interest in art supplies changed when his special needs began to really surface (around age two). He started missing some small motor milestones – like an age appropriate pencil grip – and was far more interested in the tactile quality of the supplies than how he could actually use them on a piece of paper. Finger paint was wildly popular at our house.

An interesting thing about Oliver’s use of watercolors is his attention to the water itself. He is less focused on the paint going on the page than he is in the clouds of color that diffuse though the water as he dips his brush. And looking through his eyes – I don’t blame him. Next time you have watercolors on hand, grab a clear cup full of water and watch the fireworks display unfold.

The other thing that Oliver likes to do is finger print paintings. It’s far more satisfying for him to have his fingers in the materials that he’s using. As you can see in the images below…

His paintings are always very battered looking. The colors leech into each other and turn brown and gray. You can see that hands have been put to work and that another agenda may have been in play. I think it’s beautiful.

I think they’re all beautiful. Unique and full of personality.

After the kids ran off to whack tree with sticks, I started arranging their paintings and taking more pictures. I now absolutely hated my fish scale doodle.

It was boring. Lifeless.

And I thought I could do better. Doodles can be fun. They can make you happy when you look at them. There is value in experiencing materials and letting them show you what you want them to do. There is beauty in inspiration. Not every effort has to have the goal of fine art….doodles are fine. But when you are looking for beauty and inspiration, you have to let go a little…put some heart into it.

Instead of doodling with paint, why not try scribbling?

I still think my kids blow me out of the water, but these little scribbles do make me smile. The fish scales, on the other hand went into the trash.
And if that little lesson wasn’t enough for me. Eleanor came back and gave me some great new pictures of her own creative process. Her own observation of others’ techniques. I guess she liked Oliver’s fingerprints. She decided to use her toes.

She started out with a small painting that happened to be sitting next to the paints. And I’m fairly certain it’s one of George’s. But after adding a couple of red toe prints, she moved onto a bigger blank page.

I kind of love this one though. In fact, I think it’s my favorite of the day.

My children teach me something new every day. Any parent would say the same. But I think this may be one of my favorite lessons. Open your eyes – look around – don’t force things – see what happens… You can’t force creativity – it’s a process. And a great work of art doesn’t have to be the end game. Sometimes a scribble that makes you smile is just as satisfying. Because the process is half the experience.

Perfecting the Fine Art of Parisian Chic?

There have a been a number of books and articles written about Parisian style – specifically how the decidedly un-Gallic can achieve it.

In general – style is a difficult thing to imitate, as it rarely rings true when forced. So the idea that anyone can just pick up a new image and make it believable in ten easy steps is somewhat unrealistic. It’s a novelty topic for fashion-minded consumers.

But that said, there is no reason that you can’t perk up your own personal style with some inspiration from others. Mix things up a little. And if you find that these new affectations are really working for you – enhancing your own look – then your style may in fact, evolve in that direction.

So instead of trying to adhere to a set of rules for a desired outcome, these tips and tricks sources should be approached as an a la carte menu of options.

Here is a fun list from Inès de la Fressange (author of Parisian Chic) in the current issue of Lonny (with Caitlin McGauley’s adorable illustrations!):

Simple, affordable and open to interpretation. It challenges you to be creative with your choices and put your own spin on the offhand irreverence that the French are known for in their own everyday style.

I could totally do that.

Images via The Sartorialist, illustrated list via Lonny.

Interiors on the Runway

Yesterday, I posted some amazing images that I pulled from Miss Moss. All of which were inspired by fashion designer, Mary Katrantzou.

When I followed Diane’s links to see the original collection, I read reviews referencing how her Spring/Summer 2011 collection (titled C’est Ci Nes Pas Une Chambre or This Is Not A Room) would be a hard act to follow. So of course I had to check that out as well.

And I’ve never seen anything quite like it. She actually used depictions of interiors as prints on her textiles. Here are several of the designs, each with close ups of the room scenes and accessories:

Pretty cool. But probably not all that wearable for everyday life. At least not for me. But I can definitely see many of these looks (some with a few revisions) on socialites and celebrities who like to make fashion headlines.

What do you think? Lovely, innovative or weird? Or all of the above?

Chinoiserie on the Runway

Have you seen my header? My button? Have you read my posts about beautiful Chinoiserie inspired ceramics? Embroidery? ART depicting the two?

Well if so, you can only imagine my need for smelling salts when I happened upon these images from Miss Moss:

When she saw Mary Katrantzou’s Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, she was inspired to actually pull the additional images from online auction catalogs! (If you want links to these – drop by the original post – I started to include them, but I’d rather send you her way.)

First of all – I’m completely blown away by Diana’s ability to find and create these gorgeous matches. I wonder how much time it took… That post in and of itself provides enough eye candy to keep me satisfied for a week.

As far as the fashion goes – I wasn’t familiar with this designer, but she apparently wowed at last season’s fashion week in London. And after seeing THAT collection, I’ve decided that it deserves its own post. Look for that tomorrow.

Jacaranda Color

I just discovered a lovely blog, Lilly’s Notebook. One of the first posts I read featured gorgeous pictures of otomi fabrics from an online store: Jacaranda.

Drawing inspiration from the jacaranda tree as “a reminder of nature’s perfect design,” this company champions natural and handmade goods by importing unique, indigenous items from Mexico, Central and South America.

My favorites were the pillows…

…ceramic plates…

…and of course, the textiles:

And wouldn’t it be fun to frame some of these swatches?

Then on the blog (which only has a few entries at the moment), I found this fantastic before and after of a reupholstered chair:

Love it!

They hope that as the jacaranda tree’s falling petals leave “their design imprinted on the world,” their own products will leave their own imprint in our homes.

See more HERE.

I Want to Be Her!

Or at least I would like to be the one who came up with this idea…

(visit the site to see larger/clearer images – this is as big I can get them)

I want to be her!
is a blog written by Andrea Linett, co-founder/former creative director of Lucky Magazine and current creative director of eBay Fashion AND illustrated by fashion designer Anne Johnston Albert.

Andrea says that she sees women whom she “wants to be” all the time. And a few times a week, she and Anne capture them, their style and some of their vital stats through illustrations or photography. The graphics are paired with captions and links to their fashion sources.


Here are some more “hers” to be (again – my images aren’t that big, so go to the blog for a better view!):

See more HERE!