My approach to interior living is to treat each area as studio space. Over a period of thirty years I have seen, heard, read, invented, collected, curated and saved hundreds of Design Ideas.
I regularly toss around these flights of fancy. They add zing and expressive meaning to my LifeSTyle and environment. Time spent patterning new designs refreshes my surroundings and charges my inner life.
I’m creating “Chow-Chow Woozy” to post a sampling, from my museum of ideas, and offer my Readers ‘a new way of seeing’.
Setting everyday objects under glass (a bell jar) can render them with a curious importance. ie. A stack of Men’s Shirt Collars, or A Pile of Tiny Colorful Books.
Empty Wooden Spools, from thread, become revitalized by winding lovely Ribbons around them and newly displaying them.
A Teak Coffee Table can be painted white; advancing it from Mid-Century Modern to Minimalism.
A Polished Concrete Floor, with Glass Tile Inserts, emulates a “Mondrian” Painting.
Glossy Design Magazines can be stacked and tied with thick black Straps, or Heavy Rope, to make Occasional Tables. NY Times Newspapers will work well too.
When a Kitchen does not have a window above the sink, glass shelves can stretch across the wall above it, to give an atmosphere of light and reflection.
White floors & Black Doors.
A Heavy Old Dresser, purchased from a Thrift Store, can be raised up on legs to make it suitable as a Kitchen Island. Often I love to see a big Wooden Work Table, instead of an Island, placed in the centre of a busy Kitchen. A table becomes an offering of space ready for: baking, doing homework, potting plants, arranging flowers, preparing a meal, making a watercolor, wrapping gifts… all possible.
Newspaper giftwrap wound up with red & gold plaid ribbon.
Gold Foil crumpled around plant pots.
Silver Star Confetti.
Scatter Rose Petals between two layers of Tulle and tie with a Floral patterned Ribbon. Use this as an alternative to disposable paper giftwrap.
Two to three foot Topiary Trees, decorated with twinkling lights and delicate thin ribbon, look festive in all settings.
Old Sheets of Music (from a library) add a vintage touch when framed in Gilt.
Broken pieces of China can be displayed under glass in Frames.
Fragment from my Journal:
A transparent and light-filled glass room as a background… to the heaviest, most Baroque door frames, anchoring a delicate pink marble floor… sigh…
I love the feeling of being open to experimenting with LifeSTyle, by mixing simple (DIY) Do-It-Yourself projects, with more amplified Interior Designs.
Blogging 101 has me living across new worlds… even eating sweet, baked ‘black’ bananas… well… I am 1/2 Fruitarian.
Elle Kae published a list of iPhone apps to enhance blogging posts. ‘ABM; A Beautiful Mess’ sounded invaluable and I spent $1.19 to buy it.
In well-connected Collage Circles I am known as; “The Particle Princess”. This is my beautifull mess: in photo essay form, because last week’s assignment (post in a style you don’t usually do) hasn’t been done.
These first two were made using Collage layouts and my Photographs.
This one is created using my ‘In-Camera Collage’ and ‘ABM’ Borders; chevrons, shocking pink dots, and ribbon-like script.
Three iPhone Photos captured on Denman Street, in Vancouver’s West End, were set into the Collage Layout. I then added an ‘ABM’ doodle and chose ‘Lorinda’ text to type the word: What!
Made completely with ‘ABM’ Collage Features. Later I loaded this image into Instagram, vignetted it a bit, and added a Caption: “PLaYgrOunD”
Here is a link to Elle Kae and the article: http://ellekae.com/2015/01/22/top-iphone-app-roundup/
I’m a Risk Taker: a Cable Walker… these traits forced me to change the Theme of my Blog on New Year’s Day. WordPress offered to spike my creativity and my intuition led me to sign up for Blogging 101.
Yesterday I began following 5 New Topics and 5 New Blogs to expand my Social Community. What began as a Homework assignment soon evolved into a pleasing search for other’s perspectives on interests and values, habits and experiences I’m curious about.
The outcome was fresh insight into defining my personal standards… and since this is a new start, it’s a perfect fit. I’ve now expanded my interests to include: Books, Musings & Personal, Crafts, Food, and Travel.
… and the scream ended when I received help from new friends on The Commons after I took a lunge into the air by deleting my Pages and… well it all worked out. Now for my next rise and fall.
Zilli rifled through the pages of her journal looking over her writing. There were only six empty pages, and then she’d slip into a new one, with a cover decorated in dried and pressed flowers. This Spring flowers would embellish every outfit and accessory. Zilli kept an eye on the NYT fashion pages and felt gutsy knowing she would be wearing her jeans with a wardrobe of striped shirts this season. Full of confidence she chose to peruse a two year old entry from her journal written at a time when she wondered if she’d ever write for publication. Here’s how it went:
A stay-at-home Saturday last week; Zilli’s favorite. Sleep in, love up, afterglow (pink apple cheeks), oatmeal with fresh blueberries and strawberry applesauce, brush teeth, climb back onto bed beside Mac, admire the view, the birds, the white sail sailboats, start to read, fall asleep in the Saturday sunlight with some of the windows open to the sea breeze, wake up one and a half hours later, make lunch; big plate of fruit using one pear that tasted like liquor, a cara cara orange, grapefruit, cameo apple, and a mandarin orange…
Zilli and Mac ate sunflower seed butter on ancient grains bread made with spelt and kamut, lightly black salted, and served open face. The French music radio station played fifties jazz. Incongruous as it seems, Zilli started to knit the pink mohair pullover she’d seen displayed at the wool shop in her neighborhood. Four double-size cotton candy balls of wool, bamboo needles, and a printout of the pattern were tucked into a clear plastic bag with a black shoulder strap and a smile. The only reason Zilli knew how to knit was due to her maternal grandmother who the family called, “Chickie,” so Zilli and her younger brother did too. Chickie made heavy wool jackets with zippers up the front for each member of the family. The Canadiana-style patterns always included snowflakes, deer, or elk on either side of the zipper; each above a knit pocket, and below a full collar. The jackets became a trend; smart looking, warm and beautifully made. Quite the opposite of the relationship occurring between Zilli’s parents. The more the tension increased the more Chick knit, and knit, and the relationship still came unravelled.
The daylight dimmed and Zilli got up and washed all the dishes including the ones used the night before. Why, she wondered could she not keep up with cooking and cleaning the way other people do? This transitive thought did not stop her from making snacks for the movie at eight, her choice: “American Cousins.” She couldn’t remember it now but had written, “loved it,” at the time. She washed her face, made triphala tea, and sat down to write thinking maybe she should write for other people and stop writing for herself. Perhaps that’s waylaid thinking: Zilli wondered if that was the reason her blue pen got damaged and had to be returned to France for reconditioning. Very little had been written in her journal since she decided to stop whining in it. Zilli stopped writing down her dreams once she noticed them becoming repetitious. She was dreaming a lot but not taking a pad to bed to capture them.
It’s been suggested that a person write for 5 minutes as soon as they wake up. She would try that for a change. Change is what she felt she was about now. Finally the old habits of mind just don’t work any more; they were stalling her and she knew it. In order to gear up for progress in life a person has to think new, be fresh, open and eager to be the change they’ve made. “Be the change I’ve made!!” said Zilli to herself. She came across a directive in a small coiled book from 2002 telling her to write a story and it wouldn’t have to be a story about her. She gave this some serious thought. She would buy a book, any drama in print, and alter the cover. This would be her story: appropriated, altered on the outside, and just like any other on the inside.
Satisfied with herself she got out her handbag, daubed some glue on the front and stuck an old metal belt buckle to it. That would do until she went shopping in the morning for faux flowers to attach in a frame-like manner around the ornament. The keys to the Benz glinted against the white marble countertop, they knew Zilli would take them for a drive tomorrow.
Tucked into these sheets everything feels more comforting. Spilling over into this beautiful book with French white-lined paper receiving my feelings, my frets, my fears. I am releasing, reliving, and relieving. All I wanted was a serene, semi-elegant life of creating, contemplating, and finding my calling.
Instead I feel like I’m walking through a storm of sheets of paper that are flying helter-skelter in the wind’s force. The driving gale batters me with these pages. They’re blank and they act like moment to moment barriers blocking the way to my long range vision. I can’t see ahead, movement is slow, and interference is never-ending.
I was dreaming when the phone rang this morning. Bailey (my soft-coated wheaten terrier b.1986-2000) and I were on a bus together. She had her head in my lap and someone near me was with us; sort of. Someone further up in the bus criticized my having a dog on the seat. Inwardly I replied, “Dogs are perfectly clean.” Then Bailey and I were standing at the edge of a solid green lawn that could have been the perimeter of a golf course and it had an underlying coldness to the atmosphere and a darkness and it wasn’t a golf course and it was daytime.
Bailey was so real and yet I could feel the light weight of her skeleton confirming my knowledge of her passing in 2000. ‘The End’
Things didn’t seem so rough when I had “Snuffer” (Bailey). I’m crying a lot and Rand gives me a hug standing beside me as I sit here. He then brings me a big roll of toilet paper as I fill up a cocktail napkin and as if that isn’t enough he reaches for my Hermes scarf draped over a nearby chair and that brings up a laugh.
Bailey always took an interest in me: it was perpetual.
Maybe not being able to see where you’re going is a blessing. In our culture it is the norm to make plans, set out goals, and say what it is you’re going to do; not be buffeted about by the winds of change. Do I anchor myself, or do I set sail and observe the view. The latter I guess. I’m a romantic looking for adventure. I am??? When did this happen?? I wrote it, I must be feeling it. Now to try it.
Note: The exterior of our apartment building is being pressure-washed pre re-painting. Our glass enclosed solarium has lots of windy leaks and I have insisted we plasticize the inside of the glass walls and tape them securely in place.
The solarium has a plastic drop sheet taped over every window right down to the floor. It’s quite attractive the way the thin sheets diffuse the daylight. “I’ve put up my sheers!” I tell Rand.
Having left the sheets up to protect us from water and fumes from paint, we saunaed as we slept in the solarium for twelve weeks during summer’s premature arrival.
Question: Why don’t you sleep in a bedroom?
Answer: Because it’s tied up as a studio?
Email letter to a friend in late 2009:
“It’s exciting to hear the way our lives have somewhat paralleled each other’s. You’re right, it’s the freedom to lock up and go out the door that is most appealing about condo living. And yes, being near water is just as you’ve described it. Before we moved in I brought a friend over to see the space and as Katherine and I stood looking out to the enclosed glass balcony I suddenly shrieked, “I’m going to put our bed out here.” She laughed but she knew I meant it. I ordered an extra-long double bed, bought a funky chandelier at Jim’s Hardware across the street, placed 6 candles in it, and set 3 of Rand’s stone sculptures and my dead eucalyptus tree with tiny Christmas lights at the end of the room and I was done: all happy. I tend to open the windows wide before getting into warm covers. The one next to my head sometimes spits rain in. The mixture of mountain and sea air is gorgeous. The ‘best’ is the sounds of the waves throughout the night. Lots of freighters pass by with a long row of lights along the top of the hull and it can look like a necklace illuminated in the dark. The cruise ships that have passed (very likely with you and your husband on them) look most magical in the early morning light.
Three years after I did this I picked up a design magazine and saw an article displaying interiors with a bed as the focal point of the livingroom. YES!! It’s enjoyable, functional, and decorative when played up with textiles, pillow jungles, throws, books, mags, your dogs and cats. Tucked into these sheets everything feels more comforting.
Businesses, people, and ideas contain seeds of obsolescence. We may start out by making change: introducing new blood, modernizing and transforming ourselves, our environment, relationships, our businesses or even our blogs. We continue along the path certain that we are on track…but at some point we begin to lose traction. Others overtake us and we’re left to figure out why we’re no longer running out in front.
We are now running behind. I interpret this as becoming complacent in our personal life and our habits.
The artist, Paul Gauguin, wrote: “There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite”. Let’s leave it to the chain stores to fill this demand.
If we strive for the best in ourselves we can learn from new angles: THINK NAKED!! Here is a list of ideas to march into March 2010:
Think in “Supernatural” dimensions.
Conjure up two opposites and find a way to make them intersect and work together. ie. Remember T.V.’s “Odd Couple”.
Look at what is popular and visualize it differently. Be unique.
Stop being opinionated and start brainstorming from multiple perspectives.
Suspend your disbelief and reverse your assumptions.
Reframe a question to expose more than one right answer.
Answer ambiguous questions in several different ways.
Stir up my Mother’s favorite: “What if?” and put practicality aside.
Don’t edit yourself…gag your inner critic.
Think metaphorically. We react more readily to the emotional than we do to the rational. The trick is to use visual words instead of words lacking imagery.
“…free ideas slumbering in stone…” as Michelangelo did. In other words get rid of what doesn’t belong in you life, your art, your business, your relationships, and your thinking.
The context of your life should be useful and valuable to yourself and others. The steps above allow us to take giant leaps to innovation; re-seeing and re-seeding ourselves. Drench your work with your authentic self, your passions. Business is personalities and independent expression is us.