What Dreams May Come.

There is no worse thing than when your brain hits a wall. Sitting here struggling over a concept statement for my class. I’ve spent much of the evening collecting images and writing words and associations down as they come to me, but I feel like I’ve jinxed myself. Once you start pressuring that creative being inside, it runs and hides as if playing a game of hide-and-seek. Think it’s time to quit for the night. Wash some dishes and pack a lunch for tomorrow. Hopefully it comes to me in the middle of the night… it would be fitting, as my concept is around dreams.

I m trying to find the words to describe that moment when dreams and consciousness collide, that moment you slip off the edge and tumble down the rabbit hole, or find yourself soaring over clock-towers to Never Never Land…

Or maybe my concept statement just hit. When I started this post, I was approaching it from the other end, that moment of waking. Of dawn, when perhaps the story lies in the dusk.

The photo above has nothing to do with my project. I am designing a Santa Monica beach house. That image is all for me. Really finding some solstice there.

Now to turn that statement into a space.

(I do not know the original source of the image. I found it here).


Tonight We Feast.

Rainbows dance on my walls as the crystals I strung in the window catch the bright sun and explode it into the spectrum in hundreds of stars scattered all over my bedroom. I am one of the fools (fans) who fell down the eggnog rabbit hole in October. I love it in my coffee. I’m on my third cup. I am going to get an ulcer. Hopefully not today. My lone budgie sings to the birds outside. Scotty is off playing football and I am going through my trunk of thrift store clothes that are in need of some alterations… there are a lot of shoulder pads in my kitchen garbage. I’ll probably regret that in a few years when I am madly sewing shoulder pads back IN to everything.

Today feels slow. I relish in slow.

I joked with one of my coworkers that I build “scenes” with everything I see. She was showing me a white cable neck sweater she had just purchased and I immediately started to build an outfit out of it. But it doesn’t stop there. I picture the activity, location, decor and mood as if in a magazine advertisement. She laughed at me as I rambled off something about a fire, sugared rims and tartan blankets. Maybe this isn’t normal?


This morning, as I put together my outfit for Thanksgiving Dinner (where I fill up on brussels spouts and plain mashed potatoes-vegetarian- I’m there for the people, not the food) I realized that I do this a lot. Clothes aren’t really all that important. I am amazed at the money people feel that they have to spend. Others couldn’t give a rip about what they wear. For me, it’s just another opportunity for expression and creativity. I approach cooking much the same way- we all have to eat, we all have to get dressed- why not have fun with it? My brilliant discovery this morning while trying to figure out what tights to wear, was that they could be layered! I’ve got some great crocheted tights, but I sometimes find the contrast between my bare skin and the tights to be a bit dizzying, and then I’ve got some of those “tights” that turned out to be a bit more “nylon” than the package made me believe, but together? Perfect.




My Hair Smells Perfect.

This morning we loaded up the CRV with blankets, lawn chairs, firewood and a thermos of hot tea. We stopped in at our favourite local deli for sandwiches and then headed to the beach. There’s this stretch of beach that you can drive your car along, and it’s the perfect spot to have a fire. We ate, listened to Bonobo, he napped and i caught up on some reading for my space planning class. It was simple and such a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. I can’t believe that this is the first time I ever thought to do it. I think it might become a bit of a habit.



Outfit Change: From Designer, Back to Student.

Quick transition from work week to student life. I tend to feel a little disjointed on Thursday nights. I’m emerging from 4 days, 11-ish hours long (which now have an few hours of homework following them), and then I’ve got the mad dash of finishing up homework (I’m learning how to do “good enough” and not meticulously perfect) and making sure I didn’t miss anything. Last week was a late night because of IDS West and this week was late because one of our suppliers sent Scotty and I to a preseason Canucks game. I’ve never been to a hockey game. Never could stomach those ticket prices, but tonight felt like a real treat even *if* I was working on a little homework in my notebook during parts of the game. It was nice to spend a bit of time with Scotty that wasn’t both of us on our work laptops across the table from each other… Although I do love how we’re both in the same boat this year with making that leap into our new careers. We both come home and tell each other how dumb we felt at work when “x” happened. And then we laugh (to keep from crying… Some nights).
Tonight I did up a personal design statement. I think it turned out ok, I’ll share it this weekend. I also discovered iTunes festival… Has this been around forever? I’m probably so late to the “show” but I’m happy to finally be here. That’s Ellie Goulding belting it out. I think her last two albums were my most listened to this year. Absolutely love her.

IDS West.

Between all the excitement of Interior Design Show West, I managed to snap a few pictures. The show was really good this year, and Becky and I left it with aching feet (the best shoes always hurt the most) and so much excitement. The phone shots are just a taste. I was too busy enjoying myself to document everything, but it was such a great show. So much eye-candy. So much potential. So many ideas. While the industry-only event was on Friday, I am quite positive a lot of designers go to the Thursday night event. The air was just buzzing with design nerd excitement. I remember at an IDIC student event, one of the speakers said something along the lines of:

When you were a kid, you were always creating, you never left anything alone: whether your wardrobe or your room, you constantly changed ‘the look.’ As a student, you practically slept under your drafting table. And as a designer, you find yourself scribbling on napkins or the backs of receipts, and you take photos everywhere… even in a restaurant washroom because you love a light fixture, or a tile repeat. When you are a designer, you live and breathe it.


Becky talked at length with this gentleman. His pieces were beautiful. I was particularly taken with the coffee table. I opted for zebrano style wood mixed with white cabinetry (think colour-blocking) for our design office kitchen, but this stuff was insane! It was the richest colour of burnt orange and deep chocolate. And no offence to gold (I still love you), but I couldn’t get enough of the copper! Tastefully done, I think copper makes the most amazing table legs and trim especially when the wood is deep/rich.20130924-215037.jpg


Becky will try to tell you that “we” have started a teensy tiny furniture company, but the truth is, she is the one on her tiny deck with a chop saw and a rotary sander- I’m just trying to get this Jr.Designer/Student thing figured out. We’ve managed to convince our boss to let us make a small table for the reception area and a light fixture and table for our conference room. Again, I have helped her find stacks of free wood pallets and located a Christmas tree farm that sell cheap slabs of live edge. I’ve gushed with her over ideas and found hairpin table legs, but SHE has done the actual work. And this XO joint had her bursting with excitement (as wood that is drying tends to split).



Apologies for the awful, blurry picture with Becky ghosting in it, but sadly, it was the only one I took of this bike rim divider screen. Pretty awesome for a mancave or a boys room.


We had VIP passes sent to our office by some of our suppliers which meant that we got free access to the event as well as VIP lounge access. It was beautifully put together, but I tend to feel strange in VIP. The two times in my life that I got VIP I was floored with the privilege and so grateful, but I’m not fancy (I tend towards silly, and silly doesn’t seem very VIP-ish) and it felt weird watching people get turned away. We ducked in and admired center-pieces, sipped some wine and then snuck out the side.








LOVED these built in headboard lamps. Vintage work/shop lights… there is a use for absolutely everything. And it’s this kind of stuff that gets me excited!



Reclaimed wood wall mosaics. A vertical floor to ceiling strip on a wall can look sooooo cool.



Resin-filled stumps. Yeah. I am well aware. Look at his “Bloom Table” (click here)- this guy knows how to mix his wood with resin.




I’m a bit of a light nerd. I really love light fixtures. The other designers at work laugh at me because I always get excited to look for lights for their projects.


Take this idea and run with it. Imagine toys made into wall takes and spray painted on colour for a kids room.


Happy Autumn.

I know I have been acting like it is autumn for weeks now, but today is the first official ay of Autumn. I think that is reason to celebrate a bit. I know that I am going to spend my entire evening on AutoCad, so this morning I am going thrifting followed by a pop into the farmers market for produce and white pumpkins. I know they probably won’t make it to Halloween, but I see it similar to fresh flowers- enjoy them while you can.



I am on the hunt to find a camel wool jacket similar to this one, and some skirts… and jeans. ALWAYS jeans. The Value Village in Richmond can sometimes be crazy for jeans. I’ve found Paige Premium and J Brand for under $15.


Sources: 1.2.

I Just Woke Up…

… from a 13 hour sleep. I came home from class and passed out at 7pm on a friday night.

Go big or go home right?

The adjustment to full-time and school feels a bit like jet lag: I’m happy to be here, but my eyes feel heavy. I’ll adjust. I just need time.

There’s a stomach flu going around right now. A girl in my office and a couple of guys on Scotty’s football team have been bed-ridden by it. I’m quite sure i got some version of it on Thursday night and had it all day yesterday. Had it been a work day, I would have called in sick (and I’m so not the person to take sick days). But being that it was a school day, I ran on adrenaline. I shoved my fist into my stomach where it hurt and avoided standing up too much. I told myself that I didn’t have time to start throwing up (this post is heading in a better direction, bear with me), so when I felt that lump in my throat, pounding heart and faintness I mind-over-mattered it and told myself no way in hell.

The giant fog of a headache made AutoCad greaaaat. But if i missed a class, I would be lost. The semester is quick, only 9 more classes until my final exam. miss one and it’s impossible to catch up. I had a sketchbook assignment as well as an in class assignment in space planning, so there was no getting out of that either.

Thank goodness for my immune system. I think it’s pretty swell. They always say that rural kids have better immune systems than city kids. I lived on a farm until I was 7. Playing in the dirt and running through the forest in bare feet was my forte. Unbeknownst to my mom, after my brothers went off to school (so they wouldn’t tattle on me), I used to go into the chicken coop and climb through the tiny poop covered hole and run around in the back enclosure with all the chickens. Barefoot. In the mud. In the poop. Not a care in the world until I heard my mom calling me from the porch. I would race back to the house and she would violently brush my rats nest hair into a bun for ballet… [Ballet bit the dust after 2 years. I was holding out for the shoes with the ribbons on them, but all the restriction didn’t seem worth it… I did my own awesome blend of gymnastics and dance in the basement- I called it “Fantastics.” I don’t need any of this- I’ll make my own damn shoes, and I’ll dance the way I want with messy chicken coop hair… ]. Pretty sure I owe it to that chicken poop for allowing me to fight off a large part of that flu so that I could bus, skytrain and bus to class and make it through 7 hours of school with a stomach bug.

I don’t need any of this- I’ll have the flu the way I want to.

When i got out of class, I had a text from my boss:



Remember when I said that thing about the deep end? Total jump off into the deep end with this project. I’ve surfaced and realized I didn’t sink like a stone.

Now to keep kicking my feet and stay on the surface.


My First.

Here it is. My first project. You’ll get to see all the before and afters. I think it’s going to be a pretty great little Reno. I say “little” because the only room that is getting a brand new layout is the kitchen, but the entire place has been gutted. All the finishes are being updated and we are converting a bathtub into a luxury shower (bathtubs are becoming far less common).

It’s one of the bosses rental homes. He’s fixing it up to sell, so it’s the perfect job for yours truly to take on the lead without having to deal with overly picky clients. He’s putting me through the ringer with timeline though. I’ve been on the project for 8 days and by next week, I’ll probably be finished almost all the design work and ordering. I’m not completely on my own. I have been coached along like crazy by Becky. I can’t say enough great things about the girl. She’s been endlessly patient with me and so crazy encouraging. Today I had a moment that I couldn’t pull through. I was struggling through specing a gas fireplace insert, and I just couldn’t figure out what the face-plate dimensions should be for the opening in the wall. I called Becky and she dropped everything to come on site to explain it and figure out what should be ordered… “Dog eat dog” is not part of her credo.

I could keep writing for hours about my gratitude to that woman, but another long day lies ahead. So I’ll let my eyes finally close and I’ll tell myself that short, regular posts are better, and make it ok to to the bulk of my posts from my phone because you can only do what you can do.