Returning to Never Never Land

Last night’s craft is nothing new. Pinterest is bursting at the seams with tutorials. I got a great one on A Beautiful Mess (the adorableness of this blog will send you for a spiral!). Mine is pretty much an exact copy except that I added a snap to the front so that the sides of the collar can be rotated to help it lie flat depending on how long or short you need the collar to be (where the neckline of the shirt you’re wearing it with is). And I couldn’t settle on one ribbon colour, so I sewed a little pearl shank button on over the snap so different coloured ribbons could be swapped in and out.

I want nothing more than to fill my closets with a fresh fall wardrobe, but it’s soooo not happening. I’m gonna have to rely on my craftiness to add a little zest to the clothes I’ve already got (as well as the odd thrift store find). A little white leather peter pan collar gives all the shirts I already own a little somethin’ somethin’.

A shank button is just a button that comes on a post (you don’t see the holes from the front)- it provides the space needed to loop a ribbon onto it. If you tie the ribbon on like you would tie a neck tie, you can tighten the ribbon nice a snug to the post and easily remove it to switch to other ribbons. From there the options are endless: lace, red velvet, neon…

OK. Gotta go get ready for the Hanson concert tonight.


I Like It

Remember that little power point presentation I was working on? It went well. 95% well. I think I’m good at fooling people looking and sounding confident, when really, I am a ball of nerves. I have not done public speaking in eons. I used to love it. Hopefully all my school presentations will help me rediscover that love because I was craaaaazy nervous doing this presentation. My heart was racing and I could see it pounding through the front of my shirt. My mouth was so incredibly dry that I actually had to excuse myself part way through my speech to walk back to my desk and drink some water before continuing.

It was also the fact that we had to stick to a 5 minute time limit (I’m a rambler) and we weren’t allowed to say “like” or “um” as fillers.

While I was practicing, I realized that I say “um” all the time. And for the life of me, I could not stop. I think I had a running dialogue in my head while I was delivering the presentation: “Hurry up. You already said that. Skip that part because you’re running out of time. You just said um. Get to the conclusion- that part is really good. You said Um again, stop it.”

As it was my first ever power point, my slides were elementary. White background, black writing and little bits of clip art stuck to each. I hit the arrow and the whole slide appeared. Most people had bits and pieces of their slide appear as they were talking about it. Some were so crafty and artistic, while others were extremely professional.

I have a lot to learn.

But I believe it was my topic choice (as well as the fact that my delivery followed the business communication format). Where everyone answered the question “what inspires your design?” with the visual components of art, photography, design styles, and famous designers.

My answer was philosophy.

I have to say that I was really inspired by some of the other people’s presentations. I scribbled two pages of notes on their ideas and sources.

I am coming to realize that I love everything.

One of our previous assignments was to critique a space as a group of four and then present it to the class. I found this exercise to be extremely negative. The girls in my group were tearing the design apart. There was a lot of “it’s ugly” and  “I don’t like it.” While I am not a particularly excited about checker-print (for now, I change my mind all the time), a photo of the cabin’s owner revealed a cute young man in a checkered shirt- clearly, this design had fit the client. And beyond the surfacy details such as the colour (two members of our group said that they detested green, so they rolled their eyes at the green couch), fabric prints, and accessories- I thought the floor plan was pretty brilliant for such an awkward little cabin. Despite the fact that I felt like I was spending the first 20 mins of the exercise carefully defending the design (I don’t think a proper critique involves only a list of everything you hate about it), my group was pretty receptive to my ideas and, in the end, our presentation involved some positive notes on the design.

That little exercise revealed a deeper trait that I had never really thought of: I am always hunting for inspiration. Even in something that I don’t immediately like, I do tend to try to find the redeeming qualities and learn from them.

Source: via Joanna on Pinterest

I am amazed how some students, so early on in their education, already have picked their “school of thought” (minimalism seems to be the most popular).

True to my kindergartens self who stated that “rainbow” was my favourite colour, I like everything, and I find inspiration everywhere. Like yesterday, I was feeling all creative while browsing through the furniture outside our local thrift shop followed by a hunt through the records. But it doesn’t end there- last week, walking past the crisp white linens and dripping chandeliers on the breezy patio at the Fairmont Waterfront downtown also made my heart skip.

Source: Uploaded by user via Leah on Pinterest

Source: via Amanda on Pinterest

My favourite colour is still rainbow, and my design style is everything.

Source: via Francis on Pinterest

Source: via Caroline on Pinterest

Source: via Jan on Pinterest

Wow. This post went off on a complete tangent. I guess I’ll save my presentation on Phillip Starck’s design philosophy for another post.

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Six Things

1. Amongst other things, I am currently in the middle of mono-chroming the bar cart I scored at our local thrift store a few months ago. I wish that I had used spray paint to do it, but I don’t have the luxury of a yard. I thought it would be a pain to load it into the car and drive it over to the inlaws yard. Turns out, painting it with a tiny brush and having to put 4 layers on is far more painful. Next time I will not hesitate to leave spray paint stains all over the front rockery.


2. I’ve been salivating over all those textured throw pillows bombarding my pinterest feed. In a moment of desperation (I was waiting on some friends to call to let me know what time to meet them for a drink), I grabbed the nearest textured thing (a rug) and turned it into two throw pillows (I never got called: burn- but I had two new throw pillows: win). And don’t worry. The rug was clean. Kinda.

3. With all these cooler temperatures, my feet were beginning to beg for a cozy rug. Something fuzzy. I pocketed some tip money and traded it for a flokati rug. After all, I was down a rug, so it only made sense to replace it.

4. I’m not allowed to paint. I’m not allowed to wallpaper, but I am allowed to sticker. I bought a couple sheets of vinyl at Michael’s and cut out hundreds of little triangles. One bedroom wall and the window overhang are now faux-papered.

5. I finally fixed our cuckoo clock. I hung it up last night. I turned it off an hour after going to bed. That cuckoo’ing is only cute during daytime hours.

6. I cleaned up in the sweater department at Value Village. Nothing motivates a closet clean out like having to make space for “new” clothes. Which is where I’ll be for the rest of the night.

Shelf Life

It’s a mess. Mid-August has struck and so has my nesting illness. Despite the fact that we have only been here for two months, I’m rearranging. The contents of my bookshelves are all over the floor. My closet is next on the list. September will always be the start of a new year. At the end of every summer I have this nagging urge to reorganize my space and purge the results of my hoarding mentality.

I’m set on using these two weeks between semesters to get some projects done. My drawing class seriously cut into my craft time, so I am making up for it. I am aware that I have probably piled my plate a little high. I intend to strip three pieces of furniture and refinish them as well as do some sewing and acrylic painting. So far, I’ve managed to faux-wallpaper my walls and convert a shag rug into a couple textured throw pillows. Today is all about the bookshelf (two of them). I find exposed shelves to be the biggest challenge as they so easily can look cluttered and disjointed, so I’m focusing on clearing a little more space than I usually do (sorry knickknacks), and maybe applying a little colour coordination with my books.

Today’s inspiration:

Done School. Let’s Disco.

Lately I’ve developed a liking for disco balls.

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

Everyday, on the way home from school, the bus makes a stop in front of a store on Main Street called “Trendybucks”- apart from the typical random bargain store fare- the window display is littered with giant, gleaming disco balls. I promised myself that I would go in as soon as I finished my summer semester.

Source: Uploaded by user via Clara on Pinterest

And then yesterday, Freepeople posted a picture on Instagram of the creative director’s clothes rack with a giant disco ball just sitting on the floor next to it.

Now all I want is a disco ball.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice

Bye bye blogger.
You lost me at “you are out of free photo storage space, please pay monthly for more.”

I have four days left in my summer school semester. I should be writing papers and preparing a power point presentation, but I would rather start a new blog.

This one’s for me. It’s a collection of inspirations, ideas and curios- a record of inspirations.

Right now, my brain and heart are all a flutter with Phillipe Starck. My presentation on Monday is to be about “what inspires you as a designer?”

What doesn’t?

Many times I have felt uneasy about going into design as a career due to the overly materialistic nature of it. I love to create, but I also love people. I wanna be Mother Teresa and a designer. Hypocritical- I know- but that doesn’t stop my heart from living and loving in both worlds.

So, inspired by Philippe Starck’s democracy of design (I’ll get to that later- it’s so good)- I have decided that I’m gonna be a hypocrite. I think I was made for this role. I’m gonna dream of building beautiful spaces (museums, restaurants, hotels) that ignite dreams in the people who go there, and I am going to fight for the environment, for those foster kids that my heart shattered for, and for anything else that pulls at my heart.

I’m gonna be a walking contradiction that no one can figure out or fit in a box.

And I’m gonna do it well.

Below are a few pictures of the budget Parisian hotel, Mama Shelter. Despite his fame, Philippe Starck is no design snob. His mission has been to bring good design to the most people (remove the elitist attitude that the good stuff is for the rich). There are two locations (Paris and Marseille) where you can get a room for around $100/night.