Something Pretty to Stare At

Before Scotty left his job at the sign shop, we inquired about having a vintage map printed for our wall.

I searched a bunch of online image sites and settled on a west/east hemisphere from the 1700’s. We got it printed on a big piece of canvas, and I’m still trying to figure out how best to hang it. I’m thinking of sewing the top and bottom edges and putting a metal tube in it (kinda going for the classroom roll-down map look), but I also want to find and use some vintage bulldog clips.

But for now, it hangs in raw form on the wall.

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The Process

It’s ok when you fall in love with your own creation right?

We’ve been challenged to make models in our design theory class using simple poster board and masking tape. The whole purpose is to document our creative process. If you can believe it, I started my very first sketch drawing 7 circles linked together in a chain 1-dimensionally, and 7 days later ended up with this. Tonight I have been experimenting with light in it and I’m just adoring what I am getting in my photographs of it.

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What has been so cool about it is that our teacher told us to just draw shapes, to ignore the idea of an end product, and just allow the structure come to us through exploration of positive and negative space. She said “I guarantee that if you don’t rush the process to the final product, you will come up with something so much better.”

Creative process. No limits. No goals. Just creativity for the sake of creativity. I’ve never done that before. Such a freeing and exciting experience.

Awe You.

Sometimes it’s just a shelf.

This one has got to be my favourite. I did a bit of de-cluttering between semesters. Learning not to clutter has been a tough one for me. I’m a bit of a collector (packrat).20121016-082327.jpgWe got this amazing film video camera (not sure what the actual name would be?) from Scotty’s grandparents. It still works, but apparently you have to send the film to New York to be developed (it’s a total specialty now).

20121016-082335.jpgEvery time I look at this shelf, I feel good. It’s just so darn adorable. I used trim tape (safe for walls) and cut it into triangles and wallpapered a couple shelves in my IKEA unit. It’s a nice little update to furniture you’re stuck with (it’s not my favourite piece, but it does the job).

Sometimes it’s as simple as a shelf- a spot that makes you kinda proud.

Bearing a Bit of My Soul

When I wake up in the morning, I stumble around in a daze. I need a solid 30 mins to suck back a couple “cuppas” (New Zealand slang… remember I lived there once?) before I can get serious about my day. Scotty always shakes his head at me when I begin to calculate how early I have to get up for something. I always factor in the minimum 30 minutes I need to let the caffeine soak in before I can begin to get ready. Generally, I get up a solid 1 1/2 hours before I have to leave. I take 40 mins to shower and be ready, but I can NOT just stumble out of bed and into the shower. I have to process this.

Our thanksgiving was low-key. Weekends are a bit of a luxury in this stage of our life. The need to catch up on homework and make enough money to pay the bills usually dominates our Saturday and Sunday. I can’t complain. We had our fun down south. Now it’s time to work. But that meant I suffered intense pangs of homesick thinking about my own family on the island gathered around my mom’s dining table. We ended up getting a “sympathy dinner” on Monday night consisting mainly of the previous night’s left-overs, but it thrilled us- especially me, who got her very own Tofurkey completely with Vegan gravy (which I demolished two days later).

But despite the fact that this weekend was filled more with responsibility than festivity, I came out of it feeling pretty bloody blessed.

Friday I was bed-ridden with the worst migraine, complete with room spins and total nausea. By Saturday, I had regained my will to live and poured my coffee into a “to-go” mug and went for a walk with my man to the beach.

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Seriously nature? Can you be any more awe-inspiring? I’ve said it in numerous posts (on this and many of my other blogs), nothing can beat the beauty of nature- it’s insanely spiritual. There are no words. Your eyes take it in and it communes with your inner being.

Cheeseball and truth.

Since then, I have adjusted my morning routine. My half hour of coffee ingestion is done on foot. Creation is the first thing to greet me in the morning, and the inspiration it lends is incomparable. While in Spain a few years ago, I had one of the most soul-shaking experiences of my life: experiencing Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. It is far more than just a building, it echoes creation, all of Gaudi’s work does. I have never been so inspired in my life than I was in that moment when I entered the Sagrada. To see how a man-built environment can be such a soulful experience lit a little flame in me. Design doesn’t have to revolve around the superficial. It doesn’t have to be about $500 throw pillows, or one-upping your neighbours. It can feed us, it can inspire us, it can move us in ways that we can’t put into words but can definitely feel.

Close friends and family know the journey I have been on in coming to this path in life: being a bit of a social-justice-environmentalist-bleeding-heart-i-wanna-change-the-world person who is passionate about creativity and design, and not just in myself, I love to hear about it in other people’s lives. For the most part, people tend to be self-deprecating when they show a painting, drawing or talk about an idea they have that might be considered artistic. But rarely have I ever come across anyones creative/artistic expressions and was anything less than inspired. I truly believe everyone has something to offer and they should really own it.

So how does a teenager who dreamt of being a doctor in Africa, who became psychology major and worked with marginalized young women in the foster system (that so many didn’t want to make time for, but can I just say that I have never witnessed such strength in any other person than these young women- I feel truly blessed to have met every one of them) proceed to the next step of pursuing interior design as a profession?

I have no clue.

But doors keep opening, and when I feel doubtful, I get a nudge- a “keep going, I’ve got plans for you”- I always thought that I would save the world by providing medical care to the third world, or by helping mend broken spirits and hearts to the marginalized. How design fits in, I do not know, but my values are still the same: I feel a responsibility to humanity, justice, and to the environment. The picture is so foggy right now but somehow design will fit that.

School, despite its moutain of work, is going so well. That colour assignment came back to me with a great mark and a note from my professor begging for my permission to make a copy of it to use in future classes. That insane drawing class I took this summer (the professor is famous around school for being the hardest on his students) came with an open invitation to apply at his architectural firm as an student-apprentice, and next week I have an interview with a designer downtown to see if I can do some kind of internship.

Doors. They’re opening. Yes, I am working my butt off, but I feel led. I feel encouraged.

I feel thankful.

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Take a Seat

Just a little Thursday afternoon chair “candy”- I think I might be a chair and light person. We just covered some of the basic types of lighting in class on Tuesday and I was seriously into it (who knew).

I am procrastinating on starting my drafting assignments. The precision and perfection required completely intimidates me. Guess I should just get the “first draft” over with (I don’t even want to get into how many copies I’m going to have to do over this weekend).

***Papa Bear Chair

Source: st.houzz.com via Cristine on Pinterest

***Ghost Chair

Source: glitterandgoatcheese.com via Olga on Pinterest

***Barcelona Chair

Source: 24.media.tumblr.com via Kenan on Pinterest

***Nadja Swarovski’s “Bear” Chair

Source: elledecor.com via Chelsea on Pinterest

***Redsmith Chair

Source: anthropologie.com via Molly on Pinterest

***”Rand” Wing Chair

Source: elledecor.com via Iana on Pinterest

***Acapulco Chair

Source: designspongeonline.com via Chelsea on Pinterest

***Louis XV Chair

Source: heimastore.com via Morganne on Pinterest

***Bubble Chair

Source: homedesigndecorating.com via Barbara on Pinterest

***Club Chair

Source: bloodandchampagne.com via Matt on Pinterest

***Eames Rocking Chair

Little Bits of Paper

We make collages in design school. This week’s assignment was to tear a picture out of a magazine and then recreate it using colours we find in magazines. Valentino and John Galliano are both hacked up in there, amongst everything from a bit of a lion’s mane to ocean waves. I spent a LOT of time layering lots of tiny bits of paper onto the blank space beside the original image… and I finally threw upmy hands at 1pm this afternoon. I could spend a year on it and not feel done. So many colour variations to capture. It was a great exercise for colour recognition.20121003-004152.jpg

I knew it was time to move on when I finished putting 6 different pepper-grind sized pieces of paper together to do Alice’s lips.

I have lost my mind. And I am loving it.

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