Monday, July 23, 2018

A tribute to my father, a successful man

My dad died July 6, 2018. I've had a hard time writing this tribute. I'm still processing. It's so surreal.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may recall that I wrote a rather scathing piece about the abuse I suffered at my dad's hands. It doesn't really matter anymore. I'm not here to talk about fluffy forgiveness stuff.  But, I suppose I did forgive him. Anyway, it's not even relevant any more.

I spent many years not talking to my dad, at some point I didn't even really feel mad anymore. Afterall I was with my dad for only 18 years. I've been responsible for myself for 40 years. I have taken the post down. I am still an advocate for children and ending violence, so if you'd like to read the post, email me and I'll send you a copy.

Well meaning people have said the usual about God, like my dad's with God or God has his plan or whatever. I find these words unhelpful, insincere and utterly unconvincing. We all recognize the loss of a loved one as devastatingly painful, and we just don't have the words for an occasion like this.

What's important is the now. I believe only in the now. And right now, I feel grateful. I spent Father's Day this year with my dad. I hadn't seen him in about 15 years. That day I experienced a lot of love. My dad was a different man, divorce from my mother suited him well and his "new" wife (of 40 years) doted on him. They both expressed their gratitude for each other, as we sat on their porch overlooking their beautiful yard. The love was tangible. Dad told me he was happy, and at peace. He had everything he ever wanted, but his health had been poor for sometime and he was ready to go.

My dad told me I was pretty, and that he was proud of me. I had longed to hear this my whole life. I am tempted to say better late than never. But as a believer of the Now, I think we should change a lot of our languaging. If we believe only in the Now, then everything happens right on time. His words certainly were right on time for me, as I have been facing a difficult time.  I just need to say that again.  His words came right on time.

My brother and my dad sat and talked like buddies. My brother, who suffered the loss of his long-time partner this year, commented how much he enjoyed the camaraderie with my dad. He said he had forgotten to share his adult life with my dad. And he couldn't wait to see him again.

It was a short time after that we were standing in the hospital room saying our goodbyes to my dad, as plans were being made to take him off life support machines. I am so grateful that we made our peace with each other and that he died a happy man.

My dad was a wise man. He had the ability to drop a pearl of wisdom that would change your life. And he has taught me profound lessons in his passing. 

Have you ever considered what success is? We all know the accumulation of wealth is far too narrow of a definition.  My dad taught me by example, that the measure of a successful man is whether he dies grateful, happy and loved. Against all odds, my dad was all these things. That makes him a successful man. If I were to die tomorrow, I could not say the same.

Forget the flowery concept of forgiveness, forget all the other spiritual gobbilty gook.  Are you grateful? Are you happy and surrounded by love? These are the only things that matter.

Thanks Dad for the many lessons. Sorry this tribute is so lame. I'm sure I will be writing about my dad again, as I am thinking of his words often.


George William
8/7/39 - 7/6/18

Monday, May 7, 2018

My Beautiful Desk

In a previous post, I wrote about my brother, J Segal, who is a talented designer. (See previous post here.) I am happy to announce that I am now the proud owner of the beautiful iLean desk, designed by him.  The iLean desk is a marvel in balance. Though I am not usually a lover of wood, I had a hard time deciding whether to paint it. It's so gorgeous. I must admit that I adore zebrawood.

Before

Inspiration

I decided I wanted to incorporate pale pink and gray in its design.  Milk glass ashtray from Etsy, psychedelic pillow from Amazon.  Paint chips are from Valspar, pink icing, piglet and electric sky. 

After

I used piglet on top. I love this color so much, I want to do all my walls in this color. On the bottom is pink icing by Valspar and a silver gray from mistake bin by Clark and Kensington, which I used on a small bookcase also built by my brother. (See previous post here.) The shell bentwood chair is by the Novogratz, and is available at Amazon for a reasonable price.

Now I just need to decide what art to hang. A fun dilemma.  I love it!

Contact Jeff on Instagram @JSegaldesign


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Addicted to Vignettes ...and Filters

One of my favorite things to do is putter about my apartment. I especially love rearranging my vases. I dream of having my own little boutique where I could putter to my heart's content. I was particularly pleased with the vignette I created today with two of my favorites: my moon lamp from CB2 and a graceful vintage Japanese vase.


Of course, upon completing a successful vignette, I feel the need to document it. Odd, right? But the technology allows us to take part in photographic experiments we never thought possible. So many filters are available, it's hard to choose. And these days, everyone's a photographer.

This filter is called Faded Glow on the Snapseed app. It's my current favorite. It creates moody pictures, and is perfect for rainy day shots (see a couple examples here).  What about you, dear readers? What's your favorite filter?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Shop Chic...or...the influence of a cute little purse

A few weeks ago I saw a cute purse at a vintage shop. I didn't buy it, but it's been haunting me. I have a confession to make, I am a purse addict in recovery. I've always wanted to do a wall of purses, but I've resisted, knowing my penchant to tire of things quickly.

Anyhoo...the lovely shop owner told me the purse was designed by Mary Quant. After Googling her, I must admit, I am obsessed. She is one of the most prominent designers of 60s London-based pop. A very playful, happy and exuberant trend. Here's a picture of Mary.

 
How freaking adorable is she?  I think this pic could be the influence for a beautiful color scheme. I also think this picture would be really cute as a poster.


Here's a pic of one of Mary's designs. I am in love with the pop flowers! Last week I decided to do a little retail therapy. I wanted some new happy pieces. Mary had me craving some retro mod influences.


Here's my loot influenced by Mary! All this loot was $38 at a local consignment store. Loving the orange. Look at those shoes, aren't they fab? I could see Mary wearing them.


Love this color scheme: orange, pink and turquoise.


Here's something I love, but didn't buy. How fab is this flamingo bag from Pat Catans? Would look great on my hypothetical purse wall.  I've said it many times -- I need a virtual reality machine.


I've always wanted to have my own a little boutique. That would satisfy my love of creating vignettes. It occurred to me, why should beautiful objects like purses be hid in the closet? Why not display them proudly? Afterall,  they are pieces of art. So I have my new shoes proudly displayed with a gorgeous beaded purse I found at the Goodwill. I called this new look Shop Chic. I'm sure Mary would approve.

Obliteration and Design ADD

Dear readers, there's a trend I hate in decor, and that is the amateur portrait wall. I don't understand why people enjoy walls covered in strangers. Creepy. In my own art, I enjoy the process of obliteration. (See previous post for an example). I enjoy reducing my artwork to render it deceptively simple. I also enjoying dismantling lamps and breaking vases. I don't know why I do what I do what I do, I just know that I have to.

Anyhoo...I was absolutely giddy when I discovered the work of Oliver Jeffers.


Love!  I'm a big fan of color blocking. Love how the lady's eyes are peeking over a sea of aqua. Also love how the color carries onto the frame. When I saw this I wanted to buy all the crappy art at the Goodwill and cover them with paint. (P.S. The Goodwill is a great place to buy frames.)


So here's a piece I bought.


Here it is after painting. I wanted to leave a little peek of what it used to be. I hung it in my dining room. As is often the case, I grew tired of it in short order.


So...I covered it in teal paint by Valspar. BTW, I am loving sample sizes of wall paint. I actually like this. My intent was to do a wall of color blocking using various pieces from The Goodwill.


Alas, after several weeks I grew tired of the piece again. This is what's like to live with the common affliction called Design ADD. The piece felt too heavy and in changing up my apartment for Spring, I feel the need to lighten up.


So, I stripped it down further and decided to use just the frame.


I'm a lover of simplicity and geometry. I hope that one day I will arrive at the perfect arrangement in my apartment, and that I will never have to move a thing again. Ah. Surely that is Nirvana.



Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring Colors

In my post below I mentioned how much I love the colors for Spring 2018. I'm obsessed. Hot pink, pale pink, orange, peach, chartreuse, teal. I even love mixing saturated colors with pale colors. If you're trying to cheer yourself up after the long winter, add a pop of color to your place. You might even trying experimenting with a color you wouldn't ordinarily use. You'd be surprised how an unexpected hit of color freshens up a tired room. And it need not be expensive.


Have you noticed how cute outdoor furniture has gotten? I'd use any of these pieces inside. I really love the ceramic turquoise end table, I'd like to have that in my home.

Tropical prints are really hip right now. I'm not usually one for trends, but I am digging this palm leaf patterned rug. I fear I am becoming a maximalist. Images from Brylane.  BTW, I hate blogging on my Android, I don't know why I can't get my text to wrap left.


My brother and I went to Target tonight. Aren't these pillows divine? I  haven't been there in a long time. It was great to see things in person that I usually only see online. However, I was having sticker shock as well as sensory overload, Target has a lot of beautiful things for the home. I'm especially in love with their Project 62 products, but their prices have gotten high.  I did see a lamp that is haunting me, though....

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Spring! Be bold!

Dear readers, if you are like me, you are feeling the pull to spruce up your place. It's only natural since Spring is in the air. I'm a bit obsessive about my place. Lately, I am craving color. Bright and happy colors like orange, yellow, chartreuse, turquoise. And, of course, pink. As you know, whatever color scheme I use, will always contain healthy doses of pink. I'm even thinking of experimenting with layering patterns, something I don't do very often, preferring simplicity. But I find that I'm at a stage where I want to throw caution to the wind, be bold and fearless and unapologetically me. Of course there's a ton of inspiration on the internet. Below I've assembled a collage of some beautiful colors and shapes, which give you a peek into my mind. People sure make beautiful things, don't they?





Credits:
1. Mark Rothko painting
2-4 pillows from Amazon. I am head over heels for the beaded chartreuse pillow.
5-6 lamps from Amazon
7 Ashley lamp from Target
8 fabulous blue beaded chandelier - unknown
9 Chinese inspired orange lamp designed by Meg Caswell (remember her from Design Star?  See my previous post reviewing Design Star, here).
10 blue glass lamp from Tuesday Morning
11-13 vintage pillows from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Leelaland Designs. I think these patterns look marvelous together.

What about you, dear readers? Are you busy spring cleaning? What are you doing to spruce up your place?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Apartment for Today

Dear readers, I mentioned below, that I wish I were in Washington, D.C. today. I'm not feeling well enough to be with the marchers today, but I am there in spirit and am showing my support on YouTube and Twitter.  I am so proud of the youth of today.

So, I'm puttering around the apartment. It may seem frivolous, but it brings me great joy. It is a meditation for me. And while I am sending loving support to the marchers today, I am quieting my mind and focusing on gratitude.

My personal space is important to me. I've been in this apartment eight months now. As you know, I had to start over when I got back from Denver. All my furniture has been donated by friends and family. And though my home is humble, I love it.

Here's what I want from my place:  a simple restraint, flirting with minimalism. A modern look, influenced by mid-century mod and Japanese decor. I want it to be colorful and cozy, unapologeticly girly.

Here's what it looks like today. I spent no money, I simply moved things around.







Here's a secret. I use my dining room as my office. Here's what it looks like when I am working.


I often cut up my art to make new art. I like to think that my art is Zen, and that it celebrates the impermanence of all things.


Here's a couple vignettes from my teeny tiny kitchen, which is not clean enough for a reveal today. Yes, my place does get messy.

As you know, I am not very sentimental about things. I purge easily. I don't miss my TV or microwave. However, I do miss my desk top computer and its vast functionality. I am blogging with my Android.   I'm not having great success editing my photos.  Even though I like my place to be cave like, I'm not happy that my photos are too dark. Ahh..wabi sabi photos to match a wabi sabi environment. I have great respect for interiors photographers.



Puttering Around the Apartment

Dear readers, hope you are having a great weekend. I wish I were in Washington, D.C. today. I am so proud of our young people. I so hope they are able to accomplish what we were not able to accomplish when I was young.

While I am following along on YouTube, I am puttering around my apartment. When I am concerned about politics, it calms my mind to think about beauty. Afterall, art is politics and politics is art. Our problems all stem from greed, and the fear of lack. But there's enough to around. We all need beauty in our lives.

A digression? Maybe so. Anyhow, puttering is my favorite thing to do. Admittedly, I have design ADD. I have no budget to decorate, but nonetheless I move something everyday, even if it's just a pillow or a vase. Here's a couple of examples of how areas in my place take on a different look very simply, only using what I already have.






My current look is definitely something from nothing. For more on the issue of gun contol, please see my previous post.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pretty Pink Vase No. 2...or...Ask and You Shall Receive

Dear readers, I've been listening to the book The Secret (it's available on Netflix). I've read it many times, but I am finding it particularly profound of late. The law of universal attraction is something that I've been considering more and more. I've been following quantum physics, simulation theory and Elon Musk.

BTW, have you seen Cover Girl's model Maye Musk (Elon's mother)?


She is a stunner! I have a major girl crush on her. This family definitely knows The Secret. Sorry, I digress. But y'all know how my mind works. Creativity influences creativity.

So... pretty much the law of attraction is very simple. You receive what you focus on. So one day last week I'm sitting on my sofa and I'm thinking I really want a pretty pink vase for my dining room table. I take to my drawing pad and I'm drawing the vase that I want. I start searching Etsy.

I've got a specific image in mind. I want a fully committed and unapologetic pink. Not blush, not mauve but a fearless, real pink. I want a modern simple shape and I want it to be about 11 inches tall.

I can't find it on Etsy, I find a couple of maybes, but not exactly what I want. And not in my budget.

After spending a little time contemplating the vase, I decide to go grocery shopping. As I walked into the grocery store, what was in my eyeline? A wine bottle. The perfect pink, the perfect height and the perfect (cheap) price. I snatched it without a second thought. Thank you universe, I said. That night I celebrated with a rare glass of wine, as I admired my good fortune. I sent love and gratitude to the manufacturer of this wine for having the fortitude to use labels that peeled off easily.


Isn't it gorgeous! It proves you can decorate on a budget. You will notice there are no dining room chairs around my table. There's a reason for that. Here's another secret: when I want something in my apartment, I create a vacuum for the universe to fill. I want two square ottomans to use as seating for this small space. I have no doubt I will find the perfect ones.

But why stop there? If the law of attraction works on something small, it can work for something big. Sound too simple? All truth is simple. I'll have more to say about that in asubsequent post.

I am taking part in a thought experiment with focus, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. In the meantime I'm totally in love with my perfect pink vase.

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