Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's a pleasure to wash dishes

Image from flickr user kozyndan.

I actually washed the dishes today! Of course I didn't look anywhere near this chic, but I was so grateful to be able to stand long enough to wash dishes. I have been flat on my back for almost five days. Funny the things we take for granted. I've listened to the work of Thich Nhat Hanh many times, and I've known it intellectually. But today, I felt it.

My body is sending a rather potent message, and I have some decisions to make. I would love to have a newer, larger apartment and new furniture. But at what cost? Do things sometimes imprison us in souless jobs that rob our lives? I have been craving a new fab lamp. But do I really need it?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Green on White

As I wrote about ugly vases below I thought,"On no! Kim and Jo at Desire to Inspire are starting to rub off on me!"

I swear - I am never getting a peacock chair! And I admit it, I'm glad I got rid of all my college-dorm-ruined-hand-me-down wicker furniture.

But. A poster of Al Green in a peacock chair. Now, that would be groovy.

I mean look at him. He is the coolest. Image Lost in Tyme via Desire to Inspire. I think he fits my current vibe. And girls, don't listen to this record. It'll ruin you. Mortal man will never be good enough again.

When Sears Gives You Shit .... Make Art

I was about to write a boring, angry diatribe about Sears. Truth is, you don't feel like hearing it and neither do I. I don't know how I missed the Ty Pennington vases at Sears! Don't bother clicking. They are out, and like I said, I had a bad experience. Apparently the collection was popular, and I'm glad about that. They are beautiful. The one in the middle is my favorite. I haven't been to Sears since I was a kid, and it was these vases that drew me back.

When I got to Sears (40 miles round trip at $3.25 per gallon), all they had left was the large one. I bought it. The sales clerk threw it in a bag on the counter, literally. (This was only one example of the poor service I received, as I said I'm not writing about it.) I gasped! She handed me the bag, did not offer to wrap it. My heart ached at the indifference shown to this thing of beauty. I checked the vase, yep. Cracked. I stood there and wrapped it myself, lovingly. It was the last one, and it's an orphan. It's coming home with me.

By the time I got it home, it really was broken. Oh and BTW - the candle I bought was shit too. I pulled out the super glue.

It was not to be. The glue was stuck to pens, and stuck shut. Maybe this is cosmic. Maybe the vase found its neck suffocating and it can breathe easier now. Maybe I can make art out of this.

If you will notice in the top frame, the poor thing never even got its tag off. Oh well, it's art now. So I photographed this installation and then dismantled it. Cool. Always wanted to do that. Sleeve inspired by image from Muci Muci (see previous post.) I have been attempting to embrace imperfection lately. Maybe I'll just go with what the vase chose to become. I found an ugly brown vase in the laundry room and decided to play with it. Probably won't keep it. But I was on a roll and having fun.
Hmm. You could probably have an entire collection of ugly, orphan and broken vases.

I have not revealed the sources in order to protect the innocent (although these vases have all appeared on this blog at one point). I don't want to offend, but these are some ugly vases. But for some reason they are so ugly, they are cute. Thanks, Sears, for being so inspirational, but I won't be back.

Mood Board - White on White

Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting, 1951, at the Guggenheim.

The blurb at the Guggenheim is utterly fascinating, no need for me to repeat it here, check it out if you have a minute. This work created a near scandal in 1951. The color white is so mystical, today it still invokes powerful debate on the design blogs I visit. Perhaps the reason is as the Guggenheim states when speaking of Rauschenberg's painting. "[The work is] ascendant . . . [its] uninflected all-white surfaces eliminated gesture and denied all possibility of narrative or external reference." Groovy.

I just know I dig it and I've always wanted to experiment white paintings on white walls with white floors. Not as easy to accomplish as it may seem. The restraint and the precision can be excruciating. When I experiment, I never reach my impossible standard, so I've learned to live with imperfection.  Here are some white on white images that I find fascinating.

Love the texture of this piece. I apologize - but if anyone knows the artist, please contact me. I can't quite make out the signature.
Kanye West's apartment featured on Interior Design. His place really rocks, see my previous post, here. I almost fainted when I saw this dining area. I adore the white painting with the lights behind it. I would love to experiment with making such a piece.

Untouched, uncropped photo by Peggy, for some reason I like the rawness of this image. White martini glasses from Pier 1. Hindu print enlarged from a vintage book. Mental note: things to procrastinate about - finish painting apartment.

White vases from Bliss Living.  Stay tuned. I'm working on all white piece that is demanding. My goal is to do a little each night after work this week, to help focus my mind. I hope to unravel the work next weekend.

Mood Board - My Favorite Vintage Store

I adore this sofa! This was at my favorite vintage/retro store. I think it could fit into the white/gold scheme I described below. But, alas, not into my budget. I love the idea of having a large sofa, preferably a sectional. Then there would be no need for chairs. And I could pile it high with pillows!

I also saw this pillow. I adore it! It would fit well in the gold scheme I described below. $24.99. Not bad, but I passed. So many beautiful things, makes it hard for a girl to save money. And the truth is I have more than enough stuff. Still ... this pillow is tempting me greatly, I am fighting the urge to go back....

Mood Board - White/Gold/Moroccan

I have looked at this image from Elle Decorations' July 2007 issue many times. This is a dangerous image. You know the kind - an image that makes you want to throw everything out and start over.

I crave Moroccan style. The following is a mood board based on the feeling of this photo.

My new vase. Different from my usual style, but the more I look at it, the more I love it. It is actually vintage Italian, but it fits with this scheme very well.

Gold vase formerly available at West Elm. I wish I had ordered this vase! I think it would look great next to my Italian vase. I hope this will be part of West Elm's Christmas collection again this year!

Gold vase at Target.

I have a thing for lanterns, but I haven't bought one because I don't want to start another collection. Image on left from flickr user Miss Kitty Kat. Image on right by Peggy, at local Thai restaurant. I'd be tempted to spray paint these white.

Pierced porcelain is an important part of this look, and I adore it. Votive holders from CB2 (image by Peggy). Lamp from Le Souk. I've been thinking of ordering this lamp for a long time. I love it.

Trays are another important part of this look, and serving tea a sacred act.

Cooper tray and tea set from Le Souk.

Mood Board - Thinking of Yellow

I've been thinking of yellow a lot lately. Perhaps it's because I am so ready for Spring. Here's the view from my window today.

Dreary. I'm beginning to wonder if it's ever going to stop snowing - better to think about yellow. I'm still not sure if I'm adding to yellow to my decor, but I love contemplating it. As I stated in a previous post, it was Jessie of My Mod Style who really got me seriously thinking about yellow. No one does it better.

Jessie combines pops of yellow with red and generous amounts of white.

She gives her precious Michelin Man (I want him!) a place of prominence in her living room and makes him really pop by painting a yellow square behind him.

These photos make me think of summer. Every time I look at this home, I think I should add yellow to my decor.
This in my predigital filing system. This is from an old Metropolitan Home, I don't have the date of the edition. The following are from my favorite vintage store.

I love how they combine glass and ceramic. And those yellow pillows really pop against that white vinyl pillow!

Yellow is fun! Selina Lake via Desire to Inspire. I adore that sofa! Looks like it's made from raincoats.

And because your toys should match your decor. School crossing guard from Scary Girl series by Nathan Jurevicius. Formerly available at Fugitive Toys.

Yellow looks great with turquoise. Shootspaces via Desire to Inspire. Love those white floors!

My turquoise vases. I just snuck those in there. :)

I love these paintings (previously posted about here). They look great against the yellow wall.
Yellow looks great with grey as these adorable lamps from Chiasso prove.

I received a catalog from Bliss Living the other day. A very dangerous catalog indeed. You know the kind - it you want to throw out everything and start over. I could totally see a place done in mostly white with a shiny yellow/silver/grey Moroccan feel to it.

If I went with these colors, I would simply have to have Midcenjury Jo's latest piece of art. Isn't this gorgeous! Read about its transformation at Desire to Inspire or her flickr set.

I adore this painting by Lily Martine Baxter. I could redo my home with this painting as the centerpiece! This falls into the "wish-I'd-painted that category." Okay I'm going to sign off for now - I'm going to paint something yellow!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Like Falling in Love

All images in this post by Sas. (Blog link here, flickr link, here).

If you haven't checked out Sas' blog yet, now is the time. She's given it a new name! Daily Inspiration. And what an appropriate name. It is daily inspiration for me.

Sas has a golden touch. The camera produces incredibly soft, sensuous images under Sas' touch. Ordinary objects become sensual, dancing works of art under Sas' gaze, as she tenderly invites you to see what she sees.

A light bulb,

can of sardines,

even safety pins. No one uses glow effect better, and no one photographs flowers better.

She romances everything. She invites you into her home, where the warmth is palpable. And she gently reminds you - pause, slow down, look at the beauty which is omnipresent.

I adore blogs and read many. I am especially obsessed with blogs about decor. But, it's the personal ones - the ones where people courageously let you peak into their private world - the ones where people generously put a piece of their soul out there - that I enjoy the most. Sharing yourself in this way can be frightening. You risk intense criticism. Sometimes the criticism comes in the way of support and makes what you do better.

Sometimes the criticism hurts. Many creative people have found the blogging experience rewarding, as I have. Sounds corny, but blogging has given me voice and I have connected with like-minded people and am being understood and supported for the first time in my life, by people from all of the world.

If I am not mistaken, Sas is going through an similar experience. It feels like she is my sister. I hope I am not being presumptions. We can never really presume to know the inner workings of an artist who thinks and feels so deeply. We can only perceive.

In school I read a great many biographies and when I discovered Victorian diaries, I fell in love. I much preferred the beautifully cataloged mundane worlds that a thoughtful lady cataloged, than a civil war hereo. What did she eat that day? What was the weather like? D id she take a walk and smell flowers? Is she yearning for her lover? Could she have possibly known that 50-100 years later, someone would take rapt interest in her day-to-day world? Bloggers have given me that richness back.

Sas is akin to the heroines of the dairy. I marveled the other night when she shared the sky. I marveled that half-way around the world, a woman was looking at this sky, holding her dog and reading and that I felt like I knew her.

Here is someone who would not think it odd that I read Rumi. I adore her thoughts over the delightful teas she brews.

I often feel overwhelmed by life. It's too loud, too fast, too chaotic and painful. A mean word cuts to the core. The only way I survive is constantly reminding my mind to be silent, but my mind is tenacious. I only relax when I return to my apartment and my creativity. I used to read Sas' blog at the beginning of my day. Now, I read it at the end of my day, as part of my routine into relaxation and rest.

Sas, thank you for being a Daily Inspiration! xxoo


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