Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inspiration in Junk Mail

I've had this picture in my inspiration folder for a while. It was in a flyer I received from Bath and Body Works. I think it would make a fab rug design.

If I knew a rug designer (and had a ton of money), I'd have this made into a rug, I'd even keep the edges like shown. Of course, then I'd need a fabulous modern white sofa. And an acrylic table so that I could see the image through it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Think Pink

Dear readers, I'll admit it. I've been suffering from the holiday blues. Well, there's only one cure for the blues - and that is pink! It never fails, when I think about pink I get cheered up. You can never have too much pink. As I've said many times, pink is not just for girls. Pink can be done in a thoroughly modern and edgy way. Have a look, you'll be in the pink too!

Image by Peggy, from my previous apartment.

Isn't this room awesome! Image flickr user my3senuff from a 1970s decorating book. It looks relevant to today. Love the modular storage and that hot pink is just too - ahem - hot.

More hot pink. I know you recognize the use of pattern here. It is, of course, Tricia Guild. No one does pattern better. And check those Hella Jongerius vases on the table! I want them. Image via HGTV.

Perfect little night stand, phone and lamp. Image via flickr user sparklerawk.

I always wanted a pink kitchen! This one is so fab, and fresh. It looks totally modern. Flickr user rosaperfecto via My Mod Style. I love how sparse the kitchen is, and that it's not overly-girly. Clutter and tschotskes would ruin this look. The Hello Kitty toaster is totally fab, it works because it's not competing with a lot of stuff. However, I do think she needs some dishes that really pop in those glass cupboards.

These fab dishes from Karim Rashid would work well.

I am dying to paint my place fuchsia with white trim! Love this. I know this is probably blasphemy - but I'd paint that fire place white too. (Image source unknown - please contact me if you know the source.)

Love the pop of that black lamp against the pink wall. Image Darian Darling.

I know, I know - you've seen this a million times. But I can't help it. The fab apartment of the equally fab Betsey Johnson.

I had to include a picture of her. She makes me smile! I want to meet her! Betsey, you go girl! Images via New and Worthy.

Beautiful dining room and kitchen by Caitlin Murray. Love the mismatched black and white patterns against the pink. Images via Apartment Therapy.

Normally, I'm not into the alien motif thing, but here's an alien I could live with. A pink alien! How cool is that? Painting by the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. Awesome. I could see this hanging in an all white modern loft.

Feeling blue? Think pink!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

simple luxury

there's a little known place, called mama turtle's cafe. you're always welcome. we're mostly vegan, but trying to get to 100%. we don't believe in cruelty to animals (or any being for that matter).

it's protected by papa llama. the patron saint of organic and vegan diets.

it's all about peace and love. art from the local scene hangs on the wall. the mood is quiet, people nod to the smooth bass.

the food is simple, the table humble, but always colorful and pretty.

tonight's special was Spanish rice with chick peas. yummy.

pull up an ottoman and enjoy some jasmine tea. take your time. no need to rush.

all images by peggy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Holidays and a New Etsy Shop!

Hello dear readers. Like me, I am sure you are considering your pink holiday tree and unique holiday gifts for your loved ones. Might I suggest original and unique art? I have opened up an Etsy shop just in time for the holidays. I offer some affordable options. I have just a few items in the shop, but plan to update frequently. If you like to take a look, click here. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

an influential apartment and some blog love

Dear readers, as you know, Apartment Therapy features some amazing homes on their site. I adore seeing how people design their personal spaces. But sometimes, a home speaks to me in such a way that I feel compelled to write about it. This one not only spoke to me, it haunted me. I could not stop thinking about it. This is one of those homes that makes me want to throw everything away and start over. I've mentioned many times that I miss the minimalism of my youth. I am still highly enamored with minimalism, but I also love beautiful things. I'm not sure I'd call this a minimalist apartment, but it certainly flirts with minimalism. The curator of this home has showed a sense of restraint. But make no mistake, restraint is not easy. The look is simple, but it's not easy to achieve. It takes a soft and purposeful hand.

This is Mike's home. He's a student living in a studio apartment. A home should speak of its owner, and this one clearly does. It says, "I am confident in my choices and I know who I am." Such a marvelous thing in someone so young. He's definitely one to watch. He's going to have a successful career. I adore functional pieces as art. Witness the clothes rack which he made of pipes. It works because Mike's wardrobe color palate is carefully limited (for more on clothes racks, see my previous post here). Like I said, he knows who he is, he lives his art.

I love his sofa. It looks very much like my Danish sofa. I love the low scale.

The blue on the walls and stripes of the wood floors are art. He's correct not to make these beautiful elements compete with clutter.

He designed a perfect work space. The window is a nice touch.

This picture shows a simple, organic still life Mike created after purchasing a cup from ceramicist Teresa Chang. Love that tea pot, which I assume Teresa also made. Form and function, my favorite. In this case, creating simple Zen-like elegance. I'm also a lover of asymmetry.

This apartment makes me miss my studio apartment. It was small and humble, but it seems to be just the perfect amount of space. I'm beginning to look at alternatives to conventional living, and simple living in particular. How much space and stuff do we humans need? Of course we need a few pretty things, but we shouldn't get tied down to them. I think this is what the Buddhists meant by detachment. It doesn't mean you don't like things, or people. It just means that you value your freedom above all, and that you should always travel light.

Great job Mike! Thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to following your career. Mike's house tour on Apartment Therapy is here. Also check out Mike's fab blog, Other Blog. I will be adding Mike's blog to my link list. As always, thanks for reading! xxoo

Sunday, November 7, 2010

outdoor space inspiration

Dear readers, as you know, one of the reasons I fell in love with my quirky new apartment is the deck off the kitchen. Such a luxury to have so much glorious sunshine pour into my kitchen. I'd love to decorate this space. I've never decorated an outdoor space, and the challenge is thrilling to me. I have so many ideas, like I'd love to grow an herb garden to help in my quest to eat more organically. But mostly, I think about design. I'd love to do a space that is retro-mod, with Asian and Moroccan elements.
I'd love to have one of the Bubble Club Sofas designed by Philippe Starck for Kartel. This is, of course, not in the budget.

I've always wanted a set of bullet planters, but again not in the budget. I need Target to produce a knock-off of these.

Here's something not too expensive, that would look cute. Vintage dining set at Flower Child, only $189.00.
I'd love to have a large Buddha statue. Image via Big Buddha Statute.com. Ha! That's really their name, honest. Awesome.

I'd love a whole set of Moroccan lanterns. Image via Z Gallerie.

Of course, I'd need a serving tray since I'd serve exotic teas to my honored guests. Image via Le Souk. I'd sit outside on my lovely deck, even in the snow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

stuff and kitsch

Here's how it happens. Even though you crave simplicity, somehow stuff keeps coming in. Let's think about stuff for a minute. I begin to panic when I have too much because I like my home to be simple and uncluttered. Don't get me wrong, I love pretty things. There are so many artisans who make beautiful things. I even like (a little) kitsch. How do we balance a love of beautiful things with a love of uncluttered spaces? It takes restraint, and it's not easy. I need to be careful. Just because I have a larger apartment, doesn't mean I want to crowd it with stuff. I constantly edit. That said, here's some cool new things that have made it into my home.

Form and function are always on my mind. I like functional pieces that are also beautiful. This bag made in Indonesia, is made from upcycled rice bags. It represents perfect design, because it helps solve a problem. It is perfect for carrying my laundry. It was kind of pricey, but I love supporting artisans around the world. I bought it at Ten Thousand Villages. Ten Thousand Villages is a perfect place to find a Christmas present for someone special.

I like pieces that are functional, like the rice bowl and the fish shaped spoon holder on the bottom shelf. The Buddha head looks kitschy wearing my favorite hat, but it makes me smile.

I went to a flea market, and bought a couple of pieces. The tall white vase is new. Only $5.99.

The two apple green pieces were bought at the flea market. The flower sculpture is a gift from my sister-in-law and is made by the husband and wife artist team, Scott and Shawn Johnson. I dig it. I have it in my kitchen. The kitchen is the perfect place for explosions of color and kitsch. The kitchen should, after all, be a happy place.

The two footed bowls made it into my collection of dishes. I think they were $.50 each. I have a thing for orphan dishes, especially white ones. I love pieces that are functional and simple.

enjoy cleaning your home

It's Saturday. The skies are a lovely Cleveland gray, so I have the windows open. I had a hard week, and my racing brain won't shut up. I was away from home all week. Difficult for a homebody like me. It was at times wrenching. The kind of wrenching that comes with lessons flooding in at a speed I can't keep up with. Did I mention, the election ads and the pain in my body were almost unbearable? I know, I'm whining, but I don't mean it that way. That's just the reality, and I haven't mastered the art of writing the way Woody Allen can.

I sat in the bathroom longer than necessary. At least there are a ton of glorious magazines here! I read Men's Health from cover to cover. I learned some strategies that would have aided me in my last job. Intelligent, shrewd advice for handling a bastard boss. These tips could have helped me succeed. Who am I kidding? I don't have the heart. Furthermore, I don't want the things I'm supposed to want. The things that come with the six figure income. I see these things as fatiguing. Read a great article about the sublime Cher. She said she's yelling at her family to work out, "Old age is coming!" she says. She says, did you ever think we'd get this old? Cher, baby, I feel you. You are too fab, you go girl!

I took several beautiful walks. I felt guilty that I am unsuccessful. I called a friend who reminded me that I give in my way. I wonder why we never feel as if we are good enough? I saw a psychic. I helped my nephew clean and rearrange his bedroom, I learned a better strategy for dealing with a precious loved one I feared losing. I spent time with a friend who pampered me. A rare occurrence.

I am cleaning my home, and I keep lamenting that I need rest. Stop! I wish my meddling brain would just shut the hell up! I remind myself, this is the rest. Cleaning the home is a wonderful thing to be able to do. It takes strength and time. Two precious things to be savored.

So why not enjoy being at home and clean in a meditative way? You've heard of walking meditation, why not cleaning meditation? You can talk to God the whole time, if you like. God enjoys the mundane details. Clean the dishes slowly, contemplate the lovely warm water and soap. Enjoy the scent. Contemplate the exquisitely complex movements of your hands and fingers, such a miracle. Do what you can, don't worry about what you can't. Go at your pace. The monk Thich Nhat Hanh, reminds us to stay in the moment. If you cannot enjoy washing the dishes because you are racing so you can watch a movie, you will not enjoy that movie either. You will always be planning what is next and you will not be present. You will miss the moment and there is no getting it back.

What's the hurry? I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She said, "The days are long, but the years are short." I didn't get that at first. When I did, I felt like I had gotten a blow to the head. I can be so slow and stubborn.

We think the days are long because they are so full of stress. We just want to get through the day. So we rush. All day long. We rush so we can do too much in too little time. How much of that rushing actually accomplishes anything? Rushing doesn't make the day shorter, it just squeezes in more things to do. I could be wrong, but people don't seem happy to me. We reach for crutches to get through that long stressful day. Caffeine, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, sex, overwork, etc. We poison ourselves because we hate our lives. Then one day you look back, and ten years have passed in a blink! The days are long, but the years are short. Ten years of abusing yourself has now added up, and your health is at risk.

Time is precious. Why not slow down and enjoy it. It occurred to me, cleaning my house is rest. Your home is where you rejuvenate. It is a living, breathing entity that loves us. Think of how it's cradled you in bad times. It has kept you warm in the cold, cool in the hot. It's also there celebrate your good times. We love our homes. We are all curators. Each home becomes a testament to its owner's unique personality.

Thank you God, for this beautiful day. Maybe I'll take a walk, and clean when I get back.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Apartment, for today

Dear readers, here's how my apartment looks today. It's a humble, quirky attic apartment. I still miss my studio apartment, but I'm starting to love my new place and feel so grateful. I am turning my place into a work/live space where all the functions merge. Where there is no separation between art and life. I want it to be functional and organized, but beautiful. Feminine, but edgy. Cozy but simple, and uncluttered. As I arranged I tried to carefully balance my love of my collections. I'm actually a little embarrassed that I collect so many things (vases, toys, rocks, art, lamps and pillows). Sometimes I miss the minimalism of my youth. I edit ruthlessly, but I still have too much. I want to display beautiful things, but I also want a simple, sparse look. I think my current style is retro mod Asian glam.

Living area.

Living area, different pillow arrangement. Not sure which I like best.

Work area. I don't have a TV or stereo, I do everything on the computer. I love Pandora and Netflix.

Alcove. I'm turning this into a studio with a seating area to discuss art with clients.

I adore the little salmon colored pillow.

Needs a little work. I love having the hallway to display some of my toy collection. Here's part of my Pokemon collection.

The bedroom.

The kitchen.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my humble abode. If you are interested in the boring details of my creative process, please see post below. I'm hoping to settle into this apartment, and not change it around so much. But it is great to feel the creative juices flowing again. I'm working on several exciting art projects. Stay tuned and, as always, thanks for reading! xxoo


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