Monday, July 29, 2013

New Toys

Good morning dear readers!  I've had a couple of rough weeks, so am woefully behind in my blog posts. Since the stress is too great in every one's lives, why don't we have fun this week?  This post is just a quickie to get us in the mood for fun.  I thought I'd show you a couple of my new toys. That's right.  I play with toys. I'm really five years old.

This is my new minion toy!  Isn't he cute?  I love Despicable Me!  I tried to find the one eyed minion too, but couldn't.  Oh well, he makes me laugh every time I look at him.

Oh dear, I must report I have a new obsession and that is Monster High.  This lovely lady is Abbey Bominable, daugher of the Yeti, my alter ego.  I plan to grow my hair as long as hers, and have it dyed the same way!  And dig those iceberg shoes!  

I've always had a thing for blue ladies.  I adore Smurfette.  And remember the lovely Zahn from Farscape? She's actually a plant, and a priest with a dark side, from the planet Delvia.

I'm kind of obsessed with Abbey.  I love photographing her.  She's fully articulated so she's the perfect artist dummy.

Here's another fab chick from Monster High, Ghoulia.  I need those cat eye glasses.  She's still in the plastic, I didn't buy her, just photographed her at the store.  Oh dear, the last thing I need is another obsession!  Stay tuned for lots of color this week!

All images (except Zahn) by Peggy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Be free!

Image source unknown

Don't worry what anyone thinks of you!  You are fabulous!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Simply Live: A Few Bloggers I'd like to Meet

I love so many bloggers, it's hard to narrow it down to only a few who I'd like to meet.  You already know I'd like to meet Kim, who has been a long time blogger friend.  Here are several of my other favorites.  Each of these ladies inspires me in one way or another, and each have recently written profound posts, that have caused me to think.  The various posts fit right in with my theme of simple living.  Or as another blogger said to me, how about "Simply Live."  Yeah, how about that.  I have been inviting some guest bloggers to write posts for this series.  The first post will appear on July 4.

Today I'd like to introduce three of my long-time favorite bloggers.  You probably know each of them, but I'd like to let you know how they've inspired me recently. 

As you know, I adore Jessie of My Mod Style.  It has been so fun watching Jessie grow into an even more interesting person over the years. Jessie wrote a very provocative post examining her own consumption  recently (mentioned below on post regarding collecting).  n another recent post Jessie discusses the Tiny Home Movement. If this is something you are interested in, Jessie's post is a great resource. She spent a lot of time collecting videos on this fascinating topic.  I've long been interested in small space living, and have been an apartment dweller my whole life.  I used to fantasize about living in a large loft (and still love them).  But my new fantasies are of a tiny, prefab home with tons of windows and trees, and living off the grid.  Or as you know, a camper.  However small, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice beauty.  To see more about how beautifully a tiny home can be designed, see HGTV Design Star, Season 6, Episode 9.  Jessie's recent post is a wealth of information about the movement.  See her post here.  Stay tuned for more posts about tiny homes, alternative living and intentional community.

Victoria of sfgirlbybay.  Sfgirlbybay is one of my favorite blogs.  I mentioned to you in a previous post, that sometimes when a blog gets super popular, I start to feel bad when I read it. There are a couple of blogs that have gotten so mega popular, where they go to conferences and meet each other, etc. When I read these blogs I feel inadequate, excluded. Surely no one's life is that perfect. Don't get me wrong, I am a lover of beauty, but I enjoy getting to know a blogger as a human being.  Such is Victoria's blog.  I feel her warmth and find her interesting.  And though she's gained huge popularity, I don't feel like crap after reading her blog.  I feel energized.  I made a decision a long time ago that if a blog made me feel bad, I stopped reading it.  Victoria recently wrote a sensitive post about the pressures of social media, as part of her "Thoughts for a Friday" series.  It's so timely, a must read.  With each new technology, comes a whole new set of etiquette.  Since the technology changes so fast, the etiquette can be hard to keep up with. Victoria engages in important discussions regarding social media, with a gentle touch. She's never preachy. I do believe all bloggers, blog readers, as well as social media users are interested in this topic, and should read this post.

Anna of Door Sixteen.  Isn't she the cutest?  I love Anna's blog.  I love her austere design and her very humble way of describing the impossible renovations she and her husband do.  Husband's a cutie, and the four legged children are also adorable.  In another lifetime, I had fantasies of having an apartment in NYC, so Anna helps me live that vicariously.  Her design eye is impeccable.  I'm hoping she can design the cover for my book when it's complete.  I love Anna's makeup tutorials, and pretty much everything about her. I love that she wears a "uniform" to work. I did that for years. Black pants, black loafers (feet always hurt), and black pretty tote bag, big enough for an umbrella.  Anna wrote a post lately, and once again, I realized I am not alone in my feelings.  Indeed, in today's technological world, no one is alone.  There is always someone that feels the way you do, and when they say something in such a way that it touches you, it's magic. You know, when you read a post and think, "Wish I'd written that."

Such was Anna's recent, insightful and thoughtful post on goals.  First of all, the girl's a Woody Allen fan, so that makes her good peeps in my book. Anna's been at a job she loves for a long time.  It makes me happy to read that! I don't know anyone like that.  I never liked a job, though I always worked hard.  Everyone I know has job hopped, been layed off, is unemployed, underemployed or overworked.  All of these suck.  It is the rare person who is happy with their jobs. Those few who are happy, are sometimes patronized.  People think they are underachievers, or complacent.  That's crap.  No, it's a beautiful thing.  You spend so much time at your job, you should enjoy it.  Life is short.  By all means, if you have a job, you enjoy, go nowhere.  You're always at the right place at the right time, and the grass ain't necessarily greener.  I learned that the hard way.

I totally get what Anna says about goals, too.  For example, I could make a goal to paint my bathtub, and then beat myself up when I procrastinate.  But let's face it, does it matter if I paint my tub?  No.  This is something I WANT to do.  Not HAVE to do.  So don't make goals of things you want to do, and then get mad at yourself.  Waste of time.  Remember there are somethings you want to do.  I blog because I want to.

As far as the ridiculous question:  "Where would you like to be in the next five years?"  Who can answer that question honestly? It was one of the most ridiculous questions I encountered in interviews.  Classic Catch-22.  There's no right answer.  If I indicated I wanted to grow in a company - that was wrong. Looked like I was just trying to get in the door for a promotion.  If I indicated I wanted to stay in the job for five years - wrong again.  That made me look lazy and unmotivated.  The only thing we can really say truthfully is:  I want to be healthy and happy.

I always felt like an idiot when asked this question in school.  I've never known what the heck I wanted to do with my life. I didn't know at 18, and I don't even know now. Wait, I guess that's not completely true.  I know what I don't want. And I know I'm creative. Wish I'd had some mentoring when I was a young woman.  I didn't know myself at all.  At work when they asked this question in seminars, I wanted to cry.  But let me tell you, the most interesting people I know either feel lost or don't know what they want to do in the future.  Stop thinking about the future.  What do you want to do right now?  What if you always lived your life that way?  Anna's post is actually very Buddhist.  I read a wonderful book called "Being Nobody, Going Nowhere" by Buddhist nun Ayya Khema.  Profound.  All about freeing yourself from the tyranny of thinking you need to be someone else, or be somewhere else or do something else.  You are perfect the way you are.

What if we just make plans to be happy and healthy today? Stay in the present moment, don't worry about the future.  If something makes you happy, and it hurts no one - do it.  If something makes you unhappy, and it hurts no one - don't do it.  Be happy, harm no one and don't worry what any one thinks.  That's the way I'm endeavoring to live my life.  As authentically as possible, and I get the feeling that is Anna's goal as well.

I believe these three women, are part of a growing self acceptance movement, of which I also want to be a part. I'd rather read their blogs than watch the Kardashians (just for example, have nothing against them).    Blogging has helped me gain confidence.  For that I am so grateful.  And I grateful to women, like Jessie, Victoria and Anna that take the time to share their lives.  Ladies, you are fabulous.

Stay tuned for more simple living, empowerment and fun!  There will be a sequel to this post next week, because there are a few other bloggers I'd love to meet.  Hope you have a safe holiday!  xo

Announcements and Independence Week

I love me some tokidoki!

Hello dear readers!  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer vacation at this moment, and not working too hard.  Sadly, too many work too hard for too little money in our country right now - but that's not the subject of this post.  As you know, many of our traditional holiday celebrations just don't work for me.  But rather than continuing to feel excluded, or like an alien, I have been rethinking holidays.  As you know, Mothers' Day is one that is difficult for me.  So I turned it into a celebration of women.  (See my Mothers' Day post here.)

I've decided to rethink Independence Day as well.  Okay, now haters, before you go crazy - I am a patriot.  That's why I want our country to be the best it can be.  I believe in the constitution.  I believe in American values and the American dream.  I just don't believe so much in the American reality.  I want to do all I can to leave a better society for our children.  Arrogant, I know.  But, I've been called by God.  No turning back now.

A quick word about soldiers and their families.  Soldiers in our country are asked to sacrifice in a way no human should ever be asked to sacrifice.  I do support our troops.  I just wish they were here.  Instead of policing arguments we don't understand - and really have no place in - they could be here rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.  Make no mistake, our infrastructure is obsolete and falling apart.  Instead of continuing to apply the bandages that caused these problems in the first place (i.e., pipelines, autos, natural gas consumption, etc.), we need to look at sustainability.  These bandages will not sustain us, indeed, they will continue to make the problem worse.

Instead of spending our billions of tax dollars on wars, why not rebuild our country?  We have the structure in place.  The military are highly-skilled individuals with the best technology.  Have our patriots rebuild the bridges, the roads, build the high speed rail, hospitals, schools, alternative fuel sources.  Make this country a mecca and then - lead by example.  Once our house is order and every American has enough food, shelter, education, medical care, then...hold out a hand to other nations.

Yes, I've been called naive.  A dreamer.  What people think of me no longer phases me.  I don't even like that my beloved President Obama says that these things are hard.  No they are not.  They are easy.  Perhaps that's the problem.  We need to eradicate the belief system that change for the better is hard.  What is hard is the way we are currently living.  I know of no one in the U.S. who is completely happy.  They are either overworked like slaves, or underemployed or unemployed.  There's a lot of talent going to waste.  And it all starts with education.

Worse, than that, I've been called unpatriotic.  What crap.  I want the best for our nation, its people and the world's people.  The loss of even one person's potential is unacceptable.  You can even look at our problems from the stand point of selfish enlightenment.  The poverty of one encroaches upon the comfort of us all.

Holidays such as Veterans Day and Independence Day are always a dilemma for me.  Like, I said I do support our troops.  But I do believe that sometimes these young brave men and women don't know what they are getting themselves into.  Can your young daughter who is stationed in Afghanistan actually tell you why we are at war?   Also, I have a brother in the military and I'm proud of him.  He's a fine man, soldier, husband and father.  Do I support the troops?  Absolutely.

My brother enjoys being in the National Guard.  Sometimes he goes on a mission to save people, such as during Hurricane Katrina.  

Do I support war?  No.  I have heard many arguments for war, and am not convinced.  It's the year 2013.  As a young woman I didn't even think we'd make it to 2000.  War should be a concept that is incomprehensible.

I do apologize for the outpouring of words again.  The words are just flowing these days.  It's a gift.  And a curse.  (Ha!  That's a joke from Monk, one of my favorite shows.)

The purpose of this long-ass post is to tell you that I am making this week Independence Week on Creative Influences!  This week were are going to look at the man in the mirror.  That's where change needs to start.  I'd like to invite all of my readers to look in the mirror and see a fabulous person they love looking back at them.

I'd like to encourage independence from your internal tyranny.  Forget about self doubt.  Forget about what anyone thinks of you.  Forget about perfection.  You are perfect the way you are!  Time for a revolution from within.  There's an oldie, but goody, by Gloria Steinem, who first encouraged me to think this way.  Called Revolution From Within.  I highly recommend it.  In fact, it should be required reading for all young women.

This week on the blog is Independence Week!  The next post is about some bloggers I adore.  Followed by a quick reading list of some women using social media to its fullest advantage.  On the 4th we will have a very exciting guest post.  Stay tuned, dear readers, should be an exciting week.  All based on empowerment.  And remember at all times, you are fabulous!  Thanks for reading.  xo

Little things that make me happy

Good morning dear readers!  We have an exciting week lined up here, so I thought I'd quickly show you some things going on in my apartment.  I'm hoping by this weekend to show you some needed updates with paint!


My favorite cuz bought me the best gift in the world!  Blank canvases, the only thing I know of that's better than sex.  Oh c'mere you sexy bitches it's been far too long....

One canvas got the pink treatment.  Hot and pale pink, yummy.  The periwinkle painting is an oldie, but a goody.  These canvases are done in my favorite Behr colors.  Loving hot pink, pale pink, baby blue and periwinkle.  Those outlets are a real eye sore under the pink painting.  But I do use them.  I experimented with moving the bookcase there to hide the outlets.  Just didn't work on a functional level, I kept stubbing my toe!  

Dear readers, I need your opinion.  I just can't decide.  Should I paint the little book case white?  It's been so many colors.  I don't know why I'm afraid.  It's only paint.  If I don't like it, I can change it back.

I've been experimenting with making my vases into sculpture.  So fun!  I see why people get addicted to building blocks or Legos.  Or as Monty Python says:  "Putting stuff on top of other stuff."  It's fun.  Hope you are enjoying your day!  Stay tuned for an uplifting/empowering week here at Creative Influences.  And always remember that you are fabulous!  xo

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Monday

It's my fault it rained Friday.  My hair was perfect.  I thought I'd finally be able to get a glamour shot.  Makeup perfect too.  Kinda retro.  And it rained.  Not a complaint really, I love rain.  And as you can see I made the best of it.  I love to splash in puddles!  I told you I'm really a five-year-old stuck in a 52 year old body.  The luxury of my age - I do not give a shit what people think about me.  Such freedom.  I enjoy being a goofball.  Sometimes it embarrasses sister-in-law, but she tolerates me.  She knows me.  Though she was embarrassed, she took this picture.

I might have to have all ya'll in my bathroom in the morning.  That's the only time my hair looks perfect.  For like 30 seconds, if it's a day I've fixed it.  Most times I pull it back in a scrunchee. Yeah, I said it.  Scrunchee.  If you make fun of them, it's only because you don't get it.  They are a marvelous product.

We are all different shapes and colors.  Sure you can change your physique.  There's no magic recipe though.  To lose weight, you must eat less and exercise.  It's a lot of work.  More power to the people who sculpt their body.  They are working hard.  Not for the average soul.  But even with that, some of us have a genetic predisposition.  Would I love to be tiny?  You betcha.  But God don't make no junk.  We are each fabulous in our own way.

We have an exciting week lined up.  I hope you'll be with me for the ride.  If you haven't already, check out my review of HGTV Star, Episodes 1-3 below.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to watch Episode 4 until late afternoon.  Hope I can avoid spoilers!  Have a great day!  xo

HGTV Star: Review of Episodes 1-3

The editors of Creative Influences are interrupting our regular programming to bring this special HGTV Star review, Episodes 1-3.  HGTV Star, formerly known as Design Star, is in its eighth season!  The wait for  the new season of Design Star is always too long!  I'd be jonesin' if it weren't for Project Runway, my other favorite.  And what's up with their lousy programming?  Too many real estate shows - but that the subject of another post.

This is going to be a short season, because there are only 10 designers, but they've really upped the bar.  The challenges thus far have been fascinating.  The editing is much improved over past seasons, there's not much drama between designers so far.  And thank goodness for that.  I watch design shows to see design.  Not drama.  There's enough drama going on with the almost impossible challenges they give them.  I don't care for the meanness. That said, I am a little suspicious, however, wondering if one designer has been sabotaged a couple of times, but we'll get to that.

Not only is the editing improved, the judges seem a little nicer.  That's cool.  Makes me feel like they've read some of my comments on their blog.  I like to feel like I'm participating.  I love the addition of Sabrina Soto as a judge, she brings a much needed gentle warmth.  Genevieve seems tired to me (as I stated last year).  I'm not sure why she keeps doing it.

I'd like to speculate for a moment on the name change.  It fits a little better.  It used to feel a little odd to me that a stylist or a decorator could be a "Design" Star.  Just didn't seem right.  Seems like the designer is the more talented of the two.  But that's just my impression.  Also didn't seem right that some contestants were educated, and some were not.  Didn't seem fair that some were expert carpenters, and that some were not.  There are so many factors that go into winning a show of your own, the biggest being that you have a point of view the judges haven't seen and that is that you have a certain je ne sais quoi.  David Bromstad has it.  Antonio Ballatore has it.  To a lesser degree, Emily Henderson has it.  I adore Emily's quirky personality, just not her style so much.  IMHO it seems a little overdone.  I always want to edit her rooms, though she does fascinate me.

Also, design is fun and shouldn't be taken so seriously.  My opinions are just that.  Mine.  Don't take them to heart.  Design and art is all about fun and freedom.  I admire these artists so much.  I'd never have the courage to do what they are doing, and I am grateful they are doing it.  I get attached to them.  I understand their passion.  And I cry when they are eliminated, even if it's not someone I'm rooting for.

Episode 1

Episode 1 was similar to the White Box Challenge, which has been my favorite challenge in past episodes. I prefer to see the designers work alone.  I did an exhaustive review of the White Box Challenge, Seasons 1-6, if you are interested, click here.  For Season 7's review, click here.  (BTW - anybody know what happened to Danielle?)

The designers' first challenge was to create a vignette, rather than a whole room.  Great, that's not so hard.  The challenge was all about branding.  What would you want your brand to say about you?  Again, this is a fairly easy challenge.  As an artist, you should know who you are.

One of my favorite moments was when Professor Brooks Atwood walks on to the set the first time.  Look at this guy!  He looks like a nerdy professor, I thought.  I love me some nerdy professor types.  Indeed, he IS a professor.  I had to look him up on facebook.  Yep, he's fascinating.  I'm in love. I'd love to take one of his classes.  He's all about letting go of the inhibitions that stand in your way.  In addition, he's the principal designer behind POD (a New York design laboratory).  I haven't spent enough time on the site yet, but it looks fresh and inviting of participation.  Can't wait until I have more time to review it.

Anyway when the Professor walked in, I started rooting for him immediately, even before I'd even seen his work.  Isn't it odd that I'm talking about the show like it's in present tense? He may have already won.  Amazing how they keep a secret.

Okay, yuck.  He went for the taxidermy.  You know how I feel 'bout that.  I'm hoping it's faux.  I had to crack up, though, the poor beast actually looked little him.

Here's his room.  What impressed me is the combo of masculine and feminine.  The walls are pink, but they are painted with a treatment influenced by military camouflage. I dig those purple curtains and that hanging light.  I'd edit the chicken on the table, but...I still wanted him to win.  And he did.  He made his brand a total sensory experience by leaving a smell-me-card with his cologne on it.  Genevieve fell in love.  I don't often agree with the judges, but I believe he deserved the win, hands down.  Genevieve did say his pink walls were a juvenile, which pissed me off.  I've said it many times, pink can be edgy.  I've proven it many times on this blog, and Brooks has proven it here.  His room (sans taxidermy) is the perfect mix of hard and soft.  I loved that Sabrina disagreed.

He had the honor of having his wall art reproduced by One Kings' Lane.  I'm a little concerned the show has become so commercial, but that's the topic of another post.  Sorry, folks I couldn't find his art on their site.  Their site is a huge disappointment to me, in that it is so unwieldy.

Other designers that interest me are:

Abby Vasek.  She's adorable and quirky.  The artists had to design their own patterns for this challenge.  Abby used a Rorschach inkblot for her pattern.  And, unbelievably, she rocked it.

The challenge was to show your brand, and she did just that.  Is this a room that I'd like to spend time in?  Probably not.  It's too OTC for my taste.  But it is fascinating, and her personality is all over the place.  I adore Abby, but I'm not sure I'm ready to watch a show with another quirky blond.  And what is it about Texas?  A bubbly, pretty blond Texan woman appears to be part of the formula for this show.   Or maybe Texas just has a lot of talented artists.

Jeribai Tascoe is the professor's biggest competition.  He's good looking, charming, disarmingly gentle and kind and a helluva talent.  He can build or make anything.  And he's fearless.  The judges weren't happy with his splatter painting, but Jeribai knew it had been a hasty after thought.  But there is no denying his skill at creating graphic branding.  His initials were all over the space, on the clock and on the wallpaper.  One of the best uses of branding I've seen.  Very sophisticated.

I was really disappointed that Tobin Green was the first to go home.  His style is industrial, which is  a fascinating genre.  HGTV needs this style of show.  Industrial is hot, hot, hot.  But Tobin wasn't that day. He didn't show his brand and he knew it.  He was unable to stand behind his work.  Hated to see him go, but understood the judges' decision.

I was a little torn, because I also thought Cris Mercado could have been sent home.  She did buy a fabulous chair, however.  I wouldn't mind having that chair.  Cris stated she was all about color, but she really didn't bring it.

Episode 2

For Episode 2, the designers had to decorate an empty loft.  I was drooling.  I was really excited for this challenge.  I mean look at this fabulous space.  How can you go wrong?  They had to make sure their designs were cohesive, because the space is open.

What a great space.

Abby did the entry way.  The rug is fab, but the space is not as welcoming as you'd think her space would be.  That's because she made the cardinal mistake - Abby, honey, haven't you ever watched the show?  HGTV wannabe-stars, never, ever become a laborer.  You are not there to labor, you are there to design.  Abby spent all of her time painting. Poor baby.  And she trusted Boris to do her shopping.  Another mistake, his eye is no where near as keen as hers.  This space needed a really grand chandelier and table.  I was worried she'd go home.

I love David Bromstad, but he pissed me off.  He called this color scheme juvenile.  That's right - Color Splash David, the king of juvenile color called this color scheme juvenile.  Now, I could do a whole post demonstrating some of David's less successful uses of color, but I won't.  I love him.  He's very talented.  But he's become a tad arrogant.  Don't take my word for it.  Watch the first Season of Design Star.  To see his humility is refreshing.  Every time I get pissed at his arrogance, I watch his much deserved win again.  I loved David's show because I love color, and because David was so kind to his clients.  But when the show moved to Miami it lost its charm for me.  Don't take my word for it.  Watch his show.  All the episodes are on HGTV's site.  I must say I am jealous of his painting skills.  I wish I could paint like he does!

As you know I'm a lover of color.  I think the color scheme of purple, hot pink, turquoise and black is fabulous!  Also, I'd like to remind the judges of something architect John Gidding told Emily in Season 5.  You need to be careful not to offend your audience.  Someone in your audience may have done something you've just said was bad.  Or in this case, juvenile.  Since when are colors juvenile?  This was the second reference to juvenile color, in only two episodes, and it's offensive.  End tangent.

Here's the gorgeous kitchen in this loft.  Talk about an easy challenge.  The kitchen is perfect as it.  No design work whatsoever, just shopping and styling.  I was shocked that Jessie Miller totally blew this challenge.  Jessie bragged that she is a loft queen.  That's another thing Design Star wannabees - don't brag too much because you might eat crow.  She even left those open shelves - which were begging for beautiful dishes - empty.  Wow.  When I saw that I knew she was packing her bags.  The judges made the right decision.  But, I felt bad because I love her personality.

The bedroom was designed by Anne Rue and Tiffany Brooks.  I love the purple chairs, but that's about it here.  Tiffany wanted dress dummies, which I think are fab.  Anne nixed that.  Anne is very bossy, I adore her hair, but would never watch her show.  Tiffany did the head board.  It's cool but I wouldn't want to sleep under that heavy ass thing.  So sick of animal skin rugs.  Wish PETA would get all over HGTV.  Anne won the competition, and totally did not deserve it.  They made a big deal out of the fact that she can make a bed.  Yawn.  The reason Anne won was her camera challenge.

These poor artists are falling apart at the camera challenge.  Even my beloved Professor.  It's a mystery to me.  You'd think they'd practice before the season starts, or go to an acting coach.  But hey, I don't want to fault them.  There's no way I would be brave enough for this competition.  Nor would I have the stamina.  Their time crunches are ridiculous!  Like I said, I'm grateful they do what they do.

Brooks and Jerebai worked on the den/office.  They were robbed.  Their room deserved the win.  Much more rich and interesting than the bedroom.

Jeribai did this amazing corrugated metal wall.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a good picture of it.  He deserved the win.  He was a little shy on his camera challenge.  But hey, I'd rather watch an amateur at the camera with good design, than a camera wiz with poor design.  And Jeribai is so easy on the eyes no one will really care what his delivery is like.  Judges, please go for the design talent.

Brooks did an amazing hanging light installation.  Love it.

Brooks also painted a vintage record player hot pink.  It looked hot pink on the episode, even though this picture doesn't look hot pink.  Notice the pink player with the yellow chair.  Pink and yellow, one of my favorite color schemes.  I'm on the hunt for a vintage record player to paint pink.

And, oh yeah, Brooks,  I need the t-shirt you were wearing in this episode.  Here is one that is similar.  From his facebook page, number 8 of 20 design tips.

Tyler and Cris did the underwhelming living room.  Cris didn't like the VW hood on the wall, nor did she like Tyler's treatment of it. She thought it looked cheap, and she was correct.  Cris is a bit shy, and doesn't speak up which will cost her dearly in the next episode.  I love the hood, but would have preferred to see it a pristine silver, like the lamp.  I love that the purple and turquoise are repeated, as well as the yellow. 

Ya'll know I love me some funky lamps.  Cris made this lamp from a vintage camera.  It was enough to keep her in the competition.  The judges loved it and had never seen anything like it.

Tyler made this coffee table out of a vintage cigarette machine.  Interesting.  It was enough to keep him in the competition.

Episode 3

This was another great challenge.  One couple, unsure of their style.  Four identical, small, open apartments.  Designers are in teams of two.  They interview the couple to ascertain their style and needs.  The couple will choose the apartment they'd most like to move into, and the designers who completed the room will be the winners.  Brooks and Tiffany are paired up, and I can tell by their questions they are going to nail it.  They do. Wasn't easy because dude hates pastels.  Chick loves Tuscan.  Dude rides a motorcycle and loves black.  Chick doesn't want too feminine.

They do indeed nail it.  Perfect combo of masculine and feminine, with a little global flare.  Fabulous graphic on the wall.  These pictures do not do the room justice. I like Tiffany's style.  She's a little reserved on her camera challenge, but I kinda like it. The judges keep encouraging the designers to bring their energy levels up.  I'd rather see low key than manic.  I could watch a show with a mellow, low key and rather humble designer.  I think Tiffany may surprise us.

Anne and Jeribai also created a beautiful room.  But, the lack of window treatments may have cost them the win.  The plan was to do a wall of beautiful gray curtains.  But the curtains went missing.  I'm suspicious of this.  Is someone sabotaging Anne?  Lost bedding in Episode 1, and now lost curtains in Episode 3.  It's shameful.  I don't care for Anne's bossy personality, I wouldn't watch her show. But I can't deny she's talented, this room is gorgeous and I love the art she chose. She does not deserve this kind of sabotage. It's shameful,  HGTV should be taking better care of their brave designers. The producers should have run out and got her a new set of curtains when hers were stolen.  Genevieve was really taken with the skill and execution of Jeribai's stripes on the wall.  He said that was a signature move for him.  He has to remember not to become a one trick pony, nor a laborer.

This was a double elimination.  Abby and Boris were paired up.  Tyler and Cris were paired up. I hated both rooms. Any of these four could be eliminated, but I wasn't ready to see Abby leave.  There's something very endearing about her.  Cris is just too shy, again she didn't speak up and it cost her.  Tyler and  Cris were eliminated.

The show airs Sundays at 8:00 pm ET.  Unfortunately, I can't watch it until Monday, when it is on their website.  It's tricky not to see spoilers.  As of this writing, I haven't seen Episode 4, which airs tonight.  Please don't leave spoilers in my email or comments.  Thanks.  :)

Here's my prediction for the final three - Brooks, Tiffany and Jeribai.  I'd watch any of these shows.  My prediction for the win - Brooks.  I'm a member of Team Brooks. 

Can't wait to see Episode 4, unfortunately I won't be able to see it until late afternoon Monday.  Thank goodness for modern technology.  If interested in my other critiques of Design Star, click here.


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