Sunday, December 21, 2014

Simplicity, Pretty Things and a Long Hiatus


Dear readers, how are you? You look marvelous! I've missed you. Hope you are having a great holiday season. I'm happy to report that I'm not participating. Ahhh. Such freedom. I'm also happy to report that I am not taking part in anything that causes me unnecessary pain, such as news, politics, dishonesty, drama. Time is too short to be inauthentic. My mother had a recent episode, which brutally reminded me of our mortality. In the blink of an eye, none of the stupid shit I worry about matters.

As I've been doing for the last several years, I've been ruthlessly editing my life. I want to live as simply as possible. No, I don't want to grow my own food, but I do want to leave a small footprint and to be free to pick up and move as I please. Don't get me wrong, I still love beautiful things, but I want just a few and I don't need anything precious. I have only four pairs of shoes, all of my paper and photos have been either shredded or put in electronic form. Things I live easily without are:  a TV, coffee maker, microwave oven.

Like many of us, I'm feeling over-stimulated and overwhelmed. I refuse to participate in the harried "crazy busy" life that is popular now. I feel a deep urge to let go, and to live. I've given up the news, and many blogs. I have a few favorites that I continue to read. I'm even questioning whether I want to continue blogging.

I'm in the process of extricating myself from Facebook. Never really liked it anyway - it mostly made me feel excluded.  I've given up most of my possessions. I know I'll be moving, I just don't know where yet. With getting rid of most of my stuff (some donated, given, tossed and sold), I confirmed something I've known for a long time. I love the freedom of simplicity. It's been a slow process, but the more I watched my apartment get cleaner, easier to keep clean and organized - the better I felt. Less weighed down. It feels lighter and airier.

Even though I am not currently decorating a specific place, I am still contemplating colors, as always. In my next place, I will be free to paint the walls. I'd love to do color blocking on the walls instead of art. The above is my most recent painting. I love these colors. Cobalt blue, silvery periwinkle blue, and of course, pink!  I am currently loving gray, cave like interiors, so would love to have a gray accent wall. I still really love the gray accent wall I did in my kitchen (see previous post here). I still love white floors.

Most of my vase collection has been sold, but here are a few in my collection. Not sure yet if I'm selling these.

That's where my head as it. I have an urgent need to unplug. To get out in nature, meditate, pray and breathe. I have been writing a lot about living simply, so there may be a book there. I don't know. It's amazing that I've been blogging almost 8 years. I didn't even know what a blog was at first, and I've never really known what I'm doing, I just jumped in. Blogging has done a lot for me. It's boosted my confidence. I've "met" some wonderful, fellow creative types who have provide incredible moral support. There are couple of bloggers I actually hope to meet, something I never thought I'd do.

So I'm feeling a little sentimental. I've decided to take a long hiatus on the blog. If you've read this post, have a wonderful holiday season and I just know 2015 is going to be the best year ever. As always, thank you for reading. I'll be spending the holidays in Colorado. This is a lifelong dream of mine - to go away for the holidays! I've never done this before so I'm really looking forward to it. Of course, I am packing light, lol!

See you sometime next year.......maybe.

Love, Peggy xo

Monday, October 27, 2014

Loft Love

I am so in love with this loft! It's staying in my inspiration folder, and just might be the inspiration for my new apartment (wherever that may be).  I love everything about it!  I love the white floors.  Love the low scale sectional and coffee table.  I always love a round shaped coffee table, but they are often hard to find in my budget.  I love that this table is large and obviates the need for end tables, adding to the uncluttered look.  I also think it is genius to use the large standing lamp in place of hanging lamps.  A small amount of pretty accessories gain prominence by also being kept to low scale.  I love the vases displayed on the floor. Art is so impactful when there are fewer, larger pieces.  Also love a bit of vintage romance added in with the candelabra.  Ahhh, this room is perfect!  I can't stop looking at it.

There's only one thing I'd add.  That's right, you guessed it.  A hot pink pillow, because I believe every room should have at least one pop of hot pink.

Image source unknown, please contact me if you know the designer of this fabulous loft.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mood Board Modani

Dear readers, I received a very nice invitation from Modani Modern Furniture to create a mood board using some of their pieces. I get many requests like this, but am often unable to accept. I'm very strict about whether a company fits my aesthetic. The clean, modern lines of Modani is a definite fit.

As you know I'm planning to move soon. I've been paring down, and having fun fantasizing about decorating a new place from scratch.  I will, of course, have clean lines. It starts with a great place to sit, then adding accessories. Artwork, pillows, lamps and vases. Perhaps a rug and coffee table. Clutter won't do. It must appear modern, simple and restrained, and yet, also cozy.

Starting with the sofa. I am in love with the White Phantom Sofa. It can be used as a sectional or split up to create a cute conversation area.

I love a low scale sofa with legs, especially with white floors. I like my furniture to look like it's floating on a cloud. The clean lines of this sofa make it easy to layer in your favorite pieces. My other favorite piece is from the Modani site is the Eko floor lamp.

The sensuous shape of the Eko satisfies both my addiction to lamps and my addiction to pottery. So that's where it started. I decided to take a cue from my recent wardrobe additions, and add a gray accent wall to come up with a cool bachelor pad for an international man of mystery.

Although, I think a woman could live here as well!  The low scale of modern Italian design works very well with Asian design.  So I decided to add my two of my all time favorites:  the Noguchi Akari lamp and the Noguchi coffee table.

Sources clockwise starting at left:  Noguchi Akari lamp, Eko lamp showed here in staggered sizes. Not sure if the Eko is available in different sizes. If not, it should be - it looks fabulous in multiples. Love the organic shape. Artwork is one of my photographs. A Brutalist lamp from Etsy shop owner We Love Lucite, adds just the right amount of edge. Man I love that lamp! End table from West Elm is the perfect place to stash coasters, corkscrew, remotes, chargers, candles, lighters, etc. Metallic pillows from Modani. Hot pink pillow also from Modani, because all rooms should have a pop of hot pink. Luxurious Mateo rug in pewter also from Modani.  Noguchi coffee table in ash. Silver ottoman from MoroccoDeco.

I couldn't stop there, I had to design a girly pad too. This pad is for the busy super model for those times when she needs to stretch out and chill. Perhaps she's even dating the international man of mystery. But you know what Virginia Woolf said, girls need a room of their own. Okay, I paraphrased. But the sentiment is correct. Sometimes you gotta put your feet up and enjoy an unapologetically girly space that's all your own. And even though it's girly, it's still gotta have edge.

For her place I've used the Phantom sofa in gray. Moroccan wedding blanket from West Elm, end table also from West Elm, but I would probably bling out those knobs with something like this:

from Anthropologie. Hot pink pillows from Modani, pink ottoman also from MoroccoDeco. Art on the wall is from Lime Crime.  I think these pieces would look great in the loft apartment I featured below. A girl can dream, right?

Check out Modani Modern Furniture's website here.  If you'd like to see their pieces in person, here is a link to their store locations.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Denver Calling

Dear readers, I know I am going to move. And soon. I just don't know where yet. I've investigated a lot of sublets in Denver and Portland. Many of the homes I looked at were out of my price range. I don't need to tell you, but it's really difficult to survive in this economy on only one income. I'm trying not get discouraged. Nonetheless, I know a move is coming for me, so I have been preparing by simplifying. I plan to move very little.

Here are a few lofts I saw on Craigslist in Denver. The more I've perused airbnb and craigslist, I know I wouldn't be happy with a sublet. Too many rules. Apartment living is already difficult. But I did see some fabulous places.  Here's a couple.

This loft in downtown Denver has a fabulous art collection!

This is a tiny loft, but very cute. I love the mosquito netting around the bed and may steal that idea.

Ahhhh. Isn't empty space grand?  I cannot tell you how much I love this apartment. I saw this building when I was in Denver earlier in the year, and it's a great location. On a quiet street with lots of trees. After living in the hood, I definitely need quiet.

Kim Myles' Home Needs One of My Paintings

Dear readers, did you see Kim Myles' home tour on Apartment Therapy?  I love her use of color. I am in love with her hot pink rug!  I dearly love the combination of bright teal and hot pink. I just can't help myself. Every time I see a home I love, I want to add one of my paintings.  So here's another mock up.

I think my painting looks fabulous in her gorgeous living room, if I do say so myself. To see the rest of tour, click here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mood Board: Serene Blues

Dear readers, as you know this Fall I have been falling deeply in love with blue. It's actually surprising for me, and it started as an experiment in color psychology. I want to feel serene, cool and confident, yet comfy. I've been mixing all shades of blue, from royal and electric blue to periwinkle to the more green blues like teal, turquoise and aqua. So naturally when I saw this fierce design by Christian Siriano, I about fainted.

Okay, it's from his Spring/Summer 2015 collection, but since we are seeing it now, I'm using it for Fall inspiration. I know, I know, I've mentioned a zillion times that Christian is a genius. But what can I say? The guy is a genius! His use of color and texture is unparalleled for a designer of his young years. I mean will you just look at this outfit?  Sleek royal blue top paired with big aqua skirt, then add just the tiniest acrylic purse. Ahhh. She looks adorable. Where is she going in this outfit? Why to play the cello with the orchestra, of course. After that she needs a cute, little room to relax in. I've always loved designing rooms based on fashion, and this is a room I actually want.

When you are a magnificent beauty, you don't need to many things around you, but they should all be beautiful. Furniture is actually secondary to art. Start with a comfy place to lounge, add a couple of paintings, a vase and a fabulous lamp and you have a gorgeous room. Want more layers? Add a rug, a throw and pillow.

Sources:  Man dig that over sized lamp and shade. Formerly available at The Bomb Shelter. I would've snatched that up, but I wasn't fast enough. Blue sofa also at The Bomb Shelter. Gorgeous violet painting by Cheryl Wasilow, wish I'd painted that!  Blue tree painting by the fabulous Haley Litzenger. I need that painting. Vase formerly available from West Elm.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

People and Places to See in Akron

Dear readers, I've been preparing for a big move. Over the last month, I have been ruthlessly paring down my possessions. Along the way I discovered (or perhaps rediscovered is a better word) that possessions don't make me happy. Conversely, the more I created open space, the happier I felt. I crave freedom. Sorry, I digress, this is the topic of a future post.

So I've donated a ton of stuff - books, vases, shoes, purses, clothes, furniture to the Goodwill. One day I found I was down to my few favorite vases, so I thought I'd visit Land of Plenty to see if the owner would like to buy my vases.

Here is the lovely Kristi, owner of Land of Plenty, contemplating my vases. Normally I don't have any sentimental attachment to stuff, and can clear it out with ease. This was hard. Like I said these were my favorites. I had a lump in my throat as I looked at them on the counter. Don't they look pretty? To ease the pain, I took a look around the store. Kristi always keeps the inventory fresh by keeping her prices low. Every time I visit there is new stuff to see.  On this particular day she had some fabulous art by local artist Evona Dixon.

Evona stole my heart with her collected aesthetic. She explained to me that she instinctively uses zentangle in her work and that she uses prismacolors. The results are fabulous.

Here is the lovely Evona explaining her multimedia works. Evona is meticulous in her work and seeks to leave no white space on her canvases. I feel as if she and I are kindred spirits, I've collected many things over the years to make into collages. Collage is an art form that is not as easy as it looks, it's like a puzzle where many seemingly disparate objects are brought together to form a gestalt. After meeting Evona, I had to check my natural collector tendencies, I kept finding things I wanted to give her for future works!

Sorry for the quality of the pics, I took these with my phone.

Look at this meticulous drawing!  I adore it, I'm a big fan of cute little creatures. I could see many of her creatures produced by KidRobot. It's amazing how active her brain is. She explained to me that each creature is a character in a story that she tells her niece. I'd love to see Evona write children's books. I am amazed at the patience this work would require. I'm going to be following Evona's career, and you can too at her instagram page @nightofthelivingdread.

O.K. Peg, step away from the lamp. I had to quickly exit the store before I bought this lamp. Ya'll know that I am a lamp tramp. It wasn't easy. I had to remind myself that I am getting rid of stuff. Ahh, it's a sickness, getting rid of stuff, still looking at stuff.  Humans sure make beautiful things, don't they?

As I exited the store, I met N. William Tomlinson, owner of Venia Design. William recently opened a new store next to Land of Plenty.

As you can see, he's a real cutie. And he makes you feel very welcome in his store.

I fell in love with William's artwork, which he likes to incorporate in his design.

I love the ghostly nature of his work and his use of negative space. It was all I could do not to buy this piece.As you can see, his prices are very reasonable.

There are many eye pleasing vignettes in his store, each lovingly done. How cute are these orange vases?

Dig this coffee table with sunken section for plants!  Love it!  If you need help decorating your place on a small budget - including art selection - you don't have to travel all over town. You need look no further than this small block on W. Market in Akron.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Favorite Colors for Fall

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I am in love with pink. It's my favorite color, always has been and probably always will be. But lately I've been conducting an an experiment in color psychology. Since I always feel hot, I am trying to make my place feel cool. I've been using a lot of blue. Totally new for me, and I've come to love it.

Blue is ethereal and makes me feel close to water - something I've always enjoyed.   I love all the shades of blue, especially periwinkle. I also love blue and periwinkle with purple, lilac and lavender.  And I love lilac with aqua and turquoise.


I also love these colors used in a Moroccan motif.

Celebrating Color: Teal!

Teal. It's a gorgeous color. Somewhere between blue and turquoise. Turquoise can be more green in hue, approaching an aqua.  Teal is a more bluish turquoise.  In any event, all these colors look fabulous together. I especially love jewel tones and the bright colors we are seeing this fall.

I think I need these shoes.

Love the mix of blues with the teal wall!

Teal accent wall in otherwise white space = Fab!

This last picture is of my friend Haley's kitchen. Isn't it fab? Her boyfriend painted it the most beautiful shade of teal! And check that white vase with branches on top of the cupboard. He spray painted those. I love a dude with good taste.

Remember the odd niche in my kitchen in my previous apartment?  It looks very close to Haley's color, only I used a high gloss. Great minds think alike!

Bright teal is great for a creative space.  This is Hopsin's home studio, where the magic happens.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My BFF Got Married ...or... Another Facebook and eHarmony Miracle!

Dear readers, here is another Facebook miracle.  As you know, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but right now it's tipping more toward the love side.  Ahhh to be a Libra.  It's all about balance.

Anyhoo, my pal Elena and I were friends in high school and were in marching band together. My family moved in high school and eventually we lost touch. Some 30 years later, we are reconnected and it is like no time has passed. She's still the sweet, funny, patient, great listener she always was. She's smart, she's supportive and cute. Well, she's as close as you get to perfect.

She got married Saturday. It was one of those spectacular days that are too few and far between. It was all about love.

I was thrilled to do the bride's makeup. That's something I've always wanted to do. Can you believe, I've never been a bridesmaid? I've never helped a bride primp. This was a moment I savored. Elena felt like my life size Barbie doll.  What a day for my camera to poop out! I apologize for the poor lighting, I had to use my Android, but I made the best of it, so I thought I'd go with a Fall motif to make it look intentional. I don't think anyone's fooled though! :)

Here's the story of Elena and Eric's Wedding, 9/13/14

Before. We all were giddy helping Elena get ready and she was adorably nervous.

Had a hard time getting her to hold still, lol.  But here is the finished make up, she wanted a fresh look.

I also got to help style her hair, headpiece and jewelry.  So fun.

Her chic and stylish mother helped too! I did her makeup as well. What an honor! Look at that pose! She looks like The Grande Dame of Haute Couture And dig that cape. I tried to steal it from her, but my plans were foiled.

Beautiful and delicious chocolate cake.

The yard looked romantic and inviting.

Princess Obie, the ring bearer, greeter and official eater.

Elena thinks of everything! Insect repellent and sunblock.

My seat! I was treated like a VIP. How cool is that?

Photo by Peggy

Photo by Lona Gless

Eric catches his first glimpse of his beautiful bride. Even now, I want to cry looking at these pictures. It really doesn't need description - it's all there in his eyes. It's love. I love seeing the different angles from different photographers.

Oh gosh, I'm goner in like two seconds. Sitting in the front row, sobbing. And I do mean sobbing. Not dainty little tears you can dab at with a cute hanky. Nope. Sobs. Thank goodness for my big ass sunglasses.

Photo by Lona Gless

Cooper, the best man.

It's all about love.

Photo by Lona Gless

Elena finally tears up, even though she tried not to. I wish I had taken this picture! Lona perfectly catches the love in her eyes. Elena looks stunningly beautiful, I am so proud of my styling. Again, it's all about love.

First dance as a married couple.

Elena's post/wedding reception outfit was to die for!  I love that she's still wearing her head piece. Love the pashmina which was loaned to her by Lona Gless (of the above marked photos). Apparently Lona has style. And will you look at Elena's swag. The pashmina is paired with a flower so she can be carefree and not worry about it falling off. Combined with the boots and jeans you have the perfect mix of hard and soft.

Dirty dancing! Yes Elena and Eric have mojo to spare. This was such an emotional day for me, Elena and I had been so boy crazy in high school.  All I wanted was a boyfriend, and I couldn't seem to find one. We used to dream of one day being loved and looked at the way Eric looks at her. As I watched from my seat I thought, "Huh, she did it." She had found what we dreamed about - some 30 years later, and through the miracle of Facebook I got to see it!

P.S.  The happy couple met on eHarmony and they highly recommend it!

All photos by Peggy, except where noted.  No photo to be copied or reproduced without the express permission of the editor of Creative Influence.


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