Archive | October, 2010


27 Oct

Lately I find myself scouring design blogs and tweets.  So inspiring, yet so disheartening at the same time.  I feel like that’s the path I was on a few years ago before I got distracted by other career paths.  There’s no point in lamenting the past- I’ve vowed to myself  (thanks to The Happiness Project) that I will not dwell on things I cannot change and focus on living for today and creating my future for tomorrow.  No more whining about wanting more, it’s time to go after it!  It will take a little bit of mental reconditioning, but it will be SO worth it in the end.

So what inspires me?

To honor today’s blog topic of reconditioning… How about this:

The Collective Restaurant & Bar, NYC

I came across the images of The Collective Restaurant a few weeks ago and was in awe.  I’ve already informed Hubby that next time we visit his sister in NYC I require a trip here.  There’s a lot going on (in a fantastic way) and it’s hard NOT to be inspired!   ICRAVE, the design firm responsible for the project, reinvigorated old furniture and fixtures from local stores and online shops and commissioned artists to create installations within the space.  The cumulative result is beyond art.  I love the idea that every piece has a story and a history.  I can’t wait to go!

*image from ICRAVE


26 Oct

It’s been so long since I had a relationship with a DIY project.  Lately its been all one-night-stands and quickies.  I’m looking to bond with a project.  I’m starting to twitch here…I need a fix!! All this talk about wanting something more is getting me motivated to do projects I should wait on.  It’s so hard to resist the urge to start bringing home antique pieces to refinish for our future house that we have yet to find.  The only thing stopping me, to Hubby’s relief, is the fact that we have no room in our apartment for such projects and its getting too cold to do them outside.  This forces me to find other ways to get my fixes.

Fix #1  IIDA New England’s annual Fashion Show Galla this Thursday.  A team at my office paired up with a carpet vendor and a furniture dealer to create 4 ‘fashions’ to compete in a runway show.  The catch is that these fashions need to include the vendor’s products.  This is the 4th year I’ve been a part of it, so I’ve gotten a good deal of experience with carpet, carpet backing, and all of carpet’s raw forms.  Its a great experience, but a lot of work.  Although I’ve kept myself from getting in over my head as I have in previous years (previous years included volunteering to be a model 2 years in a row and stayed up late the next year to sew an evening gown complete with feathers of carpet backing) I’m still looking forward to Thursday’s festivities, after which I will no longer be staying late to construct carpet fashions.

IIDA Fashion Show Gala 2007

Fix #2: Halloween of course!  I always wait until the last minute to figure out costumes.  I am not a fan of purchasing a prefab costume- I like to come up with something relatively clever or at least a costume that won’t be a duplicate at a party.  This is the first year that I actually took it upon myself to come up with Hubby’s costume too.  He just wanted to wear last years costume.  Although it was undeniably awesome, if you are partying with the same people, its not appropriate in my mind.  When I say last-minute, I do mean it…  I had a party to go to Saturday night.  Although the costumes only took about an hour to assemble, they were completed less than an hour before the party.  All the pieces fell into place and I was extremely pleased with the outcome.  I came up with the idea of Hubby as Pacman and I would be Pinky.  Pacman was created with yellow chipboard and made into a Pacman shaped sandwich board.  I was able to find a pink tank-dress at the thrift shop for only 4 dollars- all it needed was a zig-zagged bottom and ghost eyes.  Success!  I forgot to take pictures Saturday, so I apologize but you’ll have to wait until Halloween when we will be dressing up again.

Fix #3 Houses.  My guilty pleasure right now.  I may be one of the only people on the planet, but my dream house is not “move-in-ready.”  I want a livable house that needs some love to reveal its true character.  Ugly wallpaper, blue kitchen cabinet, and pink bathrooms don’t scare me!!  Although I can’t actually do anything to a house yet, I can dream of what I could do to houses.

Meandering Dreams

18 Oct

Let me begin today’s post with a back story.  It will end up relevant, I promise!

When it came to finding a wedding dress, I tried on more than I will ever admit.  I began with a clear picture in my head: Old Hollywood Glamour, special details, no ballgown, no strapless, no lace-up.  Everywhere I went I came across strapless ballgowns and very few for me to try on since I was apparently the only girl who didn’t want to look like a fairy tale princess on her wedding.  Along my search I found other dresses that intrigued me- drop-waisted, bubble hem, etc.  They were unique, had special details, and weren’t ballgowns, but they didn’t have the glamour I originally dreamed of.  I became convinced that I wasn’t going to get what I originally was searching for so I decided that Hollywood Glamour was no longer a priority.   I put aside the pictures I had been drooling over for months and I went to the next bridal shop with a new collection of pictures that fit what I’d decided was what I now wanted.  I showed the consultant my pictures and she started bringing out dresses.  Hideous dresses. Dresses with pink tulle or frosting-like details.  Until she came out with a simple sheath with modest beading at an empire waist and lace cap-sleeves that lead to a lace-framed open back.  No Tulle, no ballgown, no lace-up and so glamorous.  I went into this shop looking for the dress I’d convinced myself I wanted, and left with the dress I had wanted all along.  I accessorized the dress with antique jewelry, a birdcage veil for the ceremony and a purple feather in my hair for the reception.  Perfect.

Here’s where this story becomes relevant.

When I was in college, I had subscriptions to all the magazines I found inspiring: Interior Design, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, etc.  I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do with interior design career-wise.  I was to be a high-end residential and restaurant designer for high-end clients and celebrities.  In the years since school, however my vision has faded.  I stopped getting all the design magazines because instead of inspiring me, they now taunted me with the designs I felt I’d never have the opportunity to do.  I convinced myself I no longer wanted to be that designer because I felt it was unattainable.  Much like my wedding dress search, I had assured myself that my desires had changed because it was easier than admitting that the dress, or career that I wanted wasn’t available.  In college, I told myself the path to design greatness was to get a good job at a large Boston design firm and make a name for myself.  Little did I realize then, at large firms, individuals become anonymous.  If I really wanted the dream job, I was going to have to work for it and forge a path, there was no clear-cut approach.  I don’t regret the path I took- thanks to my job as an anonymous design employee, I have gained friendships that will last a lifetime and learned a great deal.  I do, however lament the fact that it took me 4 years to realize just how far I’ve strayed from my original dreams.  I have so much fun creating the ideal living space for myself, I would love to work one-on-one with the client and help them create the space of their dreams.  I am, though, more than just someone to pick out colors….. but that’s a rant for another day.

I am very pleased to say I have subscriptions on their way for House Beautiful and Elle Decor (thanks to credit card points), and plan to get a subscription to Interior Design again soon (just need a few more points!).

Step One to figuring out who I want to be: expose myself to as much good design as possible, be inspired, and let myself DREAM again.


16 Oct

Although I lead a rather pleasant and non-stressful existence, I somehow have found a way to schedule practically every hour of my life for the past few months.  Day to day, this is fine, however after a few months of this I am B.U.R.N.T O.U.T.  I hadn’t realized how burnt out I had become until I began looking at my impending vacation as a chore.  It was another thing on my schedule and all I REALLY wanted was a free weekend at home with the Hubby and the cat.

Now on vacation in Florida with good friends and NOTHING on the schedule until my flight home Sunday, this escape what more what I needed than I realized.  I have no concept of time or date, and I’m not sure my body knows what to do when I don’t have a To-Do list or what to do when it gets enough sleep(because day to day sleep is low on the To-Do list).  This strikes me as quite ironic since only 7 months ago, I was unemployed with nothing to do on a day to day basis except watch CSI and NCIS reruns, and I wished for nothing more than a reason to set my alarm in the morning.  I guess you need to be careful what you wish for.

Taking the time to STOP has given me time to actually think.  While here I have started to read Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project.  I must admit, I am rather ADD when it comes to reading lately- I am also in the midst of Chris Guillebeau‘s The Art of Non-Conformity.   While here in Florida, I handed The Art of Non-Conformity to my friend to read while I started on the other- I owned TAoNC afterall (the library didn’t have it yet) and I need to return The Happiness Project to the library sooner than I realized.  My agenda for tomorrow? reading by the pool or beach.  That it.  🙂  Anywho, back to my reflections on life.

*Disclaimer* there may have been a few glasses of wine imbibed before this blog post.

In The Happiness Project, where I am currently reading, she is talking about how she wrote down her goals, her plan to achieve said goals, and her rules to live by.  Although all of us probably have these topics floating around in our heads, few of us have written them down…. putting them on paper makes them tangible.  For instance, I may have stated to you that the GOAL of this blog is to figure out who I want to be in life, however, aside from making these statements, I have yet to figure out defined goals as well as milestones which will get me closer to my goals.  That, I feel should be my next task in this journey.  I need to write down what is important/priority in my life, what makes me happy, and what steps I feel will get me closer to figuring out my life by 30 as (laughably) planned.  Over the next week, I VOW that I will not only contemplate these topics, but commit them to paper, and ultimately to this blog… and you can (and should) harass me as necessary if I do not post them in a timely manor.

No ifs, ands, or butts…

7 Oct

Only a week ago, I blogged about how I was not ready to think about houses yet.  I am ashamed to admit I have let Hubby’s enthusiasm and impatience wear off on me.  We looked at our first house ever this past Sunday.  Although that particular house needed more work than either of us were prepared to do, we’ve got the ‘bug.’  I can’t wait to tackle home projects- I love that stuff!!  I want to create curb appeal with a colorful garden and help a house live up to its full potential inside and out!  I love the process of expressing yourself in the form of a room and giving antiques new life by refinishing or re-purposing.  I haven’t had that kind of project in a while and I miss it.  There’s only so many projects you can do in an apartment, and sadly, I exhausted those over a year ago.  Change is necessary for growth. Is the whole house buying process terrifying and unnerving?  You betcha!  Will it be worth it?  I hope so, but I’m not going to find out by sitting on my butt.

I’m not going to get what I want out of interior design by sitting on my butt either.  I feel very lucky to have stumbled on the Boston Design Salon!  The event last night, “What the Tweet?” was fantastic- I never realized the power of twitter as a business builder.  In addition to the wonderful speakers, @CreateGirl and @StacyStyle, the space it was held at was just as inspiring, the brand new design store/studio:  Twelve Chairs.  More importantly, I’ve become part of a network of like-minded creative women and have 20 new connections on Twitter.  I can’t wait for the next event!

Where My Time Goes

4 Oct

Good Morning world.  I am regrettably awake and marginally functional on a train to NYC for the day for work (did I mention its 5:18 AM??).  I have not, however forgotten my promise to you.  Projects!

First things first, the Scrabble gift card box.  I made this for my friend’s wedding on the 26th which had a totally charming Scrabble theme, right down to the table names and ‘thank you’ gifts.  If you ever need to cut through something like a Scrabble board, however, I would recommend a heavy-duty utility blade, because a simple X-acto knife is about as effective as a butter knife.

Next project is a baby shower cake.  The kitchen has still not recovered from this one.  This was for the first of 2 baby showers I attended this weekend.  (Too many pregnant women right now, I have to make sure I don’t drink the water!)  When talking to a guest at the shower about my cake, she commented “you must have a lot of free time.”  I was able to keep myself from laughing at her, but that forced me to reflect on the long lost friend called ‘free time.’  Between my 9-5, my part-time jewelry home parties (need new jewelry?, projects, events, and life, I would not be able to name the last time I had a free weekend.  Oh well.  I hope you enjoy the products of my sleep-deprived glue gun and fondant (not together of course) adventures!

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p.s. Happy Birthday Mom!!

Greatness to Come

1 Oct

Has it been over a week already?  Can someone please tell me where September went, or summer in general for that matter.  This past week has been a blur of Scrabble boxes, wedding, family, errands, work, cleaning, baking and… house dreaming.  Hubby is none to happy right now with the state of his kitchen (yes, the kitchen is HIS domain) due to my baking/making a cake for a friend’s baby shower.  We’ll call it a creativity explosion in the form of sugar… I guess I do this to myself though.  When I make a cake, it’s no ordinary cake.  It’s a yummy, fondant-covered art project ;o).  I vow to you that Monday at the latest, I will post pictures of the Scrabble box as well as the finished cake.

As for my ‘quest’, I have been thinking a lot about the journey.  At my yoga class earlier this week, we were reminded by the teacher: “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”  Cliche, I know, but always a good thing to keep in mind.  I don’t know about you, but I truly believe that things happen when they are supposed to, how they are supposed to (also cliche, I know, but deal with it).  Since I’ve decided not to be content with the status quo, I feel like I’ve been presented with more growth opportunities than ever.  Nothing major, but the little things add up.  For example: last year when I was unemployed, I joined an online networking group for Boston women in design (  They hadn’t had any events since joining, until this coming Tuesday.  I’m very much looking forward to the event which is about how twitter can be beneficial to your small business.  (“When they are supposed to”)  If this event happened 6 months ago, I would probably go for networking but not be too interested in the subject matter.  I joined twitter as I was preparing to launch this blog, so NOW the topic is of great interest to me.  Little things like this are happening and getting me thinking about everything in a way I haven’t in a while.  For the first time in a long time, I’m excited (as opposed to nervous) about what the future holds for me in the world of design.