What inspires you?

What inspires you? One way to find out is to put together a collection of images that you like, and see where you end up. I did this as a course assignment for the Blogging Your Way Bootcamp, on-line blogging course I am taking. This is what I did and what I found out about my own design aesthetic.

This Inspiration Board defines my style, shows what I personally love, and what I would like to share on my blog.

This was a very interesting and challenging exercise for me. I have wide ranging, eclectic tastes so when I had to chose what I personally love and how it reflects my personal style I had to be very selective about what I picked. So here it is.

I would call my style ‘simple with a twist’. I love white interiors because they accentuate architecture and provide a clean backdrop to all objects of art, including furniture, paintings or quirky collections, allowing them to stand out and be articulated. I love the calm and serene feel of a white room but I also love a splash of turquoise. I love how modern architecture is about the relationship between inside and outside spaces.

I love mid-century modern furniture with its modern lines yet so evocative of the past. In that same retro spirit I adore vintage finds from depression glass to dresses from the 60s. I collect vintage Hermes scarves, because to me they are wearable pieces of art.

Through this exercise I found out, to my surprise, I love Chinoiserie – in porcelain, fabrics, fashion, and art. I think that one can be stylish no matter what their age. The key is to keep it simple but always throw in a bit of bling or a splash of bold colour.

To reiterate, my style is ‘Simple With a Twist.’



Fabulous Friends

We all want and need them. One’s openness to friends goes through a kind of complete exclusivity cycle.  When we are little we’re open to a wide range of friends with few to chose from – but by the teen years we’ve become more selective and our definition of friend is very small. We long to be part of the ‘in crowd’ but more importantly we long to not be left out. In adulthood we’re almost back to our childhood ways because we’re more inclusive, and with a wide range to choose from, our lives become rich through a diversity of friendships.

The best friends of our youth may not be the ones we call best friends as adults. To evolve together as best buddies is a rare achievement. As parents, our friends tend to be parents of our children’s friends often met on the soccer sidelines with obvious common interests. That is, if you even have time to have friends.  Parenthood is an all-encompassing activity.

An interesting thing happens when you hit a certain age. Your friends become the people you share something with and these friends come from all aspects of your life.  Friends no longer reflect how you’d like to seen but rather provide definition to who you are. As I get older I find I have a new found appreciation for friends, both old and new, and I find myself reaching out to have them in my life.

I feel fortunate to have friends from many different areas. I have friends from high school and University, friends I have met through my children and friends from work. However, with the advent of the internet, something very unexpected has happened.  I now have a big group of friends I have never met and may never meet. We provide advice and support to one another, we have a lot in common and a lot to talk about. We are ‘getting in the conversation’ as we pursue our dreams of creative living. These are my blogging friends.  We met through an on-line blogging course and connected through our blogs. Through this course I have become part of extraordinary community. Let me introduce you to a few of my new friends: Leah, Laetitia, Silke, Santa, Natalie, Marit, Coco, Teri, Deepa, Heidi, Mary, and another Tina.  Have a look at their blogs and get to know them too.

Many people would question whether these are true friends. How do you define true friends?  Perhaps because they are virtual, and you can represent yourself in any way you wish, they are conceived of as artificial or inauthentic.  I would argue that precisely the opposite is true.  I don’t like these people because they look good or have cool clothes or cars.  I like them in the simplest possible way – because of what they have to share and what they have to say.  These are my idea friends.

So, blogging does lead to friends. Meet Jo Ann from Chicago, who I met through my blog when she left me a post about her Hermes Scarves. Jo Ann found out, from my blog, that I am a scarf collector and asked me if I would be interested in purchasing her vintage Hermes scarves. I was intrigued which led to some back and forth discussions about Jo Ann’s scarves. In the end, I was not able to buy these lovely scarves but I offered to post them on my blog to let my readers know about this opportunity to own some well cared for vintage Hermes scarves.

Jo Ann's Hermes Scarves

Over the course of the last month JoAnn and I have corresponded the old fashion way, via snail mail. JoAnn sent me an article she thought I would enjoy about Hermes’ attempts to recycle leather into large $100K pandas, and photos of her scarves.  Jo Ann’s scarves above in her words “are in fresh new pristine condition, but my photo skills are lacking!” So, leave me a comment if you are interested in my new friend Jo Ann’s scarves and I will let her know.

Oddly enough my experience of my blogging friends has some of the mutually supportive pioneer spirit my parents used to talk about.  For me this has sparked the realization that it is one’s attitude and openness  to friendship, regardless of how it is conveyed, that defines our ability to connect and stay connected with others.