Simple Things

Most days, I make an effort to share posts with you that have been purposefully conceptualized and accompanied by words that were carefully composed. I admit that sometimes I probably spend too much time scrutinizing and editing and, by the end, share posts that are a tad long-winded but it’s all with the intent to share more than just pretty pictures of pretty things with “I love this” commentary (although that’s fun too). Hopefully my work here expresses more than that.

Today, however, I have a short, simple message. For many of us, the reality of a budget presents itself daily. It doesn’t matter what your income, we all make sacrifices to achieve certain goals. Sometimes those sacrifices are as simple as choosing to stay in for dinner or being content with less than cutting edge technology. I’ve been learning to embrace this idea and appreciate the small things that require little or no expense. Like a cup of hot tea (my favorite), an old necklace with a fond memory, or a bunch of un-fancy greenery.

Consumerism is fun… let’s admit it, we all love new things. But remembering to embrace what we already have is just as important. In fact, those can be the sweetest things!

So, I have a challenge for you. Take a moment this weekend to find a simple experience or item that’s been around for a while. Rediscover what it is you love so much about it. Then, while you’re at it, share your experience with the rest of us here. We might share a similar appreciation!

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Just Greens

Grocery shopping can be difficult and not for the obvious reasons… tempting ice cream selections, long rush-hour lines, the unreasonable desire to eat everything you see while shopping hungry! For me, the most tempting items in the grocery are often the fresh buckets of flowers and greens conveniently placed at both the entrance and exit of the store giving me plenty of time to reconsider my first decision to pass them up. Unfortunately, my recent policy to purchase only essentials from our grocery list doesn’t leave much room for an armful of sunflowers or gladiolas… or does it?

In my attempt to reconcile a floral procurement, I had a brilliant idea (or clever excuse… not sure which). While my grocery budget may not have room for the extra $15 of flowers, it might be able to swing a small $5 increase for a collection of greens. (Notice the persuasive quality of my inner thoughts.) So that’s what I did. No flowers, just greens. They are intended as filler for a larger bouquet but I actually think they’re quite lovely by themselves. And they last forever! I even placed a single branch in a pretty soda bottle beside my computer.

For someone whose mind often wanders to time spent outdoors, these greens are a wonderful reminder of the beauty of nature in the midst of a busy work day.

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Weekend Art Seeking

As you all well know, David and I are enthusiastic supporters of the arts in all it’s forms. With busy work and school schedules, a small pocketbook, and in some ways limited resources, it is not always easy to get out and actually do the supporting that we like to talk about! But occasionally things just work out. This past Saturday was one of those occasions thanks to a couple dear friends and a wonderful afternoon at “A Day in the District“. (One day of free art for everyone throughout the Fort Worth Cultural District. Many cities offer similar special events so check them out! This is a wonderful way to experience the cultural treasures your city has to offer without breaking the bank.)

The day began with a trip to the Amon Carter Museum for an improvisation based dance performance by Contemporary Dance Fort Worth (through which I am now back in the saddle and attending an adult modern dance class). Environmentally inspired improvisation weaved through the museum’s main gallery and onto the front portico and lawn. Each phase of the dance expressed a unique and relatable idea in an obviously carefully thought and structured form. I loved following the dancers from space to space and seeing how they interpreted their surroundings through movement! The art and interior were brought to life in a way unique to the momentary nature of dance.

Following a tour through the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, David and I then joined a couple friends at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for an evening of Mendelssohn. Besides the extraordinary performance by the orchestra (finest I’ve ever heard), the symphony’s performance hall in the Meyerson Center was truly stunning! A vast shell-like lobby created a sense of expanse and broadness that only enhanced the impression of greater things to come. Coiling corridors opened into an intimate performance hall and incredible acoustics supported a moving musical performance.

Upon returning home, it’s no surprise that we were totally exhausted. Art, dance, music, culture, and inspiring architecture all in one day! It’s hard to forget how fortunate we really are.

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A Slow Fall

I’m learning that the transition from Summer to Fall is a very slow process here in Texas. Literally! One day and small degree at a time, our temperatures are dropping. But mid-way through September we’ll still hovering around the 90’s! So, as you can imagine, my ever-growing desire to dress in plaid circle skirts, corduroy jackets, and thick wools socks (which has only been furthered by the Fall fashion buzz in the air) will have to subside for now. In the meantime, I have resigned to adopting a few Fall-ish accessories instead. In the place of a thick wool shawl and suede boots I am wearing this silk paisley scarf and navy suede purse.

I also feel like red lipstick is kind of a Fall thing… why is that, I wonder?

Anyone else singing the slow-Fall blues?

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The Season

Autumn gives me so many reasons to love it… hot apple cider, cozy sweaters, crunchy fallen leaves, bon-fires, cool breezes, and a bevy of new collections during the month of fashion, of course! Currently, Spring 2012 exhibitions are being shown in London after a successful week in New York. Paris and Milan are still to come. Despite my busy work schedule, I have managed to stay abreast of the latest shows with the frequently updated Vogue and My mind is spinning with sartorial opinions but I’ll wait to share those at the end of the season. For now, let’s embrace what’s at hand!

Below is my edited excerpt of favorites for Fall 2011. I love them all in different ways and found it unbelievably difficult to narrow the list down even this far! So, without further ado (or sideline commentary), I give you my…

Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten (Vogue) – 1, 2, 3, 4 / Jil Sander (Vogue) – 1 / Isaac Mizrahi ( / Diane von Furstenberg (Vogue) / Bottega Veneta (Vogue) – 1 / ADAM ( / Paul Smith (Vogue) / Proenza Schouler (Vogue) – 1, 2 / The Row – 1, 2, 3

Like a gift on Christmas morning, I love unwrapping the ideas and visions created by each designer. My favorites offer a unique yet balanced perspective on color, tailoring, texture, pattern, styling, and composition and those included here are just a few of the best. Though the specific pieces are far beyond my reach, the ideas serve as an infinite treasury of inspiration for my personal interpretation. I’m imagining whimsical pattern mixing, saturated jewel tones, classic silhouettes, unusual textures, easy layering, and thick wool socks!

How about you? What were some of your favorite collections for this Fall and how do you hope to incorporate those best-loved elements into your seasonal wardrobe?

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One More…

… Ok, there may be more than just one more. In fact, if I can keep myself focused there may be many more paintings to come! What I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post was that my artistic interests have also blossomed now that my freelance schedule opened up. Here’s a quick look at my most recent work in watercolor.

Like I’ve said before, this is by no means an attempt to prove myself as a serious artist because I am not. This is just another example of a creative gal exploring a creative medium. I actually recommend it as an exercise for designers of all forms. It’s an excellent way to experiment with composition, color, texture, shape… all the same things we work with in design but without the limitations of function and all the freedom of abstraction! Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think.

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Life as a Freelancer

My new freelance lifestyle has me coming and going, around the house, about the town, on the computer, behind the camera, and brainstorming up a frenzy! I have all sorts of exciting ideas rolling around in my head and hardly enough time to get them all done. Everyday begins the same… with a looong to-do list, which means there’s never a dull moment and that’s perfect for me!

Most days, though, I spend my time blogging here and posting hereherehere, and here (here, here, here, and here). This doesn’t require any fancy attire seeing as me, myself, and I are not very strict about office dress code. But on a special occasion, I may get myself dolled up for a designer Q & A or showroom tour, like I did on this day.

Like I said, I spend a lot of time working from my home office which I have purposefully papered with things that inspire my creative imagination. Totally by coincidence, my outfit matched the September calendar art behind me. Haha! I must be soaking up my environmental inspiration more than I realized!

Clothing Catalog: Top – Gap, Pants – Zara, Belt – EmersonMade, Bangle – Lemon Tree Antiques, Necklace – Macy’s, Shoes – MICHAEL Michael Kors

Life as a freelancer… it’s endlessly exciting. Now, if I can only keep up!

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