June 30, 2009

Going On A Summer Picnic

So, here it is Tuesday and I haven't posted since last Thursday. I didn't intend to take a mini-break, but sometimes life happens, you get busy, you have some fun and you just gotta roll with it, right?

I don't usually post inspiration boards on Tuesday, but I am today because I've had the idea for a summertime picnic floating around for a while now. I first saw the image of the bicycle with picnic basket over on Oh, Hello Friend and knew I wanted to create a board around it.

This summer picnic is great for a warm July afternoon. There's a handmade quilt to lounge on while you sip cool lemonade out of a glass drink dispenser using cool striped straws. The food is simple: Greek salad roll-ups and fruity meringues. There is even a sweet little oilcloth bag to carry any leftovers home.

Sometimes I'm amazed at how well these boards come together. As I started putting things together, this red and green color scheme just sort of developed on its own and all the images I liked amazingly fit right in. I'm so glad the look doesn't come across at all Christmas-y. Instead, it's more like the perfect ripe watermelon -- summery and fresh.

olive rings quilt from Tiptoe Studio; recycled glass beverage dispenser from Target; bicycle picnic from Oh, Hello Friend via Oh So Beautiful Paper; oilcloth lunch bag from Martha Stewart; Greek salad rolls from Sweet Paul; picnic basket from CSN stores via Country Living; strawberry and kiwi meringues from Joy the Baker; gingham cloth napkins from Williams-Sonoma; straws from Kikkerland via Oh Happy Day

June 25, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Raina Moore

Today’s Talking About My Inspiration interview comes from Raina Moore of Frozen Brooklyn. I can’t think of a better interview for this poolside, summer-themed week than Raina, who writes about her experiments with a new ice cream maker and the tempting treats that result from them. (Molasses ice cream, anyone?)

Raina shares all of her yummy recipes, and gives a detailed look at the people, places and things that inspire them. Here’s a little taste of those inspirations, and be sure to check out her blog for more.

Thanks, Raina!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?

For me, it’s usually being so moved by something beautiful or innovative to the point that you must do something.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Organizing/cleaning. For creative tasks, I force myself even if I’m not feeling creative because otherwise it wouldn’t get done. Eventually, always, it comes.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
Blogs or music but not usually music blogs. I like design blogs. Everything looks so pretty and possible on design blogs.

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
No, although I think I might benefit from it.

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
  • Walking the streets of New York, NY – all five boroughs
  • Design blogs
  • Listening to music
  • Watching videos on You Tube – anything directed by Anton Corbijn, early Kate Bush (videos or live performances), or Food Party – she’s amazing – I am charmed by people who simply do the work.
  • Going to the museum

June 24, 2009

A Tropical Pool Party

If you're hanging out by the pool every chance you get, you might as well make a party out of it. Here's an inspiration board for a pool party that has a taste of the tropics from the vibrant colors to the little drink umbrellas.

June 23, 2009

Inspiration By The Pool

photo by kagey_b

What do you do when you have a day with nothing to do?

When it's ridiculously hot outside, the best place to be is a swimming pool. Can't you just imagine those are your feet lounging poolside, the cool water just waiting to be jumped it?

June 22, 2009

What To Take To The Pool

It has been H-O-T, hot lately. I’m talking 100 degree heat here. The only place to be comfortable outside is in a swimming pool, not laying out beside it, actually in it.

In honor of the extreme heat, I’m designating this week as Pool Week on For Your Inspiration. Today’s post shows a simple, but pretty look for hanging out poolside. It covers just the basics for a day at the pool: suit, towel, sunglasses, sandals, bag and tunes.

This inspiration board starts with the swimsuit, and while I would probably never pay $80 for a suit, the cut is too forgiving and the style too classic not to show. Choosing a solid color means you can have fun with all the accessories, and fun is all you should expect when hitting the pool.

June 20, 2009

Friday Favorite: Birthday Edition

So, today is my birthday! I wanted to save my Friday Favorite post and give you a list of my go-to blogs for party inspiration. Some of them are strictly for kid's parties, but you can find ideas from all of them to throw a great birthday party for anyone.

June 18, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Maggie Morgan

Today, I’m excited to let Maggie Morgan talk about inspiration. She likens it to the concept of muses, both ancient and modern, and it’s one of the most original descriptions I’ve heard (and not just in working with this blog). The answer took me by surprise, yet it is so, so true, don’t you think?

From muses to magazines and catalogs to design blogs, Maggie has fantastic ideas on finding and storing inspiration. My favorite is the glimpse at her impressive notebooks stuffed full of tearsheets (but super organized, by the way) just waiting to inspire a new outfit, a table setting or a blog post.

And what fun it is to see how all this gathering and sorting translates into her blog. Maggie covers it all on magchunk – fashion, art, design, entertaining – you name it, she’s probably written about it in her straightforward style that is genuine, humorous and, well, inspiring. mmmmm….just like her answers here.

Thank you, Maggie!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?
I immediately think of the Nine Muses from ancient mythology. I think the idea of the modern muse is so dreamy too. Marc Jacobs calls Sophia Coppola his muse, and I love the idea of having one person serve as the embodiment of your imagination. It's so old-fashioned and romantic.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
I think shopping for clothing takes inspiration. It would be so easy to get stuck in a jeans and tee shirt mode, or just buy what's "safe." That's why I love fashion magazines. I start thinking about how I could use those shorts I already have, what would make them look new, or what shoes have I been wanting to wear that I don't, and flipping through the latest trends always helps me breathe new life into what I already own.

I don't know that I could come up with some looks without someone like Rachel Bilson or Camille Belle experimenting first. I can't copy them since we have totally (and completely!) different body types, but I can see how loose layers look, or tunics with shorts, or dresses with ankle boots... and that opens up a whole new window of imagination for me. I see the racks with new eyes!

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
When I get stuck for ideas for magchunk, I can always count on my own apartment to be a great source of inspiration. What item or system is missing here that would make my space more enjoyable? What art or display have I created that I think others would be interested in doing? Since my home is a work in progress, it provides a wealth of ideas, even if the ending post doesn't feature my apartment at all (dream kitchens, for example, because of my lack of such).

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I don't keep a board, but I do keep two huge and overflowing binders (NOTE: pictures attached!): one for home decor and one for fashion/hair/makeup. I've been tearing pages out of magazines and printing photos from online since junior high. In fact, some of my fashion tear sheets are from the teen magazines I read back in the late-nineties and I still love them! The interior ones are newer, although if I got my paws on my mom's stash of Metropolitan Home that I used to read over and over, they would probably fatten up the decor binder quite a bit.

While these notebooks aren't hanging in front of me day in and day out like a bulletin board or something would, I love pulling them out for an evening and flipping through the pages, rearranging, adding new and pulling out old. It's at once soothing and invigorating. I keep the pages in clear sheet protectors. The fashion binder is VERY loosely organized by mood or type (office, dressy, etc), sometimes by person (Natalie Portman). The decor binder is officially categorized by type of room, with full homes (like Jenna Lyons' from domino) in the back.

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
  • My collection of Vogue magazines (late 2001 through 2008).
Maggie's Vogue magazine collection
  • A Cup of Jo for beautiful images and to find new fun blogs.
  • Desire to Inspire for new-to-me photographers and designers. The first design blog I ever read.
  • Catalogs: I love flipping through beautifully styled catalogs like Anthropologie or West Elm. I love to see the objects they pair with their products (vintage phones!) or the cheap art they come up with (driftwood above the fireplace).
  • Etsy. I love browsing around by region or poking around the forums. I always find something new. The creativity is contagious!

June 16, 2009

Birthday Inspiration

photo from A Field Journal

I've had this fabulous birthday party photo saved for awhile. It floated around blogland earlier this year, but I just had to use it today. My birthday is later this week, and this is the perfect inspiration for a happy, intimate celebration.

The chairs, the colors, the cupcakes...lovely!

June 15, 2009

A New Favorite Color

You know how you have one color that you just love, love, love and it will always be your favorite? Me either. There are just too many colors to choose from and my number one usually changes with the seasons. (See my obsession with green back in March.)

Right now, I only have eyes for hot pink or fuchsia or raspberry. I’m not really sure what the exact name should be, but I know that it’s happy, vibrant and oh so summery. Everywhere I look I see it whether in pops of pink (like the chairs in the kitchen below) or entire walls swathed in the juicy hue (like in the July issue of House Beautiful).

I’ve never really liked any shade of pink until I had my daughter a couple of years ago. Now I can’t seem to get enough of it.

What do you think? Do you love this hot pink shade as much as I do?

clockwise from top left: kitchen photo from Living, Etc; pink party lanterns from jek in the box; pink peony from it's pretty good; floral wallpaper from Romo; macarons from Louis Beche; hot pink tutu from tutu love; hot pink chrysanthemum earrings from Candy's Art Designs; rose glassware from Z Gallerie; fashion color thesaurus from See Jane Work

June 12, 2009

Friday Favorite: Inchmark

Have you heard of Inchmark? If not, you’re going to thank me for introducing you to this week’s Friday Favorite.

Inchmark is written by Brooke Reynolds, a former senior art director at Martha Stewart, who now balances staying at home with freelance projects. From the first glimpse of the simple and fitting design, you know it’s going to be a good read. It is a great blog full of crafty, handmade goodness with tales of childhood and family woven in.

Brooke writes about everyday life with two small kids, shares her journey through quilting and sewing and gives tutorials for fabulous craft projects. Many of the crafts on Inchmark deal with celebrations whether birthdays or holiday. Highlighting Brooke’s simple, chic style, these projects are creative, clean and classic.

I’m always inspired when I visit Inchmark thanks to great projects and friendly writing. I love how seamlessly craft and design projects are mixed with posts about library routines and birthday parties. If you haven’t visited Inchmark before, you need to go see for yourself what I’m talking about. Remember, I said you would thank me.

June 11, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Laura Gaskill

Today is a great day because we’re talking about inspiration again. This week, Laura Gaskill of Lolalina fills us in on what inspiration means to her and how she finds it. She compares it to a spark, which is a great description, because really all you need is one small flicker to kick you into gear. I also love her perspective on creative ruts, her carefully edited lists of inspiration sources and her charming workspace.

Much of the inspiration Laura talks about here helps to fuel her blog. Reading Lolalina is like talking to a great friend because Laura writes as if she has known you forever. This makes her blog a joy to read and a welcome respite from everyday work.

You’ll find tips to live your best life; reviews of enticing travel destinations and beautifully decorated spaces; and photographs of lovely little vignettes Laura styles herself. You'll probably even come across a few links to new places you have to add to your own sources of inspiration.

I hope you find something here that inspires and then visit Lolalina to start living your sweet life.

Thank you, Laura, for sharing with us today!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?
To me, inspiration is awareness. When you are inspired, you feel filled-up and alive, and you notice the beauty and vibrancy around you. I think that inspiration can be found everywhere - but when you're feeling down, you can't see it. It's like a spark - something out there in your world that catches you by surprise and helps you make a new connection. An "aha!" moment.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Yes! Writing/blogging always requires inspiration. I think no matter what you're writing about, you need that spark of inspiration to get you started - otherwise, what's the point? The inspiration can come from any source - something happening in my life, a memory, something I've read about, or a conversation with a friend.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
First of all, thank you for asking this question! I think it's so important to realize that you are capable of breaking out of a rut. I hate the whole idea of "writer's block" because it doesn't help anybody - it's important just to recognize that you are in a rut, and then do something about it! As far as I can tell, there are two kinds of ruts: those caused by a lack of inspiration, and those caused by inspiration-overload. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the amount of information out there that I start zoning out, and then it's hard to come up with new ideas. When that happens, I know it's time to step away from the computer. I'll take a walk, do yoga, curl up with a mug of hot tea, or clean or declutter something.

Other times, I get into a rut where I just feel flat and dull - and that's when I need to seek out a jolt of inspiration. The first place I go is the bookstore. I love bookstores. I could practically live in a bookstore. I like to browse the whole store, picking up whatever looks interesting - whether it's a novel, a book of poems, a design book, science, history, etc. And I always bring a little notebook in my bag in case I need to jot down an idea while I'm browsing.

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I have kept inspiration boards from time to time over the years, and I love them. There's something really relaxing about fiddling with the pictures on an inspiration board. Usually I tape up a sheet of pretty wrapping paper on the wall above my desk, and gradually add little bits and pieces as I find them - but I've never had a big bulletin board, and I really want one! I also keep journals and notebooks for writing down ideas & thoughts to come back to.

Laura's workspace with inspiration above

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
Oh, man! This is really hard to narrow down, but I'll try.
Laura's Domino collection
  • Blogs I have way too many favorites to list, but a few that I go back to again and again for inspiration are decor8, Creature Comforts, Melissa Loves, and Soule Mama. Whenever I visit these ladies, I know I'll come away feeling refreshed and inspired.
  • Art Museums I love the RISD Museum in Providence (where I live now) and the de Young Museum in San Francisco (where I used to live) - there's just something about spending the morning in a museum that never fails to make me feel better.
  • Films I am a huge fan of old movies, especially Hitchcock & Audrey Hepburn films. Such style! I also love quirky movies like Amelie & The Science of Sleep. And if all else fails, The Sound of Music!
  • Travel I have the travel bug, big time. It's addictive. I love the excitement of being immersed in a different culture, falling into the rhythm of a place, exploring, and having adventures. Even though travel can be stressful at times, it's totally worth it to me. Just try sitting in an Italian cafe, sipping an espresso and not be inspired!

June 10, 2009

Nursery Rhymes Baby Shower

When it comes to finding inspiration, books make a great go-to source. These days my reading selection is generally limited to whatever titles my book-loving daughter chooses, so I have to thank her for this baby shower idea based on the book, Nursery Rhymes: well-loved verses to share, illustrated by Susie Lacome.

Over the past few weeks, this has been one of her favorites. She loves the rhyming and the collage-like pictures printed to look like fabric stitched on the page. As we read one day, I noticed fabric bunting decorating the top of one of the pages, and knew it would be the perfect starting point for a baby shower theme.

With its colorful gingham pages, sweet embroidered illustrations and familiar verses, this book makes a great gift and theme. You can use for a boy or girl, so I’ve tried to make my choices gender-neutral, although sometimes I just can’t help choosing pink.

Inspiration: Nursery Rhymes: well-loved verses to share from Amazon
centerpieces: paper flower kits from Paper Platypus
party setup: porch party from Country Living
paper flags for food: via Party Perfect
sugar cookie party favors: Truly Scrumptious Cookies
nursery rhyme cupcakes: A Baked Creation
handmade birds: Ann Wood
gingham invitation: Lil Birdie shower invitation from bndesigns
fabric bunting: Twig & Thistle
felting animals: barnyard ball sewing pattern from Pattern Play

June 9, 2009

A Word of Inspiration

photo by Sarah Parrot

So simple, but so meaningful. Who or what will inspire you today?

June 7, 2009

A June Inspiration Board

Summertime, Summertime, Summertime!

Although it's already the second week of the month, I wanted to post this inspiration board about all things June:
  • spending time by the pool or at the beach
  • strawberry (the fruit and the color!)
  • lazy afternoons in a hammock
  • bright colors for home and fashion
I think June is a great month. Not only does it mark the halfway point of the year, it's my birthday month, which translates to cake and presents! Most importantly, like the inspiration board shows, June means summer has officially arrived.

Happy June!

June 1, 2009

A Short Break

I'll be taking a few days off from posting, but will be back next week with a full line-up of inspiration boards, Talking About My Inspiration series and a new Friday Favorite.

In the meantime, today is June 1 (can you believe it?) which means it is officially summertime! Here are few images that remind me of exactly what summer should be -- happy and bright.

Have a lovely week!