May 28, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Kristin Warbington

Today Kristin Warbington of Discover Interior Design is talking about her inspiration. As someone with a background in interior design, I was immediately attracted to her blog first by its name, then by its layout (sophisticated, crisp and professional) and then by its content (stylish, interesting and educational). I am excited to share this glimpse into her world.

Kristin’s answers to my five questions give an up-close look at how she seeks and finds inspiration. From taking a walk to searching the web to collecting items that inspire, each of these steps come together to provide direction in the creative process.

As an interior designer – she is currently working on LEED certification – Kristin brings an insider’s eye and a personal style to her blog. With designer profiles, home tours and fun design finds, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Go for a visit and start discovering the world of interior design through Kristin’s eyes.

Thank you, Kristin, for telling us a little about your methods and resources for inspiration!

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

To me, inspiration makes the world go ‘round. It is an abstract idea that I try to immerse myself in and breathe daily.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
When it comes to design projects, I find that inspiration is absolutely essential. I will snatch fabric samples, paint chips, tear sheets, and stone samples, and other random objects like metal scraps, rocks, or flowers. I like to throw all of these things into a pile and draw conclusions from each. Beyond design projects, sometimes inspiration is necessary just to get the day rolling… lol.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
I try to abandon my surroundings and go somewhere new. I think it’s important to disconnect from technology every once in a while and experience the people and places around us. I typically return feeling refreshed and full of ideas. Of course, the internet isn’t all bad. I often find myself perusing photography on We Heart It and can’t help but save hundreds of these photos on my computer for future reference. When everything else fails… I bust open my filing cabinet which is overflowing with tear sheets. It’s quite ridiculously, really. I probably have enough tear sheets on file to create about 30 magazines again….

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I love inspirations boards. I had one prior to moving, but haven’t had the chance to set up another since settling into my new place. I plan to very soon. In addition to inspiration boards, I actually have a metal basket that I keep near my desk - it’s usually full of tear sheets, ribbons, fabric scraps and even a cork or two from a wine bottle – what ever strikes my fancy at that moment. It tends to fill up with items that eventually make it to my inspiration board! Oh, and when I am on the run, I do keep a Moleskine to jot down ideas and thoughts as well.

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
  • Interior Design & Architecture – I find that a lot of what inspires me is driven by design itself. I tend to visit these sites often:
  1. Desire to Inspire
  2. 2 or 3 Things I Know
  3. Architectural Record
  4. Dress Design Decor
  • Travel & Culture – I love to travel. Unfortunately, I haven’t done much of it, but I look forward to the day when my (currently non-existent) passport looks like a tattooed-lady and I have moleskins full of my documented travels. Seeing other’s photos and hearing their stories, for now, is inspiration enough.
  • Life (every single bit of it) – Perhaps that’s cliché, but clichés usually turn out to be true anyway.
  • Friends + Family
  • Misc.
  1. Kissing Her Cage Goodbye
  2. Don't Forget to Fly
  3. I especially like this site because it is here that I can read things like this “You will hear it and no one else will, like your soul wears headphones and only it can hear the music.” I think that’s lovely. I Wrote This For You

May 26, 2009

A Word Of Inspiration

One word says it all. Try looking at this all day and not making something. What will you create?

May 25, 2009

Decorating With Red, White And Blue

In honor of Memorial Day, today’s inspiration board features a red, white and blue decorating scheme. Before you start imagining themed holiday celebrations, let me assure you the look is light on the stars and stripes, yet still perfectly patriotic.

With big accessories in blue and white, simple accents in red and neutral colors mixed in, this living room comes across as casual, a little country and perfect for living during the summer season.

Starting with a basic white sofa, the color palette is established with a bold striped rug and buffalo-check curtains in blue and white. Pops of red from a pillow, quilt and flower arrangement reinforce Americana style. A bamboo trunk (use two as a coffee table) brings in natural texture, while a metallic lantern and sunburst mirror add a touch of sparkle.

clockwise from top left:

Double Cube Brass lantern from Shades of Light
Cherry Wood Pole Set from Lowe's
Indigo Check fabric from Ballard Designs
Carnation centerpieces from Country Living via The Finer Things
Bamboo Lattice Storage Stool from The Container Store
Striped Braided Indoor/Outdoor Rug from Ballard Designs
PB Comfort Sofa from Pottery Barn
Patchwork Throw from Home a la Mode
Red Floral (ektorp) Neckroll from Ikea
Gold Sunburst Mirror from Target

May 22, 2009

Friday Favorite: Oh, Hello Friend

It’s been a few weeks since I featured an individual blog on Friday Favorites, so I’m excited to tell you about today’s choice, Oh, Hello Friend. I remember coming across this blog, long before I started For Your Inspiration. Fortunately, it has recently come back on my radar.

Written by Danni Hong, a graphic designer from California, Oh, Hello Friend has a fresh vintage vibe (check out all the lace accents!). I adore blogs that have a cohesive look. Oh, Hello Friend definitely has a pleasing aesthetic that shines through every post and design element.

Maybe it’s the emphasis on inspiration or the sweet conversational tone or the gorgeous images, but something keeps bringing me back. I love the weekly schedule, so I always know what is going to be new. My favorite day has to be Monday thanks to the Inspire: lovely column. Every week features a captivating collection of images representing design, art, fashion, food, paper and other random snapshots of prettiness. What a great way to start the week!

Along with the Inspire: lovely column, you’ll also find product round-ups, photography features, blog links and posts on Danni’s own crafty projects. Everything is fun to read, and it’s all packaged in a way that fits seamlessly into the overall design of the blog.

I hope you’ll stop by Oh, Hello Friend to see for yourself why I like it so much. Danni also runs a lovely Etsy shop that is just as fun to browse.

May 21, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...Michelle Ward

This week, Michelle Ward from When I Grow Up is kind enough to answer my questions on inspiration. As a certified life coach for creative types, she has plenty of insight and motivation to give. She came into the coaching biz by way of acting and random jobs, and she understands completely the struggle of the road less traveled.

Michelle’s has an energy and enthusiasm that permeates throughout her blog and business. Her answers here deliver the same passion. From a new-to-me bookmarking site to an amazing list of websites that always inspire, her answers give us the resources kick start any creative process we’ve been lingering over.

When you finish reading about what inspires Michelle, jump on over to her blog for a daily lesson on what you ought to be when you grow up.

Thanks so much, Michelle, for taking the time to talk about your inspiration!

Quick, without thinking, what does inspiration mean to you?
Motivation! Action! Dreams! A great big blue sky full of fluffy clouds. A big dark sky full of stars. Being on a ship with nothing but ocean surrounding you. A blank page. A white canvas. An unmarked script. Sheet music waiting to be sung. Lightness. Filled up-ness. Fireworks. Something that makes me cry and laugh and think. Something that moves me into action. Something hopeful. Something positive.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Definitely my posts for Motivation Monday! With all of my blog entries, I think first of what I want to see at that moment and then think as to whether it would resonate with my readers. Come to think of it, all of my blog posts start this way! I look in my Inspiration folder (more on that in my answer to question 3) or on past drafts that I started writing, and when I see something that relates to what I'm going through - what I can passionately write about, with feeling - then that's the road I travel down.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
I have a virtual notebook in Evernote where I copy all the amazing work I find on the different blogs I visit throughout the week). I'm then able to tag it when key words, like "goals" or "focus" or "journey", and I can search for whatever I'm writing about or feeling at the time. Because it's copied from the site I found it, I can easily credit the originator of the blog & the source I got it from.

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, besides my Evernote account! I've never been one for vision boards, but the more I see them the more I want one for myself! I'm actually working through the Right Brain Business Plan now, and the culmination of the plan is a vision board-like project, & I'm really looking forward to it. Who knows - maybe I'll get hooked! I do have a journal now that I'm both writing & drawing in (I am SO not an artist, though, so it ain't the prettiest of pictures) & that's allowed the creative juices to flow. Oh! I also have a quote book! OK, so maybe I do have something other than my Evernote account :)

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
It's so hard to limit this to just 5! I've been sucked into so many amazing blogs from designers & artists, that I live vicariously through all of them (see note above about being a stinky artist). But if I gotta, here are my Top 5 Inspiration Sources:
  • Keri Smith is an awesomely amazing artist who gets you thinking of your world and your creative pursuits in a whole new life. I combed through her whole site at one point and read her blog from top to bottom, but if I have to point you to one place it's her Fun Page. And yes, it's accurately named.
  • Kelly Rae Roberts...her work...her posts....there is something so real & accessible & inspiring about both her art and her writing. I'm a huge fan all around, and while I highly suggest checking out, uh, everything she does, you NEED to read her book. Yes, need. Not "want". Not "should". NEED. And make sure you're someplace quiet and have your journal someplace you can get to it quickly. I had to run sopping wet from the bath to get mine.
  • Pecannoot is the sweetest site! I have no freakin' idea what the name means, but it features lots of different photos and paintings and such centered around the theme of "abundance." Jess Gonacha is the site's founder and host, and while she's an amazing artist herself, her insights combines with the work that's being featured is worth the click over every day.
  • Kind Over Matter & Design is Mine is where I just go to look at pictures and dream. Sigh. Seriously though, the images are awesome & the sentiments behind it always jolt me. In a good way. Kind Over Matter focuses on the photos people take after they leave behind a sweet message for people to find, while Design is Mine gives you the motivational art (but not in a sappy way) AND the great indy design/decor/fashion finds. It's dangerous.
  • Me! OK, this sounds silly, but sometimes my biggest inspiration is within me - my celebrations, my challenges, my newly learned life lessons. As a newlywed, and a certified life coach, and someone who is trying to grow her business while working a full time job, and someone who is passionate about helping creative people find their own path to a fulfilling career while not losing sight of their creative passions..... I have so much to say!

May 20, 2009

Host a Stylish Graduation Party

First, a question. How is it possible that it is already time for Memorial Day weekend? It seems like I was just filling Easter baskets last week!

Now, onto today's inspiration board. Since summer is quickly approaching, that means tons of graduations will start taking place (if they haven't already) between now and the beginning of June. Whether it's kindergarten, high school or college, graduating is major accomplishment that deserves a celebration.

This board shows you how to put together a simple celebration full of personality and sweet treats. I think it is a party you can customize for any age, boy or girl.

May 19, 2009

May 18, 2009

Change Is In The Air

As you can probably tell, I've been working on some changes around here. There are still some problems with links and visual elements, but I'll hopefully get those taken care of soon.

Most importantly, if you subscribe to For Your Inspiration, would you please, pretty please, do so again. I had to change my feed address to reflect some previous updates.

I'm so proud of my readers, and I apologize for the inconvenience. But, this will make sure you get every new post feed as they come along. You can use the subscribe in a reader button to the right or go directly to feedburner.

Thank you for taking the time to do this, and thanks for reading!

May 15, 2009

Friday Favorite: More Blog Links

I didn't have time to write a Friday Favorite today, so I thought I'd give you some more fun blog links from the blogging class I took last month. I found so many great new blogs, I feel like I have to share them. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Have a great weekend, and happy blog reading!

May 14, 2009

Talking About My Inspiration With...ME!

I'm excited to begin this new series called Talking About My Inspiration. Every Thursday, bloggers will answer questions about things that inspire them, how they organize inspiration and what they do with it.

photo by ohhellofriend

Today, I'm answering my own questions. I thought it would be good to not only make me think about what inspires me, but also share a bit about myself with you in the process.

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

To me, inspiration is energy. It’s like a light bulb clicks and all of a sudden the ideas swirling around my head come together and make sense. I have to reach for the nearest piece of paper (or napkin or hand) to write everything down before the thoughts float away. Sometimes, for me, inspiration comes and goes just like that.

Is there one task that always requires some inspiration to help you accomplish?
Organizing! Having a place for everything and everything in its place makes my home and life more peaceful and productive. Unfortunately, getting it together is often a daunting task. I usually need to look at pictures of pretty, organized rooms and great products available for motivation.

When you’re in a creative rut, where is the first place you go/look to be inspired?
I keep running lists of random thoughts, potential ideas and fun finds. These are in notebooks, folders on my computer desktop, in a Delicious account, sometimes even in my head. I always look at one of these first when I need immediate inspiration. This always leads me a website I want to check out or reminds me of a project I’ve got filed away.

I am obsessed with inspiration boards. Do you keep anything like this (board, journal, etc.) to help you catalog bits of inspiration?
I dream of a massive bulletin board with a gorgeous frame covered in tear sheets, photographs, sketches and fabric samples. You name it and I have imagined on my fantasy inspiration board. The only problem is, I am terrible at keeping one. I guess this is why I’m obsessed with everyone else’s. Thankfully, I’m great at filing, and I have a large accordion file divided by interests. This is the place I stash everything related to different (long-term) projects I have going on. My lists (see #3) are for things I need done this week.

What are your top 5 sources of inspiration?
  • my church When I go in, I may feel stressed, frustrated or discouraged. I walk out thankful for my blessings, excited to use my God-given gifts and content in my journey. There is nothing more inspiring than to know I am forgiven and that no matter what happens in this life, something greater, something incomprehensible, is waiting.
  • my lists The items on my lists come mainly from magazines, blogs or ideas I have because of something I read in a magazine or blog. Referring to these lists always jump starts my thought process no matter what the project.
  • bookstores If I need to get away for a little while, I head to the bookstore where I am surrounded by tons of creative resources. A few hours spent scanning a new book, flipping through magazines and thinking without interruption practically guarantees new ideas and renewed energy.
  • blank paper Whether in a well-worn spiral notebook or a luxurious leather journal, a blank page represents beginning. I might write, draw, plan a party or make a budget. Whatever it is usually leads to something bigger, even if it is a discussion with my husband over why our daughter can’t have two birthday parties.
  • my magazine stash I keep a lot of magazines. Sometimes I go through them for a purpose like when I have an article idea I can’t wrap my head around or I need to know why my daughter randomly freaks out around certain people. Sometimes I read them just because it’s been awhile and I want to see if anything new catches my eye.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into everything that inspires me. Check back every Thursday to see what other bloggers have to say.

May 13, 2009

How To File Inspiration

(note: This was originally posted a couple of months ago. I thought it would be a nice lead in to my new series, Talking About My Inspiration, which begins tomorrow.)

photo by Max_au

Folders, binders, corkboards…oh my! Everywhere you look there is a way to organize inspirational things from fabric swatches to paint samples to magazine pages. It is easy to be consumed by the mass of pretty files, streamlined notebooks and DIY bulletin boards available to buy or make.

Like any system for organization, storing your mounds of inspirational materials needs to be functional. The tricky party of all the great products out there is figuring out which one works for you. Here are two simple questions to help you decide on one or two methods.

  • How accessible do want your files to be?
  • What type of things do you typically file away? (e.g. lightweight items like tear sheets or bulkier pieces such as fabric)

After you’ve answered these questions, use this little guide to narrow down your storage options. It identifies some of the best tools for filing inspiration along with products to get you started. Some are super-organized, others cater to a more creative sensibility, but they all work to contain whatever inspires you.

from top center: 92:bind(empty notebook) by niseag03; refrigerator door by madelinetosh; file: scrapbooking inspiration by Dazed81; inspiration board March by Amy.Ng; inspiration board springtime living room by Maui_Designer; inspiration wire explored by vee*

three-ring binders Best for thinner items such as magazine pages or computer printouts, binders are great if you like maximum organization. Dividers and sheet protectors keep papers neat, while organizing them by project or interest. They work best if you only need to refer to files occasionally.
get it: Signature three-ring binder from Russel+Hazel

accordion files/file folders
Similar to notebooks, accordion files and folders allow you to organize by topics. They can handle thicker items such as ribbons and fabric, but the contents are less structured.get it: Semikolon expanding file from See Jane Work

bulletin boards Mainstays in offices and studios everywhere, bulletin boards allow you tack up just about anything you happen to find inspiring. Usually placed near workstations, they provide constant inspiration anytime you need it.
get it: Madison corkboard from Ballard Designs

refrigerators Think of a refrigerator as the BLANK of bulletin boards. You may not like a messy fridge door, but for some people looking at an inspiring photograph or graphic throughout the day keeps the creative juices flowing. The things you can stick on the fridge depends on the strength of the magnet, but consider enticing food shots or even paint sample for an upcoming home remodel.
get it:
funky flower magnets from What The Scrap

digital collages These are virtual inspiration boards, or mood boards, that let you pull together images from around the web to create possible looks for theme parties, room designs and special outfits. You have an abundance of resources to use as you create boards and all it takes is a few button clicks add or take away items.
get it:

How do you organize the things that inspire you?

May 12, 2009

A Boys Nursery In Blue

Since I have a daughter, most of my posts naturally tend to be more girly and pink. It’s getting to be a bit much even for me. So…I’ve decided it’s time to show the boys some love.

This nursery inspiration board is around the classic color choice for boys – blue. The look mixes sporty with a little bit of whimsy to create a modern room that is all boy.

wallpaper letters and numbers from Land of Nod
ABC learning blocks from Three Ladybugz
Squirt lampshade and gum drop table lamp from Walmart
white cabinet from Ikea
rugby stripe rug from Pottery Barn Kids
Dwell Studio for Target bedding from Target
wall shelves from Ikea

I'm not used to all this blue, so I'm not sure how I feel about this look.

What do you think?

May 8, 2009

Friday Favorite: Blogging Your Way

Instead of highlighting one blog for today’s Friday Favorite, I want to tell you about a group of them. We were members of a team called the Fearless Scribblers brought together during a four-week blogging e-course taught by the talented Holly Becker of decor8.

For one assignment during this class, we were asked to visit and review the blogs of each group member. The feedback I received was both encouraging (they like this Friday column) and enlightening (who knew seeing a picture of me is so important?). I promise I’m going to put one up! There are many other changes I’m working on and considering thanks to the input of these fabulous women.

Lolalina Laura (our Fearless leader) started this blog during the class. Already it draws you in with a clean, cheery aesthetic and keeps you there with lovely photos and descriptive writing.

Magchunk Maggie writes about it all on her blog – fashion, décor, food and entertaining – and makes it shine with her spunky voice.

Sam’s Notebook Sam has a great eye for gorgeous photos and her style shines through in every post.

Cookie Cutter Sandy’s blog is anything but cookie cutter from the handwriting in the sidebar to her unique slant on all things pretty and artistic.

When I Grow Up Coach Michelle’s blog is unique (at least to me) because she doesn’t write about design, entertaining or food. But, she’s a life coach for the creative people who do, and she writes with such gusto you can’t help but be inspired.

Discover Interior Design With a graceful and professional layout, Kristen’s blog lets you into the world of interior design from jargon and designers to beautiful homes and images.

Frozen Brooklyn If you like ice cream, Raina’s blog, which chronicles her experiences with a new ice cream maker, is sure to turn you on to a new favorite flavor.

Sparkling Ink Tiina shares brilliant finds for home and entertaining but the most appealing part of her blog are the yummy recipes.

Oh, about the class itself. I admit I went in to it thinking Holly would reveal the secret to becoming the next big blogging sensation. I come out of it with much more. And right now, I'm content with what my fledgling blog is – my own little slice of virtual pie where I get to have fun, play around and put my imagination to work creating potential rooms, parties and styles.

If along the way I’m able to inspire one of you to decorate an outdoor room, start a birthday tradition or dress in coordinating outfits, then that’s just the icing (and the best part) on my cupcake. I'm going to let it be.

May 7, 2009

Have You Heard...

I'm going to be Talking About My Inspiration? Next Thursday, I'm starting a new series here that's all about (drumroll, please) inspiration.

And, it's not just me that you'll hear from. I've got some great bloggers lined up who have generously offered to let us know all about what inspires them and why.
Curious about who they are? Look for a special Friday Favorites post tomorrow.

If you need a pick me up to get a project going or just want some new ideas, I hope you'll check back here every Thursday to see what we've got going on For Your Inspiration.

May 6, 2009

What To Wear For Mother's Day

With Mother’s Day this weekend, I’ve been thinking what I always think when a special occasion comes up, “What am I going to wear?” Now that I have a little girl, I have to worry about her outfit, too.

I’ve never understood dressing mother and daughter in identical outfits. It looks cute for the catalog pictures, but it’s just not my thing, I guess. However, I see nothing wrong with coordinating mommy and baby outfits. Because you know there are going to be cameras flashing, especially on Mother’s Day.

Here is a little inspiration board of outfits I think my daughter and I could pull off for church and lunch on Sunday. Each one is happy, pink and cute in its own little way.

(Maybe I'll make the hubby put on a pink tie...just for good measure.

Mom's Outfit:

Child's Outfit

If you're a mom, do you coordinate outfits with your kids for the sake of photos?

May 4, 2009

Create a Cheery Outdoor Room

Inspired tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo celebrations, this inspiration board is full of vibrant colors and bold patterns. These ideas would look equally great for a garden nook, front porch or backyard patio.

May 1, 2009

Friday Favorite: Party Perfect

Since this week’s posts were all about birthday parties, I decided to stick with the theme for today’ Friday Favorite. This is perfect, in fact, it’s Party Perfect, a blog I’ve read since it first began.

Written by Sara Hicks Malone, former art director for Martha Stewart Baby and Kids magazines and now designer of Hicks Paper Goods, Party Perfect is a treasure trove of inspiration for big and little celebrations for all occasions. We share a love of garlands (or, in her words “hang-y things"), cupcakes and homemade parties.

You won’t find many Cinderella or Spiderman kids parties, and if you do, you can bet they’re done with style and class. Sara’s modern, yet simple aesthetic shines through in her well-edited posts. Expect to find awesome links to theme parties based on books, colors or animals. She also finds super vintage entertaining books and unique party accessories, as well as shares photos and tips from her own hip soirees.

I have looked through this site many, many times for party themes, decorating tips and gift ideas. If you're looking for a specific party idea, go ahead and skip the search function. Just browse through the archives instead. There is so much good stuff here, you don’t want to miss any of it.

Do you like planning parties? What is your favorite part?