Craving Creativity?

April 20th, 2011

Another email from a reader landed in my inbox on a subject I think we all feel from time to time. 

Hey Kate, I’ve been in a slump lately, feeling overwhelmed and not at my creative best.  Wondering do you ever feel this way?  Where do you go to get inspired?  ~ Shannon

Hey Shannon, yep I go through those ‘dry spells’ too, usually when I’m tired, stretched too thin, and pulled in too many directions.  We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with images and information, where distraction is inevitable and focus becomes difficult.  Also, we all have responsibilities that can keep us from a few hours of creative time.  Everyone goes through creative slumps, but no worries.  I have a few tricks I use to get inspired, then it’s always back to the drawing board. 

Here are a few of my favorite ways to kick start creativity again: 

Visit Etsy and/or Big Cartel.  I am always amazed at the skills of the artisans in these two forums for handmade goods.  An afternoon spent browsing the designs on Etsy or Big Cartel is sure to inspire you, and also introduce you to a few designers that will quickly become favorites.  

etsy faves

Clay flowers by St Jude Creations; Love Birds by Vintage Green Limited; Cake Stands by High Tea for Alice.

Pinterest.   Are you a Pinhead?  I am!  Last year, I heard about this site through a few blogs, so I sent my request for an invitation.   Months went by and I hadn’t heard from them, and I was completely bitter that my request for an ‘invitation’ wasn’t accepted, and I began to feel inadequate.  What’s wrong, why not me?  Then I did a search of my inbox.  Hello?  It was sitting right there. 

Pinterest is an image driven virtual pinboard where you can mix and mingle with like minded peeps by following them, and also ‘pin’ your favorite ideas.  There are a lot of sites out there that can be time sucks, but this one happens to be a favorite place of mine to spend 5 or 10 minutes a day.  Someday, I’ll figure out a way to catalog my favorites on my own site, but for now, Pinterest is the place to be!  

pinterest picks

 

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‘No Place Like Home’ Review + Giveaway

April 19th, 2011

The other day, I received a copy of designer Stephen Saint-Onge’s book No Place Like Home.  Many of you know, Stephen’s work appeared in a monthly ‘House Calls’ series in Better Homes & Gardens, and I always looked forward to his makeover features.  He’s been named one of the top 15 Designers by House Beautiful. 

When I first casually flipped through the pages of this book, nothing really jumped out at me so I put it down to ‘read later’.  But then I actually started reading it, and I have to say, after finishing it, I gained so much from the sense and sentiments on the pages, especially Stephen’s insight on simple, clutter free family friendly design. 

stephen book cover

My favorite thing about this book that really surprised me is that it is written in Stephen’s voice, with his influences and thought process clearly apparent on the pages.  I love in the ‘Introduction’ how he details his “very Norman Rockwell” small town upbringing, and how so often movies are his creative muse in design. 

stephen quote

I love that too.  

Inside the 170+ pages, you’ll find tips for styling bookcases, quick ways to bring personality to you home, tips for mixing fabrics and furniture styles, tricks for making rooms feel more spacious, and creating better flow in your home.  It’s filled with pages of Stephen’s ‘Creative Thoughts’ on the best ways to make all of your spaces comfortable and inviting, from family rooms to kid spaces, and also make them work for the way modern families gather and live together.  He is a father, husband, and homeowner with a fantastic sense of what families really need and want in their homes.

 

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One of Those

April 18th, 2011

It was one of those weekends where we had out-of-town family visiting, which always means in order to entertain the troops, we play tourists in our own backyard.  

It was one of those weekends where instead of driving, we all walk the mile and a half to our downtown shops, and I can’t help but appreciate along the way the charm of so many of our neighborhood’s homes.

neighbor

white colonial 2

 

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