Archive for January, 2010

nightlight…

31/01/2010

my nightlight...

Some of my best ideas have come from Martha Stewart.  During her Christmas Craft e-mail blasts this fabulous little piece of art came bouncing into my inbox.  I already had an 18×24 artist canvas at my house, so I painted it a very light baby pink and charted out the design for the lights on the back with a pencil.  As Martha suggested I used an awl to poke the holes thru from the back and then popped in small white christmas lights and put a little e6000 glue around them to hold them in place!  It was a great addition to my baby pink Christmas tree and after the holidays has become a wonderful nightlight on my night stand!  I love waking up next to this…

my happy place…

31/01/2010
my desk

my desk...

a sweet message...

For the last few months I have been using my laptop and doing any computer work on my studio table in my workroom. This was all fine and well except I had to stand up to do so… Not exactly ideal for getting any actual work done. So, I found an antique desk for cheap and pulled out some of my favorite stationary, pens and notepads and created a happy little space to work! Complete with my very favorite message of all time in pink framed above I have a perfect little hideaway. Next I needed a message board to pin ideas and notes to… so I found a frame that I had purchased at Target a while back that I hadn’t been using and took out the glass, cut down a piece of thin cork board (I bought them in a pack of four 12″ squares at Target) and poof! a cute little cork board to match my antique beach desk! I added a few favorite things, an inspiring quote or two and now I feel at home…

long overdue…

30/01/2010

For some odd reason this morning when I woke up I was bit by the organization bug…
Being trapped in my house by several inches of snow and ice I decided to be productive. So I rifled through the three giant rubbermaid containers of fabric I have collected over the years and decided to organize them by color. It only took me 7 hours and an entire season of Monk, but I did it! Now to make the rest of my studio this happy… Ugh, I’m gonna need a lot more snow!

let it snow…

29/01/2010

A very rare snow day in Nashvegas! It’s so pretty and white, I need a puffy coat, a sled and a wide open space for some snow angel making! 🙂

with all your heart…

29/01/2010

a painting by donna downey, a simple, beautiful message.

It was Marcus Aurelius that said “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”  It is hard sometimes to be confident in love, between our own self doubt, other peoples opinions, and over thinking it can be very near impossible, if we let it that is.  “…do so with all your heart.” he said, this is a concept that is sometimes lost on us.  Maybe it’s because we did it and were hurt as a result, maybe we don’t know how, or maybe we can’t figure out exactly what it is we’re supposed to with with all our heart.  It’s simple, straight forward advice if you think about it, acceptance and love, isn’t that what we were taught from day one?  How, over the course of growing up do we lose the ability to do these things unjustly and without question, we lose that blissful wide eyed innocence that as children we long to lose and as adults we mourn the loss of?  It fades with experience, with living, and with exposure, but does that mean that we have to let it fade, that we have to become hard and jaded?  Who says that we can’t still believe in Santa Clause, not that a strange man shimmy’s down our chimney every year, but the magic and spirit that it encompasses, when we refuse to let reality and the word “impossible” cloud our brains could we once again believe that magic does exist, that there are some things in life that go right as you had hoped, some things in life that still manage to take our breathe away and leave us smiling and our hearts swollen with love?  YES!  Or at least I’m going to believe so, and isn’t that half the battle anyway?  I don’t know about you, but I have found myself using one single excuse too much in my life lately, “but, that’s what happened in the past.”  We all have sad stories about love lost and broken hearts but that doesn’t mean we should bring that into the present.  The past is gone, and tomorrow may never come so why are we so intent on worrying about them and missing what is going on right now, right in front of our face?  I know I am guilty of this in my relationship and I think it is causing me to miss some of the happy, funny, memorable moments that end up being what make you happiest, so I am taking a vow to make a serious effort to worry about the current moment only.  That doesn’t mean that the future shouldn’t be planned for or that you shouldn’t save and dream, it’s the emotions and actions that I have to learn to ignore.  Accept the things to which fate binds you, but with all your heart…I think I can handle that, it will take some practice, but I must admit some of the things in my life that fate bound me to, I fought thinking they were off my planned path, and you know what, they have for the most part turned out to be the best things in my life…fate.  Love the people that fate brings you together with, but with all your heart.  This is the one that is going to be tricky, giving all you heart to someone can be very dangerous, however it can be the most rewarding experience of your life.  And whether it’s the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with or it’s a life lesson and/or friendship currently posing as a relationship, loving them with all your heart and not worrying about the consequences to me it seems could potentially eliminate the consequences all together…  Isn’t that self-fulfilling prophecy?  If you think it, it will come.  So maybe, just maybe I should take the advice of a certain gentleman in my life and fill my time with things that I love like my business, my friends, my hobbies, leaving of course a little time for him in there somewhere and stop worrying about what has or is going to happen, stop over thinking things, making things up in my head and sit back, enjoy the ride and “love the ‘person’ with whom fate brings me together, but do so with all my heart!”

you can view the rest of donna’s amazing paintings at donnadowney.typepad.com/ simply_me

a quiet afternoon with friends…

29/01/2010

a sweet sunday brunch...

I love this little table setting!  Complete with a few friends over on sunday afternoon, a Nigella Lawson recipe or two on the table and a plethora of mimosa’s…. mmmm, dreamy….

next on the reading list…

29/01/2010

For years I was the typical female reader with a collection of “pink” books, you know those light, single girl on the hunt books with pretty covers and are great when you don’t really want to think about what you’re reading .  Don’t get me wrong, I still read these books from time to time, some of my favorite books fall into this category, but about two years ago I joined a book club at my alma mater and was forced for the first time since high school to break out of my perfect little pink square.  The book that broke my spell was Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian.  At first I was a little hesitant about starting this massive book with its creepy cover and intellectual story line, but I opened it up, read the first page and never looked back.  Kostova’s style of writing is unique and from what I can tell by asking around it’s pretty much love it or hate it. The Historian is a book for people who like history, if you get bored easily with dates and places in time then you most likely will not make it through the first chapter.  There is a wonderful story that the book revolves around of course, a father-daughter tale that spans three generations hunting for Vlad the Impaler.  But to get to the story you have to weed through tons of historical facts, dates, legends, and sites (that’s the part I love most about this book!)  I have read this book twice in the past two years and each time I have discovered new and exciting things (as you should with any good book) but beyond that it has enhanced my love of history, one that has been embedded in me for years, but Kostova’s storytelling abilities brought it to the surface.  Give it a shot, who knows what it might bring out in you…  A fashion designer who wants to go back to school to get a masters and PhD in history so she can travel the world one day and write books about it?  Sure, why not?!

The whole point of me rambling on about The Historian?  A. I love, love, love it but 2. I was in Borders last night and to my heart’s delight there on the front table lay Kostova’s second book, The Swan Thieves.  I very rarely if ever buy a hard cover book, I like to read at the gym and be able to carry it around with me, but I could not resist nor bear the idea of waiting another 6 months or so for the paper back version.  I can’t wait to dig in to this massive piece of mystery and discover a whole new side of historical secrets!  I’ll keep you posted…

on the hunt…

28/01/2010

I love this piece! Someday the space and funds will exist to transform my studio into the beach bungalow sanctuary I desire. And when that day comes I will be on the hunt for a piece like this to house my immense collection of supplies. Each will have it’s own little comfy drawer…one for stationary, one for thread, one for buttons… hmmm, maybe I really do get too excited about organizing, well I guess there are much worse obsessions!

beauty in words…

27/01/2010

An absolutely amazing story.

I love to read.  I have read some truly wonderful stories over the past few years, and several of them have related to the holocaust.  A topic that I have found fascinating for the last 12 years.  It’s a fascination of the main things that everyone relates to this horrific event, but for me it’s a bit more.  One of the main characters and I share the same borderline obsession… it’s a simple question really, “how can so many people not know?”  I have been studying the events that took place and that surrounded the holocaust for years and it has always been my goal to pass the information along and to see that other people in my generation, a generation born long after Hitler’s evil reign, understand, appreciate and feel the stories that exist.  Anyway, back to the book.  It’s a story that takes place in 1942 and 2001 in Paris.  It surrounds the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup which few people know anything about.  Even with all of my research I hate to admit that I knew nothing of these two tragic days.  It’s history, love, family, and perseverance all tied up in a perfect little package that I recommend all of you add to your reading list!

welcome, welcome…

27/01/2010

I am a fashion designer with a passion for just about everything in life, well maybe not everything, but I love to write, I love to create, and I love love so here I am!  Sit back, read, laugh, relate, or disagree, but enjoy none the less!

Things I believe:  pink will always make me happy;  relationships are hard, but loving should be easy;  airports make me feel cozy and important;  jokes can solve any problem life can throw at me;  a long, slow kiss can make your world stop;  no one is going to survive life and worrying about it will not change that;  there is something to be said for sitting on a porch swing in the middle of nowhere and thinking about your life;  watching the sun set on the beach will always relax you;  wearing make-up and dressing nice does not mean that you’re not beautiful inside, but it will never make you that way;  laughter holds relationships together;   sometimes we find exactly what we weren’t looking for;  and there are more things in this lifetime than we will ever see, do or hear, so make your list, take chances, do as much as you can and enjoy each moment of it fully and with love.