what I do

what I do

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Explorer Room

 My sister and I put up the decals for the new preschool classroom today. It was a bit more challenging then I had anticipated; not the decals, they went up pretty well. But the room was in still in transition and it had both the new furniture for the classroom and the old furniture from the psychologist's office so it was a bit of a challenge even getting to the walls.

I love the new room sign ... my sister is so talented!

The room is going to be perfect and I like how it fits in so well with the other rooms too. Oh, to be able to be a kid again ... doesn't it just make you want to go in and play?

You can find the sources for the decals and the wall color in my previous post here. While I was there, I measured and took some before photos for a new project ...

I love to see that this successful doctor is growing and expanding her business. This space will be the new offices for the psychologists (as the classrooms are taking over the old space) and a meeting room for parents. We are limited as to what we can do (no painting allowed) so art will be a crucial element. 

I am actually "okay" with the white walls ... you know I wanted to paint my walls all white and it didn't work out so I can get out my white wall desire here! 

The goal is to make it a space that will feel welcoming to the parents. And inspirational. 

I hope you have an extraordinary day! xo

Monday, August 27, 2012

Passwords, books and bags!

Are you like me and struggle to remember all your codes and passwords? I used to have it all pretty simple - one password for everything. Except that as things have gotten more sophisticated and more protective, that password I used to use didn't always fit the requirements (besides the fact that it is not really wise to use the same password over and over). And so I started adding capital letters and numbers to the end of my usual password and then would have a hard time remembering which I used where. You too?

Add to it that from time to time you are asked to change your passwords for security reasons and have to come up with a new clever password that you will be able to remember. When I factor in all of that PLUS my age (I am not getting younger!) and my decreased memory capacity ... it is just getting ridiculous the amount of time I spend requesting new passwords because I cannot remember the one I have. So last week I decided I had had enough of that mess and decided to re-organize and designate one place for all my passwords and codes. 

I figured that while I was at it, I would go ahead and re-do my address book. Yes, I still have a hand written one. I have one on my computer and of course the one on my phone, but I do like to have the old-fashioned kind of written address book too. I picked up a very simple 3-ring-binder type from Russell + Hazel that I found when I was shopping for a client at The Container Store. I liked all the insert options they had and I will use the "month" tabs to keep track of Birthdays and other important dates.

Have you seen these little May Books? They are the brainchild of logo designer, Mica May a self-proclaimed font freak and lover of Pantone colors (don't you love her already?) who came about making these almost by accident. I love her story - check it out here.

“I feel like the accidental entrepreneur. I simply love what I do and by doing that, I’ve created a brand and a company that makes me excited to get up every day! It thrills me that we send out little packages of fun on a daily basis, and people can’t wait to run to their mailbox to see if their May Book has arrived yet. I never imagined I would be doing this, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

I love her enthusiasm, don't you?
You can customize your own notebook for your specific likes and needs. You choose the cover, the style, the title and what you want inside (a calendar, lines, graph paper or just blank). They have special insert pages for wedding planning and baby & bump diaries too, and if you want your own logo or custom artwork, they will work with you to make those as well. These are a few I had made up for me:

I think these are just the cutest little notebooks! 

And speaking of custom (and women entrepreneurs!) ... Have you seen these adorable bags from Midi Queen

A friend of mine gave my daughter one of these to use as a "Mother's" bag when she had her baby and she absolutely loves it! 

They are designed and made by a friend of hers locally here in California (Ventura) and come in a huge array of colors, patterns & styles. I thought I would share them with you in case you would like one for yourself! What is unique about these bags are the fabrics she chooses - dreamy, velvety, vintage inspired upholstery fabrics that are not only beautiful to look at but feel great to the touch. She only makes a few purses in each fabric which makes them "one of a kind" limited editions.

Aren't they gorgeous? You can purchase them online here and see more styles on their facebook page here

Now how is that for helping you get organized this Monday morning?! Hope you are having a great start to your week! xo

Thursday, August 23, 2012

An artful fire screen

I was working with a new client on Monday and we were talking about how a new HomeGoods was going into her neighborhood. She mentioned that she told her husband that it was going to be dangerous having it so close to her house. And so we had a long conversation about buying just for the sake of buying and how the better way was to only go in those stores with a purpose instead of just to see what great deals they have.

And I told her how freeing it was when I made my pact with myself to stop buying; to stop bringing more stuff into my house. 

Except that the other day I was at HomeGoods innocently shopping for a client - picking up items to style her bathroom with - and found something that was just too good to pass up. I wasn't sure where I was going to use it - I thought it might look fun sitting on the mantle. So I broke my pact.

It was only $29 I rationed.  I think it makes a great fire screen.

I picked up some flowers from the florist on the way home from work today ... they let me go into the refrigerator and select them myself. I could have stayed in there forever! (I had a very hot day climbing up and down a client's stairs).

I love how they wrapped them up for me! Sometimes it is just nice to buy a present for yourself. :D

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A new pillow order

Even when they are not for me ...

I love picking up new pillows from the workroom! And speaking of pillows ...

My area rep for Pindler and Pindler stopped by last week to show me their newest collections ... and at my request she brought out many outdoor fabrics. Can't you see these as fabulous pillows?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday blues

Are you familiar with Tricia Guild? Her bold use of color and pattern ... it can only lift your mood!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

sticks and stones

"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you remember the children's rhyme ... 

Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But words will never hurt me.

I remember it from my childhood like this, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." But I think the version with "words" is much more profound. And not true.

I think that words can hurt very much. And they are often hard to take back. And it is often me that is saying those words. Do you ever do that? I hurt someone I love very much yesterday with words that came tumbling out of my mouth. Words that speak way louder than any act of kindness, I think. 

Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut,
    and you will stay out of trouble.
- Proverbs 21:23 NLT

Do you ever just want to tape your mouth shut? I do. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
- Psalm 19:14


Friday, August 17, 2012

Exploring a new preschool classroom idea

Do you remember the Pediatric Clinic for autistic children I designed? 

They are expanding and need another pre-school classroom. They currently have three classrooms and each has a different theme.

When we were selecting the themes, I learned I needed to be careful with the wording.  For example, for the room where I wanted to use giraffe and elephant decals and thought it would be cute to call it, "The Jungle Room" but I was informed that no parent would want their child in a "jungle" room. So I re-worded it to be, "The Safari Room". 

My sister made the room signs with the decals as her inspiration. We also had a "Marine Room" and "Forest Room".

As I thought about what we could use for a theme for the new room I came up with dinosaurs, farm, airplanes ... and then saw this:

looksugar via Etsy

The new room will be, "The Explorer Room".

GoatGrinStudio via Etsy

Danadecals via Etsy

These preschool classrooms are for children with autism and I used wall decals so that there was nothing that could be removed, broken or damaged. We kept the rooms somewhat minimal but cute so they would be inviting but with little distraction. 

Benjamin Moore Blue Haze 1667

And because the rooms have two-way mirrors installed in them we had to make sure the paint color inside the rooms was lighter than the walls outside in the hallway. The new room will have the lightest shade of sky blue. 

The space as I first saw it

When I first started this project I was quite overwhelmed. I had done a few medical offices and one pediatric office but nothing close to the size and magnitude of this one. I remember asking the doctor a million questions about her needs and what the various rooms would require and she said, "don't worry ... just treat the rooms like a preschool classroom." I had to laugh because even that was a stretch for me.  

I also didn't know much about autism or the special requirements that would be needed to be taken into consideration in designing this space, but one thing that was really important to me was that the moms and dads would find this place as special as the children they brought. I think we achieved that. 

I'm excited to hear they are expanding!