Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Year

The sun setting on my dining room table January 1, 2015

As this new year dawns I finally feel an intense feeling of freedom and gratitude.   It's taken a lot of listening to and following the advice of a trusted mentor to get here.  It's meant cleaning up the past and changing my thinking.  Throughout this process I have put so many other things on hold.  Like writing here on this blog.  Like my dreams of an interior design business.  Like selling on Etsy on a regular basis.  Big life goals I want to get back to.

Little goals must be met along the way and one of those smaller goals is picking up my neglected camera and using it again.  I decided to break it out for our family day up at Mt. Hood.  It felt so good to use it again. To fuss with the settings, having very little idea what I was doing, but doing it nonetheless.  To take imperfect photos from awkward angles and show them to you here.  Because there is a freedom in just trying and being you, no matter how imperfect.

Sam and Henry pose for the camera with the top of Mt. Hood in the background.   The sky was a crisp true blue, not a cloud in sight, fresh fallen snow lay fluffy on the ground and a river broke through the ice and snow in a ravine below us.  

Sledding, snow and smiles were the theme of the day.  Pure joy was found in the simple pleasure of a snowy hill to slide down.  Henry would laugh with excitement and joy as he came down the small slope.  Other people would crash and he would tell them "You're silly!" then laugh at them, like my dad and I don't crash, what's up with you?  But that was there way of having fun, to be messy and crash.  The truth is, we all crash in life, it's whether we get up and climb the hill to try again or get up and go home that matters.  I can already tell that I'm ready to keep getting up no matter how many times I fall and crash.  Bring on the new year, I'm ready for you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Can Women Have it All?


I've been busy around here, trying to finish up projects, run after my two and half year old and grow a new baby in my belly!  The baby in my belly and the very busy two year old have kept me so pre-occupied I feel like I barely have time to breath.

I was excited to attend a local meeting put on by the women of H-ROC.  It's a local non-partisan political action group that formed in the last two years to get more women to become leaders in politics.  How cool is that?  The topic of the meeting I attended was "Can Women Have it All?".

We first discussed what that even means, to "have it all".  For instance, I noticed that I live under the idea that I must have the kids, husband, house, job and stuff AND, by the way, everyone should be happy!  Yikes!  What a momentous idea that sets me up for failure.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from women who are working and enjoying their children and families. (Keep it simple)  But the most important thing I heard was that we have to stick together.  Too often women compete against each other when it should be the exact opposite, we should be working together to help each other become successful.  I can think of a few women in my life that I want to support, maybe help watch their kids, encourage their dreams, be positive and never critical or sarcastic.  One thing I know to be true is when I can be of service to others, it is me that gets the reward.

How about you, what do you do to support the women in your life?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Just Start

Just start, just start, just start, these words have been echoing in my head these past few weeks. Things pop up repeatedly when the universe is trying to tell me something.  I was reading a blog and came across this graphic art print that says "Just Start".  Earlier this week I was at a meeting where the the topic was procrastination and this wise gentlemen said "Ready, Fire, Aim!".  In other words, everything doesn't have to be perfect for me to start.  And starting my journey has nothing to do with where I will end up.   It's only important to start.  

I've taken such a long break from my business and my blog that I feel a bit lost.  I've gotten caught up in the daily to do's of being a mommy to a very busy two year old that I haven't allowed myself the time or space to do the things I love.   When this whole time all I needed to do was just show up.  That's what hundreds of thousands of moms do every day.  They get out of bed and they take care of their kids and they go to work.  And maybe my work doesn't look like everyone else's but what's important is that I show up and do the next right thing.  Whatever it is I can do today, then I do that thing.  Whatever I can't do, I ask for help.  This is so simple it kills me!

So here I am, beginning again.  I have so much to share with you, a bathroom remodel, updating a staircase and another pink office!  It's not like I have been sitting around eating bon bons every day.  Do they still make those things?  Does anyone eat them?

Until next time....


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tiny Baby Steps


I'm excited to report that I'm taking these tiny baby steps towards launching my little interior design business.  With my first solo project almost totally complete, I feel ready to launch a website.  It will be a great way of communicating my style and my service to potential clients.

I'm currently on the search for a photographer to take some professional photos too.  But I did read once that this successful designer got started with just a website and some photos right out of design school.  I was encouraged to hear that.  I have my years of working for a small company behind me as well as lots of friends in the design community.  So I feel that I have so much support.  I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

Hope you are having a wonderful day!



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Modern Craftsmen Hood in Bend

We went to Bend, Oregon a couple of weekends ago for a soccer tournament.  Bend is an amazing little spot, it's hot and dry, with a vibrant downtown, good shopping, river activities and lots of amazing real estate.  It reminds me of Palm Springs, without the celebrities. 

I came across this new neighborhood and the modern in me got really excited.  This was the most immaculate neighborhood I've ever seen.  It is almost too perfectly Stepford, however, I saw a few people and they seemed real.  Every garage is behind the house, no parking signs are posted everywhere and they have community mailboxes.  These things are so opposite of my neighborhood with it's telephone wires and mismatched assortment of mailboxes, a bus in one neighbor's front yard (yes, literally a bus!) ugh, I could go on and on.  Let's just look at this amazing dreamland of total perfection, craftsmen loveliness and modern fabulousness! On with it!

My favorite one.  It's a combination of modern and vintage.  Reminded me of the 1950's, built for today.  The home owner was standing in the front room, looking at me like I was nuts.  I must have looked that way while I was driving around doing this (with my child asleep in his car seat) sticking my head out the window snapping photos.  

This house was stunning in person. It's across the street from the one in the photo above.  I love the way the lines are so clean and stacked, it just belongs in it's environment.  The way the earth is built, in layers, so should the architecture that exists upon it.  My architecture thought for the day.  You're welcome.
I really like the layering of greys with the large white trim.  Notice the prominent no parking sign.

Quite a few of the modern homes had a side entry.  This is a feature created by Frank Lloyd Wright and one that I wish I saw more of in our modern homes.  We need to be building more homes like this one.  What do you think?

Gorgeous craftsmen.  I thought this one might be my dad's dream house, but there was no golf course.  Almost had it dad!

I love this chartreuse door and grey paint.  I wish I got out and took a better picture of this one. Amazing.  "Um, hello, can I move in, PLEASSSE!"

This house is good inspiration for our house.  I like this color combination a lot.  Grey overall, white trim and turquoise door.  It feels very fresh and modern.

This is all one house.  Check out the garage on the far left. Unreal dude. Unreal.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Creative Space

When I met Jen we just clicked.  We met through some mutual friends that have nothing to do with art or design, so neither of us knew that the other one loved it so much.
Then Jen hosted a get together at her house one Saturday and low and behold was this amazing space!  Filled with bright colors, a multitude of craft supplies and crazy fun art in every nook and cranny.  
I couldn't believe it.
I said, "Jen, I thought I heard that you were an accountant?"
 she replied, "Yes, that's my job." 

Here's Jen; accountant by day and wondrous handy crafter, well, the rest of the time!


I love that Jen allows her passion to shine in her home, that she doesn't hide it in a back room or push it into a small corner.  This vibrant space is located in what might be considered a formal dining room and it works so great. 


A work in progress
All of us ladies visiting that day, couldn't wait to get into that space and check it out.

Jen makes dolls, sews, paints and inspires other women to do the same.

Message to the husband and teenagers living in the house!
 In the photo below is a screen print owl by Jen.  It is proudly hanging in my son Henry's room above his toy shelf. 
A fun collection of her other works of art. 
If you live in Vancouver you can see and purchase Jen's art (like the owl that I own) at Most Everything, a vintage shop located at 815 Washington Street in downtown Vancouver.  You can also purchase Jen's creations on her Etsy shop here.  Or follow Jen on her blog at Clever Girl Studios, as she shares her crafting process, new creations and heartfelt stories.
Thank you Jen, for opening up your wonderful space for me to share!
Nicole B.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Black and White Striped Floors

I'm so excited to share with you that I have been working on designing a salon.  The owner came to me because she wanted a "Hollywood Regency" style for her salon, named Glitterati.  Her logo is pink and I immediately knew she needed gold in there! I have had such a blast putting it together for her, but there have been some serious down times as well.  Like when we pulled up the carpet to discover black tar, the budget just wasn't going to supply us with flooring to cover that, it had to be scraped off.  It was a difficult moment.  But lots of sweat and tears later and now we have a beautiful painted concrete floor. 


12 inch black and white stripes that make an oversize chevron now adorn the floors.  I can't tell you what an amazing difference this made in the space.  It was all DIY.  Her dad helped us lay out the design and gave us his "pro tips" on using the blue tape to make the lines.  I got down on my hands and knees and helped layout all the measurements.  Then the owner and a friend painted at night after her kids were in bed.  The floors really make a statement and the days and nights of work really paid off. 

This is the other room when we were hanging the vintage swag lights.  That one in the far left corner we have already changed.  It was a little under scale and looked too new for the design.  Also you can see the black baseboard has been installed. 
So much more to share!  What do you think so far?