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Inspired to Create by…the Vivacious Meredith Heron

11 Feb

Inspired to create by…the Vivacious Meredith Heron

I meet the beautiful & vivacious Meredith Heron on twitter a little over a year ago. Have you ever looked back at a time in your life & thought “okay…I guess that was a blessing in disguise?”

Well this was the case with my meeting Meredith. I had been extremely ill for a straight two months (November through December) with what seemed like everything one after the other, viruses, infections then ending in severe bronchitis…possibly walking pneumonia. I was running high fevers & delirious for much of that time & slept a lot. I could not work nor take care of my children who spent much of that time (being that it was their holiday vacation) with their dad.

When I thought was going to go lose my mind from lying around & in between bouts of delirium I would get online & try to accomplish something. The big goal was to learn twitter. I had been on twitter for some time but really had not figured out the ropes. So very different from the facebook I knew so well.

That is where  found Meredith Heron. I was following numerous designers all over the world & was watching how they interacted. It was the highlight of my day, soaking up the beauty & creativity of their work & blogs  as well as hearing what designing was like on their end of the globe.

I first spotted Meredith when she was to be a guest on twitters #DesignTV weekly Chat. Hosted by Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo & Jonathan Legate. I saw the inviting tweet & opened the link to see the picture of a Stunning Redhead, Meredith Heron who is well-known for being a regularly featured guest/host & design expert on national television programs such as Restaurant Makeover through HGTV Canada.

I was of course intrigued so I looked through her info & decided to follow her.  It was less than a week later when I was tweeting with a few folks getting my “wings wet” so to speak (still learning how to tweet back & forth) that she posted something or other about her very young adorable son & motherhood. I, feeling like an expert on the subject for some reason or other (possibly because I have been there done that ) replied to one of her tweets not expecting any kind of acknowledgement & fell off my chair when she replied…

So that is how it began. For those of you who are still twitt-errified of tweeting I am telling you that you are missing out. My world is much more interesting & colorful because I have folks like Meredith who are a part of it now.

Yes, yes! To many this online-social-media-network thing seems impersonal & much like smoke & mirrors & I wont disagree that it can be. There is always good & bad you just have to separate the two & not worry  much about what is going on behind the screen. Oh, & also know when to block someone.

Now that you know the background of how I meet Meredith  & began passively stalking her (which I’m sure I never would have been if she had not acknowledged me the way she did) you will understand why she is a constant source of inspiration to me.

She is an incredible designer & very real. I love that she speaks her mind & tells it like it is. She has more Moxie than anyone I know, which might be the red hair (I was married to a redhead but he didn’t even have close the kind of fire she possesses). I have only so much time to support & follow others. I do wish there was more of me & my time to spread out…because it is thin at times, but I do my best to support those who I know appreciate it & if I can slip some kind of support to someone who doesn’t really care, I still will.

This I can promise, will not be the first time Meredith is mentioned in this blog. Because of her genius with color (colour for those in the UK) design, & her impeccable good taste she is constantly causing the synapses to jolt in my brain with inspiration.

To me being inspired as I call it, which for me becomes a response & desire to create, is a form of receiving ideas & messages that are not a direct interpretation of the actual source of the inspiration. I am also a firm believer in giving credit where it is due. As small as it may seem if something someone does or something I see triggers a creative idea or response, I am grateful for it. Nothing is really small if it can have some impact on others.

As simple as it may seem the outfit that Meredith is wearing in the above photo during Blogfest 2011…struck me on various levels. I saw that turquoise bracelet with the deep magenta/fuchsia top & was stunned at how fabulous she looked & how beautifully she stood out in the crowd. I myself cannot pull off wearing this much color (not without the makeup of a drag queen anyway). This is the benefit of being a vivacious redhead I believe.  As much as I play with & love color I had never thought to combine the color of natural turquoise (my favorite color for the moment) with such a vibrant red violet.

It was this very photo that inspired my somewhat experimental paintings of Turquoise & Magenta-Moxie which I have listed right now on Etsy.

I used to paint/draw stylized realism, but over the past few years my artistic expression has become very loose & adventurous. This color combo was initially inspired by the outfit Meredith wore in the above picture. I added the symbolism with the animal print because to me it represents, independence, drive, boldness, tenacity…basically “Moxie” which Meredith actually helped me realize I was visually trying to define after the fact, but couldn’t put a name to.

It is difficult for me to show through photos how these really look. They are a combination of layers of acrylics & clear gel acrylic resins that create a dimension you can look into & through. I have also created them in a way that you can hang them as you please to create any form or pattern desired as shown here. My signature symbol fairly subtle for this reason.

They were created for a small space & although I have many ideas as to what color combinations they could be used in I have only had the time to throw one mood board together using a new/old favorite Olioboard. A great tool for presenting concepts that I have vowed to get back into using thanks to Leslie Carothers. I may have to add more of these ideas later since I cannot help myself & I have two other drafts in the works…

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Inspired to Create by…product packaging

3 Feb

So the best made plans often seem to go a bit awry…at least for me. Just as I started this new blog I began experiencing technical difficulty’s. The simplified version is that I lost my computer & a lot of files & data…kind of a set back to say the least.

So with that being said, it wasn’t really my plan that this ‘Inspired to Create by…product packaging’ become my second post, but with February, the month of so-called romance approaching…maybe  this slightly estrogen soaked post will be appreciated.

A few years back I had a beautiful home. My dream home, then & still (being that I still dream about that home). In this home I had a lovely master bath, bedroom & dressing area.

Even though I had the privilege of designing for many clients & filling their homes with beautiful furnishings, in my own home & as a single parent my budget was fairly limited. Despite these limitations I worked to create each space to be simple & functional as well as infusing as much beauty into it as possible.

In my closet/dressing area I had beautiful eastern light in the morning to do my makeup. Which if you know me you know this is an important part of my daily ritual. The vanity area I kept fairly monochromatic so as to not compete with my colorful clothing…all in color order of course…oh & my shoes as well… This was my space. My retreat & I loved it.

I had future plans to add a center island with drawers to expand the storage space, as well as a small upholstered bench & I also had room for a folding screen…I just hadn’t found “the one” yet…this room was really not complete but it was a luxury for me just the same.

What did I say earlier? Something about the best laid plans…

Maybe if so many American’s were not experiencing this I would not even admit it, but I am part of the first wave of homeowners who lost their homes in 2009.

All of the sudden I find my children & I in a “temporary” living situation  where I am having to share a room with my nine year old daughter. I went from having a beautiful sun soaked house to being a renter & a basement dweller.

Good designers know how to work within limitations. I admit I paused on doing anything at first in our shared space, because it was supposed to be “temporary”. At least I really wanted to believe it was.  It was however our place of retreat from the outside world & I knew it needed to be emotionally fulfilling on some level. Waking up in a sparse, ugly, dimly lit room (my things were mainly in storage still)  was & is, no way to start the day.

My dilemma however was, how do I take my decor which was dominantly in shades of silver sage with a dark Mahogany bed & dresser & mix it with the vibrant decor of an almost ten year old girl? Then one day I found it. Right after the Christmas Holiday on the clearance shelf at Walgreen’s.

Bottles & tubes of lotion all decked out in a stylized floral of creams, pink, silvers & sea-foam green. Colors that were all grounded with a touch of black…making the soft pastels seem a tad more mature. This surprisingly  appealed to me, & I knew that this was going to be my starting point for creating a harmonious space for the two of us, without my having to give up the  adult decor.

I have struggled with a love hate relationship with pink over the years…but as an accent & with other colors …I can deal.  On the vanity is where our two separate areas meet as one. The pink I used there was a colder pink, with a touch of orchid.   It all became a bit more fussy than I was used to in my home, but the space needed lots of color & light. Mirrors to reflect the light were essential so I added one on top on the desk (it really is a desk from Ballard Design)  as well as one against the wall.

On my daughter’s bed I incorporated hot pink, teal, black & white pillows on a deeper silver sage green & cream print duvet…. I had a huge assortment of stuffed animals to work around.

My bedding for the most part stayed the same (no sense in buying new for a “temporary” space) with an addition of a pillow coordinating with the same tones of what was existing in my bedding with just a touch more pink.

I purchased two mirrored night stands because they reflected light & visually do not take up much space in a smaller area. I love sparkle & glamor of mirrored furniture as focal point pieces. I am against matching bedroom sets…

I never thought I would ever have pink in my room again. I thought the whole pink thing had ended when at eighteen & I covered over my pale pink walls in a forest green, gold & marbleized…very masculine wall paper. Yes! You guessed it. Late 80’s, early 90’s ish.

The truth is you never know when you will fall back in love with something you thought you were over, (like the color pink) or what little things might inspire you to go a whole new direction. Keep your eyes open. If something catches your eye, it can inspire you to create.

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