Familiar, yet Different.

Swanky Sunday feature; Edgeland Residence.

Swanky Sunday feature; Edgeland Residence.

When we come full circle there is the feeling that we have come to a familiar place but we are somehow different.

Life is a circular journey through our issues & processes, and this is why things that are technically new often seem very familiar. It’s also why, whenever we work to release a habit, change a pattern, or overcome a fear, we often encounter that issue one last time, even after we thought we’d conquered it. Often, when this happens, we feel defeated or frustrated that after all our hard work we’re still dealing with the same problem(s). However, the reappearance of a pattern, habit, or fear, is often a sign that we have come full circle, and that if we can maintain our resolve through one last test, we’ll achieve a new level of mastery.

When we come full circle, there‘s often the feeling we’ve arrived in a familiar place, but that we ourselves are somehow different. We know we can handle challenges that seemed insurmountable when we began our journey, & there’s the feeling we might be ready to take on a new problem, or some new aspect of the old problem. We feel empowered & courageous to have taken on the challenge of stopping a pattern, releasing a habit, or overcoming a fear, and to have succeeded. At times like these, we deserve a moment of rest & self-congratulation before we move on to the next challenge.

Coming full circle is like stepping into a clearing where, for a moment, we can see where we came from & where we’re standing at the same time. Remembering that we’ll be tested again is important, but it’s also imperative to pause &take a look at the ground we’ve covered, honoring our courage, our persistence, and our achievement(s). Then and only then can we begin the next leg of our circular journey with a deeper understanding of where we’re coming from and where we’ve been.

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Striking Saturday Says: The Client is Always Right.

It's Striking Saturday, ya'll!

It’s Striking Saturday, ya’ll!

Well, at least if you want to be paid. In the meantime, for those in design professions, we can all commiserate about the plain old stupidity of some clients. Thankfully, there’s a website that allows us to do just that. The following pearls of wisdom appear courtesy of Clients From Hell:

“The artwork is approved, but we need to replace the skeleton, we think it might be homosexual, and that could ostracize the audience, it’s a very masculine industry.

Make it more good.

I had a client that requested we meet in his kitchen. Halfway through our meeting, he excused himself to go to the bathroom but left the door open so we could continue to talk. I charged extra for that meeting.

My wife really hates blue. So does my secretary.

When I get a business card this size (not 3.5 x 2 inches), I think that that person is a fag.

Can you make the circles a little bit rounder?

It seems to be taking a long time. Would it be quicker if I came down and sat with you guys through it all?

You’re gonna charge $400 for that? Aren’t you from India? What’re you going to do with $400?!

Can you bill your design time in 6 minute increments

I’m pretty broke right now.

For loads more frustrating fun, make sure you check out Clients From Hell (and submit your own horror stories!). Do you have your own frustrating design horror stories?

Original Post discovered on Apartment Therapy. Thank you guys, this one was good!

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Transforming Self-Sabotage with Some D.I.Y. Conviction.

It's Furry Friday on eyewash!

It’s Furry Friday on eyewash!

So often we’re sabotaging ourselves by being in our own way without even knowing we’re doing so.

When you find yourself facing obstacles that appear to be blocking you from your goals, it’s important to try not to get discouraged. It can be easy to feel “stuck” or that “life” is creating circumstances preventing you from getting what you want. And, while it’s easy to look at everyone & everything outside of ourselves for the problem, perhaps even wanting to “get rid” of the person, object, or circumstance we may feel is blocking us, sometimes the best course of action to take may be to look inside ourselves first.

It is amazing how often we can get in our own way without even being aware we’re doing so. Even though we truly want to succeed, there are many reasons why we may sometimes block our own efforts. It may be that we’re afraid to succeed, so we subconsciously create circumstances to keep ourselves stuck. Or it may even be that we are afraid that we will succeed, so we block ourselves by making the achievement of our goals more difficult than they really are. We may even approach our goals in a way that keeps creating the same unsuccessful results.

If you think you’ve been standing in your own way, you may want to take a piece of paper & record how you’ve done this. Write down the choices you’ve made that have hindered your efforts and the fears that may have prompted you to make these decisions. Take note of any thoughts & feelings that arise. It’s important to be gentle & compassionate during this process. And, do yourself a favor and try not to blame yourself for getting in your own way.

Remember, the choices we make are always there to serve us, until it’s time to let them go. When you’re finished, throw the paper away while setting an intention that you’re getting rid of any obstacles you’ve created to block yourself. You can then let yourself start again with a clean slate. Doubts & fears are going to be natural, but with this new awareness, you should be able to prevent yourself from subconsciously thwarting yourself. Besides, now that you’ve decided to get out of your own way, the part of you that has always wanted to succeed can now do so.

You’d be surprised how this little exercise will help to cleanse your pallet & give you the opportunity to start anew. Righting this self-destructive behavior can cost a lot of money if it’s done by way of the therapy route. However, an alternative could be to begin a D.I.Y. home project. As you begin to grow from this experience, you’ll get a double-treat: watching the projects you tackle literally visually transform along with you! It’s a win-win scenario. And, whatever you do, please don’t even think about eating any pet you’ve named – that’s just bad form. Enjoy your long weekend.

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Passion, Personality & FLAIR.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Although some may find it shocking when we don’t hold our thoughts & feelings inside, being ourselves draws toward us those who are of like minds & spirits, and pushes away those people whose ideals we don’t share. When we broadcast our true selves, we act as an example for others, showing them how freeing & rewarding it can be. It is not our job to make everyone like us, only to be our best selves to the best of our abilities, without fear. When we harness the bold, outgoing feeling we have, we can spread light everywhere we go.

The same holds true for our design choices. Take, for example, the above quasi-fourth-of-July-esque stripe paint & zig-zag window treatment. It certainly may not be for everyone, but it sure exudes personality and packs a flair-icious punch! At the end of the day, the only person needing to “love” or “approve” of you, or your home is you and those with whom you share your life.

We tend to spend more time than we’d care to admit seeking the approval of others. Can you imagine if the revolutionaries of the U.S. had this mind set? Dare to inject a little of your inner wild child a la Pink (click for a peek of Pink’s pad), or your Audrey Hepburn(check out some literal Hepburn for the home),or try liberating your inner Liberace (you guessed it, his Sherman Oaks casa) into your home & watch a world of possibilities open before your very eyes! What better time to start than over a long weekend? Happy Independence Day.

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Harnessing Your Sparkle.

Wicked Wednesday brought to you by: Cloud-house by: McBride Charles Ryan

Wicked Wednesday brought to you by: Cloud-house by: McBride Charles Ryan

Understanding the nature of our industriousness helps us to direct our efforts into activities that are the most beneficial for us, which will ultimately make it easier for us to do things that give our lives greater meaning. Even though there are times when we think doing more will give us more, if we aren’t careful about what we do, we’re actually more likely to deplete our energy. Engaging in things that feed your soul & energize you will make the little extra you do give you much more than you imagined.

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Find Your FUN.

Tchotchke Tuesday brought to you by photographer: Katie Aaberg

Tchotchke Tuesday brought to you by photographer: Katie Aaberg

Fun isn’t something that is given or done to you, it is something you allow yourself to experience.

As adults, we often get so caught up in “grown up” business we can forget how to have pure, unadulterated F-U-N. This isn’t the kind of fun that comes from doing a specific kind of activity or being in a specific mood for fun. Rather, this is the fun born from the state of pure being. We see this kind of fun in small children who are so busy being fully present to their lives & in their own bodies that the glow of fun radiates from them just because they are alive: the delight that flashes across the eyes of a child who discovers water flows with the turn of the tap knob, or the squeal of pleasure from a young baby whose tongue is being tickled by cold ice cream; then there’s the full, infectious laughter of a child watching the same hat trick for the fiftieth time.

Back when we were children, this experience of pure delight didn’t have to come from a heightened, heady event in order for us to feel like our day had been made; and it can be that way for us again – IF we’re willing to remember & reconnect with the part of ourselves that knows how to be in the flow of fun.

You can begin this process by reminiscing on what was fun for you as a child. Think about what caused you to giggle in delight, or wriggle in pleasure, or burst into endless laughter that you couldn’t sit up straight no matter how much you wanted. Try spending a few moments with each memory & really feel what it was like to be in those experiences – allowing that feeling of pure fun to wash over you. It lives, in you – that feeling. It can’t be bottled, manufactured, or sold. You just have to call it back up in order to experience it again.

Pure fun happens when we’re fully engaged with ourselves & our world in every moment. It’s the spontaneous delight bubbling from us when we let go just long enough to bring it through; it’s the experience of natural, organic pleasure springing up from our bellies, through our souls, up through our faces down to our toes. We’ve naturally known how to have pure fun since we were babies & the flicker of lights caused us to jump to attention from the sheer enjoyment of being able to see. Approach your life today with the knowledge that pure fun isn’t something given or done to you; rather, it’s something you allow yourself to experience. So, get to spreading those fun wings & remember to stop sweating the small stuff, instead, embrace & turn these things on their head. WARNING: Once you start, you’ll have a hard time stopping.

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Modern Monday: Inspiration.

Modern Monday on eyewash

Modern Monday on eyewash

Inspiration is a gift we honor by sharing, thus serving to inspire others. Sharing your ideas is the first step toward manifesting them. You may choose to be like the wind that spreads the seeds of wildflowers, but doesn’t stay to see the growth. However, you might better serve the world if you carefully plant your ideas in fertile ground & then nurture them with consistent attention. Today let’s do our best to see that our ideas are given every chance to make a difference in the world.

Each of us possesses a unique combination of ideas & talents. Once we know what these are, we know which steps we must take to bring our ideas to fruition. This includes seeking people whose ideas & talents complement our own, as well as the individuals or groups we think might help us with their creation & implementation. In working together, we accomplish much more than we would alone. By doing this, we place our trust in the organizing power of the universe, knowing it can bring the right people to us in the most unexpected ways. By taking these steps, we’re doing our best to share our inspired visions with the world & nurture them into manifestation.

Think carefully about what makes you feel happy. What gives you energy? Is it the sun? Try removing your curtains for a season to allow for a sunlit drenched room. You might be surprised at how differently this particular room now feels & also how you begin to use it in ways you never thought abut previously. Not only will you become more energized, but ideas will begin to flow, inspiring you in ways you never imagined. Whether it’s a love of art, architecture, gardening, pottery or painting, taking time to implement it into your routine will invigorate, inspire and renew. Remember: it doesn’t have to be BIG, only begun. For some instant booty-shakin’ inspiration, give this little diddy a listen and remember to have fun! Sometimes you don’t know what you’ll get when a Lamb sings and tries to do the watusi at the same time.

For some design inspiration, peruse some of these wonderfully talented artists’ work:

Interior Designer / Prop & Set Style Guru Marcus Hay’s Fluff-n-Stuff

The eternally happy Artist D Byron Patterson’s Lamby Lambpants and Friends

Former Prop, Interior & Tabletop Styling maven and artist Michele Michael’s Elephant Props

Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney’s Design Sponge

Comedian, Writer, Performer, Stylist & Interior Decor Doctor, PJ Mehaffey’s Blog-a-Dazzle

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