Category Archives: color inspiration

A Colorful Tip

One more picture to share with you from the Spencerian workshop mentioned here.


Sorry for the poor picture quality. My battery on my camera died at the end of the workshop and so this was taken using my cell phone camera. I wanted to show the color Michael Sull used on this particular one. Click on the image and it will get bigger for a better view.

9149x300{image from here}

Sull used the colorful FW Acrylic Inks. I’m not positive if it was the “pearlescent” ones he used, but I’m pretty sure they were. Using the dark gray paper, the colors really popped off the page and they had a nice brilliant shimmer and looked nice along with the white ink. I definitely will be trying this.

One good tip, keep your old used nibs around for applying acrylic inks like this. Acrylic isn’t very kind on calligraphy nibs, so don’t use your good, new nibs if you don’t have to.

Tell me, have you ever used these inks before?


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Filed under calligraphy, color inspiration, paper

The Other Washington

I’m back! In case you couldn’t figure out by the photo, I was in D.C. last week.


That’s right, the other Washington. I just got back last night. Can’t you just imagine the sea of people standing here during the inauguration? I’m sure that’s why the grass is so eaten up.

I’m going to spend today catching up on some things, fitting in some needed bonding time with my very missed Kosmo, and then tomorrow I have my first calligraphy class of 2009!

There are so many unforgettable moments of this trip. Too much to share them all, but today I will share one with you that relates well to the subjects of this blog.

One day I went to the National Gallery of Art for a special exhibit, Heaven On Earth, Manuscript Illuminations from the National Gallery of Art.


It was incredible! I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of so many pieces of beautiful artwork anywhere from the 1100’s to the 1500’s!!! I was in such awe! Most of the work was completed in Italy and seemed to have taken place in the 1400’s. I can’t believe how beautiful the colors still were! They’re so vibrant and very inspiring!


Most of the painting work was tempera, a process I have yet to try. But there were some gouache techniques used too. The one part that did show some aging was the gilding. Most done in gold looked great, but some flaked away. You could see the adhesive they applied it with, which looked pinkish in color. Most likely it was gum ammoniac, but I’m not positive. There were some pieces gilded in silver and it was very dark due to tarnish through the years. For a great video on how the gilding process works, click here.

Understandably, they wouldn’t let anyone take pictures of the art. However, they have some great images you can view here.

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Filed under calligraphy, color inspiration, watercolor art/paintings

My New Suede Shoes

I know this has nothing to do at all with my work, but I’ve been waiting for these beauties to arrive for two months and they finally came this week! Unfortunately, they’re not too Springy, but they’ll do and they’ll be great in the fall! If you have navy blue in your wedding colors these would be some cute shoes for your bridesmaids.



Only thing is, I did something funky to my left foot this week and haven’t had a chance to break them in yet. Bugger!

Oh! And I know this is a few days late, but Happy Birthday to my big bro, M1!!!


Here’s one of most interesting agave plants I saw at the NW Flower & Garden Show, agave geminifolia. From what I’ve read it comes from Mexico; can grow up to 3 feet; needs full to partial sun and also needs to be kept a little dry. Might be good for my rock garden. My only concern is that the minimum temperature it can handle is the low 20’s and after this winter we’ve had in the Seattle area, I’m not sure it would survive. Maybe with some mulch and TLC.

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Filed under color inspiration, gardening, weddings

Princess Gown & Garden Dreams


{image by Just Jared}

My favorite gown of the Oscars last night. Such exquisite detail! The dress is over 50 years old! Did you hear the story that she saw the dress eight years ago and recently went back looking for it and it was still there! She looks like a bride or Cinderella even.


{image by Just Jared}

With all the white gowns we saw at the Golden Globes, I for sure thought we’d see a lot of white at the Oscar’s too, but no.


{Image via IMDB}

There actually was a lot of color! Some inspiring to me when it comes to invitation colors too. These were my favorites.


{image by Just Jared}

For the most part I just loved sitting back and looking at the fashion and enjoying the acceptance speeches. Oh! And if you haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire get your coat and go tonight! Yes, it’s just that awesome, inspiring and creative of a film. Trust me, you won’t regret it.


{Image via IMDB}

Often times the men are forgotten at events like these when it comes to fashion. Grooms sometimes are too. But I loved what these two men wore! Just because the invitation is a formal event doesn’t mean you have to resort to typical tux attire. I wouldn’t even mind this for a groom’s outfit!

What’s important is that you’re comfortable and you’re not dressing and looking like someone that you’re not. Especially if it’s your wedding day. Don’t make your groom look like someone he’s not. You don’t want to look down the aisle and wonder who that is you’re marrying.


{image by Just Jared}

Now I know Mr. Rourke will probably make some worst dressed lists out there today, but honestly, doesn’t this match just who he is? Or at least what we’ve heard about him? It’s very fashionable too, not that I’m some in vogue fashionista. The clean, black cowboy boots, the slimmer cut in the leg, the three button jacket, it all fits together so nicely. Honestly, it’s difficult to picture him in a black tux, white shirt and black bow tie and what he’s wearing works in my book.

I won’t go into the worst dressed because, like I said, I’m not a fashionista even remotely close to being qualified to judge what’s in and what’s out. But I do know when something does not fit.


{Image via IMDB}

She REALLY needs a bigger cup size for those girls.


{Image via Moviefone}

Is it just me or did he run his tux through the dryer before leaving the house?


As promised, here is a photo from the NW Flower & Garden Show. One trend that ran through the show were living walls, one pictured above, and living roof tops.


I first saw this done at the Street of Dreams in 2007. I walked up close to it and was so inspired! I want to learn to make one! Unfortunately, people belonging to a well known eco-terrorists group set fire to the Street of Dreams neighborhood some time after. Ironic when the theme that year was “Green Living” and the smoke damage probably did more harm than good.


I haven’t done a wall yet, but just after the 2007 Street of Dreams I did complete a succulent wreath project, which is hanging on my fence.

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Filed under color inspiration, gardening, weddings

Inside a Card & Inside a Legend’s Decision


Here is the inside of the card I made for my niece, A. It’s such a cute little poem, thanks R. I hope A loves it as much as I did making it for her. I chose these colors because lately I see more and more wedding photos with really bold colors like this and it’s kind of inspiring to me.

While I’m putting this together for you I’m sitting here enjoying the live coverage of the news conference with Ken Griffey, Jr. this afternoon. One of the things he said in the conference was that so many people were telling him that he should do this or go there because he’d make so much more money or there would be so many perks. But then he said “It’s not about the money.” If only more players in every professional sport thought and played like that. I learned that all through his career he’s leaned on two really great baseball players when he really needed it, Willie Mays & Hank Aaron. Those are two great and legendary players in my book too. I love that it was a family decision and what took him so long circled around his kids, their sports schedules and the feeling of being so far away from them. I also love that it was the words of his 13-year-old daughter, “‘Dad, I really think you should go back to the Mariners and not have any regrets about how you finished”, which helped him feel okay and make his final decision.


{Picture of my niece, A, when she was little, & Dad at M & M’s wedding in Bellevue. You can also see my late cousin K just on the left.}

It made me think of my dad coming to my soccer games growing up. He almost always worked Saturdays, but sometimes he got off in time to catch all or even just part of one of my games because Mom was usually at T’s soccer game. My head would be in the game and then I’d hear the ref whistle and wonder what the call was for because nothing happened and then I knew…Dad was there somewhere on the sidelines whistling to tell me he was there. Dad could whistle just like a real whistle and, from what I understand from his sisters, stopped many basketball games when he was in high school. That’s my dad! Such a joker and a tease.

Stay tuned for next week when I share a little bit each day of the very final NW Flower & Garden Show. Everyone have a wonderful weekend! And to my cousin T, Happy Birthday!

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Filed under calligraphy, color inspiration, family, news, watercolor art/paintings

Magazine Goodbye’s & Space

Yes, yes…I’ve been away. I know, I know. There are many plans in the works and a lot of ideas in my head. Now I just need to organize them and make the time for them to begin spilling out. But that will happen all in due time.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m super talented in interior design. I did take an interior design course at university and that also touched a little on exterior design, but for the most part I get ideas and inspiration from magazines and catalogs…and for everything from interior design, gardening, cooking, typography, color inspiration for my work and for well…living. And if you know me, you know I love magazines! Where do you get your ideas from?

I just learned Domino magazine is ending. From how it sounds, they won’t even be maintaining their web site. I’m not sure when this all becomes effective, but it actually sort of…well…sucks.

Initially, when the magazine first came out, it was much too modern for my taste. But as time went by it grew on me. Either that or their styles became less extreme modern and more affordable style. Now, when I sign up for a 2-year subscription, they become subjected by a failing economy.


I remember years ago when my brother-in-law, K, was a bachelor he painted his living room black. He was really on to something. But then he did the bachelor thing and painted images and logos from his favorite computer games albums. Very funny and very bachelor, don’t you think? But now he’s married with two beautiful little girls and a beautiful wife that’s helped him out in the decorating department. Thank you O. But then I saw this cover above and read the story and decided that there are some that can pull off black walls. It’s not depressing looking and it doesn’t look like a bachelor pad either. I quite like it. It’s stories and very outside the box design like this that I will miss.

Not too long ago I received the sad news that Cottage Living would no longer produce its magazine.


It looks as if their web site is still being maintained, so that’s good, but it was still a little sad to know my subscription would be changing to Coastal Living,

jan-feb-08-coverwhich I’m sure is a fine magazine.

One story from Cottage Living I’ll never forget was just after hurricane Katrina. They did a feature on these small permanent cottages which were built at the same cost of the horrible FEMA trailers. They were built at the back of a residents property. Once their own home, which were all cottage style, was rebuilt they could keep the small cottage as well. Genius plan! You can read a shortened version of the article here.

Another story was about a builder, Ross Chapin, taking us back to the way we used to live, where everyone knew their neighbors and lived close and helped each other out.


I love the idea and wish my cul-de-sac was a bit more like this. So long as all the neighbors get along and are friendly people then it works.


I think it takes a certain laid back personality too. Millions of people live in close quarters in big cities. On top of that, they do so with very minimal square footage.


Did you happen to catch this fantastic makeover on Oprah?

So why do we need so much space? Why can’t we live simply? Ask yourself this, is your home larger than the home you grew up in? If so, why is this? Why do some people believe bigger and more is better? Is it all about the investment? Because right now the investment in real estate isn’t worth much. And in this time, in this economy, in our current environment should we all be trying to downsize? Afterall, sometimes the biggest joy can be found in some of the smallest things. What do you think?

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Filed under color inspiration, interior design