Once a designer, always a designer

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Seriously, you cannot turn it off! Whatever your passion, occupation, or education, you approach the world through that filter. You simply can’t help yourself! I walk into a space and move the furniture around in mind to make the flow better. In daily life I see potential photographs framed and composed. And don’t even get me started on how I see color and how happy it makes me when a group of people unwittingly coordinate.

You may already know that, although I’m a photographer and graphic artist, I went to school for interior design and worked at a commercial architecture firm, STUDIOS architecture, for 6 years before we became an expat family. Those were 6 amazing years for me. I learned and grew so much. I was blessed with fantastic mentors and work colleagues, as well as design experiences that inspired and changed me forever. There are days I’m nostalgic for the old days (and nights), my design buddies, the thrill of the creative process, and working in the city. That said, there is a season for everything, right?

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Five years later, it seems that this season will include interior design again. Thanks to my Mindfulness  buddy, Ms. Stacy, I have been tapped for my knowledge and experience in interior design..a lot. Being the exhorter that she is, she has shared the work we have done together on her house and her fabulous classroom. Thanks to her recommendations, I have space planned a few residential interiors, as well as the office of our Head of School, and consulted on ways to update the Elementary School office.

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Now I’m honored to teach and guide a group of High Schoolers that manage our campus Genius Bar as they design their newly renovated space. (Think student-run help desk a la Apple Store.) So far, we have had three workshops or, as we say in design, charrettes, with their teacher advisor as well as my buddy Brian, the Director of Technology (my guru who taught me the “faux app” trick). The students have been really receptive to learning about the process and it is so fun for me to share my knowledge and experience with them! I will recap our design adventure in the coming months, so stay tuned!

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I don’t know where all this design work will lead me to next, but I’m enjoying the journey and the memories.

On a side note: If you are in a place where you have a set of skills or knowledge that you don’t know what to do with, I say share them. Let me encourage you to volunteer those skills, talents, and knowledge. You never know what could come of it. We believe “stay-at-home” parents, particularly, are an untapped resource. Not only were we all something else before we had little people, those little people have made us better with perspective and, believe it or not, wisdom. Talk about the old days with your friends, your school, your kids, and just maybe it will put you on a path to your new purpose. Be encouraged, we are cheering for you!

with love,

kdg

Creative Spaces {part 1}

My gran is a painter. She raised 4 boys while my grandfather was the sole provider. I think she had the tougher job by far, just saying! They lived in their ‘family home’ for as long as I can remember, from after marriage to well into their 70s I think.

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My gran had one room of the house to herself, it was her art studio. I have the fondest memories of running into that house and the first thing I’d do, once I had greeted the adults was go straight to that room and look at everything. There was hardly any room to actually walk around. Half finished paintings were everywhere, she couldn’t just work on one project at a time, nope she was too busy for that. It’s like all her ideas were trying to escape her mind at once. I remember the smell of oil paint and turpentine. I remember the easels and the brushes in all shapes and sizes, and I remember the paint pallets decorated with fresh and dry paint.

Is was there that the dream was born in me, to one day have my own art studio. I haven’t got there yet. But the dream is alive and is now being shared by my children.

One day it will happen, and in preparation for that I have been exploring all kinds of wonderful art and creative spaces.  Here are a three of my favourite so far.

Oh Happy Day:

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Lia Griffith:

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Something Turquoise:

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And while these are all the spaces that I aspire to, this is where I am at the moment:

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Trusty canine companion – Check!

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Kids art (I’m a mom first) – Check!

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Words of encouragement and Portuguese tiles for inspiration – Double Check!

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Polaroids of crazy times – Check!

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Photos of where our collaboration all began – Check!

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Katie will share her thoughts on creative spaces and her own wee corner in another post, stay tuned for part 2!

Cheers,

la