Project "Studio/Office Renewal"

These past few months I've been toying with a new vision for my studio/office.

My creative space was furnished over 10 years ago based on inspiration words like "crisp", "cool" and "icy." Today I'm more inspired by words like "warm", "earthy" and "textured." 

It became evident that my outer, physical space no longer matched my inner one.

Enter project "Studio/Office Renewal."

This past weekend, after months of pinning images and piecing together a vision of what a nurturing, inspiring and welcoming creative space would look like, I made a few changes that are fitting the bill per.fect.ly. There's still a lot to be done, but ooooh how good it feels to see a vision transformed into reality! I am VERY pleased.

I leave you with a few glimpses of what is becoming...

In an effort to visually streamline my surroundings I splurged on a cube shelf to gather stuff that was either delicately balanced on a tiny bookshelf along the closet wall or piled on the floor in front of it. Even with full shelves this setup looks and feels much better. The practical me thought I should choose white shelves, but the green ones brought me joy. So green.

I replaced my dark blue art table with this new glossy white one. Shiny!

The cushion was an impulse buy, its colours and textures spoke to me and captured parts of my vision for my renewed space. The chair was brought up from the basement and looks perfect there, welcoming. The print above the chair is a favourite digital piece of mine that also inspired the new colour palette. I like how it's displayed simply, yet stands out.

Vibrant green kept coming up as a key part of my desired palette. Based on the Ikea website I thought I'd have to get this drawer cabinet in silver or red, but lo & behold when I got to the store I discovered that they carried it in just the perfect hue! Sometimes things work out like that. To the right of the cabinet I hung up a cheap clipboard I picked up at the dollar store last month, I thought it would be a great way to rotate and display some of the art cards, quotes and prints I love but have stuffed in drawers. Currently on display: a postcard featuring a drawing by Tamara de Lempicka.

Farewell 2014 (or Let's move on, shall we?)

Dear 2014,

You were rough, I will not lie.

You were a year of surrender and self-care. You had me dealing with health issues like vertigo, panic attacks and anxiety. You saw me let go of striving and of long-held identities without quite knowing what’s on the other side. You brought forth fears and questions that still remain to be explored.

These things are big, they’re hard and they’re tiring. I was - and still am - exhausted.

Along with the trials you brought me gifts. 

You brought increased self-awareness, an imperfect meditation practice and a return to journalling. You led me to financial goals, a new car and clearer, more nurturing physical spaces both at home and at the office. I learned new creative skills, humbly received the support of loved ones, rediscovered my fondness of back yard birdwatching and experienced sheer joy at the sight of my feathered friends. You offered me a renewed connection with Nature, stillness, and my Higher Power.

You were at once a year of prolific creativity and one of extreme rest. Your pace was slow yet you flew by, creating a time-related conundrum that still baffles me.

I challenged myself to write a list of accomplishments to remind myself of how abundant and rich you were, and acknowledge all that was happening under the surface while I thought all was lost (it's below, if you're interested). Among other things, this showed me that:

a) Puttering and following an organic unfolding of things can be quite productive.

b) Not all productivity or achievements are visible to the eye.

I thank you for all that you have given me, 2014, and I am ready to move on. So let's, shall we?

Best wishes to you,

Stephanie

xo

~~~

A recap of things that happened in 2014 while I thought nothing was happening (sort of). Big, small, and everything in between, in spirit of gratitude...

  • Resumed a 4-day/week painting practice after the holidays and immersed myself in art, resulting in several paintings completed during the 1st half of 2014.
  • Took an iPhoneography course and created multiple pieces of digital art throughout the year.
  • Submitted an application to a local art show. I didn’t get in, but I submitted an application!
  • Tried new recipes, several of them keepers.
  • Posted on my blog and FB page. Not very often during the 2nd half of the year, but I still did it!
  • Celebrated 8 years of blogging.
  • Posted a list of 41 good things on the blog during my 41st Birthweek Bonanza.
  • Spent one week relaxing by a lake with my Love. Bliss.
  • Paid off a loan and built up a small emergency fund.
  • Set up financial planning and budgeting spreadsheets for joint finances and my own. Worked through parts of Luna Jaffe’s book, Wild Money.
  • Decluttered: clothing, guest room closet, laundry room, some stuff from the storage room, front closet. Donated many bags & boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army.
  • Started writing my morning pages again and meditating. Switched my morning painting practice for this during the 2nd half of the year because it felt like what I needed.
  • Read many books, fiction and non-fiction.
  • Spent a lot of time hanging out at home with D. and our beloved Cassie. Deep comfort and love.
  • Applied for a selection process at work to qualify for a promotion and got in. Passed the two first hurdles, am waiting for the results on the third.
  • Took two road trips to New Brunswick.
  • Hosted the Guimond-Woods Christmas gathering.
  • Shopped for and bought a new car!
  • Made difficult and true financial decisions to help us meet our goals.
  • Started a morning face cleansing routine (yeah!).
  • Continued setting up our home with D. Got curtains and an area rug for the lounge, hung up some prints.
  • Got my original pastel and charcoal sketch of Frida professionally framed.
  • Enjoyed a luxurious weekend getaway in Toronto.
  • Worked through anxiety, panic and dizzy spells.
  • Worked through being OK receiving help due to anxiety, panic and dizzy spells.
  • Worked through burnout and letting go of “I want to be my own boss” identity, started healing my relationship with my 9-5 job.
  • Marked 20 years at my 9-5 job.
  • Met our new nephew.
  • Said goodbye to D.'s grandfather.
  • Took thousands of photos.
  • Hung up bird feeders. Saw two “lifers” in our front yard: a Brown Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglet.
  • Practiced stillness, a lot.
  • Contributed monthly Scoutie Girl articles from January to October. Let go of my two-year commitment as a contributor because it had served its time.
  • Celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Love, partnership, co-adventurers in life.

Hello You, Hello 2015

Well hello there and Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays treated you well, dearest.

I am easing into 2015 at a gentle pace.

I've been reflecting on the year past with curiosity, compassion and gratitude, gently entertaining which things I want to bring forth into the new year and which ones I'm ready to leave behind. It's a slow process.

Today I completed my yearly ritual of choosing new calendars. The pickings at the store were slim, but I found an eclectic mix featuring birds, Darth Vader, and female rulers of the world (like Marie Antoinette, below).

I love this ritual, and this year's variety of calendars makes me grin and chuckle.

I hope 2015 brings something to make you grin and chuckle too.

May your new year be fabulous, may it be peace-filled, may it be joy-full.

May it be true.

Happy 2015.

Stephanie

xo