Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Nest: Part III

Alright, three rooms down and a few more to go...

This was our first glimpse of our bathroom :|

So Jon began stripping the floor. My nephew, Taylor helped Jon and our good friend, Brian, finished the stripping job down on the floor with a pair of needle nose pliers. (we have the best friends!)

Jon bid and won this piece from an art auction called Art & Music Saves Lives. All of the proceeds went towards Breedlove''s relief efforts in Haiti.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the tune in and tune out.

I recently proclaimed myself to be a "culturally aware" designer...
Which I now believe to be a very subjective definition in today's society. I mean, how can anyone keep up with the massive amounts of information overload??!

I make a conscious decision to cut myself off from watching any tv (except for Project Runway!) simply because there are only so many hours in the day to be productive. But recently Jon connected our basic tv line so he could watch the World Cup.

And tonight I, the "culturally aware designer" sat down to tune in.
and minutes later... I HAD TO TUNE OUT.


The only comparision that I could think of was this clip from, Idiocracy, one of my favorite Mike Judge films:

Do the acts of society that we choose not to participate in make us unaware?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

coloring outside the lines

As I enter a new stage of my life as a designer I am discovering new and interesting things about myself, my style and my work.

As a bright-eyed child, my sister and I occupied many of our summers exploring Harwell elementary school where my mother was a Principal. We had no choice but to entertain ourselves. So we made things out of paper: purses wallets, bags, and books. And in elementary school I made countless books that were illustrated, "type-set" and saddle stitched (well... stapled.) And as I grew up and people asked "So, What do you want to be when you grow up?" -- (after I got over the idea that I wanted to work at the same Car Wash that my aunt did) -- my answer was always "An Author!" Which then turned into the idea that I wanted to work for a fashion or travel magazine..
So -- the expression "This is what I was born to do." seems quite fitting for me in my life.

 The first time I opened Adobe PageMaker, in 1995, I fell in love.  I was an editor for my High School Yearbook, Newspaper and Literary Magazine. And when Texas Tech School of Journalism didn't seem like a good fit for me the Southwest Texas State Art Department did. And in 2007, I graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design!

In college, I distinctly remember showing up for class on a critique day and when my turn to show & share my piece came, a fellow student said "Your outfit matches your poster". Meaning that I was dressing in the same colors as I was designing in. And that continued. The past 3 years, in an effort to simplify my mind and cleanse my (designers) palette - I now wear only neutral colors, mainly black.

As I set out on the wonderful path to brand and art direct another season at the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra I decided that I would really shake things up! That idea coupled with my recent and ongoing struggle to find my creativity lead me to travel through an experimental stage:

The idea was to pick a completely different color palette for the new season. And after selecting and unselecting many combinations I finally found one that I loved and I felt could carry the theme through the new season.

Upon comparing the NEW colors to the OLD colors from last season. I REALIZED, THAT I PICKED THE SAME COLORS. different tints.

Now, I am definitely not doubting the craft that "i was born to do" and I do not for one minute think that I am a One-Trick-Pony -- its more that I realize that these are the colors that speak to me. I function in these colors. I design in these colors. I live in these colors.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Livin' Life

My Daddy, Tommy Lee Brown, has always been a "man of words" and recently put together a list of what our family has deemed "Brownisms".

Smart (old farmer's) advice from a man near and dear to my heart. Love it.

  1. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
  2. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
  3. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
  4. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
  5. Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
  6. Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
  7. Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
  8. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
  9. It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  10. You cannot unsay a cruel word.
  11. Every path has a few puddles.
  12. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  13. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
  14. Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
  15. Don 't judge folks by their relatives.
  16. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  17. Live a good, honorable life.. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
  18. Don 't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.
  19. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
  20. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
  21. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
  22. The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
  23. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  24. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
  25. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
  26. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around..
  27. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
  28. Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DAM finds: Part II

My sister and I had quite an interesting "problem" this past month. We decided to start selling Therapy items again last month at the Downtown Art Market. The May market was Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon. Since it had been a few months, we decided to reduce prices on much of the old inventory and really clean the shelves :) Many happy Therapy customers later, the shelves were clean!

From the new exposure came many custom Therapy orders for Marci and her ETSY page has really taken off! I spent almost all last month out of the studio and remodeling. So, last week -- Market week -- I told Marci that I didn't have any new inventory and my load from last month was really light, but I would be happy to help her sell at the Market. She laughed and said "I was going to say that exact same thing to you!" So, the long of the short, we didn't set up shop at the Art Market this month.

I did however, make my way to the Art Market to visit friends and support the local flavor. Jon and I picked up this beautiful succulent and then found the perfect accessory! -- a one-of-a-kind hand-crafted flower from Summer Studios!

And our coffee table is officially Happy :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Nest: Part II

As promised... the continued journey of our new Nest:

The living room of our house had light pink walls and painted off white wood floors:

We hired Jess Mitchell, whose father did the floors in Jonathan's grandparent's -- and now parent's -- home, to find, strip and stain our original wooden floors.

Now many books will be read and Netflix will be watched in our lovely living room :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


The range of emotions the past few weeks has been wide.

I find myself in a panic and worried about the toilet backing up again and the plumber busting another pipe under the house, and about my dwindling bank account, and about my unorganized mess that I now live in, and about the fact that I am physically at work just trying to make it through without totally breaking down. I know that all of this will soon pass and as long as we keep on working now it will all pay off in the future.

Yesterday amidst my pile of clothes on the floor and bed in our bedroom I found my yellow Livestrong wristband. I decided that until the carefree days of loaded bank accounts, solid floors and not leaking pipes comes will wear it as a reminder of how wonderful life truly is.

A few weeks ago I mailed some posters to my friend Tom, who works for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Since the posters had a very tight time frame for arrival and distribution we decided that mailing them to his office was the best option.
I addressed the package to "Tom c/o the Lance Armstrong Foundation".
After waiting in line at the post office, the clerk called me up and began entering my package information. He paused, looked up at me, and excitedly said "is this really going to Lance Armstrong!?"
I smiled and told him it was in fact going to his foundation but not really him.
I looked down at the clerk's proud Livestrong wristband just as he began telling me his survival story. He told me that after he recovered from his treatment for colon cancer the Livestrong foundation sent him a package. He was shocked and delighted because he had not even signed up for anything! But he is now a faithful Livestrong supporter, as it really helped him through recovery.
His story brought a smile to my face and I was so happy to have made him that excited about mailing a package to the Lance Armstrong (foundation).
After my package was paid for and marked for delivery, the clerk said "hold on for a minute. I have something for you."
He disappeared into the back and then came back to the counter with a Livestrong Wristband for me!

His story was inspiring. Human nature is powerful and it proves time and time again just how strong we can all be in this life.

This isn't the worst situation that Jon and I could be in. Yes - it is tough but we have our health. And now we have each other.