Monday, April 27, 2015

At Liberty: Beautiful Blooms to Brighten Any Monday

Liberty of London - the flowers scattered across their heritage print fabrics are enough to merit a visit, of course. And how lovely to be able to bring home a shirt or a tie or a bolt of cotton with a classic Liberty print. But what stopped me in my tracks at Liberty were the flowers themselves.

Waiting at the threshold. Stone lions standing guard...

Beautiful enough to cheer up Monday all year long...

Hope yours is lovely! XOXO

Friday, April 24, 2015

Life In Sketch - Today and Yesterday


Happy Friday! Hope the week is winding down and a lovely weekend is in store. A quick shout out today to my friend PVE Design who wrote the nicest little piece ahout me on the Life in Sketch blog...

Patricia has been such an advocate and inspiration since I first started to think about leaving my day job to work on my art full time, that to have her write about me is truly a dream come true. Thanks PVE! And to be in such good company on Tina Ramchandani's blog is gratifying - please check it out if you have a moment - you'll find all kind of good stuff and perspectives inspired by interiors and design.

Admittedly, until this year when I started on my "sketch a day" project, living a "life in sketch" - or keeping a consistent sketchbook - hasn't been a regular practice... but yesterday I came across a book I kept while traveling in France on an En Plein Air painting workshop. Giverny was our home base, and almost every evening we painted in Monet's garden after it closed it's gates to the public. Life changing. It was like living in a canvas. On this trip I saw Paris for the first time and kept a painted journal of all my impressions....

Like a little time capsule, it ensures I'll never forget those days in Mr. Monet's garden, which makes it so much easier to conjure it up and paint it again almost 20 years down the road.

Do you have a way of keeping memories alive? Of measuring your current dreams against those that you lived years and years go?

So lovely to live a Life in Sketch...

Have a beautiful weekend! XOXO

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Blues: The prettiest shade of turquoise in London and Paris

Speaking of color, sometimes it's not until after the fact that you realize a certain hue has been following you around, trying to get your attention. In London and Paris, it was a lovely turquoise blue - the shade of a perfect swimming pool on a hot summer day (ironically because we were quite chilly while on our our trip). When I got home, I noticed this lovely color popping up in photos and in packaging - and the scarf I picked up at the Marche aux Puces in Paris.

The Monday Blues are quite nice when they're in this pretty shade...

Hope yours is just as lovely! XO

Friday, April 17, 2015

Colour for Creatives Workshop - A Colorful Catalyst for London Travels

There are a million good reasons to travel to London and Paris, but this trip started with a little pop of color - or colour, to use the British spelling. Last fall at our Enchanted Bloggers Lunch, my wonderful friend and fellow artist Patricia of PVE Design mentioned a Colour for Creatives workshop she planned to attend in London in the spring - could I come, too? What a fantastic idea. Fast forward a few months, add some serendipitous timing for traveling with and visiting friends, and my bags were packed - with Mr. H. in tow.

Fiona Humberstone is an author, speaker and creative catalyst. She helps small businesses style their brands, enabling them to attract and engage customers - recently she's been working with my friends Carolyn and Cynthia from The Buzz Blog to update Diane James Home and I can't wait to see what they come up with. 

Our day with Fiona focused on color psychology and how we can use it to gain a deeper understanding of our brands, making them more authentic, engaging and dynamic. Color was the catalyst to help us paint a clear picture of our businesses and what they stand for at a personal and emotional level. Since I've just started the process of creating branding for I Dream Of Studios and building a website, her guidance couldn't have been more timely - inspiring, energetic and full of ideas, in a few hours Fiona gave me insight not only to my brand, but what defines my work as an artist, what makes it unique to me.

Also inspiring was the opportunity to work side by side with PVE! (That's her mood board above). To become immersed in color, talk about creativity, our shared experience as artists... I hope it's the first of many artful adventures the two of us get to have together.

If you can't travel to London, Fiona's Book How to Style Your Brand launches in May. (I've already ordered a copy!) In it, she walks readers through the process of styling their brands in order to create something deeply personal and compelling.

What colors compel you? What do you think they say about you and your life?

Happy Friday, all. Hope you have a colorful weekend! XO

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Invitation to Consider Life's Luxuries

LUXURY. Once you get beyond basic needs it's a bit of a magic trick isn't it? What are the luxuries in our lives? So much depends on perception. I'm a sucker for a gorgeous handbag or the aspirational luxe of a Couture gown. But at some point in life we might notice that a ruffled bunch of peonies is as beautiful - or more so - than that gown on the runway.

And if we are luckier still, we understand that luxury has to do more with how we spend our time than owning something that seems timeless.

For me, life's greatest luxury is to paint my own path. To find the beauty in the everyday moments and to capture them with my own point of view. To delight someone by painting a picture that captures their own definition of the finest things in life.

To be able to do what one loves. What could be more luxurious? 

What is your life's luxury? I'd love to know... XO

Happy second Tuesday of April, everyone! Today's post is another installment of our monthly BY INVITATION ONLY blog party. Please check out what the rest of our community as to say on the topic of Life's Luxuries...You'll find them all at Splenderosa.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Have a Pretty Pink Monday

Happy Monday, all! Tomorrow is the second Tuesday of April, which means it will be time for our monthly "By Invitation Only" post. So just stopping in today for a quick hello and to wish my friend Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips fame a happy Blogiversary. Elizabeth has been delivering the best of living and giving with style and grace to us for five years now. I love how she makes every day something to be celebrated and puts a spotlight on the beauty that is all around. Please pop over and congratulate her on five lovely years!

Back tomorrow - hope your week is off to a pretty start! XO

Friday, April 10, 2015

London and Paris Sketchbook

One of the best parts of travel is coming home and unpacking all the little treasures picked up along the way. Little memories like a new cup for the morning espresso from a afternoon spent wandering through Liberty London, or a blue and white vase picked up at the Marche aux Puces before a leisurely long lunch with a friend...

But my favorite souvenir from London and Paris is the sketchbook I kept during our trip.

If you've been following along, you know I've been posting a painting a day to Instagram, and that I'm attempting continue the practice all year. I actually wasn't sure if I could keep it up while on the road but between sketching on planes and trains, and the fact that I tend to be too excited to sleep when we travel, I managed. And how fun to know that years from now I'll be able to look back at the sketch of magnolias blooming in London and remember painting it while listening to the birds of South Kensington sing their morning song...

What kinds of souvenirs do you like to keep from your travels?

Hope you have a lovely weekend! XOXO

Monday, April 6, 2015

That was London...That was Paris...

Happy Monday, all. Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend and that the past two weeks have been wonderful and springy.

Just getting the bags unpacked, the photos sorted and the head cleared of jet-lag cobwebs. London and Paris exceeded expectations - all blushing magnolias, beautiful details, laughs with friends and so much inspiration.

More to come, but wanted to pop in and say cheerio and bonjour and hope you have a beautiful week! XOXO


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