It was years ago that I found this litograph of Emma made from the words of the Jane Austen novel. Moreover, Jane Austen is arguably one of most loved Victorian authors. Additionally, Emma’s litograph poster was most appealing to me due to its colors. The poster I chose was in baby blue and light-gray and is a focal point on the picture wall of my bedroom.
When I thought about how I would design this picture wall, I knew I wanted the artwork to be authentic and not the average prints you find in many design stores: hence, I chose the lithograph poster and prints of artwork mainly from Etsy.com. On Etsy, the artists are not mainstream. As well, I used smaller prints, mostly 8.5″ x 11″ to go around the large Emma litograph to achieve balance in my design.
Furthermore, when I chose my Emma poster, I was able to choose the colors I wanted my lithograph to be from several options. There are a larger variety of color combinations available online for this specific style of Emma poster. As well, you can buy this litograph poster matted in the 12″ x 16″ size.
When I purchased the litograph years ago, matting was not an option. I decided to go with the poster that was the largest size, 42″ x 63″ because I was using the poster as my picture wall focal point. Also, only the largest size contains the full text of Emma on the litograph including all “157, 422 words” from the novel.
The litographs website has a variety of t-shirts, posters, totes, and scarves of your most beloved literary works. There are a plethora of options for posters for example. You can also choose literary items that aren’t litographs but are based off your favorite literary works.
To frame my poster I went to the craft store Michaels and bought the largest silver poster frame I could find. I use silver in my bedroom as it goes well with my light blue walls. I brought the poster with me to ensure it fit the frame. I loved the look of the poster with the silver as opposed to black or white poster frames. The silver and gray in the litograph matched.
As well, when I began to purchase smaller prints of artwork to surround my Emma litograph, I purchased frames of the 11″ x 14″ size to fit prints that were 8″ x 11″. I found these frames at Winners and/or HomeSense stores in Canada. What I love about both of these stores, is that you can find many decor items for your home at a reduced price that are still stylish and often brand names.
My goal was to have artwork and frames that were more eclectic so the frames and prints were not all the same. Shopping at Winners and HomeSense lent itself well to this as they have a variety of frames in all colors available.
Additionally, having diverse frames and artwork styles made my wall of artwork more interesting. Since my walls are painted a cool light blue, frames of white, black, and silver all matched the paint color well and were cohesive. Black frames on their own, even silver frames on their own, would have been too overpowering in a small bedroom.
The shop is on break right now, but I recommend checking out their excellent hand made prints. I love how the black frames make the sterling silver images pop, even though the inside of the frames are more of a white-ivory tint. Also, I was pleased to be able to find prints that were glamorous, stylish, and feminine.
Furthermore, one my favorite items on my picture wall, is not a picture at all; in fact, it is a spice rack purchased from Modcloth.com in their Vintage Inspired Home Decor and Gift section. The spice rack is a pretty place to store and display my perfume bottles. I’ve also been able to display a few of my favorite cuffs (bracelets). Instead of displaying bracelets or cuffs you could also hang necklaces.
Moreover, I have not seen this spice rack (perfume display), on Modcloth.com for awhile. But ModCloth does have other interesting decor items if you enjoy a Vintage Style. As well, you can find similar spice racks at Walmart and Amazon , but I wasn’t able to find the same one in white, with hooks on the bottom. Your best bet is to explore the web or a store such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, to find a spice rack that works well to display perfume and jewelry.
In addition, I purchased a couple prints off of Etsy.com from an artist’a shop called Lauren Bolshakov Art . I was thrilled to find more feminine and stylish pieces that added brighter color to my picture wall.
The first print is in the same color family of blues and greens as much of my bedroom. It’s an 8″ x 10″ size and called Vintage Dress Painting. It’s not available anymore but she has some other beautiful pieces of watercolor work.
The second print I purchased from Lauren was called Red Red Wine (see below) and the bright color of the red wine and the movement within the watercolor print drew me to it. Both prints I chose went well with slightly different white frames I found at Winners, in an 11″ x 14″ size because they had to be big enough for 8.5″ x 11″ prints. The red wine print is also a bright pop of color on my picture wall, which I adore.
As well, I did purchase a print (and later a frame) of a lovely print from a blogger I follow, Kelly Van from Le Zoe Musings, which is a “creative lifestyle blog.” Kelly no longer has an Etsy shop but her printing sayinging to ‘Just Breathe and Drink Tea’ was relaxing and cute. Also it’s in a reddish-pink shade.
One last painting (or a copy of a painting) I bought because I loved the impressionist feel to it, was from a shop called Prebrulee.com. The pop of pinkish-red in the painting, ties in with the red wine and tea prints. They all share an accent color on an otherwise serene picture wall and waveguide bedroom in general.
Prebrulee is a neat store that has a great deal of fun jewelry, clothing, stationary, and sometimes, home decor. Their Home and Office Section often has need collectibles, however, I’ve not seen paintings on the website in a long while.
My final framed work around my Emma litograph is my university diploma which I am extremely proud of; nevertheless, I’m searching for the right picture to replace it with, and move my diploma to my home office space.
Finally, I do have a few items on my dresser. As well, I painted both dressers in my room seal gray to match the Emma Litograph. The dresser items, however, are from HomeSense, Winners, and a variety of other decor stores. I find it’s a matter of knowing what you want to display in areas of your home, such as your bedroom, and waiting until you come across the perfect items that are both practical and beautiful.
In addition, if you’re searching for some help in designing your own house or a particular room in your home, such as your bedroom, I encourage you to take a look a theHavenly website for actual Interior Design expertise.
Take their design quiz to determine the decor styles you like best, then choose an interior designer who best matches the decor style for a specific room.
You can receive interior designer aid through a Design Quickie option for free. This provides you a small amount of help in designing a space in your home. It includes a 30 minutes chat session with an interior designer, product recommendations, style advice, and a concierge buying service.
As well you can consider A Havely Mini including 3 initial designs, 1 design concept, 1 design revision, a curated design list, 1-2 weeks of design time, a concierge buying service, and 2-weeks of post design support.
Your third option is the Havenly Full adding on 4-weeks of design support (instead of 2-weeks), 3D Room Visualisation, and a Floor plan, along with everything you receive in the Havely mini.
I would recommend the third option as it provides you with the best value for your money. 3D Room Visualisation and floor plans are incredibly helpful in decorating a room in your home as ‘visuals’ always give a person a better idea of what their decor scheme will look like in the end.
Nonetheless, if you’ve knowledge of how to design a floor plan and can easily visualize how your final design will appear, the second option is also great.
See you next time and thanks for stopping by today’s special post!
If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.
I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.
While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh.
Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborategroomingrituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called ‘Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court.
One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.
In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popularskyscrapers with luxuriouspenthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”
These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.
Considering my dreamvanity andhow I would design it and the area around my vanity, I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.
There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what styleof vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.
I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed.There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.
Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.
Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.
A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmerdrawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.
Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.
Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.
Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.
Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.
A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.
As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.
I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.
There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.
In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending alot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.
I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capizshells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.
Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.
Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass andwrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.
A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).
I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide morenatural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glow. One lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus, here and here.
One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.
I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.
Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifyingmirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.
Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemes. Home Sense is another excellent place for this.
A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.
Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.
For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well. I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.
For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.
It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products.
The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.
It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keeping. Amazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.
Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board. I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases.
I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.
For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.
It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them. Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.
I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.
I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.
For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!
Thanks to K.L. Caley of new2writing for hosting #Mayday prompts. Today’s theme is a battle or fight of some kind. Also, Part 2 of a continuing series After The Plane Crash. Read Part 1 here. The battle I’m showing is the main characters fight through her fever and aches from being lost in the wild two weeks.
“Young lady are you awake.” A woman’s voice whispered to me quietly. “What’s your name?”
I make a noise, not wanting to leave the land of my dreams. It’s safe and peaceful here. Danny is with me and we’re drinking a beer together like old times. I know my friend is not real but I don’t want to admit to myself in my dreams; Danny is dead.
A gentle hand feels my forehead. “She has a high fever. I’m not surprised being out in the wilderness that long. She’s sweating. I think it was an excellent thing the doctor got here so fast and we were able to hook her up to an IV to get some fluid and nutrition into her body.”
The woman’s voice was soft and sensible. She sounded like the voice of a lady who was a mother. She smoothed back my hair and I sighed in my state of half sleep. I was cold and sweating at the same time. Iceness overcame me and I shivered trying to pull plush blankets around me as I sweated.
“Aunt Tabitha, what can we do? If we keep giving her the IV as the doctor said, and introduce her to some soup and other food in a few days, do you think she’ll be alright?”
The voice I heard speaking was the deep male voice I had heard before I passed out. The voice had a rich timber, it sounded young and attractive.
A small smile shaped my lips, then I groaned as cold sweat overcame me. “Poor thing,” Aunt Tabitha said. “I’ll take care of her Eric. Don’t worry, your Auntie took care of you when you were ill as a child and I would do the same for this poor young woman.”
“I appreciate it Aunt Tabitha. I really do. I didn’t know who else to call. The workers wanted nothing to do with her.They thought she had some awful disease the way she appeared to them.”
Tabitha gave a harsh laugh. “Ha, those locals are full of stories and superstitions which have no basis in reality. This woman will be fine. When I clean her up a bit and later when she can wash her hair, I imagine she’s a beautiful girl, Eric. I hope the man who died in that plane crash wasn’t her boyfriend.”
“ I don’t know . . .” Eric said softly. “I’ll leave you too it.” I heard him walk away and a door shutting.
I was awake but not fully. I faded in and out of feverish dreams, nightmares where I was trapped in a never ending forest. No animals in sight. Nothing edible and carrying no water. Only dead silence filling my ears.
I was dressed in a bra and panties and had nothing else on — not even shoes. Darkness descended and it began to snow and my body was wracked by cold as the wind picked up and the snow built up around me. I couldn’t move. I was so cold I was frozen stiff like an ice sculpture; I shrieked aloud.
Eons pass where I am stuck inbetween what’s real and what’s in my dreams. I dream about my Mom and Dad, how worried they would be about me. I know it’s been past two-weeks now since the plane crash. My feaver hasn’t abated for days but Aunt Tabitha dutifully stays at my side. At night there is a hired nurse. A thin bird-like woman who doesn’t speak English but sees to my needs.
Aunt Tabitha is with me whenever she can be. I’m aware of her reading on her tablet. Sometimes she reads to me, but I want to tell her she’s only giving my mind more material for nightmares.
I know she has asked me my name several times but I have trouble finding a voice strong enough to answer her when I feel semi-lucid. Only when nightmares overwhelm me do I scream and plead for them to stop using my voice loudly.
Today my head feels much clearer. I look to see the IV attached to my arm and am thankful it’s giving me nutrients because I think food would repulse me right now. With heavy eyes I scan the room. Strangely, Aunt Tabitha isn’t here.
I move my head and neck gently, testing my muscles which ache from being in bed too long and from hiking through the woods. I wiggle my toes and stretch my legs. I straighten my arms infront of me and put my arms above my head, stretching my whole body like a cat. I feel a jolt of pain in my side.
Pain throughout my body becomes apparent. Bruises and scrapes mostly. I look at my one wrist and see it’s wrapped in a bandage.I must have sprained it. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice when the sprain occurred.
I feel dirty and have the urge to scrub my body until my skin is pink. A bath would be heavenly. My hair is limp and greasy on my head, I can’t remember ever having hair this scungy.
I lean up in bed regarding the room around me. It’s a large bedroom and the room, a work of art and design. The room has a peaceful ambiance, painted in grey-blue.
The furniture including the head board behind me is bleached wood like drift wood from the ocean. I feel relaxed in this place, gazing towards a giant white window with a padded blue window seat full of pillows matching my bed’s dark ink blue duvet and silver and white striped sheets.
I haven’t seen the sun in days. The bright white light of the sun bathes me through the window, but is too bright for my eyes. I shade my face with my hand and gaze in awe at the lush greeness of the mansions front yard. They’re fountains and flowers in the distance.
“Wow,” I say and my voice feels gravelly. I start saying random words and sentences aloud to make my voice sound normal but I can’t seem to rid my voice of its weakness.
I raise my body into a sitting position, crossing my legs under the bed covers. My body cooperates slowly and with aches, but I manage.
I have decided to have a bath or showe. I’m certain I can stand and walk. On careful feet as if I were a toddler, I slip out of the bed and start walking to the bathroom I spied at the end of the room.
It feels so far away at first but my legs remember how to walk quickly and my steps are more assured as I go. Resting against the door frame, I peer into the bathroom.
There is a large tiled glass shower with a wooden bench inside; I am thankful for the bench.The bathroom is designed well with a heavy marble countertop, twin sinks, and dark blue cabinets underneath the counter. A vanity table near by, holds a few cosmetics, clearly for a woman. The toilet is inside a closet in the corner of the bathroom.
I drop my clothes on the wood floor, carefully removing them as my muscles are still sore. The loose grey sweat pants and large white T-shirt are far too roomy to be my clothing and I leave them on the floor.
I open up the shower door and hobble over to the bench where I sit turning on the shower nozzle convienantly located near my head. The shower is hot, too hot at first. But the showerhead gives a cleansing rainfall shower. I sigh in pleasure as the water washes over me. Picking up a puff hanging on the wall, I squirt jasmine scented Dior body wash on it. I scrub my body free of natures dirt and fevers sweat.
My body’s skin is as pink as I imagined, when I reach for Dior face wash and volumizing shampoo. I wash my hair four-times before I’m satisfied it’s clean and I condition it, letting the conditioner soak into my dry long brunette strands before washing it out. The sun has caused some of my brunette strands to bleach blond.
When I’m done washing, I relax and let the hot rainfall water run massaging my muscles which ache. I stay inside the shower longer then necessary but I haven’t felt this well in forever.
“Are you ever coming out?” a deep voice asks outside the shower chuckling.
I gasp and quickly turn the shower off fumbling. I cover myself with my hands uselessly. Eric is outside the glass shower and I’m naked inside, no towel within reach.
I am taking a business course for Interior Designers, and am finding that so far the course could be an overview for a business course in general. Our main assignment for the course, worth 50% of our mark, is a business plan for an interior design business. The first time the instructor told me this I think I was vaguely shocked. She handed out the instructions comprising a general layout for a business plan – all things included there in, went through the course guide that somewhat explained this outline, left us to form groups, and left me wondering how this assignment would ever come together. How could we possibly know all the things we needed to know to make a business plan by session 10 when this assignment was due?
I am still in that phase but today I finally pulled it together and started reading through the text-book. Making use of not only an $80.00 purchase, but finding information that further supported and added to the information the instructor had taught us in class (which often feels like she has trouble fitting into an entire class). As I started to research on the internet, things in my head started to fall into place, and I started to think and plan things out. So now I feel a little better, you see I have some knowledge now and that makes me happy and feel smarter. Not that I do not learn in class, I do, I am fascinated by what I learn, but it is also 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm at night when I am learning this information so often I feel fuzzy like that fascinating information goes in one ear and out the other. But when I am at home finally studying in the day, repetition kicks in, so does new neuropathways (now awake) connecting the information I am learning to what I have already learned and making something of it, that I think could one day be a business plan with my group.
So that is today in a nutshell. But I am finding all wonderful amount of things in this textbook – things I wished I had learned before I had started working, or even before the end of my Bachelors Degree such as information on making business presentations, putting together and responding to RFQ‘s (Request for Qualifications) and RFP’s (Request for Proposal), business manners, and building client relationships. Some of this stuff is instinctive, but some of it I could have really used a background in before I started working. Even though, that has been about 4 years now, it occurs to me how funny it is that this information should all become so clear now that I am at home. So you see, an inquiring mind, never stops learning. Information can be found anywhere if only you look and in the most odd places. Four years ago, if you would have told me I was going to try to be a certified interior decorater I would have smirked at you, but not so now. And I am finding this course particularly packed full of useful knowledge, my only hope is that someday I will use it outside the classroom; I am convinced I will, perhaps, in the most surprising places.
I feel my shoulders relax, my neck untense, my eyes close briefly; my last project for Interior Design Studies this year, is done. No more drawing little tables and chairs, elevating windows, researching flooring options, or any of that, atleast not until September. Since I am unable to work right now, and only go to Interior Design school, this means that a free wide open summer is before me. I will soon have all this time before me to spend however, I want. Having this kind of freedom is a good thing and bad thing.
First, of all I am a bit worried not to have a routine of school and homework to keep me grounded. Since I am on disability really I have a lot of time that some people would consider ‘open’ or ‘free’ time but I have found that it is important for me to maintain a routine (as I have stated before in past blogs). Going to school and doing homework serves as my job, what I am able to do as a job, usually so now what? Now what do I do? You know how it feels after a certain amount of time where you are no longer enjoying free time but ‘killing’ it? Finding anything, whatever you can think of to fill time, well that can happen to me and has happened before. The other challenge I have before me as has been the case since I had my depressive episode three years ago, I simply do not have the energy to do all that I want to do or could do. This is a difficult thing to explain to people who go go go until they sleep but for me it feels sometimes that I am I am both mentally and physically fatigued even before I get and do anything. I am able to push myself and sometimes just go for maybe 4 or 5 hours on a good day and then whatever it is anyone else has that just allows them to keep doing what they have to do, well that just runs out in me. I become sleepy, my mind becomes foggy, I physically slow down, and if I have left it to long I may not be able to make it home. At this point, I just need to lay down, zone out, and watch TV or listen to music and recover. I don’t know why this happens and I hope all the fine doctors helping me out will be able to help me get past this, but I don’t know.It is a physical thing as much as it is a mental thing. Getting back to my main point, however, what I am saying is not having energy prevents me from having a productive day sometimes.
So what I endevor to do this summer, is as always to create a routein but with options. I have improved my yoga skills over the years and am going to be going twice a week to the YMCA for a yoga class at lunch and if I am not too tired out after the Yoga class I will go on the elliptical for 10-20 minutes. My goal is to get into better shape, to strengthen my body and lose some of the weight that medications associated with depression often cause. That will be my routein, but what I am most excited about is the free time I wil have to go to summer events and work on projects around the house.
My mom has a great many ideas on how to redecorate and reorganize the house. We are looking at doing our living room, kitchen, and downstairs TV area. Now we will see which projects actually get done but I am really hoping to start using some of my interior design skills to help plan and see through some of these mini residential designs. If nothing else I am excited to work on my own room which I have been slowly redecorating as budget and time allows. My main summer project is to repaint my dressers, mirror, and side table a slightly brown but more grey color called seal, it’s really quite nice and since the rest of my room is soft blue and white I think these pieces will really make a statement. Plus, I have to go searching for some nice handles maybe at Restoration Hardware or Home Depot if nothing else. I also need to find a bit more fabric to do some scarves for my dressers. So this will fill my time for awhile.
Secondly, I am an avid scrapbooker. I have plenty of pictures from past vacations and good times with friends that I need to geet printed up or have printed up and will cut paper, add doodads, sparkles, ribbon, whatever to make photo albums that are interesting and beautiful to look back on. I would also like to make some home made cards. We have so much stamping and card making supplies that we have hardly used in my house, and having nice home made cards (just as pretty as the one’s you can find at the store) are always a good thing to have on hand. So this will get me through July.
As for the rest of time I have friends and relatives to visit, books to read, blogs to write, walks to take, wedding events, and I think I will get Netflix and watch Madmen from the beginning. I have just started to get into it this past season and have a lot of catching up to do. Not to mention, the regular doctors appointments and weeks dedicated to my boyfriend (since he is only here one week a month) because of work. Most excidetly, I will be taking my forth trip to Las Vegas this coming week in June and I dare anyone not to have fun in Vegas. There are so many things to do, places to go, and things to see.
So, there you have it, summer is before me, and I have not even begun to mention all the festivals that take place in Edmonton that I hope to be a part of. So I hope you all have a great summer and look forward to hearing about what you do in your vacation time in the summer? What’s your favorite way to relax or to stay busy?