Thursday, June 21, 2012


TINKER:  an itinerant tinsmith and mender of household utensils made out of tin

TAILOR: is a person who makes, repairs or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing

SOLDIER: a member of the local land component of national armed forces 

DESIGNER: a person who designs. More formally, a designer is an agent that specifies the structural properties of a design object. In practice, anyone who creates tangible or intangible objects, such as consumer products, processes, laws, games and graphics is referred to as a designer 

Each profession, a value to society. But why the definitions you ask?

Well I think it's important to keep the line drawn in the sand and make sure we can see which side of the line designates which professions have more value. Don't you agree?

There is often discussion on SM sites and on TV design / decor shows regarding the distinction between a designer and a decorator.  The above definition of a designer is very broad and may include anyone from a video game designer to a custom pillow cover fact, I'm going to include a DIYer.  The definition for Decorator, however is very clear....they design the interiors of clients' homes, speccing furniture, finishes and accessories.  So why the confusion, why the discussion? The confusion for many people is when you preface the word designer with the word interior....hence Interior Designer.

Now, I'm not about to go on some diatribe about the pros and cons, number of years at school,  obtaining a degrees vs a certificate....I also assume there are different standards and requirements in the US as well.....if you're interested, you can look it up yourself. NOT what this post is about and for the purpose of this post I'm referring to Residential as opposed to Commercial design.

I am a Residential Interior Decorator by training,  but by definition, I am also a Designer...however, I may not, legally in Canada, refer to myself as a Residential Interior Designer ...and I don't.  NCIDQ has some fairly rigorous requirements to have the designation of Interior Designer bestowed upon you.

...are we really talking apples vs. oranges here?

In some cases yes, but the modern day Residential Interior Decorator / Designer each has expertise in their chosen field and often the expertise overlaps. I am finding due to SM that the line drawn in the sand is becoming fainter ...we are sharing ever-evolving, new found information, learning from each other. Expanding our knowledge base to the betterment of our industry ... and the client, who after all is the ultimate beneficiary.

Unfortunately, I have also seen the negative side of SM bashes, where some designers openly criticize, demean and are disrespectful to other designers.  I cannot fathom why?  As far as I'm concerned, it serves no purpose other than to insight more negative does NOTHING positive to promote the design industry or indeed,  the bad-mouthing designer.
Are we all equally fantastic designers? Not a chance. Some of us have the design bug, go to school, are  accredited and become successful, recognized designers.  Others of us have the design bug, don't go to school, apprentice or work our butts off and become successful, recognized designers. Beyond this, however, we ARE indeed comparing apples to oranges. The two things that distinguish a good designer from a great designer regardless of the route chosen, is TALENT and PASSION ...because all the keen interest, homework, hours spent on the job and credentials amount to nothing but a hill of beans if you have not got TALENT and PASSION.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm thinking 'Bob', the original wheel designer from around the 8th millennium, had some major talent, passion and of course the enormous need to move heavy stuff from A to B. He was known back then as "the mesolithic guy of invention".

But, let's face it folks....the wheel has already been invented. Our job as designers is to reinterpret, rework, reimagine...redesign the wheel...take it to a different status.  The only way to achieve this is to utilize the various talent, passion and expertise of ALL designers.

And may I suggest, that we ALWAYS endeavour to show our respect to the global design community.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Our cottage was taken over by eighteen 27 year olds last weekend, so we accepted a very kind invitation to stay the weekend at our friends' cottage, which just happens to be around the corner from ours. Very handy for just 'popping in to see the kids'....which we did.....
Armed with fresh sushi and saki for Friday night's dinner, and other essentials for the rest of the weekend, Karen and I headed out in what apppeared to be iffy weather in the distance.
Forty five minutes into our drive we were hit with TORRENTIAL rain...I mean can't see the car in front of you TORRENTIAL rain. We were forced to stop the car at the side of the road to wait until visibility improved and seconds later we were pelted with this....

.....Hail...the size of golf balls I tell ya (ok ok...extremely large peas) was deafening. It was WILD!!   Karen and I could not hear ourselves talking to each other. If we were not the partiers mature folks, that we are,  this could have signaled a downward spiral to our weekend...but not us, no we take video and pics instead. I have this new iphone app called ProCamera, so was inclined to take a shot of the white stuff....and the following photos.
We rallied, and drove the rest of the way under clearing skies.

Next morning, drinking my coffee on the deck, I looked up and saw this......

......WOWZA...that was some sushi and saki we had last night or maybe the deafening hail had truly rattled my brains. Boy, that is some WEIRD.....

......opsa daisy....

.....Ok, that's better....or is it?....

I don't know about you, but if you were walking down to the dock and spotted this, would you not think that perhaps fairies or gnomes or nymphs lived here?....

...... because these surely must be magic mushrooms.....Or I'm seeing things.... faces on these trees. Tell me I'm not seeing things....please!....more WEIRD...or is it WONDERFUL? 

Lately, we've all seen beautiful photos of lilacs in bloom, but I could not resist getting up close and personal with K and J's cottage lilac.

.....four wee petals attached to a trumpet with a yellow center....who would have known? this is WONDERFUL!

So we toodled over to our cottage Saturday night to visit the eighteen 27 year olds, and one of us, Jeff, thought there would be a party going on so decided to dress for the occassion....which in my opinion was WILD, WEIRD and WONDERFUL.....and yes, there was indeed a party

All I can say is, I never venture anywhere without my iphone or camera, because you just never know when WILD WEIRD and WONDERFUL is going to occur. Inspiration and a story is always around the corner!
Thanks K & J for another fabulous weekend ...xoxoxo

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

...I'M HANGIN' UP MY PURSE(S ) .....

I don't possess a walk-in closet, or even a large closet (cue violins) ... but I have quite a collection of purses. Some of them are Pieces of Art...

.... like this one....which I posted about here

.... or this one.... which I posted about here

I have run out of room in my measly closet. So what's a girl to do with her fabulous purses?

Designer thinking cap is on.....

... by jove, I've got it! 

I will hang my favourite purses on the wall and display them ... AS ART ... because that is what they are

So I did this little DIY.... on the cheap!

.....ET VOILA....

I haven't mentioned this little beauty. She is a small vintage purse I found at an antique sale and used at my daughter's wedding this past February. Take a look at the clasp and the purse detail.

Fabulous Form and Function
...if I do say so myself. 

(the only thing is, I now have to dust these beauties......and I abhor dusting)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


By now, if you are a Canadian blogger you may have heard of, and in fact read the various posts on The Business of Blogging presented at Blog Podium in Toronto a week ago. If not, I strongly encourage you to do so, especailly if you are considering monetizing your blog.  The recap posts have wonderfully described the event itself and I have nothing to add that hasn't already been thoroughly presented... so my Blog Podium post will take a slightly different angle....


It started for me last Friday morning with 3 other designers from Ottawa, in a Yukon heading west, in search of the truth, the real truth .... about monetizing our blogs.  Many hours later, with the GPS taking us to areas of Scarborough previously unknown to me (...I'm originally from Scarborough...) we landed safely at our destination, unpacked and toasted our successful journey and our fantastic chauffeur, Sonya.

That evening, we headed out to a fabulous Italian dinner at Terroni restaurant in Toronto. Approximately fifteen out-of`town-bloggers from across Canada and one keynote speaker from Chicago, Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely all of whom would be attending Blog Podium the next day, were in attendance. You have to understand that at least half of these blogger / diners were completely unknown to each other IRL, yet here we were breaking bread and sharing wine. Our lovely hosts, Lindsay Stephenson of Little House Blog and Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators who are the brains and brawn behind Blog Podium very graciously organized the Friday night dinner as well, specifically for the out-of-towners.

from the back: Barbara Matson of  hodge:podge,  Nancy Marcus of marcusdesign,
 Jennifer Flores and Lindsay Stephenson 

When my dinner arrived.....helllooo ooo!!!!  Gnocchi stuffed with something wonderful, I can't remember what and topped with....I'm not sure... cheese. I truly thought I would be taking home a doggy bag and sharing a midnight snack with my Blog Podium weekend roomie gals. Delish Gnocchi = no doggy bag!

The Ottawa contingen L-R: Donna Hargrove - dh-designs, Sonya  Kinkade- sonyakinkadedesign
 Kelly James- jaxdoesdesign   

On Saturday, the Ottawa contingent arrived at Blog Podium along with the other attendees. I won't go into all the details, because you can read a fabulous recap written by Kelly James here . In fact Kelly was one of the Blog Podium attendees who was chosen by Para Paints, a sponsor at Blog podium, to be a member of their Blog Crew ...woohoo Kelly.

Not only did we receive awesome advice about monetizing our blogs while listening to the keynote speaker and panellists,  but later in the afternoon we were fed and wined as well. Check out Donna's slider.

...and with many thanks to Blog Podium's fantastic vendors and sponsors...

.....we went home looking like this.....

I have not determined if I will undertake monetizing my blog, and I certainly cannot answer for the other Ottawa gals, but our quest for the blog monetizing lowdown truth has been fulfilled. We are all now well armed with the necessary tools and information so honestly shared by the speakers at Blog Podium.
For that, many, many thanks to Jennifer and Lindsay for all your hard work.....looking forward to the next Blog Podium

Maureen at Modecor Muses: June 2012

Maureen at Modecor Muses