Textiles, Tulips On Tables, Small Steps

“…creativity is much less of a “great leap forward” and more a series of small steps…”

If you’ve followed me for a while you know that I have had a long-time dream and goal of putting my abstract photography images on textiles. I haven’t reached it yet, but I’m still working towards that goal – step by step. Here’s an insider look at some of the steps I’ve been taking lately.

When I moved to Seattle 4 years ago I discovered the Skagit Valley tulip farms and couldn’t wait to check it out! I wasn’t disappointed by the fields of blooms, color, and linear patterns that made abstract photography a must. This is a photo I took during one of my farm visits.

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Fun colors and stripes! As a matter of fact, my dear friend Debi Lilly has nicknamed these the “stripeys” and we’ve been collaborating about opportunities to work together on textiles. In order to print images on textiles you need a repeat, which isn’t always easy with “undefined” shapes. So to work I went cutting and stitching images together to create repeat styles so these images can be printed on continuous fabric.

The end result looks something like this for the image above:

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And a mockup of this textile as a table runner on one of Debi’s A Perfect Event and DL Loft table designs, tulip arrangements sitting on “tulip field” perfection.

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What do you think? Party ready? Inspired for Spring? Let me know what you think in the comments below or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you. How do YOU want to see my COLORS textiles in your home?
Special thanks to Debi Lilly for the photo above, her continued support of my passion and her friendship!
Color On,
{Keep working towards your dream…step by step}
Melissa

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Ushering In A New Year Amsterdam Style

After my very long day in Haarlem on the week spent ushering in a new year Amsterdam style (read about my adventures on the Day Trip To Haarlem post), Mr. Visserplein was my destination and the Portuguese Synagogue which opens for one night a year to the public with a bright and beautiful display of candles.  An hour wait in line was worth it for this spectacular scene.

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Beautiful, serene, shiny, magical. Thank you Amsterdam!

Monday was a busy and active day so I decided Tuesday was a good day to take a little break, which I did at CT Coffee and Coconuts in De Pijp. Coffee and Coconuts is a very popular cafe in an old theatre. Three stories of seating at tables, sofas, cushions and a continuous line for a seat.

After I got mine, I relaxed without technology and had some comfort food in the form of hot cocoa and the Dutch version of avocado toast. This avo addict loves her avocado toasts from Ask For Janice in London and London Plane in Seattle._MG_7686

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Now I have an avo love in Amsterdam. Perfect! World-wide addiction options.

Wednesday brought nice weather which I took FULL advantage of and did a little camera walk through neighborhoods in the East.

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I got a little friendly with this blue and yellow beauty.

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I love the diversity of the bridges over the canals!

New Years Eve day was spent quietly reflecting and doing a little shopping at one of favorite Dutch fashion spots, Laundry Industry…sans camera in honor of my SCREAMING shoulder who BEGGED me to give it a break for the day.  Peace be unto my body today!

And before you know it…it’s JANUARY 1st! And, what a January 1st it was! THE most beautiful light I could ever ask for kicked on 2016 as I welcomed the New Year Amsterdam style. I’m taking it as a message for a bright and creative year! Check out these light gifted reflections.

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In addition to light and reflections, it was fun and funky to see all the “leftovers” from the party the night before. Amsterdam knows how to ring in the new year…I’m pretty sure my EARS are still ringing from all the fireworks explosions! New Years Amsterdam style!

This is what the streets looked like the next day (and still today)…

Love Letter To Amsterdam

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That pretty much sums up every part of Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve: fireworks, streamers, popping corks, toasting the new year Amsterdam style. A party tradition!

Oh, and speaking of tradition, I got to partake in a SWEET one in the afternoon.

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Oliebollen and Appelfrappen, the traditional Dutch New Year’s snack. Where I’m from we eat black-eyed peas. THIS is a better tradition! YUM!! New Year Amsterdam style!

And, to finish out the first day of 2016 on a musical, adorable, and colorful note, I happened upon this entertainer navigating canals and serenading all.

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Watch a full serenade on my YouTube channel! It’s worth the click over! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Before I hang up my….shoes…

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 for the day. My LAST indulgence of the week was Dutch apple pie at Winkel in the Noordermarkt.

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I don’t even know how to describe this pie.  Part pie…part cake…all parts YUM! Stop by Winkel for pie!

Thanks for a great week 3, Amsterdam! I love you!!

#LoveLettersToAmsterdam

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Do Not Disturb – A New Way Of Mindful Living

If you know me you know I often go full speed…non-stop…juggling and trying to “do it all”. That started shifting a few years ago when I worked with life coach Susan Hyatt. She pointed this little detail out to me and asked (begged) me to stop.

“Find time to rest and rejuvenate. One day a week.”

 

I called it being GROUNDED.

 

I felt like a 13-year old being forced to stay home from the party. Life’s ongoing party in this case. But, slowly (very slowly) it began to take hold. I started enjoying quiet nights or afternoons in. I became grateful for the silence of my apartment and the joyous feeling of being surrounded by my things and more recently cooking fresh and healthy meals for myself.

While I was giving in to the idea of rest, the reality of my career kept my mind always “on.” A career in Crisis Management does that. You never know when things will happen. You can’t watch the news without thinking of work. “Things” happen 24/7 and you never know when the next one might hit. So while I was beginning to understand rest…my mind never fully gave in.

My mobile was always nearby.

I quickly read every text or looked at every incoming call.

I slept with my mobile, OK 2 mobiles, by my bed every night.

I never left the house without one or both of them.

I was always connected.

 

I was always on

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A Perfect Spring Event

I don’t know about you, but I’m done…

D O N E

with Winter.

Goodbye, adios, move on…

D O N E.

Lucky for me, Spring is just around the corner. I’ve seen proof! Hints of color are beginning to rise out of the colorless ground I’ve been looking at all Winter. And, the best part is it is almost time for my new favorite Spring tradition, the Skagit Valley Tulips!

This will be my third year to experience the tulip farms and the beautiful blooming color as far as the eye can see. It is a vision to behold.

And, a creative canvas for me and my camera!

So if you need a little “advance color” as we move through March I’ve got just the thing. I’m honored to again be a contributor to the A Perfect Event emag and for the Spring issue my focus was all about color, tulips, and creative expression.

Sit back.

Take a deep Winter-be-gone breath.

Click on the cover page of my story below and be transported into a field of tulip color…

When you finish taking in the blooms, check out the ENTIRE issue of the magazine for beauty and inspiration at each turn of the page (and a “bonus” photo from me hidden somewhere in the issue).

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or plan to visit in April, stop by the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival for your own color treat and to take some blooms straight off the farms.

 

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