Tag Archives: Inspire

Max it OUT…


Wow…this particular style is not for the faint of heart.  As an artist and a designer, I can totally see the beauty.  I just don’t know if the heaviness of the style and over accessorization is something that I would like 24/7.  I’m a little more clean lines and with a slight impact on accessories.  But I’m not so crazy about the “I just cleaned out the local Hobby Lobby or T J Maxx Home and threw it all in one room” look!





There is a fine line between artistically placed versus…pile it on! This is a dangerous path for some…because this style can go bad real quick.  It could just look sloppy…and look like mid-class clutter!


LOVE..the wallpaper on the ceiling!  5th wall impact!


Design On…People!


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Fab Paint Job…

Paint Treatment

I think that this is beyond fantastic!  Find the courage to try this…even if it’s in the bathroom!  How fantastic!

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Learning the Purpose of Life…through Surfing!


Does a surfer master his or her art of riding a wave…for the sole purpose of getting to the shore? Absolutely not! Then why do we as human’s, need to master the art…of the destination?

Perhaps because we LOVE the purpose of getting somewhere…to have that feeling of accomplishment.  Or maybe to feel the euphoria of whatever we’re endlessly searching for…with that elusive goal!

Many choose to engage in life and to seek answers to understand why particular situations occur.  And there are those who choose to act as if nothing affects them, or have the disposition that it’s “just not their problem”, by disconnecting.  No matter what aspect you carry forth in life…your choice is your own and no direction is better than the other.

Though when selecting your chosen path…there is one responsibility that is a must, and that is the way you react to others.  Especially when you find yourself entrenched in conflicts in life.

Being an avid OBSERVER, I have enjoyed watching how people choose to handle contrast situations in life, both in the positive and negative aspects.


We have the classic reaction…denial

We have the majority rule concept…which is to numb it away, through their desired addictions…or through personality foibles that allow them to find complacency.

We have the Spiritual path…those that like to apply the philosophy of rising above it, and seeking enlightenment through acceptance and fortitude.


Yep…that’s it…right there people! No way to get around…these are the top three ways of coping and avoiding.  What? How can the last one, of a choosing a spiritual path of enlightenment, allowing and transcending an experience…be an avoidance or a coping mechanism?

This awareness came to me in as much of a shock…as it may to you. Most will choose to deny, shame and blame themselves or others.  So how can a path of desired self- awareness, and a more important aspect of choosing to take responsibility, be adverse for our own human potential?

Well…folks! Even those who choose to walk consciously…still play in the “game” of the biggest cardinal sin of them all…and that is the “shame and blame” game.  In fact…those who really enjoy the more advanced and purposeful awareness tactic’s of understanding and shedding light on our own shadows can be just as misinformed…as those who chose the classic subscription, of plain old “denial”.

Let me explain…if (fill in the blank) situation happened…and this really applies to those that feel that their walking on a spiritual path.  Because their general point of view might be one of…this would not have happened to me…if I was even more aware, or tuned-in!

Discovering this is just the classic BLAME and SHAME…masked in the “holier than though” concept. This can be a huge awakening when you really become aware of this.  When finding yourself in a situation…of conflict…it’s important to understand that it didn’t happen because you didn’t stay positive, calm, or you couldn’t rise above it. The mere reason the situation even appeared on your radar (or in your energy field)…is solely for the purpose that you needed to HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE! And there is a reason why you’re having that experience, and it’s not because you’re being punished or tested.

Not understanding this very important aspect of life, allows so many to fall prey to the biggest catalyst of income stream for self-help seekers.  This is a huge business…with so many that are needing to profit from the mere fact “they” feel that they’re the one’s that have “the answer”, that you have been looking for.  And with the purchase of their program, you too will learn how to “overcome”, whatever “issue” you are experiencing.

Our lessons in life are to be in the experience, to see the experience as just that…a “learning” experience. Most importantly, learning to NOT REACT…but to observe how you’re responding and not buying into the drama.

It’s like when you hear the statement (especially when you’re in thick of a problem), “that you somehow let this happen…or you attracted it,” or that you’re deemed to repeat it again and again...until you get it right.  Yes, you will be presented with difficult situations again and again, because that’s the cycle of life. But it’s not because you couldn’t rise above the situation…and take a higher road..as they say.  It has nothing to do with the fact that you’re not being “spiritual enough”.

Whenever we choose to deny, numb, blame, shame or rise above, you are doing yourself a great injustice. Because…against the positive intention of many of those who want to help inspire and educate us on becoming more self-aware, and to help our psyche’s advance through the dark and limiting belief’s. The one area that no one seems to emphasize is that when problems happen…you just need to immerse yourself in it.

Yes…completely immerse yourself, by staying present to the pain and frustration, that’s what it means to be in a state of complete non-resistance. When you’re in non-resistance, you then must also add another very important element, and that is NON-REACTION…JUST OBSERVE THE CIRCUMSTANCE. See what you are doing to either impede or heal the problem. Because there is no ignoring, you’re doing one or the other.

When you’re observing the actions of yourself and others, you must understand that you didn’t create “their” negative attitude or disposition, because whatever crap they brought into the situation is their own. But yes…that situation was created for you to be more in-tune with an aspect of their disposition that you might not like, and you need to admit that same aspect is within your own character! Thus causing a “rub” let’s say, to begin with. This is the aspect that is being triggered in you…and that you need to adjust your own perspective on. Because your job is to educate yourself ONLY!

But if your unwilling to see that these difficult moments is partly your contribution, then these altercations will just ramp up an already difficult subject, to begin with, in time. It’s almost like adding fuel, to an already robust fire…basically turning a campfire into a forest fire.

Your job…is to simply not react! So, how do you do that? Believe me…I’m still learning too.  This is especially difficult when you feel that everything is imploding all around you? It’s not easy…I know of this personally…but that is the true reason why difficulties arise…is to see how you respond.

Bringing us full circle, back to the surfer, as the surfer sets out to achieve a seamless ride…not every ride is smooth (like life). They practice time and time again, falling, hitting rocks, to master their skills to effortlessly respond and not REACT. Reacting is a defense mechanism, and it can be especially jarring to the rider. Causing the board to respond negatively and for the surfer to fall off. The desire is to flow smoothly learning the soft subtleties of the board. Knowing when to shift their weight and to change their foot position to ADAPT to the surroundings…thus allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable ride.

The smoothness of that ride is totally your choice, a good surfer doesn’t blame the weather or environment. He knows that he needs to practice more on mastering his or her own skills so that they can handle anything that comes at them…during the ride of their lives!


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Love Me a Good…NO Great Tone on Tone Design Direction…


When creating tone on tone design…it must also include use of major texture interest! Example A…this fabulous hallway made even more fabulous with all of this trim molding!


Also LOVING how fresh the lighter floors feels especially within this beautifully created neutral tone on tone designed home.



Once again texture takes precedent here in the tile presentation.

Interiors by Gretchen Black and JS Home Design.


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New Directions with Tile…


Get your HEX on!



Hex “old school patterns” revisited!


Return of fire clay’s in great new patterns and shapes!



Moroccan Zellige tiles with their texture and shine come in a wide selection of colors and they’re total show stoppers!

tiling8So…go get your tile on!

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Glass or Teflon Wings…


Life is an observation game at times feeling connected and sometimes disconnected.

We go through life knowing that we will encounter lover’s and hater’s.  For those who identify more as the “LOVER’s” of life…then this is for you…especially if you wish to learn how to glide through life!

Having glass wings in life is not a bad thing…yes it usually applies to those who are more sensitive.  But sometimes it’s just about learning how to create a metamorphosis action in your life.

Break-free of owning other people’s perceptions and this is how…in a nutshell:


Radical Self Acceptance…NOT self-improvement!

Appreciation of self…NOT change!

Teflon skin…NOT a Teflon heart!



Sincerely care and ask about others!


Follow your JOY!

Most important of all…perfection…is a disease!




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Free Range is NOT just for Chickens…


What do I want to be…when I grow up? When knowing yourself, your passions and desires…can be so yesterday!

This complete understanding and embracing the concept of what makes me happy and joyful in life has come easy to me…at least I thought so.

My concept of happiness with a career selection in particular…has been very fulfilling. But then with time those original choices quickly morphed.

For example…my entire life I have enjoyed creating environments.  Places that are inviting and cozy, a place to spend time in. But it has taken a very long time to unearth the true reason why I desire creating those environments…which I now know goes far beyond what I do for a paycheck…in a career called Interior Design.

My career started as a visual designer for major department store’s in Chicago, then I moved onto being a set designer/stylist for studios also in Chicago. All culminating to the opening and running my own business.  An actual box with 4 walls to house and showcase those needed “expression’s”.   At first I connected with great fortitude with my clients to help inspire them.  But then it felt limiting…so what happened…why did my desires change?

As you can easily see that the trajectory of my life in the most simplistic standpoint would be design.  So if the the natural course of evolution for me would be “Interior Design,”  why did the magic change?

Like many things in life…redundancy along with the constant infiltration of contrast opinions, taste, and needed ego fulfillment that can sometimes make a simple job…so difficult…grew tiresome.  So what’s a girl to do?

Though my desires will always be somehow connected to the design field…my true desirable expressions are painting and writing.  I love to paint and I choose to paint what I feel…not what I see.   This simplistic approach also applies to my writing…also very basic.

I’m not looking to be a prize winning Author…especially with my inferior use of proper grammar, poor sentence structure and lack of colorful adjectives. I’m very comfortable not being 100% perfect (30 edits for just this post alone) at something…it has never stopped me before nor will it in the future from creating.

How does knowing your desires so well in life…help then…if they’re so fleeting? 

I understand that many still struggle for that complete understanding…of what their true desires/passions are in life.  I can only add this…stop struggling and let life guide you…which is my current application at this time.

It really is as simple as…do what makes you HAPPY…then allow it to move you forward.  If what you’re doing does not make you happy…then STOP doing it and re-address.  

Sometimes…life must evolve in order to truly see the real reason why you like one thing over another.  Life will not always be unicorns and rainbows…but keep going.  Life is about discovering what doesn’t work-so that you can get to what you do like.  Actually I feel that the true essence of life is embracing what we like and don’t like…so we can stop wasting time perfecting something that you hate.   In other words stop wasting your energy on shit that doesn’t bring you joy!

Free range your way through life…it’s not just for Chickens.  Walk around in life and experiment, but do it with joy, and approach everything and everyone with a “childlike wonderment.” Having a childlike wonderment-means to approach life with an excitement of 5 year old kid at Christmas getting something as simple as batteries.  Because he knows that those batteries will hold future possibilities…like powering up his favorite things in life.

So long story short…the only thing you truly can CONTROL in your life…is your environment.  Make it… cozy and welcoming on the physical standpoint, but please make sure that the most important element of design is added: create an atmosphere where those who live there recognize the importance of engaging, acknowledging and uplifting others (not just immediate family) for their strengths too.

Because when you create a beautiful well balanced HOME all those who live there and come to visit will feel EMBRACED!  That is the FINISHING TOUCHES of DESIGN.

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