The little things…

One of my favorite blogs, My French Corner, has a post that really hit home for me, and I thought I might share. Having recently moved back to the South from Denver, CO, summer hit me full force. Denver is known for wonderful, warm – not hot – DRY summers. Not something you can even daydream about in the muggy South. However, there are a few things about summer here that I had forgotten. Sounds…

My French corner recalls a couple of those, and makes me excited about those humidity-soaked porch evenings. Hello firefly; hello cicada!

My Sweet Dolly

Ok, I am finally ready to talk about Dolly. If you read the last post, you know that Dolly was my sweet little cottage in Denver. She was small, and creaked like an old house, but she was beautiful…and mine. I spent about a year tweaking this and that, trying to infuse my personality into her (which was hard at the beginning, because – while she was mine, all mine – I did share the space), and when I was finally on the right track, I moved. The move was definitely a good thing, and I will be happy to find a small, wonderful space for me in my new hometown, but I miss her very much. So I thought I would share her. Perhaps she can serve as inspiration for you – or for me as I begin to craft another space for me

.

This is Dolly last Christmas. I have lived in many places that I decorated with white lights and green garland and carefully placed red bows. But Dolly seemed to have an eclectic, old school vibe to her that didn’t want anything fancy. She’s retro, and she’s beautiful. She stands on her own. A single strand of old fashioned colorful bulbs was all she needed for her holiday spirit!

In the time I was with her, she became my space. Her personality and mine mixed so wonderfully that it was easy to dress her up a bit and make her mine. In the bedroom, I went soft – a slight pink, my own waterfall bedroom set, sheers and flowers. It was a cozy room, a sanctuary.

The bathroom didn’t require much…she had this beautiful claw foot tub that simply spoke for itself. Color and brightness was important, however, because the bathroom was the size of a large closet (in fact, it was the epitome of the French WC – water closet).

The dressing room was where I went a little wild…but still stayed true to the girl she was. I LOVE that pink!!

The living room and dining room were still works in progress when I left, but I tried to begin from a very simple point of view…taking Dolly back to basics here, and allowing the furniture to simply live in her. Many of my furnishings came from the early 20th century as well, so they were right at home. The one’s that weren’t…well, they found a place, too.

The kitchen, I left as it was. I love the red. And the fixtures and furnishings simply enhanced her retro feel.

Finally, the backyard. Affectionately called The Beach, it was a wonderful sanctuary on those lovely Colorado spring and summer evenings.

I miss her. She was beautiful, and she was mine. I know I will find a way to make my own space again. I hope she inspired you to want your own space. Soon I will share some tips on how to make your place yours. Until then, goodbye sweet Dolly. I love you!

Kit Home Fabulous

I love Apartment Therapy. Being a fan of small places, I’m always on the lookout for small and fabulous homes.  This site is an amazing resource for how people around the world make the most of their “nooks and crannies.” Their Small, Cool Contest is one I always hope to enter, yet never find myself really ready for. It is enough sometimes to simply peruse the beautiful spaces there and dream.

In scrolling through the Small, Cool 2011 entries, I became inspired once again. This beautiful cottage-style home in California is more than just a great small space. The history of it is interesting – it was a Sears kit home. I know that concept is foreign to us these days. You go to a department store catalog, find a plan you want, order it, and you house is delivered for set up. Wait…come to think of it, perhaps that isn’t so much different from going to a builder, looking a plans, grabbing a small piece of dirt that will just hold a McMansion, picking out colors and fixtures that will look like everyone else’s… Oh, I digress.

The kit home was popular in the early parts of the 20th century, as a way to enable home ownership. They weren’t custom homes, and they weren’t large, but they offered the American Dream for people all around the country. This particular home was built in 1929. So it definitely has a history. The most amazing thing, however, is how it holds on to that while being made over into a fabulous, beautiful space that is a joy to come home to.

I suppose part of my enchantment arose from the fact that, before I moved back to the South, I lived in a very similar home in Denver. I’m not certain it was a kit home, but so many of the attributes were the same – the layout was almost identical, my home (her name was Dolly) was built in 1927 – that it was certainly easy to find inspiration, at least. I will post more about Dolly later, but I wanted to share with you the idea of a kit home, and propose that, perhaps, if this prefab, catalog-ordered, shoebox of a house can take on such a lovely personality and become a wonderful inviting home, even a rented apartment can have its own personality. Let those creative thoughts run wild, no matter what the history of your home.

Take a look at Cate’s Apartment Therapy House Tour, or any of the other amazing space tours on the site. Scroll through the hundreds of Small, Cool contest entries and find your inspiration. Your home is your sanctuary and it should reflect that…and you. Besides, maybe you could end up in Apartment Therapy’s contest next year.

Telling the Story of a Storyteller

jenn rogers cox

Finding the Story

Have you ever started a story, then found a different track, then discovered that the best story is the one you hadn’t planned  for at all? This project started out as a sort of collage of covering live music. I planned to give a deeper look into the music journalist’s “life.” As I sat down to listen to the music I wanted to use, songs just hit me- the stories they tell, the mood they put you in, the emotions they can elicit. So the story morphed into one about songwriters. I know many songwriters, all of whom are excellent craftsmen. This should be easy, right? The problem was, I only have about two minutes to tell the story. Given all the talented people I could talk to, there was no way to condense this feature into two minutes. So I took a hard look at what…

View original post 294 more words

Sometimes it isn’t just the words…

Finding the Story

Have you ever started a story, then found a different track, then discovered that the best story is the one you hadn’t planned  for at all? This project started out as a sort of collage of covering live music. I planned to give a deeper look into the music journalist’s “life.” As I sat down to listen to the music I wanted to use, songs just hit me- the stories they tell, the mood they put you in, the emotions they can elicit. So the story morphed into one about songwriters. I know many songwriters, all of whom are excellent craftsmen. This should be easy, right? The problem was, I only have about two minutes to tell the story. Given all the talented people I could talk to, there was no way to condense this feature into two minutes. So I took a hard look at what was drawing me in the most.

 

The Storyteller

Ryan Chrys is my friend, but he is also a very talented musician. I had the opportunity to attend a release party earlier this  year for  his solo effort – one that was a long time in the making – and I could not have been prouder. Chrys is a person who loves, lives and learns, then uses his music to tell his story so that others may benefit. He shared with me so much more than I can show in two minutes, but I hope I have at least captured a tiny bit of who he is and what he has to say.

Putting It All Together

The photos were easy – well somewhat. I have been photographing Chrys in a variety of settings for the last three years. Many of the photos in this slideshow are from his CD release, but some are of other shows with his band the Demon Funkies. Choosing the songs was a bit more of a challenge. I had two minutes. I love this CD. How do you pick just a bit here or there? I listened. I closed my eyes, cranked the volume, thought of the pictures, and listened. What you hear is exactly what I heard as I envisioned the slideshow. Again, two minutes…not enough. The narration was easy enough – I simply thought about my friend, and who he is. Then I spoke. Garage Band, iMovie, and all the pieces came together.

I will expand on this. This story is too big for two minutes. There is so much more to this man that needs to be shown. But for now, here is two minutes of Ryan Chrys. I hope he is proud, and I hope you enjoy.