Friday, September 21, 2012

Personality Tests - What's the Point?

As part of my grad school program we have to spend a quite a lot of time analyzing ourselves.  Which led to us having to take part in multiple measurements of personality and assessment.  Some are highly regarded personality inventories like the Myers Briggs.  Others are less well known, and in some cases less efficacious methods to assess various aspects of personality.

If you have never taken one before, I recommend starting with the Myers-Briggs.

Over the course of my life I have had occasion to be around people who saw no value in an assessment a personality test could provide.  There are certain types of personalities who actually hate taking a personality test (which you should know makes shrinky types like myself a little suspicious).  So why are they useful?  I mean, don't we pretty much already know ourselves?  Isn't it kind of like reading a horoscope and then just agreeing with all the things you want to see in yourself?  No.  Not really.

The point of a personality assessment is to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are.  They can be helpful when interacting with others, and they can be helpful to get to know yourself better.  They are one way to help determine career paths that would be a good fit and career paths which might not.  Obviously people are complex.  A personality test is not an end all be all that would describe a person.  There are many variables that make us who we are and a personality test is just a tiny measure of some specific aspects of how we interact with and experience the world.

The Myers Briggs is based on the archetypes developed by Jung.  Sometimes the Myers Briggs is dumbed down into some of the "color" theories of personality.  Those are a broad way to look at a much more complex topic.  The color theories usually present 4 main "world views" - typically blue, gold, green or orange.  Sometimes those measures are easy to see in people.  You can kind of get a vibe of where people might fit in those categories fairly easily.  But the Myers Briggs actually breaks that down into 16 specific types.

Here's a pretty good online version of the test (the real test is longer, but this is still a pretty good device):  Myers-Briggs short test

I've known my type (INFP) for a long time.  It's probably a big part of why I've always wanted to go into counseling.

This is also a pretty interesting test:  LifestyleQ's

This breaks people down according to theories developed by Alfred Adler (possibly the 3rd most influential person in the field of psychology behind Freud and Jung).

I feel like this is the most boring blog post ever!  But what would really be interesting is if people I knew commented with their Myers-Briggs determination.

But maybe that's only fun for people who dig psychology.  ;)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Trend - Marquee Signs, Bulb Letters & Electric Vintage

I could kick myself.  The other day I was in the drive thru at the Starbucks near my house.  That parking lot is always a complete mad house.  There is all this one way traffic and everyone is more angry than new york drivers during rush hour, heaven help you if you didn't realize there is only one right way to drive through that parking lot and/or park or go through the drive-thru.  It's madness.  THAT's how badly I wanted a Caramel Apple Spice.  But anyway - to my point - I could have kicked myself (should have!) because when I rounded the corner where this little antique/vintage/resell shop is near there I saw marquee letters leaning up against the outdoor display.  BIG RED marquee letters which used to have working bulbs inside.

But I just figured there was no way for me to get from my car to them - what with all the totalitarian driving rules of the Starbucks clientele and parking lot.  But geez, I sure wish I had tried harder.  I bet they were a good deal too.  Just leaning against the building like the seller really wasn't sure what to do with old junky broken letters.


It's a big trend right now and I love the look of these things.  If you find some for cheap just buy them, because usually they are really pretty expensive.  I've seen them for $200 a letter and UP.  Way Up.

Here's some cool decor that uses this trend:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Instagram Wall

I'm a little late to Instagram.  Not that I didn't know about it or didn't want to join in the fun (oh guys, I so DID want to join in the fun).  But because I don't have an Iphone.  Or any sort of smartphone whatsoever.  Because I'm old school like that.  Because I refuse to sign another 2 yr. contract with my provider (who does not have Iphone...and who used to have the most amazing customer service on the planet but who now outsources the most basic Asia and other parts unknown...who insist that no, there is only ONE pizza hut in all of Phoenix.  Are you kidding me Tmobile?...but I digress).  Anyway where was I?  Oh yes, Instagram.

So I have just observed Instagram from afar, staring wistfully at it.  But now that I have an Ipod which can take photos, I am able to actually join the fun.

I am pretty impressed with the artistic talent of two of my children (poor Brennan is on an equally old school phone like me...and so no instagram for him either...middle child syndrome) I love seeing some of the photos they take and post.

Which has led me to the idea that I need to do an instagram wall.  Here are some examples of instagram walls which turned out really great:

I love this idea.  You can also mount the ones you like very most individually inside a frame like this too:

There are companies you can use to print them professional quality, but you can also just print on your own printer if you like.  

I'm not 100% sure yet where I want to do this in my house and which photos I'm going to use, but it's definitely something I want to do.  Here are a few of my favorites so far.

Holden's photos:

And my lovely daughter Jordan's photos:

I've even done a few I like too:

 I always look forward to a new project. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

British Invasion - The Union Jack & Bus Scrolls - Decor Trend

You've probably noticed this trend creeping up for a while now.  We're seeing home decor items with a heavy british influence - the Union Jack on anything and everything, bus scrolls, and even the Queen's profile, is quite ubiquitous as well.

Personally I think the trend is fun.  I am a bit of an anglophile myself, and kind of love all things british.  I adore London, and I pretty much think if I could have a life where I got to live in lots of places all over the world, London would be on the top of my list.  But I digress.  (Scotland's pretty awesome too, btw)


I started seeing all these cool things in the last year or so:


Cushions and more pillows

Super cool rugs (seriously, that's a super cool rug)

Some people would not put it on that pink chair, but I like it actually

Again, but a more demure rug

How flipping awesome is that?

and I love this more gritty version

And i love all the rich colors here - this one is awesome.  

Anyway, this got me to thinking that I'd love something similar.  And so when my friend Cindi said she was going to start a business painting furniture I asked her to paint an old chair I had sitting around with a union jack on the seat.  She then added a couple of details onto the back which reminded me of London - a "mind the gap" sign and a symbol for Victoria station, and a park direction sign.  The result is super cute:

If you've got a piece of furniture you'd like to something cool with, Cindi is your girl.  She's so talented and can do almost anything.  Check out her website HERE.  

And the other thing I've been loving for a long time are bus scrolls.  The thing is these are becoming so popular now that most of them aren't actually bus scrolls.  But what they were originally are the scrolls used to designate where the bus was stopping - the big double decker red buses in London.  The scroll would wind on a roll - and it's made of vellum-like material.  

See up there where it says King's Cross?  That's the bus scroll.  The REAL ones are hard to find.  Real ones:

 But now there are tons of knock offs.  And people who don't really understand what they originally were used for are selling some that say "Boston, San Diego, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta".  Really?  Do you think there is a bus that ever travelled that route.  So dumb.  
I wanted a REAL one.  Not a fake one mass produced.  

In April I was in Los Angeles with friends and we stopped at this really awesome antiques shop in Pasadena.  I saw lots of cool things I would have loved in that antique shop but what caught my eye pretty immediately upon seeing it was a little section where two original bus scrolls were hanging on the wall.  I looked them over closely and I knew they were the real deal.  Most of the fake reproductions are made of paper instead of vellum.  And these were a little beat up - you can tell they were actually used.  Plus the names on them were not ones you would make up.  It was a little pricey, but I had money left over after my trip so I went ahead and bought one.  Do you know how often I buy something just because I love it?  Almost never.  So I am really glad I got this:

(see how if you were just making up one you wouldn't have all these "Harrow" destinations?  Obviously this is all on a street or area called "Harrow" - a few things I love about this - I adore that one of them is called Headstone Lane, and then shortly after we have Cherry Lane Cemetery and then the Christchurch Avenue.  Doesn't that just feel like a cool street?  With a church and a graveyard?  I also love that it ends at Hayes Station.  It's spelled incorrectly, but Hays is my last name.  

So altogether my little British Invasion wall looks like this:

Ignore my dog and her doggy toy on the ground, I couldn't get her to stop goofing around and get out of the way.  But it looks kinda cute there together right?  

Now all I need is a Queen profile somewhere (I really do think these are cool, I'm just now sure where I could use them):

But maybe I could find room for one of these:



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