Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New 2013 Spring/Summer Lia Sophia Favorites

With my new job and school full time I really don't at all have time to devote to selling Lia Sophia.

But here's the problem:  I really love this jewelry.

Like I just honestly do not want to quit selling it mainly because I love it so much myself.

So my goal is to still submit at least one or two parties a month.  If you haven't seen the new Spring/Summer 2013 catalog, let me know and I'll get one to you.

Here are some of my new favorites! (some I own, and some I'm about to purchase):

You guys, this Contrary necklace is so great.  I wear it with EVERYTHING.  I love that it's long but can easily be worn shorter, that it's mixed metals and has all the crystals - and the shape of it is awesome.  $74

(but if you hostess a party, only $15! - you can do a catalog party if you want, you just have to have $250 in sales from your friends orders to qualify)

This one is so cute, and has matching earrings, love the corals and that minty blue/green - Alicante, I have both the necklace and earrings.  $128 for the necklace, $48 for the earrings - (necklace is $25 for a hostess)

The tourist necklace I do not have yet, but plan on having soon - I love the look of this one!  $58 ($15 for a hostess) 

This is one of my new favorites and I find myself wearing it all the time - Full Bloom - which is also on the new cover below - $98 ($15 for hostess)

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Importance of Film

Lately I've been really studying film.  Partly, it is a personal interest, but partly, I am also interested in how I can utilize film as an art form in therapy.  Film therapy is something that doesn't get a lot of attention and honestly doesn't have that much research.  But it's something I feel could be very useful as a tool, so I'm trying to understand the ways a therapist might be able to use it to it's best capacity.

Trying to talk about why film is important to society can make one sound a little pretentious.  The ways in which film permeate life are vast, overwhelming even.

All around the world we watch many of the same films.  Good movies are not held back by language barriers.  We will gladly read sub-titles if it's that great.  Although there might be some cultural tid-bits that are "lost in translation" - the big themes of human beings - the existential questions of mankind, are universal.

Film, uniquely of all art forms, combines virtually every other art form into this one thing.  Literature, the visual arts, performance arts, music -- everything mixes and combines into this accessible space.  Film is the most accessible of all the arts in many ways.  Many people around the world will never visit some of the best museums, but nearly everyone will have seen a movie at some point in their life.  

Film allows us to explore the complexities of the human situation.  Sometimes that exploration takes place in the dramatic but sometimes it happens to be funny.  Most good films manage to combine a lot of different emotions and feelings all at the same time.  And generally a good film will look at one or two important questions or themes and spend some time exploring the answers.  Great films will usually not give you the answers - they will let you decide for yourself.  

And we can use film to teach - history comes alive, science is explained, literary works are brought to life.  

We use films to work out our emotions - we laugh, we cry, we get terrified, we worry, we hope.  It can be a very cathartic experience.  Most of the time when we are watching a film, when we cry, it's because we are experiencing something we also experience in good therapy - we access emotions that we often keep a lid on.  Something strikes us as "truth" and the body let's us know by allowing us to cry.  It's a release we need.  And many times, noticing the thing that makes us cry - especially if it isn't necessarily making everyone else around us cry - that's important to take note of.  The reverse is also true - if everyone else in the theatre is feeling the same emotion but you are not?  That's important as well.  

Sometimes movies just provide an escape.  We don't want to think.  But that's just as important as any of the other things a film provides.  Human beings need escape sometimes.  

Very often we want to explore different lives and places and things than the ones that look like our own.  

Films tap into that very ancient art of storytelling.  As long as humans have existed we have told stories.    Film is just a very high adaptation of that craft.  

Film is a cultural artifact.  It's a little time-capsule of the time and era and culture in which is was born.  If you look at particular decades of films there are over-arching themes and re-visited ideas.  Films often make commentary on the times in which they are created.  In this way a film forever holds clues to the thinking of the era.  

And although I appreciate all of these ways in which movies are these great cultural artifacts and historically important and beautiful art forms.  I am most interested in how a film could help a person with a particular problem or set of problems. Movies can often provide a sort of inspiration - a way to see how to navigate a problem.  Or sometimes watching someone else go through something in a film similar to what you have experienced in your own life can give you clues as to how you can handle it different - differently than you have so far, or at least differently than the film character.  Maybe you'll wish that you could have handled it as well as the film character and it will inspire you.  That has actually happened to me and it can be a very powerful image to carry with you.  

At different times in my life different films have become something I have carried around in my head and they have resonated with me and affected my life.  Mostly for the good.

One thing I love about how film might be used as "film therapy" is that everything is so accessible now.  It used to be hard to find certain films and you had to find a really good "video store" (wow, remember those?) to be able to find a wide variety of options.  Now almost anything you might want to see is a click away.  I personally have an Itunes, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.  Even an obscure Danish film that isn't on Netflix, Itunes or most of the others I have found on Amazon Prime. Even if it isn't on most of the formats, you'll probably be able to find it on one of them.  This means that nearly any film that might prove meaningful for a particular person is available with relative ease. 

I'm excited about the implications of that.  

This month I've seen 3 Danish films, 1 Italian, and 1 Flemish.

What a great thing that is!

It's nice to have favorite movies that are just purely entertaining.  But it's also great to allow film to challenge you.  I love hearing about what movies people love - but I almost equally love hearing about what movies people hate.

What did you love recently and what did you hate?

I'll be it says something important about you.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Inexpensive Organization & Decor Ideas for a Rental

I remember back when I was in a series of rental spaces how challenging it could be to make the space feel like it was my own.  Add in a very low budget for decor and it could be almost depressing!

But let me say that my philosophy about home decor is that you can't wait until the day you are perfectly organized, or living in your dream house, or have an endless budget in order to accomplish your goal of having a happy and happily decorated home.

^^^This idea about having all our ducks in a row is pure fantasy anyway - I only know a few people who actually have fantastically organized, decorated homes that look like the one in their dreams/heads - - most of us live with an inferior version of what we can imagine.  We have to start somewhere!

And also - if you're living in a rental space and you have moved frequently or you know you're going to have to move again, it's tempting to feel that you never are settled enough or invested enough in your space to make it your own.  But don't fall into this trap!  You deserve to live in a space that makes you feel fantastic even if that space is temporary!

1.  Tip One - Clear Your Space In Order to Clear Your Head:

My first tip involves organization or dealing with space challenges.  Disclaimer!  I am not an organized person by nature and this is something I struggle with a little bit.

If your space is cluttered or full or too much stuff or if you just honestly don't have enough room to store everything you want to keep, this will totally keep you from being able to decorate the way you would like.  So that's why it's step one.  You have to deal with this problem first.

There a couple of things I highly recommend.  First of all look at your friends - who amongst your friends IS really organized?  Who has drawers and closets that you wish you had?  I have often employed or begged a friend to help me - I've even bartered for this service as in "I'll help you do your tax return but I need help cleaning out some closets".  I have actually utilized a few different people in this role over the years and it really works!  Once something is organized for me I can keep it that way pretty easily for a pretty good stretch of time (years sometimes) before it really needs attention again.  When it starts to get a little out of hand I just ask for some help again.  This might seem lazy but it's not.  It's just working smart.  Some of us aren't that spatial or talented at seeing a clear way to organize.  For other people this is practically their second nature.  Take advantage of their expertise!  I bet you're really good at something different that they are challenged by - and you can help them with something you're great at!

The second thing I recommend in terms of organizing is be patient but set a deadline.  Don't try to do it all in one weekend (depending on HOW disorganized you are - this is probably a totally unrealistic goal anyway) - but also don't be so patient with yourself or give yourself so much leeway that you end up never getting anything accomplished.  My advice would be some kind of realistic goal like a one month or 6 week time frame.  Recently I set a goal of organizing a bunch of stuff - a room or two plus a bunch of closets, drawers, etc.  My goal was 6 months, but within that 6 month time frame my mini goal has been to accomplish at least a few things each month.  I've hired someone to help me (and to be fair, she is doing the vast majority of it while I do my homework or something) and we are almost done with all the projects.  It has felt good to get this done.  The only things really left are a storage space I hardly use and my garage.

Doing this - getting organized, is going to free you up to be able to visualize your space and to figure out what it is you want to do to make it a happier space.

If you're still totally overwhelmed by this idea - because it's really that difficult and hard to know where to start - start with ONE room.  Just that one.  Totally focus on that one room - starting with organizing and ending with decor - don't worry about the rest of your space at all, just do this ONE project and it will make you feel so good when you get it all done it will bleed into wanting to get all your other rooms finished too.

2.  If you can't Paint - Wallpaper!  (but not real wallpaper!)

One of my biggest pet peeves in rental spaces is that usually or often, they won't allow you to paint.  Or if they will allow it, they want you to stick with a neutral.  This is frustrating for someone like me who really needs some color in her life.  Finally in one of the rentals I lived in I figured out the genius solution of wallpaper with fabric and starch!  If you have access to some great cheap fabric you can do the whole wall:

This is not wallpaper!  It's fabric!  You just take your strips or sheets of fabric and use a mixture of starch and water.  You use the starch and water roughly the same way you would wallpaper paste.  Smooth out the fabric on the wall and get the air bubbles out the same too.

Before it dries you will be thinking you've done it wrong and there will be lots of wrinkles and air bubbles - but they go away the more it dries.  Don't panic.  

When you are sick of the design or getting ready to move it is the fastest easiest wallpaper removal you'll ever do - just start tugging and it comes right back off easily.  I have done this with flat sheets too and just trimmed the edge on the top seam.

If you don't want to do the whole room or even one whole wall - consider doing sections or smaller parts like these:

Or another idea is to hang the fabric in a large way like this:

These look great, are super cheap, and you don't have to worry "pasting".

And if you still don't think you want to commit to a big space here are some more ideas for fabric - 

I give people ideas for inexpensive art work all the time, but sometimes people still think it is not in their budget.  Fabric stretched over canvas can be a great solution.

3.  Re-Cover or just Cover your furniture

Obviously not REAL furniture recovery - because that would be expensive.  I'm talking about faking (kind of).  I have lived with a lot of different furniture over the years - some that looked okay and some that was pretty awful.  And it's super expensive to have someone actually recover it (and I have done that when I had the budge for it, but you don't always have that).  In expensive fabric or quilts can solve this problem at least temporarily.  

I have no idea how to really recover anything - but with certain types of couches or chairs you can do a pretty good job with tucking and pinning.  Right now I have a couch that is wearing thin and I have put a quilt with some of the same colors all along the section where you sit.  Most people don't even really notice it there because it blends in.  It just looks comfy - like it's there for comfort.  I try to keep it tucked in and looking neat as much as I can.  It's a temporary fix, but it can solve a problem for a while.  At one point I lived in student housing that came with super awful green and orange furniture.  I bought cute chintz fabric and recovered every cushion.  It lasted us the three years we lived there and I think it looked pretty great considering what we had to work with!  

If you're handy at all at that sort of thing, there are lots of online tutorials to recover your own.  I've done straight back chairs and they are super easy - anyone can do those! 

Here are some good examples:

4.  Vintage and Second Hand Stores are your Friend! 

If a big part of the problem is that you don't think you can afford furniture, or items to decorate - you've got to start shopping vintage or second hand/second chance stores.  These stores are a treasure trove of cool stuff.  And it could be that you're into a shabby chic look, but also a more mid-century modern look.  There are all kinds of ways to incorporate cool stuff.  My one piece of advice here though is to go slow and stick with a room at a time.   Cool stuff I have found at vintage stores on the cheap:

$2 at a rummage sale, then I bought a $4 lampshade.  And it works fine

This was something I loved so I was willing to spend a tad more - $36

I had to have an orange phone. It sits on a table in my front room looking pretty rad.  $7

I haven't bought this yet but I found a store that carries tons of these - some pricey, but some as cheap as $50.  That's a bargain for something that would be your main piece of artwork on a wall!

And I really needed this too!  I really did.  $25

5.  More Artwork Ideas 

If you've visited the blog before or are a regular reader you've seen these before.  I did these collages - one of my favorite books, and the other of some of my favorite movies.  Then when we re-did Jordan's room last year we used the same technique to do black and whites of Paris, Rome, London, New York and Hollywood.  I love how easy they are to do and how great they can turn out.  If you're stumped for artwork I can think of a bunch of ways these could work.  You could use your instagrams, family photos, all florals, make an abstract with color blocks, or a million other ideas.  I love making these so much, I sometimes wish there were a market for doing these for other people.  I honestly have dozens of ideas for collages.

These 5 things will give you a new space that you love!  Be patient and keep at it and you'll transform your home with a little goal setting and time.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Happy, Restful, Cheery Homes

I've been so busy lately and it's only going to get worse with the new full time job I start in a couple of weeks.  It's pretty impossible to go to grad school, work full time, sell jewelry part time, have kids at home still AND pursue any of my other interests.  I have far less time for books, movies, projects, vacations, photography or pretty much anything else I am interested in doing.  This blog is one of the things that is going to suffer while I'm so busy.  I just don't have as much time to update it as I used to - even though I still routinely think of ideas that I want to blog. 

This particular blog is an indicator of where I am at in my life right now.  I'm in the process of re-doing a couple of rooms in my house (give me a break on what "process" means, this process is slooooow - more in the thinking and dreaming stage than the doing, but give me to the end of the summer and I think I'll have something to show you in a blog...I digress) - and in this process I find that I am drawn to calm, soothing, restful spaces.

This doesn't necessarily mean neutrals to me (I know it often does for other people).  But more muted, more whites and blues and greens.  That is restful to me. 

I'm drawing inspiration from some of these rooms.  Cooler colors like blues and greens tend to be restful for most people.  You will almost never go to a therapists office and see orange or red anywhere.  I love orange and red, but they are not restful or calm colors. 

Lately I've been thinking about how fun it might be to decorate an office someday.  Of course, that's a long ways off.  But it's still fun to think about.  I'm sure any future office will rely heavily on these types of inspiration as well:

It's funny some people don't think so - but what we surround ourselves with - what our homes look like - it really does affect us.  So if you're not feeling so happy lately - think about making a change in your space.  It might help!


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