Monday, December 2, 2013
I'm slightly obsessed with bird ornaments for my Christmas tree! I've collected several over the years, but when I saw this Brilliant Songbird in Leavenworth over Thanksgiving weekend, I had to have it! (And a couple of others for gifts!) I've finally embraced Emerald - Pantone's 2013 Color of the Year - as they're about to announce the 2014 COY very soon. I can't wait to see what hue gets the honor for the coming year!
In the meantime, I wanted to share the story of the Brilliant Songbird found on the tag that came with this ornament. I think you'll agree it's very sweet!
Birds are symbols of happiness and joy, so they are regarded as a necessity on the Christmas tree. Glassblowers often kept wild birds during the winter months since the sound of the gas flame in the workshop prompted the birds to sing. Then when spring arrived, the birds returned to freedom.
Does this make you want to run out and get a bird ornament for your tree?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
We are all different. That I know for sure.
Different strengths, weaknesses, interests, hopes, desires, comfort levels.
This point was made very clear to me yesterday at a "team building" activity I participated in.
I was terrified - and had several excuses for not going: my back and knee issues; it was cold and I didn't want to get sick; it was raining.
But I showed up. And I tried it. I did not like it. But I learned a lot. And maybe that's really the point. Not everything is fun for everyone. But learning through difficult situations is awesome. At least, I think so!
The activity was a high ropes challenge course. I'm afraid of heights - although that actually ended up being the least of my concerns. In the end the height didn't really bother me. It was more the instability I felt on the course, concerns about my back, and the insecurities I felt about not being very good at the activity and not having fun.
Everyone else was having fun. So why wasn't I? (I'm holding on for dear life in the picture above.) Even my husband and 6-year-old daughter exclaimed the course looked like SO much fun to them.
My key take-away from the day was that for a team to thrive, we need to appreciate each others differences. Honor our strengths and try not to focus on our weaknesses, or improve where we can. After I spent about a half-hour on the course, I did the zip line (which I liked a lot) and then designated myself the zip line assistant. So I had a role, but it was on the ground!
In the end, I was glad I "showed up" and I have a better appreciation for each person's different talents. For as a colleague of mine proclaimed yesterday, the definition of team really is Together Everyone Achieves More.
Here are a few more pictures to give you a flavor of the day.
These guys look excited!
Here we go!
What have you done recently that took you out of your comfort zone?
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I saw this quote on glassybaby's instagram this morning and it made me, well, smile!
It's not an urban legend that it rains a lot in Seattle. In fact, according to Wikipedia, "Statistics show that the city is becoming wetter. Seattle receives the largest amount of rainfall of any U.S. city of more than 250,000 people in November, and is in the top 10 through winter, but is in the lower half of all cities from June to September. Seattle is in the top 5 rainiest U.S. cities by number of precipitations days, and it gets the least amount of annual sunlight of all major cities in the lower-48 states."
It's not always easy to smile when it's raining, for sure. So what are we Seattle-ites to do? Embrace it. Smile. Add color!
My favorite "rain accessory" is this very colorful umbrella. It not only makes me smile but people always comment on it, and usually smile too.
It's also fun to daydream about faraway, sunny colorful places when it's raining. This picture of colorful umbrellas over a street in Portugal always makes me smile.
A friend sent me a link to this article about the Most Colorful Places in the World earlier today... this made me smile too!
But I always try to remember when it's not raining, Seattle is one of the most gorgeous cities. The rain helps give our city its nickname: the Emerald City. For without the rain, it wouldn't be so green. And green makes me smile.
How about you? What makes you smile when it's gray and rainy outside?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Oh yes, I did! I went as 50 Shades of Orange for Halloween. I completely hated the book, well at least the 75 pages I read. But I was inspired by the 50 Shades of Gray costumes that were making their way around the Internet. I thought it would be fun, and completely appropriate, to do an orange version. Perfectly fitting as the color of Halloween and also my favorite color.
The best part was going to the paint stores and collecting all of the orange paint chips. Yes, indeed, I wore 50 shades. The names are so fun and clever and yet, descriptive. On the brighter side, there is startling orange, carrot stick, tangelo, calypso orange and orange burst. On the duller side there is fall harvest, pumpkin cream, orange blossom, orange parrot, oriole and racing orange. The hot oranges are my favorites with names like outrageous orange, orange nectar, blazing orange, hot spice and tangerine dream. (These are all Benjamin Moore colors.)
I anchored my costume, down the middle, with Pantone's Tangerine Tango (2012 Color of the Year), Nectarine and Zinnia. And I even wore Sephora's Pantone Tangerine Tango lip gloss!
Orange is an energizing color. I feel more energy just from reading those names, not to mention having all of these hot color samples at my fingertips. Now, I need to figure out a fun, creative way to re-use all of these fabulous color swatches. I'm thinking of some kind of "installation" in my office... stay tuned.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Ok, confession time: I started this post back in March just shortly after Pantone announced Emerald as the 2013 Color of the Year.
Lots of people were writing about Emerald, but I couldn't get my head around my own post. Maybe I felt like I was jumping on the bandwagon or I didn't have anything unique to add to the conversation.
Well that all changed last night! I was invited by my "color guru" Leatrice Eiseman (who I have studied color under) to the Fashion Group International's event in Seattle where she was speaking. I thought it would only be appropriate to wear Emerald to show everyone what a color junkie I really am!
But the truth is, I don't feel great in Emerald. I bought a pair of very cute Emerald flats several months ago - I figured the further the color is from my face the better. But I still couldn't do it. The interesting thing is green is one of my favorite colors; but Emerald is a bit too blue for me even though it's a balanced green. I prefer the yellow greens.
This is what fascinates me so much about color. It's SO personal. It produces a visceral reaction. I know when I feel great in a color; it speaks to me. It sparks an emotion. And conversely, maybe even more so, I have a negative emotional response when I don't feel/look good in a color. Even if it is the Color of the Year and I really want to wear it!
This is actually one of the reasons I decided to take Leatrice's color design workshop a couple of years ago. I am fascinated by the psychology of color - what emotional responses colors elicit.
"Emerald speaks of balance and well-being," she said. "We are all craving more balance in our lives. It's meant to inspire, but we don't hoist it on people and expect everyone to love it." This really resonated with me and helped me open up about my feelings about Emerald.
Take a look at the words in the below image to better understand what Emerald communicates.
My stand-in for Emerald is my Green Onyx Jaime Joseph ring. I think it qualifies as a "commercial match" which Leatrice talks about all the time. It's not an exact much but it's very close and it elicits the same emotional response as "real" Emerald, at least for me... and that's what really matters since color is so personal.
Leatrice also emphasized that "Color is all about context, context, context. How and where you use it is very important." I'm thinking of painting our powder room Emerald. Although I don't feel good wearing the color, I do like having it around me.
How about you? How do you FEEL about Emerald?
Pantone should be announcing the 2014 Color of the Year very soon. Any guesses what it will be?
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I'm just back from a mini retreat for moms about "Parenting from the Inside Out"; ie, taking care of ourselves so we can take care of our families. It was wonderful. One of our exercises today was to share with the group what makes us feel alive. It's another way of thinking about what feeds your soul.
shared with the group that being in nature and walking by myself in my favorite local parks, the Washington Park Arboretum and Volunteer Park, makes me feel alive. It truly does. I'm outside, breathing fresh air, moving my body, working up a sweat, clearing my head. I love it. Ironically, when I went for my walk after today's session, I was pondering this question further.
Truth be told there are many things that make me feel alive. And
I started thinking about how alive I feel when I see really great live music. My friend Julie noted in my last post that's she's crazy about live music and you'll usually find her up front at the stage so she can take it all in. I love performers who interact with the crowd and make you truly feel alive! You can tell it makes them feel alive too.
My favorite of late is Michael Franti. I've seen him live two times in the last two months and he's AMAZING! That's me right up front on the right in orange, taking it all in! His song I'm Alive is one of my favorites!
In New Orleans recently, I saw two live shows and was right up front for both.
I like Julie's approach of getting as close to the stage as possible. Seeing an artist live always makes me feel, well, ALIVE!
In the coming months, we plan to see Pearl Jam, Macklemore and Josh Ritter. I can't wait!