Over a year ago we moved back home. Back to the United States, but also back to my hometown of Fairhope, Alabama. It's so pleasent to be back. Fairhope is small, although it has grown in my lifetime quite a bit (I love hearing the old timers talk about traffic, as it is in a small town, it's probably one of the biggest complaints, and when you look at it from a different perspective, it's not a problem at all). We ended up buying the house next door to the house I grew up in, and so I'm really back home, like as close as you could get without kicking the folks out of my old house. Our home is great, it's a funky old 70's split level ranch (if you watch me on pinterest that might explain my board full of goofy split level ideas) with styrofoam "wood" beams in the living room, black grouted brick (black?!?!), different flooring in every room, and popcorn ceilings. It's got character! And we love it. We have a huge (or at least it seems huge to maintain) garden in the front yard, and chickens in the back. The neighborhood ranges from newly weds to 90 year olds, and we know them all. Improvements are being made little by little to our house, new trees get planted every time I have a little extra spending money (or Arbor Day, when you manage to get trees for free!). I'm walking everywhere I can, because we're lucky to have a large system of sidewalks. The photo is from a walk in scenic Point Clear, we looked out onto Mobile Bay as we walked. It's definitely a change in perspective from Brazil. I can talk to everyone I meet without having to think through my thoughts first, I know the seasons and the customs (mostly, the South still holds out secrets on me), and the inspiration for my work has changed a ton. It's warm and humid down here, with a few frosts during the winter, but not much more than that. The flora and fauna is very different and it's nice to see that change, as it's striking all sorts of new ideas with me. Maybe I'll share more about it, but I wouldn't count on me, I sure do like using the internet as little as possible. Hope all is well, if you're nearby drop me a line!
As a designer people are always asking me about inspiration. I've always found it really difficult to talk about, because usually it's not something specific. It's more like a feeling when you're somewhere, and I find that really challenging to put into words. I was traveling with my husband in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro last weekend (what a lucky wife, right?) and I always take my camera (now I've oddly upgraded from my camera to a phone, that doesn't seem logical) to capture the moment. I swear, this never works. I get back and I'm all 'yes, people will see what I saw!', but we all know that doesn't usually happen. I'm no professional photographer, so the pictures usually end up less exciting than I was hoping. Alas, I keep taking them and sharing them.
When we flew from São Paulo to Rio it was an early morning flight and the sunrise at the airport was just gorgeous. What colors, what a nice vibe. The nature in that part of the country is just incredible. Air plants with colorful blooms, new plants and birds that I haven't seen before.
We stayed in a hotel in the Barra da Tijuca area of Rio, and in the morning I took the baby out for a walk because it's much cooler down there than where we currently live (in Recife, where it's constantly summer). It was cool and misty, exactly the weather I love. Winding behind the hotel was a river that spout out into the ocean and created these amazing waves. It was really turbulent and murky, and so bubbly. I took a picture, but it just didn't feel the same. There was definitely something inspiring there, it was just the mood of the area. There were these huge birds circling overhead and on the pier, I swear, more cats than I could count. I also took a picture of that. Cats are one of those things that translate literally. If I'm inspired by a cat, I will most likely draw a cat. So cute.
But back to inspiration. Where do you find it? I know a lot of you reading this blog are probably quilters, artists or designers. I'm always interested to see what inspires other people, especially in other creative realms. So share with me! Leave a comment, shoot me a note. If you're interested in seeing more of my inspiration, check out my instagram account, where I share snapshots of my day to day activities.