Sunday, May 6

Where Do I Find Inspiration?

I have been told MANY times "you are so wonderfully creative when it comes to decorating, parties, entertaining, event planning, making high school homecoming mums, holidays" get the general idea. I am often asked where do I get my inspiration from and how long did it take me to accomplish that. Well hold on because here it is: Rarely do I come up with an original idea all on my own. It's true. I'm very visual, if I can see it, I can DO IT! - and I am glad of that. If I am decorating for a party or even Christmas I begin pouring over 'my inspiration books' at least a month ahead of time. I pull ideas from several different sources, fitting them together like a puzzle. Once I can see it in my mind and I've settled on a particular idea I begin writing everything down - I am a list maker! Making a time table for myself, the bigger the party, event or holiday the more time I spend preparing up front. This makes things so much easier than waiting until the last minute. I don't want to be caught needing to rent another 10 chairs only to find out the rental company has already closed! That is NO fun...I have done that. I will say this, the older I become the less I need to look for 'ideas and inspiration'. I know what works. The foods I can prepare ahead of time and what has to be taken care of last minute. How do I know when floral arrangements are going to go south and wilt? When do helium filled balloons start to sink? What do 5 year old boys and cranky old men have in common?.....AND how to deal with them in a diplomatic way, keeping everyone happy. What is the proper etiquette for making people feel comfortable in my home?  All the do's and don'ts have taken years to figure out. Sad to say, but sometimes you just have to make the mistakes to figure out what NOT to do. Your guests may think you slaved and worked so hard, when you and I know better.  The following pictures ARE my inspiration...enjoy.

I have no idea how many decorating books I own, these are but a handful. They are a good source of common sense decorating.  
Gorgeous aren't they? I absolutely love that floral arrangement....I can see it, I  can do it and you can too! 
MAGAZINES! I look through many magazines. A few times a year I go through my magazines and rip out pages that 'speak' to me. I suppose the pictures and articles that I end up keeping are my style.  If I'm on top of things I get my sturdy glue stick out and glue the magazine pages down on computer paper, punch holes and divide them up into one of seven binders. Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Gardens and out buildings, Kitchens, Holidays, on.... Now that we have Pinterest I realize that I have been using the same concept for 20 years and just didn't know it. Who knew?  Pinterest  really is a great site. It's just like flipping through my binders, looking back on my's great, you guys should try it, if you haven't already. 
I can even find inspiration in the daily junk mail! Next time you are throwing your junk mail out take a minute to really look at the ideas found there.
These are a couple of my Inspiration Books. Bedrooms and Outdoor Living. I LOVE looking at them.
Did you notice the red file folders in Elizabeth's chest? They are packed full of pages and articles from magazines that have since been recycled. Waiting their turn to be glued into an Inspiration Binder. I love that bed on the right with the black and white toile fabric on the headboard. That could easily be done to a garage sale find. And the canopy over the bed is one of the easiest decorating projects out there. It's a great look for a guest bedroom. Clean and crisp.
So that's how I do what I do, now you know and you can do it too. Really easy, all you have to do is try and continue trying until you figure it out as well. 
Happy hunting!



Don't forget to stop by and see Susan
She painted the sweet little love birds above!

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