Thursday, February 28

Patterns of China

Today we continue our journey through patterns with a look at the patterns of China!

Many of the elements in Chinese patterns derive from Chinese mythology and religion. The fierce dragon is, perhaps, the most well known element of Chinese art. It represents male power and yang energy (part of Taoist religion based finding balance within yourself and the world between two main elements - ying and yang). The bottom most left pattern shows two other common Chinese symbols - the phoenix (symbolizing either yang/female or good fortune) and the cloud (symbolizing the celestial realm). Flowers, particularly the six-point flower are also prevalent in Chinese patterns. The middle right pattern, featuring figures and a pagoda, is known as a willow pattern. Though not strictly Chinese,  the willow pattern is a popular European interpretation of early Chinese textile patterns and embodies typically Chinese patterns in its use of color and design.

Thursday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day - The Upcycled Way

Check out this post on upcycled Valentine's Day gifts from Love2Upcycle, featuring two Purple Clover products. Can you spot them in the collage?

Follow the link above to see where you can score each of these eco-friendly beauties!

Thursday, February 7

Pattern Love

A collection of geometric and floral patterns I'm loving right now. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17

Thursday, January 10

New Items in the Shop!

I added a few new upcycled pieces to my Etsy shop this week. Check out their fabulousness for yourself below!
Magnet Board in Pink Flower - made from repurposed wood floor tiles!
Winter Coasters in Sage Green 
Magnet Board in Green Diamond 

Winter Coasters in Red

Thursday, January 3

Patterns Through the Ages

Have you ever looked at a chevron-patterned armchair and thought, "Ah! The chevron is the modern-day descendant of the ancient Egyptian Nile motif. How interesting to see how it has evolved over the ages!"?

Unless you are me (or another sleep-deprived interior design student) chances are that you haven't had the above experience. But, believe me, seeing how patterns have evolved over time due to various cultures and social circumstances is actually pretty neat. (really, I promise). We'll be starting with the patterns of early indigenous Indonesia and Polynesian cultures, and in future installments traveling through ancient China, medieval Europe, colonial America, the arts and crafts period, the swinging sixties and ending with current day. Enjoy the journey!

Patterns of Early Indonesia 

Indonesia patterns are typically known for their vibrant colors and floral designs. The batik (a traditional method of resist dyeing) textiles from this region are as highly sought after today as they were when trade routes first opened up in the region. Indonesian designs typically derive from nature and have strong symbolic meaning. The examples above feature delicate flowers, which were all painstakingly hand-dyed, indicating refinement and prosperity for the owner.

Patterns of Early Polynesia

The patterns of the Polynesia Islands rely heavily on geometric designs, and heavily influenced later cultures that adopted similar geometric designs. Grid patterns, seen here in the top two examples, are common in Polynesia patterns. The bottom left example shows a leaf design - vegetation and aquatic life are also commonly used motifs. Compare the top right and bottom right examples. The top right is a traditional star-shaped Polynesia design. The bottom right is a later (much later) version of the same traditional star-shape incorporating muskets and using the star-shape to represent musket fire. Even within this one culture, we can see how patterns evolve to fit changing societies.

*Photos are courtesy of 1000 Patterns: Design Through the Centuries, ed. Drusilla Cole

Saturday, October 6

Observation is Inspiration

Today (or tomorrow) when you walk out your front door, take ten steps then stop. Look to the right for ten seconds. Look down at the ground for ten seconds. Look up at the sky for ten seconds. Look to your left seconds. I would bet your morning coffee that you noticed something beautiful and inspiring that you would have normally walked right past. We all get caught up in the day to day, but taking time to observe and enjoy your surroundings is a great way to recharge and revive up your creative juices. Taking pictures of your usual surroundings is also a great way to narrow in on those quietly amazing moments you normally miss.

The below photos are from a school project involving circular forms. For two days I walked around with a camera in my hand, and these are just a very small sampling of the everyday beauty I encountered during that time. Try it for yourself - what will you rediscover?