November 2, 2012

My Blog has moved…come along!

by heatherkp

I’ll be deleting this blog in about a week please head over to my new site HERE to be sure you stay up to date on the latest Design+Organize+Create tips and inspiration?  You will also find all the same content over there.  Thanks for all of your support and I hope you will continue to follow along.

PS.  If you are already a subscriber you should continue to receive my latest posts via email as always!

November 1, 2012

by heatherkp

I have been dragging my heels, being a perfectionist, procrastinating, making excuses etc. but I made a commitment to myself that I would launch My new website and blog my my birthday!  Finally, that day has arrived!  I’m not very excited about the new decade I’m entering but everyone says 40 is the new 30 so I’m embracing it for what it is.  Head over HERE to check it out!

The ability to start out upon your own impulse is fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own terms. . . .  Getting started, keeping going, getting started again– in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm.
–Seamus Heaney, poet

Here is a sneak peek before you go there yourself to sign up for the newsletter or RSS feed…

I hope this site will be useful (services and resources!) and inspiring (tips and blog) to everyone who visits it!  My aim is to share the the inspiration I find in life all around me.  I’ll be sharing lots of organizing resources, links, inspiring images and ideas.  Please feel free to share anything here but do so with proper credit please! Speaking of credit where it is due…I have to give a great big Shout Out to Tara Gentile’s Website Kick Start class…I took it not once but twice in order to build this site (also with the help of Studiopress Genesis Theme!)

Since I”m starting fresh I will not merge all the content from my old blog over so (at least not for now) so you can always come back to this content. (almost 3 years of content!).

August 27, 2012

Moving Monday::Web Makeover

by heatherkp

With one move finally behind me I’m about to begin another one (maybe just as big in a different way).  You see,  this here blog has reached capacity…and it’s on the verge of a meltdown!  I’ve been using it for several years with the intent to MOVE it over to my own domain name and website but obviously that hasn’t happened YET!  Ack, I took a class to learn to design my website in late 2010 and got in over my head so I just made some small changes to my blog and kept on posting…until several weeks ago when I started getting notices that I was going to run out of space to post any more photo’s.  Well as you know most of my posts include photo’s so what am I going to do with a blog that I can’t post photo’s to?

Well as luck would have it right around that time I got an email about a new version of this class I’d taken back in 2010.  I saw some changes had been made to make things a bit more simple and clear so I decided to give it another whirl, I’ve got nothing to loose!  Last week I began working on creating my new website and eventually my blog and full web presense will be moved over here.

In the meantime as will all moves, things get hectic and you have to be patient with yourself and take some of the pressure off.  In doing so I’ll be taking a little haitus from my blogging with hopes of being up and running over at HKpowerStudio.com by the end of September.  There, I said it and now I’ve got to stick to my word!  Just because I won’t be posting here doesn’t mean I won’t be around on the web.  You should come over and check out my Facebook Page, where I post tips, photo’s and other resources for organizing, art and design.   I’m also on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram all as HKpowers where I share links, quotes, tips and photo’s.

We all need a break from time to time and with the seasons changing, work picking up and some travel plans ahead this is a good time to make some big changes.  I hope you’ll be patient with me and stay along for the ride!

August 21, 2012

Textile Tuesday::kNitting in Norway

by heatherkp

Traveling back to Norway I want to share with you some of the beautiful knit wear and knitting shops I saw in my travels.  A very special stop was made to a  wonderful yarn shop called Garnloftet Helle which was closed for the summer but we had a private “showing”.  This shop is owned by the super talented aunt of my new sister in law!  The Norwegians are known for their talent for knitting, with their cold climate it’s almost a necessity to learn to knit yourself warm clothes for the winter! 

A very special lace knitting pattern that was expertly translated from Japanese into Norwegian by the owner of the shop.  She did so by repeatedly watching a video of the pattern until she had it down.  She teaches a class for this pattern and we got a brief lesson of our own and I’ll be trying this pattern out over the winter.  I’m not sure I have the skills needed since I will have to train myself to knit continental  to master this pattern but I’m determined to try!

In addition to yarn, patterns and classes there were quite a few knitted gifts ready to buy, like these candle jar covers, fingerless gloves (below), several styles of felted “pot holders” and garments such as sweaters and scarves available for purchase.

Above and below are two beautiful examples of traditional Fair Isle knitting.  Boy would I have loved to spend a day here with some more in depth lessons but my mom and I had our guys with us who were quite patient but not enough for a day there!  We discovered yarn in quite a few other shops in Kristiansand although we didn’t visit any other dedicated knitting shops.  What I loved was that there were sections of many shops that carried a small to medium selection of yarns, patterns and ready to wear knit items.  I found these sections in a couple “gift shops” and a children’s store.  I love the idea of incorporating this creative hobby into everyday gift giving!

Spectacular stuff, don’t you think?  It really inspired me to knit this winter but having just moved to a tropical climate I won’t be knitting too much from wool for myself.  I have a big yarn stash that needs to be knit and maybe one day I’ll learn to knit like a Norwegian!

August 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Fjords and Highlands

by heatherkp

We took a LONG day journey to visit the mid-west coast of Norway and were hoping to get to hike to the top of Preikestolen- or Pulpit Rock but in the end the weather didn’t cooperate with us so we took a ferry ride instead.  This was not a disappointment though, just a different perspective on this beautiful area of Norway!  The fun thing about this adventure was that there were a ton of bridges and tunnels and 9 of us caravaned in 3 cars.

We stopped in a couple spots to check out local sites including Tronasen, check out this fun video of the crazy narrow switchback road we took to the top!  At the bottom we came to this bridge, which is the oldest suspension bridge in Norway, built in 1844.

Next we continued North towards Stravanger  where we caught a ferry along Lysefjord after feasting on a fabulous picnic on the banks of the North Sea.  There are several ferries that run along this Fjord, some for locals who are traveling just to their home or work destination and some ferries travel the length of the Fjord ending in Lysebotn while offering local tourist information along the way.  This ferry was about 2 1/2 hours long and the day was partly rainy/cloudy so it made for some spectacular and dramatic views!

Towards the end of the ferry ride we were very lucky to spot these seals lounging along the rocky shore.  Once the ride was over we embarked on another windy and steep drive up to the “Highlands”.

That’s what I’m calling it because the terrain was very elevated, there wasn’t much vegetation and there were many sheep, rock cairns, lakes, residual snow, thatched or living roof’s and several rainbows along this stretch.  It was what I imagine the highlands of Ireland or Scotland to be like. 

As we started to come down from the highlands there was more and more vegetation, especially evergreens such as spruce and pines.  There were also many more signs of life, more houses, a few small shops and villages where tourists come to get away in the summer but it was still quite unpopulated (there are only 5 million people in Norway!).

I was delighted to see some of the traditional architecture such as this wooden food storage house called a Stabbur, where food was stored to keep the mice away!  The return route home took us through the lakes and mountains smack down the center of Norway East of the Stravanger area through a couple towns like Rysstad (the picture below was taken there) and Evje both popular vacation/camping spots for the summer in Norway.It was about a 12 hour day and we covered a lot of ground but I assure you it was one of the most memorable days of my life!  I am so grateful to my brother, his wife and her mother who helped to plan this day so we could experience Norway’s splendid range of beauty!

August 13, 2012

Makeover Monday::This and That

by heatherkp

Today’s just a few misc. makeover projects from both our move and clients.  The first is an example of a hall closet that contains some linens and a lot of “medicine closet” items that don’t fit into the bathroom.  We didn’t buy anything for this project, just sorted through what was there, relocated some items to other areas and switched things around into containers that were more functional for each type of item.

We relocated all the cleaning products to the kitchen that were spread between there and the hall closet.  This cleared up the whole top shelf for bathroom and linen related items.  We used appropriate sized containers to hold hand towels, wash cloths, extra personal care items, medicines, make up and first aid items. 

We were able to easily fit all the household cleaning supplies under the sink.  We utilized on container to hold products that could be taken room to room for cleaning in other areas of the house. Moving along to my own house, I fell in love with this chandelier in our Dining room immediately!  Unfortunately I don’t think it had ever been properly cleaned.  And by properly I mean dis-assembling it by removing each crystal and soaking them, wiping them with a soft cloth and brush to get off the years of grime.  This took me almost 4 hours and there are almost 350 crystals but what a spectacular difference it made!

Finally, this is our master bedroom before and after.  It’s a small room and we are not able to fit our one large dresser in here but everything else works well and I love the serene blue of these walls which is almost the EXACT shade of blue we had painted in our MD living room before we left.  I love this room!

August 10, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Flowers of Norway

by heatherkp

Flowers are just about my favorite subject to photograph so I thought I’d dedicated a Field Trip exclusively to the flowers I found on our many outings.  As a Master Gardener I am constantly curious about the species, comparing familiar plants to those I know and have grown and learning about new plants as I discover them.  I don’t know all of them but what was so spectacular was that there were so many things blooming at once.  I guess with such a short growing season and such long daylight hours things tend to burst out!

This first group of shots was from a rocky island in the Mandal area and I’m not sure what they are but I love how they just pop up in the crevices.

I’ve never seen clematis and honeysuckle so intense and perfect!

Not sure what this was but it grew all around the rocky shore areas.   Ah ha!  I figured out that this is called Fireweed!

Thistle of some sort.

Foxglove was practically a weed!

Some variety of daisy type of flower.

Something in the cranesbill family. 

Roadside weeds:)

This was the coolest fuzzy flower up in the highlands which in Norway is called Myrull.

More foxgloves!

The sculpture garden on the waterfront in Kristiansand.

Me shooting photos of flowers!  I love that my dad captured this.

On Wednesday I’ll be sharing some of the fabulous window boxes!  Happy weekend.

August 8, 2012

Wabi Sabi Wednesday

by heatherkp

 

I love the principals behind Wabi Sabi!  Do you know about it?  Check it out if you don’t but essentially it’s a Japanese philosophy and way of life that embraces the imperfections, the bumps, bruises and “character” that we (as people and our “stuff”) acquire along life’s path.  I recently read a short article that questioned why we don’t apply this philosophy to physical selves. I am very interested in embracing wabi sabi in more aspects of my life and my self.

This is opposite of BOTOX folks, it’s about the wrinkles, the scars and the “patina” that makes us more beautiful!

“[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”-Richard R. Powell

Here are some examples of objects in my home that posses the essential qualities that I consider as wabi sabi.  The are all beautiful but imperfect and I consider them more beautiful because of their imperfections.

My all time favorite broom!  I grew up using one similar (hold over from the days we spent in Asia) and my mom also uses hers from the Philippines (it’s as old as I am!).  It’s crooked and funky looking but it works great and I love the shape.

I made this little pot in ceramics in college and it’s a lesson in what not to do with glazes but I love the crackles and drips.

This is a piece of an African strip cloth I got from a family member and I’ve proudly had it displayed ever since even though a whole strip is missing, it’s unfinished and totally crooked yet I find it completely beautiful.

This Moroccan (I think) foot stool came from my husband’s family and we had ongoing household battles of weather to use it or not.  As you can see it has been scratched (by our beloved kitties) all around the edges and this is why my husband didn’t want it used but now that they are not with us I love the reminder of them ever present on this piece.  The ceramic vase and lamp base also exhibit qualities of the imperfect wabi sabi aesthetic.

I thought many times about painting this slightly rusted magazine rack but I’m so glad I didn’t.

And this dish was rescued from the ceramics department trash because someone didn’t think it was good enough but I love the color, shape and all it’s imprefections it just as it is!

What do you have in your home that defines wabi sabi?  Is this a definition of beauty that you could cultivate further?

August 3, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Wedding Bells in Norway

by heatherkp

Okay, so I’m sure you noticed I recently went to Norway and the whole purpose of this trip was for my brothers wedding!  He married a beautiful and sweet Norwegian woman who I am thrilled to have as my sister in law.  I was apprehensive about going to Norway because I’d heard not much more about it than how EXPENSIVE it is and that it’s a socialist country.  Well, being in the midst of a move and trying to re-launch 2 businesses in Charleston I was enthusiastic but a bit concerned (about the expenses not the politics!).

We arrived a few days before the wedding and we got straight to work transforming the Christiansholm Fort into the vision my brother and sister in law had for their reception!  The whole family got involved with decorations, preparations and set up…from ironing over 30 tablecloths to hanging over 100 paper lanterns and setting 80 something place settings!  It was a family affair and a great way to begin to know one another.

Lanterns are assembled and table scape items are grouped to be arranged.

I promise I did more than boss everyone around and take pictures! B & I hung all the lanterns as a team.

My dad puts his Navy ironing skills to work!

My mom meticulously arranges all the place setting keys (I loved this idea)!

Susanne’s Aunt created this piece for guest to sign (in addition to the guest book).

I made these magnets which were favors (not a great picture…).

Lots of special details from both sides of the family became a part of the day!

After about 8 hours of set up work (over 2 days) with at least 12 people involved, every last detail had been beautifully arranged.  My brother and sister in law put so much of themselves into this production.  Since my brother is a sound engineer there were musical themed objects everywhere, my favorite being the menus aka place settings and being in a Scandinavian country there were plenty of hearts!

Finally on Saturday the weather was perfect and the wedding was at this incredible Church called Oddernes kirke, which is over 950 years old.

A couple family members wore traditional Norwegian folk costumes called Bundas.  This costume is typical for the Stavanger area (where Kristiansand is located).  I didn’t take very many photo’s during the wedding (the only time of the entire trip I can say this!), partly because I just wanted to be there and really be present and partly because I was nervous about getting up to do this Apache Blessing,  which apparently I aced (I hate speaking in public but need to do it more!).

My brother walks with his bride down the isle in one hand and his very own Norwegian bible in the other!

Man was my husband drooling when he saw they were riding away in this beauty!  He has an old 68’s Cadillac Coupe DeVille in very bad need of restoration, this one gave him inspiration…or heartburn (not really sure which)!

Over at the fort guests were greeted with Champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres while the couple and family had photo’s taken.

I obviously didn’t take this shot but the best man and talented photographer Guy Jackson grabbed my camera for this and a few other shots, thanks Guy!

Here he is along with the bride, groom and bride’s gorgeous sister and maid of honor!

Back inside the fort the Toastmasters prepare the guests for a few cultural traditions which included the many speeches (toasts) given by family and friends.  In this case the toastmasters were friends of the couple and served as translators and “MC’s” for the event.  They did an amazing job!

One of the traditions taken care of by the toastmaster is opening all the cards & gifts and displaying them as well as writing it all down!  I love this, makes it so much easier for the bride and groom and you don’t have to worry about gifts “walking away”!

We ate Reindeer for our entree!  It was delicious, similar to venison but also roast beef (a cross between the two maybe?).

The bride and groom kissed, a lot and toasts were made and cake was eaten and then we danced to the funky beats of the talented DJ Musa of Denver, CO USA!


I needn’t have been concerned in the least about this trip because Norway and my brother’s wedding were such an incredible experience and my sister in law’s family are truly special people.  This was one of the best trips of my lifetime and I know I’ll be back to Norway someday!  Finally, I wish my brother and his new bride a lifetime together filled with abundance, love and delight!

 

PS. If you would like to see more photo’s taken by the professional photographer she also did an amazing job!

July 30, 2012

Moving Monday::Kitchen Basics

by heatherkp

We’ve finally landed in our new home.  It’s been a LONG haul and a very much anticipated transition with bumps and curves along the way that no one could have anticipated.  We’ve been “in” the house for just a week now and we are quickly coming to love it.

We feel very lucky to have found it, it’s pretty much exactly what we were looking for in a fantastic location.  After living in a house in MD that was big but still didn’t fit our needs and then not having any space of our own we feel like we’ve found just the right size which includes a new studio space for me to create art and textiles and a workshop for my husband’s tools and business.

Now to share with you some of what we’ve been doing in the house and some tips on organizing your way through unpacking.  Start with the basics!  Last week I mentioned some supplies to have on hand to make the transition easier but the next step should be to get your Bedroom(s), Bathroom and Kitchen set up.  These are the first areas I unpacked since I wanted to be able to really start using the space.  I got the clothes in the closets (removing all the wardrobe boxes from the picture), next came unpacking luggage into our dressers and linens and toiletries into the linen closet and bathroom.  With these practical things out of the way we could find clothes to dress and go about our normal routine.  May seem obvious but man did it feel great to put clothes into drawers and closets after living out of luggage for quite some time!  But I’ll share closet organization in another post…

Next I focused on the kitchen.  I had 20 boxes of kitchen, dining room and bar supplies!  We have a small house built shortly after WWII and the kitchen is a galley type with no pantry.  I have 1 curio and 1 china cabinet to fit all our non-essential dining items and I was quite concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in the cabinets!

Somehow I managed, with room to spare (not much).  I started by really thinking about how I would use each zone of the kitchen and since it’s not eat in I wanted the dishes and silverware to be easy to access from the dining room (which adjoins the kitchen).  I determined which items I wanted in each cabinet and drawer (roughly) and then started the process of unpacking and putting things away.  As I came across the inevitable items I’d forgotten about and didn’t yet have space for I set them aside on the dining room table.  I also mentally reserved space in certain spaces for these and other larger items as I worked through each box and cabinet.  Since I don’t have much counter space our microwave, toaster and mixer are the three items I knew I would have to keep out.  The rest of the small appliances went into the cabinets.

I had certain organizing pieces/tools I used that are flexible and can be made to fit various configurations, like baskets,  that hang from the shelves (below) and risers (above), these can be great help if you have tall cabinets and in some situations they can almost double your useable space.  I find that containing smaller items (like lids, spices, utensils etc) in baskets or bins makes the space easier to keep tidy and it makes it easier to grab what you need and return the rest without disrupting everything around.

Finally there were the cleaning supplies under the sink.  I wish I could tell you the name of this contraption that I used, I’ve had it for ages and the great thing is that the “shelves” snap in place and can be configured around pipes and other obstacles.  I’ve used it in the last 2 houses and it’s a great organizing tool (I’ll see if I can find it and post a link soon).

Overall I had to be flexible and re-think how I organized quite a few things since I use to have a pantry and a lot fewer drawers.  These cabinets are also much deeper than I was use to, which makes for extra storage but I will have to move things to get to the less used items.  That’s okay with me.  Each person has to customize their space to their needs and that’s the fun of organizing for me, finding a fit for each person’s specific needs and desires.

PS…I have no garbage disposal in this kitchen and that white bin on the top left is my compost bucket:) fits perfectly!

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