Archive for ‘Journal’

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 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 29, 2012

Walking Weekend::1 Day in Amsterdam

by heatherkp

Boy did we walk in Amsterdam.  We had a limited amount of time there and we had plans to stop at a few spots but mostly we just wanted to walk along the canals and see what we could see!

In 6 hours we covered a lot of ground from Central station past the national monument, the flower market, Vondelpark and to the Van Gogh museum.  Here is roughly the route we took which was about a 45 min walk back to the Central station at the end of our day.

Along the way we did some window shopping (I will post next week some of the great designs I saw in the shops), admired the incredible dutch architecture, meandered along the canals (Singel,Herengracht, Keizersgracht & Prinsengracht), had an ice cream and were thoroughly exhausted by days end.  Here are some of the sites along our path.

This was nuts, doesn’t every church have a head shop below/behind it?  Only in Amsterdam!

Watch out for the bikes!  They will run you over and these kind are used to haul shopping bags, children or whatever!

I love that this lady had her bike decorated with flowers:)

Check out this mode of transport!

And I swear this guy turned around just so he could have his picture taken.  Love those yellow pants:)

The traditional dutch architecture was really something, I especially loved the dark facades with the curved gables and the intricate masonry!

One of the happiest accidents on our walking tour was coming across the flower market.  I was sad not to be able to bring home any plants or bulbs, unfortunately tulips just don’t grow well in my tropical climate.  I enjoyed seeing all the lovely blooms and bulbs though.

This is the view of the back side of the market along the Singel canal.

Our final destination (before walking back to the central station) was the Van Gogh museum.  This was certainly a highlight for me. I didn’t get any shots inside (I’m sure I would have been promptly escorted out if I had!).  This rock display outside the museum was very fun.

I was so glad to have purchased tickets online before we went because the line was very long!  This is true for most of the museums in the city, if you go, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets beforehand.

This was the main square where the National Monument is and it reminded me very much of Venice.  There were a lot of people milling around (and a few mimes) as well as a fashion show (it was the beginning of fashion week).

I’d love to return to Amsterdam and have a bit more time to explore.  We barely scratched the surface but it was a wonderful day!

July 9, 2012

On the move Monday

by heatherkp

As you read this we are in the midst of taking off for a big trip to Norway via Amsterdam for my Brother’s wedding!  It’s been quite an adventure planning and packing for an international trip while in the midst of living with most of our belongings in storage, not to mention the upcoming move when we return (and all the necessary things we have had to take care of ahead of time to have things lined up upon our return).

So I’m trying to go light on the packing for this trip which is a bit tough since I have a wedding and there will be cool temperatures.  I’m only checking one bag and taking 1 carry on.  I’ve been referencing several sources for packing info, like the site One Bag which shares ideas for creating a “Master packing list”‘ that you always use for travel but you don’t always take everything on the list.  I really like this idea, it makes a lot of sense and I will be putting together a list for my travels starting with this trip to Norway. I also found quite a few helpful tips such as folding, rolling and bundling on the Real Simple website, which recently featured packing in one if it’s magazine issues. I did incorporate a few new tips, such as covering the bottom and top of my stuff with plastic bags (which prevents wrinkling a bit) and using lots of pouches and ziplock bags (not new but totally necessary).

We have one day in Amsterdam on our way to Norway so we plan to take in the canal sites, maybe a bike or boat ride, the Van Gogh museum and whatever else we have time to enjoy such as a meal or two, people watching and lots of photography!! In Norway we will be staying in Kristiansand with my sister in law’s family.  We will travel to hike fiords, take in the sites in town, maybe go to the cannon museum, take a boat ride to a small island and enjoy getting to know the new side of our family!  We will be eating fantastic fish (except for my husband who may loose weight on this trip since he eats nothing from the water) and reindeer will be served at the wedding!

We can’t wait.  We are just about packed up now and will be leaving in a couple hours.  I won’t be around much over the next couple weeks but when I get back there will be loads of pictures and bits from our trip to share as well as the ongoing (soon to be completed) moving process.  See ya soon.

 

PS Pardon any errors, wrote this quickly and distractedly!!

July 7, 2012

Silent Saturday::Packing Time

by heatherkp

Countdown to Norway!!

 

July 2, 2012

Moving Monday::Living like a Gypsy

by heatherkp

I haven’t said a whole lot about our move for several months now because we have been in a holding pattern.  We have been living like Gypsies honestly, going from place to place…and were settled into a lovely furnished home downtown Charleston for May and June.  We found it too difficult to search the real estate market and make the necessary new connections in a new city living an hour away so being in a temporary furnished place for a short period really allowed us to make the  get to know the city and get down to business.  The time there came to an end yesterday and I will always have fond memories since it’s time spent really getting to know the city on foot and in person.

Onward we move though and we packed it all up over the last few days for our final temporary stay before we settle into the new place we found.  After looking for several months and at over 30 places (the rental market right now is extremely competitive!) we are VERY excited about this home, it has everything we are looking for and it’s in a fantastic location.  We are renting and we found a real estate agent who was super helpful but we also put the word out to anyone and everyone we know and scoured the papers and craigslist.  In the end, we found something through word of mouth. I’m now in the process of setting up all the utilities, TV, internet etc.  Next we will line up a truck for moving day and try to enlist whatever help we can get…it feels like we are down to the final stretch!

I have to admit that we have been lugging around so much (i.e. too much) stuff over the past 8 months living in various locations and taking trips back and forth to here and there…I have had my moments where I just wanted to toss it all out for a more simple life but I didn’t because as organized as I am, I love my stuff!  I will say that after moving so much around for so long, I have learned to edit more quickly and more often.  I have many hobbies that require stuff like knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, reading and more so I doubt I will ever be living a super minimalist lifestyle.  If you have ever lived somewhere temporarily with the majority of  your stuff in storage you probably know the feeling and just know, you are not alone and you will have certainly learned some valuable things about yourself before it’s all over.  I have learned to keep things sorted and separated by category (in bags, boxes and bins), to stick to some kind of regular routine and pattern, edit often and a bit more ruthlessly than I use to, get good rest (because all this moving is exhausting) and probably most importantly I have learned to be flexible and make due with what I have where I am.  I also make a lot of lists and check and double check where I’ve put things, especially if its a very important item.  We have traveled with a portable file box and our fireproof safe box for certain important things and this gives me peace of mind, it’s really a scaled down version of my normal system.

Have you ever lived like a gypsy?  If so did you love it and what did you learn?

All this moving

June 17, 2012

My Father in Fotos

by heatherkp

I am blessed and lucky to still have my father in my life and hopefully for many more years to come!  I was reminiscing this weekend since I’m not with my dad this year.  I love my dad for sooo many reasons but probably most of all for being a man of faith, discipline, humility, generosity, service and honor.

Here’s looking back through photo’s of him (and I together)

Me (1.5 weeks old) and Dad

And along comes my brother…

Summer vacation on the water

Me & motorcycle man!

“Giving” me away…

Fathers day in Annapolis

Happy Birthday hug

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2012

*Spooletti Sunday~Not to be Confused with Spaghetti Sunday

by heatherkp

I’ve had a spectacular time exploring and experiencing as much as I could possibly take in over the last two weeks of the Spoleto and Picolo Spoleto festivals here in Charleston.  This isn’t my first time attending Spoleto USA but it is my first time as a resident and living within walking distance of several of the venues.  These two festivals bring in world class talent, including musicians of all range and style, opera, chamber music, comedy acts, dance and installation and visual arts. The companion Picolo Spoleto brings many of the same kinds of performances but from a more local range of talent.

The highlights of this year’s event for me were;

Jake Shimabukaro a virtuoso Ukulele player from Hawaii, this guy can play anything on his uk!

Rebirth Brass Band, a well known New Orleans Jazz ensemble who recently won a much deserved Grammy for their funky modern and always fresh takes on the brass tradition!  Apparently they are always back home and playin local in NO on Tuesdays…

Return to the Sea:Saltworks an installation by Motoi Yamamoto at the CofC Halsey Institute.

We also caught the lovely jazz vocals of Cécile McLorin Salvant, some cool blues on the dock of Bowen’s Island by The J Edwards Band with Big Daddy Cade  and the free Picolo Sploeto finale concert at Hampton Park last PM (including Reggae and Motown bands). There were certainly a few things I really wanted to see but didn’t but I’m very grateful for everything we did get to experience!

Here are a few events from the *Spooletti Festivale you and many of the locals may have missed include the following:

Signor Agazi and his Vegetales;
This performance art piece has been acclaimed in major vegetable-producing countries around the world.
The Signor has artfully crafted as many of our vegetable friends as you can imagine from the simplest organic material, using the almost lost art of papier-mâché in the Romany manner. They’re big and they’re talking! Join the fun as the Signor interviews each one and does all the voices that so realistically bring each one alive with its own vital life story.

3½ hours, 2 intermissions.

Iron Horse Ensemble;
Join this gifted ensemble of performers in an unusual on-site work. This Dubuque-based troupe has been instrumental in renewing widespread interest in things associated with trains and their equipment for a new generation of fans. The rage in trainspotting owes much of its current popularity to this group.
Join them at the many local grade crossings to experience the excitement they bring to the movement of some truly big-ass specimens.
All aboard!
6-10 hours of non-stop pleasure viewing.
Continuing education credits available.

Socks…Socks…Socks;
This temporary touring installation supported by a generous grant from the folks at the International Garment Workers Union offers more than you can believe in its encyclopaedic display of socks through the ages. You’ll marvel at the sheer variety and abundance provided by this diverse collection of more than 12,000 pairs of socks. Be sure not to miss the special “Laundromat of the Lost” memorial tableaux.

Fishing on the Yallu River in Plum Blossom Time;
Love opera? Finally this premiere of the long-awaited US tour has arrived on our shores. This tender tale of forbidden love bewtween a fisherman and the beautiful young daughter of a brandy merchant has everything for the whole family. The dark overtones of this tale vanish in the final wondrous moments of an impeccably performed work that had crtics from Shangai to Guang Dong raving about its purity and sensuality. Real Chinese performers clad in their working class costumes elevate the soaring melodies of authentic folk classics such as, “Where is my Pencil?”, “For the Love of a Bicycle” and “Dim Sum Summer”.
You will leave the auditorium shaking your head.
2 parts, 2 evenings with catered samplings from the famous Mr. Chow’s.

Woodpecker Chorale;
last year’s hit of the fringe festivale returns with even more excitement on the main stage. Be sure to reserve early. The lines were long last year. Who would believe the cadences and dance beats from hip-hop to Mozart that these critters can produce, especially on the back of a Stradivarius? An amazing blend of nature and conservation hits the stage with the arrival of the Ivory-bill solo. Bang on a can has nothing on this!
Hourly during daylight.
Bring suet balls for ticket discounts.

Readings;
Famous best-selling author Fentwhistle Pinckney reads passages from his educative novel, “The Piazza’s of Charleston”, a companion volume to the “Chimneys
of Charleston” and “The Stoops of Wentworth Street”. Never has the life of Charlestonians behind the curtains been so barely revealed. Learn the real cause of the war between the states.

*Spooletti Festivale-A spoof written by Walt Dunlap copywrite 2012 printed with his permission here.

And I wish I could have also seen;

 

June 6, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Sometimes you just need to let it out…to let more in!

by heatherkp

I’m having a moment, so pardon the little rant but here I am at age 39 and at times I feel all washed up, it’s ridiculous I know!  I see young professionals on the rise, excited as they begin down their selected career paths and as I remember how it felt, I long to feel that way again!   I made choices that have guided me to where I am today and so far I don’t regret those choices but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy and lately, despite friends and family who tell me how happy I seem, it’s been more difficult than it appears!  I’m stoic, I’m stubborn, I’m a perfectionist, I rarely ask for help but I’m asking for it now…just by putting it out here!  I try not to be negative, I leave myself open to possibilities…I invite the universe to show me new directions, I am grateful, I am social, well educated, creative, talented, kind, up for a challenge and I rise to the occasion but occasionally it all gets me down!

This is a little longer than usual but I felt compelled to write and if you don’t read it, that’s just fine…This little rant really started a few years ago when I made the big leap to leave a corporate job with a company that was un-loyal and who’s morals and ethics were no longer in alignment with what I wanted for my life and my career.  My old job no longer gave me joy, a sense of accomplishment, challenge or creative fulfillment and I knew my days were numbered even before I realized what was happening.  Since then I’ve taken time to re-examine what I want out of the rest of my life.  I’ve attended art classes, ate well, fed my creative spirit, talked with therapists, coaches and friends, read “self help” and career guidance books, went deeper into my yoga practice, looked to spiritual council, meditated, grieved the loss all three of my beloved kitties, moved to a new state near the ocean where I can take more frequent walks on the beach AND throughout all of this I’ve come to some pretty important discoveries about myself!  I’m much more flexible and adaptive than I ever gave myself credit for.  I am an IDEA person, I have so many ideas for ways I want to contribute to this world but I’ve learned that not every one of these ideas is one I should personally be pursuing.  Some I just have to let go of in order to find my focus.

While re-discovering myself I continued to “look” for work, weather it be full time employment, freelance design work or a whole new career direction.  I’ve dabbled with all of the above, taking the time to travel to NYC for one particular interview with a wonderful designer who I could really see myself being an asset for. Or there was another company who wanted my expertise but was too cheap to pay for my GAS to drive one state over for in interview! Why would any company take the time and cost associated with interviewing people and not follow up! I know I’ve stretched, reached for the best, the clients who I believed I would be in alignment with, not too big, not too small…clients who’s ethics were strong, who treated people like people and who valued individuals for their total contributions (the whole package so to speak).  BUT it doesn’t feel like it’s working and it has me wondering…

What have I gotten in return?  Maybe I’ve learned valuable lessons that my personal sense of judgement is WAY off base?  Maybe it’s that my own personal stories are getting in my own way…or maybe I’m struggling because I’ve become too “exclusive”.  Maybe it’s  time to get out of my own way, unlearn my own stories and find more! 

I know that these jobs were not-meant-to-be, for me, the way the interviews were handled told me more about these companies than any words spoken or website could possibly present.  I will not lower my standards, I still long to find my tribe, the people who I can best serve!  I will manifest clients who care about how they effect the world in everything they do, say and make and in so doing they will light my fire!  I will collaborate to create and facilitate beauty and order.

Failures and rejections hurt but they teach us important lessons about ourselves (and others)!  I will continue to reach for and create the next opportunities to  shine my light.  I will ask for help, leave myself open to GOD (Good Orderly Direction), I won’t listen to the fear or limitations-I will daydream, continue to be flexible and move forward because there is no other option.  I will  SOAR!

PS.  Did you know that yesterday/today is the Transit of Venus?  Check it out, this is a significant day for introspection and for finding balance of the physical and spiritual worlds!