Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

May 12, 2012

Weekend Walking::US Botanical Gardens

by heatherkp

While I was up in the DC metro area I played tourist a couple days and did the expected amount of walking.  On this particular day I went downtown to meet my dad for lunch. Since he works only a few blocks from the US Botanical Gardens I knew I would have to pay a visit to the gardens right next to the Capital building.

It was a really beautiful day (which I can’t say was true of every day I was there, the weather was a roller coaster with temps ranging from the 50’s to 80’s!).

I knew I would catch some spectacular blooms but due to the early warm temps I was lucky to find the roses were in full bloom along with Peonies (which don’t do well in the south:(), clematis and many other late spring early summer bloomers.

I also found these baby ducklings (only 1 day old)!

My favorite were the tropicals blooming inside the conservatory though.  I found some unusual Hibiscus, many orchids, banana and other tropical foliage plants.

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time now you have probably noticed my love of floral/foliage photography.  I was in my own little oasis on this walk through the gardens.  Much like a walk by the ocean, walking through a garden takes away all my worries and I am truly brings me joy.  The beauty of flowers is one artistic muse I just don’t seem to ever tire of.  Where have you walked this week?  Did you find your muse along the way?

April 13, 2012

Freaky Friday::Strange Beach Findings

by heatherkp

I have stumbled across some very strange things on my beach walks.  Can you identify any of them?

Some are interesting, some disgusting and some quite beautiful.  What do you think?  I do know what most of these.  I am very inquisitive and want to learn more about what I find.  Luckily I have a Marine Biologist in the family!  Thanks Beach Chair Scientist!

January 10, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Open and Exploring

by heatherkp

Today’s Texture Tuesday image is inspired by the possibility of “open”-ness.  When we are open we can access all that is available to us to move with freedom and ease. I’m feeling very open to new ideas and new directions!

…and speaking of exploration and new ideas I’ve been spending time on the beach nearly every day!  This has been a gift and rather than feel like I “should” be doing something else with my time I’m keeping myself busy getting exercise, practicing my photography skills and getting totally inspired!  One of the many things on the beach I’ve been inspired by is all the textures.  I’ve started a series of photographs that investigate the wide variety of textures I find on the beach.  Eventually I’ll be working these photographs into designs of some sort.

I can see some amazing textiles and rugs coming from these images, can’t you?


September 20, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Specimines on my windowsill

by heatherkp

It is late so I’m not going to say much BUT this photo was taken with my new Canon 60D!  So far I LOVE IT:)

This is my kitchen windowsill which includes a small vase of flowers, a  “Joy” message stone and a collection of antique miniature jars containing various specimens of moths, insects, flower and plant seeds, mica pieces and Yogi tea messages (because they are better than fortune cookie messages).   I’m taking the time to stop and enjoy the small pieces of our home that I love.  I love that my kitchen sink overlooks the back yard and I’m always bringing a bit of the outdoors inside to my windowsill.  Today’s image was enhanced by Kim Klassen’s texture “Granny’s Cupboard”.  Check out some other photography using her textures here.

Do you decorate your windowsills?

January 21, 2011

Field Trip Friday::Oasis @ The Textile Museum

by heatherkp

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

I went to check this show out last week with a friend.  We had also intended to go to the Phillips Collection which was FREE to the public last weekend to celebrate their 90th, but alas the line was insanely long so that didn’t happen!  It was okay because I’d had this exhibit on my to-see list for way too long.  I admit that sometimes I take the Textile Museum for granted and don’t get as excited about some of the more traditional exhibits, boy was I wrong about this one!  I just thought it would be another nice Ikat exhibit (right~ you know I’m a textile designer when I say that) but it was so much better than I had anticipated!  Look at the COLORS, wow!  No wonder they called it Colors of the Oasis.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

This exhibit showcases 19th century Ikats from central Asia.  The collection (of over 200 Ikats but not all are on view was donated to the Textile Museum by collector  Murad Megalli.  This is the first time this collection has been on view for the public and many of the pieces were beautifully restored.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

They chose such a fantastic color for the walls to offset this collection.  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed the walls at an art exhibit but this color really does the collection justice.  These warp ikat designs are characterized by vibrant colors (with a lot of primary’s used) and bold, rather large scale motif’s with quite a bit of contrast.

Colors of The Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)

I would love to really be able to study the motifs and color combination’s used more closely, it was so inspiring.  It’s no wonder these magnificent textiles were a sign of prestige and status in the Oasis towns of Central Asia.  Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)The exhibit also featured a small display and video explaining the technique and process used to create warp Ikat designs.  These were contributed by students at MICA’s Fibers department.  The exhibit is also accompanied by an in depth exhibit catalog (that I would LOVE to have!).  I’ve been a member of The Textile Museum for the past 5 years and I’d greatly encourage you to donate or join if you are inclined to value the research and exhibitions in textiles that this world class museum provides.

January 18, 2011


by heatherkp

They are all over the place on everything from grand mom’s vintage throws to wood flooring, paper goods, textiles, rugs, jewelry and wall coverings.

Chevrons, Zig Zags & Flame Stitch (click the image for sources)

I think that the versatility of the chevron is what makes it such a satisfying pattern that never goes out of style.  Weather it is a bold graphic chevron, a subltle knit pattern or a simple line work impression it can be so effectively used in such different ways.

Chevrons, Zig Zags & Flame Stitch (click the image for sources)

I love a well placed Chevron (or Zig Zag or Flame Stitch), how about you?

Do you prefer the bold two color look like black and white or do you like more subtle or multi-color chevron rainbow effects?

December 22, 2010


by heatherkp


December 16, 2010

Releasing your Dreams~(making way for new dreams)

by heatherkp

I was having a conversation with a friend recently and we were talking about my goals for my new business.  I had one of those moments of clarity!  I thought about what my dreams for my business had always been (since graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design) but I realized that my old dream didn’t exactly align with what it is that I am doing and want to be doing now.

Wow, okay this is probably something that lots of us have experienced from time to time throughout our lives but in this moment I was able to see that it’s okay to release those old dreams and expectations we put upon ourselves.  In fact, we have to do this in order to make room for new dreams.  I’m all for de-cluttering and getting rid of things in my life that don’t serve me anymore but thoughts, expectations and dreams need to be treated in the same manner as actual, physical things!

It can be kind of sad to release your old dreams but please realize that those dreams have served you well.  They have motivated you, given you something to strive towards and they have helped shape the direction of your new dreams.

So today I invite you to release those old dreams that no longer serve you.  Go ahead, write them down, seal them in an envelope and send them off!

December 3, 2010

Field Trip Friday! National Museum of the American Indian

by heatherkp

Starting today I’ll be bringing you “Field trip Friday” a couple times a month.  There are so many wonderful cultural and creative opportunities at the museums, galleries and gardens in the DC metro area. I will have no problem bringing some of that inspiration to you, I hope you like it!

Today we will visit some of my favorite pieces from the permanent exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian.  This museum has gorgeous architecture and the outside landscaping is all done using Native American plants that in most cases are not only beautiful but are functional, either as food, medicine or some other purpose (for example corn husks or other plant fibers).

The museums permanent exhibits are broken down into “Our Universe”, “Our People” and “Our Lives”.  These three spaces explore many aspects of American Indian heritage, culture, philosophy and past and current lifestyle.  This is the sort of museum that has a wide range of information and can be quite overwhelming (in my opinion) to explore and I find it easiest to take it in bits or go to explore something specific on exhibit.

Above are examples of some of the incredible bead work both traditional and contemporary and below are arrowheads and the back side of the “gold” exhibit (I love the patterns created by these groupings).

Below are some amazing examples of feathered head dresses and Day of the Dead skulls as well as the quirky contemporary mask made of utensils and of course I had to include an Ikat weaving.

On the several occasions I’ve gone, I usually spend a little time wandering through each exhibit and each time I drift over to whatever draws my attention to learn a bit more.  For example, did you know that some of the Caribbean islands have American Indian heritage?  Did  you know that Mohawk Indians were the main steel workers that built the World Trade Center and are now rebuilding the new ones?  This museum explores American Indians from all the “America’s” and the definition is broad and fascinating!  I hope you get a chance to go in person but until then maybe this virtual field trip will serve to give you a little more insight as to what this “New” Smithsonian museum has to offer.  The museum website has extensive information available such as the Online Exhibits as well as PDF catalogs you can download of the temporary exhibits, check it out.

There is also a great temporary exhibit on display through next August called “Vantage Point” which is a collection of contemporary art by Native American Indians; even more beautiful work there!  One last note, this museum has an extensive gift shop and the museum “cafeteria” has had rave reviews so I hope to have a bite to eat there on my next visit.

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August 27, 2010

Invoking the Spirit of Play

by heatherkp

Cats, dogs play and children usually play on a daily basis…why don’t we make the time to play more as adults?  Some of us play sports, some of us play board games, some of us play musical instruments. 
When I get particularly stressed my automatic response is the opposite of play.  I think of all the things I need to do or that I should be doing.  What I should actually do is make some play time, give my brain a little time off and free myself of all that is causing me stress.  Last year for the holidays I broke down and got my husband a PSP player and I’ve found myself playing video games now and then.  I don’t “Play” any musical instruments but love to hear my husband play guitar.  Sometimes play for me means sitting down and creating jewelry, knitting, making something with my hands or taking a walk with my camera and not taking the end product too seriously.  

During one of the blizzard we had last winter we lost power for about 12 hours.  One of the most fun parts of that blizzard is bundling up with blankets and candles and playing monopoly on our bed and Humm… my husband still owes me the completion that game!

How do you invoke the spirit of play?