March 23, 2010

Lessons learned…

A couple of weeks ago I put together a proposal for a new client of mine.  Its for 3 window treatments – living room window, dining room patio door and a kitchen window.  We had decided on the styles of the treatments and the general colour scheme.  The proposal included a couple of fabric samples that we decided would be perfect for all the windows, a couple of coordinating pillows and table runner.  I had pricing and specs confirmed from the workroom and after reviewing the fabric and pricing with the client, we agreed to the fabric and specs.

The next step was easy right?  One would think so, but NO!  Turns out the fabric we picked wasn’t available in the quantities I needed.  A mad dash all over town in the next few days came up empty handed too – couldn’t find it anywhere.  Now I must start over with my fabric search. 


I consider this a rookie mistake – one that I won’t be repeating you can be sure of.  Lesson learned – confirm the available quantity of a fabric when acquiring samples.6362dfbc48e3aff17d82f9161908

This was a lesson learned the hard way.  Luckily not all lessons are learned that way.  In early March I was fortunate enough to learn many lessons in a much more pleasant way – through attending Kimberley Seldon’s Business of Design I seminar.

Along with several fellow design professionals I spent the day learning about running a design or design related business.    There were many lessons learned during that day, by all of us, ranging from setting goals for both yourself and your business – and making them happen, to establishing network groups with other design professionals to provide not only a common platform for discussion, but also establish a support relationships with peers.


But, by far the lesson with the most impact to me was this one:

Charge what you are worth! 

How often, when asked in a social situation how much you charge, do you respond with something like “Well, I’m just starting out, don’t have much experience, so I only charge *some meagre amount much less than what I’m worth*”?  If you asked another professional, let’s say an accountant, the same question in the same situation – would they answer the same?  Not likely.  We have worked hard to get where we are, taken the training courses and established the connections, and offer valuable services – we are worth every penny we charge.

secretAs a side note, at the beginning of our discussions about money, it was interesting to see how we were not comfortable revealing a lot about our rates, even though we all wanted to talk about money :).  The more we talked though, the more comfortable we became and by the time we left, we were much more open to having these discussions.  Of course being in a room of people who all faced similar challenges in relation to setting rates and fees certainly helped.

At the end of the day, I left with much more confidence and energy than I started the day with.  Not to mention the great contacts I made with fellow design professionals. 

It’s unfortunate that I was unable to attend the remaining two sessions, but I understand they were just as motivational and informative. magnifying-glass

All good lessons learned, which is what life is all about anyhow… 

Now back to fabric hunting … 

March 20, 2010

A little vacation redux…

As I’ve professed before I love all things Mexican, including vacations {:o)!  That is where hubby and I and a couple of great friends escaped to a couple of weeks ago. 

I’m always a bit apprehensive when booking this type of vacation– will the accommodations be clean, will the food be good, etc… – after being burnt on my first vacation 13 years ago with a trip to Venezuela where the water at the resort was turned off 5 of the 7 days we were there except for an hour in the morning and another in the afternoon (yikes).  I haven’t had a repeat of that experience, but I haven’t forgotten it either *shudder*!

This year though, we were totally spoiled with amazing accommodations, great food and wonderful grounds, including beach, many saltwater pools and some immaculate landscaping.  And while enjoying all of this we spent a totally relaxing, sun drenched week of doing nothing more than hitting the pool, beach and buffet.

This past week was a jolt back to reality with family and work obligations, phones and computers.  So I thought I would share a couple of pictures with you so that my memory doesn’t fade as fast as my tan has :(!

IMG_2916We awoke one morning at 5:30a to hit the beach for the sunrise – here’s a shot of the moon just before sunrise.

IMG_2883Here is a sample of the beauty of their plant life – in the midst of a Mayan village where the landscape consists mostly of rocks and jungle. 

IMG_2893 A visit to Coba, a Mayan ruin that is the remains of one of the Yucutan Peninsula’s largest trade cities from the Mayan era.  This temple is one of the last climbable ruins in the area – but will be shut down in May of this year.  It’s 42 meters high and was more intimidating to descend than to climb (not to mention the new muscles we all found :)).

And here are a couple more of the sunrise shots..


IMG_2962 IMG_2965IMG_2971

*sigh* –  thanks for allowing me to reminisce. 

OK now - back to the real world!


March 17, 2010

May a little bit o’ the Irish grace your day …

On this, the celebration of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, I wish you all …

A world of wishes at your command
God and his angels close at hand
Friends and family their love impart,
And Irish blessings in you heart.

Not being Irish myself, although I do admit to adding an O’ before my last name every March 17th and enjoying a pint or two of green beer, I do have some Celtic heritage from the other side of the pond (Wales and Scotland).  And I believe it’s that Celtic heritage that has fed my love of the Celtic knot. There is just something about the never-ending knot that inspires me. 


I love the puzzle of it, the romance of it and the symbolism of it. 

One of my current projects  (which I hope to be posting more about soon) has a small carving that resembles a Celtic knot which was one of the features that drew me to it.

Here are some other inspiration pics I’ve uncovered ….

Celtic Tapestryceltic_cross   Paul Sahlin Tiffany Celtic LampPaul Sahlin Tiffany Celtic LampThe Bard’s Chair (via chair - irishfurniturecom  Wallpaper by Charles Newhaven in Ornella (via Apartment Therapy)charlesnewhaven wp ornella apartment therapyIrish/Chinese cabinetStately_Homes_5095_Irish_Chinese_Chippendale_Mahogancy_CabinetNeo-Celtic Cross (by stushie)neoceltic cross stushie writer of Heaven's Highway blogSterling silver Celtic design braceletSterling-Silver-Celtic-Design-Bracelet-8Antique buffet via redlionantiques.comIMG_1370 And here’s one my hubby would absolutely love …   CelticLPOne ottercovblogscom 

Which is your favourite ???

March 4, 2010

Where did she go???

searching%20edited Ahhh, there she is!


Don’t worry my fabulous blogging friends - I am still here.  I've been so so busy with work (my day job - not decorating *sigh*) and my recent addiction to the Olympics (twitch twitch) that I'm afraid my blog has suffered.

And it's about to suffer a bit longer … 




So, after a very exciting day tomorrow chilling with Kimberley Seldon learning all there is to know about the Business of Design; the hubster and I are off for a week of sun and sand.  We are going to enjoy some downtime that we both well deserve and are so looking forward to.




There’s a song by the Zac Brown Band that I’ve been listening to lately called “Toes” that perfectly describes what the next week will be like – have a listen:

Stay tuned my friends, when I get back I’ll let you know how both events went. 

Adios and vaya con Dios ….


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