It’s your lucky day! Following Part One’s unexpected deep dive into last January, I’m wrapping up our look back at 2013 with a quick run through February to December. After binge watching Season 1 of The Tudors, and hijacking some screenshots for storytelling purposes, I decided to start writing with a quill. Here’s hoping this post is long in visuals and short in prose.
I give you 2013:: The Year in Review, Part Two:
February was biting raw and cold, just like my space in the O’More/Traditional Home Show House. It was so chilly, I couldn’t tell my head from a hole–actually it was four holes–in the wall and I wasn’t quite sure how to approach the sloped, windowless
attic room at first.
It became clearer as the wallboards were applied, but the final result was ONLY achieved through the kindness of the Universe and some very, very compassionate souls:
Traditional Home’s involvement in O’More’s little project became big news, fast.
Some people say any publicity is good publicity, but I bet designer Kim Zimmer thinks differently, because she’s tall and blonde but this photo makes her look really short and griege. For me, it was a lesson in humility:
In spite of the exciting things going on, I felt lost and overwhelmed in the early months of 2013. It’s highly possible that Robin Wright’s performance in House of Cards and random internet humor saved me.
This is one of many creative gems that made me smile when I felt like crying:
And You, Stolen Shot Vagina, whoever You are. THANK YOU!!! Your search made my day.
I am now fully aware that On Lady Balls and Vaginas may not be the best title ever. Too bad.
I like it.
I would say I failed miserably at planning the Preview Party for the opening of the Show House, but failure doesn’t begin to cover what really happened. I’ve planned dozens of parties and raised tons of money, but I honestly came up empty this time. My vision was shortsighted and my desire to succeed was almost nonexistent. My failures were a huge reminder of why I retreated from the non-profit world to pursue a design degree in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, although the rain fell in biblical proportions that day, the party was a huge success filled with smart, accomplished, beautiful and creative people, but it only came together through the genius of Co-Chair, Donna Daniel. None of it had anything to do with my efforts. Meeting her was a gift in more ways than one. Her life story touched me in ways I can’t put into words. A woman with a calling much higher than event planning, Donna is a Force.
In the end, even though I failed, the party rocked and our collective desires were achieved. The Show House was a tremendous success, the dining room made the cover and each one of the 17 alumni designers got valuable paper space:
In July, I headed west to Memphis to join what can only be described as an International Design Gang. During the day, nearly 80 designers, from California to Connecticut and Eleuthera to Dubai, joined Brizo on an inspiring journey to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and an informative trip to Delta’s manufacturing plant.
Leave each to his or her own and all is well. But at night? Put us together in a swanky historic hotel in a notoriously rowdy town and you get what you get. The only thing we’re designing is mischief.
One week later you could find me swinging in a hammock, minding my own business, being molested by a feline while at an off-the-charts retreat in Canada. We became border-crossed lovers, if you will. Afterward, That Darn Cat asked to see my passport.
That Darn Cat belongs to Lynne Knowlton, of internet Treehouse fame, and I can attest, she’s only making up about ¼ of what she writes. Maybe ⅛, but the Treehouse? It is 100% real and 200% magic.
For three days, fish and guests, nine ladies dancing brainstormed and barnstormed. I came away a ton of inspiration and some incredible new friends. It was pre-ordained:
What possessed me to come home and start tearing out walls, I cannot say. What I will say is, even though it’s not completely finished yet, the daylight in my kitchen is a hole lot brighter now:
Here’s the deal: We have to move out completely to finish the kitchen, dining room and family room, furniture and all. The first floor of my house is covered in hardwood flooring and it all has to be refinished at the same time. The last time the floors were redone was…I don’t even remember without going through my files.
We are not
And then there was a plague upon our house:
Not really, but it felt that way. In truth, it was simply an onslaught of wicked kindergarten cooties and I don’t have children, I have adults. Granted, said adults have children, which is why there was a plague upon my house, but…what can I say? It’s a vicious cycle.
On the upside, when Fall wasn’t filled with germs, it was glorious:
It brought a new baby:
The rediscovery of a passion for horses:
But in a new way:
I cannot begin to tell you how much pleasure I took in photographing a dressage and jumping competition. The rider’s successes felt like my own and their mounts trusted me to a hoof. It was magic.
Magic, I say.
As the year wound down, there was an incredible, unexpected full circle moment when my son-in-law earned his MBA from Georgia Tech in December. As I
plotted my escape read the evening’s program, I saw that famed architect Santiago Calatrava was set to receive an honorary PhD.
I studied his extensive sketchbooks and wrote a thesis on one of his seminal projects, Turning Torso, years before it was built:
In this photo, I caught him getting
In his speech to a room full of geniuses, he used one of my favorite terms, *en theos*, and concluded that the word architect simply translates into, “A worker who through technique produces art.” Yes. That’s exactly it.
If you’re interested, here’s his short and sweet acceptance speech:
It’s a pretty fantastic thing, when you have few expectations and they are exceeded beyond your wildest dreams. Back when I was composing my analysis of Dr. Calatrava and his work leading up to that time–visiting his project in Milwaukee and traversing his bridges across the globe–the thought that I would one day be in attendance as he accepted an honor never occurred to me.
It was a great way to end 2013, and as inspired as I was years ago by his sketches for Turning Torso, I am equally delighted by the work of a few local designers in the last year.
These are a few of my favorite design details from 2013:
The biggest lesson I learned in 2013? It wasn’t about design, but came from a toddler, so full of joy that I call him Moosh, and backs up what I relearned in 2012: If you have a choice, and you always have a choice, Choose Joy and…
Giggle more. Yeah, let’s do that.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for choosing to spend part of 2013 with me. I know how precious your time is and I appreciate every moment you spent reading Live the Fine Life. I am grateful beyond measure!