Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Off the Beaten Path

Today I am going to venture off the beaten path. Today has nothing to do with gardening, today is all about me. So join me if you will.........
When I was a kid, my family lived on the outskirts of our city. My brother and I didn't play sports, I didn't dance or cheer. We stayed at home and entertained ourselves. My brother loved to argue and I would always tell him he needed to be a lawyer because he could argue a brick wall down. Me on the other hand.....I like to make things. This generally meant I made something in my head, and then brought it to life.
My mom was a teacher, so she was off every summer. She would get me old wall paper books and old paper ream boxes. She would bring them home and off I would go. I would sit for days and tape those boxes together, and glue wall paper. My Barbie's had to have extremely cool places to live...and they did!
My mom would also bring me home tons of paper...and this is where it all began....
I would draw floorplans of houses, for my friends, for my Barbie's or who ever. I would draw everything in the house, and when I was done I would draw what the outside of the house would look like. When I was done with 20 or so of them, I would draw the master plan of the whole neighborhood. I am pretty sure that most 10-12 year olds were not drawing floorplans. I would draw 100's of them. I kept them in a notebook, and it was pretty thick! The book was still in storage until my parents moved a year ago. I'm not sure what happened to it, but I would love to find it. I know I would get a kick out of looking back at my old designs. Drawing those floorplans was my favorite pastime, I could imagine what they would look like inside, and that the people who lived in them would love them.
20 years later, I am still living that dream......
In May 2002 I graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Health and Human Sciences, majoring in Interior Design.
What I do is more of Interior Architecture. In a nutshell, the architect designs the shell of the building, then it is handed over to me (most of the time), I do all the space planning, lighting plan, locate electrical/plumbing fixtures, I have to meet all applicable building codes, ADA codes (for people with disabilities), as well as interior finishes (the pretty stuff), work with various engineers, contractors, and most importantly the client. The client is the most important person in this factor, they are the person occupying the space. It is all about what the client wants, the space has to meet their needs functionally and aesthetically. And it is my job to do that.
I immediately went to work right out of college designing residential kitchens, and restaurants. This was a lot of fun and I learned a lot quick. But I wanted to draw, I wanted to create more, more than kitchens. So I accepted another job, a job at a commercial architecture firm. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. I wanted to get out of bed every morning and go to work. I loved every second of it. Everyday was something new and exciting, never the same thing. Unfortunately in January of 2008, I was laid off due to company cut backs. The firm quickly went from 18 people to 6. I miss it everyday of my life.
I am only doing this because yesterday I had an email conversation with Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality. Rhoda is extremely creative and she does interior decorating. You have to check her out if you haven't. Well I was giving Rhoda a hard time about painting her Bama room blue (its an Alabama thing, if you live in Alabama you will get it.). She didn't realize that I was a Designer, and she wondered why I never showed any of my work.
I don't show it or discuss it because it is hard for me. For the past year and a half I have been working outside of my field, and unable to find work in my field. I hate every second of it! Yes I understand that I am lucky to have a job, but I am empty. I need to create things, I need to draw, I need to work with contractors. So it is hard for me to discuss my "previous" life as I call it. Sometimes I get very upset because I have this deep seated fear that I may never be able to work in my field again. It is a fear that haunts me everyday.
Every designer is different. It is our job to bring an idea to life. My idea starts in my head. Within the first 15 minutes of meeting with a client (no matter what the project) I have designed the entire building in my head, and I can visually walk through the space in my head. From there I put my ideas on paper (technically I put them in the computer and print them), put the finishing touches together, build it, and then I can physically walk into the space, touch it and feel it. And that to me is what it is all about. When you bring your idea to life.
So here are a few of my ideas that were brought to life. Now remember, its not about what I want, its about what the client wants. I have covered up all job names on the presentation boards shown. These presentation boards assist the client in seeing what their space will look like. Once they see this, they expect it to be just like this when they get the keys and walk in. What you have to understand is every finish serves a purpose, so everything you see was specified for a reason.
Lets start with my old office. We renovated 70,000+ sf. It was not only for our office, but for our sister company.
Lobby to our office
Conference room. The sister company had a totally different scheme.
A car dealership. I do not have interior photos
office space
A fire station
Exterior of the fire station. I do not have interior pictures
This is a nature center ion the Delta. It was one of my favorite projects. The interior of one of the buildings (there were 7 buildings) A High School
The Media Room of the High School (sorry the pic is not the best) An elementary school. I love this project as well because it was very colorful....right up my alley
the front entrance of the elementary school This project was my favorite...it was a high end residential condo (260+ condos). It was a designers dream. We several different floorplans, and 12 different sets of finishes packages for each. It was so much fun! Above is one of the floorplans
This is a computer rendering of what one of the interiors would have looked like. Unfortunately the project fell through and never happened. But atleast I got to be a part of it A church
The Fellowship Hall of the church A law firm...this one was great because they let me have free reign. All the client asked for was black and gray...so that's what he got!
Here is the lobby, black granite floors, black leather chairs, wood veneer wall covering
The reception desk
The conference room was glass and you could see into it, I designed a travertine table top for them as well
This was a recreational center that had a bowling alley, skating rink, dance studio, and play area and party rooms. It was a lot of fun as well. The photo above is the dance studio. I loved it! I could see prissy little girls in their tutu's loving it as well
The bowling alley. There are very few types of building I have NOT designed, I often tell people I have done everything except a funeral home and a hospital, and that is pretty much the truth.
My brother went on to become an attorney, and I went on to draw and bring my ideas to life. I hope one day soon I can be back to doing what I love, and I can fill that void that I feel everyday.
I hope I didn't bore ya'll to tears with all of this. So there you have it, I am a Interior Designer. And this is what I love to do. Gardening comes in second.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dry As A Bone

It is still dry as a bone here! The weather says there is a 40% chance of rain today, and rain is predicted through Thursday. I am crossing my fingers! We had a productive weekend around the house taking care off odds and ends. All of our outside faucets leaked, so after 5 trips to Lowe's we finally got them fixed! Then Saturday night our hot water heater started to leak, bad! So we had to turn it off, and then go back to Lowe's on Sunday and get the parts to fix it as well. Thank goodness we were at home when it started to leak, or else it would have been everywhere. I collect nutcrackers, I have a ton of them. My mom bought this one for me...how cute is he! I actually have a life size nutcracker that is taller than me! I will show him off at Christmas. Jacobean plant is finally blooming
Zinnia from seed. Last year by this time I had so many zinnia's, my plants were loaded with blooms. That hasn't been the case this year, the lack of water has really kept the plants from thriving.
former blue lacecap has now turned to pink
Hosta bloom, not sure which hosta this is
Gerbera Daisy. I can tell how dry it is by this bloom. This gerbera has bloomed about 5 times this year, this one being the 6th. Normally it is deep red (you can actually see this same gerbera on my side bar), now it is light pink...need some rain soon.
I left this off my junk post last week! Thought I would throw it in today. These are some old copper tins that I hung on the fence. Some of them were my moms, and the others my aunt picked up for me.
Here is a gerbera daisy from the front yard. It is doing great
another zinnia from seed
Gladiola
I love the color of this one
my old solar lights I had out front died, so we picked these up at one of our 1,000 trips to Lowe's this weekend!
They are solar LED lights. The water on top of them blows my mind! I have no idea where it came from, it appears to be much more than dew! The entire front lawn was wet with morning, but the back yard was dry! Strange. Could we have gotten a light rain this morning in the front yard only? I will have to ask the neighbors and see.
sorry the camera fogged up, the joy of having the camera inside, and bringing it outside....always fogs up! But here is another zinnia from seed. I really like this one, it looks different than the others
Saturday The Hunter comes in with this dragonfly on his finger! I was assuming it was dead, but it was alive. The Hunter is like Dr Doolittle, all animal love him! He said he had just walked out and saw it flying around and stick his finger out and it landed on him! Go figure! He had enough time to walk inside, find me, let me grab the camera and then walk back outside with it! As soon as I took the picture he flew off
Tide is doing great, Kiki however is not! I moved her belongings to the guest room, and until last night she had not come past the living room. She just sits in the hall and watched Tide. She finally ventured into the living room yesterday and looked around. Tide was asleep and she just creeped around him like he was going to attack her! She takes scaredy cat to a whole new level! This morning she came into the living room, and almost made it to the kitchen, when she scared herself by tripping over a shoe and ran back down the hall! The Hunter picked her up and brought her into the living room near Tide and let her watch him. She just hisses at him. I picked Tide up and sat him near her....bad mistake! I thought she was going to have a coronary! He lunged at him to bite him! She got down and ran back into the hall! Her safe place! Tide has yet to go into the hallway. He will not cross a threshold, clearly he is smart. I was hoping if I could get them close, she could smell him and see he was not going to hurt her, but that plan back fired! Maybe tonight she will come around!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fertilizer Friday

Its FRIDAY!!! It is time to head on over to Tootsie's and sign up for Fertilizer Friday and flaunt your flowers. You can click on the photo below and it will take you to Tootsie's place I'm not going to beat around the bush here, I am going to show you what's REALLY going on in my garden. It has been anywhere from 98* -101* degrees F here this week. We haven't seen a drop of rain in well over a month, and things are little grim My climbing rose is thriving given the lack of water
Cahaba Lillies
Mexican Petunias
Phlox and Crocosmia
Crocosmia
Phlox
Petunia...not doing so well
Miniature Dahlia....barely scraping by
I think this one is a goner, it was a petunia
A very wilted lace cap hydrangea
not sure what this one is, it was a gift from a friend. Total shade plant, I think it is some sort of begonia
Impatiens are doing ok
Another mystery plant, full shade. Dark green, furry leaves and purple bloom. This is not a Tibouchina
Jacobean is doing great
my tea kettle on the front porch is not doing great, but it is still alive!
Thirsty Vinca's
Dying Stokes Aster
Dead Verbena
Zinnia. coleus & Gazania
This is a Prairie Coneflower (tall flower in the center) despite the hot temps, and the drought it is about to bloom...so this one is a keeper
Mexican Petunia, cosmos, dianthus and 6 bags of mulch I need to put out!!!
Geranium
Daylily (the water droplets are from the sprinkler this morning)
Caladium and Mexican Heather
Sapphire Sage
Gerbera Daisy
Dying verbena!
Dying Miniature Dahlias, their cousin, the Dinner Plate Dahlia is doing very well given the curcumstances
Sapphire Sage, Periwinkles and Vinca
Dead African Daisy Bush!
Dying Coleus (this is where I need to finish adding the mulch)
Zinnia is taking the heat well!
another Zinnia
Pentas
We are supposed to get some rain this weekend, it is not a high percentage, but it is a chance! I am crossing my fingers. Clearly, we need it. I do water, not every day because I can't afford to. Tap water is no where near as good as Mother Nature's water. I need Mother Nature right now. The heat is unbearable! You learn quickly what can and cannot take the heat, and I think these pictures speak for themselves. So next year, I won't plant flowers that can't take the heat. Well I have to run now, I have to go get my rain stick, put on my rain dance attire and do some shakin' out in the yard in hopes it will bring me some rain!!!!!!!! Wish me luck!

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