This is a great short film about the power of moments captured in dismissed photographs - 'The Photo Man'.

Good reminder that beauty, creativity, art can all be found in the ordinary... 

The Photo Man from Ben Kitnick on Vimeo.


behind the scenes

One day on the job site...

I would title this photo 'Soldiers Marching'.
These chests are all lined up and ready to be ushered in to their proper place.
{At the time, that tarp was just a friendly standby on a rather calm morning.}

More soldiers... 
The day is still calm and we are making progress...and box towers! 
{That is also what you call effective trash management.}

And then the day explodes:

Disclaimer:  no furniture was harmed in the making of this video.  :)
By the grace of God, we'd gotten all the furniture installed before the absolute bottom fell out.  The cardboard was our only casualty.  I can live with that.

Another one in the books!

And now, I'm singing this {at least for a day or two}...

I hear ya, Vince.  Sing it.



OK, let's go inside the art museum at MSU...

But first, look at what I spied parked right outside the entrance:


There were two main exhibitions running in the museum, one of which was titled "Blind Field", comprised of some rather high-concept pieces by Brazilian artists -- there was no photography allowed of this entire exhibit, but you can read all about it here.

The other main one was titled "Pattern: Follow the Rules".  I really enjoyed this one as it involved a lot of color, texture, and unconventional materials.

Care to tour?

 This is all done with spray paint on different species of woods... can you imagine how tedious it was to create?!

This is looking down on the piece from the very first photo.

 These two pieces were enormous, taking up an entire wall, and appeared to be made of enamel with metal accents.

Up close, you see that it's really painted paper that has been hole-punched and stapled!

I dig the use of "apocalyptic wallpaper" here...

 When I first saw this piece, it looked like printed graphics on partition walls...

 But what do you know?  It's a large tapestry.  How did they do that?!

 Love this texture.  See the orange paint peaking out?

 And I just thought this was pretty cool.  A very Gatsby match box, no?

So, there you have it.  This should be one of your first stops if you're ever in East Lansing... after the ice cream.



Well, I'm in the thick of it -- travel season for work, that is.  
I'm a gypsy these next few weeks in the best sense, I suppose.

When you're in the same town for a while, you can get a little stir crazy during any downtime.  In those times, it comes down to two options: you can A) sit around your hotel room and watch the shadows move across the wall, or B) get out and explore a town you may never be in again.

Today, I chose option B.

I'm currently in East Lansing, home of the MSU Spartans.  This is a college town at its best -- lots of character, activity, and you really get a sense that people here love their school.

When our work was finished at the job site today, I took a self-guided tour around campus and discovered this beautiful site:

Locally-produced ice cream?  Yes, please.  {Every college campus should be required to have such!}

You could take some home with you that was already packaged, but I opted for a single scoop.  {They also sell cheese!}

This was straight-up vanilla bean - a nod to my dad, because that is what he got every time our family went somewhere that had ice cream.

The weather here has been very conducive to being outside, not at all what I'm accustomed to with Alabama summers.  For the most part this week, Michigan has welcomed me with zero humidity and highs not past 80.  

So, I continued my walking tour over to the art museum on campus...

Is this not an impressive example of modern architecture?!

Someone pointed out to me that it resembles a shark from this angle {below}...

 See the teeth?!

And how's this for unusual juxtaposition?

Old meets new.  The shark's going after that long-standing building!

I'll have more photos to share later of some of the cool exhibits inside the museum.  

As I walked around and snapped photos today, this blog post by Meg Duerksen came to mind.  {I don't know Meg personally, but her photos and laid back writing style keep me reading - love her outlook and creativity.}  Here's what she said that I've always tried to put into words -- particularly in this post I wrote earlier in the year -- about why I truly have a need to take photos.  It doesn't go away until I get the shot...

Meg's words:
i have this little voice in me that says "that is the picture you want... take it"
and for so long in my life i have ignored it.
there are lots of reasons i ignore it.
sometimes there are people with me and i don't want to stand out or have someone think "what is she doing?"
sometimes i don't have the right camera for the good shot.
sometimes i am driving and can't stop.
but about a year ago i promised myself that when i hear that voice i will do whatever i can to get the shot.

not wreck my car or anything but if i'm not running late than i will pull over and get it.
or i just let people wonder why i am taking a picture of something at Target.
because my mind works like that.

i can see the photo in my mind and it feels so good when i get it.
and i like that.

I totally get that.  All of that.  

And like today, you just have to get out and go do something that brings you joy and lets you soak up the gifts God's given us here on earth to enjoy, no matter if you're unfamiliar with the surroundings... He'll be right there.


design time

You know the phrase: "The cobbler's children have no shoes."  

That hits home with me.  Given my trade, I try to do the best I can with the decor of my own abode... but often that takes a back seat to projects I've got going on at work.  Combine that with being a renter, and there's only so much I can do to improve my space without permanently altering its original state.

Funny are the assumptions people have of what your house must look like when you are an interior designer.  And it's even more awkward humorous when you go to someone's home and they say, "I feel like you are judging my house since you are a designer."  I assure you, I am not.  To each his own, friends!  

I digress.  I'm here to tell you about my guest bathroom revival, which I think is the perfect word to describe it since I just used some paint, fabric, and little else to breathe new life into the space.  {It's definitely no renovation.}  This is one of the projects I tackled during my vacation a few weeks ago.

Before I do that, please let me get this out of my system:

It's true.  And it's hilarious.  Anyway...

OK, here are the sad BEFORE photos:

Key things to note in the existing space are...
  • the giant, builder-grade, unframed mirror
  • the chrome wire drawer pulls & sad little knobs on the cabinetry
  • the off-white EVERYTHING
  • my weak attempts to personalize the space with errant artwork & photos

So, let's move on to the AFTER photos:

I considered painting an accent wall or two, but since this is an interior room without windows and tends to stay very dark, I decided to keep the walls off-white and instead paint the cabinets.  To round it out, I brought in a lot of color through fabric and accessories.

Normally, I'm not a fan of the matchy-matchy shower curtain & towel sets... but I thought these were pretty and I needed bold color and textures in this washed-out space.  {Remember, to each his own -- no judgment if you like those matching sets for yourself!}  If you are a frequent Target shopper, you'll recognize almost everything in here from their Threshold line.

To break up the busy pattern of the green shower curtain and to add height to this long, windowless space, I added plain white side panels {again, from Target}, which I trimmed with pom-pom.  I just hot-glued it right on... no sewing required!

The biggest project involved in this revival was framing out the mirror.  My saint of a sister-in-law came over and helped me do this, as she'd already tackled this project in her own home.  {She wrote a great step-by-step post here.}  I spray-painted the trim {prior to installing it} the same gray that I had left over from painting my lamps.  I also spray-painted the lovely 70's light fixture a metallic gold... I figured almost anything I did to it would be an improvement.  I'm really digging the contrast of the cool gray & warmer gold side by side.

The biggest impact was definitely painting the cabinets.  Generically speaking, it's a robins egg blue color... it's the color of the walls in my parents' bed/bath room of which they had almost a gallon left over.  {See a pattern here?!  I love free paint.}  The true color is called "Blue Shamrock" by Olympic.

OK, let's pause and appreciate the splendor of this cabinet hardware.  

True. Love.  

The pulls are burnished brass with a white ceramic bar in the middle.  I was introduced to these beauties while reading The Hunted Interior blog.  {To say I am a fan of Kristin's design style, would be a huge understatement -- you should check out how creative and resourceful she is!}  When I saw how she'd used these handles in her project, I knew they'd be the perfect accent to the light blue cabinets in my bathroom.  AND THEY WERE 99 CENTS!  {Were you all aware of D. Lawless Hardware and just forgot to tell me?}  I found the round knobs from the same resource -- it was a little scary ordering blindly online, but they turned out to be just the right companion for the pulls.  Just remember to always order the same brass finish in a situation like that -- "burnished" and "antique" are usually the same thing.  Stay away from "polished", OK?  Or the 80's might call and ask for their brass back.  Hey-oooooo!

This is some of my own photography from various travels, but really it's just a space-filler for now.  I'd like to add some heftier frames with mats.

The mock oil painting {from World Market} was really the jumping-off point for every design decision made in this room.  I used the colors as inspiration for the rug, gold accents, and towels.  If you aren't sure where to start on a project, a fabric or piece of art are usually great to get your creative juices flowing. 

This was an old marquee letter I found on Etsy last year.  It used to hang in a wall collage in my living room, but it would not stay on the wall... so it got relegated to the bathroom shelf.  I bought it because of the color -- not really the letter.  I'm a rebel like that.

The shelves are also from Target.  I spray-painted them the same metallic gold as the light fixture.

And probably my favorite piece in the mix is my original canvas panel by Lee Hamblen, the hyper-talented artist {and all-around nice person} who resides in Nashville...and she's the mother of one of my college friends. :)  I loooooove her work and treasure this gift.  Go look at her stuff, but be warned you're going to want to buy all of it.

So, that's it.  A look into my humble little household...

Have you tackled any small-scale projects around your casa lately?