Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow and Story Boards

Yes, the "coastal" South has been shut down.  I walked outside yesterday morning with my nephew to make snowballs, and it was just ice masquerading as snow!  What a disappointment for him, as he is five and from Colombia, South America, where they are very near the equator and always hot.  It was going to be a treat for him to throw a snowball and make a snow angel...Oh well, Mother Nature had other ideas.  I can now see the thawing ice dripping from the house as it melts in the sunshine...a welcomed site indeed!  I am not complaining in any way though, as we have had a warm fire going and plenty of food. Some folks spent days stuck on the roads.  So, I am very thankful for where we were during this strange weather.  

Ice covered patio and back yard, as viewed through screened porch

Being stuck inside has given me time to work on some of my decorating projects, and I've tried to document as much as possible in order to eventually share it here on the blog.  As I worked, and further planned the total project in my mind, I realized just how important a "story board" is in the process, especially when out and about shopping.  I thought I would share some story board thoughts and ideas with you today.

First, what is a "story board"?  It is simply a tool that is used in decorating that provides a snapshot of the total look of a room or project.  It can be very simple, just pictures and color swatches on a flat piece of poster board, or very elaborate.  You can cut inspiration pictures from magazines and catalogs, take photographs and print them, get fabric and paint swatches ...It just needs to be representative of the total overall feel of the project.  Anyone should be able to look at it and in a glance get the mental picture of exactly what it will look like.  You do not have to stick to this board exactly...nothing is ever in concrete (except when working with concrete!) when decorating.  Sometimes changes occur that are unavoidable, other times we just change our minds...It should simply serve as a guide or decorating map.

When I make a story board, It looks something like this:
I use swatches, and small 3-dimensional items that are representative of a material or item(s) that will be found in the space.  Here, I am showing it all served up on a white ironstone platter (I have an extensive collection of over 300 pieces that we use daily...will share in another post!), with a vintage shoe mold to represent well worn wood that is prevalent in my home, a silver spoon because I love silver, an orange (that rug!) and a piece of burlap woven through a rhinestone encrusted belt buckle.  The rhinestones represent my love for a bit of sparkle in each room, and I love the way the fancy rhinestones play against the rustic burlap, which is also found in the new space.  I've placed the platter atop a little blue table which will stay.  This gives a visual picture of what the space will look and feel like once it's all pulled together.

How do I use it when I go shopping?  Well, I don't carry the platter and small blue table with me!  Although that is possible, it would be very inconvenient!  I like to put the small bits and pieces into a box (a vintage sewing machine cabinet drawer) that is easy to carry around as I shop.  When I am shopping for throw pillows, or decorative accessories, it's easy to look at the new possibilities with the story board items in front of you.  You can see at a glance whether or not it will work.  No more taking something home only to find out that it needs to go back because it's just not the right color or feel.  It saves much time and makes life so much easier, and fun...and, oh,  just smile when other shoppers look all impressed with you and your smartness as they wonder if their purchase will work.

Pictured below is my story box.   Instead of my platter, I've included a small butter pat;  I've also included one of the cupcake/muffin paper cups in blue to remind me of the fun whimsical element that I always like to include in my rooms.

I usually leave my story box in my car for a couple of months, because you never know when you will be out doing something totally unrelated, and you just run across something and wonder...hmmm".  Now, you don't have to wonder...just run to the car and grab your story board (or box!) and check it out.  

Now, in this age of technology, you can also create a story board online on Pinterest.   If you are an i-Pad user, this is a very convenient way to do one and always have it with you.  I am a Pinterest lover, and have many boards.  I do have a decorating story board there, and it comes in handy for other things...but for me, I still like to be able to feel and touch the items in front of me, so my story box will still be part of my decorating process. 

Now, go make yourself a story board...just for fun!  Maybe it will stir up something inside that makes you want to redecorate.  Let me hear from you with questions or comments!  I would love to hear about your story boards.

Tomorrow I will share my kitchen appliance covers...I've been busy!

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