Get Free (or die trying)!

No, this is not a post about 50 Cent (As if!). Those words were inspired by freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, a warrior queen and an example to me of what it really means to follow your passion. I was reminded of her courage during a key not speech at a NAACP event recently. The speaker was talking about the work and change that is needed in the African American community, but when he spoke about Ms. Tubman I was reminded of her fighting spirit, her commitment to freedom and the passion and fervor with which she pursued it.

I believe that inspiration is everywhere. Hearing about Ms.Tubman reminded me of my own struggles trying to start a brand and find work in creative design fields that are highly competitive, and while my struggles pale in comparison to the hurdles she surmounted, I was inspired and encouraged to stay committed to my desire to start my own interior design company. I was energized by the words "Get free or die trying," because for me they spoke to my desire to be free in my work, and in my life. I think that the truest self is honored and displayed when we are free to be who we really are and do the things that we love and feel passionate about.

Quiet as kept, I'm about to Get Free or spend the rest of my life trying to get there. Either way, there's no turning back! In celebration of this "inner revolution" here are some photos I took last week that offered me some inspiration for projects I'm currently working on. Enjoy!

Fabric and Beading from the Masai People of Kenya and Tanzania

Store Windows of Anthropologie near Rockafeller Plaza in NYC


inspire, Inspire, INSPIRE! 6 Design Blogs I Love

While doing my regular check-in to my favorite design blogs I thought about the many blogs that I check into on an almost daily basis. I like to read about projects, and see different interpretations of design as well as what others find inspiring. I'd thought I'd share a few of my favorites today. After reading my list I invite you to post a comment tell me about your favorite sites. Enjoy!

Design Blogs To Inspire:


5 Life Lessons From Famed Interior Designer Muriel Brandolini

If you follow me on Twitter you know that most recently I've been researching the life and work of Muriel Brandolini. I am inspired by her worth ethic, design philosophy, or lack there of, and bold perspective in regards to design and life in general.

via whatlookslikecrazy.com

Muriel Brandolini, is a New York based designer of Vietnamese and French/Venezuelan decent. Born in Vietnam during the war she spent the early part of her life between Vietnam and France. She has many titles in the design word: "Queen of Color,"  and "The Alexander McQueen of Interiors" to name a few. Her work is brilliant. Brandolini uses color and texture in ways that I have not seen in other designers. Her work is a reflection of her love of travel and diverse background, and even more inspiring and astounding, her career has spanned 17 years, and she has never had any formal training in Architecture or Interior Design! I'm telling you this woman is brilliant!

via Vanityfair.com

via Vanityfair.com

What I've learned about Muriel's style and experience as a designer transcends the world of interior design. She has a unique perspective. She get's it. She has remained true to who she is and that is one of the biggest reasons for her success: Lesson #1.

After the jump a few more sage tidbits that can be applied to design and decor, but also to life in general because let's face it, life can often to be way more confusing than the color choice for your walls!


DIY: Vintage Nightstands

Inspired by this photograph from Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney, who is also the founder of the Design Sponge blog, purchased two vintage file cabinets.

 Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

I really enjoy playing with contrast and opposites when applied to styling whether that be in fashion or home decor. I was only able to purchase two cabinets so I was not able to duplicate the nightstands as they were featured in the book, which is good because I found the opportunity to improvise and create something a little different.

Inspiration Photo from Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

Using a few pieces of wood, some plumbing parts, and some table legs I was able to make sturdy base table that would: 
a.create height suitable for nightstands
b. provide more open space visually (often a requirement for small spaces) 
c.allow use of these cool vintage finds without damaging them so that they might be used differently in the future.

Supplies Used To Build The Table Base:
-wood measured and cut to specifications needed (Lowe's cut these for me for $.25 each)
-drill (There is something really liberating about using power tools might I add. I am beginning to understand why guys love them so much!)
-plumbing pipes & flanges or your choice of legs (I used Hairpin legs)


1. Sand the rough edges of the wood down. Splinters can be uncomfortable and painful. Also, sanded wood just looks neater.

2. Use drill (The screw driver is an option here as well. I just don't have that type of time or upper body strength!) to screw in the hairpin legs or plumbing flange to the wood.

3. If you are working with the pipes and flanges you'll want to screw the pipes into the flanges and then screw  in the second set of flanges which act as the feet of the table. If you used the hairpin legs, just be sure they are screwed in tight before turning the board over and placing anything on top.

That's it! Of course, you can always stain or paint the wood to fit the color palette in your room. This is a simple, fast and budget friendly way to create a table surface for your space even if you don't have vintage cabinets. 


Add a little Mustard in your Look

I Don't Want to Cut the Mustard!

Sonia Rykiel fitted dress
2.460 DKK - stylepaste.com

TopShop polyester shirt
$60 - topshop.com

Mustard cardigan
$36 - urban1972.com

Fitted blazer
£4.99 - dressrail.com

Zara blazer
$100 - zara.com

See by Chloe tapered pants
$376 - coggles.com

ASOS skinny jeans
$58 - asos.com

Cross body handbag
$60 - topshop.com

£13 - evans.co.uk

Dorothy Perkins oval ring
£2 - dorothyperkins.com

Lala Berlin green scarve
$430 - stylebop.com

Viscose scarve
£45 - whistles.co.uk


New Adventures

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill 

First, a big "Thank you" to all of you who have continued to check-in despite my...recent hiatus when it comes to blogging. Things have been a bit, shall I say "cray-cray" in my world as of late. My 9 to 5 (or '8 to late' as my girls and I like to call it) has gotten increasingly demanding and Grad School is in full butt-kicking mode. In addition, I've pulling my life together after a recent breakup and trying to reconnect to my creative roots. Needless to say, with so much going my blog was one of the things that fell through the cracks. 

That being said, if anyone is still out there...waiting...reading (wishful thinking?)...the good news is I am still here. I still have a lot to say and share and I hope that you'll continue to ride with me.

One thing I'm very excited about is the blog redesign. I mentioned sometime last year that I was hoping to move my blog over to WordPress.com. Well, as you can see that didn't work out. I don't know what goes on with these techie folks designing platforms for the general public that require you to actually learn a new language before using them. Simplicity is often very under rated. So, I'm working with a developer for a new 'skin' for WhatLooksLikeCrazy.com to be used right here on user-friendly, Blogger!

A skin, for the non-techies out there is like a book cover for a blog. It is very similar to those reusable sticky things you can buy for your iPad or iPod. It'll give the blog a new look but Blogger.com will still be the host. Ok, enough of the technical stuff.

The new blog will be the same in that we'll chat and focus on things like Design, the folks behind some of your favorite brands, Food, and Travel. Speaking of which, I've been working on some Bespoke (I love this word. Sounds SO much better than home-made to me for some reason.)  items I've been creating for myself and others that I'm excited to share.

As anyone who's an adventurer or risk-taker (Indiana Jones being my favorite) knows, the ride is never what you expect. There are twists, turns and hurdles where you'd least expect them. The important things are to keep moving, stay focused and enjoy every minute of it!!