Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I was thinking about my design head the other day…wondering where my love of lines, color, shadows – in all forms of artistry (architecture, painting, sculpture, photography…) comes from.  My mother was a tortured artist.  For most of her life, her psyche locked up the frustrated landscape painter, nestled in her soul.  In her last few years, the painter escaped (with greater or lesser results…some landscapes were cringeworthy, most portraits were worse) but she found a way to express herself and for a while, it helped her tame her demons.  Not the most ferocious in the bunch, but some of the lesser adversaries.

When I started my blog anew last summer, I was intentional about including a ‘design’ element in periodic posts. It’s a part of my identity.  I think I started off fairly strong, highlighting my love of interior and fashion design – a blend of vintage this-and-that, antiques and squeaky-clean newness – all from the standpoint of Vicki being Vicki – whether in my choice of home environment or wardrobe.  I’ve noticed recently that I’ve let some of that go and I think I know why:

  1. We have a massive home improvement project in motion.  Most of the downstairs of our home is ground zero and while the mess is maddening, I’m holding up fairly well. Thanks for asking! 😉Why is this the case, for tightly wound “Moi” to feel so light and breezy amidst the mess? I think it’s this: I adore having the plans and drawings taped up here and there, reminding me that the hubster and I spent 18 months laboriously and painstakingly choosing – you name it – cabinets, knobs, intricate tin ceiling tiles, the best mesh for cabinet inserts, tile that required nine days of pattern-laying and matching to satisfy the hubs and our designer friend. Thanks to them I could be more laid back about the tile – I trusted their double-teamed wisdom.
  2. My most recent project with Wynne Leon, “The Heart of the Matter” provided an opportunity for me to flex my neglected design head.  I’m not a graphic designer and never will be, but the fun I’ve had tinkering with posts for Instagram – allowing myself to read my fellow bloggers’ work and pause to consider the colors and designs that might showcase their beautiful work in the best possible social media light.  Such fun! However, our DD (dear daughter) heaved a heavy ‘oh no’ when she heard I slid into this duty. I’m the least likely player, for sure, from a skills perspective – and yet the opportunity to play with color and images?  I was willing to learn. Willing to take a risk.  Have I made some mistakes? Good Lord, yes.  So many – but with each ‘oops’ I Iearned. Not so much that I might not repeat the same silly boo-boos, but enough for tightly wound Vicki to sigh, “It’s okay.  No one asked for perfect.”

Those two things – home design fun and a dive into graphic arts – are feeding my visual appetite.  For now.  I suspect Brian’s recent post on HoTM describing the powerful reaction he had to Thomas Cole’s “The Voyage of Life” will send me back into the saddle of writing about artists, artistry, soon enough – but for now, I’m relieved.  I didn’t lose a part of myself – I just tweaked and pivoted.  That’s a pretty great reminder – that I can find new facets of myself. Old me in new forms. 😉

For fun? Here’s a peek at one of the designs in motion for our laundry room…don’t tell my designer friend Jen that I shared – she’d be mad! 😎 And…from the first month of the brand-new Heart of the Matter blog, I’m sharing a mosaic which reflects the fun I’ve had highlighting the work of my blogging buds:

Here’s to finding the parts of ourselves that might be AWOL from time to time. It feels good to reconnect!

Vicki 💓

25 thoughts on “Call Off the Search Party

    1. Ah…you bet! It will be one of our marital ‘survival stories’ I suspect — complete with photo evidence. 😘 And I love your thought about feeding my soul. You’re so perceptive! I need those design bits and pieces to help me….feel like me! xo, Julia! 💓💓💓

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Your laundry room will be lovely, Vicki! And you coulda’ fooled me about you not being a graphic designer. Everything has looked fantastic!! Love the overview you gave. So fun! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh goodness, I’d forgotten we’d talked about IG, and I certainly don’t remember you needing much coaching. But you’re always welcome to any help I can give. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to take out the canvases and paint every now and then. Generally I make a big mess but, like your mother, painting heals part of my soul. One of my childhood friends was a fantastic artist but trying to make it in the art world destroyed her. So I’m just happy to be an amateur!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing, Jan. I bet your work is lovely…maybe pieces shared have been shared in your blog? I need to catch up! I love the soul healing aspect. I saw it firsthand in my mom. Lovely point. Big smiles! 😘😘😘


  3. You’re not a graphic designer Vicki? You could have fooled me. I do like that how the senses feed off each other. The more creative I am in my writing, I do think it makes me more creative when I’m taking on more design functions. In another life, I like to think I was a designer. Now I know next to nothing about what makes good design, but I love how those folks who do, can make an image, a video, or the design of a house sing. Wish I had those skills. And yes, definitely want to see what your finished product looks like. Good luck hanging in there until it’s all complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian! Your post yesterday gave me plenty to think about and you described my feelings so perfectly just now! Senses feeding off one another! Yes…wise one. 😉And we know there’s artistry in writing, don’t we?!? ❤️


  4. I love, love, love your design head. And you have been so generous with it that I’m so grateful we’ve all benefitted from it. I love your collage of IG and HoTM designs – it’s so visually pleasing!

    And I find it so interesting about your home improvement project and the drawings taped around. What an incredibly cool idea to put the “vision” on the walls. Not only is it fun but it must make the “we’re on the way” message so palpable!

    Beautiful all around!! But when is the home improvement project going to be done? You and Sadie have been quite patient! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Done? You mean it will end…this never ending fun? 😜 Probably a few months still. And yeppers! The images of eventual outcomes helps! And…I love the IG tinkering. Happy to do it…so fun to work with the creative brains of my blogging buds! 😘❤️😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I started The Spectacled Bean I intended on talking about interior design. I thought I’d keep track of our projects in some sort of monthly feature. HOWEVER what I learned about myself is that even though I call myself an active amateur interior designer, I don’t enjoy writing about design. And I dislike taking photos of things in process. So I dropped the monthly idea entirely and only babble about design once in a blue moon. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Ally! I think I’m going to take that note – makes so much sense. I agree – it’s a love and a hobby but it would require so much devotion to do it right in blogging land — the design nuggets, I mean. Love knowing we share the interest, tho! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can see how having the design drawings hanging up can make surviving the project easier. I love the look of drawings like that. I barely survived a week long kitchen project a few years back- I should have used your decorating tip!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have no idea how I missed this post! First- I would kill to have a laundry room of any sort all for myself, and your planned design is awesome! The realization that perfect isn’t necessary but tinkering in an interest that you enjoy and that speaks to who you are or want to be perfectly shows that we have many sides to present to the world. I say keep exploring, tweaking and pivoting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray! I think we must be soul sisters, then — both ready to explore and see what’s next. 😎 I love what you said about the ‘many sides’ of who we are. I think that’s so true. And thanks for giving the design a thumbs up…it’s a slow process but I think the amount of storage we’ll have will make life easier. At least we hope so! Right now, we’re living with a lot of boxes and wobbly shelving units — anything will be an improvement! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

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