Pinterest: Death of the Designer

I wear a lot of hats. My creativity compels me to always be learning and figuring things out so when someone asks me, “will you,” and I say, “yes.” Even if I don’t exactly know how. It’s a challenge. I’ve gotta figure it out.

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Flower arranging happens to be one of those ‘things’. Somebody said, “will you,” and I said, “yes.” And I’ve said yes now over 20 times, including my own wedding. I absolutely love arranging flowers. I’ve always loved the outdoors but I have been obsessed with flowers ever since I studied Georgia O’Keeffe in high school. I am inexplicably drawn to the organic beauty, color and uniqueness of each bloom.

I buy books on them.

I cut them out of magazines.

I paint them.

I dry them.

I plant them.

I arrange them.

Even as a child, I would grow them for the school flower show.

I’m telling you, flowers and I, we are meant for each other.

But here’s the kicker. Arranging flowers is not like painting. I paint whatever I want to and keep showing it til someone decides to buy it. But I can’t arrange flowers whenever I want to and hope someone will buy it because they are temporal. And that’s something that I love about fresh cut flowers. Their beauty is brief, like a mist, a reminder of our own life and mortality.

So in order to feed my obsession, I am forced into a client-designer relationship with brides. A wedding is the perfect time to express all that pent up flower creativity. Except for the bride and that damn Pinterest. Pinterest kills of my creativity.

Believe it or not, I actually started arranging flowers BEFORE Pinterest. I know, crazy right? I didn’t have pictures upon pictures UPON PICTURES to tell me how to do it. I figured it out on my own. Turns out I’m pretty good at it. I’ve done it for over 20 weddings and had professional florists compliment me. But now Pinterest makes EVERYONE think they can DIY their way to a perfect wedding. I end up being told exactly what to buy and how to arrange it because every bride now has a hundred pictures of bouquets that she is in love with and wants it to look like. And my opportunity for creativity is lost.

This isn’t just happening with flowers and weddings. It is happening with all forms of creativity, every possible opportunity for the designer to express oneself. Anything and everything is now at the fingertips of anyone and everyone via the internet. So when a client approaches a designer about designing something, they already have a million ideas in their head with no room left for the creative to be creative. It leaves the designer as nothing more than a puppet in the client’s hands. Then what is the point of being creative??

I don’t design things for people because I think they have great ideas and they just need me to actually make it. No creative person does. We design things because we think we have something to offer besides our mere technical skills– our creativity. We all live for those moments when the client says, “I love your idea,” or, “you communicated that a lot better than I ever could.” So give us the chance. Here’s a tip: the next time you are paying someone to design something for you, whether it be a logo, a website, your house, or a bouquet, don’t look on Pinterest before you hear and see what the designer has to offer. You might just be surprised. And your designer will be very grateful.

Unexpected Community

Imagine what it would be like to live in the past, even just 100 years ago. Imagine living in a time and at a place where your community, your whole and only community, was where you lived Travel wasn’t as easy. There were no cell phones and there certainly wasn’t the internet. Your community was determined by your geographical location. This would mean you didn’t get to be very picky with whom you were “in community.”

Unexpected Community

In the past year I’ve had the blessing of getting to know my neighbors well. This is the first time in a long time I haven’t moved after a year of being some place, and I believe a lot of that has to do with my neighbors. I have an incredible group of friends outside of my neighborhood, but I’m also blessed that I can walk to a couple of neighbors houses and it’s like sitting with family. My neighbors aren’t people I would have naturally become friends with if I didn’t live next to them, but they enrich my life.

When I had to make the tough decision to put down my dog due to fear aggression, two of them sat and cried with me. When I miss my family a little too much, they provide that comfort of family here. They bring me goodies and delicious food, and I do the same for them. When I recently got a new puppy, they have lovingly taken on the names of “aunt”, “bestie”, and “grandma” to my puppy and love her as if she was their own. They love me as if I am their own.

It makes me wonder, how drastically different my life would be without social media, my cell phone and the internet. True, my life would be missing a lot, but here is the question I find myself asking: what if I make an effort to live both in the modern world and in the world presently around me?

I can tell you, this glimpse of community I have with my home right now has transformed my life and made me a much better person. Community at its finest is found when you least expect it. Take a risk. Talk to your neighbor. I promise it will be worth it.

Memories and Tears

This is a guest post from Brittany. She is an elementary teacher in the Indianapolis area who has a HUGE heart for Kenya.

I close my eyes tonight and I let the memories wash over me. I haven’t allowed myself to do this in so long. I’ve locked the memories up and tucked them away in a safe place. They try to creep out from time to time. It usually hits me when I least expect it. Something will trigger my memories. Tonight it was something as simple as the song “Ring Around the Rosie.” Suddenly I am there again. Holding the hands of little children, hearing their voices sing the song, and seeing the joy and laughter on their faces. It brings a smile to my face and a pain to my heart. I long to be there again. To hold those little hands. To hear their joyful voices. To see the laughter in their eyes. 
So tonight, instead of pushing this memory back into the recesses of my mind, I let it come forward and I let the rest of the memories come. The faces, the sights, the smells, the noises, they all come flooding back. For a moment I feel like I’m there again, until I open my eyes again and reality welcomes me back like a cold splash of water in the face. I’m not there anymore. It’s six months since we returned and those memories seem as far away as the distance from Indiana to Kenya.

BrittanyKenya

 

In six months, I haven’t allowed myself to dwell on the memories of my trip too often. I haven’t allowed myself the time to sit and process and write about my trip. Case in point, I wrote that first paragraph for this blog weeks ago and have avoided finishing it ever since.

Continue reading “Memories and Tears”

Tie A Knot and Hang On

“When you come to the end
of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I still remember the night in exact detail. I was visiting my parents for Christmas in Indiana, Steven was on his 2nd deployment within our short 17 month marriage at that time. He had been gone only 4 weeks. I was 17 weeks pregnant with Madelynn (our first) and headed back to San Diego the next day.

My mom and I had gone to have our haircut, but before we left my dad called. He had been traveling which is not unusual. After the call my mom was much quieter. When we got home my mom snatched their laptop and went to her room. I thought nothing of it and I sat down to watch tv before bed. My dad came home about half hour later and both of them came to the living room and turned off the tv and sat in front of me. That’s when I knew something bad had happened.

My brother-in-law Geoff had been killed in action in Afghanistan on January 13, 2010. My heart broke. Geoff was 21. Just 21. It was too soon. He was going to be an uncle. He wanted to be an Army Ranger. He was smart, funny, entertaining and always reminded me he had my back. I wanted it to be an awful joke. But it wasn’t. What it was, was the beginning of an awful week.

militarypicutre

Continue reading “Tie A Knot and Hang On”

When an Ex Ruins a Passion

I love fitness, health, nutrition, and the joys of watching someone transform their lives. I love this just as much as I love working with cancer patients. So why for the last 3 years have a done this minimally and from a distance? Part of it was that I was getting my nursing career underway and I allowed the excuse that it took up all my focus to get away. The real reason I ran away? Because for a year straight I was in an on again off again relationship with a man who shared this passion and interest. So much so that he spoke with me many times of us working together and we spoke of sharing the same dreams I’ve had since I was a teenage girl. That dream incorporates a place where I can both serve and love on people and their families with cancer and those desiring to live a healthier life. But I let that dream disappear. I stopped chasing it because for a long time it was far too painful.

There are far better thing ahead than

 

Continue reading “When an Ex Ruins a Passion”

Frosted Sugar Cookies (Corn-free)

I have a tradition during the holiday season that I started 5 years ago while living in New Jersey. That tradition is this: every year I invite a group of friends over and we make from scratch homemade sugar cookies, cute them out, and decorate them. The memories I have from these time with so many friends are priceless, and yesterday I was blessed to add even more memories.

However, since I started this tradition, my intolerance of corn has been increasing. It took me over a year, but I have finally perfected my corn free recipe to carry on this tradition, and it is delicious! One of my favorite things about this dough, is that it doesn’t take any refrigerating AND is super easy to roll out.  I have the girl in the little yellow polka dot bikini to assist me in talking about this recipe as well.

Corn Free Sugar Cookies and Frosting

Continue reading “Frosted Sugar Cookies (Corn-free)”

Full of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope each and every single one of you have a very blessed day full of family time, turkey and other goodies too.

Here at Anchor Drop, we wanted to share a bit about what we are thankful for…

The Favorite Book: Part 1

We at Anchor Drop are so very excited to have guest blogger Hezzy joining us. He is originally from Kenya and traveled to the USA to pursue an education. He has a huge heart for helping those back in his home village learn how valuable an education can be. Below is a brief summary of Hezzy’s motive and information about “The Favorite Book Project”, which is his idea to help bring education to his village.

The Favorite Book

The main objective of this project is to promote education where it’s dearly needed especially among the underprivileged children in Kenya.

Born, raised and going to school in Kenya was very challenging for my mother and me.  As my only parent, she worked very hard in faith to provide for our family of two.  Luckily, I was able to imitate her diligence, earned good grades and received government grants to make it through high school.

Miraculously, I made it to the United States of America on a soccer scholarship where I went on to earn two college degrees.  Additionally, I worked extra hard and joined graduate school.  I will soon graduate with an MBA in Management.

Education is the best gift I have received and I would like to pass it along.

Continue reading “The Favorite Book: Part 1”

Family Ties: Part 2

A few months ago, I wrote about how my husband, daughter, and I had moved into live with my in-laws. We did this for multiple reasons, of which you can read about here. Now, almost six months since I first wrote, and a grand total of eight months since moving in, I’ve decided an update is in order.

Other than the “normal” challenges of having a very active toddler getting into everything as she grows and moves through her learning stages, things haven’t really changed around here. Life is going along smoothly and for that I am grateful. Do I miss having a place of my own? Yes, most definitely. Sometimes when it’s just our little family at home in the evenings, I think about how I really want that all the time. Just the power to choose who is in the house, or whether or not the tv is on etc would be nice. Not that either of those things bring up problems for us, but sometimes I just like the quiet; it’s nice to have a calm and relaxing evening after a crazy day of chasing a toddler around (go figure). Even if it is not completely quiet and the room is filled with giggles as daddy instigates a tickle fight, it’s still more peaceful to me than a sports game being viewed on the TV. Continue reading “Family Ties: Part 2”

Community is Good for the Soul

Friday night was one of those nights I sat there in awe wondering, “how can I be so blessed?” Like many people my age, I don’t have family closer than 3.5 hours away and am not married. That means that my life could be pretty lonely. It means that I could feel like I have no one to call in an emergency. But as I sat in my home Friday night and looked around, I was overwhelmed with the very fact that my friends are my family here in Chicagoland. That at any point if crisis or need I could call on a number of them and I know they would be there.

Small Group From Church
My church Small Group’s Halloween party

In today’s society we want everything instant and we often shy away from deep. Deep means you risk the chance of getting hurt. Deep means that people won’t always see that perfect selfie, but rather people may see the tear-stained face that comes after a pretty tough couple of weeks. Deep means that your answer to the question “How are you?” isn’t always, “I’m good.” Rather at times, you can look at someone and honestly say, “you know, it kind of sucks at this moment.” Continue reading “Community is Good for the Soul”

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