When I first moved to Phoenix, Arizona as a teenager celebrating Christmas without snow seemed wrong. Now all these years later, I am grateful not to live in a cold climate and Flagstaff is less than two hours away where they get plenty of snow. I have come to appreciate Christmas in the desert and all of the many traditions we enjoy here in the grand canyon state. Here are some of favorite holiday festivities:
Prescott, Arizona is a darling town especially at Christmastime and this event is so special. The courthouse square is decorated in holiday lights and all the bars, hotels, restaurants and shops nearby celebrate on this first Friday in December with various entertainment and music.
The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun hosts annually La Fiesta de Guadalupe. This festival honors Mexico’s patron saint with music, dancing and performances including mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, the Yaqui Deer Dancers and Domingo DeGrazia’s Spanish-guitar band. The festival also features a Los Posada procession where children from the Carrillo Magnet School sing in honor of the saint culminating at the Mission in the Sun. Local food and art vendors offer southwestern fair and souvenirs to guests.
The color Sherwin Williams picked for 2019 is a perfect color especially for the Southwest. This past summer I visited Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley and I thought of those places when I saw their cavern clay color choice. It is also the color you see in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. It's a warm inspiring color for a dining room and pairs nicely with it's complementary color teal.
Here are some gorgeous rugs from New Moon I found that will look beautiful with this color.
Beautiful textiles from Carolina Irving Textiles to go with this paint color.
At the beginning we learn to travel, then we travel to learn.
William Least Heat-Moon
This summer I had the good fortune to spend five weeks in Port Townsend, Washington. It was a dream of mine to spend time there ever since the first time I stopped there in 1981. After spending another long, hot summer in Arizona, last fall I found a vacation rental in Port Townsend with the intention of spending time there in 2018. Driving there was the hard part. Once I arrived in Port Townsend my dream became a reality. The town is located at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The city is known for its natural beauty surrounded by water and mountains, artists, Victorian buildings, boat builders, cultural events, and maritime center. The city is small with a population of less than 10,000 except during cultural events like the Film Festival in September when I was told the population rises to 30,000.
The place I rented was on Morgan Hill overlooking the city and was accessible on foot to Uptown, Downtown and Fort Worden State Park. Every day I walked by 19th century Victorian homes adorned with beautiful gardens. I also had daily visitors from deer and robins. One fawn came by so often, I named her Dawna.
There are two areas of town that I frequently visited, uptown which is uphill from downtown. Every Saturday there was a farmer's market on Taylor and Lawrence from 9 am until 2 pm with fresh organic produce, flowers, handcrafted items, fantastic food, baked items, wine and cider tasting, handcrafted cheeses and live music. There was also a fabulous bakery there called Pane d'Amore. I went there more than once! They made a morning glory muffin which was delicious. You could buy a mini one for $1. The uptown area had a grocery store, shops, restaurants, a movie theater, yoga and a pub.
One of the best things about Port Townsend is Fort Worden. Originally Fort Worden was designed as a military base to protect Puget Sound. Now the park is home to cultural events in art and music, woodworking classes, conferences, camping, family reunions, and weddings. While I was there I enjoyed music from fiddle tunes and jazz week, took a yoga class, walked the grounds, visited my friend's campsite, and enjoyed a glass of wine at Taps.
While there I took many trips to places nearby. Olympic National Park and Lake Crescent is less than a two hour drive away.
Downtown Port Townsend is a picturesque area on the water with historic buildings, art galleries, a ferry dock which takes you to Coupeville, restaurants, gardens, bookstores, hotels, bakeries, ice cream shops, various shops, movie theater, Northwinds Art Center and the Jefferson Art and History Museum where we took a historic walking tour. During my stay I tried many of the restaurants including Doc's Marina Grill, Alchemy Bistro, Siren's, Bayview, Fountain Cafe, Courtyard Cafe, Hillbottom Pie, Sea J's, Bamboo Leaf, Pippa's Real Tea, Blue Moose Cafe, and Silverwater Cafe. My favorite place was Hillbottom Pie where I went three times. They had the best Caesar salad I've ever had and their clam chowder was the best too. Doc's was great too. I won't be mean and say the one place where I was ignored twice (it was overlooking the water and was always busy and not enough help.) I also went to Cellar Door a few times for open mic and that place was a lot of fun. So was Port Townsend Brewery where I listened to music a few times outside on their patio and Pourhouse where you can bring your own food and listen to music outside near the water.
I also made sure and visited the downtown movie theaters and saw Won't You be My Neighbor at the historic Rose Theater and watched Leave No Trace at The Starlight Theater in the tallest part of the building on my last night there.
Last week while I was waiting for my car which was being serviced at Chapman BMW, I went to Uptown Plaza on Central and Camelback. I rarely stop at this shopping center except to run into AJs Grocery Store since this is far from my neighborhood. Since I had nothing but time, I parked my loaner car in front of Shake Shack, purchased a lemonade there and decided to make my way through the center. This center has gone through many changes over the years I have lived in Phoenix. Many years ago, I remember when the restaurant Lunt Avenue Marble Club was one of the tenants there. It was a popular dining and drinking establishment in the 1970s. I left Phoenix in the early 1980s and moved back to the valley in 1994. I worked at M&I Thunderbird Bank at One East Camelback Road across the street from Uptown Plaza and lived in the central corridor at that time. The center looked very different then.
Last week I was delighted and surprised to see how much the center had changed. The entire place has been modernized inside and out. I stopped in Urban Silo Market which is a licensed retailer of furniture and accessories from Magnolia Home, the product line from Joanna Gaines from the popular show Fixer Upper.
They also carried an attractive line of outdoor furniture made from recycled materials. The outdoor furniture line made in the USA in Indiana is called Polywood. Their design aesthetic is fun, modern and practical. It seems to have everything going for it including the price point.
Next I stopped in Modernique which is the creation of interior designer Julia Buckingham. She has also published a book titled Modernique which showcases photographs of her design style. The style is modern meets vintage. The store was a bevy of eye candy everywhere. I was able to meet Julia who was in the store working on a design project. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the mix of vintage pieces alongside modern styled furnishings. The store was adorned with colorful original art too. I had my eye on a set of tumblers ornamented with the Greek key pattern. I enjoyed seeing the modern designs ornamented with historical motifs.
West Elm is in the center too right next to the courtyard fountain where you can stop and enjoy an ice cream treat at Creamistry. What fun! I was happy I took the time to go there. You will too.
Chinoiserie, from the French word chinois meaning Chinese-esque emerged during the Rococo period and became a very popular motif which still is prevalent in design today in porcelain pottery, textiles and wallpaper. The Chinoiserie style features Asian landscapes, pagodas and pavilions, elaborate birds, dragons, and Chinese figures.
Images from Period Styles Victoria and Albert Museum and Metropolitan Museum
The color pink is oh so pretty. Pink is synonymous with beauty and femininity. Valentine’s Day, romance and love are represented by the color pink. The color pink is a tint of red and its complementary color is a mint or pale green. The warm and embracing shades of pink are gentle and soothing. Pink is similar to green in that it is represented by the heart chakra for its protective and healing properties. Flowers and flowering trees embody the color pink better than anything in nature as carnations, celosia, dahlias, dianthus, Gerber daisies, hydrangeas, orchids, peonies, rhododendrons, roses, snapdragons, sweet peas and tulips to name a few.
The gemstone rhodonite is known for its balancing effects on the emotions and is known as the rescue stone. Rhodochrosite is thought to relieve stress and is used by healers to cleanse the aura. Ancient legend says that the gemstone tourmaline is found in all colors because it travelled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow's colors. Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system. It is also thought to inspire creativity and was used extensively as a talisman by artists and writers.
The pink ribbon is globally recognized as the symbol for breast cancer awareness. Little girls and babies are adorned in the color pink. Ballerinas wear pink slippers and tutus. When I made my Catholic confirmation as an adolescent I wore a beautiful shell pink dress with matching pink shoes with a French heel. I was giddy over those shoes! It has become fashionable for men to wear pink and it looks particularly stylish on a man with a dark complexion.
If you want to look at the world through rose colored spectacles, dazzle yourself with some pink. Get in the pink—it’s pinkalicious!
I realize having white furniture is only a dream if you have small children and pets. What about your tabletop and holiday decorations? It should be safe to have a winter white theme with those decorations. Well maybe not the tablecloth and napkins. Here's dreaming of a White Christmas . . .
Chartreuse and pink are two vibrant colors that pair well together. You will see the colors together in nature. Admittedly, most people cannot live with this much color but wouldn't it be tremendous fun to try!
This is a gender neutral nursery design using furnishings found on Project Decor and paint color Lily Lavender by Benjamin Moore.
This is a bold and colorful design inspired by Farrow and Ball paint color citron.
Decor found on Project Decor
Color theory is a set of rules for mixing colors and how they interact and influence each other to get a desired result. The standard color wheel supplies a system of color identification. Color hues consist of three primaries: red, yellow and blue, three secondary: orange, green and violet and six tertiary: red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.
Analogous schemes are hues which are adjacent on the color wheel creating a harmonious scheme. Look to nature to discover analogous color schemes abundantly displayed in plants and flowers.
Complementary colors are on the opposite side of the color wheel; these colors generally enhance and intensify each other. Complementary colors can create a sense of enthusiasm and excitement based off their contrasting tones. Complementary color schemes work well when you use a warm color against a cool color. This color scheme offers a higher contrast than the analogous color scheme.
I created these visual rooms five years ago as part of a showcase of dorm decor with several other interior designers on the site Oliboard and posted it on my blog. At the time, I spent several hours researching, finding dorm decor and creating the perfect rooms. Here they are again along with the poem I wrote.
Living in a Dorm by - Charisse Colbert
You might live on the top floor at the end of the hall
You might have a roommate who pins pictures on the wall
You might study and cram until the wee hours of the night
You might have to do homework with a tiny flash light
You might find someone you don’t know sleeping in your bed
You might discover socks turn pink when washed with red
You might learn your roommate took your last dollar bill
You might see a student sitting naked on a window sill
You might realize one more shot of tequila is a mistake
You might fall in love and know the depths of heartache
You might wish you could get one peaceful night of sleep
You might make a friend for a lifetime you will keep
You might appreciate all the things your parents did for you
You might grow up one day and think they knew a thing or two
You might struggle with curfews and rules to conform
One day you will appreciate your experience of living in a dorm
1. Juliette Tufted Bed
2. Rectangular Blue Velvet Pillow
3. Jonathan Adler Pillow by Layla Grace
4. Lamps Plus Retro Pendant
5. Ginger Blue Side Table
6. Desk Chair
7. Acid Etched Letters by Urban Outfitters
8. Eleanor Table Lamp and Lamps Plus Shade
9. Galactic Sculpture by Chiasso
10. Scooter Mirror by Chiasso
11. Ashmolean Bookshelves
12. Lamps Plus Navy Leather Frame
13. iPod Lamp
14. Cosmetic Bag
15. Butterfly Wing
16. Metro Basket
1. Bar Table
2. Loft Bed at Ikea
3. Lamps Plus Pendant
5. Square Pillow by 2Modern
7. Desk Chair
8. Zig Zag Dhurrie Pouf by West Elm
10. Trolley by 2Modern
12. Spider Picture Holder by Kikkerland
Eat - Invest in a coffee maker so you don't waste money running out to buy coffee and buy a decent thermos to keep your coffee hot. The single cup coffee makers are also a good option.
Live - Decorating your chill space with furnishings and inspirational accessories that make you feel good is crucial. You will need a place to sit other than your desk chair incase you have a guest. A decent sofa can also be used as a place to sleep. There are places to find art and accessories all over the internet. While researching for this article, I found Society6 which I used in the men's dorm room board.
Learn - A floor lamp that is moveable around the room and used as task lighting is a good idea. An ottoman can be used as a place to put your feet up, as a seat and as a coffee table. Bring a good flashlight for emergencies and to study with.
Sleep - A third of the day is spent sleeping. Purchase high thread count sheets made of Egyptian cotton. They will wash and wear without piling and in the end will last twice as long as low thread count sheets made with polyester. Bring a feather pillow made of down feathers. Getting a good night sleep will make all the difference in your attitude and health. If you have the option of purchasing a bed, a loft twin will give you the space to create a sleeping nest above and a study cove or eating area below. Bring a sleeping bag to use as an extra blanket and if there is a guest spending the night.
Tidy- When occupying a small space, organization is the key. You must live like the Amish whose credo is "a place for everything and everything in its place". Purchase organizational items at stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond, the Container Store, Target and Ikea. Let me introduce you to Mrs. Meyers Clean Day. The amazing scent of these cleaning products will make you want to clean--seriously try the geranium scented laundry detergent.
Play - Taking time to recreate, relax and enjoy your time will help you be more productive and will relieve stress. Practice yoga since it is the panacea for your body, mind and soul. Savor the time you spend in college--it will go by in the blink of eye.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ―Dr. Seuss
More than anything, I must have flowers always, always
f you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe beautiful." these words by English designer and brainchild of the British Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris.
The Arts and Crafts movement was an aesthetic movement occurring in the late 19th century and early 20th century inspired by writings of author John Ruskin in his book, The Seven Lamps of Architecture. The philosophy of the movement advocated hand fabrication of products in place of machine fabrication. First and foremost was the idea of truth in materials, the use of simple forms, and no unnecessary decoration in the designs. Nature was an important source of the motifs inspired by plants, birds, organic shapes and patterns.
William Morris founded the firm of Morris, Marshall and Faulkner, which decorated churches, designed stained glass, textiles, tapestries, and furniture. Morris insisted that art and design be part of normal daily life. Another quote by Morris, "the true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life" illustrates his passion.
Morris was a visionary who believed art should flourish in a free and equal society. In a lecture, The Lesser Arts of Life he said, "I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few . . . art will make our streets as beautiful as the woods, as elevating as mountain sides: It will be a pleasure and a rest . . . to come from the open country into a town; every man's house will be fair and decent, soothing to his mind and helpful to his work: all the works of man that we live among and handle will be in harmony with nature, will be reasonable and beautiful . . . in no private dwelling will there be any signs of waste, pomp or insolence, and every man will have his share of the best."
Contributions to article included:
William Morris by Christine Poulson, Victoria and Albert Period Styles by Anna Jackson and The Style Sourcebook by Judith Miller.
Color forecaster Pantone chose the color greenery as the color of 2017. I thought it was a brilliant choice since we need a healing color at this time. The color green has been associated with health, good fortune, luck, jealousy and of course the color of money. Green is known for the calming effect it has on the psyche, which is why it is used in hospitals, as surgeon’s attire and in waiting rooms known as green rooms. The color green is linked with nature and all of the many forms we see in landscaping, plants, vegetables, fruits and gems. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its lush green landscaping. The city of Seattle is also known as the Emerald City because of all the evergreen trees in abundance there. Green symbolizes St. Patrick's Day and the Irish clover known as the shamrock.
Throughout history the color green has many different associations. The Egyptian’s depicted the God Osiris with a green face representative of the color of plants and new life representing their belief in the afterlife. They also used the green stone malachite in their ornamentation. The architect, Robert Adam used a muted shade of green in the walls of his interiors. The Aesthetic Movement of the 1860s and 1870s used paint color schemes of green, gold and gray prominently in their peacock motifs. Similarly, the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1860s, which was a statement against the commercialization and industrialization of industry during the Victorian era, used green in their natural motifs of plants inspired by nature and simple materials.
The heart chakra which is located in the chest is governed by the color green making it an excellent color for improving well being and health. Bathrooms, bedrooms, libraries, and offices are spaces that will be enhanced by using the color green. Some of the names used to describe the color green are apple, avocado, bottle green, boxwood green, celadon, eucalyptus, emerald, fern, forest green, jade, lime, mint, olive, and sea green. The complement or opposite color on the color wheel of green is red. Color combinations which are pleasing are green and purple, green and yellow-green, lime green and pink, and green and white and/or cream. Rather than be green with envy, get lucky and add some green to your decor.
I started my holiday baking early this year. The first batch of cookies I made are a favorite of everyone who has tasted one. They are chocolate chip, toffee chip hazelnut cookies.
This past weekend I made roll out sugar cookies. This was the first time I decorated the cookies with gel color by painting on the details. The process was much quicker than embellishing them with different colors of royal icing. My favorite cookie out of this batch are the angels adorned with edible gold glitter.
Cherubs or putti, Italian for small boys is a design motif which originated in Italy during the Baroque period. The chubby infants are seen in paintings, sculpture, giltwood carvings, vases, tapestries and textiles. One of my teachers in design school referred to them as "fat flying babies." Here are some examples I found today of this lovely design. Cherubs are often seen adorning cards and ornaments during the holiday and Christmas season.
Posts by Charisse Colbert