coffee + cre8tive {oct 31 '06}

Today we had a little party for my 86-year-old oma in celebration of her return home. She was in a nursing home for several months following a major heart operation. The party was mostly filled with other sweet oma's, well dressed Germans who have been around these parts long before the second world war. A few children and of course, some from our family attended as well, so the mix of ages was just perfect and all had a really nice time.

Oma is quite the spirited woman, very fiery and extremely sharp, so seeing her back in a familiar space amongst friends warmed my heart. As I sit here typing, I'm reminded of my other grandmother, far across the Atlantic over in Rhode Island, all alone in the nursing home. Maybe she's watching the squirrels outside of her window at this very moment, thinking about me, too. It saddens me sometimes to know that one grandmother is so happy while the other is so very alone. I wish I could split in two so as to be in both places at once, but I guess the important thing is that I joy was given to one of these very special ladies today.

As my oma Ilse removed her teeth after everyone left, right in front of the remaining family members, I was first taken aback, but quickly thought of how nice it must be to simply not care anymore about the opinions of others. It made me laugh as she did it, in fact a few of us younger ones got quite a roll from it, but at the end of day, she is eighty-six and at that age, you have earned your right to do whatever you please, with or without your dentures.

I know this post has had nothing to do with creativity or design yet, but if you think about it, maybe you can apply a lesson from oma. Maybe you can care a little less about what others think, applying this carefree spirit in areas of your life where you may be fearful or stuck. This could extend to deep emotions or something far lighter like the design of your home. Perhaps you need to let go a bit and stop worrying about what others will say and just be you.

While hanging out at Apartment Therapy this afternoon, catching up on the past month that I've missed on the site, I was inspired to see so many colorful entries for their Fall Colors contest. I have clients who are paralyzed when in a paint shop, unsure as to what color to choose, afraid of screwing up. What's the big deal if you do screw up? Are you worried about what your family or friends will say? Honestly, who cares. Take your teeth out for a moment. Are you going to wait until you are eighty-six before you start living?

An AT post today made me laugh because the home owner expressed how much she loved orange and a cap from a Gatorade bottle was her inspiration - she brought it to the paint store for an exact match and went home and painted it on the wall over her work station. It was stunning. I liked how she took a more casual approach to her hue selection. I have friends who take months to select the perfect shade of blue, only to paint, step back, and meltdown because it's the wrong color. It's times like these when I want to ask them to set priorities. Paint shouldn't be the straw to break the camels' back, should it?

(images of Diane Bigda illustrations, new over at Lilla Rogers Studio.)