Thursday, March 13, 2014

I can see the finish line...

This week proved to be a challenging one.  Many many many assignments were due this week and so sleep came second to those demands.  I tell you though, hard work pays off.  Only two weeks left until presentations and I'll be done with yet another quarter.  I'm in the 24th mile of my metaphoric marathon.  I just have to keep running.  I know I can do it and I'm going to give it my all.

Here's the scanned assignment my design partner and I stayed up doing till 4 and 5 am this week for our Senior Healthcare studio. I did the perspectives and my partner did the elevations.
Reception Area Perspective

Living Room Perspective
Reception Elevation
 Living Room Elevation

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Tonight I was inducted into the Alpha beta kappa society. It's been hard going back to school and put as much effort there as much as keeping it up at home. It's definitely not easy and requires a lot of work. This is the first step to receiving the recognition of hard work in my education prior to actually graduating.  I know I couldn't have done it if my family wasn't so patient with me and many others who have helped me through this journey.

Almost there! 16 weeks until I'm homework free!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

You Light up my life!

To fill in and catch up a little bit, I'll start back from my last post.  Almost a month after my first business trip, I quit my job.  I had quit going to school and put a hold on my dream of getting a bachelor's degree in interior design. Thanks to my husband getting a promotion at his job, I took a good solid break from it all and enjoyed a summer with my girls.  

As the summer got closer to ending, I figured I was ready to finish what I started and got registered for the Summer session (starting in August) at the Art Institute.  It was refreshing and exciting to get back to school.  I even won the People's Choice Award on my residential studio project.


It was during this quarter that I took my Lighting Design course and had an amazing teacher that lead me to the job I have now at Lightform Lighting in Phoenix!  I never knew (even after taking the class) that lighting could be so complicated! Thank goodness for lighting designers!  I'm glad I have my interior design background to help me in this job and I'm enjoying the people I work with, even the dog.


The Fall Quarter lead me into Sustainability and Hospitality Design as my favorite classes.  The classes were taught together that we were able to create a LEED project for our Hospitality Design. I found it interesting enough that I've set the goal to become LEED accredited!  I'll be taking the test within the next month or so.

Displaying 20131209_102526.jpg
Life is busy all around, but it's a good busy and we're moving forward.  I've started my senior project which will take 9 months to complete.  Only 6 more months till graduation!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My first business trip!

Oh my aching feet!  I can't believe how much fun it is to go to the HD Expo!  This was my first Design convention and I had a blast! We left early in the morning Wednesday via airplane to Vegas and returned late at night Thursday.  Everything in between was spent walking the floors at the show.  I wish I could have taken a pictures of every amazing product I was inspired by, but I don't think my phone had enough memory to hold it all.
 Both nights we were there we were privileged to attend parties held at the Mix which is a bar/restaurant at the top of The Hotel @ Mandalay Bay.  Sixty four stories up in the air gets you a beautiful view of the Strip! The picture in the middle was a ceiling feature that was about 30-40 ft in diameter and about 25 ft high in the restaurant space. The picture of the red blob at the bottom was a structural feature behind the bar that took my breath away.

One thing about conventions is that everyone gives away free stuff.  I came home with so many new bags, I don't think I'll need one for a while.  No worries, this mom with put them to good use :)
I'm glad I got to go this year.  It was definitely a lot to take in and I didn't even get to every vendor!  I could get used to trips like this :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Candy popcorn

Candy popcorn is one of my favorite childhood memories.  My mom made it a rainy day tradition, so growing up in Arizona, it didn't happen all too often.  I will always remember the taste of a candy coated wooden spoon and the crunch of the half popped, candy coated kernels.  

So I've had some family members nagging me for the recipe, so here it is!  Sorry it took so long :)

Candy Popcorn

2 cups of popcorn kernels popped in an air popper
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla (I always add more, but here's a good start)
food coloring

Step 1: Pop the popcorn and cool in a large bowl.  (Traditionally we used metal.  Perhaps because it will help with Step 5.)

Step 2: Combine sugar, water, butter, and vanilla and bring to a boil.

Step 3: Continue boiling the mixture till you develop a string dripping from your stirring utensil. (Tradition states it must be a wooden spoon) 

Step 4: Add food coloring to your preference.

Step 5: Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir like crazy.  The best way seems to be plunging down at the furthest edge and digging towards yourself as you turn the bowl with each plunge.  You'll have to stir for a couple of minutes before the mixture cools and dries.  If it doesn't dry, you didn't boil it for long enough. 

Step 6: Put on an awesome kids movie and serve up a delicious treat!

What's your favorite treat from your childhood memories?  I'd love to hear it and get more ideas for my kids.  Sugar isn't always going to cut it :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crate to Ottoman

A couple of weeks ago, I did a little dumpster diving and found a crate.  I was lucky to find one that would fit into the trunk of my 10 year old Mitsubishi, so I brought home my new find.  It sat in my trunk for a while as I contemplated all the possibilities and potential for this crate to be something useful and creative.  Could it be a wall shelf, an herb garden, a nice piece of wall art?  My head was whirling.

As I was watching TV with my family one day, I was wanting an ottoman really bad to put my feet on.  We recently moved into a small townhome, so what I needed had to fit certain dimensions of our tiny family room.  Low and behold, the crate was the exact dimension I was looking for.  I hopped over to my favorite store, Home Depot, and bought four legs and black gloss spray paint.

I went to town on that crate then realized I can have an upholstered top on it easily.  I tried out a new store (to me) called Mesa Sales for the upholstery foam.  Best prices in town, I tell you and they cut to size!  I was also able to find the fabric I wanted at Home Goods.

I'm so happy with the results, as long as I can keep my husband from putting his shoes on the top.  This project has helped me embrace the industrial look of design in my house.  I'm wondering what I can think up next.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Residential Design - Job #1

HGTV makes design look easy!  Well, it's not, but it is so rewarding in the end!  I had the pleasure of being the designer on an independent home design project.  I got this contact from our mortgage broker.  She called me and said, "I've never had a designer to refer to someone, but I have a client who has been in his house for 2 months and is ready for it to feel like a home." That was the beginning of my first independent professional journey into the industry of interior design.  

My client is an older gentleman who is single and lives in South Chandler in a 4 bedroom home.  While he has a full time job in the south west valley, he wanted a home he could come to at the end of the day and feel warm, welcome, and comforting.  He needed help hanging artwork and accessorizing, but through our visit, it turned into painting, back splashes, draperies and more.  

I had recently met, through our house search, Mark and Debbie Barber with Barber Contracting, LLC.  They had come to a house my husband and I were looking at to give us an estimate on remodeling a "fixer-upper."  As I walked through my client's house, I immediately thought of them and got them on board.  Here are pictures of the final product. 

In this photo, you'll see the window treatments we added by the dining area table to match the rest of the shutters in the house.  We also added cellular blinds so we didn't have to block the beautiful backyard view. We also added the bamboo roller shades on the patio doors, the pot rack, bar stools, and a little paint accent.

This photo is to the left of the last photo.  I designed this tile install as the Barbers worked so hard to make it just right.  

Here's a close up on the tile back splash I also helped with the design.  I've always wondered why back splash is so hard for designers to do on Next Design Star, now I know.  Cutting, spacing, drying, grout, it just takes way too long.  But this design looks great! It only took 4 Home Depots to get the right tile patterns in the quantities I needed.

This room was given a paint treatment and a chair rail.  Once the artwork was hung and small furniture put in place, it really felt complete, warm and inviting in here.

This space didn't have much in it before, so we decided to make it a nice rest area with a paint accent, console table and greenery.  The accessories are from the owner to help give it a personal touch.

Before, this window only had sheers.  I found a great contact, Cindy Bluth, who sews custom draperies. I'm really glad to have met her.  I know I'll be using her in the future as well.  She also pointed me to my new favorite fabric store, Home Fabrics on Stapley south of the US-60.

This master bath was lacking rugs and needed new window treatments that had more of a masculine touch. The previous drapes were fluffy, flowery, and huge dust collectors.  We replaced them with these bamboo roller shades, inside mounted which really performs well in places susceptible to moisture.

Thanks for checking in and viewing the final product!  I hope you saw something you liked.  

Many thanks to:
Barber Contracting
Rebecca Rodgers with I-Mortgage
Stefanie Cross with Visionary Properties for putting me in contact with the above mentioned people!
Cindy Bluth with Primrose Design Shop
Home Depot
Lina's Home Furnishings
Home Goods
Home Fabrics
and finally my husband for watching the kids on the late nights and Saturdays!