Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Creative Time

Things sure are happening at a rapid pace outside right now. Fall is here and it won't be long before winter sets in around these latitudes. Some find it sad and, granted, some days are a bit too windy and rainy for our taste but there's something beautiful and really cozy about this time of year as well. We feel the urge to head inside and cozy up with candles, warm blankets and family time and to plan out our creative DIY projects for the upcoming winter season – for which we hope that this magazine will provide inspiration. We've got wonderful, creative fall homes, delicious fall foods and plenty of ideas for indoor pastimes, easy ones as well as more advanced projects.

One article that we particularly enjoyed working on was the one about painting madonna figures. It happens from time to time that a special sense of serenity presents itself when we're settled in working on a creative project and experimenting. We'll chat about which colors might go together to create the look that we're going for, try our way a bit, repaint and start over. We help each other out, offering each our own competencies. One person is especially good at combining colors, someone else has a special knack for patinating and yet another person is the expert at painting natural-looking faces. It's a really nice feeling when everything finally seems to form a synthesis and we achieve a result that we all feel is better than if we'd been working on our own. So we encourage you to share your hobbies and interests with others – either family or friends who share the same interests or sign up for a class or join groups online if you don't already know someone. Take inspiration from each other and help each other – it's one of the great joys in life. /Vivian

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Flowering Town Gate

Our company is located in a small town north of Randers, Denmark, by the name of Kondrup. The area is dotted with farms and the town is surrounded with fields.

Some of the farmers have put up a 6 foot wide section of flowers, almost like a living, flowering town gate welcoming each of us as we drive into town. The project is carried out with support from the consulting firm LMO, which specializes in farmers’ needs. Not only does it look stunning, they’ve also let us pick as many bouquets as we wanted throughout the summer.

Tonight had that true late summer feel to it – warm and calm – and Lars and I went for our usual evening walk along the gravel roads by our wind mills. At the end of the road, I picked this large bouquet of beautiful, pink cosmos. I’ll be able to enjoy that in our living room throughout the weekend and be sure to send a kind thought for the farmer.

Here’s hoping that next year will see even more farmers taking advantage of the possibility thus enriching us all. /Vivian

Friday, September 4, 2015

Down memory lane

Some people love it; others hate it. To us, not knowing what the day will bring is mostly fun. The thought of every day being fixed and specified can seem almost frightening. There has to be room for improvising. This doesn't hold quite as true as it once did however. These days a lot of deadlines must be met in order for everything to run smoothly. It wasn't like that 11 years ago when Lonnie and I first started our small company. We used to meet up at Lonnie's house in the mornings. I'd bring my three kids so they could play Lonnie's daughter who was also at home. Then we'd sit down and talk about what we wanted to do that day. If the weather was good enough for taking photos outside – no wind and not too sunny – well, then we'd head outside to do flowers, small DIY projects or creative things that the children could be part of as well. If fresh asparagus were in season and they looked particularly great that day, we might do a piece on those. Other times we felt like going for a drive at random just to see what we might find. A beautiful garden or an interesting house that we passed on our way could be a potential article. And yet other times we'd go searching through flea markets or secondhand stores for ideas and inspiration. Sometimes we would end up spending all day right there by the kitchen table just talking about all of our dreams and ideas. We still try to preserve a bit of this impulsive work approach – at times to the frustration of our staff members. We know that but this is, after all, how the best ideas come about. When you're not under pressure and you let your passion guide you. Being creative on cue can be exceedingly difficult. So we often end up changing our plans. Perhaps one of us or one of our creative staff members gets a really good idea that simply must be realized right away. Some of the articles in this issue actually came about just like that. The article about using old brooches in your decor came about as a sudden impulse one day when we had actually gone to Lonnie's house for a different photo shoot. Using the differently colored green beans that I just happened to spot at a farm store was also on a whim. They just looked so pretty that I had to bring them back to the office – and then we just had to put together a piece about green beans that day. We hope you'll find plenty of inspiration – including for being impulsive – in this September issue of our magazine. /Vivian