« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

Moroccan Stencils From Royal Design Studio

So much of what I do has to do with searching and interpreting, and then presenting ideas for how to create a truly sustainable life. It's interesting to me because as I explore, I am also looking and learning for myself.

royal design stencils

I am always drawn to design ideas that are inspiring, comfortable, accessible, and timeless, like these Moroccan inspired stencil designs from Royal Design Studios


Intellectually, we're all so different. This is why good design accesses people via the senses--our senses are where we are most alike.I know that when people feel and see how different organic materials, like these "Livingstones" Poufs by Stephanie Marin.

It's very hard to evoke a physical feeling with intangible information about the ingredients of a product, or its origins. Only with information about products, materials, and labor practices will we inspire people and companies to make changes happen at every level. What would make you change how you purchase products and materials? As a designer, do you consider organic and eco-friendly options even when a client is not asking for them? Please tell me, I'm so interested to hear your perspective.


Mindfulness Over Money: Shop Smarter

The thrill of victory is, we’re exiting earth.We're leaving all this dirt*

Annie Leibovitz Sex and the City

A few years ago, I read the New York Magazine article about Annie Leibovitz and her money woes. I came to the conclusion that her life is a sort of documentary of our post-60's culture. From the beginning, Leibovitz was at the center of the cult of personality--she was one of the behind-the-lens witnesses to the birth of the "rock icon." As a result she acquired what she terms "power by association." 


(Lebovitz image: Jessica Biel as Pocahontas)

But as it turns out, the power Annie Leibovitz was somewhat fleeting, and in recent years she found herself with more money going out than was coming in...Unfortunately, She had (unwittingly) given the rights to her photos away. Leibovitz Emmylou Harris

(Leibovitz image: Emmylou Harris in Tennessee)

Her financial conundrum bears more than just a resemblance to what so many people find themselves dealing with today as we muddle our way through this financially challenging era. Leibovitz may be one of the worlds greatest photographers, she still got into trouble the same way most of us do--over-spending. 


(Leibovitz: Mary J. Blige NYC)

 Since the 1960's, we've become a consumer based economy, which means we don't make the goods, we buy the goods. The money is now made on Wall Street and spent on Main Street. No matter what your job is--or how much money you make--photographer, trader, writer--we are all too easily seduced by the idea that power, love, acceptance can somehow be purchased as easily as a gallon of milk. Or a pair of Louboutins.


Which reminds me, NY Fashion Week is coming up, which is in some ways an exercise in futility--it used to be the only way to see the newest creations, now it's all over the web before the week even begins. Now they are a party (or a lot of people), rather than a necessary work event. Nonetheless, people still want the cache of the label. If someone has a (real) Birkin, Loro Piana cashmere sweater collection, Frette linens, etc., do we not assume that person has money and does that also mean power? Most of us don;t have that kind of money, and can't (shouldn't) pretend that we do. And even if we did, at a certain point we all feel a little oppressed by things...whether it's your car payments, school loans, a mortgage...it costs a lot to have "things." Don't get me wrong, I like nice things as much as the next person. But, if we are going to be a consumer culture, at least we can be more mindful of where our stuff comes from. The best part is--mindfulness is free.




*This line of poetry is from:

Black Nikes

by Harryette Mullen


We need quarters like King Tut needed a boat. A slave could row him to heaven from his crypt in Egypt full of loot. We've lived quietly among the stars, knowing money isn't what matters. We only bring enough to tip the shuttle driver when we hitch a ride aboard a trailblazer of light. This comet could scour the planet. Make it sparkle like a fresh toilet swirling with blue. Or only come close enough to brush a few lost souls. Time is rotting as our bodies wait for now I lay me down to earth. Noiseless patient spiders paid with dirt when what we want is star dust. If nature abhors an expensive appliance, why does the planet suck ozone? This is a big ticket item, a thickety ride. Please page our home and visit our sigh on the wide world’s ebb. Just point and cluck at our new persuasion shoes. We’re opening the gate that opens our containers for recycling. Time to throw down and take off on our launch. This flight will nail our proof of pudding. The thrill of victory is, we’re exiting earth. We're leaving all this dirt.



Blog Quitters Critics Complainers Crackpots Cynics And Champions

  Eco Chic Home Seth Smoot Saying you're a blogger out in the world is like saying you're an actor in L.A., a writer in NYC, or a skier in Vail. Everyone is doing it. That's what they say, anyway. But the fact is, everyone isn't doing it because it just isn't for everyone. Nor is reading blogs, for that matter. Actually, who really has time to read a blog every single day? The only blogs I have time for (mostly) are the news blogs, which have a thousand different sources and contributors. So bloggers like myself need to be realistic about how many people will actually read them. I'm okay with that, because I love writing, and have acquired a love for blogging as well. In the process, I've been able to fine tune my photography skills (not a pro but not terrible), learn to code, promote myself and my books without a big (any) budget, and lots more. Most of all, I have a place to deposit important pieces of myself that otherwise would just float away into the atmosphere and eventually disintegrate. You see, I have a (big) problem focusing, and blogging helps me work on that part of myself. Some bloggers hope to land a book deal--I was the opposite, I had a book and then started my blog-- www.ecochicweddings.com--in December 2006. But, blogging did help me get two more book deals. Which brings me to the other benefit of blogging-marketing. As a marketing veteran, and research junkie--what I LOVE the most about blogging is the connection to you. I am passionate about consumer behavior, helping people make better decisions for their lives, and for the world. Lastly, this is where I can be my weird self and know that someone will get a kick out of me. Ultimately, for me, it's always about quality not quantity. I would rather have two or three genuinely interested readers than 100 blog acquaintances. But then again, I never have been much of a crowd person--I don't even really like going to parties. Unless it's for me. Just kidding. Thanks for reading and supporting me :)

Inspired by: "Why Isn't My Blog More Popular" and "Crain's Chicago Business"

Image: Seth Smoot & Kendra Smoot for my book Eco Chic Home.

About the blog post title: Sometimes I just like the way the words sound together rather than really trying to criticize anyone.