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Community Collaboration

   

Walking along Page Street in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood this summer, I spied this beautiful large-scale, mosaic tile mural. Along with five other mosaics, its impact and message are hard to miss. It was created by artist, Sharon Virtue along with a group of younger helping hands for the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco.

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Shadows & Loops

   

This image influenced me to design a pattern with loops and shadows that has become one of the central designs in my Askew Collection. I photographed Ruth Asawa’s woven wire sculptures at the de Young museum in San Francisco. The shadows shift on the walls as the sculptures float and twist…creating endless organic patterns. It was just awesome to stand in the middle of the room and take it all in. If you’re visiting the city anytime soon, be sure to take the time and see the exhibit.

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Upcycle Brilliancy

   

The pureness of color reflected in this sculptural watertower came alive to me! It will stand as a beacon of inspiration as I often design and incorporate layers of translucent color into my pattern designs. Artist Tom Fruin constructed it from found plexiglass and is best viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The luminous watertower seems to proudly stand out against a tediously dull skyline as a beacon of bright optimism. Photo by Robert Banat

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Luminous Kaleidoscope

   

This luminous kaleidoscope of converging shape and color captures my imagination like no other large installation can. Its continually shifting pieces burst into my field of vision as I attempt to capture its abstract beauty forever. Dale Chihuly masters the bending and blending of glass, mystifying each of us, as our eyes dance from shape to shape and color to color. Universal joy radiates on the surrounding faces…what higher response could an artist possibly ask for?  Photo courtesy Joe Roehrig

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Eyeball Tree ??

   

While traveling I'm always on the lookout for a cool pattern, but I was still surprised when I came upon this intriguing eyeball tree. Is it a palm? An elephant ear tree? This mid-westerner still isn't sure. But its contrasty, geo-circular pattern is nature's way of inspiring me to get out my sketchpad once again!

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Mother Nature’s thumbprint pattern

   

Today’s inspiration shows off some of Mother Nature’s best pattern design. A cool morning hike alongside a massive cliff formation in Red River Gorge revealed Her layered spiral carvings of natural stone within Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Perhaps Mother Nature’s thumbprint will provide inspired direction for a future pattern design that I could only hope to emulate! Awe-inspiring, isn’t it? Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Houston.

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Vintage+Texture+Color

   

I just had to touch it. My hands would not stay in my pockets while my eyes feasted on a smorgasbord of color, texture and pattern. I found this vintage Moroccan rug casually folded on a shelf in an oh-so-very-vintage and hip Nashville shop…that is actually well-loved for their own brand of blue jeans. imogene + willie This delicious find is inspiration at its best…and the small beginnings of a new motif, zesty in color and layered with texture.

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Inspired by Turquoise & Thoroughbreds

   

As a textile designer, I thought I’d take a break from my usual pattern designs and try my hand at making a hand-dyed pillow. Originally from Kentucky, my family and I love the Derby. Over the winter we commissioned a painting by artist Carol Spielman. Its turquoise & aqua colors are incredibly vibrant and inspired me to re-create that same color in the form of this simple yet texture-rich pillow. I used fabric dyes and washed them onto a piece of African-woven broadcloth, heat set the color and then sewed it up with a charcoal fabric backing. The painting’s young thoroughbreds provide today’s wish of luck to all the Derby lovers trying to pick which 3-year old will end up in the Winner’s Circle this Saturday.  Good Luck! And be sure to stop by for a mint julep and join in the singing of My Old Kentucky Home.

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Knock Out Color

   

  When I first saw this photo, the color was like a knock out punch to my brain. I couldn't stop staring. I was hooked. I fell in love with the saturated color and knew it would fuel my inspiration for weeks to come. The "O." Poppy Collection of 5 pattern designs resulted and now the images fill the studio with even more color!      

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The Entrepreneurial Path

   

This premiere post is my entrée into exploring those small ideas that often start the ongoing game of creative hopscotch. This time the idea is a big one: Launch a new design business But why? You’ve been a part of building a highly successful advertising firm for more than 25 years. The growth and client list are still skyrocketing, having reached a revenue threshold fewer than 1% of companies ever eclipse. The Inspiration: I needed to get back to my roots. Of sketching and creating something with my hands. I love to design. It’s the central part of me that will never go away. But I was ready to shift in another direction. The Result: Houston Design Studios, diving headfirst into the world of textile & surface design. Where will my ideas lead me? The business has already taken many turns and will continue to journey around many more exciting bends. But the inspired path is never ending and filled with ideas just waiting for exploration.

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