Guest Vignette: Rashon Carraway

Y’all know him and adore him if for nothing else but his spiffy bow ties.  I am stoked to have Rashon Carraway aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting as a visitor today for my guest vignette series, where I ask fellow bloggers to share a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful.  As usual, Rashon combines his trademark eye for finding hidden treasures and a rather sweet story to great effect….

I’m not rich. Neither am I wealthy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy luxuries life have to offer. The picture that you can’t really see in this vignette, is a photo of me when I was in high school. I am pictured along side of former President George W. Bush during Boys Nation in the Summer of 2001.   When I met the president, I knew immediately anything was possible. Although I still doubt much of what I do, I realize there are people who support me daily such as my family and friends and that gets me through. The picture gets rotated out ever so often with family photos or photos of my dog Mr. Benjamin, who has the wildest personality.

Each piece in this vignette is from a thrift store, except the flower. The space really defines the vicissitudes of life as I see it. Many of us have a few dings and certainly a lot of history as relating to our past. However, with just a little creativity and a little work, our future can be exactly as a reStyled piece from a second-hand store…fresh and vibrant. In such times as these its my little piece of serenity.

I wholeheartedly agree.  Rather than dwell in the past, we can look to the present and “style” the future we want.  Thank you Rashon for sharing…..

So tell me, what future plans are you crafting?

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Guest Vignette: Big Beige Box

Time for another installment of Guest Vignette where I ask fellow bloggers to share a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful.  This week I am excited to have Courtney (don’t you just love her name) of Big Beige Box over to share what I think is a pretty awesome story……

When The Secret came out, many of my friends put together vision boards of their goals. I was, of course, way too cool to buy into some Oprah gimmick (because she obviously has no idea about what ideas work, right?) but there was one goal in particular that was tugging at my heart and soul, begging to be put ou there. In 2010, I had fallen in love with a man and a city so my life in FL was growing more irrelevant by the day.

 I had to get to NYC.

 I jotted down a simple phrase on the back of a business card I had made to promote my blog and identity as a designer. “NYC 2011.” I set the card on my desk and looked at it every day, reminding me of my goal.

 My goal came to fruition in April 2011 just in time for its cut-off date of my 30th birthday. Never before had I wanted something so badly and worked so hard. I rang in my 30th on the pavement of NYC and settled into Apartment #13 a month later. As I was unpacking my things, I came across this card.

I considered throwing it away, because the goal had been completed, but stopped myself. I found a frame and slipped in the card. This goal was too much of a milestone and that card meant too much to me. It is now displayed prominently on my bookshelf, and it reminds me that I can do ANYTHING if I put my mind to it.

Thank you Courtney for sharing!  Honestly, I got a little choked up when I read this the first time because I fully understand the drive to obtain a goal and leaving yourself visual “pep talks” to make sure you stay on track.  It truly is a lovely story and I am so happy that (1) Courtney obtained her goal and (2) she kept the card as a reminder that truly anything is possible if you try……

Okay, this is it for me for the week.  I apologize that I have been so quiet this last week, but between pitching two clients, preparing for a week back home in the Midwest, on boarding a new client and taking two classes, I am stretched to my limit and something had to give.  Here is hoping that my time back in Ohio and Michigan gives me some quiet time to reflect and recharge.

Have a great weekend and I will be back on Monday to answer the burning question, so many of you all asked …..exactly where does Courtney keep all his dishes?

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Guest Vignette: Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

I love the internet….pure and simple.  It is one of the few mediums that brings people together across a variety of different barriers.  If it wasn’t for my blog, I would have never had the opportunity to meet Alycia of Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One.  We may have bonded over our love of pretty tables, but we became fast friends because of Alycia’s kind nature and her never-ending knowledge about running your own business as a second career.

I am excited that Alycia finally agreed to participate in my Guest Vignette series where I ask fellow bloggers to photograph a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful to them.  Here is Alycia’s contribution…..

The whole retirement thing is nothing but a big scam! When I hung up my wedding design [business] hat two years ago, everyone led me to believe I would be able to sleep in and then enjoy long, leisurely lunches with my friends. They said I would be eager to learn something new like tennis or Israeli martial arts to work those lunches off before heading to meet still more friends for martinis. They said I would be able to spend more time with my husband and become the glamorous, trendsetting lady of leisure I used to be. Lies! All lies! My so-called “retirement” has been more work than running a design store ever was! I get up earlier, go to bed later, and the time in between is a whirlwind of activity. Lunch is usually scarfing down a sandwich in my sweats while folding clothes. I see my husband for about 10 minutes in the morning before he scoots out the door, and another hour at night before we both fall into bed exhausted. There is no tennis court in my future, and martinis are more like…well, to be honest…just swallowing a handful of olives and taking a swig right out of the bottle because I don’t have time to stand there and shake.

This vignette is a corner of our little library that offers 10 minutes of solace each afternoon.   I fix myself a cup of tea or coffee and just sit there. (OK, you got me…it’s brandy in the cup!) I may stare out the window plotting my escape from suburbia.   I may catch up on my correspondence (uh, yes…some people still write letters despite the advent of email!), or I may just swoon to the strains of Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck. (Hush! I like Engelbert!) What makes this corner my favorite place is that I am surrounded by memories of family members from generations past. To my right is the violin played by my maternal Grandmother in the 1920s, then my mother, my first cousin, and finally my second cousin who is now in his 30s. The strings are fragile with several missing and the bow is worn, but I love it. On the wall to the left of the desk is a portrait of my paternal Grandmother as a child at the turn of the last century. Next to that are the high school diplomas earned by my paternal Grandfather and Grandmother in 1912 and 1916 respectively. Living in rural America as they did, earning a high school diploma was something of a big deal back then. Judging by the size of those bad boys, it must have been like winning the lottery! My Grandmother actually went on to earn her college degree which was a real coup in those days!

I am grateful for all that I am and all that I have in this life. To be able to sit for 10 glorious minutes each day to enjoy my retirement surrounded by mementos from those who came before me is a blessing.

Indeed Alycia, you truly are blessed!  I love that Alycia has been able to carve out a niche in her home filled with personal antiques that serves as a restful retreat.  Thank you Alycia for sharing!

Do you have a special place in your home that is your “zen corner”?  Drop a comment and tell me where those cozy corners are in your home.

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