fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

The color wheel… unlock the potential!

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Absolutely!  The color wheel!  That glorious tool that helps one to understand the principles of color and most commonly, offers assistance when selecting color schemes for painting or design … THIS could be your new best friend!

As an artist and designer, this dandy little circle has been my creative conduit for as long as I can remember.  Like a hammer to a carpenter, the color wheel is one of those basic, fundamental instruments that proves to be invaluable when working with color.  The strategically splendid display of primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  The directive arrows that demonstrate complementary, analogous and triadic color schemes.  Probably most beneficial, color wheels are generally equipped with a few simple user-friendly instructions and color definitions… making them practically dummy proof!

I would most definitely say that the true beauty and potential of the wheel resides in the implementation… making the pièce de résistance – you!  So much potential with these two overlapping rotating circles… I swear, just holding one of those darling puppies in my hand makes me tingle.  Seriously.  Someone has got to agree with me when I say that color is intoxicating!  When you find that perfect mix and you mesh colors that seem to yearn to be put together – it is magical!  And what I love most is this:  although there may be guides as to what colors should combine, there really are no rules!  For as with music, beauty and art – everything is subjective.  Simple, eh?!  We get to decide, based on our individual and so very unique personal feelings what works for us.  So, with color, all that is left to do is… DO.  Haha – no, I am not going off on a tangent.  My words may seem to appear scattered, but  just like an old car that required a crank to get started, such is need for this versatile tool.

So what –  you feel my passion but are unsure how it might be applicable to you?  Obviously, if you are working on any interior design project, paintings or graphic design, you probably already have one of these close at hand.  But what about thinking outside of the box?  What about those of you who scrapbook?  What about those of you who are landscapers, quilters, cake bakers or even make-up artists?  Humph… I am thinking that just about anyone could benefit from this wheel…especially when it comes to my FAVORITE way to unlock its potential – your closet!

EUREKA, eh?!  What better way to incorporate a bit of zing into our wardrobe?!  I mean it has happened to us all – we get in a rut, locked in habits -everyday,  wearing the same ol’ color combinations.  Hey… the remedy is easy.  Play with your color wheel to create something new.  Dude… it is no secret.  Fashion designers use this fantastic tool frequently for inspiration.  Can’t you picture it – Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson, Donatella Versace or Marc Jacobs, sitting at a desk covered with sketches and fabrics, spinning the color wheel to determine the direction of their next collection?  Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit… but what I do know for sure is that it works!

I insist that you try this simple challenge.   Stand in your closet, take a look at your clothes – the colors that you own – and start spinning the wheel to create some noteworthy color combinations.  I once read that with our wardrobe, we tend to utilize only 20% of what we own and we wear it 80% of the time.  Ouch!  Possibly a bit boring, eh?!  So don’t be timid… open up your mind and be creative.  I am positive that many of you will discover numerous stunning new looks.  All that is left is for you to practice your gracious response to all of the compliments that are forthcoming!  By the way, if you don’t own a color wheel, they are inexpensive and readily available at your local art supply store.  And yes, if you are curious, those that are pictured are the ones that I refer to repeatedly!




…_______ is the new black!

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

Be my guest… fill in the blank.

Surely we are all familiar with this recurrent fashion slogan.  A witty catchphrase that proclaims the next trend or color – initially offered to the naive as a suggestion, yet politely snubbing those that refuse to follow suit.  Haha!  Each time I stumble across this phase in either print or in conversation, it ALWAYS conjures a scene from The Wiz.  You know, The Wiz… Richard Pryor… the mystifying and peculiar Wiz.  The scene in which the loyal devotees of Wiz enticingly dance in the streets, adjusting their stride and wardrobe in a hypnotic manner – all based on whatever Wiz insists is the new color for the Emerald City!  I admit, he got me – for even now, when I watch the movie, I tend to find myself swaying when he declares green as the color!

Nonetheless, it is obvious that the expression is all meant in jest.  Basically, a clever way to state what you deem as hip, current, trendy and a “must have” for your neighbor!  Hmmmmmm… whatcha thinking?  Naturally, everyone fills in the blank with something.  The inclination might be to lean towards a more materialistic entry – I mean we are speaking about fashion trends, eh?!  Being a fashion junkie myself, I could easily detail mine.  “A structured blazer that fits your body type” is the new black, “ensuring that your shoes are maintained and polished” is the new black, “Crest white strips” is the new black, “pairing bold and unexpected colors in your wardrobe” is the new black or how about this… “less is more” is the new black.  Yep.  Possibly a tad arrogant and superficial.  But hey, those are just a few on my “materialistic” list.

However, the candid and sensitive side, my “soak in the moments of life/taking it all in/recognize your blessings” side knows this to be true.  Materialism aside, straightforward and honest, I fill in the blank as such… “Friendship” is the new black!

Having just returned from one of the most memorable trips of my life, I would be remiss if I didn’t dedicate a blog to my spectacular friends.  Friends with incredible generosity – who absolutely went above and beyond to provide priceless memories to me and my family.  For them, I will be forever grateful and look forward to one day returning the kindness.  Not to get all sappy – for being overly sentimental is not the intent.  The message is this.  In your circle of people who you classify as friends, take time and analyze who is material and who is genuine.

Of course, like all aspects of our life, we need friends on various levels – as a result, some in your circle are offered more insight  – they grab you emotionally – you give vast amounts of attention and more of yourself; others you keep at bay drawing them in when you need them and easily discarding them when the moment passes.  With the current Facebook craze, we can easily look to our friend count to make that determination.

Food for thought; if…. if your circle is void of sincere friends… I’m talking TRUE, tell it like it is, bona fide hold nothing back type of friends – those who love you for you, imperfections and all…then you are doing yourself a disservice.   Like the saying goes… “ya better ask somebody” for in my opinion, they are the new black!



…perspective — shifted!

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

18 years.  Yep, that’s about right… 18 years since my last jaunt outside of the USA.  And, as with any span of time, your perspective shifts.  Obviously, a trip abroad isn’t “the” prerequisite for a change in perspective — I mean we are all constantly redefining the who, what and where to our state of being – right?  Be it revamping a career path, remodeling your home, or even rearranging your relationships by sifting out those who no longer share your zest for life – bottom line, we change, we shift and we grow.

I bet you thought that I was climbing up on a soap box, eh? Nah… never that, just trying simply state that our perspective is like the earth – in a constant rotation.  The fulfillment comes when we acknowledge the shift (big or small), grab a hold and then implement some type of discovery into our routine so that WE reap the reward.  For me, I find those moments quite refreshing.  Perhaps, I might be guilty of taking this “perspective” thing to the extremes… sometimes even finding myself as this stealthy hunter, on prowl, extremely observant of my surroundings, trying to ensure that I absorb my lessons and miss NOTHING!  Haha – if you agree, you surely wouldn’t be the first!  But hey, maybe that’s what we all need; an overly expressive friend in our corner, never at a loss for sharing… you got it – perspective!

So, what was my epiphany?

Wow – not even sure that the reveal is worthy of the build up that the preceding text offered – but here it goes (drum roll if you desire)…

Compiling all of what I have seen thus far and being away from my daily grind in the states, the importance of having a place in your home to unwind, relax, rejuvenate and just chill has been reaffirmed.  As a designer, I assumed that I understood this… and while my interior has constant attention, I have neglected the exterior – mainly my deck.  Modest in size, my 10’x10′ basic wood deck, with my husband’s grill and four plastic green adirondack chairs that my sister-in-law so graciously loaned to us when we purchased the house, is my epiphany; my perspective — shifted!

Not to bore you with the details of the intended transformation, I simply put forth a challenge to all who read this post.  Find your space.  Design your space.  Create a room, window, garden, nook … anything… but some type of area that speaks to your interests, provides your body with rest and your soul with nurture.  Not that complicated, eh?!  Haha – and of course for me, adding something delightful to sip on and pairing it with music – ahhhhhhhhh, splendid!

Pssssst…  Would love to know more about the nook you create!




Almost 10 months later, my lil’ 10′ x 10′ deck has become a true retreat… a family nook and nothing short of a sanctuary!  Now, off to fire up the grill and crack open a bottle of vino!  😉

…did I just see that?!

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2011 at 5:16 am

Sensory overload!

So much to absorb – as if someone peeled images once viewed in the pages of a book or on a movie screen and placed them in my path; engulfing me in surroundings that literally took my breath away!  Venice, I think I have fallen in love…

Where do I begin?  Haha – my beloved Venice, how did you steal my heart so quickly?  Marsha Ambrosius’ written words for Michael Jackson ring true – you give me butterflies!  I felt it – the attraction was immediate.  There was chemistry and the city reciprocated – flirting with me and charming me…at times, even making me blush!  In my brief six hour visit, I knew that it would be impossible to experience all that the city offers, but, a very generous friend with a crafty itinerary, made the event exceedingly memorable for me and my family.

Walk.  Walk.  Walk…and more walking.  Funny how “a crush” will leave you with something.  You know, that something that whenever you see it, it will forever conjure their memory.  Well, not including the soreness I feel in my ass from all of that walking, Venice, with all of it’s grandeur, will be remembered and forever cherished for a minty green slushie.  Errrk!  You are reading this now, shaking your head… perplexed, eh?!  I mean seriously, The Grand Canal, San Marco’s Square, the gondolas and water taxis… even the beautiful yet mysterious alleys that you walk with anticipation – wondering where they will deposit you.  Yep…in the midst of all of that and more, the minty green slushie makes me laugh and think… did I just see that?!

So, check this out –

Seven of us, hot from walking and from the sun, are in line to a purchase a refreshing icy treat.  The adults select gelato (for me, pesca – peach – so delicious that I think I had a Calgon moment!) and the kids, they decide that slushies will offer that much needed relief.  To offer a visual, the slushies are available in three colors that pay homage to the Italian flag – my daughter, feeling rushed because the line is growing, hastily  picks green.  As we all begin to devour our selections, she thrusts her cup and me – with a frown, she insists that I taste it.  So I did…  Imagine sippin’ on Wrigley’s Spearmint gum – with EXTRA mint – yuck!  She was right, it was awful… so back in line to see if it can be “traded” for something different.  Reluctantly, the cute Italian girl behind the counter takes back the green minty slushie and hands my daughter a safe and basic vanilla gelato.  All is well, eh?!  Perhaps… but not for the next person who decides to purchases a green minty slushie – for as we walk away, we see her (without concern) lift the container lid to the batch of green slushie and pour ours, the slushie we just “traded”  back in!  Nice!  Undeniably a poster child for the mantra “Waste not, want not!”

Disbelief, yet humored… my beloved Venice, with all of it’s history and beauty, has a “keepin’ it real” side!

On another note, since I have promised to share any mouthwatering vino discoveries, if you are a fan of Pinot Grigio – Giovanni Puiatti Zuccole Pinot Grigio – is a must!  Refreshing and light with noticeable pear and apple notes.  In my opinion, absolutely perfect for sitting in San Marco’s Square… oh wait, guess you have to meet me in Venice, eh?!  (wink wink)



Spicy! My favorite interjection…

In Uncategorized on July 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Yes… spicy!  And in my world, pronounced as such… “sss-SPIE-ccEE!”

I have recounted the story behind the word numerous times – so much so, that some in my circle may even convey it better than I!  Nonetheless, I continue my narrative, each time humored by how a mere moment evolved into this – me, using “spicy” as an exclamation for just about ANYTHING that entices my senses!

As I recall, the story goes like this…  as a toddler, my daughter (who will be eleven this year) had the most adorable lisp.  Like her mother, she was expressive (hmmmmm, imagine that) and generally never at a loss for words.  With beverages, never being exposed to more than just milk and juice, she sampled her very first carbonated drink.  I am sure, since it was a clear soda, she assumed that it was water and took a heathy sip.  The response was pure perfection!  Eyes pinched, lips pursed and shaking her head, she exclaims “spicy!”  Immediately diving in for a second sip, I knew she found satisfaction in that bubbly treat!  So it stuck.. and from that moment, “spicy” means a jolt – a delightful and gratifying jolt to my senses that leaves me wanting more.

As of late, besides after my first sip of an ice cold ginger ale, “spicy” usually follows when I stumble upon that perfect glass of wine.  Vino.  Le vin.  Wein.  In any language, for lovers of this sumptuous liquid, there is that moment when you find “the one” and all you can say is _______.  And, as you probably can deduce, for me, its “spicy!”  When I find “the one” that clings to every taste-bud on my tongue, “the one” that makes me press my fingernails into the tabletop as I wait for the flavor to peak, “the one” that makes me immediately run to facebook and offer my quirky reviews/recommendations… haha, I think it is clear now, eh?!

Simply put, my favorite interjection comes to mind when something makes the hairs on my arms stand erect.  Mind you – other things are “spicy” as well, and it is as varied as – the sunlight on freshly colored red hair, watching my husband create masterpieces on the grill, the moment in which your jeans fit perfectly, or the laughter that fills a room when family and friends gather.

But, for today, as I embark on a vacation across the Atlantic, I anticipate my squeals to be heard for miles and miles — for the wine that I am about to experience makes my head light just thinking about it!  Reds and whites will be tried without hesitation or bias – and of course, I will be sharing all of my discoveries.

Curious thou – what might make you exclaim “sss-SPIE-ccEE”?



Really… my blog?!

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 3:13 am

Really?!  I have a blog, eh?!  If I weren’t the one typing, I don’t think I would believe it myself!

But alas… kishafwd (fashion, wine & design) has breath, body and soul – all that is left is an audience to absorb the various random thoughts that continuously swirl throughout my head; thoughts with eager tentacles patiently awaiting an opportunity to cling to any interested listener.

Haha – my play on fwd?  Could be construed as “forward” – truth be told, I am forwarding my internal chatter to you.  But, better yet, in it’s simplest form, “fwd” is merely just a clever way to highlight and offer a witty acronym the topics that take me there; fashion, wine & design!

So, for those that choose to indulge, I offer this:  an honest and lively take on…. hmmmmmm, pretty much anything that I deem worthy of blogging…all the while, the subject matter falling under my self-imposed “fwd” umbrella.

Come on now… everyone secretly desires an avenue that affords a short cut!  You know… tips, ideas, descriptions, suggestions and the reviews (both positive and the “don’t try this because I did and it is awful” kind).  If this is you and your curiosity is piqued — welcome aboard — and with a gracious and humble bow I ask that you tell a friend.  As a novice to the blog world, be patient for mistakes are bound to be made.  But, as an avid lover of words and their descriptive force, I can assure you that you will always walk away with new perspective and possibly a recommendation or two that provides a much needed jolt to your daily routine (hey, no judgement here for I am ALWAYS on the prowl for  ways to stimulate my daily grind).

Needless to say… much much more forthcoming.  kishafwd has spunk, a gritty bite and a lively essence.  Keeping it real and keeping it true to my sometimes “rough around the edges” style.  Hmmmm, so should I say, hold onto your hat?!  We will see….

Hey… I am ready.  Are you?

For now, all that is left to be said is this:  those who have been gently nudging me in this direction, I do appreciate your encouragement and your support.  Long overdue, I know…but as Ms. Celie exclaimed in The Color Purple, “I’m here… I’m here!”