Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Inspiration, Beauty (and Guilty Pleasures)

I have the blessing (or the curse, depending on how you view it) of being entranced by words, sounds and pictures.  My entire life I have loved beauty.  My father was a gifted gardener (how I wish that I had inherited that talent from him) who kept our yard blooming with a variety of eye-pleasing flowers, shrubs, and trees.  My mother had (and continues to have) a keen sense of style and was always elegantly put-together and loved to shop at colorful, creative stores.  I was surrounded by beauty on all sides.

I went through a period of time in my life where I lost touch with beauty.  Over the last two years, I've started to embrace it again and I see what a difference it makes in my well-being.  About a year ago, I was doubting my decision to have located Zoe in Alexandria.  One Sunday during this time, I decided to park several blocks from the store and walk through a residential area of Old Town.  As I passed the unique homes, the brightly colored doors, stately flags, and bright beds of flowers, I felt my spirits lift and felt reassured of my decisions.

In addition to appreciating all the beauty that surrounds me on a daily basis, I also seek out beauty through the power of the web and the incredible digital photography available today.  I will admit that I struggle with all of the options available (and how one can use them appropriately) but I thought I'd share three of my "go to" sites.

I can always depend on Web Designer Mark to get me an invitation to the latest and greatest inspirational sites (normally before they even reach the "cool" factor).  He was the one who introduced me to Pinterest.    I haven't yet decided whether I absolutely love Pinterest and all of the different images and ideas it exposes me to or if it just makes me feel guilty, seeing all of those creative home decorations, kid's activities, and recipes (that I'll probably never get around to trying).  I love the fact that it is a "virtual scrapbook" of things that I like and adding to my boards is as simple as a couple of clicks.  From a business standpoint, it is a way to share a little bit more about my personal likes and style.

My shameful pleasure is a website called The Fancy.  The website says: Fancy is part store, blog, magazine and wishlist. It's a place to discover great stuff, to curate a collection of things you love, to get updates on your favorite brands and stores and to share your discoveries.  I just love looking at the beautiful pictures and innovative creations on the site (even though I can't afford any of it!)  My favorite pictures (besides the fashion ones, of course) are the travel ones.  For example, I really want to go here:

Lake Como, Italy

There are new pictures on the site every day.  You can buy many of the products on the site.  It really is very addictive.  These are the times it is good NOT to have money to spend!

My newest experiment in beauty and inspiration is Instagram, the photo-sharing app available for Smart Phones.  I had often enjoyed looking at Instagram photos from some of the designers that I follow but decided to formally take a plunge a few weeks ago and set up my own account.  My goal is to try to take at least one interesting picture with it each day.  And to continue to find interesting people to follow!  

Love this photo from a new jewelry designer at Zoe - Katie Bartels

1 comment:

  1. I have often-time wished I had better photography skills to capture the beauty around me. Alexandria is truly a lovely place!