During the last week of September, a community of creatives gathered at the annual IDS Vancouver show to reveal all that inspires us in the world of design. I was so pleased to be invited to participate again in the Open Studio exhibit, as it was so fun and successful last year! This year's Open Studio design theme was colour, a collaboration with Colorhouse eco friendly paints. Along with other wonderful designers such as Mango Design Co, Aloe, and Form Collective, I was asked to create an installation with one chosen paint color for a 10 by 10 space.
I chose to create an elemental atmosphere out of drop cloths that I hand painted to emulate the feeling of water. Being mindful of wanting to create a sustainable booth, I am excited to now recycle the large cotton panels into tote bags for the shop.
One of my highlights of the show was when two 'mermaidesque' models wearing ethereal gowns floated into my dreamy booth for an incredibly photogenic moment.
It was so much fun to be one of many that also participated in the Dinner x Design exhibit. This year my friends Tina and Brooke of Designers Collective created a fabulous 'Vancouverism' theme, incorporating multicultural themes with tactile artisan hand-made goods from locals and a gorgeous cherry blossom backdrop painted by Lauren Morris. I provided 'natural eclectic' props like the antique ladder, fishing floats, and driftwood finds. My dear friends Alison and Cindy of JOUE Design created the linens, Botany Living created the stunning organic succulent groupings within the driftwood. Kate Duncan made the chunky wooden plank trays and ceramic artist Gabrielle Burke created the amazing ceramic pendant lights and platters. Stefanie Dueck created the hand forged metal flatware.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Emily who was charming and adorable and even shared a shout out to my book with her half million followers on Instagram. I also really enjoyed chatting with Karl Lohnes who interviewed Barbara on stage. He was so warm and welcoming and put me at ease about my own upcoming presentation.
Suffice it to say I was really nervous about my first-ever presentation in front of such a large crowd. As I stepped up the stairs and onto that stage, the jitters dissolved as I felt the love, support, and encouragement from my tribe. I began calmly sharing stories to a captive audience that I knew fully cared about me, my design inspiration and creative perspective.
*portrait of Heather Ross by Albarosa of Brilliante Interiors
After the intense week at IDS Vancouver wrapped, I had the chance to unwind out in nature and picked some wonderful hydrangea blossoms from my mother's garden. They were wearing all their burnished tarnished tones transformed by autumn's arrival.
In my talk at IDS Vancouver I spoke about colour. I shared that when you see colour as found in nature it is never flat or one-dimensional. It is layered, nuanced and multi-dimensional.
The same could be said of creativity, community and collaboration.
While all of us participating at IDS Vancouver had our own personal projects and goals, we also worked together in collaborative teams. We supported each other through our sheer exhaustion which transformed into feelings of excitement and pride as our visions came to fruition. Running on fumes, somehow we also managed to celebrate together each night at design hot spots across the city!
I believe the role of design and art is to elevate the human experience, and that observing everyday moments of beauty can improve our sense of well-being.
We are all transforming. We are all a work in progress. We all shape our ideas and our inspirations as our life unfolds, and the elements of the seasons shapeshift along with us.
I am so very grateful for the abundance of opportunities that have come my way since publishing my book, The Natural Eclectic, and the amazing connections and sense of community it has brought to me.