Inspired by Summer

Are you finding inspiration during these lazy, hazy, CRAZY days of Summer?

I sure hope so, because when you feel inspired, your mind and emotions are stimulated and you feel ALIVE! Excitement and creativity kick in, and all is right in your world… at least for a little while. And who doesn’t want that?


Lucky for you, inspiration is all around!

Yes, I know some of you think you’re not creative – and wouldn’t know Inspiration if it tapped you on the shoulder – but I’m going to show you otherwise. There really are lots of places to find inspiration… and lots of ways to be creative.


One of my favorite things to do is create tablescapes, and sometimes it’s the tiniest or simplest little things that inspire me. A walk in the garden – or the woods. A combination of colors – or textures. A theme – or a phrase in a book. Really… nothing elaborate. Just an intentional choice to open my eyes and live in the moment. I spent too much of my life forgetting to do that. Hopefully you won’t say the same…


I’m really glad you stopped by today so I can share a little tried-and-true inspiration with you.


Farm-fresh produce inspires an impromptu picnic.

farm fresh produce1

A trip to the farmer’s market is a treat for the whole family. Children, foodies, artists, gardeners… there’s plenty of inspiration to go around – and still time to pick up a few plump, juicy fruits and veggies and enjoy their sun-ripened goodness! We all know we look and feel better when we get our 5 servings of fruits and veggies (and we’re more creative, too!), so why not pick your produce in a wide variety of colors, serve it on a pretty plate, and take time to “sit a spell”. Taking time for a little rest and rejuvenation gets my vote!


A day at the beach inspires a tablescape.

Chile beach1

Some of you think of a day at the beach as play time… volleyball, Frisbee, swimming, fishing. Not me. I’m really not a fan of sticky air, squelching heat, and gritty sand, but I do enjoy a slow walk on a cool, quiet beach. This guy is the lucky one who gets to live under that little orange roof on the coast of Chile. If a day at the beach – or just the thought of one – inspires relaxation, you can create that feeling at home for family and friends with a Moonlight Beach tablescape. Check it out for inspiration!


A vacation get-away is always a great source of inspiration!

santa fe repetition3

My husband’s job doesn’t lend itself to a traditional Summer vacation, so we have to find ways to be creative! Once, on a road trip from California back home to Tennessee after a big event, we took a couple of days to stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was “on the way”, but it was also a destination that drew me in with stories of culture, spicy food, art, and architecture. During one of our many walks, it was REPETITION that inspired me. Look at all of those beautiful repeating elements – and the vibrant colors of Santa Fe style! If you’re looking for a place with *energy*, you’ll feel right at home in Santa Fe.

santa fe soft4

Of course, there’s also the softer side of Santa Fe, and after the schedule I’d been keeping, I was happy to find it! The soothing colors of centuries-old buildings, delicate lace in a B&B antique door, and a carved statue of St. Francis of Assisi – bringing to mind his self-imposed rule: “To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.” And when I thought I’d been inspired enough (is that really possible?), a colorful collection of rosaries hanging from a tree outside the Loretto Chapel took my breath away. …And then I went inside. Oh, my. The Loretto Chapel staircase is a “must see” if you ever get a chance. You don’t want to miss the story of The Carpenter and the Staircase!


Primary colors of childhood inspire activities of the day.

1.child play

Inspiration doesn’t disappear when the kids are out of school. Summer is the perfect time for bike rides, water play, crafts, and cooking (or skewered fruits – no cooking required). Of course, a family field trip to the public library for the Summer reading program is always a fun idea. After all, books can take you to any destination you like – even if vacation isn’t in the budget! Have I convinced you yet? There really are lots of low-cost ways to be creative!


It’s the little things!


I envisioned a field of sunflowers, and my Renaissance Man planted them for me… But it was a “little thing” – the seed packet – that inspired this Cobalt and Sunflowers tablescape.… and another “little thing” that made it work. Just look how those round sea grass placemats complement the textured brown center of the sunflowers. So move fast if you must, but open your eyes! Learn to notice things around you: a brilliant blue sky on the way to work, the sound of water from a neighbor’s fountain, the weave and color combinations in a carpet while awaiting an appointment, a little one coloring a picture. What “little thing” inspires you today?


If you’re like me, you spend the first part of Summer playing catch-up… and the last part looking ahead! But whichever way I look, I see a project!


A season can inspire fun projects!

1.Fall collage

Even as I’m loving the fields of sunflowers, unseasonably cool temperatures are slowly turning my thoughts to Fall. Last weekend was the perfect time to use the Waterlogue app on my iPad to turn some of my favorite photographs into watercolors. Soon I’ll use Shutterfly to turn them into notecards! Hmmm… Should I leave them blank – or add a Happy Thanksgiving message? (Should I turn them into placemats?)


Perhaps when I’m at it I should make a photo book – or two – while I’m feeling inspired!


How about you? Where are you finding inspiration these days?

If you need more, look HERE. You’re welcome. 🙂



  1. I love that you do visual inspiration pages, because I do these for everything! For starters, your pages remind me very much of how I worked for years when designing a line in the fashion industry. We always started with visual inspiration boards and at times I rigged entire showrooms in this way (not just pics but the actual items… :-)). It is also how I approach my table settings, as well as home design and everything else I do. I was once involved in a group gift with 20 women and I showed up at the mall to shop with a printout of a fully merchandised gift for the recipient (including handbag, scarf, bracelet and gloves). It made shopping so much easier!! The ones you’ve doe her are wonderful! I especially love the travel ones and the sunflowers… 🙂

  2. You are reading my mind. Cobalt and sunflowers, doesn’t that just bring a smile to your face. This table is a delight to look at. Fresh and beautiful. The cobalt blue just pops in contrast with the sunflowers. I Did a similar tablescape yesterday that I will post Friday. I hope you stop be to visit. Have a great evening…. Candy

  3. The Loretto Staircase truly is a sight to behold!

    Although I am truly drawn to all the beach images. Sigh…..

    Thank you for your kindness and friendship.

  4. Thanks for the inspiration…yes, summer, a great time for inspiration! Keep enjoying this summer and keep being inspired.