Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beauty & Brains

The women I admire think smart thoughts and make beautiful things.  They combine thrift and practicality with a dash of whimsy and a dram of wit to craft words and images, meals and rooms, ideas and entire days that sparkle.

I've been so inspired lately by the brains and beauty surrounding me that I thought I'd share some.  My friend Marlowe made me the charm necklace that I photographed and processed for this post.  In the photo it's lying on an old mirror in my workshop.  

Marlowe is a fellow magpie who mosaics walls and columns and even whole rooms with the bits and pieces she finds at flea markets and tag sales.  She also knits up wonders, often creating patterns as she goes, plus the woman makes some seriously gorgeous bling--I have the stunning necklaces and bracelets to prove it.

Here are links to a few more women who are inspiring me this week:

Tracy, whose post on whittling down her wardrobe proves that simplicity can be incredibly beautiful;
Sande, who is the queen of gift wrapping every week, but her post today is an especially inspiring demonstration of how thrift combined with creativity can produce decadent results;
and Suzan, whose post on blogging sanity is fantastic.  In fact, I think it's a must-read for anyone who blogs.    

As we head into the holiday season, my mind is very much occupied with ways to save both money and time without sacrificing quality or beauty.  I'd love to hear from you about ways you're simplifying, reusing, cutting back, or paring down.  Looking forward to your thoughts, my friends!  xo 


  1. Wow what a line up of links that was, perfect.
    I rarely comment on blogs anymore, prefering to read without obligation and also removed my followers counter I deeply relate to what Suzan said.
    Paring down....hmmmm....I've put myself on a strict budget. I'm not buying new anything until I go through all my belongings and upcycle, reuse or donate everything and know exactly what I need or want.
    Wants will have to wait.
    "Stuff" tires me. :)
    So lately I'm chucking and sorting. It feels good!
    Love the necklace, it is beautiful.

  2. Hi honey, I just love that necklace. I admire those who are so creative in all different ways, it does inspire you to be a bit more creative oneself. Sometimes you put away what you loved when you were younger and forget all about it.

    What a good idea to share those that inspired you recently. I love Sande but the other two are new to me. That post by Suzan was so good!

    xoxo DJ

  3. I love the necklace,gigi...I haven't thought fig about the holidays yet,yes,I know...but it just seems too soon,.

  4. my sister makes beautiful pieces from old necklaces so that is one source i have for affordable presents. i also try to do photographs for friends and i love wrapping with useful things like teatowels and then tulle makes a beautiful wrapping that can be used again by the receiver.

  5. Wow that is one beautiful necklace! Marlowe sounds like a fascinating woman.

    At our home we have been cooking wonderful vegan meals instead of spending a ton of money on restaurants.

    The holidays for me are all about spending time with your loved ones and not about the presents. We exchange gifts but it's not the main focus - the time together is the true gift.

    Great post, Gigi! xxoo :)

  6. Dearest Gigi ~

    I absolutely love this necklace! Stunning!
    Hmmm...the holidays. Scare me just a bit since they are creeping up so quickly, but I will be ready, and I plan to only give either handmade items crafted by me or the crumb or small artisan designed goods. I seem to always work best under pressure, so I'm sure the grand ideas and execution will happen at the 11th hour! At least I always have Sande's brilliant gift wrapping ideas to make the presentation a present within itself!
    Hope you are feeling much better!

  7. WOW--that necklace is a stunner...Marlowe has great style! Many thanks for the sweet mention, dear Gigi--flattering to be among such talented & creative company. You thoughts turned toward the holiday ahead echoes my own. This season hubby & I are really paring things down, even downsizing to a great degree. There will be less gifts, but I will be making some, which I love to do--especially to reuse or upcycle interesting finds. Mostly gifts for the young ones, the children in the family. We grown ups have more than plenty. So the holidays will be mostly about getting together, enjoying good food, drink, conversation & company. As well as a good dose of quiet, relaxing time. As I move toward a more simpler, even minimal way of living, I'm musing on how to fit this in with Christmas. Less focus on gifts, materialism/commercialism...more focus on quality of time & enjoyment with loved ones. :o) Thanks always for much food for thought. Happy Weekend, my friend ((HUGS))

  8. In terms of simplifying, cutting down, etc. w/out sacrificing quality or beauty: I'm trying to focus on the people that matter's kind of funny how automatically the amount of effort, money, and time diminishes when your list only consists of those people. Usually it's those people that don't care for a shiny consumer product: they appreciate the homemade gift...a jar of jam, a box of cookies. :-)

  9. Gigi,
    So happy to have found your lovely blog through my dear friend Sande Chase. I have enjoyed reading your inspiring words and those of your guests and I look forward to returning often. Thank you for putting the calm back into my morning.

  10. Great post as ever. I too have simplification on my mind. I will go visit the bloggers you recommend.

  11. Gigi, dear.
    I am so touched! And the timing of this post is so vital for me -- I am buried in one of the most difficult times in my life. Creating/creativity is the one thing I need more than anything right now. So your post, all the talented people you mention, and your blog in general are the kind of focus I need.
    Thank you, Gigi.

  12. Great post and enjoyed visiting the links. This year when I have needed a gift I first look at what I have that someone else might enjoy. It is my way of simplifying and giving. For Christmas I am making my cards from the hand warmers wrapped around the to go coffees. I am opening them up and inside putting a message of wrapping yourself in the warmth of the season. Outside I am putting a heart from the card the person sent me last year. Husband thinks I am crazy, but I am having fun with the idea. Also just made small soldered charms to give to friends at Christmas.

  13. Oh. Yes. I had been putting off all thought of the coming festival of giving. Silly really, as every year I do that and then get into a dither about it. But no harm in lifting my head up and sniffing about a bit. It's all in the planning isn't it?
    Off to check out these links now! C x

  14. What I do in gift wrapping (on my good days) you do with your words for us Gigi.............such a sweet mention. We are all so happy you are in our blogger world. Much love, many hugs, and enjoy the weekend. XO

  15. Gigi I have missed some of your posts recently so am just catching up went over to visit Susan, thank you it's always nice to know others think as you do!
    I am doing the whole de cluttering thing so I can see the beauty here more easily. Take care Julienne xx

  16. Those were fine posts by fine women. Afyer reading Suzan's thoughts, I'm almost reluctant to comment for fear of perpetuating the bandwagon, but I'll sneak one in nonetheless to say I need to make more time as well and would like to know how you fare. The Internet is my obvious vice, but I'm reluctant to cut back. It gives me Headspace, but perhaps it's imagined Headspace.

  17. I loved your links. Thank you so much.


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