Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pink Vignettes

Some pink things from my basement powder room (which I moved into the light to photograph). The tiny pottery vase was my first gift to David, who likes to hike and pick wild flowers. The photograph is one of my own, of flowers in a stream.

I often felt like a tomboy growing up, but yet I always loved clothes and decorating my bedroom. As I got older, I was a girly girl in denial, I think, probably because I was the smartest kid in my class and came to see girlishness as a weakness. It was better to be studious and serious and independent and capable (and well-dressed...luckily that was permitted) but not good to be too much of a girly girl because, well, girls acted dumb and gossiped and liked flaky things and didn't have much expected of them.

People took you seriously if you were serious and liked serious things...if you excelled in math and chemistry and the hard stuff, if you read books and didn't chase the boys (much) and weren't "easy". It was better to be independent and capable and good at important things, and well, sort of a tomboy.

It took me a long time to realize that it's okay to be a girl, to be a little bit of everything and everyone. Luckily times have changed and girls can change their tires and tile their bathrooms, and boys can be great cooks and have opinions about curtains. Thank heaven I realized that it is okay to be girly and like (stereotypical) girl things, to love clothes and obsess about decorating, to admire and lust over *pretty* things, to spend train rides home from the office dreaming about which colour blue really is the best...

There is always an internal conflict because I am an engineer - I have a serious job darn it, and I work entirely with men - serious men who talk about the stock market, the price of oil, strife in the Middle East, and where to get your transmission fixed. When I even broach the subject of my frivolous pastimes, I am greeted with consternation. We might have a discussion about paint, but it is never about colour, god forbid. Colours are for girls! Let's talk about cutting in, which width of tape is the best, where to get a good deal on rollers. You know - technical details!

It is hard to be "myself" in this environment, still, but if I've learned one thing in the past is to Be Yourself try to be true in word and deed to your values, and to who you really are.

Most importantly, it helps to surround yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are, foibles and all, to find a community where you fit. Over a year ago, I started a headache blog - to find a community where I fit. No one around me, in my physical reality, understood my internal daily Hell. That blog transformed the way I looked at myself and my headaches. I wasn't alone. I wasn't some alien. With the purchase of our house, that blog changed to its current incarnation, as a decor blog.

I love this little blog world, where I can share all my often-silly, girlish whims, and where lovely, sweet, smart women write to encourage and inspire me. I have been blown away by these amazing women I keep discovering, the talented writers and artists and do-ers. These are the women I have been missing, the women I was afraid to be, who I realize are stronger and more amazing and more capable and funny and positively perfect than I ever imagined girls could be!

And on that note, some photos of pink things...I love pink and it is no longer a girly fault to say so! Say hello to pink...

An interesting painted vase (David asked me why they only painted half...he is such a boy), sitting atop a lovely hand-woven runner from Massachusetts (from a store in Victoria, BC called "New England Square"). Note the chintz curtains which came with the house - the previous owner had impeccable, but very traditional tastes!In the powder room, where these objects belong (but where the light is o-so-drab). The paint is Grey Wisp, from Benjamin Moore. The B&W photograph is by an accomplised professional photographer friend, Paul Stack.

My dining room. The traditional pink wool rug was purchased for a song from the previous owners. Our furniture is turn-of-the-century Canadian walnut, with serious pink and blue striped fabric (as bought)! The mirror is a Stickley (Mission). The lamp is reproduction Art Deco, one of my few prized possessions. The wacky hot pink wreath was $7 at a discount store. This whole room will be redecorated eventually...


  1. Love the pink girlie girl article! I am so glad you are able to share it! Isn't it fun blogging about such things?

    I am too constantly amazed at the creative genius and talent I find out there in the world, through blogging. Inspirational, if I let myself be inspired instead of getting depressed! :-)

    That is why I agree with you on the authentic living stuff--once we know WHO we are and what WE do, we can fully appreciate all the wonderful things OTHERS do without feeling like losers because we don't do those things! :-)

    Mostly I am just in awe of what people can accomplish and with what flair! Makes me want to try more things!

    Fun to read about your pink side. I have one too (I'll have to post about my pink chair, soon!) but my husband limits my pink intake into the house. :-) BOYS!

    Take care today!

  2. Melissa - yes, luckily my pinks are confined to the dining room and the powder room. I would get in trouble if I tried them in any more rooms. The pink look can be a little elegant, so I try to tone it down so it fits in more with my rustic sensnibilities by using rustic things like the weaving, rough pottery, etc. so it all doesn't look too "pretty".

    Every day I struggle with colour - I love the almost absence of colour in those white and ivory rooms, but yet I am always drawn to muted jewel tones, these muted dark pinks, the slate grey blues, and the watery ones too.

    Who will I be today? You are lucky you get to experiment with other people's stuff!

    Do tell about that pink chair...

  3. I'm a big pink fan... but at the same time, I wear just as much blue as I do pink. Blue was always my favorite color growing up - I think I inherited that from my mom, who has always had our kitchen (the one I grew up in and the one we've been in a for a while now) in blue & white... and she did my bedroom in blue & white - a Laura Ashley pattern.

    You're right about the New England area - the house is on the CT shore, right on the Long Island Sound (my family is in CT and I'm in MA). I definitely feel blessed to spend time there, but since my grandfather passed away last year, being in the house has been difficult (my grandma passed away in '99). That's also probably why I was taking pictures - to have those images w/ me even when I'm not there.

  4. As a former Calgarian, I just had to pop in and say "Hi". At 43, I'm proud to say that I haven't outgrown my tomboy stage. I love the hardware store, tools, working with my hands. I totally rebelled against the pink bedroom I inherited when we moved into a bigger house when I was 14. It was transformed into a modern yellow, black and white space (well, it was the 70's and I thought it was cool). I have inherited a few pink things over the years, the biggest being my DH's grandmother's wing chair. I call it plum even though it really isn't.

    PS I"m thinking of the Ben Moore grey wisp for my bathroom. It was good to see it on the walls, looks very nice.


  5. Those vases are to die for!

    BTW, I love Melissa's third paragraph. Nicely said.

  6. What a great post!

    Believe it or not, I only discovered the blogging world one month ago. I had heard of blogs, but never really looked into them. I am so glad that I finally decided to do some research, because like you, I have been amazed at the virtual community of women out there!

    So glad I found your blog!

  7. Hi Terri!
    From one pink girly girl to another: wear (or decorate ) it with pride!! There is that perception among some that decorating is fluff. I thumb my nose at them and remind myself that it is truly just another creative form. No different than painting a picture. Except the picture is always evolving and the process is all about discovering your likes and dislikes and what inspires you.
    Have fun with it!!


  8. Hi Terri, From what you have shared with me in emails and from your blog it sounds like you are worried that to much time has gone by to do something new with your career.

    Have you ever read the book "48 Days to the Work that you love" by Dan Miller? It's a great book that helps people reassess and reconfigure their daily work. It has some Christian verbiage, but if that bothers you then skip over it. Aside from that everyone I know who has read it found it very helpful to give them that last little push to do something new.

    You obviously have the passion and talent for Interior Design or Decorating. Why don't you take those classes you have been wanting to take and go for it?

    Life is too short to spend each day wishing you were doing something else.

  9. I can relate to what you say about not feeling able to be too girlie, since moving to France I have changed in that respect. I now have pink in my wardrobe which wouldn't have been there 2 years ago and I buy girlie shoes too, it used to be all lace up clumpy boots.
    I have also learnt that my migraines are part of me and who I am and I find it a lot easier to accept them since reading other peoples experiences.
    Thanks for a really interesting post.
    Racheal x

  10. To read your post was like speaking my mind out loud. All through school and college i wore short hair cause i felt that made me different. It took me the longest time to accept my femininity, now i wear my hair long & curly & am loving it. I still haven't got myself to love pink. Art college & life as a creative person fortunately lets me just be whoever I so please to be- so with each passing year i loosen up somemore :)

  11. Hey we have a vase that is exactly like it but with more of a shape and some rings on the side! We wanted to know where it came from but i saw your picture and its almost the same thing!

  12. Love your pink dining room. Thanks for saying liking pink is no longer a fault. LOL.

    My Mom was locally famous in her small town for her love of pink. My cottage is pink.