Tagged Interior design

It’s all for love; being a Creative

Peabody Essex Museum; "Native Fashion"

Do what you love. Do it FOR love. In this month of romance I am reflecting on what it means to be passionate about something outside of someONE. Not fulfilling our innate longing makes us less lovable, in a constant state of unrest and totally incomplete. Sorry Tom Cruise, another human being cannot “complete us”; completion is only accomplished by acknowledging the validity of our internal self where that longing comes from. We are born this way.

When I turned 50 I realized that I had spent too many years operating my life by the dictates of well-meaning others which always seemed to clash with my own internal driver. Because my personal operating system* was so different from most people’s, I assumed they were right and that my dreams were flawed. It wasn’t until I fully understood that people see the world and it’s opportunities in different ways that they therefore create in different ways. Like many Creatives I understand in a very different way than most people around me including even my own spouse. Embracing that difference allows me act on that internal drive rather than suppressing it.

Now past age 60 I know that I must follow my internal longings and “create” on a daily basis to feel whole. I must assemble, design, coordinate. I must mix, blend, build. I must ruminate, experiment, test. The ideas come faster than I can put them down and if I cannot write or can’t get to a paint brush, an empty pot and a full larder in the kitchen will do. I feel alive with purpose when I am creating, know that I am doing what I am intended to do and I LOVE my life when I am doing it. To a Creative, the void of personal expression is a depressed spirit. Have you been there?

I am happy that I have been able to establish my livelihood through my creative work. My methods fly in the face of traditional business plans and it has been a running joke that I periodically have to “prove” my intuitive process with traditional methods to banks, family members that are scared to death of my latest brainstorm, to clientele that give me the deer-in-the-headlights look and even to myself! But it does work out and when it is less that perfect, a creative touch nudges it in the right direction.

In this month dedicated to love, think about what you love to do and I encourage you to embrace it. Because the thing is, people live their dreams all the time, so why not you!

My latest creative project was the re-assembling of my studio and esthetics business when I moved it back to Canterbury, NH from Portsmouth, NH last December. Here are a few before and after photos…

I carved out a portion of our barn to act as my “store” for my art and esthetics practice. Hubby built the wall and sliding door then I white-washed everything. A recycled window from a historic house in town makes a nice divider and lets light from the windows through.Batn store redo; janebalshaw.comI opened the store in the late summer before all my goods were here so just placed an antique dresser against the wall.  But soon I knew I needed more display space.  I envisioned color palettes at eye level but the mirror was in the way…so I separated the dresser and raised the mirror effectively extending the piece to accommodate shelves in between. Again hubby built and I re-finished. FullSizeRenderIMG_2740make up bar construction; janebalshaw.comIMG_2842 In my absence from our home, we had turned part of my studio space into an apartment so returning meant re-converting it back to an esthetics space.  I had laid the floors before but, oddly, all the fixtures that hubby and I built for Portsmouth fit here EXACTLY.  Facial room do-overIMG_2804IMG_2835

*There are many psychological stereo types to explain why people differ – right brain/left brain, mars/venus, introverted/extroverted, visual learners/kinesthetic learners…. the fact remains that we all learn and do differently, no one way is the right way EXCEPT that way that works for you.

COVER PHOTO COLLAGE: I loved the artistic personal expression shown in the current exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum.  Thought you would like that pop of color too!

Artist’s gallery design; putting it all together – part 4

photoNothing is done until the last touches are applied.  The icing on the cake…that swipe of lipstick…that last piece of the puzzle; satisfaction comes from seeing all the elements come together in any project.  The cabinets have arrived and the artist’s wares are being placed on shelves in the new League of NH Craftmen’s fine craft gallery in Hooksett.  Take a peek at how it is coming together for Saturday’s grand opening.

Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday February 14th, 2015, 2:00.  Hooksett Welcome Center I93 north bound.


Hooksett 2photo



Glass unit composite


of the League of NH Craftsmen Fine Craft Gallery at the
Hooksett Welcome Center on I-93 Northbound


Ribbon cutting and accolades to our supporters:

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The Duprey Companies
Mount Sunapee Resort
The Curt and Alice DeSouza Little Fund
of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
and an Anonymous Donor

Come and meet the Manager and Sales Staff, enjoy light refreshments.

This new venue will serve to educate the public about fine craft,
promote the work of League juried craftsmen, and will encourage travelers
and commuters to shop at the seven League fine craft galleries throughout New Hampshire.


Artist’s gallery design; 3rd design’s the charm – part 2

HooksettJune4A final delivery is only as good as the labor that went into it; ask any mother! So as the League of NH Craftsmen prepares to deliver it’s newest gallery to the public this week-end, here is another look behind the scenes at what has gone into creating it. See part 1 of this series for the background story.

IMG_4126As the building site developed over this last fall so did our little space. The original blue prints changed unbeknown to us; long walls became longer and short walls became shorter. So I came up with a new set of space plans and we were finally comfortable to begin a conversation with the cabinet maker. Ted Ney, of North Cove Design, understood this process so was happy to receive loose sketches to base his bid on knowing that sometime later we would dial in the actual measurements.

As the months went by with construction delays (very typical) in December we were finally able to get into the space with Ted to measure, only to discover that the interior walls were still not up, windows that were to be here ended up there and unexpected beams crossed overhead. Thus a new set of layout plans were needed. Word to the wise; changes always happen in construction so never cast your plans in stone until the final interior walls are up.


But now knowing that the steel studs were firmly in place we knew that my last set of plans would stick.Hooksett 1 Hooksett 2 Hooksett 3 Hooksett 4 Hooksett 5 Hooksett 6

The choice was made to have our fixtures built in maple.  Very blond when first milled, maple will age with UV light to become quite golden.   Since these fixtures will be housing a myriad of colors and tones I decided to choose a laminate—for the pieces that needed a counter top—in a grayed sand-beige.  The cool tone of the “gray” compliments the yellow-orange tone of the wood to make a balanced backdrop.  And like any project, my first choice was not available thus the opportunity to practice staying fluid and zen.  🙂DSC06406

Other decisions by the team that were finalized during this time period:

  • The point of purchase sales system nailed down.
  • The over-head lighting issues; to track or not to track.
  • Interviews began for the sales staff.
  • Searched and found ready-made display shelves for walls.
  • Put out a call to artist’s to stock the store.

Color choices in the next post…..