Four Tenets to Artful Living

As a San Francisco based artist and creator of beautiful things, I strive to design the details of my life so that my experience of beauty is enhanced to the maximum. It’s what I call Artful Living. One of my inspirations is beautiful fabric. What’s yours?

My business is sewing for custom interiors and I get great pleasure from working with exquisite fabrics. Flowing silks, crisp linens and the bright flowers of a waxy cotton chintz are a delight to the senses. My featured fabric from the house of Fortuny is one of my favorites.

What I love about my work is collaborating closely with clients to create the houses they want to live in and feel great about. Making everything from bedding, window treatments and pillows, I create something exquisite every day. I have extended the rich sensual experience of my work into my philosophy of Artful Living.

Artful Living can encompass the materials, the texture, the color and the form of the everyday items with which you surround yourself. Life is a feast and you can take every opportunity to enjoy it’s pleasures by enriching your daily experience with beauty. Live Artfully by:

Have Your Special Signature Piece

Take an everyday item like your handbag, your tote or a scarf and make it your special signature piece. A unique expression reflective of you! For instance, one day in a great hurry, Babe Paley socialite and trend setter in the 50’s and 60’s, tied her Hermes scarf to the handle of her handbag thereby creating a fashion craze. Everyone who was anyone immediately did the same.

Uplift and Enrich Yourself in Small Details

It isn’t what you possess but how you make the most of it by presenting and arranging it. Consciously design your life as an antidote to the pervasive stress of the 21st century. Choose the details of your surroundings to uplift and enrich your life. Perhaps it is something that was made especially for you, or something that reminds you of a joyful time. Whenever I look at the small Florentine paper picture frame which sits on my bookcase, I am instantly transported to that magical shop under the Ponte Vecchio and the soft, warm light of a spring evening. What small item takes you to a favourite corner of the world?

Be Environmentally Friendly

Your artefacts can be fashioned from salvaged, recycled, reused or renewable materials. You might think that this does not sound sexy but you can have beauty and be kind to the planet at the same time. I reuse vintage Japanese kimonos to make beautiful pillows and totes. My clients love them because they are extremely limited pieces, made especially for them from high-quality fabrics with prints that are no longer loomed. It’s a real thrill to have your own custom pillow, tote or accessory in a fabric that will never be made again.

Be a Pebble in the Pond

As the ripples spread out from one small pebble dropped into a pond, you can give others the gift of Artful Living by simply embodying it yourself. Others will perceive and enjoy your increased sense of vivaciousness as you unselfconsciously go about sporting your signature piece. Just think of how good you feel when someone compliments you on your good taste and style.

You can also artfully maintain the details of your work environment. I often benefit with improved mood and vitality by keeping a fresh cut flower (a red, orange or yellow Gerber Daisy is my favourite) in a small elegant Japanese ceramic vase. I keep it next to my computer and a couple of times a day or so, the colour and fragrance affords me a wonderful contemplative get-away into beauty. It lets me refocus on my work with a renewed sense of vigour.

You can experience the same benefits with your own personal artful design. By expressing the radiance that is your true nature, you will enhance your own life and the lives of others in surprising ways! Get ready for an abundance of fresh ideas, energy and new beautiful items to enhance your living!

Shirley Anderson
 Minna Street Creations

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