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Archive for the ‘Water Colors’ Category

Color.

Inspiration.

5 days a week.

I wake up everyday thinking about the next day’s melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.  Where will I find the inspiration today?  Will it start with color?  Inspiring words?  I never quite know where the idea will come from.  And, maybe more importantly, when.  Will I get it early or will I be up at midnight still seeking the right inspiration for my readers.  Today, while eating breakfast I decided to catch up on the DVR and indulge in some guilty pleasure “design time” with The Nate Berkus Show.  I had a few episodes available (yes, I’m quite behind…), and chose the Ellen Pompeo “Gray” episode. 

Guilty:  I should be working…

Pleasure:  Forget work…OH!  That room!  Those grays!  That PILLOW!!

WAIT! WHAT?  Did he just say what I think he said? 

Rewind…BONUS:  Guilt gone.  I’m working!  Nate just gave me the inspiration for melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 81.

“Pink and gray, arguably one of the most beautiful design combinations on earth.”   ~Nate Berkus

  

Pink!  ………………….  Gray!  ………………….  Together! 

 

Approved and endorsed by Nate Berkus

Can this day GET any better?  I’m excited about the prevalence of gray in fashion and home this season.  I love gray, always have.  Not sure why really, but I do and I love it even more with pink.  To me the combination of gray and pink says strong and confident, yet soft and sensitive.   So, when I heard these beautiful words by Nate my mind immediately went to Water Colors Diva, part of the melissaAnne Colors Collection.  I knew immediately that it was the “color” for the next melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.

Water Colors Diva ©Melissa McClain

 

Every day, try and discover something that informs you, inspires you or makes your life better. You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.  ~Nate Berkus

Water Colors Diva inspired me to discover something new, and challenge myself to try something different.  When I downloaded and finished editing the original image I was excited by its great texture and colors.  The background was a great textured display of shades of gray.  The whimsical lines in pink gave it a feeling of feminine fun.  I knew the name had to be strong, yet feminine…thus Diva.  My next thought was “…bag.  I want a bag with this print”.  Not just any bag, I had an immediate vision of the bag I would someday carry in Diva.  It looked something like a Louis Vuitton Noé, the iconic  drawstring bag. 

Louis Vuitton Inspiring melissaAnne Colors Diva Handbag

The trim and  strap for my Diva bag would be leather in a complementary gray tone.  The drawstring would be made of  beautiful braided textiles in shades of pink and gray.  The bag would be functional, elegant, and unique. 

Then there was the inside.  If you know me and have ever shopped with me, you’ve heard my famous phrase (probably loudly, in the middle of a store, in an octave higher than my normal voice, that made you want to hide inside one of the racks…) “It has a hidden color palette!”  You know, that special surprise of colors or shapes (or both) on the inside of a bag or a coat.  A little something extra.  A surprise.  An unexpected gift, secretly hiding inside.  The final touch.  Like this amazing coat worn by Hillary Clinton.

Hillary's Hidden Color Palette

 
The inside fabric for my bag would be a beautiful satin in a brilliant pink, gray, and yellow geometric or stripe pattern that makes the inside of the bag as special as the outside (and hopefully creating loud outbursts from customers in retail stores and friends seeking cover). 

The vision led to the question, “Can I do that?”  Fast forward through research on custom textile printing, successful melissaAnne Colors Collection prints on fabric, prototype pillows, and a fabric bag made during  a sewing class last year…Sure, I can do that!  I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Watching Nate this morning, thinking of Diva, and remembering my bag vision brought back the inspiration and passion I get from textiles and designs and finding new and exciting ways to share the melissaAnne Colors Collections images with others. 

I’m putting my mind back to it!  Someday you’ll see me walking down the street with melissaAnne Colors Diva over my shoulder.  Or, maybe I’ll see you…

Thanks for the color…and inspiration, Nate!

Moments of Inspiration

Boats. There is just something about them.  Old ones.  New ones.  In the water.  Out of the water.  They inspire me, all of them.  So, I’m going to a boat show!  What better place to hang out and find inspiration!  If you are going to the Ft Lauderdale Boat show this weekend, stop by Ingham Engineering at booth 406/407 and see Water Colors Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Leave your card and you could win the framed print!  Follow me at the new melissaAnne Colors on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.  Say hi if you’re at the show!

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The Making of a melissaAnne Water Colors Image

When I tell people that my photos are from the bottoms of boats it often results in funny looks and the following:  “THAT’S a bottom…of a BOAT?  How do you do that?”  If you are  part of my network of amazingly supportive friends, you fully understand the looks and the questions because you’ve shared my work and you’ve experienced the same reactions. Let’s face it, it’s weird.  It’s not quite “normal”.  Most people don’t spend their vacations in amazing places like St Maarten or Martha’s Vineyard climbing through weeds in boat yards taking photos.  They don’t drag their friends out to “bond” amid the dirt and cobwebs of boat “graveyards” and graffiti laden walls.  But, if you are among the few who have joined me in one of these adventures…well, you get it.  Sorta….

For the rest of you,  I’m about to give you some insight into those popular questions, “THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?”  and “How do you do that?” using one of my favorite melissaAnne Colors Water Colors images.

 December 29, 2008

I was in Texas visiting family for the holidays.  December 29th, my mom’s birthday and how did we celebrate it?  Driving aimlessly around Lake Lewisville searching for boat yards of course (yes, my mom is a saint).  I was still new to the melissaAnne Colors Water Colors process, this only the second time I’d gone on a boat yard mission.  We drove around most of the day, with me crawling around “the yards” looking for just the right boat, colors, angles, textures, patterns.  It’s about ALL of that!  We stopped at one marina with power boats and sailboats and I snapped away and wandered around for a while.  In the back, among the tall grass and weeds I discovered this. 

The bottom of a boat.....

This, in my world, is a goldmine!  I know, weird.  Those questions marks are floating over your head.  “This is a goldmine?” you’re saying.   Just wait…..

From this dirty old boat came this colorful but somewhat dull image.

© Melissa McClain

With a little photo software magic I brightened the colors (most Water Colors images are the original colors, simply enhanced) and got this.

©Melissa McClain

But it wasn’t done.  One of the things I love most about the melissaAnne Colors Collection is the versatility.  There was one more thing to do, rotate.  Before I finalize an image, I rotate it left, right, 180 degrees to find a story that speaks to me.  At 180 degrees, this one was done.  

 
 

© Melissa McClain

I immediately saw a shoe.  A red shoe.  A red HIGH HEEL shoe.  It said “woman”, “power”, “celebration”, and “confidence”.  I pictured an elegant evening of dancing in red high heel shoes. 

That’s where I stopped and it became Water Colors Elegance, a popular print among strong women!

Although, I didn’t truly stop there…see what else that boat gave us.

©Melissa McClain

 Water Colors Red No. 10

©Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Hope

 

THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?  Yes. 

 Final Water Colors  images shown above are available for purchase at melissaAnne Colors   

Moments of Inspiration

I attended Apartment Therapy Offline Meetup this week!  The guest speaker was rug and textile designer Madeline Weinrib.  Her designs are unique and beautiful.  I found her story truly inspiring and a reminder that it’s OK to be different, stay true to your vision, and follow your passion and you will realize your dream.  Thank you Madeline and Apartment Therapy!  You can also see Madeline’s designs at one of MY favorite places, ABC Home in NYC.  

 Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon  

 SIGN UP for the weekday melissaAnne Color and Inspiration e-mail.  Daily photos from the melissaAnne Colors Collection and inspiring quotes right in your inbox.  It’s free and it’s fun!

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There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those. ~Michael Nolan (Featured in melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 26 – Catch Your Heart)  

I’m headed out on an exciting trip and am busily getting things together for 3 weeks on the road. I’m spending 2 weeks on Martha’s Vineyard (someone pinch me, this MUST be a dream!) and then I’m headed up to Maine for a week. I’ve always wanted to go to Maine, so I’m quite excited to visit both places and spend some quality time with a new camera.      

Over the past couple months, I’ve had so much fun working on new melissaAnne projects and I am excited about recently completing the first month of the Monday-Friday Color and Inspiration Newsletter.  If you aren’t getting the email, you can sign up here.   Last week I finished design of the first 30-card set of melissaAnne Inspire Cards.  I have a few more things to do to finalize the packaging, but look for them soon on my website.         

I recently had samples created for the melissaAnne pillow collection. I took the finished pillows, created from a selection of Water Colors and Urban Colors images printed on Silk Charmeuse, on my last trip to Martha’s Vineyard to do product shots.  Long before I had the samples, or even knew how I was going to get them made, I had a vision of the first photo shoot for the pillow collection.  I saw the pillows arranged in a variety of outdoor locations:  in  boats, on the beach, in a meadow, and on a farm.       

To me, the vision was a message to keep going.  You’ll get there.       

I got there!  But, things didn’t quite work out as I expected.  The pillow inserts I received were 16×16”, which created a bit of a problem for the 16×20” pillow covers. I’m no math whiz…but even I know this is a problem!  My amazing “style team” pulled together and with a fold, a tuck, and an adjustment here and there…we made things work and got some exciting pictures of the samples.  I was even able to integrate some of the ideas from the vision that kept me moving forward!      

Introducing melissaAnne Home Collection Pillows

melissaAnne Water Colors images on pillows go back “home” and add some color to this boat I found on the beach in Lobsterville.         

© Melissa McClain

 From left:  Water Colors Spring On The Vineyard, Garden of Angels, and Sea Cave        

       

© Melissa McClain

 Shown:   Water Colors Garden Of Angels      

    

One of my favorite places on Martha’s Vineyard is Edgartown and the beautiful view of the harbor and lighthouse from in front of the Harbor View Hotel.  A little flip of the harbor view bench and we have a great location to stage the pillows.        

© Melissa McClain

 From Left:  Urban Colors Stedman, Water Colors Spring On The Vineyard, Urban Colors Saffron, Water Colors Sea Cave, and Urban Colors Shine No. 6      

    

Special thanks to the Harbor View Hotel for letting us take over the rocking chairs on the wrap around porch.        

© Melissa McClain

I’m excited about the pictures above and the process of seeing the vision come to life with my pillows.  However, there was something missing.  Don’t most product shots have a little more of a “home” feel to them?  Maybe a little “home life” in them?  I needed a model to help them come to life, and I got the PURRFECT one!   

© Melissa McClain

 Shown:  Garden of Angels with model Wilber Philber    

 

© Melissa McClain

  Shown:  Urban Colors Stedman       

      

© Melissa McClain

  Shown:  Urban Colors Shine No. 6       

      

© Melissa McClain

 Shown From Left:  Urban Colors Stedman and Saffron       

      

Special THANKS to the following:       

My style team: Jamie Eslinger (marketing maven), Sandra Carlson, and Justin Aiken (stylist and “heavy lifter”).       

My model Wilber Philber, his agent, and his personal photographer.      

       

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe  (Featured in melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 28 – Turn The Tide)      

The journey continues.  One step at a time.  One day at a time.  One opportunity at a time.      

A little closer every day.       

I’ll see you after my fantastic adventure.  Hopefully with lots of fun pictures and updates to share.       

       

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

 Sign Up for Color and Inspiration e-mail for your “morning cup of color” Monday-Friday. 

     

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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I gave the blog some love!  Where has the time gone?  I’m sure everyone has been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see what’s coming next.   You are on the edge of your seat, right?  

A few weeks ago I travelled to Chicago to attend the Women On Fire Retreat at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown Lakefront.  I was so excited to attend the event and to sponsor a gift to all the attendees!  This is by far the best group I have ever belonged to (OK…I don’t belong to a lot of groups, but there’s NO WAY any could be better)!    

Hotel Floors - ©Melissa McClain

My 3-day weekend in Chicago was amazing.  I had a room full of amazing ladies (4 of us sharing a room, just like the old college Spring Break days) and we stayed up late into the night enjoying girl talk, eating deep dish pizza, and bonding like only women can.  

Chicago Deep Dish Delight

 

“When you really have the fire you don’t have to tell anybody”  ~Stedman Graham

During the Retreat I was surrounded by more than 60 inspiring , passionate, and compassionate “Women On Fire”.  Women of all ages who were there to join each other in living full lives, supporting dreams, inspiring each other, and creating bonds.  It was incredible!  The Retreat kicked off with a keynote address from Stedman Graham who will no longer be “Oprah’s man” in my mind.  I now know him as a quiet, yet powerful and energizing force whose words inspire and captivate a room and who wears his heart proudly on his sleeve.  Oh, and I also know him as “The Sted-man”, my new little nickname for him.  I hope he doesn’t mind…  

Surrounded by Debbie Phillips, Founder of Women on Fire and Stedman Graham

 

“I rely on my support system.  If I didn’t have this web of wonderment around me, if I didn’t have support and utilize support, I’d be nowhere.” ~Holly Getty – Style Consultant

 There were so many other guest speakers during the event who touched me and changed the way I think about life, dreams, and passion.  I learned about discovering and following your passion from the beautiful Laurie Forster.  Laurie is The Wine Coach and we were treated to a fabulous wine tasting during the Retreat!  I was touched and inspired by Kacy Cook’s passion for writing and her children’s book Nuts.  I got to know one of my weekend “roomies”, Jamie Eslinger, better and hear her amazing story of strength and survival.   I laughed and cried as Janette Barber closed the event on Saturday with the powerful story of her life and her determination.  Janette is the funniest person I know and her humor this weekend was full of beauty, inspirations, and lessons that I didn’t even realize I needed to learn.  She touched me deeply and I am so grateful for her.  Please visit her Max Mouth website and watch the videos.  You will laugh a little, cry a little, and be touched deeply by her passion to help some amazing kids.   

We were a gathering of softness and strength, all standing together and ready to bloom brightly in this world! Photo ©Melissa McClain

Special thanks to Debbie Phillips, the founder of Women On Fire, for creating such an amazing organization of women with like minds and, more importantly, like hearts.  In the words of Debbie, “I’ve found my peeps.”  Thank you fellow “women on fire” for a wonderful, connecting weekend and the amazing friendships that have begun or grown.  You INSPIRE me!    

Chicago Urban Color ©Melissa McClain

I am energized and my passion is re-ignited.  I am inspired even more to keep moving towards my dream!  Since returning, I’ve been hard at work.  I designed a new product line based on feedback from the melissaAnne Inspire Cards I created as a gift for Retreat attendees and I expect to get samples in a few weeks.   

This week I found a manufacturer to print and sew my first line of pillows!  I think it’s finally happening.  I am beyond excited and can’t wait to see the first melissaAnne Home Collection pillows with images from my Water Colors and Urban Colors photography printed on silk and linen!  I promise to update you in early June after I have pictures taken in a very special place.  Get ready for some COLOR!  

   

Moments of Inspiration 

Yes, there is still MORE inspiration to share. 

 I have a really fun morning routine that makes my morning subway commute a little more inspiring.  Included in that routine is a daily email from Inspire Me Today.  It always gets my day started in a positive and reflective way and it’s amazing how often the message feels like it was meant for me!  Check out the website and if you need a little daily inspiration, sign up for the emails.  

 

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Special thanks to Richie Frieman and welcome to visitors who found my blog from my artist feature in Pens Eye View on Friday and Saturday.  Richie has big dreams and is determined to make them happen for himself and others!  Thanks Richie for supporting and inspiring so many!  

Thank you for being a part of my journey.  Together we can reach our dreams and make the world a better place.       

I believe in us.  I hope you do, too!      

 

Enjoy some COLOR!   

   

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Enter your email address above to “Subscribe”.        

I’ll bring the melissaAnne journey to you!      

 

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Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.  ~Gail Devers

      

As I work through the process of identifying a production resource, I am staying focused and continuing to move forward on the plan to launch my first melissaAnne pillow collection. A big part of that is identifying the melissaAnne Water Colors and Urban Colors Collection images to test on fabric, selecting the right fabrics, and ultimately deciding what will be used for the first collection.     

I have hundreds of Water Colors and Urban Colors Collection images at this point. I have a connection to all of them. Many of them have a story. A story about where they are from, how I found them, what I see in them, what others see in them. So how do I choose which images to test on fabrics?     

 I’ve selected a few of my favorite images. I selected a few because they have stories that pull at me.     

A few chose for me by getting in my head and not leaving. Some were just a whim, that paid off!     

There are a few that were chosen in honor of friends’ favorites. And, there is one image that I get incredible energy from and I want to share it with others.     

After I select potential images, I order an 8×8 fabric swatch. The swatch is a crop of the full image. The whole process of deciding and preparing for print is really quite fun! The swatches allow me to check color integrity, fabric type, and whether the images transfer well to fabric. Some do. Some……     

I recently received 7 new test swatches from Spoonflower. Some of them are really exciting! One was particularly disappointing but I’m not giving up on its potential quite yet. These new swatches definitely give me a few more options to consider for my first collection. Here are two that I really like.     

melissaAnne Textile Swatch ©Melissa McClain

 

This is a corner of a swatch from an Urban Colors Collection image recently shot in the DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn. Because of the strong colors and more edgy, urban feel I printed it on upholstery weight material. The colors and shapes really took well to the fabric.     

melissaAnne Textile Swatch ©Melissa McClain

 

This is another image from the Urban Colors Collection shot in DUMBO. It’s edgy, yet soft. I decided to play up the soft and printed the image on Cotton/Bamboo blend fabric. This fabric is really soft! I think this would be a great fabric design for the “tween crowd”.   

Maybe you’ll see these designs as finished pillows over at melissaAnne Gallery when I launch the first melissaAnne Home pillow collection. Maybe they will be part of a future collection. I guess you will just have to wait and see.  Do you have a favorite Water Color or Urban Color image you want to see as part of the first collection?  Let me know!   

Moments of Inspiration

This moment of inspiration is about one word: Turquoise.   

It’s probably obvious that I like color. All colors. But, turquoise is my favorite color and it ALWAYS inspires and excites me. I was struggling a while back to pick my “brand” image. I had been using one that I really liked but something about it didn’t feel right. I had just finished a coaching session with Jane Button (check her out if you are launching or trying to grow your product) and she told me “it will come to you.” Well, she was right! It came to me. It was obvious really once I really focused on it. It’s what was missing all along.   Turquoise!     

I’m debuting the official melissaAnne brand image and colors very soon. melissaAnne blog subscribers will get a special sneak peek!     

 The Inspired Room     

The Inspired Room is a great blog on design that I read every morning. This particular post came on a day that I needed a little extra inspiration. It inspired all day. I couldn’t stop looking at it. You can see my new dream kitchen (sunset.com) here! How could you not have an inspired, exciting and happy life waking up to breakfast here every day? I have a certain turquoise image that would look perfect…right…THERE!     

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

Next post I’ll take you on a recent Urban Colors expedition and share a few of my favorite images.      

  

I hope you have a dream and I hope you are following it!

 

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To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there. ~Kofi Annan

 

I’m still searching for a production resource for melissaAnne. I never imagined it would be this challenging. I’ve researched online. I’m asking for references.  I’m meeting with different people.  I haven’t found “it” quite yet.  I met one  woman who I bonded with immediately. I left our first meeting completely inspired and feeling like I could sit in a studio with her all day and laugh and talk as we busily worked on creating designs for melissaAnne and collaborated about making a difference in the world. Unfortunately, her sewing experience didn’t quite match what I’m looking for. I’m holding her number though because I have a feeling there is a spot at melissaAnne for her energy, vitality, and warm heart.

I found another sewing contractor on Craigslist a few weeks ago and I was initially intrigued by the company’s story and why they went into business. It sounded like they had a great vision for supporting new designers. I was really inspired and excited to potentially work with a company that had a vision similar to mine.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel a connection during our first meeting. I’ve had some follow up communication with the company and it just doesn’t seem to be working for me. I’m not feeling the connection that is so important to me.

But, I’m torn.

I have high expectations. I know that. This is the beginning of my melissaAnne family. This is a relationship that will allow me to take one more step, a big step, towards fulfilling my dream and realizing my vision.  Shouldn’t it reflect who I am and what I stand for?  Shouldn’t it be part of my story of where I’m going and why I want to go there?

However, I’m really anxious to get my pillows produced so I can begin to share them with you. I’m ready to take the designs I see in my head every night and every morning and put them into your hands. Pillows that will bring color, energy, and inspiration into your home. Conversation pieces that evoke story and creativity in your mind.

I’m torn because I wonder if I should go with a resource I have some questions about just to get a tangible product started. Do I lower my expectations? Do I make some sacrifices in the beginning? 

Or, should I wait?

Wait for the resource that will meet or exceed my expectations. Wait for what feels right to me.  I’m sure it’s out there. Somewhere.

Will it make a difference in the final product? Will the energy and inspiration in your melissaAnne pillow be even stronger if I wait? Will the color be somehow more vibrant when you open your package?

What do you think? How do you want your pillow made?

Choose.  Or choose well.   To be continued…

 

Moments of Inspiration

I’m making this a regular part of my posts to give you some insight into what/who I get inspiration from or things I do to ensure the inspiration for melissaAnne keeps coming.

Women on Fire Retreat

I registered for the Women on Fire Retreat this week and I’m so excited that one of my best friends is coming with me! The Retreat is an “inspiration” present to myself. These amazing ladies from around the country regularly provide me with the energy and inspiration I need to continue my journey. I can’t wait to be in a room with them for 2 days! I’m also excited to hear Stedman Graham speak.

Interested in attending and getting some inspiration for your life and your dreams?  You can sign up here. I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon

In my next post, I’ll let you in on the process of picking my melissaAnne pillow collection images from the Water Colors and Urban Colors Collections and show you some new fabric swatches I’m considering for the first collection. I’ll also have a Moment of Inspiration for you. I’ve been holding onto this one. It’s colorful!!

 

I hope you have a dream and I hope you are following it!

  

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