Alchemy Flower Shop

One of my favorite projects from Interior Design school was probably the retail project at the very end of the program. We studied residential design for the first year, and tackled commercial design in the second year. When I was 15 my very first job was in a flower shop and I adored it. When I first started, I didn’t think of it any more than a job to make money and save for my future little green VW Buggy – but the longer I worked there and the more I learned about floral design, I saw myself becoming a florist professionally more and more! Now that I’m in Interior Design, I though it’d be ultra cool to design my own future flower shop! I have always loved the word “Alchemy” I don’t really know why… I like the shape my mouth makes when I say it and I enjoy hearing that word… it’s weird.

Alchemy [al•kuh•mee]

“A form of Renaissance chemistry concerned primarily on discovering a universal solvent and Elixir of Life. Or a magical process of transforming common forms into things of great value.”

My inspiration for my future flower shop was old English castles, waterfalls and redwood tree forests. I loved how these three things seemed to create the settling for a fairy tale! Essentially, I wanted Alchemy Florists to be a flower shop inspired by Mother Nature; bringing elements from the garden like fresh plants and running water, rough woods and a bright sky into the store. My goal would be to create a way to make floral arrangements a part of everyday life as well as make special events unique and brilliant. With the design of the flower shop, I  wanted to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor; allowing people to enjoy flowers and plants all year round! This is totally real dream of mine – I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve it, but who knows where life may take me.

img_0006Our assignment was to design a mall location store. The rest was only limited by our imagination. I was ecstatic! As my profs went through the requirements, guidelines and design rules I was already sketching my ideas down hoping to put them on paper before they got away! As soon as class ended, I felt like I was a racehorse bursting out of the gate – God was giving me so much inspiration! I thought this would be a fun project, also because I worked in a couple flower shops for several years. I knew things that worked, I remembered things that definitely did not work and there were design ideas I thought would’ve made work more efficient or practical – I was looking forward to developing, eliminating and creating a potential flower shop for myself in the future.

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Getting a floor plan down was the first step and envisioning what shoppers might see on the exterior.

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It was all coming together! I wanted the logo to be simple and organic.

alchemy-florists-logoAs part of the project we had to compile a complete specification sheet for our store including all of the materials and finishes, budget, floor Auto-CAD (ACAD) plans, electrical ACAD plans, + structural ACAD plans. There was a lot of work, but this was fun for me because I was a job that I related to and would want to work in myself! Below would be the exterior of the mall shop – it would be located on the corner which would allow shoppers to access from the side as well as the front. Along the hallway, there would be a window for convenient window shopping of fresh flowers and arrangements in the cooler.

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The ceiling of the flower shop, consists of LED light panels with a sky image. These lights would cast a soft glow through out the entire store to make it feel as it the shop was actually located outdoors. The suspended ceiling would have a pergola grid to hide the metal grid support system, which would enhance the indoor-outdoor experience.

alchemy-florist-4eIn the center of Alchemy Florists would be a fresh plant wall. The pillar would support plant life in the store without maintenance. The pillar offers privacy to the consultation and work areas in the back from shoppers passing by.

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The view of the front desk for floral wrapping, A water feature continues the indoor-outdoor experience and allows shoppers to hear the sound of running water as they walk past Alchemy Florists.

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A walk-in cooler allows shoppers to go in and pick the arrangement they want. Each floral design would sit on a stone Lazy-Susan which would allow them to view 360 degrees of the arrangement without needing to handle it. There would also be plants, gifts, and vases for shoppers to add to their order.

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Standing behind the front desk looking out into the flower shop.

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The consultation space for clients to meet one on one with the floral designers for custom work.

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The work center in the back. A large island with space to walk all the way around and full of storage areas underneath.

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The front shelf doubles as a storage shelf in the back to hold standard vases and designing materials. A large sink provides easy clean up and watering.

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The extra deep counters around the island provide practical work space for designers’ fresh flowers, cutting knives, floral waste, and finished design work.

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I really enjoyed this project! It took 100+ hours of design research, concept building, product searching, 3D computer modeling, Auto CAD drawings and photo shop to put the dream together but it was well worth it in the end! Maybe one day it will become real life!

 

 

 

 

-Stay Satisfied

Calming fears and clearing minds…

Ok so to bring you up to date: I moved back to Regina, Saskatchewan. I completed my Interior Design Practicum at Ambiente Interiors. I was not hired. I am currently jobless. You would think that I’d be more stressed about that last fact…. but I’m not… sooooo…? These past few months have been an absolute whirlwind! However, God speaks to us in the whisper of the wind and that has been SO incredible as I watch as God’s Hand molds my life day by day, everyday whispering, “Just watch and see what I am about to do…” I moved back to Regina at the end of April and began my internship shortly after coming home – it felt great to be working in the field that I love. Remember last summer, when I was working at the design store? I was usually on the sales floor helping clients with high end light fixtures and furniture, luxury plumbing fixtures like claw-foot bath tubs, solid marble sinks, and gold faucets, etc. My job last summer was really fun and I learned SO much. Working in the design store gave me knowledge about lighting, plumbing and furniture that I would never have gained at school. Ambiente Interiors was a completely different experience. I love, love, loved working at a design firm! Ambiente was right up my alley; a small, high end design firm that does both residential and commercial design across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. I worked with two other, wonderful designers and several tradesmen that were experts in their fields.

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As you know, I went to Lakeland College, which is an NKBA accredited college in Vermillion, Alberta and at the end of the two year diploma program, students must complete a practicum with a qualifying design firm anywhere in Canada in order to graduate. So, I chose to work with Ambiente and they were gracious enough to accept me. The practicum experience for me, was phenomenal. It gave me the opportunity to stretch myself and see what I could do in the real world. I was excited to be working with professionals that had experience and knowledge in the field of work that I was pursuing. It is one thing to study interior design at school: in the studio and computer labs, however, it was so much more valuable for me to enforce what I had learned at school in current projects. I was excited for the opportunities I might get to prove myself that I am capable and good enough to succeed in Interior Design. I graduated my program with honors and I am proud of that. However, it’s one thing to earn an A+ on a project in school and an entirely different task to take a real client’s project and design something they are just as excited about as you are. You know what I’m saying? I was looking forward to real clients, with real limitations, real budgets, stubborn likes and dislikes, etc. While in school, my projects usually didn’t have any limitations as a project would have in real life. So you can see why I was nervous but also ecstatic to try myself out in a real project. While working with Ambiente Interiors, my employer took me along to site measurements, design showrooms, showed me current building projects, included me in most client consultations and product representative meetings, etc. She let me draw my own designs and pitch them to clients, she allowed me to pick materials and correspond with the clients and trades-workers directly! For me, that was huge! A lot of these things were taught while I was in classes, but to experience those things gave me the opportunity to ask questions that I would not have thought of in class. For example, in class we learned how to draw details of custom cabinetry but meeting the carpenter that was going to be building my design allowed me to ask him questions that I would not have thought of and also for him to ask me questions that I hadn’t considered either. It was an awesome learning curve. 0 to 100 so fast!Graduation

One thing that I loved about my boss including me in meetings with Ambiente’s trades-workers, was seeing how the designers collaborated with the people who would be producing the work – it was eye opening to me. Carpenters, metal-workers, contractors, designers, drafters, etc. we are all designers in some way. While working in my practicum, the biggest realization was how important teamwork is between everyone working on a project and how important it is to listen to everyone on your team and to keep constant communication with everyone. Ideas from all team members were valued equally in a project, and by listening to other members on our design team, the finished product was that much better and more unique than the original design. Simply because ideas were given the opportunity to bounce off other people and grow bigger and better! Experiences like that made me think a lot about how God wants to include us and use us in our relationship with Him. It’s not about living your life in a routine and sticking to what you know is safe, it’s about going out for Christ and being willing to bounce ideas off God and see where He will take you! I think some Christians slide into this comfortable bubble and become too content to do anything extra in their walk with the Lord. You know what I’m saying? For example, In a meeting I had with my boss and our carpenter, we were going over a design I had. Personally, I thought my idea was great and that it couldn’t get any better. I drew the design, made a 3D model to show how I wanted it to work, etc. But when I brought my design to the table in the meeting, my boss and our carpenter right away started making suggestions of how we could change it. I’ll confess that I got a little irritated at first because I thought they were trying to find flaws in my design. As I sat there watching as they looked over my design and hearing what they were saying, I felt a peace in my heart to just listen to what they were saying and try to see my project from their angle. As I listened, my boss had some very good points about possible flaws in the finished product, the carpenter suggest different turning mechanisms to make the design more functionable, etc. They were making it better. Much better. I believe God wants to do the same in our lives. He wants to take us further into Him. Much further. But only if we are willing to sit back and listen. Really listen.

GraduationMy employer at Ambiente Interiors gave me several projects to work on and allowed me to run with my own ideas. This was good for me. It was encouraging to be given opportunities to show what I can do and prove to myself that I can be successful in the work field. Learning how to collaborate with other designers and tradesmen was hard at first, but it got better. After I would finish a design concept, I would present it to the other designers I worked with, and they would show me where my design was strong, and where it could be even stronger. My ideas were always considered and explored, along with everyone else’s ideas. It built my confidence in my skills and abilities to suggest more ideas and put myself out there. Working with the design team at Ambiente Interiors was a huge blessing because the designers were able to explain things that I did not know, simply because there are things a person can only learn on the job through experience. My employer was a very patient and relaxed boss to work for; she was good at keeping a situation calm and talking through problems with clients and contractors. I saw the importance of listening before acting and how consistent communication is a needed skill in the industry. It was valuable for me to watch how conversations went around the design table and it was empowering to be accepted and welcomed to contribute when sitting around the design table. I appreciate everything that I learned and I hope to one day work for Ambiente Interiors again. I think the most phenomenal thing about my experience at Ambiente Interiors, was how it fell together. My position there was completely the hand of God – no body can take credit. While I was at school, I had been researching a custom home builder that I had heard a lot about. I researched their work and their staff, I followed their projects on social media, I was sold. This was the place I wanted to work. But God had other plans. For over a month, I had tried calling this company many times, but could never get through or further than leaving a message. Not going to lie, I was confused. At the time, this company seemed to be placed on my lap by Jesus, but it took a swift turn to the left and abruptly ended and I did not know what to do. It was nearing the end of my classes and I had still not nailed down a practicum placement. After being shut down by the previous company I was pursuing, I went back to the drawing board. “God I don’t really know what to say, I thought you were lining up that one placement for me perfectly! It was honestly seeming too good to be true! I have no idea where to look or where to start…” When God closes a door, He opens a window. I believe that statement whole-heartedly. 100%. I literally punched, “Interior Design Firm Regina” into Google and Ambiente popped up. From there, God played the cards and I watched in amazement as my practicum came together in a matter of two days.

I want to challenge you guys to live boldly and to allow God to grow your dreams and ideas. You may think you’ve got a sick plan figured out, but I’m living proof that God is 100% able to do so much more than all we could ever plan or imagine. If you are willing to hold on tight and be patient, I know that God wants to do something incredible with your life. Prayer and constant communication with Christ is your ultimate weapon in the battle of the unknown. Go for it guys – my practicum was too amazing – I can’t imagine what He’s going to do this summer!

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

You can only mold mud…

This past month God has been saying the same statement to me over and over. Every time I am praying – whether I’m asking for something, praying for someone or thanking Him for something else; He always says this single phrase that silences me. For example, the other day I was praying about an exam that I had that morning. It was a three hour exam that would be submitted to the NKBA design competition in October. They do it every year for students across Canada and the United States. The NKBA creates a kitchen design problem and students have three hours to come up with a design solution and draw a floor plan of their design. In their design they must include kitchen appliances made by the current sponsor of the competition. Students must fully dimension and note their floor plan and write a list of specifications that make their kitchen unique (like flooring, counter tops, style, etc.) and they have to either draw a perspective of the kitchen or draft an elevation of one of the kitchen walls. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s a lot of work to manage in three hours – they go by fast! Anyways, I was praying and asking the Lord to give me peace and calmness during the exam and that He would give me a design right away for the space. “Payton, Look how far I have brought you.” I stopped. Here I was, preparing to write a three hour exam where I would design, dimension and spec a kitchen I had never seen before. “Two years ago, it took you three hours to sketch a picture of an existing kitchen. Look how far I have brought you, where you are not only going to design a kitchen from scratch, but you are also going to draw and render that kitchen in three short hours. Do you believe that I have looked out for you all this time and will continue to look out for you now?” Yes God.

“Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”

– Luke 8:39

I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with clay, or if you were the world’s best mud sculptor like I was when I was four… but you can only mold mud. You can’t mold clay when it is wet and soggy and too moist; it doesn’t old it’s form. You also cannot mold clay when it is rock solid, nor can you mold dirt. You can only mold mud because it has a perfect, thick consistency; it’s soft enough to alter and hard enough to hold it’s form. I learned that lesson the hard way when I had taken a pottery class a couple years ago. I wanted to make a mug – a coffee mug, obviously. Something easy and classic. The teacher told us to always keep our clay wet so that it wouldn’t dry out early, because once clay is dry there’s no going back. So I grabbed a bowl of water and had it next to me while I formed my mug. Wetting it down like, every thirty seconds…. you can probably see where this is going. At the end of the class I wasn’t quite done, so I spritzed it – just to make absolutely sure it wouldn’t dry out, put a bag over it and left. The next class I came back and my mug had morphed into this massive bowl that was too big to use even for soup. My mug was so wet it just kept spreading outward. It was ridiculous. My teacher laughed as she picked up my creation – literally dripping clay ooze from her fingers she carried my hard work to the side and left it there. “Grab another cube girl!” So I grabbed another block of clay and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t over water it… like I do with all of my plants… anyways… do you know what happened? It dried out. I came back the next day and my half done clay creation literally had cracks the Sahara Desert would find impressive! I sucked at this pottery thing… Recently, my failure in pottery made me think about how God works in our own life. We have to be mud and mold-able. Not too wet where we think we have all the answers and can do everything for ourselves but also not to dry where we don’t want God’s help and want to run our lives our own way. We need to have a balance of wet and dry. Wet enough for God to mold and thick enough that we can hold the form that God makes us.

Buggy 1This past month has been a bit of a wake up call for me to see how much molding God has done in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have totally been too wet and too dry at different times in my life – I won’t tell you that I’m perfect and have it all together. But when God was telling me the other day, to look and see how far He has brought me, it made me smile. Guys there is SO much in our life that goes unnoticed. All those little things the Lord lines up for us, the things He protects us from, I could go on and on – but I think it is so important to look back and be able to say, “Wow God. I used to be there.” Que Drake: Started from the bottom now we’re here… ♩ ♪ ♫  As I went into my design exam that morning; after God showing me that He has fully equipped me with the abilities to crush this exam I had so much joy and an indescribable peace. It was unreal. Recently I’ve been hooked on listening to the Inception soundtrack song: Time. It’s beautiful and there’s a ten hour loop of the song on YouTube – I won’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the full ten hour loop, because it’s a little embarrassing. Anyways – I listened to this fabulous ten hour loop for my entire exam and it was so cool to listen how God used it. When the song is quiet and it’s mainly the strings playing or very soft piano God spoke to me and gave me inspiration. When the piano kicks up and the horns are in the background God steadied my hand and gave me speed to draft, draw and dimension. It was crazy. If you’ve ever seen the movie, I felt like Cobb at the end when they are getting off the plane and he’s looking around and everyone feels so boss and awesome. Throughout the exam God seemed to work with the music and motivated me. But the entire time I was working I can honestly tell you that I was not nervous. I was not stressed. In the moments where I was drawing blank, I shot up a quick prayer asking the Lord to guide me and then the music kicked up and He guided me. I’m actually listening to the loop right now and it’s incredible. Gah. All in all, the three hours ended and I can honestly tell you that I don’t know how I finished as much as I did, to the detail I did, in that time. When I would practice I always ran out of time, forgot simple things or wasn’t completely satisfied with my work when the timer went off. This one time – when it actually mattered; I finished, I was confident in my work and I was satisfied knowing that I did not complete that task on my own.

Buggy 2Guys, I don’t know what you’re going through right now. Maybe you are struggling to finish school. Look how far God has brought you. You are on the home stretch with finals! Go hard. Trust Him and finish strong! Maybe you are struggling at a job wondering if you’re in the right career? Look how far God has brought you. You are being challenged with something that a lot of other people right now WISHED they could be challenged with. Trust Him and power through! Maybe you are struggling in a relationship. Look how far God has brought you. There are so many things you can learn in a relationship with another person, but know that challenges in a relationship are not always a bad thing – sure they are not easy in the moment but they cause you and the person you’re with to come together and work it out and in doing so you become closer and stronger than you were before! Don’t back away from something difficult – because something great is on the other side. Maybe you are struggling because you are not in a relationship and wanting to be. Look haw far God has brought you. Just like there are many things you learn in a relationship, there are just as many – if not more things that a person learns by being single. Hold out for something great and believe that the Lord has someone in store for you! And while you are waiting, focus on being the person you are trying to find and develop yourself in areas you need to be strengthened. Maybe you are in pain physically. I don’t know what kind of pain you could be facing right now and I won’t tell you to suck it up but I will tell you that you are a Child of our God and He does not like to see you in pain either. Maybe the pain is from an accident where you could have died, or it could be the result of someone else – sometimes, looking back at how far God has brought us already can courage us to look forward and realize how much further our Father wants to bring us. Power on. Because He is most definitely with each and everyone of us.

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

 

Half Past

It’s official: I love computer graphics. I love seeing people get excited about my designs. However, one of the only ways most people understand my designs is through computer graphics and digital 3D models. Most people can’t read technical drawings when they first see them – which makes sense, because most people do not know how to read them with out explanations. Anyways, in school we have been learning a program that allows us to draw our designs, concepts, and ideas in 3D formations therefore making it easier to show others what we are thinking. So, to put our 3D graphic skills to the test, my teacher told us to come up with a design for a small airport kiosk no bigger than 200 square feet. I had a couple ideas come to mind, but the design I got the most excited about was about watches.

Half Past 1    For the assignment, we were to come up with a concept statement, material board, shop name and logo, brand packaging, store front, displays and signage. It sounds like a lot but once I got going I was checking the deliverables off the list. When I was looking for ideas for my watch kiosk, I got inspiration by looking at my own watch collection; what made them unique and different and what exactly made me want them in the first place. For all of my watches, I loved a clean face and sophisticated design. I enjoyed when the time piece was sleek and beautiful. However, I wished that my watches had more natural elements in them – like a leather strap or wooden hands, etc. So I decided to make my kiosk a blend of what I loved about my watches and what I wished they had. Coming up with a name for my kiosk wasn’t hard. After receiving the assignment, I had been brainstorming for about 30 minutes; so I decided the call the watch store, “Half Past”. Not only are watches beautiful and a perfect addition to any outfit, they are practical. How could I make Half Past practical? What if my “roof” was a giant clock that displayed real time? What if the disk was also an LED light that lit the kiosk – making it a beacon for anyone rushing by. My mind began to explode with ideas. I grabbed my sketch book and wrote down as much as I could before the inspiration was gone. I totally believe that God gives me these ideas and provides moments where everything comes together. It doesn’t always happen right away – sometimes the ideas come WAY too close to my dead line – but He always provides something. As I continued to fill pages of my sketchbook with notes and doodles, and measurements, I was encouraged. These are the moments when I know that God is helping me to do my best where He has placed me. Sometimes I feel like the dumbest student in the class because I am not understanding things that everyone else seems to pick up on right away. Then, there are other times like this where I am given an idea and am able to run with it.RAMSTEAD PAYTON, HALF PAST KIOSK LOGO 2Half Past Sketch Book

As soon as I had all of my ideas down, I immediately began working on my computer model. As I drew and pulled objects into the forms I wanted them, I was getting more and more excited about Half Past. As I worked, more ideas came: what if the displays that held the watches all slowly rotated in time with the second hand on the roof? That way the watches would glisten under the giant light and sparkle; drawing people to come in and, “just look”. But the giant clock could also be tilted up making it more useful to those walking in the airport. What if I had one giant display making it easy for people to walk through the shop and glance at the watches? Or, what if I had three medium displays that would hold more product all together and still making it easy for shoppers to breeze through? My ideas continued to build on themselves. What if I placed the front desk at the top of the hour where people would make their purchases. At quarter-past, half-past, and quarter-to, there would be a watch display – just like the multiple faces on large watches. As I thought about it, I decided that I wanted it to be as if people we inside the watch itself. Not the gears, but under the crystal and standing on the face of the watch. When they looked up, the hour, minute and second hands would be spinning above them, the multiple faces would be around them and they would be standing on the beautiful face. I was loving this idea.

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Half Past 2

As I continued to draw the model, my ideas came together and I was stoked. My product was my concept and my merchandise was the form of my kiosk. Sophisticated, modern, practical and beautiful – like all watches should be. I want to encourage you guys to never give up on hobbies or things you enjoy doing but aren’t good at naturally. Keep at it – you will get better! There are days when I’m sitting in class wondering what I am doing with this interior design dream, but there are other days – like this project, where I am reminded why I love interior design. Those days will come for you too – just don’t stop trying and experimenting.

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Half Past 5

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Well Hello Las Vegas

Flying outI had never been to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA before. So when I found out that we would be going to Las Vegas and staying for a week to catch all of the design shows for our class trip; I was ecstatic! I knew there would be so much to do and see – so my friends and I immediately started planning and looking for things we all wanted to do and places we wanted to see in our free time.

One of the first places we went to was the Frank Gehry Building in downtown Vegas. Frank Gehry is a famous architect and interior designer from Canada! This building is known as the, “Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health” Frank Gehry’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, so this project became very personal to him. He designed the building as a metaphor to show what happens to the brain as it ages.

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The interior of the building looks just as warped at the exterior. There are 199 uniquely different exterior windows.

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All of the walls were constructed to reflect sounds perfectly and were coated in an incredibly delicate finish that would enhance the sound even more.

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Frank Gehry also designed all of the furniture in the structure. It was phenomenal to stand in this space and feel so tiny.

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We went to the 2016 IBS [International Builder’s Show] and saw so many incredible things!

IBS Sign

After grabbing much needed coffees we were off exploring the show!

Red Carpet

There was a pink oven and I died a little *Heart Eyes*

Pink Oven

A group of us ran into Mike Holmes at the show! Mike is one of my design hero’s – I love how his focus is about helping others when they cannot help themselves. Not only does he come in and repair the damage on their house, but he shows others how to prevent the same problem from happening to them! I hope when I’m the design field I can be helping and inspiring people just like he inspired me.

Mike Holmes

While exploring the furniture in the show we came across Vispring Luxury beds! This bed is the exact bed that Queen Victoria sleeps on, worth $40,000 USD *Scoop jaw off ground* Soooo you can imagine that I definitely laid in this bed for literally as long as possible. Wow…

Queen's Bed

After a couple design shows; learning about construction, surfaces, finishes and furniture we decided to explore the Strip!

New York, Las Vegas

The scale and proportion of everything was ridiculous…. I’m not kidding…

The Strip

The Mall

Of course we had to stop at the famous Vegas Sign and get a picture with it… it’s the rule…

The Vegas Sign

Another day we explored the Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas. I think this was definitely one of my highlights from the trip – I was wishing we had a full day here to simply hike and enjoy being outside the city where fresh air is actually existent…

Red Rock Canyon

Going to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef was on the top of my To-Do list though – I had never been to an aquarium before, and this did not disappoint. I literally could have stood at the glass watching for hours.

Shark Aquarium

Of course there was more to see than just the dozens and dozens of sharks *wink* There was this guy! We’ll call him Leo the Lionfish

Lionfish

In the gift shop at the end of the shark aquarium, they had a bucket of sharks teeth from the sharks in their tanks!

Shark Teeth

I was able to check several things off my Bucket List while in Vegas, but one of the most exciting things to check off, was that I finally got to try Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses at the massive Hershey Store on the Strip!!!

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss

Zip Lining was another thing I got to check off my Bucket List! My friends and I zipped the old strip [Fremont Street] We went ten stories up and  were harnessed to a zip line at the Slotzilla platform from our back and soared a mile above the crowds below! Have you ever seen Divergent? Yeah – we zip lined like that *Happy Dance*

Zip Line

I will admit, I saw many beautiful things while in Las Vegas, but the famous Bellagio Fountains surpassed it all. These fountains took my breath away. I was so lucky to see them several times throughout our trip. I took this shot from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris, Las Vegas hotel. From 460 feet above the Strip, it’s amazing

Bellagio Fountains

After all the craziness that happened each day – we were thankful to go back to a nice hotel and crash.

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

I could honestly show you a bazillion photos from Vegas. I enjoyed my time while I was there and who knows, I might end up there again one day.

Passport

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

A Prairie Home

One of my favorite assignments this year has been the sustainable house project we had in December. A young artsy couple was wanting to build their own custom home and we were the ones to design it. The couple wanted their new home to be as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible. They loved mid-century modern design and wanted a space where they could each be alone to paint, read, write, film, etc. The couple also loved hosting and having friends over. Both enjoyed being outside and having lots of natural light in the house. I wanted to design a house for them that was functional, beautiful, and sustainable with a small carbon footprint. I wanted them to have a space that allowed them to perfectly enjoy all of their favorite activities. They wanted the structure built by the lake in Alberta, Canada; so climate would definitely be an important factor. So I went out to the location to study the site. Sorry cows.

Location

In class we had been studying a lot about building orientation and how the sun might affect the structure. Passive solar design was something that would be important to implement into the house. Another thing to consider would be window locations. As I was writing this all down, I started to picture myself in this new home. What views would I like to see? Where is the sunrise and sunset exactly? I knew she loved the morning sun and watching the sunsets was important to her. After taking lots of photos of the location and writing jot notes as thoughts would pop into my mind I decided that I should probably come back later that evening to see where the sun would set. When I came back a couple hours later, I watched the sunset and found the perfect spot for the house. I wouldn’t have to rip out any trees, we would be able to construct around the existing vegetation. It would be perfectly sheltered by strong winds and still get the best views of both the sunrise and the sunsets. *Happy Dance* From here, I now had to start sketching, specifying certain products and materials. I already knew what view I wanted to draw for the clients. There was no way I going to leave that sunset unmentioned.

This is the material board I put together to represent the colours and textures for the overall space. For the flooring I decided to use a light grey poured concrete because it would be long lasting and would require very little maintenance. The roof would have FSC [Forest Stewardship Counsel] certified natural bamboo planks to bring a lighter feel to the space. The walls would all be finished with a 0 VOC white  paint from Benjamin Moore. The accent table tops would use a quartz material with grey veining. The Floating fireplace is made of recycled blackened steel that would burn bio-fuels [Gas that does not smell or smoke]. I wanted to focus on natural materials and organic textures which is why I chose to use Slatish Tiles. Slatish is a biodegradable material that is made to look like slate. I loved the rough look of the thin tile strips. The designer lamp and chair add sophistication to the space and the cow hide rug brings it back down to reality. Balance between perfection and imperfection was important because nothing in nature is perfect however, when we look at it as a whole; it appears perfect.

Material Board

The next step was to start working on the 1/4″ scale model. I rendered the floor plan that way it would be easier to read the spaces from above.

Floor Plan Rendering

  After the main floor, garden, and second story were rendered, it was time to construct the model.

House Collage

My favorite part was working on the rendering which would show off their new Living Room and the incredible views.

The pencil sketch was first – it is always important to decide where your shadows will be before you start your rendering. There is a lot to developing a rendering! Where is your light source coming from? What direction does the natural light come from? How does the light affect the room textures and furniture?

Pencil Sketch

Once you have developed your sketch and figured out what are where your light source affects the space: you can have at er and draw. *Happy Dance*

Final Rendering

In the end I was very excited with hose this project turned out. I had to deliver a detailed floor plan, mechanical plan, elevations and specifications. A material board, colour rendering, site orientation, concept statement and present it as a whole. It was a lot of work, but when your are happy with your finished product, it makes it all worth it.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”   – Luke 16:10 NLT

Guys always, always put your best into everything you do even if you do not think it’ll be worth it. It you can put your best into a small project – you will definitely put your best into a large project. If you give up on small goals, why would you go for large goals? Besides, you never know who is watching you…

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

And We’ll Drop a Shadow Here…

You know those things that you never really notice until someone points it out, but then you can never see it the other way again. You are forever reminded about this “new” way to look at the picture, or situation, or person or whatever. For example, look at the Mallard duck. He’s majestic. He also has a wolf head for a beak. The tip is his black nose, the nostril is the wolf’s eye and the bit that goes up is the ear. You will never look at a Mallard duck the same way again. Or take the KFC man, that may look like his bow tie but actually, it’s his teeny tiny body supporting his massive fat head.

Duck CollageKFCAnyways… I’ve been learning about shadows in my classes recently. To be honest, I never really thought one could “study shadows” before. I mean, yeah, they’re there. Then they move and later the shadow will be gone. Big deal. Noooooope there is actually A LOT to learn about shadows – which totally blew my mind! “Shadows add depth to everything whether you realize it or not,” my instructor told us, “shadows are not always black or grey – they are always a shade darker than the colour of the object depending how much light is being shed at the time. Shadows can still have colour.” As she showed us and taught us more on shadows, my eyes were opened to how difficult that cheesy, classic painting of the “Bowl of Fruit” actually is. No really, take a look at how many individual colours there are in one of those pears… In order for us to actually grasp the depth of shadows my teacher took an image, photocopied it in high contrast and had us lay a piece of trace paper over top. We then had to draw out all of the different shapes based on the different shades. Our finished projects resembled some what of a paint by number. As easy as that sounds, it got a little more difficult. “I want you guys to go around town on a sunny day taking pictures of what you see. In the pictures I want a good variation of highlight and shade. I also want you to do a quick sketch of the scene to show depth, texture and shadow.” Pffffft I could do that – I’ve always loved photography. So while driving around the town I came across probably the cutest little house I’ve ever seen. I immediately pulled over and took pictures. I had to stand in the middle of the intersection to get this shot. I was holding up traffic and not even feeling guilty cause it was completely worth it!

House on the Corner Photo

The next day we all brought our images in and she looked over them. “Now I want you to photocopy your image in high contrast so you can see the strong shade differences in the photo. This will help you when you draw the photo you have shown me.” Drat…. suddenly I was wishing I had snagged an easier image. Looking at the roof of that cute house on the corner made me want to crawl in a hole. The shadows from the trees intimidated me so much that I didn’t even want to try. I can’t draw like that! There is no way I can do this! As I was giving myself a “No You Can’t” speech God calmly spoke to me, “Payton, I helped you get the shot, do you not think that I will help you draw this? Have a little faith in what I am capable of through you…” *Long sigh* “Ok, but can we, just not attempt the roof and simply grey it over?” I asked Him. “Girl, the photo turned out beautiful because of the variation in shadows – imagine what that house would’ve looked like if it were easy to draw? It would have been easy to walk past and you most likely wouldn’t have stopped to that the picture.” I never thought of it that way… “It’s the same way in your life – you need shade to see the high lights, you need texture to notice the smooth and you need variation to make something interesting. Why do you think I allow good things to happen and bad things to happen? Why do you think there are easy parts in life and there are difficult? Because I am creating a stunning picture and you need all colours to see the beauty and uniqueness.” I sat back, “Alright, I get that, and it makes total sense…. but I still don’t wanna draw this….” “All I’m asking is that you try and put your best effort into it.”

House on the Corner Sketch

I took the colour photo, my sketch, the black and white and a lot of God’s helped and tried. Using only ink and markers He allowed me to do this.

House on the Corner

 

Guys, I’m not gunna lie, I was shocked with how my project turned out. I put the mother load of hours into but it made me so happy to see how God’s help and motivation allowed me to do something I never thought I as able to do.

House on the Corner // Ink

I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but all God is asking is that you try and put your best foot forward in each and every situation and to have faith in what He will do. I’m enjoying this shadow study much more than I originally was.

“And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:23

 

 

– Stay Satisfied