Inspired by skater girls, murals, and nature.

All that we generally refer to as “the world” is full of wonders that never cease to amaze us. To some of us it’s the humanity in people, to others it’s the concept of beauty itself.
Enjoy this week’s collection of inspiration curated by House of Current.

I was touched by the fact that women in Afganistan, who are currently prohibited from riding bikes, are starting to feel more and more empowered by skateboarding. Find some candid shots of them here: http://www.featureshoot.com/2015/04/photos-document-the-empowerment-of-afghan-girls-through-skateboarding/

“This week’s inspiration comes to me from UK photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s series of portraits called Skate Girls of Kabul, currently on display at the Saatchi Gallery.   I was touched by the fact that women in Afghanistan, who are currently prohibited from riding bikes, are starting to feel more and more empowered by skateboarding. Find some candid shots of them here.” Ana

 

 

Whenever I want my breath to get shortened by unparalleled views that make me break out the #nofilter hashtag, I head out to the Marsh Observation Tower on Skidaway Island. I just sit there and take it all in as the wind rustles through the trees. Much like the deep salty water around, that I can smell with my mind now, as I am typing this, I too become tranquil, relaxed and meditatively inspired.

“Whenever I want my breath to get shortened by unparalleled views that make me break out the #nofilter hashtag, I head out to the Marsh Observation Tower on Skidaway Island. I just sit there and take it all in as the wind rustles through the trees. Much like the deep salty water around, that I can smell with my mind now, as I am typing this, I too become tranquil, relaxed and meditatively inspired.” Lamar

A Baltimore street artist, David Cogdill (who is called “Nanook”), went to Liberia to paint beautiful murals on schools that have recently opened and are now “ebola free” after being used as holding centers during the peak of the 2014 outbreak. These colorful, optimistic images are a collaboration between him and a 14 year old boy named Abel Dassin and are designed to encourage kids to come back to school. Turning a horrific situation into something so beautiful and positive is both touching and inspiring to me.

“A Baltimore street artist, David Cogdill (who is called “Nanook”), went to Liberia to paint beautiful murals on schools that have recently opened and are now “ebola free” after being used as holding centers during the peak of the 2014 outbreak. These colorful, optimistic images are a collaboration between him and a 14 year old boy named Abel Dassin and are designed to encourage kids to come back to school. Turning a horrific situation into something so beautiful and positive is both touching and inspiring to me.” Lisa

Having spent the past week reliving my childhood glory days at Disney World, I have re-entered the real world feeling a little more magical pep in my step! Walt Disney was a true creative, and is still inspiring people daily!

“Having spent the past week reliving my childhood glory days at Disney World, I have re-entered the real world feeling a little more magical pep in my step! Walt Disney was a true creative, and is still inspiring people daily!” Rachel

I've been fascinated with complex patterns since my brother and I shared a Spirograph kit when we were kids. It's easy to get lost in artist Andy Gilmore's vibrant creations.

“I’ve been fascinated with complex patterns since my brother and I shared a Spirograph kit when we were kids. It’s easy to get lost in artist Andy Gilmore’s vibrant creations.” Scott

I love how perspective changes everything. At a quick glance, this is just pretty cubes of color. But as you look closer you'll see that it's actually a display of 98 perfectly symmetrical 2.5x2.5x2.5cm cubes of kiwi, salmon, dragon fruit and a myriad of other fruits and vegetables created by Dutch Artists Lernet and Sander. It's amazing, and can't stop looking at it! And now I'm also hungry.

“I love how perspective changes everything. At a quick glance, this is just pretty cubes of color. But as you look closer you’ll see that it’s actually a display of 98 perfectly symmetrical 2.5×2.5×2.5cm cubes of kiwi, salmon, dragon fruit and a myriad of other fruits and vegetables created by Dutch Artists Lernet and Sander. It’s amazing, and can’t stop looking at it! And now I’m also hungry.” Wendy

My inspiration for this week is my best friend, Sarah, who is currently in the Dominican Republic working for a nonprofit. This is her fourth trip to the DR, and last time she met a woman with whom she became very close. While she was away, the woman became pregnant, and asked Sarah if she would be the godmother. So this past week, while she was back in the DR, Sarah finally met her godson! Very happy for her, and inspired by her drive to give and help others.

“My inspiration for this week is my best friend, Sarah, who is currently in the Dominican Republic working for a nonprofit. This is her fourth trip to the DR, and last time she met a woman with whom she became very close. While she was away, the woman became pregnant, and asked Sarah if she would be the godmother. So this past week, while she was back in the DR, Sarah finally met her godson! Very happy for her, and inspired by her drive to give and help others.” Amel

Virgin Hotel takes branding to the next level

This is NOT a hotel review. Though we throughly enjoyed our stay here, this is to share what we define as “branding done right”.

Work travel takes us to many places, and one of our favorite places is Chicago. When our client, Block 37, told us that the first U.S. Virgin Hotel was opening around the corner, we couldn’t wait to check it out. Yes, we had succumbed to the allure of the Virgin brand “buzz,” but that is part of our job, right? We check out the latest and greatest, and that in turn inspires our work.

We expected the experience to be different from other hotels, because, well, it is VIRGIN after all. But what we found was branding of the highest order. I mean, at every “touchpoint” they made sure we knew this was a Virgin hotel, but not in an obnoxious way. More in a consistent-to-who-they-are kind of way. In the way that we preach to our own clients. Their brand personality (I would say irreverent, a touch risque and playful come to mind) came through in the tone of each message, as well as the design, consistently. No detail was left unattended, which made everything have an importance, you know? #DeepThoughts

Anyway, check out a few of the iPhone shots I took, and enjoy the virtual tour of some great branding. ~ Lisa Maloof

Red is the Virgin color, and this dog reating us at the door just felt...right.

Red is the Virgin color, and this dog greeting us at the door just felt…right.

Felt walls, with red stitching detail, and pockets for everything. Genius! And on-brand.

Felt walls, with red stitching detail, and pockets for everything. Genius! And on-brand.

Ear plugs for blocking out the sound of the "L". Thoughtful and humorous touch. #DetailsMatter.

Ear plugs for blocking out the sound of the “L”. Thoughtful and humorous touch. #DetailsMatter.

Unexpected touches go a long way.

Unexpected touches go a long way.

The touches or red tile, along with the adorable bath toy, are a "surprise and delight" moment.

The punctuation of red tile, along with the adorable bath toy, are a “surprise and delight” moment.

Wendy Lowden, posing for me in one of the cool common spaces. Notice the flashes of red, along with the whimsically shaped oval room.

Wendy Lowden, just chillin’ in one of the cool common spaces. Notice the flashes of red, along with the whimsically shaped oval room. This is not a “business as usual” hotel.

Had to stop and laugh before using their facilities.

Had to stop and laugh before using their facilities. I also never knew females were referred to as “birds” in the UK, so it was educational as well as funny.

Ok, so the house car happens to be red. And a Tesla. We obviously had to take it to our meeting.

Ok, so the house car happens to be red. And a Tesla. We obviously had to take it to our meeting.

We decided to heed their advice, and gave peace and quiet a chance.

We decided to heed their advice, and gave peace and quiet a chance. Until next time Chicago.

Inspired by Ellywise

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We’re delighted to welcome Ashley Presley as our guest blogger today. Ashley is the owner and designer at Ellywise Studios, a custom line of felt flower bouquets, center pieces, wreaths, and other decor. At the heart of each and every flower is Ashley’s love for all things fun, pretty, and whimsical. A SCAD graduate and working full-time as an interactive designer, Ashley uses felt flower making as a creative outlet for her less technical side, and to channel her wildly imaginative nature.

 

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In my family, the year of 2014 was Woodard-Wedding-Central. I got married in May and my little sister in October. I wanted to do something special for my sister’s bridal shower decorations, so I spent four months making felt flowers for all the table decorations. Commitment, my friend.

I truly enjoyed it and was so inspired by the possibilities that I continued to make them just for fun. When my house began to burst at the seams with felt and flowers, my mom suggested posting some pictures of them online and seeing what happened. They were so well received it was overwhelming. I couldn’t be more excited about the whirlwind success around my little flower child that is Ellywise Studios!

 

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This is my darling Rue. We’re not totally sure of her breed, but I do know that she’s my perfect little rescue buddy/muse. Though her fur-fluff often covers most surfaces of my house, she loves to lie in my studio while I work and watch herself in the mirror (she knows how gorgeous she is, and she’s so modest about it – gotta love her).

 

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When she’s not admiring herself in the mirror, my sidekick Rue often stares at me with a look of fear and dismay. You see, one does not simply create in silence. My go to? Broadway. I’m not just talking singing, my friend. I’ve got the emotional acting, the dance numbers and volume. My husband checks in on me every once in a while to make sure I haven’t fallen and that these noises are not in fact cries for help.

My love for musicals came late in life. My first trip to New York was in 2011 where I saw my first show, so I’ve spent my time since then catching up. My karaoke song of choice would have to be Adelaide’s Lament from Guys and Dolls. I really feel like it gives me a good range of my acting/Rue-scaring skills. Although, when Jerry Lee hits the piano on Million Dollar Quartet I find myself flinging my body dancing around like I’ve escaped the asylum (who doesn’t??). So, that’s a close second.

 

 

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My main decorating theme/general life philosophy is floral. For anyone that has had to room with me (sorry college-besties-who-hate-pink) they know that in my interior-design-dictionary there is one word: flowers. And when I married my husband last year we bought a house and décor was discussed. The poor guy HATES flowers. “Please, no floral prints.”

Oops.

To be fair, we don’t sleep on floral sheets, and thankfully I do have my entire studio dedicated to making felt flowers.

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I think the thing I love most about the felt flowers is all the different ways they can be used. I’ve gotten to meet so many people around my hometown of Memphis through my flowers and everyone has different ideas of how they want to use them. I’ve made keepsake mini wedding bouquets for brides, baby announcement wreaths for expectant mothers, decorative garland for artists’ booths at shows, centerpieces for showers and parties, office decor, nursery decor – seriously, the list goes on and on. It’s so amazing to meet all these different people and be able to execute their ideas born from an image of my flowers. They’re so creative and I’m equally inspired by them!
Ellywise has given me an opportunity to combine so many things that I truly love. Weddings, flowers, bright colors and, well, basically anything pretty. Oh, and hot glue…lots and lots of hot glue.