Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


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La Brea Design Crawl

Article Featured over at http://dormerandmass.wordpress.com.

The holiday slumber is taking hold, and people are stepping away from their offices and stepping out to do their shopping. I’m no exception. However, for me, going through stores that focus on home design, household function and just pain gorgeousness is where I’m at today. So, I decided that while having some down time in my life right now, I’d go down Los Angeles’ La Brea Boulevard – the ribbon of road that houses some of the most beautiful designs that bedeck and adorn the mansions of the Hollywood elite, and makes the rest of us swoon with each beautiful showroom display.

Today, I walked from 1st street up to Beverly and wandered into the little sanctuaries of modern and vintage design. It gives me some life, and offers ideas for future interior design projects at home.

Over at Maison Midi, French vintage mixed with modern style and function are on parade, with bold colors for Christmas, and beautiful artifacts for gift giving.  The photos above are from Fornasetti  home fragrances,  a line up of intoxicating yet delicate aromas for the home, available in store. This luxury brand is for real hard core collector, with feminine, sexy surreal candle holders, diffusers and ceramic bottle spray containers highly priced. This is a very special gift for someone very special who appreciates intriguing touches to her demure boudoir.

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Modern means French warmth with this funky marbleize crockery resting on textured table cloth at Maison Midi. Can you imagine this in your imaginary French villa? Or maybe in your home resting on a grey modern credenza. Either way, this adds a unique touch to your dining area – or anywhere.

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This book cover is a work of art itself. My Cuban mother would have loved this for Christmas if she were still with us.

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A walk further up La Brea led me into , where Americana Folk Art decor lives in warm deep woods, hand crafted artifacts, quilts of many colors and designs beyond imagination. Cast iron doorstops, old wooden bowling pins, barrels, chairs, and a checkerboard side table, Santa Fe designs and textiles. The smell of leather and furniture oil hangs around, and you can feel the spirit of our North American craftsman on your shoulder. Sturdy, romantic fixtures for the home. Great inspiration during Christmas time when you feel like nesting and bringing all that homestead soulfulness indoors.

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After spending considerable time at Maison Midi and East Meets West Antiques, I headed up to Nadeau near Beverly.  Their motto is “Furniture with A Soul”, and it definitely fits this affordable blend of eclectic, well crafted furnishings for the home.  After spending time at HD Buttercup last week (and ABC Home in NYC), it was refreshing to walk into this duplex showroom of amazing media centers, bedroom bureaus, credenzas, chairs, side tables, hutches that are reasonably priced.  There are styles for every taste, and just walking in makes you want to start designing a new home. It’s just crackling with different items and caters to most design palettes. Quirky moments are found in hidden corners, like this wrought iron bench above with whimsical pillows. Oh hello!

I wasn’t aware they had a line of home decor like pillows, wall hangings and their own line of signature candles. I love me some scented candles because it adds to the five senses that bring the vibe of a room to life. 

So that ends my La Brea design crawl for this week. I’ve covered the east side of La Brea from 2nd Street north to Beverly.  Where will my next crawl be? Another side of the street? Downtown LA? Maybe NYC?  Watch this space and find out!

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, please check out my Instagram account – @dormerandmass where I post the pictures on this blog and much, much more.

Also, head over to my Pinterest account which has an eclectic blend of interests, but design still abounds at www.pinterest.com/drotmil/

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Order. Color. Structure.

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Painting on 2nd Floor of Vintage Oddities at “HDButtercup”- Los Angeles.

Besides writing about things, I have another passion. I adore interior design and various home decor. One of the ways I keep my sanity is to visit shops that are likely way beyond my means to gain inspiration. The colors, patterns and textures enrich me. They create moments. They fulfill stories. They allow us to chose items of elegance, depth of meaning and a mirror to one’s soul.

This photo above is from HD Buttercup’s unusual 2nd floor display. The entire level is filled with shabby early 20th century decor. Dark wired fans, rustic wooden floor. Dark walls and old time French and American posters, crackled, beaten, worn and haunting. The painting reminded me of Dick Whitman, catching a ride out of town – running from his own self in the tail end of the dustbowl, waiting to get back to Chicago to reclaim his old high school flame before she marries the town brute.

The whole store does that. There are so many potential stories and human lives to be lived out in the details of each living room display, artifact, price tag and rugged texture.

These are the items, if we chose to buy them, that define us. The beautiful things we put in our homes not only provides function, but they stimulate energy that allows us to be the person we feel on the inside. How you feel depends on you. But making our surroundings beautiful is a start.

I dedicate my love for luscious, beautiful home decor to Jeannie from “I Dream of Jeannie”, whose little lair of billowy curtains and lush pillows set inside her gem encrusted bottle, has set me on a lifelong course to emulate that look.

(To my wonderful followers – I’ve started another blog that will be dedicated to home interior design over at http://www.dormerandmass.wordpress.com. I’d love to gain some followers. Once I do, I’m going to make it official and pay to have the “wordpress” taken off so it’s a stand alone blog.

Also, please visit my instagram account @dormerandmass. Also find me at @drotmil for my random photos. And if you love Basset hounds, I’ve created an account for my dog Baxter over @BaxtersBelly. Enjoy!!)


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For the Writer, Art is the Motivator

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Palm Trees. Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

(I wrote this post this morning on MarieForleo.com in reply to a discussion about the importance of art in our lives.  This comment felt like a blog post. I’d like to share it here. I hope you find some good in its message.)

Art is essential in allowing humanity to connect spiritually.

I use art to motivate my writing and the writing of others. Each facet of art, especially painting and sculpture (for me), can ignite a bevvy of stories for the world to see. It can inspires other and can change lives. It can shift a mind.

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Street Art/Berlin Wall. Wende Museum. Los Angeles.

Music is also a profound inspiration. Artists who write life affirming and soul searching lyrics have made me the writer I am today. They connect feelings into words. Music and art makes us feel less alone in this world.

I think the one piece of art that changed my life (other than music), was Georges Seurat’s painting “Sunday on the Island of Grande Jatte” and the musical play it inspired. James Lapine wrote the book for “Sunday in the Park with George” and Stephen Sondheim created the most glorious, heart wrenching, moving score to reflect the concept of how a painting can tell a story. How each visage, each person painted were really humans with beating hearts and broken lives painted in dabs of light. The way the painting comes to life with humanity and the love story woven in – showed me how art can be a powerful reflection of our lives. In fact, the entire show has specific lyrics that support this entire theme.

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‘Sunday in the Park with George’

 

Add the wonderful musical ‘Fun Home’ – which shows painful, universal themes in a beautiful, touching way – and we have continued proof that the arts tell the story of our lives.

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Cast of ‘Fun Home’. Photo by Christaan Felber. The New Yorker.

Don’t let anybody, or any negative voice in your head tell you otherwise. We need more art. We need creation.

As good ol’ Steve wrote in “Sunday…”

“Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me
Opened up my eyes,
Taught me how to see,
Notice every tree…”

Just keep moving on. 🙂


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Sharks Through the Insulin Glass

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I’ve just flown through my annual rough patch. Busy work stirring turbulence that had more to do with my employed work rather than my creative endeavors (which I am determined to turn into employment).

Working at a major film and television studio, I was immersed in an industry event known as LA Screenings.  Determined and content to be a studious employee in the middle of mild chaos, I kept my focus on the job, cleared the writing decks for a month and focused wholeheartedly on screenings and office work.

Yes. this meant placing my own writing projects and my build up of The Good Write aside until the responsibilities that cut me a payday slow back down into the day to day office life, where things are humming on autopilot.

It was alright, actually. I needed a little break from writing. As long as we fill the down time with mental stimulation, we all do.

My annual trip to New York City waited at the end of these travails. Exhausted from having flown in late last night, I’m back with street snapshots, a low bank account, leg fatigue, a few cute new summer dresses, and jet lag.  (You can see why I have aviation metaphors sprinkled within my first paragraph.).

Having taken the month off from writing, I feel the words coming back. The need to create once again. Around New York, my eyes feasted on many favorite visuals – street art, murals, photography. The colors of paintings on bulletin boards that are created over a period of days to devise a glorious build up of lines and color and shading to birth a gorgeous vision, like the steampunk dreamy delicacy of the mural above found on 22nd street and 10th Avenue, installed by PixelPoncho.

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Shark on 22nd St. & 7th Avenue. Chelsea, NYC.

Or the sharks infested walls of 22nd Street, where these charming little razor tooth creatures show up in tags sporadically around 22nd street (and perhaps beyond?), floating through medicine bottles, looking like they’ve just taken up home in dangerous cement and brick laid pharmaceutical waters.

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Shark Alert: 22nd Street and 10th Avenue, Chelsea, NYC

Whimsical creation of art. Art is everywhere. I have a whole camera role I’m too sleepy to unload here, but my Instagram account will attest to some wonderful frames of texture, color, inspiration from masters in fashion as seen at the Manus x Machina exhibit at the MET, where fashion is exposed and explored in the age of technology, or various moments of artistic expression found in a favorite cafe or flash of street work.

I’m getting back on the creative band wagon, folks. It’s always good to know that creation is always waiting for you to pick up where you left off to continue bringing forth more beauty into the world. Now, more than ever, we need to know this.

And here’s the reason why…

Lately, there has been a rash of articles about people who can’t find jobs. People who pretend to live affluently, but are at poverty’s door. Hard working people who’ve bought into the lie (as I have) that we must gain gameful employment in order to contribute in this world, when all we are doing is working for someone else’s goals, someone else’s dreams, and someone else’s wealth.

What happens when, after years of hard word, that employment ends? When you can’t get a job like you used to – or not even able to get your first one out of college? There are people who hope they will one day be hired back into that high paying position, and things will be right again, only to realize, after too long a wait, that it may never happen again.

There are friends in my sphere who are unemployed that keep getting back on the wheel of hope and job search, never realizing that they have the talent to create their own job position, their own employment by bringing their own highly lucrative gifts into the fold and be their own business.

Yet, they fret and go back to the very thing that chewed them up, spit them up and placed them in this torturous limbo to begin with.

I’m going to expound on this in my next blog post. There is an arsenal of experience I’ve gained and a high dose of being fed up about the illusion we’ve been given in this world I’d like to spill.

Like the eponymous artwork on the walls of New York City and around the world and the artists who’ve dreamed, divined and brought them to our vision – let’s inspire others with our work, be it writing, painting, sculpting, photography, acting, singing, composing or just listening to someone in need of help by your hand.

Let’s all be good people and live in our authenticity, because putting my creative work aside for a salaried paycheck rather than self employed accomplishments isn’t applying my energy into the work I’m meant to be doing. Writing and creating and inspiring others – is.

Know this in yourself. Take it and go forth.

 

 

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Writing Inspiration From Bowie & Rickman

As someone said online the other day, the planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Aren’t we lucky to have lived in the age of Bowie?

The same can be said for Alan Rickman, a supreme talent who, like Bowie, also left this world, from cancer at the age of 69.  Strange how two beloved creatives, both British, both 69 years old, died in the same week.  And it seemed, within the similar stance of their booming voices, both toiled and created within darkness and light.

Two sucker punches in the second week of 2016. May we, as writers who daily fight and struggle to overcome the negative to tell our story, keep their creative work and words in mind. They left this world a little better for us all.

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“It is a human need to be told stories. And the more we are governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are and where we come from,and what might be possible.” ~Alan Rickman

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“Once I’ve written something it does tend to run away from me.  I don’t seem to have any part of it – it’s no longer my piece of writing.” ~David Bowie

“Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.” ~David Bowie

 

 


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“The Wind’s Blowing Warm from Africa…and We Are Happy…”

Happy Friday to you all. Fridays are slow on WordPress, but I’ll give this one a go – even if it falls under the radar.

The song above ear-wormed its way into my head this morning and won’t let go. I discovered the track, and the album from whence it came, in London back in 1995.

The album is “Dream of 100 Nations”, and moments after purchasing it (on cassette), I immediately immersed my ear holes in the multi-cultural musical flavors that melted with techno hypnotic rhythms.  In the evenings, I’d fast foward to the track above, “I Voyager”, and walk through Hyde Park at twilight. Do you know about sundown in Europe in the month of June? They last late into the evening – past 9pm. I remember listening to this song while watching Arab women in the distance, slowly walk behind their heavily cologned husbands, as their black flowing burkas floated dreamily in the breeze in the dimming light.

I thought of myself as a voyager. There I was in my late twenties, unattached, spending summers in the UK alone. The voyage was beginning.

A memory also wormed its way through my twilight sleep this morning.  My awakening mind thought of a home in Sag Harbor. It was the house my uncle, aunt and I stayed in almost five years ago, the weekend we spread my parents ashes in the water of Little Peconic Bay.

The house belonged (and still belongs) to artist Eleanor Kupencow, a renown artist whose colorful modern paintings are created in this very contemporary well lit house. Each room is open space with the bare basic furniture. Studio lights flash on each canvas. One room opened into another with no doors marking closed in territory. There was no television, no internet – only radio. This was her getaway home – her place of solitude to do her work. Her work house. She has other homes.

I slept on an IKEA futon below a giant mural of geometric shapes and crayon bright colors. I felt as if I were sleeping on the floors of MOMA. The serenity was profound. The peace well curated and handled with white gloves. I loved the energy of the place. Its white walls and high skylight ceiling gave me warmth and solace as my parents remains sat in paint can canisters, waiting to be released into the waterways down the street.

The street stretched and turned down until it ended with beach sand and a long bed of smooth stones that made walking barefoot uncomfortable. What continues from there will be left for another day.

Today – I think of Eleanor’s house. I didn’t meet her that weekend. She left town to tend to a family matter, and allowed us to stay for those few days. It was the house where I truly said goodbye to my parents. It was the house where I made my decision for the future. It was the also the weekend I decided to move to California.

Five years on and I’m dreaming of moving back to New York when the time is right. And the right time is coming soon. Although I may never stay in this house again, I will be back in Sag Harbor to honor the day of the ashes, the pretty house on Whalebone Landing Road, and the warm New York summer, usually thick with heat and humidity.

Here in California, the wind blows warm from the Santa Ana mountains; yet, the thought of the wind blowing warm off the coast of Long Island makes me happy.